Thanks to Martin for this news:
For a couple days from now, the "new generation" flash players are available, and they are on a commercial killing spree in the nation of the rising sun!
Unexpectedly, the most attractive players, aka "iPod killers" are not the Sony ones, but the RIO Unite 130.
It features a LCD screen and a very high-end design; it's available in a range of colors similar to iPod mini, with some "dream" techspecs: 26mm wide, 70mm high, 18mm thick, 40 grams, 27h autonomy, reloaded by USB2 or sector, and including FM tuner, voice recorder and cables to connect to a Hi-Fi system. Transfer speeds are at real USB2 rates, unlike the Sony one.
It can deal with MP3, WMA, ASF and WAW!!
And check out the prices:
256 Mo : 15 800 yens = 113 euros
512 Mo : 19 800 yens = 142 euros
1 Go : 28 800 yens
2 Go : 36 000 yens
Sony's famous iPod killer, available in two version, should be available around April, 21st, but it seems it cannot play MP3 directly: "SonicStage" software should be used to convert MP3 into Sony's format. Furthermore, prices haven't been made public yet, but they might be over the RIO Unite 130 ones, for lower techspecs.
Panasonic's one should already be available.
Anyhow, RIO seems to be leading, with the best quality-price ratio.
Martin, from Tokyo.
We have already been reporting many times concerning Apple efforts to promote Mac hardware and software in Sciences. Today, following a recent update, we want to remind you how medical imaging has been revolutionized by a synergistic alliance of a Mac and OpenSource Application.
Antoine Rosset, a radiologist from the University Hospital of Geneva, has developed an image processing software dedicated to medical images generated from modern medical analytical instruments (MRI, CT, PET, PET-CT, etc...) or from confocal fluorescence microscopy. Its name: OsiriX
. We were already talking
about one year ago when its was officially launched, but following its worldwide success and the recent version release, it was time to update this story.
Afterwards is a comment from the "Dynamic Imaging Platform" from Institut Pasteur, Paris regarding OsiriX:
Exceptional software for 3D and 4D rendering working perfectly with microscope image files (LSM, TIFF, BioRad format, otherwise use "huygens essentials" to convert other format files). Very high quality rendering images. Surface rendering is significantly better than commercially-available applications. The software is free, based on OpenSource it is evolving rapidly. It works exclusively on MacOSX 10.3. A powerful computer is required (G5).
When one look at the quality and contrast of the screenshots
, this is quite impressive. A powerful computer is really required only for heavy 3D-4D rendering (PMG5+lot of RAM); but as shown on the official website, one can simply use a Mac Mini or an iMacG5 as a PACS station (Picture Archiving and Communications System).
In addition, an iPod Photo can be used as a mobile archiving device. When associated with iChat AV, OsiriX allows teleconferencing while giving specialists access to the same digital image information.
Another application from SourceForge.net is also available to preview DICOM images: http://irad.sourceforge.net/
Alexandre tells us more about iPatch 3.5:
iPatch 3.5 is a tool for creating patches for Mac OSX softwares. This 10€ shareware allows you to compare the resources of two applications and to create an independant patcher app that will update an old application to a newer version. iPatch can compress data using zlib, fully supports prebinding update and can execute Applescripts before or after applying the patch. It also includes a file/folder difference checking tool. The 3.5 update is free for owners of a previous version.
New to version 3.5:
• executing Applescripts before or after applying the patch
• replacing or creating special files using a relative path and not only an absolute path
• file comparison tool greatly improved (faster, no size limitation...)
• new preferences window
• fixed a permission bug with read-only files
• user-configurable file comparison result color
• grouping bytes by 2, 4 or 8 in the file comparison tool
• French, German, Italian and Japanese localization added
I am a web designer and frequently use online image banks for my work. I thus receive their newsletters frequently, and I was quite startled when I read in ZEFA's: "Our Image 100 Premium Collection pushes the limits and offers you a free iPod shuffle". The email newsletter sported full page graphics on a shuffle-green background (how strange) and a short blurb telling you to contact them to get your free iPod...
Well, looks like the shuffle will replace the iPod mini as the free goodie of choice.*
*moose: yeah, normal, it's CHEAPER!
Thomas tells us about his recent experience :
I wanted to tell to Hardmac regulars how much Windows "hates" iTunes/iPod/iTMS/AAC, and how this can become seriously aggravating :
I use Cubase to make music. Once I have completed a project, I export the downmix in AIFF and convert it to AAC using iTunes. Here's what happen when :
- I send it to someone's Hotmail account : "A virus has been detected in the attached file"
- I send it via MSN messenger: "This file has been blocked because it might present a security risk"
- I try to decompress it after I sent it to a PC : "Windows has blocked access to this file because it might present a security risk"
If I encode the same file in MP3, none of the above problems occurs. So, bug, or Microsoft's will ?
Well, that's an interesting question. But it'S quite obvious that Microsoft has a grudge against the iPod and the iTMS.
We finally got our hands on some "high end" blank medias to test the DVR-109 (firmware 1.40)
With the appropriate 16x medias, it only took 5 minutes and 20 seconds to burn 4.4GB of data in 16x. With certain brands of medias, the DVR-109 can burn in CAV mode. Here's what it looks like (using X Resource Graph
As you can see, the speed and throughput linearly increase to reach 16x. The unit starts to write at 6x and ends up at 16x towards the outer edge of the media.
However on most medias, and therefore for speeds of up to 12x, the burner is running in Z-CLV mode, which looks like this :
The burner starts at 6x, pauses then continues at 8x, and after a longer pause, finally reaches 12x. This technique and speed will add 1 minute 8 seconds to the burning process, and when looking at the disc directly, one can clearly see where the drive gears up to higher speeds.
In all cases, the burnt medias were readable on all players, be it in a computer or old standalone units.
PS: We are looking for someone capable of writing a throughput monitoring program that would plot the burning speed, à la Nero on PC.