Friday 30 March 2012


RIM tries 'Blackberry is not a toy' campaign to save themselves.

   RIM has had a busy day today; first they announced absolutely abysmal results for the last quarter with a loss of around $125million, yes you read that correctly!!!

   But, RIM is not prepared to go out without a flurry at the very least and the company has announced today that they are going to refocus themselves on enterprise and naturally after that, I suppose, comes an ad campaign highlighting that their products are well, not toys. And if that isn't enough to convince any IT department I don't know what is!

[edit] RIM insiders have today also been calling for a switch to Windows Phone, in a Nokia-esque move, because and I quote BB10 is nothing more than an 'experiment' whereas Windows Phone already has a solid grounding of apps and really is a solid ecosystem already.

[edit 2] RIM has reiterated that it is still committed to consumer devices as well as enterprise, nothing too shocking there.

RIM accuses Apple of Nano-Sim rigging!!! 
Nano-SIM Card

   Just when we were thinking RIM had made enough headlines today, the company decided to chip and in perhaps rightfully accuse Apple of attempted rigging in the vote on the future of Sim cards. The following quote from Slashgear tells you all you need to know about the naughty-ness of the worlds most valuable company;

“Over the last few days we have observed a number of representatives from one company changing their affiliation over night” RIM wrote in the letter, submitted to the ETSI on Wednesday, “and registering to the meeting not representing their employer or any of their affiliates but representing a completely different company.” The company cites three Apple UK employees who have apparently registered as representatives of Bell Mobility, KT Corp. and SK Telekom, as well as a Vodafone D2 GmbH employee registered as Telekom Austria AG.

In other news:
  • Siri is set to land on a Macbook Pro near you this summer.
  • Feature phones and smart phones have an equal market share!!!
  • The rumour is the next Playstation won't have backwards compatibility and only 'new titles' will work on the new console!
  • Hot on the heels of Angry Birds Space, newly released Temple Run has reached a million downloads since it's release on Android in 3 days!
  • China reaches 1 billion mobile subscribers!
  • AT&T opens pre-orders for the stunning Nokia Lumia 900 in Cyan or Black for those of you on the other side of the pond.
  • Netflix buys the website, good name I must admit.
  • SEGA announces $86 million loss for the last year.
  • Google Drive comping soon with 5GB of complimentary storage?!

Thursday 29 March 2012

Editorial: Why did GAME fail?!


   This is the picture you're greeted with if you visit GAME's website today, quite a sorry site. But, on the plus side you're reward points are now alive and kicking again!!! 

 Why though has this whole mess happened? How has a company which is pretty much a staple on every major high street across Britain managed to end in a position where its shares are worth £0.01 each and it's had to close down nearly half of it's outlets, just to become more attractive to potential investors? 

   I think we have to go back quite a way to find out the reason for this and it's quite a fundamental issue which will have repercussion further down the line if and when GAME gets bought out (the rumour today is that RBS are interested in the company?!). The issue is that people don't go to GAME any more. And why would they? Your local supermarket will likely sell the newest Call Of Duty or Mario Kart release so why would you want to journey out of your way when you can pick it up nearby at potentially a cheaper price.

   I can remember from personal experience when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was released Saisnbury's decided to launch it at a lower price of £26, if I remember correctly every one of my friends flocked there with their parents after school because the parents could get shopping and we could get our game. But, even since then the times have changed, a large amount of people pre-order games from the online giants such as Amazon and Play or whoever else is offering the best price on the game.

   Aside from these fundamental changes in the way people shop, there are wider issues with the economy and one of the reasons GAME frequently cited for their issues was that they had had a poor Christmas season and as such they went into the quiet post-Christmas season, quiet for game released and sales, in bad shape. This is not an issue just affecting GAME, everyone is feeling the effects of the times and in for a Computer games retailer in such a niche and arguably a luxury market, GAME is always likely to feel the affects more than other sorts of retailers.

   The last issue is that GAME has repeatedly stated that publishers have been very unwilling to negotiate more reasonable prices with them for new titles. This is the most important part of their industry and if they are having long-term issues with supply then only new ownership will be able to assist with this issue.

   The rumour today is that RBS is considering buying out the ailing company, but again this gives me very little hope for the future because  I believe GAME is not is a good position for the future. They have only one source of revenue, from one market and I for one do not think the company can go anywhere. I genuinely hope I'm wrong because there are real people who work at GAME who could potentially lose their jobs in the future and British high streets will lose another iconic brand, but as long as there are people in the world, there is hope!


Samsung actually adds something useful to the SGS2.

   Face-unlock, one of Google's brainchildren for Android 4.0 and it's a fun feature to use, something to show off in front of your friends. But, Samsung thinks it should actually be usable on a day to day basis and as such they've come up with a novel but clever way of making sure you don't have your friends unlocking your device with a picture of you.

   Samsung's solution was to add blink detection to the software so that if you don't blink, your phone doesn't unlock. Beautiful solution to a difficult problem, props to Samsung for kinda thinking outside of the box, Google may will be nicking that feature.

In other news:
  • Samsung releases the Galaxy S value pack to Koreans.
  • Photoshop CS6 gets over half a million beta downloads.
  • Is Apple eyeing 5" displays for an iPad Mini???
  • Barnes and Noble have announced a German are to their business, Nook tablets coming to Europe???
  • Got an iPhone 4? If you didn't get a free bumper, get your $15 now!
  • Dell kills its smartphone arm in the USA.
  • RBS set to bail out ailing games firm GAME in the UK.
  • Android 4.0.4 is hitting Xooms, Nexus S' and Galaxy Nexus' and it brings with it improved screen rotations and a number of other bug fixes.
[Edit} BIG RUMOUR!!!!

  1. PS4 rumoured to be coming pre-Christmas 2013 and is codenamed ORBIS!!!

Wednesday 28 March 2012


Asus' surprise for Transformer Prime owners revealed!

   If you own your own version of that sparkly little Android powerhouse above, then firstly I'm jealous and secondly Asus will have an update for you in the near future. 

