UPnP Forum and How Your Gadgets Stream Music

UPnP Forum LogoIf you’ve ever wondered how your gadgets talk amongst themselves to successfully play music from your PC through a media streamer, you’ll be interested in this interview with Dr Alan Messer, President of the UPnP Forum.

Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) is the standard by which IP networked gadgets advertise their services and intercommunicate. Formed in 1999, nearly all the big vendors are signed up with over 1000 members, the notable exception being Apple who tend to do their own thing. Think Intel, Samsung, Nokia, Philips.

The most common example of UPnP (AV spec) is DLNA-certification which governs media management, discovery and control and this effectively determines how music is streamed from one device to another. Set-top boxes know how to use different router ports based on UPnP techniques. Almost any consumer device attached to the network in the home will have some element of UPnP built-in.

(No, Andy, it’s not the ISA PnP but thanks for the trip down memory lane.)

Interview by Andy McCaskey and Courtney Wallin of SDR News and RV News Net.

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GNC-2012-01-27 #737 Shame on Hawaii Legislature!

Going to be implementing some Studio upgrades in the next couple of weeks should be fun. I go after a couple of my state legislatures pretty hard tonight on two idiotic bills that they introduced. Also hope I was not to punchy on the last show notes. I am feeling much better by the way and although the voice is not a 100% I feel a 100% better.

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Biscotti TV Phone with Google Video Chat

Biscotti LogoBiscotti‘s TV phone is a small camera unit that sits on top of your big screen TV, connecting to the TV via HDMI and to the network via WiFi. Once connected up, owners can make high-definition video calls to other Biscotti owners and Google Video Chat users.  And you will not believe how small the camera unit is. Todd chats to Matthew Shoemake to learn more.

The TV Phone uses an HDMI pass-through technology, meaning that there’s no need to change channels when receiving a call as the Biscotti notifies users via a pop-up message on screen. By using Google Video Chat, the Biscotti TV Phone can connect to any device that has a Chat client, whether it’s AndroidiPhone or a PC. Connectivity with other video clients will be forthcoming, but no details just yet.

The Biscotti TV Phone is available for $199 and no monthly fees. Watch the video to get free shipping (disclaimer – not sure how long this promotion will run after CES finishes.)

Interview by Todd Cochrane of Geek News Central for the TechPodcast Network.

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Sony Connects Up At CES

Sony LogoSony‘s CES focus this year is on electronics, content and network services combining to deliver high quality entertainment anytime and anywhere. Supported by a slew of product announcements, new connected devices range from TVs, Blu-ray players and A/V receivers through to tablets, smartphones and PCs and on to camcorders and mobile music players. Sony is combining these with online services for music, video and game delivery, creating a great user experience (as they say). TVs, PCs, smartphones and tablets are key to this experience as the four main devices used for entertainment.

Sony is committed to designing technologies for every aspect of consumer entertainment – in or out of the home, on the go, in the air, at work, at play, or wherever life takes you,” said Kazuo Hirai, Executive Deputy President, Sony Corporation. “When these products are combined with Sony Entertainment Network (SEN), which offers innovative services like Music Unlimited and Video Unlimited, as well as PlayStation Network, the user experience is truly unmatched and only made possible by a company like Sony.”

The Bravia TV line has been expanded in all three areas; entry level BX, step-up EX and flagship HX. Brightness and contrast levels have been increased and picture quality improved with Sony’s X-Reality and Motionflow video technologies. In particular the latter helps to reduce blur caused by rapid camera movements which is often a problem with LCD screens. Sony is sticking with the Google TV platform with a new network player and Blu-ray player featuring Google TV. Certain Bravia models will link seamlessly to these devices to provide Google TV features directly on the TV.

Sony Xperia ion smartphoneSony’s Vaio range of computers will continue to be updated with more entertainment feature and new designs that fit with consumers’ needs and increasing mobility. At CES, Sony will be demonstrating new technologies and prototypes for a range of technologies including glasses-free 3D.

In the smartphone space, the Xperia brand has done reasonably well, but increasing the smartphone share in North America is now one of Sony’s highest priorities. Sony Ericsson will be subsumed into Sony Mobile Communications and all new phones will carry Sony branding. The latest addition to the Xperia line-up is the Xperia ion, Sony’s first LTE smartphone coming with an HD 720p display and aluminium body. Also new is the Xperia S which comes with 3D image capture.

