Friday, 3 December 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

US Update: WoW, Apple gaming, DROID 2 explodes

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 07:00 PM PST

US Update: WoW, Apple gaming, DROID 2 explodesStarting off your weekend just right is your daily dose of tech news. Today we break down the details of World of Warcraft coming to an Android handset near you, take a look at Apple's move to the console gaming market and more. Sit back and relax, it's time for your US Update.

A video demonstration of World of Warcraft (WoW) for Android smartphones was released by GameString this morning. Using the power of a host computer, the team was able to take WoW on the road with a demonstration using the HTC Desire.

Nokia announced the Loopset LPS-5, the latest in their line to provide mobile access to the hearing impaired. EA vice president Eric Soderlund went on record to say that if anyone is going to enter the console gaming market and leave their mark it'll be Apple.

A man from Dallas, Texas is reporting that his Motorola DROID 2 exploded — leaving him with a bloody ear that required four stitches at the emergency room. Last in this morning was a video released by Google showing off Cantonese Voice Search. Upon further inspection we realized the handset used in the video was running Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

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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Android 2.3 Gingerbread caught on video

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 06:00 PM PST

Android 2.3 Gingerbread caught on videoSmile for the camera! Android 2.3, formally known as Gingerbread, has just appeared in a Cantonese Voice Search Demo by none-other-than Google. The video was quickly removed by the search giant, but lucky for us we've found another copy and even the screenshots to prove it!

A quick look at the screenshot below and the first thing you'll notice is that's not Android 2.2 Froyo — it's Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Starting with the black notification bar at the top and the new icons along the bottom, we are looking at the not-too-distant future of Android.

Android 2.3 Gingerbread caught on video

Of course, the video does not show off the silky smooth video chatting and music streaming features believed to be tucked away into Android 2.3, but this is a start. For a full taste of the video, head on over to PocketNow. They've managed to save a copy of the video now that Google decided to no longer host it.

Via PocketNow

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DROID 2 explodes: bloody ear and four stitches

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 05:00 PM PST

DROID 2 explodes: bloody ear and four stitchesWe've had our own fair share of problems with smartphones, but we'd never imagine they'd lead to our phone exploding in our ear. According to Aron Embry from Dallas Texas, his Motorola Droid 2 did exactly just that — it exploded, leaving a bloody mess and a hospital visit requiring four stitches.

The alleged story from Mr. Embry this morning has us rethinking the way we talk about our precious smartphones. Apparently while attempting to get in his car, the Droid 2 overheated and subsequently exploded against his ear.

The damage caused by the alleged explosion was quite a bit worse than a paper cut and a visit to the ER quickly followed. Blood began to pour down his neck and when his wife saw him she thought he had gotten into a car accident.

DROID 2 explodes: bloody ear and four stitches

Curiously, the man alleging the story does not have health insurance and he's already found legal representation — representation he hopes will get Motorola to open their pocketbooks. This is not the first time we've heard reports of malfunctioning smartphones.

Even iPods have been known to overheat and cause some serious damage. Personally I've had two iPod Nanos overheat and if I had not smelt the burning plastic, there's no telling what type of fire would have been started.

We're not exactly sold on the idea of a phone just blowing up like this Motorola Droid 2, but we're sure there will be a serious investigation. With that being said, it's time to find out what you think about this smartphone fiasco. Did the Motorola Droid 2 actually explode or is this just another get-rich-quick scheme?

via Fox DFW

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Apple to dominate console gaming in 2011?

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 04:00 PM PST

Apple to dominate console gaming in 2011?Yes, you've read it correctly — Apple is poised to takeover console gaming in 2011. At least if Electronic Arts (EA) has anything to say about it. In an interview with CVG, EA vice president Eric Soderlund believes if anyone can do it, Apple can.

There's no certainty in this world of fast-paced electronics, but word on the street is application support is coming to the Apple TV in 2011. All those great apps we love using on our iPhone and iPad will be playable on the big screen — the most important of which is gaming.

While speaking about the possibility of a new player in the console market, EA vice president Eric Soderlund told CVG, "if it was anyone but Apple, I'd say that's going to be very hard". His kind words continued as he said, "look at what they did with the iPhone, right? They are a truly brilliant company so I would give them a relatively good chance to succeed if they tried".

