Meet the I7500, Samsung's First Android Phone

Samsung hasn't been shy about their Android ambitions, but they have been extremely vague. Well, here's their first handset, the I7500. With a capacitive AMOLED touchscreen, clean styling, and larger-than-average battery, it looks fantastic.

Here's the spec breakdown: HSDPA at 7.2Mbps, GPRS/EDGE on 850/900/1800/1900 frequencies, a 3.2", 320x480 AMOLED screen, a 5-megapixel camera, 1500mAh battery (to the G1's 1200mAh), and 8GB of internal memory (with support for 32GB of additional SDHC expansion), 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, GPS and a 3.5mm headphone jack. It's about 12mm thick, which is a hair slimmer than the HTC Magic, its obvious rival.

This contradicts rumors rumors that the S8000 would be Sammy's first foray into Android handsettery, but only sort of: the handsets are styled differently, but share almost identical guts. In that sense, this handset isn't much of a surprise, unlike the release date, which will fall somewhere in June for European carriers. There's no US release date, nor is there any sign of a US release at all, so we'll just have to hope that the I7500 will eventually trod the same transatlantic path as the HTC Magic. Full release below.

Mobile Review has a few hands-on shots that give us a nice view of the device in profile, and from the back:

Samsung launches I7500, The Company's First Android-Powered Mobile Phone
Seoul (Korea Newswire) April 27, 2009 05:08 PM — Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, today unveiled the I7500, its first Android-powered mobile phone. With a launch of I7500, Samsung became the first company among the global top three mobile phone manufacturers to unveil an Android-powered phone.

"Samsung is among the earliest members of the Open Handset Alliance and has been actively moving forward to introduce the most innovative Android mobile phone," said JK Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Mobile Communication Division in Samsung Electronics. "With Samsung's accumulated technology leadership in mobile phone industry and our consistent strategy to support every existing operating system, I believe that Samsung provides the better choices and benefits to our consumers" he added.

The Samsung I7500 is a cutting-edge smartphone, featuring a 3.2" AMOLED full touch screen and 7.2Mbps HSDPA and WiFi connectivity, giving users access to Google™ Mobile services and full web browsing at blazing speeds.

The Samsung I7500 offers users access to the full suite of Google services, including Google Search™, Google Maps™, Gmail™, YouTube™, Google Calendar™, and Google Talk™. The integrated GPS receiver enables the comprehensive use of Google Maps features, such as My Location, Google Latitude, Street View, local search and detailed route description. Hundreds of other applications are available in Android Market. For example, the application Wikitude, a mobile travel guide, allows consumers to access details of unknown sights via location-based Wikipedia articles.

Based on Samsung's proven product leadership, Samsung I7500 comes with latest multimedia features. The large and vivid 3.2"AMOLED display ensures the brilliant representation of multimedia content and enjoyable full touch mobile experience. Along with supporting a 5-megapixel camera and various multimedia codec formats, the I7500 also provides a long enough battery life (1500mAh) and generous memory capacity up to 40GB (Internal memory: 8GB, External memory: Up to 32GB) to enjoy all the applications and multimedia content. The phone also boasts its slim and compact design with mere 11.9mm thickness.

The Samsung I7500 will be available in major European countries from June, 2009.

News Source: Samsung Electronics

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --

“Fairy tales and legends” is the theme of this year’s World Sand Sculpture Festival now underway at the Tottori Sand Dunes in Tottori prefecture. On display (until May 31) are 19 massive works crafted by world-class sculptors from ten nations. The artists used around 2,700 tons of sand and took about two weeks to complete their works. Can you identify the fairy tales and legends depicted in these sand sculptures?

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
The Netherlands (front)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
The Netherlands (rear)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
India (front)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
India (rear)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
USA (front)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
USA (rear)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
Czech Republic

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
Russia (front)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
Russia (rear)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
Australia (front)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --
Australia (rear)

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --

World Sand Sculpture Festival 2009, Japan --

Tokyo stereographic projections

Photographer heiwa4126’s “Stereographics” photoset on Flickr is an eye-bending collection of “little planet” panoramas and ultra-wide fisheye images shot mostly in Tokyo.

