Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!


Dyson Air Multiplier shenanigans: The ultimate wind up?

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 09:39 AM PDT

We love the Dyson Air Multiplier. It’s bladeless air-moving abilities have kept us cool while the UK swelters, and we’ve enjoyed flying paper planes through it too. But out tomfoolery is nothing compared to the Dyson Air Multiplier shenanigans cooked up by the engineers behind the gale force gadget. Check out this video of a balloon performing a few tricks at the Dyson factory.

Dyson describes its video as a demonstration of the Dyson Air Multiplier’s inducement technology, but it’s more than that. Sure, you can see the balloon being sucked into the airflow behind the Air Multiplier, and even observe how far out to the side Dyson’s vacuum effect stretches, but what we love the most is how smoothly it propels the balloon around, even while it seemingly defies gravity.

Dyson engineers had to experiment with different sized balloons and other objects before finding the perfect fit for the Dyson Air Multiplier. However, they also give a stern warning: “This was created and executed by trained Dyson engineers under a controlled environment. Do not attempt to duplicate” although we can attest to the hilarity of firing paper planes across the room with our own Air Multiplier.

Out now | £200 | Dyson

Related posts:

  1. Dyson Air Multiplier: this summer's hot gadget – have you bought one?
  2. Unboxed: Dyson Air Multiplier
  3. Dyson Air Multiplier: Hands-on photos


iPhone 4 case review group test: Slay your iPhone 4 signal problems!

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 09:24 AM PDT

An iPhone 4 case review round up is just what the doctor ordered if you’ve been suffering from the infamous iPhone 4 signal problems. Apple’s bumper cases may be as elusive as the Scarlet Pimpernel on a dark night, but we’ve tracked down just about every other iPhone 4 case available right now for a group test. How do they all rate? Read on and find out!

We’ve grabbed as many of the first iPhone 4 cases out of the blocks as we possibly could to try out for you, though you can expect plenty more in the future. The notable absentee? Apple’s iPhone 4 bumper case, which while delightful looking, has never been in stock when we’ve dropped by the Apple store, and is a 5-7 working day wait on the Apple online store. Unless otherwise mentioned, all of these iPhone 4 cases stopped the usual signal problems dead in their tracks, but there’s plenty more to consider besides. Read on for the full iPhone 4 case review group test and you’ll see what we mean….

Read our iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review: New design
iPhone 4 review: Retina Display
iPhone 4 review: HD video and iMovie
iPhone 4 review: Worth the upgrade?
iPhone 4 review: Electricpig staff opinions
iPhone 4 review: Live Q&A
iPhone 4 review: Sample photos

Griffin iPhone 4 Reveal Clear case

Griffin iPhone 4 Reveal Clear case,
Carphone Warehouse, £19.99
4/5

We’re quite taken with the Griffin iPhone 4 Reveal Clear case. It does a lot more than the Apple bumper case, which it resembles from a distance, while staying very subtle. It’s black, and there’s a plastic back, which will stop you scuffing your iPhone 4 when placing it down on a table, and there’s no front cover so it doesn’t look boxy like some iPhone 4 cases do. There is however a tiny little lip to give it some elevation and potentially stop a screen smash should you drop your iPhone 4: for the butter fingered, this will be a welcome mode. Our only real issue is the rubber riding up over the top of the sleep button -it should have been cut out. Otherwise, a tidy compromise and an excellent iPhone 4 case.

Belkin Grip Graphix iPhone 4 case

Belkin Grip Graphix iPhone 4 case
Carphone Warehouse, £16.99
3/5

Although there are still rubber covers for the buttons on the Belkin Grip Graphix iPhone 4 case – and even one covering the home button – which don’t ride up in quite the same way as with Griffin’s case, we’re not nearly as smitten. The rubbery, zebra texture is pleasant to hold, but in white, looks ghastly and tacky. It doesn’t get in the way of the camera lens on the iPhone 4 however – something we can’t say about all of the other iPhone 4 cases on test.

