Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

Electricpig.co.uk - tech news fast!

Samsung Galaxy S 2, Nokia Windows Phone, HTC Puccini: US Update

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:47 PM PDT

 Samsung Galaxy S 2, Nokia Windows Phone, HTC Puccini: US UpdateThe world of tech never sleeps and we’re on hand 24/7, bringing you the latest and greatest the wonderful world of gadgets has to offer. In today’s US Update we kick off the show with TalkTalk’s new HomeSafe web filter, take a look at Galaxy S 2 international pre-orders and even spy HTC’s upcoming 10-inch tablet, the Puccini.

If you’ve been looking for an easy, almost seamless, way to keep your computers virus free while at the same time kid friendly, TalkTalk has the solution for you. The broadband provider has announced HomeSafe, the first network-level online security and website blocking solution free to all of its customers.
Samsung has announced it has received more than three million pre-orders for its upcoming Galaxy S 2 smartphone. These figures will do wonders if Samsung hopes to sell an estimated 10 million Galaxy S 2s this year.

HTC is poised to release a 10-inch tablet for At&t’s upcoming 4G LTE network. With two 7-inch tablets on tap, the Flyer and EVO View 4G, has the manufacturer realized that 10-inch is the new tablet sweet spot? Nokia is holding an event in Athens next week, May 17th. All rumors indicate we’ll see a major Windows Phone announcement, but will the Finish giant deliver the hardware we’ve been waiting for?

Last up on today’s gadget menu is news on Activision’s first quarter profits. To describe the earnings call in one word, amazing. Riding on the success of the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises, Activision profits hit $503 million, up from $381 million in the year ago quarter.

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Activision profits ride high on Call of Duty and WoW franchises

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:20 PM PDT

call of duty profits help activision blow off the chartIt seems as though Activision is minting its own money with each quarterly report recording unprecedented profit levels. The game studio’s first quarter profits sounded to the tune of $503m, up from $381m during the same period last year. Even sales were up from $1.3b to $1.4b, leading us to ask — can anything stop Activision’s money train?

Big-budget franchises are the bread and butter of Activision’s gaming repertoire. Leading the assault this quarter were the Call of Duty and World of Warcraft franchises, not to mention a fair share of digital downloads. A tidbit worth noting this time around is Activision is planning a new Call of Duty game for the Chinese market based on a micro-transaction business model.

As an avid Call of Duty: Black Ops player (at least until PSN went down last month), I’m hoping Modern Warfare 3 is able to deliver. Call of Duty: World at War fell short in my book. Historically every other Call of Duty game walks away a blockbuster, a bit like the iPhone, so hopefully the next installment changes the trend.

According to G4tv, Modern Warfare 3 will be released on November 8, keeping the annual Fall release schedule intact. Details of the game are expected to be unveiled at E3 this June, along with a teaser in next month’s issues of UK’s Official PlayStation Magazine.

via GameIndustryBiz

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Nokia teases Windows Phone event for May 17

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:41 PM PDT

Nokia teases Windows Phone event for May 17The wedding-inspired invite (seen above) eludes to the union of two separate entities, Windows Phone and Nokia. The culmination of months of hard work will presumably unfold in Athens on May 17 at 20:00. What else does Nokia have up its sleeve for next week?

Let’s be clear, Nokia is playing this event close to the hip and all details surrounding the gathering are complete speculation. However, based on our years of mobile coverage we feel permitted to provide such insight. The summer smartphone showdown is upon us and Nokia knows the time to unveil ‘game-changing’ hardware paired with Windows Phone software is now.

Will we see a new line of Nokia handsets? We certainly hope so, though we can’t help but hedge our bets. One thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft unveiled its Windows Phone roadmap for the remainder of 2011 at MIX last month. This in itself leads us to believe Nokia hardware will be the focus in Athens.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on what Nokia might share next week.

via DailyMobile

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HTC eyes a new 10 inch tablet form factor, partners with At&t for delivery

Posted: 09 May 2011 06:00 PM PDT

HTC eyes a new 10 inch tablet form factor, partners with At&t for deliveryIt appears HTC has determined the sweet spot for tablets is 10 inches, despite plans to launch two 7-inch tablets, the Flyer and EVO View 4G. Dubbed the HTC Puccini, this 10-inch slate will tout 4G LTE support, presumably to pair nicely with At&t’s LTE launch later this year.

Details surrounding the HTC Puccini are scarce to say the least. For now we have the image (seen above) and the following tidbits compliments of our friends at pocketnow.com. The Puccini will ‘likely’ run Android 3.x Honeycomb and support HTC’s Scribe capacitive pen input technology. The rumors suggest the tablet may be music-centric, possibly named after the 19th century opera composer Giacomo Puccini.

