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Confirmed: Airtime video chatting works in the air… on Gogo in-flight internet!

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 05:01 PM PDT

Confirmed Airtime video chatting works on Gogo inflight internet

“Whoa! Whoa! Are you on a spaceship? Seriously, are you on a spaceship?!”

Those words came flowing — enthusiastically, I might add — from an anonymous Airtimer just today, on the launch of Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning’s Airtime project. “I’m actually on an airplane,” I replied. “Where are you headed?,” he responded. “LA!,” as I tried to keep the conversation going. I failed to get to the part about continuing on to San Francisco, but it mattered not — I just confirmed that Airtime does indeed work in airplanes. On a packed-to-capacity flight from Atlanta to Los Angeles, the onboard Gogo connection held up decently enough to have a relatively meaningful conversation (and eventually, for me to post this very article). The video feeds were a bit bumpy — not completely unlike the ride itself — but audio was fairly crisp. We shot the breeze for a minute or so before waving goodbye, two complete strangers brought together for the sake of discovering what’s possible.

I never engaged in any late-night Chatroulette sessions, so the first-time Airtime experience was quite the surreal one — particularly given that I was somewhere high over the New Mexican mountains. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s just a matter of time before Airtime is funneled into that same black hole as Skype, making it impossible to complete a call whilst onboard; but for now, the tunnels are wide open. The friendly skies never felt so friendly.

Confirmed: Airtime video chatting works in the air… on Gogo in-flight internet! originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 18:47:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft debuts on{X} for Android, promises to ‘automate your life’

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 03:26 PM PDT

Microsoft debuts onX for Android, promises to 'automate your life'

Well, we can’t exactly say we saw this one coming. Microsoft has today taken the wraps off a rather ambitious project dubbed on{X}, which is available exclusively for Android smartphones initially (support for more platforms is planned), and offers a range of tools that promise to help “automate your life.” Developed by the company’s R&D Center in Israel, the service consists of a website and an app, the former of which lets you select from a variety of scripts (or “recipes,” as Microsoft calls them), while the latter executes them on your phone. The kicker is that anyone can create their own recipes and share them with others, and they can take all of the capabilities of a smartphone into account — performing an action when you arrive at a specific location, for instance, or setting reminders based on the weather forecast (all the actual processing is handled on the phone). Much like Kinect, Microsoft is hoping that folks will take the platform and run with it, developing new features that it hasn’t even thought of. Those interested can get started right now at the source link below, or get a taste of the service in the video after the break.

Microsoft debuts on{X} for Android, promises to ‘automate your life’ originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 18:17:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Auction Watch: Christie’s Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 02:15 PM PDT

opus comp Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

On May 30th, 2012 Christie’s auction house in Hong Kong was host to the latest installment in their “Important Watches” auction series (which included a ton of watches). While this auction featured much of the normal fare from Panerai and Rolex, the main call for interest was an unparallelled representation of the Harry Winston Opus line. We have written of the Opus line in the past, but for those not in the know Opus is essentially a distinct line of Harry Winston timepieces which have been created in a collaborative partnership between Harry Winston and many of modern Horology’s most talented independent watch makers. The concept behind the Opus collection comes from the powerhouse mind of Max Busser who ran Harry Winston’s watch division before founding MB&F in 2004/2005. Harry Winston works with one independent watch maker per year to produce a limited edition watch which is then announced into the fan fare of BaselWorld. Though when the watches are actually released to customers is another story.

Last week’s Hong Kong auction saw Christie’s offer an unprecedented selection of the Opus catalog, including Opus 1 through 7 and Opus 9. In the end, auction goers may have suffered Opus-overload, as only six of the eight available pieces were sold – but that is actually still good. Apparently all the Opus watches came from one collector. Below is additional information on each piece that was available including a bit about their creation, estimated value and hammer price (if the reserve was met).

Opus 1 web Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

The Opus 1 – The first in the collection and the start of the Opus collaborations highlighting the work of F.P Journe. The Opus 1 was available in three editions, each being limited to six units. Including a 5 Day Automatic, a twin time Resonance Chronometer and a Tourbillon, the example seen at auction last week was the 5 Day Automatic with a diamond clad bezel. Given that the range offered only 18 total units it was surprising that the Opus 1 failed to sell despite estimates of ,000 – ,000 USD (lot 4837). Rare yes, but the design is 12 years old and tastes have changed a great deal since it was announced.