Proporta Soft Feel Silicone Case for iPhone 4

Proporta Soft Feel Silicone Case for iPhone 4
Amazon, £19.95
4/5

The Proporta Soft Feel Silicone Case for iPhone 4 is an unusual one: it’s the only iPhone 4 case on test that claims to kill germs. We can see how condensation could build up between the back of a case and a handset, but the SteriTouch material supposedly kills 99.9 percent of them. We can’t vouch for that, but we can say that this is one soft, soft iPhone 4 case. It feels very thin, though it isn’t especially, which will definitely be a bonus for some. Two gripes however: the concertina grips on the bottom don’t bring much to the table and aren’t where you’d put the weight of the phone, and the rubbery cover for the volume buttons on ours at least, is faulty, with grey paint spilling in where there shouldn’t be. But hey, if you’re buying an iPhone 4 case, you’re not worried about the looks right?

Incipio Feather iPhone 4 case

Incipio Feather iPhone 4 case
Amazon, £17.53
3/5

As hard plastic solutions go, the Incipio Feather iPhone 4 case beats iLuv’s see through offering, even if it doesn’t live up to its “Feather” name. It’s made of very hard plastic which will stop the back of your iPhone 4 from being scratched, though there’s no elevation at the front to protect that side when dropped. The problems begin though when you try and take the Incipio Feather iPhone 4 case off: we genuinely struggled to remove it and were seriously worried that it would snap and scratch something. Still, if you don’t plan to take it off much, it’s a nice minimalist effort, and comes with a film screen protector and cleaning cloth in the box, a nice touch.

Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case

Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case
Amazon, £29.49
2/5
The Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case certainly looks a wallet, but carrying it around with an iPhone 4 in as well as a wallet is going to lead to some bulging pockets and raised eyebrows. While rigid, it adds an enormous amount of bulk to the iPhone 4 – a selling point of which is that it’s the world’s thinnest smartphone – and there’s not enough function in it to merit this extra girth. It covers the camera lens substantially, and worrying, the iPhone 4 doesn’t sit snugly inside the case, moving up and down, even though magentas keep the door itself shut. We’ve marked the Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case low as it’s not so much a case as a bag for your iPhone 4.

Proporta Leather Style Protective Case

Proporta Leather Style Protective Case
Amazon, £14.95
3/5

The Proporta Leather Style Protective Case is very similar to the Proporta Aluminium Lined Leather iPhone 4 case, but though it shares some of the same flaws, we’re not so bothered at half the price. It looks the part (And comes in black, brown or red) and could prevent screen fracturing when dropped. The problem is the iPhone 4 Proporta Leather Style Protective Case leaves the corners open to the elements, and the bottom left open to signal loss when gripped still – but hard clips hold it in place firmly at least. We like the option to stick a few business cards on the inside of the flap, but this pretty much sums it up: it’s a wallet for your iPhone 4.

Rocketfish Silicone iPhone 4 case

Rocketfish Silicone iPhone 4 case
Carphone Warehouse, £12.99
4/5

Of all the rubbery iPhone 4 cases we’ve tested, this is by the most, er, rubbery. The Rocketfish Silicone iPhone 4 case sets your smartphone deep within rubber (That looks like a wafer biscuit on the inside), which does make accessing ports a pain, but means it’ll have some serious cushion when dropped on concrete – the iPhone 4 owner’s worst nightmare. We also like the fact that it’s completely unbranded, useful if you’d rather not tell everyone around you what brand of third party Apple accessory maker you buy from when you answer a call.

Gear4 BlackIce iPhone 4 case

Gear4 BlackIce iPhone 4 case
Carphone Warehouse, £19.99
3/5

The Gear4 BlackIce iPhone 4 case certainly offers the most comprehensive protection of anything on test, but that’s basically because it involves you encasing your iPhone 4 in a box. It’s a complete enclosure (with the left hand side open for access to the volume buttons) , and the see through front actually leaves the iPhone 4 perfectly responsive for fast typing and multitouch gestures. The problem is, that in turning your iPhone 4 into what looks and acts an awful lot like a Cyberman, you ruin any design aspect of the iPhone 4. You may well value protection above that, but we do enjoy a biut of aesthetics too, and the iPhone 4 has it in spades.

