Izabo Music Video Uses iPhone’s As Props

If you thought that the could only be used for phone calls, taking pictures and social networking, you might need to add another thing to it, creating a music video.

An Israeli band called Izabo has created a innovative video using lots of iPhone’s as props. The song named "On my way" uses the iPhone pretty interactively and has made it an integral part of the video.

Enough speaking, take a look at the video below to see Izabo’s new song "On my way" created using the iPhone.

You can also view the video on their official channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/izaboOfficial

YouTube Streaming Gulf Of Mexico Oil Spill Live

A few days ago, Google had released some imagery to track the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill through Google Earth. Now another Google product is allowing users to track the Gulf of Mexico spill through a live streaming video.

Gulf of Mexico Live Oil Spill

Right now, if you visit the PBS NEWSHOUR site on YouTube, you will be able to see a live video of the Gulf of Mexico Oil spill as it happens.

One thing I can say is that the oil is definitely spilling out at a very fast rate. Hopefully, the new tactics to be employed will once and for all shut down the spill.

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz tells Michael Arrington From TechCrunch to Fuck-off

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz walked into the office of Michael Arrington from TechCrunch and talked with him for a good long 25 minutes. In the talks, while Michael supported the move made by Yahoo! in focusing on other areas else than search, Carol was insisting on Yahoo! being a web search company primarily.

Then, she goes on to say that TechCrunch was a “tiny company” and “So don’t give me crap about what the fine people of Yahoo! are supposed to do, so F-off.”

Carol has a fake twitter account which is famous for spilling out similar responses but this coming from the real Carol is hilarious.

Check out this video to know more.


What To Expect From KDE Plasma Netbook 4.5?

KDE Plasma Netbook Shell  first  made an  appearance  with KDE SC 4.4. The second version is already on its way with KDE SC 4.5. KDE developer Marco Martin, gave a brief preview of what to expect from the KDE Plasma Netbook Shell 4.5.

Here it is:


The Shell has been receiving a lot attention to make it faster. The Shell, along with the Launch and Search activities, have undergone several optimizations. This should make the interface a lot faster and responsive.


All the Plasma scroll areas, uses brand new code  to handle the touch and the flicking in a much better way. To improve both the looks and the usability of it, the widgets now appear perfectly aligned in a 2×2 grid, although you can still create a custom number of rows and columns. Interacting with widget will make it expand to take up to the whole screen height, so offering a “maximized” view of it.

Search and Launch

A different way to fetch the data used in the menus is being used to make it more accurate.

Drag and Drop

Drag and drop support has been added extensively to make the interface more intuitive and touch-screen friendly.

Marco also published a couple of videos showing some of the things mentioned above:

[via www.notmart.org]

WebM: Why We Should Be Excited

WebM-Open-Video-Codec Google has just unveiled WebM – an open source royalty free codec based on VP8 by On2. If everything goes according to (Google’s) plans, WebM would become the de-facto standard for HTML5 videos. In the past, I have emphasized on numerous occasions the need for an open codec – both on TechieBuzz and on my personal blog.

Until now, two codecs were being considered for use with the <video> tag – H.264 and Theora. Unfortunately, there are considerable problems with both. While Ogg Theora is royalty free and open source, it is a technically inferior codec. Not only are the file sizes generated by Ogg Theora larger, but it also lacks hardware acceleration support. The latter is critical for mobile devices like the iPad and the the iPhone. H.264 is a superior codec, but it is proprietary. If it becomes the prevalent codec, we would be held hostage to MPEG-LA’s goodwill.

If you believe that this doesn’t affect you, then think again. MPEG-LA is legally entitled to collect royalty from both content distributors as well as (commercial) content providers. Yes, they have decided to waiver this fee til 2015. However, there is nothing stopping them from changing their minds after the initial grace period is over.

WebM offers a way out. It is a media project encompassing both audio and video. While the video codec is based on VP8 codec by On2 (Theora is based on VP3), Vorbis will be used for delivering audio. The container format is based on a subset of the Matroska media container.

