Tuesday, May 30, 2006

led light: Des Moines roll call


May 15, 2006

From beauty shops to gas pumps, metro area pops

Des Moines seems to continue its quest to offer what some larger metropolitan areas in other states offer. This week I've included news about a spa that offers LED lights — light-emitting diodes — light therapy, something I've been told has been promoted by Oprah Winfrey on her TV show. It's supposed to be good for the skin.

Then there are the new sand volleyball courts preparing to open on Douglas Avenue. Now's the time to gather your friends to form a team.

Read on for more.

Refine Studios is a new spa at 6429 University Ave. in Windsor Heights that is having a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. There will be offers worth 20 percent off any service of $100 or more.

Refine Studios offers electrolysis, permanent makeup, massage, needle dermabrasion and photo light rejuvenation or LED light therapy.

Photo light therapy stimulates and regenerates skin cells and promotes healing of conditions such as rosacea, acne, wrinkles and broken capillaries, said spa owner Michelle Heintz.

Heintz is a native Iowan whose specialty is permanent makeup. She attended Iowa School of Beauty, was a makeup artist for the cosmetic company Shiseido, and represented a skin care line for Donna Karan while living in Colorado.

Also at the spa are Sunny Gilmartin, who was owner of the New You electrolysis clinic in Clive, and massage therapist Kenny Nulph.

Heintz said the spa is in a house with a homey feel, thanks to a fireplace and lofted, open wood-beamed ceilings.

What's unusual about Refine Studios is that eight or fewer people can reserve the spa for a party. Participants can put on robes and slippers and receive various spa services, and arrange for or bring in beverages and hors d'oeuvres.

Heintz said at least three weeks notice is required for that.

Clients schedule their own appointments online at least two days in advance at www.refinestudios.com, or call 577-0553 to book within 48 hours. Heintz is still fine-tuning the Web site, so clients may want to call this week.

Volley's Volleyball and Grill, the sand courts being constructed next to Plaza Lanes Bowling Alley at 2701 Douglas Ave., will be ready for their debut June 5, when the first league teams begin play.

The Money Shot, a fundraiser for Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization, is also planned for June 10 and 11.

Registration is being accepted for league play for coed, men's and women's teams of four and six players and men's and women's doubles, said Randy Thompson, the owner of the Plaza Lanes and Trophy's Sports Bar & Grill, who is building the sand volleyball courts.

Leagues play lasts 12 weeks. Nine-week sessions for youths in middle school and high school are also forming.

The entry fee for the Money Shot fundraiser is $75 for coed, men's and women's teams of six, and $40 for doubles. Cash prizes will be awarded and first place wins a keg party.

The courts will be lighted, and they will have a sound system. They also will be surrounded by a tropical environment, Thompson said.

Call 255-1111.

Hair on Hubbell is a newer salon at 4351 Hubbell Ave. The salon's stylists are Cathy Murray-Wilson and Lisa Mackin. Both previously worked a combined five years at another east-side salon before opening Hair on Hubbell.

They offer full service for hair - including color and perms - and waxing.

The salon is next to Scott's TV & Appliances.

Call 262-2070.

Dahl's Food Mart on Aurora Avenue and Merle Hay Road is putting an outbuilding on its lot, one reader noted. He thought it looked like a gas station might be going in there.

He's right.

Dahl's Fuel will begin flowing in August at that location. It will also be a convenience store and carwash.

The company said it also plans to add gasoline at several other locations, where space permits.

It appears that Boem's Eurocakes at 3811 Douglas Ave. is closed.

The shop was open only a few months. Before that, Granny's Frozen Custard was at that site.

Money Mailer of Des Moines, the direct mail marketing company for small businesses and professionals, is now owned by Bill Downing. He bought the Money Mailer franchises for the east and west sides of the metro area from two franchisees who brought the California-based company here in 2005.

The address is 7551 Aspen Drive in West Des Moines. Call 779-2455.

Plans to reopen the pizzeria in Locust Mall Food Court have been delayed. Basil's Pizzeria was sold and will reopen under a new name. No indication of when that will be.

Noah's Ark Restaurant, 2400 Ingersoll Ave., which was shut down after a fire there Feb. 18, expects to reopen next week. Owner Jim Lacona originally said he was hoping to reopen this week.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

led light: SAMSUNG LED Light Sourced DLP Rear Projection HDTV Is The World's First

Improved Longevity and Increased Color Reproduction Among 56” Model Features

/noticias.info/ New York, NY - Samsung's LED light sourced DLP rear projection HDTV-the first ever introduced to the world-offers consumers a host of benefits, including significantly improved longevity, increased color gamut reproduction, quicker turn-on time and greater environmental friendliness.
The HL-S5679W operates longer and quieter than previously designed light engine based rear projection TV sets. This model also replaces the current UHP bulb with a high-powered LED light source, called PhlatLight™ that has a single chip DLP® light engine, which doesn't require a color wheel and provides improved longevity. Red, green and blue high-powered LEDs sequentially fire to produce smooth, stable color. The LED light engine also ensures a longer lamp life (20,000 hours without brightness degradation) and a shorter turn-on time (seven seconds). The engine is also mercury-free making it more environmentally friendly.

"The LED Light Sourced DLP RPTV once again demonstrates Samsung's commitment to advancing the boundaries of technology innovation and design excellence," said Dan Schinasi, Senior Marketing Manager for Projection TV for Samsung Electronics America. "With improvements in lamp life, picture stability, turn-on time and now a mercury-free engine, the HL-S5679W launches a new era for DLP HDTVs."

The LED light sourced DLP RPTV provides natural color, with an improved color gamut versus traditional CRT televisions. Featuring true high definition 1920 x 1080p resolution and Samsung's Cinema Smooth™ light engine with Texas Instruments™ DLP technology, the HL-S5679W delivers breathtaking on-screen clarity and vividness. Two 1080p HDMI inputs, which are compatible with the latest 1080p source content, provide plug and play connectivity for digital devices, while the Cable Card feature allows the TV to be used without a cable box. And the black glossy finish and integrated ATSC and NTSC tuner ensure that the HL-S5679W will be an elegant addition to any living room. The HL-S5679W is shipping in September at a $4,199 MSRP.

About Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
Headquartered in Ridgefield Park, NJ, Samsung Electronics America, Inc. (SEA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., markets a broad range of award-winning, advanced digital consumer electronics, information systems and home appliance products. The SEA organization oversees the North American operations of Samsung including Samsung Telecommunications America, LP, Samsung Electronics Canada, Inc. and Samsung Electronics Mexico, Inc. Please visit www.samsung.com for more information.

About Samsung Electronics
Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2005 parent company sales of US$56.7 billion and net income of US$7.5 billion. Employing approximately 128,000 people in over 90 offices in 51 countries, the company consists of five main business units: Digital Appliance Business, Digital Media Business, LCD Business, Semiconductor Business and Telecommunication Network Business. Recognized as one of the fastest growing global brands, Samsung Electronics is a leading producer of digital TVs, memory chips, mobile phones, and TFT-LCDs. For more information, please visit www.samsung.com

led light: Osram launches "LED Light for you" website

A new website from Osram GmbH provides information on LEDs in general lighting and allow users to find potential partners.

Lighting manufacturer Osram has launched an Internet platform "LED Light for you" providing a starting point and tips for the use of LEDs in general lighting.

Osram says that the aim of the platform is to highlight the options presented by LED technology in lighting applications, and to help potential customers find suitable partners for their own solutions.

LEDs are powerful light sources that will soon be a regular feature in general lighting. The "LED Light for you" platform provides extensive know-how in matters relating to the use of LED in this area.

The platform is open to all and presents specialists with all the components required to develop LED solutions, including thermal protectors, optical systems and electronics.

Users will also find competent partners with experience in the use of LED for general lighting purposes. Links provide access to appropriate websites containing basic information on products and solutions.

Intelligent search functions will help users find suitable partners for planned customer-specific applications or for system solutions. Certified partners with special competence are indicated by an appropriate reference.

Osram says that this know-how is made available to help specialists take advantage of the full range of benefits provided by LEDs as a high-grade illumination source, and to open up new application areas.

Friday, May 19, 2006

led light: Avago Technologies introduces 254lpi optical encoders

Press release; Rodney Chan, DigiTimes.com [Thursday 18 May 2006]

Avago Technologies today announced a reflective incremental optical encoder, the AEDR-8400, offered in a surface-mount package with dimensions 3×3.28×1.262mm (L×W×H).

The Avago AEDR-8400 encoder, which supports a resolution of 254 lines per inch (LPI), can be used for consumer, office, industrial and automotive interior applications ranging from scanners, printers, miniature cameras, and seat-adjustment and rear-view-mirror controls in automobiles.

The AEDR-8400 provides two-channel quadrature output, a count frequency up to 15KHz and an operating temperature range of -20 to +85°C. The AEDR-8400 operates from a single 2.8V (nominal) supply, drawing 12mA (including 6mA LED current), typically.

Its lead-free packaging complies with the European Union’s directive for Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS), due to take effect on July 1, the company said.

The Avago AEDR-8400 reflective encoder consists of an LED light source, a special photodetector IC with integrated electronics, and integrated optics. They can be used with a reflective code wheel to sense rotary position and velocity, or with a linear code strip to sense linear position and velocity.

The devices provide two-channel digital outputs in quadrature, which provides both count and direction information. They are insensitive to axial play and maintain performance and accuracy over a wide variation in the gap between sensor and code wheel or strip.

