Media Centre in 2005, What’s Apple cooking for 2006: Teenage Tech Roundup

Digital-Lifestyles is pleased to have Lawrence Dudley writing for us. All too often articles about the things teenagers are interested in are written by people old enough to be their parents. What teenagers are thinking isn’t represented. Lawrence will give you a point of view that you won’t find in other publications. You see Lawrence _is_ a teenager.

Happy New Year!Happy New Year!!Since the New Year has just begun, a piece focusing on last year, the one that has just begun and the developments suspected to emerge during it seemed justified.

It’s strange in many ways, to look back on a space of time as long as a year in tech history. Technology evolves so rapidly that a time span of even as little as a week can seem like a month.

2005 was hailed by many as ‘The Year Of HD’: More and more High Definition TVs and displays have become available, and the recently launched Xbox 360 supports HD out of the box. HD promises us richer colours, and most importantly a resolution higher than the abysmal 500×300 or so resolution offered by a lot of standard definition televisions.

The price of HD equipment also dropped by a huge amount. A year ago, I remember seeing prices that one just couldn’t justify for a TV, with £3,000 not being an unusual sum of money to see for a HD television.

Walking into UK Electronics retailer, Dixons, the other day, I came across a set that cost a ‘mere’ £1,000. While a thousand pounds is still a lot of money, it’s a much more realistic price for a television than the three grand of a year ago. As far as I am concerned then, the ‘Year of HD’ was certainly a raging success.

I know a lot of people in technology make all sorts of predictions, and a lot of them turn out to be false, but there is one prediction I am fairly confident in making: 2006 will be THE year of the home entertainment computer.

Windows Media Center edition screenshotYou might wonder why I am so confident in this prediction: Afterall, Microsoft has been pushing out Windows Media Center for a good few years now, and they still haven’t gained dominance. The deciding factor for this year, I believe, will be the fact that Apple is now in the market.

On 12th October last year, Apple unveiled their first media-oriented computer, the iMac G5 which featured a remote control and accompanying software for watching DVDs, slideshows, playing music and movies. While the product’s reception was great, and the media loved it, nothing much has been heard of it since.

A nice gimmick, sure, but nothing more. It wasn’t about to replace the box under the TV, or indeed the TV itself because it missed one important feature: The ability to watch actual live television with it.

FrontrowThere were of course enhancements that could be purchased which made this possible, but they are awkward and use a different remote control. Never mind having different remote controls for different boxes, this was a case of two remote controls for the same one, and I for one know how frustrating it is to lose a remote. Having two of them increases the chance of losing one. Apart from this it wasn’t a polished affair, and the software to facilitate a media centre-like experience wasn’t mature enough.

What makes me think this will change? One word: Macworld in San Francisco next week. Apple are poised to do to video what they did to music, and I am confident they will pull it off with a rush of brushed aluminum and cool white plastic, accompanied with their usual style.

In the past, Apple haven’t briefed journalists in advance. There were of course all the usual rumour sites, and their fan base has always been prominent on the Web.

Macworld Expo LogoHowever, this has always been on quite specific Mac-related Websites, and not in main stream media.

Over the past few days however, the rumours have increased to such a level that popular news site had almost one out of every two stories it carried relating to Apple in one way or another. I got a familiar buzz from this – something must be going on. Imagine my surprise then when I opened the newspaper this morning, only to find a nice big picture of Steve Jobs on the front cover of one of the inserts.

One thing’s for sure, San Francisco 2006 is going to be BIG. Along with a slew of expected Intel Apple Macs (yes, Apple are moving to the Intel architecture), a product is expected that, if released, could transform the way we consume media.

Think of it as an iPod for your living room. It downloads music, videos and films, can display and record television, radio and any other input source and can pipe audio to any room in the house, wirelessly, thanks to the existing Airtunes technology. Whether this is a dream that will soon become reality or not, will be revealed in the next few days.

It may of course be that Apple ship this wonder product later than this, but I have a feeling, only a feeling mind, that it will be at Macworld San Francisco.

