Tuesday, January 08, 2008

There are some pretty neat technological ideas going on here in 2008. I think by the end of the year you'll be pretty impressed at what is being manufactured these days. Just to give you a hint at what's in the works, and what's to come, here are some of my favorite tech-stuff.

The days of Digital Rights Management (DRM) are over! It took some time, but the consumer finally won out (for once). ITunes and Amazon to name a few have been offering DRM-free music for quite some time now (at an increased rate of course), but the last major music supplier to go DRM-free, Sony, did so today. What does this mean for you? Well you don't have to worry about the songs you download not working on all your music gear anymore. If you download from iTunes, you can play that song on any device, and any computer. If you download from Amazon or NBC, play it anywhere. What a concept right? This gives companies new freedom at what they can offer you. Not to mention it gives you the ability to easily share that music you download legally with your buddies. This hasn't really been a hassle if you've been downloading music and videos illegally for the past few years, but who would have guessed less governmental control was what consumers wanted? Oh right, consumers (For safety sake, I don't condone illegal music downloading)!

Another cool thing making its way into 2008 is the new open standard for cable communications. While currently the FCC is not to thrilled about this (why, I have no idea) cable companies such as Comcast are eager to jump on board. This standard has actually been in the works since 1997! What does this mean for you? A whole bunch of new gadgets that's what! No longer will your DVR be specific to your cable company. TVs will now be able to have DVRs built into them and who knows what other fancy-pants interactive devices companies like Panasonic and LG will come up with. Panasonic hopes to have out a little portable DVR player by the end of this year. This would be a device you plug into your cable outlet, select what shows you want to record, record the shows, unplug the device and take it on the go with a little built-in 8.5" LCD screen. All without having to deal with that pesky cable service (of course you'll need video broadcast thru a cable company for this to work, it just doesn't matter which one).

Finally be prepared for some ├╝ber-fast PCs to be making their way to dealers by the end of this year. Intel has been hard at work with multi-core processors (even more than the current 2 or 4 you can get now) and new-style transistors so they can cram even more processing power into the same chip, and have it work without as much heat dissipation. While these new processors will no doubt be costly, they will drive the price of current processors down. This is good for me because I always buy year old processors. No point in spending all that money for something that will be of date in a few months. There has also been some breakthroughs in flash storage capacities so expect giant sized wee little storage cards in the next couple years too. One really cool one has a built-in Wi-Fi so once you take your pictures, you're computer starts to download it wirelessly. Seriously doesn't that kick a** or what?

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