18/11/2005

Digit Online news - Sony withdraws copy-protected CDs

Digit Online news - Sony withdraws copy-protected CDs

After two weeks of relentless criticism over its XCP copy protection software, Sony BMG Music Entertainment is pulling CDs that contain the software from store shelves. The company is also planning to offer customers a way to exchange CDs that contain the flawed copy-protection software.

It's also come to light that the software that Sony released to make the copy protection software visible may cause further security breaches in Windows as the ActiveX is flawed.

Microsoft has also announced that it's next version of its Malicious Software Removal Tool will remove Sony's copy protection system from Windows.

This is an example of how Digital Rights MAnagement can completely alienate users, it also shows how dumb it can be. Anyone seriously wanting to copy the CD's can just put them into an Apple Mac or Linux based system.

Digit Online news - LaCie updates LCD monitor line

Digit Online news - LaCie updates LCD monitor line

LaCie has announced two LCD displays for creative professionals. The 19-inch 119 LCD Monitor and the 20-inch 120 LCD Monitor will replace the popular photon19vision and photon20visionII models.

The monitors tend not to be the cheapest in the market, but have a very good reputation within graphics/print environments as they have accurate colour matches and what you see on the screen is what you'll get when printing.

Digit Online news - Autodesk updates Cleaner for new formats

Digit Online news - Autodesk updates Cleaner for new formats

Many thought cleaner was dead, Autodesk released a new version soon after purchasing the product, but nothing new for a while.

Cleaner is well regarded in the industry for efficiently converting media between different formats i.e. AVI's to Real or WMV or many combinations. The upgrade supports many of the latest formats.

Encoding or transcoding can be extremely CPU intensive without dedicated hardware help, but Cleaner does a good job and is multi-threading under XP so can use real or virtual multiple processors.

Both Mac and PC products cost £435 or £90 for an upgrade from the last version.

14/11/2005

UK Online offers 22Mb broadband - IT Week

UK Online offers 22Mb broadband - IT Week

Oddly ADSL2+ seems to be going through a reverse hype process and peopel are saying it's not going to deliver high speeds to most people. That may be partially true, but in urban areas where people are within 1.5Km of the exchange they should get 20Mb/s+ speeds which is enough for HDTV etc.

Most poeple do seem to be ignoring QoS though, as having 20Mb/s downstream and 1.3Mb/s upstream is still useless for VoIP unless some of that bandwidth can be guaranteed so the voice traffic doesn't get mixed in with everything else. Using traditional codecs and then packetising them uses more bandwidth than over traditional telephony links. VoIP bandwidth can be squeezed to much lower levels, but then the calls are not what's called toll-grade.

Broadband providers moving into VoIP are going to need to look long and hard how they actually implement services such that they are competetive (in terms of call quality) with existing analogue lines.

Digit Online news - New Motorola Razr phone features iTunes

Digit Online news - New Motorola Razr phone features iTunes

The Motorola Razr is popular due to it's thin design and good looks. Now it's being updated. It will have a 1.23 megapixel camera with digital zoon, video and full-screen viewfinder, mini USB stereo headset, Bluetooth and MicroSD memory card. It will also have iTunes built in. Since people will want to use the music capabilities in places where you cant use a phone (airplanes) that feature has been added too.

It will be known as the Razr V3i.

Now if only Motorola could improve their menu systems to be like Nokia's, everyone would be happy.

Digit Online news - Pixar sells 125,000 movies via iTunes

Digit Online news - Pixar sells 125,000 movies via iTunes

Pixar's CEO is Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO is Steve Jobs, hmm not really a suprise Pixar's content is on iTunes. It is maybe a suprise that 125,000 Pixar movies have been sold and shows that people will watch movies on their iPods. Each video costs $1.99 (in the US) or £1.89 in the UK which (assuming US pricing) is around $250,000 revenue. Apple have said they have sold 1m movies in 20 days.

Digit Online news - Disney buys European mobile game content

Digit Online news - Disney buys European mobile game content

Mobile is a huge growth area and Disney are trying to capitalise on this. They generate content and have now bought into the games arena specifically for mobile. They want the youth mobile market.

Google are also heavily moving into the mobile space, but they seem to be aiming as the entry point to the lnternet, so you'll be able to look for something, plan a route there and of course get target Google ads.

Digit Online news - PSP versus iPod: What's better for video?

Digit Online news - PSP versus iPod: What's better for video?

In my view the PSP wins hands down in terms of quality and viewability with it's bigger widescreen. There are lots of utilities to convert movies to the PSP format (including Nullriver's PSPWare and now even Sony#s PSP Media Manager).

However the iPod is a much smaller device and fits in your pocket easily.

Whereas the (current) iPod is a music player that can do video the PSP is a media center that can play games (and do well both). The PSP is limited that currently converting media to PSP format it has to fit in their quirky structures and you're limited to 2GB as that's how big a Memory Stick Due PRO goes. That will hold maybe 4 movies in reasonably high quality. The iPod of course can handle complete TV series with its 30 or 60GB's of disk.