Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

Channel 4 Lovefilm alternative: Film4oD

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 10:15 AM PDT

Channel 4 is after a piece of the UK movie streaming pie, and has announced Film4oD, an online streaming service for watching full length films. Film40D has a rental fee of between 99p and £3.99 per title, depending on whether you’re after premium titles or bargain box tat. Rentals last 48 hrs, and you can watch the film as many times as you want in that two day period.

[via Guardian]

Available now | 99p-£3.99 | Film4oD

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LG Optimus One unboxed: photos and video!

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 10:12 AM PDT

We’ve just landed an LG Optimus One Android smartphone. This is LG’s big debut on the latest version of Google’s OS, Android 2.2. Froyo, so naturally we’re going to give it a full review. Before we do though, why don’t you tell us what you want to know about it, and check it out on video and in our gallery right here? Read on!

Let’s get this clear from the get go: the LG Optimus One is not a HTC Desire HD or Samsung Galaxy S rival. It’s a low power, 600MHz smartphone with a tiny screen (A 2.8-inch 320×480 resolution ), but that should make it much more affordable.

From our quick play with it so far, we’re taken with the sturdy, light build, but that screen is looking grainier than a 19th century daguerreotype. Still, if it lets you run all the latest Google apps on the cheap, that’s the price you pay right? We’ll have a full LG Optimus One review for you shortly, but in the meantime, check it out on camera right here and drop your questions in the comments below!

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iPad vs Toshiba Folio 100 vs Advent Vega

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 09:59 AM PDT

There are two types of tablets emerging, the sofa tablet, with a screen of around 10″, that serve the same function as an iPad, and the other form factor, the 7″ tablets, like the Samsung Galaxy Tab, which serve a slightly different purpose. We’ve pitted the three ten-inchers against one another in a battle of the sofa tablet to see which comes out tops. Can the iPad keep its crown when pitted against the cheap as chips Advent Vega and the input-friendly Toshiba Folio 100?

There's an enormous gulf between the price of the iPad, the Advent Vega and the Toshiba Folio 100. The iPad runs from £430 to £700, depending on whether you get a 16GB, 32GB, or 64GB options, and whether you stump up extra for 3G. The Toshiba Folio 100 will set you back £330, and the 10.1″ Advent Vega is a snip at £250. Remember to take into consideration the data contract you’ll need if you get an iPad though. The iPad is the only device here with a data plan, as it’s the only one currently with 3G connectivity, and if you want 3G connectivity in the Toshiba Folio 100 or the Advent Vega you’ll have to wait until next year, when new models with 3G functionality will be added to the Tosh and Advent tablet line up.

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The iPad, Toshiba Folio 100 and Advent Vega also devices have almost exactly the same screen size: the iPad has a 9.7" screen whereas the Toshiba Folio 100 and Advent Vega have 10" screens. The Advent Vega is on the cusp of HD, it supports above 720p but not full 1080p on its 10.1″ capacitive screen that reaches 1024 x 600. The iPad has a 9.7″ screen, with 1024 x 768 resolution. The Toshiba Folio 100 has a 10.1″ screen as well, and

The iPad has access to the Apple App Store, with over 250,000 apps, 25,000 of which are built for the iPad. The Toshiba Folio 100, because it is only Wi-fi, has the Toshiba Marketplace pre-loaded. The Advent Vega has the Archos AppsLib which has 5,000 apps available. The Toshiba Folio 100 and the Advent Vega do not have the Android Marketplace available since neither have 3G connectivity (both will be available with a 3G option in the first half of next year).

If you want apps: magazines, newspapers, games, photo tools and everything else that apps content brings that a browser can't, then the iPad is by far the best bet, and while only a portion of the apps currently on the App Store have been optimised for the iPad, what's there is higher quality and in larger numbers than with the limited Toshiba Marketplace or the AppsLib.

Operating System
While it’s impossible to assess three operating systems thoroughly in a couple of paragraphs, there are a few important things to remember about these three tablets. The Toshiba Folio 100 and the Advent Vega are running Android Froyo 2.2, and Google has said that tablets of this form factor should not be running Android, as it isn’t built to run on such large devices. 7″ tablets like the Tab can get away with it, but for 10″ babies like these, there might be some minor glitches in rendering and the like. The iPad on the other hand has its own dedicated version of iOS, with no chance of glitching, and so if you’re looking for the most reliable operating system, you might be wise to look in the direction of the iPad.

