Don't confuse Zotac's StreamBox with Valve's SteamBox, two very different products.
Zotac, a major player in the mini PC category, is "embark[ing] on a new era of digital media sharing" by announcing its new StreamBox and RAIDbox accessories. Starting with the StreamBox, this NUC-sized device is supposed to make it easy to broadcast audio, video, and image files from Android smartphones, tablets, and notebooks via DLNA. It supports display mirroring on select Android mobile devices via Miracast compatibility, Zotac says.
The business world is kind of like the playground; it’s dirty, people don’t always play fair, and there’s always somebody who’s just waiting to blow a raspberry at kids who fall flat on their face. Once the undisputed bully, Netflix has taken a well-known and embarrassing stumble over the past few weeks. Amazon’s taken the opportunity to stick its tongue out and kick the streaming giant while it’s down. A whole heapload of popular Fox TV shows are coming to the Amazon Prime service later this fall.
If you live in the fast lane of bleeding-edge tech, you probably believe physical media’s on its deathbed – just a couple coughs and a close-eyed “ahhh” away from casting off its mortal coil. That impassioned eulogy you’ve been working on, however, might be a little premature, according to a survey from Ipsos MediaCT. The survey, which fell into the hands of over a thousand people, found that a whopping 64 percent of gamers still like their media the way we like our women: tangible.
“I believe the preference for physical discs amongst next gen gamers reflects the potential value they derive from the pre-owned market, which is holding up the preference for physical – this is unlike the music and film markets,” said Ipsos MediaCT director Ian Bramley.
The same survey found that music and film’s digital rejection rates were at 45 and 51 percent, respectively.
“Physical games discs have a long and well-established history, which is a deep mindset to change – particularly when gamers build a physical collection as they fear losing digital versions. And in-store browsing is also important to buyers,” Bramley added.
Gamers’ fears, we might add, aren’t unjustified. Multiplayer server shutdowns have become commonplace on consoles, and PC DRM has – in some cases – turned “ownership” of a game into a total farce. The digital revolution is one of convenience, no doubt, but at some point, we’re forced to ask: how much are we willing to give up for convenience’s sake?
Doesn’t seem to take a whole lot these days to get French knickers in a twist, and Google seems to have accomplished it big time. Rather than let Google--an American company--digitize the works held by France’s National Library, French president Nicolas Sarkozy said France would provide $1.1 billon for the job--France will go this one alone, thank you very much. According to Sarkozy: “We won’t let ourselves be stripped of our heritage to the benefit of a big company, no matter how friendly, big or American it is.”
France’s effort comes on the heels of some failed attempts to offset the dominance of Google on the Internet in Europe. France and Germany planned a join-effort multimedia search engine, “Quaero” (Latin for “I seek”), but that’s been abandoned. (Making a search engine is tougher than it looks--ask Microsoft.) And France has been unsuccessful in prodding the European Union to undertake its own book digitization project.
Cash-strapped France plans to borrow the money to digitize the 14 million books and millions of other documents held by the National Library. The European Union isn’t too keen on France’s venture, as France’s debt and deficits are now at record levels. But, this sort of irrational, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants bravado served France well at the outbreak of World War II. It should serve them just as well now.
It’s not as daft as it sounds. Henrik Anderson, a Danish citizen, turned himself into police, confessing he had broken Danish anti-piracy laws by breaking the Digital Rights Management (DRM) on more than one hundred legally purchased DVDs. He did so because he wants some clarification. It seems, under Danish law, it’s okay to copy, and at same time not okay to copy.
Danish law allows the owner digital media to make private, non-commercial copies of works they own. And, it prohibits owners from making such copies without the rightholder’s consent if the copying circumvents DRM.
Anderson initially sought clarification from the Danish anti-piracy outfit Antipiratgruppen: was he a criminal or not? Antipiratgruppen never got back to Anderson on whether he would be prosecuted, so he took, for him, the next logical step: he turned himself in. Anderson wants a trial so the law can be clearly established.
Anderson may have a broader motive here--drawing attention both to the inconsistency in the law, and to the matter of whose rules he should be following: the laws of Denmark or the dictates of the lawyers for the companies whose DRM is being circumvented.
When Build 7000 of Windows 7 leaked onto the Internet recently, some bloggers speculated that Microsoft had deliberately leaked Build 7000. If that's the case, Redmond has some 'splainin' to do: numerous users have reported that Windows Media Player 12 (the media player included in Windows 7) corrupts some MP3 files.
Microsoft is aware of the bug and is working on a patch, but if you've decided not to wait for an official Beta 1 of Windows 7, what should you do in the meantime to protect your MP3 collection? Join us after the jump to learn how to protect your precious rips and purchased files - and for your chance to tell us if this has happened to you.