So what about competitors? What are Microsoft doing about all this? It seems that Windows Vista will ship with a media center module built-in, meaning that it isn’t necessary to buy a separate Windows Media Center machine to run it on. However, not many details exist about this, and the release date isn’t certain yet, although it is scheduled for sometime in 2006.

There’s not much else to say until it becomes apparent what is released during the year, but I shall be doing a special piece covering the developments from Mac World San Francisco on or around the 12th of January. Here’s to a good year in media and technology!

PetCell: A Teenage Take: Don’t Be Daft

All too often articles about the things teenagers are interested in are written by people old enough to be their parents. Teenage thinking isn’t represented. Lawrence Dudley gives you a point of view that you won’t find in other publications. You see, Lawrence is a teenager.

Dog wearing dog-mobile phoneWoof … I mean, Hello?
There’s loads of relatively serious articles on media and technology all over the Internet nowadays. This isn’t one of them.

Mobile phones are reaching into all sorts of new markets, often, not just reaching but forcing, with operators seemingly desperate to reap more profits. There’s the mobile for kids, the Firefly, and the mobile phone controlled kettle.

Of course, this can’t possibly be enough… and come on, the dog feels left out when you go to Carphone Warehouse and there isn’t a Carphone Kennel to match. The answer to this is, of course, the PetCell.

Come on, admit it: When your dog is late, possibly because it is busy peeing against a tree somewhere, don’t you wish that you could give it a quick ring to check it’s OK? Yeah, didn’t think so. Nevertheless it exists, so I guess some overly-pet-protective marketing drone somewhere decided that it was a viable product.

Carphone Kennel Satirical AdvertFrom what I gathered, the device lets you set a fixed area in which your dog is allowed to be. If your dog goes outside this area, the unit sends you a text message. I personally think that this is kind of like shutting the door after the horse (or dog) has bolted.

I mean, you notice your dog’s missing, and, look at that, how helpful, your mobile phone confirms it! What a useful bit of technology!

Of course, it only does this while the battery isn’t flat or the dog has decided to go for a swim. I’m guessing that it will be marketed as waterproof when it is released in 2006, but as with all “waterproof” devices, I seriously doubt it really is.

I’m guessing that there will be different models too, so that the dogs with the cool phones have something to show off to their mates. The mocked-up image at the top of this piece is what I imagine two cell-phone equipped dogs to act like, shown on an advert for Carphone Kennel.

I’m sorry if I sound a little negative this week, but I am sick of these tacky technologies coming out which serve no particular real-life purpose. And this is coming from someone with a passion for gadgets, don’t forget.

I mean, who’s really going to call up their dog to find out which lamp post he’s peeing on? And I guess those people who would, probably also wouldn’t mind paying an outrageous monthly subscription for the service, which is no doubt how the service will be paid for.

Dog located under carNow if only one of these could be invented that’s small enough to be fitted on valuable items like my laptop, or my wallet. Now that would be useful, and save me looking for either of them when they get stolen. And when they do get stolen, I will know where they are and possibly who stole them.

The problem with that, of course, is that this would constitute genuinely useful technology, something which the gadget industry has an extremely bad grasp of.

Shame really.

Teenagers Don’t Like Retro

All too often articles about the things teenagers are interested in are written by people old enough to be their parents and teenagers thinking isn’t represented. Lawrence Dudley gives you a point of view that you won’t find in other publications. You see Lawrence _is_ a teenager.

Motorola Dynatec 8000xA Whole New Meaning To Retro
As a teenager, retro is your dad when he insists on playing his absolutely appalling Cher records. Not that my dad listens to Cher, of course, unless he only does that in secret, which I wouldn’t blame him for. Anyway, so retro is anything but cool as a teenager. In fact, most people my age that I know are very technology-conscious, and new phones, games etc. are common playground talk. What isn’t talked about is all that old stuff that dad’s seem to always talk about. You can imagine then that I almost choked when I read about people in China hacking old Motorola DynaTAC 8000x phones to feature colour screens and GSM-compatibility.

