Apple Posts 20-Minute iPhone Tour

June 23, 2007 - Leave a Response

Apple on Friday provided the most in-depth look at the iPhone, one week before the device debuts at AT&T and Apple stores across the United States. A 20-minute guided tour posted to the company’s Web site showcases the various features of the iPhone and explains how to use the touch screen.

While the tour doesn’t disclose anything major that hasn’t been announced, it does provide the first look at the iPhone’s usability and innovative features like visual voicemail and SMS text messaging that works like an iChat session. The built-in iPod functionality is also demonstrated, and the included headphones include a microphone as well. According to the video, the iPhone’s built in mail client will support Microsoft Office Word and Excel documents.

Written by: BetaNews

translate Words with Google’s Bilingual Dictionaries

June 23, 2007 - Leave a Response

Google has a powerful translation tool that lets you translate a web page or a text, but that’s not very useful if you only need to translate a word or an expression. Without entering a context, Google shows the most plausible translation, but a word can have multiple translations.

To overcome this problem, Google launched a bilingual dictionary that lets you enter an English word and get the translations in French, German, Italian, Spanish and Korean or enter a word in of those 5 languages and get the English translation.

Google also shows related phrases, but it would be nice to see more contexts. “Some of these related phrases will show idiomatic usages of the word or short phrase that you entered, while others will be examples of your word or short phrase being used in its literal meaning.”

If you enter a word in one of the supported languages, but you don’t know the language, Google offers some options at the bottom of the page.

Google Toolbar also has a feature that lets you translate English words on a web page into another language by hovering your mouse cursor over a word, while Google’s define: operator gives you access to definitions from all over the Web.

Written by:  Google System

AMD to introduce 45nm process AM3 CPU family in 2H08

June 23, 2007 - Leave a Response

AMD schedules to launch its 45nm process socket AM3 family processors in the second half of 2008. The processors will support HyperTransport 3.0 and will have a built-in DDR2/DDR3 memory controller. The processors will be backward compatible with the previous AM2 and AM2+ socket motherboards, according to sources at motherboard makers.

AMD’s AM3 family will include the quad-core Deneb and DenebFX, dual-core Propus and Regor, and single-core Sargas. Shipments of 45nm products are predicted to surpass those of 65nm products within half a year from launch, noted the sources.

Although Socket AM3 processors will be backwards compatible with previous socket AM2 and AM2+ motherboards, socket AM3 motherboards will not be able to support the previous socket AM2 and AM2+ processors. Therefore shipment volumes of socket AM3 motherboards will depend on the speed of transition to DDR3 memory, added the sources.

 

Written by: Monica Chen, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES 

Hitachi Deskstar 7K1000 (1 Terabyte) Hard Drive review

June 23, 2007 - Leave a Response

The terabyte race for consumer desktop hard drives has been on for a long time, now the first generation of drives is here. On April 25th, Hitachi announced that it would begin shipping the Deskstar 7K1000, their latest series of consumer hard drives, weighting in at 750GB and a monstrous 1000GB (1TB). The 1TB version which we are reviewing today is slated at $399, a serious price tag for this colossal amount of storage.The Deskstar 7K1000 represents a milestone for Hitachi and for the hard drive industry as a whole, as it is the first drive to offer a 1 terabyte capacity. Honestly, I expected that it would be Seagate who would deliver the first 1TB hard drive since they were the first to reach the 500GB mark. However, Hitachi has not simply grabbed five 200GB platters and stuck them together to create a 1TB hard drive. Rather, there is much more to the Deskstar 7K1000, such as its Serial ATA II interface and the massive 32MB memory buffer. This is also the first desktop Hitachi drive to feature PMR technology (Perpendicular Magnetic Recording).

Perpendicular recording is said to deliver up to 10x the storage density of longitudinal recording, on the same recording media. There was some interest in using the system in floppy disks in the 1980s, but the technology was never reliable. Today, there is renewed interest in using it for hard drives, which are rapidly reaching their fundamental limits.

Current hard disk technology with longitudinal recording has an estimated limit of 100 to 200GB per square inch due to the superparamagnetic effect, though this estimate is constantly changing. Perpendicular recording is predicted to allow information densities of up to around 1TB/sq. inch.

