Monday, 22 November 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

US Update: Grouponicus, Angry Birds 2, Android 2.3

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 07:00 PM PST

US Update: Grouponicus, Angry Birds 2, Android 2.3Fresh off a weekend of R&R, it's that time again for your morning US update of things you might have missed on my side of the pond. Breaking headline this morning was Groupon entering the digital music store game, Google Docs going mobile, Apple saying no to Snuggie Porn and more.

First up, Groupon has decided to enter the world of music by launching Grouponicus. The group coupon company has huge plans for 2011, the first of which is to challenge the iTunes store with the power of social buying. Next up we had Google getting mobile with Docs as the team officially released a mobile version of Google Docs compatible with most phone browsers.

The App store was back in the news today as another developer in the long line of app rejections went vocal. Lex Friedman, author of Snuggie Sutra, had his Snuggie Porn app rejected and the news is making quite the buzz. Angry Birds fans, which by all accounts is probably all of us, will be happy to know Angry Birds 2 is in the pipeline. The game will bring us the story of the pigs and should make its way to major gaming consoles such as the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii.

Last up was an update on Android 2.3 Gingerbread. With delays hitting the Samsung Nexus S it looks like the Nexus One might once again be the first phone to receive the latest OS update. Google has announced OTA beta distribution for Nexus One developers so an official release can't be too far off.

That wraps up things this fine morning from the states. Thanks for spending your morning with us as we break the headlines fresh off the press from our side of the world. Until tomorrow, this is Nick saying over and out.

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Google Nexus One: first Android 2.3 phone?

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 06:00 PM PST

nexus one first phone to run android 2.3 gingerbreadThe Google Nexus One has reportedly taken the lead as the front runner in the race to be the first phone running Android 2.3, Gingerbread. Up until late last week that title belonged to the Samsung Nexus S, but now it looks like the Nexus One will be the first Android 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3 phone.

The Google Nexus One never achieved the blockbuster sales many had imagined. A poor purchasing model which made it nearly impossible to see the device in person prior to purchase culminated in a very short shelf life. However, HTC and Google put together an excellent combination of hardware in the Nexus One and running stock Android gave way to some early perks, namely front row seats to Android OS updates.

Now that Android 2.3 is upon us, reports that the Samsung Nexus S is suffering hardware issues have spread like wildfire across the blogosphere. The mid-November launch at Best Buy has come and gone so all signs point to further delays. Meanwhile Google is prepping developers for an OTA beta of Android 2.3 for the Nexus One which means an official launch is not too far off.

The signs point to Android 2.3 and the Nexus One meeting center stage this holiday season. A release before Christmas is crucial if Google hopes to slow down Windows Phone 7 and iPhone sales. Let us know what you think — is the Nexus One going to be the first phone to run an official Android 2.3 Gingerbread build or will the Nexus S swoop in for the kill?

via FoneHome

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Angry Birds 2 confirmed for PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 05:00 PM PST

angry birds 2 is coming to the xbox 360 ps3 and wiiIt's official, Angry Birds 2 has been confirmed by Rovio CEO Peter Vesterbacka and not just for your mobile device. At the Virtual Goods Summit in London, Vesterbacka revealed that Angry Birds 2 would be making its debut on the PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii as well.

Vasterbacka hinted that the second game in the Angry Birds franchise is currently in development, but he did not confirm whether it will be a sequel or a prequel. He did mention that the, "we want to surprise people. No one has told the store from the pigs point of view". Assuming the pigs are the focal point of Angry Birds 2 it seems more likely that this will prequel the current game.

Angry Birds 2 will be the focus for the team at Rovio very soon, but not until after they take the first Angry Birds to the world of multiplayers. A multiplayer version of Angry Birds, "like old school Worms games" is currently a top priority for the team. Before we get a chance to learn about the pigs and their power struggle with the birds in Angry Birds 2, Vasterbacka wants to solidify the franchise.

While bringing multiplayer gaming to the first Angry Birds is a top priority, Rovio is even more focused on taking Angry Birds social. With most of the company's investment going towards making a Facebook game, rest assure there will be no shortage of red, blue and yellow birds in our future — at least not unless you severe all ties with the Internet.

Angry Birds 2 might be a little farther off than we initially expected given Vasterbacka's new expectation. During the Summit he was even quoted as saying, "the aim for angry birds is to be bigger than Tetris". At this point in the game's life span we think theres a few million fans who would agree. Anyone else excited about Angry Birds multiplayer or on gaming consoles? Or is Angry Birds 2 the only version you're waiting to see?

via Pocket-lint

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Apple bans App Store Snuggie Porn

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 04:00 PM PST

Snuggie Porn app rejected by App StoreApple's peculiar way of thinking when it comes time to approve apps has left behind a new causality – Snuggie Porn. In the latest twist in the App Store saga, Lex Friedman, author of The Snuggie Sutra, has learned that just because Time magazine likes your book, doesn't mean Apple likes your app.