Sony Bloggie LiveOn the imaging front, no less than 13 new Handycam camcorders are being unveiled. A new image stabilisation system called Balanced Optical Steady Shot has been developed that controls the complete optical path from lens to sensor as a single floating unit. This reduces handshake blur by up to 13 times compared to the previous models. There’s a new camcorder model with a built-in video projector that has improved brightness and enhanced audio. The trusty Bloggie range now has a “Live” model which will live stream HD video over a Wi-Fi connection and there’s an unboxing over at sister channel TPN.tv. Of course, Sony has a bunch of new Cybershot digital still cameras.

Z Series Audio MP3 PlayerFinally, it wouldn’t be CES if Sony didn’t announce a Walkman or two. The new Z series of MP3 players comes with an application interface and connectivity to both Sony’s Music Unlimited and the Android Market. Content can be played from Z series devices either wirelessly using DLNA or via HDMI to Bravia TVs. To further improve the audio experience, no less than eleven new Balanced Armature earbud-style headphones are now available as well.

That’s it – a quick overview of the products on show at CES by Sony and they all look like fun.

Withings Internet Connected Baby Scale

At CES in Las Vegas, Withings has announced its wireless Internet-connected baby and toddle scale, winner of a 2012 CES Innovations Award. Developed by the French company, the Smart Baby Scale incorporates WiFi, Bluetooth and the low power Bluetooth Smart connectivity and allows parents to accurately record their child’s weight from birth.

Withings Smart Baby Scale

Using the Smart Baby Scale, parents can view the weight readings from any net connected device, such as PC, laptop, iPad, iPhone or iPod touch using the already available WiScale app. Parents can easily pass on their child’s weight profile to their doctor, family and friends and the scale can also update Facebook and Twitter. Messages can be sent to email addresses with new readings and, if desired, parents can put together a scrapbook with notes and photos to create a story of their child’s growth.

Cédric Hutchings, Withings co-founder says, “We are very excited to announce our Smart Baby Scale and offer parents an amazing new way to take care of their newborn or young child. The success of our WiFi Body Scale has proven the benefits of connected weight tracking on adults and we were eager to also bring these benefits to babies and children. We are thrilled that our Smart Baby Scale was awarded the prestigious CES Innovation Award and this further reinforces our vision of designing smart communicating devices that help families take better charge of their health”.

The Smart Baby Scale complements other Withings products such as the adult Withings WiFi body scale and the Withings Blood Pressure Monitor. Parents are able to monitor their child’s weight on the same dashboard they view their own weight and blood pressure. (Hmm, I wonder if parents are as inclined to put their own weight on Facebook!)

No news on pricing but the Smart Baby Scale will be available from Q2 of 2012. The WiScale app is available now for iOS devices from the App Store for free.

Ford and Gogo Add to Inflight Entertainment

Ford logoTravelling by air can be pretty dull – you’re jammed into a metal tube with nowhere to go even if you could get out of your seat. Inflight entertainment has evolved from one or two screens for the whole cabin to multichannel personal media players in seat headrests, which certainly helps to alleviate the boredom. More recently and largely responding to the requests of business travellers, more and more flights now have Wi-Fi, bringing the Internet to your foldaway table, albeit usually at a price.

Gogo LogoIf you are lucky enough to be on a plane equipped with Gogo‘s inflight Wi-Fi connectivity, Ford has teamed up with Gogo to offer access to Ford’s Mustang Customizer and free access to Facebook for the rest of the flight. The Customizer is a notch above the usual car modelling websites where you can only change the colour of the paint and the interior trim. Starting out with Mustang V6, GT, Boss 302 or Shelby GT500, the Customizer lets you choose the exterior before tweaking under the hood and then placing the car in one of three backgrounds – dragway, cityscape or drive-in restaurant. Apparently there are over 78,791,049,216,000 combinations of vehicle to dream up.

Once you’ve got the car of your dreams, the picture can be downloaded as a background or posted to Facebook and entered into contests to see who has the best car. If you’ve cash to match, you can get a .pdf pricing out the components you’ve chosen.

We are really excited to give Gogo users a chance to customize their very own Mustang while in flight,” added Brian McClary, emerging and social media specialist at Ford. “The Mustang Customizer has proven to be a great way for users to create their own Mustang and provides an interactive and immersive experience.

Definitely of interest to bored petrol heads, small boys and Facebook junkies. The special promotion starts 21 October, 2011 and ends 18 November, 2011

GNC #670 Chrome OS Arrives

I am sure you have noticed the new strategy with the show content and I hope you like the tighter format. The goal is more insight on the important stuff while at the same time getting you a nice sampling of what you may have missed. This may mean longer rants on some sections of the show and barely a gloss over on other segments. All of this is part of the process I am using to take the show to the next level. Your feedback is welcome. Enjoy todays show! Next show will be road show.. Listen for details.