This isn't the first time we've been warned that Apple could be the next gaming threat. Flashback a couple months and Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime warned that Apple was a bigger threat to Nintendo than Microsoft.

So how exactly would Apple gaming work? Simple, the Apple TV is your console and either the iPhone, iPod or iPad is your controller. Apple would simply need to spin their marketing campaign to highlight the $99 Apple TV and wallah, console gaming.

The current generation of Apple products certainly has the hardware to support HD-quality graphics, an accomplishment even the Wii hasn't attained. The real question is whether Apple will make the move and enter the market? So does Apple stand a chance at replacing your Xbox 360 or Playstation 3? Let us know what you think!

via CVG

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Nokia Wireless Loopset LPS-5 brings mobile to hearing impaired

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 03:00 PM PST

Nokia Wireless Loopset LPS-5 brings mobile to hearing impairedNot since the Danger Hiptop days have we seen a device so beneficial to the hearing impaired. Earlier today Nokia announced the Wireless Loopset LPS-5, an ingenious device which provides t-coil-equipped hearing aid users with a hassle and hands-free connection to their mobile phone.

The Loopset LPS-5 is Nokia's solution for the hearing impaired. With compatibility for handsets that use Bluetooth 2.1, the loopset directs mobile phone calls wirelessly through the hearing aid. Taking it a step further, the Loopset LPS-5 has vibrating alerts for incoming calls, user adjustable sidetone level, optimized volume range and frequency response and even a single button for call handling.

Other highlights to the LPS-5 include induction technology which enables acoustic background noise to be filtered. The end result is that this helps increase speech discrimination. Sure we could bore you with more of the nitty gritty details, but I think it's best to just show you the device in action.

Nokia Wireless Loopset LPS-5 brings mobile to hearing impaired

As mobile phone enthusiasts we applaud Nokia for taking the steps to let every man woman and child enjoy the power of mobility. Rather than pumping out just another device for the hearing impaired, the Loopset LPS-5 has built upon the previous LPS models and added it's own unique feature set.

We just hope that other manufacturers take a page from Nokia's book and decide to start promoting similar devices to make mobile life easier for the hearing impaired. With Danger Hiptop devices out of the mix, there's a huge market and the LPS-5 is now the device to beat.

via YouTube

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World of Warcraft (WoW) for Android: game on!

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 02:00 PM PST

World of Warcraft (WoW) for Android: game on!Just when you thought Android was behind the curve when it came to mobile gaming, GameString has thrown us a curveball. World of Warcraft (WoW) is coming to Android smartphone! In a alpha demonstration using GameString Platform's remote play technology we get to see this bad boy in action, ready?

Here's the skinny on the World of Warcraft (WoW) for Android demonstration. Essentially the gaming wonder is achieved by streaming your games from the cloud to any desktop, notebook, tablet or mobile device. Using the dual-mode delivery technology, each device can have its own custom user interfaces while playing the same core game from the host computer.

The end result is World of Warcraft (WoW) on your Android smartphone or any of the aforementioned devices. Before we get you into the trenches so you can take a peak at this magical solution in action let's breakdown what it takes to make this demonstration a reality.

World of Warcraft (WoW) for Android: game on!

First is the GameString Adrenaline Host Server with Dual-Mode Delivery running a standard World of Warcraft game install. The device used in this demonstration is the HTC Desire — although any high-end Android smartphone should have the chops. The host computer (computer at home) has a 2 Mbps upload and the Desire is running off a 2 Mbps download connection. In this controlled environment the host computer and the HTC Desire were separated by about 80km.

The end result is World of Warcraft in the palm of your hands. We're thoroughly impressed with the end result and if GameString can take this solution mainstream there's an even brighter future for mobile gaming. So how many of you World of Warcraft players out there are ready to put in some world on your Android smartphone? You can count me in!

via Dailymobile | YouTube

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Teatime Tech: 15GB of data with Three iPad, new BlackBerry UI and first impressions of the Zomm

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 08:55 AM PST

It's dark, it's Friday and we've already got one foot in the weekend. Ease the other one that way by catching up on this afternoon's top tech news. It's Teatime Tech, y'all.

