1/6/2006

Google Introduces Software Starter Kit

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google Inc. is distributing a free software startup kit designed to make computing safer and easier - a generous gesture driven by the company’s desire to steer technology offline as well as online.

The software bundle, unveiled Friday in Las Vegas during a speech by Google co-founder Larry Page, represents the Internet search engine leader’s latest jab at industry kingpin Microsoft Corp.

The suite of programs is designed to make it easier to install and maintain basic applications that have helped turn the PC into a hub of information, entertainment and communications.

With the initiative, Google is setting out to prove that it is better positioned to help people get the most out of their computers than more-established software makers, particularly Microsoft - the maker of the pervasive Windows operating system.

“We thought, ‘Why can’t using a computer be more fun, simple and empowering?’” said Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president of search products and user experience.

Six of the programs in the package are owned by Google, which had previously offered all but one on a piecemeal basis. A screensaver that automatically displays pictures stored on a personal computer is being introduced for the first time as part of the “Google Pack.”

With the exception of a Norton antivirus program that is being offered in a free six-month trial, the seven other applications in the Google Pack are already available for free on the Internet.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Google has simply negotiated agreements to create a one-stop shop for all the applications, supplemented with tools to simplify the process for installing and updating the programs.

Neither Google nor the other participants in the Google Pack are paying each other any money, Mayer said.

Source: AP

Yahoo’s CES demo: Mission impossible

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Chief Executive Terry Semel’s glitch-riddled keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show on Friday was saved by Tom Cruise and Ellen DeGeneres–and by making Microsoft Windows the butt of jokes.

While trying to demonstrate the new Yahoo Go TV, which allows people to access Yahoo content and services through a Windows XP-based PC connected to a TV, the Internet connection failed. Executives tried to ad lib until Semel called his surprise guest, Cruise, to the stage.

Cruise, twirling sun glasses in his hand, told the audience he was there to help his old friend Semel before showing a trailer of his new movie, “Mission Impossible III,” which is due in U.S. theaters in May.

Afterward, Cruise, Semel, Marco Boerries, Yahoo’s senior vice president of Connected Life, and Dan Rosensweig, the company’s chief operating officer, milled about the stage awkwardly, patting each other on the back.

A man in the audience yelled, “Play it again,” and Cruise said he wanted to see how fast Yahoo’s system could replay the movie. “Press the button,” he said, and Cruise could once again be seen in the action-adventure film dodging blasts and kissing women.

After Cruise left the stage, Semel said, “I guess if you’re going to have a demo glitch, (there is no) better way to follow it up than with Tom Cruise.”

Source: News.com

New ‘Grand Theft Auto’ On The Way

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

It looks like the video game crime rate won’t be dropping in 2006.

An all-new “Grand Theft Auto” for Sony’s PSP will be released by Rockstar Games sometime before Halloween, Take Two Interactive, game publisher and parent company of Rockstar, announced on Thursday.

Rockstar representatives could not be reached by press time to comment on the nature of the new game.

The company also announced that the most recent “GTA,” the 2005 PSP title “Liberty City Stories,” will be released for the PS2 by the end of March.

The announcements reinforced the notion that gamers who like “GTA”-style games will be well-served in 2006.

Source: MTV

SanDisk To Release iPod Nano Killer

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Sansa e200 Series MP3 players are the flagship products of SanDisk’s audio line. Created by the leaders in flash memory, this flash-based player provides everything you need for photo, video, and music playback. Along with the microSD card slot for content portability, the SanDisk Media Converter supports all formats to enjoy photos, small personal videos, and your best musical selection, with superior sound.

The very attractive, sleek design includes a 1.8? color screen with advanced navigational features and an easy to use interface. You can also avoid scratches and cracks with the durable Liquidmetal backing. Supports PlaysForSure subscription music and so much more. The line comes in three, high capacities: 2GB, 4GB, and 6GB.

Sandisk Sansa e200
Sandisk Sansa e200 (Click image for large picture)

The Sansa e200 Series MP3 players will be available around the end of March 2006

File Sharing Heaven - Automatic Wireless MP3 Sharing

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The Viktoria Institute in Gothenburg, Sweden, is working on a concept they call PUSH MUSIC, which is software that automatically shares music files with nearby users who have similar tastes. It monitors the listening history of the user, and develops awareness about what kind of new music he might like. The concept envisions Wi-Fi-enabled music players that automatically establish a peer-to-peer connection, enabling people to either “browse” the music collections of others and take a copy of whatever they like, or — here’s the magic part — just automatically recieve music the software has selected for you.

Source: therawfeed

Panasonic Shows Laptop Fuel Cell

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Matsushita Battery Industrial, a division of Panasonic, is showing a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) for laptop computers at the International Consumer Electronics Show here this week.

The fuel cell, a working model of which is on display powering a laptop PC, is the product of about five years of development work, said Tommy Ichinose, chief engineer with one of the company’s technology development groups.

