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Your Favorite Printer, Epson, Adds Label Maker to Repertoire

ElectronicsNancy Woo27 October 2011

Epson printers are, hands down, some of the best printers on the market, and they are world renowned for their simple, sleek and multi-function printing products. Espson Inkjet printers, Epson All-in-One printers, even Epson scanners and projectors make up this expansive catalogue of high quality printing machines. And now, to the delight of many an organizational mind, Epson has released a specialty product: the LabelWorks label printer.

Those with a tendency to over-organize will absolutely love this new toy. Released by Epson America, Inc. just this month, the LabelWorks label maker comes in two varieties: the LW-300 and LW-400. Both share qualities of high customizability and easy functionality. And best of all, these little gadgets have so many sizes of tape available for it, so many colors and fonts, and so many symbols, frames and other unique embellishments that any labeling task can be made fun and creative.

Some of the other interesting functions of the LabelWorks label printer:

  • Small, easy to handle handheld device with a two-line screen and full keyboard.
  • Glowing backlight screen so that wherever you happen to be – the basement, attic or closet – the device is easily readable. No need to lug all grandma’s boxes down from the attic just for a little bit of light!
  • Ability to save up to dozens up labels for future use. The LW-300 allows the saving of 30 labels, and the LW-400 allows 50. No need to type in a favorite label over and over again.
  • Customizability of label sizes, so that there is less waste. Once the label size is chosen, it is printed with a perforated edge for easy separation. No need to get tangled up in scissors.
  • 300+ symbols, 75+ frames, 14 fonts and 10 styles, choice of barcodes.
  • Works with more than 40 tape cartridges in traditional colors and specialized media.
  • Compatible with dozens of tape sizes and styles, from 6 to 12 millimeters in size, of durable variety and in many different colors and patterns.

Office managers, lawyers, students, professors and all organizational gurus are sure to love the features of this product. Even for those who regard label making as a monotonous activity, they may be surprised at the creativity they will unleash with the LabelWorks label printer. And because it’s from Epson, the quality is assured.

The LW-300 goes for about $39.99 and the LW-400 is roughly $49.99.

So get those little fingers a-tapping; isn’t it about high time you brought some order to that attic? Take this little guy, your choice of colorful tape, and all those boxes you’ve been storing since the kids were born, then pour yourself a cup of lemonade, and make a day of it.

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The Netflix Model: Disc Publisher Rimage Acquires Qumu To Add Streaming Capabilities

CD DVD Printers, Rimage, TechnologyNancy Woo20 October 2011

Moving Towards Two Options Everywhere: DVD and streaming capabilities offered for all

The world of corporate infrastructure is always changing, with one company merging here, another merging there and bits and pieces of the whole breaking off along the way. Two instances have occurred recently of relevance to disc publishing and new media communications.

The first we are all familiar with: Reed Hastings, CEO of the ever-popular Netflix, decided about a month ago to separate the DVD portion of the website from the online streaming into something called Qwikster. After the public vehemently opposed the split and Wall Street stock for Netflix dropped 25%, Hastings picked up his pride and related to the public that he wouldn’t be going through with the separation process.

Whew. When people thought that their beloved Netflix was going to get the axe, and for no apparent reason, many actually started cancelling their Netflix accounts. One of the reasons Netflix is so successful is because of the simplicity and convenience of searching a huge movie and TV database, with options to either stream online or have a DVD mailed to your residence. If these two things were to be separated, the entire scheme of simplicity would have gone down the drain. Good thing Hastings saw his error and listened to his customers before it was too late, because Netflix/Qwikster would have been bye-bye.

Following the theme of maintaining a streamlined process for choosing media, the disc publishing company Rimage has recently acquired Qumu, a video communications company. Unlike Netflix, which was trying to separate the DVD and online streaming portions, Rimage, which publishes content onto discs for clients, has recognized the value of adding media streaming capabilities to their bag of tricks. Qumu is a start-up video communications business, which specializes in technology that can publish video or media straight to smartphones or the Internet.

Rimage has traditionally been a distributor of on-demand Blu-ray, CD and DVD discs. For example, a company might hire Rimage to take their video surveillance and publish that content to discs. Now, with the clever merging of a video communications firm, Rimage will be able to not only take that footage and publish it to discs, the customer will also have the option of having the media sent straight to their computer or smartphone. Following the original Netflix model, Rimage is giving two options: have a DVD sent to you, or stream the material online. It’s brilliant, and in a showdown between Rimage and another disc publisher that can’t offer instant streaming, who do you think will get the customer?

