Plustek to exhibit at PhotoPlus International Expo 2013

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Plustek Technology Inc. (www.plustek.com/usa), a manufacturer of imaging and security devices, will be exhibiting at the PhotoPlus Expo in New York and demonstrating their most advanced new film scanner, the OpticFilm 120. The event is scheduled to run from October 23rd to the 26th.

Plustek’s director of marketing and business development, Mark Druziak, indicated that the OF-120 would be manufactured in limited quantities to allow the company to maintain the highest quality standards possible. Moreover, that while many manufacturers have abandoned the dedicated film scanner market altogether, Plustek has expanded its development in this area, achieving record highs in measured resolution and dynamic range.

The OpticFilm 120 film scanner is designed for professional photographers, advanced amateur photographers, film photo enthusiasts, photography schools and clubs and delivers professional quality results from 35mm filmstrips, slides and 120/220 film and provides the ultimate in image quality for those who require an ICC profiled scanning system.

Plustek will also be displaying their OpticFilm 8xxx series 35mm film and slide scanners, as well as the A320 (a tabloid-sized graphics scanner) and the PS286+ document scanner. Special show pricing will be available through Plustek’s retail partners.

LG Launches Companion To Your Android Smartphone, LG G Pad 8.3

LG Electronics (www.lg.com) announced that it is entering the tablet market with the U.S. launch of the LG G Pad 8.3, a new device in the company’s premium “G” line of mobile products. Now available for purchase online at www.BestBuy.com, and in-store at retailers nationwide starting with Best Buy on November 3 for an MSRP of $349.99, the LG G Pad 8.3 is the ideal Android companion and entertainment device, offering simple connectivity capabilities, a stunning 8.3-inch Full HD IPS display and an impressive suite of powerful features.

LG G Pad 8.3.  (PRNewsFoto/LG Electronics USA)

LG G Pad 8.3. (PRNewsFoto/LG Electronics USA)

The LG G Pad 8.3 offers easy-to-sync connectivity across all your Android mobile devices, including the new LG G2, with QPair*. When enabled with LG G Pad 8.3, QPair affords users a seamless extension to their Android smartphones by providing simultaneous access to recently opened apps, incoming calls, text messages and more. LG G Pad 8.3 users can even reply to texts and use LG features like QuickMemo to capture and comment on images, making mobile sharing LG ELECTRONICS USA LG G PAD 8.3effortless between LG G Pad 8.3 and other Android devices.

From its light weight to its sleek design, LG G Pad 8.3 is the ultimate complement to the Android smartphone experience,” said James Fishler, senior vice president, marketing, LG Electronics USA. “[The] LG G Pad 8.3 delivers top-notch viewing and entertainment for Android users with its impressive Full HD screen and useful, intuitive multitasking tools like those found in LG G2.”

As easy to handle as it is powerful, LG G Pad 8.3 features a large 8.3-inch Full HD IPS display with 273 pixels per inch for sharp detail, clarity and high-definition imagery. A long-lasting 4,600 mAh Li-Polymer battery and quad-core processor combines with the amazingly clear LG G Pad 8.3 display for comfortable viewing of your favorite video, eZine or graphics-intense mobile game.

Designed with an intuitive, simple user interface, LG G Pad 8.3 is ideal for efficiency and utilizes LG’s suite of multitasking capabilities, such as QSlide Function™ 2.0, which allows the user to float two apps over the main screen with adjustable window size and transparency. The new device also comes equipped with Slide Aside, letting users simply move between any three open applications with a swipe of three fingers, for faster and more productive multitasking.

Key Features Include:

  • Processor: 1.7 GHz Quad Core Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 600
  • Display: 8.3-inch, Full HD IPS (1920×1200 pixels/273 ppi)
  • Memory: 2GB RAM, 16 GB eMMC ROM; microSD Slot up to 64 GB
  • Camera: 5MP AF BSI
  • Battery: 4,600 mAh Li-Polymer
  • Operating System: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2.
  • Size: 216.8 x 126.5 x 8.3mm
  • Weight: 338g

LG G Pad 8.3 is available online now at www.BestBuy.com and will be available in-store at retailers nationwide beginning with Best Buy on November 3. For more information and pricing details, please visit www.lg.com.

