Blu-ray is your next-gen DVD format winner

Toshiba – the lone holdout still manufacturing HD DVD players – announced on Tuesday that it would give up manufacturing HD DVD, leaving Blu-ray technology as the standing eight count winner in the next-gen DVD format battle.

Toshiba’s concessions follows an announcement by retail giant Best Buy that they were putting their marketing power behind Blu-ray; Netflix and Wal-Mart have similar commitments in place, and most major movie studios have also backed the technology. Continue reading

Once you go Blackle… creator Toby Heap is earning thousands of dollars per day with his purported energy saving “black Google”. Does it matter if his calculations are wrong?

Blackle, a search engine powered by Google, was launched following a blog post by environmentalist Mark Ontkush, who conducted research to show that monitors draw more power to display white than black. Because the highest trafficked site on the web, search giant Google, is an all-white design, Heap decided to create a black Google, which would save an estimated 750 Megawatt hours per year.

Since then, Heap has been criticised by the media for cashing in on “eco-guilt” (he makes money from AdSense ads displayed on his site) and techies who argue that black draws more power for modern LCD monitors, and has a negligible effect on older CRT monitors. Continue reading

For computers, it’s not easy being green

Society has become tuned in to the effects of global warming in recent years, but green computers remain a relatively unknown concept in mainstream society. There may not be an Oscar-winning documentary or famous global summit to educate the public, but green computing is a massive emerging issue in our climate-conscious society.

A lot of fuss is made over the impact of airplanes and cars on carbon emissions, but a recent study found that electronic devices such as computers are responsible for 2% of all carbon emissions – the same as airlines.

This is a huge chunk of unnecessary waste going up into our atmosphere, and for all the flak given to the airline industry, the computer industry has emerged relatively unscathed. Thankfully, IT giants like Google, Microsoft and Intel have, in recent years, been proactive on the issue and vowed to make green computing a priority. Continue reading

NewsWatch: Life Cycle of a Blog Post

I clicked “Publish.” Now what?

Wired magazine has deconstructed the blogging process in their latest issue, following your blog post from the moment you publish it, all the way around the world as aggregators (feed readers like RSS), scrapers (spam blogs) and spiders (search engines) all chew on your information.

What’s darkly funny about the process – and anyone who has ever tried to run a commercially successful blog, rather than just a personal journal, will tell you this – is that the reader is the absolute last person considered in this process. Marketing a blog is not about how many hits you get or how many people are commenting, but rather who is linking to you (and in what way) and how important Google’s algorithms perceive you to be. Continue reading

BlogFile: Getting serious with RC cars

For the RC car enthusiasts among us, champion RC car driver Igor Presnukhin has recently started a blog where he shares his vast knowledge of RC Cars Tips and Tricks with the world.

His is the kind of site that can truly help grow the hobby for all ability levels. On one hand, Presnukhin provides tons of helpful tips that will be appreciated by seasoned drivers. But his blog is also enjoyable for newcomers, who are likely to be sucked in by his enthusiasm and practical explanations of a wide range of concepts (The 15-page “Introduction to RC Cars” is a definite must-read).

The tutorials on the blog are easily laid out (with photos!) so that anyone can learn from Presnukhin’s vast RC car knowledge. Best of all, he updates his site feverishly, averaging about five new posts per day. There is plenty of information on this site to keep readers interested not only in Presnukhin’s RC Cars Tips and Tricks blog but also in the sport of RC car racing in general.