Archive | December, 2007

Tags: , ,

Movie Rentals Come to iTunes, Wal-Mart Shuts Down Video Downloads

Posted on 27 December 2007

itunes-movie.jpg
The face of online video is evolving almost daily. New sites, new deals – no wonder the writers are on strike. It was announced today that Wal-Mart has shut down their online video download service after just a year. Engadget sites abandoned support from HP which put an end to their back-end. Users will still be able to watch the videos they purchased on Wal-Mart’s site but only on the machine originally used to download them. Without continued technology support the DRM makes the flicks unmovable. So one more try by one of the big guys, and one more down (who the hell buys movies from Wal-Mart’s site anyway).

Now on to Apple. It’s rumored Apple will make an official announcement at January’s Macworld that they have partnered with Fox to bring users online video rental downloads through iTunes. The deal is also said to include new physical DVDs from Fox that will include a pre-ripped format for transfer right into iTunes. Apple has been reluctant to venture into the rental model with music, but video is a different animal all together. Until now, Apple has been unable to convince many of the major movie studios to offer their content for download. There may be a similiar deal in the works with Steve Job’s bed buddy Disney.

Netflix added had a similar download rental component to their mail order rentals some time ago, but needless to say no support for iPods and iTunes integration.

So perhaps another big step for Apple taking the bull by the horns in a market with no clear leader, no clear technology and an unclear customer base. It would seem to be a good move for Apple to leverage the massive iPod / iTunes culture and take another stab at the home entertainment market they failed to capture with the first generation of Apple TV. But of course that’s like to evolve in January as well. Stay tuned.

Comments (1)

Tags: , , ,

The da Vinci Bike: Ellsworth’s “The Ride”

Posted on 27 December 2007

The Ride

Named the recreation Grand Award Winner for 2007 by Popular Science, “The Ride” by Ellsworth is the bike Leonardo da Vinci would have built. Based on a sketch by the universal genius, The Ride’s rear hub has roots in the 15th century.

The Ride’s rear hub mimics an infinite number of gears, rather than the mere 21 offered by the usual chain-yanking transmission. So you can always find the perfect gear ratio, whether starting from a stop or speeding down a hill. Twist a dial on the handlebar, and ball bearings in the bike’s NuVinci transmission tilt between two rotating metal discs. (Your pedaling turns one disc; the other transfers power to the rear wheel.) As the balls tilt, they touch the discs at varying angles.

The Ride’s revolutionary, or evolutionary, transmission will almost certainly lead to a multitude of uses from cars to turbines.

[via Popular Science]

Comments (0)

New Military Uniforms Incorporate Tourniquets

Posted on 26 December 2007

tourniquet uniform

Blackhawk, a military uniform provider is coming out with a new uniform that incorporates tourniquets into the arms and legs. The idea came from an Army surgeon Dr. Keith Rose, after watching a fellow solider bleed to death.

Rose could not get his comrade a tourniquet, which could have helped control the bleeding on his wounded leg, and sat along the mangled wreckage and talked with him as he took his last breath.

“It really kind of frustrated me,” Rose said.

Once he returned to the U.S., Rose approached BlackHawk, a provider of military and law enforcement gear, with an idea to create clothes with built-in tourniquets.

The uniforms will be fitted with eight tourniquets and available in March.

[via CNN] [Photo Credit: Associated Press]

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

Ferrari’s New FXX Evoluzione

Posted on 24 December 2007

Ferrari FXX Evoluzione

Want the ultimate gadget? How about the FXX Evoluzione from Ferrari. And you can drive one for about 2.5 million. That’s right, you can drive it but not own it. Your 2.5 million just gets you some track time on Ferrari’s private race track.

[via CNET News]

Ferrari’s New FXX Evoluzione

Comments (0)

Tags: ,

Toyota Introduces Robots to Replace Humans

Posted on 24 December 2007

The new robots were developed to assist people, but can play instruments and walk like a human. Scary!

Comments (0)

Tags: , ,

Old Analog Cell Phone Network Shutting Down

Posted on 24 December 2007

Millions of cell phone users will be affected when the federal government shuts down the old analog cell phone network in February, 2008. The blackout will also affect services like OnStar and some home security systems that rely on analog communications.

The shutdown date has been known years in advance, but some industries appear to have a had a problem updating their technologies and informing their customers in advance, which raises the question of whether the effects will be even more widespread the next time a network is turned off, given the proliferation of wireless technology.

People who bought into services like OnStar and home alarm systems will greatly disappointed when they learn their products will no longer work and can’t be upgraded. The best pat of this is that most of these companies knew about the change as early as 2002, but still produced products that used the doomed technology. Nice!

[via CNN]

Comments (0)

Float Around the World in a Manned Cloud

Posted on 24 December 2007

Manned Cloud Luxury Airship
The Manned Cloud is yet another attempt at a giant airship. Opting this time to fill it with Helium (smart move), Massaud Studio has created the concept in cooperation with the centre of French aerospace research (ONERA). The giant blimp is a floating 60 room luxury hotel that would take travelers around the world on 3-day cruises. While these are obviously renderings of the ship, the Manned Cloud is going to be produced for real and should take to the skies (and lots of money from your pocket) in about a year. One more interior rendering after the jump.
[via bornrich]
Continue Reading

Comments (0)