Ubuntu Expands To TV, A Video Shows A Gorgeous Ubuntu TV Prototype In Action

Couple computers of mine are using Ubuntu as their main Linux operating system.  (Ubuntu is one of the easiest Linux distributions to be installed and used.)  It has always been an excitement for me to see a new version of Ubuntu to be released, but this time it’s not the release of a new version of Ubuntu which has excited me.  It’s the announcement that Ubuntu is ready for TV.  Yes, I have never had imagined Ubuntu would be released for TV, but now the cat is out of the bag and I’m loving it.  Check out the video right after the break to see Ubuntu TV in action.

Ubuntu boasts that Ubuntu TV is just TV.  No wires.  No boxes.  Ubuntu suggests Ubuntu TV integrates broadcast, time shift, online box office, personal cloud, apps and disk media experiences.  Why no wires or boxes?  I think as long the TV manufacturers install Ubuntu TV onto their TVs, out of the box experience Ubuntu TV will not require any additional wires or boxes besides the wires that come with the TVs.  Searching for TV programs should be enjoyable on Ubuntu TV since Ubuntu suggests it integrates an intelligent search for Ubuntu TV.  Here I quote Ubuntu’s own words on searching for TV programs with Ubuntu TV:

Cable and satellite TV provide hundreds of channels already. Add online content and the choices increase exponentially. Ubuntu TV helps viewers find entertainment quickly, prioritising their most frequently-watched programmes. Search is ever-present and makes quick work of finding great content. No time to watch now? Single episodes or whole seasons can be recorded and enjoyed at your leisure. And because the TV is a shared device, viewers can create personalised playlists, to keep the kids’ priorities separate from yours. (Source:  http://www.ubuntu.com/tv/experience)

Furthermore, if I’m not mistaken, I think Ubuntu suggests that there will be apps for smartphones and tablets to be used in conjunction with Ubuntu TV so TV users will be able to enjoy side contents on particular shows/programs.  This way, TV users don’t really have to interrupt their TV shows/programs just to peek at additional information on the TV shows/programs that they’re watching. Perhaps, there will be Ubuntu TV remote apps for smartphones and tablets so TV users can control Ubuntu TV with such devices.

It’s unclear how Ubuntu can be installed on TVs.  I surmise TV manufacturers might have to install Ubuntu at the get go before their TVs reach the customers.  According to VentureBeat article Ubuntu TV ‘for human beings’ unveiled at CES, Ubuntu TV is free.  TV manufacturers might see that they can cut down the cost of not having to pay for TV operating system license, and you never know cost saving from TV manufacturers might make smart flatscreen TVs even cheaper for customers.  There is a service fee for each unit which Ubuntu will charge the TV manufacturers.

On Ubuntu’s website, there is a contact form which invites TV manufacturers and content providers to contact Ubuntu in regard to Ubuntu TV.  Perhaps, Ubuntu is inviting TV manufacturers and content providers to test out Ubuntu TV and Ubuntu will provide the support in such matter?  I sure hope many TV manufacturers and content providers will support Ubuntu TV.

Of course, Ubuntu TV is best to be installed on smart TVs, but being true to open source Ubuntu is allowing geeks to download and install Ubuntu TV onto their computers.  Ubuntu’s wiki has the instruction on how to download and install Ubuntu TV onto a computer.  The instruction is here.  Since Ubuntu TV is available for download freely, I think people are going to be using Ubuntu TV in innovative fashions.  One example might be that someone is going to install Ubuntu TV onto USB flash drive so he or she can turn a dumb flatscreen TV into a smart flatscreen TV, but this only works if a dumb flatscreen TV has a USB port.

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Always Innovating HDMI Dongle Allows You To Android Your Old School Flatscreen TV, Streaming Netflix Movies, Play Video Games, And More

Check out this cool USB dongle which Always Innovating claims it will bring Android to your old school flatscreen TV.  Of course, your flatscreen TV needs to have HDMI port to be able to use this dongle, but I cannot imagine that there is a flatscreen TV without an HDMI port.  The dongle uses USB cable to power itself.  It’s unclear though will the USB connection would allow this dongle to transfer data to computer/laptop or not.  Usually, USB cable is capable of such thing, but I do not want to claim that I know since I don’t have this dongle in my vicinity to test it out.