Depending on how you see it, this 1TB Hitachi is realistically a 935.5 GB hard drive. Operating systems such as Windows use the binary approach to measure capacity. Hard drive manufacturers measure capacity using a decimal system instead, which means a single kilobyte equals 1000 bytes (the binary approach measures one kilobyte to equal 1024 bytes). Hard drive manufacturers have been using the decimal system as a form of advertising because it allows them to claim larger capacities. The issue of whether or not this is ethical can be argued, but these days it has just been accepted the way things are.

Windows shows the capacity of the Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 500GB hard drive to be just 457.2 GBs, which means two of these drives would actually offer slightly less capacity than a single Hitachi 1TB drive. However, two Seagate 500GB hard drives cost just $300, making them considerably cheaper than a single 1TB drive, and given that two drives should be faster than one, which configuration is really the way to go?

With this mindset we can start to play the different possible scenarios, for example, the obvious advantage of having a larger single drive is that there is less room required inside the computer’s case, and only one SATA port needs to be used. There is also less heat produced and less power required. Another important consideration is that one hard drive is much quieter than having two or more. For Small Form Factor (SFF) and Home Theatre Personal Computers (HTPC) where space is tight, a large single hard drive can be invaluable.

Then again, two main negatives for owning a large single drive is that if it dies, all the data will go with it down the drain, and of course as we have covered, you do pay a price premium for having one large hard drive.

See the full Performances tests in the source:  TechSpot

New MacBook Pro Offers a Dazzling Display

June 23, 2007 - Leave a Response

What a difference 540,000 pixels make.

I’m talking in this case about the latest MacBook Pro to grace my desk, the top-of-the-line 17-in. model with a glossy 1,920-by-1,200-pixel high-resolution screen tricked out with a 7,200-rpm 160GB hard drive and 4GB of RAM added post-purchase. Oh, and it uses Intel’s new 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo with a “Santa Rosa” chip set for a bit more zip and even slightly longer battery life.

But it’s the screen that’s the most appealing feature. This is without a doubt the best-looking LCD screen Apple has produced in what also happens to be the fastest laptop from the company yet.

In a word: suh-weet.

Of course, it should be, given the price: The basic 17-in. MacBook Pro (MBP from here on in) starts at $2,799. The hi-res display adds another $100, and the optional 7,200-rpm Seagate Momentus hard drive tacks on $150 more. The result is a seriously sick machine. That’s sick as in wicked good. Cost out the door? $3,049, before taxes and shipping–and worth every penny.

High Res Screen Envy

For the record, I hadn’t planned on buying a new MBP this year–the last-generation 2.33-GHz model I got in November was doing just fine–until I saw that Apple had added the hi-res screen option when it introduced the latest iteration on June 5. I’ve vowed ever since I bought a Sony Vaio with the same resolution screen almost two years ago that if Apple ever released such a laptop, I’d get one forthwith. So I found a buyer for my “old” MBP and promptly ordered the new one from Apple on the same day it were announced. Six days later, it was here. I’ve been using it ever since, with nary an issue.

Oh, and did I mention that screen? You know the difference between regular TV and high-def TV? That’s what it feels like using this model. Not that the standard screen offered by Apple is a slouch; 1,680-by-1,050 pixels is plenty fine for most users. But for those of us who always want faster, bigger, more, Apple has created what I’d call the MBP Ultimate.

See also: Resolution Debate, Battery Life, Gaming Speed

Writen by: Ken Mingis, Macworld

YouTube Live on Apple TV, iPhone

June 21, 2007 - Leave a Response

Apple said Wednesday that its update to Apple TV to allow viewing of YouTube videos was available, along with announcing similar functionality for iPhone. But the lack of 3G connectivity will limit the feature’s usefulness.

iPhone users will likely not be able to stream their videos across the mobile network as EDGE is often too slow to support higher-quality full motion video. Thus, the functionality would only be usable via Wi-Fi.

YouTube will encode videos in H.264 format for Apple’s handset, which requires about 50-60 KBps worth of bandwidth for mobile uses. Typical EDGE data rates fall below that range, therefore not offering the best performance in mobile applications.JupiterResearch analyst Michael Gartenberg, who could be considered one of the bigger proponents of the iPhone, also highlighted this problem.

