Archive for November, 2007

Hawaii Superferry Resumes Service December 1

Hawaii Superferry

Hawaii Superferry will relaunch its commercial service on December 1. It was announced on Friday afternoon by Hawaii Superferry as discount tickets went on sale at their website for $29 per person, each way during a promotional period from Dec. 1 to Dec. 20. After that Superferry will be pricing their fares at $39 each way to March 12. The fare structure only covers passengers but does not include the fuel surcharge which is being waived during the promotional period.

Superferry service will only be available between the islands of Oahu and Maui. Hawaii Superferry is not sailing to Kauai until potential secuirty problems can be worked out with the community there.

I hope it is smooth sailing for Superferry as they resume their interisland service to Maui and Oahu. The fare structure for now is good, right in line with the interisland airlines. I can understand them continuing to charge at least $55 for a standard vehicle since cars, vans and SUVs are fairly large.

Superferry service resumes after a long legal battle which included a convening of a special legislative session and a new law signed by the Governor in order to get the vessel running while an environmental study is conducted. The Superferry issue has been a galvanizing topic in Hawaii for several months with most of the public overwhelmingly supporting the service.

Sony Expo Showcases Latest Tech

Sony OLED

The annual Sony Hawaii Expo was held this week at the Ala Moana Hotel Hibiscus Ballroom. Highlight of this year’s Sony Expo was the desktop Sony OLED flatscreen TV (shown above). The hallmark of this high tech wonder is its small size and crystal clear high definition picture. The screen itself is thinner than a compact disc jewel case.

Another hyped product at the Sony Hawaii Expo is the new Sony Rolly MP3 player. It is a new portable device that is shaped like a little barrel and moves to the beat of the music. The speakers on this device are positioned at both ends and open up with winglike flaps on each end. The device will not be marketed in the U.S. and is aimed only at consumers in Japan. If it were sold in the U.S. the price would be at around $400.

Face recognition “smile” technology for Sony Cybershot cameras were also a new this year. The new Cybershots can sense when a person smiles and fires only at that time. People were happily smiling for the demo at the Sony Cybershot booth. There were many other Cybershot digital still and video cameras that were also on display for consumers to play with.

I was most interested in the small super zoom, SLR-like cameras that I may want to get in an effort to find a capable SLR-like digital camera without all of the weight and bulk.

Last year’s hot product, the Sony Playstation 3 was almost like a has-been this year. Yes, there were displays of the venerable Playstation 3 for people to use, but the crowds around those stations were not very big. Sony is still marketing the Playstation 2 which is still the most popular game console of all time, despite Nintendo running away with the market lead on their new generation Wii product.

I am still interested in perhaps getting a Sony PSP, mainly for the fact that it can surf the web with its wireless internet feature. Another wifi device that was touted last year, the Sony Mylo, was nowhere to be seen this year. Sony still sells the device.

HDTV are the big products Sony is pushing this year as the Expo was dominated by flatscreen high definition sets all over the place. Going hand in hand with that were several Sony Blu-Ray HDTV DVD players. the pictures on the sets and from the players are incredibly clear.

Don’t know if I am ready to sink money in either of these technologies, especially Blu-Ray since it is locked in a format war with the rival HD-DVD. Beta vs. VHS all over again. I’ll wait for the dust to settle on this one.

Overall the Sony Expo was a great little venue to check the latest technology from one of the most popular electronic companies on the face of the earth.

Sony Rolly
The Sony Rolly MP3 player. Sold only in Japan.

Honolulu Sony Expo
People clamor around the latest Sony digital cameras.

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