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Tech News

January 3, 2011

Samsung Galaxy S rings up 10 million sales

by Darren Allan
The popular Samsung Galaxy S smartphone has just reached another sales milestone, hitting 10 million units worldwide, according to the Independent. Samsung announced that the handset had sold 5 million at the start of October, after four months on the shelves, so the pace of sales has quickened, with the second 5 million notched up in less time, just three months. It ...



Toshiba Tablet will come with Honeycomb OS

by Darren Allan
Toshiba is about to announce a tablet over in the US at the CES show which will boast a 10.1 inch display and will run Honeycomb, the forthcoming version of Android designed with tablets more in mind (than current builds of the OS which should really only be running on smartphones). PCMag.com turned up with the skinny on the ...



Video of Nintendo 3DS surfaces on the net

by Darren Allan
Can't wait for the Nintendo 3DS, the three dimensionally endowed yet glasses free handheld which is due out in March? Well, you'll have to. Although if you want to whet your pre-launch appetite very slightly, a video has cropped up on the net made by a Chinese chap showing off a presumably nicked 3DS removed from the production ...



BT Race to Infinity winners announced

by Darren Allan
BT has announced the winners of its Race to Infinity, the voting competition which ran over the last three months of 2010 to determine which five UK towns would receive fibre broadband. And in fact, BT has decided to up the number of exchanges to be guaranteed fibre by early 2012 to six, such was the high level of votes cast ...



Scientists claim modern media is physically addictive

by Darren Allan
There's one born every minute. Not a sucker, but a study, and the latest one which has been brought to our attention is a report on living without contemporary media such as computers, mobiles and TVs. Unplugged, as it's called, was organised by the University of Maryland's International Centre for Media and the Public Agenda, and Salzburg Academy. It ...



Security experts demonstrate mobile phone eavesdropping

by Darren Allan
A pair of security researchers, Karsten Nohl and Sylvain Munaut, have shown off a toolkit which can be used to eavesdrop on mobile voice calls at the Chaos Computer Club Congress over in Germany. The BBC reports that the toolkit took a year to put together, and showed that it allowed them to take a given telephone number and listen to ...



Apple iPhone alarm problems persist

by Darren Allan
It seems that the bug with the iPhone's alarm function hasn't been sorted yet, as Apple promised it would be. As we reported yesterday, this problem hit after the new year arrived, with the smartphone taking a turn for the dumb and failing to wake folks up (just as another bug did after the hour changed back in ...



January 2, 2011

Liverpool to trial 200Mbs powerline broadband

by Brian Turner
It has been announced that Liverpool will trial 200Mbs broadband access for 1,000 homes in the city via powerline technology. One of the big ideas a few years ago was that it could be possible to receive broadband at superfast speeds using existing power cables. Broadband signals would effectively ride the electricity grid at different wavelengths to electricity signals, allowing for instant ...



Quadrantids meteor shower and partial eclipse due

by Brian Turner
Stargazers across the UK could be in for a treat over the next few days, as the Quadrantids meteor shower takes place alongside a partial eclipse of the sun. The partial eclipse will occur with the top left corner of the sun blocked by the moon at dawn, and will peak on January 4th. The Quadrantids are a regular meteor shower that ...



iPhone alarm bug strikes again

by Brian Turner
The Apple iPhone built-in alarm has come under scrutiny again, after apparently failing to work properly in the New Year. It comes after a similar bug stopped the alarm working after changes for Daylight Saving Time in November. The issue appears to have arisen in single alarm settings ...



Amazon brings book lending to Kindle

by Darren Allan
Amazon is attempting to make the world of Kindle e-reading a more tempting proposition by introducing a book lending scheme. Kindle users will be able to loan an e-book they've purchased to a friend for two weeks, and they won't need to own a Kindle to read it, either. The book can ...



January 1, 2011

Hotmail accounts suffer lost emails

by Brian Turner
A number of Hotmail users are reporting that late on New Years Eve their emails and email folders appeared to have been deleted. Instead, their Hotmail account simply contains a welcome message standard to new accounts. The problem is not specific to any particular country, and has caused a mass of complaints to be posted to the official Hotmail forums. While Hotmail staff ...



December 31, 2010

China to block Skype

by Brian Turner
According to Chinese media, the country's Ministry of Information and Industry Technology will seek to block Western VoIP providers. The aim is apparently to safeguard existing Chinese telecoms operators, not least China Telecom and China Unicom, against low-cost outside competition. However, some people have suggested the news is simply part of increasingly aggressive censorship of the internet by Chinese authorities. Last year internet ...



