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Download 15 full-length Hollywood movies in one minute!

If the researchers at Bangor University (Britain) have their way then in future you’ll be able to download 15 full-length Hollywood movies in one minute! Reportedly, they’ve developed a device which promises broadband 100 times faster and a quarter the price it is today. If the technology becomes successful then it’ll surely transform the communications industry, home life and the workplace.

(Press Release ahead)

A team of engineers at a British university have developed a device which promises broadband 100 times faster and a quarter the price it is today.

Using existing telecommunications but channelling the data more efficiently, the machine will be able to download 15 full-length Hollywood movies a minute, the team says.

The scientists at Bangor University are now set to build a prototype of their machine.

Dr Jianming Tang, of the university’s School of Electronic Engineering, hopes their efforts will transform the communications industry, home life and the workplace.

He said: “The new larger- and faster-capacity networks would revolutionise home entertainment, delivering high-speed high-definition films and television, high-power computer games and home video-conferencing facilities.

“This will make remote working far easier and could have many other applications such as supporting older people in their homes, enabling applications such as tele-medicine to flourish.”

Dr Tang has just been awarded the Royal Society Brian Mercer Feasibility Prize as part of the Royal Society’s annual From Labs To Riches event, designed to highlight the awards and schemes that boost innovation and wealth creation from science, engineering and technology.

Of the new device, he said today: “Importantly, it works with the existing fibre optic technology we have, so there is no need to rip out the cabling which runs the country’s telecommunications network.

“Projections have also shown a more efficient use of the network will cut costs for every user by up to 75 per cent.

He added it is too early to predict the high-street cost of the device, which will look very much like a DVD player and will sit between the broadband outlet and computer.

Anyone who thinks that downloading 15 feature films in a minute seems a trifle unnecessary should think again, Dr Tang suggested.

“People may wonder how we will use this far greater capacity but applications develop through use, as we have already seen with the internet and telecoms technology,” he said.

The team has been using funding of one million euros (£760,000) given to Bangor University to participate in a three-year EU-funded project called Alpha.

Source : PCLaunches

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IBM unveils a prototype Green Optical Network Technology for sharing huge files in seconds

Of course, we know how fast the brilliant IBM scientists can develop new innovative technologies. But this technology is surely poised to change the way we transfer data. The new prototype technology uses light instead of wires to send information and could allow, for example, the transmission of 8 trillion bits (terabits) per second of information — equivalent to about 5,000 high-definition video streams — using the power of a single 100-watt lightbulb. Sounds too good? If the geniuses at IBM play their cards right and actually launch this network for civilians, then our lives will certainly change for better. Just imagine, you can download HD quality movies in seconds, physicians and researchers can send high-definition images such as MRIs, heart scans which are huge files, for real-time analysis and 3-D visualization, and bandwidth for Supercomputing can increase astronomically.

Source : PCLaunches

Sharp develops new laser to enable recording of dual layer Blu-ray discs at 6x

Sharp has unveiled new technology which will definitely make things better for media geeks in coming months. Reportedly the firm has developed a new type of laser that enables recording of dual layer Blu-ray discs at 6x speed. The new laser achieves highest industry standards of 250mW output pulse and comes in small package of 3.3mm diameter for use in laptops. 

Sharp has also unveiled a desktop version — at 5.6mm. The company will start mass production of both products from April 2008.

Source : PCLaunches

NVIDIA releases APX 2500 Mobile platform

The world’s leading graphics company has released a new platform for mobile devices that promises to change the meaning of smartphones. The APX 2500 is a applications processor that enables intuitive 3D user interfaces and engaging high-definition video on connected Windows Mobile phones. The APX 2500 applications processor delivers an unprecedented 10 hours of 720p HD playback—an industry first for video quality and power consumption on a mobile device, as well as stunning HD camcorder and ultra-high-resolution photo imaging capabilities.

Main Highlight

  • The industry’s first HD (720p) playback and capture capability for handheld devices.

  • A new ultra-low-power (ULP) GeForce® core that is fully OpenGL ES 2.0 and Microsoft Direct3D® Mobile compliant and the lowest power 3D hardware solution available for acceleration of intuitive 3D user interfaces.