Qumu’s clients are typically in the banking, telecommunications, university, technology and government industries, and the company helps them manage, create and securely distribute video content.

“We’re like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube for the enterprise,” said Ray Hood, chief executive of Qumu in San Bruno, Calif. “We make the video secure and targetable to the right employees.”[1]

Rimage acquired Qumu for $52 million, along with Qumu’s 100 client companies, last week. Rimage is hoping that they will be able to help Qumu expand into markets faster than they would on their own, and in return Rimage adds a valuable capability to their service line.

[1] Takahashi, Dean. (October 10, 2011). “Rimage Acquires enterprise video communications startup Qumu for $52M.” Venture Beat.

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“Be Smart” 2011 Korea Electronic Show Reveals Slew of Startlingly Smart Devices

Electronics, Taiyo Yuden, Technology, UncategorizedNancy Woo13 October 2011

It’s gotten to the point where some people are swearing by their smartphone, shaking their head in disbelief, as if to wonder, “How did I make it through this mess of my life before my smartphone?” These handheld devices are simultaneously a phone, a computer, a way to check email, a text messaging service, a game platform and a GPS, and they are revolutionizing the way people go about their daily lives.

At the forefront of the electronic explosion, of course, are Asian companies like Samsung, LG, Mach, Hynic, Redrover and Korea Taiyo Yuden. These companies, plus roughly 800 more, are currently attending one of the largest IT conferences in the world right now, from October 12 through October 15 in Korea. The 42nd Korea Electronic Show (KES) 2011 boasts a 5% increase of participants from the previous year, and the theme is “Be Smart,” under which major companies reveal new “smart” technology – and not just for phones.

Samsung has so far introduced their “Smart Life” line, which includes smart devices such as a smart vacuum cleaner and smart washing machine, which can be controlled by smart devices, such as phones, TVs or tablets. Whoa! Smart vacuum cleaners that can essentially “talk” to other smart devices like TVs? Is this getting too wild? Are we entering the world of Brave Little Toaster or any 80s science fiction movie? Well, like any new advance in smart technology, there is sure to be an initial shock value.

Let’s not leave LG out of this smart device conversation, because this company has developed a smart refrigerator that can monitor the level of food products in its belly, and do its own online shopping.

On the less startling end of things, LG is also developing sharper 3-D TVs, Redrover is showcasing stereoscopic 3-D technology and Samsung is displaying their latest LCD and LED back-light LCD TVs. Korea Taiyo Yuden has released a line of products called “Smart Solutions and Green Products,” which boasts smaller and smaller sizes of smartphones and handheld devices, with increased capacity.

Our smart devices keep getting smarter – does this mean we are getting dumber?? I think this may be a logical fallacy to assume so, but perhaps this a discussion for another time. In the meanwhile, stay tuned to the KES conference because there are sure to be many more impressively smart things to come from it before the janitors sweep in to clean up the mess (and maybe pick up any leftover electronics). What could be the grand finale? My personal preference will be for dishes that do themselves, or dinners that cook themselves. Maybe the question is not “are we getting dumber,” but “how lazy can we become?”

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Verbatim Pocket CDs Perfect for the Digital Resume

UncategorizedNancy Woo06 October 2011

Did you know that you can fit a CD in your pocket? And this statement applies even to those without exceptionally large pockets.

“How can this be possible?” you ask, bewildered. Aren’t CDs a pretty hefty, nearly 5 inches in diameter? Well, let me tell you.

Verbatim has a special line of Pocket CDs that are only 3 inches around, and therefore, pocket perfect. They’re so cute and transportable! They come in various colors and can be burned in regular CD drives.

Of course, the smaller the size, the smaller the storage, but Pocket CDs definitely have their time and place. They can hold up to 185 MB of data, or 21 minutes of music, graphics or digital video clips, or 3 hours of compressed audio.

For such a relatively small storage space, why not just use your handy dandy USB device? You may wonder. And here is my favorite reason: The Pocket CD, unlike the USB, can be given away to people you come in contact with, say, a friend, aunt, teacher – or prospective employer.

