Best Buy Co, Inc.

Blu-ray &Entertainment &Hardware by Steven Kippel on 09 Sep 2014

Coming soon: 4K Blu-ray Discs

Coming soon: 4K Blu-ray Discs

BluRayThe Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) have announced an updated Blu-ray Disc standard that will include 4K Ultra-HD (UHD) content. The update will allow for UHD content to be used on 50GB, 66GB and 100GB discs. The content will support up to 60 frames per second, will feature High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) compression technology and both high-dynamic range and wider color gamut. The first players should be available as early as spring 2015, with 4K Blu-ray Discs available as quickly Christmas 2015.

With the prices of UHDTVs falling to near parity with Full HD (1080p) sets, and video components supporting the new HDMI 2.0 spec and HEVC codec, the only next step is providing the sources. Currently, 4k video is supplied through limited means. For example: certain UHDTVs from Samsung can stream 4k video from Netflix. A few high-end services provide first-run movies in 4k (at steep prices), and Sony has a proprietary 4k movie store with limited options from Sony Pictures.

Victor Matsuda, global promotions chair for the BDA and VP of Sony Corp.’s Blu-ray group, argues physical discs are still the best way to consume media. “I think it’s very much in line with what we’ve experienced in the past: Packaged media offers a very controlled, stable, known environment, that’s fundamentally an advantage, compared to streaming services. The more information you’re trying to stream, it becomes more of a challenge for Internet-based services.

“One of the advantages Blu-ray and packaged-media formats have is having its own, enclosed, stable environment. We don’t have to worry about … how big the pipeline is from the service provider, whether your monthly data plan is going to affected by the 4K products rolling out.”

Blu-ray Disc sales have surged recently to account for over 30% of the retail disc market. This market, as a whole, has been shrinking, but internet service providers have also been clamping down on bandwidth utilization, making physical discs attractive to some more than others.

Random by Wes Novack on 08 Sep 2014

Jury Rights Day: Know your rights as a Juror

September 5th was Jury Rights Day! For the past month, we’ve been donating the banner ad space at the top of our site to help spread awareness on this important topic.

The Fully Informed Jury Association’s mission is to…

“educate Americans regarding their full powers as jurors, including their ability to rely on personal conscience, to judge the merit of the law and its application, and to nullify bad law, when necessary for justice, by finding for the defendant.”

“The Fully Informed Jury Association(FIJA)is a nonpartisan public policy research and education organization located in Helena, Montana. FIJA focuses on issues involving the role of the jury in our justice system and the preservation of the full function of the jury as the final arbiter in our courts of law. The FIJA mission is to inform all Americans about their rights, powers and responsibilities when serving as trial jurors. FIJA works to restore the political function of the jury as the final check and balance on our American system of government.”

Judges and lawyers will NOT inform you of your full rights as a juror. You have the right to deliver a verdict of NOT GUILTY if you believe a law is unjust. This is particularly useful for prosecutions where there actually were no victims. No victim, no crime! You have the right to vote not guilty when you feel it is appropriate.

Please learn more at FIJA.org.

Entertainment &Hardware &Online Video by Steven Kippel on 21 Aug 2014

Roku TV now available for pre-order

Roku TV now available for pre-order

Roku has beaten Apple to the punch, as it were, by incorporating their streaming software platform into a consumer flat panel television using their own brand badge. The long rumored “Apple TV” that’s actually a TV hasn’t seen the light of day, but the Roku TV is here. Chinese TV manufacturers Hisense and TCL have announced they are now taking pre-orders for the Roku TV.

There are many devices out now that have incorporated support for the Roku Stick, including Blu-ray Disc players, front projectors, televisions, and A/V receivers, but these TVs include the Roku software built in as part of the television’s operating system. In fact, there isn’t an Input button on the remote, and sources are selected from the Roku menu. Additionally, the TV can be controlled using a Roku remote control app.

The TCL Roku TVs are available in a 40-inch, 48-inch, and 55-inch (all 1080p). The pre-orders are available from Amazon starting at $329 for the 40″ size, and a proposed shipping date of 2 to 3 weeks.

Mobile Phones &Software &the web by Wes Novack on 21 Aug 2014

Telephony in the cloud

Yeah, we’ve all heard of Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts. These little software gems are fantastic, free(!), voice & video calling products that are just sitting out there on our smartphones (or PC’s), just waiting for us to use them, almost magically, over the interwebs.

VirtualHostedPBX

Perhaps you even have a VoIP service at home, such as Vonage or Ooma, but if you’re a small or medium sized business and you need a professional-grade telephony system, without the costs of buying, supporting and maintaining an infrastructure and support staff, you might want to consider looking at telephony solutions in the cloud.

You can get this type of business-class telephony by using a virtual hosted Private Branch eXchange (PBX), which provides many advanced features that are simply just not available with a regular consumer phone line. Let’s take a look at a few of the advanced features offered by PBX solution providers.

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Entertainment &Hardware by Steven Kippel on 15 Aug 2014

Amazon Fire TV now $84

Amazon Fire TV now $84

For a limited time, Amazon is selling the much lauded Fire TV
for only $84.00. The Apple TV and Roku competitor features hundreds of available apps, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, Prime Instant Video, Showtime Anytime, WatchESPN, and more.

Amazon’s “killer app” is the voice control using a microphone built into the remote. Speak a search and Amazon Fire TV will track it down.

Software &the web by Wes Novack on 30 Jun 2014

Bitcoin 2014 conference keynote by Patrick Byrne

This post brought to you by Deep Capture Blog. All opinions are 100% mine.

Patrick Byrne, an ardent supporter of Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, recently delivered the 2014 Bitcoin conference keynote address in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne has a doctorate in philosophy and studied computational theory at Stanford.

Because of his background and ideals, Patrick was immediately interested in Bitcoin when he was first introduced to it. This eventually led to Overstock.com trailblazing the way into becoming the largest online retailer in the world that accepts Bitcoin payments.

Patrick Byrne

Patrick's keynote presentation whisked attendees away on a historical tour of individual liberty, tracing the roots of the American philosophies of freedom. Mr Byrne then detailed his thoughts on the primary institutions that Bitcoin is best positioned to disrupt; Central Banking and Central Counterparty Clearing.

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Mobile Phones by Steven Kippel on 12 Jun 2014

Amazon reveals Prime Music

Amazon reveals Prime Music

amazonAmazon today has added more benefit to Amazon Prime subscribers: Prime Music.

In the vein of Spotify, Google Play Music, Beats Music and iTunes, Prime Music provides unlimited, ad-free streaming of millions of songs. Unlike these other services, Amazon Prime Music is not a monthly subscription, but comes with no additional cost to annual Amazon Prime subscribers.

amazonprimemusic

Amazon Prime members now receive:

  • Free two-day shipping on most items
  • Prime Instant Video – Free streaming of thousands of TV programs and movies
  • Kindle Owners’ Lending Library
  • Kindle First – a free book download every month
  • Prime Pantry – low-cost grocery items

All of this for the annual price (currently) of $99.

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