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

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Nokia 8600 Luna: Nokia's New Mobile King Exclusive To Carphone Warehouse

The new Nokia 8600 Luna mobile has landed and boy is it a beauty! With its stainless steel frame, sizzling slidey smokey glass cover and its smooth rounded off corners, there are not many mobiles out there that look better than this right now. If you are strictly fashion only, "no way am i having a guffer of a phone" and you have to have the best looking phone around then you can't turn a blind eye to this one. It is no wonder that Nokia have dubbed it "Black Beauty". To accompany its supermodel exterior, the 8600 Luna also packs some great features. Some of which include a 2 mega pixel camera, music player, FM Radio and Quad-band but there are many more.

The 8600 Luna is Nokia's new number 1 phone and it is exclusive to the Carphone Warehouse and they are offering it on a whole load of different tariffs to suit your needs. Check it out more here.

Waterproof iPod Speakers: For Those Who Just Can't Get Away From Their Pod!

With the on the go music world controlled by the iPod nowadays there can just never be enough accessories to go along with the worlds favourite MP3 players. Here is one of my very favourites. If that little player doesn't ever leave your side and has replaced the dog as "man's best friend" then this is the perfect accessory for you!

Whether its down the beach, at the swimming pool, singing in the shower or diving with the rubber ducky in the tub, these Waterproof Speakers will keep the tunes playing no matter what waves hit them. You may even replace ducky in the bath tub with them. Throw them in the bath and let them float about while you chill to the sounds it spills out. The speakers are inside a case in which you also put your iPod. You can control your iPod from the outside of the case with the rubber membrane that works the wheel on your iPod.

Top gadget for bathroom antics! These Waterproof iPod Speakers are available at Firebox.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Carphone Warehouse Give LG Prada Phones Away For FREE

It seems the guys at the Carphone Warehouse love their customers so much and are so dedicated to providing the best deals around that they have decided to give away their batch of LG Prada phones for FREE. Instead of you paying the usual £175 plus your monthly contract fee, Carphone Warehouse are giving you the handset for FREE and they are throwing in 10 months half price line rental. So for £17 a month you are getting an LG Prada phone plus 600 free minutes and 500 free texts! (Whats going on?)Extras also include 512KB inclusive Internet browsing. What a bargain! Check it out here

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Rod Baber Sets World Record For Highest Mobile Phone Call!

I previously wrote a post on this British climber just before he was about to embark on his mobile mission. I can now inform you that Rod Baber has completed his hike of the huge mountain and successfully made two phone calls from Everest's "North Ridge".

After a month of preparation, Rod finally started the final ascent of the mountain on May 15th. Baber made the first call, describing the view from Everest's peak and he made the 2nd to his wife and kids. He has also claimed the record for the worlds highest text message, standing at 8,848 metres.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Merseyside Police Introduce CCTV "Spy Plane" Surveillance

Here it is, if you are not a fan of CCTV and the whole "Big Brother" concept, then you are going to really hate this new technology introduced by Police in Merseyside. Say hello to big brothers even bigger brother! This is the UK's first ever Police drone, used to catch criminals in action and witness anti-social behaviour. It looks like a mini helicopter and it records everything from the sky. Police can look through the "mini-copter's" eyes via virtual reality goggles and all that it see's is recorded onto police computers.

I can't say that i am particularly fond of CCTV but it doesn't really bother me either, unless i have "Budgie the little Helicopter" following my every move that is. If one of these comes anywhere near me, it can be expecting the nearest brick right in the chops. I don't think I'd be the only one either. I can see it now, teenagers drinking in playparks, "First one to hit the helicopter gets a litre of cider!" Overall though, i think this is an excellent way to fight crime, as long as that is all they are using it for. If you hear a buzzing at your window when exiting the shower, you know who it is! Thats all i'm saying.

Sony Release 80 GB PS3

Gaming News

Sony have decided to beef up the PS3 console with a new 80 gig model. The new model has been announced on Sony's Koren website. So far it is only available in Korea but don't count on shipping taking too long. The new model comes without the Emotion Engine chip which allows you to play PS2 and PS1 games, so if you want this new 20 gig improvement, you are going to have to swap your old favourites for it. With the lack of PS3 games, I'd rather keep my Emotion Engine chip thank you very much.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Sony PSP To Get A Makeover

Mylo Personal Communicator

Gaming News

Lazard Capital Markets analyst Colin Sebastian has added his name to list of video game guru's to hint at an upcoming redesign for Sony's PlayStation Portable, writing in his note to investors that a PSP makeover was about to start. Next-Gen then followed up with Sebastian who had more to say about a new version of the PSP coming in before the end of the year.