Here is one drawback about this dongle is that some flatscreen TVs will not carry USP ports, but usually this means these flatscreen TVs are old school.  Still, the whole selling point of this dongle is to allow users to stream movies and video games through Android OS on many old school flatscreen TVs that are capable of projecting contents at 1080p.  Nonetheless, I think this drawback can be fixed quickly if you are willing to spend around $20 bucks or a little more or less, depending on how skillfully you are with shopping around for bargains on USB chargers and extenders.  Quick look on Amazon and I see that there is a Belkin Mini Surge Protector Dual USB Charger goes for $12.  Adding USB extender cable for some bucks, and then I guess you can really extend the USB cable of this dongle to plug to a wall outlet for powering the dongle this way.

The specifications for Alaways Innovating HDMI dongle are ARM Cortex-A9, 256 MB up to 1 GB of RAM, built-in Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, NFC module, and an accelerometer.  If you watch the videos right after the break, you will see that this USB dongle can stream movies from Netflix, Hulu, and so on.  Since Android is a complete operating system for mobile, expect that you can surf the Internet on your old school flatscreen TV with this USB dongle.

Engadget suggests this Always Innovating HDMI dongle goes for $79.  Expect this little gem to make an appearance at CES 2012.  CES 2012 will go live in couple days more.  In my opinion, this USB HDMI dongle from Always Innovating is one awesome product.  This gem might lead the way for the future where everyone just needs to carry their own personal dongle so they can bring their TV everywhere.  Oh, let not forget this little gem right now can already allow you to play video games anywhere.  Well sort of, as long that anywhere means that somewhere has a stationary flatscreen TVs or computer monitors that would accept HDMI connection.

I can see a future where people would not need XBOX 360 console (Live) or even PS3 console (Playstation Network) to enjoy video games and movies.  In fact, I think mightier dongles with more capabilities might even allow users to be able to install different operating systems onto them;  users might use such dongles as mini-computers, set top boxes, and video game consoles — all on the go.  Talking about mobility for electronic/digital forms of entertainment on another whole level right?  Of course, no such thing as a mightier dongle exists yet, but at least now we have the so called Always Innovating HDMI dongle.

Will you buy Always Innovating HDMI dongle when it comes out?  I think I might want one, but as Engadget suggests, they don’t really know when this dongle will be available for customers to buy.  Let hope Always Innovating releases their HDMI dongle to the market very soon.  For your entertainment, check out the videos of Always Innovating HDMI dongle right after the break.

Source:  http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/07/always-innovating-hdmi-dongle-android-tv-video/

China Launches New Free 3D Channel On China New Year, Pushing Demands For 3D TVs, 3D Commercials, And Whatever Else Chinese Want To Have

3D holographic television may be closer than y...

Image by MarkWallace via Flickr

China is smartly moving into 3D TV trend and trying to stay ahead of the pack so even when its economy might slow down for any odd number of reasons, China is still likely to attract advertisers like crazy so more inflow of profits can flow in.  According to Physorg, Chinese think that the new 3D channel might increase demand for 3D TV sets.  If more Chinese people buy up 3D TV sets, there will be more money to be made for 3D TV makers.  If we look at a much bigger picture though, more 3D TV sets in more Chinese homes might create even more opportunities to make even more money for advertisers and companies alike.

It’s well known that China has a biggest population in the world, numbering in a billion plus, and so it’s also likely now a richer/wealthier China presents a special circumstance where more Chinese are hungry for better, bigger, and more advanced whatever.  My guess is that Chinese might become even more hungry for consumptions than how Americans are.  This is why I think it’s a smart move for the Chinese government to allow test launch of 3D TV channel.

According to Physorg, the channel is free and will be officially launched on January 23rd, coinciding with Chinese New Year.  The new 3D TV channel launch is a move to encourage Chinese people to consume more 3D TV sets, but let not forget that more Chinese might buy more products when they see more awesome 3D commercials.  Perhaps, the Chinese government is thinking by driving their people to consume more whatever, there will be more demands for everything, and this includes more employers seek out for more employees so their companies can be even more productive in producing more goods.  Consequently, the trend might encourage Chinese economy to grow even bigger or prevent a slowing down of Chinese economic extraordinary growth rate.

