Audio and video 2013

Cell phones with build in cameras are replacing cheap pocket size digital cameras and video cameras. Best cell phone cameras can be better in many ways than cheap pocket digital cameras from few years back. And most people do not want to carry separate devices for each function (at least without a very good reason), when a smart phone can handle calls, Internet, photos and video shooting.

CES 2013 fair had more pocket advanced size cameras on display than DSLRs, but the trend on then was that business was going down due cellular phone cameras getting better. So camera manufacturers are integrating more cellular phone like features to their cameras (like Android OS with wireless connectivity to photo sharing sites) and concentrate on building good superzoom and DSLR type cameras. You need to have something clearly different than what cell phone can offer: huge zoom, good performance in low light or works also in harsh environment. Wireless connection is getting more and more common, either built-in or using memory card with WiFi.


As Sales Slip, TV Makers Strain for the Next Sensation because hardware companies want to make their products stand out in a sea of black rectangles that can show the content user want to watch. And one that is particularly acute for television makers. The hardware is becoming kind of boring and exciting things are happening in software. TV manufacturers continue to push the idea of “smart” sets by adding apps and other interactive elements.

Connected TV technologies get more widely used and the content earlier viewable only on TV can be now seen on many other screens. Your smartphone is the screen in your pocket. Your computer is the screen on your desk. Your tablet is a screen for the couch. Almost every major electronic device you own is a black rectangle that is brought to life by software and content.

In the last two years, television makers have tried a push with 3-D sets. But now It’s official: 3D is dead. The tech industry’s annual hot air balloon show is gone. On the one hand, 3D has become ubiquitous enough in televisions that people are unwittingly buying it when opting for a high-end new HDTV to fill their living room.


Post HDTV resolution era seems to be coming to TVs as well in form of 4K / UltraHD. This year, television makers like Samsung, Sony, LG and Panasonic are trying to grab attention by supersizing their television screens and quadrupling the level of detail in their images. They are promoting what they call Ultra High-Definition televisions, which have four times as many pixels as their high-definition predecessors, and can cost as much as a car. It’s a bit of a marketing push. It seems that all LCD makers are looking to move their business models on from cheap mass production to higher-margin, premium offerings. They try to innovate and secure their future viability by selling fewer, but more profitable displays.

4K at CES 2013: the dream gets real article tells that the 4K bandwagon is fully loaded and ready to get rolling. The US TV maker isn’t alone in stepping up to the higher resolution in its new flagship models. Sony, Panasonic and Sharp, Japan’s traditional big-screen TV leaders, are all attending this year’s CES with proper retail products. Manufacturers Need You to Buy an Ultra-High-Def 4K TV. Save Your Money because just as HDTV was slow to take off, the 4K start will be slow. It’s more than the price that’s keeping these things from hitting critical mass. 4K is only for ultra-premium markets this year.

4K resolution TV has one big problem: The entire ecosystem isn’t ready for 4K. The Trouble With 4K TV article tellst that though 4K resolutions represent the next step in high-definition video, standards for the format have yet to emerge and no one’s really figured out how to distribute video, with its massive file footprint, efficiently and cost effectively. Getting 4K content to consumers is hard.

Even though 4K resolution is widely use in digital cinematography, but there is no suitable consumer disk format that supports it and the bandwidth need to stream 4K content would be huge. Given that uncompressed 4K footage has a bit-rate of about 600MB/s. Broadcom chip ushers in H.265 and UltraHD video tells that H.265 video standard, aka HEVC or MPEG-5, squeezes more pixels over a network connection to support new high-resolution 4K TVs.

You should also note that the new higher resolution is pretty pointless for a small TV (where the TV mass market is now). Ultra HD would make a difference only on screens that were at least 80 inches, measured diagonally. For smaller screens, the extra pixels would not be visible to a person with 20/20 vision viewing from a normal viewing distance. Ultra HD TVs can also be a flop. But let’s see what happens in the world where nowadays tiny smart phone screens can have full HDTV resolution.


Keep in mind that 4K is not any absolute highest resolution expected in few years. 8k resolution TVs are coming. Sharp showed a 8K resolution TV with 7680 x 4320 resolution at CES2013. For more details on it read Sharp 8K Super Hi-Vision LCD, 4K TV and Freestyle wireless LCD HDTV hands-on article.

Another development than pushing up the resolution to make high end display products is OLED technology. OLED is another new technology to make expensive products. The much buzzed-about device features next-generation, high-quality OLED screens. OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, and they offer a bevy of benefits: more energy efficient, cleaner image, wide viewing angle and devices can be made thinner. You can also make TV screen curved in shape. In a race between television titans, LG has beat Samsung in becoming the first manufacturer to introduce a 55-inch OLED television to market: the largest OLED TV panel to date.. OLED products are very expensive (LG TV $10,300 in US dollars). OLED display can also have 4K resolution, so you can combine two expensive technologies to one product. Market analysts say that they believe the technology will not become more affordable until 2015.

The Verge Awards: the best of CES 2013 article lists for example product like Samsung 4K “easel TV”, Sony 4K OLED TV, Teenage Engineering OD-11 Cloud Speaker and Oculus Rift virtual reality gaming.