Sebastian told Next-Gen, "Sony definitely has something in the works" but he also said that whatever that something is, it "may or may not mean a change in form factor." From what we've heard, a change in design is possible but Sony's priorities are with improving the features first.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Amazon To Open Online Music Store With No DRM

Amazon are planning to launch an online music store that sells music without copyright protection. Amazon are licensed to sell music from 12,000 different record companies. Millions of tunes are to be sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management). ALL music sold from the website will be DRM free which means tunes will play on ALL MP3 players, watch out iTunes, oh and Windows Media guys, you better watch out too!

There are no official details on when the store will be open which means we don't have an exact date for "National CD Burning Day" yet, but it will be open some time this year.

The New Motorola RAZR 2 Is Released

The follow up to the Motorola RAZR has been announced with the Motorola RAZR2 V8. As per usual it is the most anorexic phone around having been on another diet and now it comes with even more goodies. The most exciting one being the touch sensitive controls for music on the front of the phone and with its Media Player 11 background it will play music originated from any Windows-based store.

Other great features include:

HTML Based E-Mail
512MB and 2GB Models
Video Streaming
Multi Image Capture
Bluetooth Class 2 V 2.0
2 Mega pixel Camera

These are just some, there are many more but i like these ones most.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Halo 3 Online Multiplayer Released Today!

Gaming News

With more than 2 years spent in the development room, Halo 3 has been let out to get some fresh air. As of today you will be able to try out the Online Multi-player part of the game. There will be 3 different maps to try out in a number of different game types. With a whole load of new features in the new game you wont want to miss out on this chance to get a sneaky shot. From 1pm UK time today it is available on Xbox Live for download. It is only available for 3 weeks so make sure you use the time wisely.

New FREE Programming Tool Allows Anyone To Create Own Video Games

A free programming tool primarily aimed at children has been created that allows people to create their own video games, interactive artwork and own animated stories. The program is named Scratch and does not require any prior knowledge of complex computer coding, a simple graphical interface is used to build your own programs. The Internet nowadays has a huge variety of video and animation experiences and now kids can create their very own! Objects and characters, chosen from a menu and created in a paint editor or simply cut and pasted off the web, are animated by snapping together different "action" blocks into stacks, just like how kids would put together building blocks or Lego.

Professor Resnick said: "With Scratch, our goal is to allow people to mix together all kinds of media, not just sounds, in creative ways. We want people to start from existing materials - grabbing an image, grabbing some sound, maybe even bits of someone else's program and then extending them and mixing them to make them their own."

There are also sites such as HacketyHack that entail more traditional coding. HacketyHack provides kids seven free lessons with one that allows them to develop a blog with just six lines of coding.

Monday, 14 May 2007

The Zenn: Taking Hybrid Vehicles One Step Further

With the world going green nowadays, it is no surprise that more and more Hybrid vehicles are popping up all over the place. The latest addition to the Hybrid menu is The Zero Emission No Noise car (The Zenn) from none other than the Zenn Motor Company.

The Zenn runs entirely on electric, unlike the Spokesperson for the Hybrid Vehicle, the Toyota Prius and is charged via a cable extension that is plugged into one of your house's electrical outlets. This well get you about 40 miles down the road before it cuts out and will cost you around about 25p. Don't worry though when you run out of electric all you need to do is chap a nice strangers door and say "Hey mister, Do you mind if i borrow your plug socket for a bit? I need to charge up me car"

The Zenn will go no faster than 25mph so it can be classed as a low-speed vehicle in the United States which puts it on a bit of a downer. Owner of Amenia Motors, Tom Bevilacque says "I know it will only be tree huggers who buy this car" (which i am relieved to hear as i was beginning to think that no-one knew) "People don't like to hear that word. But tree-huggers like these cars. They're environmentally friendly, cost next to nothing to operate, there's no maintenance and they like the car."

A plus point is that the Zenn does look like a real car instead of looking like some kind of novelty experiment. Check out The Zenn in more detail in the video below.

The MP3 Player That Fits On Your Finger Tip!

When i first saw this thing i thought, no way! this can't really work, it must be sum kind of joke shop toy but yes its for real. With a dimension of 24mm x 24mm x 24mm, you will struggle to find a smaller player than this but what i find more amazing than the size is, what has actually been crammed into this claustrophobic little space. With an amazing 2GB of memory you will be able to store 200 hours of tunes. 2GB in that little thing! The 3.7V lithium battery will also provide hours of playback and it even has FM radio.

It supports MP1, MP2, MP3, WMA, WMV, ASF, WAV 7 and comes complete with its own special lightweight headphones

Check It Out At Gadget Universe

Fed Up With Bebo & MySpace? Give Imeem A Go!

Website Of The Week

Sorry to say but this is about another Social Networking site. Frankly, i am sick to the back teeth of your Bebo's and your MySpace but i have found another one that i just cant get away from, i don't know whether this is fortunate or unfortunate but either way i really like it! It is called Imeem and is an online media community. To be a bit more specific i am going to take a line right out of their homepage.

