Archive for May, 2010

Young Girl Lured to Death by Facebook “Friend”

A young Austrailian girl by the name of Nona Belomesoff was found dead last Friday. At age 18, Nona was scheduled to meet with Christopher James Dannevig, 20, who claimed he worked with an animal welfare organization and was offering her a job. Christopher used the social networking site, Facebook to become online friends with Nona, who was attracted by the organization the man claimed he was involved with. Her brother claimed that Nona “…loved animals and saw this as an opportunity to follow her dream…Nona said if she didn’t go she would lose her job and this job was her dream…so she just went and that was the last time we saw her” [1]. Nona (shown below) was found in a creek bed after meeting with Christopher, allegedly murdered by the man. Christopher James Dannevig, 20, has been charged with murder and is being held without bail, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. It is tragic cases like this that lead police to advise teens not to make their personal information to easily accessible. Detective Russell Oxford claims, “It’s an area where predators and perverts and other people just get onto. You just don’t know who you could be talking to” [2]. Articles on the existing dangers of online predators can be found on various sites, like CNET (“Five Hidden Dangers of Facebook, Q&A” article can be found at http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-20004511-83.html).

[1] http://law.rightpundits.com/?p=1635

[2] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/australia/7730498/Australian-man-used-Facebook-to-lure-teenager-to-her-death.html

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Deep Technology Explained: TiVo Premiere

TiVo Premiere:

The TiVo Premiere gives you access to a vast universe of broadband entertainment. Premiere replaces your average cable box and offers a reinvented, easy to use HD interface that allows you to browse and search through the largest on-demand HD movie store, access online videos, and listen to your PC or Mac’s music library. With up to 45 hours of high-definition, 400 hours of standard-definition recording, and at only $12.95 for monthly service, Premiere is a smart upgrade from basic cable boxes.

Basics:
Released in March of 2010, TiVo Premiere serves not only as a cable box, but also as a web box, movie box, and music box. Premiere uses your cable service and uses a cable or digital antenna, but does not work with satellite. It offers full high-definition support and works with standard definition televisions. Premiere records up to 45 hours of HD programming, 400 hours of SD programming, and has the ability to record two shows at once while watching a previously recorded show. Premiere also lets you schedule a recording from your cell phone and/or computer. Users can also access the world’s largest on-demand video store, with some of TiVo’s online partners, like Netflix and Blockbuster On Demand. YouTube and Music Choice music videos can also be watched with the box.

Specifics:
In order to view your cable company’s HD and digital channels, the Premiere requires a multi-stream CableCARD decoder (plugs into the back of the unit; picture shown below). This card allows your Premiere to read what channels you have access to, and picks up the encrypted signal. Outputs for the Premiere include HDMI, component and composite video, and optical and analog audio. Other ports for the product include Ethernet connection, USB 2.0 ports, and e-SATA connection.

Reviews:

Endgadget– “TiVo’s really hyping up the new Flash-based main interface of the Premiere, and for good reason: it’s much sleeker than the decade-old TiVo UI we’ve come to know and love / hate, and offers far more search, discovery, and content integration options than ever before. The most prominent feature of the new UI is the “discovery bar,” which intelligently populates based on what you’re looking at — it’ll show you related new shows while you’re looking at your recordings list, and featured content based on user trends and highlighted promotions on the main screen.”

Wired– “If you’re a no-frills TV-archiving fiend, then this device definitely has you covered (and then some). But if you’re looking for a truly scalpel-edged, seamless, all-in-one entertainment box, the Premier falls a little short. But only a little.”

Overall:

TiVo Premiere may not be what every gadget fiend was hoping for, due to the fact that it does not have a contemporary media platform, and is considered to run slow. However, the TiVo Premiere essentially paves the way for how people receive and watch their television programming. The Premiere is the pioneer for television recording and storing, and will most likely be a base model for future products which will probably include some of the things the skeptical critics claim the Premiere is missing.


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Andrew Lynch