Monday, 29 November 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

US Update: HTC HD7 Antennagate, AirPrint hacks, Galaxy Tab activation bypass

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 07:00 PM PST

US Update: HTC HD7 Antennagate, AirPrint hacks, Galaxy Tab activation bypassIf you've got two minutes, we've got your recap of the latest and greatest tech news hitting this side of the pond. In the US Update this morning we break it down with new Vodafone mobile data roaming rates, uncover the HTC HD7 Antennagate saga and more.

First up, Vodafone has announced new plans that look to slash mobile data roaming throughout Europe by 60 percent. According to various reports, the Windows Phone 7 HTC HD7 suffers from the same antenna bug as the iPhone 4 — HD7 Antennagate?

We pieced together a guide for Mac and PC users showing how to use AirPrint with nearly any printer. Following the guide we uncovered the Nokia N00, a 12 megapixel Symbian prototype which looks to be the next-gen N96.

Last up this morning we followed up our AirPrint guide with a how to tutorial on bypassing the activation screen on the Samsung Galaxy Tab — welcome to the world of WiFi only.

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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Nokia N00: 12 megapixel prototype leaked?

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 05:00 PM PST

Nokia N00: 12 megapixel prototype leaked?The 12 megapixel Nokia N00 is the latest in a long line of leaked devices. Gracing the sultry pages of Electricpig this morning, the Nokia N00 presents itself in fine form, complete with the Symbian OS that made the Finnish manufacturer famous.

Before we delve too deep into the technical details of the Nokia N00 — it should be noted that this could be a Chinese clone. However, seeing as the phone offers an ultra-high photo sensor and a higher-than-normal screen resolution, it would be very odd for a clone to outpace the competition.

The first thing you'll notice on the Nokia N00 is form factor which embodies the styling of the Nokia N96 and N86. Unlike those eight megapixel camera phones, the N00 packs 12 megapixels and materials that are a combination of both hard plastic and steel.

Nokia N00: 12 megapixel prototype leaked?

We can't be sure just yet, but the screen does not look to be touch screen, however it does measure at least three inches and pack a higher-than-average screen solution. The Symbian UI has us a little confused, but our best guess is that the N00 is running a Symbian^3 non-touchscreen variant.

The 12 megapixel camera on the rear of the phone has a Xenon flash, something we've loved since the N82 and missed in the N86. Other noticeable features include a volume up/down rocker, dedicated camera key, microUSB port and a microSD card slot.

As it currently stands there is only one Nokia N00 known to be in existence (or at least for purchase). The seller of the unit says they found the device in a bar, not too different than how Gizmodo acquired the iPhone 4 prototype. Is this a Nokia N00 prototype or is this simply a Chinese clone that the seller hopes drives some overly exuberant bidding? Let us know what you think!

via FoneArena

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AirPrint: how to print from any printer

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 04:00 PM PST

airprint with any printSo you don't have one of the select HP printers compatible with Apple's AirPrint? Don't fret, we've got the guide that will make your dreams of wirelessly printing from your iOS device a reality. Ready to get started? Well let's get on with it.

The requirements for the first part of the AirPrint guide are focused on the Mac connoisseur — PC users you're guide comes at the end (so jump to the bottom of the page). The Mac version uses an OS X app dubbed AirPrint Hactivator which enables printing via AirPrint for nearly anyone in a matter of minutes. Rather than bore you with details, let's review the six steps to get you up and running.

First you'll need to download the latest version of AirPrint Hacktivator. Next, unzip the package and run Hacktivator. Slide the toggle switch in the app to ON, enter your administrator password and click OK to confirm. Jump into your System Preferences and double click Print & Fax. Click the minus symbol to remove your printer then add it back and check the box 'share it on your network'.

That's it, you are now ready to print on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad running iOS 4.2 or later. If the steps have you a bit confused then this YouTube video will surely have you square. You can see the video walkthrough here.

Now PC users, the six steps to AirPrint with any printer has been slashed to three. This three step solution comes from a German blog Macerkopf which hosts an app that accomplishes the same task as AirPrint Hacktivator. Here's the skinny of the PC solution:

First you'll need to download AirPrint Activator (look for the English link). Next activate AirPrint. Open Printer in Control Panel then right click your print and in settings activate the "Share" checkbox. The last step is simply making sure Airprint.exe is enabled on your Windows firewall. Assuming you've done those three steps you should be on your way to using AirPrint on any iOS 4.2.1 device.

So now that we've walked you through the PC and Mac solution for getting AirPrint to work on nearly any printer, anyone up for the challenge? Let us know if you plan on enabling the feature and if you get stuck, drop us a line so we can help you out. We'd love to hear about your AirPrint success stories.

via BGR | Macerkopf

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HTC HD7: Antennagate part two?

