July 2009 Archives

Gadget love beats the recession depression

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3073739528_d0accc4a81_m.jpgIn spite of the current economic climate, it seems that the demand for electronic gadgets is actually on the increase, with new research showing increased spending on electronics over the past five years.

According to market analysts at Mintel, annual sales of technology rose almost £6.2bn (13%) between 2004 and 2008, and new sales are set to push figures past the £50bn mark by the end of 2010.

Jim Clark, senior technology analyst at Mintel said: "In many ways, the recession has had a positive effect for the technology market and encouraged consumers to consider the latest, converged devices coming to the market in a quest for greater value."

"The likes of the Apple iPhone, for example, does away with the need for a digital camera, video camera, MP3 player, PDA and web browser - avoiding up-front costs of buying the device through a manageable monthly subscription."

Mr Clark also said that there were a number of upcoming gadgets that could boost the market even more over the coming months, including the Nokia N97, LG GD910 touch-screen watch, the 02 Joggler, the new motion-sensitive 'Natal' system for Xbox, and rumours of an Apple 'Tablet' Mini set for a Christmas release.

"It is not just a case of being big boys' toys - youngsters and women of all ages too like to have gadgets that make our lives easier".

Source [Walesonline]
Picture from drcorneilus on flickr

Written by Graham Poole, guest author.

Video: Microsoft unveil Xmas offerings

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Today I got invited to the 'Microsoft Christmas Showcase' in Central London.

Microsoft were showing off some of their new products due for release in December like teh Zune marketplace, Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows 7 touch.

So what impressed me? Well, I liked the Xbox stuff like being able to rent films from Netflix, downloading movies and music from Zune, Facebook (below) and Twitter functionality as well as their new Xbox LIVE Party to watch matches and movies with your mates.



The Xbox LIVE Party I thought was a bit naff in that I like to invite my mates over to my place as oppose to having my avatar hang out with other avatars.

The 360 is basically a living room PC that has been customized to be easy to use. I love this idea and thought that Microsoft have come a long way from the initial Xbox 360 console launched all those years ago.

Project Natal will obviously take the console another step forward but the new functionality makes the 360 an all round monster of a machine.

Video: Spotify app download for iPhone

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rex_936602a.jpgSpotify, the music streaming website, has submitted an app for the iPhone. If it gets approved then Spotify users will be able to save their playlist and listen to music whether they have an internet connection or even a signal.

Spotify confirmed on their blog that "After many weeks of burning the midnight oil at Spotify HQ...we've finally completed work on the Spotify app for the iPhone and sent it over to the nice people at Apple".

But what are the nice people at Apple gonna think? A free rival to iTunes available on the iPhone? Even if the Spotify app doesn't kill iTunes as some people suggest, it will definately make a dent in their profits.


Spotify's library already has 6million songs and 2million users in the UK continuing to grow, I find it hard to see a reason for Apple to approve the app other than that they would look a bit monopolistic by rejecting it.

If the app does get approval, then the new servise will be available to Spotify premium subscribers (£9.99 a month without ads).

So what do Apple do? Accept a rival or damage it's image? Either way they lose out but I'm guessing the nice people at Apple really like money.. Theor image can always be fixed with let's say oh I don't know, a new Apple tablet?

Image: Rex Features

Fuji to release cheap 3D camera - oh the possibilities

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fuji_3d.jpgFuji will release a 3D camera this September that will take 3D video as well as 3D pictures for just £570.

The Fuji REAL 3D W1 has two lenses whose images are merged into a single 3D image. They will also release a digital viewing screen for just  £390. Bringing the total 3D package to under £1000.

This is truly amazing. If you know me at all then you'll know that I'm a huge fan of 3D and I literally watch any film that's released in 3D. I believe it enhances the entertainment value by about at least 20%.

So, what does this camera mean? 3D images and home video at an affordable price. While it sounds great, so far al I've only seen demo shots so I'm naturally sceptical. It just seems a bit too cheap. But I'm all for the push towards 3D.

Here are some demo shots:

5a.PNG Imagine being able to see your holiday snaps in 3D, or filming your kids in 3D. It would be amazing. Even stupid nights out will be full of life.

Showing your arse to the camera in Ibiza is now a better idea than ever.

And for those of you that don't know how 3D works, this is Fuji's explanation.

4a.PNG
Source [Fuji]




Can your phone make you sexy?

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rex_805243u.jpgCall me crazy but can a mobile phone make you sexy or at least more attractive?

I was sat on the train this morning looking out the window when a girl breezed past me with a beautiful scent. It caught my attention.

I looked at her and she was quite cute. My heart didn't miss a beat or anything but she was attractive. After a couple of minutes she took out a palm pre.

I'm not kidding, the inner geek said 'wow, you have to speak to this chick'. From then on i was besotted. She got off at the next stop which was a shame. But what would  i say? 'hi, i see you have a pre'. She'd think i was a loser.

So anyway, regardless of what i'd say, the next time i see her i'm at least gonna say hi.

But on the flip side, what if the next time i see her she whips out a battered motorola? I'd be heart broken.

It's sad but the same way girls want guys with cool cars, i want girls with cool phones. But i don't want a girl that just got it cos 'the guy in the shop said it was good' i want her to say 'i got it because the OS is amazing'. *drool*.

If she then says she's trying to create a network between her ps3, pc and mobile. Then pull the plug readers because i'm in heaven.

rex_815552a.jpg

TechCrunch Europa Awards - quick roundup

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Last night I got to go to the TechCrunch Europa Awards bash which was great fun and, as you might've guessed, a fantastic networking opportunity.

