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Medion_md20099 Although the World Cup has successfully had us clamouring for High Definition, HD TV sets are still out of reach to many due to their high price tags. And that's before you even think of paying for any HD content to watch on one.

Medion has therefore done what some manufacturer was inevitably going to do sooner or later - offer an ultra-cheap solution. For a mere £600 you can pick up this MD20099, a 32" LCD HD-Ready set with a resolution of 1366 x 768.

Goodbye ASCI Red...

Ascired You may not have heard of ASCI Red but for nearly nine years it was one of the world's fastest supercomputers and the first one to break the Teraflop barrier (one trillion operations per second) back in December 1996. At its peak it was running at 3.1 terraflops but now it has been retired from duty at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) laboratory in Albuquerque New Mexico.

Built by Intel and running 10,000 processors it wasn't much to look at, just a row of anonymous grey cabinets but did the job it was designed for -- running mind-bogglingly complicated calculations and simulations and it proved to be very reliable.

Regmon_1 The Windows Registry, that vast collection of System files that controls almost every aspect of Windows and the programs running on a PC crops up regularly in tips and solutions at Propellerhead, but have you ever wondered what it looks like, and what it gets up to? Wonder no longer, a little freeware utility called Regmon shows you exactly what is going on, in real time. It's actually a powerful diagnostic tool for engineers and expert users but even if you don't know or care about what makes the Registry tick it is still fascinating to watch.

Link_left Who said there's nothing cool about a USB drive? Very likely me - but I take it all back after seeing the limited edition Ginchy series of USB drives, designed by Lili Chin for Mimico.

Yes, they're rather cool 50s throwback rockabilly types, available as three characters - Ramona, Betty and Link (pictured), who lists his interests as "hot rods, guitars, tiki drinks, the beach, pin-ups and poetry". And - from what we can see - cigarettes and Brylcreem.

Austinphone2 Remember ROK? We featured the company earlier this week  after it extended handset coverage of its mobile TV service for GPRS/EDGE mobiles. Well, apart from streaming TV, they've also been producing standalone full-screen TV shows and movies for phones  - the latest of which is the Austin Powers International Man of Mystery movie.

The titles are available on copy-protected memory cards, almost like DVDs for your phone - just insert the card to a suitable phone or PDA, and you can any of more than 100 titles, including BBC classic comedies such as Little Britain and The Office as well as SpongeBob Squarepants and South Park and other movies such as Shawshank Redemption.

Official PlayStation 3 website launches

Ps3_black If you're sick of all the rumour and hearsay surrounding Sony's much-awaited console, Games Digest reports that Sony has now launched its first official PlayStation 3 website, which you can find here.

You can get a first glimpse of some of the games due for the next generation machine and find out more about the console's high definition capabilities. It's also pretty useful for sorting out fact from fiction - with details of the console set in stone for all to see.

Still, I'm sure there'll be many more twists and turns before the November 17th release date - and if there are, you'll hear about them first over at Games Digest.

Flashmic Ever fancied yourself thrusting a microphone into a celebrity's face, asking the incisive questions that'll get you in the tabloids the morning after? You should take a look at the FlashMic - claimed to be the world's first digital recording microphone.

The FlashMic combines a high quality microphone capsule with a 1GB flash recorder built into the microphone body, which means FlashMic-equipped journalists and interviewers are always ready to record with just a single button press. Recordings can then be transferred quickly to a computer for editing via the FlashMic's USB interface. It's ready to record straight out of the box or can be pre-configured for more sophisticated operation and file naming protocols using the included software.

Walkie Talkie Watches

Walkietalkiewatch Is your mobile phone bill going through the roof? Well, if most of your calls happen to be to the one person - and they live fairly locally - these Walkie Talkie Watches could pay for themselves in a matter of weeks.

They've been tested at the highest level - the Norwegian Olympic team used them for communicating during last year's Winter Olympics, so if they worked in those conditions, they should be ok for across the street. As a watch, they feature an LCD backlit display, along with stopwatch and alarm function. As a means of communicating, they have a 3km range, 8 selectable channels and 38 sub codes for best reception, five call tones, voice activation (for hands-free use) and you don't need a licence to communicate - all "calls" are free.

LG unveils HSDPA two-way slider phone

Lg_slider LG has unveiled a new HSDPA (or super 3G) handset in Korea, with the big selling point being the ability to make video calls in widescreen or indeed for video playback in landscape.

