The incongruity between disparate media formats has denied us a truly universal media experience till now. This is simply not acceptable in this epoch of technology convergence. A consortium called the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystems (DECE) is working on improving interoperability between different media and consumer electronic devices. The group includes HP, Intel, Microsoft, Paramount, Sony and Toshiba, besides other prominent CE heavyweights and film studios.
If most people find merit in the notion that digital downloads are going to replace the need for optical storage formats, they will also agree that digital content will have to offer a universal media experience like the hugely successful DVD. “We see this vision of 'buy once, play anywhere,” Mark Coblitz, senior VP of strategic planning at Comcast – a member of DECE, gave the gist of the plan.
DECE President Mitch Singer even welcomed Apple, which runs a popular digital distribution service iTunes, tied to its products, to join the consortium. Do you think that services like iTunes are doomed?
Allow us to paint you a picture: It's non-denominational politically correct holiday morning. You burst free from beneath your covers, quivering from a mix of the wintery chill meandering through your room and sheer, unbridled excitement. With each successive footfall, your speed builds; the world around you is a blur. Chairs, tables, and boxes impede your path, but it's no matter -- you've been practicing. Bathed in the glow of your fireplace, you shatter the brightly colored paper that encases your gift.
However, within the box's ruins, you find only a small scrap of paper. Obviously composed by your parents, it tells you to check Maximum PC for the sad truth that sullied what should've been your finest day. According to your parents' note, the MPC post is dated 9/16/08.
After hurriedly booting up your PC and searching the article, your eyes shift immediately to a bolded bit of text near the middle of the page. "GameStop's website now lists Mirror's Edge PC's release date as January 6, 2009," it reads. "Additionally, Amazon users who preordered the title have also been notified that the game will be launching on that day."
Disheartened, but willing to wait, you decide to read the rest of the article to pass the time. But the article -- its contents -- seem a little too accurate, you soon realize as your eyes grow wide.
We know everything about you, unsuspecting reader from Applewood, Colorado. Your past, future, and present are an open book -- a brittle-paged tome for our amusement. You can't escape; we will always know where you are.
Update: Looks like this one got blown out of proportion. Willits, after a glance at his inbox, released the following statement: "During my talk at Austin GDC I mentioned that we originally wanted to have around five or six smaller wasteland environments but later decided instead to have two larger wastelands - mostly because we were going to be shipping on two DVDs for the 360 and felt that it would play better with one large wasteland on each disc so there would be no loading between wastelands. Not loading levels while you drive around is a much better decision regardless of platform. There was NO CONTENT removed from RAGE because of the 360--NONE AT ALL. Moving from multiple wastelands into fewer but larger wastelands was a far better decision and is actually giving us more gameplay in the game. We feel the 360 is a great platform and will provide a fantastic Rage experience."
"The PC is limitless in the amount of data you can put on it.The PS3 has about 25GB. But the Xbox 360 roughly has 6 to 8 GB of data. We're hoping we can squeeze the game down to two discs for the 360 version."
"I wouldn't say the overall story was changed in any way in order to fit on the Xbox 360 version," Willits explained, "but how the player experiences Rage's story has been altered."
Foremost, he said, the game's overall structure has changed significantly. Whereas before, Rage featured "several" wastelands in which players could run race and gun, now only two remain. Don't worry, though; the two wastelands have been split into multiple, hardware-friendly instances, so it'll be just like traveling through multiple areas!
Somewhat perplexingly -- though probably in order to wave the game out the door by "When it's done" instead of "When your great grandchild begins balding" -- id elected to take the razor to all three versions of the game, as opposed to merely the Xbox edition.
This, it would seem, is only the beginning of a very slippery slope.
The Iomega Zip drive once was synonymous with consumer-friendly data backup. Seagate aims to change that with a huge makeover of its FreeAgent line of external hard disks and a companion advertising campaign designed to tug at the heartstrings of today's increasingly media-consuming families.
Announced Monday, Seagate's new FreeAgent models include the portable FreeAgent|Go and the desktop FreeAgent|Desk (both available in separate editions for Windows PCs and Macs) as well as the high-performance desktop FreeAgent|XTreme for Windows PCs. The goal of the new line of products is to "Save, Share. Simplify."
To learn more about how Seagate plans to make its slogan come true, join us after the jump.
Forget about Verizon's FiOS and your spiffy new fast internet connection, because overall, the United States ranks 16th in terms of the best quality broadband internet services, according to a new survey by Oxford University Said Business School. The survey, which received assistance from Oviedo University and Cisco Systems, used collected broadband speed tests as measured by Speedtest.net. They analyzed both download and upload speed, along with internet latency from eight million tests performed in May of 2008.
