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Posts from November, 2008

DIY iPhone Dock – No Sticky Backed Plastic Required

Nov 30

Know someone who wants an iPhone dock for Christmas but are too tight/broke/environmentally conscious to buy one? Well bleed the latter angle to save face and download and make your own, from recycled cardboard of course. Geeky Gadgets decided to go all Blue Peter and make its own iPhone 3G dock, since Apple isn’t prepared to do it for us, from an A4 piece of card. It recommends at least 200gsm thickness with 270gsm being ideal, which obviously means that those with a decent photo printer may well decide to customise the design with a range of wacky images. Needless to say, it doesn’t charge your phone while docking, won’t synchronise it with iTunes and there’s no video out for watching clips on a larger screen but hey, environmentally conscious relatives will be unable to complain on general principle. You can download the PDF from the link below and if you need further instructions on how to follow a line on a piece of card with a craft knife, there’s a video there as well. – Paul Lester [iPhone Dock PDF] [Geeky Gadgets] iPhone dock Apple

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Video: Nokia’s Test Labs Designed To Break Phones

Nov 30

Ever dropped or damaged your phone by accident and had that sinking feeling that your new, uninsured handset is gone for good? Of course you have, we all have, and speaking from a personal point of view I’ve always been pretty pleased by how well most can withstand being dropped, kicked, drop-kicked or sat on. The only time I’ve had to replace a handset entirely is when it was accidentally submerged in water (never text while relieving yourself after eight pints of beer). I’m a Nokia fan, and tend to stick with handsets from the Finnish giant because I’m used to them and have always been impressed by the features and performance. Well, this very company has recently decided to show everyone exactly what hoops it jumps through to maintain quality standards. Nokia Labs is a dedicated facility that contains an array of weird and wonderful machines to simulate environments such as hot and cold extremes, drop-tests, keypad tests and there’s even one to mimic your phone being slid in and out of a pocket a few thousand times to make sure the fabric doesn’t scratch or damage the casing. It’s a little cheesy but worth a watch, if only so you know exactly how much damage your handset should be able to take before it breaks. – Paul Lester [TechRadar] Nokia mobile-phone quality assurance

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Runco’s 100in Behemoth Will Appeal To The Stupid-Rich

Nov 30

If you’re lucky enough not to have been affected by the economic crisis (ie: you’re filthy rich) then why not laugh in the face of the rest of the planet by picking up a ridiculously big TV? Runco has recently announced a 100″ VideoWall TV (the VX-100HD) to compete with Panasonic’s similarly extravagant 103″ plasma. It’s actually a rear-projection design but is different to most being completely self-contained, which means the rear assembly is about a third of the size of a traditional screen of this type. It’s capable of 1080p resolutions, a contrast ratio in excess of 5000:1 and features ‘positive pressure cooling’ that allows for quiet operation and ‘high altitude operation’ so it can work up to 3km above sea level, so you’ll be fine in your penthouse suite. It’s a little more expensive than Pannie’s screen though, £26,300 to be exact, but look at it this way, you’ll be saving a cool £657.50 thanks to Mr. Darling’s generosity. – Paul Lester [CNet] Runco TV rear-projection

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Runco’s 100" Behemoth Will Appeal To The Stupid-Rich

Nov 30

If you’re lucky enough not to have been affected by the economic crisis (ie: you’re filthy rich) then why not laugh in the face of the rest of the planet by picking up a ridiculously big TV? Runco has recently announced a 100″ VideoWall TV (the VX-100HD) to compete with Panasonic’s similarly extravagant 103″ plasma. It’s actually a rear-projection design but is different to most being completely self-contained, which means the rear assembly is about a third of the size of a traditional screen of this type. It’s capable of 1080p resolutions, a contrast ratio in excess of 5000:1 and features ‘positive pressure cooling’ that allows for quiet operation and ‘high altitude operation’ so it can work up to 3km above sea level, so you’ll be fine in your penthouse suite. It’s a little more expensive than Pannie’s screen though, £26,300 to be exact, but look at it this way, you’ll be saving a cool £657.50 thanks to Mr. Darling’s generosity. – Paul Lester [CNet] Runco TV rear-projection

