Hulu Gets Disney

Disney and Hulu: Together at last.All I can think is, what took so long? Of course, the deal has been in discussion for some time now, and I’m glad to see it came through. I’m not a huge TV watcher, but when I do, I like it to be streaming high-quality video. That’s the obvious benefit for both viewer and network in this deal. And if that iPhone app goes through, even better. For my severely Lost-addicted friends, this is huge news (maybe we can finally get a beer on Wednesdays?).

So why hasn’t CBS converted? A spokesperson recently gave us a lot of word vomit concerning CBS rights management and profitability in multi-platform blah blah blah blah. Seriously, get with it. Hulu is now the third-most-watched video site on the net, just behind Google (including YouTube) and Myspace. I would really like to see the CBS online viewing numbers, particularly after Hulu’s launch. Now people can catch everything they want in one place. Why bother with a slow CBS server when Hulu can stream anything else almost instantly? Did I mention CBS videos look like trash? I feel a strongly worded letter coming on. Now if they just had a show I cared to watch. I like you, Jay Mohr, but your show isn’t funny.


AMD “Black” CPU for $69

AMD.The AMD Black Edition CPUs have long been the choice of the budget conscious gamer. Historically they’ve offered a decent processor with some overclocking potential just a bit under Intel prices. Today the struggling CPU manufacturer let loose the AMD X2 7850 Black Edition, a rock solid processor that slides well under the competition at just $69.

Early reports suggest the chip is a good buy. Overclocking is a little tough, but it is possible to push the 7850 up to 1.5x normal operating standards. The processor should make it even easier to build that sub-$500 Crysis machine.


Zune Phone’s a No Go, No?

Zune Phone is Bust.Plenty of rumors have been flying this week concerning Microsoft’s hushed “Project Pink” and the advent of a Microsoft/Verizon iPhone rival project. Of course, all of this came on the heels of even more whispers that Apple and Verizon were in discussions for two new iPhone devices, an “iPhone Lite” and a beefier version that could support HD video playback and so forth. Would Microsoft really enter the mobile manufacturing market to compete, though? And would the product be so iPhone-like as to be a Zunephone (I think we know how the iPod/Zune war ended)?

A Microsoft spokesperson stepped into the fray to set everyone straight…ish. “Microsoft is not going into the phone hardware business. Microsoft is not building a Zune-specific phone.” There you have it, clear as a first-gen iPod screen. Of course, we can gleen plenty of info from a statement like this. If Microsoft won’t make the phone, you can bet your earbuds someone else will. No Zune-specific phone? That’s probably for the best. Windows Mobile is about providing business functionality on a hand-held device. Why turn it into anything less? So Zune will be sitting shotgun on this one. I can think of worse things.

Source: Engadget


Can the Wiimote Change the World?

The world-changing Wiimote.I’ve been looking for an excuse to write about the crazy things people do with a Wiimote for a while now and a recent Ubergizmo post finally tipped the scales. Ubergizmo reports that a team of scientists are working to make the Wiimote usable for radiologists, allowing doctors to flip through patient files and images with gestures instead of the tried-and-sometimes-limiting keyboard and mouse. Personally, I imagine it to be something like the computer from Minority Report, wherein Tom Cruise sends images and video clips flying off screen, pulling others in to be resized, viewed from alternate angles, and relit to solve futuristic crimes.

All of that for $30? With a little programming knowledge, yes. The Wiimote IR camera is remarkably advanced, despite its low cost. Researcher Johnny Chung Lee (pictured in the video below) has devoted loads of time and research into getting the most out of Nintendo’s controller, and he’s made his discoveries public. Armed with a Wiimote and a few infrared dots, Lee has created a digital whiteboard, a multi-point touchscreen, and even a 3D environment capable of sensing a user’s movements and adjusting accordingly.

With researchers like Lee, Wiimote hacks are becoming increasingly complex and remaining completely free, allowing users and researchers to build off the wacky things accomplished with incredibly low-cost hardware. To see Lee’s work in action, check out the video below. The clip comes from TED, a website you should absolutely be watching.


Palm Pre Could Cost $150

Can the Palm Pre Deliver?The Palm Pre is supposed to be many things to many people. The iPhone Killer. Palm’s Only Hope. The Best Smartphone Out There. The Crushing Response to Capacitive Keyboards. Whatever the Pre means to you, you might be lucky enough to get it cheap.

Analysts at Credit Suisse believe Sprint network’s smartphone could retail for as low as $150. Sprint and Palm have both stated that the Pre would be priced competitively, and $150 just might be low enough to steal the would-be iPhone converts looking for any network but AT&T. The phone will need to be more than cheap, though. Plenty of people a predicting Palm’s demise by 2010, in which case that $150 sounds like 150 reasons not to buy.