By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Rochester, N.Y.— A former Kodak director of engineering, Maya Raber, has filed a wrongful termination suit against the company, alleging she was fired after protesting company policy. The policy in question concerned compressing consumer images uploaded to Kodak's EasyShare Gallery Web site to save server space and cut costs. When image files are compressed, they shed pixels and can degrade image quality if a user orders a reprint. In a statement, Kodak claimed that Raber's “accusations are completely false. We have not compressed images that are stored in the Gallery without our customers' knowledge.” According to published reports, Kodak considered, but never implemented, the policy of compressing its vast archives of digital photos without its customer's knowledge. Instead, according to a spokesperson, it chose to offer consumers the ability to quickly upload their images, which would be down-sized to speed transition. Kodak customers were informed that such an approach would produce prints up to 8 inches by 10 inches. The suite alleges that Raber's protests led to her termination. The case will be heard in the Superior Court of California, Alameda County.
Alpharetta GA. — Unibind announced pricing for its “My Books” photo book creation kit, announced at PMA. The kit will include one book with a window cut, two end sheets, Arcsoft's Collage Creator software and 20 pieces of photo paper for a suggested $27.99. Refills are available with one book with window cut and two end sheets for $17.99.
Santa Clara, Calif.— Roxio announced the eighth version of its Easy Media Creator Deluxe Suite multimedia software suite for PCs, building out the program's DVD design, creation, and navigation features and video editing capabilities. The new version builds off the recently introduced Easy Media Creator 8 with the ability to create personalized DVDs with motion menus, 3D text, animated buttons, and multiple video overlays. Roxio also added more DVD playback and navigation controls including new menu-to-menu and title-to-menu transitions for adding video clips that will play while the viewer moves between DVD menus. The software is shipping now for a suggested $149.95.
Boston— Carbonite announced today that is has upgraded its online PhotoBackup software and service and announced plans to launch an omnibus data backup service next month. This new version of PhotoBackup offers expanded support for image file formats, including JPEG, RAW (with proprietary formats from the major d-SLR makers), DNG, PNG and PSD, and movie clips in the MPEG, AVI, MOV and ASF formats. The service backs up nineteen photo and movie file formats and includes a simplified, easier-to-use interface. Carbonite offers a version of the software through Staples, where it is distributed free with the purchase of a digital camera. The service costs consumers $3 per month/$29.95 per year. Once Carbonite is loaded to a PC and configured once, it will automatically send copies of new images (or existing ones that have been edited) to the company's servers over the Internet. This month, the company will launch a general PC backup service to support a wider range of file formats. It will be priced at $5 per month/$49.95 year for unlimited storage.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.