“The AEDR-8400, 254LPI is just the first resolution option in a series of miniature reflective optical encoders under development at Avago Technologies,” said Chong Khin Mien, vice president and general manager of Avago’s Motion Control Products Division. “Avago’s continuous innovation in developing the industry’s smallest form factor encoders with the widest range of resolutions helps us meet our customers’ changing needs for various applications and shortens their time to market.”

led light: LEDtronics - Highly versatile white LED light strips

Published Apr 20 2006

A versatile new range of white 5mm LED light strips, that may be used stand alone or connected to one another, has been introduced by LEDtronics.

The STP50XC Super White Inter-Connectable Series strips make it easy to configure lighting solutions for channel, reverse-channel letters, signs, displays, under-the-counter, cove lighting, desk, workbench, and architectural applications. Available in lengths of 6-inches, 12-inches and 24-inches, the light strips feature the company's 5mm Dome LEDs in 7000K and 3000K.

The STP506 is 6-inches in length and uses 1.08W. The 7000K versions provide 54 lumens, 202 Foot-Candles (fc), with viewing angles of 15 degrees, while the 3000K models provide 32 lumens, 70fc, with viewing angles of 20 degrees. The STP512 is a 12-inch model that uses 2.52W. The 7000K emit 472fc and provide 126 lumens with viewing angles of 15 degrees, while the 3000K emit 164fc and provide 76 lumens at viewing angles of 20 degrees. The STP524 is a 24-inch model that uses 5.4W. The 7000K emit 1012fc and provide 270 lumens with viewing angles of 15 degrees. The 3000K units emit 351fc and 162 lumens at a 20 degree viewing angles.

led light: Zylight Announces Wireless Control for Z50 LED Light

CHELMSFORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 20, 2006--Zylight (www.zylight.com), the leader in intelligent LED lighting for the film and video production industry, is proud to announce ZyLink(TM) technology inside every new Z50 LED light. ZyLink(TM) allows lighting professionals to wirelessly link together multiple Z50's to create large, soft sources of calibrated tungsten light, daylight, or any color of the rainbow. Z50's that are linked together act in concert as if they were one unified LED source, with adjustments made on one light changing all lights in the group. "Used individually or in an array, with the Z50 your lighting kit has never been more compact, yet fully capable of handling any lighting task," says Charlie Collias, Director of Sales for Zylight. "Tungsten, daylight, color, on a stand or your camera, with ZyLink(TM) your Z50 kit will give you any output you need, as large as you need it."

The Z50 Intelligent LED Light can instantly change from fully calibrated 5600K to 3200K white light with the push of a button. When switched to creative color mode, the Z50 can output any color of the rainbow including pastels, eliminating the need for gels. Designed under license from Color Kinetics (NASDAQ: CLRK), a leading innovator of LED lighting systems and technologies, the Z50 produces a soft, wide output with no hotspots. The Z50, with its patent-pending ZyLink(TM) technology, will debut April 24th at the NAB show in Las Vegas. For more information, please contact info@zylight.com. NAB Booth #C9410

About Zylight

Zylight LLC is a leading manufacturer of LED lighting instruments for the film and video production industry. Its easy-to-use intelligent lighting system is based on state-of-the-art LED technologies, producing fully calibrated bright white light, as well as any color forever eliminating gels. Zylight was formed in October 2004 to bring new levels of efficiency, flexibility, and creativity to the realm of film and video lighting. The company is headquartered in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. www.zylight.com.

About Color Kinetics

Color Kinetics Incorporated (NASDAQ: CLRK) transforms environments through new, dynamic uses of light. Its award-winning intelligent solid-state lighting systems and technologies apply the benefits of LEDs as a highly efficient, long lasting, environmentally friendly, and inherently digital source of illumination - reinventing light itself as a highly controllable medium. Color Kinetics also enables widespread adoption of intelligent solid-state lighting through OEM and licensing partnerships in diverse markets. The company is headquartered in Boston, MA with offices in the UK, China, and Japan.www.colorkinetics.com.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

led light: Lamina Ceramics Introduces New Ultra-Bright LED Light Engines

Frankfurt am Main, April 25, 2006 — Lamina Ceramics, manufacturer of award-winning solid-state light sources, are debuting now at the Light+Building International Trade Fair for Architecture and Technology in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, with a new line of ultra-bright LED light engines including a record-setting warm white model designed to replace halogen and tungsten filament competitors and a powerful "daylight white" model designed to replace fluorescent. Up to twice as bright but with the identical footprint of the company's award-winning BL-4000 line — smaller than a U.S. Nickel — the new Atlas line also features an RGB LED light engine generating any of 16,000,000 blendable colors, including white.

The new Atlas Warm White is the first in a long-sought new generation of ultra-bright LED light sources with warm color temperatures. Producing more than 100 lumens, Atlas' enhanced red and orange color spectrum provides light output similar to a 10-watt halogen bulb but uses little more than half the power and lasts 3-4 times as long.

"Until now, high power white-light output by LEDs has largely been confined to color temperatures above 5,000 K — cool light similar to fluorescent lamps," noted David McConaghy, Lamina’s vice president of sales. "As lighting designers know, cool white light, while perfect for many application such as office lighting, is generally not welcome for illumination the more intimate interior spaces of home and leisure — most people prefer a warmer light for reading, desk illumination and dinning. Perhaps that’s also because many fabrics, furnishings, textiles, woods — and yes, people — simply do not look very appealing under cool white light".

Led light: NanoDynamics Broadens Nanotech Toolkit With Nine Plasma Synthesis Patents From Rutgers University

NanoDynamics Broadens Nanotech Toolkit With Nine Plasma Synthesis Patents From Rutgers University
NanoBusiness 2006
NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 17, 2006--
Versatile Low Energy Plasma Spray Process Cuts Energy Expenditures More than 50 Percent, Enables Ceramics for Combat Armor and Fluorescent Materials for LED Lighting

NanoDynamics, Inc. announced today at NanoBusiness 2006, the NanoBusiness Alliance Conference, that it has licensed nine issued and pending patents from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, covering an innovative low-energy route to plasma-based synthesis as well as products enabled by the versatile technique. An innovative variation on the widely used materials processing technique for producing coatings and structural parts, the new plasma process reduces energy consumption by more than 50 percent. A leading nanomaterials and nanotechnology manufacturing company, NanoDynamics plans to commercialize the technique and assess resulting material characteristics for a variety of commercial products including durable, wear-resistant parts, high-efficiency LED lighting and tougher ceramics for lightweight combat armor.

"Nanotechnology in its most fundamental form is the manufacture and manipulation of materials at the atomic scale. From precipitation techniques to vapor deposition, it is the process and tools for engineering at that level that form the critical platform for developing new materials and products. This enabling plasma synthesis technique broadens NanoDynamics' proprietary toolkit for delivering commercial-grade products from basic nanomaterials to unique nanostructures that have significance on the performance of high value products much further up the supply chain," said Keith Blakely, CEO of NanoDynamics.

With the widest range of applications of any thermal spray technique, plasma spraying is a broadly applicable tool for producing a dense coating of a variety of materials including metals, ceramics, polymers and composites. The spraying method involves melting powdered materials in a jet of plasma gas heated to temperatures greater than 5,000 degrees C. The plasma gas propels the molten powder toward the substrate where the material cools to form a dense, strong deposit layer. Much of the energy expended in the conventional plasma spray process is spent inefficiently heating the plasma gas to those extreme temperatures. In contrast, NanoDynamics' newly licensed technique reduces wasted energy by concentrating heat on the material itself rather than the plasma gas carrier. In addition to making plasma spray processes more efficient for conventional uses, the low-energy technique allows for novel material combinations which result in entirely new uses for the coating process.

"A low-energy plasma spray technique is key to the commercial viability of nanostructured ceramics," said Bernard Kear, Ph.D., professor and director of Rutgers' Center for Nanomaterials Research. "This process represents a significant advancement in plasma spray science."

The market for coatings is growing at an annual rate of about 4.8 percent, according to the market analyst firm Freedonia Group, and will reach more $4.8 billion in US sales by 2009. In the ceramic coatings market, a $1.1 billion market it itself, according to BCC Research, plasma spray coatings account for more than 62 percent of the market. In 2004, this represented about $690 million in US sales, but is expected to reach more than $1 billion by 2009.

In order to address these markets, NanoDynamics intends to employ the plasma spray method to expand its product offerings in a variety of areas, including improved soldier survivability. With today's average soldier carrying up to 140 pounds of material with insufficient ballistic protection, reducing that load while improving protection represents a significant need. Already well into development on a solid oxide fuel cell that provides light-weight, portable power, NanoDynamics will employ the plasma technique to synthesize proprietary ceramics for use in developing lighter, tougher combat armor.

NanoDynamics also plans to use the Rutgers technology to prepare florescent nanomaterials for high-efficiency LED (light-emitting diode) lighting. With characteristic durability, low heat and long-life, LEDs are a promising replacement for older lighting technologies such as fluorescent and incandescent. LEDs are expected to increasingly shift from niche applications into the approximately $12 billion general illumination market within the next five years. However, the materials used today to make the white LEDs needed for homes and offices emit an excess of ultra-violet light, which results in a lower-efficiency light output and degrades the lights' plastic housing over time. By employing the new technique to incorporate florescent nanomaterials in inorganic materials, NanoDynamics can produce a commercially viable lighting package technology that increases light output and LED life.

About NanoDynamics

NanoDynamics is a diversified technology and manufacturing company utilizing nanoscale engineering to address some of the world's biggest challenges. With nano-enabled solutions in the fields of energy, water processing, life sciences, electronics, advanced materials and consumer products, NanoDynamics is committed to delivering the power of nanotechnology to the global marketplace. For more information, visit the company's website at www.nanodynamics.com.

led light: Osram launches "LED Light for you" website

A new website from Osram GmbH provides information on LEDs in general lighting and allow users to find potential partners.

