The Media Guru
Aug 24, 2007

Sony yesterday announced the introduction of PlayTV, a combined TV tuner and Personal Video Recorder (PVR) for PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™). PlayTV will be available in UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain early in 2008, with other PAL territories to follow in due course.

Designed to reinforce PS3’s rightful place in the Living Room at the heart of the home entertainment needs, the twin channel TV tuner peripheral and PVR software turns PS3 into a state of the art TV recorder, allowing users to watch, pause and record live TV. PlayTV will also record individual programmes or whole series1 to the PS3 hard drive for viewing later on the family TV, or for transferring to the PSP™ (PlayStation®Portable) for remote viewing outside of the home.

Operating on the widely available Digital Video Broadcasting – Terrestrial (DVB-T) format, PlayTV uses an incredibly quick and easy to use 7-day Electronic Programme Guide EPG2 that provides the navigation for programming the PVR features of PlayTV.
In line with PlayStation’s focus on advanced technology made easy, PlayTV provides a host of added value features seldom seen on anything but the highest cost standalone PVRs:
• PlayTV’s two TV tuners are High Definition ready and are able to view, record and play back High Definition signals in full HD1080P to fully complement PS3’s already impressive High Definition credentials.

• Unlike the electronic programme guides found on conventional satellite and cable services, PlayTV’s EPG is lightning fast, and simple to use with either PS3’s SIXAXIS™ wireless controller or the BD remote control to really enhance viewing pleasure.

• Intuitive controls, single button help features, tutorial videos and simple navigation make PlayTV a positive joy to use compared with the complexity of some standalone PVR models

• Seamless connectivity with PSP allows you to set recordings, watch Live TV and recorded TV programmes remotely on PSP via a Wi-Fi connection (using Remote Play feature). Alternatively, quickly transcode recorded TV shows for high quality viewing to PSP by USB cable for remote viewing away from the home.

• Optional on-screen graphical display provides a wealth of information about the status of PlayTV and provides quick access to programme information, stored TV programmes and the controls to pause or record live TV. PlayTV will also set the correct interface for either Standard Definition or High Definition displays, maximising the viewing experience.

• PlayTV will evolve with time, with great added value functionality being updated via PLAYSTATION®Network; a feature that sets it above all other set top boxes. PlayTV will never be out of date.

“The introduction of PlayTV really will extend the already broad entertainment credentials of PS3, and makes it an exceptionally attractive proposition for the whole family,” said David Reeves, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. “PS3 already provides High Definition gaming, Blu-ray Disc movies, music, video, photo album, web browsing and PLAYSTATION Network support. With the introduction of PlayTV’s state of the art TV tuner and PVR functionality, PS3 is now the best choice of home entertainment hub for the whole family.

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Aug 23, 2007

Nokia, the world’s largest mobile device manufacturer, and Microsoft Corp., a global leader in online communications and communities, have joined together to provide customers with a new suite of Windows Live™ services specifically designed for Nokia devices.

Starting today, Nokia customers in 11 countries with compatible S60 devices can download the new suite enabling access to Windows Live Hotmail®, Windows Live Messenger, Windows Live Contacts and Windows Live Spaces. Starting next year, customers who purchase compatible Nokia Series 40 handsets will also have access to these popular Windows Live services.

Nokia and Microsoft are empowering the “mobile lifestyle” by providing mobile customers with easy access to their world of online relationships, information and interests. By enabling access to Windows Live services on both the Nokia S60 and Series 40 platforms using standard Web services protocols, our mutual customers will have the power to seamlessly move between contacts, e-mail, messenger, phone calls, text messaging, camera, gallery and browsing, all in an integrated way.

“By taking advantage of the extensive and agile distribution network that Nokia has, we have the opportunity to bring the power of Windows Live services to Nokia devices, thus ensuring our customers can take their most important online information with them on the go,” said Jari Pasanen, vice president, Strategy and Technology, Nokia Multimedia.

