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Mobile calls on Emirates flights

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331w ago - Dubai-based airline Emirates has become the first commercial airline to allow passengers to make mobile phone calls during flights.

Emirates said the first permitted mobile phone call was made on a flight between Dubai and Casablanca.

The aircraft, an Airbus A340, is fitted with a system which stops mobiles from interfering with a plane's electronics.

Emirates plans to extend the system to more aircraft and later this year add BlackBerry and other data services.

According to the airline, the mobile service will only be activated when the aircraft is at cruising altitude and the cabin crew will be able to monitor and control the use of the system.

Passengers will be able to receive and send text messages, but the crew will be able to prevent voice calls at certain times, such as during night flights.

Passengers will also be requested to keep their phones on "silent" mode, said the airline.

High demand

Emirates said it decided to introduce the use of mobile phones in its fleet after experiencing high demand for the phones already installed in aircraft seats.

The airline had to obtain approval from international air safety organisations before adopting the system, which was developed by the AeroMobile company....
 

The 10 Video Formats HD DVD Will Meet in Heaven

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331w ago - This year is shaping up to be a year of technology battles-Microsoft vs. Google, iPhone vs. Android-but just last month, we saw the end to a momentous tech showdown. On Feb. 19, the high-definition disc format war was finally over. And when the dust settled, Toshiba's HD DVD technology lay beaten on the ground-left for dead by its former friends (Warner Brothers, Amazon, Best Buy) in favor of Sony's Blu-ray format.

HD DVD, someone had to go. Sure, your picture quality was every bit as stunning as Blu-ray's, your price point was mildly more tolerable and your multimedia functionality probably would have been pretty good if it had ever really had a chance to develop. Nevertheless, members of the buying public weren't going to go out and buy two machines, so the world had to pick one-and it just wasn't you.

But take heart. When you reach the sweet hereafter, you'll be in remarkable company, hanging with some of the most promising nonstarters in the history of video technology. Every one of these formats was a brilliantly engineered technological flop–and maybe Toshiba can reap some consolation from the fact that rival Sony's name shows up more than once, proving that for every sip of marketplace success, a company must swallow an ocean of consumer rejection.

10. DIVX DVD (1998, from Digital...
 

HD DVD's loss means Microsoft is going Blu-ray for 360?

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331w ago - Guess again! Company executives may have already shot the notion down, but there's more to the story. With HD DVD, Microsoft had the opportunity to inject its own technology into the emerging high-definition video market. But now that the HD disc war is over, the company still has a viable group of HD video assets, including HDi and Xbox Live Marketplace.

If you take a close look at these assets, and consider their potential, it's clear why Microsoft is snubbing Blu-ray for the Xbox: The company is gearing up for another HD video assault.

First, a little backstory. Beneath the surface of the recent HD DVD/Blu-ray hardware war, a battle over programming platforms was waged. In this clash, the two camps were at odds over how to implement next-gen features like interactive menus, HD picture-in-picture, and Web-powered content such as online polls. The Blu-ray camp ultimately went with the Java-based BD-J platform, while HD DVD went with an XML dialect.

Microsoft stepped up to deliver iHD (later renamed HDi), which was a trademarked implementation of HD DVD's XML markup language. Toshiba liked it. They made HDi functionality a standard for HD DVD players, and eventually partnered with Microsoft to expand HDi's reach by founding the Advanced Interactivity Consortium. The primary goal of this group...
 

Sony Hard Drives Store Five Times More

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331w ago - Finding space to stash all of your multimedia has become an increasingly frustrating challenge.

From high-definition videos to countless music files, the hard drive on your laptop is literally bursting at the seams. Sony is coming to the rescue with a new hybrid magnet/laser system for hard drives, effectively increasing capacity five-fold. That's right, on the same-sized platter as you have right now, you can enjoy up to five times the memory.

This new method of writing information is said to be even viable for notebook computers. Current hard drives rely solely on magnetics, but this hybrid system more closely resembles that of optical technologies. By combining their efforts, the Sony drive is able to write information at a density as high as 125GB per square inch. The rest of the HDD remains fairly traditional.

You may be reasonably proud of the 320GB hard drive you have in your laptop now, but imagine if a near identical setup could provide you with 1.6TB of space. Cool.
 

Ubisoft: Haze is only PS3 exclusive 'for now'

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331w ago - Ubisoft have reiterated that Haze is only exclusive to the PS3 "for now".

The statement comes after someone from Ubisoft at the play.com event said that game will only ever appear on PS3.

Previously Ubisoft had said the game is "exclusive on PS3 for now", which is why it is believed the game maybe only a timed PS3 exclusive.
 
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