“Key questions will be how well the experience transfers from the PC to these new screens and how well the video will perform, especially over the iPhone’s 2G network,” he remarked.

Apple left this important consideration out of their announcement of the new functionality, however CEO Steve Jobs still said it was “the best YouTube mobile experience by far.”

10,000 videos would be available for the iPhone’s launch, with the entire YouTube catalog being encoded in H.264 by fall, the companies said.

Users of Apple TV, meanwhile, are now able to download the new functionality and update their boxes by using the device’s Software Update feature. YouTube members would be able to save their favorite videos to the Apple TV, Apple said.

Written by: By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

Xerox tool analyzes text to improve search results

June 21, 2007 - Leave a Response

Xerox researchers have developed a search tool that tries to understand documents, rather than looking for keywords, in order to provide better results.

The tool, FactSpotter, analyzes the underlying grammar of a text in order to infer additional information, such as whether ambiguous words are being used as nouns or verbs, or to whom a pronoun refers, said Frédérique Segond, who manages the parsing and semantics research group at Xerox Research Center Europe near Grenoble, France.

The analysis allows the software to understand that references to “Bill Gates,” “he” and “the head of Microsoft” in the same document likely refer to the same person. But the software should also be able to tell that “Bill Gates said … ” and “A friend of Bill Gates said …” do not precede words spoken by the same person, a situation that would likely lead search engines using keyword analysis alone to return irrelevant results.

One of the first groups to use FactSpotter will be Xerox Litigation Services, which next year will build it into a suite of “e-discovery” software for the legal profession, Segond said. In the discovery phase of a lawsuit, where legal teams must often sift through millions of e-mail messages and other documents, the software could be used to identify the sender and recipients of messages, and pick out information about events and dates from them. These features could be used to form a picture of who knew what, and when, in order to build a solid legal case, she said.

Segond’s research team developed their own metalanguage to describe the grammars of different human languages. So far, they have used it to build descriptions of Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. A joint Fujitsu-Xerox research team has also used it to describe Japanese grammar, showing that it can be used for languages using other writing systems.

FactSpotter itself is written in the C programming language, and the researchers have also developed modules in Java and Python, allowing the software to interface with other applications.

Although the software only analyzes written language, it can be linked with audio transcription tools in order to search radio and TV archives, and the company is involved in joint research projects to do just that, Segond said.

Written by: InfoWorld

14 Google Products Won Webware 100

June 20, 2007 - Leave a Response

webware 100 google

Rafe Needleman announced the Webware 100 winners.The list was compiled on votes cast by nearly 500,000 users, and Google is the biggest winner with 14 products on the list:

  • Browsing: Google Reader
  • Communication: Gmail
  • Data: Google
  • Media: YouTube
  • Mobile: Gmail Mobile, Google Maps Mobile, Google 411
  • Productivity and Commerce: Google Docs & Spreadsheets, Google Calendar, Google AdWords
  • Publishing: Blogger, Google Analytics, FeedBurner
  • Preference: Google Map
  • Hmm in fact Google users are the biggest winners 🙂

    Track Every Click with Crazy Egg’s “Confetti”

    June 19, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Crazy Egg LogoOptimizing your website can be tough business since you can’t “see” your customers online. Analytics packages like Google analytics do a good job letting you see how many visitors are coming and going on your site by tracking every page request. However, another breed of analytics focuses on optimizing how they’re using it, by tracking where visitors click. Crazy Egg, one of these optimization services, now has a new feature “Confetti” that lets you easily see where every visitor clicked on your site and what brought them there. We’ve covered their previous overlay and heatmap features here.

    Confetti overlays your site, showing each visitor’s click as a colored dot. The colors stand for the categories you sort the clicks by: operating system, browser, window size, time before clicking, and what search term brought them to the page. It even shows you clicks that weren’t on links, so you know if your users are expecting a link where there isn’t one. You can see the results in aggregate as a bar chart or click on individual dots to find out more information about a particular user. For instance, you can use Confetti to see how users from different referrals behave, and settle the debate over exactly how many of those Digg users click on your ads.

    crazyconfettismall.pngCrazy Egg has been implemented on over 250,000 sites and is free if you just want to track up to 5,000 clicks on 4 pages at a time each month. But if you upgrade to a paid account, you can track more clicks over more pages with real time data. The limited number of clicks tracked may seem restrictive, but analytics from Crazy Egg are meant to run for a short period of time on a specific url to grab a sample of how your users react to design changes.