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Show Notes:
Chrome Notebooks
Ultimate Family Computer?
Our OS are Torturing us?
Google TV and the Master Plan.
Google I/O Recap.
DIY Chrome Book.
Senate Censorship Bill!
The 6 Billion dollar roll of the Dice.
Apple Walled Garden Kills Another Company.
Netflix comes out Guns Blazing!
Microsoft + Skype = I do not Understand.
FBI Statements Typical!
The ACTA Treaty!
Corruption at the highest Level!
Sneaker Net email.
TwitPic shame on You!
Comcast fixes Pirate Bay?
iMac Drives Proprietary.
Lime Wire 105 Million to RIAA Partners.
Sony Messed with wrong Hackers.
Facebook PR Team BLOWS It.
National Jukebox 1900 Music.
Caffeine Buzz via your Soap.
Black Holes = Earlier Universes?
Target Asteroid Acquired.
30 Supernova a Second?
Endeavor Team back at KSC.
Wrong Place, Wrong IP, Wrong Time.
Battle Lines Drawn over Net Rentals!
Cox brings TV to Net.
Adobe Sues Wowza over Patents.
Femtocell to Save the Day!
Making your own Coupons = Jail Time.
Google Music Dance over Money.
iPad Wifi Issue is Back.
Amazon Tablet on the Way.
Australian Key loggers for Gov’t employees.
Nuclear Meltdown Confirmed in Japan.

Samsung Wi-Fi Camera SH100

Samsung SH100

Samsung SH100

I have been wanting a Wi-Fi enabled camera for a very long time, we know you have been able to get SD card with Wi-Fi built in. But we have been way overdue on getting a camera with Wi-Fi onboard.

Now Samsung has a camera that had built-in WiFi that does even more than I expected.

The SH100 wi-fi enabled camera has a 14.2 MegaPixel sensor with 5x zoom, but more important – Once you take a picture, you can send it to your favorite place. A hard drive, Facebook, Twitter, iPad or where ever.

What I really was surprised about was the fact you could use your Smartphone as a proxy viewfinder. If you need to hold the camera up in the air, the camera will send the video to your Smartphone so you can see what you are taking.

The SH100 will be available for $199.99 in March.

Interview at CES 2011 by Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine.com

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Eye-Fi Direct Mode at CES 2011

Eye-Fi has introduced Direct Mode at CES 2011 which allows you to send pictures directly to another device like a mobile phone or base station from the eye-fi, wi-fi, sd enabled memory stick. While it is a minor upgrade to their service it is handy that you will be able to send pictures to your mobile device which then you could sms or email to someone.

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GNC-2010-11-22 #629 Headed Home

I have had a very productive trip here in Albuquerque but I am more than ready to head home. Lots of work to do in the studio and not a lot of time to do it. PLus my honey do list is a mile long. I expect to do a Saturday Morning Tech Show if the Studio is ready. Sunday we announce the Slate for 2010 Podcast Awards so it has to be ready. :) Have a great Thanks Giving and be Safe.

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Listener Links:
TSA Alternative?
Energy Cost.
Net Neutrality coming in Dec?
More TSA Madness.

Show Links:
Kilts pose issue for TSA.
Simply amazing ISS Pictures.
Samsung and Google TV?
Google is Hiring.
Google Connect going after Microsoft Office Users Big Time.
Netflix Pricing change and New Service Offerings.
iOS 4.2 now on the Street.
600k Galaxy Tablets Sold.
150k down /35k Up = $200.00
Vudu coming to Panasonic.
GNC 24hr Podcast!
Amazon Album Sales.
Tivo iPad App.
Time Warner Lower Offering Sucks.
Autobot service for Car.
Brillant Jenga Pistol.
When will Point and Shoot Cameras get Smart?
Shorts for your trips to the Airport.
Discovery ready to go.
The final frontier.
Maybe the Big Bang was not so Big after all.
Shop smart these holidays.
Bogus TSA Info.
Use S3 for Hosting?
Twitter GAG.
Google TV ok to wait on.
Big Sat punched into Orbit.
Wi-Fi is killing Trees?
AT&T boast big Speed advantage.
FCC not Happy with Verizon on Net Neturality.
You wonder why we have Back Scatter Scanners?
911 Update Overdue.
Viacomm blocking Google TV.

Send in your stories to [email protected] and be sure to provide a link to your websites!