February 1, 2004
Hide And Click
Don’t be fooled by its small size–the Pentax Optio S4 packs a mean digital punch. The 3.5-ounce camera measures a mere 3.3 x 2 x .8 and manages to squeeze out crisp 4-megapixel digital images–whether you choose wide-angle or telephoto mode.
We tested the S4 in a variety of settings–in normal as well as low light conditions (although our dinner companions were none too pleased by the spectacle)–and were not disappointed. The camera also lets you record up to 60 seconds of movie clips at 12 fps (frames per second). And the S4 features 11MB of internal memory, which let us store eight or nine high-res images. You can also use Secure Digital (SD) or MultiMediaCards (MMC) with the camera. Despite impressive images and relatively easy-to-use controls (we found ourselves accidentally turning off the camera, for example, because it was so close to the shutter control), what really impressed our friends was the S4’s tiny size. (www.pentax.com; $399)
Back on the Tech Block
Brian Adams is at it again. The former co-founder and chief architect at Music Buddha Inc., an intelligent-music recommendation service (see “Have It Your Way,” May 2001), has created AntiSpam Personal, an application that features a “challenge and respond system” that works with POP3 and SMTP compliant e-mail services to help fight spam.
Adams is founder of Babastik (www.anti spampersonal.com), the Oakland-based company that produces the application. Adams, 30, initially created AntiSpam Personal for his grandmother so that she could have an easy-to-use application that quarantines e-mails from unfamiliar senders until verified. His service also provides a “white list” feature that lets users select known e-mail addresses. The product costs $29.95 and is available for download from the Website.
SPEAK AND SLIDE
Siemens’ small phone packs in big features
ith an easy-to-use, full-color screen slider that controls the keypad lock system, the Siemens SL56, when closed, fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and disappears in your pocket. With its egg shape, the locked phone measures approximately 3″ x 1.5″ and weighs 3 ounces.
The SL56 is a user-friendly device, addressing all the minor details that consumers find important. The keypad is extremely accessible; you can hit the keys you want–even with gloves on. Features such as voice command, Internet access, an extended electronic organizer, and multi-language capability make the phone attractive to people on the go. Although the SL56 is not camera-ready, it can receive pictures sent from other Siemens camera phones, and it only uses headsets made specifically for Siemens phones. Cingular wireless, the carrier of the SL56, provides satisfactory cellular service with few dropped calls, clear reception, and strong signal, making the combination a smart investment. (www .siemens.com; $249.99)