Items tagged with ray

Sometimes, technology is more than just a boost in processing power or an increase in capacity. Sometimes, it's about the people. Qualcomm has just unveiled some pretty radical stuff through its Wireless Reach initiative, and in cooperation with Project RAY. Project RAY designs accessibility tools for blind and visually impaired people, and the company jointly announced this week that they have developed the RAY mobile device, an always-on, easy-to-use, multi-function, smartphone that is synchronized with Israel's Central Library for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Handicapped audio books content. Today, the majority of blind and visually impaired people use simple 2G mobile phones for voice... Read more...
It use to be that the big buzz word going around the industry was convergence.  In the multimedia living room of tomorrow, a melding of the capabilities of various entertainment center components, along with the computer functionalities, is the end goal that will culminate into a more intelligent, connected entertainment center.  Or at least it seems to be.  Granted, the HTPC (Home Theater PC) has come a long way at making that goal a reality but you'd have to agree we're not there quite yet.  Interestingly, in a reverse merger sort of fashion, Boulder CO company Silicon Mountain (mountain of silicon perhaps?) steps out today with the first fully integrated HDTV PC product. ... Read more...
Netflix and Samsung Partner to Instantly Stream Movies on Next Generation Blu-ray Disc Players Samsung BD-P2500 and BD-P2550 Blu-ray Players Transformed into Gateways that Give Consumers Access to More Than 12,000 Choices of Movies and TV Episodes from Netflix Partnership will Include Streaming to a Range of Home Entertainment Products LOS GATOS, Calif. and RIDGEFIELD PARK, N.J., Oct. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), the world's largest online movie rental service, and Samsung Electronics America, a market leader and award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, today announced a broad partnership to offer consumers the ability to instantly stream movies and TV episodes... Read more...
OWC ANNOUNCES INDUSTRY’S FIRST BLU-RAY EXTERNAL DRIVES WITH “QUAD INTERFACE” OWC Mercury Pro Features Quad Interface for FireWire800/400, USB 2.0, & eSATA – for Mac and PC 4X Speed Writes up to 50GB, Reads/Writes HD-DVD, DVD/DVD-R, CD-R/RW Discs October 22, 2008 -- Woodstock, IL -- Other World Computing (OWC®) https://www.macsales.com, a leading Mac and PC technology company, announced today its new line of OWC Mercury Pro™ Blu-ray “Quad Interface” external drive solutions. The first Blu-ray external drives on the market offering a “Quad Interface” of FireWire 800, FireWire 400, USB 2.0, and eSATA, the OWC Mercury Pro drives feature 4X Blu-ray disc write speed for burning up to... Read more...
Following Tuesday's press conference where Steve Jobs announced the new MacBooks, Jobs assembled the press corps and fielded a few questions. When the topic came around to why Apple still doesn't offer Blu-ray drives as an option for Mac, this was what he had to say:"BluRay is a bag of hurt... The licensing of the technology is so complex that we’re just waiting until things settle down and waiting until BluRay really takes off in the marketplace before we burden our customers with the cost of the licensing and the drives."    Credit: AMEX DigitalMany might argue that customers are already paying a premium for iMacs and MacBooks, so what's another couple of hundred dollars tacked onto... Read more...
Sharp claims that its new AQUOS DX series of LCD TVs are the world's first LCD TVs with built-in Blu-ray recorders. The new DX series TVs will be available in Japan starting in November and will come in sizes ranging from 26 inches to 52 inches. The TVs will include dual-digital tuners and can record high-definition video to Blu-ray Discs (BD) using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 encoding. With a 50GB BD, up to about 21 hours and 40 minutes of compressed high-definition video can be recorded to disc. On the other end of the spectrum, about 2 hours and 10 minutes of the highest-quality video can be recorded on a 25GB BD. You can start recording to disc in as little as three seconds after a disc is inserted,... Read more...
Sub-$400 Model Leaps Ahead in Recording Speed; Includes Blu-ray Disc Movie Title 'Men In Black' SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Electronics today announced its third generation internal Blu-ray Disc(TM) (BD) writer for the computer aftermarket, which at about $400 achieves a new level of affordability for BD enthusiasts.The new BWU-300S model burns single and dual layer BD-R media at up to 8X speed, recording a full 25GB disc in about 15 minutes and a full 50GB disc in about 30 minutes. The 8X recording speed is achieved using 6X compatible BD-R media. The drive also records DVDs at up to 16X, CDs up to 48X, and supports DVD-RAM recording, with an eye towards data backup, making... Read more...