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Living Calendar Reveals All

Nov 30

We don’t know about you but our calendars [and we have a quite a few] tend to be either (a) free from some bank or religious organisation (b) kid-drawn anti-litter campaign calendar or (c) scantily clad ladies draped over fast cars. They are, then, a very long way indeed from the Living Calendar or, to give it its correct title, Living Concept 2009. It looks like a large clock and in many ways it is, with the hands designed to track days, weeks and months. The large hand tracks the current day [and month] and will do one full circle in 365 days. The little hand tracks the day of the week and the hour. Like LED watches, this looks a bit confusing when your eyes are first assaulted by it, but it is easy enough to follow. I can see some room around the outside for writing reminders but it looks limited indeed and would get head-wrecking fairly fast if you have a day with say, 5-10 things, to do. I’m guessing slapping Post-It Notes on this would defeat the purpose and destroy all that design finery. Designed by Maksim Biriukov for newave.com.ua it’s actually being launched as a product next month. The only confusion – since the site is not in English – is whether it costs $94.95 or $94,950. We’re plumping for the former but don’t blame us if your credit card snaps in half.-Martin Lynch [Bornrich] gadget home

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Xbox 360 Outsells Original Xbox

Nov 30

Microsoft Xbox folk are probably still back-slapping each other and popping champagne corks at the news that the Xbox 360 console has outsold the original Xbox earlier than expected. Just days after the Xbox 360 turned 3 years old, Microsoft has said that the Xbox 360 has outsold the original Xbox, with sales topping 25 million units. It even managed it a week or so early, thanks to the recent bouts of generous price cuts. Speaking to MCV, Vice president of interactive entertainment business for EMEA Chris Lewis, said: “We’ve already surpassed the installed base of the original Xbox – which is a really significant milestone. We’ve been blown away by the appetite of people to consumer digital entertainment experiences.””We’re at a price point that is uniquely placed – not least of which because we’re in somewhat of a challenging economic time. Ever since we dropped the price seven weeks ago, we’ve outstripped PS3 on a weekly run rate in all the territories we care about in EMEA – specifically the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Russia.” Interestingly, elsewhere Microsoft execs cite stats which claim that 75% of most console sales happen after the price drops hits $199 or less – something the 360 price did just a couple of months ago. Somehow though, I doubt the 360 will be around long enough to push that 25 million to 100 million.-Martin Lynch [MCV] xbox Microsoft consoles

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Woolworths Enters Administration

Nov 30

Woolworths, home to all kinds of home products, consumer technology, toys and gadgets, has officially gone into administration, putting 30,000 jobs on the line and becoming the biggest High St. casualty of the recession so far. The group said it has entered administration following its failure to secure the sale of its 800 stores to restructuring company, Hilco. Although stores opened across the UK today, the fate of Woolies’ 30,000-strong workforce remains unknown. In a statement, the company’s board said: ‘The Board of Woolworths Group plc announces that discussions relating to the potential sale of its retail business have now ended. ‘Following, and as a consequence of the termination of those discussions, the boards of Woolworths and Entertainment UK have concluded that there is no longer any prospect of those businesses being able to operate as a going concern. Accordingly, the boards of both companies last night resolved to file petitions for administration in the High Court.’ Deloitte has been appointed as administrators and, while they say there has been some interest from third-parties in the crippled retail giant, it’s looking increasingly likely that they will start selling off Woolies stock at rock bottom prices to recoup some money for creditors. Get your bargain hunting runners ready.-Martin Lynch recession shopping news

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Woolworths Enters Administration [Bargains Galore?]

Nov 30

Woolworths, home to all kinds of home products, consumer technology, toys and gadgets, has officially gone into administration, putting 30,000 jobs on the line and becoming the biggest High St. casualty of the recession so far. The group said it has entered administration following its failure to secure the sale of its 800 stores to restructuring company, Hilco. Although stores opened across the UK today, the fate of Woolies’ 30,000-strong workforce remains unknown. In a statement, the company’s board said: ‘The Board of Woolworths Group plc announces that discussions relating to the potential sale of its retail business have now ended. ‘Following, and as a consequence of the termination of those discussions, the boards of Woolworths and Entertainment UK have concluded that there is no longer any prospect of those businesses being able to operate as a going concern. Accordingly, the boards of both companies last night resolved to file petitions for administration in the High Court.’ Deloitte has been appointed as administrators and, while they say there has been some interest from third-parties in the crippled retail giant, it’s looking increasingly likely that they will start selling off Woolies stock at rock bottom prices to recoup some money for creditors. Get your bargain hunting runners ready.-Martin Lynch recession shopping news

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PURE Ups DAB Ante With Avanti

