Although major ABC shows are reported to be at the heart of the discussions, the sources haven’t ruled out the possibility of the talks being expanded to include more content from Disney’s stable. Hulu is a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp with each having a 45% stake. A source has revealed that one of the arrangements being discussed is to allow Disney to be on equal footing with the two majority stakeholders.
Meanwhile, Disney and Youtube have struck a deal paving the way for ad-backed Youtube channels featuring videos from Disney and ESPN. These video channels will only be available in the U.S and won’t feature entire shows from the Disney stable. The ESPN channel and the ABC channel are scheduled to go live in April and May respectively. But, according to another paidcontent.org report, Disney’s deal with Youtube will not affect its talks with Hulu.
Designer Nikita Buyanov was commissioned by HP and Intel to design a series of conceptual laptops aimed at women, and the Chameleon is the end result.
The conceptual Chameleon features a series of three cameras, which it uses to blend in to its surroundings, by means of “adaptive microcell coverage” (also, it’ll blend into your pants pretty well).
Some of the other concepts are a machine that can be used as a scale that’s aimed at fitness, and even a pink notebook that can give manicures. While these ideas seem a bit lofty, it sure is fun to see what designers come up with when they’re put under a bright light!
To see the other concepts, check out Buyanov’s page, here.
Microsoft this week has confirmed that it plans to jettison out of the encyclopedia business and discontinue nearly all of its online Encarta products by October. The sole exception is Encarta Japan, which will run through the end of the year before being retired. In addition, the software giant will also stop selling Student and Encarta Premium software, both of which included the online encyclopedia.
"Encarta has been a popular product around the world for many years," Microsoft wrote in a notice on its Encarta website. "However, the category of traditional encyclopedias and reference material has changed. People today seek and consume information in considerably different ways than in years past. As part of Microsoft's goal to deliver the most effective and engaging resources for today's consumer, it has made the decision to exit the Encarta business."
Encarta has been around for over a decade with the latest version having been released in August, 2008. It included over 62,000 articles in the Premium edition and is available in a number of forms and languages, according to Wikipedia. Speaking of which, we imagine there must be quite a bit of celebrating going on among Wikipedia's ranks.
If you use Twitter, chances are good that you’ve noticed a small change on your home page lately. Right under the “Home” tab, it used to say “@replies.” The only issue with that was that it would show tweets that began the message with your name, and left out others were you may have been referred. The new change fixes all that.
“The @Replies feature was introduced because we noticed lots of folks putting the @ symbol in front of Twitter usernames as a way of addressing one another,” wrote Biz Stone, a co-founder of Twitter on their official blog. “However, folks started getting more inventive as they often do. Now people include @username mentions in the middle of tweets as a way to simply reference another account. For example: I'm flying @jetblue to Boston. Also, folks reference multiple accounts in a single tweet like this: I'm flying @jetblue to Boston with @ev @crystal and @goldman.”
For most users, this change probably won’t be a game changer. But, for folks that use this as a communication tool it is a genuinely nice change that can help them see just who’s saying what about them!
In what Dell describes as "fashion meets function," the OEM has introduced an octuplet of color configurations for its refreshed Inspiron desktop line. That's more than what's found in some crayon boxes and includes Piano Black, Pure White, True Blue, Formula Red, Tangerine Orange, Spring Green, Plum Purple, and Promise Pink. The Promise Pink is a collaboration with Susan G. Komen for the Cure program to fight breast cancer - for every Promise Pink laptop or Mini Dell sells, it donates $5 to the cause.
The colorful Inspiron desktop line also includes a wide range of processor selections, such as Intel's Celeron, Core 2 Duo, and Core 2 Quad, and AMD's Sempron, Athlon, and Phenom X4 CPUs. Other configuration options include integrated Intel graphics or discrete ATI Radeon graphics, up to 8GB of memory, up to 750GB of storage on the slim tower and up to 1TB on the mini-tower, optional 19-in-1 media card reader, optional HDMI port, 6 USB 2.0 ports, and dual optical drive options.
Dell says its new slim and mini-tower Inspiron desktops debut today in China, with U.S. availability expected this spring starting at $299.
