Wacom updates line of Bamboo tablets

Wacom today announced an exciting new computer input solution with the introduction of Multi-Touch in its new family of Bamboo tablets. Bamboo tablets are USB peripherals that deliver natural and intuitive input to desktop or laptop computer users. With the ultimate goal of creating harmony between humans and technology, Wacom combines Multi-Touch (finger-based input) with pen input to deliver an entirely new standard in human-computer interaction. “Multi-Touch provides a very natural and intuitive way for users to navigate and interact with applications,” said Dennis Hoff, senior consumer product manager for Wacom. “By combining Multi-Touch with our renowned pen technology, Bamboo provides users with a new computer input approach that is not only extremely flexible, but friendly, fresh and fun.”

Bamboo includes a family of five distinct tablets: touch-only, pen-only and three versions of the pen and Multi-Touch combination. Bamboo offers choices to give end-users the freedom to work with their computer the way they want. Bamboo also goes beyond current mouse and other input solutions by adding the power of Multi-Touch gestures such as zoom, scroll, pan and rotate. Compatible with Windows® or Mac® operating systems, Bamboo is easy to use and introduces a way of computing that is about as natural as one can get.

You can find more information by going to

prints karlfranz online store now open

Title-Page-Swash-2 is proud to announce that its online store prints karlfranz is now open for business. In this store you will find high-quality limited edition prints in a variety of styles including acrylics, pen & ink, and processed photography. These prints are unique, beautiful and suitable for framing and display in your home, office or den. Quantities of each print are strictly controlled—once the edition runs out, no further prints of that image will be made. Head on over to our store at or click on the “Go to Online Store” link in the menu to your right to check out our selection.

Southern Photo gets a facelift from

Southern Photo has been Brevard's and Central Florida's camera store of choice for almost half a century. Founded in 1963, they have been selling cameras and gear to professionals, artists and hobbyists alike while providing the best service and knowledge to their customers. With a new clean, streamlined, well-organized, modern look to their website, Southern Photo hopes to extend their high level of service to the Internet. Check out the new site and see everything they have to offer by clicking here.

Grezaffi Orchids chooses

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Grezaffi Orchids has been specializing in Cattleyas in Brevard County for neary 40 years and is continuing to increase its over 2000 personally developed hybrids. Many of the finest Species and Vintage Cattleya Hybrids have been used in the development of many fine Grezaffi Orchid Hybrids. When they wanted to create a web presence for their business, they chose to come up with a design that would would be tasteful and classy. Check out their new website here.

Nikon issues firmware update for D300

Nikon has released firmware v.1.02 for its D300 Digital SLR. The D300 has two different sets of firmware, A and B. This download upgrades the A firmware to version 1.02 only. This firmware resolves an issue which, in rare cases, causes vertical bands to appear in images captured at shutter speeds slower than 8 seconds.
To confirm your cameras current firmware version, press the MENU button and select Firmware Version from the setup menu. The camera's firmware version will be displayed.

To download for Macintosh OS X, click here.
To download for Microsoft Windows, click here.

New Challenger Learning Center web site goes live

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The Challenger Learning Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 educational organization offering an interactive simulated space science experience for students, public and corporate groups.
Each of the over 50 centers world-wide are chartered through the Challenger Center for Space Science Education, founded in Alexandria, Virginia, in 1986 by the families of the seven astronauts tragically lost during the STS 51-L Challenger space shuttle mission.
Through scheduled team missions, the Challenger Learning Center promotes leadership, communications, problem-solving and critical thinking skills while supporting our country's goals of improving science, math and technology education.
The Challenger Learning Center approached because the were interested in creating a new, "high-tech", and modern website that better reflected their business and educational goals. To see the result of this redesign, click here.

Nikon announces D3

Nikon is pleased to announce the revolutionary Nikon D3 professional Digital SLR that defines a new benchmark in professional photography.

“Nikon has eclipsed the competition with the D3, a cutting edge camera that will change how professional photographers take pictures,” said Robert Cristina, Brand Manager, Nikon Professional Products, Europe. “The incredible speed, resolution and flexibility of the D3 will enable photographers to capture images under conditions previously thought impossible.”