Pricing and release information is unknown at this time. Although not guaranteed, a worldwide release should be expected since the Puccini is a GSM-based tablet.

via PocketNow

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Samsung has three million reasons the Galaxy S 2 should be your next smartphone

Posted: 09 May 2011 05:26 PM PDT

Samsung has three million reasons the Galaxy S II should be your next smartphoneNo ifs ands or buts about it, the Samsung Galaxy S 2 is a hot commodity, recording more than three million pre-orders worldwide. The Korean manufacturer confirmed the pre-orders by way of a press release this afternoon. With the iPhone 5 reportedly delayed until late 2011, could this be the summer of the Galaxy S II?

Let’s begin with the facts: more than 120,000 Galaxy S 2 smartphones were sold in Korea on launch day. An additional 120 countries are scheduled to launch the phone later this year. According to Samsung, three million customers in those countries have gone ahead and committed with a pre-order.

We’ve had a brief love affair with our own Galaxy S 2 review unit and even whipped up a thorough review. Packing a Super AMOLED display and an 1.2GHz dual-core processor brings a new level of speed to the table, setting the bar for all future Android smartphones. Just how high will Galaxy S 2 pre-orders reach once available in other countries like the U.S.?

Coming Soon | Samsung | TBD

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TalkTalk HomeSafe filter blocks porn and keeps the kids off Facebook

Posted: 09 May 2011 04:50 PM PDT

TalkTalk HomeSafe filter blocks the porn and keeps the kids off FacebookWant to keep your computer virus free while at the same time block offensive websites from the kids? TalkTalk has launched its HomeSafe website filter, a free opt-in service for its broadband customers. Armed with three types of protection and control, HomeSafe is your network’s best friend.

Today’s announcement makes TalkTalk the first UK internet provider to offer network-level online security and website blocking. The battle to keep your home network clean and distraction free begins with Virus Alerts. HomeSafe constantly detects infected websites and blocks them if any computer using your broadband connection attempts to visit one.

Part two is dubbed KidsSafe, a simple to use tool to block offensive websites. This makes it easy as pie to keep the gambling, pornography and violence at bay. The last piece of the HomeSafe puzzle is Homework Time, a feature which quickly and effectively blocks social networking sites during study time. Facebook might not appreciate Homework time, but we know you sure will.

Out Now | TalkTalk | Free with Broadband Plan

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From hashtags to riches: The people who got #famous on Twitter

Posted: 09 May 2011 09:55 AM PDT

As a 33-year-old programmer from Pakistan becomes a Twitter scion by inadvertently tweeting Osama's death live, we look at five other people plucked from obscurity by virtue of their Twitter feeds.

Well, to be fair, one of them’s a cat (1.4million followers and counting). ‘Mr Sockington’ is currently negotiating a six-figure book deal… Seriously.

Read on – perhaps Twitter is about to change your life…



Sarah Slowik had three followers – until American talkshow host Conan O'Brien decided to randomly follow her. The result? 46,000 new followers, a free iMac, a free wedding dress, free wedding rings and $2600 of sponsorship for a charity walk. She also met Ludacris. Well, you can't have everything…

Say what? "Was told the way I dance makes me look like Olive Oil from Pop Eye"



Justine is one of those annoying American teens who makes 'duh, like, that's, like, sooo cool' chopped-up, set-in-her-bedroom video monologues. If her material alone doesn't provoke spittle-flecked indignation, then perhaps the fact she makes around $75,000 a year from her videos (heavily plugged to her 1.27million followers) will….

Say what? "Hahaha the security guard at the apple store literally attacked my sister like she had a bomb for opening an iphone case!! So funny."



Jason Scott's cat, Sockington, is without doubt the most famous animal on Twitter, with over 1.48million followers. The 'Socks Army' wear Sockington T-shirts, arrange punk festivals in his honour, and send him twitkisses. He's currently on the lookout for a six-figure book deal. Seriously.

Say what? "BETTER BE QUAKING IN YOUR LITTLE PAWS SQUIRREL once I somehow get out of the house and remember how to climb a tree YOU ARE IN TROUBLE”



Before he hit the big time with Sh*t My Dad Says, Justin Halpern was a ‘semi-employed’ comedy writer. He started his Twitter account in 2009, intending it as a mode of storing his father's bizarre but witty comments. After being mentioned on The Daily Show, the feed grew to 2.2million followers and now has it's own spin-off sitcom on CBS, starring none other than William Shatner.

