Planet CNET: running low on oxygen: Tech Culture
Tech Culture: Planet CNET: running low on oxygen7:38 /
On this episode of Planet CNET, we experience weightlessness, dissect a thousand-dollar cell phone, and willingly wear spandex on camera.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:05 >> Welcome to Planet CNET, I'm Kara Tsuboi reporting from San Francisco. And I almost feel like I should call this episode "Out of this World CNET." Rory Reid takes us flying in a zero gravity zone. Our Japan editors crack open a designer cell phone that people are actually willing to pay $800 for and I agree to wear spandex on TV. See, I told you we're running a little low in oxygen for this one. Let's begin in the UK where Rory has conveniently gotten his name in all the right PR invite list. Way to work it my friend. ^M00:00:38 [ Sound effects ] ^M00:00:40 >> Greetings! Rory Reid here reporting live from space for reasons that will soon become apparent. In the meantime, I'd like to draw your attention to some observations I've made over the last few years. Number one, companies will always make boring products. Number two, they will always try and promote these products in ever more exciting ways. And number three, they'll always use yours truly as a guinea pig. For example, Microsoft could only launch Windows Movie Maker by throwing journalist out of the plane. Number two, Taser International could only launch their new MP3 Taser by allowing me to tase a man live in front of a studio audience. And more recently Symantec could only launch Norton Antivirus 2009 by taking journalists on a zero gravity parabolic flight. What's that got to do with antivirus you might ask. Well, it's very simple, let me explain. See, here's the thing, when you're on a parabolic flight you experience zero gravity just like being in space. In completely related news Norton Antivirus 2009 has zero impact on your PC, zero gravity, zero impact. You get it? Norton recons the software usually uses around five percent of your processing power during idle. So this stunt makes perfect sense, no? Okay, alright. Well, when you're floating around in space you feel as though you're as free as a bird. Symantec recons that the new antivirus 2009 software gives you freedom to surf the Internet without worrying about viruses. So come on, stop being such a damn skeptic. See, I told you the link wasn't so tenuous after all. There's a genuine reason for me to hurdle towards the ground in a plane doing hundreds of miles per hour in the name of antivirus. Next week I'm off to the notch of a brand new piece of font-making software. If I'm not back in seven days you will know why. >> Shish! So that's how they do it across the pond. Here in the US for big media events we're lucky if we've got boxed lunch and a bottle of water. A free t-shirt is considered your lucky day. Turning now the video from our Japanese office we get a glimpse of the gut behind the gorgeous, the wiring of the fashion forward, the genetically gifted in the cell phone hierarchy if you will. >> I'm calling you. >> That's what the $800 Prada cell phone would sound like if they could talk. >> I'm calling you. >> Yes, the fashion house, Prada is putting its name behind this LG touch screen smartphone that retails for close to a thousand bucks here in the US. It has been touted as mobile innovation meets avant-garde design. And it looks like slightly more complicated version of the iPhone to me. You haven't sold me on it just yet. Here's what CNET Editor Nicole Lee had to say about it. ^M00:03:25 [ Sound effects ] ^M00:03:26 >> The virtual alphanumeric keypad works just like a regular phone. You can use the typical keys here for T9 messaging as you would with a regular phone. One of our most favorite uses of the touch screen is this wonderful fish theme that you can direct the fish using the touch of your finger. Features include the typical text and multimedia messaging, e-mail support, Bluetooth. There's also a 2-megapixel camera and MP3 player, as well as a video player. One of the downsides to the phone is that its microSD slot is located behind the battery. So that means you have to take off the cover, take off the battery before you can get to the microSD card. The LG Prada even comes in a very fashionable-looking box here, as you can see. It also comes with a very nice hard leather case with the Prada logo emblazoned on the front. So, even though the touch screen interface has a little bit of a learning curve, we think it's entirely possible to get comfortable using the phone as is. And it does cost over $800 in the US, so we're not entirely sure it's worth it. However, if you want a beautiful phone that is simply one of the most attractive handsets we've seen so far, this maybe worth it for you. >> I'm calling you. ^M00:04:41 [ Music ] ^M00:04:42 >> So, the good is that it's surprisingly easy to use, the bad is clearly the price, and the ugly, there's really no ugly here when it comes to Prada. And finally this summer blockbuster "Iron Man" is finally out on DVD and it comes with a whole bunch of special features including the making of some of those crazy fight scenes. To see what this motion capture technology is all about I suited up and took my turn as "Iron Woman." Hey planet CNET, Kara here, wearing an oh-so-flattering motion capture suit. I'm here at Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco, California and these are the guys behind Iron Man, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Star Wars. And the reason I'm wearing this suit and in this space is because we're learning about the tech behind performance capturing technology. Very cool stuff and should be a lot of fun as long as I get over my embarrassment of wearing Lycra on camera. >> There has been speculation that I'm flirting around superhero. >> That's a scene from "Iron Man," the mega blockbuster recently released on DVD. To build this kind of computer generated scene the designers at San Francisco based Industrial Light & Magic filmed it on their image capture stage. >> The idea is that you are surrounded by a room full of cameras. You wear a special suit that's got markers on it. The computer takes all the images of all the markers and figures it out where each one of them is moving in the room. >> Directors love using the technology because it can save them time and ultimately money. >> You could photograph an environment and then come into this space and explore that environment virtually. >> Now it's my turn. Got my booties, got my suit. Now tell me how did I ever agree to wear Lycra on camera? ^M00:06:25 [ Music ] ^M00:06:27 >> Next the ILM team Velcroes 50 glow-in-the-dark balls to my suit. >> Stand with your arms at your side. Try to keep your feet about hip foot apart. >> Okay. As I go through a series of basic calisthenics the forty cameras in the space capture my movements to customize it to my exact physiology. >> We have a model of what the human skeleton looks like and based on where it saw your dots moving it is going to adjust the model to match your bone legs and where your joint positions are exactly. >> Yeah, I can fly. >> With an accurate picture of my frame and how I move I can play with Iron Man or in this case Iron Woman. >> The end result is this subconsciously, believably, real motion. That's the whole point of the technology. >> I'm still not sure if I've recovered from that shoot yet. Spandex can really do that to a girl. That is all for this week's episode of planet CNET. Thank you for watching. I'm Kara Tsuboi reporting from CNET San Francisco we'll see you next time. ^M00:06:34 [ Music ]