Podcaster, Blogger, IT Specialist. Been working in IT for over 15 years. Supported Windows 95 upon initial Launch and have worked in desktop, server and Web site support roles. Started Geekazine in 2007 and launched 5 shows from it. Speaker on many topics in Podcasting and technology. Also a musician.
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Last month, news broke of Winamp getting shut down by AOL. Many have spoke up, which led to rumors abound and AOL didn’t take down the service when they said. Now, word is Radionomy has picked up the ball and will be running Winamp at this point.
Radionomy is a free platform that hosts thousands of stations created by pros and amateurs alike. It is one of the largest online radio networks in the world with over 6,000 stations. The company also has a licensed library with up to 80,000 songs.
So Winamp and the conjoining Shoutcast software is a perfect addition to what they offer. It would also add 50,000 stations to their system overnight.
This deal has not been officially announced yet. TechCrunch has “observed” that Winamp’s nameservers have been officially transferred to Radionomy. TechCrunch has further found out the deal should wrap up on Friday.
If you are a fan of “Titanic”, “Top Gun”, or even “Breakin 2: Electric Boogaloo” — you have only a few hours left to watch them on Netflix.
More than 80 movies and a group of TV shows including “Saturday Night Live” will be removed from the service on January 1, 2014. Netflix adds and removes movies and TV shows on a regular basis. This is all due to licensing contracts.
Nonetheless, TV shows like “Mr. Bean”, “Dark Shadows”, and “Kids in the Hall” will be removed for the new year. Movies include “Platoon”, “Flashdance”, “Being John Malkovich”, amongst others.
These movies might come back with new licensing deals. In the meantime, new movies and TV shows will be added including “Jack Reacher”, “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”, and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. TV shows like “Dexter” seasons 5-8 will also be added in the coming weeks.
The Internet Archive is a database of websites, media and more to try and preserve the past. The archive houses a lot of content you might not be able to find otherwise. Now you can add arcade games to the list as the Internet Archive is bringing console gaming to your computer.
The archive has added 70’s and 80’s video games from Atari, Colecovision, and Magnavox Odyssey. It’s part of Archive.org’s Console Living Room. The games currently don’t have sound, but Archivist Jason Scott stated that will be added shortly.
Don’t throw away your MAME console just yet. The archived games are only home-console versions. So Pac Man and Donkey Kong will look and run like your Atari 2600 system version.
Still, there were a lot of games I played a lot in my younger days which never went past those gaming systems. These games on the archive fell into disarray, which puts the game into a grey area – legally. Tablets and smartphones can run these emulated games, which can bring new life into what we played as kids.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I just have to find that one game I played on the Coleco as a kid but don’t remember the name…
I remember getting my first DVD player and the movie “The Waterboy”. I also remember streaming my first movie in “Hulk”. Years since, people have debated about losing the tangible disc and moving to streaming. Eventually we knew the DVD would become a thing of the past. As technology improved and new devices came out this year, we may have seen the last viable use for the DVD. Here is why:
Blockbuster Goes Bye-Bye, Streaming Video Grows
Blockbuster video rentals closed up in November. This was after a long run and competing with Netflix, followed by Red Box machines. When DISH network bought out Blockbuster, they gave it a home. Its apparent that DISH didn’t want to get into the physical video rental business. So the doors closed.
Netflix tried to close their DVD rental doors a couple years ago with the whole Qwikster debacle — a move that almost killed the company. Somehow they came back stronger than ever, pushing more streaming TV shows and introducing quality shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. Add to that promotions — such as the launch of Chromecast: Netflix gave 3-month subscriptions to the first buyers.
I have to admit, I still have my Netflix subscription…
Since Netflix switch to TV show-based content over movies, newer movies take a lot longer to show up on the service. That is where Amazon is leading the pack. You can rent or own the home digital rights of a movie or TV show instead of going down to the store and picking up the box.
Google Chromecast did two things. They brought the streaming app device down to an affordable price (not that it wasn’t already with the Apple TV and Roku). Chromecast also extended the life of older LCD TVs.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on TV’s with apps inside, they could get a cheaper TV and a set top box to run their content. Sure, the TV is not 1080p 120 Hz, but how many homes care about that type of quality? Especially if the TV is in the bedroom or even since our generation spent years staring at a Cathode Ray Tubes with full satisfaction.
Ultimately, they just want to get Chromecast and Netflix, then possibly cut their cable.
Netflix and YouTube in 4K (2160p)
Time to move to bigger and better video quality. 4,000 pixels – or 2160p. At CES, we will definitely be bombarded with 4K television technology — and we will LOVE it.
Even though some home theater experts have adopted 4K, home Internet speeds don’t really take into account 4K streaming just yet. A 4K video will take 6-12 Mbps connection. DSL won’t be able to handle that, especially if you surf and watch at the same time.