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 03:00 PM PST

HTC HD7: Antennagate part two?Windows Phone 7 fans who own the HTC HD7 might have a lot more in common with iPhone 4 owners after all. According to various reports and YouTube videos, the HTC HD7 suffers from the same antenna issue which plagued the fourth generation iPhone and became the saga formerly known as Antennagate.

We've seen the reports from Apple, countless video demonstrations, and at the end of the day we know that gripping almost any phone excessively tight over the antenna causes slight signal degradation. What we didn't expect was that problem to manifest into the HTC HD7 and certainly not to the extent some users are reporting.

To replicate the issue, simply put your HTC HD7 in your left hand and grip firmly. Since we don't have a HD7 ourselves, the best advice we can give is based on our experiences with the iPhone 4. The bottom line is that you'll need to grip really, really hard — much harder than we'd ever consider doing while talking or texting.

HTC HD7: Antennagate part two?

Apparently the HTC HD7 is the lone wolf in the Windows Phone 7 Antennagate saga. Tests on the LG Optimus 7, HTC 7 Trophy and Samsung Omnia 7 did not produce the same result. Does this mean that a lone Window Phone 7 device by HTC just happens to suffer from the bug or is there actually something related to the carrier, T-mobile, which causes the results?

We can't be for certain whether this is a problem affecting every single T-mobile HTC HD7 user, but judging from the iPhone 4 Antennagate saga, we'd expect a similar percentage of affected users. So now that we've brought forth the antenna issue affecting the HTC HD7 we need your help. If you or someone you know has access to the HD7 we want to hear from you. Go ahead, grip that phone and let us know how fast those bars tend to drop!

via MobileTechWorld | YouTube

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Vodafone slashes mobile data roaming rates

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 02:00 PM PST

Vodafone slashes mobile data roaming ratesIn the year of the smartphone, Vodafone has taken notice and realized we hate mobile data roaming rates. In a move to help ease the pain to our pocket books, the carrier has gone official with new daily and monthly smartphone data roaming rates while traveling Europe, cutting costs up to 60 percent.

Vodafone's first order of business is cutting the price for the occasional traveler who just wants a daily mobile data rate — that new rate is EUR 2 per day, a savings of nearly 60 percent over existing plans plus an increase in data allowance.

The goal of the new mobile data roaming rates is simple, just ask Vittorio Colao, CEO of Vodafone, who said, "we want our 35 million European data users to feel free to use their devices in Europe in the same way they do at home".

Smartphone sales are expected to grow from 32 percent to 70 percent by 2013 and Vodafone is taking action now. With the new EUR 2 per day plan all users will be able to access domestic plans in Vodafone's European countries plus France, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria.

Business monthly customers will be able to include data roaming across all of Europe. Consumer monthly customers can use the new plans in Vodafone countries plus France, Switzerland, Belgium and Austria, just like the daily plan.

The new plans are being rolled out to Vodafone's major European markets starting today and throughout December just in time for the winter holiday season. By summer 2011, Vodafone expects the plans to be available across their entire European footprint.

Just in case you need a recap, Vodafone’s European countries include: Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Spain, and the UK.

So how about it? Anyone up for saving some money with lower mobile data roaming rates from Vodafone? Or is this move too little too late and you want to see free roaming across all carriers? Let us know!

via Cellular-News

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Virgin iPad publication gets a name: Project launches this week

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 09:56 AM PST

The Richard Branson-backed iPad only magazine we heard about last week, (and earlier in the year when it was announced his daughter Holly Branson would be taking the reins), has got its title. The magazine is called Project, and there’s a video arrived of its front cover, featuring Jeff Bridges. Click through to view…

There’s no information on how much the iPad only magazine will cost yet, but the launch will be on Tuesday. This video distances Branson from Murdoch’s newspaper The Daily, in that it’s designed like an interactive magazine, rather than a daily newspaper covering current affairs.

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Virgin Digital Publishing said: "Project is what we like to think of as a 'living magazine' – evolving and updating throughout the month…Unlike a regular magazine you won't just read Project once and then forget about it. The idea is that Project will be something that readers treat as a daily destination, offering breaking news, reader polls and blogs.”

The short video is really slick, and promises a good looking digital product. We’re excited now, are you?

[via PaidContent]

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Game review: November 2010

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 09:37 AM PST

With Christmas just around the corner, it's the busiest time of the year in the video games world – that period when the biggest (and often best) titles are released. And what a month it's been, with some top titles hitting the shelves, not to mention our review pages. Here they are, all rounded up in one place.

Scroll down to peruse the line-up, and don't forget you can check out the latest reviews at any time by heading to our gaming reviews page.


