Samsung reveal the SPH-W9600 AMOLED Beam projector phone

Gerald Lynch Mobile phones, Projectors, Tech Digest news Leave a Comment

Samsung have just unveiled their new AMOLED Beam projector phone. The successor to their previous Haptic Beam projector phone, the handset will go by the name of SPH-W9600. The handset sports a 3.3 inch WVGA AMOLED display, a front facing…

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Skype gives away its SILK speech codec for free

Duncan Geere Software, VoiP Leave a Comment

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Skype has just announced that it’s giving away its SILK speech codec, which is the bit of software that processes your voice into a small enough stream of data for you to be able to communicate over a slow internet connection. A codec is basically a balancing act between file size and audio quality.

The SILK codec has been in development for three years at Skype and was finally bundled with the most recent release of the software – Skype 4. It’s a major step forward in audio quality and scales depending on the bandwidth available.

So if it’s so great, then why is Skype giving it away royalty-free to its competitors? Good question. My best guess is that Skype has the VoIP market so firmly tied up that it wants some competition to help grow the whole market. Then, I suppose, it’s confident enough that those users will switch to Skype thanks to its fantastic software.

It might also be a sign that Skype’s considering offering an API. Opening up the service, which is famously closed, would mean that other programs could be able to make Skype calls natively, without people having to open and install Skype itself. It could mean that you’ll just be able to highlight phone numbers on websites and right-click to call them from the browser.

More information’s available on the SILK website, and TechCrunch has an interesting take too.

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BBC's iPlayer upgraded to H.264 codec – download speed and picture quality boosted

Gary Cutlack Computers, HDTV, Home cinema, Intellectual Property, Internet, Software, Web 2.0, Websites Leave a Comment

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The BBC has been blowing your license fee on further developing its iPlayer service, announcing today that it’s starting to use the open source H.264 codec for its streaming telly service.

This has allowed the Beeb to boost the encoding bitrate of streamed shows from 500kbps to 800kbps, so it should all look a little sharper and cleaner when you catch up with such classics…

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Starbucks expanding into the high-end audio format world with CODE release

Gary Cutlack Digital Music Leave a Comment

Things you probably didn’t know. (1) Starbucks has a record label called Starbucks Hear Music. (2) This label mainly exists so you can buy the middle-of-the-road background music that tootles away as you decide whether the extra 50p for a Large is worth it or not.

(3) Producer T-Bone Burnett has come up with a new “HD” audio format for Starbucks. (4) They have called it CODE. (5) CODE is too good for many normal CD players to handle, so the release will also come on a DVD. (6) Starbucks management is keen on a bit of Frank.

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(7) The first release in CODE format will be John Mellencamp album ‘Life, Death, Love and Freedom’. (8) CD and MP3…

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