Thursday, 27 May 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

Cowon J3 unboxed: photos

Posted: 26 May 2010 09:05 AM PDT

The Cowon J3 media player just flopped through the mailbox and into our eagerly awaiting paws. We’ve been tracking its journey across the globe since its initial launch in South Korea, and now we’ve got one of our very own to oggle, complete with gorgeous OLED screen. We’ll be bringing you a full review soon, but in the meantime, check out all the unboxing photos, and tell us what you want to know about it right here!

The Cowon J3 picked up an award for its design a few months back, and we can certainly see why: the brushed metal trim looks ace, it’s shockingly light, and the OLED screen is bursting with vibrant colour.

Unfortunately, a few Cowon J3 specs have lost their way on the flight over: there’s no TV tuner support in the UK, and it doesn’t come with a TV-out cable as standard. But you know how Cowon rolls: file format support for music and video is strong, and we’re expecting grand things from the Cowon J3’s audio handling skills.

Cowon J3 confirmed for UK!

Take a peep at the Cowon J3 coming out of its curious cone carton right here. We’ll be back with a full review next week for you, but in the meantime, don’t hesitate to jot down any burning questions. Is this an iPod touch toppler? One for purists only? A Sony Walkman X slayer? The comments are below, so scribble your Cowon J3 queries down there and we’ll answer them ASAP.

Out Now | £199 | Cowon and Avancedmp3players

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Ovi Maps: Go off-road with free satnav for cyclists

Posted: 26 May 2010 08:44 AM PDT

Ovi Maps is a great tool for cyclists. The free maps will take you down shortcuts and offroad. Ovi Maps also lets you share your location so your friends can join you. To find out more about Ovi Maps and free navigation for your Nokia, read on.

See it in action!

Ovi Maps doesn’t have a dedicated cycling mode, but if you’re heading away from major highways its pedestrian function is perfect. It brings completely free maps to those using pedal power. Whether you’re riding on B-roads or across fields, it's a great way of getting free navigation and makes it easier than ever to get where you're going.

What you'll need
We used the Nokia E72 to navigate when cycling. The build quality is excellent with a robust metal casing that stands up to knocks and drops so it should still look fine when you get back to the office.

Ovi Maps navigation on the Nokia E72 also works if you’re wearing gloves, as the hardware buttons are easy to use and responsive. That’s important when you're hurtling along on two wheels, and a must-have for off-road cycling.

The Nokia E72 isn't the only Nokia phone you'll be able to get free maps for, however. Ovi Maps is also compatible with the following handsets:

Nokia X6. Nokia N97 Mini. Nokia N97. Nokia N86. Nokia E72. Nokia E71. Nokia E66. Nokia E55. Nokia E52. Nokia C5. Nokia 6730 Classic. Nokia 6720 Classic. Nokia 6710. Nokia 5800. Nokia 5235. Nokia 5230.

Good Things come to those who navigate
Good Things is a free service from Nokia that lets you find and share anything that's going on in your area with other users of it’s mobile navigation service. You'll can access Good Things on your PC or Mac at Once you've located something cool, type it into your Nokia and you’re ready to ride.

Direct line
If you're in the countryside, away from roads and buildings, you'll can use Ovi Maps’ Straight Line mode. This shows you the direct route to your destination at all times which is great for cyclists itching to ride off-road.

Don't be alone
One of the things we like most about Ovi Maps is how easy it is to share your location and get friends to come and join you. Simply click on the map and you'll see the option to send the location to friends. You can also share your location from the main menu. Click on Share Location and you can send details and even photographs to Facebook.

Get some direction
Ovi Maps digital compass works with your phone’s accelerometer to figure out which way you’re facing. It then makes it easy to track where you’ve been and find your way back,. Setting up the compass is as simple as waving your phone in a figure of eight.

Little red tyre tracks
When you travel somewhere on foot, or pedal across country using pedestrian mode on your phone, Ovi Maps shows your route with little red footprints. Even when you’re cycling it’s handy, showing you the route you’ve travelled so when you want to go home, simply follow the trail show onscreen.

Click Here

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Ovi Maps: Cut your commute with mobile Sat nav for bikes

Posted: 26 May 2010 08:40 AM PDT

Free mobile navigation means Ovi Maps is an ideal tool for a cycling commuter. Simply fix your Nokia to the handlebars, crank up the volume and off you go. The easy to follow directions and other advanced features could seriously shorten your commute. Read on to find out how.

See it in action!

Ovi Maps doesn’t have a cycling mode, but it hardly needs one when the driving mode is so well made. Easily capable of cutting your commute by bike, it has some major benefits over Ovi Maps’ pedestrian mode too, which makes it the go-to choice when navigating on the road.

Maps react quickly when you're moving and you'll be directed the correct way down one-way streets. Just make sure you switch off the motorway function, and you’re all set to pedal!

What you'll need
We used the Nokia E72 to take Ovi Maps’ free navigation for a spin. It's ideally suited to biking. The aluminium casing makes it tough enough to survive the daily commute and even stand up to bumps and knocks.

