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Tech Digest



Gadgets, consumer electronics, mobile phones and wireless



Modified: 2006-11-01T12:32:01Z

 



"Oi, where d'you think you're going?"

2006-11-01T12:32:01Z

Ever wished you could jump straight to the front of the queue like a celeb when you go to see your favourite band? Well if you're a Virgin Mobile customer, now you can. Mobile Marketing Magazine reports that Virgin has...

(image) Ever wished you could jump straight to the front of the queue like a celeb when you go to see your favourite band?  Well if you're a Virgin Mobile customer, now you can. Mobile Marketing Magazine reports that Virgin has launched a queue-jumping facility that runs at selected gigs at Carling Academy venues across the UK.

Ads at the venues give instructions on how to jump the queue by texting 'Qjump' to a dedicated shortcode number. In return, you get a barcode sent to your phone that you scan at a terminal to convert it to a ticket that lets you and a mate jump straight to the front of the queue while all the other suckers shout abuse at you and try to work out which obscure band you're a member of. Clever eh?

Get the full story here. 




TechDigest has moved

2006-10-30T10:47:25Z

If you are wondering why it has been a bit quiet here of late it is is because we have changed hosting. So to see TechDigest you need to skip off to techdigest.tv . You will also need to update...



No Sympathy from YouTube

2006-10-23T08:42:18Z

If you post copyright material on the video share site YouTube you can expect no help or sympathy from the company, according to a report on CNet News. Information on who posted the clip or move may be handed over...



Vista Tip - Enable Check Boxes

2006-10-20T08:44:19Z

Here’s another in the series of occasional Propellerhead Top Tips for the new Vista operating system and this one involves enabling a useful little facility called Check Boxes. It works in Computer, the new name for Windows Explorer and My...



Do You Want Chips with that?

2006-10-20T08:39:40Z

Not sure what to make of this one but a chap (and I’m assuming it’s a he…) called Sc4freak posting on [H]ard|Forum claims to have deep-fried his computer. In fact he was trying out a technique called submersion cooling, where...



Desktop Snapper, Freeware

2006-10-19T07:56:37Z

Here’s an interesting little utility Propellerhead has been trying out. It’s called TimeSnapper and it takes a snapshot of your desktop at preset intervals, from once a second to every few minutes or hours. The obvious question is why would...



iPods Ship with Windows Virus

2006-10-19T07:52:44Z

Apple have apologised for sending out a small number of iPods with an extra bonus feature, a Windows virus called RavMonE.exe. It was unintentionally installed in Video iPods, Apple claims only 1 percent of those made on or after September...



Sony Laptop Battery Recall, Finally…

2006-10-18T08:49:18Z

You may have been wondering, amidst the fuss and furore over the exploding laptop batteries, why Sony, which makes the volatile lithium ion cells, hasn’t instituted its own recall? Well, now it has, several weeks after Dell, Toshiba, Apple and...

(image) You may have been wondering, amidst the fuss and furore over the exploding laptop batteries, why Sony, which makes the volatile lithium ion cells, hasn’t instituted its own recall? Well, now it has, several weeks after Dell, Toshiba, Apple and Lenovo announced their recalls, and a couple of days after Sharp announced it starting an inspection of some 28,000 batteries, CNet News reports that Sony is adding its name to the list. For the record the current tally of recalls from Dell, Toshiba, Apple, Sharp, Lenovo, but excluding the as yet unknown number of Sony batteries, comes to a whopping 7.3 million packs. Let’s just hope all that lithium can be safely recycled… 




Headers and Footers on Printed Web Pages

2006-10-18T08:46:00Z

If you print web pages then you may be irritated by all the extra guff that appears at the top and bottom of the page -- web page address, page number, time and date and so on. There’s so much...



We love Wii because...

2006-10-17T13:56:07Z

Where else can you spend a happy hour or two pulling worms out of rabbits' teeth? Click below for a bonkers clip from one of the mini-games in the upcoming Wii Rayman title. Since when did worms have teeth? Actually,...



