Monday, 15 November 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

US Update: Kinect, TwIMDb, Nexus S

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 07:00 PM PST

Morning Briefing for November 16What did you miss while you were asleep? Fire up that pot of joe and let's dive right in with the top tech stories this from the USA this morning.

Fresh off its first week after launch, the Xbox 360 Kinect is making waves with a staggering 1.3 million units sold worldwide. Meanwhile die-hard Twitter fans will want to take a look at TwIMDb, a nifty little Chrome and Firefox browser extension that brings Twitter names to IMDb cast and crew.

The Android fanboys will be going bonkers over a recent interview with the man who coined the term "net neutrality" when he calls Apple his biggest fear to Internet freedom.

Another day means another rumor about the upcoming Samsung Nexus S. We spotted the gadget front and center at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, CA. Last up this fine morning: the LG Cosmos Touch, a follow up to the LG Cosmos set to take off across the pond on Verizon Wireless November 23.

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LG Cosmos Touch Lands November 23

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 06:00 PM PST

the lg cosmos touch will be released on november 23 for verizon wirelessThe second generation LG Cosmos, the LG Cosmos Touch, is slate for a November 23 release on Verizon Wireless. Packing more punch that its predecessor and a much needed design overhaul, the Cosmos Touch aims for the stars with an improved and now touchscreen display.

The original LG Cosmos took a page from the LG Rumor's book, but this second generation Cosmos Touch is an entirely different beast. Hiding beneath the spacious 2.8-inch display is a four-row QWERTY keyboard to sooth your fingers as you fire off emails and SMS messages. On November 23 when the LG Cosmos Touch hits Verizon Wireless, the device will be offered for $79.99 (£49) after a $50 (£31) mail-in rebate on a new 2-year service agreement.

Nov. 23 | Verizon Wireless

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Samsung Nexus S Appears at Web 2.0 Summit

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 05:00 PM PST

The Samsung Nexus S was on stage at the web 2.0 summit todayThe Samsung Nexus S, the once rumored Android follow up to the HTC Nexus One, was front and center at the Web 2.0 Summit this morning. Not only did the Nexus S make an appearance, but Google's Eric Schmidt confirmed that Android Gingerbread (version 2.3) will be available in the "next few weeks" with NFC in tote.

Despite being the featured handset in the demonstration today, the Samsung Nexus S is still considered an "unannounced phone" from an "unannounced manufacturer". While Google may have wanted to keep the device under wraps, it has done little to prevent two key tidbits of information from the proverbial slip – T-mobile and Samsung. A quick look at the slides from the presentation shows both the manufacturer's name, Samsung, as well as the carrier, T-Mobile, on the home screen.

The Samsung Nexus S is in fact the replacement to the Nexus One and at this point there is little Google or Samsung can do to stop the buzz. Even more important to would-be Samsung Nexus S buyers this holiday season is a new feature confirmed by Schmidt- Near Field Communication (NFC). This short-range frequency has been rumored on the iPhone 5 and many believe it could eventually replace credit cards.

There was plenty of additional insight revealed by Schmidt during the conference, including Google's stance on Chrome OS and Android, specifically regarding devices. Schmidt confirmed that the Chrome OS is aimed at what he's calling "keyboard based solutions" whereas Android is "optimized for touch". Questions about Android OS as a tablet platform remain unanswered (much to the demise of Samsung) since these statements do not officially rule out Chrome OS appearing on tablets somewhere down the road.

The Google overload was in full force today and the official unveil of the Samsung Nexus S and Android 2.3 Gingerbread loom on the horizon. While the "next few weeks" is not exactly the answer we were hoping for, it still provides the minimal confirmation Android fans need. Anyone up for a guess on the official Android 2.3 or Samsung Nexus S release dates?

TBA | Engadget

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Apple is Net Neutrality Enemy Number One

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 04:00 PM PST

apple is net neutrality enemy number oneApple might have fun-loving TV commercials and largely successful products, but not all is sweet and peachy for the Cupertino-based company. Tim Wu, the Columbia law professor who originally coined the term "net neutrality", now fears Apple posses the greatest risk to the freedom of the Internet.

In an interview with the New York Times, Wu went on to say that he believes the danger will continue long after Steve Job's tenure. So what exactly made Steve Jobs the target for Wu's criticism? Apparently his "charisma, vision and instincts of every great information emperor. His vision has undeniable appeal, but he wants too much control over it".

It seems the price for success in the technology space now results in being labeled a tech villain, a title once held by Microsoft CEO Bill Gates during the 90's. We can only wonder if the next player at the top of Wu's Anti-Internet freedom march might be Google, set to continue smartphone market share dominance in 2011. As the late Notorious B.I.G. once said, "mo money, mo problems", it looks like Apple will remain under fire so long as their earnings stay out of the red.

