iwatch High time for iTime: Apple IS designing a smartwatch Smartwatch watchers, your hunch was correct. Apple have indeed been busy designing a smartwatch and were awarded a patent for a wrist-worn device with a touchscreen that can communicate with a smartphone.

The patent was submitted in 2011, but Apple’s secretive design manoeuvres mean that it wasn’t officially disclosed until yesterday.

On some of the documents, the device is called ‘iTime’ but as the name hasn’t been trademarked, it’s possible that idea has been ditched somewhere along the line.

The patent is for a device that can work either clipped into a wristband, or on its own.

But when connected to the wristband it turns into a smartwatch which includes ‘haptic sensors’ that mean you can control it with hand gestures (you probably know a number of ‘hand gestures’ you’d like to do at smartwatch wearers).

When will the watch finally appear? Who knows? But Apple say in the patent that there are: ‘continuing needs to make portable electronic devices smaller and more portable. There is also a continuing need to enhance functionalities of portable electronic devices.’

GET ON WITH IT THEN.

*taps watch*

Atari: Doing it for the gays

July 22nd, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Atari are launching a new game aimed at the gays.

After a variety of complaints that some computer games are a bit too heterosexual, Atari have come up with a LGBT-friendly title for iOS and Android called Pridefest.

pridefest 500x291 Atari: Doing it for the gays

The game is a social sim that invites players to create their own pride parade in a city of their choosing.

Currently in development for tablets and smartphones, the mobile game involves designing parades with “attractions and entertainment” in order to increase the happiness of a town. How jolly!

No doubt you could fill it with leathermen singing Male Stripper and your community will benefit greatly from it. Although one imagine it could bring the overall vibe down if you choose Sinitta to headline your Pride, like London did. That sort of madness leads to self-harm.

Players will be faced with a series of puzzles and challenges as they aim to unlock new decorations and festival supplies in order to increase the vibrancy of their respective parade.

Atari CEO, the humourously named Todd Shallbetter said: “We are excited to be developing Atari’s first LGBT-themed game that will give players of all backgrounds the chance to play a fun and unique game that represents a passionate cause.”

This move marks an interesting new direction for the beleageured Atari.

The company responsible for classic titles such as Pong and Centipede filed for bankruptcy protection in 2013, and then took to specialising in social casino sims and various mobile games thereafter.

Now, like everything else, it’s relying on the gays to help ‘em out.

BT can put all your phones in one phone

July 18th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

bt one phone BT can put all your phones in one phoneBT has launched BT One Phone for the business people

The service will allow business people to receive office and mobile calls to a single device and reduce the risk of them missing important calls. Great for people having affairs with their underlings as well.

The BT One Phone helps streamline calls to any device all into one place. A bit like an email server which aggregates all your accounts. But on a phone.

All phone numbers for the individual are linked to one mobile device, meaning they can manage their calls from anywhere.

Graham Sutherland, CEO of BT Business, said:

“With an increasingly mobile and demanding workforce, businesses need communications technology that is as flexible as they are. Missed calls mean missed business. Today’s announcement, combined with the upcoming launch of our 4G services, demonstrates our ongoing commitment to the increasingly mobile UK workforce.”

Users would need a BT One Phone SIM to gain access to the cloud-based call management service, with which they can receive calls from all of their various phone lines. This gives professionals more control, increasing productivity even when away from the office.

Or to translate that for you – YOU WILL NEVER BE ABLE TO ESCAPE.

Snoopsome administrators will also be able to manage employee access by activating or deactivating employee SIM cards, managing call groups etc. Probably at will, when the fancy takes them and you’ll get all paranoid and neck a box of painkillers.

The future, ladies and gentlemen.

Facebook: Now a shop

July 18th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

facebook buy 300x300 Facebook: Now a shopFacebook are adding a “buy” button to their site.

END OF DAYS!

The feature will allow users of the Facebook to buy things directly from the site and shoppers can push the button to purchase items in adverts or other posts without leaving the social network.

An omnipotent force known simply as Facebook said this will “help businesses drive sales”.

