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  • 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...

  • Penny drops on new Honeycomb display tech

    After a blog post to the Android developers blog, the penny has dropped why the Honeycomb 3.2 update is actually a big thing. It allows proper support for 7" screens. Until now, mid-size tablets fell into the cracks between smartphones and full-size tablets, with apps often unable to swap smoothly between portrait and landscape, or not displaying properly. When the latest version of Google’s tablet-centric Honeycomb operating system was announced, even the dev team was low key: "Android 3.2 is a minor feature update that includes new APIs that allow you to better target your layouts for specific screen sizes...

  • Windows Phone ‘Mango’ released to manufacturers

    Microsoft has RTMed the new "bet the farm" version of its Windows Mobile platform to manufacturers, with device shipments expected in stores September earliest. According to Microsoft it features over 500 new features and faster browsing with Internet Explorer 9. Its novel interface design has attracted a mixed, but generally favourable response, and the Mango release is expected to improve integration with cloud services such as Bing and Facebook. There is still little detail on SDKs for software developers. "This marks the point in the development process where we hand code to our handset and mobile operator partners to optimize...

  • Jack White – you’re a musical genius but you’re wrong

    A piece is doing the rounds in muso and music lover circles – Jack White of the White Stripes and side-projects explains why producers master albums the way they do. Mr White is an interesting man, and gives his inside story of the makings of his albums, as well as going to bat for Vlad the Impaler, but commits three grievous sins: mixing "levels" and "loudness", being pretty smug about how smart the engineers he uses are, and perpetuating the groupthink lie that louder records sell better. This is how it all started, in a post that went up in...

  • App of the week: TweetBot

    This week I take a look at the most popular of the infamous Tapbots app range, Tweetbot, a stylish, easy to use and cleverly designed Twitter client that blows all its competitors out of the water. To start off, Twitter has, and will always be, a very weird and interesting part of the Internet for me. Millions of people posting pics, sharing stories and having conversations in 140 characters or less. Rich Mulholland once said, and I still believe it is the most apt description of the micro-blogging service, that tweets are like those cardboard newspaper headlines tied to the...

  • America’s appetite for online video jumps again

    Seventy-one percent of online Americans were using video-sharing sites such as YouTube and Vimeo as of May, up from 66 percent a year ago and 33 percent five years ago, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. Twenty-eight percent of US adult Internet users are using a video-sharing site daily, up from 23 percent a year earlier, Pew said. "The rise of broadband and better mobile networks and devices has meant that video has become an increasingly popular part of users' online experiences," said the report's author, Kathleen Moore. "People use these sites for...