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RIP VHS: World's Last VCR Will Be Made This Month

Jul 24, 2016 - 5:07 PM - by Reverend
Be warned, vintage videophiles: Japan’s Funai Electric, a company that claims to be the last manufacturer of videocassette recorders (VCRs), will manufacture its last VHS player this month.

Funai, which manufacturers the VCRs in China for Sanyo, says the decision comes after selling only 750,000 units last year, down from a peak of 15 million units per year. The decreased production numbers have made parts costly and difficult to source, the company says.

JVC’s VHS configuration debuted in 1977, sparking the VHS/Betamax configuration war. VHS trumped Betamax, which debuted in 1975, thanks in large part to its embracing of the X-Rated market; Sony banned the adult industry from releasing movies on its configuration, leading many consumers—who didn’t want to purchase two different devices—to choose VHS. A decade later, in 1987, VHS controlled 90% of the $5.25 billion VCR market. (Last year, Sony announced it would finally stop selling its blank Betamax cassette tapes.)

VHS ruled the home entertainment world for more than two decades. Sony created the DVD player in 1994, but the technology did not debut in the U.S. until 1997, due in larger part to copyright concerns from major movie studios. With early DVD players retailing for $1,000 or more, VHS remained the top configuration in the United States into the new millennium.

In 2001, retail DVDs topped VHS sales for the first time, capturing $4.6 billion of an annual $16.8 billion buying-and-rental market. However, only 25% of homes owning DVD players in 2001, and VHS remained the top rental configuration until mid-2003. The final nail in the VHS coffin came in 2oo6, when A History Of Violence became the final major Hollywood movie was released in the format.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 73 Views

Twitter opens up application process for verified accounts

Jul 19, 2016 - 7:23 PM - by Reverend
The little blue checkmark on certain Twitter profiles has long been an elusive identifier to obtain. Verified accounts are often awarded to personalities on Twitter to identify them as "authentic," and you'll generally see them on profiles owned by musicians, television personalities, actors, and other important figures.

But it's not always been simple to ensure your profile receives the badge that denotes it as authentic to audiences. Twitter is introducing a simplified application process for users to apply for verification on their own, beginning today.

"We want to make it even easier for people to find creators and influencers on Twitter so it makes sense for us to let people apply for verification," Tina Bhatnagar, Twitter's vice president of User Services explained in a press release. An open application process makes sense, especially when even larger entities such as WikiLeaks can fall for spam requests for verification and several personalities, aside from the 187,000 verified accounts out there, that yet to have been verified.

You can head over to Twitter and begin the process right now, though it isn't available in all areas right this moment. It's expected to expand globally throughout the rest of the week.

  0 Replies | 216 Views

Kim Dotcom plans 2017 relaunch of Megaupload

Jul 11, 2016 - 8:18 PM - by Reverend
Net entrepreneur Kim Dotcom plans to relaunch the Megaupload web storage system in January 2017.

The original Megaupload file-sharing site proved enormously popular and was thought to have about 50 million users a day at its peak.

It was shut down in 2012, following accusations by the US that copyright pirates made heavy use of it.

The new service would reinstate the accounts of all former users of the original Megaupload, said Mr Dotcom.

Plans for the revived Megaupload were revealed in a series of tweets by the German-born entrepreneur, who now lives in New Zealand.

He said it would be formally launched on 20 January - five years to the day since his home was raided by police investigating the "massive" amount of pirated material available via Megaupload.

Since the raid, Mr Dotcom has waged a lengthy legal battle to fight accusations that he profited from others abusing Megaupload and to recover the assets seized at the time.

He is also fighting attempts to extradite him to the US to face trial over his control of Megaupload.

The tweets suggest that the new Megaupload service will involve the Bitcoin virtual currency.

However, it is not clear whether it is being used as a payment system or as a way to track what people share via the service.

It is also not clear how accounts created on the original service will be reinstated.

Mr Dotcom wrote that emails would be sent to former users when the service was ready for them to rejoin it.

