Even those look a bit old fashioned now as someone has come up with an e-cig that does everything but wipe your hole.
A company called Supersmoker have made an e-cigarette which is also a Bluetooth headset AND something that can stream MP3s from a smartphone. Presumably you can set it up so it plays ‘Smoke Gets In Your Eyes while you’re having a toot at a bus stop.
The company excitedly shriek: ”World first! In 2007, we introduced the first electronic cigarette in the world; 7 years later, we are changing the world of electronic smoking for good with the first Supersmoker that can be used to make calls and receive via Bluetooth and play music via the built-in microphone!”
It’ll cost you 80 Euro, which is around £65, to have a pretend cigarette that can sing to you. If you’re at all interested, visit supersmokerbluetooth.
It’ll be the Samsung that has a curved screen and it seems that there’ll be two versions to get your hands on. It has been much muttered about and there’s a lot of noise about them swapping the Amoled screen for an LCD one instead.
Further rumours state that the device will have a 16 megapixel rear camera and a 2 megapixel front camera with Snapdragon, as well as an improved processor. They won’t be having something that scans the iris of your eye though.
So what are Samsung up to? Well, while many – notably Apple – are talking about a world where there are no desktop PCs, Samsung are joining suit and releasing a load of products that aim to replace notebooks, desktops and laptops. Their new products – the new Galaxy TabPro and the Galaxy NotePro – show that they think the future lies in having a load of tablets and related devices.
The new tablets go on sale at the end of this February and the beginning of March and the high-end versions of the new products will have a large 12.2-inch display. Seems like a gamble as previous attempts at releasing huge tablets didn’t go down too well at all. Samsung are betting that the more tabs they release, the better.
The new devices will be fitted with Office-esque programs that work on Android (called Hancom Office) and they’ll, for the most part, be compatible with their Microsoft counterparts.
Are Samsung correct that we’re all moving toward a solely touchscreen world or are they jumping the gun? Are offices going to start binning off all their desktops in favour of giant tablets? Seems unlikely.
Ever taken a ride on a bicycle and thought “hey, I like this getting around on two wheels lark, but I wish there was a way of enhancing the experience somewhat”?
Then HELP IS AT HAND with Trotify.
Trotify describes itself as ‘a delightful addition to any bicycle for a rider who likes a touch of whimsy. Simply attach the wooden device to the front of your bike. As your front wheel spins, it mimics the sound of a horse trotting’.
Oh yes, this is a thing now.
If this sounds like your nosebag, take a canter along to Trotify.com where you can order one, and perhaps some mugs and a tote too.
It’s the year of the horse after all.
It’s all go with Apple this year, as they’re planning on not only launching two new larger iPhones this year, but look like they’re going to incorporate a SwiftKey function too.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple’s launches plan to avoid using the plastic exterior casing of last year’s model (which – boohoo – sold badly), but also to develop an iPhone with a 4.5 inch display and another one with a screen bigger than 5 inches.
Size clearly being a thing here, all those iPhone fans can queen it up with theirs being bigger than others. There might also be a war at some point hopefully, and some sort of perspective bombshell might make these same people look a bit insane.
This is seen as a bid to increase Apple’s market in Asia, as their rivals with their bigger screens seem to be leaving them for dust.
SwiftKey – a third party keyboard that can be installed on Android devices – connects to an Evernote account which makes it easier to enter text, tags, notebook and real time syncing, but there’s no swiping input – one of the key features. While still quite clunky on the iPhone (it would seem Apple are being a bit arms-length about it) it’s a great little app in general.
Nintendo have been losing money and seen their stocks falling, so it looked for all the world like they were going to sell Mario off to other platforms so stay relevant.
However, it seems that they’ve got a plan. Whether it is a good one or not, we’ll just have to wait and see. Nintendo are going to focus on making themselves vital to those who want to get healthy at home.
At a meeting for investors and the media, CEO Satoru Iwata pointed toward Nintendo’s future, saying that the company plan to create a third platform to accompany the Wii U and 3DS.
“What Nintendo will try to achieve in the next 10 years is a platform business that improves people’s [quality of life] in enjoyable ways,” said Iwata.
Basically, while other platforms focus on video games which are designed to distract, Nintendo will go all out into their world of Wii Fit, Brain Age and the like.
“As those who are already suffering from illness can seek medical care, our new business domain would… enable people to monitor their health,” Iwata said. “However, what is generally good for health requires some kind of effort to be made by the individual, and… it is sometimes difficult to stay focused and engaged, and it is not uncommon to give up after a few days.”
“This is where our strength as an entertainment company to keep our consumers engaged and entertained comes into play,” he added.
Looks like Nintendo hope to sell devices to people who wouldn’t normally buy a console and more at the keep-fit DVD and self-help market. It’s a lucrative sector as well, so if Nintendo pull this off, they could be getting spikes of sales during the post-Christmas comedown every year.