Intel releases SSD 310 drives

by Brian Turner
Intel has announced the release of it's new range of Solid State Drives, the SSD 310 Series. Coming in at a tiny 3cm x 5cm, the 310's are around a quarter of the size (by area) of normal 2.5 inch Hard Disk Drives. The SSD 310 Series is already being flagged for use in notebooks and laptops for dual drive use, as ...



December 30, 2010

Smart phones to get common charger

by Brian Turner
Recharging your smart phone should become simply and easier within a couple of months, after a common standard was agreed between Brussels and most manufacturers. It comes after discussions in 2009 looking to provide a common standard for smart phone chargers with most data-enabled mobile phone providers signing up to it. The intention is to prevent material wastage by having to throw ...



Mood sensitive Satnav coming?

by Brian Turner
Cambridge University is reportedly working on a satnav system that will be more sensitive to drivers moods. It comes in response to general frustrations with satnav systems that lead users into traffic jams, or dead ends due to the mapping software not being properly up to date. According to Professor Peter Robinson, head of emotional robotics at Cambridge University, the aim of ...



December 23, 2010

PCI DSS 2.0 security standards concerns raised

by Brian Turner
Concerns have been raised that online businesses are not well enough prepared for PCI DSS compliance, which aims to protect customer banking data. It comes after news that New York-based travel firm, CitySights, had its website hacked by a SQL injection attack, allowing authorised access to 110,000 customers' banking details. The hacker launched the attack over a three week period, and was ...



Skype blackout causes misery for millions

by Brian Turner
Internet VoIP provider Skype has admitted that it is still losing around half of calls made through its network, after the service blacked out last night. Problems began around 8:30 yesterday evening, when a series of Skype's "supernodes" for helping connect numbers began to fail. In effect, Skype was unable to identify how to connect its own telephone numbers. While Skype engineers ...



December 22, 2010

Mobile predictions for 2011

by Brian Turner
Ilja Laurs, founder of open apps store Getjar, has provided a set of interesting predictions for mobile computing for 2011. Like it or loathe it, there are certainly some very interesting suggestions - of course, we'll have to ride through next year to see how much of this become real or almost real. :) 1. Although app stores continue to grow in popularity ...



Sky+ Arrives on iPad

by Brian Turner
Sky today announced its Sky+ App for iPad is available on the App Store. Now, iPad users with a Sky+ or Sky+HD set-top box can search for and record their favourite programmes no matter where they are in the world. The Sky+ App has a number of features, including a highlights showcase section where customers can find the top programmes of ...



December 21, 2010

Apple TV sales to exceed 1 million this week

by Darren Allan
Apple has announced that sales of its Apple TV will crest the one million mark before the end of this week. The set top box is more compact than its predecessor, being just a four inch square device, and it's not overly wallet stinging at £99. Apple notes that iTunes users are ...



Nexus One prepares for Gingerbread man

by Darren Allan
As the Nexus S is unleashed, owners of the original Nexus One can comfort themselves with the knowledge that they too will taste Gingerbread soon enough. For the Android 2.3 operating system will be delivered to the Nexus One in a matter of weeks, according to the Google Nexus Twitter account. Yesterday, Google tweeted: “The Gingerbread OTA for Nexus One will happen ...



Microsoft reveals Windows Phone 7 figures: 1.5 million

by Darren Allan
At the close of last month, we noted that it was probably not a good sign that Microsoft hadn't revealed any initial sales estimates for Windows Phone 7 handsets. Well, the company has finally lets the Windows Phone 7 cat out of the bag, courtesy of a Q&A chaired by Achim Berg, Microsoft's VP of Business and Marketing for Windows Phones. When ...



December 20, 2010

iPad 3G outsells wi-fi version considerably in the UK

by Darren Allan
Apparently the iPad 3G is more favoured than the wi-fi model as we approach Christmas, and what's more, buyers in the UK aren't afraid to stump up for the top-of-the-line 64GB slate. This is according to a study from research outfit Context, as reported by V3.co.uk. Context reckons that 3G iPads ...



Angry Birds v1.5 out on the iPad

by Darren Allan
Rovio has released an update for Angry Birds HD on the iPad. Version 1.5 adds 15 new levels with a wild west theme, a new golden egg, and the mighty eagle. The latter has the power to automatically clear a level for you, but that comes with a couple of caveats – it can only be used once per ...



