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Samsung launches new Internet-connected camera
by Staff Writers
Seoul (AFP) Nov 29, 2012


'The Hobbit' to debut high-tech projection
Los Angeles (UPI) Nov 28, 2012 - "The Hobbit" movie will bring new technology to U.S. movie audiences by screening at 48 frames per second, twice the rate of traditional films, experts say.

Warner Bros. will become the first studio to release a major Hollywood movie in 48 frames a second when "The Hobbit," by "Lord of the Rings" director Peter Jackson, premieres Dec. 14.

Advocates say Jackson's picture will give audiences a picture that is richer and sharper, but some critics who've seen clips of the film have called it jarringly hyper-realistic and too unlike a traditional film, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Warner Brothers has been running a test reel in hundreds of theaters in the United States and abroad to ensure theaters are ready for the rollout of the new technology.

"When you have something new, you want to make sure it works," Dan Fellman, president of domestic distribution for Warner, said. "This is unique, it's different and we'll have to see how people adjust to it."

The studio is hedging its bet by showing the high-frame-rate version in only 450 of the 4,000 U.S. and Canadian theaters that will be showing the film.

Samsung Electronics Thursday launched a new Internet-connected camera in South Korea, as the electronics giant intensifies efforts to expand its dominance in the mobile phone market to other sectors.

The "Galaxy" camera, named after the Korean firm's signature smartphone and tablet PC series, enables users to upload photos and videos directly to the Internet without having to hook it up to a computer.

The camera, launched earlier this year in countries in Europe, North America and elsewhere in Asia, is not Samsung's first Internet-connected camera.

But the latest device -- powered by Google's Android software like many key Samsung gadgets including Galaxy S smartphones or Galaxy Tab tablets -- operates more like a smartphone, the company said.

It allows users to download apps aimed at polishing photos or videos, automatically share images stored in the camera with certain mobile devices located nearby, or to have the images automatically stored in a cloud-computing server.

Users have to subscribe to wireless plans to use the gadget, featuring a 4.8-inch LCD touchscreen, a 21x optical lens and priced at about 750,000 won ($691) on the domestic market.

"The Galaxy Camera will open a new chapter of communications -- visual communications," JK Shin, chief of Samsung's mobile unit, said in a statement.

Samsung -- the world's top maker of smartphones and memory chips -- has recently been trying to strengthen its relatively small presence in the global digital camera industry dominated by Japanese giants like Nikon and Canon.

Microsoft Surface Pro to start at $899
San Francisco (AFP) Nov 29, 2012 - Microsoft announced Thursday that its Surface Pro, a version of its new tablet aimed at business users, would be available in January starting at $899 for US customers.

The Surface Pro will be powered by an Intel processor and have a full version of the new Windows 8 operating system, which is designed with both PCs and tablets in mind.

"It's a full PC AND a tablet," said a blog post from Microsoft's Panos Panay.

"And all this in a PC that will weigh less than two pounds and be less than 14 millimeters thick. We are excited about both Surface with Windows RT and Surface with Windows 8 Pro."

Microsoft started selling the surface last month in a version aimed at consumers with a mobile-style processor and a tweaked version of its new operating system called Windows RT. It pricing was roughly in line the the iPad, the top-selling tablet.

The Surface Pro will be more expensive, and is apparently aimed at corporate users and those seeking a laptop replacement. The least expensive version with 64 gigabytes of memory will sell for $899, not including the touch cover with keyboard. A 128 GB version will start at $999.

"Surface with Windows 8 Pro uses the same familiar elegant design principles as Surface with Windows RT," Panay said.

Chief executive Steve Ballmer has described the iPad challenger -- complete with a built-in stand and ultra thin covers which double as keyboards in a range of colors -- as a tablet that "works and plays."

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