   Today, ladies and gentlemen Asus' Italian facebook page leaked all the juicy details which are good but not mindblowing. The company has promised that they will offer an update which will include support for Ethernet connections and also support for one of Android 4.0's main advertising features, Face Unlock.

   While neither feature is going to convince anyone who doesn't already own a Transformer Prime to buy one (well the Ethernet connection one might) it's good to see Asus isn't resting on it's laurels which is a hugely refreshing change in the world of Android tablets.

Apple is swimming against an even bigger 4g backlash tide now!
 Apple has advertised one of the biggest selling points of the new iPad as being it's 4G LTE connectivity and the problem is that vast swaths of the world (basically everywhere except America) lacks a compatible 4G network to run the shiny new iPad on. 

   Regulators in many countries have been feeling that Apple and more importantly carriers who are selling the iPad are misleading customers who believe they will be able to get 4G internet speeds on their expensive new toy and the regulators don't like that. So much so that yesterday we saw Australian regulators take the issue further and Apple was forced to email customers telling them that the 4G feature wasn't available on their device and a refund would be issued if the customer wanted to return their iPad. Today the UK and Sweden have also decided to take issue on the branding and Apple may well be forced to do the same thing in these countries which is undoubtedly quite a hassle for Apple.

   As more details of what is going to happen in the UK and Sweden emerge you guys will be the first to know!

Nokia plans 2 low-end Meego devices as part of it's 'next billion' plans.

   Meego.... Got rave reviews, ran on the N9 which got rave reviews and Nokia killed both off as soon as they could because fo their deal with Microsoft to use Windows Phone, what a chronic shame! But, Nokia has decided that Meego does have the potential to exist as a low-end platform. Which is interesting because Meego itself has now moved on further and has been taken on my Samsung and Intel and it's now called Tizen.

   One can only assume Nokia will use Meego as we know it on the N9 on these low-end devices because the software runs great on relatively low-specs, for exmaple the N9 runs on a single core Snapdragon processor clocked at 1Ghz and these chips are considered cheap these days, so Meego will live to fight another day through Nokia but only as low-end devices. Sorry, no N9 successor here guys.

In other news:
  • Apple plans to slim up their Macbook Pro this year and incorporate a quad-core processor.
  • Proview has pledged to take 'all legal measures' to campaign against Apple's ownership of the iPad trademark in China.
  • The Xbox, it was revealed today, is used more for streaming video than noob-tubing!!!! (in other words, more than half the time people spend on Xbox live is streaming video instead of playing games... not in this household!!!)
  • The EU has plans to lower data roaming rates in the near future, which is always a good thing!

Tuesday 27 March 2012


Courts reject Hasbro claim the Trasnformer tablets stole their copyright.

   Asus' Transformer Prime is one fine bit of kit but the company has faced a lawsuit from Hasbro, the people behind the toys from the Transformers movie. But, today a judge has thrown out their case, highlighting that people don't get confused between the two, the tablet itself does actually transform and the fact that Hasbro took a very long time before it decided to complain about the name. 
   It's always good to see some common sense being exercised with things like this and now everyone can peacefully co-exist knowing there is a clear divide between Transformers and Transformers..... Ohhh yeah awkward... maybe that's why they sued.

HTC set to temporarily end

   HTC has today warned it's faithful who have used to back up messages and contacts have until March the 30th to download their information and store it elsewhere while HTC set to work rejuvenating the site with a lovely new design. 

   It is a tiny bit of an inconvenience, but HTC assures us it does need doing. Just make sure you don't forget because you will lose anything you leave stored on there.

In other news:
  • O2 makes good on the Galaxy S2 ICS update, now it's only Orange/T-Mobile devices and Unlocked devices waiting because Vodafone's update is rolling out as we speak and 3 pushed theirs out last week.
  • The Xbox 360 now has the ability to stream so Microsoft has got MLB, UFC and ESPN all covered.
  • The 'Smoked by Windows Phone' winner who hit the news yesterday has decided to sell his gains on eBay. The sums raised will go to a charity which will be decided over on Reddit.
  • Temple run comes to Android, get it from the Play store now!


   There are so many bargains to be had in the tech world right now; if you're in the UK check out Argos' website they have a huge sale on, but I have a few specific examples here;

  1. Dabs' Ebay site is having a huge one day blowout today, 45% off the Iconia tab A500 being just one example of the price drops. Check it here.
  2. Sony are offering their stunning Tablet S for £299 for the 16GB variety which is a very tempting prospect for those of us of the little green robot persuasion. Check it here.
I literally could list thousands more but get onto your nearest tech website, this is the companies quietest time of year so make the most of it!!!

Monday 26 March 2012


Microsoft admits it might've been a tad harsh.

I asked for a reason and was told Windows Phone won because “it displays the weather right there.” That was rather unclear. I showed her my device which also was showing off the same information with two side-by-side weather widgets on the center home screen. After pressing for a better reason, I was told that Windows Phone won “just because.” 

   And what on earth is that quote about you may ask; well I'd be pleased to tell you dear reader. The story began a while ago where Microsoft was so confident about how good WP7 was at displaying information through it's tile system that they challenged another operating system to beat the OS to a certain feature, it's called the 'Smoked by Windows Phone' challenge. 
   Sahas Katta went to his local Microsoft store equipped with his Galaxy Nexus and he demonstrated his GNex beating a Windows Phone to display the weather in two different cities. He did this by removing the lockscreen and placing a widget on his homescreen whereas the Windows Phone had the obligatory swipe up  before it displayed the information, whereas he just had to push a button to display the information.

    The story has been picked up by the internet and some press outlets and Microsoft has been force to eat some humble pie and now everything has been made better and there was even an apology, well done Sahas for following up your injustice and well done Microsoft for actually managing to say sorry and the picture below shows you exactly how Microsoft did it.

GAME officially enters administration, have you got GAME points?!?!


   In a continuation of last weeks tale of woe, GAME has this morning announced that it has officially entered administration after a winter of poor sales and a reluctance of game creators to negotiate more reasonable deals with the company. 