BBC News
  0 Replies | 340 Views

FrostWire 6.3.3

Jul 07, 2016 - 8:35 PM - by Reverend
FrostWire is a free, open source BitTorrent client, first released as a fork of LimeWire. In version 5, Gnutella support was dropped entirely, and now FrostWire only uses the BitTorrent network.

FrostWire 6.3.3

FrostWire homepage
  0 Replies | 349 Views

Microsoft ‘Preparing’ To Launch Surface All-In-One PC

Jul 07, 2016 - 8:31 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is working on an all-in-one (AIO) PC that could take on Apple’s iMac computer, according to DigiTimes and Windows Central.

The device would be shipped under the Surface brand name and could launch as early as Q3 2016.

Sources told the sites that the Surface AIO PC will replace Microsoft’s second generation Surface Book in the autumn launch cycle, as the Surface Book has been delayed by postponed shipments of the Intel Kaby Lake CPU it uses.

The sources said that instead, the second generation Surface Book is expected to ship in the first half 2017.

Microsoft’s original Surface Book was released in the UK back in February, retailing for more than Ł1000. Microsoft targeted the device and photographers, video editors, and engineers who want the power of a desktop in a laptop form factor.

But as the PC market continues its decline, an all-in-one device could offer a welcome reprieve to Microsoft as the company prepares to launch its first Windows 10 update in August.

According to research house IDC, PC shipments fell by 11.5 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2016.

The research firm said shipments reached 60.6 million and attributed the “expected” fall to a weak sales environment, low consumer demand and a lack of desire among enterprises to move to Windows 10.

  0 Replies | 422 Views

Say Farewell to the BlackBerry Classic

Jul 06, 2016 - 8:24 PM - by Reverend
It took some time to reach this point, but the BlackBerry Classic is officially dead.

In a blog post on Tuesday, BlackBerry's chief operating officer and general manager for devices, Ralph Pini, said that BlackBerry has decided to stop manufacturing the BlackBerry Classic. The company, however, will continue to build smartphones that feature "state of the art" components.

"For many years, Classic (and its BBOS predecessors) has been in our portfolio," Pini said in a statement. "It has been an incredible workhorse device for customers, exceeding all expectations. But, the Classic has long surpassed the average lifespan for a smartphone in today's market. We are ready for this change so we can give our customers something better – entrenched in our legacy in security and pedigree in making the most productive smartphones."

Those who still want one can purchase a Classic from remaining carrier stock or on BlackBerry's website. Existing owners will continue to get software updates, the company says. Version 10.3.3 is expected next month.

For years, BlackBerry has tried in vain to catch up with Apple and Google in the mobile OS game. Though it was once the dominant force in smartphones, BlackBerry missed the touch-screen boat that set sail with the iPhone in 2007. When it did release a touch-screen device, the BlackBerry Storm, it failed to impress.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 312 Views

Wheelchair user avatars are coming to Microsoft's Xbox

Jul 05, 2016 - 7:27 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is expanding the scope of its Xbox avatars by adding ones seated in wheelchairs.

Xbox head Phil Spencer responded Sunday to a couple of tweeters who asked about the possibility of creating wheelchair user avatars. Spencer said the company had already looked at the idea and that it's not far off. Mike Ybarra, head of Windows and Xbox program management, gave everyone a peek Monday night, posting images of the new avatars -- one male and one female -- both sitting in wheelchairs.

Microsoft's new avatars are part of an overall industry trend to create online characters that are more expansive and inclusive of the general population. Facebook recently added the ability to choose from among different skin tones for the emojis used on its Messenger chat app. There are now more emojis for women and for gender identity as well.

The two new avatars are seated in wheelchairs that sport a flag with the familiar Xbox icon. The facial features are also more detailed and expressive than those seen in existing avatars. That suggests Microsoft's next lineup of avatars may look a bit more "human" than the present ones.

  0 Replies | 298 Views

uTorrent 3.4.7 (build 42330)

Jun 28, 2016 - 7:32 PM - by Reverend
uTorrent is a BitTorrent client. It was written with efficiency in mind. Unlike many torrent clients it does not hog valuable system resources, allowing you to use the computer as if it weren't there at all.

Release notes

uTorrent 3.4.7

uTorrent homepage
  0 Replies | 641 Views

» News Archive

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