Wednesday, 17 November 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

US Update: Kinect, Nokia E10, PS3 firmware

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 07:00 PM PST

News on the Kinect, Nokia E10 and moreFresh off a all-night stint covering the latest happenings in the world of tech, we bring you another edition of US tech news. In this morning’s US update we'll get you up to speed with the latest for Kinect, Nokia E10 concepts, NAVTEQ, iHome Phone and the PS3.

Breaking waves last night was YouTube video showing off a three story projection of Xbox 360 Kinect. Following close behind was a Nokia E10 design concept gallery that had us rethinking our decision in smart phones and quite honestly, excited about upcoming devices.

NAVTEQ is poised to go head-to-head with Google Earth now that they've acquired 3D modeling company PixelActive and the iHome Phone brings a new (Android) spin to the traditional house phone. Bringing in the rear this fine morning was news of a PS3 firmware update that adds the popular pay-per-movie Vudu streaming service to your device. With the largest collection of 1080p 5.1 streaming movies on the planet, you can imagine our excitement.

That wraps up what you might have missed on the other side of the pond this morning. Until tomorrow, over and out.

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PS3 firmware update adds 1080p Vudu support

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 06:00 PM PST

support for vudu is coming to the ps3 on november 23The options for video streaming on your PS3 are about to change and in a big way. Starting November 23, Vudu's pay-per-movie service will arrive on Sony's gaming console via a software update.

Even better, the software update will include a new and improved interface- an interface that will also be making rounds on other Vudu-supported devices like Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and the D-Link Boxee Box. Playstation Move owners should note their motion controlled remotes are fully supported by Vudu.

Still not sold on using Vudu for your movie streaming, well how about 5.1 surround sound and 1080P HD video that bests even the latest offering from Netflix? The icing on the cake for Vudu on the PS3 comes in the form of a £3.75 credit for new customers, plenty of coin to cover a free movie to try out the service.

via Playstation Blog

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iHome Phone brings Android to your home phone

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 05:00 PM PST

iHome Phone transforms your home phone into an Android handsetImagine a world where your house phone allows you to surf the web, run apps and play games. That world exists today in the iHome Phone, a DECT home phone running Android with a four way navigation pad and the familiar back and menu buttons of a standard smart phone.

Included in the box with your iHome Phone is the handset which comes with a stylus so we'd be safe to assume it uses a 2.8-inch resistive touch screen. There's a NiMH rechargeable battery, DECT base station, stand, power adapter, telephone cord and user guide also included.

A quick look over the handset itself shows that the face (outside) of the phone is where the magic happens. Using the traditional Android smartphone layout of call/end keys, menu, back, and four-way navigation, the iHome Phone delivers Internet browsing, Email and RSS Feeds. Your data connection comes from the 802.11 b/g radios in the handset, tucked nicely beneath the screen.

Other iHome Phone highlights include a dedicated lock button, headphone jack and microSD slot on the left side of the phone. When it finally comes down to brass tax, the bottom of the phone has the receiver and microphone for doing what we all intend to do when we pick up a house phone, talk.

While the iHome Phone handset is clearly the center piece of this equation, the base station is impressive in its own right. On one side of the circular ring is a loud speaker and a page button in the center of the station makes this easy to locate the lost handset. Below the button are a set of LED notifications for charging, talk/message.

Our biggest concerns with the iHome Phone is the handset itself. A resistive touchscreen is nice, but one that requires a stylus could pose a problem especially when you consider how easy to misplace a handset nonetheless a tiny accessory. We're also not too keen on having a screen which our friends might break the phone is left the on the couch after a night of late night at the bars.

At the end of the day the iHome Phone remains a nifty little gadget that demonstrates the ever expanding scope of Android deployment. After taking over an incredible margin in worldwide market share, Google's move into our TVs and now our home phones looks to be a small step in a bigger picture. I'm up to give the iHome Phone a go, lord knows I could use a spare Android device to root when I'm dialing into those Corporate earnings calls.

via iTech News Net

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NAVTEQ acquires PixelActive to compete with Google Earth

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 04:00 PM PST

Navteq has acquired a company to compete with google earthThe competition for the world's best 3D interactive mapping is officially kicking off thanks to the recent acquisition of PixelActive by NAVTEQ, owned by Nokia. The 3D technology company is the latest in a long line of acquisitions which NAVTEQ hopes will lead to a legitimate Google Earth competitor.

