This year's smaller, quieter E3 video game trade show may well mark the end of an era, with no solid plans announced for next year's show, and many participants lamenting the stripped-down vibe. Despite powering a multi-billion-dollar industry, the big game companies collectively decided that the massive shows of previous years were too expensive to put on anymore--but the pared-down version of E3 that started last year failed to inspire the industry or generate much significant media coverage.
Despite the melancholy feel, the big stories driving the gaming business were clearly visible (even if almost all of the … Read more
I use iTunes on both my Mac and Windows machines here at work. On my Windows box, it's not quite as smooth and takes up a few too many resources, but I still run it to listen to music from other users on my network. On my Mac, it couldn't be better, but I've found that the biggest problem I have with iTunes is not with the program itself.
In fact, even though it's mostly my fault, my music library is what gives me the most trouble. Like most people, I've gotten my music from … Read more
If you've been a longtime Webware reader you might remember a service called Bubble Guru I checked out back in late 2007. It let you create small video pop-ups you could stick on your site to say hi to users, or simply to serve as a more attention-grabbing sticky note. Just launched Bubble Comment is a very similar service, and in fact it's from the same folks. The big difference is that it's completely free, albeit with some limitations.
One of those limitations, for example, is that you can't simply embed Bubble Comment bubbles on any … Read more
Are high-end A/V receivers, which for the purpose of this blog is any receiver with a MSRP over $1,500, worth it? True, they're loaded with features, stuff like all of the latest surround formats like Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master Audio. But wait a sec--Denon's soon to be released $649 AVR-1909 receiver has them, too. It's got three HDMI inputs and all of the latest Audyssey auto speaker set up and equalization doodads.
Let's take a look at Sony's $1,699 STR-DA5300ES. What does the extra $1,000 buy you? Not so much. … Read more
Summertime is the season for traveling circuses and local fairs, so I shouldn't be surprised that this carnival atmosphere has spread to security. A company named Permanent Privacy just announced a $1 million prize to the person who can crack its algorithm and uncover the underlying encryption keys.
Now I realize there is some history here. In January 1999, a group of academics cracked the 56-bit Data Encryption Standard in just over 22 hours and won a prize of $10,000. That said, I am not a big fan of security showmanship like this from unknown security start-ups.
Why? … Read more
And that, my friends, is how we get you to listen all the way to the end. But in actual news of the day, a judge ordered Google to expose the viewing habits of millions of YouTube users. But it's OK, because only a few people will get to look at them. That's fine, right? Also, we freak out about privacy and identity theft, just in time for a study that acknowledges that consumers are freaking out about privacy and identity theft. Plus, the power of video compels you...to switch to broadband.Listen now: Download today's podcast … Read more
Got dial-up and don't want to give it up? You're not alone.
An estimated 10 percent of Americans are surfing the net via dial-up connections, according to a report released Wednesday by the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
And a lot of those people apparently see no compelling reason to change. The report indicates that those users are not itching to make a change to a speedier broadband connection in large part because, they say, broadband is too expensive.
Of this dial-up group, 35 percent cited the cost issue, while 19 percent say nothing will ever prompt … Read more
You'd think start-ups would jump at any media hype they could get. Not so, says CNET News.com reporter Caroline McCarthy. She joins the podcast to talk about technology companies that generated huge amounts of hype--and then suffered from it later. Knowing how the new-media machine can work, some companies are even trying to fly under the media radar.
That, and the day's headlines, in today's daily podcast. Listen now: Download today's podcast
We all know that Google is more than capable of doing excellent webware for productivity, but isn't 3D design a bit of a stretch?
Google SketchUp for Windows and Mac is a 3D-modeling program of powerful drawing tools that boasts an intuitiveness many design programs fail to achieve. On first impression, SketchUp looks like it sacrificed function for simplicity, but that's not the case. Despite the extremely user-friendly interface, SketchUp offers a high-end range of powerful 3D-drawing tools that let you experiment and play with new designs.
Using basic shapes in 3D space for your outline, you can … Read more