Auntie Beeb in dicussion with Microsoft

The BBC has been holding discussions with Microsoft to ensure their iPlayer (based on the Real Networks Helix player) will work on Vista.

Maybe Microsoft is attempting to get the beeb to to move to Windows Media.


Tiscali UK to dump 40% of staff

It's not actually as bad as it sounds as they are getting rid of 40% of the combined Tiscali and Video Networks staff (who they acquired last month - known as HomeChoice) but it's bound not to be good.

Tiscali are also borrowing money (at 11%) from SilverPoint.

The tie-up with HomeChoice should give Tiscali the edge by allowing them to offer video over broadband, but margins are ever decreasing as is pressure from other UK competitors.

The word is that Tiscali UK is up for sale and BSkyB and BT are the top bidders.

Another broadband provider falls into the consildation mess.

ViaMichelin X-980T

Yesterday ViaMichelin announced the X-980T SatNav unit. It's got maps of Western Europe, uses the Sirf Star III GPS unit and has built-in TMC (traffic info). They also give you UK speed cameras (sorry safety cameras) with unlimited updates.

The unit isn't particularly pretty (it's about 6" by 4" by 3/4"), but it will fit in your pocket (well a big pocket).

It does have a nice feature of showing a 3D map as well as a 2D close-up side to side.

It also has info on 51,000 hotels and restaurants from the Michelin Guide and also 19,000 tourist and cultural sites from the Michelin Green Guide (both across Europe). More useful to a business user or when planning a holiday. The information has ratings from the Guides and also telephone numbers which can be automatically dial via your Bluetooth phone.

Full'ish review here


Ofcom announces qualified applicants for 412-414 MHz paired with 422-424 MHz

Ofcom today announced the list of qualified applicants for the use of the spectrum bands 412-414 MHz paired with 422-424 MHz.

The applicants who can go through to the single round auction are: -

AirRadio Ltd

Arqiva Limited

Motorola Ltd

The Joint Radio Company Limited

T-Mobile (UK) Ltd

Ventura Team Spectrum One Ltd

The license is for 2 x 2MHz channels and is a national license (the licensee must coordinate with radar establishments such as Flyingdales).

Increasing the supply of mobile numbers

Ofcom held a consultation that closed in July 2006 about opening new mobile number ranges (071-075). They have now published a statement on what they intend to do.

The 075 range will become available immediately, with the rest to follow so mobile operators can request numbers in this range (i.e. they are available on the number order form).

Nothing really exciting here, just shows mobile use is still growing.


iTunes v7

Though Apple have added lots of new (nice) features, on Windows XP it's definately buggy and very slow doing certain things.

It's a shame as otherwise it's a very polished product.

Hopefully they'll fix things with a dot release.

Low-end PS3 to have HDMI

Sony's PS3 will come in two versions one with a 60GB disk and one with 20GB. Both have Blu-Ray disk support. Initially Sony decided the lower end version shouldn't have HDMI, but now it will like its bigger brother.

The HDMI port is v1.3 which support 1080p video as well as multi-channel audio. Most HD systems are only HDMI v1.2 which supports stereo sound.

New Canon Wideformat printer

Canon's imagePrograf iPF8000 supports 44inch printing using it's Lucia 12-colour pigment ink system.

There are two high density printheads with 32,000 nozzles which increase print speed.

Canon also supply a Photoshop plugging for direct printing of 16bit images with no change of colour gamut.

It will ship in November, though pricing has not yet been announced.

Lightroom Beta4 now available

As well as announcing the 4th beta of Lightroom, Adobe's photographic package, it also has a new name Adobe Photoshop Lightroom.

Available for both Mac and Windows this is a professional system for taking digital photographs and working with them in a consistant workflow approach, it competes with Apple's Apperture.