Thursday, 11 November 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

Win a Nokia N8 with Electricpig Prime Cuts

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 12:45 PM PST

Tomorrow morning we’ll be sending the third edition of the Electricpig Prime Cuts weekly newsletter. Have you signed up yet? If not you’re missing out on the week’s best tech news, reviews and recommendations, as well as the chance to win a Nokia N8.

Everyone who signs up for Prime Cuts qualifies for the draw to win a free Nokia N8, courtesy of Vodafone. If you’ve already subscribed, there’s no need to sign up again.

Check out previous issues of Prime Cuts with the links below, and sign up in the form right here!

Issue 1 – PSP Phone has Android on a knife edge

Issue 2 - Kinect has won the console war

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LA Noire trailer: Rockstar’s next game revealed!

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 09:00 AM PST

You might not have heard of LA Noire, but trust us when we say that this is one game you’re going to want to keep an eye on. It’s the latest new franchise from Rockstar Games – you know, the cats who brought you those sleeper hits like Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption. This time, the Houser brothers and co have turned their skills to classic crime thrillers. Read on to see what game noir looks like…

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Hit the play button and you’ll see the Team Bondi developed game’s very first trailer – we’ll have a HD YouTube version for you ASAP. LA Noire looks just like a quality neo noir film like LA Confidential or Chinatown, and the graphics appear to be a huge improvement over Red Dead Redemption’s characters – just look at the facial animations.

Now it’s obviously too early to start hailing LA Noire as a classic, but we’ll say this: Rockstar’s track record is incredibly strong. In fact, we can’t think of one dud they’ve had since Grand Theft Auto 2, more than a decade ago. Like a down on his luck PI following the beautiful wife of a corrupt businessman, we’ll be keeping close tabs on this one. It’s out in the Spring next year for PS3 and Xbox 360.

Out Spring 2011 | £TBC | Rockstar Games

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Call of Duty: Black Ops necklace for her, Modern Warfare cufflinks for him

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 08:32 AM PST

If playing Call of Duty: Black Ops isn’t enough for you, then why not colour yourself Call of Duty, and accessorise with a spangly necklace for the ladies, and cufflinks for the fellas. Ladies, get a load of one of these pendants. Fellas, show that you know your COD, and invest in a pair of Modern Warfare cufflinks. If you want to invest in some Call of Duty: Black Ops or Modern Warfare fashions, then skip over to Etsy, where folks are working away on handmade killstreak earrings as we speak… Click through for the gallery.

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Nintendo wants to own “it’s on like Donkey Kong”

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 08:03 AM PST

Nintendo is making a rather odd move: trying to trademark "it's on like Donkey Kong", the 90s pop cultural exclamation that we'd forgotten even existed. We're pretty certain it was never a Nintendo slogan or promotional tagline but the company still has an application in to snaffle up the phrase for itself perhaps inspired by the imminent arrival of Donkey Kong Country Returns in November. Didn't King Kong come first? Click the headline to hit the comments and let us know what other phrases games firms might want to grab. "Hadouken!" anyone?

Out now | £NA | Nintendo (via CNN)

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Facebook BlackBerry app checks in with Facebook Places update

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 07:45 AM PST

UPDATE: We’ve been giving the new Facebook BlackBerry app a whirl and our first impressions after the jump!

The Facebook BlackBerry app has had a big location flavoured update. Version 1.9 of the Facebook BlackBerry app now lets you check into Facebook Places, and makes use of your phone’s GPS to work out where you are.

Perhaps more intriguingly, the new Facebook BlackBerry app on BlackBerry 6 phones add Facebook integration into the universal search, which could be seriously useful for social networking addicts. We’re installing it on a couple of phones right now – we’ll let you know how we get on.

On our BlackBerry Bold 9700, Facebook Places works like a charm. You can find it in the top right hand corner of the navbar, alongside a new search icon, which lets you search through Facebook pages as well as people. Just what the doctor ordered! Our Blackberry Bold 9780 meanwhile crashed the first time we tried to run it, but a reboot later, and we were up and running. It’s exactly the same but now makes a Facebook icon appear in the universal search field when you type anything. A handy update overall, but we’d like to see Facebook Groups on here sharpish RIM.

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Kinect vs Call of Duty: Black Ops in numbers

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 07:38 AM PST

It would be an understatement to say that Kinect and Call of Duty: Black Ops have both been highly anticipated launches of recent weeks. But turn away from the hype, and look at the numbers, sales-wise, Call of Duty has outsold Kinect by a massive chunk.

