Monday, 6 December 2010 - tech news fast! - tech news fast!

US Update: Tomb Raider, UnityRemote, Star Wars

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 07:00 PM PST

US Update: Tomb Raider, UnityRemote, Star WarsFresh off the press and hot out the oven it's your daily dose of tech news from the US in what we like to call the US Update. We've got you covered with the new Lara Croft Tomb Raider launch, a universal remote app for your iPhone, a free Star Wars fps for your iPhone and more.

First up this morning is an announcement from Crystal Dynamics, the studio behind an upcoming title — Tomb Raider. The game will be an origins tale of Lara Croft and offer a fresh look on the franchise.

Next up we have the GEAR4 UnityRemote, a nifty little gadget which transforms your iOS device (iPhone/iPod/iPad) into the perfect universal remote. Using an infrared receiver which communicates with the Bluetooth in your iOS device you can transform your gadget into a Harmony remote competitor.

HTC has released their numbers on expected shipments for 2011. The manufacturer expects to ship nearly 50 million units, the real question is whether or not there's enough supply to meet the staggering demand. iPhone gamers looking for first-person shooter fix will want to take a peak at Star Wars: Imperial Academy, now free in the App Store.

Last up this morning is news that Apple might be launching the Mac App Store a full month ahead of schedule. An inside told AppleTell that Steve Jobs requested developers to have their Apps ready today, but delayed the launch until Monday, December 13th.

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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  3. Video: Tomb Raider Underworld gameplay demoed

Mac App Store opens December 13th?

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 06:00 PM PST

Mac App Store opens December 13th?The world of apps is coming to the Mac, possibly as soon as December 13th. According to an inside source, Apple is targeting Monday, December 13th as the Mac App Store launch day, with many developers ready to sell starting today, December 6th. Will Apple beat their previous January estimate and launch Mac Apps next Monday?

The inside scoop to the Mac App Store launch tells us that Steve Jobs had ambitious plans to launch the storefront today, but when those plans failed the launch was pushed back to Monday, December 13th. The one-stop shop is geared towards simplifying the process of purchasing apps on the Mac and arguably increasing revenue streams for developers, both existing and newcomers.

The Mac App Store will likely become an integral tool for OS X software distribution in the future, but will Apple developers meet the December 13th goal? If they miss the mark we'll understand, but it's not often you hear Steve Jobs offering a second chance — unless of course you're talking about that white iPhone 4, right?

via BGR | AppleTell

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Star Wars Imperial Academy comes to iOS

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 05:00 PM PST

Star Wars Imperial Academy comes to iOSThe multi-player first-person shooter, Star Wars: Imperial Academy, is now alive and kicking in the Apple App Store. Without spending a penny, you can get your game on with the latest iPhone Star Wars saga thanks to the latest release by ngmoco. If you were a fan of Eliminate Pro, Star Wars: Imperial Academy should be at the top of your to do list.

Following in the footsteps of THQ's Star Wars: Battle for Hoth, ngmoco flips the page by introducing iPhone gamers to a Star Wars world of first-person shooters. Take your pick between playing as a Stormtrooper of the Royal Guard, a Sand Trooper or Blackhole Trooper and jump online to begin the action.

There's a variety of weapons to choose from — Blaster Rifle, rocket launcher and sniper rifle, but our Counter-Strike roots had us geared up for some head shots as a sniper. If you're wondering how ngmoco could release such a great title for free, the developer looks to capitalize on "micro-transactions". While playing you can purchase key cards that will speed up your progress.

If you can manage to resist the impulse buy of the "micro-transactions", Star Wars: Imperial Academy shapes up to be a great free game for iOS. A quick look at the free games chart and you'll see Imperial Academy is steadily climbing to the top of the leaderboard.

While ngmoco's Eliminate Pro didn't take off as expected, the building blocks from this launch have proven beneficial in the release of Star Wars: Imperial Academy. Let us know how you are enjoying the game and if you have any recommendations feel free to drop a comment below, we'll be sure to pass them along to the developer.

Out Now | Free | App Store

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HTC expect to ship 45 to 50 million units in 2011?