The 8000x was one of the first mobile phones around, and had quite an impressive feature set: A whole 30 minutes of talk time and 8 hours of standby along with a price tag of $4,000. They’re also the size of a house brick. Why on earth then are the chinese fitting these antiquities with colour screens? Well… The original Engadget entry for the story had a link to the original article, sadly for us, it was in Chinese. Using the Babelfish translation engine, I gleaned a vital piece of information from the nonsense-filled, automatically translated page. The following quote surely explains everything: “However, everybody could not forget it the standard use: Defends self the person!”.

Chinese Man Talking On His Motorola Dynatec 8000xAh ha! So that’s it: These “mobile phones” are actually weapons. Guess that means the end of taking my phone on the plane then! Still… The smiling Chinese man talking on his glorified, colour LCD display-equipped brick does look so innocent!

While this article is not intended to be taken entirely seriously, it does highlight the weirdness of some of the stuff people do and how stuff like that spreads as a result of the Internet.

While I accept that some strange people might want their phone to look like a car battery with buttons, I can only hope that no-one attempts to resurrect Cher, because let’s face it: There’s no reason to.

Ed: We’ve got a few of the old Motorola Bricks around the Digital-Lifestyles office, that we picked up at DefCon seven years ago. We’d love to them converted for current use. But then again, we some of us remember them the first time around.

xBox 360 Launch – A Teenage View

Digital-Lifestyles is pleased to have Lawrence Dudley writing for us. All too often articles about the things teenagers are interested in are written by people old enough to be their parents. What teenagers are thinking isn’t represented. Lawrence will give you a point of view that you won’t find in other publications. You see Lawrence _is_ a teenager.

X-Box 360The Next Revolution Is Here… Or Is It?
Of course, the big news this week is the launch of the xBox 360. I say big news, but to be honest, there has been very little mainstream media coverage of it, at least as far as I have gathered. The only things I heard about it, other than that it had been launched, was that they were in short supply, that one (or more) have been crashing, and that the New York Post warns consumers not to buy a 360.

Of course, I don’t want to spoil the fun for anyone, I’m not like that. There are a lot of reasons to upgrade from the previous version of the xBox: Apart from better graphics and a nicer looking box, there isn’t the danger of a 360 setting your house on fire like it’s predecessor came close to doing. Proof, I suppose, that the xBox really did smoke all the other consoles ;-)

With mediocre initial reports I’ve started thinking that maybe the xBox 360 isn’t quite the 3rd generation of consoles that it has been made out to be. It’s a shame, but it has been described by original xBox fans as “more of the same”, which is really saying something, as the fan-boy community tend to be almost fanatical in their support of their chosen platform.

Still, it’s not all bad: There are some interesting early finds about the new xBox, for instance, that it sports full iPod support, something which I find extremely surprising, as Apple are one of Microsoft’s competitors.

I’m really not (too) biased on this topic: I genuinely believe that the new xBox is a bit of a flop. Overall I think that while the new it’s surely a good piece of kit, I don’t think it’s quite the revolution that the first one was. Indeed, it seems very much a product launch designed to complement the old xBox as opposed to replacing it.

But then again, I, along with the majority of the UK have yet to see it. Perhaps when I do, that will all change.

Perhaps it’s just a matter of time. A few revisions down the line, the 360’s should have a lot of bugs fixed and a few better games will have been developed.

Well, I’ll certainly have to wait and see, as one things for sure – As a teenager there is no way I or my parents could afford a 360 at its current price of $400 (~£232, ~€338).

Oi! Microsoft! Either bring the price down quick, or don’t sell many of them. The choice is yours Bill.

The Teen View On SonyBMG DRM Woes

We’re really pleased to have Lawrence Dudley writing for us.

Digital-Lifestyles thinks that all too often articles about teenagers are written by people old enough to be their parents. What teenagers are thinking isn’t represented.

Lawrence will give you a point of view that you won’t find in other publications. You see Lawrence _is_ a teenager.

