News of Technology

Latest news of Technology world.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Podcasters prepare to launch video era

Podcasting is on the verge of setting off a video revolution and users of Apple's new video iPod can expect a deluge of outspoken commentary, religious sermons and pornography.

Podcasting, a term based on the name for Apple's portable media player, allows customers to download audio -- and now video -- segments for free to their computers and portable devices. Radio shows are among the most popular podcasts, but amateurs have helped turn podcasting into an eclectic global phenomenon.

Apple's video-enabled iPod models, announced Wednesday, promise to stoke the fervor of home-grown broadcasters.

"I'm thrilled by the possibilities of combining devices," said 'Soccergirl,' whose opinionated and sexually suggestive program was listed among the 40 most popular podcasts on Apple's iTunes service.

The 26-year-old librarian, who chooses not to reveal her real name, already produces short video segments that can play on viewers' computers.

The new iPods "will make it easier for many of my listeners to watch my video as easily as they listen to my show," she said.

Other early adopters of video podcasting are likely to include clergy of all stripes.

San Francisco-area pastor Tim Hohm, whose audio podcast is one of more than 1,400 religious offerings available on iTunes, says the new iPods represent "a fantastic opportunity" and believes video has the potential "to inspire tens of thousands to embrace a message of inspiration and hope."

The current crop of audio podcasters also includes entrepreneurial-minded Web journalists, some of whom are struggling to find a workable business model.

Media analyst Rafat Ali, whose paidcontent.org Web site focuses on the economics of digital content, forecasts many such start-up projects will fail due to lack of expertise and funding.

"Producing interesting video content is really hard," he said.

Success will depend largely on programmers' resources and ability to grasp the complexities of a medium that is much more complicated than audio, Ali said.

"It's a matter of how good is the quality and how do they get funded," he added.

Historically, pornographers have a strong track record of adapting new imaging devices and formats in a commercially viable way.

Mark Kernes, a senior editor at the Adult Video News trade magazine, said the highly-visible video iPod would certainly be used for adult content, but that many consumers might not want to show off their new material in public.

"Anybody that's got a video iPod is probably going to want to have a couple of porn clips on there, just to have," he said. "But you're not going to be looking at it at the mall."(via by reuters)

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Bell+Howell 10.0 Mega Pixel Flip-Out LCD

Super Advanced Digital Camera
Introducing the next generation in Digital Cameras – the Bell+Howell® 10.0 Digital Camera with flip out LCD!This Bell+Howell® Camera has tremendous features – from the high resolution digital shots to it’s giant 2 inch LCD screen and it’s unique 180° flip out LCD feature, that allows you to take pictures of yourself or you with your friends. Clarity is knifeedge sharp and color is brilliant — from up to an 8x digital zoom portrait to a distant landscape on select settings. You can even turn your favorite shots into crystal clear oversized prints.

Large 2 inch LCD screen flips out 180°
This unique LCD screen allows you to take pictures that are virtually impossible to take with other digital cameras. Just flip out the special 180° LCD screen and you can take pictures of yourself for a self portrait, as well as pictures of you WITH your family and friends. You can also get creative and take pictures without calling attention to yourself (what’s behind you, next to you, or even over your head.)

Small size, big memory
The Bell+Howell® camera is almost as small as a credit card — so small you can slip it in your shirt pocket (measures about 37/8" x 23/8" x 11/8" slim). Yet it comes with 16MB of built in flash memory to store up to 160 photographs, depending on resolution. Build a lifetime of memories by using the camera’s SD memory card slot for removable high-MB memory cards.

Don’t run out of batteries
No more expensive hard to find batteries that other digital cameras require. This camera uses ordinary alkaline AA batteries as well as rechargeable AA batteries. So you won’t run out of power at an important meeting, get together or on vacation.

Works as a Camcorder & Voice Recorder
Capture once-in-a-lifetime events as film clips: weddings, graduations, birthday parties, and vacations. You get 25 seconds of streaming video with built in flash memory and over 3 minutes on a 128 MB memory card (not included). It even has an amazing 6 minutes of voice recording!

$75-worth of FREE software & cables
Your purchase includes a TV cable and a USB cable for your PC as well as software to catalog and browse photos, add special effects, or create a slideshow with music. Display your pictures on your computer, TV screen, the camera’s own LCD, or print them almost anywhere.

Trust Bell+Howell® with your memories
For almost 100 years Bell+ Howell® has been a leader in providing fine photographic equipment and electronics. Now they have done it again! This is a precision-engineered camera you can rely on to capture and preserve life's most precious and treasured moments.

Loaded With Features: • 10.0 mega pixels
• Uses interpolation to achieve 10 mega pixels
• Giant 2” color LCD screen
• LCD screen special 180° Flip-out feature
• Up to 160 pictures in built in 16 MB memory
• Ultra small & slim (37/8" x 23/8" x 11/8")
• Up to an 8X digital zoom on select settings
• Uses 2 AA batteries (included)
• Built in flash
• Self-timer & continuous shots
• Still or video mode
• Doubles as camcorder
• Amazing 6-minutes voice recording
• Built in microphone and speaker
• FREE software: ArcSoft Photo Impression and Video Impression
• Supported O/S: PC with Windows 98SE/2000/ ME/ XP
• And more!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Yahoo adds blogs to its news section


Yahoo Inc.'s online news search tool on Monday added Internet journal entries as a supplement to professional media offerings -- an experiment that figures to test the public's appetite for information from alternative sources.
Under Yahoo's new approach, a keyword search for online news will include a list of relevant Web logs, or "blogs," displayed in a box to the right of the results collected from mainstream journalism.

