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 user 2005-05-23 at 12:23:00 pm Views: 64
  • #9583

    More shades of
    Photography’s past has become Epson’s next target for digital printing. In
    addition to the usual array of color inks, the Epson Stylus Photo R2400 uses
    four kinds of black ink to improve the reproduction of black-and-white photos.

    “Black and white was the last frontier of
    traditional film photography that digital couldn’t address,” said Patrick Chen,
    Epson’s product manager for the new printer.


    Like the printer it replaces, the R2200,
    the new printer has two basic black options: matte black for heavily textured
    papers and photo black for everything else. But the $850 R2400 adds two
    additional cartridges, light black and light, light black, to improve monochrome
    photo reproduction. Each cartridge costs $15. All of the R2400 inks are based on
    pigments, which Epson says improves resistance to fading.


    The software it uses allows
    black-and-white prints to be made directly from color image files. It also gives
    users the option of making monochrome prints with a slightly warm or a brownish
    sepia tone.


    The printer accepts paper up to 13
    inches, or 33 centimeters, in width. Despite its emphasis on black and white,
    Chen said that it could also reproduce subtle differences in full color prints.


    Forget the wires


    The short-range wireless technology
    called Bluetooth has driven the popularity of wireless cellphone headsets,
    computer keyboards and printers. With the updated EasyDrive car kit from Parrot,
    the ranks of cellphone users adopting Bluetooth hands-free speakerphones for
    their cars may grow as well.


    The speakerphone ($99 at
    does not require professional installation. You simply plug the round microphone
    and speaker module into a car’s cigarette lighter, and it quickly connects to
    your Bluetooth-enabled phone, whatever its network. The unit has a built-in
    microphone and a linked manual-control module with three large function buttons.


    But by using its integrated
    voice-recognition technology, you can make and receive calls, check voice mail
    and adjust volume without touching your phone or the controls. It also has
    digital-signal audio processing to filter out background noise and echo so you
    can be heard more clearly.


    Because it is a plug-and-play product,
    the Parrot kit is useful for travelers who rent cars – and potentially an asset
    when you need to call someone for directions.


    The Grill Alert Talking Remote
    Thermometer is designed for those who tend to wander away from the barbecue. You
    just stick a stainless steel probe into your sizzling meat and wait for the
    remote thermometer – carried on a belt clip – to announce that your entree is
    almost ready or, a few minutes later, that your entree is ready.


    The probe is connected to a transmitter
    that sits next to the grill, and there is also a stand for securing the
    thermometer to a flat surface. The device, available for $75 at,
    asks you to specify what you are grilling – beef, lamb, veal, hamburger, pork,
    turkey, chicken or fish – and how well done you like it.


    The display shows both preferred and
    actual temperature, and a graph that tracks cooking progress.