4th > February > 2012 Archive

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Zuckerberg's 2012 personal income tax bill: $1.5 billion

If all goes according to plan, Facebook founder, chairman, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's share of the profit in his company's upcoming initial public offering will result in him facing a tax bill of around $1.5bn for 2012.
Rik Myslewski, 04 Feb 2012
Eight... HD phonecams
54

Eight... HD camera smartphones

Product round-upProduct round-up You know that really annoying person who is videoing the gig with their camera phone to stick on Facebook when they get home? That's me. These days my TV is HD and my games console is HD, so it only makes sense that my phone – the device I use the most, day in and day out – should be HD too. Luckily, HD on smartphones is becoming more commonplace and so rather than judge these handsets on their mobile merits, this round-up focuses on their HD video camera performance. Of the phones reviewed, the BlackBerry, Nokia and Sony are 720p models, the rest capture 1080p video. Resolution aside, you'll find the exposure accuracy and colour balance varies significantly in different environments with some handsets performing much better when scene modes are selected. Most of the handsets tested offered these useful tweaks, that can help improve results if relying on auto doesn't cut it. Viewing is another matter, with larger screen sizes being a bonus, however, getting the content on a bigger screen is not always straightforward. The LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson phones offer HDMI interfacing with Apple, HTC and Samsung models requiring adaptors to deliver a hi-res AV out, leaving just the BlackBerry and Nokia out of the plug and play party. With HD video, storage can easily become an issue, so if you're likely to make a habit of continuous capture, then considering the models offering storage expansion is likely to be a wise move, unless you've deep pockets to consider a 64GB iPhone. Video capture on the phones was ready to roll within a couple of seconds, apart from the Xperia Arc S which took at least twice as long. There was no obvious impact on battery life between the 1080p and 720p phones, all having to be charged after a day of heavy use.
Lucy Orr, 04 Feb 2012
43

Tame the gas monster with sensors, suckers and a spiffy new fan

Part 3Part 3 I'm pleased to say that what with the relatively warm 2011 and our conservation efforts we had the lowest consumption of electricity and gas at home of any year yet, a bit over 1,500kWh ('units') of electricity and under 4,000kWh of gas. (A typical UK household is nearer 3,300kWh 'leccy and 18,000kWh gas.) With our solar PV exports we were just carbon-negative for power by my calculations.
Damon Hart-Davis, 04 Feb 2012