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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Best Underwater / Beach Cameras

By: Wendy Sheehan Donnell

Don't fear the water. These tough, waterproof digital cameras are built to capture your summer adventures.

Technology and water don't mix. Delicate circuitry doesn't like to get wet, but it's summer and photo ops abound. If you want to capture photos or video of your outdoor adventures, a rugged, waterproof digital camera could be for you.

A fairly new product category, many point-and-shoot camera manufacturers are only on their first or second waterproof, ruggedized model. While they continue to get better with each iteration, you'll often have to pay more and make some sacrifices for a camera you can swim with. Our Editors Choice, the practically bulletproof Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2, for example, is a leaps-and-bounds improvement over its predecessor, last year's DMC-TS1, which had image-quality issues and problems with its waterproof casing. This year's model captures top-notch still images and HD video, but it'll cost you $400.

Rugged, waterproof cameras can also be bulky. Canon's first entrant in this category, the $300 PowerShot D10, takes beautiful pictures, but it's almost twice as thick as most of its competitors. The $230 Casio Exilim G EX-G1, on the other hand, is the slimmest waterproof camera we've seen, but it suffers in the image-quality department.

All of the models here can capture still images and video in up to 10 feet of water. Some of them, like the PowerShot D10 and the Lumix TS2 can go as deep as 33 feet below, so you can even scuba dive with them. And they're rugged. The $400 Olympus Stylus Tough-8010, for one, can survive drops of up to 6.6 feet and withstand temperatures as low as 14 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, innovative controls let you operate the camera by tapping on its sides while you're wearing gloves, so the Tough-8010 is a good choice if you want to shoot winter outdoor sports too.

Finally, If you're more focused on video than still images, the $150 Kodak Playsport Video Camera records up to full 1080p HD video in up to 10 feet of water. You can then easily upload your footage right to YouTube or Facebook without having to convert it. The pocket-size Playsport also grabs 5-megapixel stills.

If you're ready to take the plunge with your camera, check out our reviews (linked below) or compare these models side by side.

Cameras and Camcorders Featured in this Roundup:

Canon PowerShot D10

$299.99 current list
Canon's cute and curvy PowerShot D10 is waterproof, freeze-proof, and shock-proof, and it pumps out great-looking images, but if you're looking for a slim camera, this isn't it.

Casio Exilim G EX-G1

$229.99 list
The Casio Exilim G EX-G1 offers a ruggedized build in a surprisingly slim, compact body, but image quality isn't this shooter's strong suit.

Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP

$179.95 list
The Fujifilm FinePix Z33WP may be the least-expensive underwater still camera you can find, but with poor image quality and a lackluster interface, you get what you pay for.

Kodak Playsport Video Camera

$149.95 direct
The $150 Kodak Playsport Video Camera fits in your pocket, captures 1080p footage and 5-megapixel still images—and you can take it in the pool.

Olympus Stylus Tough-8010

$399.99 list
With its tap-enabled interface, the Olympus Stylus Tough-8010 is a good fit for those who want a top-of-the-line rugged build, HD video capture, and a camera that's easy to operate while using gloves.

Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2

$399.99 list
With top-notch image quality and an unrivaled HD video capture experience, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS2 is one of the best ruggedized cameras you can buy.

Pentax Optio W80

$249.95 current list
The rugged and waterproof Pentax Optio W80 can shoot great pictures in bright conditions, but images captured at ISO 200 and above are noisier than average.

Medical marijuana dispensaries could mean big changes for Oregon

Jessica Van Berkel, The Oregonian Jessica Van Berkel, The Oregonian

Bradshaw.JPGLindsey Bradshaw, 62, spends most days in his Southeast Portland home, where he can quickly access his painkillers and keep tabs on his health. Bradshaw's battle with cancer in 2003 left him without his spleen and a kidney, part of his stomach, colon and pancreas. Medical marijuana is one of the methods he uses to deal with the pain.

With one hand, Lindsey Bradshaw hoisted his food bag onto his back, arranging the tube that has helped feed him since cancer ravaged his stomach seven years ago. In his other hand, he clutched a small gold bowl of marijuana and a pipe.

He depends on both devices to get through the day.

One of 36,380 patients registered with the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, Bradshaw is a gardener who grows most of his own medical marijuana -- one of two options that program participants have. They can also buy from a producer who sells to four or fewer people.