So who reigned supreme? Japan topped the list has having the best quality broadband, with Sweden and the Netherlands rounding out the top three. The rest of the top ten include Latvia, Korea, Switzerland, Lithuania, Denmark, Germany, and Slovenia, according to the survey.
Barney the purple dinosaur became a 90s phenomenon that still airs on television more than a decade later, so naturally the only logical conclusion is to attribute the runaway success to him being purple. Why else would Yahoo put so much effort into a new campaign imploring users to "Start Wearing Purple"?
To be fair, purple has been Yahoo's official color for some time now, though you wouldn't know it by the red colored logo prominently displayed on Yahoo's homepage. The new campaign kicks off with a kooky video that serves as an intro to several purple designated features, including Purple Picks, a daily series of links picked out by Yahoo's editors which "highlight the people, trend, fashion, and companies that exemplify life in the purple lane," and even Purple Merchandise, with everything from Yahoo Pony shoes to a purple Mimobot Code Ninja 1GB USB flash drive.
Is Yahoo on to something here, or is this another example of Web 2.0 having gone wrong? Check it out, hit the jump, and give us your thoughts.
HP released two new high definition notebooks today, adding to a variety of model releases from the company this year. The notebooks were designed for high-def entertainment purposes, with one model boasting a full 1080p display while the other has 780p.
Both notebooks are packed with hardware, including an Intel Centrino 2 processor, an Nvidia GeForce 9600M GT graphics card, and up to 4GB of RAM. The HDX18 (which has an 18” screen) and contains dual HDD bays with 250GB SATA drives in each and a LightScribe Blue-Ray ROM with SuperMulti DVD±R/RW Double Layer. The HDX18 costs $1550, while the HDX16 costs $1300. Both models contain two headphone jacks, HDMI and VGA plug-ins, and a remote control.
According to daily browsing statistics provided by Net Applications, Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 beta 2 has garnered a fair bit of interest from users, with the latest beta increasing market share from 0.23 percent at the beginning of the month to now sitting at 0.41 percent. Still, Google's new Chrome browser (also in beta form) has been more popular, breaching the 1 percent mark early in September and now claiming 0.79 percent of the market.
Looking at the overall picture, Microsoft can't be too concerned. Net Applications notes an average market share for IE 7 and IE 6 of 46.38 and 24.08 percent respectively, which when combined with IE 8's 0.31 percent average, has Internet Explorer still dominating the browser wars with 70.82 percent of the market in the first half of September. In August, IE claimed a slightly larger slice at 72.15 percent.
Meanwhile, open-source stalwart Firefox also noted a slight drop since August, with combined market share taking a small dip from 19.73 percent to 19.38 percent. What's interesting to note here is that Microsoft's IE 6 still grabs a larger share than all three Firefox browsers combined.
Hit the jump and let us know what browser you're using.
If you're still sporting an older version of Google Desktop, you might consider upgrading. The search giant has just released version 5.8 of it's Google Desktop software for Windows with a handful of improvements it hopes will make it worthy of a second look for anyone who previously dismissed it.
The biggest change with version 5.8 concerns speed, with the company's blog indicating that the new version is "based entirely on performance." Google claims it found a way to cut memory usage during startup by about 50 percent, and that shutdown has been improved five-fold. But more than just an octane injection, Google Desktop 5.8 also sports a few new features, such as improved Outlook integration and support for Flash in gadgets.
Sadly, 64-bit XP and Vista users need not apply. For the 32-bit crowd, download your copy here and hit the jump to let us know what you think.
Move over Acer, Asus, BenQ, Dell, ECS, Everex, Gigabyte, HP, Lenovo, MSI, and everyone else, and make room in the netbook bandwagon for Toshiba and Samsung. Citing un-named "sources in the notebook industry," Digitimes says both companies will soon jump into the ultraportable fray.
Later this year, Toshiba is expected to launch its 8.9-inch Satellite NB105. Like many netbooks, the NB105 will come equipped with an Intel Atom processor. Other specs include a modest 1GB of memory and 120GB hard drive, with Windows XP at the helm.
Slightly bigger at 10.2 inches, Samsung's nameless model will also sport an Intel Atom chip and 1GB of memory with Windows XP, but will come with either an 80GB or 120GB hard drive. Europe will get first crack at the new netbook next month.
Digitimes points out an interesting side note, in that looking at the top 10 notebook vendors, only Apple and Sony have yet to enter the netbook market.