Sony DRM rootkitBecause Criminals Make the Best Police Officers
A while ago, another teen, Jon Lech Johansen, who was most likely one of those addicted to the Internet, did something that upset a lot of people: He cracked the encryption used to protect DVDs. His actions had a huge impact and a lot of the big movie companies were upset. So much so, that they filed a lawsuit against the then-19 year old.

Imagine then, after the scandal that was SonyBMG’s DRM software which was actually a rootkit, that SonyBMG actually incorporated some open source software (OSS) code in their CDs. And not just any OSS either: It was software written by Jon himself a few years ago.

This leaves SonyBMG in a tricky position: If proven to be correct, they have broken almost every rule in the LGPL, a license used for Open Source Software. This license states that a distributor may not distribute software containing LGPL code without revealing the code’s source. SonyBMG and the suppliers of the DRM software, First4Internet, appear to have failed in doing that, and could end up being penalised for it. My views? How about sending a cool million dollars over to our friend Jon Jen Johansen? I’m sure he could use it to research some new cracks.

Sony DRM rootkitThe other law other are saying have been broken by SonyBMG, and this is one that could land them in BIG legal difficulties, is The Computer Misuse Act, which contains the following clauses, all of which have been broken by SonyBMG in their keenes for DRM:

  • 3.(1) A person is guilty of an offence if
  • (a) he does any act which causes an unauthorised modification of the contents of any computer; and SonyBMG certainly caused an unauthorized modification of the computers on which its software was unknowingly installed on. It even installed a security risk.
  • (b) at the time when he does the act he has the requisite intent and the requisite knowledge. Well this obviously applies to a company like SonyBMG.
  • (2) For the purposes of subsection (1)(b) above the requisite intent is an intent to cause a modification of the contents of any computer and by so doing
  • (a) to impair the operation of any computer; it would appear that making it impossible to make legitimate, fair-use copies of CDs an impairment
  • (b) to prevent or hinder access to any program or data held in any computer; or to me it looks like SonyBMG followed the rule, thinking their program had to break every single clause. Preventing access to data, namely $sys$ named folders, is exactly what SonyBMG did.
  • (c) to impair the operation of any such program or the reliability of any such data. Again an impairment in the operation of the computer. Again a clause which SonyBMG broke.

There is one interesting little caveat though: The software wasn’t developed by SonyBMG, but by First4Internet, and was only deployed by SonyBMG on their CDs. Whether it will be SonyBMG or First4Internet who will get into trouble over this one remains to be seen, but from my point of view, Sony as a whole has done themselves a lot of damage with this one.

Teenage Internet Addiction

We’re really pleased to have Lawrence Dudley writing for us.

Digital-Lifestyles thinks that all too often articles about teenagers are written by people old enough to be their parents. What teenagers are thinking isn’t represented.

Lawrence will give you a point of view that you won’t find in other publications. You see Lawrence _is_ a teenager.

PC Moderator Parental Control unitThere’s a Trust Issue Here
With the Digital world coming ever closer to reality, there is a danger of the two merging. The upshot of this is a danger that people become so involved with the Digital world, that they lose a grasp of reality. In short, they become addicted.

Internet addiction disorder is already a widely recognised addiction and those most likely to become addicted to the Internet are teenagers. This is partly because of the anonymity and therefore reputation-less nature of the Internet, allowing them to be whoever they want to be, and partly because teens just have so much more time on their hands than their grown-up counterparts. This together, results in a vast amount of Internet use.

What can responsible parents do when their teenager refuses to turn off the computer or refuses to go to school because they’ve been up too late playing online?

There are two approaches: The first is to talk to the child in question about the problem. While this will work with the majority of responsible teenagers, there will always be a minority who won’t listen. The other approach is using parental control software which can do a variety of things including limit the amount of time that a user is allowed to spend on the Internet. Trouble with any sort of software solution is, of course, that it can easily hacked or broken. Very often the teenager has a much better knowledge of the computer than the parent has.

