Tom Keating : VoIP & Gadgets Blog
Tom Keating
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Video Hardware & Software

40GB PS3 Going Bye-Bye?

July 9, 2008

Three Screens Are Part of Our Lives Now -- 'Fer Sure

July 8, 2008

The first in a series of new "three-screen" reports by Nielsen shows an emerging shift toward a more video-centric use of the Internet, but not at the expense of television viewing. The report is an effort by Nielsen to "follow the video" as consumer viewing habits shift.

The average American spent 127 hours of time with TV in May, up from 121 hours in May 2007; and 26 hours on the Internet, up from 24 hours last year.

More than 282 million people watch television in a given month and nearly 162 million use the Internet. Two-thirds of Internet users in the United States, 119 million people, watched video in May.

The amount of online video viewing is low compared with TV -- 2 hours and 19 minutes a month on average -- and Nielsen does not have a comparable estimate for last year. But given its popularity, it has attracted much interest from media companies and advertisers.

Freebox France offers VoIP, HD TV, and Internet for just 29.99 €/month

July 8, 2008

I just happened to be checking out our firewall logs and noticed traffic coming from Curious, I did a whois and figured out it was coming from which redirects to

The first thing I noticed other than the fact that website is in French,-- which I can't read -- is that they offer Internet + Telephone + Television for 29.99 €/month. I was able to figure that out since apparently Internet, Telephone, and Television don't translate at all in French. They're the same words except for some accent letters, as seen here from a website screen grab I did:

What I can gather is that they offer 250 channels, ADSL (ADSL2+?), Freebox HD receiver, unlimited phone calls to 70 destinations, and even a WiFi-MIMO (multiple-input and multiple-output) router.

Xbox 360 Price Drop Coming

July 8, 2008

Sony PS3 Boo-Boo ...

July 3, 2008

First Frameless Plasma Is Coming!

July 2, 2008

Is There More to Netflix/Roku Than Meets the Eye?

July 2, 2008

Blogged about the intriguing Netflix/Roku deal back on May 20, but now an interesting piece on VentureBeat makes it even more (and more!) interesting.

The new Roku box (doesn't look like much, does it?) lets you stream any of Netflix's 10,000+ "Watch Now" movies (movies that can be watched immediately over the internet for free with your subscription) to your TV set instantly. However, a new wrinkle may make the device even more attractive -- with a simple software download, other services beyond Netflix will soon be able to use it, according to Forbes.

This changes the device from a nice little purchase (it's only $99), into a potential Trojan horse for digital content in your living room. Of course, it entirely depends on what other services reach agreements to use the device. Roku would only say that other "big name" providers could bring their services to the device with a simple update.

At the same time, Netflix plans to release another box featuring its "Watch Now" service in conjunction with LG later this year.

PlayStation 3 helps discover oil

July 1, 2008

The technology used in the PlayStation 3 is being used to help explore and find oil much faster than before. Woohoo!

Using IBM technology, specifically the IBM PowerXCell 8i, which was originally developed for the Sony Playstation, a Spanish Oil company reports that specialized "Cell" microprocessors are speeding the search for oil and natural gas reserves located 30,000 feet below the Gulf of Mexico up to 6 times faster than current technology. Repsol and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center are using a process known as Reverse Time Migration (RTM), a sophisticated subsurface imaging tool accepted by the oil industry.

It has proven essential for imaging areas of complex subsurface geological structure, such as the rich hydrocarbon provinces of the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Brazil and West Africa.

PS3 Movie Downloads Coming

June 26, 2008

  So  who will be the winner -- the ruler -- of the home entertainment (media) center battle royale?

Sony is making a strong bid -- and why not with its history? -- using the PlayStation 3 as the centerpiece of their strategy.

According to Engadget, Sony will make a movie download service available to US PlayStation 3 owners this summer -- Japan and Europe at later dates with details coming "next month," presumably at E3.

Of course, we already knew that Sony was prepped to deliver full-length TV shows and movies sometime in 2008 via its North American PlayStation Network. But summer, eh?

It would be good if someone could make this type of service really, really appealing -- nothing out there gets me really excited -- except for the overall concept.

And now with the price of gas making dedicated trips to the video store even less appealing (does anyone still do that Blockbuster?), then this has got to be the next killer app.

Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro webcam for Mac

June 24, 2008

Logitech today unveiled its first Mac-compatible webcam with premium autofocus technology and Carl Zeiss optics - the Logitech QuickCam Vision Pro webcam for Mac. The new Logitech webcam of course works with iChat and Skype and features a 2-megapixel camera sensor.

The new Logitech webcam uses a voice coil motor for its autofocus system, instead of a stepper motor. According to the news, "Focusing is fast and fluid - crisp even in extreme close-ups only 10 cm from the camera lens. Logitech's autofocus system compensates for changes in image-edge sharpness and refocuses images in less than three seconds"

What I don't get is why Logitech chooses to make operating system specfic webcams. Isn't USB supposed to be an industry standard?

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