In conjunction with the Light+Building show beginning April 23 in Frankurt, Germany, lighting manufacturer Osram is to launch an Internet platform " LED Light for you" providing a starting point and tips for the use of LEDs in general lighting.

LED Light for you
Osram says that the aim of the platform is to highlight the options presented by LED technology in lighting applications, and to help potential customers find suitable partners for their own solutions.

LEDs are powerful light sources that will soon be a regular feature in general lighting. The "LED Light for you" platform provides extensive know-how in matters relating to the use of LED in this area.

The platform is open to all and presents specialists with all the components required to develop LED solutions, including thermal protectors, optical systems and electronics.

Users will also find competent partners with experience in the use of LED for general lighting purposes. Links provide access to appropriate websites containing basic information on products and solutions.

Intelligent search functions will help users find suitable partners for planned customer-specific applications or for system solutions. Certified partners with special competence are indicated by an appropriate reference.

Osram says that this know-how is made available to help specialists take advantage of the full range of benefits provided by LEDs as a high-grade illumination source, and to open up new application areas.

Osram GmbH will be present at Stand B50 in Hall 2.0 at Light+Building 2006.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

led light: Debt Problems - How to Face Your Families And Friends

One of the most important things that you can do to help yourself when you are in a financial crisis is to keep a positive attitude.

Whether you are in debts because of your poor money management skills, family member health problems or unexpected job lose. You need to keep your head high and face everybody.

Don't hide at home, shun meeting your friends and change your mobile or house phone number just to avoid your friends and families. Understand that getting down on yourself is not going to help things. It can't help clear your debts, furthermore you risk losing your life.

A person's self esteem preside over the way he presents himself to the world. If you can keep a good outlook of yourself, others will be able to see it in similar fashion.

Feeling sorry for yourself and not daring to face your debt problems will only make matter worse and usually led to families and friends shunning you for fear that you will not borrow money from them - even if you do not intend to.

Maintaining positive and not hiding from your debt problems is vital to help you get out of your debts. Having the courage to admit that you are in debt and that you are in the mist of finding solution to the problems will prove to people that you are both positive and responsible. Family and friends will look at you with admiration and respect rather than pity and will see you in a different light.

To tide over your financial crisis, understand that everyone face one obstacles or another in life. It is not embarrassing to be caught up in debts. Some more, it might not even be your fault. Use this chance instead to learn your lesson, improve your money management and budgeting skills. These skills when gain knowledge of stay with you for life.

It is not difficult to see that most people who maintain a positive attitude when in debts tend to get back to debt-free life faster.

If you are one who always feel sorry for yourself - Stop thinking in that manner now. Pick yourself and pluck up the courage to face your debt problems.

Moses Wright is the webmaster of Bulletpedia.com. He provides more helpful information on debt and bill consolidation tips, personal finance credit help and personal finance loan help that you can research in the comfort of your home on his web

led light: Brighten Your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

Poets have written many a verse about inspirational and enigmatic smiles. The elusive "perfect smile", which has in past generations been limited to the luck of genetics, is now available to everyone. Cosmetic dentistry has removed all barriers to ownership of dazzling smiles. As more and more men and women get more conscious about their smile, cosmetic dentists are offering increasingly varied services.

Whether a childhood fall that led to chipping off of that incisor, those gallons of black coffee devoured while burning midnight oil, or the once 32 dwindling in numbers due to a parasite invasion popularly called 'cavities' - everything can be corrected with one (or several) swooshes of the cosmetic dentist's wand. But remember that it isn't always cheap. Depending on the procedure, you may feel your pocket lighter by one to several thousand dollars.

Some of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures include bonding of front teeth, whitening of yellow teeth, and using tooth-colored fillings, which almost blend in with the natural color of teeth. However there are still many more that exist. So, here is a list of some key cosmetic dental procedures that can help your smile dazzle:

Bleaching or whitening - Both the enamel and the underlying tooth structure (the dentine) are not impervious to stains, and often yellow over time. Bleaching is a popular method for treating moderately stained or discolored teeth. Here the dentist makes a mold of your teeth to make a custom 'mouthtray'. This 'mouthtray' is filled with bleaching material and is pressed against the tooth surface without letting it come in contact with the gum tissue. The tray is generally worn for up to 2 hours a day. A noticeable improvement can be seen within 2 weeks.

Bonding - Here the dentist 'bonds' a tooth colored resin onto the tooth in order to repair a fractured or worn or chipped tooth. This process can also cover up a discoloration on a tooth, or close a small space or gap between two teeth. The dentist coats the tooth with a bonding liquid and then shines a light on the tooth to set it. All this is done after he prepares the tooth by etching it. A putty-like material is then placed on the tooth which is then made into the desired shape. A trim and polish later, the end product is ready to steal a heart. And the best part is that it will be 3 to 5 years before the bonding may need to be repaired.

Veneering - Porcelain laminate veneers do the same job as bonding does, only it is a stronger way to repair a broken tooth. Veneering can also cover up discoloration and even change the shape or size of your teeth. The process comes with the advantage that the luster will not be lost.

Recontouring uneven teeth - This is basically a procedure to reshape an uneven tooth so that it's a better match with the entire set.

Braces - Braces are a very common method of changing one's appearance. An orthodontist who is involved with diagnosis, prevention and treatment of problems caused by poorly positioned teeth prepares and attaches the braces. These braces come as fixed or removable appliances. The idea is to use this appliance to gently move the teeth and bone until they are in a desirable position. The process may take anywhere between 18 months to 30 months (or sometimes even longer) for the desired result.

Mary Logden recommends that you visit Dr. Andrea Ubhi's site for more information about cosmetic dentistry.

led light: Camping Tips

Camping is essentially for those of us who love the outdoors and can do without all of the comforts of home for a short while. However, just loving the outdoors is not enough to guarantee that the experience will be a fun one. The essentials of having fun in the great outdoors are preparation and an open mind. Preparation is easy, if you follow some simple rules.

When you are getting ready to plan a trip, you must select a convenient time that will give you flexibility of one to two days. This will make the trip more about you, and less about your timetable. You may run into weather problems or you may just want to camp for an extra day. Next, choose a location and make it specific. Don't just choose a county where you saw a campground. Call the campground or the park office and get reservations or information about the time you have allotted. Many parks are happy give you information and tips about what to expect. The most complicated step in preparation is making a list of what to bring. Making a list is essential and your list will change dramatically the more you trips you take.

The first thing you need to put on your list of things to take is the things that will get you there. If you are hiking to a campsite, list the number of backpacks. If you are simply driving to a site, list the number of cars. Then you must plan your shelter and sleeping situation.

Remember, tents are a luxury and heavy to carry. Hikers usually bring a plastic tarp that can shelter up to four people. With a tarp, you can tie it between trees for cover from the elements. Many time you won't even need that but you can always lay the tarp on the ground to designate a clean sleeping area. After this has been set, you will go over what food you will need. We stress need here. Stray from fresh produce and meets because they spoil easy and their scent attracts animals and insects. Stick to dried food and canned items. Canned items will add weight, but they are more calorie rich and very easy to cook in multiple situations. Most of your food should be snacks, so that you don't have to cook very much. Trail mix and yogurt covered raisins will fill you up more than you think, and they are a cheap alternative to buying food from camping stores that hike up the price on dried meals.

The last things you will put on your list are what will make you comfortable. Minimal clothing is best. One of each type of outfit is best. One pair of shorts, pants, sweatshirt, tee, and a couple pairs of undergarments including socks is enough. One poncho will take up minimal space. Small LED flash lights will get you around at night if you stray from the fire. Then make sure you have some things to keep you busy. Books, playing cards and a nerf football are all light and can be very entertaining for hours on end. As long as you don't start dragging along things that aren't meant for the outdoors, you should be fine. Remember that everything will be at home when you get back. Most importantly make a not of the things you didn't use and the things you wished you brought. That will make each trip you take more enjoyable and different than the last.

More great information on camping is available at http://www.best-camping-resources.info

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Journey Never Ends

Never cut your musical journey short! Use your Creative MP3 Players to listen to your favorite songs while driving in your car or listening to your home stereo system. Belkin TuneCast II Mobile FM Transmitter wirelessly connects Creative portable media players to your car or home stereo system.
The included car power adapter lets you plug in your TuneCast for continuous hours of listening to your music library during those long commutes or spontaneous roadtrips.

In your home, tune the stereo in your living room, backyard or kitchen to the FM transmitter for a surround sound party.

(C) 2006 Creative Technology Ltd. All rights reserved.

led light: Inside the outdoors

When Ben Henry was 15, he invented the Pak-Lite, a twin LED flashlight about the size of two sugar cubes. It snaps onto a 9-volt battery to create one of the smallest, longest-lasting and handiest lights you'll ever own.

Henry's first rendition was a single LED light that used an old cell phone battery for power and a 35-millimeter film canister. He came up with it for his brother Barclay, who wanted a super-small flashlight for a 2,600-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

With standard batteries, commercial versions run from $13 for the basic model to about $25 for the super model I've been testing for several weeks. A lithium battery costs about $5 more.

With a lithium battery, the super model runs 100 hours on high beam and 1,200 on low, Henry said. With a standard battery, the times are 30 hours on high, 60 on low. I've been using the super model with lithium batteries, and Henry seems to be right on.

The Pak-Lite also worked underwater when I was steelhead fishing, although it sometimes continues to glow when it's turned off. The fix for that is to unsnap it from the battery until it dries out, or what some West Coast scuba divers have done -- put it in a condom and tie off the end.

