Mozilla Backing VP8 For Inclusion Into HTML5 Video

Mozilla is trying to incorporate the VP8 codec of WebM video into the HTML5 web video specification.

webm

Mozilla Chief Executive John Lilly, replied on being asked about this saying,

We’d love for VP8 to be specified in the HTML5 standard. Once it’s in the spec, it can really get better traction from other players.

This is a bold move by Mozilla as most other browsers are in support of H.264 currently. If this change is made, adding videos into web pages will be as easy as adding jpeg images. The current implementation of HTML5 video has no standard for video encoding and requires the web page developer to incorporate all popular web formats for the video in the page to be available across all browsers.

Before Google released VP8, there was tough competition between H.264, preferred by Apple and Microsoft, and Ogg Theora, backed by Mozilla and Opera. Now, with its better quality and open source nature, VP8 has better winning prospects in this race.

The next move Mozilla needs to make is to get some allies to support VP8 alongside itself. VP8 already sees some favor from W3C which says,

WebM/VP8 has the potential of providing a solution for the baseline video format of HTML5.

Apart from Mozilla and a part of W3C, Microsoft also supports VP8 and we too expect to see VP8 as the default HTML5 video.
(Source)

Hardware Specs For Google TV

At Google I/O there were three major announcements. Froyo, WebM and Google TV have got their fair share of media coverage. Now that the dust has settled some technical details about Google TV have surfaced.

What Google TV is not?

  • A television channel
  • A Google branded television set

What Google TV is?

It is a software platform. Television equipment manufacturers can install Google TV on their products like TV sets or peripherals like set-top boxes. In simplest terms, Google TV will allow you to surf the web on your television.

Technical details: Google TV is based on Google’s Android platform. The only difference as of now is that unlike on Android phones, the browser in Google TV is Chrome and supports Flash. Google has also laid out some basic hardware specifications for manufacturers that want to bundle Google TV on their products:

  • Intel Atom CE4100 (can decode dual 1080p video stream)
  • MPEG-4 support
  • 3D graphics
  • HDMI
  • WiFi and Bluetooth

Google says that you can use any Android phone as the television control. LG and Sony have announced plans for their Google TV based products. one of the interesting Google TV implementation comes from Logitech with Companion Box.

via Engadget

DYK Thursday – First “Human” to be Infected by a Computer Virus

BBC News website reported on Wednesday that a   British scientist, claims he is the first man in the world to be infected by a computer virus.

Dr. Mark Gasson, a scientist from the University of Reading, claims he has been infected by a computer virus after he deliberately inserted a contaminated chip into his hand to carry out experiment.

The integrated chip was programmed in such a way that it would contaminate the other devices which are associated with this chip. This chip, which helped Gasson to open the security doors and also activate mobile phones, is a sophisticated version of the chips which are used to track pets.

The device, which is of the size of a rice grain, is a RFID chip, allowed him to have secure access over University buildings. Once you insert this microchip into a device, it contaminates the complete surroundings.

Dr. Gasson, with a belief that “Trial is a proof of principle” deliberately inserted a computer virus into the microchip which was later inserted into his left hand last year, to study its effects.

With the results, after a year, this is what Dr. Gasson said,

“With the benefits of this type of technology come risks. We may improve ourselves in some way but much like the improvements with other technologies, mobile phones for example, they become vulnerable to risks, such as security problems and computer viruses.”

However, this technology can be widely used to improve and devise new medical devices. Dr. Gasson says,

“This type of technology has been commercialised in the United States as a type of medical alert bracelet, so that if you’re found unconscious you can be scanned and your medical history brought up.”

However, Professor Rafael Capurro of the Steinbeis-Transfer-Institute of Information Ethics in Germany, says that these kind of “digital device implants” can have both positive and negative consequences. He says,

“If someone can get online access to your implant, it could be serious,” he said.

“From an ethical point of view, the surveillance of implants can be both positive and negative,” he said.

“Surveillance can be part of medical care, but if someone wants to do harm to you, it could be a problem.”

However, if these devices could somehow make your IQ and memory level increase, then there would be a great demand, says Dr. Gasson

Check this video clip

So, what do you think about this? Do you want a microchip instead of your natural brain in your body? Do you want your body to be “hacked” by hackers? I certainly don’t! Discuss your views in the comment section.

iPhone Hardware Data Encryption is #fail

Apple has more than once, boasted about the hardware data encryption used on its flagship iPhone. The hardware encryption uses a 256-bit AES and is an in your face feature as it cannot be disabled by users even if they want to.

An iPhone can be connected to a PC just like any other device though the connection requires the standard methods of authentication by a passcode and an initial pairing. Further, connecting a locked iPhone to a computer is also not possible.

However, all this falls under common and conventional realms. Bernd Marienfeldt, a security officer at UK internet node LINX, has discovered something interesting treading beyond these boundaries.He saw that if he connected his iPhone to his Ubuntu based system and rebooted it, he could gain a full read/write access to all internal files and folders since Ubuntu auto-mounts the file system. This process does not even require the iPhone to be paired to that computer.

Although Apple has been informed of the matter, it is not sure if they will release a fix to this.  Apple has started investigating into the matter and is under the assumption that this is caused by a race condition between the iPhone turning on and it’s file system being identified on USB.

It is funny to see how Apple has always shunned Linux and now, the simplest of the Linux makes its state of the art defense mechanisms look completely stupid.

(Source)

Steve Ballmer Not Going To Steve Jobs WWDC 2010 Keynote: Microsoft

Earlier today there were some rumors that Steve Ballmer may appear at the Steve Jobs WWDC 2010 keynote presentation, since Microsoft has booked some 7 minutes during the Jobs keynote to present on Visual Studio developer tools for Mac developers.

