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  • App of the week: Molenotes

    This week I take a look at Molenotes, a note-taking app that recreates the feeling of writing in actual notebooks with limited pages on your iPhone. I will come right out and say it, when I first heard about Moleskine notebooks and how much they cost, I was appalled. I mean come on now, why would you want to pay that much for a notebook that’s only differentiating factor from the standard Croxley 180-page classic that we all used at school is a little pocket in the back cover for storing random notes. But one day I saw them...

  • Very long and semi compact: the Olympus SP-610UZ

    Review: Eleven years ago, my parents bought their first digital camera. It was an Olympus with 1.2 megapixels, less than the average cellphone’s front-facing camera nowadays, although perhaps the vastly better lens counts for something. Times have changed, pixel counts have gone up, but somehow that old camera still looks and feels like the brand new Olympus SP-610UZ. A decade on and this compact superzoom has piles more features, but surprisingly many of my criticism of the old model remain. Where it’s strongest What this latest in Olympus “big-compacts” line gets right is good price-performance balance. It’s not very expensive at around...

  • Video Review: Toshiba STOR.E TV+

    The Stor.E TV+ is an external drive slash media centre. It’s clumsily named, clumsily built, and clumsily supported. So at least Toshiba is consistent there. It would make a great story device for a Dilbert special – the grubby fingerprints of corporate politics are all over it. The base engineering work is absolutely fine. It’s solidly built, well specced, with some nice features. What is not fine is the user interface, the attention to detail, and the user interface. Roger Hislop takes a look.

  • Textbooks now for rent on Kindle

    Amazon.com has begun letting students rent textbooks on Kindle electronic readers. Kindle Textbook Rentals lets students pay based on how long they want to use textbooks, with periods ranging from 30 days to 360 days. Renting a digital version of textbooks on a Kindle for a month can save students as much as 80 percent of the price of buying the works, according to Amazon Kindle vice president Dave Limp. "Students tell us that they enjoy the low prices we offer on new and used print textbooks," Limp said. "Now we're excited to offer students an option to rent Kindle textbooks...

  • Infamous 2: Do good guys come first?

    Review: The first inFamous for PS3 was a great showcase for the power of the PS3 that showed off the machines capabilities brilliantly. Beyond that, it was also a good game in its own right, with tight gameplay and a reasonably good story. The inevitable follow-up could easily have been a cut and paste job and still be considered a good game. Thankfully the development house, Sucker Punch, doesn’t roll that way. When they make a sequel they make sure it’s better, as can be seen with their wholly under-appreciated Sly Cooper series. Taking all the originals goodness and...

  • New cellphone-cancer link study says “nej”

    After the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) announced that it was officially rating cellphones as a possible carcinogen category 2B (along with certain types of pickles, coffee and carpentry) the mediasphere lit up, with a mixture of luddites saying “See! Ban them!”, and a mixture of gadgetophiles saying, “They’re just hedging their bets, it proves nothing”. Now a study in the American Journal of Epidemiology has examined incidence of tumours of the brain in 2.9 million adult Danes that have been using mobiles for 11 to 15 years. The study found no evidence that shows...

  • Apple releases patch for PDF vuln

    Apple has released a software update to patch a vulnerability that hackers could use to break into the company's popular iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch devices (reported on Gearnburn here). The flaw made it possible for hackers to infiltrate Apple mobile devices by duping users into opening PDF document files booby-trapped with malicious computer code. Although no attacks have been observed, it was feared that hackers would exploit the weakness. The update to iOS software running Apple mobile gadgets fortified defenses. The update was available free at Apple's online iTunes shop - users should connect, and check for updates. -AFP

  • Olympus XZ-1 goes big glass for low light snapping

    Review: It’s been a long time since Olympus gave us a ‘proper’ compact – that hard to define small, compact point & shoot that’s designed for the serious picture taker that wants something that’s small enough to always be on them. The re-introduced PEN interchangeable lens quasi-viewfinder cameras showed Olympus' revival of interest in this market, and the ten megapixel XZ-1 takes us the rest of the way. The US$500 XZ-1 looks serious. Little adornment, and a clever selection of materials and textures means it looks like a sturdy metal bombproof camera of yore (i.e. about 1980), although most of...

  • China whiz builds homebrew D-I-Y-pad

    An enterprising Chinese man has come up with a solution for gadget-crazy people who desperately want Apple's popular iPad tablet computer but cannot afford it - DIY. In a 20-minute video posted on Chinese video site Youku (original here, YouTube copy here), Liu Xinying demonstrates how to assemble an iPad lookalike using computer parts, a touch screen and a case with a keypad, to the sound of Linkin Park. While you can fault his taste in video soundtrack, you can't fault his Do-It-Yourself skills. At the end of the video dubbed "DIY IPAD 3", the IT whizz shows off...

  • Sony drops $20-mil into games for PlayStation Network

    Sony Computer Entertainment America has revealed a plan to invest $20 million in unique games tailored exclusively for PlayStation Network (PSN). The money will be distributed during the coming three years to Sony affiliated studios as well as to independent game makers chosen for backing by a "Pub Fund" the Japanese entertainment colossus established in 2009. The move is part of a strategy by Sony to win more fans to its online PSN for PlayStation 3 videogame console users by providing enticing games unavailable at rivals such as Xbox Live. This investment comes as analysts try estimate the cost to...