It's not surprising that Henry invented something like this. He, his brother and their parents, Vic and Sheila, live near Grants Pass, Ore., eight miles from the nearest electrical line. They make their own power with a hydroelectric system and solar panels.

The Pak-Lite became enormously popular with U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq and rescue workers after Hurricane Katrina. While word-of-mouth has spread its fame, it still doesn't have much retail distribution outside of Oregon.

In the meantime, it's available at www.9voltlight.com or by calling 541-660-0349.

By Eric Sharp

led light: Limited edition Nissan collection available across GCC

In keeping with its promise to provide the best to its customers and huge enthusiast base in the GCC, Nissan Middle East in collaboration with its National Sales Companies in the region are offering showroom visitors the opportunity to get their hands on limited edition Nissan branded lifestyle items.

Named the 'Nissan Collection' these limited edition items include officially branded shirts, jackets, a multipurpose bag, special sporty key chain, Nissan mug, high intensity clip-on LED light, optical mouse, memory stick, Nissan survival kit pouch, and a die cast miniature model of the legendary 350Z.

'All of our Nissan Collection branded items are a celebration of the Nissan brand and are only available through our National Sales Companies showrooms,'

said Monal Zeidan, Senior Manager, Marketing & Corporate Communications Departments, Nissan Middle East. 'These items would make a great gift for any Nissan enthusiast. The fact that they are limited edition items makes them even more desirable.'

The items will be available directly at Nissan showrooms throughout the region.


led light: 'Free' Unlimited Energy Source Developed That Draws
Power From Environment

An alternative electric power generating system that draws energy from a seemingly unlikely yet abundant, eminently renewable and virtually free power source has been submitted for patenting by MagCap Engineering, LLC, Canton, Mass., in collaboration with Gordon W. Wadle, an inventor from Thomson, Ill.

Wadle has invented a way to capture the energy generated by a living nonanimal organism - such as a tree. Chris Lagadinos, president of MagCap, developed circuitry that converts this natural energy source into useable DC power capable of sustaining a continuous current to charge and maintain a battery at full charge.

"As unbelievable as it sounds, we've been able to demonstrate the feasibility of generating electricity in this manner," said Wadle. "While the development is in its infancy, it has the potential to provide an unlimited supply of constant, clean energy without relying on fossil fuels, a power generating plant complex or an elaborate transmission network."

The developers now intend to establish a collaborative agreement with a company, academic institution or potential investors who can help finance the additional research and development necessary to take the invention to the next level - a practical, commercially viable power generating system.

Wadle likened the invention to the discovery of electricity over 200 years ago when charged particles were harnessed to create an electric current. "Now we've learned that there is an immense, inexhaustible source of energy literally all around us that can be harnessed and converted into usable electric power," he said. Ultimately, it should prove to be more practical than solar energy or wind power, and certainly more affordable than fuel cells, he added.

Wadle said he got the original idea of harnessing a tree for electrical energy from studying lightening, more than 50 percent of which originates from the ground. This prompted him to develop the theories resulting in a method to access this power source. Lagadinos then designed circuitry that filtered and amplified these energy emanations, creating a useable power source.

Basically, the existing system includes a metal rod embedded in the tree, a grounding rod driven into the ground, and the connecting circuitry, which filters and boosts the power output sufficient to charge a battery. In its current experimental configuration, the demonstration system produces 2.1 volts, enough to continuously maintain a full charge in a nickel cadmium battery attached to an LED light.

"Think of the environment as a battery, in this case," said Lagadinos, "with the tree as the positive pole and the grounding rod as the negative." Near term - by June 2006 - and with additional research and development, Lagadinos said the system could be enhanced enough to generate 12 volts and one amp of power, "a desirable power level that could be used to power just about anything," he said. It is enough power to charge batteries for any type of vehicle, including hybrids and electric cars, or to use with an AC converter to produce household power, he added.

The LED industry is a prime example of a potential user of this power source. Other applications would be to provide power for signs, security lights, street, park and hiking trail lights, surveillance or sensor equipment - any application that heretofore couldn't be serviced because it lay beyond the hard-wired power grid.

Government agencies and the military could find the system especially useful because the power is basically free, unlimited and can be produced in remote locations. MagCap is now seeking to establish a collaborative relationship with a third party, explained Lagadinos and Wadle. This is a step that could not be taken until proper patent protection was applied for.

A patent application for this pioneering invention was filed in December by the developers' patent counsel, Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., Boston, Mass.

While the basic concept of this invention - using a tree to generate electric power - seems too incredible to be true, Lagadinos said it can be demonstrated quite simply. "Simply drive an aluminum roofing nail through the bark and into the wood of a tree - any tree - approximately one half inch; drive a copper water pipe six or seven inches into the ground, then get a standard off-the-shelf digital volt meter and attach one probe to the pipe, the other to the nail and you'll get a reading of anywhere from 0.8 to 1.2 volts of DC power," he said.

"You can't do anything with it in that form because it is 'dirty' - i.e. highly unstable and too weak to power anything," he added. In order to properly harness this potential energy source, MagCap devised two test circuits: one with three capacitors that were connected in parallel by means of a switch and charged to 0.7 volts each. When fully charged they are switched to a series mode, multiplying the voltage to 2.1 volts and flashing an LED to show that sufficient power could be generated to produce a useable result. The second circuit included a filtering device to stabilize and "clean" the current so it could be used to charge and maintain a NiCad battery. The battery then could be connected to the LED to keep the LED lit continuously.

Wadle pointed out that there seems to be no limit to the amount of power that can be drawn from an individual tree, no matter how many "taps" are inserted - each produces the same amount of energy, an average of 0.7 - 0.8 volts. Size of the tree also seems not to matter.

Interestingly, while conventional wisdom would seem to indicate that the tree draws much of its energy from photosynthesis via its leaves, the voltage output actually increases to 1.2-1.3 volts in the winter after the leaves have fallen.

Headquartered in Canton, Mass., MagCap Engineering, L.L.C. is a leading custom designer and manufacturer of magnetics of all sizes for the broadcast, telecommunication, microwave, military, defense and energy industries.

On the Web

MagCap Engineering, L.L.C.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

led light: My kingdom for a beep-free day

Christian Giggenbach
This Side of The Fence

Many people hail the new-fangled, high-tech products these days as an efficient way to deal with a modern society. Anything with batteries or an electric cord is bound to have a red LED light and make some type of beeping noise. With so many things beeping, it’s hard to tell what’s yours and what’s your neighbor’s.

Even my lap top computer takes voice commands — except for “help!” — and it talks to me by proclaiming the time of the day every 15 minutes. However, I’ve yet to be able to program it to sing my faithful dog Malachai a bedtime lullaby.

If you’re really bored today and your boss isn’t watching, try counting every device that you come across that either beeps or has a red light on it.

I do appreciate the red lights on newer cell phones designed to tell unsuspecting idiots someone is on a call. It works well the other way around, too. If you see someone you don’t particularly want to talk to, just pop the phone up to your ear and point to the red light when they try to make small talk. A lot of people I approach have their cell phone to their ears for some reason.

Do all of these so-called high tech products really make us better off? I don’t think so.

How did we manage during yesteryear when the only thing electronic was an odd game called Pong and the only thing that beeped was an open car door? Most people over 40 years of age are laughing at that last statement because they probably had to deal with cars that didn’t even have doors. No hate mail please.

Take for instance the common everyday convenience store rest room. While most are dirtier than a Washington, D.C., lobbyist, I recently came across one which was fairly clean, but still gave me the heebie-jeebies.

The odd thing about this rest room was that everything in it was activated by infrared sensors. Well, almost everything.

You didn’t need to flush the toilet because it did it on its own when you got up. Be careful not to lean forward when sitting on one of these contraptions or it will likely double as a bidet. The sink was also activated this way, and the hand towel machine too.

The only device not remotely controlled was the toilet paper dispenser. One might think in the germophobic society we live in, that would be the first restroom amenity which would go infrared. Expecting it was like all the other devices in the rest room, I spent five minutes passing my hand over and under the toilet paper expecting it to roll out like magic, but to no avail.

Then I got up to wash my hands only to find that no water would come out of the faucet. Leaving my toolbox at home, I was unable to disconnect any of the plumbing underneath the sink in an effort to wash my hands.

I thought I would at least be able wipe my hand off on some paper towels, but it wasn’t working either. In fact, I never even heard the toilet flush. How’s that for a modern society?

Nothing in the bathroom worked at all and I blame it on technology. A good sturdy paper dispenser made out of plastic with a metal handle could operate in good form for hundreds of years. Sinks are still operational from the turn of the century, yet there I stood in the modern day bathroom with unwashed hands while smelling an indescribable odor.

The best public bathroom in Greenbrier County is by far the one at Lewisburg City Hall. There’s no fancy-schmancy infrared crap on every fixture. Lewisburg must maintain its historical cultural heritage, right? For that matter, Lewisburg should actually have an outhouse as its city hall rest room. I think I will talk to the historical commission about that one. Just call it a tourist attraction. Anyone fined for vandalism in the city has to clean it out. Works for me.

The restrooms at The Greenbrier are world class and it makes you feel bad to even touch anything in them. No paper towels in the main dining room ones, just soft, plush towels that don’t readily fit inside a jacket pocket. Those bathrooms really make a fella feel important.

Carpe Diem, everybody, and may your day be beep-free.

— Christian is a Register-Herald reporter who doesn’t own an Xbox.