All your audio, video kit is about to become OBSOLETE article tells that although much of the audio and video technology packed into CES 2013′s 1.9 million square feet of exhibition space is indeed impressive, one panelist at an emerging-technology conference session channeled a little 1974 BTO, essentially telling his audience that “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.” Deep-geek soothsayer predicts smart audio, Ultra HD eyewear, much more in coming years. Audio is going to become adaptive, changing its wave forms to fit each user’s personal aural perceptions. Active noise reduction is finding its way into cars. HD audio will be coming to mobile phones. MEMS-based microphones and speakers are also on the runway. Consumer-level video will see in the future much higher resolution devices with much higher frame rates.


  1. Tomi says:

    Netflix: Binge Watching Is The New Normal For TV Streamers

    Harris Interactive conducted the poll of nearly 1,500 TV streamers (online U.S. adults who stream TV shows at least once a week) on behalf of Netflix and found that 61% among that group binge regularly — and feel good about it. 73% defined binge watching as watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting. And nearly three quarters of TV streamers say they have positive feelings towards binge streaming TV. “Our viewing data shows that the majority of streamers would actually prefer to have a whole season of a show available to watch at their own pace,” said Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix.

    76% of TV streamers say watching multiple episodes of a great TV show is a welcome escape from their busy lives. 79% said watching several episodes of their favorite shows at once actually makes the shows more enjoyable.

  2. Tomi says:

    Everything you need to know about the YouTube copyright crisis and why you should care

    At the center of this week’s confusing thicket of news and outrage surrounding YouTube video game copyright sweep is a very simple issue.

    It’s about freedom-of expression and the ability of critics, commentators and journalists to speak to large numbers of people without fear of reprisals or restrictions from corporations.

    On a more prosaic note, it’s also a clash of cultures between companies that are figuring out how much control they can usefully exercise over the content they create and those companies who cling to the belief that they have the last word over how their games are covered in the media.

    YOUTUBERS: Many people who visit YouTube enjoy watching videos of other people playing video games and talking about them. We will call these content producers ‘YouTubers’. They are critics, journalists, problem-solvers. Their function is to entertain and to inform. They make their living, like many journalists, through advertising revenue.

    COPYRIGHT: By necessity, their videos feature footage of games, which are made by games companies who, in theory, own the rights to the raw video game footage. In practice, games companies cannot easily control how footage of their games is used.

    LIVESTREAMING: The new consoles allow (or will soon allow) for live-streaming and downloads of content to YouTube and other portals. The vast majority of these will not be monetized, but claiming copyright infringement against only those that attract commercials will be a monstrous task for games companies.

    MEDIA: Games footage has been used for decades by media outlets, without overt permission from games companies.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Photoshop Parody Ads Show the Depressing Truth About Filtered Beauty

    In a new series of incisive Photoshops, artist Anna Hill uses the image editing techniques that are ubiquitous in mainstream advertising to turn herself into a model. The resulting parody ads don’t market make up or clothes, but instead, the image-perfecting power of Photoshop itself.

    This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve seen an artist fire up a critique on the crazy standards of beauty created by excessive image manipulation. What sets Hill’s parodies apart is the amusing, if somewhat depressing, observation that when you’ve Photoshopped a model to the point that she has no pores or imperfections, you’re not advertising a product so much as the technology that made that possible.

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ho Ho No! Amazon Apologizes After Customers Lose Access to Christmas Content.

    If you buy a digital song, book or movie, do you really own that song, book or movie?

    Or are you just renting a collection of bits, which are never really going to be yours?

    This question is a big one for author Cory Doctorow, who writes about it often. And yesterday he had a great example of the worst-case scenario: An Amazon customer who bought and downloaded a Disney Christmas video from Jeff Bezos last year, and found it wouldn’t play now.

    The reason? Doctorow’s reader says an Amazon rep told him that Disney wanted to yank it back: “Amazon has explained to me that Disney can pull their content at any time and ‘at this time they’ve pulled that show for exclusivity on their own channel.’”


    But that’s a lot different from reaching across the Web and flipping the switch on something someone already bought, right?

    On the other hand, Amazon actually has a track record of reaching across the Web and flipping the switch on stuff it sold.

    Translation: Yes, we bricked some content we had previously sold. But that was a bug, not a feature: When you buy a video from us, you get to keep it, even if Disney wants to maximize its TV eyeballs.

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Comcast Will Spend Millions Developing And Promoting Khan Academy To Encourage Low-Income Broadband Adoption

    Comcast has committed to pumping millions of dollars into a joint partnership with Khan Academy that will pay for product development of its free, online education and promote it alongside Comcast’s cheap broadband access tier Internet Essentials for low-income families. Comcast’s executive VP David Cohen believes that backing Khan Academy will boost digital literacy and get more people paying for broadband because ”its content is the ultimate proof point of the value of the Internet.”

    Khan Academy co-founder Sal Khan and Cohen announced the new partnership today on-stage at The Atlantic’s Silicon Valley Summit at Mountain View’s Computer History Museum.

    30% of Americans currently don’t have broadband Internet access. The program is designed to convince families that the Internet is critical to their economic success, with Khan Academy as the poster child for how the web can improve lives. The financial support of Comcast for online education certainly has a philanthropic aspect, but also stands to attract it new $9.95 a month Internet Essentials broadband customers.