One Minute Video Review: Motorola KRZR

2006-10-17T13:22:19Z

Here's Ashley and I looking at the Motorola KRZR, and having heaps of fun trying to figure out how you say it. There's also a respectable amount of time looking at what exactly it does. Expect it to appear in...



Sneaky Changes in Vista Licence Agreement

2006-10-17T08:13:52Z

There are a few dedicated souls who actually read through the EULAs (End User Licensing Agreement) that pop up when you install a new piece of software but most of us simply click the I Agree button, life’s too short…....



Freeundelete Recovery Utility, Freeware

2006-10-17T08:10:50Z

Sooner or later it will happen to you and you will delete a file, intentionally or by accident, then some time regret it. You might be lucky and it will still be in the Recycle Bin, but most of the...



YouTube Video of the Day - Fool shoots hornet nest.

2006-10-16T14:24:15Z

What happens when you give a fool a gun and show them the location of a troublesome hornets nest? Predicatbly, the answer lies in pain and sorrow. Mof Gimmers



How to play Space Invaders - with your brain

2006-10-16T12:42:59Z

Over at top bloke's blog Brandish, you can find out how to give your hands a rest and exercise your brain - to play Space Invaders. Yes, a team of researchers has poured its energies into developing a brain-to-computer interface,...

(image) Over at top bloke's blog Brandish, you can find out how to give your hands a rest and exercise your brain - to play Space Invaders.

Yes, a team of researchers has poured its energies into developing a brain-to-computer interface, allowing a 14-year old epileptic gamer to play Space Invaders using only the power of his grey matter. Obviously there's more serious applications than retro gaming for such a device - but playing an arcade classic is a great way of making your research 'sexy'. To find out more and to see  a video of it all in action, check out Brandish now.




Vodafone launches new call plans and advice for small businesses

2006-10-16T12:34:23Z

Sky has a new show TV show under the name of The Big Idea, claimed to be the UK's largest-ever search to discover the next great British invention or business idea (with the winner pocketing £100,000 to carry it off)....



17th October is UK's 'One Day in History' blog day

2006-10-16T12:19:36Z

Tomorrow is "One Day in History" day, set up by the National Trust, which will allow anyone in Britain with access to the Internet to record a short piece of blog-style text with their reflections on how history has influenced...

(image) Tomorrow is "One Day in History" day, set up by the National Trust, which will allow anyone in Britain with access to the Internet to record a short piece of blog-style text with their reflections on how history has influenced their daily life. The entry must be between 100 and 1000 words in length, written in English or Welsh.

As The History Matters site says:

"The History Matters campaign has designated 17 October a day for the public to make historic.

We want as many people as possible to record a ‘blog’ diary of this one day which will eventually be stored by the British Library as a permanent historical record of our national life.

This is a one off, one day diary done on a mass scale – that will itself make history and can be a resource for historians in the future.

We want to urge people participating to reflect in their diaries how history itself impacted on them that day – whether it be simply commuting through an historic environment, discussing family history, watching repeats on TV, or listening to mum's incessant 80's pop."


Tomorrow, Tuesday 17th October, isn't particularly significant so is being used as an ordinary day for Britons to record their thoughts.

The Sunday Times reports that actors including Stephen Fry and Sir Derek Jacobi, the writer Bill Bryson, and TV historian Bettany Hughes are some of the celebrities who've already agreed to take part, along with pupils and staff of 29,000 schools.

To get involved, first write a diary entry for 17th October, then log on to the History Matters website between 17th and 31st October to upload them.

History Matters web site




Samsung to launch slim Symbian SGH-i520 HSDPA smartphone in Europe?

2006-10-16T12:18:15Z

According to various online rumours, Samsung is set to launch the SGH-i520 HSDPA (super 3G) smartphone in Europe this week - more specifically, at the Symbian Smartphone Show, which opens tomorrow (Tuesday) in London. The SGH-i520 is based on the...

(image) According to various online rumours, Samsung is set to launch the SGH-i520 HSDPA (super 3G) smartphone in Europe this week - more specifically, at the Symbian Smartphone Show, which opens tomorrow (Tuesday) in London.

The  SGH-i520 is based on the Symbian operating system and Nokia's Series 60 (S60) user interface. The slider handset is just 1.8cm-thick and is expected to feature full PDA functionality, a 2.3in display, Bluetooth 2.0 on board and a two megapixel camera.

