Tech Talk \ Rod Easdown chooses curves
What \ OLED Television
price \ $7999
urved screen OLED television? So last September. A national retail chain is advertising LG’s 140-centimetre OLED television, the one with the gently curved screen, for $7999, but you can do better than that. An enthusiastic salesperson offered me $7848, today only. Hang on. This is the screen that was unveiled only last September amid glitz and bubbles for $11,999, and it has just plummeted four grand? You’d be a bit depressed if you’d bought one last month. What happened? I suspect it’s all about the Consumer Electronics Show held every January in Las Vegas, where electronics companies show off their new toys and give us an inkling of what’s to come. OLED televisions (it stands for organic light-emitting diode) were high on this year’s agenda. OLED has several special properties. It is technology that can be laid on a surface, in this case curved glass, without adding any appreciable thickness. Hence your OLED telly is only as thick as the glass that hosts it. This is pretty special when you see it for the first time – it’s just a sheet of glass but it’s also a television. Like plasma, there’s no backlighting, so blacks are truly black because, when black is called for, the pixel emits no light at all. Contrast ratios are therefore way better than backlit LCDs and LEDs, and on a par with plasmas. Small OLED screens have been around for decades (lots of up-market car audio screens are OLED) but it is still extremely difficult to manufacture in large sizes. Get up to 140 centimetres and the failure rate is high –
LG OLED television
one independent source says 90 per cent. It suggests that when you pay for your 140-centimetre OLED, you’re also covering the cost of nine that failed. Even so, the industry views OLED as a powerful weapon that is getting us all into the shops to replace our perfectly good plasmas and LCDs with something newer. At the Las Vegas show, Samsung unveiled several, including one that’s bendable. TCL, one of the world’s biggest television manufacturers (it turns one out every 2¼ seconds, 24/7) announced the imminent release of a 140-centimetre OLED. And TCL is into ultra-sharp pricing. Maybe LG decided to put on its
Tech talk verdict \ remarkable Technology
running shoes and slash a third off the price of its offering. Or maybe, in these fast days, it’s now old tech. Whatever, it’s still a special screen. The technology is remarkable and the picture quality is sharp, deep and gorgeous, with each pixel carrying yellow as well as red, green and blue. The screen has no frame, although there is a narrow black border around the picture and the speakers are in a see-through panel. A good soundbar or speaker stand is still going to do a better job. Samsung also lists a 140-centimetre curved screen OLED on its website but I had no luck finding one. The woman in Doncaster couldn’t find it on the company’s inventory and suggested I ring Chadstone, but the guy there had never heard of it. \ firstname.lastname@example.org
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FEBRUARY 19, 2014 \ The weekly review 27
WEll-Being \ it’s true – we really are what we eat
ood has a profound impact on our health, wellbeing and disease risk. If we seek wholesomeness more often and add physical activity several times a week, our disease risk will decrease substantially. You could expect to be happier, more positive and energised and fit into your clothes. There are five major influences on our eating habits.
absorbed effectively and gastro upsets such as bloating, constipation or diarrhoea can result. This is often mistaken for a food intolerance. Individuals with ongoing sleep disruptions and stress also tend to consume less fibre and skip breakfast. Talk to your loved ones or seek professional help if you have sleep issues or your anxiety levels have peaked.
Poor sleep patterns and too little good-quality deep sleep are catastrophic. Deep sleep, stage four in the sleep cycle, is when bodies cleanse and repair. The liver functions in overdrive to “purify” the body and prepare us for the next day. This stage is essential for our body’s relaxation and coping mechanisms. Insufficient time in this sleep stage is associated with hormone imbalances that result in night-time alertness and daytime fatigue, irritability and anxiety. The sleep-deprived have a tendency to seek stimulants such as caffeine and processed sugars. Aim for seven to eight hours of quality sleep a night. Stress beyond our individual thresholds changes body chemistry. Due to the changes in hormone production and transport – and brain signalling messages – there is a disruption to digestion. It is extraordinarily taxing on the body and mind to process high levels of stress. As such, the body withdraws resources typically allocated to digestion and absorption of food and nutrients to modulate the adverse effects of stress. In doing so, nutrients are not
You’ve heard it before – breaking the overnight fast optimises brain function and enhances concentration during the day. It also balances blood sugars, halts ghrelin (hunger hormone) secretion, promotes weight maintenance and reduces risk of disease. Coffee and a protein shake are not suitable breakfast options. Hydration
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An adult human is about 70 per cent water. Water regulates body temperature, protects organs, transports nutrients, carries oxygen to muscles, lubricates joints, prevents constipation and promotes elimination of waste. Aim for one to two litres of water a day, more if exercising frequently. Do not undo the goodness of water by overindulging in booze. Keep It Real
Eat real food. There is no excuse for eating highly processed toxins. Multivitamins and supplements are no substitute. \ sharon brooks
» Sharon Brooks is a registered nutritionist and food scientist. www.facebook.com/sharonsnutritionaustralia next month \ This year’s food trends
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For 19 years she was a renowned columnist, features writer, news reporter and fashion editor for Melbourne’s The Age newspaper.
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ife has a way of derailing even the best-laid plans. Arrange to have money withdrawn from your That’s why New Year resolutions to take control of salary and moved into different bank accounts or your spending often don’t last more than a month sub-accounts, perhaps one for recurring household costs or two. Contrary to popular wisdom, though, it’s the and others for school expenses or extras. When you one-off expenses – not impulse buys – that typically build in these commitment mechanisms, it’s far easier to kill a personal budget. live up to your intentions. But by putting money aside for car repairs and There are plenty of mental tricks and strategies that overseas holidays, rather than leaving yourself exposed can make your budgeting succeed. For many, the best to a big hit, you can turn your finances around. strategy is not to think about it as budgeting at all, but It’s only by preparing a budget and sticking to it that to set in place broad goals and automate all savings and you really know what you spend and where you can other priorities where you can. make savings. Identifying where your money is spent can help pinpoint behaviour that needs to ZAP CREDIT CARD DEBT be changed, but it’s also critical to set realistic Credit cards provide instant gratification. The consequences come later. goals and not banish all fun from your life. the Research suggests that spending with actual manual dollars may be more painful, but the upside is GET STARTED Jot down a list of your sources and amounts that you tend to spend less. Letting credit card of income. Then list what you spend in a couple bills get out of control is a blunder that trips up of months. A smart approach is to categorise one in four Australian card-holders. expenses and divide them between essential items – With a budget, you can use cash to cover everyday phone, car, gas and electricity, etc – and extras such as expenses, while finding the money to pay off credit entertainment and holidays. cards with larger repayments. Include all expenses, including coffees, takeaways It is important not to focus solely on spending and cinema tickets. You should be able to clearly see restrictions. Take full account of your lifestyle and how much regular income you receive and where your career needs. A budget should help you to save more or money goes. Subtract your total expenses from your achieve a long-desired goal – both positive outcomes for income to get your net result. If the result shows you’re your financial future. \ email@example.com spending more than you earn, or close to it, spending adjustments will need to be made. Chris Tolhurst writes for Fairfax publications including The Australian Financial Review. AUTOMATe SAVINGs The best way to cut spending is to attack a few big Next month \ Funding your children’s education categories where you can make the biggest difference.
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FEBRUARY 19, 2014 \ The weekly review 29
February: The MANual