    There are a couple other optimization services out there: Map Surface, ClickTale, and Click Density. Click Density was one of the first services to show each unique click on your site, but Crazy Egg has added a simpler point-and-click interface for drilling into your data.

    Crazy Egg is based in Orange County California and has reportedly been in acquisition talks.

    Written by: TechCrunch

    No Microsoft-Ubuntu Deal in the Works

    June 19, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Don’t expect a patent deal between Microsoft and Ubuntu Linux distributor Canonical anytime soon.

    The company’s CEO said in a post on his personal Web log over the weekend that despite the rumors, there are no negotiations with the Redmond company. Furthermore, he took issue with Microsoft’s threats of patent lawsuits for unspecified patents.

    <script language=”javascript” src=”http://ads.betanews.com/adserve.iframejscript/www.betanews.com/MPU@Top?210140831″></script>

    Mark Shuttleworth, said that it was his position on the matter, and he was fairly certain that the members of Ubuntu Community Council and his company shared his views.”Allegations of ‘infringement of unspecified patents’ carry no weight whatsoever,” Shuttleworth wrote. “We don’t think they have any legal merit, and they are no incentive for us to work with Microsoft on any of the wonderful things we could do together.”

    He called Microsoft’s promise not to sue for unspecified infringement “not worth paying for,” and seemed to equate those taking the deal from Microsoft as living in a “false sense of security.”

    Microsoft has already struck deals with Linux companies Novell, Xandros, and Linspire. The deals promise that Microsoft would extend some patent protections to the customers of the companies, while also allowing for interoperability work.

    Shuttleworth apparently wants none of it. He also questioned Microsoft’s commitment to standards through its Open XML format, saying that it wasn’t good enough, and he didn’t think Microsoft would hold itself to the pledge of openness.

    “The Open Document Format (ODF) specification is a much better, much cleaner and widely implemented specification that is already a global standard,” he argued, saying OpenXML is far less open than ODF.

    Canonical wouldn’t be the first company to turn down Microsoft’s olive branch for patents. Red Hat has also declined to participate, saying it would not pay an “innovation tax” to Microsoft shortly after news of the Novell deal broke.

    Written by:  By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

    Google Takes YouTube Global

    June 19, 2007 - Leave a Response

    YouTube launched nine localized versions of its popular social video site on Tuesday, which will at first only place navigation and functionality in the country’s native language.

    Eventually, the site plans to offer localized content as well, with the featured pages targeted towards the individual tastes of consumers in each market. This would include ratings specific to that country in addition to localized comments.

    <script language=”javascript” src=”http://ads.betanews.com/adserve.iframejscript/www.betanews.com/MPU@Top?1896996966″></script>

    The nine initial countries included are Brazil, Britain, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Users in these countries would have the option to switch their preference to the new version, or jump between them through the menu bar at the top of the page.Localized pages will not merely be subdomains of youtube.com – the company in every case but Italy has gone ahead and purchased the YouTube domain for that specific country.

    YouTube’s efforts to become more internationally inclusive have been stepped up in recent months. While much of the attention has been on its deals with American television networks, it has signed several agreements with international broadcasters as well.

    Content will be made available to YouTube users worldwide unless the provider forbids it.

    Some believe that YouTube’s move was a long time coming. “Opening up the site to a non-English speaking audience will drive a new wave of growth that will further cement YouTube’s place as the leading online destination for on-demand internet video,” Duncan Riley wrote for TechCrunch on Tuesday.