We'll hopefully have more details after the official launch - along with a shipping date for the UK and Europe.

Samsung website

Via The Register




Maxfield launches Max Track - the world's fastest GPS system

2006-10-16T11:31:41Z

Maxfield has a new sat nav system hitting the shelves later this year - the Max Track, which it claims is the fastest system you can buy. The Max Track is powered by a Samsung-made 400MHz processor and uses Windows...

(image) Maxfield has a new sat nav system hitting the shelves later this year - the Max Track, which it claims is the fastest system you can buy.

The Max Track is powered by a Samsung-made 400MHz processor and uses Windows CE 5.0 and MAX-Navigator 5 software. There's  an integrated GPS antenna, maps of Western Europe pre-loaded on SD card and a 3.5-inch colour touchscreen. Selected routes can be amended to block specific streets, there's a speed indicator and speed camera database and a choice of 2D or 3D maps.

Out in November, price to be confirmed nearer the time.

Maxfield website




Mint offers credit card payments via sms messaging

2006-10-16T11:12:55Z

We recently covered HSBC and First Direct's forays into banking via text messaging. Well, they're not alone - credit card provider Mint (part of the Royal Bank of Scotland) is getting in on the act, offering the TextDebit service for...



Pick up a Burning Love Pouch for your iPod

2006-10-16T10:55:03Z

Today's silly iPod add-on comes courtesy of MP3 Additions - which has produced the Burning Love Pouch range - which isn't as sleazy as it sounds - they're actually just odd-looking iPod cases. Made of what's described as "irresistibility soft...



Build your own Terminator puppet

2006-10-16T10:45:26Z

Puppets are rarely scary nowadays, unless like me you find Sooty's inability to speak highly sinister. But a life-size silicone puppet of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator character, complete with shot face and gammy hand? Now that's quite creepy. Bayraider has found...



Archos launches 504 160GB portable media player

2006-10-16T10:42:51Z

Archos has gone big on the screen and the storage with its new 504 portable media player with 160GB hard drive - that's enough space to record 450 hours of video to view on the 4.3-inch screen. The Archos 504...

(image)    Archos has gone big on the screen and the storage with its new 504 portable media player with 160GB hard drive - that's enough space to record 450 hours of video to view on the 4.3-inch screen.

The Archos 504 supports all standard video formats in full DVD resolution, as well as being a storage device for other files and media via USB 2.0. The 160GB drive can hold around 450 movies, 1.6 million photos or 80,000 songs. Video playback is via a 4.3-inch screen with 16 million colors or onto a television (with optional DVR Station). It also records from TV into MPEG-4 with the DVR station. It can also be used be used as a photo viewer and music player.

There's a range of sizes available, with a 40GB device retailing for £249.99, 80GB for £299.99 and the 160GB model selling for £479.99. All comes with headphones, USB cable and protective pouch.

Archos website




iFreq - yet another FM transmitter for iPod

2006-10-16T10:12:03Z

As I mentioned last week, there's an endless number of these FM transmitters hitting the market with the impending law change for use. So why should you pick up an iFreq? Well, acocrding to a recent magazine article - it's...

(image)   As I mentioned last week, there's an endless number of these FM transmitters hitting the market with the impending law change for use. So why should you pick up an iFreq? Well, acocrding to a recent magazine article - it's the best one you can buy when it comes to sound quality.

The iFreq has a super strength transmitter inside the connecting cable making the signal stronger than other FM transmitters - so better sound, close to the sound you would expect through your headphones. It also features a large, backlit display, simple up/down tuning ensure easy operation and a dock connector that assures wide iPod compatibility.

Available now, selling for around £40.

Find out more




Word BackupMacro

2006-10-16T08:16:34Z

Propellerhead’s recent travails with Microsoft Word left him with what was effectively a new installation and he quickly discovered that one of most frequently used features was missing. It’s a macro, called Allsave and he relied on it for at...