WebM will be initially supported by Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. While Chrome had earlier chosen to support both H.264 and Theora, the latter two had opted against using the patent encumbered H.264. Now the big question is, will Apple and Microsoft back WebM?

My guess is that Microsoft will make Internet Explorer WebM compliant in time. The biggest thorn in Google’s way may be Apple. Apple has been pushing hard in favor of H.264. In fact, recently Steve Jobs had issued a thinly veiled threat against Theora. His exact words being, “A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other open sourcecodecs now”.

The biggest advantage WebM has is Google and its might. While, MPEG-LA would like to go after any open codec it considers a threat, Google is a formidable target. WebM will also be getting a huge initial impetus in form of YouTube compatibility. Numerous major players have already pledged to support WebM. Besides the aforementioned browser vendors, hardware manufacturers like AMD, ARM, Broadcom, Freescale, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments will be backing the new technology. Adobe will also be supporting WebM through Flash.

If you want to get a taste of WebM go ahead and download the experimental builds of Mozilla Firefox or Opera. Google Chrome builds with WebM should be released on May 24.

[ Download Opera and Mozilla Firefox with WebM ]

Flash 10.1 Shows Up On Nexus One Running Android 2.2 "FroYo"

Apple has shunned away Flash, but Adobe has not yet let hopes of making it big on the mobile browsers. and Me have spotted a new version of Flash 10.1 running on a with Android 2.2.

A new video uploaded by Adobe evangelist Ryan Stewart shows a Nexus One with Android 2.2 running flash videos using Flash 10.1. Google has not yet released Android 2.2 to the public and the OS codenamed FroYo will be unveiled at this month’s Google IO conference.

Android based phones have recently surpassed the OS and are now the largest OS running on mobile phones for the first quarter of 2010, so running Flash on the OS would definitely mean that Flash will still be alive for sometime to come.

Watch the video of Flash 10.1 running on a Nexus One with Android 2.2 below.

Xiph.Org Foundation Responds To Steve Jobs’ Threat: “Creative Individuals Don’t Really Like to Give Their Business to Jackbooted Thugs”

Monty Montgomery of Xiph.Org Foundation has responded to Steve Job’s threat. Xiph is the foundation responsible for taking care of Ogg, Theora and many other codecs. If you have missed the on-going codec wars, now would be a good time to catch up. Check out our previous article on Steve Job’s veiled threat to Theora before proceeding.

Here is Montgomery’s response:

Thomson Multimedia made their first veiled patent threats against Vorbis almost ten years ago. MPEG-LA has been rumbling for the past few years. Maybe this time it will actually come to something, but it hasn’t yet. I’ll get worried when the lawyers advise me to; i.e., not yet.

The MPEG-LA has insinuated for some time that it is impossible to build any video codec without infringing on at least some of their patents. That is, they assert they have a monopoly on all digital video compression technology, period, and it is illegal to even attempt to compete with them. Of course, they’ve been careful not to say quite exactly that.

If Jobs’s email is genuine, this is a powerful public gaffe (‘All video codecs are covered by patents.’) He’d be confirming MPEG’s assertion in plain language anyone can understand. It would only strengthen the pushback against software patents and add to Apple’s increasing PR mess. Macbooks and iPads may be pretty sweet, but creative individuals don’t really like to give their business to jackbooted thugs.

Montgomery’s comment is both straight to the point and piercing. He is right in highlighting the fallacy of software patents. Instead of encouraging competition and innovation, they promote bullying and stifle the little guy. It’s ironic that Apple is trying to portray itself as open and also going after an open source project like Theora at the same time.

Update: Xiph’s Greg Maxwell has also responded to this controversy by trying to clear up the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) that companies like Apple and Microsoft are trying to generate around open codecs like Theora. You can read his take over here.

Ubuntu 10.04 Feature Tour Video

With the release of Ubuntu 10.04, feature tours, installation and other videos have started springing up. You can read about them all you want but nothing works like a visual.

