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Toys

Parrot iPod-Controlled Quadricopter Launches This Week 67

MojoKid writes "Remote-controlled helicopters are not new, but Parrot's AR.Drone Quadricopter is set to make a splash when it goes on sale on Sept. 9th. It will use an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad as a controller, and give a live video feed from two different cameras to the pilot. Each model comes with two hulls, one of them for indoor use, with protective loops around the rotors. The device creates its own Wi-Fi network, which the iOS device connects to in order to control the Quadricopter."
GUI

Flawed iTunes Stands Out Among Apple's Products 390

waderoush writes "On top of all the other features that it has crammed into iTunes, Apple this week added Ping, a Facebook-like social network for music discovery. It's all part of the company's plan to dominate the world of consumer media, but Xconomy argues that this time, Apple may have gone a bridge too far. iTunes, nearing its tenth birthday, started out merely as a program for ripping CDs, and has grown increasingly creaky and impenetrable as Apple has added more and more cruft, the article argues. The company won't have a stable base for its new media empire until it rebuilds iTunes from scratch — perhaps along the lines suggested by its other new product this week, the revamped Apple TV."
Iphone

iPhone App In App Store Limbo Open Sourced 432

recoiledsnake writes "The author of iPhone prototyping tool Briefs has decided to open source it after the App store submission has been in limbo for over three months. The app had got into trouble for what Apple believes is being able to run interpreted code, though the author denies it, saying all the compiling happens on the Mac. While Rob stays civil, his co-worker blasts Apple for not even rejecting the app. Three months is nothing compared to Google Voice for the iPhone though, which is still being studied further by Apple after more than a year."
Programming

Throwing Out Software That Works 622

theodp writes "Just as the iPhone rendered circa-2007 smartphones obsolete, points out Marco Arment, the iPad is on the verge of doing the same to circa-2010 netbooks. Should this succeed, cautions Dave Winer, we may be entering an era of deliberate degradation of the user experience and throwing overboard of software that works, for corporate reasons. Already, Winer finds himself having to go to a desktop machine if he wants to view web content that's inaccessible with his iPhone and iPad. 'There was no bottleneck for software in the pre-iPad netbooks,' he writes. 'It matters. What I want is the convenient form factor without the corporate filter. It's way too simplistic to believe that we'll get that, but we had it. That's what I don't like — deliberate devolution.'"
Privacy

Court OKs Covert iPhone Audio Recording 215

Tootech writes "Using an iPhone to secretly record a conversation is not a violation of the Wiretap Act if done for legitimate purposes, a federal appeals court has ruled. 'The defendant must have the intent to use the illicit recording to commit a tort of crime beyond the act of recording itself,' the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. Friday's decision, which involves a civil lawsuit over a secret audio recording produced from the 99-cent Recorder app, mirrors decisions in at least three other federal appeals courts."
Australia

Australia Considering iPhone App Censorship 284

srjh writes "Having raised concerns about 'the classification of games playable on mobile telephones,' the Australian government has now 'put the wheels in motion to address this.' Under current Australian legislation, video games sold in the country must pay between $470 and $2040 to have the game classified, and due to the lack of an 18+ rating in Australia, if it is not found to be suitable for a 15-year-old, it is banned outright. This is the fate met by several recent titles, such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Fallout 3. Over 200,000 applications are available for the iPhone, many of them games, and developers have raised concerns about the prohibitive costs involved, with many announcing an intention to drop the Australian market altogether if the plan proceeds."

Comment Re:How about less compression? (Score 1) 204

If you compare the actual frames, you'd see that the 4k variant has insane blocking, which destroys all the information. 1080p just blurs these sections, but still looks way better because it doesn't create 8x8 blocks. Youtube can only encode to 4k because they use an inferior entropy coding and no proper deblocking. Otherwise 4k wouldn't run on any but the fastest CPUs, even without the flash overhead. As it is, the 4k variant is inferior to 1080p and 720p because of the massive blocking, I don't see why Youtube wastes space and bandwidth on this unless they are just experimenting.
Media

X264 Project Announces Blu-ray Encoding Support 139

An anonymous reader writes "The x264 project has announced the first free software encoder to be able to generate Blu-ray compliant video. In addition, the announcement comes with a torrent of an x264-encoded Blu-ray disc containing entirely free content, such as the Open Movie Project videos. While there are still no free software Blu-ray authoring tools, hopefully this will change now that video and audio are taken care of so that everyone will be able to make their own Blu-rays without expensive proprietary software. Additionally, it seems the Criterion Collection is a friend of free software, having sponsored the effort to confirm x264's compliance with the Blu-ray spec."

Submission + - x264 Project Announces Blu-ray Encoding Support (multimedia.cx) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The x264 project has announced the first free software encoder to be able to generate Blu-ray compliant video. In addition, the announcement comes with a torrent of an x264-encoded Blu-ray disc containing entirely free content, such as the Open Movie Project videos. While there are still no free software Blu-ray authoring tools, hopefully this will change now that video and audio are taken care of so that everyone will be able to make their own Blu-rays without expensive proprietary software. Additionally, it seems the Criterion Collection is a friend of free software, having sponsored the effect to confirm x264's compliance with the Blu-ray spec.
Graphics

How To Play HD Video On a Netbook 205

Barence writes with some news to interest those with netbooks running Windows: "Netbooks aren't famed for their high-definition video playing prowess, but if you've got about $10 and a few minutes going spare, there is a way to enjoy high-definition trailers and videos on your Atom-powered portable. You need three things: a copy of Media Player Classic Home Cinema, CoreCodec's CoreAVC codec, and some HD videos encoded in AVC or h.264 formats. This blog takes you through the process."
Windows

86% of Windows 7 PCs Maxing Out Memory 613

CWmike writes "Citing data from Devil Mountain Software's community-based Exo.performance.network (XPnet), Craig Barth, the company's chief technology officer, said that new metrics reveal an unsettling trend. On average, 86% of Windows 7 machines in the XPnet pool are regularly consuming 90%-95% of their available RAM, resulting in slow-downs as the systems were forced to increasingly turn to disk-based virtual memory to handle tasks. The 86% mark for Windows 7 is more than twice the average number of Windows XP machines that run at the memory 'saturation' point, and this comes despite more RAM being available on most Windows 7 machines. 'This is alarming,' Barth said of Windows 7 machines' resource consumption. 'For the OS to be pushing the hardware limits this quickly is amazing. Windows 7 is not the lean, mean version of Vista that you may think it is.'"

Comment Re:And even if sucked (Score 5, Interesting) 260

At the lower bit rate end of the spectrum Theora is not bad

This is completely wrong, Theora is *escpecially* bad at low bitrates, I recently made a small comparison of Theora/Thusnelda and H264/x264 encoded 1080p videos, both looked very watchable at 4Mbit, but at 2Mbit problems for Theora/Thusnelda started, and at 1Mbit it was just plain awful. 2Mbit Theora/Thusnelda couldn't nearly reach H264/x264 quality at 1Mbit.

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