Those who prefer getting help from peers over negotiating the sometimes headache-inducing labyrinth of traditional tech support will have an additional online outlet come Tuesday. FixYa, a user-generated Web site for product care support, is set to announce a co-branded effort that brings Best Buy customers and the Geek Squad together to swap real-world solutions to common technical problems. Think social networking meets tech support.
FixMyMovie is a service that takes your pixilated digital video clips and does its best to make them look better. The technology stems from MotionDSP's processing technology, which is similar to what's used in government intelligence operations to improve those dark and grainy security films--like you see in movies.
Most recently, FixMyMovie added the ability to create a single high-resolution 1,280x1,024 JPEG image from a 320x240 video. The company also is contemplating use of the technology to stitch together smaller frames into a wide panorama, to improve image tones to retrieve detail in bright highlights and … Read more
The past 24 hours have seen Mozilla Firefox (download from CNET Download.com for Windows and Mac) getting another security hole plugged, while its social-networking derivative Flock (also at CNET Download.com for Windows and Mac) earns a minor behavioral bug fix.
New computers come with old software, a situation that, considering the recent slew of critical bug fixes, can be quite dangerous.
To illustrate just how old some of the software is, consider a new Windows XP machine that I got yesterday. The computer, a ThinkCentre A61 tower, was ordered from Lenovo on January 6, 2008. It was delivered to someone on January 16th, exactly who I'll never know. As I wrote about last month, UPS lost my computer. But that's another story.
I've got my new computer routine down pat at this point. First, I run a … Read more
Having recently compared a small handful of video hosting services, it's fun to come back to FixMyMovie, a service I checked out back in September. Since launching at DEMOfall, FixMyMovie has been making tweaks and improvements. With a 15MB file size limit, it's a far cry from some of the heavy duty video file hosting services that let you upload files of nearly half a gigabyte. However, FixMyMovie holds true to its roots of attempting to make crappy camera phone videos look watchable on larger screens.
Earlier this week I got to chat with CEO Sean Varah about … Read more
U.S. law often comes down hard on price fixing. That's why a magazine story in October about efforts to create a music subscription site potentially backed by the top four music labels may have sounded alarms in Washington.
Universal Music Group and Sony BMG Music Entertainment have received requests for information from the U.S. Department of Justice about a proposed music site called Total Music. The DOJ interest comes after an October BusinessWeek story that said Doug Morris, Universal's CEO, pitched an idea for a subscription site to at least two of his three main competitors, … Read more
Yet again, a bug fix created a new problem. This time it occurred with Internet Explorer 6 and 7 on Windows XP and Vista.
The problem is that Internet Explorer crashes after viewing a web page. Not all web pages though, I was able to successfully view about half of those I tested with IE6. One site that crashes it pretty quickly is Microsoft's own msn.com (they offered it as an example).
It wasn't hard to find information online about this problem which was introduced in the December 11th round of bug fixes to Windows.
An adjustment to one mirror should fix an autofocus problem that has tarnished the debut of Canon's high-end EOS-1D Mark III camera, the company said Thursday.
"We're pretty confident this countermeasure will resolve the issue completely," said Chuck Westfall, a Canon spokesman and tech guru. "It feels nice to have a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel and know it's not another oncoming train."
The $4,500 camera, geared chiefly for photojournalists who can appreciate features such as its 10.5-frame-per-second shooting ability, had won accolades for most of … Read more
FixMyMovie is a new service that takes your pixelated digital video clips and does its best to fix them. The technology stems from MotionDSP's processing technology, which is similar to what's used in government intelligence operations to improve those dark and grainy security films--like you see in movies.
The entire process is fairly straightforward: Just upload and tag a supported movie file, and the service will crunch it on its servers. You get a note by e-mail when it's done. Once it's finished you can preview the first 10 seconds of the enhanced version, as well as compare before and after results live, by pressing the "compare" button. What's even cooler is a stills mode that lets you compare the before and after with an easy-to-use slider that follows your mouse. Whatever's on the left of the slider is the old, with the new on the right.
To grab the improved film, there are download options for multiple formats, including iPod-formatted H.264, Adobe Flash, and Windows Media. You can also grab quick embed code to stick it in any blog, which I've done after the break.
I tried out the service on several video clips this morning and got improved results on every single one of them. The most dramatic improvement of all was with text, which managed to turn almost unreadable pixelated words into legible sentences. Just be wary, though: The service can only handle clips up to 352x288 in resolution, which means the VGA videos from your digital camera aren't going to cut it. Older cameras, on the other hand, are fine.
FixMyMovie is launching in beta at this morning's DEMOfall conference in San Diego with $25 worth of free processing for everyone while still in its beta period. Eventually, FixMyMovie plans to charge users for the option to enhance video and still images, which can also be captured manually by users within the Flash player. I can see this service being hugely popular, as everyone wants better looking video clips, and ways to improve older, lower resolution clips.
Update: It's worth noting you need the latest beta of Adobe Flash 9 to view videos on the service (which makes the neat, live before and after feature possible). You can pick it up here, or just get a feel for what it can do with the screenshot below.… Read more
Like a big summer blockbuster, the iPhone hype peaked the moment the doors opened last Friday. The waiting was over, the mystique had lifted--and by the end of the weekend, hundreds of thousands of people realized that their really cool iPod phones were missing quite a few features found on competing (but admittedly far less sexy) cell phones. The good news, of course, is that Apple can continue to roll out software updates to the iPhone, improving it piecemeal as the weeks and months progress. The bad news is that some of the device's drawbacks are hardware-based--so they won't be fixed until the iPhone 2 is released (if they're addressed at all).
Here's a rundown of the iPhone's main shortfalls--and my guesses as to the chances of them being added to the current model via a software update (the first number), or holding off for the inevitable iPhone sequel (the second number). And for the record, these are nothing more than guesses. … Read more