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How clean is your smartphone?

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For reasons unknown, furniture retailer Bright House has commissioned some boffins to investigate the cleanliness of a range of living room items, including laptops, smartphones and tablets.

Their highly-scientific "findings" suggest some smartphones house nearly 70 times more germs than your average toilet, while iPhones tend to be around 50% filthier than their Android counterparts. 

Unfortunately, the researchers have neglected to question the Apple fanboy brigade about what it is they do with their devices that cause them to be so dirty. Or perhaps they just really didn't want to know the answer.  

Tablets were also singled out for harbouring dangerous levels of "potentially harmful bacteria" on the basis that these devices are often used by children. 

Tablets are also widely used within the business community, but only one of these user groups has a reputation for being a bunch of germ-riddled, virus spreaders. We'll leave you to determine which. 

Bargain Hunt US: Dumped Apple I computer sells for £130,000

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A hunt has been launched for an elderly lady in America who unwittingly dumped a rare Apple I computer, worth more than £130,000, at a recycling centre.

The lady in question donated the computer, which sports a whopping 4k memory, along with a load of other computing components that belonged to her late husband at Clean Bay Recycling Centre in San Francisco.

Only 200 Apple I devices were ever made, and just 63 (how very precise) are thought to still exist today, but the donator was apparently unaware of its value. Or maybe she was, and was just fed up with it taking up space in her spare room.

That's totally understandable, and the reason why Downtime recently donated its Fabergé egg and Ming vase collection to the local Oxfam shop, because they were just cluttering up the place.

Luckily, the recycling centre's staff clearly have an eye for these kinds of things (or at least an eBay account) and sold it to a private collector for £131,000.
They've now launched a nationwide search for the lady, who is said to be in her 60s or 70s, so they can pass on the takings from the sale to her. Here's hoping that they find her.

Data thieves face the music

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We found out this week that the younger generation are pretty lazy when it comes to protecting their payment data, with 20% of 16 to 24-year-olds having shared their PIN with a third party.

With lazy consumers such as this, you wouldn't think it would be too hard to take them for all they have.

In a half-hearted attempt at stealing customer's PINs and account numbers, a group of thieves as lackadaisical as their targets used duct tape to attach a poorly disguised iPod nano device to take pictures of PINs while a fake front recorded card data.

As the following tweet from Greater Manchester Police suggests, they didn't get away with it:

Finally, the gadget we've all been waiting for... iSPOON

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This is what every gadget-loving foodie needs in their kitchen - an iSpoon.

Remember the last time you were using the Jamie Oliver app on your iPad and confused your stylus with your wooden spoon, consequently getting passata all over the screen of your shiny device? Or have you ever tried to tap away at your iPhone with your wooden spoon?

Well the iSpoon is now here to solve those problems. No need to get a fancy device with wave-on functionality to save your sticky fingers, double up and have a spoon AND your stylus do the work.


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One-in-20 people use their mobiles during sex

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Yes, you read the headline right, more than half of people regularly use their mobile devices in bed, with 5% shockingly using their mobile while in the middle of having sex with their partner.*

Narly half check their social networks and emails on their mobile devices instead of listening to their partner, while 40% use their phones while sat on the toilet - please remember to wash your hands!

So apparently 45% of people admit that technology prevents them from ever truly switching off and relaxing in their spare time. Well we don't know about relaxing, but if there's a drop in birth rates next year, we can all blame the iPhone 5.

*Study conducted by UK technology manufacturer, Storage Options

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Gambling for nerds

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Accumulator, seven fold, odds on. Are these, along with everything football, a foreign language to you? Have you been the odd one out when your friends popped down to the bookies to have a flutter?


Following the news that Apple is planning to hold 'educational announcement' in New York on the 19th of this month, bookmakers Paddy Power have revealed they will be taking bets on the subject of the announcement. 

The bookies favourite (the one with the best odds, if you don't know the lingo) is Electronic/Digital textbooks' at 1/6.

The other options they are taking bets on are:

6/1     iPad Lite
9/1     iPad 3
14/1     Return of the iMac desktop
16/1     Apple Television set
20/1     iPhone 5
40/1     Apple Robot Teacher

Downtime would love to see a Apple Robot Teacher and at odds of 40/1 it is worth a punt.....
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Does this not make the UK's Chief Rabbi a hypocrite?