*Connectivity with Android phones and all QPair functionality only compatible with phones running Android 4.1 or later.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 Winners Announced

Reposted from www.theatlanticwire.com

The annual Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, founded in 1964, is an annual international showcase of the very best in nature photography. Owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, the contest includes 18 individual categories, ranging from birds and mammals to “Creative Visions” and “Nature in Black & White.” The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition harnesses the power of photography to promote the discovery, understanding, and responsible enjoyment of the natural world.

Now in its 49th year, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition provides a global showcase of the very best nature photography. The competition is co-owned by two UK institutions that pride themselves on revealing and championing the diversity of life on Earth. Being shortlisted in this competition is something to which photographers across the world aspire. Every year emerging talents compete with established names for a chance to be hailed Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Each of the thousands of annual entries is evaluated individually by an international jury of photography experts, before being awarded a place in the top 100 images of the year.

This year, the 49th annual competition, drew tens of thousands of entries from dozens of countries. Starting today, the winning photos will be on exhibit at the Natural History Museum in London until March 23, 2014. The owners and sponsors have been kind enough to share the following 10 images from their group of overall winners. Be sure to visit their website (http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/onlineGallery.do) to see all of the winners and find out more about the competition. To view the entire collection of winners and runner-ups in all categories for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013 competition, please visit http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/index.jsp

The 50th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will open for entries on 9 December 2013 for 12 weeks and details will be released soon. The organizers will be looking for fresh, innovative, creative and challenging images of the natural world from photographers young and old.

2013 Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Greg du Toit

Essence of elephants: Ever since he first picked up a camera, Greg du Toit has photographed African elephants. "For many years, I've wanted to create an image that captures their special energy and the state of consciousness that I sense when I'm with them. This image comes closest to doing that." The shot was taken at a waterhole in Botswana's Northern Tuli Game Reserve, from a hide (a sunken freight container) that provided a ground-level view. Greg chose to use a slow shutter speed to create the atmosphere he was after and try "to depict these gentle giants in an almost ghostly way." He used a wide-angle lens tilted up to emphasize the size of whatever elephant entered the foreground, and chose a narrow aperture to create a large depth of field so that any elephants in the background would also be in focus. Greg had hoped the elephants would turn up before dawn, but they arrived after the sun was up. To emphasize the "mysterious nature" of these "enigmatic subjects", he attached a polarizing filter and set his white balance to a cool temperature. The element of luck that added the final touch to his preparation was the baby elephant, which raced past the hide, so close that Greg could have touched her. The slow shutter speed conveyed the motion, and a short burst of flash at the end of the exposure froze a fleeting bit of detail. (Greg du Toit / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013) #

Essence of elephants: Ever since he first picked up a camera, Greg du Toit has photographed African elephants. “For many years, I’ve wanted to create an image that captures their special energy and the state of consciousness that I sense when I’m with them. This image comes closest to doing that.” The shot was taken at a waterhole in Botswana’s Northern Tuli Game Reserve, from a hide (a sunken freight container) that provided a ground-level view. Greg chose to use a slow shutter speed to create the atmosphere he was after and try “to depict these gentle giants in an almost ghostly way.” He used a wide-angle lens tilted up to emphasize the size of whatever elephant entered the foreground, and chose a narrow aperture to create a large depth of field so that any elephants in the background would also be in focus. Greg had hoped the elephants would turn up before dawn, but they arrived after the sun was up. To emphasize the “mysterious nature” of these “enigmatic subjects”, he attached a polarizing filter and set his white balance to a cool temperature. The element of luck that added the final touch to his preparation was the baby elephant, which raced past the hide, so close that Greg could have touched her. The slow shutter speed conveyed the motion, and a short burst of flash at the end of the exposure froze a fleeting bit of detail. (Greg du Toit / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013) #

2013 Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Udayan Rao Pawar

This award is given to the photographer whose single image is judged to be the most striking and memorable of all the pictures entered by young photographers.