Nokia customers who own the Nokia N73, N80 Internet Edition, N95, N76 and the N93i can get the Windows Live services via the Download! application in the following countries: Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, U.K., Sweden, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Initially the service will be available as a free trial, and then customers in select markets wanting to continue using the service may be asked to pay a monthly fee.

“The availability of Windows Live services for Nokia’s devices demonstrates our commitment to delivering great mobile experiences and extending people’s online lives — taking them from the PC to the device,” said Steve Berkowitz, senior vice president of the Online Services Business at Microsoft. “The alliance will enable a much broader group of consumers to experience the benefits Windows Live has to offer, easily connecting them to the information and people that matter most from virtually anywhere.”

Today’s announcement builds on the existing cooperation between Nokia and Microsoft, which integrated Microsoft’s Live Search for Mobile into the Nokia Mobile Search application. Nokia also plans to extend this service onto the Series 40 platform to enhance the search experience across a greater range of devices.

Windows Live Services can be download from your Nseries via the Download! app:
Windows Live includes:
- Windows Live Messenger
Windows Live Messenger provides a dynamic way to talk with your friends, whether you're on your device or PC. While chatting, you can also share pictures or voice clips from your phone. Create new contacts and easily synchronise them between your device and PC. If you're already a Hotmail or Messenger user, all of your existing buddies will appear the moment you sign in.

- Windows Live Mail
Windows Live Hotmail is an online email service that makes it easy to stay connected to the people closest to you. Log in to your Hotmail account from the Messaging folder on your Nokia device and synchronize emails with your PC. You can also create emails directly from your Windows Live contacts tab or from Messenger while online. And with Contact Integration, all your hotmail contacts are accessible straight away from your device's phone book.

- Windows Live Spaces
Now, photo sharing is possible while you're on-the-go with your Nokia device. Upload photos from your Gallery or right after you shoot them. Share your point of view, while you're in the action.

- Live Search
Windows Live Search gives you fast, easy access to content on the web, on maps or local directories. Your search results are seamlessly linked to your device's Phone, Map, Contacts and Browser applications. When you add new bookmarks from your search, they are automatically added to your browser's bookmark folder. Access Windows Live Search from your Contacts menu, the Messenger menu, or the Nokia Mobile Search application.

More Info:
Microsoft Press Release here.
WindowsLive4Nokia.com
Nokia’s Windows Live Preview

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Aug 21, 2007

The FCC website (US regulator) currently has some information about the Nokia N95 8GB on its website. Hardware changes include a reworked back section with the removal of the camera lens cover to allow for a bigger battery. The top slide media keys are now slightly raised and the phone itself is black. There are also some interesting hints about the software in the manual with references to N-Gage gaming and the Nokia Music store.

FCC - External Photos
FCC - Test reports
(Rename file to .pdf to view it)

Here are some pictures of the N95 8GB taken by the FCC during testing and included in this report along with some other images.
The softkeys and directional controls appear smaller than the N95 classic suggesting either a larger screen or a slightly smaller device (or possibly just a design tweak).

The N95 8GB specification is likely to be similar to that of the N95 classic: 3G with HSDPA support (2100MHZ), WiFi connectivity (including support for UPnP), a 5 megapixel digital camera, on board GPS (with support for A-GPS), and a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones, loudspeakers, headsets and TV-Out. The exception is the 8GB of memory; all the indications suggest this is internal flash memory in place of the microSD card slot.
It’s obvious that the microSD slot has been removed for the larger BL-6F battery, which is indeed higher capacity than the original N95, 1200 mAh vs. 950 mAh.

The manual mentions a Nokia Music Store (likely part of the forthcoming Nokia announcement) in which you can search for, browse and purchase music. The music section of the manual also suggests that Windows Media Player is likely to be used as the syncing tool to get music from your PC to your phone.

The Multimedia menu screen has been reworked into a different style as shown in the screenshot below.
The manual notes that the Multimedia menu (used to 'view your most frequently accessed multimedia content') can be used to access various categories. These are Music (Music Player, and podcasts), Gallery (pictures and albums), Games (Nokia Nseries games), Maps (Nokia Maps), Internet (Web), Contacts (add contacts, make calls, send messages) and Video (Nokia Video Center).