   When times are tough there is only one thing to do and GAME has done it; they've purged the Reward system as of today, so if you had thousands of GAME points saved up, sorry they've been wiped from existence. AND If that wasn't a huge kick in the teeth the company has announced they will not accepted returns or refunds for the foreseeable future. The company has also warned that there will be intermittent problems with the companies website because of a lack of funds to guarantee its uptime.

 The news  from today also indicates that the high streets will be losing an iconic brand too the company has announced a slew of closures for both GAME stores and Gamestations. The closures mean that there will be 2104 jobs lost, which is 40% of the workforce and that is the beginning figure. If there is a positive from this it's that there are 333 stores remaining open.

The complete list of closures is as follows;

Bristol Cabot Circus
Bath Southgate
Milton Keynes Midsummer Place
Coventry West Orchards
Plymouth New George Street
Bournemouth Commercial Road
Birmingham Palisades
Telford – both stores
Manchester Arndale – both stores
Birmongham Fort
Glasgow Buchanan Galeries
Reading Oracle
Weston Super Mare
Stockton on Tees Wellington Square
Edinburgh Ocean Terminal
Edinburgh Princes Street
Portsmouth Cascades
Cardiff Queen Street
Preston St George’s Centre
Glasgow Sauchiehall Street
Isle of Wight
London Victoria
Dublin Dundram

Birmingham New Street
Great Yarmouth
Stockton on Tees High Street
High Wycombe
Glasgow Sauchiehall Street
Long Eaton

In other news:

  • Skype for iPad gets updated to support the new 'retina display'.
  • The Australian government has banned Huawei for bidding for the honour of building out the country's internet network, sighting the same security concerns the United States did because of Huawei's affiliations with China and the country's history of cyber attacks.
  • Rovio has done it again with their hit new game Angry Birds Space building on the success of Angry Birds and the Rio and Seasons varieties, nabbing 10 million downloads in the first 3 days of the games availability!!!!!
  • Kim Dotcom has revealed today that the US Military had 92,245 Gigabytes of data stored on MegaUpload's servers when the company was raided. It's good to see inter-departmental communication at it's finest right there. Although, the military will likely have ahd that data backed-up somewhere else as well.

Saturday 24 March 2012

Sony Ericsson LiveView!

Sony Ericsson LiveView: In depth review.

   Hi guys, I promised a review would be coming soon and I've had a good 3 or 4 days to get to know the Sony Ericsson LiveView inside out and now we get to find out whether or not my initial impressions, which were quite glowing, remain the same.

    First things first, I must say that I genuinely love my little LiveView; some things haven't changed since the day I bought it. As a pre-notifier of a text it is brilliant; I am a textaholic (not many people annoy Orange so much they complain about the 'significant amount' over the fair usage policy I went, by the way not something I'm proud of) but when you receive a text, when paired with my Samsung Galaxy S2 at least, the LiveView vibrates significantly ahead of my phones' notifier and I can have my phone out ready to read my message because of the LiveView. It is also worth noting that the LiveView makes it socially acceptable to read your messages, or have a cheeky glance at your RSS feeds in public, people don't know that your 'watch' is connected to your phone.

    Which leads me on quite nicely to my second point; above anything this device could simply be a watch, if that is all you need, all you want, then you have a solid watch for £15. It does need charging every day (if you use it heavily) but it's great as just that. But, the device promises so much more, which is the reason why I believe people are disappointed. You have the ability to download and install 'plug-ins' something Sony encourages you to do straight away, if you're the type who delve into the user manual. But, this is the downfall; I have had a play with the Twitter and Facebook readers and they really are quite useless, you can keep up with statuses and tweets but on such a diddy screen you have to scroll down after you have read the first five words, something which becomes quite arduous after a while. It is simply easier to unlock your phone and go to the dedicated app which has considerably more functionality than the simple reader on the LiveView.

   This is where Sony missed the point. The device should not have gone that far; it should display incoming calls and messages as well as functioning as a remote for music control and playback. The other plug-ins offer a less than satisfactory experience. They tackle aspects of your smartphone which don't even need to be on an accessory, the LiveView is an overview device, not a smartphone replacement. It is a nice concept but it just doesn't need to be done and isn't practical on this particular device.

   Here I feel I should pause and just reiterate that I love the LiveView, it is fantastic, it just frustrates me that Sony has tried to push the boundaries and has failed, whereas they could have stuck within them and been hugely successful. Which is why the simplicity of the music controls on the LiveView are spectacularly good. You simply have to hold down the button top right, it will connect to the phone, open the music player and push the same button once more and boom, we have music playback. It just works every single time and the four capacitive buttons have a dedicated task each; left- skip track back, right- skip track forward, up- volume up and down is volume down. So simple, so brilliant and it genuinely wows people. My friends are happy to sit there and watch my phone sitting on a table and me wirelessly controlling the music, it's great. There is also endless fun that can be had simply laying my phone on the kitchen table and then when one of my unsuspecting flatmates sitting next to it, I start a song at full volume next to them, it is hilarious. But, aside from practical jokes, it is just a useful thing to be able to do when you're out and about and you fancy a change from streaming Kiss FM, it removes the step of you retrieving your phone from your pocket to skip that annoying Mika track you forget to delete.

   I do, however, have one major gripe with the device and  a second which is comparably minor. The major gripe is time after time, after time, after time..... the Bluetooth connection will drop when the phone is in your pocket and you will literally have to turn Bluetooth on and off, the LiveView on and off, the nearest lightbulb on and off and close and open the curtains (you get the idea) just to get the LiveView to reconnect, it's a pain and a very large one at that. I literally have tried everything to find a simple solution but I'm not sure one exists. I have noticed that sometimes the disconnections are because the LiveView app has 'Force closed' on my phone and so the app has to be restarted and the LiveView reconnected and everything will be good again, but sometimes it just does not want to work. I have had issues when I had the phone in my right trouser pocket and have been walking around a shop, gone to pick something up off a shelf and the device goes out of range. For some reason this isn't an issue when the phone is on my desk and I pop into my flatmates room, a good five metres away, perhaps it is something to do with the way Bluetooth technology works, all I know is that it's annoying, because you then have the reconnection issues I described earlier. There is no obvious way around this but perhaps Sony could have used the battery on the LiveView to increase the receiver strength, but then I suppose you have to trade battery life for constant connection and I don't know which is best.

