To celebrate the conclusion of Kanye West's "Glow in the Dark" tour featuring Lupe Fiasco, Rihanna, and N.E.R.D., watch manufacturer Nooka will produce a very limited glow in the dark version of their popular Zub watch. When we say "very limited," we mean it--only 15 pieces were made and most of them will find their home with Kanye himself, so abandon all hope of picking up one of these unique watches. Nice to look at though, right?The Zub is one of Nooka's many timepieces to use linear and graphic figures … Read more
An old friend from the open-source world, Ira Heffan, called me today about his company, TopCoder. Ira is a smart guy so I figured anything with which he was involved must be good.
And it is. At its most basic, TopCoder stages programming competitions, both for itself (that is, its direct consulting clients) and for third parties like Google. Companies hire TopCoder to stage competitions to build functionality for them (as well as to scout for new talent). TopCoder also provides consulting services and uses competitions to create the requested applications, and heavily reuses its portfolio of applications and components to drive down development costs.
As an example, TopCoder has its premier competition in Las Vegas next week at the 2008 TopCoder Open (May 12 through 15), hosting 120 finalists from 30 countries. $260,000 in prize money is on the line.
Ira told me that one developer made over $500,000 last year in TopCoder prize money. Not too shabby. This, coupled with recruiting interest from top companies means that developers may be winning themselves a new job, as well as a competition.
Those who prefer getting help from peers over negotiating the sometimes headache-inducing labyrinth of traditional tech support will have an additional online outlet come Tuesday. FixYa, a user-generated Web site for product care support, is set to announce a co-branded effort that brings Best Buy customers and the Geek Squad together to swap real-world solutions to common technical problems. Think social networking meets tech support.
FixMyMovie is a service that takes your pixilated digital video clips and does its best to make them look better. The technology stems from MotionDSP's processing technology, which is similar to what's used in government intelligence operations to improve those dark and grainy security films--like you see in movies.
Most recently, FixMyMovie added the ability to create a single high-resolution 1,280x1,024 JPEG image from a 320x240 video. The company also is contemplating use of the technology to stitch together smaller frames into a wide panorama, to improve image tones to retrieve detail in bright highlights and … Read more
The past 24 hours have seen Mozilla Firefox (download from CNET Download.com for Windows and Mac) getting another security hole plugged, while its social-networking derivative Flock (also at CNET Download.com for Windows and Mac) earns a minor behavioral bug fix.
New computers come with old software, a situation that, considering the recent slew of critical bug fixes, can be quite dangerous.
To illustrate just how old some of the software is, consider a new Windows XP machine that I got yesterday. The computer, a ThinkCentre A61 tower, was ordered from Lenovo on January 6, 2008. It was delivered to someone on January 16th, exactly who I'll never know. As I wrote about last month, UPS lost my computer. But that's another story.
I've got my new computer routine down pat at this point. First, I run a … Read more
Having recently compared a small handful of video hosting services, it's fun to come back to FixMyMovie, a service I checked out back in September. Since launching at DEMOfall, FixMyMovie has been making tweaks and improvements. With a 15MB file size limit, it's a far cry from some of the heavy duty video file hosting services that let you upload files of nearly half a gigabyte. However, FixMyMovie holds true to its roots of attempting to make crappy camera phone videos look watchable on larger screens.
Earlier this week I got to chat with CEO Sean Varah about … Read more
U.S. law often comes down hard on price fixing. That's why a magazine story in October about efforts to create a music subscription site potentially backed by the top four music labels may have sounded alarms in Washington.
Universal Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment have received requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice about a proposed music site called Total Music. The DOJ interest comes after an October BusinessWeek story that said Doug Morris, Universal's CEO, pitched an idea for a subscription site to at least two of his three main competitors, … Read more
Yet again, a bug fix created a new problem. This time it occurred with Internet Explorer 6 and 7 on Windows XP and Vista.
The problem is that Internet Explorer crashes after viewing a web page. Not all web pages though, I was able to successfully view about half of those I tested with IE6. One site that crashes it pretty quickly is Microsoft's own msn.com (they offered it as an example).
It wasn't hard to find information online about this problem which was introduced in the December 11th round of bug fixes to Windows.
An adjustment to one mirror should fix an autofocus problem that has tarnished the debut of Canon's high-end EOS-1D Mark III camera, the company said Thursday.
"We're pretty confident this countermeasure will resolve the issue completely," said Chuck Westfall, a Canon spokesman and tech guru. "It feels nice to have a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel and know it's not another oncoming train."
The $4,500 camera, geared chiefly for photojournalists who can appreciate features such as its 10.5-frame-per-second shooting ability, had won accolades for most of … Read more