Bezel-less Screens / Monitors / TVs, LED, and 3D

Kon’nichiwa!

It’s been a while since I’ve update my blog, technology wise. Thanks to an increase of traffic to this here blog I decided to give you some details on a popular search (something I vaguely posted previously). Bezel-less TVs. It’s a geek’s wet dream to have a few of these mythical pieces of hardware. However, we are getting pretty damn close thanks to two things in particular: glass and LEDs. We’ll go over those as well as 3D technology and TVs you might be looking for.

These cardboard glasses were just so darn comfortable!

Image thanks to 3dstereopics. Check out his Flickr photostream for more fun 3D photos.

3D has been around for a while, but it wasn’t until this last year that 3D technology has progressed. You remember the good ol’ 3D days? Blue and red lenses held by that familiar cardboard frame. Oh the joy of having the cardboard dig into your nose and ears. Not to mention the wonderful headache after 2 minutes of watching anything. By the Beard of Zeus! 3D glasses were the best invention of all time! But Alas! Anaglyph 3D has been replaced by its sexier younger sister RealD 3D. RealD is based off of an advanced version of stereoscopic 3D. The lenses range from a clear to smokey color. Best part of all is that both lenses are the same color! The way RealD works is by taking two cameras and filming from two different angles. Each angle is meant to represent how each eye sees. The degree of the angle between the two cameras translates over to how your eyes convert the depth of the image. In basic terms its the difference between having a ball sitting on a table or a ball flying at your face! However its still not perfect. I’ve learned that the quality of the 3D image is still dependent on how the TV projects these two images and in turn how the glasses receive those signals. We are definitely progressing though! Thumbs up for that I suppose.

LED 10W

LED 10W

LED TVs came out just a little before RealD 3D did. This innovation has really pushed the television market into more of the HD realm than it ever was before. LEDs have also been out for a while as well. They have been used in electronics as button lights and so forth for a long time. Advance flashlights used LEDs instead of bulbs providing a longer batter life and in some cases more even and brighter lighting. Let me digress no further and delve into how LED TVs work. Lets get one thing straight to begin with: LED TVs are still LCDs. The difference is the back-lighting system and how it works. LCDs vs LED LCDs is the difference between florescent back-lighting and LED back-lighting. Florescent lighting is usually accomplished using florescent bulbs; similar to the ones you have in offices but much, much smaller. So small in comparison that they are installed on the sides of the LCD inside the bezel of the TV, lighting across the screen. LEDs have been installed in the same way as regular LCD back-lighting, but LEDs are brighter and can be made down to the size of grain of sand if so desired. “How the hell does that improve the lighting?” I know you wondering and even asking that out loud (despite the strange looks the other people in the coffee shop are giving you). Well question aloud no longer! Think about it, if you can make a tiny little square that puts out a high amount of light couldn’t you line the edge with a bunch of LEDs? The answer is yes! Yes you can do exactly that! Manufacturers are doing just that! The reason this pushes HD farther along is because the lighting provides more of a contrast! Now I know what your thinking, “Holy Fat Buddha, that’s amazing!”. Indeed it is… indeed. However if you have ever gone shopping for LCD TVs (and I sure hope you have if your searching for bezel-less ones) then you know that the bigger the screen the higher the degradation in quality. This is because florescent bulbs have a short range of lighting. Now don’t me wrong here, LEDs don’t produce infinite range of light either, but because LEDs are so small (or can be made “so small”) then this allows you to take a different approach. Now it gets very technical here so hold onto your car-seat; If you take two equations and kinda intermix the two using the range measurement equation of the Global Positioning System then you could…………. alright, alright I’ll just spit it out. It’s called Full-Matrix lighting. Instead of the LEDs running along the edge of the LCD they are instead lined up behind the screen. That’s right, I said behind. If you think a bunch of LEDs lined around the edge of a screen imagine the lighting contrast you could achieve with a full sheet of LEDs in the rear! Mind boggling I know. Hold on just a second longer for me now.