Opus 2 diamond Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

The Opus 2 – Featuring a 38mm platinum case and a total of two possible versions, the Opus 2 is the result of a collaboration with watchmaker Antoine Preziuso. The Opus 2  was limited to 11 units spanning two different movement options which additionally each had a special single unit adorned with diamonds for a total existence of just 24 hand-made pieces. Seen as both a tourbillon with retrograde calendar or as a fully exposed tourbillon, this auction was for a diamond clad version of the latter and saw estimates of 0,000 – 5,000. This extremely limited piece found a new home with a hammer price of 1,318 USD (lot 4581).

Opus 3 main Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

The Opus 3 – One of the most eccentric of the Opus collaborations, the Opus 3 is the brain child of Vianney Halter and features six porthole displays. Each of the displays relies on its own jumping indicator to show the hour in the top left and right windows (blue), minutes in lower left and right (black), and date in the vertical center displays (red). Limited to 55 units in platinum or rose gold, the Opus 3 featured a massively complex hand wound movement and an exceedingly unique aesthetic that was a considerable departure from the previous Opus models. This rose gold example did quite well at auction, surpassing the ,000 – 0,000 estimates with a final price of 3,448 (lot 4877). This is actually quite good as the Opus 3 became a bit of a legend as it took 7 years to finally deliver the watches (in 2011).

Opus 4 Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

The Opus 4 – This dual-sided grand complication comes from none other than Christophe Claret (creator of the X-Trem-1 and 21 Blackjack). Featuring a tourbillon, minute repeater, moon phase and date all packed into a 44mm platinum case which can be worn with either dial facing up, it was surprising that this example of such a limited Opus (only 20 units made) would fail to find a buyer. A rare and unique watch like the Opus 4 likely needs a fairly rare and unique buyer, or perhaps the 0,000 – 0,000 estimated (and the corresponding reserve) was simply too high (lot 4987).

Opus 5 Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

The Opus 5 – Announced at BaselWorld 2005, the dial and movement should be familiar to any fans of the Haute Horology brand, Urwerk. The Opus 5 came to Harry Winston by way of Urwerk’s Felix Baumgartner and features their distinctive rotating satellite hour and retrograde minutes display. The Opus 5 stunned the watch world with its innovative time display, custom movement, and novel five year service indicator visible via the back of the watch. The auction offered a 2009 diamond-clad example of the Opus 5, which fell within the 5,000-0,000 estimates by reaching a hammer price of 4,514 (lot 5033).

Opus 6 Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

The Opus 6 – 2006 saw the announcement of the Opus 6, an absolutely gorgeous model whose dial could be the work of none other than Greubel Forsey. GF is a definitive force within the watchmaking world and the Opus 6 mixes their distinctive styling with a highly technical implementation of a double tourbillon featuring a fully hidden gear set so that the tourbillon appears to be completely separate from the mechanics of the watch. Independent co-axial discs separate the hours and minute displays from the seconds (at eleven), allowing ample space in the 44mm white gold case to show off the beautiful tourbillon movement. Limited to just six units, Christie’s had something of an especially rare find on their hands and this example of the Opus 6 fell within the 0,000 – 0,000 estimate, finding a new owner for the impressive sum of 5,313 (lot 5122).

Opus 7 Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

The Opus 7 – Born of a partnership with Andreas Strehler, the Harry Winston Opus 7 features no hands and is said to be inspired by butterflies. The 45mm white gold case features a hinged mechanical level for depressing the crown. A single press of the crown causes the rotation of a disc to display the hour reading, a second press displays the minutes and a final third press will show the remaining power reserve. This manually wound marvel was limited to 50 units and is one of my favorite of the Opus range as I love the circular patterns, the luxurious blend of white gold and blued steel, and the premise of a watch that demands interaction, a transaction between the watch and its owner must take place for the watch to render the time. Definitely not a daily wearer, but the Opus 7 has a certain toy-like quality that I very much appreciate. This example of the Opus 7 also fell within the 5,000 – 0,000 estimates with an end price of 9,084 (lot 5145).

Opus 9 Auction Watch: Christies Harry Winston Opus Collection Results

The Opus 9 – The Opus 9 is one of the more geeky looking designs to come out of the Opus program. Featuring a time display comprised of two belt driven and jewel encrusted scales that function as retrograde displays for hours (left) and minutes (right). Each belt is adorned with a diamond scale and employs a ruby in place of a pointer for each scale. This 45mm white gold watch is the product of the collaboration between not only Harry Winston but also watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, and designer Eric Giroud and resulted in the Opus 9 winning the 2009 “Best Design Watch of the Year” from the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie. This example did quite well at auction reaching towards the ceiling of its ,000 – 5,000 estimate, with a final price of 9,084 (lot 5171).