E-mail: cgiggenbach@register-herald.com

led light: Lamina's Atlas LED light engines challenge other light sources

Lamina says its latest line of LED light engines will challenge halogen, tungsten-filament and fluorescent lamps.

Atlas Warm White
Lamina Ceramics plans to introduce a new line of ultra-bright LED light engines at the 2006 Light+Building show in Frankfurt, Germany, including a record-setting warm white model designed to replace halogen and tungsten filament competitors and a powerful "daylight white" model designed to replace fluorescents.

The new Atlas line has an identical footprint to the company's BL-4000 line, but is up to twice as bright.

The Atlas Warm White produces more than 100 lumens, and its enhanced red and orange color spectrum provides light output similar to a 10-watt halogen bulb while using little more than half the power and lasting 3-4 times as long.

"As lighting designers know, cool white light, while perfect for many applications such as office lighting, is generally not welcome for illuminating the more intimate interior spaces of home and leisure – most people prefer a warmer light for reading, desk illumination and dining," said David McConaghy, Lamina's vice president of sales.

Lamina says that its Atlas Daylight White "rivals the quality of natural sunlight", and is designed for many architectural and office lighting applications, task lamps, machine vision and high-powered flashlights. It has an output of more than 200 lumens and is a "drop-in" upgrade for the company's BL-4000 LED light engine.

The Atlas RGB+ LED light engine has 3 independently controlled input/output channels (red, green and blue) and can produce any of 16 million saturated and blended colors, including white with variable color temperature.

"We developed our Atlas LED light engines by listening to the wants and needs of customers," said McConaghy. "Lamina's Atlas line pushes solid state lighting to center stage by making possible applications which until now could only be accomplished with traditional lighting sources, and by creating many entirely new lighting opportunities."

Product samples are available immediately, and production volume manufacturing begins in early June 2006.

Lamina CEO leaving to form new LED venture

Lamina has announced that CEO Taylor Adair will be leaving the company this summer to found a new solid-state lighting venture. Company board chairman Greg Blonder said "Under Taylor's leadership Lamina has established itself as the premier supplier of ultra-bright LED light sources. Our soon-to-be-announced new product releases will further extend our lead."

Adair said, "Lamina is extremely well positioned to continue providing the brightest and easiest to use solid-state light sources. My next venture will depend upon the performance and availability of Lamina's light sources, so my interests now and going forward are very much aligned with the company's. In fact, I look forward to becoming one of Lamina's biggest customers."

Led light: LEDtronics Announces White Inter-Connectable LED Light Strips

LEDtronics announces Series STP50XC Super White Inter-Connectable 5mm LED Light Strips that may be used alone or connected to one another, making it easy to configure lighting solutions for channel, reverse-channel letters, signs, displays, under-the-counter, cove lighting, desk, workbench, and architectural applications.
Available in lengths of 6, 12, and 24 in., STP50XC Super White Inter-Connectable LED Light Strips feature 5 mm Dome LEDs in 7,000 and 3,000 K. Each module has double-ended connector harness for daisy-chain assembly, and pre-applied strip of double-sided foam tape for peel and stick placement. The 7,000 K versions provide 54-270 lumens, 202-1012 ftc, with viewing angles of 15°, while 3000 K models emit 70-351 ftc, 32-162 lumens at 20° viewing angles.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Hot wired: Projecting the real thing

If ever there was a week in our national cinematic history when big was truly beautiful, and the grandeur of the cinema experience made imperative sense, then this is it.

There are several aspects of the home entertainment equation where size can be exploited to good advantage. Big amplifiers and matching speakers can make for a big sound, big amounts of digital storage mean a big stay-at-home choice, and a big room and big couches make for big comfort.

But when it comes to home theatre, the real King Kong piece of kit is the big screen.

Although plasma and LCD television manufacturers are constantly expanding their dimensional boundaries, if you want that cinematic experience at home then you need to be talking about projecting your images - projecting them on to a screen just like a movie theatre.

Some will say the off-white lounge wall works just fine as a screen and you hardly notice the light switch.

On the other side of the wallet are those who argue that $5000 for a home projection screen is money well spent.

And if you want the Rolls-Royce self-masking 100-inch motorised Stewart Filmscreen you should have a spare $25,000 or more.

Such extravagances are not for you or me, but you'll get the picture - there is more to projector screen technology than meets the eye.

Professional screens provide much more than a flat surface for your picture. They improve the image to the extent that a mediocre projector can be made to look good with a quality screen. A good screen will enhance picture brightness and contrast and extend the viewing angle width, which means more people get a good look.

If you have a $5000 television budget then get a $3500 projector and spend the rest on the screen. That sounds a lot but it will still be working just as well in 15 years - when you are on to your fifth projector.

The most obvious criticism of the projector-screen TV option is that they need a completely dark room if you do want that true home theatre experience - but with today's screen materials a full blackout is not essential. Some specialist screens have a slightly concave shape that works admirably in fully lit areas.

If the room has some ambient light there are grey-coloured screens that provide a better picture than white ones.

Screens can be permanently fixed to the wall or designed to drop down from the ceiling.

A black border around the screen mops up light spillage and focuses the eye.

Copyright © 2006, APN Holdings NZ Ltd

Thursday, May 11, 2006

led light: Global Pet Expo 2006 New Product Showcase Best in Show Award

NAPERVILLE, Ill., April 17 /PRNewswire/ -- PolyBrite International ("PolyBrite"), a manufacturer of lighted safety products, LED lighting systems, and LED light bulbs, today announced winning 3rd place in the Dog Category for the New Product Showcase Best in Show award at the Global Pet Expo 2006.

"PolyBrite debuted an assortment of lighted dog collar covers that Velcro(TM) around a dogs existing collar, harness or leash at The Global Pet Expo 2006 in San Diego," said Richard Brenner, Senior Vice President. "It is a real honor to be named one of the Best in Show, judged by national and international industry buyers with nearly 700 new pet products in the showcase."

The new PolyBrite collar covers are lighted by using PolyBrite's patented polymer/LED technology and are offered in various designs for year round use in red (hearts), green (trees), yellow (smiley faces), plain colors and various holiday designs.

All PolyBrite collar covers have a three-function button switch, which provides an off, steady and flashing mode. Using a standard lithium watch battery, PolyBrite(TM) lighted collar covers have the ability to provide illumination for up to 200 hours in the flashing mode.

PolyBrite International is located in Naperville, Illinois. The Company provides a highly visible lighting technology that is incorporated into a variety of innovative applications. PolyBrite's safety products can be purchased through numerous distributors and retail stores worldwide. For more information or samples visit http://www.polybrite.com/ or call toll free 1-800-320-3801.

Website: http://www.polybrite.com/

led light: New sealed backlight LED modules

LEDtronics announces StringLED Series STP301S Super Intensity Backlight LED Modules, a new addition to its line of module LED light strips. StringLED modules are easy to configure and may be employed for countless proposes such as lighting channel and reverse-channel letters, signs, displays, under-the-counter lighting, architectural applications, emergency exit lighting and entertainment venues.

StringLED modules eliminate many of the shortcomings of neon or fluorescent lamps such as heat, broken tubes and ballast failures. Modules may be used alone or in quantities of up to 100 units. Each StringLED module contains four sealed super-bright, wide-angle SpiderLEDs to produce vivid illumination. Colors available are Green, White, Blue, Yellow and Red. Module dimensions are 1.17"L x 0.90"W x 0.50"H.

Sealed weather-resistant construction makes these lights suitable for indoor and outdoor applications. The impermeable construction and insulated wires prevent moisture and dust from entering the housing and affecting the electronics. The hard-wired connection between LED modules results in outstanding reliability in outdoor applications. StringLED modules are easy to install. Each module may be fastened to a surface with either double-sided tape or with two screws per module. Mounting hardware is not included. StringLED comes standard in 12V DC and requires a 12V regulated power source.


led light: Vigor Force Recon LE

Vigor Gaming, which opened shop in 2005, is new both to us and to the market; the company recently sent us its Force Recon LE ($3,499 direct, $2,499 without monitor) gaming system. This high-octane hot rod is an interesting (and less expensive) alternative to the monster high-end gaming PCs from other boutique system builders, such as Voodoo and Falcon NW. The unit has the flash—automotive-style paint job, LED lighting, and LCD info panel—and it has a benefit that the other system builders don't: a less than stratospheric price. To be sure, $2,500 without monitor is a lot of money for a computer, but that sum buys you access to performance levels that until recently cost more than $5,000. Like most high-end specialized gaming systems, the Force Recon is for the well-heeled gamer who doesn't want to build his own PC.

As with many glossy auto-style-painted PCs, the Force Recon's red case coating is easily scratched, so treat it carefully. The system's enclosure, however, is about as tall as the Falcon Mach V's case, which gives you a hint about the amount of room found in the chassis. The inside of the case is voluminous, with space for six additional hard drives and the two preinstalled 512MB GeForce 7800 GTX graphics cards. The case door is windowed, with a full view of the inside. Though not quite as pretty as some of the competition, the Vigor's wiring is neatly coiled and tie-wrapped out of the way to help with airflow. That's a good thing, since inside, I found three large case fans, the usual fans that cool the power supply and graphics cards, and even more fans in the faceplates to cool the hard drives. Needless to say, the Force Recon is a little loud. The CPU fan is also large and lit; it is needed because the system's AMD Athlon 64 4000+ is, for added performance, overclocked from the stock 2.4 GHz to 2.8 GHz.

