Welcome to Brand New Technology Update. We are a UK Gadget and Technology Blog. Great stuff for all you Gizmo Gadgeteers.

Thursday, 22 February 2007

The Toy Of The Year Awards 2007

The worlds biggest names in toy manufacturing and innovation gathered in New York on February 10th for recognition of this years greatest and most innovative toys at the Toy Of The Year Awards. Included amongst the names was heavyweight George Lucas who was inducted into the Toy Industry Hall Of Fame. Here is a list of nominees and winners at this years Toy of the Year Awards.

Toy Of The Year

WINNER: "T.M.X."™ Elmo - Fisher-Price

Boy Toy Of The Year


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Ultimate Black Pearl Pirate Ship Playset - Zizzle

Spy Video Car - Wild Planet

Other Nominees:
  • Air Hogs RC Storm Launcher™ - Spin Master Ltd.
  • Fast Talkin' Lightning McQueen - Mattel, Inc.
  • Hot Wheels Radar Gun - Mattel, Inc.

Girl Toy Of The Year

WINNER: FurReal Friends Butterscotch Pony - Hasbro, Inc.

Other Nominees:
  • Bratz™ Forever Diamondz™ Fashion Dolls - MGA Entertainment
  • Digi Makeover - Radica USA Ltd.
  • Littlest Pet Shop: Biggest Littlest Pet Shop - Hasbro, Inc.
  • Pixel Chix™ Love 2 Shop Mall - Mattel, Inc..
Preschool Toy Of The Year

"T.M.X."™ Elmo - Fisher-Price

Other Nominees:

  • Aquadoodle Sing N' Doodle™ - Spin Master Ltd.
  • Cranium Sounds of the Seashore - Cranium, Inc.
  • Elmo Giggle and Shake Chair™ - Spin Master Ltd.
  • V. Smile™ Baby Infant Development System - VTech Electronics North America
Game Of The Year

Cranium Zooreka - Cranium, Inc.

Other Nominees:

  • Cosmic Catch - Hasbro, Inc.
  • Designer's World - Hasbro, Inc.
  • Khet: The Laser Game - Innovention Toys LLC
  • Speed Stacks StackPack - Play Along, Inc.
Educational Toy Of The Year

WINNER: SmartGlobe 2.0 - Oregon Scientific

Other Nominees:

  • I Can Play Piano™ - Fisher-Price, Inc
  • Leapster TV Learning System - LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc.
  • V.Flash™ Home Edutainment System - VTech Electronics North America
Activity Toy Of The Year

WINNER: Moon Sand™ - Spin Master Ltd.

Other Nominees:

  • Cranium Super Fort - Cranium, Inc.
  • Floam - SAS Group
  • Gross Out Doodle Monster - Play Along, Inc.
  • Lil Luvables Fluffy Factory™ - Spin Master Ltd.
Outdoor Toy Of The Year

WINNER: Radio Flyer Folding Trike - Radio Flyer, Inc.

Other Nominees:

  • Crayola Super Brush - Binney & Smith/Crayola
  • Hydrogen Fuel Rocket - Estes-Cox Corp.
  • Phlat Ball - Spin Master Ltd.
  • PlasmaCar - PlaSmart, Inc.
Electronic Entertainment Toy Of The Year

WINNER: Kid-Tough™ Digital Camera - Fisher-Price, Inc.

Other Nominees:

  • CubeWorld - Radica USA Ltd.
  • Massively Mini Media - Hasbro, Inc.
  • Tamagotchi Connection Version 3 - Bandai America, Inc.
  • Zoombox - Hasbro, Inc.y
Most Innovative Toy Of The Year

WINNER: FurReal Friends Butterscotch Pony - Hasbro, Inc.

Other Nominees:

  • Air Hogs RC Storm Launcher - Spin Master Ltd.
  • Moon Sand™ - Spin Master Ltd.
  • Spy Video Car - Wild Planet
Licensor Of The Year

WINNER: Pixar's Cars - Disney

Other Nominees:

  • Dora the Explorer - Nick Jr. a division of Viacom
  • Go Diego, Go! - Nick Jr. a division of Viacom
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - Disney
  • Sesame Street - Sesame Workshop
Speciality Toy Of The Year

WINNER: Webkinz - Ganz

Other Nominees:

  • Blokus - Educational Insights
  • Playfoam - Educational Insights
  • Calico Critters of Cloverleaf Corners Townhome with Lights - International Playthings Inc.
  • Zingo Game - ThinkFun, Inc.

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Viacom Join With Joost To Deliver New TV Programs

TV big boys Viacom are adding programs onto the Joost TV guide. Joost have always said they were looking to add quality to the service sooner rather than later, as i mentioned in my previous post on Joost. Personally i thought it was going to be another flop and nothing half decent was ever going to be available. The new deal between the two however includes programming from Paramount Pictures, the MTV Networks and BET Networks. Some new programs include Real World, Punk'd and Beavis and Butthead. OK they ain't masterpieces or works of art but at least its new! and with this new deal struck up, I'm sure it'll only be a matter of time before it is up and running with a proper package.

