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Sony, Panasonic Propose Blu-ray Capacity Increase

Sony and Panasonic have announced that they have developed a new optical disc evaluation technology that will allow the layer capacity of Blu-ray media to increase from 25GB to 33.4GB using existing Blu-ray laser diodes. This would presumably allow existing Blu-ray hardware - including Blu-ray Disc players and burners - to play the proposed discs with a simple firmware upgrade.

Marvel introduces 1GHz Armada 610

ARM wtih 1080p graphics

Marvell has launched a rather interesting ARM-based processor with integrated graphics and an impressive 1GHz clock.

Marvell hopes to take on the likes of Texas Instruments, Qualcomm and even Nvidia's Tegra with the new processor. As Marvell holds an ARM license it had a bit more freedom in designing the chip than other players. Hence, they fiddled with the design and came up with a shorter pipeline for faster execution.

CES: Toshiba goes all 3-D, all the time

Bucking the trend of falling TV prices, Toshiba today announced a new line -- Cell TV -- with a super-fast processor now used in the Sony PS3 game console.

This is the first announced use of the Cell chip in a TV. "Toshiba missed out on HD DVD -- which got beat out by Blu-ray -- but that gave them the first shot at defining the future of TV," said obviously enthusiastic analyst Richard Doherty, head of the Envisioneering Group, after the Toshiba press conference.

Skype Upgrades Video For HDTV

Sophisticated videoconferencing isn't just for only large-scale enterprise users anymore. Skype and some high-definition TV suppliers have announced that they will offer videoconferencing for home users in a few months.

And the videoconferencing will be free, provided users are members of Skype's service. Skype, recently separated from eBay, said Tuesday that LG Electronics and Panasonic will begin supplying features for the service on sets they plan to market later this year. In addition to new TVs, users must purchase Web cameras with microphones.

The format wars: of lasers and (creative) destruction

Remember the format wars? Ars looks back at the heated battles between VHS and Betamax as well as HD DVD and Blu-ray, wondering if, now that the dust has settled, the end of the format wars is nigh. I have this love/hate relationship with format wars.

No, it's not reality television versus talk shows, or Top 40 radio against "the best of the '80s—and more!" The wars I'm thinking about pit technologies against one another, usually in a battle to the death of one or more of the contestants. It's One format to rule them all every time, and the streets are littered with the remains of the losers.

Tellyphone

YOUR correspondent is always miffed when he sees others taking for granted things he has waited years for. Case in point: the way the Japanese think it is perfectly normal to watch live national and local television free on their mobile phones. In fact, they can do so on practically anything they care to carry around with them—from portable game consoles and electronic dictionaries to satnavs for their cars. And it is not just in Japan that you can watch live television on the hoof. It is also taken for granted in South Korea, China, Brazil and parts of Europe.

Eye-Fi Pro X2 Boosts Data, Network Speed

Eye-Fi introduced its new Eye-Fi Pro X2 Wi-Fi camera card on Tuesday. The new version of the wireless network-enabled SDHC memory card sports Class 6 performance for faster read and write speeds, and includes 802.11n support for faster network speeds.

Along with faster performance, the new card includes 8GB storage, can auto-delete images once they're transfered to a user-specified location, supports JPEG and Raw file formats, supports image geotagging, is compatible with 25 online photo and video sharing sites, and more.

Isaac Newton: Who He Was, Why Google Apples Are Falling

Today on the Google home page, an animated apple is falling, over and over, with a satisfying plunk—a 367th birthday tribute to Sir Isaac Newton.

The English scientist was born especially tiny but grew into a massive intellect and still looms large, thanks to his findings on gravity, light, motion, mathematics, and more.

Legend has it that Isaac Newton formulated gravitational theory in 1665 or 1666 after watching an apple fall and asking why the apple fell straight down, rather than sideways or even upward.

Why Sony is rethinking the Cell

Over the Christmas holidays the rumour mill started churning out a claim that Sony is considering ditching its Cell chip in favour of something more Intel flavoured. Several news sites picked up the story that Sony had a guts-full of the Cell and wanted to move to a multi-core chip from Intel.

However the move has left many scratching their heads. The Cell is still a good chip with many advantages in performance and creative research this generation. Its reliability has also seen the beast wired up to many DIY supercomputers.

Boost Your Mobile Broadband Signal

I just found this video by accident and I had to post it. As a follow up to our popular post on How To Boost Your 3G Mobile Broadband Signal this has got to be the cheapest (probably free for most people!) mobile broadband signal booster you can find. Now you can forget about building a diy 3G antenna or buying a high gain external aerial for your dongle, this is a completely home-grown version that everyone should be able to try out.
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