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Archive for May, 2007

PS3

The Playstation 3 pulled down Sony profits in fiscal 2007 with a loss of $1.97B for the game units $8.6B in revenues. Sony stated they sold 5.5 million PS3 through March 31, 2007 and 13.2M software units. I’m not predicting doom and gloom as the PS3 was designed to last multiple years and they knew the first year would have losses — maybe not as high — but Sony is behind in the console market, a market they dominated as the #1 position.

However, this isn’t about finance — it’s about the free firmware update — something for nothing. I downloaded over the weekend the latest PS3 firmware update (Version 1.80) which provides DVD Upscaling**, Remote Play on PSP (PlayStation Portable) via the internet and DLNA transfer of media content that is also enabled.

The DVD movies are upscaled to full 1080p HD resolution if you have a compatible HDTV set. The capability to upscale DVDs to HD quality is a feature normally only associated with top range DVD players, and the latest firmware upgrade now allows enhanced viewing pleasure from my DVD collection.

The firmware (V1.80) update also allows me to enjoy Remote Play on my PSP across the internet, allowing it to access my PS3 anywhere in the world where a broadband internet connection is available. The update allows me, on a home network, to view and play rich media content such as images, music and video on my PS3, that is stored on any DLNA enabled devices such as my media hub PC and/or laptops elsewhere in the house. All of this reinforce Sony/PS3’s credentials as a home entertainment hub that deserves pride of place in the Living Room. There are a host of other enhancements included in the update like the ability to print photo images stored on PS3’s hard disk or inserted storage media to a selection of Epson printers.

I’ve become somewhat of a zombie on updates. Always for bug fixes or plugging security holes. The V1.80 firmware update is dramatic and add’s great features.

What a novel idea…

**Upscaling: is a feature that can be used to enable content recorded in SD resolution (480p/480i) to be displayed in HD resolution (1080p/1080i/720p).

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Justin.tv

I’m sure you’ve heard about Justin — and Justin.tv — he’s 23 and been wearing a video camera and webcasting his life live on the web for the past couple months. Everything he does is broadcast live — similar to the Hollywood movie The Truman Show.

Justin’s 24/7 reality online TV show has turned into a bit of a mini-phenomenon. His apartment was raided by the police, and they were later evicted by their landlord. They were on the Today Show. Justin was hanging out with famous rappers. A month ago, he was apparently on a date — the camera is stuffed into the curly locks of some blond. Everyone was wondering if this is the girl from the other night that some are thinking he “got lucky” with. This is “spicy” stuff! It all seems intimate and after wearing the camera gear for six months in prep for the go live web site, he likely doesn’t even think that the camera is there. The site is way successful.

Justin has big plans. He wants a lot of people doing the same thing in the future — so you could essentially flip through “life channels” of various people across the planet. Perfect for the bored at work generation…I could see people letting each other know what’s going on in “so and so” life at any moment.

Admit it…you’ve always wanted to start your own real-life television show? Now you can because Justin.tv is launching its own network to allow users to create and publish their own shows. Or, if you prefer just sit back and snoop/peek into other people’s lives — as they stream themselves live on the web.

Here is the ultimate Ustream.tv mash-up. Your computer screen will be turned into the security room of a local K-Mart or a Las Vegas Casino with all these live cameras.

Enjoy peeping…

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I ran across a cool website mention in the local paper today and decided to give it a look. I’m a visual person and making things visual always gets my attention. IBM’s Visual Communication Lab enables anyone to upload all kinds of data and turn them into graphs, maps, tag clouds and other visuals.

For example, want to convert the rhetoric over Iraq into something you can see or visualize? A user did just that by taking the text of the British House of Commons debate on the Iraq war and then converted the text into a tag cloud that displays heavily used words in larger type and little used words in little type.

See the IBM site here or click on the image:




Enjoy those visuals…

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It’s that time of year, again, for a work move. No, I’m not moving downstairs to storage room B (Office Space), but I have lost track of the number of moves I’ve made over the years. This time it’s a quick and easy one down the hallway.

If you are like me and take pride in your workspace i.e. the things that made an emotional difference and brighten the “sea-of-gray” clutter — you’ll take stock, while you pack the papers, event give-aways and trinkets, buttons, magnets, calendars, lanyards, awards, and well, STUFF. I’ve got gaming posters duck taped to my cube and once a piece of paper has been saved in a file, I never seem to look back at my collection again…I like my cube, but the space is full of too much stuff to keep the vibe good.

So, this current “office move” got me to thinking about a makeover for my drab, clunky award placement, overly cluttered and non-intuitive cube. Like a PC with too many buttons it’s a cube with too much stuff! I read recently that PC manufacturers have realized that design matters and consumers are no longer satisfied with a fan laden beige box or a colorful faux skinned chassis and want PCs that don’t look like PCs. What took them so long?!

This Conan video of a famous multi-national corp., is similar to what it looks like in my “sea-of-gray”…

Well, I want a cube that doesn’t look like a cube!

What should I do? A contest? Yeah, that’s it, a contest! One with $$ for the winner. It can be the first annual Cube Design Contest (CDC). Surely this will spur employee innovation and make people more interesting around here? Besides, I spend more time in my cube than at home (excluding sleep time) and I’m sure we all want entertaining cubes that blend our warm house décor.

We can take design entries from around the globe. We could have judges look for the best style, acoustics, functionality, and features.

Possible criteria:

  • Acoustics: noisy, loud, chatter box neighbors vs. quiet/near silent communities
  • Usability: effective makeover for efficient AC adaptor access vs. complicated routing and full of quirks
  • Aesthetics: stylish/pleasant, brought to life w/ flyers/brochures, vs. “Pimp-My-Cube” for mgr attention
  • Overall: Best style with most innovative trophy/award placement that fits character of surroundings
  • Are we overtly focused on meeting the needs of our customers and have cube blindness? It could be the biggest and most successful contest/event ever, because we have the technology and the right workspace for making — Cubes that don’t look like Cubes (CDLC).

    It’s easy after watching that video to see how your surroundings can make a difference and amp up your creativity. Yawn, excuse me while I take a nap…

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    America’s Cup

    Sails
    The 32nd America’s Cup started April 3rd in Valencia (well it’s the last of the preliminary rounds anyway). There are 12 teams from the US, Switzerland (defending), France, Italy, Sweden, France, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, the hosts Spain and first ever entries from China and South Africa.

    Sailing is a challenging spectator sport unless you are on the boat. You hardly get to view much other than what’s on TV. The web sites are often the best way to see highlights, track races, preview video’s and keep up with the news and/or stream video highlights.

    From capture to post production, Charlie and Tall Sails Production along with his video team will get on yacht high-definition footage. The all digital work flow is powered by Intel and utilizes the small footprint of the (2K) Silicon Imaging Camera which is mounted on the racing yachts and connected to the multi-core laptops via gigabit-Ethernet. The high-definition footage is captured in real-time, and is post processed after the race. The content is quickly edited using CineForm capture/edit system on the laptop and then made available for various redistribution paths. The laptops allow the video team to significantly reduce the overall weight on the boat and capture heart-pounding race footage in (2K) high-definition format.

    One of the better online sites is Team Shosholoza, the South African entry. It’s an inspiring story and the web site is far and away the best of the bunch. It’s immersive, the navigation is simple and the photo’s are stunning. I hope they do well, but I’m looking forward to a return of the cup to the U.S.

    Go Team BMW/Oracle!

    Extras: CupInfo CupTracker™ is the ultimate tool to track team results in the Louis Vuitton Acts. Download CupTracker

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