Even the computer is losing the DVD drive. Current Mac models don’t come with any type of optical drive. Tablets and smartphones also are disc-free. As desktops lose ground to tablets, the DVD will join the floppy disk, Zip drive and tape backup.
The Pawn Shop Effect
The best way to watch the DVD market is to watch the resale of the DVD. Major chain Pawn America runs a special on Tuesdays for DVDs. In May, they started special events where DVD movies only cost $1.
While newer titles might fetch your more, if you pawn a DVD title, they will most likely buy it at .10 cents so they can make .90 cents.
With all these factors (along with others such as DVR technology and flash drives), 2014 looks to be the year we finally lay the DVD optical disc format to rest. Blu-Ray discs still have value, but the DVD player will definitely be placed with the old TV and VCR down in the basement or garage.
Its the “little trash can that could”. The newest generation Mac Pro is finally available for those needing a powerhouse computer; yet many have switched to PCs earlier in the year because of performance issues. Will this new computer make up for it? Does Apple even care?
The new Mac Pro is available in 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12-core Intel Xeon processors. Initial configuration starts at $2,999 and can run up toward $9,600 with high end processor, memory, video and Flash hard drive. Additional Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0 and dual Ethernet ports on back to expand to other devices, monitors and more. To put in comparison, this machine can perform up to 20x faster than the average machine you can get at Best Buy. This means video editors trying to create CAD designs, musical compositions, 4K TV or movies can work easier and get final cuts done faster.
But is it too late?
Earlier this year I talked with a company who made the switch from Mac to PC to edit video. They were concerned the last update was on June of 2012 and that even though the new Mac Pro is impressive, the company might be too slow to upgrade the machine. Especially with 8K video starting to knock on the door.
The Mac Pro is an innovative design that also helps keep the machine cooler and run quieter. It will definitely make PC manufacturers improve on future designs. Yet Apple’s strongest point is iPad and iPhone sales – putting the Mac Pro on a far back shelf.
UPDATE: Apple is now stating their initial Mac Pro purchases have been fulfilled and set a February timeframe if you order now.
Last week I was at Ford for a press event. I got to talk directly to Ford CEO Alan Mulally (he was interested in my Google Glass). I didn’t ask about the Microsoft offer because that was covered in the press bombardment earlier — which he side-stepped the answer. But now, Microsoft is facing a new issue as a top Microsoft engineer Blaise Agüera y Arcas has announced he is joining Google. Will more follow?
Blaise has been with Microsoft since 2006 when his company (Seadragon) was acquired. Arcas was a lead software architect on Bing Maps photosynth software. In a blog post confirming his departure, Arcas said this was “The hardest decision of my life.”
Writings on the Wall?
If Mulally doesn’t head to Microsoft, the company will be in a very bad spot for the start of 2014. Most other CEO avenues have been closed up – most recently Steve Mollenkopf of Qualcomm as he accepted the CEO role there. With Microsoft being the world’s largest software maker, you don’t want to have an unidentified road map coming into Q1.
Add to that the bad year that Microsoft had. Windows 8.1 was lack-luster, the Surface tablet was not what they expected in sales, and phone sales are not even competing with the iPhone. Even the XBox One is having a hard time catching up to PS4 sales.
So with all this data, how will other employees react? Will we start to see a ship jump as the month goes on?
If Microsoft can’t get a CEO that can handle the job by January, we could start seeing employees sprucing up their resumes. Other names in the CEO hunt are former Skype CEO Tony Bates and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.
Some have even suggested Bill Gates come back and help in these questionable times. If the other avenues turn to be dead ends, would Gates come back?
In the meantime, reports of Ford hosting their own analyst meeting to figure out the direction if Mulally steps down. There are rumors he could step down as Ford CEO even if he doesn’t take the role at Microsoft. CFO Bob Shanks will address those issues next week.
You know the 2-flip USB rule. The USB plug won’t work, so you flip it. It still doesn’t work so you flip it again. Then it plugs right in.
Well that is all going to change.
The USB Implementers Forum announced they are working on a new plug that will work however you plug it in. Other features will include a smaller size plug and the connector design will scale for future USB bus performance. You can read it all on USB Implementers Forum document.
Smaller Type-C connectors will be an advantage to newer and smaller tablets, phones and notebooks. Alex Peleg, Vice President of platform Engineering at Intel stated his excitement over the device. He believes this will become a great all-in-one plug and the “only connector one will need across all devices.”
Current USB 3.0 standards can transfer at speeds of 5 Gbit/s. As compared to Thunderbolt 1, which can do 10 Gbit/s per channel (20 Gbit/s total).
This new connector could show up as early as mid-2014 when the USB 3.1 specification is expected to be completed.