Archive for Nov 25, 2009

giffgaff MVNO launches: free credit for helpful behaviour

New UK MVNO giffgaff have launched their "mutual giving" service, and while the real meat of the virtual carrier is in its system of rewarding helpful behaviour with free calltime, there are some appealing prices too for those obsessed with the bottom line.  giffgaff - who use the O2 network - are offering a free SIM (presuming you top up with £10 straight away) and then £0.08 ($0.13) per minute calls and £0.04 ($0.07) SMS; calls in-between giffgaff SIMs are free, and data is also free until the MVNO can figure out a reasonable price plan.

LaCie LaCinema Classic HD: 1TB, 1080p HD and DLNA

LaCie seem to be going back and filling in any blanks in their mediaplayer line-up right now, neatly slotting the LaCinema Classic HD into the range.  Coming somewhere in-between the non-HD LaCinema Classic and the HDD-free LaCinema Classic Bridge, the new device promises Full HD 1080p playback of various formats - including DivX, MKV, AVC and H.264 - from its 1TB internal hard-drive, together with DLNA media server support.

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Kindle gets 85% wireless battery boost & PDF reader update

Amazon have announced a new firmware update for their Kindle ebook reader that can apparently boost battery life by up to 85-percent.  With wireless connectivity turned on, the Kindle now runs for up to seven days rather than the previous four-day battery life; however the non-wireless runtimes are unchanged, suggesting the firmware applies to the Kindle's modem.  The software also adds a native PDF reader to the ebook device.

AT&T announce HP iPAQ Glisten 3G WinMo world-phone

You have to give HP and AT&T some credit: it takes guts to call your new smartphone the HP iPAQ Glisten.  Kicking off with a name that turns some peoples' stomachs doesn't seem like a particularly clever plan, but AT&T are hoping that the specifications of this particular 3G world-phone will help them see past the unusual moniker.

The iPAQ Glisten gets an AMOLED touchscreen display, Windows Mobile 6.5 OS and a 3.1-megapixel camera, together with both WiFi and GPS.  They've also packed it with all the 3G bands you'll need not only in the US but while traveling too, though you'll obviously have to deal with AT&T's roaming rates as well.

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Nokia N97 mini review

We've had two QWERTY Nokia smartphones on the SlashGear test-bench this past week, and the surprising thing is how differently the respective user experience is. Our Nokia E72 review went live earlier today; now we turn to the Nokia N97 mini, viewed by many - for better or for worse - as the Finnish company's second attempt at the N97. Second-time lucky or still well short? Check out the full SlashGear review after the cut.

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Twelve South BassJump delivers easy 2.1 sound to your MacBook

The not-so-great thing about Macs is that third-party accessory manufacturers tend to view Apple owners as an ideal market to be milked, at least financially-speaking.  Twelve South's BassJump addresses a commonly-voiced problem among MacBook and MacBook Pro owners - that while the mids and trebles are reasonable, the notebooks' bass is somewhat lacking - by offering a standalone subwoofer.  Unfortunately the compact sub' also costs $79.99

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First ELSE smartphone promises more intuitive UI in Q2 2010

Have we been premature in lauding the iPhone, Android and webOS for their nifty user experiences?  According to the team behind the First ELSE cellphone, we should've waited for them to come along and show off their initial device; it uses a "splaying" one-thumb navigation system that promises to bypass digging through menus.  Pocket-lint were around to grab some live shots of the UI in action.

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Nokia E72 review

There's always a risk when a high-interest product is announced that by the time it hits shelves its moment has passed.  The Nokia E72 has been just such an anticipated smartphone, with eager E71 owners keen to upgrade to the Finns' latest QWERTY marvel; problem is, at nigh on six months between announcement and availability, that's a long time for the appeal to pale.  Has tardiness robbed the E72 of its market, or does a well considered keyboard save the day?  Check out the SlashGear review after the cut.

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Sony VAIO X gets OS X Snow Leopard

There's a lot to like about Sony's VAIO X ultraportable - its indecently-skinny build, the engineering intelligence that went into its design, and its lengthy battery life just to name a few things - but if you're less than inspired by Windows 7 then how about a Mac OS X version?  That's not one of Sony's official options, but insanelymac forum member Asama took it upon himself to throw OS X Snow Leopard onto the VAIO X himself.

To do so he used the hacked together build of Snow Leopard that's been put together for the Sony VAIO P, reasoning that many of the components used in that don't-call-it-a-netbook machine were the same as used in the VAIO X.  Happily it installed quite merrily, though as expected the WiFi doesn't work.  Where fixing that in the VAIO P is a case of taking out the wireless card and swapping in a different one, it's a more arduous task on the VAIO X since so much has been soldered into place in the name of space-saving.

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