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Redbox to start streaming in 2011

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on October 31st, 2010

Redbox, the company that has operated DVD rental kiosks at shopping centers across the US, has announced that the company will now be entering the movie streaming business in 2011. Redbox didn’t name a partner yet, but obviously they will need somebody to host and manage the streaming business.

The company doesn’t know yet if it would adopt a subscription plan like Netflix or an a la carte model like iTunes and Blockbuster. The company has been testing the waters for some time now. Back in April a survey from the company asked consumers what they thought of a $3.95 monthly plan that would include unlimited streaming in addition to four free DVD rentals. Right now, four DVD rentals would cost $4 by itself.

England’s Pizza Express installs iPod docks in restaurants

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on October 28th, 2010

If you live in the United Kingdom, you might have heard of the pizza chain “Pizza Express.” The rest of us, not so much. Soon they will have iPod docks behind the seats, starting with their Richmond location.

It’s all part of a ground-up redesign of the chain and they are calling the experiment “The Living Lab.” They will have electrical hook-ups all over the place so that customers can stay connected. Other features include sound-proof parabolic booths and a call light like you find on airplanes.

Vimeo gets couch mode for Google TV, HTPCs

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on October 26th, 2010

Vimeo has released what it calls “couch mode”. The interface allows users to get a full-screen video player, complete with oversized buttons and straightforward navigation to various video playlists, making it ideal for your Google TV or your HTPC.

Some features of couch mode include Vimeo’s HD playlist, staff picks, videos from subscribed channels and more. There’s also a “watch later” feature that allows you to bookmark videos without adding them to your favorites list. You’ll just need to be using Chrome or Safari.

TDK unveils new 1TB Optical Disks

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on October 11th, 2010

Storage breakthroughs are exploding all over the place and TDK has now introduced the new 1TB or 1000GB optical disk at CEATEC. The new 1TB disc has the same diameter as a standard Blu-ray disc, but has 16 layers, storing 32GB per side of each layer (32 layers each storing 32GB = 1TB).

TDK had already created a 200GB disk in 2006, but sadly it never entered the mass market. One day soon maybe we will be able to store 5TB on these discs.

New SandForce chip promises 500MB per second SSDs

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on October 10th, 2010

SandForce will be showing off their new SF-2000 range of SSD processors at the Storage Networking World Exhibition next week. The chip features a 6Gbps SATA interface and the industry’s first sustained, sequential read and write performance of 500MB/sec. Most drives only reach half of this figure.

The controller has a 60,000 sustained random read/write IOPS rating and it supports SAS interfaces, along with single-level, multi-level, and enterprise multi-level cell SSDs. It also supports 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption and can control current and future 30nm and 20nm flash drives with the right interfaces. We don’t know when the first SSDs running the SF-2000 controllers will be available for purchase on the market.

Gold-dispensing ATMs coming to the US

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 29th, 2010

It’s about time. I can’t tell you how many times I have wished that I could grab a bar of gold from an ATM machine. But now Florida and Las Vegas residents will be able to do just that, as they are getting hundreds of these ATMs installed next year.

They will spit out smaller bars, not Fort Know sized bars. We’re talking 1 and 5 gram sizes; 10 gram and 28 gram (1 ounce) bars, and international coins from countries like South Africa, Australia and Canada, with the gold price being checked six times an hour.

AOL buys TechCrunch

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 28th, 2010

Rumors had been circulating that AOL, who owns Engadget and Webblogs Inc were about to purchase Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch, and it now looks like those rumors were true as AOL has just announced that they have purchased TechCrunch.

AOL has also purchased all other sites in the TechCrunch network, which includes MobileCrunch and Crunch Gear. No details on the purchase price have been announced yet, but Business Insider is reporting that it was sold for $25 Million.