    Cohen explained on stage that “The number one barrier to broadband adoption is digital literacy skills. And Khan academy is the number one solution. We’re going to put the largest allocation of our resources behind Khan Academy and promoting Khan Academy nationally, driving additional hits to that website. And we believe in doing that we’re not only going to give kids and families access to this content… but drive larger broadband adoption in America.”

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Olympics to Stream Live on Yahoo via NBC Deal? Not Quite

    NBCUniversal extended its pact with Yahoo to promote live-streaming access to the 2014 Olympic Winter Games — but you’ll still need a cable or satellite TV subscription to watch the bulk of the action from Sochi, Russia.

    The Peacock’s deal with Yahoo is aimed at driving pay-TV users to log in to, where they will be able to access live streams of all 98 Winter Olympic events for the first time. All told, NBCU’s digital platforms will offer more than 1,000 hours of live content over the 18 days of the Olympic Winter Games Feb. 7-23 from Sochi, more than double that of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

    Cord-cutters need not apply: Almost none of the Winter Olympics live-streamed events will be available without a pay-TV subscription.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Viggle Tries to Bulk Up Its Social TV Business by Buying Wetpaint

    Viggle, the company that rewards people for watching TV shows, has bought Wetpaint, a Facebook-centric publisher that specializes in writing about TV shows.

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ron Miller: DRM has always been a horrible idea
    And there’s mounting evidence that it’s counterproductive

    A recent report found that when you remove digital rights management from albums, revenue actually increases. TorrentFreak reports that music revenue increased 10% on general content and 30% on what it called long-tail content — proving that buyers don’t like it when you place restrictions on content.

    Back in the ’90s, probably about the time Napster surfaced, it suddenly occurred to executives in the entertainment industry that they might have to confront this Internet thing. But they feared this new distribution channel too much to embrace it, and instead they sought to control it with digital rights management (DRM).

    Movie studios and record companies were already regretting the digitization of their content. For them, CDs and DVDs were bad enough, allowing for perfect digital copies, but the Internet was much worse: a channel through which people could share these digital copies and bypass the entertainment companies altogether.

    Reactionary fear just seems to come natural to the entertainment industry. It had feared cassette tape players (“Mixtapes are stealing our revenue!”). It had feared radio (“Who’s going to buy records when they can hear music all day long for free?”). And of course the movie and television industry had feared cable and VCRs and fought them tooth and nail.

    With that history, it isn’t exactly surprising that entertainment executives didn’t engage the Internet phenomenon with forward thinking. They weren’t about to build distribution networks of their own to battle Napster and its ilk. Instead, they fell back on their default mode, a defensive crouch, and came up with what they thought was a way to control digital distribution by attaching DRM to the digital content they sold.

    It was warped thinking, and it produced bizarre results. Does DRM punish pirates? Not really. The people it hurts most are the entertainment giants’ paying customers.

    And the content could be stolen because, of course, DRM, like all technology, could be broken. This effort to use brute force to control the uncontrollable was doomed to fail, but the entertainment industry seemed incapable of even imagining that it could find a way to take advantage of the best distribution platform the world has ever known.

    Is it any closer to seeing the truth today? A few enlightened executives might be, but for the most part, the entertainment companies are still obsessed with control.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Facebook to Sell Video Ads

    Facebook Inc. FB +0.92% will begin selling video advertisements later this week, according to people familiar with the matter.

    The ads, which will play automatically in users’ news feeds, may help Facebook capture a share of the $66.4 billion advertisers are expected to spend on U.S. television this year.

    Facebook plans to make the announcement Tuesday and the ads will begin Thursday on users’ feeds both on the Web and on smartphones, the people familiar with the matter said.

    Many advertisers had hoped Facebook would begin selling ads in time for the holiday shopping season but Facebook delayed a launch fearing ads could annoy users.

  10. Tomi says:

    Amazon commits to 4K Ultra HD
    All new shows will be filmed at 8.3MP

    ONLINE BOOKSELLER and entertainment company Amazon has announced that it will invest in TV programming in 2014 to be filmed in 4K Ultra HD format.

    Amazon has become the second streaming service to make such a pledge following a similar announcement by Netflix. In 2014, all original TV programming from Amazon Studios including the five drama and comedy productions previously announced will be originated in 4K Ultra HD.

    “As a premium original content creator, we’re excited about 4K and the future of Ultra HD technology, particularly as we move into drama series next year,” said Amazon Studios director Roy Price.

    “All of the pilots and series we produce next year will be shot in 4K.”

    Ultra HD is roughly 8.3MP, or a 3,840×2,160 resolution screen. So far there has been no indication from Amazon’s UK streaming service Lovefilm as to whether it will broadcast these series in Ultra HD.

  11. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung opens its HomeSync streaming box to HTC, Sony and LG devices!p94mu

    Not wanting to be left out of the content syncing race to reshape entertainment in the living room, Samsung has announced that its HomeSync service is being made available to other, non-Samsung Android devices.

    HomeSync is essentially an Android TV streaming box that syncs content from tablets and smartphones to TVs. The Jelly Bean-powered box launched in October, priced at $299, and, beyond simply streaming, it provides 1TB of storage for content.

    With Google’s Chromecast picking up plaudits for enabling easy device-to-TV streaming, Samsung is opening its own product to a wider audience.

