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Preview: Tracey's Technology Blog

Tracey's Technology Blog

Technology news and gadget reviews relating to all of the latest consumer electronics products

Updated: 2015-09-16T23:47:36.665+00:00


Sony Vaio Type G Laptop


Sony Save your spine with the Vaio Type G Laptop

It's all very well having a bright pink laptop or a laptop sprinkled in crystals, but when you're travelling with your laptop in your bag, in all likelihood you're not going to be too chuffed on how light your laptop is and how much it's causing you back pain.

Weighing just 984 grams the Sony Vaio Type G laptop is looking to save your spine. You get a 12.1" screen, built in Wifi and Bluetooth, 80GB hard drive, 2 USB ports, and a whopping 12 hours of battery life in stamina mode as well!

Apparently, it's going to be available in Japan come next month, but apparently Sony have no plans to ship it over seas. Yet. In the meantime, it'll cost you approximately $1800US, and a massive amount of shipping.

Read more at Sony to Sell World's Lightest Laptop in Dec. -

Tags: sony sony vaio laptop sony notebook sony vaio type G lapop

10 most harmful health gadgets


Over at they have a round up on the 10 most harmful health gadgets around.

Some of these gadgets are unbelieveable. Expect to see a virtual horse for horse riding (without the horse) and a wireless heart rate device that it controlled by your TV. This works by turning your TV down if your heart rate is not beating fast enough. If you continue to slack, your TV will switch itself off!

I quite like the wireless heartrate device actually, but the other nine are pretty dangerous; don't you agree?! Especially the snorestopper!

Take a look at the 10 most harmful health gadgets, see what you think...

Tags: gadgets health technology

BBC plans to turn MP3 players into digital radios with a plug-in gadget


The BBC is proposing to draw up plans for a plug-in gadget that will turn MP3 players into digital radios.

At present the BBC have not revealed any concrete details about the plug-in gadget or how much it will cost. Nor has a date been announced for when the add-on radio might appear. The BBC Spokesman simply said they hope the plug-in gadget will be available sooner rather than later.

"It's important for us to make sure that people can listen to digital radio on their own terms," said a BBC spokesman.

MP3 players, most significantly Apple iPods have grown in popularity and a study released at the end of June confirmed this, revealing that ownership of MP3 players has doubled since 2003. The study (by market research firm Ipsos) revealed that approximately 20% of Americans over the age of 12 own one of the portable players.

The BBC spokesman said at the moment the broadcaster was carrying out feasibility studies to see how easy it would be to develop and market the clip-on gadget. It was made evident by the BBC spokesman that the plug-in device would not be limited to playing just the BBC digital radio stations. Versions might also be available for mobile phones and cars.

He would not give anything away about potential partners in the project, but dismissed as "pure speculation" that Apple was involved.

Apple's iPod dominates the portable music player market. Many users have a clip-on gadget for it called the iTrip which enables them to listen to their collection of tracks via FM radio. There are also many other gadgets and add-on extras for the iPod and other MP3 players.

Related Articles
BBC plans clip-on digital radio - BBC News Online

Related News at Technorati

Speed-limiter unveiled


A new system using GPS and mapping to identify speed limits in any location, will force vehicles to observe speed limits and slow down.

This government-backed system named the Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) device uses an engine-limiter and has the capacity to retard the throttle to slow the vehicle down until it is at or below the speed limit.

Last week this GPS enabled speed limiter was demonstrated on a motorcycle, and here is how it will work.

When the rider strays over the speed limit they hear two warning beeps. Once the rider reaches 5mph over the limit their seat vibrates. If they still do not slow down, the device retards the throttle to slow the vehicle down to the speed limit.

The speed-limiter was developed at the Motor Industry Research Association with funding from the Department for Transport (DfT). The ISA system can also be used in cars and there is speculation the system is the first step in government plans to force car manufacturers to fit variable limiters.