  • NVIDIA nPower™ technology, enabling over 10 hours of high-definition video playback and up to 100 hours of audio—more than four times the audio playback of the latest touch-screen phones.

  • The connectivity and media acceleration technologies required to enable the latest Web 2.0 applications, from effortless web browsing and social networking to GPS and mapping applications.

“This is the dawn of the second personal computer revolution,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. “Technologies are converging in amazing mobile devices, that have all of the rich, visual capabilities of a modern PC—from watching movies and making video calls to surfing the web and playing 3D games. The APX 2500 combined with Microsoft® Windows Mobile, will make the next generation of smartphones our most personal computer.”

Source : PCLaunches

Google won’t support you – Symbian

Google Android phones aren’t even on vapourware yet, but already Symbian is already welcoming the challenge.We asked Symbian executives how they propose to fight a free, or even an ad-subsidized, OS rival from Google. It’s a question everyone’s asking of vendors who go to market with an OS that costs real folding stuff.

EVP of marketing Jorgen Behrens replied that integrating an OS into a consumer product was costly, and that Symbian’s integration costs were lower than rivals. He also questioned if Google would be there when trouble struck.

“I remember sitting in a room with NTT DoCoMo and for three hours they gave us a very difficult time over a bug in the kernel. I can’t imagine Google sitting in that room,” he said.

Behrens is picking up on Google’s reputation for hands-on support. Or complete lack of it. That’s something familiar to anyone who’s had a complaint with Adsense, or sufferers of Google’s GMail. An automated email response is the best one can hope for.

But he may be being harsh; we’ve tracked down Google’s 24×7 crack systems integration and help expert on the Android project.

He exists, and here he is:

Here to fix your kernel bugs? Google support dog "Alex" Rubin

Smartphones in numbers

Executives were speaking on the day Symbian released its financial results. As a private company, it’s not obliged to so, but does anyway. Really to show off, as much as anything else.

The unaudited figures show that Symbian OS was in 22.4m phones in the final quarter of 2007, up from 14.6m a year ago, and 20.4m in Q3. The company booked £56.5m of turnover, of which £52.7m comes from royalties. 77.3m Symbian phones shipped last year, giving Symbian revenue of £194.3m for the full year. The average royalty per unit was $4.30, down from $5.10 a year ago, reflecting Symbian’s new lower royalty rate for high volume phones.

MD Nigel Clifford said there was no point Symbian creaming a profit when it could lower the cost and try and grow the market. Of course, we don’t know how much profit Symbian makes at the end of the day, because it doesn’t release the figures. The company now employs over 1,400 staff, including a development office in China.

(Symbian says it’s stealing market share from Linux in both China and Japan. The US is the only geographic region where Symbian phones don’t dominate the smartphone segment.)

According to Clifford, China surpassed the USA in smartphones last year. Which in the year of the iPhone gives you some idea of the opportunities, here.

Source :

Kaai and Soraa already working up Blu-ray successor?

Simmer down — it’s not like you haven’t seen advancements in blue laser technology before, and even though the current format war may still be raging when either’s successor rolls into town, Kaai and Soraa are already looking to the future. Reportedly, Khosla Ventures has invested in both of the aforementioned firms, and while company representatives aren’t disclosing much at the moment, we do know that the duo is exploring ways to “exploit gallium nitride, which is also the basis for existing blue LEDs and blue lasers.” Apparently, they’d like to concoct suitable replacements for conventional LEDs in the lighting market and make a showing in the optical data storage arena, too. But seriously, with 200GB Blu-ray discs, who needs to worry about the next best thing?

Image from DigitalHomeMag

Source : engadget

Intel and Nokia working on seamless WiFi / WiMAX switchoffs

We’ve seen a lot of research and even some products that promise seamless WiFi / cell roaming, but Intel and Nokia are cooking up tech that might one day bring us true uninterrupted broadband connectivity, based on automatic undetectable switchovers from WiFi to WiMAX. Intel’s posted up a brief video demoing the tech auto-switching without interrupting a video conferencing session on a laptop, but it’s easy to imagine the potential application on a mobile phone or UMPC — dare to dream after the break.