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 04:00 PM PST

HTC expect to ship 45 to 50 million units in 2011?We love our HTC smartphones and apparently so does the rest of the world — to the tune of 45 to 50 million units in 2011. According to a report from industry insider DigiTimes, HTC is currently in talks with PCB makers about orders for 2011. Will HTC be able to keep up with the growing demand for their beloved smartphones?

This year was a great a time to be a component manufacturer for HTC, but apparently 2011 will even better. With 25 million units projected for all of 2010, the jump to 45 to 50 million units in 2011 is substantial to say the least. So how exactly does HTC plan to address the demand?

Unconfirmed reports indicate that HTC is looking at Ichia Technologies, a supplier for flexible PCB, which has already sent samples to HTC and been green lit for early 2011 production. As expected, Ichia declined to comment on the reported deal, but DigiTimes is sticking by their story.

The problem with the report is that Ichia had previously produced keypads for HTC, but during that time they were heavily booked by Nokia. The end result was a failure to fulfill HTC orders. Granted, the new line of HTC devices will not rely much on keyboards, but it still raises the question — will Ichia be able to meet the new demand?

The demand for HTC devices in 2011 will be as much of a test for production as it will be for HTC to continue to innovate. Now it's time for you to chime in. Do you think that HTC will actually ship 45 to 50 million devices in 2011? Or will the supply chain fail to support such a tremendous demand? Sound off in the comments below.

via DigiTimes

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GEAR4 UnityRemote: the ultimate iOS universal remote

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 03:00 PM PST

GEAR4 UnityRemote: the ultimate iOS universal remoteWhether you own an iPhone, iPod or iPad, you've got what it takes to turn your iOS device into a universal remote. GEAR4, innovators behind a plethora of iOS accessories, has announced UnityRemote, a device that gives your iOS device total control over all of your electronic devices. Ready to ditch that Harmony remote?

Controlling multimedia devices simply and easily is at the heart of GEAR4's UnityRemote. Whether that means controlling your TV, Blu-ray player, digital TV box or anything else that uses an infrared receiver, this is the product to get the job done. So enough with technical fluff let's get right into how the UnityRemote actually works.

First, there's the app which is free in the Apple App Store. Second, there's a small and sleek little device that receives and transmits infrared and Bluetooth signals. Since our iOS devices (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad) lack an IR transmitter, the UnityRemote does the next best thing — it uses Bluetooth to interact with our devices and then sends an infrared instruction by way of four infrared transmitters.

GEAR4 UnityRemote: the ultimate iOS universal remote

The use of four infrared transmitters might seem like overkill, but for anyone who hates having to aim a remote directly at their electronics knows, this is a godsend. To put the UnityRemote in action, simply place the unit near your electronics and fire up the app. Available devices will be listed within the app and you'll be off to controlling in no time.

One more tidbit of information worth mentioning before we sign off — the UnityRemote uses three AA batteries, so don't worry about clutter around your A/V system. The only question we have left is what about our Playstation 3? We're all for the ultimate universal remote, but many of us rely on the PS3 for watching Blu-rays — stay tuned as we await a response from GEAR4.

Out Now | £99 | GEAR4

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New Tomb Raider game redefines Lara Croft

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 02:00 PM PST

New Tomb Raider game redefines Lara CroftLara Croft as we know her will be redefined with the upcoming release of Tomb Raider, a fresh take on the franchise by gaming studio Crystal Dynamics. Washed ashore on an unknown beach, the new Lara Croft is the same young woman we've known, but her sole purpose now is to survive. This is the real story behind Lara, are you ready to take the challenge?

Square Enix LTD., the company behind the Redwood City based studio Crystal Dynamics, has taken a bold leap in the world of all things Tomb Raider. With today's announcement, the new Tomb Raider is an origins story, in fact the Darrell Gallagher, Head of Crystal Dynamics told us, "forget everything you know about Tomb Raider, we are exploring things that have never been done before in this game".

Set to take place on an unknown beach, Tomb Raider will explore the story behind Lara and how she came to be the kick-ass action hero we love. Currently, the real details behind the game remain much a mystery, but we can confirm the title will be headed to the PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and it will have the usual online gaming support (PSN/Xbox Live).

New Tomb Raider game redefines Lara Croft

At this point in the Tomb Raider franchise we've seen Angelina Jolie headline two movie titles, we've seen a handful of games starting way back with the Playstation One, so we just have to ask — are you ready for new Tomb Raider?