Say what? "So he likes drugs and hookers. That’s the mustard & mayo on the sandwich of life. Problem is, that’s all he’s got on his fucking sandwich"



Alright so he was famous before – but 'was' is the operative word here. Nobody heard a peep out of Cheggers since Channel 5′s infamous nudist quiz put paid to his career, but since joining Twitter (and being accused by much more famous comedians of tweeting their jokes), Chegwin's popularity has soared. So much so, he’s about to debut his own feature film – Kill Keith – at Cannes. And guess what, he’s using his Twitter fame to promote it…

Say what? "Walked out of Chinese takeaway when they said their new chef was Wan King The Cook"*

*We do not endorse Keith Chegwin's distasteful humour.

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Dear Google, deliver big Android news not vague promises

Posted: 09 May 2011 09:45 AM PDT

Google and Apple do their developer conferences very differently. With Apple, the geeky festivities are topped off with a blockbuster set up, ideally with Steve Jobs in the starring role. There’s generally a big product for the press to coo at while this year, the devs will have plenty to feast on with more iOS 5 and Mac OS X Lion details.

For Google, at its yearly Google I/O, the style of presentation has always been a lot less slick: without a household name pitch man to deliver a killer keynote, it tends to take the shotgun approach and blast the crowds with a spread of announcements.

That wonkish, detail-oriented approach is not necessarily the right strategy. Android needs to keep stomping onwards and people expect to see interesting innovations from across the ever-growing set of Google interests. But when it comes to delivering on its promises, Google has gotten a little sloppy…

Check Out Our Most Recommended

Last year’s Google I/O saw teases and launches from a disparate selection of Google groups. The Chrome Web Store was outed and is ticking along nicely while for Android, improved voice recognition smarts were shown off and a cloud music strategy was demoed.

Voice recognition is one clear area where Google has the jump on Apple but the arrival of Android music streaming and other cloud-shaped delights has been continually delayed. Right now, both Google and Apple are getting goosed by Amazon and its Amazon Cloud Drive locker service for your MP3s.

Curiously, Google spent probably more time at I/O banging on about its web video standard, WebM, than it did talking about cool new Android features. The whole event felt bitty with the only big news coming in the shape of Google TV. That range of devices hasn’t reached the UK yet and may never if Google doesn’t give Google TV in the US some serious care and attention. While Apple TV continues to grow beyond its “hobby” designation for the folks in Cupertino, Google has dropped the ball with Google TV, creating something that hasn’t got consumers fired up.

Admittedly, the problems with both Android cloud streaming and Google TV are largely down to external factors – the music industry and the TV networks cutting Google off at the knees. But it needs to negotiate harder and prevent itself from being pushed into the corner as it has been to some extent by the US phone networks. While Android is beginning to beat down iPhone when it comes to market share (a calculation that becomes clouded when you bring the iPod touch and iPad into the equation), its openness is undermined by moves like ditching tethering apps from the Android Market at the request of carriers.

Google is an incredibly innovative company but it’s starting to stack up a few duds with products like Google Wave which was shut down and Google Buzz which is fizzling out.

Google needs to come out at Google I/O with some fresh things to say and offer up announcements that will fire up gadget buying Google fans and not just the developers who get hyped up at the thought of new file formats and behind the scenes code-tweaking. For Android, a killer new version of the mobile OS that unites the fragmented tribes and a successor to Android Honeycomb that feels finished are top of the to do list. But most of all, Google needs to actually deliver on the promises it makes this year.

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What Stewart Lee thinks of Angry Birds Rio

Posted: 09 May 2011 09:26 AM PDT

While Angry Birds Rio might have seemed like the nadir of “brand synergisation” to Twentieth Century Fox, British comic Stewart Lee sees things differently. Check out this clip in which he takes down social media consultants for terrible iPhone tie in games – would you play Angry Stew?

In the clip below, a plug for Lee’s new Comedy Vehicle show on the Beeb, Lee bemoans the typical “social media” promotions that go with new shows and movies, from terrible apps involving putting your face in other things to, well, more terrible apps involving putting your face in other things.

The unseen social media strategist, in case you were worried, isn’t real – it’s comic actor Kevin Eldon, of Big Train, Brass Eye and other classic series. Still, he’s pretty well versed in Birt Speak 2.0, isn’t he?

Oh, and yes, we’re aware of the irony of posting about this. You can’t out-meta us.

(via Creative Life)

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New Apple iMac review: It’s awesome, but does anyone need a desktop nowadays?

