Japanese technology industry may take months to recover from quake damage

ShinyJess Computers, Features, Tech Digest news 3 Comments

The disaster in Japan is wreaking havoc with industrial manufacturing and supply, with reports from technology companies suggesting it will take months to get back on track. Japan manufactures around 15% of the technology that goes into our gadgets,…

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After Windows victory, chip king ARM Holdings proves its worth with stellar results and ten-year share high

ShinyJess Computers, Features, Mobile phones, Tech Digest news 1 Comment

Just as we were catching our breaths from ARM Holdings' CES fair announcement of a tie-up with Microsoft, the Cambridge semiconductor group smashed all expectations with a 73% increase in pre-tax profits, to £167.4 million, at its full-year results….

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PSP Go facing trouble before it's even released

Paul Lamkin Gaming 5 Comments

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There’s trouble a brewing in Playstation land. First off Activision CEO Bobby Kotick says that he is “concerned” with the PS3 and its high costs to both developers and customers and now two games retailers have slammed the PSP Go by stating that there is hardly any demand for the forthcoming handheld.

Chips spokesman Don McCabe event went as far as to say that “he can’t see any justification for stocking it”. Chips has 36 stores nationwide.

Chris Harwood, on behalf of Grainger Games, which operates 21 stores in the UK said that “the PSP just seems to have died as a format” and stated that Grainger Games only sell around five PSPs a week in all of their shops. He expressed apprehension over the PSP Go’s proposed price of £200-£230. “It seems really high,” he said. “The models they’ve got out now are struggling at basically £129.”

Grainger Games and Chips are relatively small fish in the gaming industry but the comments aren’t going to be very welcome at Sony HQ.

Read all about the PSP Go here.

(via bit-tech)

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UPDATED: HANNspree gets involved in the netbook market

Daniel Sung Computers, Laptops / Notebooks Leave a Comment

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The maker of weird and wonderful monitors, TVs and assorted tech, HANNspree, has announced its plans to get involved in the old netbook game. ‘Ardest game in the world, that is.

The Taiwan based company is promising to use their “expertise in unique design and quality display manufacturing to create, what we believe, will be the new fashion accessory for the modern gadget lover that demands style”. Not sure if that means making a computer that looks like a hamburger or not. That’s as specific as they’ve got on looks.

What they have told us is that it’ll have a 10″ LCD display, a full size keyboard, a 1.3MP Webcam, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It’ll also come with a 6-cell battery, weigh 1.2kg and cost just £289, and that sounds like a bit of a bargain to me, provided as it doesn’t look too silly. I’m intrigued, and so should you be.

Updated: I stand utterly corrected. It appears to be called the HANNSnote and it’ll be available in a comparatively conservative look in both black and white rather like these ones:

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HANNspree

Asus Eee PC 1000HE Review:

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Apple setting up its own chip manufacturing arm

Duncan Geere Computers Leave a Comment

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There’s a rumour swirling around that Apple is cherry-picking an elite fighting force of engineers and people who know all there is to know about semiconductors to create a computer chip business of its very own.

Almost everything that the company makes relies on a chip of some sort, so bringing the manufacturing process in-house would help them reduce costs and build to its own specifications. Unfortunately, it would also set back the ‘compatibility’ factor of Apple products.

What many expect Apple to do, at least in the short term, is create iPhone chips, so that the devices can be created with greater performance and battery life. The company recently appointed former AMD executives to senior positions within its own organisation. Apple, as always, has declined to comment on the rumours.

(via Vnunet)

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GPS gets 25% smaller, thanks to Epson

Duncan Geere Gadgets Leave a Comment

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Epson’s Infineon XPOSYS chip is 25% smaller than any other A-GPS chip on the market, measuring just 2.8 x 2.9mm. That’s about the same size as a matchhead, as you can see in the picture.

The new smaller chip will also consume half as much power, meaning that location-based features will start becoming common on even the cheapest handsets. Will you ever be able to hide from anyone ever again? If this trend continues, then it’s unlikely.

I wrote an editorial the other day explaining why that doesn’t bother me. If you’re interested, then you can read that here. In the meantime, how much does being tracked bother you? Share your opinion below.

(via Engadget)

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US Army creates cyborg beetles to fight future wars

Duncan Geere Weaponry, Weirdness 2 Comments

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The University of California is undertaking research, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, that will allow the creation of remote-controlled beetles. The beetles remain alive, but unable to control their bodies as the chips take control of their wing muscles via their optic nerve.

I don’t know what it is about this story that terrifies me most. It could be the fact that beetles are so easy to mind-control that you can just stick a chip on them and they’ll do your bidding. It could be that it would be incredibly cheap and easy to build a vast cloud of evil cyborg beetles and send them at your foes.

I might even be that there’s these poor beetles in California, alive, and unable to do anything but passively observe the remainder of their pitiful existence as their muscles spasm upon commands from military generals. I think it’s a combination of all three, so how about we end this post right about now, before I start shivering helplessly.

Remote Controlled Beetles (via Hackaday)

More beetle news: Forest fire fighting beetle-like robots in development | Scientists invent human gills after studying beetles

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