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  • Sony’s PS3 has finally been hacked, but will it lead to innovation?

    Everyone hopes that their New Year will bring a renewal of good fortune. And in my experience, the feeling of optimism that comes with the 1st of January tends to last a few weeks before reality sets in and you realise that your life hasn’t really improved that much -- and is unlikely to improve much -- since last year. There are the exceptions of course. Some people really do get lucky and end up with a much better year than the last. And then there are the others, who see their fortunes going from bad to worse. Japanese tech...

  • Android apps: ‘Manna from heaven’ for writers on the road

    Not too long ago, journalists rushed off to a story armed only with pen and paper. They gathered information and scribbled down notes before rushing back to the office to write it up and submit the story. The advent of the internet changed everything about how the news industry operated. That transformation has been well-documented. In 2011 the development of mobile apps is heralding a second revolution as the web goes mobile, and smartphones make the life of a journalist simpler, while greatly increasing the number of responsibilities that journalists have. The role of a journalist has changed. Now...

  • In-car infotainment: Will Android dominate the new tech battleground?

    Microsoft Windows Embedded Automotive is the infotainment OS of choice for today's powerhouse car manufacturers such as Ford, Kia, Fiat and Nissan. If you’ve never heard of Microsoft WEA before, it’s probably because each manufacturer brands the system under a different name. Ford calls it MyFord, Nissan has Connect , and Kia has UVO. You can think of WEA as the Android of the car world, with each manufacturer "skinning" the user interface using Silverlight, but essentially offering all the same core technologies such as Tellme, which allows real-time text-to-speech and voice input technology. Car manufacturers haven't exactly been spoilt...

  • ‘Fifth screen’ emerges for cars, but not yet ready for prime time

    By now, the illustrious “fourth screen” is a common term--that of the mobile device, still the holy grail for media companies and advertisers. At the North American International Auto show(NAIAS) in Detroit, it became clear that the era of the “fifth screen” is upon us: The one inside people’s vehicles.  Unfortunately for consumers, these "mobile" systems tend to have substantial usability problems. Ford, once known for classics like the Mustang, Cobra and GT then emerging with the family-friendly (and dull) Taurus in the 1980s and the Explorer in the 1990s, is helping to lead the charge. It plans to make its MyFord...

  • Apple accessories a hit at CES despite official snub

    While Apple may have snubbed the massive Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, vendors of accessories for its hot devices turned out in force. Dozens of manufacturers of covers, stands, headsets, speakers and other items for the iPad, iPod and iPhone crammed an "iLounge" on the Las Vegas Convention Centre floor dedicated solely to Apple accessories. Scott Sternick, owner of a sports bars in New York's Hell's Kitchen, was selling perhaps the simplest product in the entire show -- a strap with a suction cup on the end for carrying an iPhone or iPad around your neck. "It's old school for...

  • How the Nintendo Wii ruined gaming

    Left, right, up and down and side-to-side, now stretch. Now that Sony's PlayStation Move and Microsoft's Xbox Kinect are out and on sale alongside the Wii, I can guarantee in millions of homes across the globe, bodies are in motion. The gaming future is here. And what a bothersome future it is. As a gamer, it's my opinion that the entire motion control age is unhealthy for games. I am not opposed to the concept of motion controls but the history must be considered. When Nintendo pushed out the Wii in 2006 everyone marveled at the potential this new method...

  • Tablets, smart gadgets, balls, blocks and cars rule at CES

    Slick touchscreen tablet computers and smarter devices for the home and the car took centre stage as the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) wrapped up on Sunday. The "always-connected" lifestyle was on full display at the annual gadget extravaganza as Internet technology ruled at a show traditionally dominated by eye-popping new television sets. Tablet computers to rival Apple's iPad were the hot new products on display along with powerful new smartphones, ultra-thin laptops and Web-connected and 3-D TV sets during the four-day event. "The tablet wars are now launched, with everybody under the sun producing tablets," said Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay. "A...

  • Memeburn’s top 10 must-have gadgets

    We've certainly entered the decade of the gadget in a big way. Tablet computing is going crazy. The iPad was easily the gadget story of the year. And there's more to come. As the new year begins, it is best not to be left behind in the race for ultimate gadget ownership. The time has come to put away those archaic phones and computers. Here is Memeburn's list of must-have gadgets: 1. Apple iPad The iPad has emerged as the undisputed king of tablets, and the iPad 2 will no doubt carry through its predecessor's legacy. The numbers speak for themselves. Having...

  • Trillion-dollar forecast for gadget sales

    Global gadget sales may top one trillion dollars this year for the first time ever. Organisers at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) in Las Vegas says that worldwide annual spending on mobile phones, computers, television sets and other items is expected to rise 10 percent in 2011 to 964 billion dollars. "We may very well hit the trillion mark," said Steve Koenig, director of industry analysis for CEA, organiser of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). "I'm bullish," Koenig told reporters. "That number is truly within reach." Sales of smartphones, touchscreen tablet computers, electronic book readers and flat-panel liquid crystal display (LCD) television...

  • ‘LePad’: The combined laptop and tablet

    Chinese computer colossus Lenovo has unveiled an IdeaPad computer that serves as a laptop for work tasks then converts to a touch-screen tablet for play time. The IdeaPad U1 hybrid, with a "LePad" slate that serves as a laptop screen but unplugs to become a tablet computer, made its debut on the cusp of the Thursday opening of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "It is one device to balance life and work," said Lenovo product manager Leo Li. "A keyboard is more important and Windows software more powerful for a lot of things you need to work, especially productivity and...