Further details into Wu's insight can be found in his recently published book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, in which he calls companies such as AT&T, NBC, Facebook and Google, "information empires". Adding insult to injury, when asked about the subject matter for the book Wu said, "It's largest a story of the American affection for information monopolists and the consequences of that fondness".

Unfortunately we may have to remove that shiny new MacBook pro I've added to Apple shopping cart before I show too much "affection" and "fondness" to Apple. Let us know what you think- has Apple really positioned themselves as the villain preventing Internet freedom?

Out now | £10.95 | Amazon

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TwIMDb Brings Twitter Names to IMDb Cast and Crew

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 03:00 PM PST

TwIMDb Brings Twitter Names to IMDb Cast and CrewEver wanted to know your favorite actor's Twitter name but too lazy to scour the web? TwIMDb is your savior, bringing real twitter handles to the cast and crew listed on your favorite movies and television shows at IMDb.

For those of you living under rocks, IMDb is the one-stop shop for everything television or film whether it means rating a movie, looking up an actor's bio or simply trying to track down the name of that slasher flick you watched on Halloween. So how exactly does TwIMDb bridge the gap between Twitter and IMDb?

Simple, TwIMDb aims to please by using Chrome and Firefox browser extensions to seamlessly integrate the Twitter handles directly after the actor or cast member's name in the description. Behind the scenes, a database is being created which links the actors with their twitter handles and at this time there are currently 100 listed. You might be wondering what all the fuss is about for a database of Twitter names, but honestly the existing Twitter lists and websites have failed thus far.

TwIMDB creator Matthew Fong has some ambitious plans for the new browser extension with plans to release Facebook and Wikipedia pages outing the handles down the road. Folks, we might be closing in on a new era of paparazzi fueled by the power of Twitter and our web browser. In order for a project like this to be a success, Fong will need your help to track down the twitter handles of the Hollywood socialites and elites. The best way to do so is by following him on his Twitter handle @matthewfong or simply follow his blog to stay up to date with the latest happenings.

If you're ready to take the plunge into the world of TwIMDb then have at the Chrome extension here or the Firefox extension here.

Out TBC | £free | MatthewFong

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Xbox 360 Kinect Tops 1.3 Million Units Sold Worldwide

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 02:00 PM PST

A look at the Xbox 360 Kinect sensor sales totals for the first ten daysThe Xbox 360 Kinect is flying off retail shelves worldwide with a reported 1.3 million units sold in the first ten days since launch. Those 1.3 million units have raked in a cool $250 million in revenue for Redmond’s camp and officially thrown the Playstation Move into the rear-view mirror.

According to VGChartz, during the first ten days since the North America launch nearly 950,000 sensors were sold. Meanwhile in Europe 330,000 units were sold, consisting of 130,000 in the UK alone. To put these figures into perspective, Kinect sold nearly twice the units as the Playstation Move during the first week in the US, with reports of 480,000 and 200,000 respectively. It looks like that purported $500 million advertising budget is working out quite well after all.

It's hard to explain the magnitude of the Xbox 360 Kinect advertising budget without a quick look to the past. In 2006 when the Xbox 360 first launched, Microsoft had a total advertising budget of $944.9 million for all of Microsoft's entertainment products while Nintendo's Wii clocked in at just over $200 million. Fast forward to the present and the Redmond camp is allocating nearly half their 2006 advertising budget into a single accessory for the Xbox 360.

Numbers aside, the Xbox 360 Kinect is poised to be the holiday blockbuster Microsoft had hoped. As of today the top-selling software titles are Kinect Adventures with 400,000 units sold worldwide, followed by Dance Central with 200,000, Kinectimals at 110,000 and Fighters Uncaged and MotionSports both with 100,000 units. In total this brings the software sales for Kinect up to 2.5 million units if we factor in the sales of Kinect Adventures which comes bundled with the sensor.

Now that the Xbox 360 Kinect sensor is widely available in Europe and the Americas is anyone up to the challenge of predicting 30-day worldwide sales figures?

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Facebook launches all new messaging

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 10:46 AM PST

Facebook has announced its new messaging service, the one we heard rumour about last week, codename Project Titan. It deals with email, IM, and SMS all in one place. Click through for more details!

The new Facebook messaging has a simple “Social Inbox” that works a bit like the Gmail Priority Inbox. In your main inbox there’s only messages from your friends and the friends of friends. A second section of the inbox channels messages from pages that you’ve liked, or groups you’re a member of, the idea being that you don’t get any “unsolicited emails”, i.e. spam. Hoorah!

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There’s no way to plug in your existing inbox, but Facebook says that this is coming, all in good time, with IMAP support due to haul in e-mails you’ve been receiving for years.