Joost are also rumoured to be in talks with Channel 4 and ITV about putting their programs onto the online service. Channel 4 recently started their own online service with 4 On Demand and ITV are thought to be starting the same kind of thing.

Porsche Design Ultra Quick Fearless Yacht

Usually when you hear "Porsche" you think of a gleaming 911 with that roaring engine or cruising through the country on a sunny Saturday in a Boxster. Porsche have now decided however, that they fancy getting a little bit wet.

Porsche have teamed up with Fearless Yachts to help produce these magnificent looking speedboats and yachts! Five different Yachts are set to be made but for now only one is complete. The Fearless 28, a 525 bhp, 80+ mph demon! If you opt to go for the one with the V-10 Viper engine then you'll get 550 bhp out of it. The Fearless 28 although it is a "yacht", to me it seems to be more of a speedboat. Personally i don't know of any yachts that push waves aside at 80+ mph! I am by no means a boat fanatic and sea sickness happens regularly when i am on one but, give me one of these and i think i could battle through the cold, wet, windy, vomiting experience of sailing. Living up to true Porsche standards, they really do look fantastic! Owning one of these, you'd feel like a kid with a new toy car. Shame they cost $300,000! Full specs and details are at the Fearless Yachts website.

Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Want To Get Fit? Swap Your Gym Card For A Games Console!

I think we all already realised that new consoles such as the Nintendo Wii, might actually get rid of a few pounds but now we have the proof. Some very smart Scousers over at Liverpool John Moores University have proved that by using consoles such as the Nintendo Wii regularly, you could lose around 12 and a half kilo's a year!

Why run this survey? Well, how many times have we heard that computer games are bad for children and they all should be outside getting some real exercise? Well this is exactly why these tests have been made, to establish whether computer games can contribute to the daily activity recommendations for children. And yes, computer games can contribute to the daily activity recommendations for kids, as long as they are played on a Nintendo Wii.

The study measure the impact on 5 girls and 7 boys aged between 13 and 15, of playing an active and an inactive console. After playing for 15 minutes using a traditional joypad operated console, energy expenditure increased above resting values by an average of 60%. When using a Wii console however, it increased by an amazing 156%

So kids, the next time your Grandmother tells you that you shouldn't be playing "that thing" and you should be outside breaking bones and cracking skulls, you tell her i said you can play it and it is perfectly healthy! This just adds to my previous argument on why you don't have to leave the house if you own a Nintendo Wii. Are there any limits to the Wii's capabilities? Will the Wii take over the world? Should the Nintendo Wii be made Prime Minister? It seems to have found a way to stop our country's obesity problem, maybe it can sort out the NHS as well!

Monday, 19 February 2007

The M300: Watch Out! Mobile Watch Is About?

Wristwatches have always been easy targets to be transformed into well... transformers, and we've seen more than a fair share of wacky wristwatches over the years. Watch/TV remote, watch/calculator, watch/TV, watch/MP3 player, the list is endless. Thanks to our kangaroo loving friends from Australia, we now have another one, the watch/mobile phone!

It has been designed by SMS Technology Australia. It has been named the M300 and is now the worlds smallest mobile phone. Squeezed in features include full SMS functionality, Dial Up Networking, Games, full blue tooth compatibility,Mp3 Player, MP4 Player, LCD Colour Screen, 64 Mb Memory, 99 number memory storage, 40 embedded real tones, USB connectivity for software uploads and downloads. For a watch that is pretty impressive, and to top it all off it also has a great looking design, unlike the silly looking calculator watches of the past. The M300 works on GSM Tri-band frequencies which means that it doesn't matter if you are in the UK, the US, Australia, Japan or Timbuktu! it will work as long as you have a GSM Sim card! Own one of these and you really know you are living in the future. I'm not too sure if i want to be known as the crazy guy who talks to his watch though, so i think i might wait a while and see if these take off before i consider going for one!

SMS Technology are planning on releasing another 2 models later this year. The M501 which will be made from titanium and solid gold! This will be released around June and the
M700, which is set to be launched with Outlook and Office synchronization for all you business minded chaps out there. The M300 is available to buy now from the SMS Technology website.

Saturday, 17 February 2007

iSporty: It's New! It's MySpace For Sports Fans

Yes its another social networking site, and your no doubt fed up of receiving emails everyday from your "friends" encouraging you to sign up for YET another one. iSporty i found a little more interesting though. I have dubbed it as "MySpace for sports fans" but it is actually a lot better than MySpace and offers you a lot more.

In truth, it ain't just a social site. When signing up, like all other sites of this nature, it asks you your interests and hobbies blah blah blah. But iSporty have put all this farcing around to good use. Yes you get your profile page just like MySpace or Bebo but you also get your own homepage, offering you the latest news, photos, videos and relevant blogs related to the sports that you are interested in. Its kinda like a My Yahoo news page but it does it all for you and only tells you what you want to here. In my case, it is mainly football and lets me know all about the latest news and rumours, especially from the Premiership and Europe so if you are a football fan, i do recommend this, it is bloody brilliant for the football. I've put on a snapshot of my homepage, just to give you an idea of what your homepage will look like.

