Google Launches Marriage Between TV and the Internet – Electronics manufacturers and providers have been struggling for decades to bring more Internet content to living room TVs. Half-way measures are being built into many new TVs, but they don’t offer full and direct Internet access such as a computer on broadband would. Google has now introduced its Android-based Smart TV platform which claims to combine the best of the web with the best of TV. They have a partnership with Sony, who will offer a full line of connected TV sets that integrate Google TV and a Blu-ray player with the platform – the first model coming out late this year. Logitech will produce a companion set-top box enabling any users to access the platform, and Adobe is also involved. Google TV is built on Android 2.1, Google’s Chrome browser, and Flash 10.1. The devices will be powered by Intel Atom chips, and will be able to run Android apps. Dish Network will provide integration with existing set-top boxes.
At the demo, Google leaders showing how DVR recordings could be made straight from search results, how web content and live TV feeds can be accessed with the picture-in-picture mode, how bookmarks can be set up for websites as well as TV channels, and sites such as Flickr and Twitter can be easily accessed. Android phones can be used to control the sets, and YouTube and other videos can be pushed from an Android phone directly to the TV. They explained that Google Search now makes it as easy to go to any site on the web as it is to go to any channel on the TV. CEOs from the six partners most involved in Google TV said the technology has progressed to create the right conditions, and this marriage between television and the Internet will work.
Mishagosh Over iPhone Prototypes – Tech site Gizmodo published an article on the inner workings of the next-generation iPhone. They supposedly obtained the phone in nefarious ways: it has been lost in a bar in Silicon Valley, stolen by someone, then the magazine paid to get the stolen property and tear it down to publish a scoop report on it. Apple’s Steve Jobs claims the incident has hurt them greatly in many ways and pundits feel Apple may sue. Meanwhile, even more serious things are happening at a huge Chinese factory which manufactures iPhones: ten employees in 12 months have committed suicide by jumping out of windows. One even did so specifically due to having lost a prototype iPhone which was being shipped to Apple.
Sharp Has 3D Camera for Mobile Devices – Sharp Electronics will begin mass production of a 3D camera module this year, which processes the image data output by left and right cameras, including Color Synchronizing Processing to adjust color and brightness, Timing Synchronizing Processing to synchronize video signal timing, and Optical Axis Control Processing to correct positioning. The module will be embedded in mobile devices such as digital cameras, mobile phones and smartphones.
Deadline for Media Reform – On June 2 the FCC and big corporations plan to eliminate the remaining few media ownership laws, allowing huge corporations to buy up even more TV stations, cable TV systems, channels and newspapers than they have already been allowed to do in the recent past. They are calling it “deregulation,” but it is actually “re-regulation” on behalf of moneyed interests, which will even more radically shift the landscape of American media, journalism and democracy. Radio ownership rules were scrapped in 1996, and look what has happened to radio. The same thing and worse is about to happen to the rest of U.S. media! Go to www.mediareform.net and send your message to Congress and the FCC, demanding preservation of current media ownership rules to keep (somewhat) diverse, independent and competitive media.