What was arguably the biggest story of CES 2008 occurred three days before the show actually opened for business: Warner Home Video went Blu-ray exclusive, leaving just Paramount and Universal (and smaller DreamWorks) as exclusive HD DVD content partners. Indeed, in the days since, the issue of those studios following Warner's lead seems to be one of when, not if. Blu-ray seems on the verge of a complete victory in the HD disc format war to become the high-def successor to DVD. As a result, combo players--including a newly announced model from Samsung--were greeted more by yawns than … Read more
Hot on the heels of the mysterious ordering patent that surfaced late last month, multimedia designer Phil Lu has put together some gorgeous mockup shots of what an ordering system for retail stores would look like using Apple's iPhone. According to Gizmodo, the shots were created before the patent was filed.
The design shows a variety of screens that let you design and customize a drink to order off Starbucks' menu. The system uses a mix of a credit account and a Semacode scanning system similar to the barcodes recently used at several airports to verify passenger boarding passes … Read more
There is a new exploit that affects how Apple QuickTime handles the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) and may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code or cause a denial-of-service attack on a vulnerable system. The condition is similar yet different from a QuickTime RTSP flaw reported in December. This new vulnerability can occur on a fully patched QuickTime version 7.3.1, running on Windows and possibly Mac OS X.
With all the rumors surrounding Macworld, it's difficult to sift through those possibilities that could actually come true and those that are pure rubbish. And while I don't think I have all the answers, it seems more and more likely that some of the expectations some of us have for Steve next week may not come true.
As it stands, most people are saying that iTunes movie rentals will become a reality next week and an ultraportable Mac is in the works. Still others believe Jobs will revamp the Apple TV and some people believe he'll refresh the entire MacBook line. As for me? I'll tell you what he should (and shouldn't) do when he takes the stage next week.… Read more
A few days after I criticized Sony BMG for missing the point of DRM-free music--it's about convenience, which isn't served by forcing customers to walk into stores and buy cards and redeem them online--they proved me wrong by agreeing to release their catalog for sale on Amazon's DRM-free MP3 store. That means you'll be able to buy and download just about any song from Amazon and play it on any software or device. Let's hear it for universal playback, a mere ten years after the first MP3 player went on sale.
Subscription services like Rhapsody … Read more
Apple has the third week of January all to itself this year, and although it probably won't top last year's Macworld, the company will likely make everyone forget about the Consumer Electronics Show.
Trade shows are a necessary evil in the tech industry. Everyone claims to hate them, but the opportunity to have all the major players in the same town at the same time is too much of a draw. And usually, the parties are decent, leading more than 140,000 business types to CES in Las Vegas this week for a chance to make deals and … Read more
With the new year under way and the holidays on the back burner, CNET's first big coverage extravaganza of 2008 was CES. The annual Consumer Electronics Show, which runs through the end of this week, was predictably brimming with cool gadgets and new technology. Many of our editors were on hand to give their take on all the sleek new products. Check out our extensive coverage of CES here. Though I was jealous to see all of the cool new items coming out of Las Vegas while I remained in San Francisco, I knew the next week would be … Read more
It's a full hand of cards for Amazon: the Web's mega-retailer announced Thursday that it will be selling music from Sony BMG Music Entertainment in its Amazon MP3 store. This means that Amazon MP3, which only sells "naked" tracks without any digital rights management (DRM) protection, now has deals with all four major music labels. Because of the lack of copy protection, any song from Amazon MP3 can play on virtually any media-playing device, from PCs to music players to cell phones and PDAs.
The DRM-free songs from Sony BMG will be available for purchase on … Read more
According to an Apple statement sent out yesterday, Apple will equalize the price of music on its iTunes Stores across Europe within the next six months.
It seems the peeps at Which? weren't satisfied that us Brits were being charged more for music in iTunes than the rest of Europe, so they filed a formal complaint with the U.K.'s Office of Fair Trading, which then contacted the European Commission, which started antitrust proceedings. Apple's decision has satisfied the EC, which will take no further action.
At the moment you have to pay 79 pence (about $1.… Read more
The Macworld Expo starts Tuesday, and I'm sure there are countless people out there who simply don't know what to do with themselves in those long hours until Steve Jobs steps onstage at Moscone Center in San Francisco.
As I sat at my desk this afternoon, pondering my next few days, an e-mail came across about free passes to the show, and for reasons that I can't fully explain, it got me writing a little bit of Macworld haiku.
Sure, it's silly, but then, so what.
So I thought I'd offer mine up and give … Read more