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  • ‘Dirty Dozen’ least secure smartphones – all Android

    First, get ready with a pinch of salt, as security companies sounding alarms about security can be self-serving. Vested interest, and all. But Bit9, an enterprise security firm specialising in threats from end-point devices, has released a report analysing the security risks of smartphones – and blames the fact that the ‘Dirty Dozen’ are all Android phones on handset manufacturers being so slow on software updates, and ‘end of lifing’ devices when they’re still current in the market. Together with the obligatory infographic, Bit9 found that the Top 12 most insecure smartphones were: Samsung Galaxy Mini HTC Desire Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 Sanyo Zio HTC...

  • App of the week: TouchBase Calendar

    This week I take a look at Touchbase, the calendar app for people who are constantly out on the road in meetings with clients and new prospects. Calendar app? Seriously? How awesome could that be? Actually, pretty amazing. Stay with me. In my position at the company I work for, I am constantly on the scout for new business. You’ve probably picked up from my app reviews that I am away from the office often, spending a lot of time in planes, hotels and rental cars. I try to be as punctual as possible, but you know how it is...

  • BlackBerry Playbook, Google Chromebook: Hurry, get them before they’re even cheaper!

    Google rolled out its Chromebook mid this year, to lukewarm reviews and head-scratching. It didn’t sell well. RIM rolled out the BlackBerry PlayBook. It didn't sell well. Now, in time for Xmas stocking fun: some tech tweaks and sticker slashing sales. The Beast of Mountain View has tweaked it a bit (Fresh, clean login experience! Revamped the “new tab” page!), and the manufacturing partners (Acer and Samsung) have done some plastics sleekening of their own. And cut the price by around 30%. This bit was buried at the end of the blog post, but now they’re selling for US$299 online. Turns...

  • 40 000 apps and counting for the Windows Phone Marketplace

    The Windows App store is inching ever closer to relevance with the landmark availability of over 40 000 applications for its line of smartphones. Earlier this year, the Windows App store celebrated its first anniversary and surpassed 35 000 apps. According to Microsoft, 165 items per day are being added to the store. Almost 85% of the apps are non-gaming, with the remaining 15% of them games. Paid apps make up 23% of the store, while 68% are free. The exact number of Windows apps currently sits at 40 200. Based on the continuous rate of growth, the Windows App Marketplace will reach 50 000...

  • FXI Cotton Candy. PC. Onna stick

    File this under, “Oh my word that’s cool.” A previously unknown Norwegian company called FXI Technologies has demonstrated a working prototype of its "computer on a stick”. It looks like a standard flash drive with an extra HDMI port opposite the USB plug. Stick it into a TV via HDMI, or into the USB port of a Linux box, PC or Mac, and it takes over the environment and lets you get on with your cloud computing via its own built-in Wi-Fi radio. It can also take up to 64GB of additional storage through a microSD slot. Code-named Cotton...

  • Review: Motorola Razr cuts to the quick

    The Motorola dev people have spent a lot of time on the new Razr. It shows. It oozes loving attention. And not in the old Motorola “WTF did they spend all that time on this arb feature for?” No, the new Razr XT910 simply exudes the scent of hard work, clear thinking, clever features and slick hardware crafted from premium materials – Gorilla Glass, kevlar weave and machined aluminium. Is this the phone that returns Motorola to the top of the mobile phone pile? The new Razr is striking. Not beautiful, but the ludicrous thinness (7.1mm apart from the big...

  • Nook Tablet vs Kindle Fire — the experts weigh in

    Barnes & Noble's Nook Tablet is bold, competitive and, at US$250, reasonably priced. But is it worth snatching up in a post-Kindle Fire world? Reviews for the Nook Tablet have trickled in and the critics seemingly love this heavily modified Android tablet. MSNBC Wilson Rothman loves the speed of the Nook, calling it "superior to the Kindle Fire" thanks to an overnight power test which saw a 27% improvement in battery life over the Kindle Fire. Rothman enjoyed the "nice big home button" which the Kindle Fire lacks. Another hardware victory comes in the form of the MicroSD card slot, where...

  • Mobile phone gaming kills casual gaming handhelds

    Is casual gaming, the supposed vampire sucking on the life-blood of the “hard-core” market, heading into a downward spiral? According to a report by analysts Cowen and Company, it is. The report states that 26% of the market is rocking out with the Sony PSP, 3DS or non-3D Nintendo DS, in a slow but steady decline. "Over the last five years, the penetration of dedicated handheld platforms into survey respondents self-identifying as casual gamers has declined by 29 per cent, with the vast majority of that decline occurring in the last two years." Since Android and iPhones hit the market, demand...

  • Surface computing surfaces for real in the Samsung SUR40

    We’re all one step closer to a Star Trek future of sliding doors, teleporters, tricorders and big table-sized computers that you touch and gesture and wave at. We saw the first generation of “Surface” from Microsoft a few years back – now it is ready to go large with a hardware partner, Samsung. The SUR40 will go into full production in December and shipping first thing in 2012. It features the second generation of Microsoft’s “Surface” software platform, built on Windows 7, with the PixelSense technology that allows the surface itself to be a distance-sensing element. The OS shows itself...

  • Review: Vodafone Webbook — cheap, plastic, nasty

    The Vodafone Webbook is cheap, incredibly cheap (around R1 500 ). As such, criticising it feels a little odd. It’s a bit like taking apart a soup kitchen for not having an internationally renowned wine list or the local corner café for lacking the nuances of haute cuisine in its cooking. Here’s the thing though, the Webbook feels cheap, something designed to throw to an unwashed proletariat desperate for the democratisation of technology. I get that there’s a reason it costs so little, but surely Vodafone could have given us just a little bit more? Allow me to return to...