HTC Wildfire Android 2.2 update blazes out on Vodafone

by Darren Allan
Froyo or Android 2.2 upgrades have been notoriously troublesome across many operators, Vodafone being one of them. The company took its time to push Froyo onto the HTC Desire, famously releasing a false update which many thought was Android 2.2, but just turned out to be a ...



EU appears to have doubts over Intel and McAfee

by Darren Allan
Back in August, Intel made a move to bolster its security expertise by purchasing McAfee. The idea is McAfee will boost Intel's security efforts on both mobile and desktop fronts, but it seems that EU watchdogs are concerned regarding the near $8 billion buyout. The Wall Street Journal reckons that the purchase will at least be delayed, as the EU ...



Nokia looking to adopt Windows Phone 7?

by Darren Allan
The latest rumour regarding Nokia's attempt to rally its sliding mobile performance involves a potential helping hand from Microsoft. New boss Stephen Elop will obviously be examining different strategies and fresh angles to pep up sales, and given that he's an ex-Microsoft man himself, perhaps it isn't quite so surprising that he's potentially looking in the direction of Redmond. Respected Russian mobile ...



Smartphone apps spying and transmitting user details

by Darren Allan
Not only is big brother watching us, but little brother is also, in the form of the smartphones we carry around. Or more specifically, the popular apps which are loaded onto mobiles, and then spy on users relaying information which can be used to better target adverts. This particular story was run in the Wall Street Journal, which conducted a study of ...



Lord Chief Justice rules tweeting acceptable in court

by Darren Allan
The recent controversy over the use of Twitter in UK courts has prompted the Lord Chief Justice to make an interim ruling on the matter. The decision comes after last week, when during two cases involving Julian Assange's bail and appeal, two separate judges both allowed and banned tweeting from the courtroom. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, has ruled ...



Call of Duty: Black Ops is Christmas number one

by Darren Allan
In the music chart, the X-Factor predictably recaptured the Christmas number one spot this year (after Rage Against the Machine last year). And the UK video game chart proved equally predictable. According to Chart Track, we're not dreaming of a white Christmas but a black one, with Call of Duty: Black Ops staying firmly at the top. In the ...



Government considers pornography ban for ISPs

by Darren Allan
The government's latest thinking on Internet regulation involves getting ISPs to block pornography websites by default. Ed Vaizey has been talking to the Sunday Times, and he told the paper the move would be to protect children from adult content on the net. Any surfer who wanted to view adult websites would have to contact their ISP and notify them; ...



Google Nexus S price dropped to £430

by Darren Allan
The successor to Google's Nexus One smartphone, the Nexus S, has seen its price dropped considerably by Carphone Warehouse. We (and everyone else) remarked that the initial sim-free tag of £550 seemed overly hefty, and Google has evidently been listening, chopping £120 off that asking price. The Nexus S will now cost £430, a much ...



December 19, 2010

Nintendo 3DS carts will have 8GB capacity?

by Darren Allan
The latest from the console rumour mill is news on the cartridges for the upcoming Nintendo 3DS, the company's glasses-free 3D handheld. Kotaku reports that the 3DS carts will be manufactured by Macronix, and the current speculation is that they'll have a whopping 8GB maximum capacity. However, it seems that won't all be used to begin with, and Nintendo will limit things ...



Infinity Blade breaks App Store records

by Darren Allan
Epic, which has the likes of Unreal and Gears of War under its belt, has another massive hit in the making with the company's first mobile iOS gaming effort. Infinity Blade is a 3D action role-player where you fight against numerous monsters on your iPhone or ...



Facebook leaks Memories, goes offline for 30 minutes

by Darren Allan
There was a bit of a spherical object dropped down at the Facebook offices on Friday, with the website going down for close to half an hour while the mess was cleared up, according to a BBC report. This was caused while the site was tinkering with redesigned brand pages and a new page management feature. Product prototypes were ...



Word Lens translation app planned for Android and more

by Darren Allan
On Friday, there was a lot of buzz about a new instant translation app for the iPhone, called Word Lens. Word Lens takes text in a foreign language captured on the iPhone's camera, and translates it near enough instantly, pasting the translated text directly into the image. It's been described as ...



December 18, 2010

Microsoft planning Kinect accuracy upgrade?

by Darren Allan
Some news on the Kinect front, for Xbox owners, and this one comes courtesy of gaming site EuroGamer. While the motion control system's hardware is obviously set in stone, apparently the sensor isn't currently working to its full capability and could potentially be upgraded via its firmware. At the moment it samples at up to 30 frames per second at ...