Three UK is doing a cheap iPad deal that'll get you Apple's tablet for as little as £199, but the big story is that its £25 per month contract offers 15GB of data every month! That makes Everything Everywhere's similar deal, which offers 1GB of peak time data and 1GB of non-peak time data, look distinctly unappetising.

Second, we could well be seeing a new BlackBerry UI. RIM has bought up a company that specialises in creating user interfaces – could it have an overhaul in mind for its BlackBerry smartphones?

Third and final, our reporter Jennifer Allan has been getting to grips with the "alien device" called the Zomm: part wireless leash, part SOS alarm and part handsfree kit. See what she thought in our first impressions Zomm review.

Need more delectable tech nuggets regurgitated into your expectant beak? Head for the homepage, where you'll find all the day's news, features, polls and more.

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AVG and Symantec anti-virus con: don’t upgrade too early!

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 07:54 AM PST

Anti-virus software often doesn't come cheap. So when you get an offer to upgrade with a discount, it's natural that lots of us might want to save a few pennies, even if that means signing up early. But doing this can mean you end up out of pocket for your anti-virus software.

Which? has found that  Symantec and AVG anti-virus don't let customers who haven't used up their current anti-virus roll over the time if they upgrade early. The reason Symantec gave was because its upgrades provide additional features and more comprehensive protection against computer viruses.

Symantec said: "If customers upgrade, the new subscription will begin when they install and activate the upgrade product. If customers install and activate the upgrade prior to the expiration of the time remaining on their existing product subscriptions, any time remaining on their existing product will not be added to their upgrade."

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AVG were similar, it said: "As is very common with the software industry, all our products have a specific time frame – one or two years from activation date – and we recommend that our customers renew their products as close to their expiration dates to ensure that they maximise this time."

Other anti-virus software providers had fairer practices though: if you want to avoid losing time on your anti-virus, then McAffee, BitDefender and Panda Security all allow rollovers on upgrades.

What do you think of this anti-virus con? Have you been victim to it? drop us a line in the comments and let us know!

[via Which?]

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Best free iPhone games

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 07:46 AM PST

Okay, it's time to run through the best free iPhone games. Apple's iOS-toting smartphone has become one of the most popular games machines on the planet, with thousands of titles available through the iTunes App Store. Some are terrible, many are reasonable – but which are the very best?

We've spent many an hour sifting through our brains and app libraries to turn up the top five cost-free games for the iPhone – titles that no iPhone owner really has any excuse not to own. They don't break the bank, but they might wear your fingers down to little nubs.

Check out the list to the right

So look right and give the list a look-see. You can jump straight through to the iTunes store to download by hitting the links.

What do you think of our best free iPhone games Top 5? Have we nailed it or missed out on a classic? Speak your mind in the comments below!

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BlackBerry UI overhaul planned?

Posted: 03 Dec 2010 07:38 AM PST

RIM has bought out a company specialising in UI design called The Astonishing Tribe (TAT). Does this mean that a UI overhaul is on its way for BlackBerry?

RIM CTO David Yach said: “TAT is renowned for their innovative mobile user interface (UI) designs and has a long history of working with mobile and embedded technology.” Is this a hiny that RIM is looking to overhaul the BlackBerry UI?

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TAT has a UI framework which currently powers Android devices, and in car “infotainment” services. TAT claims its technology is in as much as 20 percent of all smartphones shipped in 2010. Among RIM’s new acquisition’s existing customers are Motorola, Sony Ericsson and Samsung.

“Of course we will honor our current agreements and service our existing customers and have taken all the necessary steps to keep the two commitments separated,” TAT co-founder Paul Blomdahl said on the company’s website.

Could there be a complete change to the BlackBerry UI in the works? Will BlackBerry want their UI to be more like Android? We don’t know yet, but BlackBerry’s dominant grip on the marketshare is slipping, and it needs something dramatic to get back in the game.

What would you change in the BlackBerry UI? Tell us in the comments!

[via Reuters]

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