Then again, we have to ask what if Chinese are driving to consume to a point of overconsumption, would this be a foresight to how more Chinese will spend beyond their means?  If overconsumption might become a big problem for future China, might we see a second United States?  After all, more people within the United States are spending beyond their means, and so we’ve seen how hard it’s for the people within the United States to regain their financial strengths during a recession and post recession era.  Nonetheless, if China is willing to consume, the world might also be more prosperous since Chinese people might want to import more luxurious foreign stuffs from countries such as the United States.  This means countries that are doing business with China might have to ramp up their exports in the near future.

Regardless how China will demand for consumptions, I think large pools of wealthy Chinese will drive up the demands for foreign goods.  Chinese government is helping to push the demand for consumption further by encouraging their people to consume more.  What’s better to do that by allowing people to watch more 3D TV commercials and entertainment shows?  By the way, I’m just speculating from one opinionated angle, therefore you have to take my idiotic, bold assessment of how China will go for consumption through 3D TV trend with a grain of salt.  It’s obvious that a country is complex as China, we can never pinpoint on one thing and say this is how China will behave.  You can say this post is for your entertainment only!

Source:  http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-china-test-launches-3d-tv-channel.html

Microsoft Researches On Bringing About Augmented Reality To Life With Kinect

Virtual reality uses multimedia content. Appli...

Image via Wikipedia

Few movies had been made to tackle the idea of blending virtuality with reality in away that gamers could not discern the differences between reality and otherwise.  Of course, I don’t think Microsoft is anywhere near in engineering such a feat, but I think they’re definitely onto something close to that.  Perhaps, I’m wrong about how close or how far Microsoft’s research department has progressed toward such a goal.  Still, it doesn’t matter, because the more they try, I guess it’s safely to assume that the more awesome there might be for such possibilities (i.e., technology) to come about and bring a host of benefits not only to gaming industry but to other industries as well.  I think medical industry might reap great benefits from this kind of futuristic technology.

Microsoft goes far by implementing a technology which partly uses Kinect to either permanently or temporarily blend the augmented reality and virtuality onto physical coordinates.  The projections of the augmented reality and virtuality can be applied on any surface.  Microsoft’s research department were even able to projected augmented virtuality and virtuality onto a hand of a human.  I’ve hinted before that this kind of technology might lead us to something much more awesome, but nobody knows for sure what that will be yet.  What I can imagine is that by combining holographic technology and what Microsoft is working on now (i.e., the technology we’re talking about in this article) into the same environment can be even more dazzling.

I had written an article “Imagining The TV Of The Future, Don’t Laugh!” — this article proposes on why TV of the future might be very different in a way that users might be able to change the reality of the ongoing scenes inside the TV.  The article also suggests how users might be able to project movie scenes into reality with no consequences whatsoever since the projections are digital and nothing more.  The article also suggests the injections of either a personal avatar or oneself into the movie scenes as if virtual reality or augmented reality is happening.  Perhaps, the article’s suggestions aren’t so outright nut, because Microsoft’s research department is doing something just as awesome!

Source:  http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/11/real-life-holodecks-microsoft-kinect-augmented-reality-room-is-the-closest-thing-yet/

Imagining The TV Of The Future, Don’t Laugh!

One can imagine the future, TV might not require a physical display!  Instead, the future might have TV lovers install some sort of devices/gadgets in very small sizes along the corner of the walls.  I would like to think each space within the house or an area just needs a few of such tiny devices/gadgets to be adequately performed its tasks.  These devices/gadgets might not have to be bolted to the wall, but these could be sat on shelves and so on.  These devices/gadgets will basically litter the house through out.  These devices will be wireless.

Whenever users want to watch something, users just speak out loud in natural manners, and the devices/gadgets will project videos and information and so on in the midair.  The users might be able to adjust the positions of the projections through voice.  When pause the videos, users can just step right into the projections and see the projections almost as the real things — but make sure the things that look so real stay digital.  Even when the projections run the courses, users might be able to feel as if they’re inside the projections.  Users move up and down throughout the levels of the houses, the projections should follow but stay right infront of the users; this way, the users will not miss a single moment of actions.