Ultra-wide fisheye image of Tokyo station --
Tokyo Station

Wee planet stereographic projection of Tokyo --
Ueno Station

Microplanet stereographic projection of Tokyo --
Shin-Arakawa Bridge

Little planet stereographic projection of Tokyo --
Higashi-Ayase Park

Mini-planet stereographic projection of Tokyo --

Panoramic stereographic projection of Tokyo --
Adachi Ward

Stereographic panorama of Tokyo --
Katsushika Ward

Stereographically projected panorama of Tokyo --
Ueno Station

3D panorama of Tokyo --
Tokyo Dome City

Spherical panorama of Tokyo --
Shiodome Sio-site

Six Ways You Should Be Using Twitter

Twitter has become a nationwide phenomenon, and like any phenom, all the Twitter talk grows quickly tiresome. But despite what you may think, Twitter isn't just for narcissists; it's actually insanely useful.

So let's assume that you already know about the navel-gazing uses of Twitter—the aspects of Twitter that most people criticize when they complain about the site. Discounting Twitter altogether because you think it's ridiculous that people tweet about what they had for breakfast is like claiming that email is useless because of forward chains. It's a mistake, and you'd be missing out on a great tool if you let that put you off Twitter completely.

Twitter is as useful as you make it. In fact, Twitter does several very worthwhile things better than any other tool.

1. Instant, Real-Time Search Results

Search is hands down the most useful feature of Twitter—whether or not you actually participate by posting anything to the site. Consider, for example, a very trivial example: I live on the West coast, so when the American Idol results show ends every Wednesday on the East coast, it's only 7pm here. I could wait two hours, then suffer through another hour of the Wednesday night, up-with-people variety show, but I really just want to know who was voted off. News sites move too slowly, and at one point blogs had aimed to fill this instant-answers void, but guess what: When you want to find out who was voted off Idol as soon as the results are available, Twitter is the quickest and easiest way to get this answer. Try it sometime. Within seconds of the announcement on Idol, Twitter fills with hundreds of posts answering this question for me.

The real-time search applies to so much more. If the signal on my cell phone goes out, I check Twitter to see if there's some sort of AT&T outage in my area. If I want to know what people are saying about something important to me, I hit up Twitter. What you get is like a centralized, searchable, real-time comment-thread for everything. Yes, like all comment threads, you'll find a good amount of crap. But that doesn't render the entire thread worthless. Bookmark Twitter Search now and use it next time Google or your favorite blog search engine fails you.

2. Monitoring Something You Care About

Virtually every company has a Twitter account these days, which means if there's a product you really care about, following them on Twitter is often the easiest way to stay up to date with the latest developments. But more often than not (in the context of Twitter, at least), the thing we care about most is ourselves. We've already shown you how to create an ego search to monitor what's being said about you on the web, but now Twitter is another must-use tool for getting your ego fix.

Still, even if you're not an ego-maniac, surely there's something that you care about that you could monitor on Twitter. Do yourself a favor and download one of the free desktop Twitter clients to help you create persistent Twitter searches so you can keep track of whatever your want without always hitting up the main Twitter search page. We'd recommend checking out TweetDeck or Seesmic Desktop.

3. News Updates

We've been using newsreaders to subscribe to RSS feeds for years now, but newsreaders still haven't completely caught on with the world at large. It seems less manageable to us, but many people are perfectly happy using Twitter as a tool to keep up with the latest news—which is partly why CNN has over 1 million followers. Likewise, re-tweeting (the process of copying and re-posting someone else's tweet) spreads news like wildfire—so breaking news can reach you on Twitter a million times faster than through any of the old methods. (For what it's worth, here at Lifehacker we have our own Twitter feed that pushes out all of our top stories.)

4. Instant Communication with Friends

This is closer to what people think about when they think Twitter. But, as I said above, Twitter communication doesn't have to be a cesspool of "what I ate this morning" and "just flushed the toilet." You can choose whose updates you want to be notified of and how you get those updates. Upshot: If you and your pals use Twitter well, it can be a fantastic communication tool. If not, of course it's useless—but that's not really Twitter's fault. Also, if privacy is a concern, you can always protect your updates.

5. Twitter as a Productivity Command Line

Whether you want to add a new event to Google Calendar, a new to-do to Remember the Milk, or a new note to Evernote, you can do it all via Twitter. It took us a while to warm up to Twitter from a productivity angle, but this kind of integration made us admit that Twitter may yet boost your productivity, too.