There is a neat "racetrack" LED light fixture on the bottom of the case that calls to mind the flashing neon on the bottom of a tricked-out street racer. Other notable features include an LCD panel that shows the temperature of the CPU and amount of time in operation. There's a depiction of a stick figure digging a trench to indicate that the system is "doing work." It's kind of gimmicky, but the panel sets the Force Recon apart from other gaming PCs. All in all, I think the Force Recon is a little showy, but hardcore gamers may eat up the attention that the system draws (let's hope those gamers also have the skills to live up to the system's hype).

The Force Recon is built around an incredibly potent dual SLI nVidia GeForce 7800 GTX graphics card system, which accounts for $1,000 of the system price. These graphics cards virtually guarantee rates of better than 100 frames per second on the games I test such as Doom 3 and Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory, even at up to 1,600-by-1,200 resolution. The components are also capable of driving huge 30-inch dual-DVI widescreen LCD monitors. Even at 1,600-by-1,200 (the maximum for 20-inch LCDs and most CRTs), game play is smooth and stutter-free, even when I turn up the eye candy.

Compared with FX-60 SLI systems such as the Velocity Micro Raptor 64 DualX and the Falcon Northwest Mach V, the Force Recon gives a better bang for the buck. It achieves some of that savings by using a single-core Athlon 64 4000+ processor instead of the top-of-the-line dual-core FX-60, but for gaming performance today, either processor is overkill. In the future games will be multithreaded, taking advantage of the dual-core processors, but so far, these games are still in development. The Force Recon isn't the class leader on the benchmark tests, but it is within spitting distance of the top. The Raptor64 and Mach V are better choices if you also plan to use the system as a project PC for demanding video editing or graphics work, but all the machines are in the same league for gaming.

You could call the Vigor Force Recon a bargain among the high-end gaming PCs. It skirts the price categories between high-end multimedia and "take no prisoners" gaming systems, but it is definitely a high-performance gaming desktop. With 100+ fps scores on all our game tests, the Force Recon practically drops victory in your hands—that is, as long as you bring the skill to match the speed.

To see how the Vigor Force Recon LE matches up to other gaming systems, look at our desktop comparison chart.

Benchmark Test Results
Check out the Vigor Force Recon LE's test results.

More Desktop Reviews:

Copyright © 2006 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

led light: THE INSIDE SCOOP Changes in store for Chandon's restaurant

Long known for its role in changing Napa Valley dining -- way before French Laundry garnered worldwide press -- the restaurant at Domaine Chandon (1 California Drive, Yountville) has gone through a handful of great chefs and a few facelifts.

In June 2004, San Francisco designer Michael Brennan redid the interior, and Ron Boyd had just become executive chef. Now, less than two years later, the restaurant will get a new look -- and name -- while Chris Manning is getting into his groove in the kitchen.

On June 1, the restaurant will become Etoile, meaning "star" in French. It's also the name of Domaine Chandon's signature sparkling wine. The interior will be redone by San Francisco's Puccini Group to create a more dramatic feel.

The wine bar will be converted into an intimate lounge, with comfortable couches, tree stumps for tables and a menu filled with dishes to share. During the day, Manning will offer picnic lunches and blankets for customers to take outside.

The main dining room will be recast in tones of mocha, ebony, dark olive and gold and new dramatic chandeliers will add a focal point.

The restaurant has always allowed chefs to flex a culinary muscle or two, as long as the food matched the wines. The menu has gone through dramatic changes, from California-French under the 20-year veteran Philippe Jeanty to an Asian-tinged California style with Ron Boyd, who left in September.

Manning, who was sous chef under Boyd, has created his own play on California style with flavors from the Mediterranean. He's serving dramatic combinations, such as Alaskan halibut with forbidden rice, chorizo, manila clams and saffron foam; and broiled Quilcene oysters with Serrano ham and shallot butter.

The restaurant will stay open during the remodel.

-- -- --

San Francisco's Castro district, being the nightspot area it is, can never have too many dining choices. As of June 1, there should be one more. The owners of the nightclub The Cafe, who wish to remain anonymous, are opening Crave (2367 Market St., near Castro) with executive chef Matthew DuTrumble and general manager Louis Caputo running the show.

The menu will be updated American comfort food, which seems to be a big hit in the area based on the lines at nearby Lime (2247 Market St., near 15th Street).

Look for dishes like caviar-topped potato chips, duck confit tostadas with a house-made hot sauce and baby back ribs with a smoky Seagram and 7Up barbecue sauce. Everything will be shared plates, and DuTrumble's idea is to create a cool space where people can start or end an evening, without breaking the bank or overfilling their stomachs. Dishes will cost $4-$12.

The vibe is geared to be very Castro, with an arty modular ceiling and onyx backlit bar with stainless steel wrapping. The two levels will include an upstairs lounge with ottomans, low tables and a DJ; and downstairs seating for 50 and a bar. The piece de resistance is the LED light system that changes the color and mood of the room. Then again, it might be the unisex bathroom.

Crave will be open nightly, and will serve until 3 a.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

-- -- --

Quick Bites: Joel Guillon is now the corporate chef for Left Bank restaurants. Guillon was cooking at the Argent Hotel (50 Third St., near Mission) for over 20 years, and started his new role about two weeks ago. He'll be updating the menus and looking to put standards into place throughout all five locations.

Shana Dilworth takes over as the new sommelier at Campton Place (340 Stockton St., near Post) today. Dilworth was most recently an assistant general manager and sommelier at Jardiniere (300 Grove St., at Franklin), and replaces John Ragan, who followed chef Daniel Humm to New York.

Patricia Donaghy-Taan is now pastry chef at Dry Creek Kitchen (317 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg). She was at Equus (101 Fountain Grove Pkwy) in Santa Rosa before.

She started a couple of months ago and really has her menu in place with dishes like raspberry sponge mousse with pistachio anglaise.

E-mail comments to her at aberne@sfchronicle.com.

Amanda Berne

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

led light: Transformit Receives Best Booth Award at GlobalShop

5/3/2006 - Transformit was awarded the Best Booth Award of Merit at The Visual Merchandising Show at GlobalShop. The award was presented by VM+SD magazine.

The Transformit exhibit paired frames from its Dynamics collection of ready-made tension fabric structures with high-resolution digital graphics on translucent mesh. By using three layers of fabric and LED light that circled through the color spectrum, Transformit illustrated the ethereal effects that the Dynamics can be used to produce.

Several areas of the exhibit used reflective fabrics to illustrate that effect, while other areas used a combination of translucent and opaque surfaces to create a shadowing effect.

GlobalShop was held March 26-28, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

For more, go to www.transformitdesign.com.

led light: With eye on health, AU Optronics boosts R&D prowess

Dan Nystedt, IDG News Service

26/04/2006 10:12:57

AU Optronics, the world's third largest LCD (liquid crystal display) screen maker, will increase by half-again the number of research and development engineers it currently staffs through the purchase of rival Quanta Display, and add them to scores of workers already engaged in improving picture quality and keeping user's eyes healthy.

The company currently employs 1,000 engineers to develop electronic screens with more vibrant colors and sharper images, and it will add another 500 such engineers from Quanta once the acquisition has been completed, said CT Liu, vice president of AU Optronics' technology center, in an interview with IDG News Service in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Earlier this month, AU announced the US$2.2 billion deal, which will transform AU from a distant threat to its main competitors in South Korea to one of the LCD industry's largest companies. The transaction is expected to close later this year.

The researchers from Quanta will be added to teams of AU engineers already hard at work on a range of visual technologies and production techniques, including LED (light emitting diodes) and OLED (organic light emitting diodes) displays, and more importantly, on improving image processing and color science.

"To most consumers, it doesn't matter if its OLED or LED light," Liu said. "What's more important is picture quality."

The search for the perfect picture has led researchers down dozens of paths, but what actually ends up on store shelves usually comes down to picture quality plus cost considerations. How much will users pay for the best possible picture?

The answer usually depends on how important vivid pictures are to the user. For example, LED backlights for LCD screens greatly increase color saturation and the vividness of a picture. The improved quality has specialists such as designers or people who do simulation work on their PCs demanding LED backlights in larger sized LCD screens, even 23-inch to 32-inch. But they pay for the boost in quality, usually double or triple the cost of a regular LCD-TV of the same size, according to Liu.

More important to picture quality than the type of screen is image processing and color science, Liu said. Image processing includes ensuring the liquid crystal responds fast enough to image changes, enhancing the signal and improving light sources for more vivid colors.

Building devices to enhance viewing pleasure also involves paying careful attention to the human eye. The flicker of a CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitor does more damage to the eyes than LCD screens for users working long days on a PC. But even though LCDs offer an improvement, researchers continue to seek ways to reduce wear and tear on the eyes.

Brightness can also be a problem for eye heath, Liu said. The picture of an LCD-TV, or any TV, is brighter because it makes the overall picture nicer for viewing movies and sitcoms. But it's more damaging to the eye, which is why desktop monitors and laptop screens aren't as bright.

Although AU doesn't actually employ any eye specialists, it does hire consultants and experts to give talks to its research engineers. And the company keeps information about eye health on hand for reference.

"We are making a device that is a visual device," Liu said. "We can't afford not to learn about [the eye]."

Monday, May 08, 2006

led light: LED Light Strips

Series STP30XC Super White Hi-Flux LED Light Strips can be used alone or can be connected to one another, making it easy to configure lighting solutions, says maker. Each model uses LEDs rated at 7,500 kelvins to provide cool white light with a viewing angle of 85 degrees. The 6-inch STP306 features six LED lights, uses 0.72 watts and provides 29 lumens. The 12-inch STP312 employs 12 LED lights, uses 1.62 watts and provides 65 lumens. The 24-inch STP324 has 24 LED lights, uses 2.88 watts and provides 115 lumens.

