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Movies

Netflix Extends "Watch Instantly" To Mac Users 205

CNet is reporting that Netflix has opened up its "Watch Instantly" feature to Mac users (here is Netflix's blog entry). They accomplished this by using Microsoft's Silverlight technology on both platforms, abandoning the Windows Media Player solution that had been employed in the first, Windows-only, version. Silverlight's DRM capabilities meet Netflix's needs, apparently. Netflix warns that this is beta software. Mac users can opt in here, then watch instantly with Safari or Firefox 2+, with the Silverlight plugin in place. Movie selection is somewhat limited.

Comment How does this even work? (Score 1) 490

Ok, forget the legal aspects of this being an obvious rip-off of the Wiimote. I'm still trying to wrap my head around how anyone would use the motion function on this thing when the screen is ON what you are moving. I mean seriously, it would be like having to pick up your laptop up off your desk and lift it up and to the left if you wanted to move your mouse to the file menu. Not only is your pointer moving on the screen, but your whole point of reference is also moving. It's easy to focus on a tv or computer screen because it is STATIONARY. Say you have to tilt it forward to move the pointer up. Well, now your screen is tilted away from you and you can't see it. I mean, when they come up with these cheap knock-off toys, do they just go straight from some marketing guys head straight into production? Surely someone out there would at least try to use it once and realize how stupid this is. I guess the idea is, is that it doesn't actually have to be functional to sell, it just has to look like a Wiimote, yeah, make it white with a d-pad on it and you can hold it in your hand. Brilliant.

How the iPod Touch Works 208

starexplorer2001 writes "The iPod Touch isn't in stores yet, but HowStuffWorks has a nice summary of how the 'touch' part of the iPod Touch works. Very similar to how the iPhone works, without those pesky rebates! From the article: 'The iPod touch also has a few other features that iPod enthusiasts had hoped to see on standard iPod models. Some users hoped for a wirelessly enabled iPod so they could synch their music or share files with friends over a Bluetooth or WiFi connection. The iPod touch is the first iPod to have wireless capability, although it doesn't use it to synch with a computer or friends' iPods. Instead, you can use it to browse the Web, watch YouTube videos or download music from a WiFi-specific iTunes Music Store. With its widescreen display and WiFi capability, the iPod touch might sound like a big step up from older iPod models. But the iPod touch isn't for everyone.'"
IBM

IBM Joins OpenOffice.org Community 213

Petrushka writes "In a press release today, with accompanying press FAQ, IBM announces a change in its relationship to the OpenOffice.org development community. The upshot is that they're making a long-term commitment to OOo; no organization has paid off any other organization for this; they're devoting about 35 of their developers in China to OOo; and they'll be contributing accessibility code from Lotus Notes to improve current support for assistive technologies. You may recall that an alleged shortage of assistive technologies that work with OOo has been one of the big criticisms leveled against the idea of governments standardizing on the OpenDocument format, which is a file format that OOo and several other office suites support."
The Internet

Thoughts on the Social Graph 111

Jamie found an excellent story about the trouble with social graphs. The author discusses the proliferation of social networking websites, the annoying problems this creates, and proposes an open solution to much of the problem. Essentially he is talking about an API for all those relationship systems not under the control of any single commercial entity, coupled with a shared login system. Had things like this been popularized a half a decade ago, we'd be looking at a different internet.
Privacy

China To Deploy World's Largest People Tracking Network 368

hackingbear writes "News.com reports that China is building the largest and most sophisticated people-tracking network in the world, all to track citizens in the city of Shenzhen. This network utilizes 20,000 intelligent digital cameras and RFID cards to keep track of the 12.4 million people living in the Southern port city. The key to the system is the new residency cards fitted with powerful computer chips. 'Data on the chip will include not just the citizen's name and address but also work history, educational background, religion, ethnicity, police record, medical insurance status and landlord's phone number. Even personal reproductive history will be included, for enforcement of China's controversial "one child" policy. Plans are being studied to add credit histories, subway travel payments and small purchases charged to the card.' While I lived in Shenzhen, there indeed were (and still are) plenty of crimes. One of my friend who lived at the 20th floor of a condo building in a nice neighborhood saw an intruder in the middle of one night while he was sleeping. Still, this will clearly raise the fear of human rights abuses. And ... 'one of the most startling aspects of this plan is that this project is mostly made possible by an American company with solid venture fundings.'"