Facebook are being all very reassuring by saying this new feature will be safe and secure, especially after the concerns raised by the recent hack of eBay, which exposed the data of 145 million or so customers.

Oh here’s Facebook piping up again: ”We’ve built this feature with privacy in mind, and have taken steps to help make the payment experience safe and secure,”

“None of the credit or debit card information people share with Facebook when completing a transaction will be shared with other advertisers, and people can select whether or not they’d like to save payment information for future purchases.”

So yes, you can feel safe and delete your details immediately after each transaction, but that information is still likely to be quietly stored somewhere, and the next time Facebook is down for an agonising 20 minutes or so, you’ll be panicking.

Beats By Dre Beats headphones are too bass heavy claim madpeopleBeats by Dre, or rather its president, has defended the sound quality of the company’s headphones.

In an interview with BBC Newsbeat, Luke Wood pooh-poohed the idea that the headphones were too bass heavy.

“I’ve certainly heard that as an opinion on the headphone, I disagree. We didn’t go to build a reference headphone, something you build in the studio that is really a technical tool to hear when you are recording.”

Adding: “If you look at Dre’s pedigree, Jimmy’s (Iovine) pedigree, even my pedigree, we are all recording engineers. What we did is build a headphone for playback. What does it sound like right when it is finished? And that is what we’ve accomplished.”

Exactly, surely the idea of buying some headphones invented by people who enjoy a bit of bass, saying that they’re a bit bass heavy defeats the point somewhat.

Wood also refused to discuss pesky rumours about sockets on Apple products being changed to accept only Beats headphones following Apple buying Beats earlier this year.

“I’m not here to talk about Apple with you today,” he said. “The truth is that the deal has not closed with Apple, which it will shortly, once it goes through regulatory approval. And at that point we’ll actually sit down with Apple and figure it out. But right now, the truth is there’s absolutely no plans made.”

As you may recall, Apple is set to buy Dr Dre’s Beats Music streaming affair and headphone company for $3 billion, which is nice seeing as Dre can’t be arsed to make music anymore.

“Bass heavy”. Honestly. You Herberts want the moon on a stick.

Cabbies go cashless

July 15th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

london cab 300x225 Cabbies go cashlessLondon, and it seems that to get around these days, you don’t need any cash.

Well actually you do, to charge up your Oysters and all that, but a London cab driver is trialling Barclay’s Pingit app for the next week.

It allows the fare on the meter to be transferred between bank accounts within 30 seconds.

Mr Cable, who has been a London black cab driver for 23 years, told the Independent: “I am always up for trying new technology to help make mine and my passengers’ lives easier.”

He’s Mr Future basically, as he was also the first cabbie to accept chip and pin cards in 2004.

“It means I have more time on the road to earn money – rather than stopping off at the bank to pay in my earnings or pulling up at ATMs for passengers with the risk of getting a hefty parking fine,” he added.

Of course, you can still probably get away with doing a runner if you’re that way inclined, but we’d never advise readers to do anything like that.

A man named Darren Foulds, the director of Barclays Mobile and Pingit, said: “We are always keen to support new ways to make people’s lives easier. This trial really demonstrates the huge potential for mobile payments as they gain more widespread use.”

The app will use QR codes (SEE? THERE IS A USE FOR THEM AFTER ALL) and can access any bank account when cash is needed for their fare.

Uber, meanwhile…

Now you can control things with your mind

July 10th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

mindwave 300x203 Now you can control things with your mindThe future is still utterly terrifying, with news that London start-up This Place has developed a way to let users control Google Glass with THEIR MIND.

The app entitled MindRDR converts the wearer’s brainwaves and turns those into commands for the head-mounted devices.

So basically, you can utilise your brainwaves for evil and make like some techno Damien or literally become Scanners.

The brainwaves are harvested by NeuroSky, and translated into commands to the wearable.

By simply concentrating or relaxing, the user can operate the device, as wearers will see a horizontal line that sits in the middle of the screen which moves up the more they concentrate and down the more they relax.

