How's that netbook working out for online 1080p HD content? Probably not so well, which gives VIA reason to tout its new VX900 chipset. According to VIA, this full featured single chip solution takes the jitters out of HD videos when coupled with the latest VIA Nano-3000 series processors.
"VIA's trail-blazing VX900 will bring welcome relief to those pining for the best view of HD video online," said Richard Brown, Vice President of Marketing, VIA Technologies. "The VIA VX900 represents the most complete solution for HD digital content consumption on the market today."
At the heart of the VX900 is VIA's ChromotionHD 2.0 video engine, which features hardware acceleration for H.264. VIA promises smooth playback of 1080p video "without incurring a heavy CPU load."
Other features include support for DDR3 memory up to 1066MHz, a Chrome9 HCM 3D integrated graphics core, DX 9.0 support, and a 128-bit 2D engine with hardware rotation capability.
DivX on Tuesday announced that the latest version of its DivX Plus software is now available for download. The free software has been completely redesigned with a streamlined interface and supports up to 1080p HD H.264-based video in the MKV file format.
"DivX Plus software represents a major step forward in our mission to create a seamless, high-quality media experience that empowers consumers to enjoy the content they care about not just on the computer but on any device in their lifestyle," said Kevin Hell, CEO of DivX, Inc. "Our new software connects the content that millions of users watch on their PCs to the millions of DivX devices all over the world, offering a bridge between the Internet and the living room."
Some of the key features of the DivX Plus software package include easy video transfer to DivX Certified devices, a wide range of playback support, browser-based HD video, MKV streaming to game consoles, and the ability to convert 1080p HD content without shelling out for the paid version.
Microvision on Monday unveiled its Web store for U.S. customers for the SHOWWX laser pico projector, and plans to fully cut the ribbon later this month. According to Microvision, this is the world's first laser pico projector based on the company's PicoP technology in the U.S.
The company will offer two products when the store opens, including the Standard Edition SHOWWX and the Limited Edition SHOWWX promotional bundle. Both versions sport a native resolution of 848 x 480 (WVGA), plug-and-play use, "fiddle-free" infinite focus, a 5,000:1 contrast ration, a 60Hz refresh rate, 3.5mm stereo jack, and about 90-120 minutes of battery life when fully charged.
So what makes the Limited Edition different?
"The Limited Edition SHOWWX bundle is for the technology enthusiast and ultra-mobile media connoisseur," Microvision explains. "This special bundle comes with a personalized splash screen bearing the name of its owner, SHOWWX with 'Limited Edition' insignia, certificate of authenticity and a SHOWWX VGA dock plus other accessories not included with the Standard Edition."
The Limited Edition is available now for $1,000, while the Standard Edition will be made available on March 24 for $550.
Listening to the Maximum PC podcast #131 this past week (I'm behind) brought back some fond memories. Not only was there a little glint in my eye because I was actually mentioned on said podcast, but I was also tearing up a bit at the realization that the very art of podcasting could serve as an excellent Freeware Files roundup.
Thus, here we are! Podcasting is a huge topic in itself, so I'm trying to bridge a bunch of different worlds in this week's list of awesome applications. Just interested in listening to podcasts? Don't worry--I've got you covered. Looking to make a Maximum PC (or Freeware Files) fan podcast of your own? You'll find a fun trick or two within the bits and bytes of this week's post. Tired of all the same-ol', same-ol' podcasting programs that you read about on all the other tech sites (like iTunes, cough cough?) Well, I'll do my best to surprise you with a new app or two!
Even if, like me, you think that 99-percent of all podcasts are lame and not really worth your time, you can also use some of the enclosed apps and utilities to exert some editing influence over existing audio files. As well, you'll even find an awesome player for video and music files that even comes with a built-in Bittorrent download capability.
As always, slap on your favorite pair of headphones and click the jump--it's podcasting time!
The software world has gotten this point pretty well by now. Sure, you can wrap additional elements of a larger business plan around an open-source offering. But even at its core, the concept of open-source isn't really designed around capitalistic ideals. If anything, it's more communistic in its focus: everybody shares an equal stake in a project, and anybody is free to assert their individual ownership in a piece of work by advancing it toward a new direction as they see fit.
