Pricewatch - In the past week we have seen an interesting trend with Blu-ray Disc player prices: All four of the BD devices we have been tracking all year are now retailing for around $400. Some of the players came down from well over $400, while the price of others went up. It appears pretty clear that $400 is the current resting place for Blu-ray players. Meanwhile, HD DVD players have broken the final string and are starting to come down well under $100.
Have you ever thought how vulnerable your data may be through the
simple fact that you may be storing your entire digital life on a
single hard drive? On single drive can hold tens of thousands of
pictures, thousands of music files, videos, letters and countless other
documents. One malfunctioning drive can wipe out your virtual life in a
blink of an eye. A scary thought. On a greater scale, at least portions
of the digital information describing our generation may be put at risk
by current storage technologies. There are only a few decades of life
in tape and disk storage these days, but a team of researchers claims
to have come up with a power-efficient, scalable way to reliably store
data with regular hard drives for an estimated (theoretical) 1400
Yahoo's first quarter 2008 results were quite probably the most anticipated financial numbers in the technology industry so far this year. It is the first public report from the online giant since Microsoft announced its desire to buy it. In the results, Yahoo showed revenues of $1.82 billion, a nine percent increase over the same period last year. The gross profit rose to over a billion dollars, at $1.06B, 11% over 2007.
Hot on the heels of our F1 Supercomputing story, we received an email
from Franklin Dallmann, president of supercomputer vendor Dalco, with
an update to the system used by the Toyota F1 team. Toyota got rid of
its Itanium 2 system and replaced it with an AMD Opteron supercomputer.
Netflix subscribers will soon need to start paying a "modest monthly premium" if they want to rent Blu-ray Discs, even though over the past two years high-def movies have been included in the standard rates. The online rental leader made the announcement in its latest quarterly earnings conference call, and came alongside news that Netflix was lowering its earnings forecast for the rest of the year.
Researchers have performed the first successful bionic eye implants
in the United States and Britain and have given three people previously
blind people the gift of sight. The pea-sized implants are actually
video cameras that transmit signals to the optic nerves. This gives
the patient rudimentary black and white vision, good enough to detect
motion and obstacles.
The third service pack for Microsoft's Windows XP operating system has reached the critical "release to manufacturing" phase, allowing computer makers and high-profile buyers/consumers to access the final version of what could be the last major XP update. "Windows XP SP3 bits are now working their way through our manufacturing channels to be available to OEM and Enterprise customers," said said Windows release manager Chris Keroack on Microsoft's official Technet forums.
Internet calling giant Skype announced today that it is offering an unlimited calling plan for local and long-distance calls. Users wanting to go for a plan of calls to US and Canada can pay $2.95 per month, with no restrictions. That can be expanded to a nearly worldwide calling subscription for $9.95 a month.
The first quarter of 2008 was a huge success for Blu-ray, as sales grew by 351 percent over the same period last year, reports trade publication Home Media Magazine. According to Home Media, increased attention to Blu-ray was a boon the the home entertainment market in general. For the first time in two years, spending on home video was up.
For the third year in a row, Google has been named the "most powerful brand in the world" by market research firm Millward Brown Optimor. According to the firm, the brand value of Google is $86.1 billion, surpassing the next one on the list, GE, by nearly $15 billion.
If you head out to AT&T's "Experience" store in San Bruno, California, you'll find the first retail use of Microsoft's Surface operating system on a large coffee table touch-screen. Consumers can step up to the table to interact with the screen and check out different AT&T mobile phones available.
It doesn’t take a math genius to know that a 12-foot tall bus won’t
fit into a 9-foot high tunnel, but that’s exactly what a bus driver
tried to do on Thursday in Seattle. The bus was carrying a high school
softball team and 21 students and coaches were sent to the hospital in
the resulting crash. The driver blames his GPS unit and told police he
didn’t see the numerous low clearance warning lights or signs leading
up to the tunnel.
Comcast this week sent out a press release talking about a "bill of rights and responsibilities" for peer-to-peer applications over the Internet. In part, Comcast says "P2P users should have the right to control their computers’ resources when using P2P applications," but some users may find this as more of a PR move for the cable company instead of any kind of actual useful plan.