The phone, which is Cyon-branded, goes under the name of either the LG-SGH100 or the LG-KH1000, dependent on the specification. It's a slider, but not just a regular slider, it also slides sideways for the widescreen effect. The phone features a 2.2-inch, 240 x 320 (or 320 x 240 if you hold it the other way round) display capable of showing 262,144 colours. There's a 1.3mp camera, a VGA video call cam and 2GB of Flash and 1GB of SDRAM, or 512MB of Flash and 256MB of SDRAM, depending on your choice of model.

No news of a UK launch for this, but it's due on sale in Korea for the equivalent of £464.

LG website

Via The Register

More mobiles:
BenQ-Siemens EL71 ultra-slim slider phone
Samsung unveils black E900 slider phone with 2mp camera

Rockpegasus Rock has introduced two new notebooks - the Pegasus 660 and Quaddra TX2 - with both aimed very much at gamers.

The 15.4-inch widescreen Pegasus 660 features Intel's Centrino Core Duo Mobile Technology and the NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600 graphics card with 256MB onboard memory. It also features a silent mode, so, at the touch of a button, the notebook's processor cores can be slowed to 1GHz for super quiet fanless running. There's also up to 2GB of memory, a dual layer DVD writer, Wi-Fi, 3x USB, 1x firewire and a 4-in-1 card reader.

BenQ-Siemens EL71 ultra-slim slider phone

El71 Another day, another slider phone. But as they're the fashionista's phone of choice right now, that's no bad thing. The latest candidate for your cash is the BenQ-Siemens EL71, a very slim phone with a decent specification behind the looks.

BenQ-Siemens describe it as "the cutting edge of design" with its compact shape, brushed aluminium finish and stainless steel keypad. It's certainly an attractive handset, but it's also got some nice features. There's a 2-inch QVGA display (262,144 colours). a decent integrated 1.3mp digital camera with LED flash and a video function for shooting and replaying short movie sequences. There's also a music player on board, which plays MP3 and AAC+ music files and by using the Music Cable IHM-100 (available sepearately), the EL71 can be connected to any hi-fi system. Memory is a less-than-great 16MB internal memory, but this can be increased up to 1GB by microSD cards.

The BenQ-Siemens EL71 will be available in July in the UK in "Quartz Anthracite" and "Opal Black" from free on contract and from £250 sim-free.

BenQ-Siemens website

More mobiles:
Samsung unveils black E900 slider phone with 2mp camera
LG U300 3G handset exclusively available on 3

Hitachi launches 55-inch HD-ready plasma TV

Hitachiplasma A bit too late for the World Cup, but if you're still in the market for a big TV, especially if you want to take advantage of some high definition viewing, you might want to take a look at Hitachi's 55PD9700 55-inch HD Ready plasma TV.

Att 55 inches, it's one of the biggest HD ready sets you can buy. It uses an ultra-efficient E-ALIS <(Alternate Lighting of Surfaces) plasma panel, which delivers high-brightness and high-intensity images, with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels. The TV also uses Hitachi's Picture Master HD chipset, which now incorporates colour detection, enabling the TV to identify and analyse individual colours, to deliver much more accurate colour adjustment, including pure red, which is, traditionally, the hardest colour for a plasma TV to reproduce accurately. At the TV's heart is a fast, 1080p processor, which has the power and processing speed to sample every pixel, rather than a random selection. That mainly benefits high definition broadcasts, but standard definition content is also improved through upscaling.

Googlenote Google Labs continues to come up with clever add-ons for the world's favourite search engine and this time its Google Notebook. It's a sort of built in smart clipboard for your browser that lets you add notes and clippings from websites as you browse. Being Google it has to be organised, and it's stored online and available from any PC you happen to be using, once you've logged on with your username and password. It's available for test now and it works with Internet Explorer (V6 and above) and Firefox (V1.5 and above).

Invisible Most of us have played with secret writing and invisible ink at some point and there are plenty of recipes for making your own (lemon juice and urine are supposed to work quite well...) but here's a few tips from Propellerhead for saving and sending secret messages using MS Word, without making smells, or a soggy mess.

The absolute simplest method is to write your message as normal, then highlight it, click Font on the Format menu, change the Font Colour to white and hey presto, your words will disappear from view. The only problem with this method is that hidden words buried in a document can be difficult to find but highlighting everything (Ctrl + A) and selecting black font colour will make them reappear once again.

