Hamburg Science Centre and Aquarium Makes Us Go Ooooooooo

via Gizmodo by Jesus Diaz on 1/29/08

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The Office for Metropolitan Architecture has designed this stunning 247,569-square-foot Science Centre for the Hamburg Hafencity, which is part of the Hamburg harbour, one of the largest ports in the world. The stunning ring design is composed of ten modular blocks, and it will include a science theater, aquarium, theater, offices, laboratories and retail area. It may be their painterly nature, but the rest of the rendering make it look quite surreal, in a Matrix-meets-Tetris kind of way.

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otterdam, January 22nd 2008): The Office for Metropolitan Architecture has revealed the final design for a Science Centre and Aquarium for the Hamburg Hafencity complex.

The building of 23,000 m2 will comprise of a Science Centre, aquarium, theatre, offices, laboratories and commercial and retail facilities and is located at the eastern edge of Hafencity, Hamburg’s ambitious harbor redevelopment.

The Science Centre is constructed of ten modular blocks that connect to form a ring shaped building. This concept allows for maximum flexibility for exhibitions. Visitors will start their visit at the so called “base station” just under the top of the building, cross over through the exhibition halls and descend in the modular blocks through the various exhibited scientific subjects, such as “the beginning of life” or “everything flows”. Approx. 8,500 m2 of the building is located underground with a large part of this space being taken up by the aquarium, providing a zoological tour from Hamburg to the Red Sea.

With terraces on various levels of the building the Science Centre allows panoramic views of Hamburg city centre as well as to the West and East sides of the Magdeburg harbor.

By providing rentable office and laboratory spaces the building will act as a hub for various scientific institutions in Hamburg. Cultural Senator of Hamburg Prof. Dr. Karin von Welck explained that: “The new Science Center will be established as an interdisciplinary meeting place for HafenCity Hamburg, an innovative space for art, culture and science.”

As a Science Centre the building leads by example addressing the issue of sustainability not only in its flexible approach to programming and function but also by incorporating the latest environmental technologies.

Speaking at the project launch yesterday Rem Koolhaas said “this building is supposed to reflect Hamburg’s serious ambitions for the development of the former port area”. OMA’s Science Centre is the latest in a series of buildings commissioned by Hamburg Hafencity GmbH as part of a large scale regeneration programme of the area, which stretches some 155 hectares between city centre and the river Elbe. The design is a further development of the winning scheme designed by OMA in 2004.

The project is lead by OMA Partners Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon with Marc Paulin as project architect. Previous collaborations included the design of the new headquarter for NM Rothschild & Sons in London and the redevelopment of Mercati Generali in Rome. Koolhaas and Van Loon completed together Porto’s Casa da Musica and the new Netherlands Embassy in Berlin.

[OMA via Dezeen]

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Hip Desk From Lindo: Geekish or Freakish?

via geeksugar — Geek is chic. by geeksugar on 1/25/08

I stopped and stared at this product for a few beats too long on OhGizmo!. I am still having a hard time wrapping my head around what it is and how exactly you’re supposed to use it. Basically, the Lindo Hip Desk is a piece of fiberglass that wraps around your hips to become a mobile laptop desk. Talk about being attached to your work! (Bah-dumb-chah!)

Anyway, I don’t think I can get behind this (and the dumb jokes continue, folks!), but this might be useful to someone . . . somewhere. Those dudes who still wear fanny packs? Maybe. It’s still a concept, so you don’t have to fear getting hit by a Hip Desk attached to an office drone out on the street quite yet.

Hip Desk From Lindo: Geekish or Freakish?

Geekish!
Freakish!
I think it’s _________. See my comment below!

