Archive for the ‘Diving flashlight’ Category

First of all

Pondělí, Červenec 9th, 2012

At the risk of coming off as unsophisticated, it seems to me that more and more things are popping up in life that we Midwesterners, well … just aren’t ready for.

Not just a mayor in New York who would deny us our 64-ounce Big Gulps. No, read the newspapers there and you will find mention of the $1 million parking space at a Greenwich Village condo project or the hip thing in men’s underwear: briefs that cost $100 a pair, with the added bonus that they cannot be thrown into the dryer. That might strike the average fly-over-country guy as something a little too impractical to have behind his fly.

Or the baby trademarking thing: Jay-Z and Beyonce protected their daughter’s name, Blue Ivy Carter — a step that I’ve found occurs to very few Kansas parents, who probably have already lost exclusive rights to Emily and John. I know, hard to look at your kids as so special now, isn’t it? Their product placement opportunities are practically zilch.

It’s folks like the Zs who are probably the target consumers of baby athletic shoes, 0 to 6 months, now on the market. They come with cleats. Makes it easier for their kids to crawl over yours into that exclusive day care.

We Midwesterners have to admit to ourselves that some things may simply be beyond our sensibilities, such as fusion cuisine at Bryant’s.

Recently came an un-Kodak moment when a photographer took his snaps using an adapted but real 150-year-old human skull. The photos were described as eerie. Ya think? I recommend Missourians stick to their Instamatics.

As one of the taciturn people of the Plains, I’m also appalled at the idea of sitting on planes next to somebody who already knows things, such as your age, favorite quotations and sexual proclivities. We have the Dutch airline KLM to thank for this “Social Check-in” breakthrough in seat selection through shared Facebook or Twitter postings.

Trying to ignore the quotations being hurled from the next seat, you might reach for your Sky Mall catalog. Anyone on an airplane in recent years knows these cater to folks with, uumm, very specific tastes.

I am not bad-mouthing the life-size, zombie head, arms and emerging torso. That worked great in Aunt Edna’s rose bed. It looked very natural, and, ultimately, so did she.

And yes, the wineglass holder necklace does has some appeal, especially after my last white carpet episode with some Johnson County folks who never seem to invite my wife and me back.

But in between the analog day-of-the-week clock wall, floating poker table and the beer can remote is … the Sumo Wrestler Table.

Naturally, the figure wears only his mawashi/belt/thong. Otherwise he’d look simply like one more fully clothed fat man crouched in the living room with your lamp on his back.

“Our table is topped with a … tempered glass top for views from any angle,” goes the sales pitch. Judging from the photos, one of those angles could scar young psyches for a long time.

Do we really need the Eco-Egg Washing Machine (it just looks like an egg, it doesn’t wash them), the Microwavable S’mores maker (a little robot thing holds down the concoction for zapping) or the Waring Pro Automatic Martini Maker for folks who have forgotten how to shake things?

And then there’s the nearly full-size cake that looks like a toilet with a semi-sweet chocolate lid, which is what they’re really selling. “With every Chocolate Toilet Seat order, we will personally walk you through every step it takes to make this unique eye catching cake,” says the ad for Creative Chocolates of Vermont.

Have color, will paint

Pondělí, Červen 18th, 2012

Like most professional painters, Tim Bosveld knows a dozen or so easy- to-learn tricks that an amateur can use to make the difference between a regrettable mess and what could pass for a pro job. But, despite years spent as a professional painter, Bosveld insists the most valuable tip he has to pass on is about how to pick the right color.

“Buy a small sample of the paint (under consideration) and apply it in the room and live with it for a while, really live with it. See how it works in the room,” says Bosveld, marketing vice president with Dunn-Edwards. He says there’s no way to predict the full impact of a paint color change just looking at color swatches in the store, or even holding them up to the wall in question.

“There are so many things that influence how a color works,” says Bosveld. “Lighting, whether it’s incandescent, fluorescent, natural or, now, even LED. Then there’s all the surrounding colors, furniture, window coverings, flooring. The only way you’re going to understand how all those factors” interact is to live with them a bit before painting. This is made easier by the paint dealer trend toward selling small sample-sized containers of paint.

No. 2 on Bosveld’s list would be to take your time on a thorough prep job: first repair any holes or dents, then slightly rough up the surface with light grade sandpaper (particularly if you’re covering a slick semi-gloss or gloss paint, as in bathrooms and kitchens), clean the surface and, if necessary, prime the entire area to ensure an even finish, Bosveld says.