Of course, you will probably want to print out a hard copy of your resume as you enter that interviewing office, but the Pocket CD is perfect to use as a portable, digital resume. Perhaps you have writing samples, charts, tables, graphics, statistics or extra references that might be cumbersome to lug around in your resume folder.

Solution? Store them on a Pocket CD and hand them neatly to your future employer. You might even want to include a special folder pocket and CD sleeve for your Pocket CD. This method of transferring information is sure to impress. You’ll not only impress them with your technological know-how and preparedness, but you’ll make it easy for them to see your portfolio of work on their own computer, at their convenience. It’s much more savvy than sending a huge email or asking them to wait as you upload your files from a USB.

Other uses for the Pocket CD include storing files for a project to turn in as homework to your teacher or employer. They’re conveniently small to pass off to record companies or executives with demos of your music. And, of course, it’s a cute, nice way of giving a friend or romantic partner a mixtape of your music, without carrying too much bulk.

Both fun and professional, the Pocket CD is a perfect little thing to tote around.

So cute and colorful.

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Primera’s Bravo Disc Publishers can now burn JVC Archival Discs

UncategorizedHawksM01 October 2011

Primera Technology, Inc., has long been known for its Bravo line of high quality, automated CD and DVD disc publishers, including the Bravo 4100 Auto Printer, the Bravo SE CD DVD Inkjet Auto-Printer and the Bravo II CD DVD Inkjet Auto Printer, to name a few.

What people love about the Primera Bravo line is the fast, easy way to print great-looking and high quality CDs and DVDs without much time wasted in oversight. Determine your settings and press the button, then voila! You’ll have multiple discs printed just the way you want them in no time. In fact, Primera touts itself as the fastest disc publisher in the world.

And now, it gets even better. The company is now integrating archival disc technology into its classic models.

Primera announces that they have partnered with JVC Advanced Media to give the world a brand new model of the Bravo Archive-Series Disc Publishers. The Archive-Series, which saw its first model in April of 2010, differs from traditional disc publishers because it does not use a typical CD, DVD or BD as its unit of recording, but rather a longer-lasting archival disc (one example of these is the Milleniata M-disc, which we talked about a few weeks ago). The archival M-disc writes data differently than a normal CD or DVD: the information is etched deep into 3-D layers of the disc, rather than just the surface layer; this means data is not easily water damaged, wiped away, worn off or otherwise destroyed. While a typical CD or DVD may have a shelf life of a few years, archival discs are supposed to last for at least decades, and Milleniata says their M-disc will even last for centuries.

Primera’s newest Archive-Series Disc Publisher uses JVC technology to automatically produce discs that can last, officially, more than 30 years. The JVC Archival Grade DVD-R underwent a vigorous test by the non-profit organization ADTC to verify that data that will be safely retained for more than 30 years, withstanding temperatures up to of 25 degrees Celsius with 50% relative humidity. It passed the Optical Disc Archive Test ISO/1EC10995 and is now certified.

Why would anyone want an archival disc over a regular one? Much of the appeal is about confidence and security – you are being given a guarantee that what you put onto a DVD will not fade out with the life of the material anytime soon. The data becomes a little more permanent. And these discs are generally tested under extreme conditions to ensure that they are extremely resilient to harsh conditions, as well.

So what is the JVC Archival DVD all about, specifically? It delivers long-term data retention by using a specialized company dye, which reduces initial writing error. It also has a reflective, protective layer that is designed to last the life of the media, which is about 30 years.

Compared to a regular JVC DVD, the Archival DVD is:

  • 200 times more scratch resistant
  • 7 times more fingerprint resistant
  • 1000 times more dust free

Compared to a regular DVD, the Archival DVD is much more resistant to damage, making it a prime choice for businesses in the fields of medical imaging, education, government or finance, not to mention that it is a secure way to store precious photos and videos.

What’s even nicer about the soon-to-be-released edition of Primera Archival Disc Publishers integrated with JVC technology is that they will still have the capability to burn regular CDs and DVDs. There’s no either/or option here – you will have the choice of both mediums. The first Primera model slotted to receive the JVC Archival disc updates is the classic Bravo SE Disc Publisher, and it will be going for about $2,495.

So, once again, are archival discs soon to be the new standard?

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