iLuv Glacier iPhone 4 case

iLuv Glacier iPhone 4 case
Amazon US, $17.31 (£11.53)
2/5

We’ve put up a full iPhone 4 case review of the iLuv Glacier already so check that out for an in-depth view, but suffice to say, we do not like this. It makes your iPhone 4 look like a Fox glacier mint (The name is apt, we guess), threatens to scratch it on the inside, and has a terrible typeface down the side in big lettering, while not protecting the top and bottom of the phone at all. Avoid.

iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case

iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case
Amazon US, $29.99 (£19.97)
4/5

We’ve saved the best until last. While we hate the iLiv Glacier iPhone 4 case, we love the iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case. It doesn’t try to be subtle, instead going the whole hog and making your iPhone 4 both look and smell like a Buzz Lightyear action figure. Which, we don’t really need to explain, is awesome. The iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case is actually quite practical too however: it’s made of two parts, one a soft silicone inner later, and a plastic top which you can add or remove at your whim. It’s a useful combination, which won’t ever scuff the iPhone 4 while on, and gives major protection to the back when dropped, plus some to the front thanks to slightly raised edges.

We’d give the iLuv Fusion iPhone 4 case the full five stars but for one thing: the camera lens hole sits too close: it won’t cover the lens quite, but when using the flash or in direct sunlight, your photos end up with a green reflection. A rather unfortunate oversight and one you’ll only notice with a few days’ use, but a niggle nonetheless.

Read our iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review
iPhone 4 review: New design
iPhone 4 review: Retina Display
iPhone 4 review: HD video and iMovie
iPhone 4 review: Worth the upgrade?
iPhone 4 review: Electricpig staff opinions
iPhone 4 review: Live Q&A
iPhone 4 review: Sample photos

Related posts:

  1. iPhone 4 signal problems: Apple support document leaked
  2. iPhone 4 signal problems: are you bothered?
  3. iPhone 4 signal problems: Steve Jobs emails aggrieved customer


iPhone 4 jailbreak: hackers uncover Apple anti-tampering code

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 08:08 AM PDT

The quest for an iPhone 4 jailbreak continues apace with the iPhone Dev Team delving even further into iOS 4 and revealing more attempts by Apple to hamper their efforts. The latest tweets from iPhone Dev Team stalwarts MuscleNerd and Planetbeing as well as Spirit jailbreak creator Comex suggest the iPhone 4 jailbreak is nearing completion despite Apple anti-tampering measures…

MuscleNerd tweeted earlier today: "Hah @planetbeing has come up with a clever way to defeat anti-ultrasn0w 'tambering' checks in iPhone 4 baseband."

The iPhone Dev Team discovered misspelled references in code and says they’re related only to tasks used by the ultrasn0w unlocking tool. We'd previously heard that Apple had put measures in place to counteract the blacksn0w unlocking solution.

MuscleNerd confirmed that the "tamber" check in iOS 4 is purely to prevent ultrasn0w from working. But fellow coder Planetbeing has found a way round Apple's protections. MuscleNerd said yesterday that there was just one step left before a full iPhone 4 jailbreak. Perhaps this is it.

Meanwhile Comex, the brains behind the Spirit jailbreak and the iPad Flash hack has suggested he will wait for the iOS 4.1 update before releasing his iPhone 4 jailbreak. He said he'd "probably" wait for Apple but also has "to actually finish it first."

It really is only a matter of time until the iPhone 4 jailbreak hits the web but it does seem like we’ll have to wait for the iOS 4.1 update first. In the meantime, don't be lured by the fake iPhone 4 jailbreak claims out there!

Out TBC | £TBC | Unknown

Related posts:

  1. iPhone 4 jailbreak: coders in standoff with Apple
  2. iPhone 4 jailbreak: Apple delaying iOS 4.1 update to plug holes?
  3. iPhone hackers update jailbreak tool for latest firmware


4G spectrum likely to go up for auction next year

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 08:01 AM PDT

The UK's 4G spectrum will be up for auction as soon as next year according to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS). This follows a written answer from Ed Vaizey we reported last week, and a similar (but slightly bodged) answer in Parliament, about the possibility of 4G for the UK.

