Apache Derby to be bundled in 6.0 SDK

There has been a lot of noise about this recent announcement – Sun have decided, apparently of their own accord without any buy-in from the JCP committee for Java the 6.0 JSR, that they will bundle the Apache Derby database engine in the 6.0 SDK.

This seems like an odd decision, as many have been commenting, and has recieved a lot of negative press so far. As far as I can tell this is only an addition to the SDK and will not be bundled in the JRE. This is good so it won’t be included in an already large download for the JRE, but it means that if a developer chooses to use Derby ‘because it’s there’ they can’t rely on it being available on their target platform. So what benefit has this added? If it is only targetted at developers, I am sure (I sincerely hope) that if a developer is capable of downloading and installing the SDK or their favorite IDE that they are more than capable of downloading any one of a number of freely available open source databases?

First reviews of Blu-ray DVDs released

Fosfor Gadgets has a link to a site that has the first reviews of the first movies released on the new Blu-ray DVD hidef format.

The conclusions so far by this one reviewer is that there is room for improvement. The review noted that they felt the quality of the video was at times in consistent, as at times was not even as good as over-the-air broadcast HD TV. This doesn’t sound good for Blu-ray so far, which is being touted as superior to HD-DVD. The reviewer says there is definitely room for improvement, and in some ways sounds like the first movies that were released on DVDs with over-compression and showing compression artifacts, the movie studios have got to get to grips with what is possible with the new format and what can be achieved.

PSone back-catalog coming to PSP soon with PSone emulation and online downloads

Now this is cool. Sony is planning on releasing PSone emulation for their PSP handheld, with the PSone back-catalog of games available for online download.

Also, expect a firmware release for the PSP when the PS3 ships in November which will offer yet uncomfirmed interaction between the PSP and the PS3 console, but expect to see some sort of remote game control from the PSP connecting wirelessly to the PS3. Already demo’d at E3 was the ability to use the PSP wirelessly as a rear-view mirror for some racing games. Gimicy, but very cool…

Google launch online payment service

In a steady march across internet territory, Google are slowly introducing competing services to take on anybody and everybody.

First came the Yahoo! Mail and Microsoft Hotmail killer GMail, with unheard of online storage capacity. Google then bought out Blogger, one of the most well-used Blogger community sites. The addition of Blogger provided Google not only with a large user community, but it also added the capability to catalog and index the ever growing and changing ‘blogsphere’ (similarly to their purchase of DejaNews back in 2001, which had a UseNet newsgroup archive going back several years, and now rebadged as Google Groups).

Beating Microsoft out of the door with an online office webapp, Google Spreadsheets allows uses to edit, save and share onliner spreadsheets, possibly beating Microsoft at their own game and beating them to market before the launch of Microsoft Live, which is supposed to offer the same online office apps (although Google have yet to offer word processing and presentation software online).

Google’s latest, Google Checkout, now offers online vendors and consumers a PayPal alternative, which the benefit of one-click checkout across any online store supporting the new service.