Entries Tagged 'Web/Net' ↓

Microsoft Unveils JPEG Rival

Microsoft has released details of a new file format for continuous-tone still images that it claims ‘surpasses the limitations of existing image formats’.

Treated as a replacement for JPEG in the forthcoming Windows Vista OS, Windows Media Photo promises to deliver “a lightweight, high performance algorithm with a small memory footprint that enables practical, in-device encoding and decoding”. Some Features of the new format include:

  • Support for multiple colour formats for display or print
  • Fixed or floating point high dynamic range image encoding
  • Lossless or high quality lossy compression
  • Extremely efficient decoding for multiple resolutions and sub-regions
  • Minimal overhead for format conversion or transformations during decode

Whether the new format will succeed or fail is debatable, given the current penetration of JPEG, which is effectively the default file format for all digital imaging. Attempts to introduce an improved version of JPEG, known as JPEG 2000, failed due to issues with patents and royalties. However, if Forgent’s claims on the patent underlying JPEG compression succeed, Windows Media Photo may have a chance – as long as it’s free. However, the majority of professional photographers (and serious enthusiasts) prefer shooting raw files and converting them to TIFF format, which reduces the relevance of JPEG to this critical market sector.

Sounds like an interesting JPEG competitor to me – finally.

Skype got a new Interpreter Service

The well known Translating Service Language Line from California is now offering his Interpreter Services for Skype Users.

All you need is a conference-circuit to your interlocutor and a Service Number from Language Line. The Service is available for Skype internal and external calls. At the moment it costs about 3 US Dollars per minute, charged through the SkypeOut-Account.

Language Line are in Business for more than 20 years – they count on high quality Translators who are available in an average of 45 seconds. For the 30 most important Languages they got a Translator Availability of 99 Percent. In Total the Interpreter Language Line is offering 150 Languages.

Sounds like an awesome new feature to me, could be a gold mine, too!

Skype: The Mafia’s favorite tool

Skype, a pretty nice voice communication tool. Almost everyone who’s surfing the internet knows it. It’s easy, user-friendly and offers many features.

..but did you ever think about it’s value for criminal organisations? Ok, in this case it’s not Skype anymore, it’s Voice Communication Software in common. Voice over IP is immune against tapping the wire. The Voice over IP Companys would have to connect a SIP proxy between the Calls to be able to enable tapping the wire, at the moment real Peer to Peer Calls are happening. They proabably have to include such a proxy until 2008, though.

Then Encryption becomes interesting. Companys will offer an encrypted line but they would have to decrypt it for the police or the FBI if they want to tap the wire. So.. a smart customer does its own encryption at his and his voice partner’s peer. It’s almost impossible for the police to decrypt that stream, of course it’s possible but there’s absolutely no time for it.

So we end up with a perfect safe Voice Communication, ever looked up the nickname The Godfather on Skype? 😉

Google Calender went live!

Looks like Google Calendar is live: You can sign up here. It’s actually pretty lagged at the moment but for sure worth to try it out.

It integrates with GMail and supports imports of Outlook calendar info, Apple iCal info, or Yahoo! Calendar info. You can also export your stuff as XML and ICAL.

Here’s an overview, go and check it out.

Warner Bros. in2movies – Hollywood for 6,99 EUR

By using the name in2movies, the US-American Movie- and TV Company Warner Bros starts together with Arvato a new Service for downloading fee required Movies in Germany. The distribution happens across Peer-to-Peer and Download-Servers.

The Movie-Library is still under construction. To use the offer you need to download an own Software which is 46,08 Megabyte big. At the moment you can find movies like Harry Potter, Last Samurai or Matrix: Reloaded there. The pricing takes place between interesting 6,99 EUR and solid 14,99 EUR, depending on topicality. Moreover there are TV-Episodes from Friends or Babylon 5 for about 0,99 EUR.

The Requirement for in2movies is MS Windows XP or Windows Media Center Edition 2005 and the IE6. As of now, Mac and Linux Users won’t be able to use in2movies. The platform is using the Microsoft-Software integrated digital Rightsmanagement, which is the requirement for burning and playing those movies. Additionally you need 512 Megabytes of RAM and a broadband Flatrate.