   The second issue is the battery indicator. By that I literally mean the little indicator that shows you how long the battery has left and not the battery life. The device will comfortably get you through a day if you use it every ten minutes or so, but if you are very easy on the device and remember to power it off at night(!!!!) then you will get a solid two, three or maybe four days usage. But, the indicator has no idea how much battery the device has left in it, your guess is literally the best guess. If you use it a lot you'll be running out by the end of the say and if you haven't used it much you'll be alright for a few days. The only way to actually know your battery is beginning to run out is when the device shows that it has come off of full battery, then you know it's beginning to run out of juice. It's annoying that it can't just work, but it's by no means a deal breaker, I think it's just a case of using your common sense.

   Plug-ins are another options but for the reasons I've explained earlier I really have no use for them and they seem to become a burden, to me at least.

   The accessories which come with the LiveView also need consideration; inside the box is a noticeably cheap looking wrist strap. Although, despite it's outward appearance it does it's job and you just clip the LiveView into it and the hold is strong and it won't fall out on you. So much so in fact that the only way I have found to get the LiveView out is by pushing my pen-knife into the gap to prise the device loose when it needs charging. The second accessory is a little clip; Sony suggests the idea is to clip it onto your work folder so that you can see notifications as they arrive, but I can't see most people using the device in that way, the wrist strap seems to make a lot more sense. For those of you who are interested, the box also contains a charger, which is a nice, solid and good quality charger actually, none of this here is a USB and a plug, make your own, as well as 2 user manuals/guides.   

   I must admit, had I paid £70 for the device I would be a bit peeved, I would have expected the LiveView to be perfect in every way, but I didn't which is perhaps why I have a much more favourable opinion. £15 for an accessory which genuinely is useful, is fun and is actually surprisingly cool and futuristic is a fair price given the couple of drawbacks I have highlighted above. The thing is if you go into using the device expecting the world to peacefully coexist on your wrist, you have another thing coming and you will be disappointed, but of you simply use it as a watch, message reader and call alert you will be pleasantly surprised. I know now that it's not just a toy which is going back in it's box, I will wear it on it's cheap strap until it doesn't work and if you think you can live with the downsides head to your shopping destination of choice and give it a chance, you might be surprised too.

Big 2 day overview.

The 2 day overview!

   As I promised yesterday here is a nice big overview of erm, not very very much as luck would have it. I'll literally cover all of the juicy tech news from yesterday and today and then I'll get that review finished for you!

Nvidia plan computer-level graphics for future superphones.
   That little bit of technological wizardy above is a Kepler GPU created by the lovely bunch over at Nvidia . Their plan for the graphics kit above is to one day be able to cram it inside of your future smartphone. The reason they can actually make this possible is because Kepler technology is and I quote 'super energy efficient' and Nvidia plans to distribute the chips literally everywhere from servers to ultrabooks to smartphones and I also assume everywhere in between.

Windows Phone Marketplace exceeds 70,000 apps.
Windows Phone 
   Those of you Windows Phone faithful out there probably will not even care one tiny bit about the announcement yesterday that the Marketplace now has over 70,000 apps in it, purely because you love WP7.
   But there's some people out there that only care about apps and for them people who attack Windows Phone for not having enough well Microsoft has a retort now and they have added 10,000 apps in the last 3 months because the company announced that there was 60,000 apps in January.  
   Apps really are over-rated there's only so many you can usefully erm use on your phone and I have less than 10 that I frequently use, tell me if there's more than that for you! Or do you think we should focus more on the number of games in the store as opposed to all apps in general.

RIM promises new prototype developer device in May.
   In a move to court developers (there seems to be a theme today), RIM has announced that at their annual Black World Conference in May they will give away as many as 2,000 prototype devices in an effort to lure  developers to their fledgling QNX system which will becoming towards the end of the year.

Rovio literally aim for space with their new Angry Birds release.
   And returning to apps again, one of, if not the biggest mobile game franchise in the world released Angry Birds Space on the 23rd of March onto the Android and iOS mobile platforms and announced they will be working on a Windows Phone version in the future too. 
    Rovio has decided a suitable method of promoting the new game was to team up with T-Mobile and put a giant Angry Bird and Slingshot aimed towards the sky on the Seattle Space Needle and as far as marketing goes, they've done a great job because I'm covering the story.

Friday 23 March 2012


Hi guys, just a quick apology that I won't be able to blog today because I'm visiting London, but tomorrow I will make up for it with a full update from today and a little review for your reading pleasure!


Thursday 22 March 2012


Galaxy Note ICS Update pushed back to Q2.
    The Galaxy Note is a beautiful example of a 'phablet' and I for one would love to get my hands on the device  as my daily driver. But Samsung has announced today that their original plan to unleash some ICS action on the device will have to wait for another quarter of a year as their developers have fallen slightly behind time... the story of Android OEM's lives.

   Samsung, being the lovely bunch they are, do want to apologise for the delay and their way of doing that is by offering a 'Premium Suite' upgrade. Which in essence is just a set of applications which take advantage of the S-pen. Although, there is a case for arguing this should have been their at the devices inception, but any upgrade to an Android device is a good one and the Galaxy Note is simply a stunning device, so it's a win win situation. Beside if we do have to wait a couple of months for the software update we now have Angry Birds Space to kill the time!!!

Nokia and Apple clash over best 'nano-sim' design.
   This really is quite an interesting match up we have hear; the world's biggest company versus the world's ex-biggest phone maker. The source of the heated debate this time is the best design for the incoming 'nano-sim card slots'. 

