The Top 10 gadgets from the Consumer Electronics Show

Bone Conduction EarphonesFor the third consecutive year, Frank Gorman of Gorman & Williams graciously offered to write a few blog posts while in Las Vegas for last week’s annual Consumer Electronics Show. In his final post, he gives us his Top 10 gadgets from 2013 CES.

CES 2013 ended Friday. There was a lot to see and more buzz about new electronic technology than in other recent years. Here’s a list of the Top 10 technologies and/or gadgets that caught my attention.

1. Samsung’s Flexible Display

Samsung’s president showed off this prototype device during his keynote address. It was not on the exhibitor floor at 2013 CES. Instead of the rigid screen of your smartphone, imagine rolling up the screen like a dollar bill. In the future, you may be able to roll up your 65-inch flat screen like a rug and store it in the closet until the next use.

2. OLED TV

All the major electronics manufacturers at CES 2013 promoted OLED TV’s. (Here’s LG’s, for example.) OLED TVs were promoted last year, but today’s price puts OLED in the premium TV category, inhibiting consumer acceptance. OLED stands for “organic light emitting diode,” a solid state material that is also behind flexible screen displays. OLED technology is an improvement over liquid crystal displays (LCD) by producing higher contrasts, less energy consumption and thinner screens. A fixed but curved OLED TV screen was exhibited by Samsung. OLED is the next generation of screens.

3. Casio Lamp Free Projector (Short Throw)

This projector makes giving an audio/visual presentation a lot easier. You lose the lamp and the need for replacement lamps, can project a 60-inch image from only two-feet away and can connect wirelessly to a mobile device or laptop as well as hard connect through USB, HDMI, and RJ-45 ports.

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Lawyer captures win over speed camera ticket

Local attorney and noted sports heckler Robin Ficker took on, yet again, what many would consider an impossible case.

The Bethesda attorney argued against a speeding ticket he received from a Montgomery County speeding camera and won, The Washington Post reported.

Ficker was driving down Jones Bridge Road in Bethesda in September when the camera’s bulb flashed on him. Ficker argued the speed camera violated the county’s speed camera policy, which is to slow traffic in residential areas and near schools. The speed camera that caught him, he said, was at least 270 yards from the nearest house.

After District Court Judge John C. Moffett ruled in favor of Ficker, the attorney called for any drivers caught by that particular speeding camera to be refunded the $40 fine. Police, however, responded that Ficker’s case did not set a precedent in the county.

Ficker was most recently in the news for representing a Montgomery County student suspended for making a gun gesture at an elementary school.

The attorney, however, is best-known as a heckler at Washington Bullets (now Wizards) basketball games, yelling at opposing players from the front row.

Ficker also made several unsuccessful runs for public office, including Montgomery County executive and seats in the state House of Delegates.

Ficker was indefinitely suspended in 2007 but was later reinstated.

(Photo from The Washington Post.)

Virginia considers first openly-gay judge (again)

South of the Maryland border, Virginia is deciding whether to approve the full-time appointment of  the first openly-gay judge in the state.

The state’s General Assembly is discussing the judicial appointment of Richmond’s Manchester General District Judge Tracy Thorne-Begland, who has been serving as an interim judge since the state legislature last year failed to approve his appointment, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Virginia House Courts of Justice Committee certified Thorne-Begland along with a number of other candidates Monday, Virginia Lawyers Weekly reported. The vote will now go before the General Assembly for consideration.

Thorne-Begland was on the verge of being confirmed last May when a last-minute scramble over his past derailed his plans. Some conservatives were concerned about his sexual orientation and others took issue with Thorne-Begland’s decision to openly come out while he was in the U.S. Navy in 1992, a time when the military still banned homosexuals from serving.

He needs 51 votes in his favor to pass the House of Delegates. The vote would then move on to the Senate.

Last year, Thorne-Begland received only 33 votes in the House.