Posts Tagged ‘hardware’

Get Going on VOIP for Home Use

February 5, 2010

VOIP was, for a very long time, something that we couldn’t get away from in tech media. It’s convenient, it can save you money, it’s not a total pain in the face to set up (something that can be true of traditional phone options), and it’s something that, for most people, hasn’t quite caught on as much as expected.

While a vast number of people have a Skype account and indeed, at any given time there seems to be anywhere between 15 and 25 million people actually logged in to the service, the fact is that there just doesn’t seem to be too much drive towards VOIP for general home use. Still, it’s worth considering, given the potential savings to be had, and especially with the existence of services like SkypeIn, which mean you’re still contactable at the same phone by others.

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Windows 7 Causes Battery Issues

January 29, 2010

It seems as though the upgrade to Windows 7 has been wreaking havoc on some users’ notebook batteries, dropping the running time by as much as 70%.

Word comes via TheRegister of the reasonably widespread complaints, with many users holding the upgrade to Windows 7 responsible for their sudden and noticeable drop in overall battery life. Moreover, the piece points to the forums over at Microsoft’s own TechNet that sees hordes of users with roughly the same complaint – that their battery life has been greatly diminished since the upgrade to Windows 7. Indeed, there’s been so widespread an outcry that Microsoft has responded directly to address the issue.

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iTunes to Move into the Cloud?

January 21, 2010

The latest piece of speculation courtesy of the current press-obsession with Apple is that the company could move elements of its iTunes service into the ever-nebulous “cloud.” Still, there’s more to this one than most.

It seems as though Apple is on a bit of a roll at the moment, with the world and its mother speculating on just what it is, could be or might one day build or offer through its existing services. While most of the buzz has been around the upcoming tablet offering, there’s also a lot around the iPhone’s rumoured new OS, the latest from the Wall Street Journal indicates something of a shift in the established iTunes model.

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Intel Leaks New MacBook Pro Details

January 14, 2010

It seems that Intel has accidentally leaked details of an upcoming update to Apple’s MacBook Pro notebook line through a slightly botched promotional mailing.

Set for a January 26th announcement?

AppleInsider is reporting that the promotional mailing sent out to members of Intel’s Retail Edge program detailed a competition whereby members could win a new MacBook Pro, unfortunately the MacBook Pro that’s advertised isn’t one of Apple’s current line. Moreover, it does look like just about exactly the right direction to move if you’re looking to upgrade the current MacBook Pro line without making a raft of changes. The promotion reads,

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Microsoft Says New Xbox Unneeded

January 13, 2010

Microsoft has responded to questions about the longevity of its Xbox 360 games console, saying that there’s no need for a new Xbox for the moment, pointing at Project Natal as the way forward.

During this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft fielded questions about the current state of the games industry, including the world and its mother asking Microsoft if it had plans to develop a new console, the successor to its fantastically successful Xbox 360. According to The Guardian, Microsoft’s serior director of Xbox product management, David Hufford, addressed the questions, saying that,

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80% Publishers Readying for Natal

January 12, 2010

Microsoft has revealed that up to 80% of publishers are already signed and on board for its upcoming motion control system, codenamed Project Natal.

According to Microsoft’s Robbie Bach, president of the company’s entertainment and devices division, it’s working hard to ensure solid uptake for Natal among those who will actually be releasing games for the device. Bach went into some detail when he was speaking to CBC News during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) when he explained that,

“Part of the reason we showed Natal at E3 – which is actually a bit risky to be honest because it’s a new technology, very cutting edge and relatively early in its development- is that we wanted third-party publishers to know that it was real and we wanted them to have developer kits and to get them working on it.”

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Skype Reaches Out Through HDTVs

January 6, 2010

Skype has announced today that, as part of a partnership with Panasonic, it wil be adding its voice over internet protocol (VOIP) software to Panasonic’s line of Viera HDTVs.

Panasonic’s new line of Viera cast-enabled tellies is set to hit during the still-vague “2010”, and with Skype coming pre-installed the company will be able to boast free Skype-to-Skype video calling out of the box, which is no mean feat at all. It’ll also be attractive to those who’ve been looking to ditch their house phones but can’t quite get around to it or for some reason or another don’t like the idea of a physical Skype-phone.

In a market with an atmosphere like the current HDTV market, where many products appear (to the casual observer, at least) to be fairly similar, the ability to make calls directly from one TV to another for free could well be a big selling point for the folks at Panasonic, to say nothing of the positive effect that broadening the software’s userbase will have for Skype, which essentially trades on the fact that it’s so widely used and relatively cheap.

Naturally, a wider userbase increases the likelihood that people will use some of Skype’s fee-based services too. While the option to call or videocall other Skype users is a pleasant one, the real bonus is, of course, in the ability to call other phones for less than the normal charge. It might well be a bit of a hard sell for some, but it’s not bad if it’s something that just comes as an add-on for a TV.

We’ll be curious to see how well Panasonic does out of the deal; it certainly won’t hurt the company to be able to offer something that others aren’t though, and cheap phone calls are a big draw.

Philips Teams up with Songbird

January 5, 2010

Open source media player Songbird has received a massive boost today with the announcement that it will be bundled with Philips’ MP3 players, pushing the software to vast numbers of new users.

For those who haven’t encountered Songbird, it’s an entirely open source media player, with a look-and-feel that’s not entirely dissimilar from Apple’s iTunes setup. Indeed, Songbird has made something of a name for itself as a customisable alternative to iTunes, which many find to be too much of a headache to use under Windows. The deal with Philips will see Songbird distributed with the companies new line of GoGear MP3 players.

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Court Rules iPods Don’t Deafen

December 31, 2009

Apple has won an appeal to an earlier ruling in its favour against the claim that the its iPod hardware was responsible for hearing loss among those who listen to the device at high volumes.

According to TechRadar, the case was levelled by two claimants who asserted that the iPod line range is “defective,” in that it allows user to listen to their various media at volumes in excess of those determined to be safe for sustained listening. David Thompson, the judge involved in the case issued a statement, in which he pointed out that,

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Nokia/Apple Suits Continue

December 30, 2009

Nokia and Apple have been tearing into one another in the courts lately, with Nokia launching yet another salvo against Apple this week, alleging further patent infringement on mobile devices.

The whole kafuffle began when Nokia alleged that Apple had infringed no fewer than ten patents it had filed with relation to the various bits and pieces of hardware that make up its by now well established iPhone. Apple’s response was to counter-sue Nokia for a raft of different patents that it filed for the iPhone and felt Nokia had since infringed. Now, it seems, the case continues, with Nokia filing further claims of infringement.

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