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  • Google engineer leaks first phone to get ICS as update

    The Nexus S, Google's powerful LTE smartphone, may be the first Android device already out in the market to receive the gift of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) as an update, this is according to (rapidly redacted) status updates from employees at the big G. Hackers are also hard at work to get a version out for modders -- more details below. Now, getting back to the Nexus S. Google employees will test Ice Cream Sandwich internally before it filters down to the Galaxy Nexus S. This process is known as “Dogfooding”, and is essentially when employees wring out the bugs...

  • Eight household items your smartphone’s made redundant

    There are items common only a few decades ago we'd simply not recognise if they were put in front of us. A fleem. A wringer. A carpet beater. A warming pan. Our kids are going to look the same way at these eight devices – all replaced by the smartphone. 1. Remote control - Have media centre, have smartphone? Then download something like Gmote (Android) or Air Mouse (iPhone). Sit on your couch, browse your collection, pick what you want. If you don’t use a media centre and want to control your non-smart devices you can buy an IR...

  • Smartphone snooping firm denies snooping

    The California-based Carrier IQ, makers of the smartphone software that security researchers insist is snooping on users has been hit with a slew of lawsuits - and has stepped up defence of its creation. By Friday last week, lawsuits totalling hundreds of millions of dollars had been filed in three US states against Carrier IQ and smartphone manufacturers HTC and Samsung, accusing the companies of breaking privacy and wiretapping laws and demanding they be made to pay. The company is also facing tough questions from US Sentator Al Franken. A suit filed in a federal court in the Silicon Valley city...

  • First impressions — Windows 8 Developer Preview

    When you have been using multiple versions of Windows over a two decade period, it's not difficult to write an unbiased review about Windows 8, it's impossible. Thankfully, this is the Windows 8 Developer Preview, Build 8102, therefore I can rip it apart if it doesn't meet my ridiculously high standards. It's Windows, but not quite. How so? Think of it as an exceptionally well crafted alpha version of Microsoft’s latest magnum opus. It's fast, it's slick and it makes my heart beat wet, noisy thumps of happiness. Note: of course, myriad operating systems have now evolved well past...

  • Review: Love how you look? Get the Samsung MV800

    Are you a manic narcissist and love to muck around with gadgets? Or perhaps a video blogger? Maybe a 14-year old girl, or the parent of one? Then the Samsung MV800 is for you. It’s a clever piece of technology struggling to find a purpose, but clever nonetheless. And if you ignore the more fatuous frippery, it’s a nicely diminutive compact point and shoot with some useful features for niche applications. It’s an elegant little magnesium-cased obloid in Samsung’s current favourite all-black, measuring a pocket- or purse-friendly 9.2x5.6x1.8cm. It has the barest essentials in buttons – on/off, shutter/zoom, play gallery,...

  • Memo Touch — a tablet that aids the aged

    As Alzheimer's rates continue to climb worldwide, and a solution from new drugs or better tech is desperately needed. Enter the Memo Touch, a tablet designed for the elderly with short-term memory loss. It's not something which we see every day, a piece of technology which aids those who may be unfamiliar or frightened by new technology. The Memo Touch is based on the Archos 101, a 10.1 inch HD wireless tablet with a webcam and upgradable memory. Frankly, the statistics would not matter to an 80-year old pensioner who's forgotten where her liver pills are. What matters though is...

  • Memeburn and Gearburn relaunch on new platforms

    Memeburn.com and Gearburn.com have been refreshed, improved and relaunched, providing a better and more consistent user experience across multiple devices, a streamlined back-end for faster page loads, and better tools for readers to share stories with their social media contacts. Support for the growing army of readers hitting the sites from tablets and smartphones has been improved with new mobile and web apps. And finally, the sites have been restructured to give readers a better, cleaner and more intuitive interface. Memeburn is now available on more devices, and the site responsively adjusts to the environment it finds itself in. We...

  • iPhone 4S to land in South Africa on 16 December

    “Please Santa, stick an iPhone 4S in my Christmas stocking,” say the hopeful South African Apple lovers. Santa may not be real, but Vodacom and MTN will be spreading iPhone 4S joy come 16 December. Available now for pre-order from Vodacom (and soon on MTN), the iPhone 4S is Apple's latest addition to its smartphone family. It's a dual-core phone, with an A5 CPU, an "all-new" 8MP camera, iOS5 and everyone's favourite personal assistant, Siri. Users can select from the 16, 32 or 64GB iPhone 4S options but the real story is, can Apple's latest smartphone compete with the likes of...

  • Nine major changes in Ice Cream Sandwich

    Version 4 of Google’s industry-shaking mobile operating system has hit the streets in the form of the Galaxy Nexus, just shipping now in the US. This has given us the first good looksee at Ice Cream Sandwich in its finished form. Gearburn pulls out the nine biggest user interface changes in ICS that’ll have you begging your handset manufacturer for the upgrade for your handset. Your 24 month contract up yet? 1. It unifies the look and feel of Android across phones and tablets – Gingerbread meets Honeycomb meets a big black koki pen in dark and brooding hues...

  • Now spying on you — Android phones

    If you thought that Apple's secret tracking of the iPhone cell tower and WiFi access point location information was the be-all and end-all of mobile privacy concerns, think again. It turns out that some Android phones are doing the same - and worse. Carriers in the US and their OEM handset manufacturers are adding rootkit software to the Google OS to potentially record every single action mobile phone users take - from connection information to individual keystrokes. The use of the tracking software by networks in other countries is as yet unknown. The story first broke a week or so...