We don’t advise wearing earphones when cycling, as you’ll need all of your senses to stay safe. Instead crank up the volume to get verbal directions from your handset's speakers. The E72 we took for a spin was loud enough for us to make 0ut directions, and the on-screen routes bright and clear.

You could also switch to beeps which indicate when it's time to turn, and allow you to glance at the screen when necessary. The E72’s hardware buttons are its killer feature, since they let you use Ovi Maps while wearing cycling gloves.

You don't have to be restricted to a Nokia E72 to get free maps, though. The following Nokia phones are also compatible:

Nokia X6. Nokia N97 Mini. Nokia N97. Nokia N86. Nokia E72. Nokia E71. Nokia E66. Nokia E55. Nokia E52. Nokia C5. Nokia 6730 Classic. Nokia 6720 Classic. Nokia 6710. Nokia 5800. Nokia 5235. Nokia 5230.

Find your favourites
You can save frequently used journeys like your commute as favourites in Nokia navigation, either directly on your mobile or via To add your favourite journeys to your Nokia phone, just hook it up to your PC, fire up Ovi Maps and press Sync, or Synchronise with from within its menus.

See the world

The onscreen directions in Nokia's mobile navigation software are excellent, with clear maps and a coloured marker highlighting the direction you need to travel in. Even on a device such as the Nokia E7 which has a relatively small screen, it's still simple to see where you have to go.

Look ahead
The Ovi Maps digital compass keeps you on track by showing you the direction you should be headed in. Configuring it is simple. When you first fire up Ovi Maps, you’ll be asked to wave your Nokia in a figure of eight which calibrates the sensors.

To the left or to the right
One of the most invaluable features in Nokia’s free mapping software is lane guidance. This shows you where you should be on larger roads and when you’re approaching roundabouts, helping you stay safe and get the jump on the rest of the traffic.

Find your way
When moving through traffic, it’s easy to take a wrong turn on your bike. If you do, Nokia’s free navigation will quickly and automatically reroute you, sending you down new streets to make sure you get where you were originally going.

Click Here

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Econav: Pessimist satnav warns of fines for driving indiscretions

Posted: 26 May 2010 08:15 AM PDT

The Econav could well be the satnav for you if you find yourself struggling to stick to speed limits. The pushy PND includes a new feature that will tot up exactly how many points and, more importantly, how much cash flaunting the law might cost you.

Econav previously had one big selling point over more familiar satnav brands like TomTom or Garmin: encouraging you to drive more smoothly to reduce your fuel costs and in turn save the planet. But now the ethical travel tech has added a Less Points, Less Fines feature to keep you on the right side of the law too.

If you go over the speed limit, Econav will throw up audio and visual warnings to let you know exactly how many penalty points could be slapped on your licence as well as the fine you'll probably face. The makers say you're 20% more likely to pay attention if you've already picked up points.

Econav also packs in Radar Plus, a feature that'll tell you where speed cameras are and what side of the road they're on. But, of course, with it nagging you to keep to the limit, you'll stick to the right speed anyway, won't you?

Out now | From £149.99 | Maplin

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Best Buy hitting Southampton: bumper opening day savings incoming!

Posted: 26 May 2010 07:30 AM PDT

Best Buy is opening its second UK store on Friday in Southhampton. While it is isn't going for an Apple Store-style early morning opening like it did with the first Best Buy UK store in Essex, it's promising a similar batch of first day gadget bargains. So what savings will swinging over to Southampton net you?

Britain's second Best Buy will fling open its doors at 10am on Friday. If you head over to the Hedge End Retail Park branch you'll be able to grab a 32in Samsung LED HD TV for £399.99 which Best Buy says is £300 off its usual price. It’s also offering up a 32in Sharp LCD HD TV for £199.99, shaving £130 from the normal asking price.

Best Buy's also getting in on the trend for a World Cup gadget gamble – if  you pick up a TV over £499 before June 5, it'll give you money back if England lift the trophy. It's also offering a free 32in Samsung LCD TV if you plump for a Samsung C3050 or Sony Ericsson W205 phone on contract.

The Best Buy Southampton store is also stocking 3D TVs and has a Best Buy GreenTech zone packed with eco-friendly kit. All the other Best Buy deals are up on its website for your perusal. Let us know if you headed over to the first Best Buy opening and whether you managed to pick up any tasty tech deals.

Out Friday | £varies | Best Buy

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New Vodafone 360 phone leaks out: HD video on board

Posted: 26 May 2010 07:00 AM PDT

A new Vodafone 360 phone, the Samsung H2, has cropped up in some sneaky spyshots online. Unlike the Vodafone 845, this isn’t a reskinned Android smartphone, but a dedicated LiMo mobile with the social networking software on top – and this time it appears, a HD video camera is coming along for the ride.

While we were dazzled by the OLED display of the original Samsung H1 phone, the first to use the Vodafone 360 software suite, with a HTC Sense style address book, we didn’t come away impressed with the whole package. We’re hopeful that the Vodafone 360 follow up, the Samsung H2, show here in a few leaked snaps, will change that.

