Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Apple, Hardware, iPod, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Portable media player, Television, Zune
Microsoft this fall will debut a new version of its Zune portable media player, the software giant’s competitive answer to Apple‘s iPod. The new Zune will feature HD video, Wi-Fi and touch-screen technology. Reuters (5/26) , Digital Trends (5/27)
About a half hour ago, Amazon opened up a new feature on the Kindle: the ability to read your notes and highlights on the Web. Readers have always been able to make notes and highlight text on the Kindle itself. Now those annotations appear on your account at http://kindle.amazon.com <!–class=”snap_preview_icon”> . Once you sign in, you can see all your notes. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/26/kindle-notes-and-highlights-now-accessible-on-the-web 5/26)
Disney’s ESPN and Walt Disney World resort are building a new research facility at the Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla. Dubbed the “ESPN Innovation Lab,” the operation will allow the cable-sports network to test new applications, such as virtual graphics. (Iwantmedia 5/27, http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/orl-disney-espn-sports-052609,0,5846696.story 5/26)
LG Electronics has started shipping its new LH55 LCD TV line, which was first introduced at the International CES. The line — which comes in 37-, 42-, 47- and 55-inch varieties — features the company’s TruMotion backlight technology, which is designed to improve picture response time and reduce blurring. TWICE (5/26)
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Boston Globe, HD DVD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Microsoft, Time Magazine, Windows Vista, YouTube, Zune
Time Magazine recently published a list class=”snap_preview_icon”> (completed by 24/7 Wall St.) of the “Top Ten Biggest Tech Failures Of The Past Decade.” Microsoft Vista, Microsoft Zune, Gateway, YouTube and the Segway all made the list. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/05/15/time-makes-a-list-of-tech-failures-microsoft-checks-it-twice/ 5/15)
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s Media Lab are working on new technologies that will allow electronics devices to read users’ body language so that they don’t have to push lots of buttons. “It’s more the notion that a device can figure out what you want it to do,” said MIT’s V. Michael Bove Jr. “Wouldn’t it be nice if when I took a phone out of my pocket, it could read my mind?” The Boston Globe (5/18)
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Amazon Kindle, Amazon.com, Apple, Audio, iPod, iTunes, Microsoft, Zune
Amazon.com says that its Kindle electronic book reader is out of stock, but isn’t revealing how many have been sold. Citi Investment Research analyst Mark Mahaney is estimating that 500,000 Kindles were sold in 2008, based on a regulatory filing from Kindle partner Sprint. (Iwantmedia 2/4, http://tech.yahoo.com/news/ap/20090203/ap_on_hi_te/tec_techbit_amazon_kindle 2/3)
I still say, if Amazon is open to outside devices, Apple needs to swoop in on this one and link the iTunes experience into it as well. Perhaps, when Jobs is back at the healm.
Microsoft said it will begin producing exclusive video content for Zune, its portable media player that is trying to get a toehold in the market controlled by Apple’s iPod device. The first offering will be a comedy called “Cinemash,” which is being developed in collaboration with Mean, an arts and entertainment magazine. Variety (2/3)
Several manufacturers of stripped down Blu-ray disc players are preparing to market their products in the U.S. for about $150, according to a published report. One maker apparently is Lite-On, which makes “white-box” drives. EngadgetHD (2/3)
Canton has introduced three additions to its Reference line of speakers, the Reference 5.2 DC and the Reference 7.2 DC, which are floor-standing units, and the Reference 9.2 DC, which is a monitor speaker. The company said the new models featured aluminum-oxide ceramic dome tweeters for enhanced power handling and distortion levels. ElectronicHouse.com (2/3)
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Apple, Blu-ray Disc, DVD, Hardware, iPod, Microsoft, Walt Disney Pictures, Zune
The 3D theatrical version of Lionsgate’s gorefest My Bloody Valentine 3D outperformed the standard version 6-to-1, according to 3D equipment vendor RealD. My Bloody Valentine, the first feature film to be released in more than 1,000 digital 3D cinemas, grossed $27 million during its first week in release, with 71% of the receipts coming from 3D screens. (Cynopsis 1/26)
Tried to go last night and hit the “sold out” sign. I guess I should have realized how popular this thing would be. Take 2 on Thursday.