LEDtronics Inc.


led light: Clean Wisconsin provides easy tips on how to stay Green during the holidays

Kermit the Frog might think it's only natural to be green during the holiday season, and maybe you can too by making a couple of easy changes to reduce spending and waste. For many people the holidays signify stress and over-spending. This year you can take a couple of easy steps to enjoy the holidays more and reduce the impact on our environment. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, 5 million extra tons of trash are produced in the U.S., not to mention the extra energy used during this period. Below are some simple ideas on how to help you to remain green during the holidays.

Gifts Ideas:
1) Purchase gifts that are consumed like food, beverages, mixes, sweets.
2) Purchase recyclable gifts like books and magazine subscriptions.
3) Purchase consumable gifts like candles, natural body creams or soaps.
4) Purchase gift certificates to the person's favorite restaurant, book store or clothing store. You are giving twice with a certificate. Once when the person receives the certificate and again when they use it.
5) Give an "experience" like a massage, tickets to the theatre or music event, day at the spa, movie tickets, etc. This works for kids too. Kids love going to the movies or a music event. You could also share this experience and go with the person.
6) Purchase a membership to an environmental organization like Clean Wisconsin that helps the environment year round. (Visit www.CleanWisconsin.org or call 1-608-251-7020).
7) Get together instead of giving gifts. The holidays are a great time to spend time with friends and relatives. Instead of exchanging gifts, spend some quality time together.

Wrapping Ideas:
1) Buy recycled gift wrap. There are few options for recycled gift wrap, but www.smithandhawken.com has three varieties.
2) Make your own gift bags and reuse them.
3) Wrap gifts with brown grocery bags and decorate them. This is a great family activity. Kids love drawing, stamping, coloring, etc on the packages. Other materials could be used to wrap the gifts too - i.e. comics, newspaper, etc.
4) Reuse ribbons and bows.
5) Use your holiday cards from the previous year as gift tags for the current year. Cut portions of the cards out, hole punch and add ribbon. This could be a family activity.

Holiday Cards:
1) Purchase cards on recycled paper only.
2) Purchase cards with a purpose. Most charities sell holiday cards where part of the proceeds goes directly to the charity.
3) Make your own cards. Again this could be a great family activity - get the kids involved.
4) Send electronic cards to as many family and friends as possible. If Americans sent just one out of every ten holiday cards electronically, it would save over 30,000 trees.

1) Purchase your Christmas tree from a vendor that uses sustainable forest practices. Or buy a potted tree and plant it after the season.
2) Go artificial. It can be used year after year, doesn't leave a huge pile of needles on your carpet and it help protect our forests.
3) If you need to purchase new decorations for the tree this year, use biodegradable decorations like cranberries and popcorn.
4) Use compact fluorescent/ LED light bulbs. Or use small bulbs on outside lights. Smaller bulbs equal lower wattage which consumes less energy and gives off less heat, making the lights safer. Also purchase light strands that are wired in parallel which have separate circuitry. With separate circuitry if one bulb blows the other bulbs will continue to shine.
5) Use a timer on your outdoor and indoor lights.

The holidays are a great time of year. Most people are in such a mad rush to get things done, buy gifts and entertain that they don't take the time to enjoy the moments with friends and family. The holidays are meant to be enjoyed and with some thoughtful changes, you can create memories with your family and be a more environmental-friendly consumer. Being green isn't difficult during this holiday season. A couple of simple changes can help you reduce stress, create lasting family memories and protect our natural resources.

Clean Wisconsin, an environmental advocacy organization, protects Wisconsin's clean water and air and advocates for clean energy by being an effective voice in the state legislature and by holding elected officials and corporations accountable. Founded in 1970 as Wisconsin's Environmental Decade, Clean Wisconsin exposes corporate polluters, makes sure existing environmental laws are enforced, and educates citizens and businesses. On behalf of its 10,000 members and its coalition partners, Clean Wisconsin protects the special places that make Wisconsin such a wonderful place to live, work and play. Phone: 608-251-7020, Fax: 608-251-1655, Email: info@cleanwisconsin.org, Website: www.cleanwisconsin.org.

Rebecca is the Public Relations Manager for Clean Wisconsin. She has 10+ years of marketing, public relations and writing experience. www.cleanwisconsin.org

led light : Hiking Safety Checklist

Having made my share of mistakes in the wilderness over the years, I have compiled a list of gotcha's that can be applied to any outdoor adventure. I urge you to print this out and store with your outdoor gear. Hiking can be a most rewarding distraction from the daily grind, but safety should NEVER be taken for granted!


1) Plan your hike. You are more likely to have a safe and happy hike if you "plan your hike, and hike your plan". To rush out on a big hike w/o proper planning is asking for trouble! ALWAYS notify someone close to you where you will be and how long you will be gone.

2) Know your terrain. Use every resource available to get to know your hiking trail before you set out. This will prepare you for the walking conditions. "Are there streams to ford?, Elevation changes?, Is terrain rocky or smooth?", Just some of the questions that can be answered BEFORE you set out.

3) Know your climate. Hypothermia is real, dangerous, and misunderstood. Hypothermia can strike in relatively warm environments. Hypothermia plain and simple is a rapid cooling of the body. This can be caused by cold, wet or a combination of both. Hypothermia can easily be prevented with proper preparation.

In The Pack Essentials

1) Potable water. Always have fresh water available, on any excursion. It is also a good idea to bring along purification tablets and/or a filtration device. Having the ability to produce drinking water can be just as important as the water you pack in. I also bring along some protein snacks, just in case.

2) First Aid Kit. Although an obvious choice, it is surprising how many folks go in the wilderness without one. Items as simple as pain relief tablets can be a welcome addition when you are far from civilization. Other items are bandages, tweezers, moleskin, antiseptic, needle and thread (for repairs).

3) Fire and light source. Matches and a lighter are essentials for me. I usually pack along a small piece of commercial starter stick for quick fires in moist environments. I also pack a small conventional flashlight and an LED light, as well.

4) Clothing. It is always wise to pack some extra layers. The weight of these items will be dictated by the environment, err to the side of caution, as temps can fluctuate greatly, especially in mountainous environments. An extra pair of socks can be life savers.

5) Orienteering. Packing along a map and compass has gotten me out of a jam more than once. I also carry a cell phone, even though I may not get reception in most places, in a pinch, I may be able to get a call out.

The single most important item to pack on your next hike is common sense. Making sound decisions while on the trail will keep you out of most troubled situations. If you hike with your family members, especially children or seniors, remember that they may not have the stamina handle the same level hike as you, and you ultimately must make the right decision.

Forrest Treker is a path stomper from way back. Frequently blazing trails in the mountains of North Carolina. Join Forrest for a hiking good time at www.DiscountOutdoors.net!

led light: Hard drive crash prevention and recovery tips

Copyright 2006 Michael Cottier

The hard drive in our computers right now stores all of our data, and our computer could not function without it. There would be no World Wide Web, email or even an operating system without hard drives. Since hard drives are so important, a hard drive crash is without a doubt the biggest problem that someone could face on their computer.

Hard drive crashes can happen for many reasons, and usually the owner is not to blame. One reason your hard drive can crash is because of a hard ware problem. See your hard drive is a magnetic disc that spins and has an extended arm hovering over it, to access any area, and collect the data. If the motor overheats and stops spinning or the arm fails to function, then your hard drive will crash and not be accessible at all.

Another way for your hard drive to crash is from corrupt system files, registry files and viruses. Viruses come in many forms as spy ware, ad ware, in emails and many other places all over the web. I recommend a good virus protection program from McAfee or Norton to stop those viruses and prevent your hard drive from crashing.

Now let's say your hard drive has crashed, how do you determine the problem and can it be fixed? Well determining whether the hard drive crash is mechanical of software related is actually pretty easy. The flashing light on front of your computer case, that blinks when the computer is busy, is a good tool to determine the problem. If you see the LED light flashing, but the computer will not boot up, then most likely it is a software related problem, which means an operating system glitch or a virus of some sort. Lucky for you this usually can be fixed and all of your files can be saved, but I recommend only letting a professional try and fix it since the average person might find it to difficult unless they have experience in formatting hard drives.

Worst case scenario is if you don't see the LED light flashing in the front of your computer case, this means your hard drive has not activity which basically means it is a mechanical problem. A mechanical problem in your hard drive can be fixed, but I imagine it is pretty expensive. It is cheaper to get a new hard drive then to fix it, but of course if you have important data stored on the broken hard drive that you must get back, then you really have no choice but to have a professional fix it. You local computer store should have the expertise to repair it, but if not just ask them who can.

I should point out also though, that advanced hardware and software standards in today's hard drives tell you when your drive is about to crash and gives you time to back up your important files.

Overall, the best way to stop your hard drive from crashing is to not neglect it and take care of it. The most important care tip is to make sure you defragment your hard drive at least once a month. Your operating system should come with a defragmenting program that is easy to use. Performing a defragment on your hard drive basically takes your data and organizes it into more convenient places so that the mechanical arm can access data faster and with the least amount of movement.

Another way to protect your hard drive from crashes is to purchase a good virus scanner, preferably by McAfee or Norton, and keep protection tools enabled and perform a full system scan of every file on your hard drive once a month.

Some other minor precautions that you can take are to enforce a SPAM guard on your emails and delete your temporary internet files every once in awhile. You should also keep your operating system up to date by downloading updates for it as soon as they come out. Windows makes this easy, but I am not sure how easy other operating systems make this or if they even provide this option.

If you are a person who downloads a lot of files from the internet, then you need to exercise caution in what you choose to download, as hard drive crashes are commonly associated with faulty software from unknown sources on the net.

