There's no doubt that the recent "partial failure" of the Amazon Web Services cloud computing platform is giving enterprises, service providers, and developers pause--and will continue to do so for months to come. Amazon called the outage "partial" and a "degradation," but it was a very big deal. A significant part of Amazon's flagship EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) was offline for a day, as were the related EBS (Elastic Block Store) and RDS (Relational Database Service) offerings. The failure affected only the northern Virginia data center ("US-East"), and the majority … Read more
Classrooms in Japan may soon welcome a new 4-foot-tall educational humanoid robot unveiled by Nippon Institute of Technology and other groups.
It will be used to teach software programming and hardware engineering to students, but will also be demonstrated in elementary schools and nursing homes. It will act as a "teacher" in class along with a human teacher.
As explained in Japanese in the video below, the kid-size bot doesn't have a name yet. With its boyish voice, the robot can be heard asking people to give it a "cool name." It then does some … Read more
The European Commission must be feeling a bit silly right about now. Despite insisting that Oracle has not responded to its requests for comment and concessions in its planned acquisition of Sun Microsystems (and the open-source database MySQL), Amazon.com recently offered the EC all the proof it needs that MySQL competition remains alive and well.
For those who missed it, Amazon announced last week a fork of the popular MySQL database, called RDS (Relational Database Service). RDS is essentially a hosted version of MySQL, one that developers can write to at the minuscule cost of pennies per hour.
Oracle … Read more
Sony has announced four new Xplod in-dash CD receivers. The new 2009 fall lineup adds Radio Data System (RDS) technology, which is an FM radio tech that, when receiving a compatible station, displays text data such as artist, track, and song information or station call numbers directly on the display.
Starting at the bottom of the new line is the CDX-GT240 ($80), which is a fairly standard single-disc, single-DIN CD player. In addition to the AM/FM tuner with RDS technology, the unit features MP3 and WMA file playback from the optical drive and an analog aux-in on the faceplate … Read more
Alpine has just released its DPR-RDS1, which allows users to add iPod and iPhone playback to any car stereo with an FM stereo.
At its core, the DPR-RDS1 is essentially an FM modulator hide-away box, which converts a line input into an FM signal. The box is hardwired to the stereo's antenna input to reduce interference from competing FM broadcast signals. FM modulators aren't exactly new tech; my first CD changer was installed using an FM modulator back in the early '90s. However, the DPR-RDS1 differs from your general purpose FM modulator in a few critical ways.
Firstly, it's made for iPod/iPhone; which means that it features a 30-pin dock connector, instead of generic RCA inputs. The dock connector supports 12-volt and 5-volt power, so the DPR-RDS1 will also charge your iPod/iPhone while in use.
The dock connection cable also pulls the currently playing song's metadata and converts it to an Radio Data System (RDS) signal. FM radios that support RDS for displaying text can show the song, artist, and album title on their car stereo's display. OEM car stereo manufacturers haven't exactly been consistent about implementing RDS support into their units--and even less consistent about documenting it when they do--so, double check that your radio supports the protocol before making a purchase.
Because the DPR-RDS1 relies on FM modulation to relay audio data to your car's stereo, you can expect sound quality to be about as good as a strong radio station, which is noticeably lower in quality than CD audio, but still better and more reliable than wireless FM transmitters. Also, FM modulation is a one-way interface and there is no way to control the media player from the headunit, so you'll have to make your song selections from the iPod itself. Try not to spend too much time staring down at your iPod's screen in a moving vehicle.
The DPR-RDS1 Factory Radio Interface for iPod and iPhone is listed at an MSRP of $100 in Alpine's press release and $120 on Alpine's website, so expect to pay something in that range.
Check out the video of the DPR-RDS1 in action after the jump.… Read more