An origins title is a great way to bring Tomb Raider back to the forefront of console gaming and we think Crystal Dynamics could be the studio to make it happen. Let us know what you think about today's announcement and whether Lara Croft Tomb Raider is fit for a return to the spotlight.

via Den of Geek

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Teatime Tech: Google Nexus S and Android 2.3 arrive, Tron Legacy review and the Beeb takes on games addiction

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 10:34 AM PST

It’s been a huge day for Android, but that’s not all that’s gone down in gadgetry. Read on for all the latest in our teatime tech roundup.

First up, Google’s just pulled Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the oven, complete with fancy new features like internet calling support and NFC wireless payment. What’s the first phone you’ll be able to use as a digital wallet? Why, the Google Nexus S of course, which has just been made official. We’ve got all the details on it, both here, and on our Google Nexus S Facebook page!

Over in gaming meanwhile, Auntie is turning its investigative eye on the problem of gaming addiction in tonight’s Panorama. But is it a balanced analysis?

Finally, the most eagerly awaited gadget film of the year is almost here: Tron Legacy. We’ve seen it already, but what did we make of it? Find out here in our full review!

Still hungry for more headlines? Roll on over to the homepage, it’s updated around the clock!

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Check out our Google Nexus S Facebook page!

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 10:24 AM PST

The Google Nexus S has landed, just in time to make it under the tree for Android addicts. Are you one of them? Slavering over this slice of Samsung smartphone? Then we suggest you go check out our Google Nexus S Facebook page, which is updated regularly with all the latest coverage from around the web, not to mention the best deals! Check it out here, and read on through to let us know what you think of the phone so far. Is this the first iPhone 4 contender of 2010?

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Best LCD TV for Christmas

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 10:00 AM PST

Looking to splash out on an LCD TV this Christmas for all the family, for yourself or as a rather generous gift? Then you need these recommendations of the best LCD TV this Christmas. We’ve compared the pixels, judged the features and weighed the price tags. What’s left are three recommendations for the best buys this Crimbo.

Read on for the best LCD TV options going, no matter what your budget…

If you really love them…
Samsung UE46C8000
Buy it now!
A creature of astonishing beauty. The Samsung UE46C8000 is not just great because of its picture quality but for its wafer thin design (it's just 23.9mm thick). The 46in giant is chock full of connectivity with four HDMI points, two SCART connectors, two USB ports, an Ethernet hook up and Wi-Fi for access to Samsung wealth of internet services features. The 3D quality will also blow your socks off.

If you really like them…
Sony KDL 32NX503

Buy it now!
A stunning 32in monolithic style glossy screen with full HD 1080. There's tonnes of connectivity with four HDMI slots, USB ports and an Ethernet connection that enables access on via a DLNA-enabled PC. It delivers rich colours, boosted whites and manages to perform brilliantly during dark scenes. The multimedia features are a bargain at this price.

The cheapskate option…
Toshiba 32LV713B

Buy it now!
At £300 it’s a perfect option if you’re looking to buy your first 1080p full-HD LCD TV. The 32in screen is packed with features like Freeview and Toshiba’s Active Vision picture processing, providing high quality colour, detail and contrast. Decent connectivity with 3 HDMI ports and USB. One of the best value TVs around.

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Who won our Call of Duty: Black Ops competition?

Posted: 06 Dec 2010 09:34 AM PST

Last month, we offered you the chance to win a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops for Wii, and a Wii chat headset to go with it, courtesy of We asked you to come up with the best insult to your vanquished enemy online, and you turned the (virtual) room blue with your responses. But boy were they good. Read on to find out who came out with the best, scooped the prize and burned you and yo momma in the process.

The winner of our Call of Duty compo was Dave Nixon who came up with the pithy and oh so topical insult:

“Your mum is so fat, I called in a tactical nuke, but it bounced right off her”.

Zing! And ouch. That’s the last thing you’d want to hear after being shot in the face. Hopefully Dave will enjoy his prizes since he tells that he loves Call of Duty, “and the competitiveness makes it even better. There’s nothing better than a little bit of in game banter either.” Congratulations, they’re on the way to you.

Didn’t win this time? No worries: there’s a prize to be won every day until Christmas in our Advent Calendar giveaway!

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