    Written by:  By Ed Oswald, BetaNews

    iPhone Delivers Up to Eight Hours of Talk Time

    June 19, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Apple® today announced that iPhone™ will deliver significantly longer battery life when it ships on June 29 than was originally estimated when iPhone was unveiled in January. iPhone will feature up to 8 hours of talk time, 6 hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback.* In addition, iPhone will feature up to 250 hours-more than 10 days-of standby time. Apple also announced that the entire top surface of iPhone, including its stunning 3.5-inch display, has been upgraded from plastic to optical-quality glass to achieve a superior level of scratch resistance and optical clarity.”With 8 hours of talk time, and 24 hours of audio playback, iPhone’s battery life is longer than any other ‘Smartphone’ and even longer than most MP3 players,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “We’ve also upgraded iPhone’s entire top surface from plastic to optical-quality glass for superior scratch resistance and clarity. There has never been a phone like iPhone, and we can’t wait to get this truly magical product into the hands of customers starting just 11 days from today.”

    iPhone introduces an entirely new user interface based on a revolutionary multi-touch display and pioneering new software that allows users to control iPhone with just a tap, flick or pinch of their fingers. iPhone combines three products into one small and lightweight handheld device-a revolutionary mobile phone, a widescreen iPod, and the Internet in your pocket with best-ever applications on a mobile phone for email, web browsing and maps. iPhone ushers in an era of software power and sophistication never before seen in a mobile device, which completely redefines what users can do on their mobile phones.

    Pricing and Availability

    iPhone will be available in the US on June 29, 2007 in a 4GB model for $499 (US) and an 8GB model for $599 (US), and will work with either a PC or Mac®. iPhone will be sold in the US through Apple’s retail and online stores, and through AT&T’s select retail stores.

    *All Battery claims are dependent upon network configuration and many other factors; actual results may vary. See http://www.apple.com/batteries for more information. Music capacity is based on four minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding; actual capacity varies by content.

    About Apple

    Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

    © 2007 Apple Computer, Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh and iPhone are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

    Written by: PRNewswire

    Stalking 2.0: The Websites that Track Your Every Move

    June 17, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Eye

    So, you don’t mind being followed and tracked? You don’t care if your friends can see what websites you’ve been to lately, what software you’ve been running, or even what music you’ve been listening to? Then you’ll love the web’s trend towards extreme openness: sharing everything you do on your computer. Sometimes referred to as sharing your ‘attention’ data, this is a growing market. Below, we round up 12 services that want to track your every move – voluntarily.

    Wakoopa Logo

    Wakoopa is an excellent service which tracks what software you have been running. It keeps tabs of what software is running in the background, what software you have installed, and what software you actively use. Every so often the software uploads this data to the Wakoopa site where it then lists all programs you have been running. The interesting thing here is that you can add friends to track individually or join a team and combine the data. Thanks to Wakoopa, I have found several useful programs that I now use regularly.

    Last.fm has been making news with the site being acquired by CBS for nearly $300 million. If you’re a tech-savvy music fan, you probably already use it. With Last.fm you download a small program which gathers information on the current song you are playing through your favorite mp3 software application. Through a process called “scrobbling,” the software determines what song you are listening to and then uploads this song’s data to the server and then keeps track of it. On the website itself there are many ways of viewing the data which is fun to play around with. To be honest though, I think the greatest part is learning exactly how much horrible music you listen to and what songs your friends listen to in comparison. (Our Last.fm review.)

    Cluztr takes it to the web by tracking every site you visit online through your browser. Not only that, it also keeps a history log or “clickstream” of all those sites. One word of advice, avoid visiting sites that your mother would not think much of, as it’s all out there for your friends to view. Cluztr installs a plug-in to your FireFox or Flock browser (sorry IE and Safari users, Cluztr is hopeful for a mid to late 2007 release) where it then captures your entire web surfing history and compiles it into your “clickstream” which you are free to share or publish on the web for all your friends to see. There are also social functions built into the sidebar which allow for posting of messages for that specific site which other users can see when visiting that same site. (Our Cluztr review.)

    AttentionTrust offers services similar to Cluztr. AttentionTrust installs as a browser plug-in and tracks the sites you visit. You can then take this data and share it with other applications or development projects that could make use of this data, or simply store it on your desktop. AttentionTrust’s idea is to let you share this data with in interested parties for a fee – in other words, a form of lead generation.

    Atten.TV Logo

    Atten.TV is another site that allows you to follow what you or your friends are clicking on around the web. You have the option to share this data or keep it private. It is completely up to you. Since you are reading this article, I think it is safe to assume you are leaning towards the former option. The downloadable application is only for Mac OS currently. (Our Atten.tv review.)