A slightly more elaborate method is to highlight your message then go to the Font drop-down menu and change it to Wingdings 3 and the text turns into a bunch of symbols, It's pretty obvious and you don't need to be James Bond to see through this one, though changing the Font colour to white as well should keep snoopers guessing.

Audio510usb Plantronics announced a new line in headphones at this year's CeBIT, called .Audio, aimed at the multimedia user.  The .Audio 510 USB is their mid-spec offering, designed for gaming, music, internet telephony and other voice applications.

The key feature of the headphones is the noise-canceling microphone - essential for those people who record their podcasts next to motorways and the like. Facetiousness aside, this feature works well, although only cuts in when you talk, leaving the listener with the background noise the rest of the time.

With a plush but lightweight headset, the 40 mm stereo speakers have enough padding to make you feel like an air traffic controller. A very comfortable air traffic controller, at that. The microphone features 'Quick Adjust' so you can stick it out of the way if you're just using the headphones for music.

Plugging directly into your USB port, the volume control and mute button are incorporated inline, helpful for both music lovers and those using them for VoiP. The sound quality is excellent, with heavy bass lines coming through clearly.

David Hasselhoff - king of the internet

Hasselhoff This is surely one of the most unbelievable stories I've read in a long time. But it must be true, because I read it on TV Scoop - and they're very much people to be trusted. The story? David "The Hoff" Hasselhoff has topped a list of the most popular stars on the internet amongst young people.

But how? The 16-24 year olds probably weren't born when Knightrider was in its prime, while Baywatch certainly wasn't compulsive kids' viewing. Or indeed compulsive viewing full stop. However, according to TV Scoop, a survey has found that The Hoff "is the male celebrity most likely to feature in emails and the cult figure most likely to be searched for amongst 16 to 24 year olds."

You learn something new everyday. To find out more about this, not to mention the latest news, views, gossip and general funny stuff from the world of TV, you need to head over to TV Scoop.

Memorex World Cup USB drives

Memorexworldcup While most companies rushed to get their products to market in time for the start of the World Cup, Memorex has gone for a more laid back approach, promoting their World Cup TravelDrive in time for the quarter finals. Unfortunately, two of the countries covered here have already been knocked out!

But don't let that worry you, as they just featured the country's name, colour scheme and a football, you can bring it out next time your country qualifies for a major football tournament. Countries available are England, Italy, Holland, Germany, France and Spain, each storing up to 1GB of data. They're 30 per cent smaller than the original TravelDrives, a reinforced aluminium lanyard loop on the back helps prevent breakage and they work with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Price is around £18.

Find out more

More storage:
The 64GB USB flash drive
The world's smallest external hard drive?

3 offers Yahoo! content on its 3G phones

3_6 3 has announced a deal with net giant Yahoo!, which will mean many of the Yahoo! services being available to 3's customers in the near future, including, for the first time, a full web search facility.

Under the terms of the agreement, the two companies will work together to offer Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Mobile Web, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! Mail, and Yahoo! Go for Mobile on 3's networks around the world. Additional Yahoo! services will also become available to 3 subscribers in the future.

Tchibo Tchibo has unveiled a GPS navigation system pre-loaded with UK and Ireland mapping for the very competitive price of £169.

The system itself covers all the basics, with 3.5-inch LCD touch screen and automatic route planning to postcode level. There's the option of different route types - fastest, shortest, etc. The system has a clear 2-D display setting including night mode and the option to save your favourite addresses for future journeys. You can also make immediate changes to your route to avoid traffic jams and there's the option to pick out points of interest on your journey.

E900_lg Yet another slider phone to feast your eyes on - this time from Samsung, which has launched the E900, a hip looking mobile with a decent specification to match.

It's a slider phone with a black gloss finish and touch-sensitive keypad, so already the company is ticking the boxes for the fashion phone market. But it's more than a pretty face. There's a 2.05-inch 262K colour TFT display and 2mp camera with flash and video recording functionality on board - ideal for your night out clubbing. The E900's music player can playback MP3, AAC, ACC+, AAC+(e) and WMA files and features background play and track pausing as soon as you take a call. There's 80MB of storage on board, but this can be boosted via Micro SD card. There's also Bluetooth and USB connectivity, 

The Samsung E900 should be available at The Carphone Warehouse, The Link, Phones 4U, O2, Orange, Virgin and Vodafone stores. Price dependent on contract.

Samsung website

More mobiles:
LG U300 3G handset exclusively available on 3
Samsung's Ultra Edition - the world's slimmest mobile phones

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