iPhone Bill a Whopping 52 Pages Long 369

PoliTech writes "iPhone bills are surprisingly large - 'Xbox Large', according to Ars technica: 'AT&T's iPhone bills are quite impressive in their own right. We're starting to get bills for the iPhone here at Ars, and while many of us have had smartphones for some time, we've never seen a bill like this. One of our bills is a whopping 52 pages long, and my own bill is 34 pages long. They're printed on both sides, too. What gives? The AT&T bill itemizes your data usage whenever you surf the Internet via EDGE, even if you're signed up for the unlimited data plan. AT&T also goes into an incredible amount of detail to tell you; well, almost nothing. For instance, I know that on July 27 at 3:21 p.m. I had some data use that, under the To/From heading, AT&T has helpfully listed as Data Transfer. The Type of file? Data. My total charge? $0.00. This mind-numbing detail goes on for 52 double-sided pages (for 104 printed pages!) with absolutely no variance except the size of the files.' You would think that a data company would have a more efficient billing process."
Microsoft

Submission + - Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1 released (pclaunches.com)

Vinit writes: "Microsoft has silently released Windows XP SP3 and Vista SP1 versions to a small group of testers. Tagged as 5.1.2600.3180 (xpsp.070718-2058) the 350MB XP Service Pack 3 includes fixes for over 900 reported problems, some of which have already been resolved with post-Service Pack 2 hotfixes. http://www.pclaunches.com/software/microsoft_windo ws_xp_sp3_and_vista_sp1_released_to_small_group_of _testers.php"
Microsoft

Submission + - Vista prevents users from playing high-def content (networkworld.com)

jbrodkin writes: "The restrictive content protection rules in Windows Vista still prevent users from playing high-definition content, more than half a year after the operating system's release, researcher Peter Gutmann said at USENIX this week. The specifications are intended to protect Hollywood copyrights, but even home movies can be blacked out by Vista because camcorders are increasingly becoming capable of shooting in HD. And that's not the only problem: Vista content protection requires so much extra encryption that system performance is being harmed significantly, Gutmann says. Since Vista lacks numerous security features that could protect users from online attacks, Gutmann wonders why Microsoft seems more intent on protecting the rights of Hollywood than the rights of its customers."
OS X

Run Mac OS X Apps On Linux? 497

I have the urge to commit my 24" Core 2 Duo iMac to a single Linux operating system, thus giving up the goodness of my beloved Mac OS X. I am not a stranger to Linux, but I am a stranger to running Mac apps on Linux. On my PowerPC I can use SheepShaver to run Classic apps. The Mac-on-Linux project can run OS X apps, but it requires a PowerPC, not an x86. Virtualizing and emulating are inefficient, especially given the wonderful results the WINE project has had in getting Windows apps to run on Linux. What I would like is an equivalent: a software compatibility layer that will allow Linux to run Mac OS X apps at native performance. I believe there is some additional complexity in accomplishing this. Mac OS X apps aren't just Mac OS X apps. They are Carbon. They are Cocoa. They are universal binaries. They are PPC code with Altivec. Does such a project exist yet? If not, why not?
Power

Hybrid Cars No Better than 'Intelligent' Cars 883

eldavojohn writes "There's no doubt been a lot of analysis done recently on energy consumption, especially on the road. Now, a study released today reveals that cars with traffic flow sensors built into them can perform just as efficiently as hybrids. The concept of an 'intelligent' car that communicates with the highway or other cars is an old idea, but the idea of them using sensors to anticipate braking could vastly reduce fossil fuel consumption. From the article, 'Under the US and European cycles, hybrid-matching fuel economy was reached with a look-ahead predictability of less than 60 seconds. If the predictability was boosted to 180 seconds, the newly-intelligent car was 33 percent more fuel-efficient than when it was unconverted.' Now, the real question will be whether or not you can convince consumers that the three minutes of coasting up to a red light or halted traffic is worth the 33 percent less gas and replacing your brake pads/cylinders less often."
Your Rights Online

This is How We Catch You Downloading 308

marto writes "All over Europe thousands of people are being threatened with court action for allegedly sharing games like Dream Pinball 3D on P2P networks. Now, documents obtained by TorrentFreak show details of the anti-piracy company's techniques for identifying alleged file-sharers on the internet and the gathering of claimed 'forensic quality' evidence for use in court cases."
Television

Submission + - HowTo: Play movies on your AppleTV sans conversion

brad-x writes: "Since the Apple TV is running MacOS X, it is possible to install arbitrary codecs and have it play. The following instructions save time by not requiring the user to transcode all their movies (and suffer the lossy conversion), but does involve some expertise. Read on for more.

If the story is approved please approve the one using .nyud.net:8080 as I forgot to include that in the first submission. Sorry. :("
Google

Submission + - Traffic flow now on Google Maps

JohnAGonzalez writes: A recent look at Google Maps shows that they have added a new traffic feature. Click on the Traffic button in the upper right-hand corner of the map window while viewing your local metropolitan area and the major roads will be overlaid with colored outlines that show the traffic flow for that particular roadway.

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