  12. Tomi Engdahl says:

    MTV and DNA in close co-operation: HD broadcasting antenna and TV channels to mobile

    The media company MTV and operator DNA have signed a partnership agreement that allows the MTV broadcast will be available to mobile devices in Finland. In the future, customers residing in the homes of the antenna are also able to follow MTV’s channels in HD quality.

    Information on the companies that primarily arise from advances have changed people’s spending patterns. MTV and DNA will endeavor to respond to consumer demand by importing the contents for easy viewing in all distribution channels and devices.

    MTV’s basic channels have been around the end of November followed on mobile devices DNA Welho MatkaTV service. In the spring of service will also be introduced on MTV’s pay sports channels.

    MatkaTV service is available for iOS and Android smartphones and tablets as well as computers.


  13. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TVkaistasta precedent? Collecting societies are driving the reform of network storage services legislation

    Copyright organizations , broadcasters and operators, representatives of the left of Education and Culture to the Ministry of the joint initiative of television programs, online storage services, suitable for the license agreement to adjust the Copyright Act , Kopiosto News .

    Online storage services have been widely discussed in the public , among other things TVkaista service of the trial . The new license agreement with the corresponding type of service provide a clear guide for policy makers .

    The initiative is historic because for the first time broadcasters , operators and copyright organizations submit a joint proposal for a solution for television programs, network storage to improve our services .

    Conclusion is based on well-defined license agreement and between the parties to negotiate directly.

    According to the release proposal to support domestic content production and employment , as well as to meet consumer demand to watch TV content to official transmission periods. In addition, the solution to promote the availability of content rapidly globalizing field.


  14. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Ask Slashdot: Can Digital Music Replace Most Instrumental Musicians?

    “Most instrumental music used today in television commercials, background sounds and themes even on the majority of produced shows comes from completely digital composers who produce the product through digitized instrument samples. This has almost eliminated the need for real human instrumental musicians. For many listeners this makes no difference, as such music is essentially background in nature and does not need to have a true musical interaction with a listening audience at all. The same thing applies to the waves of digital music produced for things like raves.”

  15. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Electronic dance music: What happens when the dancing stops?

    “Lose yourself to dance,” the high-voiced singer-producer instructs on an anthemic disco number from Daft Punk’s smash summer album Random Access Memories. And, on Robin Thicke’s balmy, cowbell-clanking chart-topper Blurred Lines, it is Williams who implores, “Everybody get up.”

    We are up. Electronic dance music (EDM) is having its North American moment. The machine-made movement that began with writhing club-set raves and then invaded major pop festivals

    sizzling spectacles and audio-visual cavalcades at super-duper clubs and wild mega-fests

    The one thing missing? Dance. No one’s moving as the floors get more jammed.

    Or maybe they do, but their senses are being overloaded. With so much to look at now, dance fests are beginning to resemble stand-and-stare rock concerts.

    Too big to fail? Hardly. The disco craze of the 1970s, which crashed when things got too big, is a cautionary tale for EDM. “Satisfaction came in the chain reaction,” the Trammps sang in Disco Inferno back then. “I couldn’t get enough, so I had to self-destruct.”

  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Retrotechtacular: Films Used to Be Recorded on Film

    We’re sure that this title makes some readers itch because there are still a number of well-respected directors who insist on shooting with film rather than digital, but the subject of this week’s Retrotechtacular shows a portion of the movie industry that has surely been relegated to life-support in the past few decades. Photo finishing, once the stronghold of chemical processes used by all to develop their photographs, has become virtually non-existent. This is the story of how film and photo finishing drove cinema for much of its life.

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The business of being Britney Spears

    Britney Spears is 32 years old and already the pop singer is worth over $200 million. Christine Romans looks at how one of the most successful pop icons made her money.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    No One Buys Music on the Web Anymore. Except When They Buy a Million Beyonce Albums in Five Days.

    Sales of music downloads, which were supposed to rescue the music business from the decline of the CD, have been flattening for a few years. Then things got worse: This year, digital sales were down 4 percent through Thanksgiving.

    Lots of people assume that download sales are slumping because more people are listening to streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, but it’s hard to prove that thesis out. As Billboard notes, there are a lot of reasons for sales to slump.

    And then it turns out that people will still buy digital downloads, in record numbers. Sometimes.

    Last week, as you may have heard, Beyonce surprised the pop culture universe by releasing a new album without warning or fanfare, exclusively on iTunes. Three days later, Apple had sold a record 828,773 copies of the eponymous album, which came paired with a set of digital videos but wasn’t available as individual tracks.

    During the peak of the CD era, it was routine for acts like NSync to move more than a million albums in a week, but those days are long gone.

  19. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Google Glass Face Recognition App Coming This Month, Whether Google Likes It Or Not

    Since Google Glass first appeared, its potential for facial recognition has been seen either as a privacy nightmare or as one of the headset’s first truly intriguing uses. Google has declared itself in the first camp. Stephen Balaban is in the second, and he’s about to share his vision with Glassheads everywhere, whether Google likes it or not.

    At the Chaos Communications Congress hacker conference in Hamburg later this month, 24-year-old Balaban and his startup Lambda Labs plan to release an unauthorized app for Glass that allows users to collect and catalog images of faces seen through its lens, along with other recognizable objects ranging from computer screens to license plates. The app, which Balaban is calling FaceRec, will give Glass-wearers the ability to integrate that data with location coordinates to create a map of who or what the user saw when and where. And on Friday Monday, Lambda Labs will also begin taking pre-orders for an Android-based, Glass-like device it’s calling the Lambda Hat, a $255 camera-enabled cap designed to be even better suited for that always-on computer vision.