PC Moderator Parental Control unitA company called Woog Labs (yes, really) have unveiled a product that is designed to be hack-proof and will apparently work for any operating system.

Trouble with it is that A) It requires an adaptor to be used with any video cable other than VGA (mine’s DVI), and B) It only works with PS/2 Keyboards… PS/2?!

This makes their claim that it works with any operating system a bit hard to swallow: I’m sure that theoretically, this device will work on Mac OS X. However, to my knowledge there has NEVER been a Mac shipped with a PS/2 port. Makes it a bit useless really…

I can see that there is probably a market for a device like this, but what’s really needed is for someone to educate parents on their responsibilities. Surely it should be up to the parents to teach the kids what’s right and what’s wrong? If they don’t, then what are the kids going to do when they grow older? When they are forced to look after themselves? Digital nannying should only go so far in my opinion.

Digital Music Conspiracies : Teenage Tech Roundup

Motorola ROKR iTunes PhoneOooh, Conspiracies Abound
We’ve recently covered the Motorola ROKR iTunes music phone, and then again more recently, followed reports of its shortcomings. Now, The Apple Blog has a conspiracy theory on the device: It was deliberately sabotaged.

Apple makes a lot of money out of its iPod sales, with reports of profit margin of as much as 50% on the iPod Nano according to AppleInsider and its one of the company’s principal sources of income. Think about what would happen if people started buying phones as iPod replacements. That’s right, Apple would lose out.

I can well imagine Apple mastermind and CEO Steve Jobs would have seen this from far off, and had thought long and hard about whether or not to allow Motorola to produce an iTunes-compatible mobile phone. I’m sure that Motorola pays Apple some amount of money for the iTunes compatibility, and I’m also sure that Steve Jobs wanted the cash.

How would you introduce a phone that mirrored the iPod’s functionality without canabalizing iPod sales? That’s right, limit its functionality. Maybe this explains the 100-song limit on the Motorola iTunes phone. And before you say “but it’s not got enough memory for more”, it has: It’s possible to put enough memory in it to store around 500 tracks at least, but the software won’t allow any more.

It is possible that Apple want to actually make people think of MP3-playing mobiles as a pile of rubbish, meaning that they will instead buy iPods. Of course, there is no hard evidence that supports this theory, but there are a lot of things that point in this direction.

Whether or not this move on Apple’s part (Apple designed the software) would be wise one or not remains to be seen, and whether the 100-song restriction will still be in place in the upcoming RAZR V3i iTunes phone is also something only time and/or NDA breaches will tell.

The relevance that this idea has to me as a teenager is that as someone who always loses stuff, I would love to just carry one piece of kit around. I want one device that plays music, receives my email, makes phone calls and surfs the web. Apple theoretically attempting to block this digital utopia is something that annoys me.

More conspiracy…
I thought I’d stick with the conspiracy theme. While this rumour is not true, it does highlight what is theoretically possible in an Internet where corporations are increasingly battling their customers. I refer, of course, to media piracy.

The rumour contains the following:

Apple and Microsoft have teamed up in an unusual and, until now, secret partnership. The two firms have developed unique anti-file sharing DRM (Digital Rights Management) technologies they say represent cast-iron guarantees of copyright protection. The technologies “ Apple’s Fair Play earbuds and Microsoft’s PowerHit“ are slated for beta release in time for the Christmas rush, say sources.

Earphones at 250 decibelsFrom December 1, all iTunes downloads will carry a new kind of Fair Play DRM, a direct negative feedback ‘watermark’ recognized by Fair Play earbuds and, ultimately, by other audio devices from manufacturers who sign up for the code, which was created under a joint SunnComm and Macrovision venture.

When an iPod (or other) user wearing the new audio devices plays an iTunes track not sanctioned by Organized Music (EMI Group, Vivendi Uiversal, Warner Music), Fair Play feedback ‘instructs’ the buds to emit a piercing, high-pitched scream in stereo at 250 decibels.