    Me.dium can be considered a competitor to Cluztr. Me.dium takes the same basic approach, but doesn’t act as a personal log: instead, it lets you see which sites your friends are on, and join them there. It is simply personal preference on your decision to use Cluztr, Me.dium, Atten.TV or AttentionTrust. (Our Me.dium review.)

    Plazes Logo

    Plazes is a service that tracks where you are no matter where you are in the world. So now if you not only want your pals to know where you are online, you can have them know where you are in person. Just be sure not to get in to trouble with this service.

    iStalkr doesn’t keep tabs on you directly, but rather, indirectly by utilizing RSS and ATOM feeds that most social web 2.0 sites are utilizing now. If you sign up for an iStalkr account and enter some social sites you are a member of, like Del.icio.us and Twitter, iStalkr will then grab the RSS/ATOM feed for that service and will be able to get your updates from the site. To put it simply, think of iStalkr like as a central hub for your social website information and updates. (Our iStalkr review.)

    SlifeShare Logo

    SlifeShare is an application built for the Mac OS primarily. If you are running Firefox you can install the extension regardless of what OS you run. SlifeShare is similar to iStalkr in that the application tracks data from multiple sources and acts as a central hub, but SlifeShare takes it a step further and collects this data directly. Music, videos, photos, websites, applications, and more are tracked and then the data is displayed on the SlifeShare website which you can share with friends. You are only allowed five friends, after which you must either become a premium user or just stick with the five friend limit. (Our SlifeShare review.)

    YouTube Logo

    YouTube Active Share simply allows you to share videos that you watch on YouTube with all your friends. Your profile will show what videos you have recently watched and when you are currently watching a video while others are viewing the same video, they will see your name appear on a list of people currently watching that video.

    Particls is a downloadable application which doesn’t necessarily track what you do, but instead tracks what you are most interested in receiving information about. The concept is that you allow the Particls software to search your documents for keywords that will allow the program to determine what information you want to be fed to your computer via RSS and ATOM feeds. For example, if you type in Web 2.0, it’s almost a guarantee you will receive site updates from the Mashable website directly to the Particls software. Minor problems with the application is that it can be a resource hog at times, but it is very powerful, and Particls will have an ad supported version and a pay version in the future. (Our Particls review and custom Mashable version.)

    Google Logo

    Google History has drawn much controversy over privacy issues. Google search history is another controversial tool Google released that tracks every search term you enter into Google’s various search tools. This feature is mainly for your benefit only.

    Written by: Mashable

    Sony Ericsson shows shake-to-shuffle Walkman phone

    June 17, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Sony Ericsson’s been busy, busy, busy this week: in addition to announcing an upgraded Cyber-shot camera phone, it debuted a pair of new Walkman music phones – once controlled simply by shaking, rattling or rolling it.

    Sony Ericsson Walkman 960
    Sony Ericsson’s W960: Symbian runner

    What really makes the W960 stand out is its foundation on the Symbian operating system – it’s smart phone as music phone – complete with 240 x 320, 262,144-colour touch screen, stylus and jog dial as per Sony Ericsson’s P-series smart phones.

    Likewise, it has Wi-Fi on board and the Opera web browser pre-loaded. For cellular connectivity, it has tri-band GSM/GPRS and 3G radios.

    It’s a more traditionally styled, black model, and comes bundled with a Bluetooth stereo headset. There’s a 3.2-megapixel camera on board and 8GB of memory. Like the W910 it has an RDS-capable FM radio.

    All three handsets are due to arrive in the shops in Q4.

    Written by: the Register, Tony Smith

    Opera to replace Flash, iPhone has its first app

    June 17, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Opera Software officials confirmed today that it is developing native video functionality for its mobile browser that will replace the ubiquitous Adobe Flash plug-in.

    “What we are doing is adding video capability directly into the Web browser so you can use text, and video, and javascript and directly execute video inside of the Web,” said Tatsuki Tomita, senior vice president for consumer products at Opera Software.

    Behind the move is a desire to increase the functionality of mobile Web browsers, according to Tomita. The Flash plug-in is extremely processor- and memory-intensive and on mobile devices, or any other hardware-constrained device such as even a set-top box, it is not an ideal solution.

    “You cannot execute and provide a good user experience,” Tomita said.

    In addition, Flash requires more battery life than a native application.