Large corporations, universities, and research labs have relied on high-performance computers (HPC)--or "supercomputers"--for years to solve complex problems in science, engineering, financial modeling, and other similar uses requiring advanced, heavy-duty computations. The high cost of these systems and their complexity have often kept them out of the hands of smaller companies, institutions, and departments that don't have the budget or resources to purchase and maintain them. Cray ("The Supercomputer Company"--yes, that supercomputer company) in partnership with Microsoft, hope to rectify that with today's announcement of an "affordable" supercomputer, the Cray CX1.    Credit: Cray... Read more...
We just received some breaking news out of SIGGRAPH 2008 that we thought many of you would be very interested in. If you recall, one of the capabilities Intel is touting in regard to their upcoming Larrabee architecture is the ability to perform real-time ray tracing. In the graphics space, ray tracing is a technique used to generate an image by tracing the rays or paths of light as they bounce through and around the objects in a scene. When done right, ray tracing can produce photorealistic imagery because shadows are cast correctly, water and other materials show proper reflections with correct coloring, and lighting in general just looks more realistic. The problem with ray tracing is... Read more...
From a technical perspective, the biggest advantage Blu-ray discs (BD) offer is more storage space--up to 25GB (for single-layer discs) or 50GB (for dual-layer discs). From a more practical standpoint, the best thing BD brings to the table is higher-quality, high-definition (HD) movies. More storage space means less data needs need to be compressed to fit on the disc--which is how we're able to get 1080p BD movies. But what happens when Quad HDTV (3840x2160 resolution: 2160p) makes its debut in a few years? Or what if the proposed Ultra High Definition (7680x4320: 4320p) standard or something similar makes it to market? Does this mean we're back to the days of DVDs when movies had to be highly... Read more...
A sore loser?  Perhaps.  Despite lsoing the high-definition optical disc war to Blu-ray and Sony, Toshiba says it has no plans to market a Blu-ray player.Despite its exit from the next-generation DVD race, the one-time champion of HD DVD is not giving up on the promise of high definition on optical disc. Rather, it seems to be working to improve standard DVDs.Toshiba President Atsutoshi Nishida has said that his company has no plans to market optical disc players compatible with Blu-ray, according to a citation that appeared last week in Japan's Daily Yomiuri.Instead, it now appears Toshiba will look to bring to market players that include new firmware that would include codecs or other... Read more...
Word from sunny Santa Clara-based NVIDIA Corp, is that the graphics giant has moved in on an acquisition of Utah-based RayScale, a 10 year-old start-up and productization of development work from few key people at the University of Utah.  RayScale currently has a product available for Autodesk Maya, dubbed LightNow.  Lightnow apparently offers interactive feedback with physically-based raytracing techniques, in combination with high quality batch rendering.  One of the advantages of physical-based rendering is that it automatically calculates raytraced shadowing from all available light sources. Raytraced image - courtesy RayScale Rayscale is currently... Read more...
If you have an iPhone and a Blu-Ray player and have been dreaming of the two working together in harmony, then you probably already work for NetBlender on their BD Touch development team. If it just sounds like a good idea, and you haven’t been dreaming about such a technological mating, then here’s what NetBlender is working on:“It's a technology that is built into our professional Blu-Ray authoring tool that will allow studios, independent movie companies to enable BD Touch features.These features send data in two directions from the Disc to the Iphone and vice versa. Video, Audio, text, and player commands can be sent.”NetBlender will release their SDK alongside a simple remote control application.... Read more...
Yesterday news regarding the availability of HP's ultra portable Mini-Note PC broke and generated some buzz.  But ever since ASUS first unveiled the EeePC other players like Everex, Acer, and ECS, among others, have all announced or introduced similar, relatively low priced, portable solutions.  And according to a story posted on CNN Money via Dow Jones, Dell will be next to enter the fray.Dell Inc. (DELL) plans to launch low-cost notebook computers made by Compal Electronics Inc.(2324.TW) as early as June, a Compal official said Wednesday.  Compal will initially ship 200,000-300,000 notebook computers to Dell each month, said the official, who declined to be named.Compal Electronics,... Read more...