The fuel cell creates electricity from a reaction between a methanol and water mixture and air.

Using 200 cubic centimeters (about 7 ounces) of fuel and in conjunction with a standard laptop battery it can power a computer for about 20 hours, said Ichinose.

Source: PCWorld

TiVo Unveils Series3 HDTV DVR

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

TiVo unveiled their new Series3 unit at CES yesterday. The Series3 is a digital cable ready box, capable of recording two programs simultaneously. It supports cable and antenna input, and it can handle digital or analog cable, digital ATSC, or analog NTSC broadcasts. CableCARD is used for digital cable, and it can utilize a single multi-stream card, or two single-stream cards. The system also sports 2 USB ports, 10/100baseT Ethernet, and an E-SATA port for external storage expansion. Video output is HDMI, component, S-Video, and composite, and audio is optical digital or RCA stereo.

Source: Slashdot

Motorola and Google Align for Mobile Search

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Motorola will integrate a Google icon onto select devices so that users can connect directly to Google anytime, anywhere at the click of a button. These mass-market, Internet-optimized handsets will be distributed from early 2006 to select Motorola customers worldwide.

“Many of our customers have been asking for mobile devices integrated with their consumers’ favorite online search services. By featuring Google on Motorola handsets for those customers, we are making it easier for consumers to connect to the information they need when they need it,” said Scott Durchslag, Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Global xProducts for Motorola’s Mobile Device business. “Our relationship with Google provides an opportunity for us to offer a high quality mobile search experience – one familiar to and loved by millions of users across the globe.”

“Access to information is imperative for people on-the-go. Whether checking the local weather or locating the restaurant of their choice, consumers today require personalized search services that are tailored to their needs,” said Nikesh Arora, vice president, European Operations, Google Inc. “With immediate access to Google, millions of Motorola users worldwide will be able to quickly and easily find information that’s important to them.”

Motorola handsets with the Google icon are expected to be available to consumers starting in Q1 of 2006.

Wal-Mart Halts Movie Suggestions on Web

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is shutting down the system that creates movie recommendations on its shopping Web site after it linked a “Planet of the Apes” DVD to films about famous black Americans, including Martin Luther King Jr.

Wal-Mart said Thursday it had removed what it called the “offensive combinations” from a walmart.com page advertising a boxed DVD set, “Planet of the Apes: The Complete TV Series.”

Under a “similar items” section, the DVD set’s page linked shoppers to four films about the lives of King, actress Dorothy Dandridge, boxer Jack Johnson and singer Tina Turner. Wal-Mart later altered the page to link with television show DVDs.

The world’s largest retailer said the software that generates links for shoppers from one movie to others of similar interest would be shut down. All cross references would be removed as soon as technically possible until the system can be fixed, Wal-Mart said.

Source: AP

Yahoo launches content service for phones

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Yahoo Inc. is expanding its presence beyond the PC, moving onto Web-enabled cell phones and other mobile devices so users can access their customized content while untethered.

Yahoo Go Mobile, a new service set to be launched Friday at the International Consumer Electronics Show, is the latest example of the growing trend of get-your-information-anytime-anywhere.

Many of the features and services that Yahoo has been amassing in recent years, beyond the e-mail already available on many so-called smartphones, can now follow its 400 million users wherever they go.

Anyone with a Yahoo account can have their customized data they now get through the Web portal load itself into whichever device they carry. The information - from news to restaurant reviews to personal contacts and appointments - will be synchronized through whatever data network they may be using - cellular or Wi-Fi, for example.

Yahoo Go Mobile will work on any cellular network, but for now, only on Nokia’s Series 60 line of smartphones. Support for additional mobile devices is planned.

Source: AP

Intel launches Viiv entertainment PC

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Chip-maker Intel Corp. launched its Viiv entertainment PC platform Thursday and announced a slew of deals with entertainment and other tech companies to provide content for the new systems.

Viiv PC owners will be able to watch video that’s stored in Google Inc.’s video service, high-definition highlights from NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics and classic TV shows from America Online. In all, Intel has signed dozens of content deals.

Viiv computers will be capable of replacing the array of standalone boxes that surround the television - such as a digital video recorder, DVD player or cable box. Intel also says it’s working to ensure a Viiv PC works seamlessly with other equipment.

Source: AP

Intel, Google in video search tie-up

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Intel Corp. said on Thursday that it would include video search functions from Google Inc. into its Viiv platform, burnishing the top chipmaker’s new consumer brand with shine from one of the hottest Internet companies.

The deal will give users of Viiv-branded products a way to search, organize and view Internet video on their television and portable devices, the companies said in a statement.

“With the explosion of digital entertainment choices, consumers will need simple, easy ways to locate the content the want and easily play it when they want,” Kevin Corbett, Intel’s vice president of its digital home group, said in a statement.

Source: Reuters

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