Mother's little headful: One night, Udayan Rao Pawar camped near a nesting colony of gharials on the banks of India's Chambal River -- two groups of them, each with more than 100 hatchlings. Before daybreak, he crept down and hid behind rocks beside the babies. "I could hear them making little grunting sounds. Very soon a large female surfaced near the shore, checking on her charges. Some of the hatchlings swam to her and climbed onto her head. Perhaps it made them feel safe." It turned out that she was the chief female of the group, looking after all the hatchlings. Gharials were once found in rivers all over the Indian subcontinent. Today, just 200 or so breeding adults remain in just 2 per cent of the former range. "The Chambal River is the gharial's last stronghold," says Udayan, "but is threatened by illegal sand-mining and fishing." (Udayan Rao Pawar / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013) #

Mother’s little headful: One night, Udayan Rao Pawar camped near a nesting colony of gharials on the banks of India’s Chambal River — two groups of them, each with more than 100 hatchlings. Before daybreak, he crept down and hid behind rocks beside the babies. “I could hear them making little grunting sounds. Very soon a large female surfaced near the shore, checking on her charges. Some of the hatchlings swam to her and climbed onto her head. Perhaps it made them feel safe.” It turned out that she was the chief female of the group, looking after all the hatchlings. Gharials were once found in rivers all over the Indian subcontinent. Today, just 200 or so breeding adults remain in just 2 per cent of the former range. “The Chambal River is the gharial’s last stronghold,” says Udayan, “but is threatened by illegal sand-mining and fishing.” (Udayan Rao Pawar / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013) #

The spat: For several hours, the noisy sounds of courtship and mating were all Joe McDonald was treated to as he sat, sweltering in the hot sun, in a boat on the Three Brothers River in Brazil's Pantanal. So when the female jaguar finally emerged from the undergrowth and walked down to the river to drink, he was grateful for the photo opportunity. But that was just a start. After slaking her thirst, the female flopped down on the sand. Then the male appeared. After drinking and scent-marking, he approached the female, who was lying in what appeared to be a pose of enticement. At least, that's what both Joe and the male thought. She rose, growled and suddenly charged, slamming the male back as he reared up to avoid her outstretched claws. His own claws were sheathed. "I couldn't believe the energy and intensity of those three seconds," says Joe. The pair then disappeared into the undergrowth to resume their courtship, leaving Joe with a sense of awe and a rare, winning image. (Joe McDonald / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013)

The spat: For several hours, the noisy sounds of courtship and mating were all Joe McDonald was treated to as he sat, sweltering in the hot sun, in a boat on the Three Brothers River in Brazil’s Pantanal. So when the female jaguar finally emerged from the undergrowth and walked down to the river to drink, he was grateful for the photo opportunity. But that was just a start. After slaking her thirst, the female flopped down on the sand. Then the male appeared. After drinking and scent-marking, he approached the female, who was lying in what appeared to be a pose of enticement. At least, that’s what both Joe and the male thought. She rose, growled and suddenly charged, slamming the male back as he reared up to avoid her outstretched claws. His own claws were sheathed. “I couldn’t believe the energy and intensity of those three seconds,” says Joe. The pair then disappeared into the undergrowth to resume their courtship, leaving Joe with a sense of awe and a rare, winning image. (Joe McDonald / Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013)

Continue reading

Top 10 things Many Parents Don’t—And Should–Know About Teen Driving

The National Safety Council Promotes Parent Education During National Teen Driver Safety Week

DriveitHOME, a unique new program from the National Safety Council, includes an interactive website featuring engaging videos, free emailed weekly practice tips and other critical safe driving resources for parents of new teen drivers.  (PRNewsFoto/National Safety Council)

DriveitHOME, a unique new program from the National Safety Council, includes an interactive website featuring engaging videos, free emailed weekly practice tips and other critical safe driving resources for parents of new teen drivers. (PRNewsFoto/National Safety Council)

The most significant threat facing teens is the vehicle sitting in their parents’ driveways. Yet, many parents remain under-educated about teen driving safety and the risks new drivers face. In observance of National Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 20-26, the National Safety Council released a comprehensive list of things many parents do not – but need to – know about teen driver safety:

  1. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the U.S.
  2. Most dangerous time of a teen driver’s life is the first 12 months after receiving a license
  3. A teen driver’s crash risk is three times that of drivers ages 20 and older
  4. Teens crash most often because they are inexperienced – not because they take more risks behind the wheel.
  5. Teen passengers are one of the biggest distractions for teen drivers. Just one teen passenger raises a teen driver’s fatal crash risk 44 percent. Two passengers doubles fatal crash risk. Three or more quadruples crash risk.
  6.  Most fatal nighttime crashes involving teen drivers happen between 9 p.m. and midnight
  7. More than half of teens killed in car crashes were not restrained by a seatbelt.
  8. Most states’ teen driving laws and restrictions do not adequately protect teen drivers from the most serious crash risks
  9. Teens really do learn to drive from watching their parents. A survey from The Allstate Foundation found 80 percent of teens cite their parents as having the most influence over teens’ driving habits.
  10. Crash risk remains high after licensure. In fact, young drivers’ crash risk does not significantly begin decreasing until age 25.