Those options leave people dry if they don't know a producer and are too sick to grow their own, Bradshaw said.

But that could change, if a ballot measure to create a system of medical marijuana dispensaries passes.

The measure certified for the November ballot July 16, but has not received a ballot number yet. It would establish Oregon as the seventh state to set up a state-regulated dispensary system.

Growth of state-regulated models began popping up across the United States after October 2009, when President Barack Obama loosened enforcement of the federal law on marijuana possession, as long as people comply with their state's law.

Proponents of dispensaries say they would make access easier for thousands of sick Oregonians, but Oregon police and officials from other states with dispensaries caution that access can spiral out of control, resulting in unregistered dispensaries and illegal users. In Los Angeles, a mess of unregistered and dangerous dispensaries was the result of a "hodge-podge of competing and contrasting laws and ordinances," from the city, county and state regulating marijuana, said Tony Bell, spokesman for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich.

The city placed a moratorium on new dispensaries in November 2007, but hundreds sprung up anyway. In June, the city ordered more than 400 dispensaries to close in an attempt to regain control of the marijuana industry.

In Colorado, Ron Hyman, the state registrar of vital statistics, received less than 5,000 applications for marijuana dispensaries in 2008. Now he gets 1,000 every day.

Colorado placed a one-year ban on new dispensaries and switched to a state-run system meant to reduce customer complaints about quality and cleanliness, Hyman said.

In Oregon, dispensaries would be nonprofits registered with the Department of Health, and have yearly licenses. The department would be in charge of monitoring and inspections.
Medical marijuana dispensary ballot measure
A measure to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon has been certified for the November ballot, but not yet given a number. Major elements:
Each dispensary and producer may possess 24 mature plants, 72 seedlings and six pounds of usable marijuana.
Producers and dispensers would pay a 10 percent fee to the state on all income/
Only Oregon residents could purchase and grow the marijuana.
Health department would be able to conduct and fund medical marijuana research.
People convicted of certain felonies in the past five years would be prohibited from delivering or growing the drug.
Health department must create a low-income assistance program for needy cardholders.

Dispensaries would prevent illness from mold or insects, which can occur when inexperienced users attempt to grow their own marijuana, Bradshaw said. Licensed patients who want to continue to grow their own medical marijuana could still do so.

Dispensaries could also offer different strains of marijuana with properties best suited to patients' symptoms, commonly severe pain or muscle spasms.

For Bradshaw, getting to select certain strains would be helpful, he said. The 62-year-old lost his spleen, a kidney, part of his stomach, colon and pancreas to Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He takes various drugs to deal with the pain, but said opiates like oxycodone leave him in a haze.

Proponents of the initiative, like Bradshaw, say putting the state in charge would keep dispensaries safe.

But Sgt. Erik Fisher of the Oregon police Drug Enforcement Section said that wouldn't make a difference. If dispensaries appear in Oregon, honest patients would soon be in the minority, Fisher said. All you have to do is look at California where the dispensaries opened the door for more abuse, he said.

If someone purchased $40 in medical marijuana at an Oregon dispensary, "what's to prevent them from sticking a FedEx package, sending it to New York and making $600?

"It'll make it easier to skirt the law," he said. "You make it more available to patients, you make more available to criminals."

Dispensaries are an obvious location for crime, Bell said, and can endanger the public. "Communities just don't want them in their areas."

John Sajo, who helped draft the ballot initiative, agreed that medical marijuana stores in California are "little more than gangs with storefronts." Oregon would be different, he said, because the measure on the ballot eliminates most of the gray areas that caused issues in California.

The average patient in Oregon is also "older, sicker and poorer," than many of the California patients who are in their 20s, Sajo said.

Bradshaw said he's one of those patients, and his marijuana usage is not provoking crime. "Me smoking in my living room doesn't have anything to do with a school three blocks away. What, I'm going to run down and say, 'Hey girl, want to smoke pot?' No."

The measure restricts where dispensaries can open -- they must be 1,000 feet away from schools and residential neighborhoods. It does not limit the number of dispensaries that can open.

Advocates say the dispensaries would bring much-needed revenue to the state. Dispensaries would make between $10 million and $40 million in the first year, Sajo predicted.