Source : DailyWireless

AMD preps new Imageon, video chips for smartphones

AMD today rolled out a set of upgrades to its Imageon graphics and processor chips that it says should help drive newer handhelds, especially advanced devices such as smartphones or personal navigators. The company’s new Z460 is one of the few phone-sized graphics chipsets to include the same kind of visual technology as the Xbox 360; the device is capable of handling custom visual shaders and should produce graphics more closely resembling what has been seen on game consoles in the past, AMD touts. A simpler chipset, the Z180, will also be available for 2D video and the vector graphics often found in GPS systems. Three processors will also handle other tasks often needed by mobile devices. The Imageon A250 helps process image and video decoding or encoding, including for cameras and large displays; the M210 will provide audio processing efficient enough to play music for 100 hours; and the D160 will provide a TV tuner for Europe’s DVB-H (handheld) and DVB-T (terrestrial) over-the-air digital TV standards both in handhelds as well as external adapters for notebooks.

AMD plans for all of the Imageon chipsets to be available in finished phones by late 2008 or early 2009.

Source : Electronista

Panasonic preps high-speed 32GB SDHC card

Panasonic has announced the first 32GB SDHC card in its Pro High Speed series, currently consisting of memory ranging from 1 to 16GB. Though the company inaccurately claims to have the “world’s first” 32GB Class 6 (6MB/s) card — SanDisk having announced a new Ultra II in late January — it is faster than most known to be in development, beating the Ultra II with a 20MB/s transfer rate versus 15MB/s.

The 32GB size maximizes the SDHC format, and should be enough to hold four hours of 1920x1080i video, or 12 hours of 1440x1080i content. Panasonic’s card is also said to be more temperature-resistant than many competitors, able to survive temperatures between -13°F and +185°F. The card will be out in April at a price of $699.

Source : Electronista

Blue-laser alternative to Blu-ray, HD DVD launched

V Media: 1.5in blue-laser disc

It’s based on blue-laser technology, but that’s where the similarity between the V Media disc and both HD DVD and Blu-ray Disc ends. V Media holds just 1GB of data on a disc with a diameter of about an inch and a half and a casing reminiscent of Iomega’s ill-fated Clik.

Developed by US company V Media Research, VM discs use the H.264 codec to deliver a claimed better-than-DVD playback quality, with video content encoded at progressive scan 720 x 576 – 576p. The discs are made by Cinram, one of the world’s biggest disc replication companies. The drives come from Panasonic.

Both have found a home in the plainly styled Movie Phone, a chunky handset announced today by Indian phone company Spice. From photos, you’d think the Movie Phone much like any other media-centric handset, but it’s rather bigger, thanks to Panasonic’s drive, which opens out of the back of the device much like Sony’s UMD drive opens out of the PSP.

Despite the sub-DVD capacity, VM’s 1GB of storage – held on a single layer – can hold a full-length movie. V Media Research reckons it’ll have a dual-layer version – recordable discs too – out in 2009, in part, it said, to win over extras-obsessed Hollywood studios.

That’s a way off yet – for now we have to question the rigour of disc and drive. But if punting them out into the Indian market doesn’t test that, we’re not sure what will. Spice’s Bollywood content chums reckons VMs will go on sale for the same price as a regular DVD over there, but with the benefit of play-wherever-you-go flexibility. Higher picture quality too, of course, but that’s less of an issue when you’re watching on a small, 2.8in screen, even one capable of showing 262,144 colours.

Spice has thought of that – the Movie Phone will incorporate not only the usual 3.5mm headphone jack, but a TV output port. The unit’s battery life is claimed to be 3.5 hours when playing movies off a VM.

So while V Media Research readies a more West-friendly version, Spice tests VM technology in a country where computer ownership is small and the number of people able to download movies from a Steve Jobs-style online store even smaller.

Even if VM doesn’t find a home over here, it’s hard to imagine it not appealing to a population devoted to both mobile communications and the cinema.

Spice hasn’t said how much it will charge for the Movie Phone, but the handset is due in a couple of months’ time.

