Posts Tagged ‘tech’
Forget guns, there’s soon going to be a 3D printer that can print out…PIZZA! The device, invented by Natural Machines of Barcelona, builds up layers of ingredients which you can ‘design’ using the control panel. It does pizza, pasta, and even cakes.
The ‘Foodini’ (see what they did, there?) goes on sale in the middle of next year and costs £835. The fresh ingredients come in capsules, like edible printer ink, and are sold separately.
But although it sounds really exciting and modern, printing out your food could be as time consuming as measuring out ingredients and preparing it yourself. And there’s one – fairly major – drawback. It doesn’t actually COOK it.
‘Foodini does not automate all your cooking, nor does it cook food. If necessary, it can keep food warm as it works as it contains a heating element.’ Said a spokesman for the company.
So instead of faffing around with capsules and a machine that costs the best part of a month’s wages, you could just go to the shops, get a frozen Dr Oetker for £2.99 and put it in the oven.
Yeah, let’s do that, instead.
Tesco, Aldi and Argos are all having a roaring time with their new budget tablets and so, Asda have got jealous and want in.
The Wal-Mart owned supermarket has confirmed that they’re ‘looking into’ bringing out their own device, but it won’t happen before Christmas.
Ayaz Alam, category director for electronics at Asda, said: “[Our own tablet] is something that we’re looking at. We want to make sure that if we did anything like that we are in a position to satisfy customers with exactly what they want.”
“The competition has felt the need to go and invest quickly in their own-label tablets and some have done horrendously badly. We are not about to make the same mistake. We will make sure we launch with great quality and great value,” he added bitchily.
We’ll have to wait and see if Asda put out their tablet under their own Polaroid brand, which they’re using to flog DAB radios and the like.
Asda are right to get on-board though. Tesco have shifted in advance of 300,000 units of their Hudl device, while Aldi’s LifeTab sold out in 24 hours. Tesco have already announced the enhanced Hudl2, prepped for 2014.
Are the big guns at Samsung and Google going to follow suit with mega cheap starter tablets? We know Apple won’t, but this could change the way people buy technology if the supermarkets are just going to undercut the major players.
The company held a press conference in New York and said that Spotify will be available in Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Malta, Micaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Slovakia and Uruguay. Seeing as they just legalised weed in Uruguay, we can assume all early listens will be reggae based.
Daniel Ek, head honcho of Spotify said: “We see a rapid increase in listening on tablets in the home instead of computers, and a large number of tablets are replacing PC so it doesn’t make sense to differentiate.”
“I genuinely believe that we’re giving people the best free music experience on the smartphone and tablet. By giving people more access to legal music we believe they will stream more. Along with more users there will be more subscribers and that will mean more revenue to the music industry.”
This new free version allows you to listen to playlists they’ve made as well as ‘shuffle play’ through the entire catalogue of an artist.
Websites that have illegally hosting copyrighted content on them are being targeted by the police, specifically the City of London Police in an operation headed-up by the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU).
61 websites have been identified and were asked to “correct their behaviour” and “operate legitimately”. Those not playing ball with the authorities were passed to brands with a request that they stop advertising on the sites.
Trying to throttle their revenue is all well and good, but this rather polite enforcement won’t deter pirates who will no doubt have worked out a way to avoid the long arm and stay in operation. For the time being, forty websites have now been suspended.
This operation is a partnership known as Operation Creative, which sees the police teaming up with advertising bodies and representatives of the music industries. However, you get the impression that trying to stop internet pirates is liking trying to catch rain in a butterfly net.
This pilot went on for three months and the PIPCU said the presence of advertising from brands went down by 12%. The kicker with that is famous brands were soon replaced by a sharp increase in adverts that showed explicit content or exposed users to malware.
“Operation Creative is being run… to really get to grips with a criminal industry that is making substantial profits by providing and actively promoting access to illegally obtained and copyrighted material,” said Supt Bob Wishart. ”However, if they refuse to comply we now have the means to persuade businesses to move their advertising to different platforms and, if offending continues, for registrars to suspend the websites.”
The operation is looking to roll out fully in 2014.
There’s always stories knocking around about smartphones catching fire. Now, again, there’s a report about a Samsung Galaxy S4. A YouTube user – Ghostlyrich – posted a video showing his S4 catching fire.