Simply put, Bosveld says, “The quality of the paint job is a product of how well you prepare the surface.” And although amateurs too often resist the primer coat, Bosveld says priming is nearly always part of the prep process. He allows that a coat of primer may not be necessary if the wall or ceiling is unblemished, with no patches or rough spots, and already painted a color close to that of the new paint. But, that’s not often the case.

“Paint is a system,” says Bosveld, “and it’s primer and the paint coat.” It is particularly important if there are any imperfections such as patches. “Primer will get in there and seal patches.”

Tucson painting contractor Brandon Mallis didn’t hesitate a second when asked about the biggest mistake do-it-yourselfers make. “Cutting corners on preparation - not priming or sanding,” Mallis, owner of Affordable Quality Painting, says.

“If it’s a surface - drywall, wood, metal, any kind of bare surface - it has to be primed,” he says.

After thorough prep work, Mallis’ tips for DIYers start with a strong recommendation for buying quality brushes and roller covers that can be cleaned and reused, rather than buying cheap ones and throwing them out after one use. “Spend $15. It only takes a couple minutes to clean and you can use it 15 or 20 times.” Besides, he says, cheap roller covers produce an inconsistent surface and often shed fuzz in the paint.

Before you pop the top of a paint can, cover the floor with a tarp, remove electrical-outlet covers and tape the edges between the areas you will be painting a different color or sheen: the edge where the ceiling meets the walls, doorways and window frame, fixtures that can’t be removed for the painting, and finally the floor, or baseboard. A new 3M Scotch Safe-Release Painters Masking Tape, won’t leave adhesive behind when it’s removed.

From there, the principal is, start from the top - the ceiling, if you’re repainting the ceiling - and work your way down. Paint runs downhill, and so does the eye. Safe-release tapes, by the way, usually can stay on longer without tearing off an adjoining layer of fresh paint the way traditional masking tape did if it was left in place too long. That’s handy if you are applying a primer coat or have to do a second coat.

As Stanley Cup Finals rage on, these fans produce the lights, cameras, action

Pondělí, Červen 11th, 2012

The pre-game atmosphere inside the Prudential Center during the New Jersey Devils’ do-or-die game 5 against the Los Angeles Kings tonight was electric, but in an enclosed bunker tucked in a corner of the arena, it was frenetic.

“Gotta work quickly, gotta work quickly,” John Bochiaro shouted across the cramped control room.

A sea of camera angles showed the Devils shuffling nervously just off the ice, ready to make an entrance. A walkie-talkie crackled. Camera 6 wasn’t working as the Devils began to move toward the ice.

“Kevin Clark, stand by to start your intros really early,” Bochiaro said into a headset, speaking to the Devils’ arena announcer. “Okay, go. Go!”

This is the controlled chaos of the Devils’ in-house production team, led by Bochiaro. During each Devils home game, every aspect of what fans in the arena see beyond the game itself is controlled by his team, from the scoreboard to chants to the music.

“We’re basically a production company,” Bochiaro said in an interview Friday. “We go through each game with a fine-toothed comb to see what worked and what didn’t, what fans responded to and what they didn’t. We’re trying to make this the best experience possible for the fans and the loudest atmosphere possible.”

Before each game, or each series, Bochiaro works with his partner Jason Pippi, to formulate a script tailored to the opponent ahead. But some of it doesn’t last long.

“During each game, it basically goes out the window,” he said. “We have to react to the situation the Devils are in. We’re on headsets with people throughout the arena, so we try different things to get the crowd back into it if the team’s losing. On the other side, if there’s a chant going, we don’t want to play music over that.”

During games, the group of about 15 staff members works seamlessly, identifying potential replays, celebrity sightings or former players in the stands.

Tonight, Bochiaro radioed to a cameraman in the arena to zero in on a luxury box and pan left.

Producers Jon Cofer and Heather Michels scanned the crowd.

“Wait, that’s Claude Lemieux, purple shirt,” Michels said referring to the former Devils’ player.

Within minutes, the group had a 30-second tribute to the former Devils great playing on the scoreboard before zooming the camera in on him. The crowd roared.

For Bochiaro and his staff, it’s not just a job.

A 37-year-old Rowan University graduate and Hamilton resident, Bochiaro has been watching the team since 1988. Around the room, producers scratched playoff beards as the game unfolded.

“It’s insane to think I’m doing this now,” he said. “We definitely cheer in the control room, but it’s brief.”

