YouTube Goes Widescreen and HD

What’s better than YouTube? You Tube in wide-screen of course! YouTube’s Google Video-ization continues by using more space for the player and less space for the sidebar. YouTube changed the aspect ratio from 4:3 to 16:9, generally used for high-definition TV. Since the videos aren’t yet converted to a widescreen format, you’ll see an annoying pillar box effect.

“The pillar box effect occurs in wide screen video displays when black bars (mattes or masking) are placed on the sides of the image. It becomes necessary when film or video that was not originally designed for wide screen is shown on a wide screen display, or a narrower wide screen image is displayed within a wider aspect ratio.”

Kingston Ships New 64GB USB Stick

Kingston today announced it is shipping its high-capacity 64GB DataTraveler 150 (DT150) USB Flash drive. The new USB drive so large in capacity, should allow users the room and flexibility to backup important hard drive contents, music, videos, photos and everything in between.

The new 64GB DataTraveler 150 takes transportable storage to the next level with big capacity in a small package, said Jaja Lin, Flash business development manager, Kingston. As file sizes increase with digital media content such as music and photos, the need for USB Flash drives with high capacities will continue to rise. The DT150 certainly addresses those needs today.

Microsoft Windows Vista SP2 Unofficial Release Dates

Microsoft is targeting a February 2009 date for the release candidate (RC) version of Windows Vista SP2. There have also been numerous reports that Microsoft is shooting for an April 2009 release date for RTM.

Microsoft has been very quiet relating to the release dates but sources close to Microsoft appear the dates specified are strong. The new service pack will include Windows Search 4 along with Bluetooth wireless support, support for the new VIA 64-bit CPU and lots of security fixes and compatibility updates.

Among other features there will be the ability to record Blu-ray media natively in Windows. A more simplified Wi-Fi configuration will be presented by Windows Connect Now (WCN) and in addition, improved support for resuming with active Wi-Fi connections.

Plextor Announces Portable DVD Writer Requiring No AC Power

Plextor has released a new product lineup which includes faster blu-rays and self-powered portable DVD writers. First up they announced the PX-610U 8X Slim External USB Super Multidrive – this one is available for both PC and MAC and is a true self-powered portable DVD writer that does not require any use of an AC adapter or multiple USB ports. Through the addition of internal battery power, the PX-610U requires only a single USB port for power and data transfer. The PC version includes Roxio Creator 10 CE and the Mac version is bundled with a full retail version of Toast 9 Titanium.

Google to Layoff Additional 10,000 Workers?

Google has been quiet as of late with their recently layoffs, 500 here and 500 there. According to reports, the last 500 to get a pink slip were mostly recruiters for Google. Sources say that up to 10,000 more jobs could be on the chopping block around the corner.

Google has reported to the SEC that it has about 20k employees but in reality it has closer to 30k. Google classifies nearly 10k of its employees as temporary. Google Co-founder has stated that, “There is no question that the number of workers is too high”.

Judge Slaps Facebook Spammer with $873 Million Judgment

Facebook today won an $873 million judgment against a Canadian spammer who spammed the online site with sexually explicit messages. Court records indicate the spammer, Adam Gurebuez of Montreal, has been on the run since Facebook sued him several months ago.

A Facebook spokesman said they hope the large judgment will help scare off other spammers who might also be tempted to spam the large site with over 120 million registered users. “Everyone who participates constructively in Facebook should feel confident that we are fighting hard to protect you against spam and other online nuisances,” Max Kelly, Facebook’s director of security, wrote Monday on the company’s blog.