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Comment Not going to happen anytime soon... (Score 1) 350

I could see this possibly becoming reality in some industries, especially those that are heavily oriental to working with documents/text (low bandwidth). But I think I can safely say that at least where I work in film editorial, this won't happen for a very long time. Online apps are just too slow for this kind of bandwidth intense medium. Even if a service was established, like I understand is already happening for games, where you would essentially connect to a VNC server where the 'real' computer was to do your work, there is just no possible way you could do 1080p and especially not RED 4K without massive bottlenecks and latency. Yes you could down convert, and/or compress, but then it would be much inferior to just using a 'real' computer in the first place wouldn't it? When I sit down and start cutting on the Avid, or with FCP, and I scrub the playhead through my timeline, I need to see (and hear) everything as it happens. I can only imagine how horrible and frusterating it would be to try to cut a show through VNC, there's no room for latency.

I could perhaps seeing this happen in 50 years where everybody's connection is 1000MB+/sec, but even then we'll be cutting uncompressed UHDV (4320p) video which roughly 20GB a SECOND. I don't think the "your computer is a browser" idea is going to happen here, maybe it will work for some people, but certainly not everyone.

Comment Re:UI Responsiveness vs Process Performance. (Score 2, Insightful) 821

Exactly, I think you've definitely struck the heart of the issue, normal benchmarks don't take these into consideration which is the problem. I've always felt that Windows Vista was considerably slower than XP, in my experience 7 is somewhat faster than Vista. But the thing all these benchmarks really show is that there really isn't much difference between XP/Vista/7. Sure when you copy a multi-gigabyte file (or what-have-you) it's a second or two different between each version. But I think this is all in the margin of error, I'd say it's safe to say they are all equivalent in these respects. At least in my opinion, the REAL performance is, for example, how long it takes for Explorer to open when I click My Computer. When I click the start menu, how long does it take to display and fully render? When I drag my mouse across a row of icons in Office 2007 do they all immediately highlight as I pass over them, or is there a delay as it tries to play catch-up with my cursor?

To me, "performance" isn't whether my computer takes 451 seconds or 449 seconds to copy a file, it's whether that copy dialog showed up instantly, and if I click "cancel" it IMMEDIATELY stops and closes the dialog. In this respect XP is vastly superior to both Vista and 7. And if you really want to see this GUI difference played out try going back and trying 2000, or better yet, NT 4.0, and then tell me that Vista or 7 is "just as fast".

Comment Re:Media is overpriced, pay-per-unit model is dyin (Score 2, Insightful) 429

Well let's say you have a 50GB MP3 collection, would you spend $12,000-$13,000 on it? Ten years ago, would you have even IMAGINED that you'd have a 50GB MP3 collection?! I mean, I remember when 4GB-8GB drives were "freakin' massive!" and that was well into the "Napster era".

Granted, people buy larger storage devices because they don't have much of a choice (I can't count the number of times I only *needed* a small drive but ended up getting something way overkill because it was the smallest drive I could find), but people still find ways to use them. Also, storage capacity and price-per-gigabyte has improved far faster than bandwidth and other technology. So we are hitting that point where people have more hard drive space then they intend to use. That doesn't mean people will never find a way to use it. Remember 640k is enough for anyone and all that jazz...

I mean, do you *really* think that the value of media PER UNIT is ever going to *increase*? My only point is that the value of an individual song or video continues to decrease as people consume more. And people consume more as technology progresses. Bigger hard drives, faster burning devices, more bandwidth, streaming flash videos etc. have all given people access to more material. And whether or not they were ever going to pay for that media and whether or not media companies are losing money because of it is irrelevant. The point is that the value to the consumer keep decreasing and it will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. The Internet is a content delivery platform and with that comes media delivery. The more media someone is exposed to the less value each individual "unit of media" has.

Comment Media is overpriced, pay-per-unit model is dying (Score 4, Interesting) 429

This is a bad move in my opinion and will only encourage piracy. If you do the math, you'll realize that for someone to legally acquire say, 20GB worth of music (3MB avg.) at $1.00 per song, it would cost nearly $7,000. The thing is that as time goes on, hard drives are only going to be getting bigger and cheaper. Additionally as fast broadband becomes even more widespread it will mean that illegal downloading will become easier and the price factor with eventually decrease to nothing.