"IMEEM is an online community where artists, fans & friends can promote their content, share their tastes, and discover blogs, photos, music and video."

Recently i have been away from my music supply and it has been driving me mad! I love tunes and when i don't have my sounds to listen to, i get really cranky! Well this Imeem site has saved my life, or rather it has saved others from my crankiness! Very simple to use, sign up in the same manner as all the rest of them, search for a song in the search bar and add it to a playlist, easy! I was very surprised at the amount of songs available and the variety, i have found stuff that i have been trying to find for years! As long as this website is opened up in the browser you can leave the CD's to go dusty in the rack.

I have been using it primarily for my Trance supply but the video, photo and blogging services look great aswell. I'm going to get a video playlist going on next.

Check out my profile and have a look at the rest of Imeem

Friday, 11 May 2007

British Climber Attempts World Record For Highest Mobile Phone Call

British climber Rod Baber feels that he has to go a little further than out the front garden to get a signal on his phone! Rod Baber is climbing to Mount Everest's north ridge just so he can make a phone call. After weeks of acclimatisation Rod has reached base camp and is about to begin his attempt on Everest.
Baber has been getting used to living in high altitude by climbing up and down the great mountain. The "practising" if you will has left four members of the expedition team unable to continue due to altitude sickness. Baber has lost 11kg in weight since he started preparing for this amazing attempt and he expects to lose at least 5 more by the time he is finished.

Mr Baber said: "We have a "very good" chance of reaching the summit if the weather stays calm, but, it's when Everest lets YOU climb it, not the other way around."
All i say to you Rod is, Good luck son!

Online TV Joost Announce 5 New Investors

Online TV service Joost have announced they have raked in $45 million from 5 different investors. The investors include CBS, Viacom, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Li Ka-shing, the chairman of Hutchison Whampoa. CBS and Viacom have already provided content for the service but with other investment the service has been updated and i have seen the channel count rise from around about 10 to 150!

Joost creators Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstroem who were also behind the music site Kazaa are making a good job of dropping their unpopular reputation by creating what is shaping up to be a top service!

Official Halo 3 Video Is Released!

Gaming News

Have you been dying to catch a glimpse of the new Halo 3 in action? Of course you have! With multi player beta testing starting next week, Microsoft and Bungie have decided to tease you even more with a Video release of the game. The 4 minute video gives you a great look into what the new game's all about!

MP3 Players To Have Sat Nav?

UK scientists are planning on adding satellite navigation technology to MP3 players to help guide lost and desperate souls around cities. On the move rockers will be able to program a destination into their MP3 player and be directed as they stroll to their sounds. The technology will be developed to allow users to personalise the system to their own preference. For example, just say you have programed in a destination, if you are heading in the right direction, your music will play through both headphones and will signal you to turn right or left by shifting volume to different ears.

Another feature is a "nudge alert". Lets say you are visiting an unfamiliar city, perhaps on a day out or trip and you have an appetite for museums and art galleries. You program into your device that they tickle your fancy and it will alert you when there is one nearby, by either a physical tap or vibration. If you ignore the device it will stop nudging you until it finds something else that might be of interest to you! What a clever little thing!

Swansea and Glasgow universities have received funding for the three-year project and are working on it as we speak.

Thursday, 10 May 2007

Mobile TV To Push Out Music And Games On Phones

Top mobile researchers have announced this week that they believe that it wont be long before TV via mobile will be the peoples number 1 mobile application, ahead of music and gaming. It is pretty unlikely that us Brits will be flicking through the channels on our mobiles any time soon, but, there are services currently available in Japan, South Korea and Italy and they are attracting millions of subscribers! Statistics say that in Japan and South Korea there are 5.8m people watching TV on their mobile phones with millions more watching on other hand held devices and in-car equipment. In Italy, Vodafone and Sky Italia's recently launched Mobile TV service has attracted half a million subscribers. The service has 17 channels to choose from and can be paid for monthly or you can get it for free if you sign up to a contract.

The argument against Mobile TV at the moment is, the majority feel that the quality is not all that great and watching TV on the smallest of screens is not exactly ideal, to be honest, squinting into a mobile phone with my hands cupped around the screen to keep the light out isn't my favourite way to watch TV. One point i want to make here however is that, it wasn't all that long ago where the idea of taking pictures with a phone was wild! and browsing the Internet on your mobile was amazing! and recording your own videos was just insane! The exact same things were said about these applications and now people cant imagine these luxuries not being a part of their mobile. If these guys say that mobile TV is going to be huge, then it is most likely to be true!

Check Out This Video On Mobile TV

Wednesday, 9 May 2007

New Invention Allows Disabled Children To Drive Radio-Controlled Cars!