When you look at Google Earth, beyond its incredible speed and accuracy of the mapping, no viable competition comes to mind. Nokia's NAVTEQ on the other hand is a leading global provider of maps and traffic and location-based services, but lacks the 3D technology to compete. Fast forward to the PixelActive acquisition and Nokia is poised to leverage 3D technologies for all of NAVTEQ's products.

Before getting into bed with Nokia's NAVTEQ, PixelActive remained a small California-based company with 16 employees focusing on tools and technologies for detailed 3D modeling of road networks, buildings and terrain. Through the acquisition, NAVTEQ's ability to build products in a 3D environment is now ten fold and the possibility to compete with Google Earth is within reach.

According to Larry Kaplan, president and CEO of NAVTEQ, "the acquisition of PixelActive underscores NAVTEQ's continued to commitment to provide the most advanced digital maps". He went on to say that they are quickly moving to a world of 3D maps and the acquisition was one of the necessary steps to achieve that goal.

If there's one thing to be certain about when it comes to NAVTEQ's acquisition of PixelActive it's that the new-found competition will only improve both Google Maps and the products NAVTEQ plans to leverage. We've witnessed the power of competition most recent in the smart phones space when Google entered in 2008 and their quick success triggered rapidly innovation just as the iPhone did a year prior.

Anyone else excited for an alternative to Google Earth, I mean we love the product, but a little competition never hurt, right? Let us know what you think and sound off in the comments.

via MobileSider

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Nokia E10 concept design showcase

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 03:00 PM PST

Nokia E10 concept design showcaseThe Nokia E10 concept design showcase is a refreshing look at the possibilities for our future Nokia smartphones. With bendable screens and Nintendo DS inspired styling, the Nokia E10 concepts look to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

The E10 concept designs, both compliments of Concept Phones, look to shake up the stagnate design space we're seeing in mobile gadgets. Manufacturers have been focused on releasing very minimal, iterative upgrades to handsets rather than taking a risk on a cutting edge design.

To help break the mold, Concept Phones has put together three renderings of a Nokia E10 concept design which features a bendable screen, capable of rolling around a 6mm axis. When the E10 is folded, it becomes a standard touchscreen phone, able to make calls and send text messages as usual.

The real beauty to the design comes in the folding process. Through the use of tri-folds, a design reminiscent of an accordion, the super thin screen rests along the peaks of the folds until finally laying flat when the phone is fully expanded. The bi-product is a very large screen, capable of showing off full HD movies at a scale we've never seen before on a phone and quite frankly, a tablet.

The innovation in the Nokia E10 concept does not stop with the screen or tri-fold design, instead it continues through a focus on the environment. On the back of the phone are three solar panels which can deliver a much stronger power supply than existing phones which rely on a single panel.

In whole, the Nokia E10 concept is a design which both inspires and adapts to the needs of gadget lovers and environmentalists. It packs the punch of a flagship smartphone fitting for the Finnish manufacturer while at the same time replacing the need for a secondary tablet device. In the end you save space and money by relying on a single unified gadget. Anyone else ready to sign a petition to manufacture the Nokia E10 concept phone?

via Concept-Phones

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Xbox 360 Kinect projected on a three story building

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 02:00 PM PST

Xbox 360 Kinect projected on a three story buildingThe Xbox 360 Kinect was front and center yesterday at a interactive art installation in Stachus, Munich, put on by Seeper, an arts and technology collective. The team used the Kinect, several projectors and the architecture of Munich's famous Karlsplatz to create a remarkable 3 story piece of interactive video art.

After quite a bit of tinkering, Seeker was able to map the building into three section with a dedicated projector on each. Thanks to the Xbox 360 Kinect, the sensors were used to capture the velocity and direction of movement of fans in attendance. A silhouette of those participating in the demonstration was cast upon the building as they used their bodies to move particles across the virtual screen.

