Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

BlackBerry 6 shown off again, reveals new pinchy skills

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 09:58 AM PDT

BlackBerry 6 leaked some of its new features the last time we spied it on film, but now RIM’s released this new video showing it off in full. There’s a new browser, some social media smarts, and new multi-touch skills we hadn’t spotted previously. If you’re toting one of RIM’s e-mail machines you’ll want to check out this update.

BlackBerry 6 adds a redesigned home screen and Android and iPhone-style universal search for speedy rummaging through your BlackBerry’s memory. There are also improved pop-up menus which change depending what else is on screen. There’s a new BlackBerry 6 browser, built on top of the same WebKit engine as Safari and Chrome.

BlackBerry 6 also brings a few new applications, including Social Feeds, which yanks all of your buddies’ updates from various social networks into one destination screen. A bit like HTC’s Friend Stream on Android, and INQ’s plucky messaging phones.

We’ve seen most of this before, but this is a slower walk-through, and allows slightly more gawping time. One extra feature we’ve spotted is that BlackBerry 6 now allows pinch-to-zoom multitouch within the browser, as well as photos. Can you see any other tidbits we’ve missed? Is it enough to keep Android and the iPhone at bay? Shout up in the comments section below.

TBC | £free | BlackBerry

Related posts:

  1. BlackBerry 6 video: six secrets it reveals
  2. BlackBerry Thunder shown off in the flesh
  3. Microsoft Kinect Xbox Live skills shown off: chat and voice select!

Blackberry Protect: for when your Blackberry’s gone rogue

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 08:43 AM PDT

Blackberry is launching a new service later this year called Blackberry Protect, a free service that will locate, back up and lock your smartphone remotely, so long as it's switched on of course.

Blackberry Protect allows you to activate a loud ringer remotely, lock your device, change passwords, perform lost and found functions and customised backups and restores, plus will allow you to transfer data from one Blackberry to another.

The lost and found functions include wiping the device and its SD card, displaying contact details so your Blackberry can be returned, and locate the phone using GPS or a cell tower, all remotely.

Alan Brenner, Senior VP, Blackberry Platform, Research In Motion, said: "The closed beta is happening right now, and we will move to open beta this fall, so it'll be available fairly soon on an open beta basis."

The service is accessed online, and up to five devices can be registered to one account. On your Blackberry it's accessed through the browser, which is a bit of a downside, given the poor speed often encountered when browsing through a Blackberry not on wi-fi.

Related posts:

  1. Flickr porn: How to protect yourself online
  2. Stat clash: BlackBerry Storm vs BlackBerry Bold vs BlackBerry Pearl Flip
  3. Blackberry Slider renamed Blackberry Torch?

Ebay first Microsoft Azure customer

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 08:13 AM PDT

Microsoft has announced that Ebay will be one the first customers of its Azure cloud computing service later on this year. What this will mean for consumers is yet a little hazy, but it's one more step in the switch over to cloud based computing.

Ebay already uses the public Azure cloud to power its iPad app, and now will be the first signed up to the Microsoft Windows Azure platform appliance, and will be incorporating the Windows Azure platform appliance into two of its datacenters.

Microsoft and Ebay worked together on Ebay's pilot deployment of Microsoft's public Windows Azure platform, which offers eBay the flexibility to deploy certain applications on a public cloud while maintaining the reliability and availability of eBay.com.

The Windows Azure public platform has 10,000 paying customers, after Microsoft started charging for Azure at the beginning of the year. It was announced at Microsoft’s Professional Developer Conference in 2008.

Related posts:

  1. Microsoft surprise to dent Chrome OS sheen?
  2. eBay set to sell off Skype?
  3. eBay slot machines spotted in Vegas

iPhone 4: Skype blocks Fring video calling

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 08:03 AM PDT

Those iPhone 4 3G video calls Fring added to its app last week haven't gone down well with everyone. According to Fring, Skype has now blocked the app from making video calls and, in fact, any calls to Skype users at all. After four years playing together nicely a big scrap is brewing between the two…

Fring had previously blogged that it was having to reduce support for Skype video calls after a surge of iPhone 4 users trying out its new 3G video calling function. Based on our experience they're not exactly high quality so it's unlikely it would have had to handle such a heavy traffic for long.

It seems Skype has had enough of Fring full stop. In a carefully worded press release Fring says Skype has blocked it and "refused to restore connectivity". But on its blog it's come out with fists flying saying Skype is "afraid of open mobile communication" and calling the firm "cowards".

Fring has featured Skype functionality since it launched back in 2006 but that looks like it could be over for good. Especially as Fring is attacking Skype so publicly. Skype has yet to explain its reasons for blocking Fring but we'll let you know as soon as it does. Something tells us that iPhone 4 3G video calls from the Skype app might not be too far off.

iPhone 4 owners have still got free FaceTime calls on Wi-Fi but loses the option of chatting to Skype contacts via Fring could be seriously frustrating for some. Have you tried the iPhone 4 3G video calling in Fring? Does it bother you that it no longer has Skype skills?