Mock-Up Solves MBA’s Port-Based Woes

via Gizmodo by Haroon Malik on 1/27/08

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The Macbook Air sure is a fine piece of Cupertino craftsmanship, but the lack of useful input ports is a complete downer on the slinky sexy soiree. Fret not, Flickr user Nybras.Rodrigo has conjured up a fantastic solution. He’s confident in his solution, and so are we. Check it out above. There are all the ports you’ll ever need; USB 2.0, Firewire 400, Firewire 800, Ethernet, DVI output, Superdrive, iPod Shuffle and even a floppy drive. A floppy disk drive! How did we all miss that one? Kudos, Nybras, you’re one up on everyone.

[Flickr]

Casio Phone is Waterproof, Rocks 5 Megapixel Camera, 4 Colors and All Sorts of Sexy Extras

via Gizmodo by Addy Dugdale on 1/28/08

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One of the big Oh Noes about working for Giz is getting to see sexy new phones, enjoying a quickening of the pulse and then thinking, “Buggerama,” as you realize that said sodding cell is only available in Japan. Casio’s W61CA uses Exilim technology to give you a five-megapixel camera that will survive rainstorms and being dunked in the bath. No surprise then, that it’s being marketed as a sports phone, and comes in that sizzling yellow shade so beloved of Akio Morita. Full specs are below.

5.1 megapixel camera with self-timer button
35mm wide-angle lens
8x digital zoom
Auto-focus
18.9 mm thick
2.7 inches wide QVGA high resolution LCD
Mobile English dictionary
Voice commands
Micro SD card slot
DMB TV
132 grams
320 hours standby
220 mins talk time
Speaker
Earthquake warning system
Nabi disaster evacuation function
Calorie counter
Adelie Penguin anime story
Timer
Distance measurement

The W61CA comes in four colors: gold; white, green and yellow and I wish it was available in the West.

[Casio via i4U]

LEGO Brick Timeline: 50 Years of Building Frenzy and Curiosities

via Gizmodo by Jesus Diaz on 1/28/08

The LEGO brick turns 50 at exactly 1:58 p.m. today, January 28, 2008. This timeline shows these 50 years of building frenzy by happy kids and kids-at-heart, all the milestones from the LEGOLAND themed sets to TECHNIC and MINDSTORMS NXT, as well as all kinds of weird curiosities about the most famous stud-and-tube couple system in the world. Jump to zoom in and tell us what was your first LEGO in the comments.

(Click on the image to access the huge version—remember to zoom in if your browser auto-scales it.)

It all first started in 1947, when LEGO bought their first plastic injection machine. The brick was not invented then but took final form in 1958, when the shape of the stud-and-tube brick was patented. Since then, LEGO sets have been going through dozens of iterations, from the younger version, DUPLO, to the most sophisticated LEGO TECHNIC and LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT sets, going through all the different themes of LEGOLAND and, of course, the most successful line of all times according to LEGO, LEGO Star Wars.

LEGO brick curiosities

• There are about 62 LEGO bricks for every one of the world’s 6 billion inhabitants.

• Children around the world spend 5 billion hours a year playing with LEGO bricks.

• More than 400 million people around the world have played with LEGO bricks.

• LEGO bricks are available in 53 different colors.

• 19 billion LEGO elements are produced every year.

• 2.16 million LEGO elements are molded every hour, or 36,000 per minute.

• More than 400 billion LEGO bricks have been produced since 1949.

• Two eight-stud LEGO bricks of the same color can be combined in 24 different ways.

• Three eight-stud bricks can be combined in 1,060 ways.

• There are more than 915 million combinations possible for six 2 x 4 LEGO bricks of the same color.

• 7 LEGO sets are sold by retailers every second around the world.

• The LEGO bricks sold in one year would circle the world 5 times.

• 40 billion LEGO bricks stacked on top of one another would connect the earth with the moon.

• LEGO bricks are so much more than just toys. They are used in classrooms from preschool to university level to teach everything from math, language skills and science to engineering and technology principles.

• The LEGO brick has inspired generations of innovators, like Jonathan Gay, inventor of Flash.