6. Ask Questions, Get Answers

Provided you have enough followers (with enough knowledge), Twitter is also a powerful place to ask questions and get answers. Before I started writing this post, for example, I asked my followers what they think Twitter's best uses are—the answers to which helped inform this entire post.

Strangely, The Man In This Electrifying Photo Is Not Dead Today

Meet Peter Terren. Inspired by the The Thinker, he set out to recreate that classic sculpture using electricity, wire caging, a conductive foil suit, and a death wish. Can't forget the death wish.

Now, we've seen Terren and Tesla Down Under's work before here at Gizmodo, most notably when he put his son in a car and zapped it with electricity.

This little project, however, put him in the hot seat. Note the electricity shooting out of his sneaker.

Lucky for us all, Terren meticulously documented the entire project with photos and safety-related commentary ("The wig is not ideal and really needs a haircut. I couldn't light it with sparks so fire risk seems low").

Terren also outfitted some of the tests with a pentagram boundary, which had nothing to do with Tesla coils or electricity, of course, but certainly heightened the sense of batshit insanity surrounding this little venture.

Vintage Sketches Of Insects Under The Microscope

Kenbikyō Mushi No Zu (”Illustrations of Microscopic Insects”), a scroll published in 1860, depicts a lively parade of creepy-crawlies as viewed through a microscope. Although most of the insects pictured can actually be seen with the naked eye, the artist’s use of a microscope — still a relatively unusual instrument in Japan in those days — added a great level of detail to the drawings and made it a rather unique visual work.

Insect sketch, 顕微鏡虫之図 --

Insect sketch --
Mosquito larva

Insect sketch, 顕微鏡虫之図 --

Insect sketch, 顕微鏡虫之図 --

Insect sketch, 顕微鏡虫之図 --
Striped mosquito

Insect sketch, 顕微鏡虫之図 --

Insect sketch, 顕微鏡虫之図 --
Aphid (left), Psocid (right)

Insect sketch, 顕微鏡虫之図 --
Fish louse

The first microscope was brought to Japan in the mid-18th century (about 150 years after its invention in Europe) by Dutch traders at Nagasaki, and it was introduced to the public by pharmacologist Rishun Goto in a 1765 book entitled Oranda-banashi (”Story of Things Dutch”). Soon afterward, production of the first Japanese microscopes began in Osaka.

In 1787, Chūryō Morishima, a scholar of Western science, published Kōmō Zatsuwa (”Sayings of the Dutch”), which described the lifestyle and customs of the Dutch in Japan. The document included a section devoted to the microscope, complete with illustrations of insects as seen through the device.

As Japanese microscope technology developed, the device became a popular attraction at carnival sideshows. One notable sideshow in Nagoya in 1820 put an assortment fleas, lice, mosquitoes and other bugs on public display. According to written records of the event, many spectators shuddered with fear as they peered through the microscopes, which made the creatures look as large as a human hand. Others viewed the microscopes with excitement, as they offered a glimpse into a previously unknown world.

The Tohoku University Library houses the original copy of the Kenbikyō Mushi No Zu scroll.

Giant robot spider in Yokohama

La Princesse mechanized spider in Yokohama --

A pair of giant robotic spiders designed and built by French performance art group La Machine have come to Yokohama to take part in the upcoming Expo Y150, a 5-month festival commemorating the 150th anniversary of the opening of the city’s port.

La Princesse giant spider robot in Yokohama --

Although the Expo Y150 festivities are not scheduled to officially begin until the end of April, the enormous steampunk spiders could be seen prowling the Yokohama waterfront this weekend.

Here is some superb video of the spectacle on Friday (April 17) night, when one of the 12-meter (40-ft) tall, 37-ton mechanical spiders was observed in the red brick warehouse area of Yokohama — far from its natural habitat of Nantes, France.

On Saturday (April 18) evening, one of the mechanical spiders performed a water dance at Shinko Pier while the other looked on from its perch atop a nearby shipping container. For the performance, the spider moved its mechanical legs and shot steam and water and from its mouth and rear end while suspended over the water from a large crane. Water cannons, fog machines, lights and live atmospheric music added to the drama.

La Machine's mechanical spider in Yokohama --

On Sunday (April 19), both spiders were scheduled to depart Shinko Pier, take a stroll up Nihon-Odori street, and head back to the red brick warehouse area.

La Machine's giant arachnid robot in Yokohama --

La Machine’s giant spiders will be on public display at Expo Y150 from April 28 to September 27.

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