Source :

MusicStation Max offers unlimited free music downloads to your mobile

After the QTrax debacle, we were a little wary when we started hearing rumbles about a similar service from OmniFone called MusicStation Max that promised, flat-fee, unlimited downloads from all the major labels to your cellphone with no expiration dates — but color us surprised, it’s for real. OmniFone’s MusicStation is already a player in the European mobile music game, partnered with giants like Vodafone, and the MusicStation Max launch seems like a natural evolution in the vein of Nokia’s Comes With Music program: consumers will buy a pre-licensed MSM phone — the first will be available from LG in a few months — and be able to download away for 12 to 18 months, with the ability to sideload back to a computer or to other licensed phones. The exciting part, of course, is that unlike almost every other subscription program on the market your music will still play when the license expires. Add to that the fact that everything from the tracks to playlists to friend recommendations will be backed up on the network in case you lose your device, and we’re definitely intrigued — but we’ll wait to see how well all this DRM actually works before we call this thing a winner.

Source : engadget

Best Buy’s pushing Blu-ray to the front

The HD DVD camp, still reeling after losing support from Netflix this morning, may feel flattened as Best Buy has announced it will officially promote Blu-ray as the HD format of the future. Starting in early March the store will showcase Blu hardware and software on its shelves and website, and switch from its current neutral stance, to recommending Blu-ray to any customers that ask. While “an assortment of HD DVD products” will remain, a vote of confidence from major retailers, following the majority of studio support, will make it impossible for red to recover.

Source : engadget

Samsung’s latest mobile processor integrates 3D graphics acceleration

Hardware video acceleration is a sore subject for quite a few cellphone fans these days, but it looks like Samsung’s next generation of mobile processor will speed up graphics directly by integrating a hardware video accelerator. The 65nm S3C6410 processor is based on a 667MHz ARM core but adds in 3D graphics acceleration and hardware support for H.264 and MPEG4, as well as other codecs. The chip is powerful enough to record and play VGA-res video at the same time, which Samsung says will enable higher-quality video conferencing while saving battery life — that’s what we like to hear. There’s no word on when or where we might see this bad boy pop up, but with support for Linux, WinMo, and Symbian, as well as architecture support for various types of DRAM and flash memory, we’d guess there might be a few interested suitors.

Source : engadget

Flash on iPhone is just around the corner


We’ve been waiting for Flash support to hit the ever since…well…it launched. We’ve had to make do without Flash for almost eight months, and YouTube even had to convert a bunch of their catalog to H.264 in order for the service to be enjoyed on the iPhone. Well, we’ve just got word from a reliable source that Flash support is on its way to the iPhone, and it should be coming very, very soon. Speculating a bit further on our own, we are guessing that it would be pretty convenient for Flash support to be introduced alongside the iPhone SDK, wouldn’t you say? Now, we know that there isn’t much information here, but you also know how strong our sources are too – Flash on the iPhone is coming, just take our word for it, okay?


Source : GearLive

Apple sets its sights on video consoles

Established console manufacturers might be quaking in their virtual boots, ’cause Apple has filed documents with the US Patent and Trademark Office that suggest it may be devloping a video games console.

Although Apple’s application is very vague, it makes specific reference to various forms of handheld unit, including ones for playing video games, stand alone video game machines and battery-powered computer games.

Use of the world “handheld” could mean that the likes of the PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 are safe for now. However, the wording could mean that Apple’s initially focused on development of a DS Lite or PSP rival. Apple’s already known to have links, through its iPod arm, with video game heavyweight Electronic Arts.

Rumour of an ‘iPod console’ have also been strengthened by reports of a vacancy at Apple for a “game producer/developer”. An advert for the position, which is based on Santa Clara Valley, US offers the successful applicant the “opportunity of owning the game design process”.

If you’re thinking of applying, then you’ll need about six years of game production and game design experience.

Source :

Teen hacker re-unlocks Apple’s iPhone

A teen hacker known for his deftness with iPhones has figured out how to unlock models running the latest firmware versions by cracking a protection that that has frustrated hackers for weeks.

The breakthrough by George Hotz, aka Geohot, means people who have bought a recent iPhone will once again be able to use it on the phone network of their choice. Apple makes as much as $400 for every handset that’s activated on an approved network, so its developers have worked hard to prevent the so-called unlocking of iPhones.