It is argued that the system could be dangerous as it could hinder drivers when they need to accelerate out of danger. According to the TimesOnline a DfT spokesman said there were no plans to make the device compulsory in the UK (Thank god!!).

Related Articles

Speed-limiter unveiled -

Philips to retail GPS satellite navigation systems


Philips is to start making GPS satellite navigation systems, joining specialist navigation companies like TomTom, Garmin and Magellen.

Philips will start making their new Philips GPS satellite navigation units later this year from September according to PCMAG, with prices starting from £273; (400 euros, $502). The GPS systems will be 2cm thick and will be available as consumer electronics products through Phillips' existing network of retailers.
Philips' entrance into the GPS satellite navigation market will "contribute to the commoditisation of these products", said Marc Kennis, an analyst at Bank Van Lanschot.

The move by Philips comes after Japanese firm Sony entered into the European navigation market earlier this year, following specialist market leaders like TomTom, Garmin, Navman and Magellen.

Philips' decision to target this rapidly growing market comes after they abandoned the navigation market seven years ago. They blamed this on car firms demanding entire dashboards fitted with electronics, which the business did not deal with.
Philips explained their decision reversal by saying the GPS satellite navigation industry is "one of the fastest growing markets".

Technorati Tags:

U2 iPod


Calling all U2 fans, the new U2 iPod is available. Apple has launched a brand new version of the iPod U2 Special Edition in both the UK and Ireland. The new U2 iPod will be based on the fifth gen 30GB Apple iPod; offering 7,500 songs, 25,000 photos, or over 75 hours of video.

The new U2 iPod now comes in a sleek, black outer-casing, with the famous red wheel. And, like its predecessor, the new iPod U2 will come with signatures on its reverse from the band. The most impressive bit for most U2 fans however, will be the fact that the iPod U2 comes preloaded with a 30-minute exclusive video of the band!
Featuring Auto Sync technology, the new iPod U2 will automatically download digital music, podcasts, photographs, audio books and more onto the iPod U2. And, with an amazing 14 hours of battery life, and available for approximately £239, the iPod U2 is sure to be a great hit.

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iPod Nano With 8Gb & 10Gb
Apple Introduces the new U2 iPod

Related News:

TomTom Introduce FIFA World Cup Navigation PLUS Services


With the FIFA World Cup fast approaching TomTom have recently launched some unique, FIFA World Cup navigation PLUS services. For World Cup enthusiasts, their sat nav’s can have World Cup Voices, Points of Interest and Colour Schemes.
The World Cup features include voice-guided directions from Sven himself, and hundreds of POIs enabling users to find their way to all TeleAtlas World Cup stadia, Open-air big screens, Varta hotels, restaurants, team hotels, premier sports bars and nightlife. Football enthusiasts can also show their true dedication with a custom coloured interface; red, white and blue coloured maps.

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TomTom GO 910 World Cup Edition

Sharp Presents The Music Carry QTMPA10


Sharp have recently announced their new Music Carry, the QT MPA10.

The portable Music Carry from Sharp comes equipped with either 512MB or 1GB of flash memory and supports MP3/WMA/WAV playback. With an integrated FM/AM radio too, the Music Carry also enables users to record into MP3 format. Powered by 6 AA batteries, and measuring approximately 16 x 7 x 5-inch, the player sports two 2W, 8-cm speakers and weighs in at just 2.1kg.
From what I can make out from the machine translation, it seems to also playback audio from any device that can operate as a USB mass storage device (MP3 player or musicphone). And of course, a timer is included, which can turn the device on and off automatically for use as an alarm clock maybe.

The QT-MPA10 is set to drop in Japan on 16 June for an undisclosed price.

Sony UX Ultra-Portable PC


Images of the Sony UX Ultra Portable have been released today, but are they fake?