2011 iMac

2011 iMac

Glass. Something so simplistic and beautiful. Have you ever seen a iMac before? Check it out at Apple’s website. I really would love to have one. What does that have to do with glass? Well Apple has used glass on its iMacs. giving it a pleasing seamless look. Not only does this protect the LCD screen itself it also allows bezels to be invisible if done right. There is still a bezel on the iMac of course. There is a way to attach the glass directly to the LCD eliminating the need for a bezel, I however can’t think of who has done this. If you know please comment on this post and I’ll add it in because it’s really bugging me. Anyways, I see this technique as a way to create actual bezel-less screens.

Now to move on to the final portion and that is showing off some damn slim and near bezel-less TVs as you will get at this particular moment and near future.
Lets start off with the only one that isn’t out just yet and that’s LG’s new 3D TV. Now before you piss your pants in excitement I just want to give you a forewarning: If you don’t like 3D (which I’m not very particular about myself to tell you the truth) these few TVs are 3D. “What’s good in that?” Don’t worry 3D can be turned off, but it’s there if you want it.

With out further ado I present the LG Cinema 3D TV 55LM9600. Its absolutely gorgeous! 55″ of super slim 1080p. Just get a look at that bezel! It almost appears as if the screen is just being projected from space (avoid focusing on the stand)!

LG Cinema 3D TV 55LM9600

Such a sexy LED TV

Now here is one that is actually available to buy. It’s made by Samsung and is on par with the LG, but one thing I can see Samsung having over LG here is picture quality. Samsung does a damn good job of producing large scale TVs that project the same quality as their smaller ones. LG is newer in the market and when looking at other things they produce primarily (smartphones) I am not impressed with them as it is. Here it is the Samsung UN55D8000YF: This is the 55″ model. Samsung makes 46″, 55″, and 60″ versions all roughly $200 in price difference.

Samsung UN55D8000YF

I love the stand but it would take up too much base room

There is one more and it is made by Sony. This TV is not bezel-less but they use glass just like Apple does. Here is the SONY 40″ BRAVIA NX720 LED 3D TV:

Sony BRAVIA 40" LED 3D TV

I really like Sony TVs

Thats all thanks for reading!

Hiragana Basics

Today I am again studying in my CHU, laying on my bed. When I get back home hopefully I’ll have a comfortable place to study as well. So now I’ll go over what I learned today. I keep a language log which is very similar to these blog posts. Except they are slimmed down and note orientated. I keep them on Evernote so I can sync them across all my computers and devices. Anyways….
Japanese vowels almost make up the same as ours. Though they are very solid and aren’t as flexible. They consist of:
  • あ (a)
  • い (i)
  • う (u)
  • え (e)
  • お (o)

All “kanas” (kana is the word for Japanese characters) consist of a consonant and vowel (in english terms) with the exception of ん (n) which is the only consonant-only kana.

The “t” section has two pronunciation exceptions:
  • ち (chi) – instead of “ti”
  • つ (tsu) – instead of “tu”

The “y” section only consists of three kana:

  • や (ya)
  • ゆ (yu)
  • よ (yo)
The “w” section only consists of two kana:

  • わ (wa)
  • を (wo)
The total “letter sections” use these english consonants:
  • k
  • s
  • t
  • n
  • h
  • m
  • y
  • r
  • w
Each section is made up of that english letter and one of the Japanese vowels (wa, su, ri, ect.). There are two more kana sections that make up the Hiragana “alphabet”: Combo Hiragana and Dakuten. I have no idea what those are (the first one is easily guessable) but that is for the next couple of sections ahead. We’ll just have to wait and see!
The “r” section is pronounced really weird. It’s like a combination of “L” and “R” with nice sprinkling of “D”. I was having troubles with it but I think I have it down decently now. Tomorrow I’m just going to spend 15 minutes or so with my pronunciations. The day after I’ll move on to the next section of learning. I am quite impressed with TextFugu. The way the book is formatted is to be instructional and informational while still ensuring that your retaining what is being taught. An artistic blend of these three things is what makes this such a successful learning resource. Well that’s all I did for today. It isn’t much but it’s best to learn in 30 – 60 minutes increments each day versus 8 hours in one day. Now to watch some anime….. 

