The 2009 Webby awards have come and gone, and sadly, Maximum PC was mysteriously overlooked. We didn’t notice a category for “world’s most amazing technology website / magazine”, but that’s no excuse! For those of you who haven’t heard of them before today, the Webby’s are an international award honoring excellence on the Internet. They focus on everything from YouTube skits to innovative advertising, but one look at the list and you’ll wonder if they just snagged the first million URL’s from Google and ran with it.
Hulu is currently one of the hottest video sites available on the web. It’s about to take over the number two spot amongst streaming video sites (behind only YouTube), and it just signed a deal with Disney that will give it even more content. Though, these great features are only available to those that live in the US, and they’re making damn sure it stays that way.
In the past, if you weren’t living in the US and you wanted access to Hulu’s massive library of footage, you had to use a proxy server workaround. For a while, this worked without a hitch, but Hulu wised up to the tricky practices and began doing geo-checks. Still, a few VPN creators like Hotspot Shield would work by making your IP address anonymous. Sadly, these days have ended.
Hulu’s techniques for detecting location has once again changed, and they’re blocking all anonymous proxies. If you’re one of those looking to use the video site through a VPN, you’ll be met with this message: “Based on your IP address, we noticed you are trying to access Hulu through an anonymous proxy tool. Hulu is not currently available outside the U.S. If you’re in the U.S., you’ll need to disable your anonymizer to access videos on Hulu.”
We've known for some time that Nikon planned on releasing the D5000, a new entry-level DSLR, but it was only ten days ago that the company formerly introduced the newest model. Skip ahead and we now have a concrete release date, as Amazon lists the camera as shipping on Monday, April 27th.
Nikon's new DSLR comes with a 12.3-megapixel DX-format CMOS image sensor and articulating 2.7-inch vari-angle LCD display. Photographers can still view photos with the little LCD in its normal position, or it can be swung out to be rotated or tilted, opening the door to all kinds of contorted body positions when shooting images.
The D5000 also comes capable of recording HD movie clips in 720p. Recording video is somewhat new to DSLRs, starting with the D90 Nikon released back in August 2008. Other features include:
19 auto-exposure scene modes
One-button Live View
Continuous shooting up to 4fps
ISO sensitive from 200 to 3200
Built-in image sensor cleaning
In-camera Retouch image editing
Optional GPS geo-tagging
You can pre-order the D5000 with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR kit lens now for $850 through Amazon.com.
If you thought that YouTube was mostly a way to discover lame-o fan trailers, not-so-sophisticated movie spoofs, or the latest viral video sensation, think again. As ArsTechnica reports, pyramid scheme recruitment videos are now flourishing on YouTube. Although these so-called "cash gifting" or "cash leveraging" schemes are often referred to as Ponzi schemes, they're different. As an ArsTechnica commenter pointed out, in a true Ponzi scheme, early joiners are "paid back" by money from later "investors" by the people controlling the alleged investment, but in a pyramid scheme, you make your money only when you can con others into giving you money.
Regardless of how boring your Friday afternoons might be and how desperate you might be to make more money, watch out for videos like these. Our advice? Save your cash for better investments, like more RAM.
Some users of Netflix’s streaming service have groused about dwindling performance in recent times. The dip in performance has not only nettled users but also engendered speculation as to its cause. The most plausible conjecture is that video streams are being deliberately throttled by Netflix.
“Also, routing to different ISPs in the same region may be quite different, thus performance may also be quite different, even for neighbors, if they are connected to different ISPs. Moreover, congesting points can rise and fall with ISP configuration changes and other conditions,” Hunt wrote.
VIA has so far failed to make an impression with its diminutive Nano processor. But the netbook market is far too alluring for it to give up. VIA has launched a new chipset called the VIA VX855 MSP, which can decode full 1080p video, in a bid to stand out from the competition.
Besides its ability to decode 1080p video the VIA VX855 MSP boasts an impressive TDP of 2.3 Watts. The chipset also supports up to eight HD audio channels with a 192 kHz sampling rate. It has all the features of a contemporary chipset’s North and South bridges wedged into a 27mm x 27mm single chip package, which according to VIA occupies 46% less space compared to “competing twin-chip core logic implementations.”
And, of course, it supports Windows 7 among other major operating systems. Finally, there is support for the VIA Nano, C7 and Eden processors at FSB speeds ranging between 400 and 800 MHz. Nvidia has confirmed that its Ion 2 platform will support VIA’s Nano processor. So VX855 will meet its true nemesis by the end of 2009 when the Ion 2 platform debuts.
Online beguilers are leaving no stone unturned in propagating malware. They have shown remarkable pliancy in adapting themselves to the ever-evolving cyber landscape. They have realized that the best places to ply their diabolical trade are the ones with massive traffic. As nothing rivals social websites in popularity, such cyber haunts have endeared themselves to malware authors.
UK’s Competition Commission has disapproved Project Kangaroo, a proposed Hulu-esque VOD service, which was supposed to provide video content – mostly free videos - from three of its joint owners, the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. The fear of Kangaroo’s inevitable hegemony led the Commission to veto the alliance. The Commission felt that the video-on-demand service would have resulted in the “loss of competition” between its proprietors.
The three companies expressed their disconsolation in a joint statement. “We are disappointed by the decision to prohibit this joint venture. While this is an unwelcome finding for the shareholders, the real losers from this decision are British consumers. This is a disproportionate remedy and a missed opportunity in the further development of British broadcasting,” the statement reads. Although consumers would have most certainly devoured the service, the Commission's findings appear to be reasonable.
Four Google employees have been slapped with criminal charges of defamation and privacy violation in Italy. Their legal woes began when an Italian organization complained against a video on Google Video – uploaded a couple of years ago – that shows four imbeciles tormenting a disabled person.
Although Google removed the video as soon as the complaint was made, Italian prosecutors decided to persist with personal criminal charges – an unprecedented move - against the four Google executives. Their trial will begin on Tuesday in Milan, Italy. These Google execs may even be consigned to an Italian prison for up to three years, if the charges against them are upheld.
It has vowed to “vigorously defend” its employees. "Seeking to hold neutral platforms liable for content posted on them is a direct attack on a free, open Internet" a spokeswoman for Google argued.
There are numerous websites that allow you to download Youtube videos – and videos hosted on other sites – directly to your desktop. All of them have capitalized on the lack of a downloading feature on Youtube. However, they might just have to conceive a superb contingency plan as Youtube has jeopardized their very existence by inaugurating an indigenous download feature.
The feature is currently only available on President Obama’s Youtube channel as Google appears to be testing waters. You can check it out at this link.