RUMOUR: Sony working on Android based Walkman and PND?


Reports from Japan indicate that Sony are looking at more than just mobile phone handsets in terms of utilising Google’s open source operating system, Android.

Rumours of an Android based Walkman and also a personal navigation device (PND) are true, according to an analyst speaking to Japan’s Nikkan and should hit the market next year.

The thought of two of the biggest tech institutions teaming up may seem terrifying for some but it could be great news for consumers. With Sony already attempting to connect the user experience between its existing products, the possibilities when you throw Android into that mix could be monumental.

(via Engadget)

Twitter to introduce Verified Accounts


Twitter have unveiled plans to introduce “Verified Accounts” in order to prevent fake tweeting.

The announcement came as Twitter issued a strict denial that they had agreed a settlement with Tony La Russa, coach of US baseball outfit The St. Louis Cardinals with respect to fake tweets made in his name.

Co-founder of the microblogging giants Biz Stone admitted that: “Impersonation violates Twitter’s Terms of Service” and admitted that they “take the issue seriously.” However, he went on to describe La Russa’s lawsuit as “an unnecessary waste of judicial resources bordering on frivolous.”

Stone stated that the verified accounts service will use a verification seal and the service will first be aimed at “public officials, public agencies, famous artists, athletes, and other well known individuals at risk of impersonation.”

He did warn, though, that the lack of a seal does not necessarily mean that a Twitter account is fake and insisted that “the vast majority of Twitter accounts are not impersonators.”

(via Twitter Blog)


DJ Hero comes blasting 80 exclusive mixes


DJ Hero, the latest in the Hero series, will come complete with 80 original and exclusive mixes, hot from the turntables of superstar disc jockeys, DJ Shadow, DJ Z-Trip and DJ AM, all of whom appear as in-game characters.

Songs from the likes of Black Eyed Peas, 50 Cent, Justice, Marvin Gaye, Beck, Beastie Boys and N.E.R.D will be yours to scratch and mix into oblivion.

The new turntable controller features a cross-fader, effects dial, sample buttons and a fully rotatable deck and will provide a more creative experience, with user-chosen samples and effects, DJ Hero promises to be more than just the button smashing blast that Guitar was and is.

But don’t sling you axe in the bin just yet because there are guitar-DJ mixes for you to team-up and rock-out on.

Slightly less excitingly, the opportunity to for you to plug in a mic and emcee over your tracks is available. But unless this takes the form of a humorous battle rap I wouldn’t recommend emceeing anywhere anyone might see you.

DJ Hero will be available on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year – probably in the run-up to Xmas.

Palm Pre default ringtone leaked


The Palm Pre hype machine roles on.

And we’re hitting spurious territory now: The default ringtone. Seriously – it leaked last night.

The odd, but melodic trill, composed by Roger Bourland, sounds vaguely like tubular bells.

Its okay to these discerning ears, not as iconic as the Nokia 5110’s (the Trigger Happy TV one), and certainly not easy-going – it’s shrill and insistent, which is maybe what a ringtone should sound like.

Make up your own mind, and let us know which are your favourite ringtones from the annals of mobile phone history. Ahh The Sagem MW 3040’s “blip blip 2” will always have a place in my heart. Blip blip…blip…blip. The memories.

Scientology banned from editing Wikipedia

Scientologists have been blocked from using Wikipedia because they used the popular online encyclopaedia to “push their own agenda”.


Wikipedia’s supreme court has banned all contributions from all IP addresses owned or operated by the Church of Scientology and its associates.

The site’s Arbitration Committee voted 10 to 0 (with one abstention) in favour of the move, which takes effect immediately.

I went to the Church of Scientology bookshop on Tottenham Court Road for a response and though the representatives there said they were aware of the story they were not willing to comment and asked me to leave. I asked if they wanted to try and convert me, to which they replied that I was, “too far gone”. Which is comforting to know.

Evidence was submitted showing multiple editors had been “openly editing (Scientology-related articles) from Church of Scientology equipment and apparently coordinating their activities.” Stories regarding the editing of Scientology articles from Scientology IPs had been doing the rounds for a while, and some site admins are concerned this is “damaging Wikipedia’s reputation for neutrality”.

This all comes on the back of the start of a court case that could see the dissolving of the French church of scientology.

Tom Cruise is not believed to have been involved in any editing but probably would if he had a chance.

(Via The Register)

Microsoft Bing not bad, no really


Google’s new Search will go live worldwide on the 3rd of June. Named after the popular sitcom character Chandler (it’s not really), Bing is Microsoft’s first real pop at a Google beater.

And first impressions are…not bad, which for Microsoft is a massive victory.

It’s being praised for its comprehensive and user-friendly travel and shopping searches, although general searches and Microsoft’s big hope, local search have left something to be desired.

Although the UI seems clean and simple some of the better features have been secreted under drop-downs and tabs.

Bing will get a “soft launch” in the UK in BETA form, before a 60 strong team go to work making it’s results more UK relevant.