(Watch these parents describe what they learned about how to be a better driving coach for their new teen drivers and how long parents need to stay involved. Parent education and involvement is a focal point during National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 20-26.”  Video available at:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgrwpH_w0Ks)

Parents literally hold the keys to developing good teen drivers,” said John Ulczycki, vice president of strategic initiatives at NSC. “National Teen Driver Safety Week is the perfect time for parents to learn the facts and put their knowledge to action. The more parents know, the further most will go to protect their teens, which will keep our roads safer for all motorists.”

The theme of National Teen Driver Safety Week, ‘It takes two: Shared expectations for parents and teens for driving,’ is in lockstep with the Council’s recent focus on parent education around teen driver safety. DriveitHOME, an initiative of NSC, is a website created for parents by parents that focuses on the most important things parents can do to protect teen drivers. Go to www.driveithome.org to sign up for weekly driving tips and other resources.

Founded in 1913 and chartered by Congress, the National Safety Council, www.nsc.org, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. The NSC advances this mission by partnering with businesses, government agencies, elected officials and the public in areas where we can make the most impact – distracted driving, teen driving, workplace safety, prescription drug overdoses and Safe Communities.

GLSEN Opens Online Auction And Offers Once-In-A-Lifetime Experiences To Benefit GLSEN’s Nationwide Efforts To End Harassment And Discrimination In K-12 Schools

List of items Up for Bidding Features Private Lunch with Academy/Golden Globe Award-Winning Actress Julia Roberts, Walk-on Roles on HBO’s True Blood , ABC’s Modern Family, and Tickets to the Los Angeles Premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and After Party.

GLSEN-logo

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe schools for all students.  Established in 1990, GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression and seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community.

GLSEN has unveiled its Charitybuzz online auction offering a private lunch with Academy/Golden Globe Award-winning actress Julia Roberts, walk-on roles on HBO’s True Blood and ABC’s Modern Family & General Hospital, tickets to the Los Angeles Premiere of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and after party, and other once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Auction bids will be accepted online until October 30 at: www.charitybuzz.com/glsen.

GLSEN is proud to offer an exceptional slate of experiences to bid on at www.charitybuzz.com/glsen. This year’s opportunities include:

— Lunch with Academy/Golden Globe Award-winning actress Julia Roberts and Fandango’s Dave Karger at the exclusive Soho House West Hollywood

— 2 tickets to the Los Angeles Premiere and After Party for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

— 2 tickets to the 2014 Oscar Party in West Hollywood hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish

— Make your TV debut in a Modern Family walk-on role

— Enjoy an extra role in the final season of True Blood

Saving Mr. Banks pre-release private screening for 25 at the Historic Disney Lot.

— Tour the Radio Disney Studios, sit-in on a live broadcast and meet a Radio Disney star at a “Take Over”

— Enjoy a walk-on role on ABC’s General Hospital

— 2 VIP passes to the ESPN Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado on January 23-26

— 4 tickets to the Season 17 finale of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars on November 26 in Los Angeles

— 4 tickets to the Radio Disney Music Awards with Pre-Show Celebrity Lounge and After Party access on April 26 in Los Angeles

— Behind-the-scenes tour and lunch for 2 at KABC7 Los Angeles

— Audition in Los Angeles with April Webster, Casting Director of Star Trek Into Darkness

— Fine art dog photography session with award-winning photographer Jesse Freidin

The auction is held in conjuction with GLSEN’s Respect Awards – Los Angeles (www.glsen.org/respectla13) taking place Friday, October 18 at The Beverly HIlls Hotel. GLSEN will honor leading global, award-winning entertainment company Lionsgate (Chairman’s Award); Emmy/Golden Globe Award-winning producer Linda Bloodworth Thomason (Lifetime Achievement Award); Emmy/Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jim Parsons and partner Todd Spiewak (Inspiration Award); and 11th-grade student Laila Al-Shamma of Carlsbad, California (2013 Student Advocate of the Year). Openly gay singer, songwriter and YouTube sensation Steve Grand will perform his hit single “All American Boy,” and members of the award-winning, internationally acclaimed John Burroughs High School Show Choir will open the show singing a song written by Academy Award-winning songwriter Dean Pitchford. Continue reading