Out now | £free | Fring

Related posts:

  1. Lunchtime Lowdown: iPhone 4 Fring video calling, HTC Windows Phone 7 plans and Red Dead Redemption DLC
  2. iPhone 4 3G video calls: Fring beats FaceTime to the punch
  3. Skype for iPhone launches, BlackBerry Skype coming May

iPhone lawsuit against AT&T and Apple granted class action status

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 07:01 AM PDT

Lawsuits brought against Apple have been granted class action status today, in the wake of a clutch of iPhone 4 lawsuits filed in the last few weeks. The action challenges the AT&T and Apple exclusivity deal with hurting competition, among other things, to which Apple responded bluntly, by insisting it did not damage competition.

The original papers for the action were filed back in 2007 and 2008, and variously accused the companies of a monopoly abuse and of violating anti-trust laws. The lawsuits filed claimed that there were unfair practices afoot in the Apple/AT&T camp, which forced consumers into five year contracts with AT&T, and which objects to Apple locking iPhones to AT&T's network.

The class includes anyone who bought an iPhone with a two-year AT&T agreement since the device first went on sale in June 2007. The claimants are after an injunction to stop Apple selling locked iPhones in the US, from limiting what programs iPhone users can install, and damages to cover costs.

Class action status means that a group of people can bring a collective claim to court, and now allows US iPhone customers to rail full force against Apple. Judge James Ware of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California said parts of the lawsuit that deal with violations to antitrust law can continue as a class action.

The papers filed a few weeks ago over the iPhone 4’s signal problems now look to be more hopeful, but still have a long way to go before they are even considered for class action status.

Related posts:

  1. iPhone 4: Class action filed over antenna
  2. Apple loses Visual Voicemail lawsuit, features available to rivals
  3. Orange gets a slice of the iPhone action

Plants vs Zombies 2 teased: iPhone addicts weep for joy

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 06:32 AM PDT

Clear your schedule! Plants vs Zombies 2 may be stumbling into view next month. PopCap has sent out an email inviting American journalists to an event in San Francisco on August 2. The teaser image features a zombie hand gripping the event notice. Does it herald a full on Plants vs Zombies sequel or some other undead enterprise? If it’s as addictive as the original, you may need to pry the iPhone 4 from our cold dead hand…

The Plants vs Zombies iPhone game had its iOS 4 upgrade last month and has been adding converts to its army of addicts on iPad. Plants vs Zombies has also infested Windows and Mac OS X. ??PopCap co-founder John Vechey has confirmed a sequel is planned but told Kotaku last week that Plants vs Zombies 2 wouldn't arrive this year but he may simply have been putting us off the scent.

Plants vs Zombies was also announced for Xbox Live last summer so the announcement could simply be an update on that. But we've got our aching fingers crossed for Plants vs Zombies 2. Fending off those cunning corpses with our army of anthropomorphic plants on the iPhone 4's retina screen is a joy but it's definitely time for some more levels.

Baffled by the Plants vs Zombies epidemic? Try our Plants vs Zombies review. And if you're a fellow Plants vs Zombies addict, hit the comments to let us know what you're hoping for in Plants vs Zombies 2.

Out TBC | £TBC | PopCap (via FoneHome)

Related posts:

  1. Plants vs Zombies for iPhone review
  2. Red Dead Redemption DLC: zombies incoming!
  3. New iPhone teased as Apple reveals record sales

Spotify for Linux preview revealed

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 06:03 AM PDT

The first Spotify for Linux preview has popped up on the streaming music service's site. It's the first time an official version of Spotify has come to the land of the tuxedo-clad Penguins and we've got Spotify's own devs to thank for it. They pulled together the Spotify for Linux preview so they can listen to tunes while their tapping away at code. Linux lovers can grab the Spotify preview right now but there are a few complications…

You'll need to stump up £9.99 a month for Spotify Premium to run Spotify for Linux at the moment as the developers haven't quite managed to get ads to display reliably. We're not quite sure why using the cheaper £5.99 Spotify Unlimited isn't an option but hopefully that'll come eventually.

Spotify for Linux includes most of the features included in the latest Spotify update for Windows and Mac OS X. However, support for local files hasn't made the cut because of difficulties decoding local music in Linux.

You'll also be going it alone if you install the application as Spotify isn't officially supporting it, though it has promised to attempt to keep Spotify for Linux on a par with its Mac and Windows counterparts.

Hop over to the Spotify preview page now and you'll be able to grab the Debian Squeeze/Ubuntu 10.04 package now. And make sure you come back here and let us know what you make of Spotify for Linux in the comments.

