Monday, October 27, 2008

Hardware Assignment - iPod

iPod is the most popular portable media player on the market today. The iPod was first released on October 23, 2001. Apple CEO Steve Jobs had noticed a problem with the available portable media players on the market at the time, and ordered a team of engineers to develop a simplear solution.
The engineering team was lead by hardware engineering chief Jon Rubenstein. It took the engineering team less than one year to develop the initial iPod, which was composed of a 5 GB hard drive, and could hold up to one thousand songs.

The original iPod connected to the computer through a firewire cable, but as computer technology developed, the firewire cable was replaced by a USB docking station. The iPod connects to the computer through the USB cable, and is able to import a number of different file types to the iPod. The number of files that can be imported depend on the version of iPod is being used. Some examples include several audio file formats including MP3, AAC/M4A, Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audio book, and Apple Lossless. If the iPod being used is able to view photos, it supports JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG image file formats. Some advanced iPods may be able to play MPEG-4 (H.264/MPEG-4 AVC) and QuickTime video formats, with restrictions on video dimensions, encoding techniques and data-rates

Apple took the portable media player market by storm, and the iPod became the highest selling portable media player of all time. According to analysts, over 170 million iPods have been sold since 2001. Many credit the simple design, and engineering created by Jon Rubenstein and the Apple team. The iPod is one of the most successful products, and sales are continuing to grow strong. The development of the iPod shows the power the device may have in the future. Current iPods are able to play not only music, but television and movies too. The iPod is one of the most influential pieces of hardware in the world of technology in a long time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Technology Person Assignment - Larry Page, Google

Larry Page is the co-founder of the worlds most dominate search engine, Google. Page is a fascinating person, first being he founded one of the worlds most dominant tech companies while a student at Stanford University. Larry is the son of a computer science professor, which some say is the reason he became attracted to computers.

While Larry was a P.H.D student at Stanford, Larry and another student decided to write a thesis paper titled "The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine." This paper discussed the development of how the web search engine interprets sites, and deliver results. This paper became one of the most accessed papers in computer science, and at Stanford University. This paper was the birth of what is Google today.

Larry Page, along with his partner Sergey Brin, would turn this paper into a multi billion-dollar business. Google is now the most popular search engine in the world, and has developed into other business areas, such as news, e-mail, finance, video, word programming, and most recently cell phones, along with other business technologies. Google, and its co-founders are on the Forbes 500 list, and Forbes wealthiest individuals in the United States. These two individuals turned a small graduate thesis into one of the largest Internet companies in the world. This is an amazing feat, and the two co-founders are admired as one of the top innovators in the technology industry.

Monday, October 6, 2008

RealDVD (Google News Assignment)

RealDVD, a new technology from Realnetworks, has been banned from selling its product by a federal court. RealDVD is an application which allows the user to save DVDs to the hard drive of their PC.

Realnetworks released RealDVD in early September '08, which caused a stir among many Hollywood executives even before it was released. This caused the Motion Picture Associate (MPA) to quickly file a lawsuit hoping to stop the sales of RealDVD. The MPA is worried about copyright infringement, even though Realnetworks technology keeps the existing encryption and adds another level of copy protection to the content of the DVD. This makes it more difficult for people to share the DVD with others over the internet, and burning copies to disc. Even though RealDVD has this added protection, the MPA doesn't buy it. They believe this application will make it easier for consumers to access pirated movies.

The MPA won the first part of what is sure to be a long legal battle. Many industry insiders believe it is only a matter of time before DVDs are obsolete, and movies will be stored on a hard drive on your home computer, or a similar device.

Realnetworks is prepared to fight this legal battle, and bring this application to the consumer.