The latest Apple rumor is that the iPhone 3G will soon be replaced by a low-priced 8GB iPhone 3GS. Apparently, Rogers Wireless in Canada sent out a memo that implies the $99 iPhone 3G pricing announced at WWDC earlier this summer was to get rid of inventory to make way for the faster 3GS. Though nobody knows what the price might be on the new iPhone (or even if this rumor is true), it would be exciting to see a smaller 3GS for those who don't need all the space. While we wait to see what the next thing … Read more
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) issued an "office action" Monday rejecting two claims in TiVo's Multimedia Timewarping System (better known as the DVR) patent, the centerpiece of its legal battle with EchoStar.
According to the PTO, its preliminary finding rejects TiVo's patent Claims 31 and 61.
Claim 31 describes "a process for the simultaneous storage and play back of multimedia data." The claim discusses how TiVo's DVR captures video from a broadcast source, stores it in its hard drive, and allows users to play it back at their convenience.
Claim 61 is similar to Claim 31. It describes "an apparatus for the simultaneous storage and play back of multimedia data." The claim discusses how the TiVo handles stored shows and gives users the ability to control them on the device.
The patent itself, which features more than 60 claims, is a blueprint for how TiVo's DVR works. It discusses an "invention (that) allows the user to store selected television broadcast programs while the user is simultaneously watching or reviewing another program. A preferred embodiment of the invention accepts television (TV) input streams in a multitude of forms, for example, National Television Standards Committee (NTSC) or PAL broadcast, and digital forms such as Digital Satellite System (DSS), Digital Broadcast Services (DBS), or Advanced Television Standards Committee (ATSC)."
The patent goes on to explain how TiVo streams content through MPEG video. It gives users the option to put the video into "reverse, fast forward, play, pause, index, fast/slow reverse play, and fast/slow play."
The PTO's preliminary finding is important for EchoStar. It gives it some breathing room as it moves forward after a series of missteps.… Read more
No kid wants to be the one who blends into a crowd. That's why it's important to start young when setting your children up for a lifetime filled with the nostalgic irony that comes with being tragically hip. Of course, they may not like you when they grow older, but that's fashionable too, right?Subscribe with iTunes (audio) Subscribe with iTunes (video) Subscribe with RSS (audio) Subscribe with RSS (video) EPISODE 148
Good Vibrations The Vibrator Museum
A propos (of) nothing Japanese auto-fogging glasses prevent eye strain
What the hell? Microsmores (thanks, Sheala)
Whatever your feelings about Sarah Palin, and I defy any sentient being not to have enjoyed some spontaneous reaction at the sight of her, you must admit she is a little different.
Which, to my mind, is the very definition of art.
So I was both moved and unsurprised to discover that her Twitter feed has been deemed to be poetry and set to music.
On NBC's "Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien," Palin's tweets have been given full artistic recognition.
On Wednesday night's show, "Star Trek" legend William Shatner, accompanied by a … Read more
According to some studies, about a quarter of U.S. motorists send text messages while driving. So why not make it safer?
That's the idea behind an upcoming service from telematics service provider ATX Group. ATX plans to introduce hands-free text messaging by voice.
According to ATX, of Dallas, its system, which uses existing speech-recognition technology, will allow people to dictate customized messages with minimal driver distraction.
Other in-vehicle communications systems read text messages aloud to drivers. And some, such as Ford's Sync, allow drivers to send texts--though only from a menu of scripted messages.
Don't look … Read more
USB drives have become a commodity, and, like other things we have too many of, it's hard to make individuals stand out. That's why I find this Luke Skywalker-getting-maimed USB drive to be doubly awesome: it's my favorite climactic scene from the original trilogy and a bad-ass USB drive to boot (not meaning it's bootable, just meaning...well, you know).
Sure, it may be cumbersome to have to sever the son of Anakin's hand to access your work documents for serious business, but it will always remind you of the sacrifice the young Jedi had … Read more
Update: Entertainment Earth mentioned to me that despite what it says on the box, the bobblehead doesn't talk. But you're free to pretend all you want.
Well, wouldn't you know it, San Diego Comic-Con International (affectionately known as Nerd Prom) is only a few days away, and guess who's mad he's not going?
I tried to console myself by thinking, "Aw, it's probably gonna suck anyway. You won't see anything interesting."
OnStar's suite of Stolen Vehicle Assistance services currently includes GPS technology that pinpoints a stolen vehicle's exact location, and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown, which can remotely slow a stolen vehicle to idle speed. Today, OnStar announces Remote Ignition Block, a new tool that will help law enforcement to safely and quickly recover stolen vehicles.
Remote Ignition Block lets an OnStar adviser send a remote signal to a subscriber's stolen vehicle to prevent the vehicle from being restarted once the ignition is turned off. By killing the ignition, OnStar can make sure that the stolen vehicle remains stationary so … Read more
MBSS Starfields is a stunning program featuring beautiful swirls of colors at your command. However, that command may require a mathematics degree to master. Regardless, it quickly pretties up a display.
The program's interface is regrettably complicated, but does not really need to be dealt with too deeply. The actual screensaver has default settings that should be good enough for most users. Digging deeper to make adjustments, though, is a confusing tangle of geometric and mathematical terminology that will have a limited appeal. The Help file actually does a better job of explaining the scientific principals this program works … Read more