The manual also notes that the Nokia N95 8GB is compatible with the N-Gage Gaming experience and comes with one of two applications: either Discover N-Gage or N-Gage.

Manual Quote:
Discover N-Gage application - With this preview application you can get information about the upcoming N-Gage gaming experience, try out game demos, and download and install the full N-Gage application when it becomes available.
N-Gage application - The full featured application gives you access to the complete N-Gage experience. You can find new games, try and buy games, find other players, and access scores, events, chat and more.
The manual also mentions as mass memory application used to manage the 8GB of internal memory.

It is likely that the N95 8GB will be announced at Nokia forthcoming launch event at Ministry of Sound in London on the 29th August.

via [AllAboutSymbian.com] & [WirelessInfo.com]

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Aug 20, 2007

The ultimate solution to the Rubik's cube has come closer thanks to hours of number crunching on a supercomputer.

The research has proved that a Rubik's cube can be returned to its original state in no more than 26 moves. The supercomputer took 63 hours to crank out the proof which goes one better than the previous best solution.

The two computer scientists behind the research project believe that with more work they could push the move count even lower.

It took some smart thinking by graduate student Daniel Kunkle and Gene Cooperman from Northeastern University in Boston to come up with the proof because cranking through the 43 billion billion possible Rubik's cube positions would take too long even for a supercomputer.

Instead, the scientists used a two-step technique in their calculations. Initially, they programmed the supercomputer to arrive at one of 15,000 half-solved solutions. They knew they could fully solve any of these 15,000 cubes with a few extra moves.

The results showed that any disordered cube could be fully solved in a maximum of 29 moves, but that most cubes took 26 moves or fewer.

The researchers then focused on the small number of "problem" configurations that required more than 26 moves. Because there were so few "problem" configurations, the researchers could use the supercomputer to search for the best way to fully solve these cubes.

As it turned out the supercomputer was able to fully solve all of these special cases in fewer than 26 moves.
The study brings scientists one step closer to finding the so-called "God's Number" which is the minimum number of moves needed to solve any disordered Rubik's cube.

It is so named because God would only need the smallest number of moves to solve a cube. Theoretical work suggests that God's Number is in the "low 20s".

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Aug 17, 2007

Linkin Park’s next single from album Minutes to Midnight, Bleed It Out will be released on the 20th of August. The music video has already been released. Watch it below on YouTube or download the DivX version here (43.65 MB), WMV version here.

Although the actual CD track features footsteps leading into an opening door followed by the band performing the song in front of a small audience, the video is much different, as it is just one continuous shot with the band performing on a small stage in front of a reversed bar fight scene. Definitely not the best of all Linkin Park’s videos. & it somehow doesn’t seem to fit in with the song lyrics…

Linkin Park may well be this generation's greatest pioneers of alternative rock. The band is currently going through a change of musical style, something that can be seen from their latest album, 'Minutes to Midnight'. They're trying to move away from the now cliched rap-rock stereotype and are trying to make their own brand of alternative music. However you won't see this change of style in their latest single, 'Bleed it Out'. They're back to their nu-metal, rapcore roots in this track and they're on fantastic form for it.

This song is a crowd pleaser. You can tell this right from the start with the cheering crowd and the brilliantly hasty musical backing. Mike Shinoda delivers his verses with quick-fire conviction and Chester Bennington bellows the catchy chorus. This song is one of the better tracks from their latest album and will surely be another chart smash for Chester, Mike and the gang. 'Bleed it Out' is out on 20th August 2007 and the album 'Minutes to Midnight' is out now.

