Stop us if you've heard this one before. According to the latest rumor, Microsoft plans to offer an external Blu-ray drive for its Xbox 360 console. Wait! On second thought, just hear us out.
We've heard this rumor time and time again, and in each instance, Microsoft has been quick to deny the speculation. So what makes this time any different? Possibly nothing, but it's worth noting that Microsoft hasn't publicly squashed the rumblings, at least not yet. Nor has Toshiba-Samsung Storage Technology Corp (let's just call them TSST), a joint venture that XbitLabs says has been contracted to produce the external drives. If the rumor pans out, the targeted price point will be in the vicinity of $100 to $150.
Hit the jump to learn why Microsoft should go through with this.
Recording to Blu-ray media looks to get a big boost from Sanyo, who announced the development of a new blue laser diode the company says is capable of burning 100GB of data in as little as 10 minutes.
Current Blu-ray media tops out at 50GB of storage space (dual-layer), but Sanyo's 5.6mm diode can emit a beam of 450 milliwatts, or roughly twice that of Sanyo's currently highest power laser for Blu-ray devices. The high power laser makes it possible to read and write data on up to four layers at a 12x speed. To put that into perspective, Sanyo says one disc could record up to 8 hours of high-definition content.
It will be awhile before the new diode finds its way into consumer products. Sanyo says it will be another 2 to 3 years before production takes place, and by then, who knows what the state of Blu-ray will be like.
OpenPeak is trying to spruce up the bland world of home or VOIP phones with its OpenFrame phone range. The company announced that its OpenFrame IP Media Phone is now ready for production. Service providers are expected to begin supporting the phone in Q1 2009.
It is certainly not a generic home phone as it deploys the Intel Atom processor. The touchscreen phone will provide a rich media experience along with voice and data services. OpenPeak believes that the phone will present new revenue opportunities to VOIP service providers. We will have to wait for a while to learn about its fate.
But Hu Zintao, the Chinese President, took it upon himself to warn journalists about the consequences of breaching Chinese laws in thickly veiled terms. He told them that they should not "engage in activities which are incompatible with unity or community and public interests." The media fears that the Chinese government might renege on its promise of a free internet for the duration of the games. But our tenacious, ingenious journalist friends from world over are expected to freely employ anti-censorship tools to circumvent any hindrances.
A government spokesperson announced on Wednesday that media persons will not be able to access many politically sensitive websites during their stay in China for the Beijing Olympics. The Chinese had initially shrugged aside the unavailability of many sites as a technical snag on part of the concerned websites.
The International Olympic Committee’s pantomime on the issue was briefly interrupted when it vowed to take up the matter with the Chinese authorities, after reports of the censorship first emerged. But it now remains in its timid stasis and continues to appease the Chinese.
Readers, at least you don't disappoint us like the IOC and, please, show your support for freedom of expression, in the comments section - geeks for freedom!
Usually when a company releases a product containing with a worm, it's not a good thing. But when that WORM comes in all caps, the nomenclature takes a whole different meaning. In this case, SanDisk has developed a card that can be written to only one time, after which it becomes a read-only card. That's not something that will appeal to home users, but SanDisk's WORM (Write Once Read Many) media means police and courtrooms no longer need to reject SD cards as evidence for fear of tampering.
Potential uses for WORM cards include police witness and suspect interviews, cash registers, electronic voting, security cameras, in-flight 'black boxes,' medical devices containing patient information, and anything else where a permanent one-time write would be desirable. Once written to, SanDisk claims the new cards will retain the data for up to 100 years. "As digital media volume has grown and surpassed traditional analogue media such as film and audio cassettes in the consumer market, law enforcement agencies and other professionals are facing rising costs and lack of supply," said Christopher Moore, director of product marketing for OEM memory cards at SanDisk.
The SD cards currently come in 128MB versions, but beefier WORMs are expected later this year. Yummy.
A new trailer for 20th Century Fox's upcoming Max Payne movie has been leaked on the web, but if you want to see it, you'll have to be quick. The trailer's already been pulled from YouTube, but at least two other sites are still hosting the teaser.
The PG-13 flick opens October 17 and stars Mark Wahlberg as the main character (can anyone else picture Mickey Rourke playing the part 10 years and 50 pounds ago?), with a supporting cast that includes the likes of Chris O'Donnel, Beau Bridges, Mila Kunis, and Ludacris. Wahlberg looks to be a good fit for the videogame icon gone Hollywood, and here's hoping he can atone for his performance in The Happening.
Catch the trailer here or here while you still can, and post your impression below.
Following Hitachi's annoucement of plans to hit 5TB in a single hard drive by 2010, Pioneer follows suit by proclaiming a major advancement in the optical storage arena with an unprecedented 16-layer optical disc capable of storing 400GB. Presumably intended for distribution as Blu-ray media, Pioneer points out the new disc's 25GB per-layer capacity is the same as that of a Blu-ray disc (BD).
Cross-talk among multiple layers has been a stickling point in the optical industry, but Pioneer claims to have tackled the problem with a specialized disc structure designed to reduce interference from adjacent layers. And what about compatibility with existing Blu-ray players? Pioneer says that because the optical specifications of the lens are the same as those for existing BD discs, there shouldn't be any compatibility concerns between the new 16-layer discs and existing BD media.
Dampening the announcement, the 16-layer discs are read-only. That may change in time, but for the here and now, you'll still need to resort to standard discs or HDDs to store your epic music collection, downloaded videos, and other legally acquired data. Of course, finding someone who owns a Blu-ray drive capable of burning BD discs is more rare than spoting a MacBook victory at Maximum PC.
Your IT department won’t let you copy MP3s onto your work PC, and your iPod won’t hold your massive music collection, but you need to listen to tunes while you toil away at the day’s labor. What’s an audiophile to do? The answer is simple: Stream the collection you have stored on your rig at home to your PC at work.