Why Japanese?

I have always been interested in Japanese Culture which I think goes hand-in-hand with interest in the language. Of course my interest originally started with being introduced to Anime via a friend. However I love traveling and absolutely adore Japan’s geographic attractions. Very zen-like and yet busy at the same time (how intriguing).

Japan mountain

Scenic Japan

I have tried a couple of times and failed at learning Japanese. Mainly due to not making the time and general laziness kicking in. I am determined to learn this time. After taking Spanish for three years and not enjoying the language I discovered that in order to become fluent you must have an actual interest in the subject of study.

I have used Rosetta Stone to initially start learning but i found that it didn’t properly introduce the language. I did not like it. So actually as of today I was researching into finding another learning source and discovered Tofugu.com via Youtube! After reading several posts I was fascinated and was ultimately directed here for a highly recommended source for self-learning. So essentially I want to thank Koichi for his wonderful site and collection of resources that have been made available.

OS X Update (10.6.8)

Kon’nichiwa (“hello” in Japanese),

Recently Apple has sent out an update for their new OS: OS X Lion (10.7). This update is in preparation for their first try at releasing an OS online via their recent Mac App Store.

When Apple updated from 10.6.6 to 10.6.7 there were font issues and a slight battery decrease. With the update from 10.6.7 to 10.6.8 (the most recent one in preparation for the OS X Lion) a major battery decrease is introduced. I just recently bought my MacBook Pro 13″. Now by default it came with 10.6.7 and as of right now I can’t find a way to downgrade. If I could downgrade I would revert back to 10.6.6 (battery life around 9-10 hours off of a single charge) and patch the security issues myself. With the new update I went from 6-7 hours of battery life to 2 1/2 max.

Yesterday I have ran across a way to fix it. Yes you will need to reset your SMC (System Management Controller). However, before you do this the only way (for whatever reason) to get the SMC reset to work is to take care of the dock issue. Oh yah by the way that’s that other main issue. If you open up Activity Monitor and look for Dock in the processes you will see it is taking up 100% of your CPU. Now this isn’t entirely correct (look below at the CPU core graphs); it should only be taking up 100% of a single core of your CPU (well it actually shouldn’t be doing that at all which is why we are going to fix it).

- Go to your Home folder (whatever your user name is most likely) and locate these to files via the following folder paths:
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.db
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.dock.plist

- Delete the above stated files.
- Log out and Log back in.

If you look at your Activity Monitor and check your processes you will see that the dock will no longer be taking up 100% of a CPU core. You will probably also notice that your dock has reverted back to it’s original settings. Wait to set your Dock back up again until after the SMC reset.

- Now we must reset your SMC. To do this, plug in your MagSafe adapter to your MacBook. Write down the following keyboard key combo (if you tend to forget):
Shift+Control+Option+[Power Button]

- Shut down your MacBook.
- Hold down the above Keyboard shortcut simultaneously and release simultaneously.
- You should notice when you release the keys your adapter light will change from orange to green (if it’s charging).
- When it turns orange again turn on your MacBook again
- Unplug your adapter and check your battery life estimation

You should notice that your battery life has increased to its normal levels again. Now given this isn’t a guarantee but it will more than likely work. There have also been reports that only the user account that was logged in at the time of the update are affected. I did not test this theory because the above method worked. Please feel free to give feedback on your results.

Trash Can Cleanliness: Not As Dirty As Me

Well now…. this looks oddly familiar

Hmmm,

It’s been quite a while now since my last post on here. I’m not even sure what to put on here any more. I’ve been posting to my personal site blog for quite some time now. Though I have dismantled that site and doing a complete make over in preparation for switching to a new host. So until that happens (which will be for an extended amount of time) I will be putting up new posts here again.

Trash Can Cleanliness: Not Very Dirty

The New Beast!