In response to this, Samsung said they would replace the handset, provided the video was removed from YouTube. Seems a bit heavy-handed when, with a little TLC, they could’ve come out of the incident looking like kindly aunts.
With that, Ghostlyrich has responded with another video showing fire damage to his phone. Samsung’s (alleged, lawyers) letter has also been stuck online too (have a look here).
This ties-in with another report earlier this year when an S4 exploded and burnt a house down in Hong Kong while the user was holding his device. See here for that story.
There have been stories about iPhones exploding and electrocuting people too (although most Apple problems arise from the use of third-party chargers.
In short, if you own a phone, might be worth buying a fire extinguisher.
Silly Peter. However, the season of goodwill is upon us and the high street’s CeX felt sorry for him and decided that they would donate an Xbox One to him in time for Christmas, ensuring that he can ignore his entire family in favour of playing Call Of Duty: Ghosts.
Peter said: “I’m just overwhelmed by the reaction to the story. All I wanted was a refund. I cannot believe this.”
So how did this all come about? Well, Clatworthy saved up to get his hands on a limited-edition, Day One version of the Xbox One as a surprise for his four-year-old son, McKenzie. He paid the asking price and the packaging and waited. However, the listing itself actually stated that it was a picture of an Xbox for sale, which Peter clearly missed.
Clatworthy also managed to get a full refund with the help of eBay, which is remarkable. The seller has been banned from the website, even though it seems Peter is the only one who has strictly done something wrong here.
Either way, he’s happy now and talking about CeX’s generosity, he added: “This shows there are some nice, kind people out there and it’s really overwhelming. I can’t thank them enough. I’ve had other people contact me to say they have been stung too but not reported it. I don’t think I’ll be shopping online anymore.”
He’s doing so well up until that last point wasn’t he? Anyway, The Mirror have pictures of Peter Clatworthy and his Xbox if you’d like to see him looking sad next to a hedge.
Do make sure you read eBay listings properly if you’re buying your presents online.
Dropping your phone, cracking the screen and generally buggering things up are a pain. However, thanks to a new smartphone airbag system from Honda, that could all change.
It is called the Smartphone Case N and envelopes your phone with six different airbags while it is falling.
Of course, if this went off in your pocket, it would look like you were wearing ‘Trust-Me Trousers’ from Chris Morris’ ‘Brass Eye’ special, which no-one wants.
Mercifully, this Smartphone Case N is an idea from Honda’s marketing team promoting cars, so you’re not likely to get the chance to buy this in person.
No matter what you do, you will never, ever put a USB plug in the right way. However, things are getting shaken up in the USB world as work has begun on the next generation which will eliminate all that!
This Type-C USB is an addition to the existing 3.1 spec and will be ready to use next year. It will be roughly the same size as a Micro USB plug and it’ll fit in the slot no matter how you approach it.
In a press release, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders says that Type-C will “meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability” and “will enable an entirely new super-thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops,” says Alex Peleg of Intel. “This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power, and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”
Techie stuff aside, the fact that putting in USB plugs upside-down will be forever consigned to history, that means all humankind will do much less swearing under their breath. It will truly be a modern wonder of the world.
A botnet has been discovered which targets shop tills, and it has stolen what’s been described as a ‘titanic volume’ of credit card details. 20,000 cards could have been affected since August.
It’s not the first time a botnet has infiltrated points of sale – last year the Subway virus, created by two Romanian hackers, managed to cream off 146,000 credit card numbers by hacking 200 shops. But it seems like the viruses are becoming more sophisticated than ever before, and there’s been dozens of them popping up all over the place in recent months. With this particular virus, hackers are able to access payment machines in real time and issue commands, leaving customers completely vulnerable.
So what can we, the average consumer, who doesn’t know a botnet from their bottom – do about it? Well, nothing really. It’s down to digital crime units, like the one run by Microsoft, who recently busted three botnets. The latest is a group of computers called ZeroAccess, which highjacked search results and led people to dodgy websites, where it would install malware and then steal your information.
So it’s a matter of taking care on the internet and hoping that the hidden army of Cyber Bergeracs out there can take down these botnets before they get your card. Reassuring, eh?