But these... these are just the tools of the revolution, as Marx might have said. When it comes to actual content itself--the very bits and bytes of progress that open-source tools help create--the current crop of major content creators and distributors are behaving like dictators in an open world. And it's costing both them and us rather greatly. Instead of reaping the success of a community-driven groundswell for their assets, these companies would rather lay down the hammer and stifle all innovation in an attempt to control their futures to a "T."
Two recent examples from Lawrence Lessig and the band OK Go really hit home the biggest elements that are wrong with our current system of open information distribution on the ‘net. If it's not the owner of the content acting like an idiot, it's the system we've allowed to propagate that virtually criminalizes content sharers without a second thought.
Rick Astley may never give you up, but that didn't stop YouTube from giving up on the 80s pop star. We're not sure exactly when it happened, but the video sharing site has pulled the plug on the original 'Rickroll' video, the one that recorded over 30 million views, nearly all of which were unintended.
So why did YouTube take the video down?
That's all YouTube and Google are so far willing to say on the matter. Nevertheless, don't let the take down give you a false sense of security. There are still plenty other videos of Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up" floating about on YouTube, as well as the rest of the Internet.
It's hard to condone the act of RickRolling, but desperate times call for desperate measures. In a recent blog post by Wi-Fi convention provider Codify, excessive BitTorrent traffic at last year's Tech.Ed conference in Australia forced them to take drastic action against anyone trying to file share. The cruel, yet effective weapon of choice was Rick Astley, and his now infamous song "Never Gonna Give You Up" .
According to Codify the problem with BitTorrent users on a public Wi-Fi network isn't bandwidth, but excessive port usage. “At this point you have to remember that we have a heap of bandwidth available. Some clients chomping through a lot of bandwidth isn’t a problem and running BitTorrent isn’t a problem per se,” saidCodify’s David Connor. Several options were considered to restrict traffic, but in the end it was determined nothing short of Rick Astley could save the day. “….we implemented certain, ahem, ‘interim countermeasures’,” wrote Connor. “We quickly built a list of all of the top torrent trackers around and got the nod from Jorke [Odolphi, Web Platform Architect Evangelist for Microsoft Australia] to add them all to the local DNS resolver and point them at a local web server containing some RickRoll scripts.”
Microsoft has collected the MAC address's of offending users, but is planning on enforcing a mandatory registration process prior to the next event to help identify users on the network. My guess is that this is to prevent any lawsuits for cruel and unusual punishment due to accidental Rickroll exposure.
Does the punishment fit the crime? If you can correctly answer the question pictured above, you have my sympathies.
You and your home PC play hard – and sometimes, work hard. While you can grab some shuteye every night, and bid your PC goodbye when you head out the door for work, there's no need to give your PC half the day off. From scheduled FTP downloads to converting digital photos and more, here are the ten best ways to keep your PC busy so it won't miss you when you're gone. Downtime be damned!
I'm not sure which of these is a more compelling criticism of the Apple iPad: "They named it what?" or "Where's the Flash?"
It's no secret that Apple harbors no love for Adobe's Flash architecture. John Gruber over at Daring Fireball recently wrote up a wonderful treatise as to why this is the case. If you have a spare hour or so, I recommend giving it a look-see. I'll spoil the ending for the sake of continuing on with this column: Flash is a proprietary architecture that Apple has no control over. Thus, when Flash-based elements wreak havoc on the stability of Apple platforms, Apple can't do much to fix the issue--nor can the company convert the 32-bit Flash binary over to Apple's goal of a system-wide, 64-bit experience.
The enemy of Apple's proprietary enemy might be the company's friend, but it's no friend to the Internet.
Whether you own an iPod touch, Zune HD, Nintendo DSi, or any number of other portable devices, there's one tool that makes easy work out of ripping DVDs and converting incompatible video files into manageable formats: Handbrake. This wonderful utility has just about everything you could ask for, including robust compatibility, a slick interface, and snappy performance. And if that weren't enough, the developers have chosen to give the program away for free, no strings (or trialware) attached.
We realize we're probably preaching to the choir and there's a good chance you've used Handbrake before, if not frequently. But do you know how to create, backup, and transfer your own custom settings for the Xbox 360, PS3, and other popular media players not included by default? Do you know how to encode a copy protected DVD with the least amount off fuss? We do, and on the following pages, we'll guide you through a series of advanced tips for getting the most out of Handbrake.