Last week Vaizey, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, answered a written question from Adam Afriyie, Conservative MP for Windsor, who asked "What steps he is taking to support the roll-out next generation mobile broadband services."

Vaizey said that the Government would make a decision on 4G for the UK before Parliament's summer recess on the 29th July. In Parliament, Vaizey answered a parliamentary question about 4G by saying that the decision would be made by the end of summer recess, but this was a mistaken verbal trip, according to BIS, who confirmed that we can expect a decision by the beginning of summer recess.

The announcement will pick up an existing statutory instrument brought in by the Labour government, which will make commitments for the 4G spectrum auction, which was originally scheduled for 2008.

Related posts:

  1. UK 4G rollout: HTC EVO 4G not so far away?
  2. Android PC in eBay charity auction
  3. Pirates steal £12bn a year says gov


iPad only consumer mag on the way from Virgin

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 07:28 AM PDT

Virgin Group are making a daring push into consumer titles, exclusively via the iPad, with the launch of a new title covering technology film and design in October. The iPad magazine will be called Maverick.


Maverick's debut will be exclusively on the iPad, and is Virgin's frst push into digital realms. Insider reports are stating that Branson wants to up his game and play with the big boys of the publishing world.

The magazine, Maverick, will be headed up by Holly Branson, daughter of Richard, and will be overseen by ex-FHM editor Anthony Noguera. Fingers crossed this isn't just a classy iPad version of Peaches Geldof's Disappear Here, a disastrous foray into magazine publishing that became sought after for its awfulness.

The magazine will be aimed at an international market, and is " about creative people, for creative people", which is getting dangerously close to a tautology: we can't imagine a magazine that was "about creative people, for non-creative people".

The iPad exclusivity will be fascinating to watch. In effect, the iPad launch means we’ll be watching how a magazine fares when it restricts itself to a device with a reach far smaller than a newsstand, but also opens itself up to a much broader geographical audience.

It's a tough market Miss Branson is getting into, moving into direct competition with both the UK and US versions of Wired, industry magazines like Creative Review, plus the plethora of tech, film and innovation sites out there. A USP for Maverick is hard to pin down, and its not clear where in the market Miss and Sir Branson see this sitting.

Related posts:

  1. Freeview retune leads to storm of consumer complaints
  2. Virgin Media nabs Sci Fi Channel HD
  3. Techie Breakie: Internet Explorer 9 unveiled, Virgin Media’s 3D box and iPad pre-order sales breakdown


Windows Phone 7: free Find My Phone feature revealed

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 06:35 AM PDT

The first Windows Phone 7 dev tools are out in the wild and Microsoft is starting to slip out more details about it's latest attempt to master mobile. Over at its Worldwide Partner Conference, where Steve Ballmer has been talking Windows 7 slates, features for syncing files and finding your lost Windows Phone 7 phone are about to break cover. With Blackberry Protect revealed yesterday, mobile makers must think we're all very careless.

Like Blackberry Protect, the Windows Phone 7 Find My Phone feature will be free in contrast to MobileMe with its £59 yearly subscription. It all sounds very similar to Apple's Find My iPhone with ability to track your missing phone, ring it, remotely lock it and erase your data if you think it's gone for good.

The Windows Phone 7 Find My Phone service be part of the Windows Phone Live site where you'll also get a 25GB of free storage in the cloud and access to your Windows Live calendar and contacts. The syncing smarts which will also let you sling photos to the cloud directly from your Windows Phone 7 handset.

Microsoft is also likely to spend a good while talking up the previously announced Windows Phone 7 Xbox Live integration and how the new OS will cosy up to the Office 2010 web apps. We'll also see more of the Windows Live integration and connections with Gmail and Exchange.

Do you like the sound of Windows Phone 7's cloud-based services? We're hoping the fact that Blackberry Protect and the Find My Phone feature in Windows Phone 7 are gratis gets Apple seriously thinking about free MobileMe.