   The issues Nokia has with Apple's design is; first, that Apple has gobbled up a tonne of patents for the new 'tray' and second that said tray physically takes up too much room and isn't a vast improvement over the current MicroSim card slots available. There are also reportedly issues with the longevity of a nanosim tray amongst other quarrels, but this will all be decided by a vote in the coming weeks. But, you know how Apple hates not getting their own way; if they lose, well Tim Cook maybe the first person into the court room! 

Nokia fire even more people!.
   This really must be squeeky bum time if you're still a Nokia employee; after months of job cuts there is even more which have been dropped from the payroll today. The worst thing about companies losing money is that things like this affect real people, which is a huge shame.
   Unfortunately, this time around has seen the company shed 1000 jobs from it's Salo factory in Finland. The jobs will be phased out over the course of the coming year and the jobs will essentially be reassigned to Asia, where the cost of manufacturing is considerable cheaper. Desperate times, call for desperate measures.

In other news.
  • Sony's tablet S and P will be receiving their dose of Android 4.0.3 in April, well in Japan at least.
  • AT&T's LG Thrill gets a bump, but only as far as Android 2.3.
  • Nokia N9 gets an Android 4.0.3 dual boot solution.
  • HTC Vivid gets and 4.0 on AT&T.
  • RIM is now second in volume of smartphones shipped in Canada to Apple, OUCH!
  • Android Jelly Bean has been tipped for Q3 instead of a summer release. 

Wednesday 21 March 2012


What has the UK always needed? 60ms latency reduction with Japan!

    The United Kingdom; home of her majesty the Queen, fish and chips and of course Big Ben. But, what do we really need I hear you asking. Well, apparently it would be beneficial to reduce the latency between Tokyo and London by 60ms from 230ms to 170ms.
The way this 'speed increase' is going to be achieved is by laying 3 fibre optic cables between the two countries at a cost of $1.5 billion. As the diagram above helpfully demonstrates the route will pass through the Canadian Northwest Passage and around the Russian and Scandinavian coastlines.
The apparent benefit of this reduction will the be the increased productivity of stock trading between the British and Japanese exchanges and well it takes us 350ms to blink so is this really worth the investment? 

Orange promise LTE rollout across Europe by 2015!
   The United States has always had a one up on Europe in at the very least one regard and it looks like it will continue to have the advantage of supercharged mobile phone connections for the foreseeable future, because today Orange has come out and announced they plan to have LTE running in all of the countries they operate in by 2015!

   The company also expects to ship 13million NFC enabled devices in the next two years as mobile payments become more commonplace. 

   The one thing we have to say is better late than never and for those people living in the UK Everything Everywhere (Orange and T-Mobile) plan to deploy their 4G LTE using existing spectrum by the end of this year!

GAME over.
   The sorry news that had been expected for a couple of weeks came today; European game seller GAME (awkward name!) officially ceased trading on the London Stock Exchange today. Last month we caught wind that the company was in trouble, struggling to pay it's rent for the month. 

   The failure of GAME is perhaps not surprising given the rise of internet shopping in the UK specifically, I know very few people who actually physically walk into the stores to buy console games unless they are pre-owned or significantly discounted, for all our other needs there's Ebay, Amazon and Argos.

   The story is not over there though as the possibility of a buyout is on the cards now; Walmart, the owners of ASDA, are reportedly interested in the taking over the company. If they did, I for one would be chuffed, I've got so many GAME points left to use!!!

PS. There has also been another leak of the Samsung Galaxy S3, but I feel I have been covering that too much lately so here is the link if you must see yet another pretty render, seems pretty convinced it's the real thing but we'll see, check out Slashgear for the full story

Tuesday 20 March 2012

The Sony Ericsson LiveView: My Experience

The Sony Ericsson LiveView: My Experience.


   A couple of days ago there was a post on Twitter from one of the few tech sites I actually follow on Twitter, they are called Eurodroid and they frequently report the deals on mobile technology. This time I found myself presented with a deal for a Sony Ericsson LiveView for £12.99 on reduced from £70 (£12.99 is about $20). I naturally was intrigued because somehow I had never heard of this LiveView before; so I read up about it, watched Sony's official video about the device and took the plunge, I thought the concept was good, I even convinced my girlfriend to get one for when she's out on runs.

    It was at this point I became concerned, firstly because I hadn't updated my account so my card was rejected... fail, I know, but secondly because I started reading reviews. These reviews weren't good at all,  pegged the device at 1 and a half stars out of 5 bringing up a poor rating. But these review were from early 2011 and Sony Ericsson, as the company was then, had promised a software update and noone had bothered to re-review the device since the initial reviews. So I stuck with it and I kept my order and as luck would have it my girlfriends unit got to her before mine arrived to me, I was jealous.

   But the device arrived today and I've turned it on, paired it and have been playing with it non-stop since I took it off charge about 5 hours ago and I'm genuinely taken with the little thing. It goes off before my phone does so I know to get my phone in preparation for reading a text and I can even open the text message from the LiveView so that when I unlock my phone the text is on the screen (yep I'm lazy). I have also had a play with the music controls and they work flawlessly and the battery, which was a major complaint from a lot of early reviewers hasn't gone down a bit, but I'll reserve judgement on that for another day. The one problem I've had, which others before have also suffered with, was that I lost Bluetooth connection once and it was because the LiveView app on my phone crashed.

   I must say that I really am impressed, I have been the envy of all my friends today showing off the music controls. But, one thing I will say is that the wrist strap is cheap-looking and people have noticed, much to my distaste because I really have an instant affection for what Sony Ericsson tried to create here.

   I will report back, perhaps next week, and give you a full overview of the device and whether or not I am still using it as my watch and wireless controller for my phone, but so far I have only taken it off for my shower, because as of day one, I think it's a great little accessory


Windows Phone outsells Symbian in the UK!
   Finally, Stephen Elop has a reason to justify that humongous grin he had on his face when him and Steve Ballmer announced to the world Nokia was taking the WindowsPhone plunge. The news is that Nokia Windows phones have started outselling their Symbian counterparts... in the UK.
   The first thing is that this is not totally surprising we do have a soft spot for Nokia on the side of the Atlantic and with Symbian losing 10% of it's market share in the last year to February (dropping to 0.5%) the challenge was not too great for Nokia to manage that 'change around'. 
    Windows Phone now holds a 2.5% share of the UK market and 87% of that is Nokia's, it is a start for the Finnish giants.