Posted: 09 May 2011 07:19 AM PDT

The new Apple iMac is here, and while the 2011 line doesn’t exactly contain any surprises – second-gen Core chips and Intel ThunderBolt, obviously – that doesn’t mean it’s anything less than sensational. Read on and get our thoughts in our full new Apple iMac review.


At a glance, nothing has changed with the new iMac’s exterior. It still sticks slavishly to the the unibody aluminium design ethos of Jonny Ive, with an edge to edge screen and cool metal curves. It’s hard to believe that even three years after this was first introduced in the company’s MacBook Pro lines, no other manufacturer has managed to craft anything as sexy.

All Apple has done has done is chucked a well behaved ambient light sensor in and a better webcam – you can now carry out 720p HD FaceTime web chats, in wide 16:9 aspect ratio, just as you can on the new MacBook Pro, with identical performance – check out what you can expect in our hands with FaceTime HD from earlier this year below.

On the right hand side of the new Apple iMac you’ll find the SD card and DVD drive slots (Yup, no Blu-ray still, but Apple followers have long since resigned themselves to the fact that this is never going to happen), while on the back you’ll find four USB 2.0 ports along with an Ethernet connections. On any other new machine, we’d have a bit of a moan about the lack of USB 3.0 for faster file transfer, but lo! The DisplayPort (or pair of them on the larger model) is now a ThunderBolt port, letting you sling data at stupid speeds with supported peripherals. There aren’t many of those yet, mind, but that’ll change in due course, and there’s still a FireWire 800 hook-up if you need it.

New iMac: Five hidden secrets

It’s also worth noting that the new Apple iMac now comes with your choice of Magic Mouse or Magic TrackPad for input (Or both) along with the wireless keyboard. It’s a thoughtful gesture, since many MacBook users like us will be much more used to multitouch gestures on a completely flat panel. Regardless of which you’re going for, know that you’re getting the best looking desktop out there.


Of course, likely the biggest concern will be the yellow screen issue that late 2009 models were plagued by. We’re happy to report that we’ve seen nothing of the sort on our test model. The LED backlit screen is beautiful, stuffing 2560×1440 pixels on the larger new Apple iMac (the smaller pumps out 1080p), and it’s perfectly possible to hook up two more DisplayPort monitors to work alongside it.

There is one flaw with that display though – as with the MacBook Pro, the glass can throw a lot of light back at you. That’s rarely a problem with a portable machine – go sit somewhere else -but glare on a desktop machine can be seriously annoying when the sun come straights through the window. If your desk gets full on natural light, well, you might want to consider moving your desk.


The £999 21-inch new iMac comes with a 2.5GHz Core i5 CPU and AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics, and things ramp up from there. Our new Apple iMac review unit is the 27-inch entry level model, with a 2.7GHz quad-core second generation Intel Core i5 chip with AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics and 4GB of DDR3 RAM, but if you want even more performance, you can configure one to ship with up to 16GB of memory, a 2TB hard drive, 3.4GHZ Core i7 processor and 6970M graphics, plus a second 256GB solid state drive on which to install OS X Snow Leopard.

Check out our best Mac top 5 here

That, of course, will cost you shedloads (£2,969) but even the stock options are incredible. That’s down to Intel’s latest chips, which, when they’re not being recalled, are turbo charging everything they touch. Your casual photographer with a compact camera or low end DSLR will never be able to slow this thing down – it opens huge batches of files in a moment, never makes a peep, and lets you edit away in peace. Hell, even 4K+ resolution movies can be opened and scrubbed through without delay.

As for gaming – you know it’s up to the task. AMD’s graphics make mincemeat of Portal 2 on the highest settings, but as ever, if you want more than that, you’ll be limited by the selection of games on OS X, not the power of your machine.

If you’re planning to watch movies on your big screen iMac however, you still might want to invest in a pair of decent speakers – one tin can isn’t going to produce the best acoustics ever, and if there’s one complaint we can level at it, it’s that it’s a shade quiet.


With Intel’s latest workhorses inside, Apple’s desktop has moved from being the best all-in-one for consumers and pros alike to being the best desktop machine full stop. While ThunderBolt made the new MacBook Pros a worthwhile upgrade for serious on the go editors only, at £999, the entry level iMac actually represents remarkable value – and just so happens to be futureproofed with ThunderBolt for when it goes mainstream. Likewise, the pricier models now offer more bang for their buck than ever before – the top end models rival the entry Mac Pros, and they come with big, beautiful screens built in.

The real question is, do you really need a desktop nowadays? Hell, do you even need a laptop? If you’re not after a machine for the family, we’re not so sure anymore.

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