News Archive for 06/08/02

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Dolby: 3D movie projection on the cheap

08/02, 3:55pm

Dolby 3D Movie Projection

Monster House's recent debut showed that the popularity of 3D movies has survived well past the days of B-movies at the drive-in. On average, screens showing a special 3D version of the movie took in twice as much income as those showing the regular print. Convincing movie theater owners to equip their screens for 3D has been difficult, however. Common 3D projection systems either need silver screens (such as those for Monster House) or battery-powered glasses to boost the amount of light visible to the audience - and either solution can be prohibitively expensive. Dolby Labs has announced a potential cure: in working with the technology of German company Infitec, the company is developing a 3D projection design that can use standard white screens and cheap polarized glasses to produce the right effect. We may be wearing silly glasses for movies after Spring 2007, when Dolby expects the technique will be ready for widespread use.

Students warned about social sites

08/02, 3:50pm

Social Site Warning

With the Fall college semester imminent, a lot of students are learning about what they shouldn't do while on campus, such as drugs or plagiarism. But there's something new to the litany of warnings this year: social networking sites. The immense popularity of sites such as Facebook and MySpace has many institutions educating students about the inherent dangers of posting unrestricted photos and writings on public sites. Many students aren't aware of how easily others can find this info, and the consequences can include anything from school discipline to online stalkers. Readers of this site will likely know better already, but the advice is simple: don't post content in public that someone could abuse at your own expense.

Samsung A720 info leaked by FCC

08/02, 2:45pm

Samsung A720 Info Leak

The FCC is known for unintentionally providing technology fans with advance information on new hardware, and today is no exception. The latest device to receive this treatment is the Samsung A720, an upcoming music phone for Sprint. By far he most conspicuous element of this phone is its set of dedicated music controls on the outside, which will let owners select and play music without having to open the phone at all. Other features (as indicated by the early manual also made public) include Bluetooth and PictBridge photo printing. See larger shots of the open and closed phone after the jump.

XM Radio, Google make ad deal

08/02, 2:20pm

XM Google Ad Deal

XM radio might be popular, but there's no question that the company needs more revenue to stay competitive. The satellite radio company has been bleeding money ever since its inception, and few media outlets enjoy surviving solely on the peaks and valleys of a subscriber base. This is made all the more complicated by the troubles with advertising on satellite radio: while ads aren't unheard of, listeners subscribe precisely to avoid the ad-heavy universe of FM networks. Enter today's deal between XM and Google: the latter will let AdWords customers produce radio ads that can be automatically inserted into news and talk channels on the XM network. The deal will let XM get fresh ads cheaply and easily, which in turn should help the company turn a profit sooner. Whether you prefer Sirius or XM, there's little doubt that keeping choices open for satellite radio is beneficial for all of us.

Kingston unveils K-PEX music players

08/02, 1:20pm

Kingston K-PEX Players

Kingston has long been known for its memory card and RAM products, but today the company decided to follow SanDisk and other memory manufacturers by offering its own line of digital audio players. Called the K-PEX, it's a flash-based player with either 1GB or 2GB of memory with the option of adding more storage thorough a miniSD card slot. The features are fairly common for the current wave of flash players, including video, though the K-PEX distinguishes itself by providing OGG audio support and a relatively large 2-inch screen. The one apparent caveat to the player is its video format support. All video must be transcoded to the MPX format before it can be copied over. Even so, at $129 for 1GB and $179 for 2GB, it's a reasonably competitive first entry into the market.

Study: DAP owners often use them in cars

08/02, 12:55pm

DAP Players In Cars

The primary advantage of iPods and other digital audio players is choice: carrying hours of music with you means that you can escape the monotony of FM radio or play exactly what you want to hear during a road trip. A recent study by Harris Interactive Reports shows that many of us recognize that choice. According to Harris, two-thirds of all adult car owners who also own a DAP also use the device in their car. Moreover, 14% of all adult car owners are looking for some kind of DAP integration in their next car and would vastly prefer stereos with direct interfaces to what they typically use now, such as cassette adapters and FM tuners. Harris reaches the conclusion that car and stereo manufacturers need to focus on better integration before buyers will truly be happy.

AOL to give free services by Sept.

