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Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mac Mini DVR?

Thinksecret has an article on the possible release of a dvr version of the mac mini. This has also be posted to slashdot where there is sure to be much discussion.

I'm interested to see if it includes 5.1 surround sound support, which would be key to being the center of a home entertainment center.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I suppose with it being the end of the year many inventions made this year are hitting the press now. So here is a quick list of items of interest from the last week.

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Friday, November 18, 2005

Laser etched PowerBook

Perhaps laser etching images onto powerbooks and ipods is a new service Apple should offer. It certainly makes a unique statement. Sadly I can also see it lighting a image copyright fire where one shouldn't exist!

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Technology applied to Home Heating

Biodiesel has been in the news recently when people were dealing with $3 a gallon for fuel. Now that winter is around the bend it is again in the news as a replacement for home heating oil.
Paul Nazzaro, president of Massachusetts energy-consulting company Advanced Fuel Solutions, spearheaded the effort to win over the failing heating-oil industry to biodiesel. Adopting the alternative fuel was a way for the oil industry to change its image and win back market share from natural gas, explains Nazzaro.

"Consumer perception of oil heat was very low; they related it to prehistoric fossil fuels -- dinosaurville," he says. By convincing the heating oil industry to carry biodiesel, he figured the heating-oil market would get a much-needed boost, and biodiesel would become accepted into a mainstream commercial market.

In related news the surging cost of natural gas and coal has turned the tables on another renewable energy source. Around the nation people who used to pay more to have green electricity are now paying less than the regular customers. This article is a copy from the LA Times.
But starting next month, DeMoulin's conscience-driven decision will save him money. Because of skyrocketing natural gas and coal prices, Colorado's 29,000 wind-energy customers for the first time will pay less than Xcel Energy's 1.3 million customers who use conventionally generated power.

After the savings was announced Wednesday, Xcel signed up as many customers for its Windsource program in one day as it normally does in two months. The surge in interest is the latest example of rising energy costs making wind power increasingly attractive to consumers.

In Edmond, Okla., wind-power users now pay less than other customers. The wind program in Austin, Texas, known as GreenChoice, will cost less than conventional power beginning in January. Makers of wind turbines report being sold out until 2008.

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Tech News: Dell-n-AMD and Sony Rootkit

There are a few news items of interest today.

Dell is now selling AMD processors
, but not yet selling computers using them. If you like I, own share of AMD this is good news. Although it is more symbolic than a material effect. I of course am waiting for Apple to announce that it will make systems using AMD processors along with Intel processors. It does make sense to have two competing vendors if for no other reason than price negotiations on volume orders. Of course I would like a 64-bit AMD powered Mac or iBook.

Sony is being sued on at least one front for its use of a windows root-kit for copy protection purposes. Coming on the heals of this lawsuit is news of viruses designed to take advantage of the Sony rootkit which could make the lawsuits turn real ugly. If someone is victimized because of a virus using the Sony rootkit then that should make Sony the equivalent of being an accomplice in breaking and entering.

I leave you with my favorite image of the day.

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Sunday, November 06, 2005

The other NATO

With the release of Chicken Little Hollywood is rolling out Digital Theaters.

Theater owners, however, have refused to pay the roughly $100,000 per screen to digitize if the only content is the same old movie. They want new 3-D flicks, live music concerts and sports events to lure more patrons.

John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theater Owners (NATO), likens Disney's effort to a "first experiment" for digital cinema, but cautions that many tests lie ahead before a wide digital deployment to the roughly 36,000 movies screens in the United States takes place.

Maybe people will pay to see good 3-D flicks (not the old campy 3-D Horror/Sci-Fi flicks), or to see major sporting events in something higher def. than HD TV. Otherwise I think theaters that don't have a catch (like retro drive-in, or beer and chips) will have a hard time drawing in enough people to turn a profit.

In other news Sony is getting slammed on Amazon for selling CD's with a windows root-kit on it.

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Saturday, November 05, 2005

For those with a collection of iPods

Market growing for refurbished, used iPods
Small Dog Electronics, for instance, is an established Apple reseller that has for years sold refurbished Macintosh computers and other accessories. The company now sells around 500 used and refurbished iPods per month from its Web-based store at significant discounts. A refurbished third-generation, 30GB iPod that cost $400 in 2003 now runs for about $210, for example.

The resale value of Apple products constantly amazes me.

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Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Bridging the Digital Divide

AMD & Wyse are working with Inveneo to bridge the digital divide.
As part of the teaming, Wyse, with its Digital Inclusion program, joins forces with AMD in the 50x15 initiative to empower 50 percent of the world's population with affordable Internet access and computing capability by the year 2015.

The announcement seems to mean corporate buy in on a project by Inveneo to put solar powered, networked computers in places off the electric grid. Inveneo's project was mentioned here in a previous posting.

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