7/1/2008

Boffins invent 42GB DVD

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Blank DVDs are a cheaper storage option than Blu-ray, but the HD format has the enviable quality of greater capacity. However, Japanese storage scientists claim to have invented a method for storing up to 42GB onto a single DVD.

Researchers from the Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, based in Japan’s Tohoku University, have – according to Google’s translation of a document released by the university department – discovered a way to multiply the amount of data stored on a DVD. The group also claims to be able to replicate the method for CDs.

Essentially, the team states that by changing the shape of the data-storage pits from having a flat bottom to one that’s a V shape, each pit will be able to hold more data. Changing the horizontal orientation of the tip of the valley, alters the way light is reflected by the pit. As a result, pits no longer represent binary 1s and 0s, but a range of values, effectively allowing each to record a byte rather than a bit.

Google Wants To Dominate Your TV with Media Server

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Google has released its free Google Media Server to bridge the gap between a PC and a TV. A Universal Plug and Play device is needed along with Google Desktop gadgets and search. An analyst noted that Google Media Server is aimed at technology-savvy consumers who know what UPnP is, unlike solutions from Apple, Inc. and Microsoft.

Having staked out a position on your PC and many mobile Relevant Products/Services devices, Google now has its sights on your living room. Late last week, the search giant announced the release of a free beta version of Google Media Server, a Windows application that seeks to bridge the gap between a PC and a TV.

That gap is between the explosion of TV programs, movies, music and homemade videos on the Web and television sets. A variety of solutions have been launched by Microsoft Relevant Products/Services, Apple and others, and now Google is entering that ring.

Its Media Server uses Google Desktop gadgets as the administration tool and desktop search to find media files. The user will also need a Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) device like Sony’s PlayStation 3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, Hewlett-Packard’s MediaSmart high-definition televisions, and other consumer devices.

Adobe to help reveal ‘invisible’ Flash Web content

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Adobe Systems is helping Google and Yahoo to uncover Web content that was previously “invisible” to Web searches.

Both companies have been given optimized Adobe Flash Player technology to help them better index dynamic Web content and rich Internet applications (RIA) that include the Flash file format, or Shockwave Flash (SWF), Adobe said in a statement. Search engines already index static text and links within SWF files, but RIAs and dynamic Web content are elusive to search engines because of their changing states, Adobe noted.

Adobe’s technology means that millions of pre-existing RIAs that use Flash technology, including content that loads at runtime, are immediately searchable without alteration by companies or developers, Adobe said. Google has already added the optimized Flash Player to its search engine, while Yahoo plans to add the technology to a future update of Yahoo Search.

Change Screen Resolution For Ubuntu Running Under VirtualBox

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

I’m experimenting with VirtualBox, and having Ubuntu 8.04 running on it I could not find an easy way to increase the screen resolution higher than 800X600.

Note: Although this guide was originally written for Ubuntu 8.04 it also works on Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu 9.04, Ubuntu 9.10

Luckily I found this great tip that shows how to configure the screen resolution in Ubunto 8.04 running as a virtual machine under VirtualBox.


Start up your Ubuntu 8.04 guest. In VirtualBox, click Devices->Install Guest Additions and your virtual Ubuntu should recognize a new CD. Open a terminal and run this command:
sudo /media/cdrom/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run

The installer should prompt you that it’s time to restart the virtual machine once it’s done. Just logging out and back in should work.

This is where things get sticky. For Ubuntu 8.04 guests, the VirtualBox video driver will not be enabled because of the minimalistic xorg.conf file.

Open your guest machine’s xorg.conf file:
gksu gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Find the device section, which should look like this:

Section "Device"
  Identifier "Configured Video Device"
EndSection

And replace it with this to enable the VirtualBox driver:


Section "Device"
   Identifier   "Configured Video Device"
   Driver    "vboxvideo"
EndSection

Changing screen resolutions in Ubuntu 8.04 is done with RandR, which is not supported by VirtualBox. So you’ll also need to set a resolution manually. Find the screen section, which should look like this:


Section "Screen"
   Identifier    "Default Screen"
  Monitor    "Configured Monitor"
  Device    "Configured Video Device"
EndSection

And replace it with this, but change 1024×768 to your preferred resolution:


Section "Screen"
   Identifier    "Default Screen"
   Device    "VirtualBox graphics card"
   Monitor    "Generic Monitor"
   DefaultDepth    24
   SubSection "Display"
     Depth    24
     Modes      "1024x768"
   EndSubSection
EndSection

Save, exit the editor, and log out. You should now have a large virtual machine window, as well as mouse pointer integration.


Microsoft reportedly to cut price of Xbox 360 to $299

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

Microsoft Corp plans to cut the price of its best-selling Xbox 360 Pro model by $50, to $299 in the next few weeks, the Hollywood Reporter reported citing anonymous sources.

The price cut for the Xbox 360 model with the 20 gigabyte hard drive will come before the video game industry’s biggest trade show, E3, taking place in Los Angeles on July 15-17, the report said.

Rumors of the Xbox price cut swirled on popular gaming blogs Joystiq and Kotaku last week. The two sites received snapshots of Kmart and Radio Shack flyers advertising the $299 price.

A Microsoft spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

Service lets drivers lock in gasoline prices

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

The high price of gasoline has some U.S. drivers looking to the future.

A recently introduced service called MyGallons.com allows drivers to fill up their tanks sometime in the future but at current prices, using a debit-like card which banks gallons rather than dollars.

“The price of gasoline was changing all the time. It seemed unpredictable,” Steven Verona, founder and owner of the Miami-based company, said on Monday.

“It seemed there had to be a way to fix the price,” he said.

Working on the assumption that the price of gasoline will continue to rise, Verona started about two and a half years ago to put together the company which gives the driver some measure of control of what he pays for gasoline.

eBay told to pay $61M to fashion brand for fakes

Filed under: — Aviran Mordo

A French court ordered eBay Inc. to pay more than $61 million to a high-end fashion company Monday because counterfeit goods were sold on the auction site.

The fashion company, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, is home to such prestigious brands as Louis Vuitton, Givenchy, Fendi, Emilio Pucci and Marc Jacobs, and had complained that it was hurt by the sale of knockoff bags and clothes on eBay.

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