From now on, I’m paying in CASH.
The American Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple U.S. Patent No. 8,600,120 for “Personal computing device control using face detection and recognition,” which is all a bit sci-fi.
According to the document, face detection and recognition are two different things where detection involves locating faces within an image, while recognition goes further by pairing stored faces with a particular user.
Apple’s patent is made up of three separate systems: a face detection decision application; a face recognition application; and an input/output control application. All three work together so it can detect whether a user is authorised to operate the device in question.
Using your skin tone and features, it’ll also crate a vector of your face and use that for security purposes. So while one bit of the programme may detect a face through a sensor, it’ll then have to work out if it knows your face or not, which will then unlock the phone (or not). So, if someone steals your phone, it will ostensibly be useless as it won’t be able to recognise any stranger trying to use it.
The patent also says that this technology could recognise a user’s face over a period of time, ‘learning’ your face as it goes along. Of course, the new PS4 and Xbox One have similar things in place which use technology that is not unlike Apple’s patent and Apple themselves recently purchased PrimeSense, a motion-sensing hardware and software firm behind Microsoft’s first Kinect sensor.
Apple do make pretty robust programmes, so it’ll be very interesting to see what they do with this. Also, it gives them the chance to take loads of people to court all the time, so it’s win-win for them.
With Aldi getting on the budget-friendly tablet wagon, the UK’s appetite for cheap Android devices gets stronger. With that, Tesco’s rousing success with Hudl is about to get an upgrade.
The £119 Hudl has flown off the shelves, selling around 300,000 thus far and Tesco have revealed that they’re working on a second generation Hudl which will be launched next year.
The current Hudl has a decent spec, with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB of storage and a resolution of 1,440 x 900 px. The new version, possibly called Hudl2, will no doubt have a quicker processor, better resolution and they’ll invariably be looking at full HD resolution. You can assume it will run on Kit Kat and have more storage too. Looks like Tesco are fully intending to become a big player in the technology world.
Chief executive Phillip Clarke has been surprised with the success of the Hudl, recently telling the Guardian that sales have been more than what they “had originally planned in total in the run-up to Christmas”. The Hudl has run out of stock twice already.
Naturally, Tesco will have to work on the image of the tablet as it is seen as something akin to Skoda (nice cars, once desperately uncool) to the Bentley of the iPad. However, money talks and Tesco could well forge a strong position in the market if they get the next Hudl right.
Aldi are going to launch their own tablet for under £80 as it climbs on the bandwagon of Tesco and Argos who launched their own budget devices.
The 7-inch Medion Lifetab E7316 will be available in stores from Sunday for £79.99, but stocks are limited. It’ll have 8GB of storage and a screen resolution of 1024×600 with a four hour battery life. Not great, but this is clearly aimed at the starter market.
Aldi’s Lifetab weighs 301g and runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean processor on a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU. It has front and rear facing cameras with 0.3MP and 2MP resolutions respectively. You can up the memory with a card if it doesn’t have enough space for you.
The main thing here is that this tablet undercuts MyTablet and the Hudl device by £20. Tempted?
It’s time for phase two of EE’s 4G rollout, and this time the big switch (sadly not turned on by Bob Carolgees and Peter Andre in a dismal shopping centre) has lit up 10 new UK towns with super fast internet.
They are…*drumroll* Bath, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Darlington, Newcastle-under Lyme, Northampton, Poole, Portsmouth and…..REDCAR ba-dum-tish! They plan to increase the 4G service to a total of 160 towns before Christmas, so that everyone can enjoy a faster download speed for all their festive porn.
So the next rollout will take place in the next couple of weeks, and include such sexy hotspots as Grimsby, Ipswich and Swindon. EE CEO Olaf Swantee (too many eees, man) said: ‘That’s the fastest rollout of 4G in Europe, and with well over one million people already using the service, one of the most successful too.’
OK, Olaf, calm down.
But perhaps EE are entitled to show off a little bit. After all, some mobile providers, like the useless phone donkeys Three, are only just launching the service. Others have only managed coverage in big cities. And nobody is matching EE’s new trial of the speedier LTE advanced network, with download speeds of 300Mbps.
EEEEEE! Scream if you wanna go faster…