Just under 13 minutes into the first period, Devils’ captain Zach Parise scored. The control room roared. Then it was back to the job at hand.

Korean Car Carrier Puts ‘Garage Roof’ to Productive Use

Pondělí, Červen 4th, 2012

STX Pan Ocean recently installed a photo-voltaic power generation system on its ocean-going 60,396 gt car carrier STX Dove, the first such system to be fitted to a Korean vessel. The photovoltaic power generation modules installed on the STX Dove, each 25 m wide and 11 m long, can generate a maximum of 24 kW from a total of 240 heat collection plates. The modules provide 5% of the electric power required for the operation of the ship including that for the engine control system, the air handling unit, lighting system, etc.

Through the modification of the module, STX plans to increase the output up to 60 kW this year and 120 kW in 2013. The company expects that it can ultimately provide approximately 30% of the power necessary for the operation of the ship by making use of solar energy, and in so doing decrease CO2 emissions as well as make a discernible saving in the bunker fuel bill.

STX say that group in-house expertise exclusively provided the material and know-how to install this shipboard photo-voltaic power generation system successfully: STX Solar developed the power generation system while STX Marine Service installed the system and provided technical consulting services.

Of all ships, the specialised car carrier, with its high freeboard and relatively uncluttered ‘garage roof’ weather deck allows for substantial arrays of solar panels to be easily installed out of harm’s way, and is best suited to capitalise on the sun’s free energy; features earlier recognised by Japanese interests.

Nippon Yusen and Nippon Oil developed the Toyota car carrier Auriga Leader, also over 60,000 gt, three years ago to gather operational information on the use of solar power. After some six months it was reported that solar power capabilities produced as anticipated 0.05% of the ship’s propulsion power and 1% of its electrical usage which would result in lowering the ship’s annual fuel usage by approximately 13 tons and its CO2 output by 40 tons.

Another Japanese car carrier of a smaller size came into service earlier this year. The Nichioh Maru, built by Shin Kurushima Dockyard for Nitto Kaiun Corporation, one of Nissan’s main sea transport partners, also had solar panels installed at launch. Apparently the first time solar had been installed in an inter-island Japanese carrier.

Car carriers are not alone in fitting photo-voltaic solar modules in large ships these days by any means, even passenger cruise liners test the waters.  Environmentally aware Celebrity Cruises claimed a first when they installed solar panels on their Celebrity Solstice fitting a total of 216 panels, to give both shade to passengers as well as produce energy. Celebrity said 500 m2 of that Solstice-class ship’s areas were covered and provided enough electricity to power the ship’s guest elevators or 7,000 of the LED  light bulbs on board.

A sign of utter tech illiteracy

Pondělí, Květen 28th, 2012

Twenty bright green rubber tiles will adorn one of the outdoor walkways at the Westfield Stratford City Mall, which abuts the new Olympic stadium in east London.

The squares aren’t just ornamental. They are designed to collect the kinetic energy created by the estimated 40 million pedestrians who will use that walkway in a year, generating several hundred kilowatt-hours of electricity from their footsteps. That’s enough to power half the mall’s outdoor lighting.

It isn’t just the French and the Guardian any more. It’s us Brits, and supposedly sciencey publications like Nat Geo.

Just for reference, then: even if the vast Stratford City mall uses super-economical LED exterior lighting, just a single light can be expected to require energy supplies of more than 900 kilowatt-hours in a year. There’s no prospect whatsoever that “several hundred kilowatt-hours” could provide half the massive facility’s outdoor lighting - this much is obvious straight off the bat.

The Stratford City mall, we learn from an informative article in the CIBSE journal (pdf), will be supplied by a combination heat/electricity/cooling plant which will be capable of 46.2 Megawatts of heating, 39 Megawatts of cooling and up to 3.34 Megawatts of electrical power. It will not be running at maximum in all three categories at once, but even so we can see that the Stratford City mall’s power consumption over time will run in the several tens of megawatts - for annual energy consumption of a few hundred thousand megawatt-hours.

Contrast this with “a few hundred kilowatt-hours” and we can see that the footfall generators will provide roughly one millionth of the energy the mall requires. They will not “reduce its carbon footprint” at all. Even if the whole place was tiled with footfall generators and every person on them generated 7 Watts constantly … you would have to pack more than half the population of London in there, five million people all walking around without pause, just to keep it powered up. On a really cold or hot day you might need millions more.

This is the same “Crowd Farm” idiocy that came out of the architecture faculty at MIT a few years ago. By this stage, of course, regular Reg readers would expect this sort of technological illiteracy from architects.