The Snuggie Porn app story begins long before the app submission. Lex Friedman began his obsession with all things Snuggie when he partnered up with his friend Megan to create a comedy website called The Snuggie Sutra. The site revolved around humorous mock ups of the Snuggie in sexual positions. Lex came up with the ideas while Megan drew the cartoon illustrations and shortly after their hard work paid off.

A few mentions on the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, the Huffington Post, New York Magazine and Time landed the duo in the crosshairs of big time publishers. As fate would have it, a book version of The Snuggie Sutra was released in the iBookstore, Kindle bookstore, major online booksellers, brick and mortar stores and even Urban Outfitters.

Riding the wave of success, it was now time to take Snuggie Porn to the next level with an app. Apple's App Store seemed like the perfect solution seeing as the book was currently available in the iBookstore and Kindle bookstore — wrong. Apple was quick to reject Snuggie Porn citing, "we are no longer accepting this type of app, as indicated in the preamble to the App Store Review Guidelines" as the reason.

Apple bans App Store Snuggie Porn

One would think that a book currently listed as an Amazon top-seller would deserve an app, but apparently Apple doesn't think so. Upon further investigation through several phone calls to Apple, the representatives were able to provide a tidbit of insight. Apparently Apple is fed up with "kama sutra apps" and no longer accepts new submissions.

It doesn't look like there will be a future for Snuggie Porn in the App Store. Let us know what you think about the situation. Is a Snuggie Porn joke app really the same as a "kama sutra app" or has Apple misjudged the title?

via Lex Friedman

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Google Docs adds mobile browser support

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 03:12 PM PST

Google Docs adds mobile browser support The power of Google Docs is coming to your pocket thanks to support for mobile browsers. The move to take Google Docs mobile was a long time in the making, but thankfully the day has arrived. So what's so special about Google Docs in a mobile browser?

Google Docs on your mobile phone browser has a single goal — helping to making you more productive. With a fast and well optimized mobile website, Google docs can operate just as well as using your desktop or laptop. Waiting for that train or bus before work? Why not knock out some of that to do list.

Being able to access Google Docs from your mobile browser is one thing, but synchronization is key. The same seamless synchronization of group documents you experience on your computer is carried over to the phone. Imagine working on that group proposal while you are at that sports bar tonight — yes it can happen.

There are other useful applications for having a mobile version of Google Docs. With real-time note sharing, you can allow your friends to see the notes you are typing in real time — think live blogging, but without the blog. There's plenty of other uses for Google docs on your mobile so we recommend taking a quick look at the video Google has released here.

If you are beginning to think this sounds too good to be true and there's a catch — there isn't. This is the real deal,  bona fide Google Docs. The roll out begins with English-language users around the world on Android 2.2 (Froyo) and iOS devices (version 3.0+) including the Apple iPad.

Whether you are working a document, taking notes or editing that spreadsheet, you now have a fully optimized mobile experience for Google Docs. Anyone else ready to cut the cord and start getting productive on that train ride into work?

via Google

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Groupon Music Store unveiled

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 02:00 PM PST

Group has launched Grouponicus the music storeGroupon is taking their talents to digital music downloads in a move reminiscent of the Lebron James departure to South Beach. The group coupon experts, Groupon, went official by announcing the Grouponicus Store today, with Rhianna's new album as a key offering.

Starting things off, Grouponicus will offer Rhianna's album: LOUD for a $5 digital download. As Groupon’s music store starts to grow, the first competitor in its sight is Apple's iTune Store. For comparison, LOUD is currently available via iTunes for $9.99.

Groupon's Grouponicus is not simply limited to digital music downloads — it also includes retail items and services. A quick look at the site for Los Angeles (there are currently 19 U.S. cities with Grouponicus stores) and there are five current deals: Robyn Rhodes jewelry, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium membership, couples wine tasting, spa indulgence package and Rhianna's LOUD album.

If there was ever a question over the success of check-ins and group coupons today's announcement effectively ends all doubt. In order for Grouponicus to reach the success of its big brother, Groupon, the site is focused entirely around social media. Aggressive promotion to share the deals using Twitter, Email and Facebook looks to be the primarily catalyst for sales.

With big plans to change the way we shop and more recently, buy music, Groupon is poised to leave its mark on the digital download space. The addition of digital music downloads through the formation of the Grouponicus music store is likely a sign of the future. As we become more social and share our "likes" and "dislikes", the data mining firms will have a field day.