Read our Vodafone 360 H1 review now

The source responsible says that the Vodafone 360 Samsung H2 will use a snappy 1GHz processor, and pack an eight megapixel camera capable of HD video recording, with a release expected around the time of the World Cup.

There’s nothing official from either Sammy or Vodafone on the Vodafone 360 Samsung H2 just yet, but these photos look authentic to us, so don’t be surprised if you see something very soon. Whether it’ll make more of a splash launching near the new iPhone remains to be seen however.

Out TBC | £TBC | Samsung (Via Samsung Hub)

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Facebook privacy changes due tonight: what do you want to see?

Posted: 26 May 2010 06:30 AM PDT

Facebook privacy changes will be unveiled tonight during an announcement at the social network's Palo Alto HQ. The Facebook event will feature a rare public appearance from Mark Zuckerberg who we're promised will "discuss details regarding enhanced, simpler privacy controls." What do you want Facebook to change?

The Facebook privacy changes announcement will start at 6.30pm tonight and we'll be keeping an eye on what Mark Zuckberg and friends have to say. Facebook's chief of public policy, Tim Sparapani promised last week that we'd see simplified Facebook settings imminently so we'd expect them to be at least part of chat.

There's been plenty of media uproar around Facebook privacy problems caused by features including instant personalisation and the Facebook Like buttons colonising the web which reveal much more information about  users. Mark Zuckerberg even penned a piece explaining himself for the Wall Street Post and emailed high profile blogger Robert Scoble admitting that Facebook has "made a lot of mistakes".

With Facebook set to announce its privacy update in a few hours, we want to know what you want it to do. Are you angling for the option to turn off sharing for all your information in Facebook or does the convenience promised by new tricks like Facebook location outweigh your privacy worries?

Due today | £free | Facebook

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iPad UK launch stores revealed

Posted: 26 May 2010 06:00 AM PDT

The iPad UK launch stockists have now been revealed and it won't just be Apple, PC World and Currys carrying the uber-tablet. Apple resellers will also get their hands on the iPad but according to whispers from loose-lipped shopkeeps, Apple won't let them say so until Friday…

An Apple reseller told the The Register that he has been told not to take pre-orders or publicise the fact that he'll have iPads in stock until Friday morning. Apple is apparently even requiring resellers to file photographs of their stores on Thursday night before they get final approval to sell the iPad.

Apple Stores are opening at 8am on Friday to allow for the iPad rush but if you're hoping to head for another location, you can now do some reconnaissance online.

Apple is listing stores that will be selling the iPad in its online store finder. We found 36 locations in London (mostly Currys and PC World outlets) that will be carrying the iPad, 11 near Manchester and 10 around Birmingham. Hit the link below to find stores near you.

If you're still on the fence about whether to hunt down an iPad, make sure you take a look at our iPad UK review. And let us know: where are you planning to get yours from?

Out Friday | From £429 | Apple

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Dell Streak on O2 release date revealed

Posted: 26 May 2010 05:00 AM PDT

The Dell Streak was officially announced as an O2 exclusive yesterday but the operator neglected to mention when in June we’d be getting our hands on the 5in Android tablet. But now it has! Read on for the Dell Streak release date and updated details…

The Dell Streak will be arriving on O2 on June 4 rocking Android 1.6 but we’re promised that an over-the-air update to Android 2.2 Froyo. It’ll also pack a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, a VGA front-facing camera and a 5MP autofocus camera with dual LED flash.

O2 hasn’t unveiled its data plans  or pricing for the Dell Streak yet but we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled to bring you all the info as soon as it does.

Interestingly, O2 has made sure to call the Dell Streak a phone rather than a tablet on its website. Do you see the Android-powered slate as an iPad rival or is it aiming to tussle with iPhone 4.0?

Thanks for the spot Rhys.

Due June 4 | £TBC | O2

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Lunchtime Lowdown: BBC iPlayer refresh, BlackBerry Pearl 3G review and Half Life 2 for Mac

Posted: 26 May 2010 04:30 AM PDT

It’s been quite a morning in gadgetry and gaming, with news breaking from every direction. Want to know what you’ve missed? Read on and find out in our round up of all the stories, here in the lunchtime lowdown!

First up, in mobile, fresh off our live Q&A, we posted our in depth BlackBerry Pearl 3G review. Over on the Google front meanwhile, we took a look at all the latest Android phones in our guides, and looked at how to organise an impromptu party in under a minute using the Sony Ericsson Xperia X10.

Online meanwhile, Auntie caused a huge stir, previewing the next gen BBC iPlayer, with live chat and tweeting integrated, and even links to rival on demand services!

Finally, some huge news in gaming to finish off with: we got a preview of the upcoming Crackdown 2, Half Life 2 arrived for the Mac on Steam, making good on Valve’s promise, and GTA Chinatown Wars got a free taster on the iPhone.

Still want more news? Head on over to the homepage and help yourself!

Check out our Android Invasion, starting with our first robot romance video below!

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