Recently I have been looking around trying to find good touchscreen smart phones. Now to tell you the truth this has been a hard search for something that fits my needs. I’m no just talking about the OS here I’m talking hardware man! That’s right! The glorious pieces of goodah that make up the phone. I have found it!

For the most part this is coming from personal experience. I have owned several phones in my day and found some good ones and crappy ones. Over the years I have started to realize that certain companies have trends in what they do for phones. Like lets take LG for instance, they are a very interesting company who has its ideas every once in a while. But for the most part I have never been satisfied with their phones at all because they make cheap phones. Now one of my favorite phones has been the iPhone. I know, I know.

“iPhones are horrible! They are completely locked down and only available to AT&T!”

And then after that people say:

“Blah blah blah blah blah blah”

I don’t care! The iPhone has one of the most accurate touchscreens ever and who cares if I had to hack it? Plus the simplicity of the OS is very refreshing. I loved my iPhone. While I had an iPhone everyone else still had a shitty ass piece of junk prepaid looking cell phone. While they sat there texting. I was twittering, checking facebook, instant chatting, looking up things on the web, and writing emails. But the bill could not be paid for the service after a while which meant iPhone had to be sold. Anyways…

Now there have been several other interesting phones especially recently. Motorola is one of those companies that made a good phone still being used today. Motorola’s track record has been nice. Every Motorola phone I have owned has been reliable and did very well against my day to day poundings.

I know your wondering,

“Why is he blabbing on about this?”

Well I’m building up to what I wanted to talk about ok? so just calm down and be patient. So through the last few years I have owned some good phones. But I am always on the look out for a better phone. And despite my seemingly endless love for the iPhone I have found the one to replace that wonderful machine. Now you wonder why I have been talking about companies and how some make good phones and others make bad right? Well this new godly phone is made by and interesting company. Nokia.

Nokia has an interesting track record when it comes to phones. Their history of successful devices has fluctuated. Nokia has a tendency to make 20 crappy phones in a row and then come out with a really nice one! but then they fall back into the hole again. One of the nicest phones that I really liked was the Nokia N9000. It was a nice touch screen phone with one of the best slide out keyboards I have ever used. But I did not get it for one reason. Its a touch screen/keyboard combo.

It’s one of my biggest pet-peeves. If im going to get a touch-screen phone it is not going to have a physical keyboard which is why I have been so picky about the touch screen phones. I have to be able to type fast on the virtual keyboard and it has to be large. The accuracy of  touch screens has irritated me to no end for the most part. This is one reason why I liked the iPhone. The touch screen was super crisp.

So recently Nokia made a ph0ne that is wonderful! This is the new phone that I adore. It’s called the Nokia N8. And this is what it looks like:

This thing is Godly! So now to elaborate on why this phone is my new baby.

It has as you can see a pleasing form factor. Smooth and slick.

Here are the actual physical properties:

  • 12MP camera w/flash
  • 720p HD camcorder
  • 3.5″ touch screen
  • HDMI out which means I can put stuff up on the big screen in HD quality
  • FM radio
  • FM transmitter
  • 5 colors to choose from
  • 1/2 inch thick

These are the things that really attract me! It also has a new hardware element which makes it more universal than any phone. It has a 5-band 3G. This allows it yo be used by multiple carriers because each carrier uses different network frequencies for their connections. It uses GMS technology which means it uses SIM cards. AT&T and T-Mobile are the proposed outlets. The N8 is also running the new Symbian^3 OS. This operating system was just released to open source. Symbian^3 or just Symbian 3 has been improved upon greatly!

The new OS has lots to offer. It now has integrated social media like Twitter and Facebook, Free GPS navigation, Music player, and stream free Web TV. This means you have a choice of popular channels to choose from like NBC news and also you can tune in to local channels. Three main home-screens which are completely customizable. The OVI store offeres apps and is growing larger.

Now that Symbian has been redone and opened up it should improve upon greatly. It also has video and photo editing abilities for quick optimization.  If however I do not like the OS I will simply dual boot it with a customized version of Android OS.

