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  • App of the week: Taptu

    Sticking with my news reader obsession, this week I take a look at Taptu, a free news, Google Reader and social media aggregation app that has caught my attention over the past few days. As I mentioned last week when reviewing the Reeder app, I am a news junkie and actually have to stop myself from refreshing my Google Reader tab every five minutes. I have my favourite sites that I read every day, which I think add value to my life. Be it humour, tech news, sport updates, music blogs or movie reviews, it is content that I enjoy...

  • Campfire pot for USB charging

    A Japanese company has come up with a new way to charge your mobile phone after a natural disaster or in the great outdoors -- by heating a pot of water over a campfire. The Hatsuden-Nabe thermo-electric cookpot turns heat from boiling water into electricity that feeds via a USB port into digital devices such as smartphones, music players and global positioning systems. TES NewEnergy, based in the western city of Osaka, started selling the gadget in Japan this month for 24,150 yen (US$299), and plans to market it later in developing countries with patchy power grids. Chief executive Kazuhiro Fujita said...

  • Wire-free sun-powered car kit

    Review: Mr Handsfree Blue Solar - This would be wire-free, rather than wireless. Sure it has a Bluetooth wireless connection so you don't need to plug your phone in, but the small solar panel on the back means no power wires either. Lick the suckers, stick it on your car windscreen, pair, finished. It's a great little device from an obscure Belgian maker of mobile accessories, TE-Group. Stylish, futuristic. Solar powered so it's green and all. Lets you keep both hands on the wheel. It does pretty much what it says on the box. The Mr Handsfree Blue Solar is...

  • BlackBerry delivers touch screen phone (just add phone)

    Review: BB PlayBook - BlackBerry users are a special lot. They even have their own religious rite. The BlackBerry Prayer Pose: standing in solemn and lonesome splendour, head bowed, elbows clamped to sides, hands raised palm-upwards to heart-centre and joined with fingertips touching lightly. Thumbs opposed, picking and pressing again and again to play the holy BlackBerry requiem. Puckity pick pick puck. Puck. Puck. Puck. It’s a universe that you join, no less than the Apple universe. If you’re on the inside, it’s all convenience and connectivity. From the outside it’s bafflingly buggy and unequivocally restricting. It just works ... with...

  • Lulz hackers: self-confessed malicious vandals

    Computer hackers who have hit the websites of the CIA, US Senate, Sony and others during a month-long rampage said Friday that they were staging the attacks for their own entertainment. (Update: Sega got hit in Europe, the personal data of some 1.29 million customers stolen, but no credit card info in the heist, culprits unknown). "You find it funny to watch havoc unfold, and we find it funny to cause it," the hacker group known as Lulz Security said in a 750-word online "manifesto." "For the past month and a bit, we've been causing mayhem and chaos throughout the Internet,...

  • E3 Expo 2011: all you need to know

    Geeks and tech enthusiasts the world over have been wetting their pants over the past week as announcements, demos and industry revelations streamed in from the Electronic Entertainment Expo - the annual conference showcasing the best innovations from the world’s top entertainment powerhouses. Three names: Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo. Story by Nick Frost There is a wealth of live feeds and on -the-spot coverage to be found on the E3 event. Too much to condense all of it into one digestible reading. That would be ludicrous. However, there was a glitzfest of cutting-edge shockers and mmm shiny eye-candy, there were a...

  • Kinect SDK unleashed so users can gesture at PCs

    Microsoft began letting software developers imbue computers with voice and motion-sensing technology from its Kinect controller for the Xbox 360 videogame console. A free Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit opens doors for computer programs enhanced with depth-perception, voice recognition, or gesture controls using the popular console accessory. "We are looking at taking the Kinect out of the game space a bit and putting it in other spaces," said Halimat Alabi, a developer who attended a 24-hour Kinect coding marathon at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington. The kit was available for download at research.microsoft.com/kinectsdk. The Redmond company last week added YouTube, voice commands,...

  • Brinkmanship

    Review – Brink (Xbox360, PS3, PC) *Sigh* I really, really wanted to like Brink. For realsies and everything. But Brink makes it so hard. On the surface everything seems so perfect, but the more you play, the more things you find to dislike. And the things you do like somehow becomes less likable. Brink comes from Slash Damage, the same people that brought us Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory and Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, both excellent online shooters from 2003 and 2007. Both games were class-based and objective focused, which basically meant that combat between teams tended to be concentrated on very...

  • App of the week: Reeder

    This week’s app of the week: Reeder, a Google Reader client for iPhone that is beautifully designed, easy to use and powerful enough to keep up with all the latest headlines that your favourite websites throw at it. In real time. I’m a big fan of online content, I love how information and news can be spread like wildfire all over the ’Net, and that you can read it, comprehend it and spread it as quickly as it takes you to sip your morning coffee. My problem lies in the fact that there is just so much content online that...

  • Gentlemen, start your console’s engines

    It seems Nintendo's reveal of its new Wii U has started a videogames arms race similar to the one started with the original Wii. Allowing the use of dual-screen games with touch-based controls, the Wii U has inspired both Apple and Sony game designers to explore similar concepts. Apple's recently announced update to their mobile operating platform, iOS5, contains a major new feature called AirPlay Mirroring. This new feature will allow an iPad and an AppleTV system to pair up with each other. The AppleTV would then display a game to a TV, while the iPad act as a controller,...