Producers would have to pay a $1,000 fee and distributors a $2,000 fee to cover program-operating costs, and would give 10 percent of their revenue back to the state. The health department could pick where to allocate the funds.

The department has not analyzed possible impacts of the initiative or planned how they would regulate dispensaries, said Dr. Grant Higginson, the state public health officer who worked with the explanatory statement of the initiative for the ballot.

The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program currently registers cardholders and their caregivers -- it has nothing to do with inspections or regulations. If the initiative were to pass, he said, it would transform the program.

--Jessica Van Berkel

Invisible Fence Shocks Hot Chick

Invisible Fence Shocks Hot Chick - Watch more Funny Videos

Walking Across America

Walking Across America - Watch more Funny Videos

Over 2700 pictures make up this stop motion clip of some dude walking from New York To San Francisco.

By: ssproair

Camera Software Lets You See Into the Past

Computational rephotography is a fancy name for photos taken from the exact same viewpoint as an old photograph. Actually, that’s just rephotography. The “computational” part is when software helps out.

I’m a sucker for photos of old street scenes. Seeing familiar parts of your city as they were many decades ago is fascinating, and if people are good enough to snap a new version, you can enjoy the differences of places you have never seen. At Flickr and a site called Historypin, you can see the old shots lined up over the new, like a window into the past.

Researchers at MIT have found a way to automate the process. Currently, they use a laptop to do the heavy lifting, but the software could just as easily sit inside a camera. In fact, that’s the plan. The system compares the scene in front of the camera with a historical photograph. It then works out the difference between the two and gives the photographer instructions along the lines of “up a bit, left a bit more.”

According to an abstract on rephotography, it is a lot more complicated than it seems. In lining up the images you must consider “six degrees of freedom of 3-D translation and rotation, and the confounding similarity between the effects of camera zoom and dolly.”

Gimmick? Sure, but then so are all manner of the features in the modern digicam, from smile-detection to facial-recognition to fancy sepia modes. Today’s camera is essentially a computer with a sensor and a lens, so why not pack in everything you can? And if it means getting to see more old-time streets scenes, I’m totally in.

Camera app puts you in the footsteps of history [New Scientist via Alex Madrigal]

Computational rephotography [ACM]

Photo: Nomad Tales/Flickr

The Bat Pod Replica You Can Actually Ride


The Bat Pod Replica You Can Actually Ride

Unlike the previous replica—which was more dragster than an actual road bike—it seems like this Bat Pod can actually be handled like any other motorcycle. Quite an impressive work:

If you are around Mountain View, California, you may actually spot it on the street. [Reddit]

10 year old British schoolboy hailed as 'next Picasso'


A British schoolboy has stunned the art world by producing paintings that look like Picasso's.

Hamad Al Humaidhan has already been snapped up by an international art agency despite still being at primary school.

So what is all the fuss about?

Anna Holligan reports.

Trailer for Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch'

Trailer for Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch' - Watch more horror

'Sucker Punch' is being touted as Alice in Wonderland with machine guns. And if this trailer is any indication, it looks that promised is definitely going to be delivered. 'Sucker Punch' is in theaters March 25, 2011

  • Cast: Jon Hamm,Emily Browning,Vanessa Hudgens,Jamie Chung,Carla Gugino,Jena Malone
  • Director: Zack Snyder
  • Release: 03-25-2010

The 16 Hottest Billionaire Daughters

Just like banging a porn star and hooking up with a cougar housewife during a blackout bender in Vegas, dating the successor to a billion-dollar fortune should be pretty high on every Bro's bucket list. Just think, while your drinking buddies are slaving away in middle management waiting for happy hour, you can be spending your summer Fridays teeing up on a golf course her father owns or jetting off via Gulfstream to her family's bungalow in Saint Tropez. Unfortunately, there's more bros in the world than hot billionaire daughters, so the odds of shacking up with a 10-figure heiress are probably just as slim as being the coveted third notch in Meagan Fox's bedpost.