Other great features are, it offers you a whole load of sports clubs, gyms and all other sorts of facilities that are available in your area, with the option of joining. If you actually take part in your sport and are not just a follower then you will benefit even more. Hooking up with your fellow members from down the gym, fellow teammates or even the opposition is very easy to do, you can really get your group known on this.

iSporty also has its own TV channel going by the incredibly creative name of "iSporty TV" which is made up of real life video clips sent in by its members and is presented by Match of the Day’s Rebecca Lowe, Britain’s top 3000m steeplechase athlete Jo Ankier and ITV pundit Gary Newbon.

Click Here to join iSporty for FREE

Friday, 16 February 2007

New Revolutionary 3 Wheel Hybrid Vehicle From Venture Vehicles!

Ventue Vehicles have announced they are developing a revolutionary, very exciting and very wild looking new Hybrid vehicle. It has been named the VentureOne and is a 3-wheel, tilting, plug-in Hybrid vehicle. It is a 2 passenger flex-fuel vehicle and it will give you 100 miles to the gallon! It will go from 0-60 in just 6 seconds! and will reach speeds of over 100mph and yet it will cost you less than $20,000! that's dollars, not pounds!

On the whole tilting thing. Venture teamed up with Carver Engineering to create this Dynamic Vehicle Control technology which will allow the passenger compartment and the front wheel to tilt when cornering, so i wouldn't be expecting cup holders if i were you! Taking that into account, along with the look of this thing, you can probably work out that It truly is "Car, meet Motorbike! Motorbike, meet Car!" Venture say the only way that they can describe what it is like to drive one of these bad boys is by comparing it to flying a fighter jet 2 feet off the gravel! Which will probably explain their whole "Fly The Road" promotion. Hmm... we'll see. But by looking at the picture of the "cockpit" though, i have to say it does look pretty cool and looks like a blast!

There are to be 3 different models. The e50, the Q100 (which will do 0-6 in 5 seconds) and the EV (which is all electric) Below are the specifications for each.

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Is DRM Finally Going To Be Removed From Music Downloads?

Ever purchased music by download then realised it doesn't even play on your bloody MP3 player? Yes, its a real pain in the backside and of course your not going to buy tracks via download again, why would you?

Well it seems our friends from the music world, finally might have thought of a solution. Hmm... why don't we make tracks available for ANY Mp3 player? Oh for crying out loud! about time! Personally i think this is the main problem in the lack of sale via download along with free file sharing. After all, these guys are trying to make money right? Give the people what they want already!. After questioning all record labels (tiny guys, middle guys and huge guys!) and those who aren't assigned to a record label, 70% of them agreed with the thoughts that I've had running through my brain for what seems like a decade. Dropping DRM will make a lot, lot more people happy and will definitely notch some 0's onto the end of the record labels bank balance. Win win situation if you ask me!

After all these discussions and polls however, including the fact that 70% of the music industry agreed that it would be better to drop DRM, they still ain't going to drop it. Although EMI are said to be using a lot less DRM than before. Hats off to you guys. Not that Apple will lose much sleep over it, they rule the roost on this side of the market for sure.

Wednesday, 14 February 2007

PayPal Release New Security Key

The main reason behind this new security measure from PayPal is to beat phishing attacks, that can gain login details for accounts. PayPal which is owned by EBay, is ultra popular with EBay's users and and can also be used on pretty much any website selling something. PayPal have been targeted by these phishing attacks for a long time now, which has resulted in a lot of fraud not just for regular Paypal users but on a much larger scale for enormous amounts of loyal, trustworthy EBay users. The new key will generate a different 6 digit number every 30 seconds which you will use to login to your account along with your username and your account password, giving you 2 passwords if you like. This isn't the first time this has been used by no means as lots of business companies use this system but it really is about time PayPal done something to better their security, no matter how big or small.

Just to keep you aware, Phishing attacks are fake emails if you like, imposing themselves as, in this case, an email from EBay or Paypal. Encouraging you to reply so they can monitor you using your login details. Some are just plain stupid and you really would have to be an idiot to fall for them but some are very well put together and can easily catch people out. So you are warned!

This new "Security Key" will be available to US users first and will cost $5. I will tell you however that this doesn't guarantee total safety. Some phishing attacks can get past this but it is a lot safer than to have one than to not.

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

The iPhone Set To Be Networked By Vodafone

OK, so Apple haven't actually told us yet which British network are going to be networking their iPhone but by using my " Scooby Doo skills " i think I'm pretty close on solving this mystery.

Last month Apple announced that Google's Google Maps facility will come pre-installed on the new phone. OK big deal right? Now however, Vodafone have struck up a deal with Google so that THEY can put Google Maps onto their mobiles. Hmm.... Wat has brung on this idea? Is it just a coincidence, or are Vodafone keeping secrets? My bet is now definitely on Vodafone to brings us Brits the iPhone. Even if this doesn't happen to be the case, then at least all Vodafone users will finally be able to find their way home on a Saturday night, leaving us T Mobile and Orange users miles back! It could be time for a change of network.