Attending the event was Dutch television personality Sylvie van der Vaart who was the first to put the power of Xbox 360 Kinect to the test. Lucky fans in attendance found the event to be "one of a kind" and a truly "remarkable experience". Events like these will be the key to bringing Xbox 360 Kinect into living rooms across Europe this holiday season.

The event by Seeker was largely a success. When asked why they do what they do, Seeker's founder cited the importance of "openness and freedom" and the ability for events like these to "suspend disbelief". We can relate to the day to day tensions of the daily grind and would like to be the first to congratulate the team on a job well done.

You've heard what we think about the Kinect in our review, but could you imagine being able to use the technology on such a large scale? Have a look at the YouTube video for yourself here. I don't know about you, but I'm ready for a game of Kinect Sports, 3 stories high.

Out Now | £129.99 | Amazon

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Win a Nokia N8: Subscribe to the Prime Cuts newsletter!

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 10:28 AM PST

Goodbye Wednesday, hello downhill slalom towards the weekend! But before Friday gets here, make sure you sign up for the Electricpig Prime Cuts newsletter, packed with weekend activities and techie tidbits.

What’s more, everyone who subscribes enters the draw for a free Nokia N8 from Vodafone. If you’ve already subscribed, there’s no need to sign up again, but if you haven’t seen these previous issues of Prime Cuts have a click through, and sign up in the form below!

Issue 1 – PSP Phone has Android on a knife edge

Issue 2 - Kinect has won the console war

Issue 3 - Call of Duty: Black Ops secrets revealed

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Teatime Tech: Boxee Box arrives, WiFi hotspots and the ultimate Lego prezzie

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 10:00 AM PST

Teatime tech time! We’ve got all the afternoon’s headlines rounded up for you in one place, so read on for them, stat!

First up, the Boxee Box has landed. We’ve got one, we’re reviewing it, but before we do, we want to know what you want to know about it. Tell us! Also check out all the porn you can watch on it here (NSFW)

Elsewhere in gadgetry, we saw the ultimate Xmas pressie for grown up boys: Lego and Star Wars, need we say more?

Finally, we’ve been looking at WiFi notspots – the public ones that just don’t work – all week, so check out our roundup of everything we’ve uncovered so far.

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

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The Boxee Box has porn! (NSFW, obviously)

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 09:48 AM PST

Our Boxee Box review is on its way, but in the meantime we just had to tell you about this, considering how few media streamers even try to do something similar. The Boxee Box has porn, and lots of it. That’s certainly one in the eye for the lousy new Apple TV… if you’re into that sort of thing.

We couldn’t resist showing you the Boxee Box’s saucy wares, since it’s so rare to find such sweaty-palmed abilities on a device right out of the box.

Head on through to the settings on the Boxee Box and you can activate the adult content, which will let you open three channels: Bang Bros, Reality Kings and “crowdsourced sensation” YouPorn. The first two will let you stream short clips for free (Reality King lets you insert your credit card details for more), while the latter is completely free, and all are startlingly high quality, albeit with a bit of buffering. Stop sniggering at the back.

Unfortunately, it’s not all, er, smooth sailing. Connected over Wi-Fi, load times proved quite long and the menus of Boxee’s adult portals are prone to glitches, where you “enter” a video then it kicks you back out again. We’re not sure it’s reason alone to fork over 200 smackers for a Boxee Box, but hey, once you do you’ll be able to wow your mates. Or at least surprise them with the ease in which big screen webporn becomes a reality.

Click on through for the full gallery. We’ve been pretty liberal with the smudge tool on Photoshop, so you shouldn’t see anything your boss doesn’t want you looking at. Although let’s face it, porn in the headline is sure to raise some eyebrows over in IT. Steer clear if you’re the sensitive sort.

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Best Buy UK Facebook gadgets shop now open!

Posted: 17 Nov 2010 08:21 AM PST

Good news! Best Buy UK has opened up its most intriguing branch yet…in Facebook. The Best Buy Facebook shop has opened its virtual doors allowing you to search for gadgets you fancy snaffling up from within the walls of Facebook. You can search by category to see the latest Best Buy deals and click through to when you've chosen the kit you want. Seems like a great idea to us. While you're on Facebook, head to our Wi-Fi notspot group to share your Wi-Fi gripes and grumbles.

Out now | £varies | Best Buy

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