The D3, the result of years of development and feedback from professional photographers, combines many innovative Nikon technologies. These include an exclusive 12.1 effective megapixel FX format (36.0x23.9mm) image sensor with 12-channel read out, a blazing-fast 9 fps frame rate, expandable ISO settings from 200-6400, a completely new 51-Point autofocus system, a 3-inch VGA LCD screen with Live View and a cutting-edge image processing system.

FX Format Image Sensor
The D3 FX format CMOS imaging sensor was designed from the ground up to offer exceptional light transmission properties, so photographers can acquire outstanding image quality even in low light conditions. With a high signal to noise ratio, a pixel pitch 15% larger than competitive cameras, gapless surface micro-lenses and advanced on-chip noise reduction means high-quality images under very low light levels are now possible. The sensor enables an ISO settings range from 200-6400, expandable up to the equivalent of 25,600 or down to 100.

EXPEED Image Processing System
The EXPEED image processing system is at the heart of the D3’s ability to capture and process massive amounts of data at high definition. The EXPEED system includes both hardware and years of Nikon image processing experience. The D3 EXPEED system features 14-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion with 16-bit image processing, both of which contribute to delivering results with Nikon’s signature ‘look and feel’ of rich accurate colours, smooth skin gradations and exceptional detail.

Scene Recognition System
The D3 features a radical new approach to calculating exposures and white balance with intelligent support for Autofocus tracking performance as well. At the heart of the Scene Recognition System is Nikon’s renowned 1005-pixel RGB metering sensor that has been modified to distinguish subjects’ shape and position for improved auto exposure and Autofocus accuracy.

Advanced Autofocus
Building on years of development through both the analogue and digital SLR era, Nikon has once again raised the bar for optical Autofocus systems. The D3 and D300 feature a completely new 51-Point autofocus system designed to acquire and track subjects’ movement more accurately.

The result of intensive studies into how professional sports and news photographers use autofocus, the Multi-CAM3500 AF module features the most AF points ever developed for a SLR camera. The inspired coupling of the AF module with Nikon’s easy-to-use 8-direction multi selector button makes selecting instant individual AF points simple and fast. As one would expect the AF system can be completely customised for every possible shooting condition.

Scorching Speed, Intuitive Response
The image quality of the D3 is combined with outstanding frame rate options. At 9 fps, the D3 is the world’s fastest full format D-SLR1, with an even faster 11fps2 consecutive shooting possible in DX crop mode. A second crop mode is also premiered in the D3, with 5:4 (30mm x 24mm) aspect ratio. Shutter release time lag is an imperceptible 41 milliseconds (CIPA standard), while the image sensor’s integrated high-speed 12-channel readout contributes both to burst speed and Live View performance. The D3 also gets to work quickly; startup time is just 0.12 seconds and mirror black out is only 74ms.

Shutter Unit
The D3 incorporates an all-new Nikon manufactured shutter unit tested to over 300,000 cycles. The shutter blades are constructed from a durable composite KevlarTM and carbon fibre material to deliver unmatched durability and accuracy even in the most demanding of conditions.

Picture Control
Nikon’s new Picture Control system, developed with the help of extensive feedback from photographers, offers improved productivity for JPEG shooters. Picture Control lets users of all levels manage and customise the appearance of their images in camera. This on-board processing saves significant post processing time. With a variety of default settings, photographers can also customize and share settings. Nikon anticipates photographic communities might develop their own Picture Control settings for specific subjects and conditions. Picture Control replaces the existing Colour Mode settings of current Nikon cameras.

High Contrast Subjects, Low Risk
The Active D-Lighting feature of the D3 adds to its JPEG capabilities. Prior to shooting under high contrast conditions, users can apply a pre-set curve that processes images with improved shadow and highlight details, without affecting overall contrast.

Designed for definition
Everything about the D3 is high definition. From the HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) port for output to the latest HD displays to the 3-inch VGA LCD screen with 170-degree viewing angle, images can be played back at very high levels of detail. The new VGA screen also comes into its own when using the new Live View function premiered in the D3 and D300. Unlike other live view technologies, autofocus in possible in all Nikon Live View modes.

Flexible Image Storage
The D3 is the world’s first D-SLR to offer dual CompactFlash card slots for outstanding storage flexibility. A photographer can shoot images to each card one after the other, or simultaneously, as back up. When shooting combined NEF and JPEG files, the NEF image can be written to one card and the JPEG version to the other. Image files can also be selected and copied from one card to the other after shooting.