In fact of course Pavegen’s business model has little to do with actually generating power. It’s about marketing and green imagery:

Higher profile gigs loom. Pavegen has partnered with Siemens, the German technology company … large, sponsored installations are planned for a major London train station and an Athens shopping mall this summer.

Siemens at least has plenty of people who know full well that human beings’ muscles cannot supply any significant amount of the power required by a modern civilisation. But nonetheless they intend to sponsor public foot-power installations with their name on them, intended no doubt to suggest to the public that they are a green company making every effort to reduce carbon emissions (and thus that they deserve the large public subsidies and stealth taxes which sustain the green industry).

But if you understand what’s Watt you realise just how stupid and pointless a public treadmill installation is … and you realise that Siemens knows all this … and your perception of green industry and imagery changes somewhat. You might find that Siemens’ assumption that you the pedestrian are so ignorant that them sponsoring public treadmills is a good idea tremendously insulting.

Terese Garrett-Miller wins Rising Star award from Alliance of Women Owned Businesses

Úterý, Květen 22nd, 2012

Terese Garrett-Miller, owner of Bella Kitchen Essentials in Uptown Gig Harbor, has been declared the “Rising Star” among women-owned business in the South- and West Sound area by the Alliance of Women Owned Businesses (AWOB).

The announcement was made at a gala “Crystal Star” banquet on May 17, where Garrett-Miller was presented with the Rising Star trophy by fellow Gig Harbor resident Julie Tappero, AWOB founder and owner of West Sound Workforce.

The Rising Star was one of two awards presented by AWOB at the event. “The Rising Star award acknowledges the achievements of a new — under five years —woman-owned business,” Tappero said. “The award is to applaud her early success and accomplishments and to encourage her ongoing efforts.”

The other award — the “Crystal Star” — was given to Lisa Chissus, owner of CFM Consolidated, a plastics manufacturing business in Fife. The Crystal Star salutes “an inspiring, successful entrepreneurial woman who has been in business longer than five years” Tappero said.

This was the first time the awards have been given by the two-year-old AWOB organization. “We had more than 30 candidates that came from as far away as Indianola in North Kitsap and from all over Pierce County,” Tappero said. “The judges narrowed them down to 14 semi-finalists, and then to three finalists in each of the categories.”

Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, who was one of the judges, introduced the three finalists in both the Rising Star and Crystal Star categories. Several — but not all — of the finalists were AWOB members.

In describing Garrett-Miller, who opened Bella Kitchen Essentials in 2010, Anderson said, “Terese is an example of how a woman can rise above bad circumstances and be a success. Shortly after she opened her business, her husband was diagnosed with a very serious illness, but Terese persevered through those hard times and listened to her customers and grew her business.

“Her customers said they wanted a cooking school so she added a cooking school to her store and soon she will open an online store.”

In accepting the Rising Star award, Garrett-Miller singled out Evie Lynn as her mentor and guiding light. “If any of you women here needs an example to follow, Mrs. Lynn is the one.”

She noted that her husband Howard and their two daughters, Alex and Lauren, were all present. “One of your servers tonight is my daughter, Alex. One thing I taught my daughters is how to work,” she said with a smile.

She called the award “an extraordinary honor. This room is filled with stars. And you all know that it’s impossible to succeed without a team of good people, family, friends and vendors to work with you.”

Garrett-Miller’s thank-you list included her bank, the management of Uptown, her “magic man” store manager Scott Johnson “and especially my customers.”

Other Rising Star finalists were Cheryl Iseberg, owner of Blue Zone Consulting in Fircrest and Mary Lou Guinn, owner of Point of View by Lou Photography in Gig Harbor.

In addition to Chissus, the Crystal Star finalist were Julie Thompson, owner of Family First Adult Family Homes in Gig Harbor and Monica Downen, owner of Monica’s Waterfront Bakery and Café in Silverdale.

Apartment Therapy

Pondělí, Květen 14th, 2012

Sounds like the setup to a joke. Actually, it’s Delos, the organization behind an ultrapricey futuristic condominium development in Greenwich Village that will be completed by the end of this year. All these luminaries have been part of the project.