The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® Announces Seventh Annual GRAMMY® Week Celebration, Honoring Neil Young

ANNUAL CELEBRATION WILL HIGHLIGHT SOUND QUALITY AND PAY HOMAGE TO TWO-TIME GRAMMY® WINNER AT THE VILLAGE STUDIOS IN WEST LOS ANGELES ON JANUARY 21, 2014

The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® (www.producersandengineers.com) will celebrate its Seventh Annual GRAMMY® Week Event honoring two-time GRAMMY winner Neil Young for his commitment to excellence and ongoing support for the art and craft of recorded music. The event will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014,at the Village Studios in West Los Angeles. GRAMMY Week culminates with the 56th Annual GRAMMY Awards® on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014,airing live on the CBS Television Network, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Established in 1957, The Recording Academy is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals that is dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development,

The Recording Academy Logo.  (PRNewsFoto/The Recording Academy)

The Recording Academy Logo. (PRNewsFoto/The Recording Academy)

cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs and continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture.

Currently more than 6,500 professionals comprise The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing, which was established for producers, engineers, remixers, manufacturers, technologists, and other related creative and technical professionals in the recording field. This organized voice for the recording community addresses issues that affect the craft of recorded music, including the development and implementation of new technologies, technical guidelines and recommendations, and archiving and preservation initiatives.

The efforts of the P&E Wing continue to raise awareness about the importance of sound quality and the preservation and integrity of recorded music,” said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy. “This year, it is with great honor that we pay tribute to a musical icon who has been tireless in his own efforts to draw attention to the importance of hearing music as the artists who created it intended, and who has continually set precedents of excellence within the music community. The contributions of Neil Young are innumerable, as is his incomparable body of work, and we look forward to an unforgettable evening with this legendary artist.

As the Producers & Engineers Wing 2014 honoree, Young joins an impressive list of past honorees: Chris Blackwell, T Bone Burnett, Tom Dowd, Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, Jimmy Iovine, Quincy Jones, Arif Mardin, Al Schmitt, and Jerry Wexler. For more than four decades, he has set a standard of artistic integrity and iconoclastic creativity, and his achievements have been matched by his unwavering humanitarianism. In recognition of his influential accomplishments and charitable endeavors, Young was honored as the MusiCares® Person of the Year in 2010. Continue reading

World-Renowned Chef Thierry Marx in Residence at The Mandarin Oriental, Geneva

The MANDARIN ORIENTAL, GENEVA is delighted to host an exclusive ‘THIERRY MARX’ CULINARY WEEK, featuring the guest Chef himself, at the hotel’s Le Sud restaurant from 28 October to 3 November 2013. One of France’s most distinguished chefs, Thierry Marx is the Executive Chef at Mandarin Oriental, Paris where he established and now supervises both the brasserie-style Camélia, and Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx, the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant which was awarded two Michelin stars in 2012.

 Chef Thierry Marx

Chef Thierry Marx

Executive Chef and F&B Director for Mandarin Oriental, Paris, Thierry Marx supervises the hotel’s two restaurants, Bar 8, the Room Service, the Cake Shop and catering for events. One of France’s most distinguished chefs, Thierry Marx trained in some of the country’s best restaurants including Ledoyen, Taillevent and Robuchon. He was awarded his first Michelin star in 1988 at Roc en Val in Tours, and another at Cheval Blanc in Nîmes in 1991. He spent ten years at Château Cordeillan-Bages, a Relais & Châteaux in Gironde, where he held two Michelin stars since 1999. In 2006, Thierry Marx was elected Chef of the Year by Le Chef Magazine as well as by the GaultMillau guide.

In his role as Executive Chef at Mandarin Oriental, Paris, he is responsible for creating unforgettable and very different experiences for each of the restaurants, with menus which have been crafted over for months in his Paris Food Lab. An aesthete with an eye for detail, Thierry Marx also worked closely with Agence Jouin-Manku to create an exclusive dinner service for Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx, the hotel’s gastronomic restaurant. Continue reading