Microsoft‘s Zune media player is said to be suffering a revenue decline of 54%. The $100 million revenue drop “reflects a decrease in device sales,” says Microsoft in a U.S. regulatory filing. Meanwhile, Apple says it is seeing an increase in sales of its rival iPod media player. (Iwantmedia 1/26, http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/2009/01/zune-gasps-for.html 1/23)
Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment has thought of a new way to promote its Blu-ray releases. For the first time the studio will window Blu-ray releases slightly ahead of their DVD counterparts, per VB. The strategy will begin with Disney’s animated hit Bolt – coming out on Blu-ray on March 22, two days before the DVD. (Cynopsis 1/26)
For the first time, a new generation of Americans that grew up with home computers and a wide range of video gaming options is turning 40 and taking control of the business world and other elements of society, according to this analysis. “They are responsible middle-aged parents, and many are coming into the full flower of their professional lives,” the author writes. The New York Times (1/23)
Klipsch soon will roll out three new home-theater systems — the HD Theater 1000, HD Theater 500 and HD Theater 300, all of which are 5.1 setups with left, right and center front channels, a pair of surrounds and a subwoofer. The units are priced to move as well: the 1000 will begin shipping in February with an MSRP of $900, the 500 rolls out in March for $600, and the 300 comes out in April and will cost $400. ElectronicHouse.com (1/23)
Filed under: Feature | Tags: Facebook, Flight of the Conchords, Guitar Hero, Microsoft, Microsoft Windows, Robert J. Bach, Wii, Zune
MICROSOFT CES KEYNOTE: BALLMER’S COMING OUT PARTY
Steve Baller: CEO Microsoft
The big news from the keynote last night was the launch of Microsoft 7 for registered beta Microsoft beta users and January 9th for everyone else. Here’s a quick recap of the highlights…no shockers here.
- Windows live search will come pre-installed in all Dell computers as of February.
- Windows live essential is no longer in beta and now comes a bit more synchronized with Facebook allowing users to automatically post photos on Microsoft Live from posting on Facebook. That’s nice.
- Microsoft live will also be implemented on all Verizon feature phones.
- Release of a windows mobile app to allow management of the Netflix queue
Everything else was a bit of old news. No expected mention of the Zune. No real excitement here.
An Australian musical comedy group called Tripod performed to poke light at the gaming lifestyle…sounding strikingly like the Flight of the Conchords, a New Zealand music improve group on HBO currently in season 2. They should have some falsetto wars. One performed last year during the Comcast keynote. The other performed this year during the Microsoft keynote. Flight would kill it in a deathmatch…
Robbie Bach then took the stage to note how men really are from Mars, women from Venus…somehow ignoring the building female gamer market. Hey Bach, ever heard of the Wii or Guitar Hero on your own gaming console platform? Guess not.
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: Apple, Microsoft, Sony BMG, Television, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Zune, Zune Pass
Microsoft has added a new twist to its $14.99-a-month Zune Pass subscription service, allowing users to permanently keep 10 songs each month. The move, which is designed to boost subscriber numbers, was coupled with news that Microsoft signed deals to enable it to sell MP3s of music from Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group. MSNBC/The Associated Press (11/20)
3-D video could be the next big thing for HDTV makers, according to a study by Quixel Research. Three-quarters of those participating in the study said they had had a positive 3-D experience recently and nearly half said they would like to do so in the comfort of their own home. TWICE (11/19)
In a good news/bad news scenario for set-top box manufacturers, a new study from ABI Research suggests that global STB shipments will rise to 110 million units by 2012 before beginning a gradual decline after that. The report said STB shipments would begin to dip in about four years because of a number of factors, including the transition to all-digital TV signals, similar technology that increasingly will come embedded in TVs and the rise of over-the-top broadband video providers. ipTVnews (11/19) , Telephony Online (11/19)
Filed under: TECHNOLOGY | Tags: FM broadcasting, mcdonalds, Microsoft, Onkyo, THX, Wayport, Zune, Zune 3.0
Microsoft announces that Zune users will be able to access the Zune music store for free from 9,800 U.S. McDonalds, care of Wifi provider Wayport. Users can wirelessly stream and download music, tag and purchase songs directly from the built-in FM radio and access personalized music recommendations and programming. (http://www.techcrunch.com/2008/09/16/maybe-theyll-put-zunes-in-the-happy-meals 9/16)
Onkyo has added to the THX products it introduced in July by releasing a pair of “top-of-the-line” Ultra2 Plus receivers that are much pricier than the earlier lines. The TX-SR876 and TX-NR906, which are designed to perform in large rooms, cost $1,799 and $2,299 respectively and offer 7.1-channel surround sound, new Loudness Plus processing and other high-end features, according to Onkyo. ElectronicHouse.com (9/15)
NEC Display will ship an LCD in December that is almost twice as large as the company’s biggest MultiSync 15 Series model and can be erected in portrait or landscape mode, the company said. Priced at $55,000, the the 82-inch LCD8205 features five picture options and 8ms response time to go along with a large array of connectivity. CEPro.com (9/15)