Once the line reaches the top of the screen, Google Glass will take a photo. The user can then decide to share the picture on social media, by raising the line again, or discard it by letting the line fall to the bottom.

ortunately, taking and uploading pics is all MindRDR can do, but the plan is to making it an open source affair.

he man who will be a target when robots from the future come for him, Dusan Hamlin, said MindRDR could eventually “enable those with locked-in syndrome, severe multiple sclerosis or quadriplegia to interact with the wider world using Google Glass”.

Oooh actually, that’s quite a good benefit.

While Chloe Kirton, who’ll no doubt be screaming as weapons are fired come the robopocalypse, said the company wer already in talks with world-famous physicist Steven Hawking, who suffers from Motor Neurone Disease, and others “about the possibilities MindRDR could bring as the product evolves”.

OH LOOK LET’S JUST WATCH A VIDEO

Technology, eh?

New iPhone has bigger, stab-proof screen

July 9th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

iPhone 6 concept NowhereElse and Martin Hajek 004 220x300 New iPhone has bigger, stab proof screenAccording to a video, the new iPhone is going to have a bigger screen, which will be made out of something so unbreakable that, if you try and smash it up, you’ll probably bleed to death before you make a dent in it.

Here’s hoping.

This iPhone 6 screen measures 4.7 inches diagonally and is made from sapphire crystal glass. The thing with this new glass thingummy is that it is hard to break and very tough to scratch. That means you won’t be wrecking your phone with whatever is in your pocket (keys, coin, Steely Dan dildo, whatever).

Marques Brownlee, who leaked the new screen, said: “When I get it in the mail and open up the package, it’s pretty easy to tell if it’s a fake or something someone made.”

“It’s pretty clear to me that this is an Apple part.”

So there you have it. A bit of a new phone which looks relatively impressive if you like looking at bits of phones.

If you’d like to see a bit of a phone in action, then the glaringly obvious video below this sentence is where you want to be. Click play and then mutter to yourself; “I bet I could break it.”

Amazon opens wearable tech store

July 9th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

amazon wearable technology 300x150 Amazon opens wearable tech storeTax-dodging internet shopping vessel Amazon has launched a dedicated store for ‘wearable’ technology in the UK.

The store will be offering more than 100 different wearable devices including activity trackers, smart watches, smart glasses and wearable cameras.

As well as items from top brands including Sony, Samsung, Garmin, Jawbone and GoPro, emerging brands like Basis and Misfit, as well as more unusual items like British fashion designer Adrien Sauvage’s wireless charging trousers.

WIRELESS CHARGING TROUSERS.

Customers will also be able to keep an eye on future developments in wearable tech, and can eventually submit themselves fully to the hive for final processing when they’ve scooped up all the necessary gadgets.

The new store also features a ‘Learning Centre’ featuring product details, compatibility information, images and videos, reviews and in-depth buying guides, as well as expert recommendations.

Let’s hear what suitably futuristically named Xavier Garambois, who is the vice president of EU retail at Amazon, has to say:

“The advances in wearable technology mean that customers can now charge their phone through their clothing, monitor their sleep patterns and even track their pets,”

“This new store allows customers to find whatever they are looking for in one place – whether that is tracking fitness, staying connected through smart watches or capturing every adventure with wearable cameras.”

Wearable technology has already caused a fair bit of fuss as one of the things of the year, and looks likely to become some of the must-have gadgets for the Christmas market.

The global market for wearable technology was reportedly worth $2.7 billion (£1.6bn) in revenue in 2012 and is expected to reach $8.3 billion (£4.9bn) in 2018.

And you thought that your mate with Google Glass was already insufferable, it is going to get worse.

vodafone Vodafone WorldTraveller data cap aint all thatVodafone data cap is a load of crap.

It has transpired that the mobile company’s £5 WorldTraveller data cap, which lets you use your regular data allowance when on holiday, doesn’t apply to mobile broadband deals.

So while those with a phone and a pay monthly plan will be able to pay an extra fiver to use their phone as they normally would, you won’t be able to do the same if you’ve got a USB dongle or a wireless MiFi.

