Thursday, 18 November 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

US Update: Tegra 2, iOS 4.2.1, Dell Mobile

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 07:00 PM PST

US Update: Tegra 2, iOS 4.2.1, Dell MobileAs Gordon Gekko so eloquently put it, "money never sleeps", and for Electricpig, neither does news. Breaking waves this fine morning and quite possibly throughout the day was Nvidia's Tegra 2 Android tablets, iOS 4.2.1 reaching for gold and more.

First up is a report from DigiTimes, outing the arrival of Tegra 2 powered Android tablets at CES 2011 this January in Las Vegas. On the heels of the announcement was a motion by the U.S. Transportation secretary to axe all cell phone use in cars.

iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch owners hoping to get a taste of iOS 4.2 will have to wait a little longer now that a new Gold Master (4.2.1) was released. Gadget gurus will want to take a look at the world's largest ice touchscreen compliments of a team at Nokia. Last, but certainly not least, is a shakedown currently under way within Dell's Mobile unit which puts the future of the Dell Streak in question.

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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Dell to close mobile unit? Dell Streak EOL?

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 06:00 PM PST

Dell to close mobile unit and Dell Streak future in questionA shakedown is currently underway within Dell's mobile unit. Reports indicate that its chief executive, Ron Garriques, will be leaving his post and no longer running the show. Is a similar future in store for the Android-powered Dell Streak?

This is not the first time we've seen Ron Garriques leave a handset division. Before calling Dell home, he ran Motorola's mobile phone operation in the heyday of the Moto RAZR circa 2007. Sales were booming and Garriques was king, but eventually sales became sluggish and he jumped ship for Dell

Since coming to Dell, the company has failed to develop a blockbuster wireless product. The Dell Streak carelessly mixes the worlds of smart phone and tablet in a 5-inch package. The unusual size lacks a definitive market and many find it hard to justify the purchase.

Speculation aside, the official word from Dell is Garriques's departure is a power play orchestrated by the company. Dell plans to spread marketing for its wireless production across its three main business group — large enterprise customers, public sector customers and mid-size business customers.

With nearly $500 million in advertising, Windows Phone 7 looks to be Dell's mobile savior. The Venue Pro, the WP7 dark horse, appears to be the most compelling handset for the new OS. The combination of style and hardware simply work and if it becomes widely available, success seems certain.

In a perfect world we imagine Dell reinvents the Streak, possibly changing the name, but more importantly increasing the screen size. Seven inches is the sweet spot and with Android on its side Dell has the tools to best RIM at its own game — enterprise users. Improved security features in Android 2.2 and the possibility of the second-generation Streak running Android 3.0 (Honeycomb) should have RIM shaking in its boots. The world needs a competitor to the Playbook for the business user and a larger, faster second-gen Dell Streak just might do the trick.

Let us know what you think about the shakedown going on at Dell. Is there a future for the Dell Streak or will Dell's Windows Phone 7 Venue Pro be the last stand?

Dell Venue Pro | £375.00 | Clove

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World’s largest touchscreen made of ice

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 05:00 PM PST

world's largest ice touchscreenThe Finnish minds at Nokia have managed to redefine the power of ice with the help of some heat guns, infrared light, a computer and two projectors. Say hello to the world's largest touchscreen made from ice.

As the video so aptly describes, the team started out by slicing and dicing huge chunks of ice into blocks. With the help of a few dozen heat guns they managed to melt it down to a smooth surface. Add in an infrared projector which reflects back the light when hands touch the ice, a computer to track the position and a second projector to send patterns of color and you're done.

via FoneArena

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iOS 4.2.1 Gold Master available but did it fix the bugs?

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 04:00 PM PST

A new build of iOS 4.2.1 is available to developersThe latest iteration of iOS, version 4.2.1, is now available to developers in its usual Gold Master attire. iOS 4.2 GM, released on November 1, had been plagued with issues for third party VoIP apps and iPad WiFi connectivity issues. Did Apple engineers work out the kinks or is this just one more step in the puzzle?

The painfully slow release of iOS 4.2, set to bring multi-tasking to the iPad, reached a bit of a standstill last week. One developer in particular, Toktumi, reported to MacRumors that their Line2 VoIP application was suffering from an issue where the ringer would continue to ring even after the call was answered.

Without knowing if Apple would continue the scheduled public launch of iOS 4.2 they went ahead and sent emails to their Line2 customers urging them not to install iOS 4.2. Clearly, that iOS 4.2 official launch never materialized, but their concerns remain valid. There's no telling how many other developers offering VoIP apps suffered from a similar bug.

The anticipation for iOS 4.2 to release to the general public is at an all-time high. At the first sign of a Gold Master the countdown in our heads begins to tick. iPad and iPhone 3G owners have the most to gain from the software release and judging by iOS performance on the 3G, we can feel your pain.

Multi-tasking for the iPad has been a long time in the making. Sluggish iPhone 3G performance with iOS 4.x has been painful. When you combine those two install bases you are looking at millions of unhappy campers clicking the "Check for Update" button in iTunes every five minutes.

According to Toktumi, Apple engineers were aware of the bugs affecting iOS 4.2 GM. In all likelihood Apple addressed the issues, but we can't be certain. If you are a developer and have access to iOS 4.2.1 GM, go ahead and give us a shout. We're dying to know where the latest build stands- we can't take much more of this waiting game for a public release.

via Engadget

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Cell phones to be banned in cars?

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 03:00 PM PST

banning all cell phones in carsIf the U.S. transportation secretary has his way, cell phones could soon be banned in all cars. The fun doesn't stop with the ban, it could even extend to car manufacturers being required to install technology that automatically disables our cell phones.

