Items tagged with Format

It's true: Blu-ray is outgrowing itself, but thankfully, there's room for expansion on the current format. There have been rumors for years that larger optical discs were on the horizon, and even hints that Blu-ray itself may grow. But now it's official, and those who always assumed that a single 50GB dual-layer disc would one day be too small no longer have anything to worry about. Until 128GB per discs seems too small, we guess. The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) recently announced the finalization and release of the specifications for BDXL, the new multi-layer recordable Blu-ray Disc format with up to 128GB of capacity. With the completion and approval of the specification, manufacturers can... Read more...
It's a tough time for Blu-ray to be really hitting its stride. Many consumers are still wary due to the battle with HD-DVD, and frankly, many are still content with DVD. In too many cases, upscaled DVD looks "good enough" for consumers, and only those with oodles of disposable income are willing to fork out for Blu-ray. Blu-ray player prices are still relatively high, and the actual movies are way expensive compared to the same titles on DVD. Plus, the install base of DVD is so high, it's tough for many to start building another movie library on another format.Those reasons and more are what is keeping the interest in Blu-ray rather low according to a new study by Harris Interactive. Currently,... Read more...
It's no secret that music sales comprised of physical media (i.e. CDs) are down in the face of huge competition from iTunes and other digital distribution channels.  At the same time, no one ever said the record labels would give up on physical sales easily.  Today SanDisk, along with the four major record labels (Warner Bros., EMI, Sony BMG and Universal Music Group) have announced a new format: slotMusic. slotMusic is essentially a microSD card with an album on it, and the partners plan to roll it out in time for the holiday season.According to the format's official site, Wal-Mart and Best Buy are already lined up to stock the cards.With slotMusic, songs will be loaded onto what are... Read more...
It's not the first time something like this has happened, and it won't be the last. What's worrisome is that it probably happens more often than we know, and we just don't hear about it. No, someone didn't explicitly sell personal info on eBay. What they did was sell a hard drive with the bank account numbers, phone numbers, mothers' maiden names and signatures of 1 million customers of American Express, NatWest and the Royal Bank of Scotland on it. Big oops, right? Fortunately, the buyer was Andrew Chapman, an IT manager from Oxford, and not some scammer. Obviously, the odds are in favor of the buyer either being someone honest, or else just not noticing the extraneous data. The drive originally... Read more...
It's common received knowledge that there was a tech bubble in the late nineties, and then it burst. But what if that wasn't the end of it? What if it was really more like a tech balloon, and it had a pinhole leak? Instead of the pop we thought we heard, perhaps it's was a long slow hissing until we wake up today and realize: Ones and Zeros are not the future; let's make stuff! "The wheel has turned. What was up is down, and what was down is up," said San Francisco investment executive Frank Husic. "And it's all because an emerging world wants to eat, drive and live in houses — things we take for granted and have for well over a century."Dan Basse, president of AgResource, a Chicago agricultural-forecasting... Read more...
Watch out MP3, AAC, WMA, FLAC, and Ogg Vorbis--there's a new digital audio format about to be introduced and it's creators are setting their sites on it becoming the new "de facto standard" for digital audio. The new format is called Music 2.0 and it will use MT9 as its file extension: "The distinctive feature of [the] MT9 format is that it has a six-channel audio equalizer, with each channel dedicated to voice, chorus, piano, guitar, base and drum. For example, if a user turns off the voice channel, it becomes a karaoke player. Or one can turn off all the instruments and concentrate on the voice of the main singer as if he or she is singing a cappella." The MT9 concept is the brainchild of South... Read more...
Toshiba backed the HD DVD format against Sony's rival Blu-ray high-definition disc method, and Toshiba lost. One wonders whether Sony might ask themselves from time to time if it might have been better to have lost. More or less, no one wants a Blu-ray player. Sales of Blu-ray players, excluding PlayStation 3 game consoles, dropped 40 percent from January to February in the U.S., according to NPD. Sales grew only 2 percent from February to March. The firm didn't release numbers of players sold."When we surveyed consumers late last year, an overwhelming number of them said they weren't investing in a new next-generation player because their old DVD player worked well and next-generation players... Read more...