All things told, this was a very successful auction for Christie’s and, with a final total of just over .5 million in sales, was actually the most valuable season for any auction house operating in Asia. Though it is important to recall that the auction as a whole offered hundreds of watches. Furthermore, with so few Opus models in existence, it is exciting to see how the prices stack up against the estimates as professionals try and predict the value of a very exclusive line of watches. All concerns for funding aside, I would have been aggressively bidding on the Opus 6 or waiting what could be a very long time for for Christie’s to dig up an Opus 11, as it is definitely my favorite of the entire Opus family.

Written by James Stacey

Related posts:

  1. Harry Winston Opus X Watch
  2. Harry Winston Opus 12 Watch Hands-On
  3. Harry Winston Opus Eleven Watch Hands-On
  4. Harry Winston Ocean Sport Collection Watches
  5. Auction Watch: Sotheby's April Auction Shows Tepid Results, But Doesn't Lose Ground

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Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS Macro Lens For Canon DSLR

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 12:18 PM PDT

Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS Macro Lens For Canon DSLR

The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG Macro lens for Canon EOS DSLR is now available for just 9. For your info, the original price was 9, so you can save 0. This Macro lens features a splash resistant design for use in harsh conditions. The Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG OS Macro lens also has a rounded 9 blade diaphragm, a non-rotating front lens and an optical stabilizer (OS). [Product Page]


Best Digital Camera | TechFresh.net

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The Great River Turbine

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 11:04 AM PDT

Michael Jantzen’s Great River Turbine is yet another hydroelectric power station that focuses on public outreach, allowing visitors to visit and witness first-hand the creation of clean energy. Situated on a moored barge, the turbine would automatically rise and fall with the water level and could be placed in most any river setting for pollution-free electricity.

Designer: Michael Jantzen

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(The Great River Turbine was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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Nintendo Wii U will offer Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Video, second-screen experiences promised

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 10:41 AM PDT

Nintendo President Satoru Iwata himself may have dropped word of Netflix support on the Wii U last year, but the company’s now fully confirmed that and a whole lot more during its E3 keynote today. In addition to Netflix, the console’s streaming video options will include Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Video. Unfortunately, the company didn’t delve much into specifics beyond that, but it did confirm in a press release that it’s working with those companies on video services that will “take advantage of the integrated second-screen experience.” It’s also clear that Nintendo is putting a much bigger emphasis on video and entertainment on the Wii U than it did on the original Wii — “Games, Social, Entertainment” are the key words, as it puts it.

Nintendo Wii U will offer Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Amazon Video, second-screen experiences promised originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 12:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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OMG! I Love the Blue Facebook Phone!

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 07:54 AM PDT

Thank god I didn't invest in the Facebook IPO. I'd much rather bet my money on a Bluephone….the Facebook! It looks interesting and boasts drool-worthy features. The sleek blue case is fashioned out of metal and it sports a 4.2-inch screen. The front hosts 5 – megapixel camera and an 8 – megapixel camera adorns the back. It juices up via induction charging using a dedicated dock. Of course all this is in the designer's imagination, but who am I to complain! I can only imagine the customized hotkeys and impending chaos it will create in my online life. Yes, I await the FB Phone with eager enthusiasm!

Designer: Michal Bonikowski

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(OMG! I Love the Blue Facebook Phone! was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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Bouquet of Lights

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 06:20 AM PDT

A very close call on the illuminated incense sticks, the Callar wins grace for being the ideal representation of illuminated flower stems. A bunch of these would work wonders on any angry spouse or girlfriend, plus they'd make good mood lighting. The clever thing is that they are without wires and portable; they recharge via a base station. Warm and exuding love, I'd take home a bunch of these for next Valentines’!

Designer: Jaehwa Lee

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(Bouquet of Lights was originally posted on Yanko Design)

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SimCity Social finds a home on Facebook, destiny winks in approving fashion

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 05:57 AM PDT

SimCity Social finds a home on Facebook, destiny winks in approving fashion

Given that “City” is in the name, SimCity has always felt like a title in need of a social platform. Fast forward a score or so since its inception, and fate seems to have finally played out. SimCity Social was just announced at E3 today, bringing the heralded city-building simulator to a social network that’s pushing a billion residents. The new game is being delivered courtesy of “a close collaboration between many talented people at Maxis and Playfish,” and anxious gamers are told to expect “no set linear paths to follow.” You’ll be dealing with things like fires, crime and pollution, and will be able to make calls to help virtual cities take shape. You can hit the source link to get in-game items at launch — or, you know, strive to become an actual mayor and make actual improvements in your community. No pressure.