Out TBC | £TBC | Microsoft

Related posts:

  1. Windows Phone 7 Series hardware specs revealed
  2. LG Windows Phone 7 Series prototype revealed
  3. Dell Lightning: first Windows Phone 7 handset revealed


Blackberry tablet: Flash support incoming?

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 06:02 AM PDT

The Blackberry tablet chatter has reached almost deafening levels over the past few days and now yet another rumour about RIM's secret slate has slipped out. RIM showed off its Blackberry 6 OS again yesterday and it seems like we could see the Blackberry tablet with Steve Jobs-frustrating Flash support following it soon…

BetaNews claims a source close to RIM has been blabbing to it about the Blackberry tablet. It reports that the Blackberry tablet specs outlined yesterday (a 7in screen, 1Ghz Marvell processor plus two cameras for video conferencing) were bang on.

The source also claims that the Blackberry tablet will come packing Flash support and hardware-based Flash acceleration to get your YouTube videos really jumping. It seems a safe bet as Adobe has already confirmed that Flash 10.1 will support Blackberry.

If the Blackberry tablet does arrive with Flash, it'll join Android and Chrome OS in the army of slates set to side with Adobe against Apple. Playing all of the video the web has to offer is clearly a big trump card for other tablet makers.

We're itching to get a look at the Blackberry tablet to see whether RIM really can give the iPad a run for its money. Unfortunately, the latest rumours haven't stuck a timescale on when we might see the Blackberry tablet unveiled.

Let us know: would Flash support sway your choice when it comes to snapping up a tablet?

Out TBC | £TBC | RIM (via BetaNews)

Related posts:

  1. BlackBerry Flash support prepped
  2. Flash support: iPhone only OS left out
  3. Adobe confirms Flash support for iPhone in development


Windows Phone 7 Dev Tools released – devices thin on ground?

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 05:28 AM PDT

Windows Phone 7 Dev Tools Beta was released yesterday, in anticipation of the Windows Phone 7 launch some time around October this year, and preview phones will be shipped to ISVs on the 19th July. The only problem is, Microsoft have said they won't be able to meet demand.


In a blog post yesterday Brandon Watson, head of marketplace and platform for Windows Phone 7, said: "Starting next Monday (July 19th), we start shipping the devices more broadly. Sadly, we will not be able to meet all of that demand.  We are planning to set up deploy and test labs in major cities to make it a little easier for everyone who wants to have access to a preview phone to have it. More on that soon."

How short that means Microsoft are is not clear, but at least there'll be devices available to test, which is a boon for developers. Compare that to the nailed to table  approach to developers Apple gave before release of the iPad, and it brings Microsoft and Apple into sharp contrast, with the news that Microsoft’s first two preview devices were awarded last week to a pair of high school students who won Microsoft's Windows Phone Rockstar contest.

Watson also added some fighting talk to the torrents of determined speeches we’ve already heard, and said: "It's time to get serious about building the actual apps and games for Windows Phone 7 that consumers will be looking for starting this holiday season.”

Related posts:

  1. Microsoft Windows 7 Beta released today
  2. First Windows Phone 7 apps sighted!
  3. Windows Phone 7 Series official: Windows Mobile 7 in the flesh!


iPad tablet rivals: a prescription for hassles and heartache

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 05:02 AM PDT

The iPad hit the UK almost two months ago and we're still waiting for a real rival to break cover. Android tablets have their fans – the Dell Streak has captured the heart of the tinkering types – but the much-whispered about Google Chrome OS tablets are still lost in the cloud, the Blackberry tablet sounds uninspiring and the wave of Windows 7 slates is set to disappoint. As much as I'd love to see a compelling iPad rival soon, the army of alternatives will only let us down…

Here's Steve Ballmer's description of the wave of Windows 7 slates that's rolling our way later this year: "They come with keyboards, they'll come without keyboards. They'll be dockable. There will be many form factors, many price points, many sizes. But they will run Windows 7. They will run Windows 7 applications."