Billionaire daughters have a bad rap as high-maintenance trust fund babies and socialite ladies of pleasure. Also, let's not forget that wealth is not always synonymous with good genes. Not every tycoon and captain of industry in the exclusive billionaires' club has drop-dead gorgeous offspring. In order to help you navigate the tiny sea of billionaire darlings, we've compiled a 16-item guide to the hottest billionaire daughters in the world. What would it take to date one of these girls? Besides being a professional athlete or a Hollywood A-lister, the obvious answer is a parent or family member with a similar position on the Forbes list. Connections and opportunity are everything when it comes to bringing a date home to a daddy who's in the upper stratosphere of world wealth. Most of the selections are industrious and individuals who work hard to fill the giant shoes of their family's business legacy and financial accomplishments. Of course, others are simply hard-partying runway models. Enjoy the hotties after the jump.

Marta Ortega Pérez

Age: 26

Billionaire Father: Amancio Ortega Gaona

Family Fortune: $25 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #9

Three years ago Amancio Ortega Gaona's youngest daughter, Marta Perez, began her quest to inherit her father's Inditex fashion retail empire with a no-frills job stocking shelves and dealing with customers service at a Bershka fashion store. Inditex now boasts some 4,500 stores in 73 countries, including chichi designer brands such as Bershka, Stradivarius, Massimo Dutti, and the massive Zara chain. The daughter of Spain's richest man is reported to be an avid equestrian and still single, so a little horse whispering might be the quickest way to winning the heart of this billionaire heiresses.

Ivanka Trump

Age: 28

Billionaire Father: Donald Trump

Family Fortune: $2 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #488

If being an attention whore is a disease, it must run in the Trump family. The Donald's sexy Wharton-alum daughter has been adorning magazine covers since 1997 and an "Apprentice" boardroom fixture since 2006. The daughter to Donald's ex-wife Ivana, Ivanka was a runway model before entering the family business. In October 2009, Ivanka dashed the hopes of aspiring underlings everywhere by converting to Judaism and marrying real estate heir and media upstart Jared Kushner.

Anna Anisimova

Age: 23

Billionaire Father: Vasily Anisimov

Family Fortune: $1.6 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #616

In May 2005, a young Manhattan model became a nightlife party girl with a lot of buzz when New York magazine published a exclusive profile about her gallivanting. Widely recognized as "the Russian Paris Hilton," Anna Anisimova's enterprising Russian father amassed his billions by establishing a prosperous aluminum mining company after the Soviet Union collapsed. Now an NYU student, Anna's freewheelin' spending habits on premium real estate have raised the media's collective eye-brow. Her dad once fronted her $550,000 in cash for a summer rental in Southampton, New York. It's also been reported that she dipped into daddy's wallet for a $23 million West Village townhouse that she converted into condos and a $15 million crash pad in the Time Warner Center.

Paige Johnson

Age: 24

Billionaire Father: Robert Johnson

Family Fortune: $1 billion (2008)

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #1,062 (2008)

Robert Johnson, the visionary founder and CEO of BET, became the first African-American billionaire in 2001. One year later he started the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team, earning another page in the history books as the first African-American principle owner of a sports team. His daughter Paige, grew up in the Washington D.C. area and claims to be quite the horse enthusiast. In 2009, Forbes revoked her father's ticket to the billionaires club, reporting that Johnson's fortune shrunk by almost half. To make matters worse, last week the Daily Beast speculated that Johnson's recent sale of the Bobcats to Michael Jordan reflects his dire financial situation.

Charlotte Casiraghi

Age: 23

Billionaire Family: Grimaldi Family of Monaco

Family Fortune: $1 billion

A granddaughter to the late Grace Kelly and an eligible heir to the throne of Monaco, Charlotte Casiraghi is a 23-year-old editor-at-large for Above fashion magazine. Her inheritance isn't limited to her grandfather's royal fortune and her grandmother's good looks. At the age of 17, this elegant fashionsita was gifted a private island off the coast of Sardinia.

Amanda Hearst

Age: 26

Billionaire Family: The Hearst family

Family Fortune: $1.5 billion

The great granddaughter of one of America's first media moguls, William Randolph Hearst, is a smoking'-hot model who graduated from Fordham.

Holly Branson

Age: 28

Billionaire Father: Richard Branson

Family Fortune: $4 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #212

Rather than milking her father's fortune from the Virgin empire, Richard Branson's bombshell daughter briefly decided to pursue a pediatric medical degree at University College in London. After smelling the roses that her father is one of the coolest billionaires in the world, Holly left her medical ambitions to intern at Virgin and begin the climb up the company ladder. Although she's still single, there's been tabloid speculation that she might be a suitor to Prince William.