Steve Ballmer Microsoft Tweet

However, Microsoft has plainly denied that rumor through an official tweet. In the tweet, which is both funny and sarcastic, Microsoft said:

Steve Ballmer not speaking at Apple Dev Conf. Nor appearing on Dancing with the Stars. Nor riding in the Belmont. Just FYI.

So let us just rest this rumor in peace for now. Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer will not be on stage during the Steve Jobs keynote at .

FluMotion Offers webM Based Live Streaming

Barely a week ago, Google unveiled the new open audio-video platform dubbed webM. Since, then we have seen a flurry of activities surrounding webM. Opera integrated webM into its main trunk, Firefox is supporting it in their nightly builds, Google has released a Chromium build with webM and earlier today VLC became one of the first webM compatible media players. Now, the Barcelona based Flumotion is pushing their in-house webM powered live http streaming technology.

webM-Flumotion

We are certain to have been the first to offer live HTTP streaming in WebM only 48 hours after the announcement, claimed Thomas Vander Stichele, CTO of Flumotion. In fact, Flumotion reacted with immense speed and offered their solution just 48 hours after webM was announced.

The fast integration of WebM proves once again the flexibility of our technology and the expertise of our development team, remarked Jean Noel Saunier, CEO and Co-founder of Flumotion. He added, Speed, innovation and end-to-end services are the important factors for our clients, who need to stay on top of new formats and devices to ensure that their content reaches the maximum audience possible.

FluMotion’s webM live stream can be demoed here.

Firefox Home: Coming Soon on iPhone

Firefox home is a browsing session syncing application for the iPhone OS. This app is based on Firefox Sync and allows access to the last browsing history, bookmarks and the set of tabs. This serves as an excellent session manager for web browsing and the fact that it is available anywhere makes you feel at home, so the name.

The Firefox Home app provides encrypted protection and gives us an on the fly browsing experience where we can simply catch up from the last time and place we left browsing. Even better, this app is completely free of charge and provides many awesome features of Firefox add-ons on the iPhone, where we cannot actually have Firefox, thanks for Apple.

Ragavan writes at Mozilla blog saying,

Firefox Home for iPhone is part of a broader Mozilla effort to provide a more personal Web experience with more user control. For devices or platforms where we’re unable to provide the fullFirefox browser (either technically or due to policy), we aim to provide users with on the goinstant access to their personal Firefox history, bookmarks and open tabs on their iPhones, giving them another reason to keep loving Firefox on their desktops.

The project is still under development and will soon be  submitted to the iPhone app store.

Follow the project at its official Mozilla page here.

WordPress Celebrates 7th Birthday

WordPress the popular blogging platform used by millions of users, both on wordpress.com and self-hosted WordPress installation has completed 7 years today.

WordPress 7th Birthday

WordPress in itself has grown over to become one of the best blogging and CMS platforms today with several improvements over the years, and with WordPress 3.0 slated to release shortly, it would definitely grow even more.

I have been personally using WordPress for over 5 years now, and have found the platform to be easy to use and adapt. I bet that several of you might have the same thinking.

If you want to be a little nostalgic, you can visit this blog post on the WordPress blog announcing the release of the first ever public WordPress version.

Strontium Launches 3 New Pen Drive Series In India– Key, Spin And Hulk

Strontium a popular memory chip manufacturer in India has launched three new series of USB flash drives. The three series are known as Key, Spin and Hulk. The Key series is the smallest in size, and is available in capacities of 2GB and 4GB. The Key series is available in Black and White colours only. The Spin series is available in 4GB, 8GB and 16GB storage capacities. The Hulk series features storage capacity of up to a whooping 128GB. The Hulk series features data encryption to protect users’ data. The Hulk series is only available in Silver colour.

Strontium

The Key series measures 14.5mm (W) x 23.85mm (H) x 6.8mm (D), while the Spin series measures 12mm (W) x 5.5mm (D) x 29.8mm (H). The Hulk series, thanks to its 128GB storage capacity, measures 27mm (W) x 71.4mm (H) x 9.3mm (D). The Key series costs Rs 500 for the 4GB model, while the 2GB model costs RS 349. The 4GB, 8GB and 16GB Spin series pen drives are available for Rs 549, Rs 999 and Rs 1999 respectively. The 128GB monster Hulk series costs Rs 19,999. All the three series of pen drives come with a five-year warranty.

(Source)

Watch Steve Jobs Keynote WWDC 2010 Online

Steve Jobs will be presenting the opening keynote at on June 7, 2010. To add to that, there are some fresh rumors which say that Steve Jobs and Steve Ballmer may be on stage together during the Jobs keynote.

Steve Jobs Keynote WWDC 2010

This rumor in itself will send the excitement of people to a higher level. WWDC 2010 is a key Apple event for Apple developers who develop products for Mac OS X, and the .

Over 5000 developers will be part of WWDC 2010, and the Steve Jobs keynote will be the most tuned in on by the developers at Moscone West Center in San Francisco and tech enthusiast around the world.

The Steve Jobs keynote will be opening keynote for the June 7th – June 11th WWDC 2010 conference. The conference will be available online during that period.

If you are looking to watch the Steve Jobs Keynote at WWDC 2010 Online, stay tuned while we add the links. Links to the live Steve Jobs keynote will be added on or before June 7th, 2010.

Update: Mac Rumors has a live page for streaming the events which you can visit at Mac Rumors Live. You can also catch up the action live at Engadget Live in addition to live updates from Gdgt at http://live.gdgt.com/. Mac Observer also has a live blog where they will post updates on the event, you can visit it here. You can also follow the action live on by following @macrumorslive.

We will also be live blogging the event, so stay tuned for updates at our live blogging page at http://techie-buzz.com/live.

Update: Live Streaming video is available at Ustream, click  here for video updates of WWDC 2010.

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