Vodafone have admitted that, while you can’t use the MiFis abroad without totalling up a huge bill, you can use WiFi tethering on your phone to connect to other devices.

The £5 a day WorldTraveller deal can be used in the USA, India, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Ghana, Qatar and South Africa. It complements Vodafone’s existing EuroTraveller deal, which currently costs £2 a day and is going up to £3 in August.

The Vodafone offer is not unlike Three’s Feel at Home deal, except that Three lets customers use their UK minutes, text and data for no extra cost in some countries.

This new offer also comes ahead of EU talks on abolishing roaming charges altogether. As data roaming in the EU has been capped at 20 cents per MB, and customers will have to weigh up whether Vodafone’s daily offer works out better than just letting your phone roam as usual.

If you’re outside Vodafone’s WorldTraveller and EuroTraveller countries, you won’t be charged any more than £41.29 for data. Once you’ve reached this ceiling limit you’ll be sent a text and you won’t be able to access internet services, unless you opt out and agree to pay more.

Look everyone! Instagram for Children!

July 8th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

popjam 300x187 Look everyone! Instagram for Children!The company behind Moshi Monsters have invented an ‘Instagram for kids’.

Mind Candy have created the new app called PopJam, which will allow the nippers to create art and stories and games and that, and share them with fellow users around the world.

The app is similar to Instagram in that users can follow their friends or other users if they like their creations, and they can also ‘like’ and comment and draw responses to other creations that pop up in their feed.

As well as all the fun, there’ll be stuff from Natalia Vodianova, who will teach about philanthropy and they’re also in talks with Jamie Oliver about teaching the kids about food and nutrition.

The Mind Candy man speaketh!: “One of our key learnings from the six years of building Moshi Monsters has been how much kids love to create, share and show-off,” said Michael Acton Smith. ”We love the idea of empowering kids with digital tools and then seeing what they come up with.”

Of course there’s the danger that your child could be chatting with a friend who turns out to be an obese 50-something with his underwear around his ankles, but Mind Candy hope they’ve got that covered, as contributions will be monitored and moderated by a team headed up by Mind Candy’s online community expert Rebecca Newton. Children are also discouraged from sharing selfies unless they are disguised with stickers.

Michael again: “Creating a product like this is full of complex challenges but we feel very strongly that without a viable community designed for this younger demographic, kids under 13 will continue using apps designed for over 13 year olds like Instagram, SnapChat and Tumblr,”

“PopJam is a walled garden where kids can be kids.”

Skype redesigned for iPhone

July 3rd, 2014 4 Comments By Ian Wade

skype Skype redesigned for iPhoneSkype has had a redesign for its iPhone app.

The chatty visualisation joy of Skype, has introduced a new interface and has added a functionality that focuses on ‘user conversations and chat’.

The design is apparently a “total re-write and redesign of the app” according to Skype creative lead Jesse Boyce and  “takes inspiration from iOS7, Microsoft’s modern UI design language and Skype’s brand equity”

Brand equity‘ there.

This now includes photo sharing, and the ability to start a group chat.

The interface has been made simpler, features include Recents, Favourites and Finding people, users can receive IM messages offline, and they can see chats and chat history across devices.

Perfect for touring Northern comedians who like sexing people up behind their wife’s back when they’re feeling depressed in a Travelodge.

To show off the new Skype, Boyce created an ‘awareness film’ starring illustrator Kate Moross and Jamie Elliot of fabricators JAILmake who have collaborated by using Skype for iPhone to create a  Skype logo “to demonstrate the revamped product in a real world context” and “celebrate the handcrafted tech inherent in the product” he says, in a bid to spout as many branding-bollocks bingo keywords as possible.

There’s a film on a microsite and sits alongside demonstration clips. Photographer Kate Booker has captured stills and video footage of Kate Moross and Jamie Elliot “to extend the story and narrative across all creative assets” says Boyce.

We Really Want… a Synek beer machine!