Tamara Ecclestone

Age: 25

Billionaire Father: Bernard Ecclestone

Family Fortune: $4 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #212

Tamara Ecclestone's father, Bernard, has managed to capitalize on the explosion of interest in F-1 racing around the world, tying him with Richard Branson at the #212 spot on the 2010 Forbes list. Tamara works as a racing television host in Britain and her Croatian mother is a former Armani model.


Dylan Lauren

Age: 36

Billionaire Father: Ralph Lauren

Family Fortune: $4.6 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #173

Ralph Lauren's Polo empire began in a working-class neighborhood in the Bronx and blossomed into the most iconic American fashion success story. Ralph's oldest daughter Dylan is the brainchild behind Dylan's Candy Bar, a boutique candy store with locations in New York, Houston, and Orlando. At 36 years old, she's definitely moving into cougar territory, but still brings fiery good looks. It's an obvious sign she's not overindulging on the sweets.

Ariana Rockefeller

Age: 27/28

Billionaire Grandfather: David Rockerfeller Sr.

Family Fortune: $2.2 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #47 Ariana's last name is Rockefeller -- as in John Rockerfeller -- which tells us she's a future heiress of a family that built it's fortune on Texas gold. Her father, David Rockerfeller Jr., manages the an estimated three billion in assets through Rockefeller Financial Services, which holds court in the family's namesake midtown Manhattan plaza.

Josie Ho Chiu Yi

Age: 35

Billionaire Father: Stanley Ho

Family Fortune: $2 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #488

Stanley Ho is a self-made Hong Kong-based developer who built his fortune by investing in casino and gambling operations in Macau. Two years ago the New York Times called his 35-year-old daughter Josie Ho one of the "most recognized faces in Chinese entertainment," even though her movies and television shows are barley a blip on the radar in the United States.

Georgina Bloomberg

Age: 27

Billionaire Father: Michael Bloomberg

Family Fortune: $18 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #23

Georgina Bloomberg, the daughter to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is both an accomplished equestrian and New York Knicks fan, where she's frequently spotted with her billionaire father. In November, Georgina dished to Page Six magazine about choosing an equestrian career over college and her father's meteoric rise on the billionaire list. Most recently Georgina landed a sports modeling deal.

Hind Hariri

Age: 26

Billionaire Father: Rafik Hariri

Family Fortune: $1.1 billion (2008)

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #1014 (2008)

When billionaire Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated in 2005, his youngest daughter inherited an estimated $1.1 billion from her father's oil exploration and contracting fortune. Before getting married, Hind was a fixture on the Parisian fashion scene.

Samantha Perelman

Age: 19 or 20? (born in 1990)

Billionaire Father: Ron Pearlman

Family Fortune: $11 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #52

The daughter of billionaire Cigar Aficionado investor and leveraged-buyout king Ron Pearlman attended the University of Pennsylvania, where the Pearlman family name adorns a campus quad. While billionaire heiresses don't tend to share their thoughts online, she's one of the few on this list besides Paris Hilton that you can follow on Twitter.

Paris and Nikki Hilton

Age: 29

Billionaire Grandfather: William Hilton

Family Fortune: $2.5 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #374

You didn't think we'd snub the hottest mess in Hollywood from a list of billionaire daughters, did you? Unflattering words such as "cretin," "good for nothing," and "dunderhead" are often associated with the "One Night In Paris" co-star and her socialite younger sister. Fortunately, her grandfather William Hilton -- the head of Hilton Hotels and son of the company's founder, Conrad Hilton -- has pledged most of the Hilton Hotel fortune to charity, so it's doubtful we'll ever see this amateur porn star and her tabloid fixture sis join ranks with the other billionaire daughters on this list.

Kathrine and Cecilie Fredriksen

Age: 25

Billionaire Father: John Fredriksen

Family Fortune: $7.7 billion

Position on 2010 Forbes Billionaire List: #88

Norwegian-born shipping magnate John Fredriksen has been called "a modern day Onassis." The shipping tycoon has amassed an impressive fortune by building oil tankers and drilling equipment for maritime oil exploration. His 25-year old twin daughters are Scandinavian smoke shows who work in companies controlled by their billionaire dad.