Steve Jobs Revealed AppleTV Plans – Just before he died Steve Jobs confirmed to his biographer that Apple was exploring a “completely easy to use” AppleTV concept that would be linked to their new iCloud service. This would elminate the trouble of moving video content to the TV. Jobs said he wanted AppleTV to be similar to what he had done with the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad. During an appearance at a conference last year Jobs hinted that he might want to skip set-top boxes entirely. He warned that the devices used by the cable and satellite industry made it difficult for anyone to offer a separate media hub that would be worth purchasing separately. Apple is tipped to launch a new TV next year.
UK Going All-Digital Radio in 2015 – The British government has announced that by the end of 2015 all of the UK’s national radio stations and many local services will turn off their analog transmitters in favor of digital audio broadcasting (DAB). Vacated FM spectrum will be filled by new ultra-local radio consisting of small local commercial and community stations. Stations currently broadcasting on medium wave will upgrade to DAB. The switchover will not occur until digital accounts for 50% of all radio listening. The government also required that DAB must be comparable to current FM coverage (not the present situation from what we’ve read), and that DAB must reach 90% of the population before the upgrade timetable can begin. The government also recommended that all new car radios sold in the UK by the end of 2013 should be digital. But digital accounted for only 20% of radio listening in the first three months of 2009, and DAB currently accounts for only 12.7%. An early switch-off date is welcomed by the commercial radio sector. The rollout of the DAB transmitter network will require a significant contribution from the commerecial operators as well as from the BBC. Commercial stations will be allowed to reduce the number of hours of locally-produced programming in exchange for an enhanced commitment to regular and updated local news. Commercial stations have so far been unable to make niche digital services pay. DAB will be just one of a range of digital platforms, which also include the Internet, mobile broadband and digital TV.
JVC Joins Blu-ray Patent Pool – JVC Kenwood was one of the several technological contributors to the Blu-ray disc standard, and now joins other licensors such as HP, Hitachi, Panasonic, Philips and Sony in the One-Blue product licensing program and patent pool. One-Blue administers the licensing program for Blu-ray disc patents (as well as DVD and CD) and is the joint licensing agent of its licensors, covering all essential patents. The group is designed to reduce costs and foster fair use of the patent system in the entire optical disc sector.
E-books and Books-on-Disc – There are many different free eBooks and audio book readings now available online. Try this site for e-book suggestions for seniors. At libravox.org you will find a directory chart of 19 different sites offering free book downloads. You don’t even need an ebook or MP3 device; I download free readings of public domain classics from librivox.org (note the single character difference) and burn them on DVD-RWs for listening on my compact portable CD player. Their goal is to make all public domain books available as free audio books. The Reading Site has a lifetime membership fee instead of charges per commercial ebook.
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