welcome to the future
OF TECHNOLOGY

Mar
08


Navigation systems have revolutionized the way we get from A to B — a huge step up from crusty fold-out maps and a “good sense of direction.” It’s going to get even better now that Google Maps and BMW have joined forces to streamline the data entry process. Instead of printing out or writing down an address to re-enter in the car, the information is sent directly from your computer to your navigation system. German drivers with Drive Assist-equipped BMWs can send any Google Maps Deutschland business listing straight to their cars, either to contact the business once inside, or to set it as a destination. Honestly, it’s about friggin’ time online maps and automakers made this connection, and we’re glad that Google appears ready and eager to expand this service.

source:-

engadget.com

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Mar
08

First screenshots and videos from Sony’s new online service

After a

week of anticipation, PlayStation Home is finally official. Sony released screenshots of what many have been terming “online identities” or “avatars.” Unlike the cartoony look of Nintendo’s Miis and the feature-filled interface of Xbox Live, PlayStation Home adopts the “virtual world” concept that, at first glance, looks similar to Second Life or The Sims.

“This is about the connected device,” said Phil Harrison, SCE Worldwide, as he introduced his concept of Game 3.0 in his keynote speech at GDC. “We want the entire game community to add to this and build on this. It’s not something that we want to claim as a copyright or a trademark. It’s about community; it’s about collaboration; it’s about customization. It’s about emergent entertainment powered by the audience—with the audience at the center of this universe.”

Avatars in PlayStation Home can be customized with many different variations of clothing, body and facial features. Its character creation process is akin to that found in many MMORPGs. PlayStation Home users can walk around and socialize through voice or text chat, and play together on casual games or those downloaded from the PlayStation Network. Games of pool and bowling were demonstrated on stage from within the PlayStation Home system.

Animated emotes such as dancing are used to convey actions and emotions, also like those found in online games. Players can communicate by typing to each other, where a USB keyboard would be very handy, or through speech by using any Bluetooth headset. Users can also “quick chat” through pre-written dialog and responses, which may open doors for users speaking different languages to convey understandable messages to each other.

Each online persona will have a virtual living space to decorate with various items and achievement prizes. The virtual apartment can be decorated just like the real world, with users able to select different carpets, furniture and other décor.

The room may also be decorated from media stored on the PlayStation 3, such as music, images and videos. Phil Harrison demonstrated this by taking a picture with his camera with the intention of uploading it to his virtual room.

The PlayStation Home virtual world will also serve as a gateway into downloadable media. For example, a user may walk to the movie theater to gain access to videos, and perhaps pay-per-download high-definition movies.

In what is clearly an answer to Microsoft’s successful game achievement system, Sony is creating something in the same spirit. “The final part of the home experience that we would like to share with you is something called the Hall of Fame,” revealed Harrison.

Users can explore a virtual trophy room are where it displays goals that the player has and has not accomplished. “It’s not just the games that you own. It’s the entire network of games that’s available for PlayStation 3. I think this gives you a sense of where this may go in the future as hundreds and hundreds of titles are added,” said Harrison. “You can check out the trophies, and that gives users an incentive to go and buy your game as well. It’s a unique real-time 3D community for the PlayStation Network.”

As Sony has stressed on numerous occasions, it plans for the online service to be free of charge. Like Xbox Live’s gamer pictures and themes, however, users will have to pay a small fee to gain access to small novelty items, such as unique clothing, to personalize his or her online identity. The PlayStation Home service will also be subsidized by dynamic advertising that will be viewed in the virtual world.

The final PlayStation Home product isn’t set to launch until fall, though a “large scale” beta is said to begin in April. See Sony’s promotional video of PlayStation Home for more.

here are the pics:-

 


The Playstation Home will allow you to extensively modify an avatar


The Home is customizeable; users can edit, add or change the setting at will


Users can invite others to their Home to chat or share media


Global lounges allow you to chat and interface with others


Small sports games also allow users to interface and chat with each other


The Hall of Fame allows users to show off their achievements


The Home also provides interfaces for other Sony products, including the PSP source:-engadget.com

 

Mar
08

Last we saw Woojin’s Tenbuno monitor, with its 8.4-inch LCD perched atop its 19-inch main display, we weren’t sure when it’d ever see the light of day or how much it might cost. Well, we’ve now got an answer to half of that equation, with AVING reporting that the monitor will hit Korea sometime this May, although the company still seems to be holding on out any pricing details. The monitor itself appears to be otherwise unchanged, with a 1280 x 1024 resolution front and center, and 800 x 600 pixels filing up the secondary display. The primary display also boasts a 700:1 contrast ratio and 8 ms response time, while its little sibling takes things down to 350:1 and 10 ms. Not exactly a substitute for a true dual-monitor setup, but if the price is right, we could see it picking up a few fans among the desk space-challenged.

