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Microsoft has announced that it has acquired Teleo, a San Francisco based VOIP Internet phone company. This will allow Microsoft to introduce voice-over-ip into MSN services, and perhaps be included in future Windows Vista OS plans.
Cutting-edge high-tech and search-and-rescue tools and gadgets are to be used to help the rescue efforts in the Hurricane Katrina disaster areas, like they did after catastrophes of the 9/11 terror attacks and the Asian tsunami.
Institute for Safety Security Rescue Technology director, and professor at the University of South Florida, Robin Murphy and her USF team are heading to New Orleans to link up with Louisiana State University's Fire Emergency Training Institute and put their tools to the test. The tool kit sounds like a laundry list for 21st-century tech:
* Pint-size robots that can move through crevices in a collapsed building to bring water, light and two-way communications to trapped survivors. Murphy's team tested such devices in the wreckage of New York's World Trade Center after the terror attacks.
* Three-foot-long (1-meter-long) robot planes and helicopters that can survey the scene from above and send wireless video back to the team in the field.
* Night-vision sensor systems that can throw a virtual spotlight on objects, producing crisp black-and-white imagery while leaving the scene in total darkness.
* "Triage sensors" that can detect signs of life from 3 feet away, based on thermal imaging or even the smell of a survivor's faint breathing. "We've got the first prototype for that up and running, and the commercial versions come out at the end of September," Murphy said.
Olympus has announced seven new digital cameras, including the new Olympus SP-350 and SP-310, Olympus ultra-zoom SP-500UZ with 10x optical zoom, the all-weather Stylus 600 Olympus µ (mju) DIGITAL 600, and the easy-to-use FE Series digital cameras: the FE-100, FE-110 and FE-120.
OK folks, it's time to dig deep and help out the American Red Cross and other Hurricane Katrina Relief efforts.
American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund:
Hurricane experts predict that this will be one of the most active hurricane seasons in recent history. Hurricane Katrina is the eleventh named storm in this busy 2005 hurricane season. The Red Cross is responding to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, as well as preparing to respond to the next disaster, wherever that may be. You can help the victims of thousands of disasters across the country each year, including hurricanes, by making a financial gift to the Disaster Relief Fund, which enables the Red Cross to provide shelter, food, counseling and other assistance to those in need.
In case you missed coverage of the MTV VMAs last night live, you can watch extended video coverage of the event plus behind the scenes footage via the Internet on MTV Overdrive, MTV's on-demand Broadband video channel website.
AOL did a excellent job with their broadband coverage of Live 8, and showed that the public is ready to watch broadband video entertainment in greater numbers.
I thought the MTV VMA show was so-so, a bit too much "Diddy" in the "hizouse" but it did have its moments.
Apple Computer is planning a "special event" on September 7 in San Francisco, according to ZDNet. A big announcement has been expected from Apple after rumors of a new cellphone or portable video device, or possibly new iPod and Apple Mac products. The invitation to the event that went out to press reads: "1000 songs in your pocket changed everything. Here we go again"
Our thoughts are with those who are affected by Hurricane Katrina, as the high winds and rain pound the southern states. The Associated Press has put together a list of websites, online news sources, and disaster relief information including:
Hey, check out how the Motorola black RAZR V3 mobile phone is being unveiled by Motorola Korea at Seoul Cinema. It's always interesting to see how products are promoted in different markets. Motorola’s special-edition black RAZR V3 cellphone is one of the slimmest phones on the market, you knew that right? The new RAZR, MOTO Q Smartphone , and more Motorola mobile phones were also presented at the recent MOTONOW 2005 event.
Motorola black RAZR Key Features
* External dimensions: 13.9 x 55 x 98 millimeters
* Weight: 95 grams
* External color display
* Picture caller ID
* Nickel-plated copper-alloy chemically-etched keypad
* Internal display: 2.2 inch 176 x 220 pixel 64K color TFT display
* External display: 96x80 pixels 4k color CSTN CLI
* EL keypad illumination panel
* Internal quad-band antenna
* Integrated VGA camera with 4x zoom
* Integrated Class 1 Bluetooth® wireless technology
* 22kHz polyphonic speaker with MP3 ringer support
* MPEG4 video Playback
* 3D Graphics Engine
* Java™ MIDP 2.0
* Dedicated Messaging & Browser keys
Apple's iTunes Music Store is feeling the pressure from major record labels to raise the price of an iTunes song download. If Apple gives in, the price of a song may go up from the current 99 cents, to $1.49 per song. Apple iTunes has alot of power in the music industry now, since Apple dominates online digital music sales with an estimated 75%, and about 80% of MP3 player sales with the iPod.
"I don't think it's time yet," said Jimmy Iovine, the chairman of Interscope Records, Universal's biggest division. "We need to convert a lot more people to the habit of buying music online. I don't think a way to convert more people is to raise the price.
"I believe that he really feels that everybody isn't hooked yet into the whole concept," Mr. Iovine said, referring to Mr. Jobs. "You make it affordable, at a reasonable price, so they can learn about it. It's not an unreasonable position."
I'm hoping Steve Jobs will pull a fast one, and lower iTunes music prices even more! I doubt that will happen though.
CNET gives a "very good" Editor's rating in a review of the Apple iSight webcam.
CNET writes: "The Apple iSight is hands down one of the best Webcams we've seen. Its sleek style, great image quality, sensitive microphone, and flawless integration with iChat and iMovie make it the perfect complement for any Mac computer." read full Apple iSight web cam review