    Tomita includes the Apple iPhone as part of a long-term trend that will see more powerful browsers becoming the de facto operating system or environment on mobile devices.

    Although not yet available, Apple already has its first application on the Web from Webware and a site for creating iPhone widgets from Widgity.

    A move away from Flash and its expensive authoring tool could also lower developer costs, especially if over time an open source standard becomes available.

    For example, a similar move was made years ago by most of the cell phone industry when it deployed SVG [Scalable Vector Graphics], an open W3C standard language for describing two-dimensional and graphical applications in XML in mobile browsers rather than using available proprietary solutions.

    Tomita believes the browser will gain more and more functionality as the operating systems continues to move down the infrastructure food chain. Although there are limitations to applications built on top of a Web browser, they can be overcome if the browser providers work with individual handset manufacturers to control the hardware and middleware capabilities natively.

    The combination will give browsers almost unlimited functionality and interactive capabilities, Tomita said.

    Tomita would not put a date on when the Opera browser would replace Flash with its own technology.

    Written by: InfoWorld

    Sony CEO Howard Stringer Studying, Refining PS3 Price

    June 17, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Sir Howard Stringer commends Nintendo on Wii’s “cheaper” business model

    The issue of the PlayStation 3’s price tag is one that refuses to go away, at least until it is on-par with a competing console.

    Sony executives have had a couple different stances on the topic. In the western world, SCEA CEO Jack Tretton said that PS3 will be “difficult to cost reduce” due to its expensive components. Phil Harrison of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios said that he was feeling “absolutely no pressure at all” to drop the price of the PlayStation 3.

    In Japan, Sony Senior Vice President Takao Yuhara said the company may look at price as part of its strategy to “expand the market.” Sony president Ryoji Chubachi said in April that the company was “in the midst of revisiting our strategy for the PS3,” which he later reiterated again in another recorded statement during June.

    Regardless of what the true near-future fate of the PS3’s price point, there is a clearly communicated sentiment from the Japanese side of the company that realizes a sensitive issue in the eyes of consumers.

    The latest affirmation on Sony’s attention to the price of its latest console comes from the very top: Sir Howard Stringer, the chairman and CEO of Sony Corp. In an interview with the Financial Times, Stringer said of the PS3 price cuts, “That is what we are studying at the moment. That’s what we are trying to refine.”

    While Stringer’s comments do not make any direct indication of a price drop, it signals that Sony is not blind to the views of its customers. Stringer also said he expected “energy [in PS3 sales] by Christmas, and then you will begin to see break-out games.”

    Stringer also commended Nintendo on its successful business model, not only because of its controller, but because of its relatively affordable price point. “Nintendo Wii has been a successful enterprise, and a very good business model, compared with ours … because it’s cheaper,” Mr. Stringer said.

    Written by:  DailyTech

    Any Video Converter Free 2.03

    June 15, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Any Video Converter is an All-in-One video converting tool with easy-to-use graphical interface, fast converting speed and excellent video quality. It allows you to effortlessly convert video files between every format! It can convert almost all video formats including DivX, XviD, MOV, rm, rmvb, MPEG, VOB, DVD, WMV, AVI to MPEG-4 movie format for iPod/PSP or other portable video device, MP4 player or smart phone. It also supports any user defined video file formats as the output. Any Video Converter makes it easy for anyone to enjoy any format video with your iPod, PSP, mobile phone or MP4 player.

    Any Video Converter features include:

    * User-friendly interface that is easy to use.
    * Converts all video formats to Apple iPod Video, Sony PSP and more
    * Batch convert any video formats including avi, wmv, asf, mpg, mp4, etc.
    * Support DivX and Xvid avi format as importing and exporting video

    * Support default video/audio settings or user customized parameters for video and audio.
    * Has the option to preview the video in real-time before conversion .

    * World’s fastest video conversion speed with stunning video and audio quality.

    * Supports adjust many video/audio options for MP4 files. For example, video/audio sample rate, bit rate, video size…

    Suppotable Input Formats: WMV, ASF, VOB, MPG, DV, M1V, M2V, MOV, MPEG-4, 3GP, RM, RMVB and FLV.
    Supportable Output Formats: MPEG-1, MPEG-2 and MPEG-4.