We present you with the Sony UX Ultra Portable. But, don’t get too excited, the pictures have only been released by an anonymous source (via Disability Today), so there is a possibility they could be fake. Take a look at the facts so far …

  • 7” Touch Screen
  • “UMPC” with Windows XP Pro (not Tablet Edition)(image)

  • Dual cameras

  • 3G Enabled

  • Biometric Sensor

  • WAN

  • Core Solo

  • Slide-out QWERTY Keyboard

  • Bluetooth/ Wifi

Pretty impressive aren’t they? Fingers crossed the Sony UX Ultra Portable makes an official release. It’s reported May 16th is the date to look out for, so I’ll keep you posted!

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Sony UX pics surface in our mailbox via Mobility Today

iPod Audio Navigation


Apple have recently released a patent for an iPod that speaks the name, genre, or any other relevant info. as you navigate through the menu's and songs

iPods are slowly getting integrated into cars, but of course there is a danger that users could accidentally crash whilst putting on "In the Air Tonight" by Phil Collins (Yes Apple, 'ColLins'- you could at least spell his name right!)

So, Apple have recently released a patent for an iPod that can overcome this danger. The iPod will tag each genre, song, artist, or any other relevant info. with their audible equivalent. So this means that when you're navigating from menu to menu, and from song to song, the iPod speaks the name of the item so you don't have to take your eyes off the road. Pretty nifty, and safe!

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iPod Audio Navigation Patent
iPod Nano With 8Gb & 10Gb

Shinco's New In-Car GPS


Shinco, the DVD manufacturer, has teamed up with to bring a stylish new in-car GPS unit to the UK.

Portable DVD player manufacturer Shinco obviously thought there was still a few quid left in the GPS goldmine at the entry level; because their new GM400 Voyager fits the bill.
Sporting a 4-inch screen, the GM400 Voyager is as dinky as an iPod. It has 64Mb of memory, and is powered by an ARM 200MHz chip which will last about three hours on its internal lithium-ion battery.

Inside the GM400 Voyager, you get UK maps and over 2 million points of interest. There is also the ability to buy more maps of other countries, and you also get an MP3 player included.

Its design looks pretty stylish doesn't it? It's the kind of device to buy if you enjoy getting a lot attention from your gadgets. It is priced at around £230.

Shinco Voyages Into Sat Nav - via Stuff Magazine

Napster Free Again


Napster are returning to its Copywrite-flouting early days, and are launching a new service where you are able to listen to Napster's songs and albums for free from its on-line library of over 2 million music files.

The only catch is, if you use Napster you are only able to listen to songs five times before you are asked to become a paid subscriber at Napster, or buy the song for 0.99 dollars (approximately 50p). If you don't pay, Napster will only play you a 30 second clip of the song after that.

The songs are also delivered to you at a rate of 32 kilobits per second; which is in fact lower in quality than the 128kbps typically used by Napster to stream music. Napster are clearly hoping users will upgrade to the paid service to get better sound quality, and avoid the ads.

If you use Napster's free service, you do however get free access to over 150 pre-programmed playlists, and artist profiles, and you don't need to install a separate music player!

By going back to its roots as a free service, Napster are clearly attempting to beat off increasing competition from the likes of; Yahoo Music, eMusic, MSN Music, and the leader in the digital music market; Apple's iTunes Music Store.

Having read a fair few comments on this, it looks like a lot of people will be previewing music on Napster, and buying it from Apple's iTunes; sorry Napster!

Napster is Sort Of Kind Of But Not Free Again, via Gizmondo

BT Buys


It Has Been Unveiled Today That BT Have Bought E-Retail Giant

BT will begin in the near future selling their digital products via the website, following the announcement today that they have bought the multi-million pound e-retail website.

Today's report follows weeks of deliberation that was putting itself up for auction. However, it seems to have come as a big surprise to many in the channel, that BT have in fact scooped the lot

Ian Livingstone, the retail boss explained today in his statement that will push the company's on-line sales from strength to strength; "[ will] boost BT's on-line power to sell innovative, value for money, communication and converged IT products"

Giving that was established in 1990, and has developed a customer base of approximately one million people, including business customers from around the UK, it is very likely BT's on-line customer base will grow.