For Grouponicus to succeed as a music store it needs to pick the right digital music downloads. The process is simple — the more people interested in downloading a song, the better chance Groupon has at negotiating a deal. With some serious data mining on Facebook, Groupon might be able to determine exactly which song or album will sell best and predict That's a huge bargaining chip to bring to the table when you sit down with record labels. I think we can officially say, welcome to the world of wholesale music.

Let us know what you think about Groupon's entry into the music world with Grouponicus. Will you be buying Rhianna's LOUD album or would you like to see a lower price?

via FastCompany | Grouponicus

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Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare standalone disc in photos

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 10:32 AM PST

In case you hadn’t heard, Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare will be arriving as a standalone disc from this Friday, packing all the previously released DLC from Rockstar’s five-star rated cowboy classic. We’ve already got a copy of the former DLC. Read on to see our snaps of what you’ll be getting for your buck, and why the standalone disc is worth picking up.

If you’ve already read our Red Dead: Redemption Undead Nightmare review, or already downloaded the DLC, you’ll already know that we loved it enough to give it a much deserved five-star rating. Keen to give as many Red Dead fans a chance of playing it as possible, Rockstar recently announced it will soon be available on the disc you see in our photo gallery – from 26 November, this Friday in fact, for £17.99.

Undead Nightmare is the the final piece in the Red Dead Redemption jigsaw. It unleashes a new single player zombie campaign in which protagonist John Marston sets off on horseback to stave off and attempt to find a cure for a zombie plague cursing the locale.

Also thrown in is the enjoyable Undead Overrun multiplayer mode in which 2-4 players fight off waves of undead, co-op style. In our review, last month we said that “both the Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare single player campaign and Undead Overrun multiplayer mode combine to form a fantastic farewell to the game.”

Rockstar has also included on the disc previous multiplayer packs: Outlaws to the End, Legends & Killers and Liars and Cheats.

Outlaws to the End gives you six extra co-op missions for two-four players, while Legends and Killers features eight new playable multiplayer characters from the full game plus nine new multiplayer maps. In our August Legends & Killers preview we praised it saying it “brings much more than just new walls to duck behind.” And then there’s the Liars & Cheats pack adding new multiplayer modes and weapons.

If you’ve yet to pick it up as DLC, the Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare comes well recommended, especially for multiplayer fans. The disc version means  you won’t need a copy of the original Red Dead Redemption to play it.

The whole zombie caboodle won’t be in shops till this Friday. In the meantime hit up our photo gallery to see the package in its physical form.

Out 26 November | £17.99 | Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

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MobileMe sparkles: iTunes Cloud clue spotted?

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 10:25 AM PST

In all the excitement surrounding iOS 4.2 for iPad, free Find My iPhone and new 4.1 software for Apple TV, Apple may have slipped out another tidbit for fans to fixate upon: new special effect sparkles surrounding the MobileMe logo on its homepage which follow your mouse and cluster into bright blobs. What do they mean? Are they a clue? Or is Apple simply showing off its HTML 5 and Javascript wizardry? They certainly look nice…

There’s also a new iPhone version of the homepage, should you head there using an iPhone. It offers shortcuts to install MobileMe or the iPhone’s MobileMe Gallery app. This much is understandable, given today’s announcement that Find My iPhone is now free, but what about those sparkles?

Could they hint that Apple’s Cloud is fizzing with excitement? Do they suggest something still brewing inside MobileMe? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below, and head to to see them in action for yourself.

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iOS 4.2 is live!

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 10:05 AM PST

iOS 4.2 for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch that was announced earlier today has just gone live! This is a biggie for the iPad (over 100 new features for the Apple tablet), so plug in, update to iOS 4.2, and drop us a line to tell us what you think of Apple’s added extras in iOS 4.2!

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Teatime Tech: iOS 4.2 lands, Spotify Android app update and an Apple TV upgrade too

Posted: 22 Nov 2010 10:00 AM PST

It’s work wrapping up time, but before you clock off for the evening, take a minute to catch up on all the news from this afternoon. It’s all rounded up ready and waiting for you here in our Teatime Tech roundup.

First up, the big news is on the Apple side of things. iPhone, iPod touch and now iPad owners rejoice: iOS 4.2 is here, bringing AirPlay streaming, new features and of course multitasking at long last to the iPad. Not only that, but Find My iPhone is now an app in itself, and free, even if you don’t have a MobileMe subscription.

Elsewhere in mobile meanwhile, we got a glimpse at the new look Spotify Android app, with a swish new UI and extra features, so be sure to check out our gallery and try it out for yourself. It’s not all good at the music streaming service though – it appears to have been making losses too.

Finally, iPhones, iPads and iPod touches aren’t alone in getting an iOS update today. The new Apple TV does too – see what the firmware refresh brings here.

Hungry for more stories still? Click on over to the homepage and help yourself to all the ones you can handle.

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