    Home Page: http://www.any-video-converter.com

    Download: Any Video Converter Free 2.03

    Safari for Windows Tops 1 Million Downloads

    June 15, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Despite security concerns and Microsoft pundits like Paul Thurrott wondering “who would ever use” it, Safari 3 Beta for Windows was downloaded over 1 million times in the first 48 hours, Apple announced. The company continues to tout the speed and standards support of its browser, which was previously Mac-only.

    Even with 1 million downloads, however, Apple has its work cut out for it in order to retain those users. The initial Safari 3 beta was noticeably buggy on Windows, and many reported slower performance than both IE7 and Firefox 2. In addition, Apple is now facing the same security issues that have long plagued its rivals on Windows, with upwards of 10 vulnerabilities already discovered in the beta. Some analysts speculate that Safari for Windows exists primarily to aid development of applications for Apple’s upcoming iPhone, not to compete with IE or Firefox.

    Written by: BetaNews Staff

    Sony Ericsson intros 5Mp Cyber-shot phone

    June 15, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Sony Ericsson Cyber-shot K850
    Sony Ericsson’s K850: 5Mp snapper

    Sony Ericsson is to beef up its line of Cyber-shot camera phones with a new five-megapixel model, but you’re going to have to wait until nearly Christmas to get your hands on it.

    The K850 is set to go on sale early in Q4 – October, basically. When it arrives, it will not only sport that higher-resoution image grabber but also a xenon flash, auto-focus, 16x digital zoom and a 2.2in, 320 x 240, 262,144-colour display. It also has 3G connectivity with HSDPA high-speed download technology. Sony Ericsson claimed the camera can upload at HSDPA speeds too – does it have HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) on board? If it does, that’s not an abbreviation the company mentioned.

    Once again, Sony Ericsson’s Best Pic feature – it takes nine shots in rapid succession, as soon as you touch the shutter key; when it’s done, you keep the one you prefer – is present, as is the ability to send images directly to a PictBridge printer, and to tweak shots first.

    The phone has 40MB of memory on board, backed by a bundled 512MB Memory Stick Micro – aka M2 – card. However, the K850 can also accept Micro SD cards in the same slot. Bluetooth 2.0 is part of package too, and the phone boasts an RDS-capable FM radio.

    Written by: The Register Hardware

    Chime.TV: A Prettier Way to Watch YouTube

    June 15, 2007 - Leave a Response

    Chime.Tv’s video player has got the kind of flash and style Ruby developers would envy, especially since it’s programmed in PHP and AJAX. The player, which dishes out 22 themed channels of viral video content, with a bunch of added utilities.The full page player is similar to Joost and Babelgum, but in your browser. Like the IPTV guys, you can flip through pre-made channels, roll your own, or search for content by keyword. The player is pretty hands off, and will just run if you give it a channel or a search term to munch on. The player searches through videos on YouTube, Veoh, Metacafe, Google Video, and DailyMotion. You can reorganize the results by title, length, or randomize. They also have a bookmarklet so you can add content to your channels as you surf the web.

    So, iIf you want to create the “bikini” channel, all you have to do is search for “bikini” in the search bar and Chime will start playing through all the results. The player also has a friend feature for sharing your channels and vids with someone else.

    The player can play in full screen mode, wide screen, or anywhere in between by dragging the corner of the video. It also comes with some color controls for brightness, contrast, and color in case the original quality is less than stellar.

    All this thing needs is a mashup with one of the TV show aggregators.

    Written by: TechCrunch

    SanDisk inks agreement to support DivX

    June 15, 2007 - Leave a Response

    DivX and SanDisk have announced a licensing agreement allowing SanDisk to include DivX technology in SanDisk’s Sansa line of video-enabled products.

    As a result of the partnership, future SanDisk video products can include interoperability with the DivX Stage6 video website. This partnership is designed to provide SanDisk consumers with seamless access to the growing library of professional and user-generated video content available today in the popular DivX format, according to the companies.

    Products that bear the DivX Certified logo have undergone a rigorous testing program to ensure a high-quality DivX media experience, including reliable video playback, interoperability with other DivX Certified devices and the visual quality users expect from DivX.

    SanDisk expects to announce plans later this year for DivX support in its product lines.

     

     News source: DigiTimes