Archive for September, 2010

1977 Bill Gates image secretly squeezed into Outlook 2010?

1977 Bill Gates image secretly squeezed into Outlook 2010?

In what probably takes the award for today's strangest news, Ars Technica spotted that the generic user icon in the Outlook 2010 People Pane appears to use the outline of previous Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.  More bizarrely, the image the Microsoft developer(s) responsible for the icon have used is seemingly Gates' 1977 police mugshot, from when he was pulled over for a driving offense.

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AT&T GoPhone plans updated: $2-per-day tariff and more

AT&T GoPhone plans updated: $2-per-day tariff and more

AT&T has announced that it will be launching three new GoPhone prepaid plans as of October 3rd 2010, offering users a choice of only paying for service on the days they actually use it, an inclusive data bundle, or a basic $0.10 pay-per-minute option for those only wanting voice service.  The AT&T GoPhone Unlimited Daily Talk and Text plan is perhaps the most interesting of the three: for $2 per day you get unlimited voice and messaging (IM/SMS/MMS), but if you don't actually make/receive a call or send a message, you don't get charged.

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Android appeal grows amid Apple slump claim researchers

Android appeal grows amid Apple slump claim researchers

The latest set of smartphone metrics is out, and it's likely to spawn another bout of Apple/Google arguments over whose platform is the most appealing and keeps users the happiest.  ChangeWave questioned 4,000 smartphone owners and would-be owners, and found that in the three month period between their last survey in June 2010 and their new September 2010 figures, the percentage of people looking to buy an iOS device like the iPhone fell from 50-percent to 38-percent, while the number preferring to buy an Android device rose from 30-percent to 37-percent.

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Apple tease virtual OS X controls in new patent application

Apple tease virtual OS X controls in new patent application

Sometimes figuring out a company's intentions from their patent filings is pretty straightforward; other times, like with Apple's new "Virtual Input Tools" filing, you have to read between the lines a little.  Patently Apple spotted what they're suggesting could be Apple's "new and revolutionary feature for Mac OS X" as teased in a job listing back in July.  The concept is that a virtual user interface - such as a trackpad shown on a touchscreen, or a sub-section of a notebook's display mapped to the physical trackpad - could allow for proportional control of the interface or what's being displayed.

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Nokia N8 video demo

Nokia N8 video demo

Final software, final hardware, finally shipping - it's N8 day, and the Nokia team is unsurprisingly pretty pleased with itself for making it inside the Q3 window.  So how does the N8 hold up?  We've used plenty of different prototypes along various stages of the development path, and it's fair to say some have been patchier than others.

Video demo after the cut

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Justin Bieber JustBeats headphones are latest Monster/Beats by Dr. Dre madness

Justin Bieber JustBeats headphones are latest Monster/Beats by Dr. Dre madness

Ladies and gentlemen of the music industry: Justin Bieber is your saviour.  Not because of his "adorable" helmet-made-of-hair styling or his sixteen billion Twitter fans, but because he's helping Monster and Beats by Dr. Dre to take the message of "sound matters" to "the kids".  Bieber is the latest celebrity endorsement the headphone partners have signed up, with the JustBeats available exclusively through Best Buy in time for the holiday shopping season.

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When Business & Social don’t mix (or when it’s time to put the gadget down)

When Business & Social don’t mix (or when it’s time to put the gadget down)

Blogging has become a corporate phenomenon and no longer cutting edge. Today many companies maintain strict policies over who can blog and what can be said on blogs, both personal and corporate. It's not a bad idea and it's one that I advocated when blogging was first going mainstream. I'm quite proud that I helped launch the first tech industry blogs at Jupiter Research in 2002. Today, though, it's more than just blogs, it's the rise of social media in general at the office that's causing concern and users with devices that can tap into them at will. It seems every week I read the same story being told: someone else getting on the bandwagon and telling the potential horror tale of user using social networks at work accessed on some unsanctioned mobile gadget.

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QNAP NMP-1000P network media player offers vast format support

QNAP NMP-1000P network media player offers vast format support

QNAP has outed its latest network media player, the NMP-1000P, a compact STB that offers Full HD 1080p video, Dolby and DTS digital surround sound, optional NAS functionality and internet media streaming.  Able to gobble up a 3.5-inch hard-drive in its internal bay - either for storing local content or acting as a backup drive for networked computers - the NMP-1000P uses Sigma Designs new 667MHz SMP8643 SoC video/audio decoder.

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Delta Vivitek 8.2-inch color eReader with China Mobile 3G tipped for Dec 2010

Delta Vivitek 8.2-inch color eReader with China Mobile 3G tipped for Dec 2010

A color e-paper wireless ereader is apparently on course for release in December, with sources in Delta Electronics' supply chain telling the Taipei Times that the company's 8.2-inch model will offer WiFi and 3G in a partnership with carrier China Mobile.  It's not the first time we've heard about a color Delta ereader, either; the company demonstrated a 13.3-inch prototype at Computex 2010 back in June, suggesting it would be commercially available by the end of the year.

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Chromepad iPad hack gets Chromium OS video demo

Chromepad iPad hack gets Chromium OS video demo

A photo and now video seemingly showing Google's Chromium OS running on an Apple iPad has prompted no small amount of controversy these past couple of days, and it's still unclear to what extent the open-source platform has infiltrated the iOS slate.  Modder Hexxeh revealed the fruits of his hacking labors earlier this week, though with very few details, prompting speculation both that he had installed an unofficial ROM and that he was merely using some sort of iPad remote display.

Video demo after the cut

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