Let imagining some more!  Imagining that the users might be able to interact with the projections and create personalized on-the-go projection moments such as he or she will be able to insert oneself into the projections through the use of a digital clone/avatar; he or she could just reach out and deflect digital objects within the projections such as a bullet so the new personalized on-the-go projection moment would have a different ending (i.e., the new hero — an avatar of oneself — will not meet his/her end when a bullet makes its mark).  Users might be able to change individual color of the objects within the projection moments.  Users can play God by manipulating everything within the projection moments.  It might be possible since we’re talking about digital and holographical things.

TV will no longer be TV, but it will be much more!  TV will be super computer, intricate telecommunication devices with holographical capability, personal assistant with super smart artificial intelligence, and a lot more.  Furthermore, users might be able to use various mobile devices to smoothly get update and feedback and seamlessly communicate with the TV-will-no-longer-be-TV devices (i.e., the things this article describes so far) — might also be able to tap into the processing power of these tiny intricate devices to make the mobile devices super powerful and smart even though the mobile devices are meant to be used for on-the-go purposes.

In the end, this is our imagination!  We will never know how and what the future engineers will use to bring about such technology.  The materials that will be used to build this imagination might be exotic.  Might require quantum computing?  I’m clueless, but I so wish this sort of imagination will come true!

Revisiting An Old Theme, Once Again, Do We Need Another Browser? RockMelt Thinks We Do!

Albeit, many people think browsers are not that important anymore since there are so many of them out there.  The Internet has enabled a confusing maze of new ways where getting hook up with information is the norm.  Don’t be surprise when you chat with a friend, a coworker, and the people you know about a favorite TV show, but they’re not necessary watching the same TV show on a same platform as you.  Your friends may watch their moving pictures on smart phones.  3D 52 inches TV is your preference, and so you often get your fix through a specific set-top box that is hooking to your big screen TV.  Your dad in California gets his fix on his laptop as he traveled there just last week.  Your sister is so busy that she has never had a chance to sit down and watch a TV show, but she records her favorite TV shows using recording feature on her specific set-top box so she could watch whenever she really has the time.  Playing games aren’t the same anymore, as you and I can just jump on various platforms to have our fixes.  We don’t need a game console to play video games unless we really want a game console just for the sake of having one since we can play video games on iPad, iPhone, various smart phones, laptop, computer, and so on.  Writing and calculating and recording don’t require Microsoft Office software that is installing onto your desktop anymore, you can get these fixes with just a browser using Google Docs — unless you just prefers Open Office where it’s free for downloading and installing onto your desktop.

With so many new things and so many ways to do things nowadays that anyone who is not from this world can get lost and nobody would feel sorry for such a being, so why companies are still coming out with new browsers?  To put that in another way, browsers are everywhere, why should we care that there is a brand new browser (i.e., another brand of browser)?  I think browsing the Internet is still the most appealing thing for me.  I don’t know about you, but the feeling of having the freedom of zigzagging throughout the world at the fingertips are just amazing.  Especially, social networks such as Facebook has increasing the fun for fingertips and the mind since its creation.  Browsers on smart phones are allowing people to have the freedom of connecting throughout the world conveniently and on the go.  Browsers are not as important as when browsers were first created in a sense that browsers aren’t young and youthful and new and eyeopening kind of stuffs, but browsers’ functionality has never waned since the freedom of accessing information from all over the world in seconds is the stuff of stuffs that cannot be outdone for decades to come unless I’m so wrong about it.

Yes, it’s true that it’s not the browsers but the Internet itself allows us to zigzagging the world in seconds beyond borders of countries and human cultures if you’re so insisting on the technicalities at the core of everything.  It’s the data that go through pipes of IP and traverse through backbone networks such as ISPs and so on that allow us the freedom of accessing information without borders.  For instance, increasingly we have seen everything is pushing through the IP such as Television.  Still, browsers are something that we can interact with so intimately, more so than on demand programs and applications all over the places.  In that, I have to say browsers aren’t going away for decades to come unless I’m so wrong of it.  New browsers such as RockMelt are bagging on the longevity of the nature of browsers as these come out with bravado, full of newer features and promises and unique capabilities and bold declarations such as making a browser more social.