links for 2010-06-28

  • Photographs play a crucial role in informing, influencing, educating and reassuring customers throughout the buying process. Review your website’s photography and question its role. What is the job of a particular photo at that particular stage of the process? Is it effective? When might customers drop out, and how could photos prevent that from happening?
  • Lomography fans will be excited to learn that the company's got a new product – the Spinner 360. Like other Lomography products, it's not standard photography — instead, it lets you take super-wide panoramas all around you.

    It's pretty simple. You insert a roll of 35mm film, hold the camera above your head, pick either indoor or outdoor exposure, and give the ringpull a gentle tug. It'll rotate 360 degrees, and capture a wide, tall panorama by exposing the film a small amount at a time through a narrow slit, all the way to the edges of the film.

  • BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is testing a tablet that could act as a “companion” to its BlackBerry phone, says the Wall Street Journal.

    The BlackBerry tablet is reportedly in the early stage of development and will tether to the the phone. Last month, Boy Genius Report said the BlackBerry tablet is likely to have an 8.9-inch screen and include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.

    (tags: tablet ipad)
  • Some uber-fans were miffed when they heard that X-Com, the reboot of the popular PC series of the same name, would be a first-person shooter rather than a traditional strategy game.

    After a live demonstration of X-Com by 2K Marin’s Martin Slater at E3 on Tuesday, I’m glad to report that the upcoming title for Xbox 360 and PC allows gamers to play strategically — just not as they did in 1993. Players will run and gun, but choices they make during firefights (and between them) make a difference. The game lets players make meaningful decisions between bursts of filling aliens full of lead.

    (tags: videogames)
  • A new camcorder lets consumers play James Cameron at home by creating their own 3D videos.

    Hammacher Schlemmer has started selling what it claims is the first camcorder to shoot 3D video and let users see the resulting content on the device’s screen, without the need for any special glasses.

    (tags: 3d camera video)
  • Toshiba has announced a trio of new devices that it's hoping will shake up the somewhat-stagnant notebook PC market. There's the Libretto W100, the AC100, and the Satellite R630.

    The first in the list is the most interesting. It's a clamshell device that comes with two screens in place of a screen and a keyboard, similar to the one showed off by Asus at CeBIT more than a year ago. Those screens are identical, measuring 7-inches diagonally and are touch-sensitive. An onboard accelerometer allows you to use it in landscape or portrait configuration, and Toshiba's pre-loaded a boatload of specialist software that'll let you get the most from the device.

  • New advances in air conditioning technology have improved the efficiency of machines by as much as 90 percent, paving the way for significant energy use reductions in hot countries.

    The research, which has been conducted at the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory, relies on the use of membranes, evaporative cooling and desiccants. None of these processes are new, but the researchers were able to combine them in a way that delivers far greater efficiency savings than previous attempts.

    (tags: efficiency eco)
  • Google’s web-based document editor can now convert the text inside your PDFs and images into text you can edit.

    When you upload a file to Google Docs, you’ll see the option to “Convert text from PDF or image files to Google Docs documents.” You can upload any PDF, PNG, JPG or GIF.

    (tags: pdf google)
  • Professor Joseph Stiglitz, who has been described as the biggest brain in economics, is distinctly unimpressed by George Osborne's strategy. This, he predicts, will make Britain's recovery from recession longer, slower and harder than it needs to be. The rise in VAT could even tip us into a double-dip recession.