Highlights of the do were that Poken won Best European / Real World Gadget (Renate pictured) which I was happy about as I reviewed it a couple of months ago, Spotify cleaned up winning around four awards, Huddle got Best Enterprise / B2B Startup and Songkick won Best design. The full list is below.


16491723-fc834993719a6b130aeb31c503cb58d6.4a570f9f-full.jpg
I'd also like to give a shout to Joe White of Gandi.net for explaining the URL insanity that will happen in January (when are we getting that article?!?!).

Here are the winners and finalists in each category:

The Europas Shortlist: Best Web Application Or Service (EMEA)

Winner: Spotify

Highly Commended: Amiando

Finalists:
Babbel
Dopplr
Jimdo

The Europas Shortlist: Best Design

Winner: Songkick

Highly Commended: Babbel

Finalists:
IRL Connect
Spotify
Wonga

The Europas Shortlist: Best Bootstrapped Startup (less than 3 years old)

Winner: Soup.io

Highly Commended: Doodle

Finalists:
BookingBug
Mixcloud
Struq

The Europas Shortlist: Best Social Innovation (which benefits society, EMEA)

Winner: Mendeley

Joint Highly Commended: Amazee, School of Everything

Finalists:
Aleveo
Decisions For Heroes

The Europas Shortlist: Best Enterprise / B2B Startup (EMEA)

Winner: Huddle

Highly Commended: Zendesk

Finalists:
BlueKiwi
FreeAgent Central
VideoPlaza

The Europas Shortlist: Best Cleantech / Environmental Startup (EMEA)

Winner: Alertme

Highly Commended: Amee

Finalists:
Dopplr
RouteRank
SpeedSell

The Europas Shortlist: Best European / Real World Gadget (EMEA)

Winner: Poken

Highly Commended: My Name Is E

Finalists:
Fon
INQ Mobile
Modu

The Europas Shortlist: Best Entertainment Application or Service (EMEA)

Winner: SoundCloud

Highly Commended: eRepublik

Finalists:
Moshi Monsters
Playfish
WeeWorld

The Europas Shortlist: Best Mobile Startup (EMEA)

Winner: Nimbuzz

Highly Commended: Goojet

Finalists:
Aka-aki
Bambuser
GetJar

The Europas Shortlist: Best Mobile Application (EMEA)

Winner: Spinvox

Highly Commended: Tweetdeck Mobile

Finalists:
eBuddy
Fring
MobyPicture
Shozu

The Europas Shortlist: Best Startup Founder(s)

Winners: Daniel Ek, Martin Lorentzon, for Spotify

Highly Commended: Alastair Mitchell, Andy McLoughlin, for Huddle.net

Finalists:
Alexander Ljung, Eric Wahlforss, jointly, Soundcloud
Felix Haas, Armin Bauer, Markus Eichinger, Dennis von Ferenczy, Sebastian Baerhold, Marc Bernegger, for Amiando
Richard Jones, Felix Miller, Martin Stiksel, for Last.FM
Richard Moross, Moo

The Europas Shortlist: Best Investor (VC or Angel fund, EMEA)

Winner: TAG - The Accelerator Group

Highly Commended: Index Ventures

Finalists:
Atlas Venture
Eden Ventures
European Founders Fund

The Europas Shortlist: Best Investor Personality (EMEA)

Winner: Yossi Vardi, Angel

Highly Commended: Fred Destin, Atlas Venture

Finalists:
Morten Lund
Robin Klein, TAG
Saul Klein, Seedcamp/Index Ventures

The Europas Shortlist: Best New Startup, Summer 2008-2009

Winner: Spotify

Highly Commended: TweetDeck

Finalists:
SoundCloud
Stupeflix
Tweetmeme

The Europas Grand Prix

Decided by Judges vote only

Winner: Spotify

Video: Microsoft Office 2010 - The Movie

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As far as video 'virals' go, this is a good one. How can you make Microsoft Office interesting? Make a Matrix style movie. This video boarders on being rubbish but just about pulls it off.

Enjoy.




It was created for Microsoft by Dennis Liu and, in case you're wondering, there won't be a film because that would be crap.

Video: Apple store robbery on youtube!

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Arlington county police have put up videos of a robbery in an Apple store to try and catch the gunman.

While I commend their efforts to get this guy, I love the related videos that youtube puts up alongside it:

  • The 2009 IRA national rowing championships
  • Evian Roller Babies international version
More info on the robbery down the bottom.








At approximately 10:15 a.m. on July 3, 2009, an unknown man rang the doorbell at the service entrance to the Apple Store in the 2700 block of Clarendon Boulevard. An employee walked to the back of the store to answer the door. A short time later, another employee heard a gunshot. The victim, a 26 year old female, was found suffering from an apparent gunshot wound to the right shoulder. The suspect had already fled the area on foot. The victim was transported to an area hospital where she remains in serious but stable condition.


Anyone who has information about this shooting or the identity of the suspect is asked to call the Arlington County Police Department Tip Line at 703 228-4242 or Detective Alan Lowrey at 703 228-4199 or Detective Michael Austin at 703 228-4241. Det. Lowrey can also be reached via email at Alowrey@arlingtonva.us and Det. Austin can be reached at Mausti@arlingtonva.us.

Witnesses can also call Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers offers a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Callers to Crime Solvers do not have to give their names and do not need to testify in court.

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