Embattled Olympus Looking for Capital Alliances – Olympus, finally struggling—partly due to revelations of an accounting fraud allegedly committed by former managers—has received capital alliance offers from Sony, Fujifilm and Terumo. They hope an alliance will bolster capital eroded by restating securities reports. The company said it hopes to make its digital camera business profitable this fiscal year, and it is also involved in audio gear.
Sony Mobile Devices Get Music Streaming Capability – Sony’s portable PS Vita game player can now receive its Music Unlimited streaming service. Users can cache streamed channels and playlists on the Vita and on select Sony Android smartphones for offline listening when a cellular or Wi-Fi connection is not available. This will also help conserve battery life and manage cellular data-plan charges. The Vita comes in both Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi/3G versions. With a paid subscription consumers are entitled to stream music to any computer and to any other compatible connected Sony device such as smartphones, tablets, and recent connected Sony Bravia HDTVs, Blu-ray players, the Disc Home Theatre Systems, PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable. For Walkman MP3/video players without Wi-Fi, Music Unlimited turns into a subscription-download service in which music is downloaded to a computer and then side-loaded to the Walkman device. Users can side-load either individual tunes or channels for playback on the portable devices.
1080p Resolution Added to Apple TV – The current Apple TV streaming set-top box provides FullHD 1080p resolution on movie and TV programming from services when such content is available. The device allows streaming from iTunes, Netflix and Vimeo. An updated user interface makes it easier to access purchased movies, TV shows and music with iTunes Match from iCloud. Using AirpLay, users can stream content from an iPad or Iphone 4S to the Apple TV. Second-generation Apple TV users can update to the new user interface via a free download, but 1080p HD video playback is only possible on the new third-generation hardware, which retails for $99.
Online Opera-Writing Competition – English National Opera is conducting an online competition involving composers, scriptwriters and filmmakers to create new mini operas, and to educate the public on the agony and ecstasy of what it takes to make an opera. Film director Terry Gilliam, who staged Berlioz’s Faust last year, will be one of the judges. He said “I want to find future stars who can work with this ridiculous, stupefying, insane, wonderful art form.”
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