When Canon announced its first pro MPEG-2 codec last February, it was obvious the company was finally readying solid-state products for its professional camcorder line, and, sure enough, the company followed up with a couple of models to supplement/replace its two-year-old HDV models, the XH G1S and XH A1S. The new CompactFlash-friendly XF300 and XF305 offer more compact, but heavier, redesigned bodies with some vastly improved features.
Of course, the main attraction is the move to CompactFlash--they support UDMA--with dual slots. (There's an SDHC slot on the bodies, but that's probably just for transferring settings.) The new … Read more
An investor in Plastic Logic said he was misquoted in a recent report and the e-book reader company is not for sale.
The Financial Times suggests that Plastic Logic backer Hermann Hauser was interested in a buyer for the maker of the yet-to-hit-the-market Que ProReader, quoting Hauser as saying the company was "in very interesting negotiations." However, Hauser said Tuesday that his comments were misconstrued.
"My comments were taken out of context," Hauser said in a statement provided on Tuesday by Plastic Logic. "I was talking about partnerships we are working on, the value of … Read more
Flash video on sites like YouTube is great, but what's even better is saving those videos to your computer to be viewed whenever you want. Save2pc Pro is an easy-to-use program that lets users save files from Flash video sites in a variety of formats. It's not the best such program we've ever seen, but overall, it works fine.
The program's interface is simple and intuitive. Users paste the URL of the desired video into a text box, choose a format and destination folder, and click Download. The program downloads the video and saves it in … Read more
As the world waits for new MacBooks, readers have chimed in with comments ranging from Apple losing its technological edge to the iPad overshadowing the venerable laptop line.
Last week, I offered a combination of both realistic--albeit tame--predictions (e.g., new Intel processors) and more fanciful hopes (built-in 3G) about upcoming MacBooks. In response, readers offered some thoughtful insights and suggestions.
PC rivalry: One reader suggested that Apple is falling too far behind its PC rivals. "While the PC world is already enjoying the fruits of (new Intel) processors (and) Blu-ray...we are still living in the dark ages in the world of computing according to Apple."
Along these lines, another reader asserted that selling aging hardware at relatively high prices amounts to "just calling your customers stupid."
Not surprisingly, some readers disagreed. One person said that because Apple is more prudent about upgrades, there is more stability on the Mac platform. "(Apple) is simply not going to put anything out there unless they can feel confident the consumer will have minimal issues. So far, for me at least, it has been nice not having any of the old PC issues of the past."
iPad overshadowing MacBooks: Some possibly prescient comments were made about the iPad ultimately overshadowing the MacBook. "For some people, the iPad with the basic productivity suites will be all the computing they will ever need, and therefore the low end MacBooks may be affected," said one reader.
Another chimed in: "I can see the iPad and future versions of the concept taking over home computing. Yes, there probably will still be professionals that will continue to need a 'full' laptop but for everyone else I am convinced that the simplicity of the iPad will see it replace the normal MacBook."
Not so fast, according to this reader.… Read more
The idea of combining a USB drive with a Swiss Army Knife-like tool has been around for a while, inspiring the Cyber Snipa Dog Tag back in 2006. Now we have a USB drive that combines Victorinox Swiss Army authenticity and top security.
Victorinox, the company behind the famed Swiss Army Knife, launched on Friday a new memory stick called Victorinox Secure Pro, which it includes as one of the tools within the Knife itself. According to the company, the device is the most secure of its kind that is available to the public.
To achieve this level of safety, … Read more
Those awful glasses may doom 3D TV.
What with all the advances in technology they still haven't eliminated the glasses people have been using to watch 3D movies since the 1920s. "Avatar" and "Alice in Wonderland" may use vastly more refined 3D techniques, but the glasses remain. Some people get headaches, dizzy, or even nauseated watching 3D. There are exceptions, but most 3D films haven't matured past the gimmick stage.
No matter how you look at it, 3D TV is an expensive proposition. You'll need to buy a new Blu-ray player, new TV, and possibly a new receiver. Oh, and don't forget to factor in the cost for extra 3D glasses for family and friends.
Worse yet, after you've made the substantial investment in new hardware there's not a lot of 3D content to buy or see. Put those bucks in better-sounding speakers, and you'll have a vast assortment of choices to dazzle your ears right away. Surround sound may be imperfect, but you can hear it with just your own two ears; no special "ear goggles" are required.
So instead of investing in 3D TV, take those dollars and buy better speakers or a new receiver. That's an improvement you hear with every movie you watch and music you listen to. It's simply a smarter way to spend your money.
What is 3D sound? True 3D sound would involve height, width, and depth speakers. Stereo sound produces width, and surround speakers produce depth. What about height? My experiences with the only available height systems--Dolby Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX--didn't do much for me, but I'm not giving up on the height dimension entirely. Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX were designed to work with any surround movie. Maybe we'll have to wait for movies mixed to provide genuine height information to get three-dimensional sound.… Read more
Apple has released two software updates today. One is for the pro application suite that includes Final Cut Pro, Motion, Color, Compressor, and Cinema Tools, and the other is for the latest printer drivers from Canon. These updates are relatively large at several hundred MB each, and are available via Software Update and from the following links:… Read more