Sounds pretty nasty doesn’t it! My view is that as long as you never had any intention of going out and buying the music track, having a copy doesn’t deprive anyone of anything. It’s like saying that taking a picture of a painting in a gallery is the equivalent of taking it off the wall and running out with it.

The conclusion? While not true, this could very easily become a reality. Maybe not with Apple and Microsoft working together, because that would just be absurd, but extremely restrictive DRM that punishes the user for misbehaving isn’t such a huge step away, and it seems like the current DRM schemes are training consumers to accept more restrictive varieties.

The reason I am against this, is that as much as technology has changed things for the better, my generation has come to take it for granted. If something is invented when you are under the age of 10, you generally do. The problem with this, is that the next generation will come to take DRM for granted, and we will be the “fogeys” saying “In my day, we were allowed to share music we bought with our friends”>

Guba; Guidepoint; Mobile Vending: Teenage Tech Roundup

GUBA Usenet screenshotI like this … Guba
In these times, there are many options available to us when we choose how we want to consume media. Sometimes, however, it’s the oldest choices that are the best: A company called Guba has developed a superb Usenet interface, with which it is possible to download music videos, MP3s as well as TV shows. The ease of use of this terrific application blew me straight out of the water, and I immediately signed up to it. Great service, just what I had been looking for and well worth my $15 (£8.50 or there abouts).

Now where did I park…
ISS International Space StationGuidepoint, a company that make navigation and location soft- and hardware, have released a new product, that allows car owners to track their four-wheeled pride and joy using their mobile phone. Although this technology is cool, you might be wondering what appeal it may have to someone of my age, who, at least in the UK, isn’t legally allowed to drive yet.

Well I’ll tell you why this got me a teensy bit excited: I’m a teenager. Teenagers are forgetful, and as such I am forever losing things. Imagine if I could attach small locator tags to items I lose often, and then find these tags using my mobile phone. This sort of technology would stop me losing anything, ever, and would save me countless hours of looking for my keys when they fall down the back of my desk again.

Here’s another examples. Can’t find my graphics folder for school? No problem, just whip out my mobile phone, and I would get a map with a little cross-hair on, telling me exactly where it’s located. If it was closer than, say, 10 metres, I would instead get a small arrow with a distance reading next to it, which would guide me towards the item that I had lost.

I’m not sure how such a technology would work, but a mixture of a flavour of 802.x and bluetooth would be cool, with maybe some GPS thrown in for the maps. Now if only Father Christmas read Digital-Lifestyles, he might bring me one… Sigh…

By the way, Guidepoint has now expanded their mobile service to include remote car starting and door-unlocking. Could come in handy next time I’m planning a bank robbery ;-)

Mobile Phone Vending MachineHope it gives change!
This one just about qualifies as part of the weekly round up. Engadget covered the news that mobile phone giant Vodafone are to start selling mobile phones in vending machines. Interesting idea, but I can’t really imagine it taking off to be honest: When I go phone shopping, I value the expertise of specially trained staff and the advice they have to give.

On the other hand though, a lot of staff in shops seem to lack any knowledge of mobile phones… Maybe it’s just a cost-saving measure, but sometimes I think when I walk into certain phone shops that they might as well be employing monkeys half the time!

Still though, although I personally wouldn’t buy a phone from a vending machine I can see a lot of kids who don’t care what they get as long as it’s a phone buying these.

Wi-Fly; ISS Falling; i-Tunes 6 – Teenage Tech News Review

Internet BalloonWi-Fly
BBC news is reporting that BT is testing wireless broadband. What was that I heard? Been done already? Ah well, this is a new twist on a relatively old concept: These guys are using a balloon flying at 24km of altitude to send and receive wireless internet signals. This could mean a new way of accessing data: Although there are currently a number of ways of accessing the Internet on a laptop while on the move, these involve either overpriced GPRS connections over mobile networks, or few and far between Wi-Fi access points, which are not necessarily free either.

What this technology might enable, if it takes off (sorry, bad pun), is to enable laptop users to be finally able to use an affordable data service on the move that doesn’t suck speed-wise and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to use.

