Though some moviegoers' powerful identification with "Avatar" may have inspired them to ponder the planet and rethink their carbon footprint, they likely missed the irony: millions of nonbiodegradable, plastic 3D glasses were reportedly distributed for the movie.
Luckily, cinemas may be on their way to adopting a more sustainable technology. Cereplast, an L.A.-based maker of bioplastics, has partnered with Oculus3D to create what appear to be the first biodegradable 3D glasses. Unlike current 3D glasses that are made using petroleum-based plastic, these will be manufactured with plastic derived from plant materials.
Cereplast and Oculus3D say they'… Read more
RealD, a leading provider of 3D technology to movie theaters and potentially consumers, has outlined a bevy of growth opportunities (and risks) in its regulatory filing for an IPO that jump out at you. But the biggest question is whether RealD's "Avatar"-fueled growth rates can be replicated in the years ahead.
First, the details. RealD has its technology deployed on 5,321 theater screens in 51 countries. That tally puts it in front of the 3D pack and it has wide distribution with theater chains such as AMD, Cinemark and Regal. RealD said there are plans … Read more
Castle Conflict is a charming little arcade strategy game that has gotten much better since its limited debut.
Based on a fairly primitive desktop game, Castle Conflict starts with a straightforward premise: two castles fighting against each other, sending out units to do battle and gather resources (i.e., the trees that pop up randomly in the middle of the battlefield). You play the castle on the left, on a small 2D screen, and as you build up resources, you press touchscreen buttons to create new units. You start with a limited palette of units: cheap but fragile peasants to … Read more
The ailing Rhapsody music service that Viacom and RealNetworks failed to revive starts going it alone this month. The newly independent company will partner with a major music label this time around as well as slash monthly music prices from $15 to $10.
In February, Viacom and Real announced they would spin off the jointly run music subscription service and that they would sell a minority share while each held on to 47 percent of the company's stock. On Monday, Rhapsody said that Universal Music Group, the largest of the top four recording companies, has acquired a stake of … Read more
Every year the tech world trips over itself to create a myriad fake products for user chuckles and some easy press. There's also a very small percentage of companies that decide to launch real products. We've rounded up six of those sites and services below, as well as some honorable April Fools' Day-related news events.
1. Google Gmail
One of the most notable April Fools' Day launches was Google's Gmail in 2004. Back then, a gigabyte of storage for a Web e-mail service was a big deal. This was especially true given that competitors like Microsoft and Yahoo were charging for extra in-box space.
Gmail wasn't open to everyone though. Its small, 1,000-user private beta test, which expanded through the company doling out user invites from time to time, became a hot tech ticket, and one that spawned an entire ecosystem of invite-trading economies.
Gmail has since continued to expand how much service it gives users, which is now up to 7.4GB.
2. Yahoo Sideline
Yahoo launched its Twitter tracking tool Sideline exactly one year ago, and it's still up and running. The Adobe Air-based app lets users keep an eye on Twitter in real time. Users can enter in search queries, and see them stream in across multiple tabs. The software is meant to be running all the time, though it cannot do some basic things like allow you to post to Twitter, or quickly follow a user that shows up in the results.
See our hands-on with it from last year.
3. Scribd's "Paper to iPaper"
A scanning-by-mail service from a digital documents service? It seemed too outlandish that a company would eat the cost of scanning a giant stack of your documents in order to get them in its database. But that's just what Web document-sharing tool Scribd launched on April Fools' Day in 2008. We thought it was a joke and so did our readers.
The service, which was quietly killed off last year, worked pretty well in our testing (see the result). The only big downsides were that you never got your physical documents back, and you had to pay for it to be shipped to Scribd's scanning headquarters.… Read more
Cablevision is the latest company eyeing 3D technology.
The cable provider announced Wednesday that it's using a 3D format called RealD to offer customers high-definition 3D programs. Licensed from 3D technology maker RealD, the format will let cable networks and providers send their content in 3D using Cablevision's current broadcast system and existing set-top boxes.
But customers do need a 3D-compatible TV, which are just now coming onto the market. And manufacturers who've spoken with CNET have indicated that their current 2D-only TVs can't be upgraded to 3D.
Cablevision's 3D format makes its debut Wednesday … Read more
Rob Glaser's 16 years at the helm of RealNetworks started with the pioneering of the early dot-com days and ended with a courtroom drubbing at the hands of the entertainment industry. In between, Glaser, who by most accounts saw the promise of Web video and music long before his peers, proved himself to be a better visionary than executive.
Earlier this month, Real announced it was giving up on attempts to defend its RealDVD technology against a lawsuit filed by the major movie studios. RealDVD is software that enabled users to create copies of their film discs and store … Read more
This week, Donald and Jasmine discuss a monumental smackdown between the Beats Solo by Dr. Dre and the Bose On-Ear Headphones. OK, maybe not quite monumental, but it is certainly interesting. Of course, if you think we're going to reveal the outcome without making you suffer through all three judges' rantings on the matter, you're sorely mistaken. Also on tap for this week: Cowon trots out a new video player, V-Moda makes an appearance with some new iPhone-friendly headphones, and Real takes a huge, industry-changing beating from the MPAA-holes. Plus, what exactly do the MP3 Insiders think about keeping all our media in the cloud? Tune in to find out.
The biggest news in the tech world this week could be read first on court dockets.
Apple is suing phone maker HTC and has filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, alleging that the Taiwanese company is infringing 20 Apple patents related to the iPhone. The patents that Apple alleges HTC is infringing are related to the iPhone's graphical user interface and the iPhone's underlying hardware and software design.
The company is asking for a permanent injunction, which would prevent HTC from importing and selling infringing devices in the United States. Apple also said it … Read more