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  • Google planned to release Android set-top box, but didn’t

    We’re loathe to report on rumours, but these stories are the bread and butter of geeky sites. Today’s rumour, which was most likely true as everyone and their mother loves a good gadget, is that Google was supposedly going to release an Android-running set-top, says a report by the Wall Street Journal. Apple and Western Digital have some of the better set-top boxes but almost every cheap-ass company has knocked out a digital media player because why not, the suckers are inexpensive to make and even cheaper to purchase (mostly under US$100). Way back in January during this years Consumer...

  • Google’s Chromecast is small, cheap and simple but is it that cheerful?

    Revealed earlier this week at Google’s I/O event, the Chromecast HDMI dongle seems like a simplistic, cheap alternative. It is, however, part of an extremely complicated plan of how Google wants to eventually dominate our TVs. Essentially what Chromecast does is turn your TV into a smart-TV that you can remotely control via your smartphone or laptop via WiFi. Is this really a viable competitor? It’s almost too early to tell really. The US$35 dongle device is challenging competitors such as Apple TV, Roku and the very cheap Sky Now TV which was recently launched as the Roku 2. Apple TV...

  • Shrink your kid with Fotofig’s 3D printing service

    3D printing is not yet an everyday mundanity, so there are many ways in which it’s still a great novelty. Japanese startup Fotofig has recognized this and is creating mini figures of people using only photos as a source. It’s a fun way to see you or the kids shrunk to about the size of a paperback book. There’s no specific app for this, as you only need to send in a bunch of photos of the person/pet you want to shrink into figurine form to Fotofig. And then pay up. The service is not cheap, costing about US$400 for...

  • 5 essential XBMC plugins

    Following on from my last piece on custom home theater systems and my new found obsession with the juggernaut of a media player this is XBMC, here are five essential add-ons that I’ve been using recently. Cinema Experience I must admit that I cannot remember the last time that I saw a new movie at the cinema, and there are a number of reasons why. The tickets are hellishly expensive, I get annoyed by the endless cacophony of the other patrons crunching their way through boxes of popcorn and, more than 50% of the time, the person handling the reels upstairs...

  • India’s 5 cheapest smartphones revealed

    The mobile phone market in India is quite different from those in the US and Europe. There’s almost a sense of neglect when it comes to using carrier locked phones in India. As a result, we Indians are deprived of carrier subsidized cell phones and have to pay full price upfront when buying one. This leads to a large percentage of consumers owning cheaper or entry-level mobile phones. But thanks to Google, now they can buy smartphones at prices as low as US$100 (INR 6 000). Let’s have a look at some of the best-selling cheap smartphones of 2013...

  • Xbox One now open for indie self-publishers after all, but is it enough?

    A few months ago we reported on the PS4 is to be a self-publishing platform for indie studios. Xbox, on the other hand, has been strangely quiet in this regard. Until now at least. Flaunting the term “discoverability” around a lot, Xbox confirmed recent speculation that the Xbox One will be pro-indie indeed. However wonderful this news may be, some developers still believe that the system is still too closed to lure them away from other platforms. Either way, the fact that Microsoft has eventually decided to allow self-publishing is an important step in cheering up the gaming communities and...

  • Firefox’s Geeksphone Peak+ now available for pre-order at $200

    Firefox’s first Geeksphone aimed at commercial markets is known as the Peak+ and has recently been made available for pre-order. This is an important step to further tap into crucial emerging markets. We first got word of Firefox’s hardware venture in the mobile industry in May as it joined forces with Foxconn. We noted how Mozilla, mostly known for its popular open source web browser Firefox, has started on developing budget smartphones running a mobile version of its OS. The Peak+ has a 4.3-inch qHD display, 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon CPU and 4GB of storage with a microSD expansion slot. It...

  • This is Google’s new Nexus 7, a 1920×1020, 1.5Ghz, 7-inch beast

    The Nexus 7, Google’s wunderlust 7-inch tablet that holds a special place in mostly everyone’s heart has a successor and it’s called… the Nexus 7. Joy to originality (and the fact that the Nexus 7 accounts for a full 10% of all tablet sales). At today’s Google press event, the big G announced the updated Nexus 7, a tablet with enough processing power in it to melt an iPad. Here’s what you can expect for your US$229 (R2 204 — 16GB model), US$269 (R 2589 — 32GB) or a 64GB model (R 3380 – US$349) when the next Nexus...

  • 10 absolutely terrifying games you still have to play

    To celebrate the recent release of The Last of Us, which, we think you’ll agree, is pretty darn terrifying, I now present 10 of the scariest games I’ve ever had the (mis)fortune of playing. The Last of Us imagines an Earth ravaged by a parasitic virus that infects humans and turns them insane. It’s a vividly imagined world indeed, but not for the faint of heart, and Gearburn editor Steven Norris still hasn’t quite recovered. He mumbles about “clickers” and “blindness” and “death”. He’s assumed the fetal position when he sleeps ever since. It does make it easier to get...

  • First Leaked Images of the Budget iPhone

    It was all the way back in April when I showed you Tactites the first peek of the supposed budget iPhone 5. Now it’s July, and we’re so tactastically excited about what we have to show you next. These leaked images trump the iPhone 5 case images AND the iPad 5 mould images; we’ve saved these just for you loyal Tactites, so remember it was here where you glimpsed your first glimpse of what very well might be the first leaked images of the budget iPhone in full. Thebudget iPhone case shown over on Mac Rumours might have wet your whistle,...

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