  20. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Hulu’s positive 2013: $1B in revenue & 5M paid subscribers

    New Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins just posted a report that shows revenue grew to upward of $1 billion for 2013, which is up significantly from $695 million in 2012. Its paid Hulu Plus subscription service also hit 5 million subscribers, up about a million since April.

    The news comes after a turbulent year for the streaming video site

    The year also saw the second failed attempt by Hulu owners (21 Century Fox, Disney, and Comcast) to sell the company for around $2 billion.

    “When you think about the fact that Hulu first launched out of beta in 2008, it’s quite an impressive feat to scale the business from zero to $1 billion over the course of just six years,” Hopkins wrote.

    Yet advertising is a huge part of Hulu’s business strategy.

  21. Tomi Engdahl says:

    ‘Hatching Twitter’ Book Optioned For TV Show Development By Lionsgate

    New York Times’ columnist Nick Bilton’s book Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, on the dramatic origins of Twitter, has been optioned by Lionsgate for production as a TV show. Bilton will write the screenplay and get producer credits.

  22. Tomi Engdahl says:

    NPR’s $10 Million Digital Bet

    Even though its broadcast ratings remain steady, NPR (National Public Radio) is making moves to become more of a tech player in order to stay relevant in the mobile media era. That’s why NPR is putting nearly $10 million toward the creation of a new Web and mobile platform due out in 2014.

    Despite having created several show-specific apps, NPR’s mission of merging national and regional public radio “has not really been realized on digital platforms,” Zach Brand, NPR’s head of digital media told Digiday.

    NPR redesigned its website in August so it would better render on different devices. Now it wants a content platform to live on those screens, as well. The first stage of that rollout will be a new NPR app released sometime next year

    The platform will be built to work on all desktop and mobile devices

    The move is not so much about financial survival as it is about NPR’s desire to maintain its listenership as audio goes mobile.

    “Putting more power and control in the users’ hands over the listening experience has not been something that’s been provided so far by public radio,” Brand said. “And, of course, we’re starting to increasingly see a number of players working in this space.”

    Indeed, public radio podcasts dominate Apple’s iTunes podcast charts.

  23. Tomi Engdahl says:

    TOM & ISSY – A Roger Michell Film Starring Ellie Goulding

    Shot entirely on a Nokia Lumia 1020.
    Audio recorded with an external mic.
    Video edited on Final Cut Pro.

  24. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Music Tech: Top tech gadgets for music enthusiasts
    Apps, gizmos, and programs that musicians can add to their cache of tools

    Let’s check out some totally rad products for musicians.

  25. Joye1968 says:

    vines funny videos

  26. Tomi Engdahl says:

    What Streaming Music Can Be
    Getting past the breadth of Spotify’s catalog to more meaningful connections with the music

    One gift that I won’t be giving to loved ones this holiday season is music, sadly. In the age of streaming services like Spotify and Pandora, music has become so readily available that it’s lost its thingness, that meaning and scarcity that makes wrapping it up and stashing it under a tree special.

    I know it’s possible to give a subscription to Spotify, say, as a gift, but somehow that’s not the same as a record or compact disc that has been sought out and acquired and then becomes owned, an object to be kept and identified with oneself.

    Physical media’s ship has sailed, though, and I’m certainly not making a case for its restoration. Streaming music is clearly here to stay.

  27. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Researchers Hack Webcam While Disabling Warning Lights

    If you’re sitting at your computer reading this, smile, you could be on camera. Actually, don’t smile.

    Last week, researchers at Johns Hopkins University’s Department of Computer Science showed off an exploit that allows a hacker to take over some MacBook computers and activate their Web cameras without the users’ knowledge.

    The webcam hacking technique, first reported by The Washington Post, is said to be similar to a tactic used to spy on Cassidy Wolf, a 19-year-old Miss Teen USA, who fell victim to a webcam hacker earlier this year.

    The Johns Hopkins paper, titled “iSeeYou: Disabling the MacBook Webcam Indicator LED,” explains how the researchers were able to reprogram an iSight camera’s microcontroller to activate the recording functions and LED activation lights independently to spy on someone without giving that person any idea that the computer camera is in use.

  28. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Non-Linux FOSS: Let’s Make Music Together

    Just because you’re not on Linux doesn’t mean you can’t have awesome open-source tools.

    If you’re a Windows user who wants to dabble in sheet music, but can’t afford something like “Finale”, MuseScore is right up your alley. If you’re a musician who wants to give back, please join the community of users and contribute some of your music. To see how MuseScore is helping blind musicians, check out Katherine Druckman’s article.

  29. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Airtame wants to mirror (almost) any screen to any other screen
    Crowdfunded project also promises to open its code for tinkerers to play.

    The product from the six-person Danish team takes the form of an HDMI dongle that plugs into any HDMI-capable display, and it’s combined with an application that you install on your computer. The HDMI dongle makes itself available on your LAN via Wi-Fi, and the Airtame app automatically picks up the dongle and lets you either mirror or extend your computer’s display onto the Airtame-attached screen. The fun isn’t limited to HDMI-equipped displays, either—the app also lets users mirror or extend one computer’s display and audio onto another’s without requiring any hardware at all.