Financial news of the deal have unfortunately not yet been revealed, however following reports from El Reg, it is thought BT won't receive a lot of change from £30m. revealed revenues of £180m, with gross assets of £42m at the end of March 2005. It is sure BT will be hoping their buyout will result in such recognition, domination, and profit in the ever growing, on-line consumer electronics market.

BT Buys

Sanyo Capujo LCD TVs With Integrated 160GB Hard Drives


Sanyo Capujo have unveiled two new LCD TVs with integrated 160GB hard drives.

The 27-inch LCD TV (LCD-27HR100(S)) and the 32 inch LCD TV (LCD-32HR100(S)) can enable you to record broadcasts in Mpeg2 format. Unfortunately though the LCD TVs aren't full HD; they are HD ready however with their 1366 x 768 resolution. Extra features on offer from Sanyo Capujo are:
  • Digital Tuner

  • HDMI Port

  • USB 2.0 Port

The LCD TVs with integrated 160GB hard drives are a genius idea from Sanyo Capujo. Are you listening Sony, Acer, Samsung, LG...?

Sanyo Capujo LCD TV With Integrated Hard Drives

iPod Nano With 8Gb & 10GB


Apple enthusiasts will be pleased to hear that the iPod Nano will be available in storage capacities of 8GB and 10GB by this summer; according to reports.

(image) With Apple's iPod Video delayed until further notice, do we really trust that they will be out by the summer? Or that they even exist?

Personally, I have a feeling these reports do have some truth behind them. It's been very quiet on the Apple front lately, and with Apple announcng the delay of their iPod Video; maybe in the meantime they are compensating with their new Nano's?

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Apple iPod Nano With 8GB & 10GB Storage
8GB and 10GB i-Pod Nano Mp3 Players?

Axion's AXN-6079 Dual Widescreen Mobile DVD Player


Axion's AXN-6079 portable DVD player caught my eye today. It lets users; most likely to be kids who need entertaining on long journey's, have their very own 7" widescreen all to themselves... because the AXN-6079 has two!

What's more you can have a film playing on one screen, and games playing on the other- simultaneously. So, users don't even have to agree on the same entertainment. The dedicated stereo headphone jacks will make entertainment totally personal, whether you're enjoying a movie, video game, CD or viewing photo CD's.

It looks like, once they're released, they won't be wireless, and it's reported that they will be available sometime this month.

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Axion Portable DVD Player
Portable DVD Player: Watch a Movie, Play a Game

Portable Video

Sony & Axion Both Release Portable DVD Players

Sony & Axion Release Portable DVD Players


Although portable DVD players hit the market years ago, both Sony and Axion have decided to launch two new models.

Sony have announced the DVD Walkman; sporting two audio/ headphone jacks, and weighing in at 780g. The DVP-FX810 has an 8 " screen, whereas the D-VE7000S has a 7" screen.

With this concept hitting the market years ago, it's quite surprising Sony haven't bothered to add any new features to the product- like a BR version maybe?

Axion have presented two machines that have the same concept. Although they perhaps don't look as nice as Sony's portable DVD players, on the up side Axion have added that extra feature; an external TV tuner.

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Sony's DVD Walkman

Axion's AXN-6079 portable DVD player with two screens

PURE Digital Launch PURE One - DAB Digital Radio


The PURE One comes just in time for summer and is hitting the shelves at an affordable £49.99; the least expensive DAB digital radio to be introduced by PURE Digital (image)

The PURE One comes in girly pink, white, and black, and suprisingly sports a number of pleasing features considering it has a sub-£50 price tag...

