TOKYO — Qrio, a humanoid robot developed by a Sony Intelligence Dynamics Laboratories Inc has been attending a nursery school in California since March to play with children up to 2 years of age in an experiment to help develop a robot that can “live in harmony with humans in the future.”

Qrio spends time each day with more than 10 toddlers at the nursery school located in San Diego. Qrio is always accompanied by a researcher, who is in charge of making sure everything goes smoothly. While the children were at first apprehensive about Qrio, they now dance with it and help it get up when it falls. “The children think of Qrio as a feeble younger brother,” researcher Fumihide Tanaka said. (Kyodo News)

From JapanToday

Comments (0)

Tablet PC Prototype

Written by willbe in Tech news

Microsoft have presented Tablet PC prototype.

Basic specs: Expected to measure 9 inches diagonally, weigh 0.45-0.9kg, feature an all-day battery life, 6-inch screen, play digital media, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, built-in camera

Comments (0)

Google starts the My Search History service.

My Search History lets you easily view and manage your search history from any computer. This feature of Google web search enables you to find information you thought you lost. And over time, you’ll see an increasing number of relevance indicators in your search results that help you find the information you want.

My Search History offers you:

  • Powerful search options

    Search your web search history, including full text search of all the pages you found with Google.

  • Relevant history while you search

    Get more useful information in your web search results, like the last time you saw a page, how often you’ve seen it, and more.

  • Intuitive browsing

    Use the calendar to quickly navigate to any day of your search history, and see similar searches you’ve done via automatic related history detection.

  • Manage your search history

    Learn how often you’ve done web searches on a given day, and even delete individual searches and results clicks.

Comments (0)

The sourcecode for a ground-breaking project has just been released by the Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF). The software, currently under development and due to be released in June, will enable anyone to broadcast full-screen video to thousands or millions of people at virtually no cost.

The so-called ‘Broadcast Machine’ will be free web software built on top of the PCF’s open-source project Blog Torrent. The PCF claims that it will make video publishing with BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer file sharing technology, or http, as “simple as attaching a file to an email”.

Video producers will be able to add extensive metadata to their videos, allowing potential viewers to easily search for and find them. The Broadcast Machine creates ‘channels’ of your video content, which can be subscribed to by interested viewers. Furthermore, the channels it creates are RSS feeds, so viewers can be alerted to new videos as they become avialable.

Finally, real competition in television and truly independent television becoming the mainstream.”

In addition to the Broadcast Machine for video producers, the PCF is also developing a free and open-source desktop television application for viewers, tentatively known as DTV. Subscribe to a channel and video will download in the background. When a new video arrives, DTV will let you know.

Viewers can also turn off auto-download for channels that they want to browse. If they find something interesting, they can select it to go into the download queue. To keep disk space under control, TiVO-like caching will expire videos after thye’ve been watched. If viewers wish, they can keep any video and build a video library.

“Hunching over to watch tiny web video sucks. But watching a DVD on a laptop is pretty nice, and that’s what we’re shooting for. This new internet TV will be fullscreen, high quality and way more fun than commercial television.”

These will be the steps needed to create your own TV channels:

1. Digitize your video files
Since files are downloaded in the background and the P2P publishing software minimizes bandwidth requirements, video producres need not worry about the size of their video files, enabling them to produce fullscreen videos. The PCF recommends Ogg Theora as the only completely ‘free’ video format, which means that there are no patent restrictions on the codec. Most common formats will be supported as well.

2. Install the publishing software
Simply choose a name for the channel, fill out some description fields and customize your settings. Your channel will be created instantly and a you’ll have a link that users can use to subscribe. The publishing software will automatically create both a ‘feed’ of new content as well as a library display of everything that’s been offered on the channel. You can make as many channels as you’d like and offer specific videos in any or all of them at the same time.

3. Publish videos
To post a video file to your channel: login to the publishing software, select your video file, enter a description or keyword, and click ‘publish’. Anyone subscribed to your channel will automatically start downloading the new video. You can also choose to publish the video to more than one channel at a time.

For subscribing viewers, the video player works with channels in two ways:

1. The first is a typical RSS feed, similar to the ones that are available on most blogs. RSS is an open standard for regularly updated content. In this case the RSS feeds will contain links to video files – when a new video is published, the RSS feed will contain a new entry. The video player will regularly check all RSS ‘channels’ that a user has subscribed to. When the RSS feed has new content, the player will add the item to the download queue and notify the user when a new video is ready to be watched.

2. The other way to approach a channel is more like a library; the player will present archives of the content in a channel that users can browse and select from. The iTunes Music Store is a good analogy – users browse the store and choose what they would like to download. The publishing software will automatically make a customizable library display for every channel.

Software developers can get involved now that the sourcecode is available. DTV is written in Python and will be available for Windows, OS X and Linux. A cross-platform codebase and early code for the OS X front-end are posted on the sourceforge site.

The project is open source, uses open standards (RSS, XML, HTTP, Bittorrent) and is cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux).

Integrated donating via PayPal lets you support creators directly.

The market potential outlined in the “Long Tail” for independent, niche-interest video/TV/film producers (and that’s a huge and rapidly growing number) is becoming a reality.

By MasterNewMedia

Comments (0)

Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq: ADBE) today announced a definitive agreement to acquire Macromedia (Nasdaq: MACR) in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $3.4 billion.

The combination of Adobe and Macromedia will provide customers a more powerful set of solutions for creating, managing and delivering compelling content and experiences across multiple operating systems, devices and media. Together, the two companies will meet a wider set of customer needs and have a significantly greater opportunity to grow into new markets, particularly in the mobile and enterprise segments.

Read press release

Comments (0)