Movie studios to bring pre-DVD streaming to PS3, Xbox, more

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 27th, 2010

Here’s more great news for PS3 and Xbox 360 owners. Disney, Sony and Warner are close to testing a system that would give Internet access to movies before they’ve reached Blu-ray or DVD. Disney would be the most aggressive and would allow viewers watch movies on any web-connected device and possibly the PS3 and Xbox 360 as well. Disney would likely be cautious at first, trying one movie under the plan in an early 2011 trial.

We aren’t sure if Apple would be involved, but Steve Jobs sits on Disney’s board of directors. In Demand, a partnership between Comcast, Cox and Time Warner, said through CEO Bob Benya that the collective is in talks for a similar option through cable TV and maybe online.

Segway company owner dies, drives Segway off a cliff

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 27th, 2010

The current owner of Segway died yesterday after he rode off a cliff and into a river in England. They found Jimi Heselden’s body yesterday at 11.40am yesterday by the River Wharfe in North Yorkshire, with his X2 Adventure with him.

Jimi was 62. Police think it was just a weird accident. The man was worth $262m though. And Segways don’t go so fast that he wouldn’t see the cliff coming. Well, however it happened, it’s a sad turn of events.

Blockbuster files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 23rd, 2010

We’ve been expecting this one for a long time and now it’s official. Blockbuster has initiated “pre-arranged” chapter 11 proceedings. Under this plan, Blockbuster’s debt would be reduced from $1 billion to about $100 million when implemented.

Blockbuster is currently evaluating its US store portfolio as part of the recapitalization process. All 3,000 stores will remain open for now, but up to 1,000 could be gone before things are said and done. They want you to know that Blockbuster is still open and that it’s business as usual during the restructuring.

Special credit cards access multiple accounts

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 19th, 2010

This credit card will help keep your wallet thin. It can turn several credit cards and debit cards into one. This new technology is from Dynamics Inc. in Pennsylvania. It’s a single credit card that hides your account number and allows access to multiple cards, all at the same time.

It is called Card 2.0 and can be used in various applications since it features the world’s first fully card-programmable ‘Electronic Stripe’ in place of the usual magnetic stripe. It’s thin, flexible and durable and it’s battery charge lasts for three years. Sounds great.

Verizon to launch LTE in 30 NFL cities before 2011

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 16th, 2010

Word is that a Verizon senior federal sales executive has told executive IT managers that the carrier is planning to launch its LTE service in 30 NFL cities by the end of 2010. That should make NFL fans very happy. Which specific cities weren’t mentioned, so your guess is as good as ours.

The carrier is also planning to cover the entire country in LTE by 2013. However, it should be noted that LTE phones will not be launched in conjunction with this 30 city rollout because of the limited models available.

Speed bumps will one day be replaced with illusions of children

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 9th, 2010

Speed bumps are so last century. That’s why the Canadian city of Vancouver is experimenting with a speed control solution that uses an optical illusion to trick you into thinking there is a child in the road. I’m sure that will slow people down and give some people heart attacks too.

The program is being piloted near École Pauline Johnson Elementary School, where they use a very lifelike painted optical illusion that looks like a little girl chasing a ball into traffic.

iPhone apps save UK government millions

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on September 8th, 2010

The UK take their apps seriously. The government is reportedly saving millions of Pounds (about $350 million US dollars) just by developing iGovernment apps that help citizens. The Local Government Association (LGA) implemented the apps to allow iPhone users to get information on road conditions, pay for parking and lots of other stuff.

They can send in complaints or inform the government about any issue they want. One app allows users to send in hygiene ratings of local restaurants, another is used to complain about vandalism, snap a picture and send it in as a report.

Gumdrop Bins let Britain recycle old chewing gum

Posted in News by Conner Flynn on August 31st, 2010

This is a great idea. Take your worn out, chewed to death wad of gum, you know that old ABC gum(Already Been Chewed) and put it to good use, instead of under a table or on the sidewalk. Britain has launched a program to recycle your tired worn out chewing gum and “repurpose” it into tires, childrens toys and even mobile phone covers.

This government initiative runs from August 18th through September 15th and encourages people to toss their used chewing gum into special Bins at locations throughout twelve towns in the UK.