Google Glass is a lot of things, but handsome ain’t one. With drivers getting pestered by the police for wearing them and the FBI chucking cinema-goers out, they’ve not exactly set the world on fire. And so, to try and make them more desirable, Google have said that you’ll now be able to get Glass as part of some prescription specs.
This is still US-only, but it gives us a clue as to how this wearable technology will look by the time it rolls out worldwide.
For the moment, people can buy the frames from Google for $225 a pop, with the Glass technology itself a further $1,500. You’ll have to get your lenses fitted yourself though. You can buy four frames from Google’s Glass store; Bold, Split, Curve and Thin.
Of course, these frames are aimed at the sort of people you’d expect to find in a graphic design company, but if Google aren’t careful, they’re going to end up making people look like embarrassing salesmen with Bluetooth headsets on.
Hands up if you actually want to own Google Glass.
It would seem this chap (who is, unusually, remaining anonymous) was hassled by the cinema staff and police, who thought he was surreptitiously recording the film. Whereas he’d actually had prescription lenses fitted into his new overlord technology and seemingly had it stapled to his head.
Ideally if you’re one of those people who are so incredibly important that you go to see a film with the internet on your face, then it’s fair do’s. Bearing in mind that Google Glass allows users to use it by voice command, it seems that even wearing a pair in a cinema would be daft. Even as the man, and his equally anonymous wife, were watching Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit. There isn’t a command or the technology to ask Google Glass to stop a film being unwatchable. Yet.
AMC employees rather clumsily called the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), who then called homeland security instead of just turfing the man out. The man was held for an hour as the possible crime was looked into.
It all ended happily enough however, when after being beaten and waterboarded (joke), the man offered to connect his glasses to a laptop and prove he wasn’t a thief. He’s been given four free passes to the AMC cinema chain, although the tinge of the staff not actually apologising for the kerfuffle has only angered the man further. That’s what you get for not getting films from a torrent and watching them at home.
According to The Guardian, Spotify, using sensors on the listener’s body or in their smartphone, will turn that into appropriate music. If things progress, there are plans afoot to even start monitoring your patterns and mood.
It’s all a tad mental and a slide into a too much information-style future, where Spotify will be able to detect that Swans’ The Seer may not be quite the thing to work out to, and will offer tunes they feel more suited to it.
Will they, like most humans, be able to detect that Licensed To Ill will help you run ten miles on a treadmill (albeit never being able to walk again afterwards)? Bitterwallet thinks not.
The Guardian goes on to claim that Spotify might – somewhat creepily – “automatically generate playlists based on activities such as workouts, driving, sleeping or late-night working, without user interaction.” And no doubt chalk up another tiny cheque for the artist as a bonus.
WHO ISN’T A WINNER HERE, EH?
The Sinclair ZX Spectrum is being revived thanks to a Kickstarter project from gaming company Elite (their Speccy release of Airwolf, incidentally, was one of the most infuriating game ever), who are attempting to raise £60,000 by the end of January.
What are their aims? Well, they want to release a Bluetooth version of the iconic Spectrum keyboard which will be compatible with tablets and smartphones.
Elite say that it will have a default ‘GAME Layer’ mode “so the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum acts as a controller for the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum running on iOS / Android (and later Windows) phones and tablets. In this mode it offers authentic, rubber-key play control over the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum apps.”
There will also be an optional ‘QWERTY Layer’ mode, where the Bluetooth ZX Spectrum acts as a Bluetooth keyboard where you’ll be able to send emails and play games with the other apps and programs on your PC or Mac.
If the Kickstarter is successful, the new Spectrum will retail for somewhere between £39.99 and £49.99. There’s more info on Elite’s BluetoothZXSpectrum page or, if you want to watch some videos and looks their Kickstarter, then click here.
There’s a lot of concern regarding a company called Alpine Electronics. Not to be confused with the Alpine who make car accessories, but rather, a site people have spotted some bargains that appeared to be too good to be true. And, it appears they were indeed not to be believed.
The company, trading via alpineelectronicsltd.co.uk had offers on cheap consoles. After taking numerous orders, the site is now down and it appears that all orders have gone with it.
BW staff contacted the numbers that were on the site before it went down, and there’s no answer. After finding the address of the company, we called the company next door and found that Alpine Electronics had upped sticks and moved on. The person we spoke to admitted that they’d taken numerous calls regarding this matter.
Looking at scamvoid/alpineelectronicsltd, it seems this was a very new company, which makes it difficult to assume that this is anything but a scam.
Over on HUKD, there’s a lot of discussion about the company, with one user noting too many indescrepencies (see here), and lots of comments about emails going unanswered and phone calls which were vague about the company’s history. Many customers have said that they’ve received fake DHL emails about delivery.
Amazon customers have also been talking about Alpine Electronics, with many feeling they’ve been duped. Some customers have already contacted the police about the matter.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE AN ALPINE ELECTRONICS ORDER?