Storage Size
The iPad is available in three sizes: 16GB, 32GB and 64GB. The Advent Vega takes a microSD card of up to 32GB as well as having an SD slot, which comes with a 4GB card straight out of the box. The Toshiba Folio 100 has 16GB of internal space, which is expandable via the microSD slot by up to 32GB.

Apple is notorious for its reluctance to add inputs to its devices. The Toshiba Folio 100 and the Advent Vega therefore have an advantage. While the iPad has no inputs, the Advent Vega has a USB connection, SD, and microSD slot, and the Toshiba Folio 100 has a USB port, SD card slot and HDMI port.

While the Folio 100 is heavy on inputs, and the Advent Vega is super cheap, the fact that they are running Android 2.2 might cause problems. The Vega has a reasonably powerful processor to back up Froyo, and is running a stripped back version of Android 2.2, meaning it might get on better with the operating system than the Toshiba. Overall, despite the high cost, if you want to take full advantage pf the 10″ tablet form factor, it’s worth shelling out for the iPad, for the apps content and operating system. If you’re looking for a cheap tablet for casual use: for browsing and watching YouTube at home without having to get the laptop out, then the Advent Vega is where you should be looking.

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USB business card: geekiest business trick ever!

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 09:01 AM PDT

Behold the USB business card! Created by Frank Zhao, this clever little bit of promotional kit has its instructions printed directly onto the circuit board. Plug it into a computer, open a text editor, hit the Caps Lock key three times and it spews forth all of Frank's contact information. Jump through to the other side to see the card in action and let us know if you've seen any even cooler cards out there…

Don't forget to let us know about the coolest tech business cards you've come across in the comments…

Out now | £NA | Frank Zhao (via Hackaday)

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Nexus Two does not exist, according to Samsung

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 08:57 AM PDT

Samsung has told Korean website Damawa that rumours about a second iteration of the Google phone, the Nexus Two, are “simply not true”, despite leaks popping up all over the shop. Is this a PR bluff, or a quote to the effect that Samsung had no comment on the Nexus Two, skewed by an ambiguous statement and bad translations?

Rumours of the Nexus Two have been breeding like rabbits across the interwebs. Android and Me said it had a number of sources confirm that the Samsung 8 November press event would see the Nexus Two unveiled, and City AM said it had industry sources who said that the Nexus two would be hitting the shops in the UK in time for Christmas through an exclusive Carphone Warehouse deal.

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In light of this, it seems a little strange for Samsung to deny the Nexus Two completely. There’s a good amount of evidence for it, and the information leaked is often specific and consistent, even if there are no official sources willing to be named.

What do you think? Is Samsung really not building the Nexus Two? Is this a major bluff, or has a no comment just been lost in translation?

[via TNW]

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Samsung Galaxy Tab: Orange pricing released

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 08:04 AM PDT

Orange has unveiled its price plans for the Samsung Galaxy Tab on top of the Vodafone announcement of its Samsung Galaxy Tab pricing earlier today. It looks like there will be a plethora of options for people shelling out for the Tab to choose from, although everybody is pricing the Tab at £500 or more.

The Orange Samsung Galaxy Tab pricing is based around two frameworks, the Orange Raccoon price plans and the Orange Dolphin price plans, and each are available either in 30 day rolling contracts or as 12 month contracts.

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The Samsung Galaxy Tab on a 12 month Raccoon contract will set you back £500, with a 500MB monthly data allowance for £5 per month. You can also sign up to Raccoon under two different 30 day rolling contracts. The basic 30 day contract means you pay £530 for the Tab, and data is 5p/MB. Alternatively, pay £5 per month and get the Tab for £530 and 500MB data limit.

The Orange Dolphin contract set is intended for heavier users. Two 30 day rolling contracts set the price of the Tab at £515, and give 1GB of data. Pay £15 per month though and you get unlimited BT Openzone Wi-fi, where £10 just gets you the 1GB data.