There was an estimated 7m copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops sold in one day globally, with an estimated 3.6m in the US. In comparison, over 475,000 Kinect consoles were sold in two days in the Americas. There’s likely to be a discrepancy here: folks buying Kinect are early adopters, whereas those clutching cellophane wrapped copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops are not. Therefore we might expect Call of Duty: Black Ops to outsell Kinect. The price difference also counts against Kinect, which is more of an investment.

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Kinect could be more of an evergreen product, with sales growing around word of mouth more than they might do for Call of Duty: Black Ops. It’ll be interesting to see how the two sales figures pan out over time.

Which do you think should be selling more, Call of Duty: Black Ops or Kinect?

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Thick Of It iPhone app incoming: steal Malcolm Tucker’s phone

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 07:22 AM PST

We heard rumours of a Thick Of It iPhone app but they're now been confirmed. Our secret government source is…well, it's Thick of It creator Armando Iannucci who revealed that the Thick Of It app is officially in the works and should be with us within the next couple of months. Here's my Armando had to say on the Richard Bacon show on 5Live: "The Malcolm Tucker app turns your phone into Malcolm's phone. You'll get phone calls and emails to him. It should be out in the next couple of months." Let's hope the obscenity-strewn rantings of Malcolm Tucker make it through Apple's censorship slalom and into the iTunes App Store.

While we wait, try this week’s best iPhone apps to keep you busy.

Out TBC | £TBC | The Thick Of It

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Budget Android tablet line up grows with Binatone HomeSurf

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 07:04 AM PST

The Binatone HomeSurf tablet is another addition to the super budget Android tablet line up. We’ve seen offerings from Advent, Creative, Elonex and others, so how does this one stand up?

The HomeSurf tablet will be available in two sizes: a 7″ model, and a slightly squarer screened 8″ version (shown in the demo video below). If you’re looking for bells and whistles, look away now, as you won’t find any. The Binatone HomeSurf runs Android 1.6, and has a resistive touchscreen. the 8″ version has a 2.5mm headphone jack (headphones are included), and the 7″ has a 3.5mm headphone input.

Both the 8″ and 7″ HomeSurf have a microSD slot, and micro USB input. It’s got two inbuilt speakers, and the dock that comes with the 8″ version has an extra speaker built in too. It’s Wi-fi only, and the 8″ version of the HomeSurf also comes with a faux leather case. Both have stylus that pop out of the casing too, so you don’t have to grapple too much with the resistive touchscreens.

Price wise the 8″ Binatone HomeSurf is going to set you back £180-£200, and the smaller 7″ version will be £100-£130. It’s going to be in the shops by the end of the month – Andrew Greenway from Binatone said “We’re ready to go on this, it’ll be available as soon as stock arrives.” We’re waiting for details on stockists, but if you want to know where you can get you hands on one drop us a line in the comments and we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

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Apple Store iPad stand patented: now that is attention to detail!

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 06:23 AM PST

Apple loves a good patent and the latest shows Steve Jobs' fanatical attention to detail – it's for the design of the iPad stand used in Apple Stores. It follows previous patents for the layout of the Apple retail store, the glass structures used in the shops and famously the New York Apple Store's spiral glass staircase. If you can't see the full patent image above, click the headline to see the iPad stand in all its circular glory.

Out now | £NA | Apple (via Patently Apple)

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Windows Phone 7: no OTA updates plus carriers can block them

Posted: 11 Nov 2010 06:02 AM PST

We know Windows Phone 7 updates are set to be delivered directly from Microsoft but how that'll work isn't as simple as we first thought. Though Windows Phone 7 dev units received OTA updates that won't happen if you grab one from a shop. Instead, for the foreseeable future, Windows Phone 7 updates will be delivered via USB through the Zune software. And it seems carriers might be able to delay updates too. Oh dear…

We thought Windows Phone 7 would be free of the kind of carrier-inspired delays that have dogged Android but that may not be the case. Microsoft VP and director of Windows Phone Program Management, Joe Belfiore, told Windows fanboy-in-chief Paul Thurrott: "If a carrier wants to stop an update they can."

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That doesn't bode well as carriers have an awful history of messing about with updates and taking their time leaving phone owners hanging for much desired updates. Let's hope Windows Phone 7 updates don't get into that painful cycle.

Let us know: have you bought a Windows Phone 7 device? What do you make of it?

Out now | £varies | Windows Phone 7 (via Ars Technica)

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