• World-renowned author Douglas Coupland believes the LEGO brick represents a “language in itself.”

• A January 2008 Google search produces 57.6 million references to LEGO bricks.

• There are 55,600 LEGO videos on YouTube.

• Google co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, used LEGO bricks to build the external low-cost and expandable casing for 10 4GB hard disks when they were busy developing the Google search engine (today, they have reportedly been used in Google’s college graduate recruiting exercises to test potential candidate’s creative horsepower).

The first LEGO I remember—which I shared with my brothers and which my dad built for us, obviously without being able to contain his excitement—was a huge fair wheel, yellow. I don’t even know where that set is anymore, but I remember the armless minifigs. Or perhaps I’m dreaming. The very first LEGO we got, and which I remember building clearly, was the LEGOLAND Space Galaxy Explorer, which came along with three other sets, including a Rocket Launcher, the Space Shuttle and the Mobile Tracking Station. Do you remember your first LEGO set? Tell us in the comments.

[LEGO in Gizmodo]

80GB PS3 Moving Aside for PS3 Elite With 120 or 160GB Hard Drive, Dual Shock 3

via Gizmodo by matt buchanan on 1/28/08

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So, it looks like Sony is nixing the 80GB PS3. But not for single model simplicity. Shnope, Sony is introing a re-juiced, re-jiggered top SKU: Ars’ fairly reliable source says that the new box will be packed with a 120 or 160GB hard drive and a Dual Shock 3, which is due our on side of the lake in fairly short order. No, it’s not really called the PS3 Elite. I hope.

Obviously, the refreshed line is a shot at the Xbox 360 Elite, with its sorta heavy 120GB of storage. The difference is that Microsoft gets online distribution much better than Sony does, so there’s actually content to put on your hard drive. Hopefully this storage in search of stuff to store is a sign of a tsunami waiting to burst through Sony’s pipes and into your PS3, but we kinda doubt it. History, etc. [Ars]

ATI Breaks Teraflop Barrier with Radeon HD 3870 X2 GPU

via Gizmodo by Wilson Rothman on 1/28/08

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Remember that honkin’ ATI graphics card we showed you at CES? The one that was 1,000 times as fast as a Cray-1? Well, it’s official, making its debut today as the $450 ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2. It’s the first GPU to break the teraflop barrier, and is nearly double the performance of the HD 3870 you spent all your money on back in November. Press release with technical details after jump. [Product Page]

AMD Delivers Enthusiast Performance Leadership(1) with the Introduction of the ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3870 X2

— Industry’s First Teraflop Consumer Graphics Card Redefines High-Definition Performance for 1080P Gaming and beyond —
SUNNYVALE, Calif. –(Business Wire)– Jan. 28, 2008 AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced the immediate availability of the ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3870 X2 graphics processor, expanding the visual boundaries of PC entertainment well beyond the 1080P High Definition (HD) threshold. The industry’s first graphics processor to break the Teraflop (one trillion floating point operations per second) barrier, the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 nearly doubles the performance of the award-winning ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3870 introduced in November 2007.(2)

Through an elegant yet aggressive design, the 55 nanometer process-based ATI Radeon 3870 X2 combines two ATI Radeon HD 3870s on a single graphics board, connected through integrated CrossFire(TM) technology. ATI Radeon 3870 X2 is also the first performance-leadership graphics product in the world to support Microsoft’s upcoming DirectX(R) 10.1 technology. The ATI Radeon 3870 X2 delivers a new class of price and performance leadership with unbelievable enthusiast value at a suggested retail price of US $449.

This launch follows on the success of the recently released ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3400 and ATI Radeon(TM) HD 3600 series graphics products, completing a comprehensive portfolio of next-generation 55nm GPUs that deliver unparalleled price, performance and energy efficiency from entry-level to performance-leadership class products.