source:-

engadget.com

Mar
07

Samsung and Microsoft have been touting the wonders of the hybrid hard drive since 2005 — in other words “forever” on a technology timeline. Now, finally, Samsung is pushing their ReadyDrive-friendly HHD out the door to OEMs starting today. The MH80 series of 2.5-inch drives build in 128/256MB of NAND flash to augment the traditional 80/120/160GB of traditional hard disk capacity. Samsung claims that their new HHDs offer 5x the reliability of conventional hard disks while shaving up to 50% off Windows Vista boot times and cutting power consumption by 70-90% to deliver about 30-minutes more laptop run-time off battery. Sweet. No prices given, but look for ’em to hit higher-end laptops as relatively costly (no prices given) options any day now. With any luck, the higher cost will be offset by more bang-for-the-buck.

source:-

engadget.com

Mar
07

Microsoft Corp. is set to launch a blistering attack on rival Google Inc. on Tuesday for what the software giant argues is the Web search leader’s “cavalier” approach to copyright protection. In prepared remarks to be delivered to the Association of American Publishers, Microsoft Associate General Counsel Thomas Rubin argues that Google’s move into new media markets has come at the expense of publishers of books, videos and software.

Microsoft To Blast Google Over Copyrights  hspace=

The Microsoft attorney’s comments echo arguments at the heart of a 16-month-old copyright lawsuit against Google brought by five major book publishers and organized by the Association of American Publishers, an industry trade group. “Companies that create no content of their own, and make money solely on the backs of other people’s content, are raking in billions through advertising revenue and IPOs,” says Rubin, who oversees copyright and trade secret law at Microsoft. “Google takes the position that everything may be freely copied unless the copyright owner notifies Google and tells it to stop,” said Rubin, noting that Microsoft takes the position of seeking the copyright owner’s consent before they copy. Competition is heating up this year between Google, the world’s dominant provider of Web search services, and software giant Microsoft, which recently entered the Web search market. At the same time, Google has recently expanded into the business software market with a set of Web-based subscription services it sees as a major revenue generator which could chip away at Microsoft’s 15-year dominance of computer software. Rubin invokes criticism that Google has faced since its acquisition late last year of YouTube, which has come under fire from several major media companies for allowing widespread copyright infringement of professionally produced video. “In essence, Google is saying to you and to other copyright owners: ‘Trust us – you’re protected. We’ll keep the digital copies secure, we’ll only show snippets, we won’t harm you, we’ll promote you,'” Rubin argues in his speech. “But Google’s track record of protecting copyrights in other parts of its business is weak at best,” he said. David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president for corporate development and its chief legal officer, said in response that Google works with more than 10,000 publishing partners to make books searchable online and has recently added the BBC and NBA basketball league as YouTube video partners. “We do this by complying with international copyright laws, and the result has been more exposure and in many cases more revenue for authors, publishers and producers of content.” Rubin cites anecdotal media reports that a handful of Google sales people were caught encouraging advertisers to capitalize on the demand for pirated software on the Web. Rubin sides with publishers in criticizing Google’s ambitious plan to scan millions of published works in the world’s great libraries and make them available to consumers via its Google Book Search system. He said by scanning copies of published works without first seeking copyright holders’ permission, Google opens the door to massive infringement. The attorney also says Google’s defense of ‘fair use’ is overly broad. “Concocting a novel “fair use” theory, Google bestowed upon itself the unilateral right to make entire copies of copyrighted books,” Rubin argues. Drummond replied: “The goal of search engines, and of products like Google Book Search and YouTube, is to help users find information from content producers of every size.” The publishers’ lawsuit against Google, filed in October 2005 in the U.S. District for the Southern District of New York, remains in the discovery process with no trial date set. Microsoft’s move bears parallels to an attack five years ago by the Redmond, Washington-based company on so-called “open source” software, which has emerged over the past decade as the biggest alternative to Microsoft’s Windows software franchise. Microsoft argued then that open source software jeopardized property rights and threatened to undermine thesoftware industry as it argued in favour of “shared source” software that reinforced intellectual property rights.

source:-

tech2.com