The 10.04 Lucid Lynx has some nifty new features and this video will tell us about most of those features in details.

Although this release is in high speculation it is not as perfectly designed as the version 9.1 was. This is because of some core changes which will need time for a better overall integration with the overall environment. Lets hope for the best with the next release.

Steve Jobs: A Patent Pool Is Being Assembled to Go After Theora

Apple Most of you have probably read Steve Jobs’ thoughts on Flash. It was undoubtedly an entertaining read. He was spot on about Flash being a closed platform, which has a poor security and stability track record. Yet, anyone with an analytical mind could not help but notice the hypocrisy inherent in the letter by Apple chief.

OSNews has already done a brilliant job at dissecting the letter and illustrating Jobs’ ‘holier than thou’ attitude, so I won’t be repeating the same points over here. Even Fake Diary of Steve Jobs succeeded in highlighting the shortcomings in Jobs’ reasoning – albeit in its own tongue in cheek way. Both of them are highly recommended reading.

Anyway, Steve Jobs’ open letter prompted Hugo Roy to write another open letter to Jobs’, to which Mr. Roy surprisingly enough received a reply. You can find both Hugo’s letter and Jobs’ reply over here. Here I am concerning myself only with Jobs’ reply.

From: Steve Jobs
To: Hugo Roy
Subject: Re:Open letter to Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Flash
Date 30/04/2010 15:21:17

All video codecs are covered by patents. A patent pool is being assembled to go after Theora and other open sourcecodecs now. Unfortunately, just because something is open source, it doesn’t mean or guarantee that it doesn’t infringe on others patents. An open standard is different from being royalty free or open source.

Sent from my iPad

(emphasis mine)

If I am not completely misreading things, Steve Jobs’ letter seems to strongly hint that Theora may soon face a patent infringement lawsuit. If you are wondering why Theora matters, check out my post on the recent codec squabble. In brief, browser vendors haven’t managed to agree on the codec to be used for the HTML5 <video> tag. The two major codecs being considered are H.264 and Ogg Theora. While Opera and Firefox are backing the open source Ogg Theora, Safari and Internet Explorer have pledged to go with the proprietary H.264 codec. Google Chrome supports both.

Theora is built on On2’s VP3, which was open sourced and handed over to the Xiph.Org Foundation. Most of the patents related to video codecs are owned by MPEG LA. So, in all likelihood it is playing an active role in gathering the afore mentioned patent pool. Interestingly enough, Apple is also a part of MPEG LA. MPEG LA is also the firm which stands to benefit if H.264 becomes the de-facto standard for web video. It’s not very hard to see the interrelation among the recent developments. I would leave it up to you to draw your own conclusions, but one thing is sure – the codec squabble will only get murkier.

HP Drops Slate Video To Counter iPad Frenzy

For the past few days, almost every tech site has been writing about the which was released to public a day before Easter. It is not that iPad is out of the news yet, but HP has just released a video of the upcoming HP Slate on and from the looks of it this one is a definite beauty.

HP Slate

HP Slate, which will run on has a camera for video support, multi-touch support with pinch to zoom, USB ports, SD memory expansion, Adobe Flash support and more. With all these features and possibly more, PC World has dubbed the device as an iPad killer, however, it is really too early to call anything a iPad killer yet.

However, there is no denying of the fact that the HP Slate as of now is a superior device than the iPad with the Slate adding several pieces of hardware missing from the iPad. The HP Slate also runs on Windows 7 which would make it compatible with a lot of software already available for Windows. In addition to that, inclusion of a camera in the Slate along with USB ports makes it a much closer replacement for the netbook as opposed to the iPad, which lacks both of these.

HP Slate is not yet ready for sale and there is no release date available right now, however, considering that iPad just launched it would be critical for HP to get the device out as soon as possible to capitalize on the user interest in tablets.

Watch a sneak peek review of the HP Slate embedded below to see the beautiful device in action.