    Additionally, the Airtame application can create a “public stream,” where one computer’s screen (and audio) can be viewed from multiple computers running the Airtame app. The public streaming works via multicast on a LAN, and it can also unicast to remote displays on different network segments—or, potentially, over the Internet.

    The main differentiating factor between Airtame and other screen mirroring solutions already available is that it works with (and in between) Windows, OS X, and Linux. The application will be available on all three operating systems so any one can push content to the dongle; additionally, any computer with the Airtame app installed can send or receive from any other computer running it, regardless of host operating system.

    Airtame uses to accomplish this is more sophisticated than existing platform-agnostic remote-view products like VNC. Instead of sending sections or slices of framebuffer, Airtame transmits an h.264 video stream of the host system’s screen. Unlike other streaming solutions like Miracast, though, Airtame eschews Wi-Fi Direct and instead sticks with standard Wi-Fi, allowing it to function as a standard network host—and do a few other tricks, as well.

    The Airtame dongle itself is running a modified version of Raspbian, a customized Linux distro based on Debian.

    The big “but”

    There’s one big problem, though: Airtame does all kinds of mirroring to and from the desktop, but it doesn’t support mirroring from or to smartphones or tablets.

    “We see huge demand for that—it has been one of the biggest demands from the campaign,” said Airtame CEO Jonas Gyalokay. “But we are constrained by the manufacturers to actually allow the screencast of smart devices to our dongle.”

    “You need system permissions,” elaborated Sukosd. “You can’t do it from a normal app.” Rather than deliver browser tab sharing like the Chromecast, the Airtame crew wants to be able to offer full screen sharing of a mobile device, and at least for now, this isn’t possible. Sukosd went on to explain that this is because Airtame would need access to the device’s framebuffer in order to compress and stream its contents, and that’s not possible—at least, not without action on the user’s part.

    “Technically it’s possible with jailbreaking or rooting, but obviously, we can’t support that,” he said.

    Mirroring an Airtame-equipped PC onto an iOS or Android device would be possible through the use of an app, but at this stage in development Airtame is focusing purely on desktop and laptop screen sharing.

    The Airtame application and the HDMI dongle’s firmware image will both be open sourced (likely under the GPL or a GPL-like license, though that hasn’t yet been decided) as the product enters its beta test stage. Right now, that’s slated to begin around late February or March of 2014. “We’re actually going to open source both of them and the protocol specification,” explained Sukosd.

    “We will actually add a dual license on the software,” Gyalokay continued. “For personal use, you can take the software and you can hack around on it and stuff, but if you want to use it in commercial ways you have to license the software from us.”

  30. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Netflix predicts a busy Christmas of TV and movie streaming
    Gonna be lonely this Xmas, with everyone in their rooms

    TELLY ON DEMAND SERVICE Netflix says over half of all Brits are likely to indulge in some festive viewing this Christmas holiday, and that a decent whack of them will sidle off to do it on their own.

    These on-our-own-anists will have had enough of their families, the firm says, and will sneak off to their bedrooms for “respite”. Netflix says that 45 percent of the “average Brits” polled will endure three hours of family time before popping off to watch an episode of Breaking Bad or something.

    “It seems we are using technology as bit of [an] escape hatch, grabbing a portable device and a bit of time out from the family Christmas pressure cooker, as well as a way of bringing the family together.”

    For 58 percent of people, however, the gathering together to watch a film or a TV show is the highlight of their Christmas Day.

  31. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Samsung unveils a 105in bent UHD TV in the run up to CES
    Claims to be the “most curved” TV yet

    KOREAN HARDWARE COBBLER Samsung has announced it will launch what it claims is the “world’s first” 105in ultra-high definition (UHD) curved screen TV at CES 2014 in Las Vegas next month.

  32. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Apple’s iPod continues to lead an ever-shrinking market of portable media players
    By Shane Cole

    For the dwindling segment of consumers who are either not interested in having an app ecosystem on their music player or for whom raw capacity is the paramount concern, the iPod remains the overwhelming favorite, according to new data provided to AppleInsider.

    Apple commands a staggering 72 percent of the market for standalone music players, NPD research analyst Benjamin Arnold recently told AppleInsider, though the overall size of that market continues to contract amidst cannibalization from smartphones — the last twelve months alone have seen it shrink by 33 percent.

    Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has never been afraid of reducing demand for one of its devices by creating demand for another, an attitude that permeates the company’s executive ranks. Former Chief Executive Steve Jobs was famously quoted as saying, “if we don’t cannibalize ourselves, someone else will.”

    As early as 2009, the company indicated that it knew iPhone growth would come at the expense of the traditional iPod business

    The fitness market, then, may represent the floor for Apple’s more diminutive music players. Arnold says a recent growth spurt in fitness-oriented headphones — even traditionally high-end audio firm Bose now makes a “sport” set — is a sign that the market is alive and well, and it may be large enough to feed both the iPod and iPhone machines.

    Arnold believes the growing high-quality audio trend may trigger the device’s resurgence as an attractive option for audiophiles.

    Lossless, high-quality tracks require considerably larger swaths of storage real estate than their MP3- or AAC-encoded brethren.

  33. Tomi Engdahl says:

    AOL Finalizing Talks To Sell Winamp And Shoutcast, No Shutdown Expected On Dec. 20

    AOL is finalizing negotiations to sell off Winamp and Shoutcast in a deal that would allow both products to live on, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.

    TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden reported that Microsoft was in talks to buy both Winamp and Shoutcast, another media streaming service that AOL owns through its acquisition of Nullsoft way back in 1999.

    My source did not identify the potential buyer, but they said the deal was close enough that they’re “confident” that an agreement will be reached.

  34. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Throwable 36-Camera Ball Nearly Ready To Toss

    “About 2 years ago, Jonas Pfeil, created a Throwable Panorama Ball: A rugged, grapefruit-sized ball with 36 fixed-focus, 2-megapixel digital camera sensors that capture simultaneously when thrown in the air, creating a full spherical panorama of the surrounding scene. Now, an Indiegogo campaign aims to produce the the camera (Now known as Panono) available for about $500.”

  35. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Big Buck Bunny

    In 2008 the Blender Foundation made Big Buck Bunny and released all the files under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license for everyone to learn from and play with. Originally the movie was only rendered for standard HD screens. Now it has been re-rendered in cinema quality 4k HDRI, 60 fps, 3D stereo.

  36. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Wireless SD Card Connects Any Digital Camera to a Smart Device

    Snapping pictures is easy and fun, but the smartphone camera is seldom adequate for truly great shots. If you want the features of a digital camera, you compromise file mobility/connectivity for quality pictures.

    Eye-Fi has a problem with this compromise and is dedicated to moving those professional shots between devices and the web in convenient ways. Its latest method uses a device called a Mobi, which can slide into the SDHC port on your camera and create its own WiFi signal that can be picked up by a smartphone or tablet. Using this wireless signal, users can move pictures taken with a digital camera to other devices.

    The 8Gb and 16Gb Mobi cards have a WiFi range of 45 feet indoors and 90 feet outdoors.

    Eye-Fi website lets you search for your brand and model to see if it is compatible. If you’re looking for a new digital camera, there are some Eye-Fi Connected cameras that provide improved experience using the Mobi.

  37. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Has the bubble burst? Is that why camera sales in N. America are down by 43%?

    DSLR sales are down this year, worldwide, by 18.5% according to CIPA. The total decline in the entire dedicated camera market is closer to 43.5% and mirrorless cameras are seeing about the same year to year decline as traditional DSLRs. Why?

    I think there are two reasons driving this incredible decline. Two bubble bursting phenomena occurring on top of each other. The obvious first cause is the rampant replacement of point and shoot cameras of all flavors and varieties with smart phones and their built in cameras. The advantages to smart phones are size, constant (annoyingly constant) access, multi-task tool set, and the ability to send your images, electronically, to an audience just about anywhere in the world. What’s not to like about that? You must pay for a plan so you have a vested interest in maximizing the potential of the tool anyway.

    Interesting that we are just now seeing cameras with full operating systems like Android while smart phones have been vested with operating systems since the first rev of iOS. In some demographics that gave the phone a big head start over conventional cameras because owners could populate the phone/camera with a huge range of “apps” which expanded the usability of the phones as photography tools. This capability arrived (in a very, very primitive form) in the Sony Nex cameras last year and is set to arrive in a more mature fashion with the intro of the Samsung Galaxy NX camera running Android, this Fall.

    As you can imagine point and shoot cameras represent(ed) a huge part of the total camera market and for many years were the bread and butter financial foundation that made it possible for DSLRs to exist at the price points they occupied. Now the market is being effectively gutted. Gone. Non-existent.

    Another interesting number to emerge from CIPA is the total sales of mirrorless system cameras in N. America. In the last year the makers of these little gems have sold slightly fewer than 39,000 units. Total.

    But cellphones have been gently eroding the market for the past four years. Why the swift and sudden plunge of conventional cameras over the cliff? My take? The vast majority of buyers of all cameras, DSLR’s, mirror less, high end compacts, etc. were hobbyists and amateur photographers who, after years of pursuing some sort of competence in the craft have come to the conclusion that the whole art genre of photography is somewhat of a dead end. There’s no real cheese at the end of the imaging tunnel.

    In the early days, when images were being uploaded only in the low millions per day there was a chance to stand out from the average, struggling amateur and really show off one’s chops. But as the faucet was removed from the plumbing and the pipes started delivering at full and accelerating capacity every day the sheer quantity of images became absolutely overwhelming and impossible to sort and parse.

    Like any trend this one grew slowly at first and then accelerated to its tipping point and started the precipitous slide into ambivalence around the end of last year (2012). That was the time frame when I started hearing from my non-professional friends (but very competent photographers) about their hobby ennui. They were fully equipped but uninspired to move forward.

    Part of the technical race came to a (maybe temporary) end. The proofs of quality that showed the equation of mastery were handed in and graded and that part of the course was over. See how big I can print this? See how sharp it is?

    What finally happened? How did the skirmish resolve? I think the camera makers shot themselves in the foot. When the only way to get super high resolution at first was to drop $5,000 to $8,000 on a professional camera body the technographers had the understanding that high resolution was rare and costly and something to be pursued. And mastered. When you could buy a Nex 7 at 24 megapixels that could go toe to toe with a Canon 1DS mk3 in terms of sharpness and resolution for nearly one sixth the price the pursuit of the precious was shaken. When the 24 megapixel sensors got rolled out into a $600 Nikon body the curtain was pulled open and we could see that performance was now on sale at Target prices and everyone was free to share the same basic benefits no matter what their tenure in the technical trenches. And when everyone is special….no one is.

