Make The Most Of Your Windows Media Center

The web site Hacking Windows 7 Media Center is a great resource for how tos on making Windows Media Center for Windows 7 do everything Microsoft doesn't support out of the box. The site includes information on setting up automatic commercial removal, getting MKV's to work perfectly, using media scrapers to organize and collect covers, movie posters and other data for your media collection.  

Can A $99 Personal Server Stop Google?

No it can't. It doesn't want to either and that's good for all of us. Several small companies are using Marvell's SheevaPlug , a computer the size of a wall plug, to build personal servers that give you the benefits of remote file and information access without the creepiness, perceived or valid, of hosted cloud services. The TonidoPlug sells for $99 dollars and plugs in beside your home router. It runs a custom suite of applications on top of a embedded Ubuntu Linux OS that allow you to host photo albums, music jukeboxes, personal blogs, money management, calendars or file sharing all available online through your browser or locally with complete control over who has access to what and nothing is ever stored in the clouds. Google Docs, Facebook and Flcker are free services but the aren't charities and the information you give them never goes away. Everyone has their own line of what they are comfortable with and products like the TonidoPlug give you an alternative.

Major TiVo Announcement Coming March 2

It's been almost three years since TiVo last introduced a new, stand-alone DVR but today the company announced that it will hold a press conference on March 2 to debut what they have in store for the future. Tivo sent out the announcement with the words “Inventing the DVR was just a warmup”, so clearly they think this going to be a big deal. Whether the world agrees is yet to be seen but images of a TiVo Premiere have surfaced and a newly revamped menu system are expected but with such a big claim they certainly have got a lot of people speculating.

Samsung's $399 3D Blu-ray Coming Soon

Without any actual 3d content or a 3D television to view them on, rushing out to buy a HDMI 1.4 3D compatible Blu-ray player might not make much sense, but if you still don't own a Blu-ray player then maybe Samsung's BD-C6900 Blu-ray player is worth checking out.  The unit will be the first Blu-ray players on the market to support the new 3D Blu-ray standard and was available for pre-order on Amazon for $399 before they took down the link. Besides 3d the Samsung BD-C6900 comes with the Internet@TV suite which includes applications such as Netflix, Blockbuster, Picasa, Pandora, VUDU, Twitter like the rest of Samsung's 2010 line up.

Bringing the In-Store Message to Life

Small retailers have taken advantage of the affordable stand-alone digital signage solutions that can be programmed and updated with a USB stick or a removable flash memory card. With these solutions, entertaining sales messages can be created, modified and updated in just minutes using simplified software provided with the system. In multi-location, multi-sign operations, managers are using standard network wiring and the Internet cloud to upload fresh, attention-getting sales messages and to manage the timing and placement of product multimedia messages.

Broadband - A New Utility?

The 'connected home' is really starting to become a reality. With more and more devices that link to the home network arriving in stores the prices are plummeting. Broadband is cheaper and service providers are under pressure to find new ways to exploit their mobile and fixed broadband networks. In addition, concern for carbon emissions and new smart grid strategies are driving the deployment of still more networked devices. There are challenges though.

CES 2010 - Look Good, Act Assured, Play Loud

CES is like Cherry Blossom time in Japan or on the Potomac. Or Mel Brooks' Springtime for Hitler! Just a great way to start fresh and see if the industry can get it right…this time. Before Shapiro could open the festivities, Google's Schmidt decided he'd pull a Steve and take the wind out of Shapiro's CES sails with his Nexus One unveiling.

CES 2010 Special News Report

News releases and announcements from the show

Content Insider #136 - Social Media Spying Everyone Follows Social Media … Everyone!

Our kids do nearly everything on their smartphones or netbooks. Because we're slightly retarded, they use email for us. For everyone else -- friends, schoolmates, relationships -- they max out all of the capabilities, features and benefits of today's Web 2.0 social media. They simply look at us and repeat Graves's words, "I have to live my dreams." They aren't alone! "One man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter." - Raul, Die Another Day (MGM - 2002)

Content Insider #137 - Innovation Innovation, Mainstream on Different Time Schedules

The words innovation, efficiency and multitasking may not have been invented in Silicon Valley and the other technology enclaves, but they were refined, honed, perfected in these areas. When the economy stagnated, financial analysts and economists were quick to say the PC/CE/communications industry centers of hyperactivity had lost their edge. In the U.S., they were simply no longer capable of changing the way we live/work. They couldn't be counted on to and move the economy forward. In fact, other countries were becoming the technology hotspots, generating the ideas and the products.

Content Insider #142 - Internet TV Cable vs. Internet - The Battle for Eyeballs Gets Serious

Kids don't watch much TV with us anymore. They use their Roku units. They log onto their favorite shows. They YouTube oldies but goodies. They watch shows from Spain, France and Mexico (one is studying French, the other Spanish). They're watching how-to YouTube segments. They watch the stuff on their smartphones and their notebooks...not the TV. That's got Tellywood worried because they don't control that much anymore. True ...the only person you hate worse than the phone person is the cable guy! How will our content life change?

Direct Marketing Gets You Noticed

In today's cluttered marketing environment, it can be difficult to effectively deliver your message. By using door hangers as a direct marketing tool, you can differentiate your brand and reach your customer successfully.

Free Agency… Changing the Employer/Employee Relationship

The factory dominated the 19th Century. Everything evolved around it. People spent their lives working for the man. Today less than 15% of the U.S. employees work in production or manufacturing. The 20th Century was dominated by the office. According to the department of labor by the end of last year at least 44% of the employees were gathering, processing, retrieving and analyzing information...in the office.

HDTV Antenna Guide

This primer will help you to choose the correct HDTV Antenna for your particular situation, along with installation tips. Just remember that every situation is different, so there's not a single antenna that will work for everyone, as many variables are involved. Do your homework and research which antenna will work best for your particular situation. Once you have your antenna properly installed and are receiving free over-the-air high-definition television broadcasts, you will feel that it was worth all the time an energy you invested.

Hometoys Interview - 3DTV Technology

David Wertheimer is the CEO and Executive Director of the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (USC). David was previously the president of Paramount Digital Entertainment and has been immersed in producing content, developing new technologies, and managing organizations (ranging from start-ups to divisions within publicly traded companies) for over 15 years. David was appointed in early 2007 to head the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California (ETC-USC), bringing his expertise to bear on the technological and sociological implications of providing content to consumers who desire it at any time and any place. Wertheimer was named one of five entertainment executives to watch by USA Today and one of three individuals leading the next generation of convergence by the Hollywood Reporter.

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