One Tough Customer
Long the choice of professionals, Nikon SLRs are renowned for withstanding the most challenging conditions. From freezing temperatures of the arctic to the humidity of the rainforest, Nikon’s keep working long after other cameras have ceased to operate, and the D3 is built to continue this tradition. Magnesium alloy is used for the exterior cover, chassis and mirror box, while the seams and buttons of the camera body are sealed against the affects of dust and moisture.

Wireless Networking
Nikon pioneered wireless image transmission. Now, with the new Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-43, the era of the multi camera network has arrived. Not only can one transmit images to servers and remotely control the camera from afar, the WT-4 also enables remote browsing of the camera’s image thumbnails as well.

In a wireless environment, networks of up to 5 D3 and D300 cameras can be established. At a sports event, for example, photo editors could browse all thumbnails on each camera simultaneously, selecting the images they need, while the photographers continue shooting.

The D3 body measures 159.5 (W) ×157 (H) ×87 (D) mm and weighs 1,390 grams including battery. It will be available in Europe from November 2007.

Nikon announces D300

Nikon UK is pleased to announce the D300 digital single lens reflex (D-SLR), a camera that sets new standards of compact professional performance. The easy-to-use DX-format D300 offers outstanding image quality, multi-functional technologies and fast response. With class-leading 12.3 megapixel resolution, speedy 6 fps frame advance, self-cleaning sensor unit and high definition 3” VGA LCD display, combined with Nikon’s legendary durability, the D300 is a breakthrough solution for photographers searching for an advanced compact SLR.

“Packed with the latest technologies and Nikon’s renowned ergonomics, the D300 sets a new standard for professionals on a budget,” said Robert Cristina, Brand Manager, Nikon Professional Products, Europe. “The D300 is a true ‘go-anywhere’ camera, delivering fast response, high performance and ease of use that will appeal to anyone serious about their photography.”

Speed and Performance
The D300 is loaded with the latest professional technologies designed to produce images of the highest quality. The high-resolution 12.3 MP DX format CMOS sensor generates image files suitable for almost every type of output, combined with a fast standard frame advance rate of 6fps (up to 8 fps with optional Multi Power Battery Pack). The D300 offers fast power-up, quick response and outstanding flexibility to meet the needs of a wide variety of photographic assignments. The D300 powers-up in just 0.13 seconds, with an almost imperceptible 45 millisecond shutter lag.

The D300 boasts a self-cleaning sensor unit, which vibrates at high frequencies to remove any loose dust on the surface of the sensor’s optical low pass filter. The camera has a broad ISO range from 200-3200 plus Lo 1 (the equivalent of an ISO 100) and Hi (ISO 6400 equivalent). Image accuracy is also enhanced by the new Nikon Scene Recognition System, which uses the acclaimed Nikon 1005-pixel RGB colour sensor modified to recognise subjects’ shape and position before the image is captured. This also aids the new 51-Point Autofocus system in tracking subjects by their colour, while enhancing the accuracy of exposure and white balance metering. The D300 also offers Live View, which presents photographers with a live image on the LCD screen, with two modes suited to either hand held or tripod shooting. Autofocus is possible in both Live View modes.

Enhanced Images with EXPEED
The EXPEED image processing system is at the heart of the D300’s ability to capture and process high definition image data so quickly. The EXPEED system includes both hardware and years of Nikon image processing expertise. The D300 EXPEED system features 14-bit analog-to-digital (A/D) conversion with 16-bit image processing, both of which contribute to delivering results with Nikon’s signature ‘look and feel’ of rich accurate colours, smooth skin gradations and exceptional detail.

Ready for tomorrow
The D300 is completely high definition. From the 3-inch VGA LCD screen with 170-degree viewing angle, to the HDMI interface for HD ready displays, the D300 is ready for tomorrow’s imaging environment. The controls of the D300 were designed for ease of use, with an easy-to-view top LCD panel and an information display on the rear LCD screen that can change colour according to the ambient lighting conditions.

The totally intuitive 8-directional multi-area selector makes selecting any of the 51-Point autofocus settings simplicity itself.