Gran Turismo 5 review

Incredible physics and occasionally beautiful graphics make this a top driving sim, but poor AI and dodgy damage remove some of the shine.

Create for PS3 Move review

LittleBigPlanet meets Scribblenauts in this puzzler designed for the PS3's motion-sensitive controller – but a little overpriced.

Xbox 360

Kinect review

Believe the hype. Microsoft's motion detector turns your whole body into a controller, and does so brilliantly. One of the best gadgets of the year.

Dance Paradise for Kinect review

If you can already dance like Usher, you might be pretty good at this. If you have trouble cutting a rug it could all prove a little too advanced for you.

Kinect Sports review

Think Wii Sports, but for Kinect: casual fun and a blast to play with your friends.

Kinectimals review

A little too cutesy for the average, ageing and cynical gamer, but five year-olds will adore it.

Fighters Uncaged review

Not one of the best Kinect games, and certainly not a great one for replay value – but martial arts fans will enjoy the chance to kick and punch their mates.

Dance Central review

It might make you look a fool while you're playing, but this is quite simply one of the best dance games ever. A wonderful social game.

Cross platform

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood review

They've only gone and made Assassin's Creed 2 even better. This expansion is as good as a whole game – and the best in the series so far.

Call of Duty: Black Ops review

An all-action single player campaign and superb selection of multiplayer modes. More of the same, in other words!

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Facebook hosting George Bush live chat

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 07:29 AM PST

Later on tonight George W Bush will be gracing Facebook HQ in Palo Alto with his presence. As part of the visit there’ll be a Facebook Live event with Dubya, which will start at 5pm PST, 10pm UK time.

The (potentially) exciting news for all you amateur Guido Fawkes and political pundits out there is that you’ll have the chance to ask Dubya questions, although whether these will be monitored (we’re expecting that they’ll need to be) and moderated is not clear.

Will you be tuning in to ask George Bush what his favourite cheese is? Tell us what you’d ask in the comments!

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Advent Vega: sold out, but available on Ebay for £350

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 07:01 AM PST

The Advent Vega has sold out, of its second, or possibly third batch now. The unprecedented demand has floored Advent, and they haven’t been able to keep up. While the Advent Vega is listed as out of stock online, it’s popped up on Ebay and is being flogged for £100 more than the asking price.

The Advent Vega is currently being sold on Ebay for around £350 (including postage). That’s £100 more than the asking price, and it’d listed as being a used version too (although unopened Vegas are popping up here and there).

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We gave the Advent Vega four out of five in our review which went up this morning. In light of the stock shortage, are you considering shelling out on Ebay for the Advent Vega?

Drop us a line in the comments and tell us what you think!

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Gran Turismo 5 review roundup

Posted: 29 Nov 2010 06:43 AM PST

High octane racing simulator Gran Turismo 5 is one of the most long-awaited games in history but, after over five years in development, it's finally here and the expert verdicts are pouring in. To save you the trouble of trekking all over the web, we've brought together a host of opinions right here in our Gran Turismo 5 review roundup.

The verdict of our very own Damien McFerran can be perused right here, but read on for more opinions on the PS3 racer – is it a finely-tuned supercar of a game, or just a weedy hatchback?

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The PS3 exclusive has a lot of hype to live up to. But does it deliver?

PlayStation Universe certainly thought so, describing it as "the ultimate racing sim" and, like our review, pointing to the incredibly accurate driving physics as a high point: every car handles in a distinctly different way due to differences in weight, tyre treads and engine systems. The physics can be tough to master if you're used to more arcade-like games, says the review, but make Gran Turismo 5 "incredibly satisfying when you nail it". The reviewer also liked the huge range of cars, but lamented the inconsistency of their on-screen representation: some cars look excellent, while others are merely good.

Eurogamer's review featured more criticisms, citing "archaic online multiplayer, an unwieldy interface, terrible optimisation and obtuse structure" as symptoms of Gran Turismo 5's lengthy, in-a-vacuum development process. However, it also describes the game as, at times, "astonishingly real and beautiful", lauds the sheer amount of features on offer and pours praise all over the realism of the handling. Handling is the Holy Grail of driving games, according to Eurogamer's Oli Welsh, and Gran Turismo 5 hits the sweet spot.

Joystiq's Randy Nelson was a little less enamoured of the way the game plays, saying that while driving he felt "cold, hard calculations and algorithms" rather than the impact of crashing into another driver or the g-force of taking a curve at high speed. He describes the game as "something only a subset of gamers will truly enjoy" – but still gave Gran Turismo 5 a positive review, saying that it's "great at what it does".


The general consensus among experts is that Gran Turismo 5 is a flawed and sometimes frustrating game, but a masterpiece – or something close to it – in spite of that.

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