    I think amateur and pro alike realize that most of the race is over; at least how the race was understood as an analogy to analog. By which I mean, “How can I match and exceed the quality of conventional metrics that we used to get from medium format film.” There’s nothing else pressing to solve, technically.

    Now all the cameras that are coming out in the hobbyist, enthusiast, semi-pro and pro markets are equally good at exceeding all the measuring metrics that the coalesced hive have set down for “good enough.” The engineering idea is that we’ve hit the sweet spot and to go for a Six Sigma improvement would be costly and unnecessary.

    Instead of workshops on how to do stuff (step by step, recipes) the new workshops will be on finding that magic spark that motivates you and makes you want to create for the sake of creation

  38. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Franken-Monitor – Behold It Lives Again!

    A few months ago my laptop died – some form of motherboard fault

    First Stage was to get a driver kit

    This came from a seller by the name of njytouch in China – got to say there were no complaints in dealing with them – they confirmed the LCD type quickly, the goods came quickly

  39. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

    The 48 FPS 3D movie was shipped to some theaters via a standard SATA hard drive. It was shipped with a security code that prevented the content from being viewed or copied until the code was released by the distributor about 24 hours in advance of the initial release time of the movie. The 48 fps 3D version of the movie occupied 639 GB of data on the SATA Hard drive. The theater in question could have downloaded the entire movie via a secure satellite link, but the download would have taken more than a full 24 hours. Given that 96 frames per second are required for the 3D picture (48 fps for each eye), the data size for each frame for each eye is about .66 mb (mega bytes).

  40. Tomi Engdahl says:

    HBO Still Doesn’t Get It: Game of Thrones Again the Most Torrented Show

    Three seasons in and Game of Thrones still continues to set records — both legitimate and otherwise. After hitting ratings milestones earlier this year, it now has yet another accomplishment to boast about: the most pirated show of 2013.

    This latest honor comes via TorrentFreak, which found that the Season 3 finale of the show had 5.9 million downloads via BitTorrent, beating other shows like Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead by large margins. However, the fact that millions of people are pirating Game of Thrones really isn’t the story here — or, if it is, it’s not a new one. What bears examining is the extent to which that piracy is a direct product of HBO’s policies — and the network’s staunch refusal to budge in the face of mounting evidence that their policy of avoiding third-party distribution to reinforce the value of their product is accomplishing just the opposite.

    For the last decade evidence has mounted that, while some measure of media piracy is inevitable, it thrives on inconvenience: given the means, viewers will generally pay for a legitimate source, but only if they can get to it more easily than an illegal one. That’s the backbone of services like iTunes and Netflix: making those transactions easy and, critically, fast.

    With a show like Game of Thrones, the impetus to piracy is twofold. First, access:
    unless you subscribe to HBO, there’s no legal way to get to Game of Thrones before it’s out on DVD

    Second, timeliness: conversations around entertainment have moved from the water cooler to the internet. Given the global conversation around each new episode of Game of Thrones, the week-long lag between domestic and international release is an inexcusable offset.

  41. box online storage says:

    These days of austerity in addition to relative stress and anxiety about having debt, lots of people balk up against the idea of using a credit card to make purchase of merchandise or perhaps pay for any occasion, preferring, instead just to rely on the tried along with trusted approach to making repayment – cash. However, if you’ve got the cash there to make the purchase in whole, then, paradoxically, that is the best time for them to use the credit card for several reasons.

  42. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit was the most pirated film of 2013
    One third of a book is one heck of a hit

    A FILM based on one third of a book that includes a song about washing up was the most pirated movie of 2013.

    That film is The Hobbit, a long film about short people, according to Torrentfreak, which has compiled a list of the most commonly downloaded firms of the past 12 months.

    Although it was popular on Bittorrent, The Hobbit is not the highest grossing film through movie industry channels, but Iron Man 3 is. Iron Man 3 was the fourth most popular download, with 7.6 million Bittorrents counted.

    According to Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) digital services, that is, the more legitimate options, are driving up hard copy sales and consumption.

    It found that last year the UK games, video and music market was worth £5.4bn, a four percent increase against £5.1bn in 2012.

    “This is a stunning result after at least five years of decline. Retailers have invested hundreds of millions of pounds in new digital services and these numbers suggest the public is responding in their droves,” said ERA director general Kim Bayley.

    “The big picture growth story in entertainment is clearly digital, but the success of Blu-ray and – most astonishingly vinyl – demonstrates that physical formats can still flourish when they are able to offer something distinctive,” added Bayley.

  43. Tomi Engdahl says:

    DIY WiFi Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Camera

    Make your own Cloud-connected point-and-shoot camera

    This project explores the Adafruit PiTFT touchscreen and the Raspberry Pi camera board to create a simple point-and-shoot digital camera. One can optionally use WiFi and Dropbox (a cloud file storage and synchronization service) to automatically transfer photos to another computer for editing.

    This isn’t likely to replace your digital camera (or even phone-cam) anytime soon…it’s a simplistic learning exercise and not a polished consumer item…but as the code is open source, you or others might customize it into something your regular camera can’t do.

    DIY WiFi Raspberry Pi Touchscreen Camera

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