To be safe, it is worth getting in touch with your credit/debit card company or call Action Fraud on 0300 1232040. When contacting Action Fraud, be sure to let them know that the company has vacated their premises, which means they won’t instruct you to send a Breach Of Contract letter to Alpine. Your bank should stand the cost of the transaction, but you’ll need to contact them for more details.
Should your bank prove difficult, remind them that you are in fact protected by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act whenever you make a purchase for goods or services worth between £100 and £30,000 using your credit card. Section 75 states that you and your credit card provider are “jointly and severally liable” for your purchase. That means, if you’re scammed, your card provider must refund you if the retailer won’t.
Most debit card providers offer protection also. A scheme called Chargeback offers protection on purchases made using Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard and Maestro debit cards. This makes it possible for you to claim a refund if your transaction is unsatisfactory (goods not being delivered, multiple billing, fraud). Claims must be made within 120 days of when your goods should have been delivered and ask your bank to initiate the Chargeback process and a dispute will be opened by your bank.
If Chargeback fails, take your claim to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
We spoke about the interesting PhoneBloks project, where you can upgrade bits of your mobile like people used to do with their PCs, and it seems Google and Motorola have taken notice.
The Google-owned company has announced that they’re going to consult with Phonebloks inventor Dave Hakkens to develop a “free, open hardware platform for creating highly modular smartphones” under the name Project Ara.
Motorola have said that they’ll be working with Hakkens to develop their “common vision” and that the phone-maker will be handling the “deep technical work”, allowing Hakkens to develop and empowers the community, which presumably means he’ll be an ambassador for the product.
“We want to do for hardware what the Android platform has done for software: create a vibrant third-party developer ecosystem, lower the barriers to entry, increase the pace of innovation, and substantially compress development timelines,” say Motorola, adding: ”A module can be anything, from a new application processor to a new display or keyboard, an extra battery, a pulse oximeter– or something not yet thought of!”
Could this be the next big thing in mobile manufacturing or is this a nerd-only pursuit?
Word is that the sell-everything behemoth is plotting to bring out its own tablet, using the Kindle Fire as a template. Due in the shops pre-Christmas, the as-yet-unnamed device will come pre-loaded with books, films and music (according to The Sunday Times).
There’ll also be loads of other Tesco-related content on there, including apps for the supermarket’s grocery site, banking and its Blinkbox streaming TV/film/music shizzle.
What about THAT then, dear readers? Would you be seen dead (or even alive) with a portable Tesco machine clasped in your hand? Or will it sink without trace within six months?
The application was made on June 3rd with Bloomberg saying that the filing categorises the product as both a watch device and handheld computer. This comes on the back of the rumour that 100 product designers were working on the smartwatch.
Apple, of course, are already playing catch-up with Sony launching Smartwatch 2. Their device is water resistant and has NFC and now, with Foxconn saying they were getting involved in the race, all eyes are on Apple.
Samsung and Google are said to be developing their own wrist-wrapping devices but no-one knows who out of the big three will get a product out first. Now Sony are out of the traps, it seems likely that it won’t be long before someone else gets one out.
Thing is, is there actually any demand?
And it has an irritating name too! This ‘Talk to the Hand’ initiative sees the designer turning vintage Miu Miu and Pineider gloves with bits of old handsets, supplied by O2 Recycling.
The gloves will have a speaker unit in the thumb and a microphone in the little finger, which will sync with the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth, which means you’ll be able to make calls without getting your actual phone out.
“I hope that my Talk to the Hand project will get people to think again about the waste created by not recycling gadgets,” said Miles. ”While these might not be for everyone, there are hundreds of other uses that old phones can be put to – from being reconditioned and used again to being mined for their components.”
“If a few more people recycle their gadgets rather than send them to landfill, I think this project will have fulfilled its aim.”
We’re hoping for underpants that act as a George Foreman grill.
The average Briton is now watching more drivel on telly, despite the fact that we own less actual televisions than we did a few years ago.
According to the TV Licensing Study, we used to watch 3 hours 26 minutes of TV as day in 2006, but now we watch over 4 hours. Sales of TVs, however, have fallen from 2.3m to 1.8m.
Obviously this is to do with changing habits, ie – taking to your bed at 7.30 with a laptop/ipad and gorging on Breaking Bad and then having dreams about licking crystal meth off Jesse Pinkman and waking up in a sea of toast crumbs and sweat. Or whatever YOU like doing.
Gone is the era of the family gathering around the goggle box as an excuse not to talk to each other. Now, we take our viewing where and when we can get it, using a mixture of live TV, catch-up services and streamed online content.
The survey also turned up some vaguely baffling nuggets about what we like to watch. Although the UK loves comedy, we spend most of our time watching drama and news. People in the North East watch the most music videos, people in the West Midlands watch nearly 6 hours of educational TV a week, and old people love the shit out of cBeebies.
So are massive TVs in the living room on their way out, soon to be replaced by laptops and tablets attached to headboards and sofa armrests?