Track listing:
1. Bleed It Out - 2.44
2. What I've Done (Distorted Remix)
3. Given Up (Third Encore Session)


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Aug 12, 2007

New blog layout finished.... How do you like it?
That's it, i've now moved over to K2 template which was originally made for Wordpress but converted to Blogger xml by the guys at Blogcrowds.com.
Since i'm a total noob in CSS, it took me 2 days to modify the existing template & to obtain this.
Graphics isn't a problem but i had to trial-&-error all code-related stuff, tinkering here & there.
However, it's not perfect...
Since CSS is only supported by Firefox, this layout doesn't display well in IE7. Unlike the previous template, the sidebar is too close of the main text & the BlogLog Widget doesn't seem to fit in.
The navigation links at the top should be turning blue when u hover your mouse over it... but it only does so in Firefox.
With Firefox i only have this problem:
If you are using IE7, this link will display normally but on Firefox it will stretch on. For the time being, i haven't found out how to solve this... i'm just starting to learn CSS...

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Aug 10, 2007

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the final product name for what was previously known as Windows Live Folders. Windows Live SkyDrive gets not only its final product name but also a few new features and enhanced UI reflecting changes coming across many of the Windows Live services including Windows Live Spaces.
So what's Windows Live SkyDrive? Windows Live SkyDrive is a brand new Windows Live service that gives users 500MB of web space for the storing and sharing of files. Think of it as a personal "hard-drive" on the internet - or "the cloud". By default, you get several protected directories which you can store your files in. These directories are completed protected from the public. Only you can view them. However, Windows Live SkyDrive allows you create or choose specific folders to share with everyone (Public folders) or specific people on your Windows Live Contacts list. You can set specific permissions for those viewing your folders as well - such as someone who can contribute (add and remove files) or someone who is simply just a reader. Your Public folder allows ONLY reader permissions for the public in viewing files within the folder. No need to worry about people maxing out your account with files.


It’s still in the Beta phase but anyone with a Live or Hotmail ID can get one. No need to sign-up - just go to Windows Live SkyDrive & sign-in with your Live ID.
Max file-size that can be uploaded is 50 Mb. I guess that with the final version, this will increase & the storage space will go up to 1 GB.

Here’s a small demo outlining the features of Live SkyDrive:

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Aug 9, 2007

MOSH is a user-generated content platform designed specifically for use with any mobile device. Create, upload, collect and share applications (like games, software mashups, videos, blogs, music and photos) all from your mobile.
In other words, a Web 2.0 social networking site directly accessible from your Nokia. I guess Nokia didn’t want to be left out of the social-networking bandwagon & they wanted to be the first to do so for mobile devices. Mobile communities already exist but they are not so popular as Facebook, Hi5 or MySpace…

Sign up for the beta at http://mosh.nokia.com/ (Password is ALLACCESS)

MOSH on mobile devices. (I’m using Opera here to access mosh.nokia.mobi)

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Aug 7, 2007


Windows Sidebar from Windows Vista has been finally ported onto Windows XP. In fact, this feat had already been achieved a few weeks after Vista was released, but the hacked Sidebar was buggy & most Gadgets wouldn’t work flawlessly. However this latest release installed easily and is working perfectly. (I was using the previous release for 3 months but debug errors occurred frequently…)


Min Requirements:
- Windows XP SP3
- 512 MB Memory - Sidebar is a MASSIVE memory hog! (it takes around 80MB on my PC)
- Alky for Applications - Included in the archive. Or you can get it here
- Internet Explorer 7 - Download here.
- Windows Media Player 11 - Download here.
- Wireless LAN API (for Windows XP) - Download here.
- .NET 3.5 Framework (required for some Gadgets & WSS) - Download here or here(direct link).

Download Windows Sidebar for XP
28MB - Use Winrar to open 7z. Alky 1.1 included.

Instructions:
- Install IE7, WMP11, WLAN API & .NET 3.5 Framework. (NOTE: If you do not install WLAN Hotfix, you will get "Delay load Error" popup)
- Extract "Windows Sidebar for XP.7z" to a folder.
- Install Alky for Applications - Alky_XP.exe in folder svcpack & reboot. (NOTE: Alky MUST be installed before Windows Sidebar)
- Right-click on sidebar.inf & choose Install.
- Required fonts & Gadgets will be installed.
- Enjoy!
WARNING: You need to uninstall all previous installations of VAIOXP (ex-Alky) if you were using it. If Sidebar still doesn’t work, check the FAQ here.