Durable and Dependable
The D300 continues Nikon’s long tradition of sturdiness and durability. The camera body is built from a magnesium alloy, while the camera’s shutter has been tested for 150,000-release cycles. The D300 is also designed for a high level of dust and water resistance.

Total Imaging System
Like the D3, the D300 isn’t just a camera, but part of a complete Nikon system to help photographers create great images. The D300 is compatible with the Nikon Total Imaging System of NIKKOR lenses, Speedlights, accessories and software that provides a complete solution for any photographic challenge.

One accessory that can extend shooting life, add ergonomic vertical shooting practicality and increase frame rate to up to 8 fps* is the MB-D10 optional Multi-Power Battery Pack. The compact MB-D10 simply attaches to the base of the camera. Unlike other grips, the MB-D10 does not occupy the camera’s battery space, so one can shoot with two EN-EL3e batteries, or add a powerful EN-EL4a battery into the mix. The D300 and MB-D10 can also be powered by AA size batteries as well. *Requires EN-EL4a.

Wireless Networking
Nikon pioneered wireless image transmission. Now, with the new Nikon Wireless Transmitter WT-43, the era of the multi camera network has arrived. Not only can one transmit images to servers and remotely control the camera from afar, the WT-4 also enables remote browsing of the camera’s image thumbnails as well. In a wireless environment, networks of up to 5 D300 cameras can be established and image thumbnails from all connected cameras browsed simultaneously and relevant image files pulled, while the photographers continue shooting.

The D300 body measures 147.2 (W) ×112.8 (H) × 74(D) mm and weighs just 795 grams.

Available in November 2007.

Nikon announces 2 new zoom lenses

new nikkors
Nikon is pleased to announce two zoom NIKKOR lenses designed to maximize the potential of the advanced new FX format D3 digital SLR camera launched today. Fully compatible with existing DX-format Nikon DSLRs as well, they share fast f/2.8 apertures across the zoom range. The ultra wide-angle AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED and the slimline AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED, are designed for the exacting optical demands of professional use.

“These new zoom NIKKORS offer photographers immense creative potential when combined with the new FX-format D3, but are equally useful for those using Nikon’s DX-format cameras too”, said Robert Cristina, Brand Manager, Nikon Professional Products Europe. “They are the first wide-angle lenses to incorporate Nikon’s unique Nano Crystal coat, that suppresses the ghost and flare that sometimes occurs with the reflective surfaces of digital sensors.”

AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED
The ultra wide-angle/fast aperture combination of the AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens is a world first*, and is highly adaptable for the tight spaces busy professional photographers often find themselves working in. The excellent optical quality of this 14-24mm lens, combined with excellent levels of detail contributes to brilliant, sharp results.

AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
The completely new standard zoom AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED complements the NIKKOR range of professional lenses. Much slimmer than its predecessor, (the AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8) the new lens exhibits outstanding characteristics at wide settings where centre-to-peripheral resolution is a priority, making it ideal for landscape photography. At the 50-70mm setting, crisp details are displayed with excellent bokeh, making the lens highly suited for portraits.

Both lenses share Nikon’s unique Nano Crystal coat technology to minimize ghost and flare, with ED glass elements contributing to outstanding levels of resolution and contrast. Nikon’s precision Silent Wave Motor assures fast and quiet autofocus performance, with instant manual override possible. Both lenses are designed with high dust and moisture resistance, and include a rubber seal around the bayonet mount.

Specifications and Availability
- The AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED measures 98×131.5mm and weighs approximately 1,000g.
- The AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G ED measures 83×133mm and weighs approximately 900g.
- Each of the new lenses comes with a flower-shaped hood and a semi-soft case.
- The hood of the 14-24mm is integrated, the 24-70mm removable.
- Prices to be revealed in September.
- Both lenses will be available in November 2007.

Telsa Roadster delayed as CEO steps down

In an internal memo by Martin Eberhard, Tesla's CEO and co-founder, Eberhard announced he will step down as CEO after a four-year reign. Under Eberhard, Tesla has grown from 2 employees in one laction to 250 spread around the world. He will continue with the company in the role of President of Technology and will remain on Tesla's board of directors. In the new role, Eberhard will finalize the details of the upcoming Roadster and will continue to focus on Tesla's leadership in its core technology.

