The Consumer Electronics show, the behemoth of tech, the Valhalla of gadgetry, has come and gone for yet another year. But this time, rather than arriving with a bang, it slinked into sight with something more like a whimper. CES…
Yeah printers are boring, we know. But not the HP PhotoSmart Premium with TouchSmart Web. Oh no. This printer is so far from boring, it’s positively intoxicating.
Ok, it’s not that exciting but as far as printers go, it’s pretty cool. You see, dear readers, the HP PhotoSmart Premium is the first printer that will connect directly to the web.
It has a 4.33-inch screen in order to access its internet apps. Yes, that’s right, I said apps. On a printer.
HP has struck up partnerships with USA Today, Google, Fandango, Coupons.com, DreamWorks, Nickelodeon, Web Sudoku and Weathernews so as users can select the relevant app and access, and directly print if required, news, maps, coupons, tickets, recipes, personal calendars and more – all at the touch of a button. Users can also connect directly to Snapfish to print their own digital photos.
The printer prints, faxes, copies and scans. It can print directly from Wi-Fi-enabled PCs, Bluetooth devices and the iPhone.
Out in the Autumn across the pond for $399, the model is expected in the UK next year.
Norwegian web expert Opera has today announced the release of its Opera Unite service that promises to shake up the old “client-server computing model of the web”.
Opera Unite works by turning a computer into both a client and a server – effectively removing the need for a third party server to host data.
What this means for the average web user is that serving and accessing data should become much easier. A user simply selects folders on their PC that they wish to share. These folders will then accessible via web browsers at a designated web address. Opera have stated that the service should work with any modern web browser.
Apart from standard file sharing, Opera Unite also allows the creation of photo galleries complete with thumbnails and also allows users to play any mp3 stored in a shared folder within its built in media player. More savvy users can also host entire websites on their PCs should they wish to. There’s also a social networking aspect to the service.
If you’re still not getting the gist of it, here’s a little scenario to illustrate its potential:
Johnny goes on holiday to Alaska – he wants to see the grizzly bears. He takes his netbook with him, which only has an 8GB SSD. Johnny has planned ahead though and has set up his desktop back home to share his mp3s. He can now access all of these via his netbook from anywhere with a web connection. He can also save the photos of his trip on his netbook on a daily basis and share them with his friends and family back home without needed to upload to a hosting site like flickr.
Opera Unite is available with special versions of Opera 10, which itself is a pretty good web browser.
If you still don’t quite get it, maybe this video will help. (Warning: video contains dramatic American voice over and mood-setting music).
Amazon’s got quite a bit of spare server capacity. In its goal to become the world’s top online retailer, it bought so many servers that it’s now also running a cloud computing business on the side that’s actually rather cheap.
Last night, Amazon announced on its Amazon Web Services blog that it would be making a terabyte of public data available to its cloud computing users, for them to do whatever they like with.
The data includes stats from the US bureau of transportation , an *entire* dump of Wikipedia, the DBPedia knowledgebase (which includes info on 2.6 million people, places, films, albums and companies) and all publicly available DNA sequences, including the entire human genome.
There’s also a bunch of other stuff, and it’s all being made available at lightning-fast speed in machine-readable databases to Amazon’s cloud computing customers. It’ll take a while for the internet to really get to grips with this stuff and use it, but anything that’s about freeing up data and information is wholly supported around here. Three cheers for Amazon.
What would you do with the data? Work out why your trains are always late? Work out how many degrees of link separation a random Wikipedia article has to another? Use the human genome to create a clone army and take over the world? Share your ideas in the comments, and make me your second-in-command as world leader.
.tel – the domain name service that I got all excited about back in October, launches to the public today. To briefly recap, it’s a global contact database that stores contact info in the DNS. For a much more detailed explanation, check the earlier post.
Today, the services becomes available to the public. I could buy duncangeere.tel. I could probably wait a while though – because it’s not exactly a common name. If you’re John White, though, I’d get moving. Right now. Here. Go.
Pay attention, because this one’s important. Web video has issues. It has issues because it’s closed, and proprietary. The vast majority of web video is delivered in the Flash format, which owned by Adobe. This means that video sites have to suffer restrictions and pay license fees. Wouldn’t it be better if there was an open source version?
Cisco has announced its new Media Hub (well, the Linksys by Cisco Media Hub, but that’s a bit of a “my company owns your brand” mouthful) which allows users to consolidate their home multimedia libraries and access them from their network or over the Internet.
The Hub comes preloaded with a general media server as well as an iTunes server, and automatically searches the network for other media devices, presenting music, pictures and video within a simple web browser…