The Samsung Galaxy Tab costs £500 on Dolphin 12 month contracts. Choose between paying £15 per month for 1GB anytime data and 1GB quiet time data (between 12am and 4am), plus unlimited BT Openzone Wi-fi. Pay £10 per month and you’ll get the same, but with no BT Openzone Wi-fi.

What do you think about the Orange price plans in comparison to Vodafone’s? Who would you rather stump for, or are all these prices just through the roof when it comes to the up front price of the Samsung Galaxy Tab?

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Gucci 3D glasses: stylish or stupid?

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 07:28 AM PDT

Gucci 3D glasses. Yep, you read that right. Gucci is putting out a pair of super-chic, super-pricey 3D glasses. The shiny plastic aviators will set you back substantially more than the £20 aviator Moshka 3D glasses we showed you last week. The Gucci 3D glasses with their "optically correct 6-based curved lenses with circular polarised technology" will cost $225 when they hit Gucci boutiques in the US in time for Christmas. Click the headline above and hit the comments to tell us: are these Gucci 3D glasses stylish or stupid?

Out TBC | $225 | Gucci (via Luxist)

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Google Maps guru poached by Facebook

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 07:02 AM PDT

Google Maps co-founder, Lars Rasmussen, has been snapped up by Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg personally poached the Google employee with what Rasmussen says was a "compelling personal pitch". Based on Zuckerberg's public appearances we find that one hard to picture! Rasmussen is just the latest in a string of Google guys lured over to Facebook…

Rasmussen told Aussie paper The Age that Facebook is "a one-in-a-decade type of company" and that encouraged him to end his six-year stint at Google. Rasmussen who is currently based at Google's Sydney offices will now move Facebook's Silicon Valley HQ.  He helped create Google Maps with his brother.

Facebook confirmed that it has snapped up the Google Maps brainiac saying it's "thrilled he will be party of [our] world-class engineering team…" There's no clue about what Rasmussen will be building for Facebook but Facebook Places is one obvious area that could do with his magic touch.

Rasmussen's move comes less than two months after Google executed his pet project, Google Wave. We wonder if putting that to an end was the last straw. It'll also be interesting to see whether he can bring some of those productivity creating ideas for Facebook Docs.

Out now | £free | Facebook (via The Age)

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What if… Steve Jobs was CEO of Google?

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 06:24 AM PDT

Business Insider reports today that Sergey Brin and Larry Page’s first choice for Google CEO was Steve Jobs. How different both Apple and Google could have turned out got us thinking: would Google be a walled garden, or would Steve Jobs be an open source advocate?

Business Insider says: “The story goes that, after interviewing 12 or 13 candidates they didn’t like, Page and Brin happened to make something of a social visit to Apple and Jobs. After the visit, the Google co-founders met with investor John Doerr and asked him: why can’t we hire that guy?…he told Page and Brin something along the lines of, “are you nuts?”"

Other interesting titbits include the fact that Eric Schmidt attended the annual global hippie get together, Burning Man festival (which is based on ideas of “radical self-expression”) out in the Nevada Desert. This guy could have been Eric Schmidt once upon a time.

How would Google look if Steve Jobs was CEO? Click and tell, pick more than one answer, and drop us your own suggestions in the extra box…

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Lunchtime Lowdown: Samsung Galaxy Tab goes on sale, Facebook mobile event and Call of Duty: Black Ops videos

Posted: 01 Nov 2010 05:42 AM PDT

Even if your stomach’s not rumbling yet, we bet your grey matter’s getting hungry for some more tech stories to tuck into. We’re happy to oblige: read on for your rundown of all the latest gadgets news form this morning here in the lunchtime lowdown.

First up, it’s all systems go for the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Not only did it go on sale unlocked today across the UK, but Vodafone announced its contract pricing for the Android slate as well.

In mobile meanwhile, Facebook is holding a phone related event this week (but what for?), while the VLC iPhone app for opening all your videos may not be long for the iPhone App Store, so grab it while you can.

Finally, in gaming, we got a look at a new official Call of Duty: Black Ops trailer, while we also got a naughty peek at the leaked ending. Want to know what happen?

Hungry for more headlines still? Roll on through to the homepage and help yourself to them all as they break!

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