USB upgradability, FM with RDS, a custom display with status icons, mute control, and 20 combined DAB and FM presets are amongst its high-end features, but Intellitext and textSCAN are probably its most impressive. These are new features launched by PURE, and the first can give you access to DAB extended text broadcasts when listening to news broadcasts or sports results. The text SCAN feature lets you control scrolling text or pause it so you scribble down anything of interest like song titles.

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PURE Digital launches tri-band international DAB digital radio - 20 May 2005

More of the Latest DAB Digital Radios Form PURE Digital

Axxen Drops New MP3 Players


New MP3 Player From Axxen? Lets hope so by the look of these images...
Axxen, the Korean manufacturer have leaked pictures of their latest MP3 players. They seem to just be prototypes, as no information can be found on their website, but lets keep everything crossed that they make it past the design stage, because they look amazing don't they?!

(image) (image)


Releated Articles
Axxen, the MP3 Players
New MP3 WALKMAN Flash From Sony

Acer Announce World's Second HD-DVD Laptop


Following Toshiba's lead, Acer have announced the 2nd notebook to support HD-DVD; The Aspire 9800.

Acer's new laptop, The Aspire 9800 will debut in May and will ship with a 20 inch,1,680 x 1,050 cristalbrite display. This is fed not only by the up and coming HD-DVD drive, but also by built in analogue and digital TV tuners. Unfortunately though, the first models to ship may only ship with a DVD drive. The best Acer could say about the availability of the HD-DVD drive is that it'll ship when it ships.

The Aspire 9800 will also come with a 1.3 megapixel webcam- dubbed the 'Orbicam', and a DVI-D port to hook the machine up to a HD TV. An Intel Core Duo processor, a Nvidia GeForce Go 7600 GPU with up to 256MB video memory, Bluetooth 2.0, and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi are also amongst its features.

Coming only one month after Toshiba announced the HD-DVD supporting Qosimio Q30 notebook, and only two weeks after Toshiba announced the launch of the first high definition DVD player in Japan, Sony will not be happy. It really does look like HD-DVD will gain a good chunk of that 14 billion-a-year home video market doesn't it?

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Toshiba Launch The World's First HD-DVD Player
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4 Way Slider Phones From Fujitsu


Japanese giant Fujitsu will this week show off two new phones; the 'Slider' and the 'Multi-Slider'.

The first; the 'Slider' (pictured above) is a landscaped orientated unit sporting a full keyboard. It has touch-screen sensitive keys which I presume has been designed with texting and instant messaging in mind :-)

The more impressive out of the two; the 'Multi-Slider' has a virtual keypad- displaying the appropriate screen to whichever way the keypad slides out. eg: Up for phone-pad, left for computer keyboard- pretty nifty! The four buttons on the front of the phone (pictured below) make me wonder if there is something of an 'iPhone' about Fujitsu's new device?!
The two phones will be on show at the Japanese Design Competition, held in Milan's Tiennale di Milano this week!

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News: Fujitsu Debuts Bendable Electronic Paper: Paper and Digital Media Converged
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New MP3 WALKMAN Flash From Sony


Today Sony announced the release of a new range of ultra-slim, shuffle-style MP3 players: MP3 WALKMAN Flash

The compact devices will have a capacity of between 512mb and 2GB and support MP3, WMA, and ATRAC3. They will be available (not too sure when yet) in an attractive range of casing covers, and will sport impressive features, such as an FM Tuner with MHz range from 87.5 - 108.0, and a quick-charge feature which has the ability to charge 3 hours of battery life in just 3 minutes!

Additional Features Include
  • Rechargable Battery with stamina of 28 hours
  • 5-band Equalizer
  • Vivid 1 line dot matrix organic LED
  • A direct USB with high speed transfer

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Sony Press Release
Sony's new shuffle-style Walkman

HD-DVD Vs Blu-Ray: The Battle Continues


Samsung Have Announced Today That The Launch Of Their Blu-Ray Standard Disc Player Will Now Be Delayed Until June

At stake is a £14 billion-a-year home video market, and with Samsung announcing today that their Blu-Ray standard disc player will now be rescheduled from May until June, the HD-DVD camp will be laughing.