Three UK push out ICS before Unlocked phones get theirs!
   3 is apparently the 'UK's fastest growing network', but they have another title to add to that crown; they're also unbelievable fast at pushing out Samsung's Android 4.0 update to the Galaxy S2. So fast infact that 3 customers are getting their update before people who have a sim unlocked Galaxy S2. And that ladies and gentlemen is how you do an update!
   Vodafone meanwhile have only just released a 'preparatory update' for the update which is 'coming soon', soon indeed.....
 Screen Shot 2012-03-20 at 15.35.27.png

Apple says it's warm because it's good!
   Yesterday it was widely reported that Apple's new iPad was getting rather warm under strain and today, in typical Apple fashion they have dismissed this as nothing. The company issued a statement that explained that with all the added specifications the tablet was still 'well within' it's heat emitting guidelines. So if you don't like how hot the tablets is getting (10degrees warmer than your old iPad2) well erm take it to the Applecare guys and you will be told whether it's normal or you do have a faulty unit.

In other news.
  • Samsung and RIM face a lawsuit over their use of emoticon pop up menus.
  • Samsung may be planning wireless charging for their upcoming Galaxy S3.
  • Google files a brief to defend Hotfile!
  • Windows 8 is rumoured to be ready for an October launch, just missing the start of the new academic year.
  • BBC iPlayer is now finally available for Xbox 360's in the UK.

Monday 19 March 2012


Galaxy S3 tipped to feature Quad-core processor by exec.

The rumours of today goes something like this; everyone wants to hear about the Galaxy S3 and what it will contain and an over-excited Samsung exec spills it all. Well he supposedly told is the processor which will power the Galaxy S3 is  the Exynos 4412, which is based on four A9 cores. Each with frequencies between 200MHz to 1.5GHz. All of this is set to come along with with four ARM Mali graphics cores, a dual-channel memory controller and a 64-bit Neon media engine.  All of this makes the powerful enough to support a phone with a 1080p 3D display.
    Enough with the tech specs already give us a new phone to drool over Samsung!

Apple's new iPad is hot property... in all regards.
   This is a tale of two halves dear reader. 
    The first half being that the new iPad has had a sensational debut onto the tablet computing arena. Apple have claimed they have had a 'record weekend' of iPad sales and AT&T had a similarly successful time with last Friday aka launch day 'seeing record sales and activations' for the company. The second announcement from AT&T is in itself quite interesting because the company does not stock the Wifi only iPad and this suggests they have seen some real demand for a 4G iPad.
   And secondly, those lucky readers who already have their grubby paws on the new iPad have been reporting that the lower-lefthand corner of the iPad's back becomes 'uncomfortably hot' to hold during usage. Although, there seems to be varying reports as to what causes this heat; some have claimed it is during graphic intensive processes, which makes complete sense with the new quad-core graphics chip. But, others report it getting unbearably hot during normal usage, so perhaps it is just luck of the draw. 
    Apple as always have declined to comment on the matter yet, but I have a feeling they may just tell you to 'hold it another way' (that joke never gets old).

   And below I've attached a drop test between the new iPad and the iPad 2, just for kicks. 

Sunday 18 March 2012


Sony planning a Tablet S successor.
Sony V150 shows up on NenaMark sporting Tegra 3 GPU 
   Ohhhh, benchmarks are exciting aren't they! Well, alright maybe only for proper geeks, but they look to have outed a new Sony tablet which is sporting a Tegra 3 processor as well as a 1280x752 screen. 
   Given the price reductions taking place on the Tablet S everywhere at the moment it may very well be the case that this tablet will be in a store near you soon. As always when we hear some more you will be the first to know!

Nokia announces mobile hotspots are coming to a Windows Phone near you!
   Got one of Nokia's Microsoft powered babies then there is some potentially good news coming your way, because they have promised to update all Lumia phones with Mobile hotspot functionality. For some of you you will have been waiting for this feature and others of you really won't mind especially if you have a dictatorial carrier.
   But at least Nokia is releasing updates which compared to Android manufacturers makes a very pleasant change!
PS. If you live in the UK you have probably been bombarded by Nokia adverts this weekend and this is set to continue because Nokia has teamed up with Phones4U for a huge marketing blitz again so be prepared to watch through a lashing of lovely Lumia advertising for a few more days.

Operates backlash against 4G iPad branding.
   I, like many people live in a country that only has HSDPA networks at the very best (England if you're inquisitive) and we're still waiting for our operators to roll out our 4G LTE networks. And this is where the problem begins because regulators really, really don't like deception over here and the networks know how strict they are going to be about portraying this iPad as having 4G capabilities. 
    That is why the has been preemptive actions and complains, especially from Australia where Telstra and Optus have announced they are going to remove all 4G branding from the iPad so that customers aren't misled.
   For those of you lucky Europeans who do have 4G networks please also be careful because the iPad is not necessarily compatible with the 4G LTE bands that your operator has chosen.
   I think it's quite clear that operators face a bit of a headache with the new iPad because there's so many reasons why customers will be confused and disappointed that their 4G iPad isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Friday 16 March 2012


Rapidshare must filter user uploads.

   Rapidshare has been ordered by the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg to pro-actively monitor user uploads in a bid to prevent the sharing of copyrighted material. This has to be seen as a part of the bigger crack down on file sharing which has struck MegaUpload and prompted sites such as fileshare to prevent people downloading everything except files they themselves have uploaded.

   At the moment it is unclear whether Rapidshare plans to appeal the verdict handed down today or whether it plans to simply carry on as usual with a slightly revised file analysing policy because there have been issues before with analysing files being a violation of user privacy, so this tale is far from being told in full.

    Rapidshare in it's defense has tried to implement measures to deter illegal downloaders such as it's painfully slow 30kbps download speed for unregistered users, so we will see how this story unfolds.