“PC gaming enthusiasts demand the ultimate in performance and scalability for their HD gaming experience and the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 sets the standard by which all should be compared in this segment,” said Rick Bergman, senior vice president and general manager, Graphics Product Group, AMD. “With this launch we reaffirm our commitment to enthusiast performance leadership and send a clear message that the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 is the new gold standard of the PC gaming world.”

Ultimate Performance

With the upcoming introduction of Microsoft’s DirectX 10.1 specification, gamers can expect more realistic gaming environments while developers have access to an increased amount of tools and resources to enhance overall image quality. Through delivering top-to-bottom DirectX 10.1 support, ATI Radeon HD 3000 series users can enjoy a more complete gaming experience now and in the future.

“We’re pleased to see our newest DirectX 10 technology brought to market so soon with the introduction of AMD’s latest enthusiast hardware,” said Kevin Unangst, senior global director of Games for Windows, Microsoft. “One of the greatest advantages of PC gaming is the rapid pace at which the experiences evolve and improve. ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 delivers on the promise of DirectX 10 gaming with significantly improved visuals and enhanced performance.”

ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 will also provide support for ATI CrossFireX(TM), the innovative next-generation AMD multi-GPU technology designed to support up to four GPUs. Software support to enable ATI CrossFireX is planned for late Q1 2008.

Ultimate HD Experiences

With the launch of ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2, AMD continues to support the industry-leading Unified Video Decoder (UVD) and ATI Avivo(TM) HD for exceptional platform efficiency and image quality for H.264 and VC-1 high definition content. Enhanced HDMI functionality is also offered via integrated HDCP and audio for HDMI video.

“Alienware prides itself on staying at the forefront of HD gaming innovation so that our brand stands for the best possible experience for our customers,” said Patrick Cooper, director of product group, Alienware. “With the launch of the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 in our Area-51 ALX CrossFire platform, we can push the boundaries of visual realism one step further and provide enthusiast gamers with the perfect blend of next-generation features, performance and platform efficiency.”

Ultimate Efficiency

The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 is the first enthusiast graphics processors to use TSMC’s 55nm process technology. The smooth transition to 55nm has allowed for a 2X increase in performance-per-watt over the previous generation. Through an elegant board design, the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 delivers exceptional acoustics that are roughly equivalent to a single ATI Radeon HD 3870. When combined with ATI PowerPlay(TM) technology, the ATI Radeon 3870 X2 delivers exceptional idle power efficiency with the ability to dynamically raise or lower GPU power depending on the usage scenario.

The ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 launches with broad availability and ecosystem support from AMD’s Add-in-Board (AIB) and Systems Integrators (SI) partners. AIB partners building boards based on the ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 include Asus, ASK, Club3D, Diamond Multimedia, HIS, ITC, Jetway, MSI, Sapphire, Triplex, Tul and Visiontek. Systems integrators launching ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 series include ABS, Alienware, Canada Computers, CyberPower, Falcon-Northwest, iBUYPOWER, Maingear, Systemax and Velocity Micro.

About AMD

Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) is a leading global provider of innovative processing solutions in the computing, graphics and consumer electronics markets. AMD is dedicated to driving open innovation, choice and industry growth by delivering superior customer-centric solutions that empower consumers and businesses worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.amd.com.

(1) Performance comparisons using ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 versus NVIDIA 8800 Ultra using 3D Mark 2006, Supreme Commander, Call of Juarez, BioShock and Unreal Tournament 3 at 2560X1600 on AMD Phenom 2.6GHz CPU, AMD 790FX chipset, 2GB DDR2-800, Windows VISTA 64bit and ATI Catalyst display driver v. 8.45

(2) Performance comparisons of ATI Radeon HD 3870 versus ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2 using 3D Mark 2006, Supreme Commander and Unreal Tournament 3 at 2560X1600 on AMD Phenom 2.6GHz CPU, AMD 790FX chipset, 2GB DDR2-800, Windows VISTA 64bit and ATI Catalyst display driver v. 8.45