There's the big problem. Microsoft and its partners are going to flood the market with as many tablets as they can make and on each one there'll be Windows 7, an interface that wasn't designed for touchscreens squeezed into an alien form factor.

The fantasy offered up by the Microsoft Courier – a touchscreen notebook with its own bespoke software – was an exciting one. It could have given Microsoft a new avenue for creating an innovative iPad rival but instead, it was canned. Now we're stuck with Windows 7 in a new world that just doesn't suit it.

iOS on the iPad doesn't have nearly as many features as Windows 7 but that's the point. By paring back the UI, Apple has left only what's necessary to make the iPad simple and largely free from distractions. How long will you be able to read an ebook on a Windows slate before it pipes up with a message about your anti-virus software or a new service pack update?

Then there's the dearth of touch-based apps for Windows. While iPad owners can draw on an expanding library of dedicated apps, Windows slate owners will find themselves stuck with a very limited range of options while developers get to grips with the huge swathe of set-ups and screen sizes.

Then there's Chrome OS tablets which have yet to be unveiled outside of the Chrome OS tablet concept video we saw last year. For most people, the idea of relying on the cloud to such a big extent will take some serious persuasion and Google's track record in delivering an attractive interface isn't exactly great. Plenty of people won't be willing to stump up cash for a tablet that may end up with software perpetually in beta.

Google's "other OS", Android, is making inroads with tablets but they've got the same problem as Android phones: the fragmentation caused by new versions of Android rolling around every few months. Then there's Google's irritating decision to keep tablets from having Android Market access right now. Again, that's down to the sheer range of screen sizes and resolutions that developers will have to cater for and that's not likely to change any time soon.

The Blackberry tablet will please hardcore fans of RIM's emailing expertise but if rumours that it'll have to remain tied to your phone come true, it'll be an instant flop. Meanwhile, a webOS HP Slate could offer up some salvation for iPad haters but there's still the problem of a far smaller number of Palm-friendly developers to cope with.

Adding Flash into the mix will help iPad rivals pick up some sales from folk frustrated by Apple's insistence on keeping Adobe out. But with the ongoing march of HTML5, that point of difference may not be around for long.

The iPad has succeeded, despite its failings, because it gets on with the job. Each and every one of the iPad rivals we've heard about so far adds layers of complexity and confusion. Some will see modest success but the headaches and hassles that come with them will mean it pales in comparison to the iPad sales juggernaut.

Am I wrong? Will Microsoft managed to make Windows 7 tablets easier to swallow? Could a webOS slate slay the iPad? Or is a totally new tablet strategy needed to create a really compelling alternative?

Related posts:

  1. Asus: two iPad tablet rivals incoming!
  2. iPad Tegra 2 tablet rivals delayed
  3. iPad rivals: Microsoft tablets still coming says Bill Gates


Lunchtime Lowdown: iPhone 4 jailbreak fakes, PES 2011 video and Windows 7 slates

Posted: 13 Jul 2010 04:31 AM PDT

Want to catch up quick on everything tech related you missed this morning? It’s all ready and waiting here for you in the lunchtime lowdown round up!

First up, Apple. We may be edging closer and closer to a public iPhone 4 jailbreak, but in the meantime, there’s been a deluge of fakes, so watch out for them. Staying with the iPhone, the fallout from Fring’s brief iPhone 4 video calling experiment continues, with Skype now explaining why it pulled support on its end.

Elsewhere in gadgetry, Microsoft hinted once again at a near future line up of Windows 7 tablets, perhaps including one from HP fate all. Finally, in gaming, Sony changed the fineprint for use of the PS3 with 3D games, and we caught a new trailer of Pro Evolution Soccer 2011 – see it in full here!

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

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: 3G iPhone fakes, multi-touch for Windows, mobile routers launch
  2. iPhone 4 jailbreak: Golra1n leads a torrent of fakes
  3. Lunchtime Lowdown: iPhone 4 Fring video calling, HTC Windows Phone 7 plans and Red Dead Redemption DLC


No comments:

Post a Comment