New iPad jailbroken on first day!
   Ok so the last iPad literally only got broken with in the last 2 months but this time ladies and gentlemen the hackers have eben to work in superfast time! The 'resolutionary' (It's a painfully bad pun by Apple isn't it?!) new iPad was jailbroken the very day it launched.

   If you received your shiny new iPad today you have the hacker Musclenerd to thank in advance for his work, but he does state that there is no ETA on when this jailbreak will be non-tethered or released to the public and please respect his wish for no ETA's it is extremely frustrating for developers because they work their socks off to get it ready for us. But, there is a jailbreak and it is coming to the new iPad!

In other news!

  • Google has apparently finalized the plans for it's forthcoming Nexus tablet, but and it's a big but, it will not feature a quad-core processor anymore! Instead, Google has opted to keep the pricepoint down to between $149-$199 and has opted for a Dual-core processor instead. However, we must take all of this with a pinch of salt because nothing has been confirmed yet!
  • RIM stock jumped 5% again this morning after rumours of a buyout by Samsung were rekindled this morning. Call me nutty but if rumours like this keep surfacing there must be something more to this than the two companies are letting on!
  • Windows Phone Tango leaked out today and was instantly ported to the hackers old favourite device the HTC HD2. The rel;eased date is still slated for March 21st in China so the day for Windows Phone 7.5 is soon!
  • Cisco and other internet companies have refused to help Pakistan in their web filtering programme!


Thursday 15 March 2012


BBC hit with a cyber attack... everyone looks at Iran.
   So what does the Government of a slightly insular and very secretive state do in it's free time?
The answer to that ladies and gentlemen is to hack news agencies that they don't want working in and around their boarders. This time it was the turn of BBC Persian, an arm of the BBC primarily concerned with Middle Eastern nations.

    The hack took down the BBC's satellite feeds into Iran as well as jamming their London based call centre with a huge number of telephone calls. Obviously, BBC director-general Mark Thompson has condemned the attacks and reiterated that the BBC 'will continue to conduct it's service for the people who need it' as well as taking all available precautions to guard against attacks such as these, but there's only so much a publicly funded body can do against a nation-state.

   An interesting aside that not too many people know is that the BBC does not base any journalists in Tehran at the moment anyway because of the grip the Government of Iran enforces on all news agencies, it therefore seems a bit of a pointless hack if the BBC is not even there inside the country.

In other news.

  • RIM confirms BB10 will be coming to the Playbook soon after it is announced, so that effectively guarantees another year of support for you lovely Playbook owners.
  • Nokia's design team spends a third of their time designing a Qualcomm powered tablet slated to arrive in the second half of the year.
  • Samsung, LG and Pantech are fined a collective total of $40million dollars by the Korean judiciary for their part in Korean price fixing!!!

Wednesday 14 March 2012


Archos planning a Android Transformer rival.
   Archos look like they will have a new kid on the block; it looks to be a rival to the Asus' Transformers. It's a sleek looking bit of kit and if the price is right like most of Archos' other offerings this will be a great contender for the Android tablet productivity crown!
   We can expect a dual-core processor and Android 4.0 out of the box at the very least even with the low pricepoint, keep it locked to TheTechFella for the latest news on this badboy.

London Tube to get free Wifi for Olympics this summer!
   Ok, so the promise to get mobile phone signal up and running on London's Tube for the Olympic Games has fallen through but the second best option will be offered instead! The London mayor, Boris Johnson, has chosen Virgin to be the provider of the service which starts July 27 and ends August 12.
   After that, the WiFi service will be made available to people but only as part of Virgin Media’s broadband and mobile subscriptions.
   WiFi will be brought to 80 Tube stations before summer starts and will eventually reach 120 Tube stations by the close of the year. This is the first time the Tube will have any sort of coverage for mobiles and tablets... Exciting stuff!

In other news.
  • Anonymous have launched their own OS.
  • Walmart approached GAME about the potential of buying the company out.
  • AOL killed their instant messaging service.
  • Analysts tip iPad pre-order records.
  • Check out Project Chameleon; it looks like a great addition to Android tablets! I'll do an editorial on it soon!
  • Windows Phone Tango release set for March 21st in China.

Tuesday 13 March 2012


   Hi guys, sorry to post this but there literally has been no news today that is worth covering except;

Sony launched the Xperia Sola handset which the guys at Androidpit rightfully described as a new smartphone with old technology.
The highlights of the device are;

  • 1Ghz Dual Core processor
  • NFC with 2 SmartTags
  • Android 2.3 with 4 update coming 'soon'
  • 3.7" Reality Display with 854x480 pixels.

There is no other important news today, sorry to say that guys, hopefully the tech world will be back with a vengeance tomorrow!

Galaxy S2 ICS!

ICS starts rolling out to Samsung Galaxy S2's!

   Ok, I fully acknowledge that the ICS update for the SGS2 will not look like the picture above, it will be heavily Touchwizzed and won't look too dissimilar from what it does on top of 2.3 Gingerbread, but none the less Android 4.0 has been released for the Galaxy S2 in Sweden, Hungary, Poland and South Korea!!!
   The UK is scheduled to receive their dose starting on the 19th of March... subject to carrier approval, so we'll peg that at in the next month or two.
   I can't help but feeling I should have just paid up the extra £100 to get a Nexus device just so we avoid this mess every time there is an updated version of Android released, but at least it's coming!

Monday 12 March 2012


China vows no 4G until it's really worth the upgrade.
   That handsome chap above is Mr. Miou Wei and he is the man currently heading up the Ministry for Industry and information technology in China. And today he has outlined China's position on 4G mobile signal; from their point of view there is no point in upgrading infrastructure until the country is satisfied the devices and infrastructure are in place to provide a solid service.
   One of the main issues is the amount of base stations in China and China Mobile has a goal to increase their total number of base stations from 20,000 to 200,000 by the end of the year. That rate of growth would mean that 4G could roll out in 2-3 years according to Mr Wei. 
   Now if only the UK catch up to the states so we can get some decent broadband speeds that are better than my 8Mbps broadband at home!!!

