DVD rental service Netflix has added over 1,000 movies from premium movie network Starz to its Watch Instantly streaming service. That means movies like No Country for Old Men are now available to stream in your browser—and you've got even more incentive to turn your Xbox 360 into a streaming Netflix player. [via]
Friday, October 03, 2008
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announces that within a month, MS will release a new operating system he described as "Windows Cloud"—for webapp developers working on "cloud computing" apps like Zoho Suite and, um, Gmail (except not those). Computerworld reports:
The operating system, which will likely have a different name, is intended for developers writing cloud-computing applications, said Ballmer, who spoke to an auditorium of IT managers at a Microsoft-sponsored conference in London.
The Windows Cloud OS is a separate project from the upcoming Windows 7. Sheesh, this fall is shaping up to be a real tech humdinger, what with Google making browsers and Microsoft making light operating systems especially for webapps. Would you be interested in running "Windows Cloud," or is a light XP (or, ahem, Linux) install with Firefox or Chrome good enough for you? Tell us what you think in the comments. Photo by allyaubry.
Posted by Augustine at 7:55 AM
Virtually every gadget you own is now capable of playing back music and videos—from your computer and phone to your MP3 player and video game console—but the problem is compatibility. Popular format X may play perfectly well on your computer, but it won't think about playing back on your iPod. Not long ago you needed to hunt down obscure command line tools or purchase specialized converters to get your file in the correct format, but today there are countless free tools available that can convert just about any piece of media to whatever format you need. For this week's Hive Five, we want you to share your favorite media converter—whether it runs on the web, desktop, or command line. Keep reading for more details and to nominate your favorite digital media converter.
Hive Five nominations take place in the comments, where you post your favorite tool for the job. We get hundreds of comments, so to make your nomination clear, please include it at the top of your comment like so:
VOTE: Media Converter Goes Here. If you don't follow this format, we may not count your vote. To prevent tampering with the results, votes from first-time commenters may not be counted. After you've made your nomination, let us know what makes it stand out from the competition.
About the Hive Five: The Hive Five feature series asks readers to answer the most frequently asked question we get—"Which tool is the best?" Once a week we'll put out a call for contenders looking for the best solution to a certain problem, then YOU tell us your favorite tools to get the job done. Every weekend, we'll report back with the top five recommendations and give you a chance to vote on which is best. For an example, check out last week's Hive Five Best Sites to Stream TV.
Posted by Augustine at 7:55 AM
In case you've had your eye out for a cheap, quality projector, this Planar PD 7130 over on Woot is a pretty nice deal. It features 900 lumens of brightness and an impressive 4500:1 contrast ratio through TI DarkChip tech. Hi def inputs include two component and one DVI, and its internal lamp is rated for 3000 hours (depending on use, of course). If you've wanted to see whether or not you could handle the whole projector lifestyle, this Planar seems like an inexpensive way to test the waters. [Woot]
Posted by Augustine at 6:38 AM
Google's World-Saving Clean Energy Plan Costs $4.4 Trillion, Dramatically Shrinks Google's Power Bill [Google]
Google, who in aggregate, effectively knows everything, unsurprisingly has a solution for our energy problems. The plan, called Clean Energy 2030 will cost $4.4 trillion over its 22-year span, if we start on it right now. Google says it'll give us back a net of $1 trillion, like half of which will be savings on Google's massive power bill notes the former Fake Steve.
None of the key points are radical, except for asking for a $4.4 trillion investment—90 percent of new cars electric by 2030, 45mpg average fuel efficiency, efficient electricity use to cut demand 33 percent, replacing all coal with renewable electricity. I was hoping for something more innovative and exciting, like Google Power, which would be in beta for 22 years. Cause if Google can't save the world, who can? [Google via Alley Insider]
Posted by Augustine at 6:37 AM
iPhone-Backgrounder (available for jailbroken iPhones via Cydia) brings another much-desired functionality that Apple's not allowing for legit apps—the ability to run in the background. After installing the extension, simply hold down the home button on the app you want to preserve, and it will keep running until you tell it to stop with another home button press. Looks like those jailbreak folks aren't done innovating just yet...
Like copy and paste, the only way to bring system-level functions to the iPhone remains via jailbroken software. If you have the "BigBoss & Planet-iPhones" source loaded, iPhone-Backgrounder should show up as a default install option. Our tipster says he's got Pandora playing while receiving background IMs while syncing at the same time (crazy!). He reports some bugginess with duped IMs and the like, but on the whole it's working as expected. [iPhone-Backgrounder - Thanks Horn!]
For this week's Photoshop Contest, I want you to use our photos of me playing with the 150-inch TV as a source (as found in Mahoney's awesome FAQ, my essay on the TV and these photos of me playing games on it). Then I want you to make me look awesome. This was a suggestion from reader WB (that's his work you see above), and it's good, but I want to make sure you understand me here: don't make me look like a jackass. Put me in cool places, like on the moon or in the Playboy mansion. Don't embarrass me guys. Guys? Please? Dammit, Chen, I can't believe you're making me do this.
If you must, submit your entries to email@example.com with the subject line of "Adam is Awesome!" and no other subject line than that! Make your photos JPGs or PNGs or, if you must, GIFs. Send them in by Tuesday morning and I'll make a gallery of the best ones.
And remember that I'm a human being with feelings, you jerks!
QuickLook for instant-previewing files with the spacebar is my favorite feature of OS X 10.5 hands down. Encouraging news, then, is this Apple patent dug up by Apple Insider which could add QuickLook to the cursor, enabling system-wide quick peaks or contextual choices for everything in the OS.
The patent sounds like it's basically bringing Aperture's monocle view for viewing full-res areas of photos instantly (which is also amazingly useful) to the OS as a whole—hovering over an icon could spring a bubble with four app choices to open that file, or provide other info on what you're looking at.
Apple also seems like they're trying to patent those horrific Snap previews you find on fine blogs everywhere—that blow out a preview version of the webpage being linked to when you hover. That one we can do without. [Apple Insider]
The first time a mini-notebook is loaded with OS X, like any right of passage, it's a major event. And now the Inspiron Mini 9 has become a man, or at least an honorary Apple fanboy. Loaded with a slipstreamed version of OSX in a manner similar to the MSI Wind, the wireless card, Ethernet and sound didn't work initially but were fixed after the download of a few additional files.
If you've got a Mini 9 you'd like to load OS X onto, hit up the link for, not quite step-by-step instructions, but probably enough to get the job done. [UneasySilence]
Posted by Augustine at 6:35 AM
Thanks, Google, for putting up your 2001 search index because otherwise we wouldn't have found the true iPhone, a forgotten gem from the last century. Back then it wasn't made by Apple, but with its 56K Built-In Modem, high resolution display, QWERTY keyboard and 800-entry address book, it got a Best of CES award and provoked exactly the same reactions from haters and fanboys all over the world:
functional and inexpensive
by imagesbyamy, May 08 '00
Five star rating
Pros: easy to use, quick dial-up, cost efficient
Cons: not a cordless (woot!?)
think that at 1/3 the cost of a computer (bare minimum model), the iPhone is very functional. This product enables the non-technical person to access all information on the internet as well and send and receive e-mail, do online banking, and even...
Iphone= piece of cr*p
by diverdown , May 08 '00
One star rating
I know I have already written one review on this product, but I feel the need to vent some more.
The iphone is one of the worst technological items I have used.
I warn anyone interested in it to stay away.....far away.
Some things just don't change.
Here's a mini-review from a retro-Brian Lam at net4tv:
Posted by Augustine at 6:35 AM