The building’s amenities make the Jetsons look Amish. Delos pumps vitamin C and aloe into its shower water. It has “posture-supportive” and “heat-reflexology” flooring, to keep you standing up straight, and lighting designed to sync with your circadian rhythms. It has a “wellness concierge,” who will manage all your yoga and acupuncture needs. It’s possible that other apartment buildings offer “sleep gardens,” electromagnetic-free zones, and personalized aromatherapy floated in through the air vents, but certainly none can claim an exclusive partnership with a sleep center at the Cleveland Clinic. Such amenities don’t come cheap. The 8,000-square-foot duplex penthouse, which boasts its own 3,000-square-foot roof deck and solarium, is expected to fetch $40 million.

How did the former stars of the Democratic Party come together with a gaggle of spiritual gurus to create a place where the super-rich can breathe specially- scented air? The man behind Delos is Morad Fareed, a member of the Clinton Global Initiative, which is not where most people in high-end Manhattan real-estate development come from. Fareed, who made his bones at Goldman Sachs, is a proponent of “altruistic capitalism.”

His big idea, branded “wellness real estate,” is to take green architecture’s concern with sustainability and apply it to the inhabitants. “Why stop at building homes that are good for just the environment?” he asks. “Why can’t we take it a step further and build homes, offices, hotels that are good for people?”

“Housing is an extension of our body,” says Chopra, who is on the board of Delos and has served in an advisory capacity as—in his own words—“a conduit to data and information.” He was drawn in by the project’s focus on sustainability and by the concept of “well-being,” which he calls “the No. 1 trend in the world right now.” Richard Sloan, a Columbia University biomedical researcher who was one of a handful who evaluated the science behind Delos, said the building’s most effective design elements, including a 10,000-square-foot garden, involve bringing nature into the living space.

“This is definitely scalable to any price range,” says Gephardt, the former House majority leader, who now runs the lobbying shop Gephardt Government Affairs. “You gotta get started somewhere, and that’s why they started at the end of the spectrum where you can actually get things done.”

Gephardt has incorporated some of the Delos ethos into his own style of living. “I’ve learned a lot about the effects of light on your ability to sleep,” he says. And he’s not the only one who’s been swayed. Bill Clinton took a tour of a Delos loft. According to a source, Google CEO Eric Schmidt is so keen on the Delos innovations he’s been in to see the space twice.

Green ideas served up for restaurants

Pondělí, Květen 7th, 2012

Green initiatives are putting greenbacks in the hands of restaurants who take the time to weigh the benefits.

Recycling, of everything from glass and cardboard to cooking oil, can be cost neutral or even put money back into the pockets of restaurant operators, supporters of restaurant conservation efforts say.

Solar-thermal technology, LED lighting, energy-efficient appliances, start-up and shutdown schedules for equipment and occupancy sensors in storage areas can save restaurants money and help conserve resources, said Chris Moyer, senior program manager for the National Restaurant Association’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program.

Something a simple as low flow spray valves can save a restaurant as much as $1,000 a year, the association’s Food Service Technology Center estimates.

“We try to show them that it’s not just good for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line,” Moyer said.

The Conserve initiative, which is being featured at this weekend’s National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago, was developed in 2006 as an online resource for members looking to reduce the cost of running their operations in an environmentally friendly manner.

Conservation practices are being adopted across the board at U.S. restaurants, from quick service establishments to fine dining. One in four operators is asking about recycling, Moyer said, and more than 60 percent of operators are investing in energy-efficient technology this year.

“What we try to do is provide them a place to go and to make it a turnkey solution,” he said.

Moyer said the conservation measures are being driven, in many cases, by younger workers, fostering the creation an entire industry of “eco-entrepreneurs” to support the effort.

In some parts of the country, restaurants that once had to pay the grease man to take used cooking oil off their hands are being offered cash in exchange for the inedible grease.

The oil, which has long been used in animal feed, soap and other products, has become a hot commodity in the biofuels industry.

The Alternative Fuel Foundation and the Association of Restaurant Owners for a Sustainable Earth are working with restaurants to take the fat-based food waste out of animal feed, and out of the human food chain, and convert it into biofuel.

Bob Hiller, director of marketing and strategic initiatives for AROSE, said cooking oil recycling is an unexpected and lucrative revenue stream for restaurants and foodservice establishments, offering a way to feed the bottom line while being socially responsible.

The oil is used to produce fuels that can replace coal and other fossil fuels currently being used for heat generation, co-generation at power plants and for residential heating oil.

Hiller said more than 40 million gallons of used cooking oil is collected each year from the more than 14,000 restaurants that have signed up for the recycling program.