Out now | £free with subscription | Spotify

Related posts:

  1. Spotify adds new services – Spotify Open and Spotify Unlimited
  2. iPad rival: new HP Slate video preview revealed
  3. Lunchtime Lowdown: Three Spotify tariff revealed, Dell Adamo XPS

Facebook panic button: teenagers more sensible than first presumed

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 05:37 AM PDT

Facebook and the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre have launched a panic button to give direct access to the CEOP advice and reporting centre, after months of wrangling, a rejected request from Alan Johnson and which saw Facebook lambasted by the head of the CEOP as arrogant and remote.

CEOP already has similar panic buttons installed or embedded into many social networking and instant messaging sites such as MSN Messenger. Our first thought was a fun game where teenagers threaten each other with a click, and a worthwhile service is rendered ineffectual by being inundated with a lot of Facebook larks gone awry.

But a spokesperson said that fake clicks had not been a problem in the past. She said: "The button has been around or years, and we hardly see any fake reports. Part of it is that teenagers are more sensible than we give them credit for.”

13.4 per cent of Facebook users in the UK are 17 and under, and the new Facebook button will provide a one click access to a landing page where teenagers can report a variety of issues, which are then fielded out to CEOP's partner organisations such as Cyber Mentors, or if it is a sexual issue, is passed on to CEOP's team of intelligence officers who then do a risk assessment and deal with the report.

Related posts:

  1. Sony Vaio E series: PC with a panic button
  2. Facebook vs Google: Like button to hit the rest of the web
  3. Bank Panic for iPhone – retro gaming, now with satire

New Xbox 360 unboxed: See the photos!

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 05:04 AM PDT

The new Xbox 360 just rocked up at our door, right on cue. Naturally, we plucked it from its carton on camera for you, so read on to see it up close right here in our gallery.

Although we’ve got through plenty of Xbox 360s in our time courtesy of the RROD, we’re still excited pulling the new Xbox 360 out of its box. We love the black finish and smaller profile, and just the knowledge that we can use it with any TV in the house without the need for an overpriced Wi-Fi dongle or cumbersome ethernet cable has us hugging ourselves with excitement.

Setting up the new Xbox 360 is a dream. Even with our Wi-Fi network pumping out signals from the opposite end of a brick built house, the new Xbox does an admirable job. The built-in aerial might not be visible, but it scoops up a signal where a PS3 next to it fails. The new Xbox 360’s touch sensitive buttons are swish too, although we did manage to switch the new console off accidentally while examining them.

More importantly, of course, this new Xbox 360 is ready to connect to a Kinect add-on. The USB sockets on its rear are powered versions, with enough grunt to handle Microsoft’s motion-sensing accessory without an extra power supply. You can read our first impressions and hands-on report with Kinect now, for more info.

Enough chit chat though, check out the photos of Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 right here!

What do you want to know about the new Xbox 360 review? Tell us here and we’ll find out for you in our upcoming Xbox 360 slim review.

Out Friday | £199 | Microsoft

Related posts:

  1. New Xbox 360 review: Send us your slim Xbox questions
  2. LG GT540 budget Android phone unboxed: photos
  3. Xbox 360 Slim video: new console set to join Microsoft Kinect

Lunchtime Lowdown: iPhone 4 jailbreak spotted, the new Xbox 360 arrives and the LG GT540 reviewed

Posted: 12 Jul 2010 04:33 AM PDT

It’s proven to be yet another manic Monday in gadget news, with breaking headlines on the smartphone front, and even a brand new console to play with. Oh, and did we mention the first iPhone 4 jailbreak has been spotted? Read on for everything you missed this fine AM…

First up, it’s been another busy morning on the iPhone front, and it’s not been a good one for Apple. The first evidence of an iPhone 4 jailbreak has been shown to the world, though whether users will get a hold of it remains to be seen. Not only that, but Apple’s issued a recall for dodgy Time Capsules – is yours affected?

Elsewhere in smartphonery meanwhile, Google rolled out a clever new way to make simple Android apps, we reviewed the LG GT540, and more rumours emerged about that alleged BlackBerry tablet. Do we really need one?

Finally, our new Xbox 360 slim has arrived. Our review is coming shortly, so what do you want to know about it? Tell us!

Still want more news? Click on through to the homepage and help yourself to it all as it breaks!

Electricpig.co.uk is on the look out for a new Commercial Director. Could it be you? Click to find out how to apply.

Related posts:

  1. Lunchtime Lowdown: HTC Desire Froyo hack, new PS3 slim models and iPhone 4 jailbreak status quo
  2. Lunchtime Lowdown: Cool-er 3G, Tesco iPhone priced and the Nokia X6 reviewed
  3. Lunchtime lowdown: new iPhone 4.0 leak, Twitter vs David Cameron and Panasonic DMR-BW880 reviewed

No comments:

Post a Comment