In the course of testing for HDTV reviews here at CNET, I always compare displays directly against one another side-by-side using both normal program material--typically Blu-ray movies, HDTV, and standard-definition material--and test patterns from special discs. I'm always on the lookout for new test patterns, so earlier this summer when I spoke with another TV reviewer, Gary Merson of hdguru.com, about his tests for motion resolution, he was kind enough to pass along a Blu-ray Disc called "FPD Benchmark Software for Professional." It contains a variety of test patterns, most of which I've seen and used before, with one notable exception. A suite of patterns and program material is devoted to testing and demonstrating motion resolution, and I'm considering incorporating it into CNET's regular HDTV tests.… Read more
A new test to screen blood donors for hepatitis C (HCV) is showing promise, having scored the highest against five other systems during an evaluation by Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, according to developer OraSure Technologies.
When there's a shortage of blood for transfusions on the battlefield, medics turn to the Walking Blood Bank, i.e. any available soldier. However, short of prescreening every potential donor or using other time-consuming methods, there has been no way to be sure that a donor is disease free (PDF).
The company already offers a test for HIV, and now it looks … Read more
Wilson can't make it to the show again because of his ongoing illness, so everyone send us a voice mail wishing our buddy well wishes and a speedy return back to The 404! Dan the Mantern takes time out of his busy schedule of doughnut runs and paper stapling to fill in and give us some laughs on this overcast Monday. We recap our weekend adventures, talk about the dangers of kidnapping a virtual lion, send our condolences to the hungry worker bees at Google, protect ourselves from exploding iPods, and perform reveal the first ever sushi DNA test!… Read more
When I can hear a teenager's headphones through the din of a NYC subway car, I know he's on his way.
If I'm sitting a good 10 feet away from him and can still hear the screech of his headphones, I know the kid is killing his ears. Sure, I'm sometimes tempted to say something, but I never do. He's not really bothering anybody. And if he wants to be stone deaf by the time he's 30, well, it's his life.
But does he know that day by day he's doing irreparable … Read more
Vendors want to sell you stuff! There, it's finally been said. Don't believe me? Well, you wouldn't be the first, but thankfully, I have evidence.
Within the last year I've seen a new spec, called dynamic contrast ratio (DCR), tossed around for computer displays. If you didn't know before, contrast ratio is simply the difference between the darkest blacks and the brightest whites a given display can produce.
Typically, computer displays have a contrast ratio of about 1000:1. However with DCR, you'll see numbers like 4000:1, 10,000:1, and higher. Basically, it's just a way for Company A to proclaim, "Don't buy Company B's monitor because it has a much lower DCR than our monitor." Since more and more vendors have been pushing this, I want to delve further into how they're getting these numbers. I also covered this topic in less detail (but with a sexy voice thrown in) in episode 2 of the Inside CNET Labs podcast.
Before a monitor is released to the public it goes through a bunch of testing in the vendor's own lab. These tests produce the specs that the vendor will then publish with the release. Specs like maximum brightness, pixel pitch, pixel response time, contrast ratio, and dynamic contrast ratio are all determined in the vendor's own lab.
When testing normal contrast ratio, vendors use a device that measures light to determine how much light is emanating from a display while it's showing both a completely black and a completely white screen. They then take each number, do a bit of math, and come up with the contrast ratio. … Read more
This was our second try at recording this episode. The first one was lacking in...well everything except major suckage. It had enough of that for two or three episodes. This version, hopefully, has a bit less suck. Dong is all excited about bamboo. Eric bores us with monitor testing, and we talk about why Dong loves doing technical support for his friends.
Check out Dong's blog on the (Re) Drive.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 6
The program will last through the end of September 2008. During this time, new and existing customers from all over the world can trade equipment from Ixia's competitors, including Spirent, Agilent, and Shenick, in for Ixia's latest test equipment and applications. Or they can earn up to a 50 percent credit toward a new purchase.
Ixia also offers IxFinancing Leasing, a special financing solution that allows you to pay for Ixia products, software, and … Read more
So the iPhone 3G is coming out tomorrow. Are you ready? OK, that's more of a rhetorical question that those who've been lining up in front of Apple and AT&T stores in NYC and San Francisco would call me crazy just for asking. (Though, in fact, it's they who are crazy). The real question is if AT&T is ready. And it looks like it is.
It's only fitting that AT&T announced today that it offers the nation's fastest 3G network, by a significant margin. The claim was made based … Read more
Google announced on Friday the release of a number of updates to its Blogger publishing platform--well, sort of. The updates have gone into Blogger in Draft, the service's beta platform, with the expectation that they'll eventually become full features.
The updates will seem a bit humdrum for people who don't use Blogger, but for those who do, it's a set of important baby steps toward shaping the service to fit customer feedback. That's especially important for Google, as this is one niche of the Web where Mountain View doesn't have a huge lead: there … Read more