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  • No PlayStation Vita for Xmas stocking

    The much-anticipated new generation of Sony's PlayStation handheld gaming console, Vita, will not hit shops outside of Japan until well after the all-important festive season shopping stampede. So scratch that one from your letter to Father Christmas. It will go on sale by the end of this year in Sony's home market, followed by releases in the US and European markets in early 2012 said Kazuo Hirai, executive vice president. Timelines for developing markets were not announced. Hirai, seen as the likely successor to current chief executive Howard Stringer, declined to elaborate further but said Sony was preparing to secure enough...

  • Smartphone owners the worst mobi addicts

    Many Britons are welded to their smartphones 24 hours a day and refuse to turn them off in cinemas and theatres, according to a study Thursday showing how the devices are changing social behaviour. Research for telecommunications watchdog Ofcom showed that more than a third of adults and a majority of teenagers say they are highly addicted to devices such as the iPhone and BlackBerry, often referred to as 'CrackBerry' by users for this reason. Users are more likely than owners of standard mobile phones to never switch them off, and are more inclined to continue sending email or text messages...

  • Steal troll loot and turn into real cash with Diablo III

    The developer of popular fantasy swords, sorcery and demon-hacking game Diablo III will be running an official online auction house allowing players to trade items they find or win while gaming, even paying in via real currency. Further, players can convert the virtual money they earn in the game into hard cash. Activision Blizzard announced this at a press event at its headquarters in California on Monday, kicking off what is likely to become the big gaming trend of 2011. The Blizzard Auction House will take a flat fee (not percentage) on items sold, with a small number of free...

  • iPhones to be iMade by iRobots

    Taiwanese tech manufacturing giant Foxconn, hit by a spate of suicides and reports of worker abuse at its Chinese plants, plans to replace 500 000 workers with robots in the next three years, Chinese state media reported Monday. Foxconn, the world's largest maker of computer components, which assembles products for Apple, Sony and Nokia, plans to use one million robots to do "simple" work, China Business News quoted chairman Terry Gou saying. Gou announced the plan to 10 000 staff at a company event in Shenzhen on Friday, various media reports said. Foxconn currently has 10 000 robots doing painting, welding and...

  • Sony buys videogame maker Sucker Punch

    Sony Computer Entertainment has bought the studio behind hit videogames "inFamous" and "Sly Cooper." Sucker Punch Productions will be part of game development operations of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios and make games exclusively for PlayStation 3 videogame consoles, according to SCE. "We've enjoyed an incredible relationship with Sony that has allowed us to combine our creative design capabilities with their guidance to make some of the best franchises to hit the PlayStation platforms," said Sucker Punch managing partner Brian Fleming. "Equally important, the relationship with SCE has provided us the flexibility and trust to take creative risks and invent new properties,"...

  • Nintendo’s surprise sticker slash

    Nintendo has announced it will be cutting the price of its 3DS handheld game console. In the US it's been slashed from US$250 to US$170, in Japan prices fell by 40%, and in Europe the cuts are expected to see at least a third taken off. A price drop for a console isn’t new; every videogame console has been discounted at some point in its life cycle. Doing so within a four month window? Not unprecedented, but unusual, especially for Nintendo. When the original Xbox launched in UK in March 2002, it retailed for £299.99. A scant four weeks later,...

  • Apple bangs out another bug fix

    Apple has released a security update for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. The update is designed to fix a problem with certificates for encrypted sites that could allow an attacker to modify or intercept data. The bugfix is released as an update to iOS with version 4.3.5 - updates done via iTunes as usual. This update comes just days after Apple released a patch for a PDF vulnerability. The details from Apple are fairly opaque, but an analysis by Trustwave's SpiderLabs suggests that a flaw in iOS does not check the validity chain of certificates, which potentially allows an attacker...

  • Apple, Samsung overtake Nokia in smartphone market

    Apple and Samsung have overtaken long-time leader Nokia for the top two spots in the global smartphone market, a report has revealed, underscoring the Finnish handset maker's ongoing struggles. US-based research firm Strategy Analytics said the US and Korean smartphone makers outpaced Nokia in the second quarter, with the sector posting record quarterly shipments of 110 million units, or a 76.3 percent year-on-year rise. "Just four years after the release of the original iPhone, Apple has become the world’s largest smartphone vendor by volume," the report said. The US company's global market share grew to 18.5 percent, up from 13.5 percent last...

  • ‘mChip’ revolutionises HIV testing

    A cheap, highly portable blood test has proven as accurate as expensive hospital-based analyses in detecting HIV, syphilis and other infectious diseases, according to a study released Sunday. Researchers tested prototypes of the credit card-sized lab-on-a-chip with hundreds of patients in Rwanda, reporting nearly 100 percent accuracy. The so-called "mChip", they said, could help knock down three barriers to effective delivery of health care into the world's poorest regions: difficult access, high costs and long delays for results. "The idea is to make a large class of diagnostic tests accessible to patients in any setting in the world, rather than forcing...

  • Objectophilia and animism: Falling in love with a gadget

    Gadget lust. I've had it. I have it a lot actually, and if you’re reading this then chances are so have you. I’ve heard you emphatically proclaim your love for your iPhone; yes, loud enough to make the Android geek three cubicles down solemnly roll his eyes. Gadget man Joshua Topolsky called the Lenovo IdeaPad U260 “Pure sex”, and even the traditionally staid Walt Mossberg, from Wall Street Journal fame, lauded the Vaio P, calling it “sexy” way back in 2009. The thing is though, all of this lauding and swooning is decidedly platonic; effigies made of sand that erode...