IE7 Is Coming, Ready or Not…

2006-10-16T08:13:30Z

It looks as though Internet Explorer will be coming to a PC near you, whether you want it or not, if your computer is set up for automatic downloads. Several possible dates have been mooted, the 18th is a hot...

(image) It looks as though Internet Explorer will be coming to a PC near you, whether you want it or not, if your computer is set up for automatic downloads. Several possible dates have been mooted, the 18th is a hot favourite, but in any event it looks like it will be happening very soon.  A blog on the Microsoft Higher Education site appears to confirm the prediction, saying ‘Microsoft recommends that Web sites and applications be reviewed and made ready for the release of Internet Explorer 7 this month’. If you can’t wait don’t forget IE7 is available for download at your convenience from the Internet Explorer 7 home page.




Zou Renti and His Robot Clone

2006-10-16T06:35:55Z

Here we have a portrait of Mr. Zou Renti of the Xi'an Supermen Sculpture Institution and his robot clone at the 2006 China Robot Expo at the International Convention Center in Beijing. They've come by to show off the robot's...

(image)

Here we have a portrait of Mr. Zou Renti of the Xi'an Supermen Sculpture Institution and his robot clone at the 2006 China Robot Expo at the International Convention Center in Beijing.  They've come by to show off the robot's silica gel skin and lifelike features (and that he's basically a party droid).  He walks, he talks, he bobbles his head sympathetically, he stands still really well.  (If you're still confused about which is the man and which is the robot, there's a hint after the jump.)  [GT]

 

Crazy News via Engadget

Related stories: Actriod DER2 Fembot l Kao + Kelo = feels-like-skin for robots l Spot the robot

(image)

Surprise, the man's the one who feels comfortable sticking his finger in the robot's ear. Seriously though, the Japanese are doing crazy stuff with robots these days. If they invent one that can blog, we're all out of luck.




Keuco visiPad for the Bathroom

2006-10-16T03:33:59Z

Continuing the alarming trend of putting a telly and a computer everywhere we might conceivably find some peace and quiet, Keuco has prototyped the Keuco visiPad Mediastation multimedia system, a water-resistant touchscreen that lets you watch television, use the internet,...

(image)

Continuing the alarming trend of putting a telly and a computer everywhere we might conceivably find some peace and quiet, Keuco has prototyped the Keuco visiPad Mediastation multimedia system, a water-resistant touchscreen that lets you watch television, use the internet, send text messages, talk on the phone, and generally be available to the world at large whether or not what you really crave is just a little privacy. Also available with mirrored glass, and in screen sizes from 10" to 46". Price TBA, but what price being able to just have a nice unhooked shower (or other less savoury bodily function that it's generally nice to be let be during). [GT]

Keuco | Keuco visiPad Mediastation multimedia system [via Trendir]

Related stories: H&B's 20 Gig touch screen jukebox | LG's Side by Side TV refrigerator




Scotland Yard warn of massive hacker attack on UK

2006-10-13T15:52:25Z

Scotland Yard have today issued an urgent warning that the UK is under a huge, sustained attack from hackers. They say that thousands of PCs in homes have been targeted by US-based computers in a bid to steal personal information....

Scotland Yard have today issued an urgent warning that the UK is under a huge, sustained attack from hackers. They say that thousands of PCs in homes have been targeted by US-based computers in a bid to steal personal information.

Officers have so far identified 2300 computers infected by the virus that they're publicly calling calling a 'backdoor'. They're saying that unprotected PCs on the Net are being bombarded by unauthorised access attempts up to 50 times an hour.

It's quite unusual for the police to get involved, though quite what they're going to do on their own I'm not sure. It needs greater effort from the ISPs to block these kind of attempts at source, as well as consumers being educated as to how to keep their PCs safe online.

These attacks have been increasing since July, and though news of virus attacks is far from uncommon these days, the scale of bombardment is staggering.

(Via This Is Money)




Vodafone and Phones 4u link up: Carphone Warehouse unhappy

2006-10-13T15:29:50Z

Vodafone has done a deal with Phones 4u that will ensure P4U is the only third-party UK company allowed to sell Vodafone mobile contracts. This ends the previous partnership with the Carphone Warehouse who can now only sell pay-as-you-go phones...