How much do you think some TV show is worth to a typical viewer? How about a song? Even though it might be $1.00-$1.29 today, as people get more media with the same investment in space and time the value is only going to decline. Your iPod can hold more, so you want more media to fill it up. NOBODY is going to spend $6,000 on their music collection. Well I suppose SOME people might, but certainly nobody that I know would ever even think about paying that much for something they can get for free (and at the same, or near-same quality). Only a dollar per song sounds pretty reasonable, but if you have a 160GB iPod, filling it up will cost $48,000! $48,000?! Just think of what that kind of money can mean to somebody. Pay off the credit card debt. Get a new car. Remodeling. Any number of major things.

I'd say we are QUITE past the point of something "worth paying for". As soon as a person downloads a song "illegally" they cross an invisible line and are now "pirates". And of course once you do it once, it's so easy to do again. That makes it sound like a drug but it's true. If you can get something easily for free, what's the point in paying for it? The best reason I can think of is if you get a significant amount of value added by actually paying for it. When this happens people become significantly more selective about what they DO actually pay for verses what they download for free. And of course, the media itself is practically free.

Basically I think that if companies what to directly sell their media to consumers, it will have to cost fractions of a cent, and they're going to have to come up with some clever ideas on how to provide it to make it easier than simply downloading it for free. It'll probably have to offer other value as well.

For example with TV shows companies should experiment with broadcasts which actually "upgraded" for the web. The idea is that you put your show online with ads for people to see for free. In terms of music, I think bands should get "distributors" which distribute all their music in very large inexpensive packages. Then the band can offer their music for free download on their website for their casual fans, but while simultaneously selling media and merchandise to their more loyal fans (who don't mind spending a little bit to support the band) with added value. I think there are still many ways to make good money off of media, but the truth is that the pay per unit or copy model is dying and won't be around much longer.

Comment Disc wasn't finalized (Score 5, Informative) 231

This is a very common problem that happens when a disc isn't finalized on both audio CDs and video DVDs that are recorded on direct to disc consumer recording systems. After a the actual data is written what is a essentially a "table of contents" has to be written at the beginning of the disc, otherwise you get the "blank disc" effect as describe here. That two separate data specialists couldn't figure this out is rather concerning...


Submission + - Stage6 will shut down on Feb 28th 2008

CyberZCat writes: Stage6, the popular online video-sharing site, will be shut down on Feb 28th 2008. According to the blog post by a DivX employee, it is simply a matter of the site becoming too expensive to maintain. I'm deeply saddened by this, some channels alone have so many documentaries that they've become veritable historical archives.

Submission + - Stage6 pulls the plug (

CrashandDie writes: I'm sure a few of us here knew Stage6, and the quality of the videos they offered. And it may come as a surprise to know that they recently decided to pull the plug. For a few days now, uploading new videos to the website was impossible, and some users were starting to lose their cool. This announcement is the answer to a lot of questions, like why there were so little bugfixes, or why there was so little support for the end user.

From the blog post:

In many ways, though, the service did succeed, beyond even our own initial expectations. Stage6 became very popular very quickly. We helped gain exposure for some talented filmmakers who brought great videos to the attention of an engaged community. We helped prove that it's possible to distribute true high definition video on the Internet. [...] So why are we shutting the service down? Well, the short answer is that the continued operation of Stage6 is a very expensive enterprise that requires an enormous amount of attention and resources that we are not in a position to continue to provide. There are a lot of other details involved, but at the end of the day it's really as simple as that.

According to a post on businesswire, Kevin Hell (DivX CEO) confirms the main idea in the blog post that Stage6 made them drift away from their main company objective. He also answers the big question content producers have been asking about what would happen to their work; even though the service will be stopped in a few days, this doesn't mean all the content will be lost :

"Our core business is to work with a wide variety of partners to give consumers a high-quality digital video experience on any device or platform," said Kevin Hell, CEO of DivX, Inc. "By no longer expending resources on Stage6, we sharpen our focus on creating a global standard for digital video while building a business that maximizes shareholder value. We will provide more information related the shutdown on our fourth quarter earnings call, scheduled for March 11, 2008."
Videos on will be available for viewing and download through February 28, 2008. The Company will work with certain content publishers to migrate content to alternative web distribution platforms.