Michael Marks has been named interim CEO of Tesla until a permanent replacement is found. Marks is the former CEO of Flextronics, the world's largest contract manufacturing company, and also an early investor and customer of Tesla.

Eberhard also discussed the progress of the Roadster in his memo and said that it should be ready for production as early as next month. There has been a delay in production due to a change in the design of the transmission and its supplier, according to Automotive News.

The Roadster, based on the Lotus Elise, could be available to customers as early as November. Tesla is still awaiting the results of crash testing and the EPA's range validation, but claims the car can go from 0-60 in 4 seconds and has a range of more than 200 miles. Sold through factory-owned stores rather than franchised dealerships, Tesla hopes to sell 1,000 of the $98,000 Roadsters annually. 570 examples have already been pre-sold.

In addition to the Roadster, 35 Detroit engineers are also working on the Tesla electric sedan, code-named the White Star. Tesla has already purchased land in Albuquerque, New Mexico to build a White Star factory, although ground is yet to be broken according to Automotive News. Eberhard said he hopes to see the White Star in production by 2010 and that Tesla may issue initial public offering as early as next year to fund the construction of the new factory.

China to build Lotus Europa

Proton, parent company of Lotus, has entered into an agreement with China's Jinhua Neoplan Vehicle Co. that will see the Lotus Europa built in China. Production for the Europa will be at Jinhua Neoplan's plant in Jinan, China.

According to the China Daily, the two companies are also working together on producing a four-door sedan. Until now, Jinhua Neoplan had only been producing buses, but plans on producing 150,000 cars annually for the Chinese market as well as export.

Apple introduces new iMac, Mac Mini refresh

Apple today unveiled an all new all-in-one iMac line featuring 20- and 24-inch widescreen displays encased in professional aluminum and glass enclosures. The entire new iMac line features the latest Intel Core 2 Duo processors and a new, ultra-thin aluminum Apple Keyboard, built-in iSight video camera for video conferencing and iLife '08. The new ultra-thin aluminum Apple Keyboard is just 0.33 inches thin at its front edge. A new optional Apple Wireless Keyboard is a compact design that, with Apple's wireless Mighty Mouse, offers a cable-free desktop. The 20-inch iMac now starts at US$1,199, $300 less than the previous 20-inch model, and the 24-inch iMac starts at $1,799, $200 less than the previous 24-inch model.

Apple also updated its Mac Mini line computers. The entire line now features Intel Core 2 Duo processors. The $799 model includes a 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of RAM, SuperDrive and a 120GB hard drive. The $599 model includes a 1.83GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 1GB of RAM, Combo Drive and a 80GB hard drive. Both models are available immediately from the Apple Store.

Visit our latest client: Accurate Logic

al-thumb is proud to announce its latest client: Accurate Logic.

Accurate Logic provides consulting, custom software solutions, and standard products for many industrial automation applications. With a comprehensive knowledge of various PLCs, robotics, vision systems, barcode readers, and labelers, they can design a solution to suit your particular needs. Please visit their new website at

Apple's OS X 10.5 Leopard receives UNIX 03 certification

Apple has now joined the exclusive ranks of Sun, IBM, and HP as one of (now only) four companies to obtain the UNIX 03 certification. This means that, with the new OS, Apple has transitioned OS X from being a UNIX-based operating system to actually being the first real official consumer desktop version of UNIX. The certification is actually quite important for Apple and for the OS. The UNIX 03 certification means that Leopard conforms to the Single UNIX Specification Version 3 (SUS), a specification for how things like the shell, compiler, C APIs, and so on should work. This is important for Apple in the enterprise market as it allows its applications to be simply recompiled to run on other RISC-based processors and vice-versa. This makes it easier for companies to transition to Apple's XServe server hardware.

~500,000 iPhones Sold in the First Weekend

Early sales estimates are in and they are very impressive. According to market research firm Piper Jaffray, Apple sold about 500,000 iPhones from 6 p.m. on Friday through end of business Sunday night—300,000 more than the market research firm originally estimated the company would sell.

Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster also revealed that ninety-five percent of buyers in San Francisco, New York and Minneapolis purchased the 8GB model. Also, about half of the 253 buyers surveyed were new customers to AT&T.