Of course the best way to save you a headache if a hard drive crash happens is to back up your data regularly. Data loss is the reason a hard drive crash is so hurtful, so if you back up your data daily or whenever you work on it, then if a crash happens you will have no sweat on your back. I recommend you save your files to a rewritable CD/DVD or floppy disc as soon as you get done working on it, especially if the data is business related.

Michael Cottier has upgraded and repaired hard drives for many years. Learn from his experience and do it yourself at: http://www.computer-customizing-guide.com/hard-drive-upgrade.html

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Led light: 2GB SWISS MEMORY USB Victorinox

I've had Swiss Army knives on my keychain for years, it's come in handy on many occasions. Recently I always seem to have a USB flash drive in my pocket too. When I received the SWISS MEMORY USB Victorinox drive from Swissbit it was obvious that combining the two was actually a very good idea. The Victorinox is compact, easy to use and brings the usefulness of the Swiss Arm tools. The USB drive comes in a variety of sizes from 128MB to 2GB and is a plug-n-play (unless Win 98) device and price points range from $50USD to $225USD respectively.

The Victorinox is small and compact given what it's trying to accomplish. The unit looks and feels very sturdy and would handle plenty of pocket abuse, keychain banging and those occasional across the counter-top tosses. The Victorinox has a snapping clasp at one end which holds the flash memory in place. The clasp prevents the USB memory stick from popping out at an undesirable time and provides an aid in retrieving the USB connector when ready for use. The pivot end of the clasp can also be detached from the main chassis of the enclosure so the USB thumb drive can be disconnected. Although the rotation of the USB stick does provide enough room for those tight USB ports we all know about, the ability to quickly and easily disconnect the flash memory all together is definitely a bonus...and Swissbit knows this as it's a patented technology.

The USB Victorinox comes with the classic tools needed for everyday use. The tools include scissors, filing blade with screwdriver head, 30mm knife, ball-point pen, red LED light, keychain loop and of course the USB flash memory stick. Swissbit does offer a non-tool version for airplane flight but this review doesn't cover that model. The product is 60mm x 18mm x 19mm and weighs about 1.35 ounces.

Though the Victorinox requires no drivers for the MAC or PC it does come preloaded with software. The Swissbit data SecureLOCK allows you to encrypt and decrypt files and folders. The first time you use SecureLOCK it will walk you through a username and password setup along with a reminder question in case you forget. Once there, the SecureLOCK provides you the flexibility to encrypt the entire drive, or create partitions where they are "public" or "private" areas. SecureLOCK also includes formatting software to clean up everything but the encryption utility region (software takes 488kb of memory out of a 2MB partition), a bootable disk feature and repair utility to check for bad blocks.

We did run into a small glitch, if the SecureLOCK icon in the desktop tray is closed it prevents the drive from being ejected. Signing back in and logging off didn't do the trick, but rather loggin in and using the Exit button of the software did.

Performance wise, the USB Victorinox is middle of the road. In our informal tests of the 2GB version, it took about 6 minutes to write a 400MB folder of mixed file types from our PC to the device. It took about 35 seconds to read the same data back to our PC, but of course results will vary depending on the system running the device and the types of files being transferred.

All in all, the SWISS MEMORY USB Victorinox is a good deal for the price. It comes packed with the traditional tools we love about Swiss Army along with a wide range of flash memory sizes to match a users' needs. The SecureLOCK encryption software is a plus and the read/write performance of SWISS MEMORY is right on par with other products available.

Gmo runs the GetUSB.info website which is a USB News and information website focused on USB products, USB gadgets and developments using the USB (Universal Serial Bus) technology.

permalink w/ images: 2GB Swiss Memory Victorinox Review

Led Light: Alternative Healing with Cold Lasers

Have you heard the buzz about using cold lasers for healing countless ailments? Cold lasers are being used by Doctors, Dentists, Acupuncturists, DO's, Oral Surgeons, Veterinarians, Chiropractors and the list goes on. Treatment with cold laser therapy is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing segments of alternative medicine.

The first cold lasers were used over 30 years ago. In Europe, Asia and Canada cold lasers have been used routinely for about 20 years and yet in America they are relatively new to mainstream medicine. Why is this? Just 3 short years ago the United States FDA started to give clearance to cold lasers for use in specific areas. For example the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS), neck and shoulder pain, and other pain treatment applications.

Additional names that are often used interchangeably with cold laser are: low level laser (LLT), photobiostimulation laser, photobiomodulation laser , biostimulating laser, bioregulating laser, soliton laser and soft laser. Until a consensus is reached, the two most important names to remember are cold laser and low level laser, which is often used interchangeably with low level laser therapy (LLLT).

Why is it called a cold laser? A laser that utilizes a diode that is 500 mW or less is called a cold laser because it does not produce enough thermal output to heat the tissue being treated. A variety of cold lasers are available on the market with different power outputs and different wavelengths. Common diode power outputs include: 5 mW, 30 mW, 50 mW, 100 mW, 200 mW and 500 mW. The higher the power output, generally the shorter the treatment. For a good selection of cold lasers offering a variety of power outputs visit http://quantum-healing-lasers.com and also check out the section on frequently asked questions.

Is there a difference between a laser and an LED? Yes, it is an important difference, which comes down to coherence and depth of penetration. A cold laser uses coherent, polarized light that is highly focused and columnated, allowing it to travel in a straight line for long distances or to penetrate into the deeper layers of the body. The light from LED's is monochromatic, non coherent light, which is useful for treatment of superficial tissues such as wounds and skin conditions. In comparative studies, lasers have been shown to be more effective and faster working. Some of the most effective and versatile lasers on the market utilize both laser and LED light output.

Is cold laser therapy scientifically well documented? LLLT will naturally not work on anything, however due to the fact that it treats at a cellular level, it is successful at treating an astounding level of conditions. Some research has failed to demonstrate effect in several indications, however proper treatment is dependant upon numerous factors including dosage, diagnosis, frequency of treatment and treatment technique. More than 2500 research reports are published and more than 100 double-blind positive studies confirm the clinical effect of cold laser therapy. Over 90% of the 370 studies revealed in the limited LLLT dental literature alone verify the clinical value of cold laser therapy.

Kalon Prensky has been an alternative health practitioner for over 15 years. He is dedicated to teaching alternative modes of healing including modes of preventive medicine, and complimentary medicine.

Led light: Coolest, Newest Flashlight.

The NightStar flashlight is a great gadget for anyone to own. The NightStar is the original battery that runs without batteries and uses a trademarked technology. There are many advantages of owning a NightStar flashlight and only needs to be shaken in order to work. For anyone who ever needs a flashlight, the NightStar flashlight is the greatest new invention.

The NightStar Flashlight is just as effective and powerful as battery powered flashlights. The LED light is very long life, light emitting diode are said to last up to 100,000 or more. LED is much more efficient and use less power than traditional light bulbs. The LED housing is also very durable and virtually unbreakable.

The Flashlight itself is made of a heavy duty plastic housing. The flashlight is also resistant to chemicals such as acids, ammonia, saltwater, and alcohol. It is also resistant to shock, and is fully functional after repeated drops from high levels. It is also fully functional after being run over on a concrete surface by a heavy weight vehicle.

There are now many types of the NightStar flashlight available on the market. They range in price from around $20 to $50. The NightStar CS is a smaller flashlight for more convenience. It needs to be shaken only seconds for 30 minutes of light time. This type is great for fishers and hikers who need light for extended periods of time. A great advantage of the NightStar is that it floats beam up when in water.

The NightStar II is another option that is larger. It comes in a variety of colors and can also be purchased with different color LED lenses. A red lens is important for astronomers or hunters who need nighttime light. There is also a green lens that is useful for seeing outdoors at night. These larger flashlights need to be shaken for 30 seconds to power 20 minutes of light. Both types of batteries have a 5 year warranty.

Now there is a flashlight that runs without batteries, without ever having to replace the batteries or recharge the batteries. It never needs new batteries and is great for outdoor enthusiasts or those who love gadgets. And the NightStar flashlight is the only gadget with its patented technology.

This article was written by Michael Hargrove for BatteryWeb, a retail and wholesale provider of all types of batteries and battery chargers. Visit the site for more information and a full selection of NightStar flashlights.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Katrina, Rita Destroyed 113 Petroleum Platforms

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita destroyed 113 petroleum production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, a federal agency overseeing offshore drilling said.

The storms also damaged 457 pipelines connecting production facilities in the Gulf and bringing oil and natural gas to shore - a sharp rise from the 183 damaged pipelines identified in January, the Minerals Management Service said.

Interruption of the Gulf supply has played a role in the recent round of record-high oil and gasoline prices in the U.S. Officials have said that it is likely that as much as a fifth of the Gulf's normal daily oil production of 140,000 barrels will still be off market when the next hurricane season begins on June 1.

The MMS warned that additional damage likely would be discovered as more underwater inspections are conducted.

"These have been delayed because of overwhelmed support resources, such as diving equipment, support vessels, and remotely operated vehicles,'' said MMS regional director Chris Oynes.

Of the 113 destroyed platforms, four replacements have been approved by the MMS. The agency said those will take the place of eight destroyed platforms with a pre-storm daily production of 16,700 barrels.

MMS said six hurricane-related oil spills of at least 1,000 barrels were identified, the largest being 3,625 barrels. The spills did not impact shores or wildlife, the agency said.

According to the latest MMS report issued on April 19, 22 percent of the region's normal daily oil production and 13 percent of normal daily natural gas production remained blocked from market.

Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

By Alan Sayre

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