On March 5 Apple dropped a small bombshell on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body, excluding one of its patents from the W3C Royalty-Free License commitment of the W3C Patent Policy for Widgets 1.0. The patent in question covers automatic updates to a client computer in a networked operating environment.
The announcement has generated no apparent response, yet could portend serious consequences. The Apple exclusion could mean that a W3C standard on widgets (or, really, any standard in the Web Application Group) at W3C that uses or includes something which touches this patent will either need to … Read more
At Sony's line show today in Las Vegas, the company announced another new line of HDTVs with Yahoo widgets, the company's least-expensive HDTVs yet to feature the interactive doo-dads.
The KDL-W5100 series will consist of three screen sizes: the 52-inch KDL-52W5100, 46-inch KDL-46W5100, and 40-inch KDL-40W5100. Sony did not announce pricing or availability beyond "spring," and that information was not leaked along with other Sony HDTVs' price and availability.
Successor to last year's KDL-W4100 series, which performed relatively well in our review, the W5100 models' big improvement is Yahoo widgets. According to Sony, the widgets "expand and personalize the experience by allowing you to interact with your favorite Internet content like Yahoo News, Video, Finance, and Flickr while watching TV shows. Track your favorite sports team, check your stocks, and share photos with friends and family as you watch television."
Next week Sony will hold its annual spring line show detailing new product rollouts for 2009 and supplementing its CES 2009 HDTV announcements with specifics like pricing and availability. A couple days early, HDGuru.com has an article spelling out pricing for a number of Sony's new lines of Bravia-branded LCD TVs.
On a series-by-series basis, the Guru also provides advice to shoppers facing the inevitable question of whether to buy now while the deals on 2008 models are very good, or wait for the '09 versions to come out. In general, given the price difference and closeout deals on '08 versions, he advises shoppers to get a good deal now and not wait. We tend to agree, at least for folks who don't care about Yahoo Widgets or 240Hz.
The Guru leaked prices and estimated release dates for most of the series below. Pricing is listed as MAP, Sony's estimated street price.… Read more
Just in time for Groundhog Day, I pulled together a small collection of desktop weather applications for checking everything from current weather conditions to 15-day forecasts and detailed readings on wind and clouds. For those with modest forecast needs, Yahoo and Google both offer a small, attractive widget that shows the temperature at a glance. The only problem is, you have to have already installed a much larger desktop application in order to get the tiny widget.
While I got a little steamed at the Author's Guild, and Natali essentially admitted she's a runaway bride, the big event in this show is the possessed computer. It appears some 404 friends of guest Jeff Bakalar monkeyed with Nat's computer during the show. Unprofessional, I say! We will get to the bottom of this.Listen now: Download today's podcast EPISODE 909
New CNET widgets http://www.cnet.com/widgets/
Report: Sirius XM preparing to file for bankruptcy http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/10/report-sirius-xm-preparing-to-file-for-bankruptcy/ http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10161185-93.html
Authors Guild upset with … Read more
Alloy Media, a company that provides youth-focused online content, announced Wednesday that it has acquired Takkle.com, an online resource and college recruitment site for high school sports. According to the company, Takkle will join the Teen.com Network, which includes a number of youth-focused sites. Takkle provides tools for high school athletes to create player and team profiles, as well as share videos and photos from games. It claims to draw a monthly audience of "1 million athletes, both male and female." The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Even if you're not one to trust a groundhog's shadow as your weather vane, watching a pet rodent emerge from a hole before hundreds of onlookers is a fascinating North American ritual. The rest of us may not have the prognosticating meteorological savvy of a Punxsutawney Phil, Buckeye Chuck, or Shubenacadie Sam, but on February 2, we can have the next best thing--weather widgets and applications.
Here are some of our favorite ways to read the mercury on our Windows PCs.
The television category is a perennial CES staple and this year was no different. For some reason nobody showed a TV bigger than Panasonic's 150-inch plasma from last year (have we maxed out in flat-panel screen size?), but most of the other trends I discussed in the preview were borne out in the show's extensive announcements. Here's my take on what CES 2009 bodes for HDTV this year.
Plasma ain't dead yet. I get more than my share of e-mails, and have seen plenty of blog comments and forum posts that are quick to claim the demise of plasma at the hands of LCD. Judging from CES announcements by companies that comprise the "big three" of plasma--Panasonic, LG and Samsung--those big glass flat panels have a brighter future than Detroit, at least.
Panasonic, by far the biggest and most-committed of the group, bragged about its newest plasma factory (No. 5) coming online, and showed its largest plasma lineup ever, with five new series and a new 54-inch screen size. I'm really excited to review the company's new "NEO PDP" panels, the first of which, members of the S1 series, will ship in March. They boast significantly improved black-level performance and contrast ratios, according to the company, yet manage to cut power consumption in half. If the latter claim proves true, LCD will lose perhaps its biggest arrow in the antiplasma quiver (at least among consumers who care about the planet and are savvy enough to ignore the nonissues).
Absent any announcements by Pioneer (which will come in late spring, most likely), Panasonic's G10 series is probably the surest bet for Editors' Choice of any TV I saw at the show. That's why I awarded it Best of CES in the TV category. In case you're wondering, however, all of the Neo PDP panels, including the least-expensive S1, share the same basic picture-quality specs.… Read more
Sony has gone Yahoo "widget"-happy with its TV lineup for 2009, incorporating the Internet-enabled doodads into two of the series announced at CES.
Described as "Internet applications...that deliver real-time information" in the press release, widgets "expand and personalize the TV experience by adding on-screen applications that provide such real-time information as weather reports, stock ticker updates, financial news, Yahoo! Video, Flickr images, and additional content."
The three-model "Z-series," which consists of the 40-inch KDL-40Z5100, the 46-inch KDL-46Z5100, and the 52-inch KDL-46Z5100, will be available in the spring for yet-to-be-determined prices. … Read more