American Idol contestant CD pulled from Amazon MP3 store

Blu-ray player prices congregate at $400 while HD DVD hits rock bottom

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.

Japan focuses on reducing power-consumption for flat panel TVs

Lucky Power to see critical solar module output jump in 2008

Storing data for the next 1000 years

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 years.

Yahoo revenues, profits grow in wake of Microsoft bid

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.

F1 Supercomputing championship: Toyota ditches Itanium CPUs

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 says it will raise Blu-ray rental rate

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.

Hybrid sales up 38 percent in 2007

First bionic eyes implanted – queue up the Bionic Man jokes

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.

Windows XP SP3 goes RTM

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.

Skype begins offering "all you can eat" calling plan

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.

Blu-ray Disc sales swell by 351% year-to-year

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.

Google remains most powerful brand in the world

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.

Vietnam launches its first satellite

Branson to marry first couple in space

GPS chipset shipments to approach one billion by 2012, says Future Horizons

AT&T becomes flagship retailer to use Microsoft Surface

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.

Bus driver blindly follows GPS, tries to fit 12-foot bus into 9-foot tunnel

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.

People cynical about Comcast's P2P "bill of rights"

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.