July 2nd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

beer 282x300 We Really Want... a Synek beer machine!All hail the Synek Kickstarter! Why? Well, this crowdfunder enables you to have any beer you want, at home, with the help of your computer. That’s nice isn’t it?

Obviously, you could just go to the shop and buy bottles of whatever your favourite tipple is, but this is for the homebrewer sort, who wants things a little different.

So, here’s the deal – you know what a growler is? Quiet at the back of class. A growler is a heavy glass jug that can store beer for transportation, which preserves some of the freshness. The Synek employs a plastic pouch, which has a tube system from your tap and can store one gallon of beer and is airtight so everything stays fresh.

You can fill it up with your homebrew or, if you prefer, waddle down the local with it and get them to fill it up with your favourite draught booze. Once you have a pouch full of liquid (seriously, stop sniggering at the back there), you pop it in Synek and you can then pull it straight from the tap.

While a growler keeps your beer for a couple of days, Synek reckons you can have lovely draught beer for up to a month. You can even keep your pouch in the fridge and swap one beer for another.

It’ll set you back $299 for the full shebang, which is roughly the same price as a fancy(ish) coffee machine.

If you’re already too drunk to concentrate on reading words, let this video explain what the Synek beer machine does (and enjoy Steve’s great sweary intro).

If you want to contribute to the Kickstarter and put some money up, click here.

Mobile phones to be less hassle abroad

June 30th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

mobile phone 300x225 Mobile phones to be less hassle abroadOne in six people who own a mobile phone, have admitted that they get shocked when they forget how much it costs to use it.

Many mobile phoners have used their phone on holiday, but have tend to forget the extra that can be run up when a-roaming.

However, that hopefully looks like it is all over as from midnight tonight, the EU’s Roaming Regulation will lower the price caps for data downloads when you are travelling within the European Union.

Although there’s a lack of knowledge about these caps and what they mean.

Which!!! executive director Richard Lloyd said: ”Capping EU mobile roaming charges is welcome news for millions of travellers, especially those who have faced expensive charges for data roaming when their mobile hasn’t even left their suitcase. Consumers travelling within the EU should now be much clearer on the charges they have to pay.”

Which we can all agree is quite a good thing.

The maximum charge for outgoing calls, excluding VAT, will now be 10p per minute, around 3p for outgoing text messages, and 16p for a MB download of data. These caps will only apply to the nations within the EU.

Four in ten people reckon they didn’t know they had a right to challenge their mobile phone provider if they received an excessive bill after using their phone abroad. And a further 48% of people didn’t know that if they have capped their mobile phone usage with their provider, they can refuse to pay the bill for their phone usage above the cap level.

So that’s good to know then, next time you’ve clocked up several grand by accident, you can turn around and shout at your provider.

Google’s week of wonder continues

June 26th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

Samsung Expands Gear Portfolio with Android Wear2 300x300 Googles week of wonder continuesMy, Google have been busy lately announcing this that and the other.

Now they’ve announced their first smartwatches, powered by its Android Wear operating doodah, and they now available for pre-order.

The LG G Watch and Samsung Gear Live (look over there, it’s a picture of one) – both featuring rectangular screens – mark an attempt to standardise the way Android wearable devices function. Google also mentioned that Motorola’s circular Moto 360 would not be released until late Summer.

A gentleman by the name of Steffen Sorrell from Juniper Research told the BBC that: ”The problem with smartwatches so far has been that the sector hasn’t quite decided what it wants to be – is it a phone on your wrist or an accessory device.”

“Once you introduce Android Wear, it will hopefully provide a more focused case for what the devices are capable of. And that’s a direction that could invigorate the market.”

The G Watch should cost £145 and will be made available to 12 countries, such as Germany, France, Japan, US and here. Samsung said the Gear Live would cost (£118).

They’re out on July 7 and you’ll need to have a phone running Android 4.3 or above.

AND THAT’S NOT ALL

Google have also announced Android Auto for the car, which will feature voice-controlled access to Google Maps, text messaging and apps.

The voice recognition feature means that users should never have to remove their hands from the wheel of their vehicle to use the system.

They’re basically out to enslave us all then.