Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The Buzz | The cutting edge of technology

Buzz: Demise of HD DVD hasn't helped Blu-ray player

Sales of Blu-ray disc players haven't gotten a boost from maker Toshiba's capitulation over producing the rival HD DVD format, research firm NPD Group says. Toshiba Corp. said on Feb. 19 that it would stop making HD DVD players, doomed by Warner Bros. Entertainment's announcement Jan. 4 that it was dropping HD DVD to focus on Blu-ray. Sales of Blu-ray players, excluding PlayStation 3 game consoles, dropped 40 percent from January to February in the United States, according to NPD. Sales grew 2 percent from February to March. The firm didn't release numbers of players sold. "When we surveyed consumers late last year, an overwhelming number of them said they weren't investing in a new next-generation player because their old DVD player worked well and next-generation players were too expensive," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD. "It's clear from retail sales that those consumer sentiments are still holding true." While DVD players cost less than $100, Blu-ray players generally cost $400 or more. Another factor that may be holding back sales of Blu-ray players is that anticipated models with Internet connectivity haven't hit the market. Current models can't be upgraded. But sales of PlayStation 3s seem to be recovering, perhaps with help from their built-in Blu-ray players. Sony Corp. sold 257,120 in the United States in March, nearly doubling last year's figure. Another firm, ABI Research, estimates that PS3s will account for more than 85 percent of Blu-ray players in use this year and that the number of stand-alone players and Blu-ray-equipped PCs won't surpass them until 2013.

Adobe to give away Flash for mobile

Adobe Systems Inc. says it will license its video-enabling Flash software for free for mobile devices to help developers make mobile Internet experiences more closely resemble the experience on computers. The world's fifth-largest softwaremaker is launching what it calls the Open Screen Project with support from phonemakers Motorola Inc., Nokia Corp., Samsung Electronics, Sony Ericsson and Toshiba Corp., from chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm, and from content providers including NBC Universal, MTV Networks and the BBC, among other companies. With the Open Screen Project, Adobe said, it aims to improve Internet experiences on all electronics, including computers, TVs and digital video recorders.

Criminals try to 'copyright' malware

Even criminal hackers want to protect their intellectual property, and they've come up with a method akin to copyrighting — with an appropriate dash of Internet thuggery thrown in. Professional virus writers are selling a suite of software on the Internet with an unusual attachment: a detailed licensing agreement that promises penalties for redistributing the malicious code without permission. "I just kind of chuckled — it's kind of humorous," said Zulfikar Ramzan, senior principal security researcher with Symantec Corp. Symantec researchers noticed a Russian-language example floating around the Internet and wrote about it recently on the company's official blog.

Variety grows in

Wii accessories

Owners of Wii game consoles from Nintendo Co. have always enjoyed the freedom its motion-sensing games offer, but the wire between the remote and the nunchuk needed for some games could limit movement. Video game accessory maker Nyko Technologies Inc. rolled out its $34.99 Kama Wireless Nunchuk, which is powered by two AAA batteries and a device that plugs into the bottom of the Wii remote. In a boxing game, the Kama could be key to delivering the perfect final uppercut. A few third-party controllers have appeared since the Wii arrived in stores in November 2006, most in the form of plastic shells that make the Wii remote feel more like a tennis racket, fishing pole or golf club.

Google recruits artists to add pizazz

Google Inc.'s once-austere Web site is turning into an eclectic art gallery. Hoping to spur more customization of its home page, the Internet search leader has unveiled a lineup of colorful graphics dreamed up by a mix of creative souls, ranging from fashion designer Oscar de la Renta to the rock group Coldplay. The panoramic decorations, known as "skins," can be draped around Google's search box if a user has a personal login. The custom home page, known as "iGoogle," is the company's fastest-growing service along with e-mail. Google won't specify how many people use iGoogle, but says the number is in the millions. Nearly 70 prominent artists from 17 countries contributed the new designs.

Buzz: Demise of HD DVD hasn't helped Blu-ray player 05/04/08 [Last modified: Monday, May 5, 2008 3:00pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Deputies responding to car crash in Riverview find shooting victim inside

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office is investigating after deputies responding to a single-car crash late Wednesday discovered someone in the car had been shot, authorities said.

  2. Commentary: Ten years later, the iPhone owns us

    Science

    Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone in January, 2007, before an adoring congregation, in his signature "Sermon on the Mount" style. On June 29, it became available to the public. Ten years later, the phone has spread like Christianity. The device represents "the pinnacle product of all capitalism," as Brian Merchant …

    Apple is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the iPhone's release on June 29, 2007. [Associated Press]
  3. Florida education news: School grades, teacher pay, transgender lawsuit and more

    Blogs

    SCHOOL GRADES: Florida's school grades showed improvement as the state's revised accountability system entered its third year in its current form. …

    Bear Creek Elementary principal Willette Houston celebrates her school's A grade with students in a summer program at the school.
  4. Whiskey wasn't my thing, but then I visited the Teeling Distillery in Ireland

    Travel

    DUBLIN

    If you drink your way through a four-day trip to Ireland, can you make an honest recommendation on anything?

    The focal point of the Teeling Whiskey Distillery in Dublin is the copper pots used in the process.
  5. Faulty AC leaves Chinsegut manor house, supporters steaming

    Human Interest

    BROOKSVILLE

    As summer temperatures climb, volunteers at Chinsegut Hill Manor House say a faulty air-conditioning system has put them in a hot spot.

    Thomas Hoops of Tampa, left, takes a breather with his 1-year-old daughter, Zoe Hoops, on the porch of the Chinsegut Hill Manor House.