Guess what else? The team doing the initial research on the project are from my local university, literally five minutes down the road!

ISS International Space StationIs it a bird, is it a plane…
…No, it’s the ISS falling from the sky. ITAR-TASS reports that the latest ship to dock with the ISS has failed to boost it’s altitude, as it’s rockets failed after burning for only 3 minutes.

The ISS floats at around 350km above the earth, and at this point in space, there is still a significant amount of drag caused by the earth’s atmosphere. What this means when it’s at home, is that the atmosphere causes friction on the ISS, which means that the space station is constantly losing altitude. What prevents the ISS from falling from the sky are occasional boosts from visiting spacecraft. There is a graph of the ISS’ height and it is clearly visible that it is currently at the lowest that it has ever been at. If the space station’s height deteriorates lower than 300km, it is easily possible that it will fall out of the sky and land on earth, or burn up in the atmosphere.

Although the ISS is kinda cool, I do still have my doubts as to it’s usefulness: What the hell is it actually good for? This is the view of a lot of people in the scientific community, and a lot of people think that it might as well be de-orbitted and the money spent on it every year spent on a better cause. Imagine if the $6.7 Billion that NASA is spending annually on the ISS and the shuttle program went to better causes. Imagine what impact that money would make.

Besides, I want a space elevator, dammit!

iTunes 6 ScreenshotOooh Aaargh, ‘cos we’re pirates!
A few days ago, Digital-Lifestyles covered the new video enabled iPod and accompanying iTunes 6 software. iTunes 6 allows you to download selected TV shows and other content for a fee from the iTunes music store. What if you want to add other recording and stuff to your iPod? Hack-a-day has an article on how to automatically download TV shows via Bittorrent.

They also have an article up on how to use the Tivo To Go software which accompanies the Tivo to transfer Tivo recordings to your iPod.

These hints should help all you cheap skates out there to enjoy a nice, free, iPod video viewing experience. Of course, it also means that it will be possible to watch shows on the iPod not yet available for purchase from the iTunes music store.


Speedy Macs; iMac G5; End Of Internet – Teenage Tech News Review

Quad processor powermacDid someone say fast?
This week’s update is an Apple-feast… Apple sent out a media invitation a few days ago, titled “One More Thing…”. This phrase has often been used in the past by Steve Jobs to introduce new hardware. So I sat and waited with bated breath, or, well, I was excited anyway.

Sadly, the 4-processor Powermac that I had spotted on French site,, didn’t materialise, but I didn’t really expect it to until late next year. The specs on the Powermac I spotted there did never the less impress me a lot: Overall, more than 11Ghz of processing power in one box. Would probably also heat most of the house, but that’s beside the point.

I’d love one of these, as it would surely mean the little waits I have now opening Photoshop and other professional applications would finally vanish and it would simply cool. I do however doubt I will EVER be able to afford one.

iMac G5 iSightCouch Potatoes Rejoice
Some of the hardware that was actually released includes the new iMac G5. The difference this has from earlier models? It is equipped with a built-in iSight, basically a webcam. I have played around with an iSight before, and the performance and image-quality is far above what I have experienced with other web cams.

The other difference between this model and the last is that this includes a handy technology called Frontrow which is basically a remote control. This places the new iMac as a serious competitor to Windows Media Centre, something that our friends at Microsoft will be worried.

In my opinion, any industry that has more than one competitor in it will always have more innovation than a monopoly, because companies are actually forced to compete. I hope that this will bring some exciting new ideas into the fairly stagnant home entertainment computer market.

Data HighwayInternet? Break? Yeah right…
Yes, it’s that time of the week again: The usual doomsday announcements this week included an announcement from the EU that the Internet could fall apart next month. If this is serious, I am going to have to find some other way of life…

The trouble nowadays is, that there’s so many people saying the world’s going to end and that civilisation will collapse, when it never does, that no-one takes anything that will change their entire lives seriously, and until something life-changing actually happens, nobody will.