There's more to the iPad's Retina Display than meets the eye.

   Whatever you think of Apple's new iPad one thing you have to give Apple is that it's another handsome device and they have over 1million preorders in one weekend, if the internet is to be believed, so they must be doing something right. But, there really is more than meets the eye with the new iPad, Apple has seriously upped their game with the Retina Display and not only in terms of pixels.
   Apple have implemented something called Super High Aperture (SHA) technology, don't worry if you've never heard of it, I hadn't until this morning, and we'll undoubtedly be sick of it in less than a month. But, apparently this technology really gives LCD displays the chance to compete with Amoled displays in terms of pixel density, brightness and colour reproduction. The only downside is that it takes a serious amount of backlight and therefore a tonne more battery power to give you your eye-gasms. Which helps explain why the new iPad has such a huge battery to maintain that ten hours of promised battery life and the battery life is a fair trade for the slightly increased heft and thickness of the 'new iPad'.
   The only problem with SHA? The screens are hard to make and with a backorder of 2-3 weeks already Apple may well keeping some customers waiting for their new tablets.
   For those of you with a disposition for physics (strange people) I have included a diagram below that explains SHA in better terms than I can muster.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Editorial: Why Google should have kept it as the Market

Unlimited Free Image and File Hosting at MediaFire
   Google have this week rebranded the Android Market as Google Play; something we all initially thought would be the name of the Google Nexus Tablet supposedly coming from Asus, but alas we were very wrong. I for one am very unhappy with this change and for me it makes little or no sense at all.
   My first difficulty with this change is the fact the market is no longer a market; it does not make any sense to go on to 'Google Play' to download a productivity suite app or a note taking app, it seems much more logical to head to an 'Appstore' or maybe a 'Marketplace' for this type of app. This means that fundamentally Google is unintentionally misleading consumers, consumers who do not need any more problems navigating around their Android device. These difficulties are proven by the fact that so many people have taken to Twitter to report that their phone has 'lost' the Android Market! This really is something Google overlooked; first they should have advertised the change of naming scheme instead of assuming people actually keep up with the news relating to Android and secondly the rename makes little or no logical sense. (I'll explain this bit in a minute).

   Ok, so I am not a big fan of the rebrand, but even I can see where Google are trying to go with this. They are trying to highlight the fact that the Market is not just a place to get apps, instead you can buy movies, books and everything else that I don't buy, but maybe some people do, from the Market. But still the word 'Play' to me evokes notions of gaming primarily, similarly it also evokes notions of video watching, but it certainly does not evoke images of reading, productivity, creation and business, all of which are also in the Market on Play.

    Call me stupid because I'm not the leader of a worldwide, multi-billion pound corporation but I just cannot see why the Market should become Play, although there is one exception and again I look to my limited knowledge of Apple products for the logic behind this decision.

   To the best of my knowledge Apple has an 'Appstore' for apps and they also have the iTunes store for movies, books, etc which you can purchase through separate apps (ie not the Appstore) on your IOS device. Now that is a model which makes sense, the reason I bring this up is because perhaps Google is going to fork what was the Market to an appstore on one hand and a video and music service on the other. This would make sense somewhere down the line, but for the moment they saw it best to promote just 'Play'.

   This is all pure speculation and perhaps I couldn't be further from the point but the word Play fundamentally does not cover everything Google offers us in the Android Market and that is why, I am not and probably will not be convinced or happy with the rebranding of the Android Market to Google Play.


Padfone gets priced in the UK!
ASUS Padfone
   Thinking of buying an Asus Padfone were we dear reader? I was too until I saw this.... The device (s?) has/have been priced up by a UK site at a whopping £699.99! (From Flagship Fones)
   That quite simply is insane and I definitely cannot see many of us swapping out our super phones from last year for that sort of money!

 [edit] Asus have a reply and maybe we don't need to be too concerned yet;

 “Flagship Fones is not an official ASUS reseller and has had no communication with us about the ASUS PadFone.”
“ASUS is yet to announce pricing and availability of the ground-breaking and shape-shifting PadFone – anything to the contrary is merely rumours and speculation. We will be announcing details with our carrier partners in due course, so keep an eye out for updates on the official ASUS website and social media pages for more information as and when it is available.”

Well that's slightly reassuring, but they need to hurry up and release this beast already!

Friday 9 March 2012


Microsoft preparing to scrap the Windows Mobile martketplace.
   The time is coming near guys and girls, when Micrsoft will cease support for Windows Mobiles (NOT Windows Phones) effectively bring an end to the usefulness of the phones. It's not entirely surprising because Microsoft wants people to buy new Windows Phones and I must say apart from a couple of people i know still rocking the HD2 (Usually with Android on it) hardly anyone still uses these devices.
   But, it maybe would have been nice of them to keep the store up for a bit longer and just reject new application submissions because this will undoubtedly annoy some users.
   The date for the Windows Mobile apocalypse is set for the 9th of May this year, so if there's any apps you need you have 2 months to the day to make sure you've got them, ohhh and don't reset your phone after that date because you won't be able to download the apps again, sorry  lots of love from Microsoft. 
PS. Windows Phone 7 devices are selling cheap at the moment (£240 for the HTC Radar on so maybe that will help you out if you have an undying love for the underdogs in the phone world.

BBC has plans for a content store?

   This is an interesting story; the rumour goes that the Beeb is planning on creating a content store primarily to sell it's huge back-catalogue of tv shows and other niceties for a princely sum of £1.89 per show.
   The BBC would plan to give 40p of that £1.89 to the producer of the show in an attempt to convince them to commit to this idea. The main focus of this idea is older content because much of the BBC's recent work is available on iPlayer at the moment anyway.
   That means if you missed episodes from a month or so ago, the BBC might want to charge you for the privilege of catching up because of the reduced demand on the show and the cost of keeping it served. The plans might not be so grand, this is only a rumour, but it's one to keep our eyes and ears out for.


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