As ultraportable PCs become more powerful and increasingly feature-rich, it might soon be difficult to discern where netbooks stop and standard notebooks begin. Such is nearly the case with Asus' new Eee 1004DN, the first Eee ever to integrate a Super-Multi optical disc drive.
The addition of a CD/DVD burner addresses a common complaint among netbook and potential netbook owners, particularly those who might want to use one as their primary PC (Protip: Don't do it). Other specs on the 1004DN are decidedly more standard-fare and include a 10-inch LED-backlit 1024 x 600 display, Intel's Atom N280 processor (1.66GHz, 512k L2 cache, 667MHz frontside bus), up to 2GB DDR2 memory, Intel GMA 4500M graphis, up to 120GB hard drive, 1.3MP webcam, and 6-cell battery.
Nvidia this week introduced a bunch of new Quadro-series professional videocards spanning from the sub-$100 entry-level solution all the up to the high end that will hit your wallet to the tune of four digits.
"Our mission with Quadro is to help customers solve the world's most challenging visual computing problems," stated Dan Vivoli, executive vice president of marketing at Nvidia. "We learn every day from them and are humbled by their brilliance. The new lineup, with the flagship Quadro FX 4800, sets the stage for the next ten years of innovation."
On the lower end is the Quadro NVS 295, which the company says will support up to two 30-inch displays at maximum resolutions. Other cards in the new lineup, along with Nvidia's claimed standout traits, include:
Quadro FX 5800 - first and only 4GB, ultra high-end solution suitable for large-sclae models and datasets
Quadro FX 4800 - ultra high-end solution
Quadro FX 3800 - single slot solution with support for SLI, multi-OS, and SDI
Quadro FX 1800 - best price performance for workstation graphics
Quadro FX 580 - best-in-class entry-level solution
Quadro FX 380 - up to 50 percent faster performance
Nvidia's Quadro-based workstation cards are available now through system manufacturers such as Dell, Fujistu-Siemens, HP, and Lenovo, as well as workstation system integrators and Nvidia channel partners.
As Blu-ray players and media continues to go down, the cost of adding Blu-ray to your Netflix subscription is going up. Again. Back in October of last year, Netflix implemented a $1 surcharge to customers who wanted to add access to Blu-ray rentals to their monthly subscription plan, saying the price hike was to cover the "significant cost difference" between Blu-ray and standard DVDs. Netflix called it a "pretty modest" surcharge at the time, but now you could be paying up to $9 extra per month to add Blu-ray to your plan.
"We’re committed to providing a high quality Blu-ray experience for our members who choose to add Blu-ray access, and in order to do that we need to adjust Blu-ray pricing. As a result, the monthly charge for Blu-ray access is increasing for most plans and will now vary by plan," wrote Jessie Teitz, Netflix's VP of marketing, in a blog post.
Hit the jump to see how the new pricing breaks down.
Citing the Commercial Times, Dow Jones reports Taiwan-based chip maker VIA Technologies will likely sell a stake to US-based graphics chip maker Nvidia through a private placement. Subject to shareholder approval, up to 300 million shares are up for grabs at between NT$9 and NT$12 ($0.27 to $0.35 USD).
Without an official comment from Nvidia, we can only speculate on what the GPU maker's motives might be, but there are two interesting things to note. First is the recent rift between Nvidia and Intel that has the two taking shots at each other. For Intel's part, the CPU maker has taken its disdain for Nvidia's Ion platform public. By cozying up to VIA, Nvidia could perhaps be looking to distance itself from Intel's Atom processor and declare all-out netbook warfare by implementing VIA's Nano processor into its Ion platform.
Secondly, Nvidia has indicated interest in building an x86 CPU. According to Michael Hara, Nvidia's senior VP of investor relations and communications, it's a matter of 'when' and not 'if.'
During a GDC panel last week, Blizzard designer Jeffery Kaplan claimed that WoW players tear into 16 million quests per day, as though possessed by some deep-seated, primal need for collection of tiny animal innards.
Since July 2009, Blizzard’s favorite fans have completed a grand total of 8,570,222,426 quests. Hemet Nesingwary must be a very happy man.
We’re going to go lie down now. Numbers shouldn’t be that large. It just isn’t natural.