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Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, Britian's Chief Rabbi, may have backtracked a little too far on comments he made a few days ago.

Rabbi Sacks was giving a speech on consumerism when he reportedly said, 'The consumer society was laid down by the late Steve Jobs coming down the mountain with two tablets, iPad one and iPad two, and the result is that we now have a culture of iPod, iPhone, iTunes, i, i, i.'

Despite his suggestion that the late Steve Jobs was like Moses, I am pretty sure Jobs never did, or was capable of, splitting the Red Sea. Anyway, this is besides the point.

Rabbi Sacks was basically trying to express that he feels consumer ethics make us want what we don't have, rather than enjoying what we do have.

In an email to TheRegister, the office of the Chief Rabbi clarified his comments and added that he meant no criticism of either Steve Jobs personally or the contribution Apple has made to the development of technology in the 21st century.

It went on to reveal that he also admires both and indeed uses an iPhone and an iPad on a daily basis. 

Oh, so it's okay because the Rabbi already had an iPhone and iPad, meaning he could enjoy them and not covet them. 

So, in summary, the Chief Rabbi was just pointing out the potential dangers of consumerism when taken too far. Although, it would appear that he has bowed to the tempation of Apple's apparent 'i,i,i' culture himself. 

Samsung mock Apple iPhone fans in new advert

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Samsung and Apple have been going head to head for months now but after Apple secured a court ruling in Germany banning the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being put on sale, things turned sour. 

It got so petty at one point that the pair were even arguing over who produced the 'worlds thinnest smartphone'.

It doesn't look like they will be kissing and making up any time soon either as Samsung has been able to skirt Apple's ban in Germany by creating a modified Galaxy Tab 10.1.
But secondly, and more amusingly, Samsung has also released a new advert which pokes fun at Apple fanatics. 

The advert for the Galaxy SII shows Samsung users talking to people who are queuing for the new iPhone 4S. Funnily enough Samsung have those in the queue make themselves look foolish.

Highlights include a guy in a hat, speaking about the 4S, saying 'if it looks the same, how will anyone know I upgraded'. Passers-by then amaze them with their phones, that is until they discover they are Samsungs, with one bearded gentleman adding 'I could never get a Samsung, I'm too creative'. 

So it looks like Samsung are all to happy to mock Apple users as well as the company. I can't see this ending well. 

'Most hated family in America' announce plans to picket Steve Jobs' funeral using iPhone

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It seems members of the Westboro Baptist Church (WBC), who plan to stage a protest at the funeral of Steve Jobs, may not fully understand the meaning of irony after they used an iPhone to tweet their intentions. 

The group, which was started by Fred Phelps and consists mainly of his family, featured in a Louis Theroux documentary entitled 'The most hated family in America' back in 2007. 

The WBC believe that America is being punished for allowing the practice of homosexuality and have become infamous for picketing soldier's funerals with offensive and shocking home-made signs.

They feel Jobs should have used his wealth and power to promote their (somewhat-warped) interpretation of the Bible, whilst they are also unhappy that Apple were often voted one of the most gay-friendly employers.

Phelps and co, who in the past have even protested against Twitter despite using it on a daily basis (hypocrite springs to mind), were quickly pulled up for using an iPhone to post their tweet but responded by saying, We're not against technology; we're against using it to promote what God hates." 

New CEO Tim Cook should take some of the profits made off the iPhone 4S and buy the WBC's Church, tear it to the ground, then build a Steve Jobs memorial site in its place. 

Shopping trolleys with built in iPad docks coming to a supermarket near you?

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Sky and Sainsbury's are here to rescue of all of us who are forced to meander aimlessly around supermarkets at the weekend, dragged away from the sofa and the lure of the beautiful game.

A Sainsbury's store on Cromwell Road, West London, is trialing a trolley fitted with a solar-powered iPad dock and speakers. All you need to watch Premier League stars dribble skillfully down the wing, whilst you drag your feet down the fruit and veg aisle, is your own iPad and the Sky Go app.

As you become more engrossed in what you're watching you would imagine that one immediate problem this could throw up is the potential to lose focus and control of a trolley, which aren't easy to control at the best of times. However, Sainsbury's have got this covered. two words.... proximity sensors.

We're unsure as to whether little beeps would be adequate enough to prevent you from mowing down an unsuspecting child who's wandering around but it's better than nothing.


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