Taiwan partners with Government to shed new light on renewable energy

Středa, Květen 2nd, 2012

The Government’s efforts at promoting renewable energy in the Federation today received a boost in a brief handing over ceremony held at the Embassy of the Republic of China.

Minister of Public Utilities Hon. Earl Asim Martin was on hand to receive a cheque to fund a pilot project that would see the installation of 100 LED Smart Lights along the Kim Collins Highway and a portion of the Frigate Bay Road.

In giving brief remarks, Head of Taiwanese Mission in St. Kitts and Nevis His Excellency Ambassador Miguel Tsao said as no country can stay away from the tide of the world’s development, Taiwan is happy to share the competitive edge in the development of renewable energy.

“According to preliminary studies from specialists in renewable energy” said Ambassador Tsao, “this kind of light can produce 70% savings of energy and last quite a long time. All the street lights are computerized and each light can be intensified according to the need of the respective area and time.”

The Ambassador also added that although relatively small, there is great benefit to be derived from this pilot project as it is a stepping stone to protecting the environment and leaving a better Federation for our children. The move supports Government’s energy policy of achieving 60% energy generation from green energy sources.

Minister Asim Martin, in accepting the cheque, expressed his thanks to the Ambassador and people of the Republic of China for their understanding in working with the Government of St. Kitts and Nevis to implement the Government’s overall policy on renewable energy.

“We expect that this project will start very shortly, the completion date we expect to be some time in maybe mid to the end of August” said Minister Martin, “so we are looking at between May and August having the Kim Collins highway right up to the Sugars building being lit with LED street lights.”

Minister Martin also said that he has been assured that once this pilot project is successful, similar projects will be implemented in other areas around the country.

The assistant football coach then shared that he believes the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. He added, however, “No matter which way you go, it’s going to be an unprotection [sic] because it’s man’s opinion. So the real question I guess I have for you all is – what does God say?”

Brown added, “The question I have for you all is, like Pontius Pilate, what are you going to do with Jesus? Ultimately, if you don’t have a relationship with him, and you don’t really have a Bible-believing mentality, really, anything goes… At the end of the day it matters what God thinks most.

Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 Review

Pondělí, Duben 23rd, 2012

Billed as the first webcam that actually supports 1080p over Skype and 720p with other video calling services, Logitech’s HD Pro Webcam C920 is the best step you can take if you’re in the market for your first webcam or if it’s been a few years since you’ve purchased your last one. As soon as you plug it in and get a look at how good the picture looks, not just in terms of adjusting for light, but how clear and smooth the motion is, you feel you’ve made an upgrade. When you take it for a real spin and stream content or make a call to somebody and there’s no dip in quality, not much more needs to be said.

Functioning much as a standard webcam ought to, the Logitech C920 boasts some impressive performance, in addition to the Carl Zeiss Tessar lens and 1080p resolution, this camera can take 15 megapixel snapshots, comes complete with two built-in microphones for stereo sound, and a base that can be mounted onto the top of a monitor, laptop, or screwed onto a stable tripod. With all these features, it’s obvious that Logitech created a metaphorical heavyweight, but when you get into the software included, it’s kind of impressive what else you can do.

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 automatically encodes to H.264 as a standard feature, meaning you don’t have to do anything unusual to start recording in HD. Once the discreet and stylish blue LED’s on the sides of the lens light up, you know you’re looking as good as possible.

The included Logitech Vid HD software lets you video conference in case you don’t want to use Skype or Gchat, but also allows for extra fun features like the ability to make a “mask” out of any image file, or to turn your webcam into a security motion detector that will wait for something in the room to move, then start recording until the motion stops. It’s not going to keep your home safe, but as a feature it’s a nice afterthought and can be put to use at home or in the office.

It was using these features that I only experience any problems with the C920, as using masks caused the software to crash several times and required a system reboot before I could attempt to use them again, but it’s not something that I can take serious points off for unless you were hoping to make some rip-off versions of a particularly viral Youtube series about unpleasant fruit.

The picture is stunningly clear, the microphones pick up sound very nicely from a comfortable and natural range and even seem to do a good job of filtering out background noise, meaning that with just this one piece of equipment you can complete any video calling setup or content recording suite.

The Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920 lives up to the “pro” in its name, taking care of any needs an amateur vlogger or parent away on a business trip might have. With virtually no setup besides plug in and go, this is a webcam that’s guaranteed to last for any practical purposes. If you’re trying to shoot a feature film, you might want to go with something a little less consumer-grade, but through the C920, Logitech is offering the best webcam on the market for its price, hands down.