Alky for Applications can also be used to install other Vista features. Check this Alky Manual for more.




Download More Gadgets: gallery.microsoft.com
Gadget Installer is already included in the Sidebar - just double-click on a gadget to install!

Recommended Add-ons:

- Windows Sidebar Styler (WSS) by Stanimir Stoyanov - Change the appearance of Windows Sidebar by using skins - Download HERE.
- Amnesty Generator - Make your own Gadgets by using web widgets! (Windows Vista only) - Download here.

Tech support & more info here & here.
Guide Updated!

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Aug 3, 2007

It seems that Nokia has launched a viral campaign for the forthcoming Nokia N81(The phone is definitely the N81 on which I had already posted on). Kevin Tofel of jkOnTheRun.blogs.com was the first who got hint of it when Google AdSense started publishing ads on 070829.
Move your mouse right to forward & back to rewind the shapes…
The trick to the site is to move the mouse to the pause button in the centre of the screen once the shapes form a phone. After you watch a few very weird, enigmatic videos, you’re presented with a countdown clock:
It counts down to August 29th at 09:00 in the UK. Why the UK? That is where Fortune Magazine says Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo will be, at the Ministry of Sound Dance Club.

Here’s the RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/070829

The rumoured specs of the Nokia N81 include:
- 8GB flash memory
- Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP
- quad-band GSM with 2100MHz HSDPA
- WiFi
- 3.5 mm headphone jack
- 16 million colour 2.4 inch QVGA (320x240) display
- 2 megapixel camera.
The N81 seems to be direct competitor to iPhone (minus the touchscreen).
Bluetooth 2.1 Specs released.
Key enhancements that are driving interest in Bluetooth Core Version 2.1 + EDR include:

Improved pairing
Before this version of the specification, there were many variations of the user experience when pairing Bluetooth devices. The experience depends on several factors, from the ease of finding menus on different devices to the use of security features. The improved pairing provides a consistent and intuitive pairing solution that includes finding devices, securing the link and authenticating the devices. The benefits of this secure, simple pairing include fewer steps for the user, improved security, and connection in a few seconds.

The new pairing process enables all consumers to quickly start using their Bluetooth devices together. For example, pairing a Bluetooth headset and mobile phone is as easy as turning on the headset, selecting “Add Headset” from the phone menu, and then watching the phone confirm it has found, connected with an encrypted link and paired the headset. For pairing scenarios that require user interaction, eavesdropper protection makes a simple six digit passkey stronger than a 16 digit alphanumeric character random PIN code. Improved pairing also offers “Man in the Middle” Protection that in reality eliminates the possibility for an undetected middle man intercepting information.

NFC technology may also be used in the new pairing system whereby a user would hold two devices together at a very short range to start the quick pairing process.

Enhanced Power Optimization
Bluetooth Version 2.1 + EDR offers further optimized power consumption through a feature called Sniff Subrating which increases current battery life by up to five times in many devices like mice, keyboards, watches, home sensor networks and medical devices. With further reduced power consumption, Bluetooth technology strengthens its position as the only viable wireless standard for connecting consumer devices that value low power consumption, low cost and ad hoc connectivity.

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Aug 1, 2007

The humble office laser printer can damage lungs in much the same way as smoke particles from cigarettes, a team of Australian scientists has found.

An investigation of a range of printer models showed that almost a third emit potentially dangerous levels of toner into the air. The Queensland University of Technology scientists have called on ministers to regulate these kinds of emissions.
They say some printers should come with a health warning.
The researchers carried out tests on more than 60 machines. Almost one-third were found to emit ultra-tiny particles of toner-like material, so small that they can infiltrate the lungs and cause a range of health problems from respiratory irritation to more chronic illnesses.

Conducted in an open-plan office, the test revealed that particle levels increased five-fold during working hours, a rise blamed on printer use. The problem was worse when new cartridges were used and when graphics and images required higher quantities of toner.
The researchers have called on governments to regulate air quality in offices.

They also want companies to ensure that printers are based in well-ventilated areas so that particles disperse.
[via bbc]

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