Last year, 17-year-old Geohot was among the first group of hackers to break Apple’s iron-fisted grasp on the iPhone, a coup that won him a Nissan 350Z and 3 8GB iPhones. Apple promptly responded by issuing updated firmware that stymied such efforts. Not only did the updates disable modified phones, effectively turning them into $400 bricks, they also prevented unlocking software from working in many cases. The arms race has persisted ever since.

The latest salvo was fired late last week, following a 24-hour hacking spree by Geohot that was broken up by only three hours of sleep. It turns out the latest firmware contained modifications to the device’s memory registers to prevent unlocking. Geohot worked around those changes by finding another, much higher register that was vulnerable.

“I guess Apple thought big numbers were harder to guess,” he wrote.

He then found a way to install his custom-built code by exploiting a flaw that allowed him to erase a range of memory addresses where security software is stored.

“The technique was not one that I was familiar with at all,” said Kevin Finisterre, a researcher who has spent a fair amount of time dissecting Apple devices. “From the read it sounds as though the gentleman has made some significant progress. More importantly he is sharing.”

This latest unlocking is no small accomplishment because iPhones are programmed to accept only approved SIM cards. Geohot’s technique appears to work around this limitation by writing to certain sections of the firmware.

The hack is highly technical and by no means for the faint of heart. Those iPhone owners in need of more hand-holding should check out step-by-step instructions here from iClarified. ModMyiPhone also offers a tutorial here.

Several weeks ago, analysts at Bernstein Research estimated that 1 million iPhones, or a full 27 per cent of the handsets sold to date, are running on unauthorized networks. At that rate, Apple could lose $1bn in revenue over the next two years. Rest assured that developer drones in Cupertino are already laboring to circumvent this latest workaround.

Source :

Samsung Chip may lead to 2-way iPhone video

Samsung’s semiconductor branch tonight helped launch Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress with a new mobile platform destined for smartphones and other high-end handhelds. The S3C6410 merges both a 667MHz ARM processor as well as a hardware Multi Format Codec decoder/encoder block that offloads much of the work that would normally be given to the main CPU. In addition to driving playback of video formats such as H.264, MPEG-4, and VC-1, it can also record standard-definition (640×480) video at full speed — including while playing back video at the same time, Samsung says. The feature explicitly opens the door to two-way video calling at TV resolutions while simultaneously improving battery life versus older processors.

In addition to videos, the hybrid ARM chip improves 3D graphics, scaling, and other visual tasks that would otherwise slow down the system. It also sports dual RAM ports that give enough memory bandwidth to handle high mobile resolutions without bogging down the whole device, according to the company. Samsung notes that the S3C6410 supports “all major high level operating systems” in the mobile space and expects to sample test chips in May, with mass production underway during the summer.

While no customers have yet been named for the processor, the Samsung introduction may prove crucial for Apple. The California firm is known to use a similar Samsung ARM processor in the iPhone and iPod touch based on earlier technology, and is believed to still be dependent on the ARM architecture as the backbone of the devices until at least the successor to Intel’s Silverthorne ultra-mobile processor is available for use in phone-sized devices in 2009. [photo via iFixit]

Source : Electronista

Nokia Research Center working on Debian based Linux phone

Mobile Monday Boston is lucky to have Nokia’s Research Center close by, but this sounds like something you wouldn’t want to tell the world. They [NRC] is apparently working on a mobile phone platform derived from the Debian Linux distribution.

Source : intomobile

Cisco to release Android Powered mobile phone, looks like iPhone

According to ZD|Net Cisco is going to come out with a mobile phone, Android powered, that looks similar to the iPhone, but is meant for enterprise use. The demo Dave Greenfield was shown comprised of a 3 way video call, we can assume the device has a camera in the front for video calls, and many business tools such as email, calendering, todo’s, etc, all integrated.

One to watch out for, just a reminder: we’re going to be at Mobile World Congress, hopefully catching this baby on camera.

Source : intomobile

Dell Could buy Motorola


Another rumour, but an interesting one… Dell might be in the running to buy Motorola!

We’ve reported before about a possible partnership (or no) between Dell and Google, so this would potentially provide Dell a third leg to the stool – and with it’s considerable PC/Hardware experience, they could just pull it off….!

Source : Mobile Today

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