UK electronics expert Mike Heath has put together a new device in the form of a hat! that allows disable children to drive radio-controlled toys. It has been named The Dream Racer and has been officially launched. This amazing new cap is also being altered so that it will work on Sony Playstation consoles as well, this version will be named The Dream Gamer and is set to be released in the Summer time.

The hat works by motion sensors, 4 in total, which detect movements of the head which in turn will transfer them over to the toy to control the direction. The sensors are wired in such a way that will allow two different directions to interact with each other, which will allow better control.

This new technology was originally designed by a five year old boy who was left paralysed after a car crash but it is by no means restricted to just children. It can also be a very useful gadget to adults. The new hat can be adapted to work with the PC. This means that adults with disabilities that stop them from being able to use a PC can really benefit from this technology, helping them learn new skills and could lead them to possible careers. What a bloody great invention!

Top Summer Gadget: Wireless Outdoor Solar Speaker

With summer approaching fast, the urge to make a right mess of a barbecue while getting seriously sloshed in the back garden is beginning to get too great. Now for a proper summer shindig we all know that you need to have a decent player that will blast out those beats right? and the ghetto blaster that drunk Uncle Dave keeps standing on sending out the tunes from the kitchen just isn't enough! No fear, this year you can be the saviour of the garden binge with this Wireless Outdoor Solar Powered Speaker!

No batteries, no cable extensions, no problems! The solar panel will keep it charged using nothing but the ray's of the sun and no there isn't a catch and no, setting it up wont send the blood pressure through the roof!

Here is a simple 3 step guide as to how it is set up:

1) Plug the mains transmitter into the wall.
2) Plug your MP3 Player/Stereo/PC into the mains transmitter.
3) Take the speaker outside, plant it in with the roses or the strawb's out of Uncle Dave's way, then press ON.

Now if you are thinking, "Great!, now i can organise my very own music festival in the back garden!" then you would be wrong. The 5W power it pumps out is not really enough to create your own rave cave but is perfect for a burnt barbecue on a sunny Sunday! This great gadget is available from Firebox and should definitely be near the top on your summer gadgets shopping list.

Tuesday, 8 May 2007

Curry's Pull The Plug On Cassette Tapes

Is this true? Audio tapes are being pulled from electrical stores? Had they not already been pulled? Personally i forgot about the tape a long time ago. The days of recording your favourite tunes when they came on the radio and making soppy mix tapes are long gone to me.

In 1989 Curry's sold 83 million tapes, last year they managed to sell 100,000. I am surprised they managed to sell that much! I mean lets face it, this is a world of MP3, cassette tapes are for really old people who are still living in the stone age. Along with the tapes, Curry's will be phasing out tape decks as well. With less than 5% of audio equipment equipped with tape decks these days i don't see this taking too long.

This news on cassette tapes adds to the death of the floppy disk earlier in the year which is really making 2007 an "out with the old and in with new" year (if we haven't had one of those already)

Simple Guide To Replacing Your iPod Battery

So you have had your iPod for quite some time now and you've started to recognise that the battery just doesn't seem to be holding out for as long anymore. Well don't worry because you wont be the only one that's experiencing this, it is very well known that there is a bit of a problem with the iPod batteries. So your having a look at it and your thinking "How the hell do i get a new battery in this thing?" Well you have 3 options. Option A is sending it away to Apple with a cheque for $70. Option B is buying a big chunky battery backup device that sits on your iPod like a hikers rucksack, or there is option C which is get a battery and put it in yourself!

Not to keen on cracking open your iPod and messing about with its organs? Don't worry, there really is nothing to it. When you buy your replacement battery kit, it comes with everything you need from tools to instructions and of course the battery! In the end it will be a lot cheaper and your iPod will be running as if it were brand new plus no silly add-ons such as battery backups. Below is a video on how to change your battery.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

ITV Online Service Slaps BBC & C4 In The Face!

Channel 4's On Demand service once looked new and exciting and the BBC's recently announced iPlayer IS the new "new and exciting"online service right? Well, no! ITV have decided to ruin it for BBC and have announced details of their very own online service.

Channel 4's online simulcasts and downloads and BBC's new 7-day web catch up service don't really look all that hot anymore. ITV have really up'd the ante and are offering FREE live streaming of all ITV channels plus a 30-day catch up service. All they ask in return is that you wear a huge grin so they can rub it in the silly monkey faces of the BBC. In saying that however, i have to tell you that watching the Champions League online will still cost ya £20 for a season ticket, no changes there.

The service supposedly will be available in the next few weeks which is another one notched up over the BBC, whose iPlayer isn't due for release until later in the year.

Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Nintendo Wii Is Back In Stock!!

Nintendo Wii News!

Finally nintendo have given us a fresh batch of Nintendo Wii, if your one of the hardcore gamers that failed to get one on release here is your chance to snatch one up second time around. Game have got a whole new load in and have put out a few decent bundle packages.