Nov 30

While there have been a rush of budget DAB radios hitting in market recent times, the latest offering from PURE is not one of them. The Avanti Flow is for those that want everything crammed into one device. It’s described as a ‘high-performance’ DAB/FM/Internet radio with an iPod dock and some serious audio punch. The Avanti sports a 5.25in downward firing subwoofer, 2 x 3in mid range drive units and PURE’s Clearsound technology – an audio subsystem for producing better sound at higher volumes without using too much power. With onboard Wi-Fi, the Avanti allows for an overdose of radio by allowing you to tune into Internet radio stations, DAB digital radio, FM, podcasts, ‘listen again content’ and media streaming from PCs or network storage.You can register the Avanti on PURE’s radio and media portal, the PURE Lounge, which offers a simple way to access Net stations, organise your favourites and even download from a library of 100 ‘sounds’ designed to ‘set the mood’ or help junior doze off. Clad in glossy piano black, the Avanti Flow goes on sale soon for £280.-Martin Lynch [PURE] DAB radio music ipod

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New PS3 2.53 Update Arrives With Full-Screen Flash

Nov 30

While there’s little reason to jump about the living room, wailing in uncontrolled joy at the arrival of the latest PlayStation 3 console update, there are at least a couple of noteworthy additions that might warrant a small smirk. The most notable of these in the new 2.53 update is that the PS3’s Net browser now supports full-screen mode for Adobe Flash Player content. Support for Adobe Flash Player 9 has also been added. Other notable tweaks include an option to set the PS3 to turn off automatically after background downloads or installations and some new power-save options to stop your controllers dying just as you’re about to defeat that final level boss. Jump now for the full list of tweaks.Users * You now have an option to set the PS3 system to turn off automatically after a background download or installation of content has completed. This option is available when you turn off the system under [Users] > [Turn Off System] while content is being downloaded or installed. Settings * [BD/DVD Settings] has been renamed to [Video Settings]. * [Under [Video Settings], the [Cinema Conversion] option has been renamed to [BD/DVD Cinema Conversion] and the [Upscale] option has been renamed to [BD/DVD Upscaler]. * [ [Sequential Playback] has been added as an option under [Video Settings]. * [ [DivX VOD Registration Code] has been added under [System Settings]. You must use this registration code to authenticate and register the PS3 system to be able to play video files that are compatible with the DivX VOD (Video On Demand) service on your system. For details, visit the DivX website. * [ [Power Save Settings] has been added as an option under [Settings]. To save power, the PS3 system and wireless controllers can be set to turn off automatically after a certain period of inactivity. * [Under [Accessory Settings] > [Audio Device Settings], the method for reconnecting Bluetooth devices has been changed. * [Under [Accessory Settings] > [Keyboard Type], you can now choose the following keyboard types: [German Keyboard (Switzerland)], [French Keyboard (Canada)] and [French Keyboard (Switzerland)]. * [Under [Printer Settings] > [Printer Selection], you can now select printers that support network connectivity. You can also select HP printers using the [HP] option. Music * [You can now select one of nine volume output levels using the [Volume Control] setting on the control panel (or the mini-size control panel). * [Pause] has been added as an icon on the mini-size control panel. Video * [You can now select one of nine volume output levels using the [Volume Control] setting on the control panel. * [ [Scene Search] has been added as an option on the control panel. * [You can now use the [Mosquito Noise Reduction] setting for video content that is saved on the hard disk or storage media. Use this setting to reduce mosquito noise that appears on the edges of visual images. * [During BD (BDAV) and DVD playback, a technique known as “chroma upsampling” is now automatically selected based on the movement of objects within the video content and then applied to enhance images in the content. Game * [New for 2.52: The playback quality of some PLAYSTATION3 format software has been improved. * [New for 2.52: A text entry issue that occurs when using the on-screen keyboard, USB keyboard or Bluetooth keyboard with some PLAYSTATION3 format software has been addressed. * [ [Sync with Server] has been added as an option under [Trophy Collection]. * [By pressing the PS button while playing PLAYSTATION3 format software, you can now view information from the [Settings and Connection Status List] option under [Network Settings].* * This feature is not available for use with some PLAYSTATION3 format software. Network * [New for 2.53: The Internet browser now supports full-screen mode for Adobe Flash Player content.* * [Support for Adobe Flash Player 9 has been added to [Internet Browser].* PlayStationNetwork * [The way to disable the automatic sign-in option and the way to sign out from PlayStationNetwork have been changed. * [In PlayStationStore, the design of the [View Downloads] and [View Cart] buttons has been changed, and a [Redeem Codes] button has been added. Friends * [You can now view information about the most recent sign-in for Friends who are on your Friends list.* * If you do not set the correct date and time in the [Date and Time] settings under [Settings] > [Date and Time Settings], this information may not be displayed. Like I said, nothing major, but a few things to keep those that love to fiddle with their settings happy for awhile.-Martin Lynch ps3 games console

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