08/02, 12:10pm

AOL Free Services

AOL is clearly in the middle of a massive transition forced upon it by the explosion of Internet content that rendered its old business model obsolete. It lost almost a million users of its Internet provider service in Spring of this year, while at the same time its ad revenue spiked by a full 40%. It should be no surprise, then, that the company no longer sees the need to limit a lot of its services to paying subscribers. As of Wednesday, AOL.com e-mail addresses are already free, while a large number of its other services will be made free by September. Of particular interest is its planned Internet phone service: site users will be able to get a free local phone number with unlimited incoming calls.

FTC finds Rambus monopolized power

08/02, 12:00pm

Rambus Monopoly Finding

Rambus' reputation a few years ago was less than stellar. At the start of the 2000s, virtually anyone who bought an Intel-based computer had to use Rambus' RDRAM memory due to an agreement, even when it became clear that RDRAM was holding Intel's performance back: tests of then-new DDR memory showed that it was much faster. AMD's Athlon quickly gained the upper-hand for performance-minded users. It turns out that lower game performance wasn't Rambus' only fault. Today, the Federal Trade Commission found that Rambus was guilty of antitrust violations during that period. Essentially, Rambus maintained a deceptive facade: while it helped set common standards for RAM through JEDEC (an organization for electronic device makers), it was secretly establishing patents based on some of these standards - patents which the company in turn used to sue others for infringement. No punishment was determined in the initial ruling.

Moto/Burton Bluetooth winter headwear

08/02, 11:20am

Moto Burton headwear

You may recall earlier news about the Burton Audex jacket, which was a collaboration between Motorola and Burton that let skiers and snowboarders listen to music or take phone calls through a Bluetooth wireless link between your phone and speakers built into the hood. Today, the two companies partnered up with R.E.D. to expand the Audex lineup with a beanie hat and helmet, both of which have Bluetooth and stereo speakers built-in so you can tune in without cables (or spending more money on the jacket). Instead of buttons on a sleeve, you use rotary controls on the side of the headwear to managel your music or phone calls. Though the official prices aren't listed on the product page, you can find the padded hat for $126 (normally $180) and the helmet for $150 (normally $250).

Sony DSC-T10 ultra-compact camera

08/02, 10:30am

DSC-T10 Camera

Many homes now have three or four digital cameras, says Sony. To that end, the company is positioning its new DSC-T10 as a "fashion accessory." It certainly looks the part: in addition to the thin and minimalist shape, you'll be able to buy the T10 in black, white, pink, or silver. There's also substance beyond the surface, as the T10 has the features of a high-end point-and-shoot. While the 7 MP sensor and 3X optical zoom aren't unique features these days, the T10 does have the advantage of image stabilization and a relatively high ISO 1000 rating, both of which will help for low-light and otherwise bad shot conditions. Pre-orders start on the 4th, and you can pick one up later this month for $400. Check out the full photo after the jump.

Creative announces Zen Neeon 2

08/02, 9:50am

Zen Neeon 2

Not content with the previously announced Zen V and V Plus digital audio players, Creative announced on Wednesday the Zen Neeon 2 line. The Neeon 2 comes in what are now fairly commonplace models for flash-based players: 1,2, and 4 GB capacities are available in as many as five colors for the 1 and 2 GB versions (though colors only apply to the backplate). FM radio and recording are also present. The main distinguishing feature is its video playback: while the V Plus can already play video, Creative boasts of 8 hours of AVI video playback on the Neeon 2 (albeit on a 1.5" screen). The North American release date and pricing hasn't been set, but Singapore pricing translates to US prices of $125, $170, and $195 for the 1, 2, and 4GB models respectively. See the full product shot after the jump.

True 1080 HDV camera from Canon

08/02, 8:50am

Canon 1080 Camera

While Sony has been boasting about its HDV cameras and generally leading the charge with increasingly more affordable gear, the company has had a dirty secret: all their mainstream cameras record at 1440x1080, not the 1920x1080 you need for widescreen 1080i or 1080p. What good is your monster 60" TV when your camera's sharpest resolution uses a 4:3 ratio? Canon believes it has the cure, as today it announced the iVIS HV100, which uses the DIGIC DV II processor from the XL H1 pro camera to achieve its full HD resolution. It uses a 1/2.7 CMOS capable of 2.96 megapixels. Though the announcement is for Japan, the announced price of about 1000 Euros ($1278 US) suggests that it's only a matter of time before North Americans are boring their families to tears with vacation footage in HD quality.

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