A lot has been written about Amazon’s electronic reader, the Kindle, now in its third version. But you might not know that you can use the Kindle outside the United States. Normally the Kindle will download books, newspapers and other reading material using a wireless network called Whispernet that works only off the Sprint network in the United States. But as long as you have a computer and Internet access, you can download books, magazines and other publications from any location, and then transfer them to the Kindle through a USB cable. One caveat before you go and buy a Kindle: You must have a credit card with a U.S. billing address to purchase one and you need to initially activate the unit in the United States. Also, it is wise to turn off the Whispernet option once you are abroad, since it will draw down the Kindle’s battery needlessly. For more information about buying a Kindle, go to www.amazon.com/kindle. Price tag US$360.
The Ulysse Nardin Chairman
Who says bling is out? Some might question the market for a graphite or 18-karat rose gold cell phone, but not Swiss watchmaker Ulysse Nardin. What is not to like about this watchmaker’s new high-end gadget? This phone is beautiful; particularly the blue-accented model whose color complements the company’s nautical logo. It is also a feat of retro engineering – partially powered by a mechanical rotor like the ones used in the automatic movements of Ulysse Nardin watches. The rest is all high-tech, with a finger print reader for owner identification, a 5-megapixel camera, a 2.1-inch touch display, and Wi-Fi capability. The phone comes in 10 versions, including stainless steel and carbon fiber trims. The cost of the Chairman hasn’t been released but expect it to be a “if-you-need-to-ask-you-can’t-afford-it” price of US$25,000. More information try www.uncells.com.
In 1954, at the Cologne Photokina trade fair, Leica introduced the M series; models that quickly became the cameras of choice for celebrated photographers such as Henri Cartier Bresson and Rene Burri. Leica is rolling out the latest iteration of this series, a limited edition M8 model in white for sale this June. The M8 model eschews film for a 10-megapixel digital imaging system. Rangefinder cameras, unlike the more common single-lens reflex film and digital cameras you see slung around the necks of tourists and paparazzi, are quieter, more compact and produce better landscape and wide-angle shots. Photography purists swear by them, though first-time users will need time to adjust to focusing. No announced price for the white M8 model yet, but in January a similar limited edition Safari M8 was offered at a price of US$10,000. You can find out more at Leica’s website, www.leica-camera.com or by calling 800-222-0118. Good shooting.
Filed Under: Tech Trends
About the Author: William Plasencia is the former managing editor for Latin Trade.