Samsung have said "We still anticipate that the Samsung BD-P1000 will be the first Blu-Ray player to launch at a national level in the United States". However, with studios like Lionsgate having already announced the release of compatible film titles for the original date, it's not good news. Nor is it good news that Toshiba have plans to offer two HD-DVD models to the US market from April.

I think the only good news I have, is that Samsung have added a couple more features to the BD-P1000 spec.:
1080p up conversion of DVDs (apparently only via HDMI out)
Support for 11 (up from 9) memory card formats, adding Mini-SD and Memory Stick Pro Duo
But lets hope Blu-Ray are not doing a HD-DVD all over again. Because if they are, Toshiba, NEC, Hewlett Packard, and LG (firms supporting the HD-DVD standard) are looking to be in poll position for capturing a good part of that £14 billion-a-year home video market.

So, fingers crossed for Blu-Ray that I won't be reporting of any more delays.

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Toshiba Launch The World's First HD-DVD Player


Much to Sony's disappointment, Toshiba launched their first high definition DVD player in Japan on Friday priced at £539

For the past three years it's been a race between Sony and Toshiba to set a global industry standard for next generation DVD players, and it looks like Toshiba have made it to the finish line first with their HD-DVD player. Toshiba launched their first high definition DVD player in Japan on Friday priced at £539 ($934, E772), and they are set to launch another two players during April.

Meanwhile Sony are set to launch their rival Blu-ray DVD players in the US in July, for an estimated £578 ($1000) each. (image)

Both Sony's Blu-ray and Toshiba's HD-DVD disc formats are capable of holding far more data than existing red-laser discs, and these new formats will also be capable of delivering superior image quality and supporting interactive features.

While Toshiba's HD-DVD format has pretty much the same structure as existing DVD's, their format will be usable on traditional red-laser DVD players, however Sony's Blu-ray format is vastly different to existing DVD's. So, although Sony's offering is reported to have bigger storage capacity, unfortunately it will require consumers to buy new hardware.

To avoid customers having to choose between the two DVD formats, it was hoped Sony and Toshiba would reach a two-way agreement on a single disc type. However, it looks like both company's are sticking to their guns.

But, with a couple of months head start, Toshiba have said they aim to sell 600,000 to 700,000 of its next generation DVD players globally within the year!

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Extra costs a worry for next-gen DVD adoption: March 23rd 2006
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First HD-DVD Disk Authored by Ulead DVD Movie Factory 5.0 User

Navman Introduce NavPix


Satellite navigation pioneer Navman have introduced an image based approach to navigation, where by the user can simply touch the picture of the place they fancy visiting, and the Navman system will automatically calculate the best route to that destination. E.g. How many people know the actual postal address of the Eiffel Tower? Not many, but NavPix can easily navigate users there, by just touching the picture of it: no postcode entry needed.

Initially NavPix will be available on two of their new portable Sat Nav's: the iCN720 and the iCN750, which will be available all over Europe by May. What's more users can also use the built in camera in the iCN700 series to take pictures of places they may want to return to. The pictures will have the exact geographical location of where that picture was taken embedded in the image data. Even if you wanted to return to a restaurant you had stumbled upon whilst on holiday, just take a photo and you're sorted for the next time you visit the area.
Navman will also have images of famous landmarks etc. to download from their website, and users will be able to upload and share their own NavPix with friends and other Navman users.

"The possibilities of NavPix are almost endless, for both leisure and professional users. This innovative technology marks a completely new approach to satellite navigation, one which will change the way people navigate in the future." Prash Vadgama, President of Navman's Consumer Navigation Group Says.

On top of the iCN720 & 750, Navman have announced the launch of the iCN530, and the iCN330, designed with simplicity in mind.