Star Trek vs. Star War: Empire vs. Warp drive

As a nice add on to our recent Star Trek article below a mash-up movie of Star Wars and Star Trek. Who will win…

YouTube video: click on the image below to open.

link to video on YouTube

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Packard Bell Sale: NEC exits European Markets

img PB photo I don’t like to write obituaries but with this news I’m not completely sure what it might mean. After Packard Bell has pulled the plug in 1999 and exited the US retail market together with laying off almost 80% of its staff we now are hearing that NEC is getting rid off Packard Bell BV that sells PCs and consumer electronics to Europe, Middle East, Africa and South America (did I miss a continent, yes they don’t sell to APAC and we mentioned the US before).
When you have a look at PBs web site there can’t be any problems: Its all about rock-solid foundations, no 3 in PC sales in Europe (it must be years that I’ve seen a Packard Bell PC in any shop, but then you know…), bright future and unique business model.
…NEC’s focus has been going more towards the enterprise market so we decided it’s in the best interests of Packard Bell and NEC to sell the company,” said Diane Foley, an NEC spokeswoman in Tokyo…
Now NEC Corp. has sold its Packard Bell BV unit to …companies controlled by John Hui, the former owner of e-Machines…

Lets go back a bit in time before looking at the deal made here.

Packard Bell was an American radio manufacturer, founded in 1933, in Los Angeles, that later became a defense contractor and manufacturer of other consumer electronics, such as television sets. The company was acquired in 1968 by Teledyne (you remember that name don’t you?). In 1986, a group of investors bought the Packard Bell’s name from Teledyne and recreated it as a manufacturer of low-cost personal computers.

Now some citings from Wikipedia on Packard Bell at that time.

…The computers, among the first IBM PC compatibles sold in retail consumer electronics chains – such as Sears – soon became popular. However, they also gained a reputation for poor quality, a reputation that worsened in 1995 when it was accused of recycling used parts in PCs that it sold as new… and it goes on…

…Packard Bell sometimes benefited from misplaced name recognition, with consumers (especially first-time computer buyers) and even some salespeople erroneously associating the company with others of similar name, such as Hewlett-Packard, Packard, Pacific Bell, and Bell Laboratories…

So now, 20 years later, does history repeat itself again? We have a Chinese Investor who buys a company (?name) and most likely wants to use the consumer recognition of that name / company to brand a line of computer products.

But this is not the 90ies where big banks and other organizations are tied in by framework agreements with single brands to buy equipment only from them, its a different time and game. So different rules apply. But we don’t know the terms of the deal. I’ve heard of other deals being done in different businesses for a symbolic value and loss cover to some extend. But I don’t want to compare those with the PB – NEC – Hui deal. So I’m still not sure if that’s an obituary or a new start. But does this actually matter in this case anymore….

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New MS Webcam: LifeCam NX-6000

img NX6000 The new LifeCam NX-6000 extends Microsoft’s existing series of webcams with a compact model designed specifically for notebook computers.

Key features:

  • High Definition video: 2.0 megapixel – (1280 × 1024 resolution)
  • Video effects
  • Still Image Resolution: 7.6 megapixel – (3200 × 2380 pixels, interpolated)
  • Wide-angle lens with 71 degree field of view
  • Automatic face tracking software
  • Built-in microphone
  • Digital Zoom: 3x
  • IM Compatibility: Compatible with all leading instant messaging software

The Microsoft LifeCam NX-6000 is expected to be available from November for about USD 100.

China: Censors open some access to Wikipedia (Access chart)

img access chart After having blocked access to the online encyclopedia Wikipedia for almost a year completely, China has now started to open up some parts of it.

With the help of bloggers and Wikipedians across China Andrew Lih has created a chart of Wikipedia reachability from within China.
The English language version (en.wp) is now widely accessible while the Chinese version (zh.wp) still has spotty access

via andrew lih

Reuters gets virtual Second Life

img SL logo After companies like Major League Baseball, Harvard University, American Apparel Inc. and today news giant Reuters announced that it has created a presence in the Second Life world.

From its Virtual News Bureau chief “Adam Reuters” who’s real name is Adam Pasick will report regularly. He has setup virtual office and his office hours are displayed online in a calendar.

We will see how many “Linden dollar” he will pay for getting tipped on something while chasing up news stories in Second Life. A look at his online office calendar although reveals that he will be in only a hour per day. It seems that virtual money alone might not pay his rent…

Full length (updated: was) online: Who killed the Electric Car?

img logo Those of us that did not get a chance to watch Chris Pane’s documentary “Who killed the Electric Car?” when it was released during June 2006 now, thanks to Google Video, got a chance to watch it in full length from our computers.

Wikipedia and IMDb both provide additional information on the movie.

We have included a link underneath the image below as the movie upload is good enough to be viewed in a larger size then when embedded. Movie length is about 1h32min.

img movie snapshot
link to movie on Google Video

General Disclaimer:

Please note that Duvet-Dayz does not endorse the political views or opinions of external content providers. We take a neutral position and try to apply common sense. Nevertheless we will always point you to content we believe is worth viewing or interesting. This is a general disclaimer and is not specifically related to the post above.

Update 19-October-2006:
The full length video has seemingly disappeared from Google Video. We have changed the link above to the trailer for the movie.

More info on the movie can also be found at Sony Picture’s site for the movie