When we last visited Wal-Mart's attempt at DRM-free music, they had only managed to get EMI and Universal Music Group signed up for the DRM-free portion of their store. They've now decided to go all-MP3, but they're still stuck without Warner Music Group and Sony BMG, which are unfortunately the top two record labels.As Wal-Mart switches to the MP3 music format and redesigns its music store, it leaves behind Microsoft's digital rights management technology, which prevented the songs it sold from being played on iPods. The company has also ditched Sony/BMG and Warner Music Group, for now anyway, probably due to licensing squabbles about the terms of the transition to unprotected music....Most... Read more...
It's not even officially announced, but Microsoft has been trying so long to get OOXML approved, it can't wait.  It's already issued a press release.While the final vote has not yet been announced formally, publicly available information appears to indicate the proposed Open XML standard received extremely broad support. According to documents available on the Internet, 86 percent of all voting national body members support ISO/IEC standardization, well above the 75 percent requirement for formal acceptance under ISO and IEC rules. In addition, 75 percent of the voting Participating national body members (known as P-members) support standardization, also well above the 66.7 percent requirement... Read more...
Most people deal with limited storage along with their almost unlimited desire to save pr0n things. In the digital world, the problem is compounded by the speed at which various storage formats become obsolete.  Even if you can lay your hands on a 5.25" floppy disk you have valuable things stored on, do you even have something that will read it ? Eventually the information might get corrupted even if you can read it. The Library of Congress, along with other interested parties, are looking for a new way to store data without obsolescence.Most details remain to be worked out, but the digital information probably will be stored in a network of computer "repositories" scattered across the globe.... Read more...
Any time that a console is responsible for the bulk of a next-gen disc format's sales, we're willing to consider the possibility that most consumers just don't give a damn.  Yet, it seems that nearly ¾ of all North American Blu-ray Disc players are found in PS3s and more than a third of all HD DVD Drives are Xbox 360 HD add-on drives if the following numbers are accurate:“Microsoft does not openly share its sales figures on its accessories, though a company representative did say in June that it had reached 155,000 units sold – showing a slow but steady adoption rate of the HD DVD add-on.The HD DVD Promotional Group announced in November that it had sold more than 750,000 HD DVD players,... Read more...
Politicians have often been asked what they intend to do when a race is too close to call, and voters are starting to wonder if casting their votes for a 3rd party might not be a good idea.  The answer, based on their actions (not responses) is simple: Start the mudslinging campaigns!It seems that Blu-ray and HD DVD might just be in such a position, and while we're not saying that this is the first handful of mud to be thrown, it sure is an ugly one:More specifically, according to Tech.co.uk, Simonis is upset at the significantly higher "attach rate" that the European HD DVD Group recently touted, which (Frank) Simonis (Blu-Ray Disc Associaton's European Chairperson) now says was a "gross... Read more...
It's bad enough there are two competing HD formats.  Many consumers have not bought into either format, fearing they would be stuck with a Betamax redeaux.  It's late to the game, but a new company has introduced a new, cheaper HD format, but will anyone care? Next month, New Media Enterprises' 1080p set-top players, which use the HD VMD (Versatile Multilayer Disc) format, will go on sale on Amazon.com and in stores such as Radio Shack and Costco for around $150--about half the cost of the least-expensive 1080p HD DVD player, and perhaps a fourth the cost of the least-expensive Blu-ray player. The movies that work in them are similarly inexpensive. Rather than the blue laser used in... Read more...
Google says it has devised an ad format for YouTube that - and here's the unbelievable part - is not annoying.  Now how could they possibly arrange that, since in this age of Tivo and other PVRs, as well as banner blocking software for your web browser, ads are almost by nature, annoying? TV viewers have grown accustomed to watching a show and seeing the image of David Letterman or some other star walk across the bottom of the screen as part of a promotion. YouTube's new ads are very similar.YouTube's mini commercials, which are produced through Flash animation, appear at the bottom of a video, are mostly transparent and disappear after 10 seconds. Once the ad appears, a user has the option... Read more...