There is also a bonus for people using the P2P Methode. For uploading bought movies you will get so called MoviePoints which can be used to buy movies if you earned enough of them. That makes it easy for Arvato because they don’t have to build up the whole infrastructure themselve.

The price of 15,99 EUR is a joke, you can go two times into the cinema for that. Although, the model of 6,99 EUR sounds quite interesting. Anyway, even if you have burned a downloaded Movie to a DVD (which is possible) you can’t watch it on your DVD Player. It only works on your PC, nice one! For 15,99 EUR I gonna buy the movies on DVD and play it everywhere, PC and TV.

Here’s the link.

Support for Win98, Win98 SE and Windows Millenium ends in June

In three months, the 30th of June 2006, Microsoft is stopping their Support for Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) and Windows Millenium Edition (ME). This also counts for the OS specific components like Internet Explorer 6.0 and Windows Media Player.

Google to advertise on the moon

..this is just crazy, but it really sounds like Google:

In the most wide-scale advertising attempt ever known, Google plans to brand its logo into the surface of the moon so that it is visible from Earth. The search giant will pay the US government an estimated $1bn for the rights to the lunar land.

“You’ve heard of Google Mars and Google Earth, where we show you maps of those planets? Well this is Google Moon, where we become the world’s biggest brand,” said an unnamed source at the company.

Google Earth adds more high resolution Cities

The image database was updated last week.

They now have almost all of Germany covered in high-resolution, plus some really high resolution insets in cities like Berlin, Dortmund, and Frankfurt. Also they are now using TruEarth for our 15 meter basemap of the world.

They have also fixed alignment error for few areas like Boise, ID and Memphis, TN.

Foobar 2000 0.9 Released

I thought I post this on my blog because they didn’t deliver an update for a very long time. I used it a lot in the past because it’s really a highly customizable Musicplayer Application, definitely worth checking out!


  • Audio formats supported: MP1, MP2, MP3, MP4, MPC, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC / Ogg FLAC, WavPack, WAV, AIFF, AU, SND, CDDA.
  • Full unicode support.
  • Advanced tagging capabilities.
  • Support for transcoding all supported audio formats using the Converter component (requires external commandline encoder executables for different output formats).
  • ReplayGain support – both playback and calculation.
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts.
  • Open component architecture allowing third-party developers to extend functionality of the player.

Get it here: http://foobar2000.org/foobar2000_0.9.exe

Google Earth 3D Navigation System – A first Look

That looks indeed very promising:

Google Earth 3D

The data is based on the Google Earth Database, the software is currently combining millions of Satellite Pictures with Streetmaps.

The new Office Live Blog

The Microsoft Office Live team has finally entered the blogosphere with their very own team blog. Check it out: http://spaces.msn.com/OfficeLiveBlog. Now when you are looking for official news or musings about Microsoft Office Live, that’s the place to go.

More and more Live Products are approaching now. Windows Vista is scheduled for November 2006, although the promotion video hasn’t been that sensational. It will be more interesting to see which power lies behind the new shiny interface.

Channel9 gets a sister site “on 10”

Many of you probably know the famous Channel9 from Microsoft. Now there’s also “on 10” as a new Technology Community. It’s build on ASP.NET v2 and they already got about 14 Videos online.

A new Video is posted every morning on 10 AM (PST). Microsoft offers besides its wmv codec also the popular Quicktime Codec which also runs on portable playstations.

Check it out here

A working Source Code Plugin for WordPress 2.x

I tested about 3 plugins for WordPress 2.x and unfortunately only one is working at the moment.

It’s called “Code Markup” and you can get it here.

It has no code highlighting but it runs smooth and steady 🙂

How to uninstall Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2

Ok, it’s actually mentioned in the licence agreement terms but I’m sure many of you don’t read them ;). That’s how to completly remove it and go back to IE6:

  1. Go to the Control Panel
  2. Click on Add/Remove Programs
  3. Click on Show Updates (Small Box in the upper Region)
  4. Scroll down and look for IE7
  5. Hit uninstall

That’s it, everything back to normal now.