The goal is to make the service feel like a conversation, by simplifying communication. There’s three key features to the new Facebook Messaging: messaging across multiple platforms, including texts; conversation history across all these platforms and the social inbox that should mean no more spam.

Zuckerberg said “This is not an email killer, this is a messaging system that includes email as one part of it. We don’t expect anyone to wake up and shut down their Yahoo or Gmail account… what we think is happening, is that people have shifted to simpler communication.”

The new Facebook messaging system been a year in development, and because infrastructure-wise it’s such a big deal (more engineers worked on this than any other new Facebook feature), it’s going to be rolled out slowly over the next few months, starting off with an invite system.

Want an invite, or happy to wait? Drop us a line in the comments and let us know!

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Win Call of Duty Black Ops for Wii and a headset: Give us your best smacktalk!

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 09:42 AM PST

We all know what voice chat is used for on Call of Duty: Black Ops, or any game for that matter: smacktalk. Sure, you could carry out a polite conversation, but where’s the fun in that when you could be slinging insults at the Yank you just shot in the face? We’ve got a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops for Wii, as well as a PDP Headbanger Chat Headset for Wii to give away – all you have to do to claim them is give us your best trash talk right here. Read on for the details.

We’ve just unboxed the Call of Duty Black Ops Wii chat headset, even though most stockists won’t get it in the UK until next month. Like what you see? You could win one, along with a copy of the game for Wii, courtesy of, which is selling the headset right now for £22.99.

Want to win? Read our house rules and the terms and conditions below, then get stuck into the smacktalk below – we want to see you chatting to each other in our comments section, throwing in your best Call of Duty jibes. Keep it light, and anyone who seriously offends or insults will be disqualified, but make us laugh, give us the best burn, and you’ll be in with a fighting chance!

Thanks to for providing the prizes.

House rules

  • No swearing
  • No insults aimed at minority groups
  • No racism, homophobia or ginger jokes
  • Be inventive

How to enter

Step 1

Come up with a brilliant Call of Duty jibe that’ll make us go “Oh snap!”

Step 2

This bit is important, as your entry will only be valid if you follow the rules. So pay close attention peeps.

1. Write the insult in our comments section below, BUT DON'T POST IT JUST YET…

2. Before you post your reason make sure you sign in using your FACEBOOK login, THEN…

3. Hit the POST button and you're done! :)

4. Keep an eye on your Facebook message inbox – we’ll be contacting you through it if you win.

While you're in the mood why not visit Electricpig on Facebook and hit the LIKE button.

Competition closing date: 29 November 2010
Any entries after the closing date are not valid.

Competition rules
Terms and conditions

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Call of Duty Black Ops Wii headset unboxed: photos and video

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 09:42 AM PST

There’s a Call of Duty Black Ops Wii headset? There’s a Call of Duty Black Ops for Wii?! We wouldn’t blame you if both of those came as a surprise, seeing as Nintendo’s console isn’t exactly known for graphically intensive, gung ho first person shooters. But both indeed exist, and to prove it, we’ve got one of the online chat headsets here to unbox on camera for you.

Traditionally, you’d think of Xbox Live when it comes to Call of Duty and online banter (Read obscenities) through a headset, but now the Wii can lay claim to these skills too. Call of Duty Black Ops for Wii follows the scenes, story and gameplay of the game on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC almost exactly, albeit with slightly less impressive graphics, and even the multiplayer is well fleshed out, with the same wager options. Traditionally, the Wii’s online multiplayer options have been a bit barren, so this is a breath of fresh air.

As is the Call of Duty Black Ops Wii headset, which has Nintendo’s stamp of approval on and is made by PDP. It fits snugly around your ear, with a mouthpiece that moves up and down, a volume dial around the ring, and it slots straight into a USB port on the Wii, with plenty of cord to let you sit back.

It works exactly as you’d expect, which is all we ask for really, though the £22.99 asking price is a bit steep if you’ve already stumped up for the Wii Speak accessory.

Intrigued? It’s on sale right now over at, but we’ve got a copy of Call of Duty Blacks Ops for Wii, and a Wii Headbanger Chat Headset to give away to one lucky reader. Click here to find out how to enter the competition.

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Facebook Email to be

Posted: 15 Nov 2010 08:29 AM PST

Remember It was a project for customising your page tinkered around with by some Faceook engineers. Well we’ve been chatting over here at Electricpig Towers and it’s got us wondering. Wouldn’t be the ideal branding for Facebook Email? After all the yoof already say “Facebook me” don’t they? We can’t help but think it makes sense. Don’t be surprised if Mark Zuckerberg pulls the covers off in 1hr and 30 minutes.

Update:, which seemed to point somewhere a few days ago, is “temporarily down”. Could we be waiting for someone to flip the switch?

Out TBC | £free | Facebook

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