For anyone old enough to remember the VHS/Betamax wars, the new battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD might seem like history repeating itself.  While VHS did eventually prevail, it certainly put a lot of consumers off.  It also probably opened the door for wide adoption of the DVD as a single unified standard after both the VCD and laserdisc failed to gain a large enough foothold.Both of the new formats have support from different coalitions of movie studios, which means that if you want to watch high definition movies you could very well end up needing to buy two devices or a more expensive combo-device. “Until recently, many consumers were able to defer the choice because players have been so... Read more...
If you own a tinfoil hat, now might be a good time to go grab it.  Apparently Windows Vista has no less than 20 features/services that harvest information: "Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your concerns. In fact, in excess of 20 Windows Vista features and services are hard at work collecting and transmitting your personal data to the Redmond company. Microsoft makes no secret about the fact that Windows Vista is gathering information. End users have little to say, and... Read more...
The HD DVD Promotional Group made a proud announcement today that over half of all next-generation video players sold use HD DVD format, which means that they have a slight advantage over their BD contenders. “About 60 percent of all movie players use HD DVD, and are selling far more titles than before as well. Over 75,000 of the discs sold in the last week of May -- a record achievement for a still new format.” These figures come as a result of a recent price decline on the entry-level Toshiba HD-A2 player and other similar players. The group stated that sales doubled for all players when the HD-A2 dropped to $399 in April. However, the group was unclear on whether or not the sales figures... Read more...
While the format wars rage on, many different solutions are being proposed. The latest is a disk that Time Warner will announce next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Total HD movies will carry movies that can be played on high-definition DVD players that use technology backed by Sony Corp.'s Blu-ray format, as well as players using Toshiba Corp.-backed HD-DVD format. The competing formats have been blamed for hindering sales of high-definition movies and players, with consumers recalling the bruising war between Sony Corp.'s Betamax videotape and JVC's VHS version. JVC is owned by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd.... Read more...
Attempting to bridge the divide between two competing standards efforts, Cadence Design Systems will announce Monday (Dec. 4) that it has contributed its Common Power Format (CPF) to the Silicon Integration Initiative's (Si2) Low Power Coalition ahead of the anticipated date of January 31, 2007. A statement from Cadence and Si2 cites "significant customer input" as the reason. Read more here...... Read more...
The most mundane store has doors that open when you approach. We all have personal communicators now, but ours take pictures, play music, and have GPS. My PDA puts a tricorder to shame. Full body non-invasive scans? Check. All that was left really, from Star Trek's original kit of technology was teleportation. Well, the scientists at Neils Bohr institute in Copenhagen have got that figured out too. Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second. But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University... Read more...
Intel is looking for details from AMD in the Antitrust case that was started last year. Now that the AMD-ATI merger is complete, Intel is requesting all sorts of info from both AMD and ATI, and is questioning whether AMD will make ATI chips. Intel is specifically looking for financial details from the merger, as well as document's that could possibly affect AMD's semiconductor manufacturing. "Interestingly, Intel want to see documents provided to ATI or any initiative by AMD to improve performance or competitively position against Intel's Stable Image Platform (SIP). Interestingly, because AMD has collaborated with fierce ATI competitor... Read more...
An interesting thread over at the StarForce forums has been developing for the past few days. It all started when a link was provided by a StarForce employee, taking users to OnlineSecurity ON's website where they explain the "truth" about StarForce Drivers. As some found out however, the site has close ties to StarForce itself."To conclude, we must say that StarForce does not use rootkits, StarForce does not cause security issues and StarForce is not the only software developer that installs ring 0 drivers. We appreciate all the feedback from our clients and users and that is why StarForce drivers will be automatically uninstalled in the latest version of our copy protection system... Read more...
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