Proposal for UK Prisoners to be Given RFID Implants 188

Raisey-raison writes "There is a proposal in the UK to implant "machine-readable" microchips under the skin of thousands of offenders in an effort to free up more space in British jails. The article states that uses are being considered both for home detention, as a means to enforce punishment, as well as for sex offenders after their release. Many view this as a slippery slope leading to much wider use; starting as a purely voluntary act and gradually becoming more compulsory, it would endanger human rights and privacy. There are also health questions involved, given that long-term studies have linked similar implants to cancer in lab mice and rats. Ironically, the same technology has been proposed for medical purposes as well. In the USA, some state agencies have already made decisions about this issue.

Pleo Review - A Toy Robot Triumph? 112

SkinnyGuy writes "PCMag has one of the first reviews of the new robotic dinosaur. Is it worth $350? I think this reviewer thinks so. 'What most people will have a hard time understanding is that Ugobe's Pleo is one of the most sophisticated personal home entertainment robotic devices on the market today. It easily outshines robot toys from Wow Wee and Hasbro, though both companies offer robots that cost less than half of what Pleo does. Its nearest competitor, the Wow Wee Robopanda, is a good gift for young children, but it's not nearly as adorable, animated, or intelligent as Pleo. (Yes, it can stand up and crawl, but it doesn't look very good doing it.)'"

Internal Emails of An RIAA Attack Dog Leaked 427

qubezz writes "The company MediaDefender works with the RIAA and MPAA against piracy, setting up fake torrents and trackers and disrupting p2p traffic. Previously, the TorrentFreak site accused them of setting up a fake internet video download site designed to catch and bust users. MediaDefender denied the entrapment charges. Now 700MB of MediaDefender's internal emails from the last 6 months have been leaked onto BitTorrent trackers. The emails detail their entire plan, including how they intended to distance themselves from the fake company they set up and future strategies. Other pieces of company information were included in the emails such as logins and passwords, wage negotiations, and numerous other aspect of their internal business."

Boot Sector Virus Shipped on German Laptops 79

Juha-Matti Laurio writes "A consignment of laptops from German manufacturer Medion, sold through German and Danish branches of giant retail chain Aldi, have been found to be infected with the boot sector virus 'Stoned.Angelina', first seen as long ago as 1994. The affected notebook models (German language) Medion MD 96290 have been pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Premium and Bullguard anti-virus, which reportedly is unable to remove it. A special removal tool was released to clean the laptops. Aldi has shared the same warning as well. Two years ago several thousands of Creative Zen Neeon MP3 players were shipped with a Windows worm Wullik.B."

Jeremy Allison On Microsoft, OOXML and Standards 102

An anonymous reader writes "OOXML is already Microsoft's "de facto" standard as implemented in Office 2007, so when would any changes arising from the Comments Resolution meeting in February 2008 be put in place? According to Jeremy Allison's latest column, when last minute changes were suggested for the CIFS standard, which Samba exists to disentangle, "the response came back from Microsoft that although the fixes were valid, unfortunately the code was already written and was going to be shipped in the next service pack. End of discussion. It wasn't even in a shipping product yet, but the specification was determined to be unchangeable as they didn't want to change their existing code.""

OLPC Cost Rises To $188 Per Laptop 270

Arathon writes "The amazing '$100 laptop' designed by the 'One Laptop Per Child' program isn't going to make it out the door for that price. CNN reports that the laptops are now expected to cost $188 apiece when they come out later this fall. This is expected to make the program's appeal potentially much smaller, since the developers were relying on the mind-bogglingly low-price to hook governments into the concept of buying laptops for their people. OLPC's spokesman guarantees that the price won't rise further, to 'above $190'. The price differential is being blamed on raw materials costs and currency fluctuation. Is this the end of the OLPC's newsworthiness, or should we continue to hope that it will make the difference that so many have said it will?"

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