Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Does Blu-Ray need Copy Protection?

Last week, SlySoft announced that they had cracked the extra DRM that had made Blu-ray more popular with the studios than HD DVD. The company announced that the new version of AnyDVD HD (6.4.0.0) will allow users to make “backup security copies” of Blu-ray discs that use BD+ copy protection.  It begs the question, why did they bother putting copy protection on the discs anyway.

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Surely it’s obvious that if someone can’t rip a Blu-Ray disc then they probably wouldn’t mind going to The Pirate Bay to pick up a copy for their hard drive that way since the only people who would bother ripping movies are not too bothered about the law.

I can understand that it was important in winning over the studios but now that they have them and HD-DVD is out of the way, why can’t they agree not to put this copy protection on there so that people canback up their movies to Hard Drive.

The way that the music industry is going is surely a wake up call for movie moguls that consumers want to be able to do this and that it would be benificial to people if they started making the headway now.

Another possible threat to the Blu-Ray camp is that downloads are gaining an ever-increasing market share thanks to XBOX 360 and Apple TV with PS3 rumoured to be moving that way too, the faster they react the longer they will be able to hold them off although downloads will ultimately be King.

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

iTunes: Click here to Subscribe

Apple may be set to announce a music subscription service through the iTunes store for customers who buy so-called 'Premium iPods' for a slightly higher price.

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It is expected that as with the majority of other services customers will in essence be renting the music for as long as they keep the subscription up, making this seem a raw deal to many and will undoubtedly fail to persuade many from downloading music illegally.

Furthermore, the songs are almost certainly going to be protected by DRM restricting the freedom of customers to transfer the songs to their chosen devices.

What I would prefer, and I'm sure many would agree, is to pay a larger fee at the start and then to have all the access we want to songs, without our music being tied into contracts we can't afford to keep. You see the fundamental difference between music and movies is that people want feel as though they own their music. Whereas you would watch a movie once, maybe twice, a song can be played repeatedly and if users don't have that freedom they feel cheated.

I hope Apple can realise this and push through a deal with the labels because it would encourage many more people to use iTunes on a regular basis, if you feel like you're getting music for free of course you are!

One problem they may have (a problem they are having with Apple TV,) is that music companies might hold back their best content from the scheme. Apple are struggling to get 1000 movies on Apple TV and with most labels seeking other means of distribution such as Amazon, this may be a tricky deal for them to push through. Good Luck Apple!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

How to upload decent Video to Facebook

 

Do you have the Video application on Facebook? How much do you use it?

The answers to these questions are likely to be yes to the first part and hardly at all to the second.

 

Mostly people just upload 1 or 2 videos of funny events they happened to be recording and that's all well and good, it makes your friends laugh. But what if you had access to the whole of YouTube, how much could you make them laugh then.

 

There are ways that exist to do just this but most of them keep the YouTube borders, making the video seem out-of-place on the neatly designed Facebook site. The following method uploads the video directly to Facebook using their own application, giving you more features to play with and making it easier to share with your friends.

 

First of all you will need to download the video from YouTube. For this will need a 3rd party program, I recommend Real Player.  Real Player gives you a little button when you encounter a flash video on a webpage that allows you to download the video to your computer in the FLV format.

 

 beckham

Once it's downloaded to your computer the file can then be uploaded to Facebook.

 

This may be a tip for the perfectionists but I feel it is worth the time to go through this process in order to integrate the video fully into Facebook, meaning it can be tagged, rotated, commented on and shared with your friends and networks.

 

Of course this only applies to videos you have the rights to distribute.

 

Here is an example of a video I uploaded.

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Saturday, March 15, 2008

HD-DVD? That will be $1 Billion Toshiba

Japanese reports have stated that HD-DVD's failure will cost Toshiba $1 Billion.

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The format slipped away at the start of this year after studios and retailers, most notably Warner Bros. and Wal-Mart, who in January announced they were going to cease support for the format in June later this year. In the end Sony-backed format Blu-Ray emerged on top in what was a rare victory for a Sony-backed format.

HD-DVD players will cease being made at the end of the month after which Toshiba will be forced to fork out $500 Million to deconstruct their manufacturing lines. The other half of the loss comes from wasted marketing and advertising, unsold players and unsold discs.

We did not announce this, and therefore we cannot comment

The two formats were almost equal in their tech specs, ultimately Blu-Ray's higher storage capacity was the tipped the balance in Sony's favour.

Toshiba are going to remain loyal to the late format and have stated that they have no plans to adopt Blu-ray.

Related Articles Blu-Ray HD-DVD Sony Toshiba

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Facebook to take on IM

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It was reported yesterday that Facebook is about to launch an IM (Instant Messaging) service that will be built into users profiles. The change will presumably be launched seamlessly with the redesigned profile pages. There are already numerous Facebook applications which offer this service, all of which will be gravely affected by the latest move to improve the overall functionality of Facebook.

Facebook already has an e-mail service built-in though it is fairly simplistic at the moment. This latest move could succeed in migrating teenagers from Windows Live Messenger to using Facebook alone to communicate online.

I personally have been using Facebook a lot recently and to me it just makes sense! The friend feed is very convenient and is importantly the first thing you see when you log on. Since opening up their platform last year the service has become infinitely more useful and fun. If you tried hard enough you wouldn't have to go anywhere else on the web.

If you don't understand what I'm talking about you should sign up and investigate. It's very simple and practical for keeping in touch with your family and friends.

Why not add me as a friend?

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

iPhone to take on Windows

March 6 saw the first announcement by Apple of the brand new SDK for the iPhone and iPod touch, allowing developers to begin making applications to run natively on both mobile devices.

As was widely thought, applications will be sold through an iTunes-eque store where Apple makes a 30% cut of revenues on each application although developers can choose to unleash them for free.

Also announced were a host of new features for enterprise users, including push e-mail, calendar and contacts and the ability to lock down the iPhone remotely, all of which look to challenge the windows mobile platform.

All of this was geared towards a 2.0 software update to come this summer, like the January one this is free for the iPhone and will incur a small charge for touch users.

As-per-usual several companies were asked to develop their own applications to show off at the announcement, including SEGA and Electronic Arts, indicating Apple's serious intention for the devices as a gaming platform.  Interestingly some of those demoed included integration with the accelerometer.

Knowing apple this will be one of the greatest platforms ever launched, even rivaling Facebook.

Get set for the next generation of mobile device.

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