Google Inc., which runs the Internet's leading search engine, so far has treated blogs differently.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based company last month introduced a specialty search engine that does nothing but sift through blogs. Meanwhile, Google's news section continues to focus on material from mainstream media.

Yahoo's inclusion of blogs in its news section represents another validation for a growing group of people that are bypassing newspapers, magazines and broadcast outlets to report and comment on topical events.
Although many top bloggers lack formal journalism training, it hasn't stopped them from building loyal readerships or breaking news that the mainstream media either missed or ignored.

Those scoops have helped rally more support for "citizen journalism" -- a cause that Yahoo wanted to recognize by spotlighting some of the news appearing in blogs.
"The traditional media doesn't have the time or resources to cover all the stories going on," said Joff Redfern, a Yahoo product director.

But the blogging community, or "blogosphere," also is filled with rumors and inaccuracies. While the traditional media still faces the same problems, professional newsrooms ostensibly have more checks and balances to guard against incorrect or unsubstantiated information from being published.

That distinction is one of the reasons Yahoo is listing its blog results in a box separated from the roughly 6,500 "trusted" news sources tracked by its search engine, Redfern said.
Yahoo's news users can view blog results exclusively by clicking on the box.
That option also shows relevant images posted on Yahoo's photo-sharing site, Flickr. Amateur photos posted online have drawn particular heavy interest recently after major news events such as the terrorist bombings in London and Hurricane Katrina.

Redfern declined to specify how many blogs are included in Yahoo's news search. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company is inviting bloggers to submit their sites to the Yahoo index.
He said the blog selection would be based on the most popular blogs among Yahoo users. (via by detnews.com)

The Wizard of Ads

Google's Omid Kordestani conjured a formula that took its sales to $3 billion. Now he's rethinking the world of advertising again.

You've heard of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google's(GOOG) famous co-founders. But there's another figure insiders know to be Google's "business founder": Omid Kordestani, the company's 12th employee and senior vice president for global sales and business development. He may be the only sales guy on the planet who's taken a company from zero to $3 billion in revenue -- and from all appearances, he's just getting started.

When Kordestani joined Google in the spring of 1999, the company had plenty of lava lamps, but no business model to speak of. Kordestani, a veteran Netscape salesman, recognized that the startup had one incomparable asset: its burgeoning Web traffic. Having overseen Netscape's lucrative banner-advertising deals, Kordestani was a pro at leveraging the value of traffic.

Advertising -- yes, those dead-simple text ads that appear alongside Google's search results -- accounts for 99 percent of the company's revenue, making his formula for success seem deceptively easy. But where users once signed up to buy text ads with a credit card, Kordestani, 41, now has to manage relationships with agencies that want more control over their clients' campaigns and with publishing partners who see Google as a prime source of online revenue -- and a long-term threat to their media businesses. Business 2.0 sat down with Kordestani to find out how he keeps Google's unstoppable sales machine rolling and what he sees coming next. (via by business2.com)

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Nokia 6682 review

Nokia's 6682 is the new flagship Series 60 smartphone for the US market. It was recently launched on Cingular Wireless, making it one of the most easy to obtain smartphones in America. We got a few weeks of quality time with the handset and have plenty to say. Read on for the full review.

Note: The 6682 is the American version of the 6681. Both phones are based off the 6680 which is a 3G handset that won't become available in the US. Any talk of features about the 6682 can be read as if they were for the 6681.

Features
Radio GSM 850/1800/1900
Weight 4.62oz
Size 4.27"×2.17"x.81"
OS Series 60 2nd Edition, with Symbian v8.0
Memory 8MB on board, comes with 64MB card
Screen 176×208 pixels with 262K colors
Data EDGE Class 10
Camera 1.3 megapixel with LED flash

Construction/design
Series 60 phones are a lot of things... Except small. The Nokia 6682 continues the trend though not to the degree of some past handsets. The handset is wider than most, see the photos at the end of this review to see this for yourself. For a real-world comparison, it's about a tenth of an inch wider than the Motorola RAZR (which is itself a wide handset--that's one of the reasons that it is so thin).

Construction wise the handset feels very solid except for the sliding lens cover which I found cheesy and too thick. There is a silver colored door that holds the memory card in. I found that opening this was a bit tedious, but since you don't change memory cards too often this isn't a big deal.

Reaction to the design fell in two camps: love it or hate it. The color is unusual for a phone and is evidently divisive. Personally I think the phone looks sharp, but as they say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I found the keys a bit small and close together, but after a few days I adjusted and was able to text with pretty normal speed. However I think they could have expanded the keypad somewhat if they made the soft keys a bit smaller--they are huge in comparison to the other keys on the phone. But at least the keypad is in a standard design, unlike some other models in Nokia's past. If you have large hands make sure to play with the 6682 in a store somewhere before buying it.

Camera
The camera performs well for megapixel resolution. I'm a bit spoiled by Sony Ericsson's 2 megapixel camera module (that also has autofocus) so I wasn't blown away by the quality, but it's superior to most other camera phones. However, I accidently deleted the photos after sending my unit back to Nokia so there are no example photos attached to this review.

Videos are stored as 3GP files and are only limited by available storage.

OS, Navigation
Since the Nokia 6682 is a Series 60 handset it will feel familiar to users of past models. However it's running Symbian 8.0 which many users will have no experience with. The UI has been refined somewhat and there is a new feature that lists a limited number of applications on the home screen of the phone, instead of just blank space (this feature can be turned off though).

Reception, battery life
Nokia is known for great reception and the 6682 didn't disappoint. I didn't have any dropped calls and was able to get a signal everywhere I went. Voice quality was very good, both in my ear and on the end (according to my friends at least). The speaker is also very loud which is a nice plus, though my young ears don't need a loud speaker unless I'm in a noisy environment.

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