The iron-clad grip of the U.S. transportation department is spear headed by secretary Ray LaHood. To the mobile world stateside he is officially enemy number one. LaHood's proposal suggests scrambling technology inside of cars, but how that technology impacts critical components remains to be seen.

It doesn't take much stretch of the imagination to visualize the computers controlling our cars going haywire. I mean, at this point the central nervous system of motor vehicles is powered by a chip. To compromise that chip in any way could put our lives in danger. And for what? To stop us from using our own cell phones?

If the move was simply to block the frequency ranges so data and voice services were disabled that's one thing, but to incapacitate all technology is ludacris. Just think about the impact for services like OnStar. Good luck calling in to get those front-row seats to the concert or making that dinner reservation.

The ramifications of the move to an cell phones in cars would extend beyond these annoyances and directly to the cash register. The markup for the proposed technology on new vehicles would be passed entirely to consumer. The next time you look to buy a car get ready for a serious case of sticker shock.

There's plenty of valuable reasons to have access to a cell phone inside your car. How else would we get anywhere? Let's be honest, without Google Maps we'd be driving in circles. Sound off with your thoughts on the proposed cell phone ban below. There's no telling when a similar move could be made on your side of the pond.

via FastCompany

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Tegra 2 Android tablets taking over CES 2011

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 02:00 PM PST

Nvidia Tegra 2 Android TabletsReady for a Tegra 2 Android Honeycomb Tablet to start the new year?  At CES 2011 Tegra 2 Android Tablets are expected to highlight the show, bringing the next-gen chipset poised to raise the tablet standard.

The Nvidia Tegra 2 processor was first announced at CES 2010 and over the course of the last 11 months manufacturers have had more than enough time to make friends with the chipset.  Rumored manufacturers who have received Tegra 2 orders include Asustek Computer, Acer and Toshiba as well as mobile orders from Motorola, LG and HTC.

At this point we've heard word that the LG Optimus PAD purportedly packs the Tegra 2 as well the Motorola Motopad, a tablet Google fully endorses.  A HTC device is also expected, bringing a minimum of three Tegra 2 Android tablets for CES 2011.  As the saying goes, when it rains it pours and that is exactly what DigiTimes expects to see come January.

LG Optimus Pad sports a Tegra2 Processor

All three of these Tegra 2 tablets will run Android Honeycomb.  Honeycomb is often referred to as Android 3.0, a title once reserved for Android Gingerbread.  When these tablets take center stage at CES, it is expected they'll start shipping in the first half of 2011.

Assuming  all the manufacturers who are ordering Tegra 2 chipsets receive adequate supply, you'd be safe to assume announcements for no less than six tablets.  The Samsung Galaxy Tab is the blockbuster this holiday season, but we don't expect the honeymoon to last long with January being but a hop, skip and a jump away.

RIM's BlackBerry Playbook, a possible upgrade to the Dell Streak and a handful of Tegra 2 Android tablets have 2011 shaping up to be quite a treat.  If there ever was a time the iPad should consider a massive hardware overhaul, we'd reckon that time is now.  So what's it going to be, anyone up for a Tegra 2 Android Tablet or does the need for business have you leaning for the Playbook?

via DigiTimes

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Teatime Tech: Motorola Milestone 2, Windows Phone 7 stat clash and stuffed toy TVs

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 10:00 AM PST

It’s the end of the working day, so how about a night cap? We’ve got a recap of all the afternoon’s big gadget stories ready and waiting for you here in our teatime tech roundup. Read on for everything!

First up, there’s lots to tuck into for fans of every smartphone platform. We looked at how all the HTC Windows Phone 7 handsets stacked up against each other in our stat clash, while over on the Android side of things, we checked out the Motorola Milestone 2, and asked you what you want to know about it ahead of our full review.

Over in tabletry meanwhile, we got to grips with a few new ones: the super cheap 5-inch colour eReader from View Quest, and Hannspree’s larger Android slate. And the trendsetting iPad was reported to be getting a bespoke News Corp publication imminently.

Finally, we also checked out Hannspree’s silly stuffed animal tellies at the opening of its new London store. Crab TV anyone?

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

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Mark your Wi-fi NotSpot with a sticker!

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 09:12 AM PST

We’ve been hearing from folks all over the country about their Wi-fi NotSpots. Because we can’t be everywhere, we’ve made stickers to mark your Wi-fi NotSpot. Just head over to Zazzle: 20 for less than a fiver, and go paint the town Wi-fi NotSpot coloured! Have fun fighting back against wonky Wi-fi. If you stick up your NotSpot, send us a snap!

Remember! If you’re in a Wi-fi NotSpot, tweet us @electricpig, hashtag #notspot, or drop us a line on the Facebook campaign page!

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Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game ahoy!

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 08:14 AM PST

Lego video game ahoy! Disney Interactive Studios and TT Games are embarking on a voyage to create another Lego Video Game: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game. The game will use storylines and characters from the first three films, plus the upcoming film Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

There’ll be more than 20 levels to Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game, and you can pick to play with over 70 characters. It will have a two player co-op and freeplay mode to travel back and faff around in levels you’ve already completed.

Check Out Our Most Recommended

The new Lego video game will be available on the Wii, Xbox, PS3, PSP, and Nintendo DS, and will be launched in May 2011. We’ve not managed to get our hands on any images yet, but as soon as we do we’ll update you!

Excited! Tell us how much in the comments!

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Minecraft: sheep-powered CPU unveiled

Posted: 18 Nov 2010 08:10 AM PST

We love Minecraft – see our Minecraft review to find out why – so the revelation that a bloke has created a working CPU within Minecraft that's powered by sheep. Well, that made us just a wee bit excited. If you're playing Minecraft you can get the Minecraft CPU map here and see him explaining his creation and how he made it, after the break…

Out now | $20 | Minecraft (via Rock Paper Scissors)

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