Overall this thing has HUGE potential! You can currently pre-order it in some places. It is also available for direct purchase. These direct purchases would be for imported units. prices ranging from $600 – $950. I’ll just wait till it comes out though.

Thats all thanks for reading!

Gnome Global Menu (GN)

Gnome-Global Menu (GN) is an applet available for Linux (Ubuntu) that will give you a Mac styled menu bar that replaces the file bar for most programs. It is a single File bar that adapts to which ever program is selected or “focused”. There are some programs that aren’t affected and you will have to use the default bar. A major one would be Firefox which doesn’t work because it does not comply with GNU specifications. (For those who don’t like me calling it a Mac menu bar deal with it cause Mac was the first to incorporate it)

Using the PPA to install GN

  1. Open SystemAdministrationSoftware Sources
  2. Pres the Other Software tab
  3. Press Add to add a new repository.
  4. Enter the APT line for the extra repository.
  5. After adding source close out and it will ask you to reload software
  6. You will have to download the GPG key so that you can download the software. Here is the key: Global Menu GPG Key
  7. Open up Software Sources again and go the Authentication tab and click “Import Key File…”
  8. Click the GPG key you just downloaded and then close out.
  9. To install GM start Terminal and type:
  10. sudo apt-get install gnome-globalmenu

  11. After installation right click on the desired bar and add Global Menu Applet
  12. Log out and log back in and you should have you bar ready to go.

The advantage to using the PPA package is that you will get automatic updates and the program is handled automatically. This makes uninstalling just as easy. Now i will show you how to use the source files (*.tar.gz/*.tar.bz2) to install/compile them yourself. The Advantages of managing a program yourself is that you can change it to your needs. You can also use source files to test betas and variants.

Source Install

  1. First download the source file. Which is in a *.tar.gz or *.tar.bz2 archive
  2. Extract the folder inside to a directory that you want to manage from
  3. Look inside the folder for installation instructions to install and/or compile, which are contained in a simple .txt file usually called “INSTALL”
    • Some programs do not have the option to compile into a *.deb package and only do a direct install
    • First to make management of your programs easier we will use a program that will compile the files, keep track of the files, and install the program while still giving you control over the program and packaging.
    • This program is called checkinstall
      install using:
      sudo aptitude install checkinstall
  4. With checkinstall the install will become easier. Open Terminal
  5. We need to mount the globalmenu folder to access the files in Terminal using:
    cd /home/user/documents/globalmenu-0.18
    cd is used to mount the directory. make sure to include the program folder last so that you actually mount into it. Don’t use that exact directory it is only an example.
  6. Then enter in the command:
    ./configure
    This step will find all the dependencies and make sure you have the needed files to make the program work, *At the end it will tell you what files you are missing. Make note of them and I will explain what to do. You will not need to complete this until you have the dependencies.
  7. Assuming you have all the dependencies you will now enter:
    sudo checkinstall
  8. It will ask you to type in a description for the package. Follow all the instructions that will be shown in the Terminal. It will ask you various things like seeing a list of all the files. If you notice it doesn’t give you a [y/n] option. it only shows one letter. that because it’s the recommended action. if you just press enter then it will take the default action and continue with the compiling and installing. I suggest that you take the default actions because all those options are asking you is if you want to see all the files and dependencies that were extracted installed.
  9. When it is finished it will show you a command to uninstall it and give you various commands on making short cuts for easier access. Unless you are compiling a library or dependency then it will only give you the uninstall command

*If you had dependency problems download the source files for the dependencies that you were missing and use this same tutorial to install those using the same steps. If possible try finding the .deb packages or PPA for the dependencies to make installing them easier. After installing all the needed files go back to the beginning, Mount the folder, configure, and checkinstall. If you have any questions just leave them in a comment below and I will answer to the best of my knowledge. Good luck!

NOTICE: I will be adding screen shots of the terminal and examples of codes. Later I will do a screen-cast on this and add to the post.