Tweeting stopped by judge in Assange case

by Darren Allan
The question of the usage of Twitter by those attending court hearings has again come to the forefront of the news this week, with the Julian Assange affair. The appeal hearing over Assange's bail took place yesterday at the High Court, and Mr Justice Ouseley said WikiLeaks' supporters and journalists could not using the micro-blogging service to post minute-by-minute ...



Scalextric app now available for iPhone and iPad

by Darren Allan
Ahh, Scalextric, how we loved you as a child, particularly the Le Mans edition with the cars that had working headlights. Until TCR came along, that is, and stole us away with its lane-switching model car racing... Anyway, if you fancy a virtual version of Scalextric this holiday season, you'll be pleased as Christmas punch that an official ...



December 17, 2010

Newsbytes: Cloud Security Alliance, SecPoint, Liveware, Hotmail, Synchronica, Myriad, & Pixel Power

by Brian Turner
Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM) Version 1.1 released Cloud Security Alliance has released version 1.1 of the Cloud Controls Matrix (CCM). Version 1.1 was put together with significantly greater industry collaboration, by over 60 people worldwide in the last two months, which includes more thorough mapping around NIST and GAAP, as part of more holistic guidance. SecPoint offers software as VMware images SecPoint ...



Oldest Facebook user is 103-year-old great-gran

by Darren Allan
A woman from Tenby is thought to be the oldest member of social networking site, Facebook. A BBC News report highlighted Lillian Lowe, who is 103-years-old, and now thought to be the eldest member of the site after Ivy Bean from Bradford, 104 (who was also a big tweeter) passed away this summer. Lillian used to run a hotel, but ...



Word Lens instant translation app for iPhone

by Darren Allan
Word Lens is a new augmented reality app for the iPhone which has the potential to become the traveller's best friend. It's one slick looking app the makers describe as “like Google Goggles meets Google Translate... in Photoshop!” Basically, the user captures a sign in a foreign language on the iPhone's camera, ...



Nokia readies multiple Symbian updates for 2011

by Darren Allan
Nokia is set to give its ailing operating system Symbian some considerable attention next year. You might recall that at the beginning of last month, Nokia took back control over the development of Symbian from The Symbian Foundation (which has been relegated to the role of a licensing body). And now the Finnish company has let slip its plans for reviving the ...



Nokia makes another move in legal wrangle with Apple

by Darren Allan
Nokia has launched more legal action in a long running ding-dong lawsuit battle over the usual patent infringements with Apple. Previously, Nokia filed suits against Apple in October 2009, alleging ten patent violations by the iPhone, and then a broader suit in January at the start of this year, which alleged ...



December 16, 2010

Apple Mac App Store will open January 6th

by Darren Allan
Apple has announced that its Mac App Store will go live at the end of the first week of January. Catering for everything Mac OS X, the App Store will serve 90 countries upon its launch, with free and paid-for apps in a number of different categories, including education, games, lifestyle, ...



Imagination Technologies buys up Caustic Graphics

by Darren Allan
Imagination Technologies has announced that it has acquired Caustic Graphics for just over £17 million. You might remember Imagination better as VideoLogic, which is what the company used to be known as. Imagination specialises in mobile graphics tech, and has bought up Caustic because of its expertise in ray tracing graphics. While ray tracing is very much the domain of ...



Piracy cost the UK music industry £1bn this year

by Darren Allan
The BPI's latest report on the theatre of digital music, as compiled by Harris Interactive, has highlighted a big – albeit unrealistically inflated – number at the centre of the piracy debate. The report estimates that pirated tracks accounted for three-quarters of all music downloads this year, and that this cost the industry close to £1 billion. But as the ...



O2 confirms Android 2.2 for Dell Streak

by Darren Allan
As O2 promised earlier this week, the Android 2.2 (or Froyo) update for the Dell Streak has now been pushed out. Against all expectations – well, our expectations anyway – although there is a caveat. Some Streak owners still appear unable to get the upgrade. Yesterday on Twitter, ...



LG Optimus 2X announced, dual-core Android phone

by Darren Allan
LG has taken the wraps off a new dual-core Android smartphone, the LG Optimus 2X. Nestling under the bonnet of this handset is an Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core 1GHz processor, which should mean this phone runs smoother than a twenty-year-old malt being poured down a ski slope. LG is promising smoother web browsing and application multi-tasking with “virtually no screen lag” (although ...