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  • Microsoft working on smartwatch as Samsung, Apple snap at heels

    According to those familiar with Microsoft’s product designs, the company which tried to take over the tablet market (and failed) is now trying its luck with a smartwatch, echoing Samsung and Apple’s current plans. “Executives at suppliers” say that Microsoft is actively working on a 1.5-inch touch-enabled watch device. The executives said they met Microsoft’s research and development team, but still seemed shaky regarding the exact date and specifications of the M-watch. There’s a silver lining though: Microsoft met with component suppliers in Asia to discuss plans for the development of said watch. So there’s a first step, at least. Is...

  • Gaming AI learns Super Mario, could work on any NES game

    Tom Murphy is a genius. He’s created an AI that can potentially beat any Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) title. Murphy, a CMU PhD student, describes his procedure (which he is calling “Playfun”) as such: The basic idea is to deduce an objective function from a short recording of a player’s inputs to the game. The objective function is then used to guide search over possible inputs, using an emulator. This allows the player’s notion of progress to be generalized in order to produce novel gameplay. As TechCrunch reports, it’s a “technique for automating NES games. The approach is amusingly elegant and...

  • Knomo Kyoto iPad bag review: looks great but costs the earth

    Knomo’s Kyoto, a tiny leather bag for the iPad and iPad Mini, is another exceptionally well-made product that’s unfortunately too expensive to recommend. For what the Kyoto does (it holds one or two iPads and a smartphone), it’s hard to justify the £115 (US$177) price. The Kyoto is also not that comfortable to wear, as the body strap kind of cuts into the flesh for some reason. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t a well-designed bag though. I’d go as far as to say that the Knomo range of leather bags are some of the best I’ve ever seen,...

  • Monitor Audio Airstream WS100: easy wireless music

    The Monitor Audio Airstream WS100 is a 2.0 wireless speaker system for PC and Mac. In fact, it’s one of the best looking and easy to use wireless music set ups you’re ever likely to encounter. For £250 it’s not exactly cheap, but the unbelievable ease with which this system can be set up and used is something to behold. A system like Sonos can baffle with its multitude of connections, devices, services and configurations. But the ws100 keeps things very simple indeed. In the box you get the two deliciously premium satellite speakers, a USB dongle and an infrared remote....

  • iPad 5 to be slimmer than ever as LED backlight shrinks down

    The crazy stuff Apple does to prove that it’s number one. It’s been reported that the iPad 5 will be thinner than ever before, thanks to Apple shedding the size of the LED backlight. CNET received this email from well-known tech analyst Paul Semenza, who partly confirms the speculation. It’s likely that part of the thinner/lighter design will be reducing the size of the LED backlight, partly by making the display more efficient and partly by using more efficient LEDs. The other significant change that we feel is likely is a shift to a film-based touch sensor. It is not yet clear...

  • 9 deadly sins that are killing your computer

    The death of your PC or laptop may be closer than you think, especially if you’re guilty of not taking proper care of your precious portal to the internet. Computers need loving care and bad user habits are the top reason they go to tech heaven. Are you guilty of these nine bad habits? 1. Always using sleep mode Many PCs and laptops have a sleep mode where after a set time limit, the screen goes dark and your machine seems peaceful and relaxed. Unfortunately, sleep mode still uses electricity so your computer isn’t really “off.” Rather follow the steps to...

  • ‘Dark Souls 2’ assaults the senses with 12-minute gameplay video

    Dark Souls 2 is coming, you should be very frightened. Released earlier this week were a smorgasbord of screenshots, a new trailer and this, a 12-minute long video of actual gameplay. For those who played and tried to finish Dark Souls, the video alone should set your heart racing. First, the trailer: I’m ready to die again, endlessly Time for the main course. Here’s the twelve-minute long play-through of Dark Souls 2, with FromSoftware director Yui Tanimura narrating. It’s an unbelievable video for fans, and it’s exactly what we wanted. We break down the video after the show: Twelve epic minutes...

  • 7-inch ‘Surface Mini’ planned for 2013

    According to a tip sent in to the Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is now in the process of creating 7-inch Surface tablets. The sources say that Microsoft had no ambition to release a smaller Surface, but faced with diminutive tablets such as Google’s Nexus 7 and Apple’s iPad Mini, the Redmond-based giant had no choice. PC and laptop sales are rapidly declining. It’s a numbers game and one that Microsoft is desperate to bolster. Analyst firm IDC said that 50% of all tablets shipped in fourth-quarter 2012 were smaller than 8-inches. It’s a telling sign. Users want lighter, thinner. They...

  • Samsung gets huge, launches 6.5” Galaxy Mega

    If you were one of those who thought the Samsung Galaxy Note II was too big and looked ridiculous as a 5.55-inch portable handheld device, then think again. Samsung never ceases to amuse and has surprised us yet again by releasing yet a bigger phone, the 6.5-inch Galaxy Mega, making it one of the largest yet. Putting size-matters at the forefront of its next smartphone release, the Samsung Galaxy Mega is centered around productivity, multimedia and multitasking. The latest addition to the Galaxy family becomes the smartphone with the largest HD LCD display at a massive 6.5-inches. There’s an 8-megapixel...

  • Razer Edge review: a gaming tablet that blows the mind

    When you hear the phrase “tablet gaming,” what comes to mind? Angry Birds, Infinity Blade and The Walking Dead games? Well what if we told you that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Batman: Arkham City and Far Cry 3 were now tablet territory? That’s the dream being dreamt by the gaming aficionados at Razer. The makers of high-end gaming laptops like the Razer Blade and slick peripherals like the Razer Sabertooth controller now present the Razer Edge. This Windows 8 tablet for the hardcore set comes in two flavors: Razer Edge and Razer Edge Pro. We reviewed the Pro, which has an i7 Intel processor, 8GB of RAM, a 2GB NVIDIA GT...