Continue reading SimCity Social finds a home on Facebook, destiny winks in approving fashion

SimCity Social finds a home on Facebook, destiny winks in approving fashion originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 05 Jun 2012 07:33:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012

Posted: 05 Jun 2012 04:44 AM PDT

Cartier 2012 craft and jewelry watches 1 Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012

At the exclusive watch show SIHH, Cartier has one of the largest booths. A lot of their space is dimly lit with museum style showcases offering glimpses of items you probably won’t see anywhere else. Given that the show is not open to the public, most people will never see these pieces at all. In the cases are a range of artistic and high-jewelry creations that the French brand has produced for the year. Some of these are piece uniques, some parts of limited editions, and some might not even be sold at all. Whatever the nature of the item, I am usually sure to find at least a few beautiful things.

Cartier 2012 craft and jewelry watches 12 Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012

Cartier 2012 craft and jewelry watches 5 Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012

Not all of these items are watches, but most are. High-jewelry (or haute joaillerie as it is often known) enjoys having “mystery display” watches where dials are only revealed after opening or sliding something to the side. That is certainly the case with an item I have not covered in this article, but will in a separate piece. It is just too amusing to be part of a pack, and is how Cartier does Pandas.

Big cats are always a theme of love for the panther-esque brand. You can see the hunting feline in many of their watches each year. A few this year get emerald eyes, and one gets a special watch where a dial-mounted panther is the automatic rotor. Again, that is a subject for another piece. Cartier’s high jewelry watches are most typically beautiful creations with an emphasis (though not exclusively) on animals. Museum quality designs dazzle us with their clever and attractive settings to enhance our view of sparkles. For most people, the ability to own these watches or other items does not exist, but looking at them still feels gratifying. It also helps Cartier sell their standard jewelry watches in a big way.

Cartier 2012 craft and jewelry watches 14 Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012

Cartier 2012 craft and jewelry watches 11 Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012

In addition to a selection of high jewelry watches each year, Cartier employs the talents of various craftspeople to offer limited edition collections of their “artistic crafts” watches. An interesting one that I didn’t grab a picture of was done in straw marquetry of a koala. Yes, the image was produced by hand from tiny pieces of colored and split plants. That model, by the way, is the Rotonde de Cartier 35mm watch, white gold, koala motif, straw marquetry. Yes, that is the name of the model and it is limited to 20 pieces.

My personal favorite in the art collection for 2012 is the watch at the top of this article. It uses a Santos-Dumont XL case and displays a horse. The process is actually micro mosaic. From counters to coffee tables, stone or tile, mosaic is a popular and celebrated craft. Here, the art of mosaic work blends with gold engraving. Parts of the horse are engraved gold, while the majority of the dial is a hand-created mosaic of gemstones. According to Cartier, each piece of this limited edition collection requires over 120 hours of work to complete. Each stone must be individually selected, cut, and placed to form the image. This watch is called the Cartier Santos-Dumont XL watch, horse motif, gemstone mosaic and will come in a set of 40 pieces in 18k white gold, and 10 more pieces with diamonds on the case.

Cartier 2012 craft and jewelry watches 9 Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012

Cartier 2012 craft and jewelry watches 4 Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012

Another interesting art watch is the last one shown being the Rotonde de Cartier 42mm watch, white gold, tiger motif, enamel grisaille. By the way, each of the 2012 Cartier art collection watches contain Cartier in-house made caliber 430 MC or 9601 MC manually wound mechanical movements. Enamel grisaille is basically a form on black and gray enamel work – here used to create the face of a tiger. The result is a crisp animal in black and white tones, with an almost life-like face aside from the watch hands  sticking out of the predatory cat’s nose. I try to convince myself they look like additional whiskers but alas, they only tell the time. Good for big game hunters back at the safari lodge, this watch will be limited to 100 pieces and reportedly requires about 40 hours of enameling work on each one.

It is always a pleasure to see these types of beautiful and effortful artistic creations from Cartier. From time to time Cartier offers exhibits showing some of this stuff and I recommend you check them out if possible for a better look at creations you may never see again. Of course, head over to your local Cartier boutique if you want to start talking the required numbers to be on your way to owning one.

Cartier 2012 craft and jewelry watches 1 67x100 Cartier Artistic Crafts & High Jewelry Watches For 2012
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