Now that HD-DVD is out of the way, is it possible for Sony to garner a 50% share vs. DVD?  Sony seems to think so.Maybe that price cut in Blu-ray players is coming sooner than we think because Digitimes is reporting that Sony has set some very ambitious goals for Blu-ray in 2008. And by ambitious I'm talking a 50-50 split with DVD.The short article, which carries the headline, "Sony looks to 50% global market share for its Blu-ray products in 2008," says that "Sony will offer Blu-ray Disc (BD) devices in a wide range of product lines and prices and aims to increase the global market share of its BD products from 20 percent currently to 50 percent by the end of 2008." If Sony would reduce... Read more...
The rumor keeps circulating that Microsoft is indeed going to include a Blu-ray player in future Xbox 360s.  Microsoft continually denies the rumors, such as the one started by DigiTimes regarding a deal with Lite-On to manufacture said drive.Microsoft's PR department had this say:“No. Lite-On is not manufacturing Blu-ray drives for Xbox 360. As we have stated, games are what are driving consumers to purchase game consoles and we remain focused on providing the largest library of blockbuster game available.“For our customers who want a premium movie experience we offer the largest library of on-demand HD content available and the ability to play back DVDs in high definition.“Microsoft seems... Read more...
Comscore measures paid clicks for US users of all the major search engines. Google has recently been on a fairly big slide in paid clicks. Google investors were hoping to see some improvement in January's 0 percent increase in year-over-year performance. The good news? Paid clicks were up 3% in February. The bad news? There were 3% more days in February this year.Google had 515mm US paid clicks in February, which is up only 3% year over year. At first glance, this appears to be a slight--slight--improvement from the horrific January report, which was flat y/y at 532mm clicks. However, Comscore did not adjust for the Leap Year (29 days vs 28), so this likely accounted for the entire increase.*... Read more...
Some say Microsoft chose poorly when they backed Toshiba's HD DVD standard, and that had Microsoft backed Blu-ray instead, there wouldn't have been much of a format war.  There's another group, including Michael Bay, that thinks Microsoft intentionally chose a standard that they didn't think would win in an attempt to undermine consumer confidence in disc formats altogether.  Why?So they could build up their HD content on their digital distribution service:"Microsoft has been expanding the HD video capabilities of both Vista Media Center and Xbox Live Marketplace. The Marketplace's HD content library is modest today, but the software giant clearly has plans to change that.So, let's put everything... Read more...
Sony has won the high-definition format war by backing the Blu-ray standard. Toshiba ran up the white flag over their rival HD DVD format, and things seemed settled. Not so fast. Professor Emerita Gertrude Neumark Rothschild of Columbia University told the US International Trade Commission that she believes she holds not only the patent on the Blu-ray laser, but a host of short-wavelength LED designs as well. She's filed a complaint against Sony and 30 or so companies for all sorts of devices that use the technologies. The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain short-wavelength light emitting diodes, laser diodes,... Read more...
After Toshiba pulled the plug on HD DVD the rumor was that Microsoft was going to offer support for the Blu-ray devices both in Windows and on the Xbox 360.  Now Microsoft is claiming that they're not presently working on such a device for the Xbox 360:"Xbox is not currently in talks with Sony or the Blu-ray Association to integrate Blu-ray into the Xbox experience," (Xbox group product manage Aaron) Greenberg told Reuters in an interview.One possible reason why Microsoft isn't developing a Blu-ray player just yet is that they might be planning on pushing their Xbox Live video rental service harder.  Why back a competitor's technology when you can vertically integrate?... Read more...
Soft errors, they sound a little less ominous than hard errors, don't they?  Actually, both are not a lot of fun for the average computer processor or memory chip.  A soft error, relative to semiconductor technology, is corruption inside of the memory structure of a device where bits are flipped inadvertently. Soft errors have become much more of a concern than ever before, as chip technologies shrink smaller and smaller.  And the chip manufacturer with the most skin in the game right now is of course, Intel.  Bleeding-edge 45nm process technology allows for more powerful, complex chip designs but also brings with it, higher risk of soft errors... Read more...
According to a report in the Financial Times, Sony is in talks with Microsoft about offering a Blu-ray drive for the Xbox 360.  As many of you know, until recently Sony has touted Blu-ray as an advantage the PlayStation 3 holds over the Xbox 360.  Microsoft had backed Toshiba’s HD-DVD format and offered an affordable, external HD-DVD drive for the 360, but by now we all know how that worked out... "A Blu-ray drive in a 360 would make Microsoft more competitive with the PS3, but it would also mean extra revenues for Sony’s electronics division. It would also add further cost to the 360, meaning a premium edition of the console could be necessary. A Blu-ray drive could be incorporated... Read more...
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