Ashley Higfield, a key player behind the success of the iPlayer, and now Microsoft’s UK Consumer Vice President, said: “There is a huge opportunity in the search market.”

(Via Wired and The Times)

“Given that it’s dominated by one player, and given that research shows a high level of dissatisfaction among a high level of the user base. We know that only around a quarter of people get what they are looking for on the first search.”

Bing is being by some more as an “information portal” than a straight-up search engine. It provides options and answers as opposed to referrals.

But it looks to be a good start – some tweaking and Microsoft might well be onto something.

7 million illegal downloaders cost economy "tens of billions" – yeah okay


Seven-million people in the UK use illegal downloads – apparently costing the economy tens of billions of pound according to government advisors.

Researcher found that 1.3 million people use one file sharing site per weekday, which compared to the size of the population hardly seems like an epidemic.
The Strategic Advisory Board for Intellectual Property (SABIP) warned it may be hard to change attitudes – although some say it’s not attitudes that need to change but the industry who still charge a disproportionate amount for digital copies.0000

The government says work must be done internationally to tackle the problem.

Intellectual Property Minister, (a whole minister – is that really necessary?) David Lammy said the report put into context the impact illegal downloads had on copyright industries and the UK economy as a whole.

“This is not an issue confined by national boundaries and I am sure that other [EU] member states and their copyright industries will find this report of use in the development of policy,” added Mr Lammy.

An alliance (or “greedy-hoard”) of nine UK bodies representing the creative industries joined trades unions to call on the government to force internet service providers to cut off persistent illegal file-sharers. And everyone knows, if there is one sector you don’t want to piss off it’s the creative industries – imagine a strike, no Doctors, no Eastenders, no Holby, no One Show, imagine the chaos. Imagine the silence. Bliss.

ISPs have gallantly shirked any responsibility reiterating that it isn’t their job to police the internet.

What this all goes to show is that the government and people doing the government’s research still fundamentally don’t understand downloading.

They aren’t costing the economy tens of billions of pounds, that is nothing but propaganda and scaremongering. Using the flagging economy as a weapon to turn the screw on kids who’s downloaded the latest version of Photoshop CS4 so they can put the head of the kid that bullies them at school on a camel seems frankly, a bit much.

What these researchers are suggesting is that downloaders would buy movie, song or program they’ve torrented, P2Pd or USBd, and thats just not the case. They’d do without.

And maybe the government have realized now isn’t exactly the best time for MPs to be sounding off about freeloading: Because filling in a claims form and taking public money to clean your moat is, undeniably, far more devious, than downloading Space Cowboys.

Clint Eastwood, Donald Sutherland and Tommy Lee Jones – in space! Amazing.

(Via BBC)

Microsoft and BSkyB launch Sky Player for Xbox


Microsoft and BSkyB have formally unveiled Sky Player for Xbox 360, Sky’s TV service for the Microsoft console.

The service launches later this year and will offer a range of linear TV channels, as well as a library of on-demand content. A number of subscription packages will be available, as will the opportunity to access programming on a pay-per-view basis.

Xbox owners who already have a Sky TV subscription will be able to access Sky Player’s on-demand services through their console, in addition to their PC or Mac.

The service will also allow users to IM each other and check news and access fixtures and any other on-demand information.

BSkyB wouldn’t say whether the deal with Microsoft was exclusive, although sources said that this is unlikely.

Similar deals could eventually be struck with Sony’s PlayStation 3, Nintendo’s Wii and Project Canvas the appallingly named catch-up TV service in development by the BBC, ITV and BT.

(Via TechCrunch)

PSP Go! to be announced at E3 with PlayStation 3 Slim to follow


The PSP Go!, the little brother of the PSP with a sweet slide-out controller is real, and will be announced this week at E3. Equally real is the PlayStation 3 Slim, although you shouldn’t expect any annoucment on that to come out at E3.

That’s the news wafting around the webwires today. The apparently flash-based UMD-less PSP Go! will be sold alongside its bigger brother and will mark Sony’s first step to an all-digital business model, with PSP-Goers downloading all their games.

While last week pictures of the supposed PS3 Slim were touted around like those of an alien autopsy, Ars Technica’s “very very well informed mole” says that, they too, are real.


Which when we consider his track-record: Patapon 2 sold as download only, Resident Evil V 360 bundle and not to mention the PSP Go! – it would seem they have someone very reliable, very deep within the bowels of Sony.

Suspiciously deep in my opinion. Call me a skeptic. No do. Say it. But I think Ars Technica’s mole might well be a double agent, feeding them what the old men of Sony want us to know, to generate some hype.

But that’s hardly important, it doesn’t do to speculate about the speculator’s speculation. What is important is the cool-as-your-gran, PSP-Go should be announced at E3 this week, and hopefully go on sale worldwide soonafter. What’s that? Your gran isn’t cool? Well mine is.

(Via Ars Technica)

Packard Bell are back! Get excited


Remember Packard Bell? Back when computers had 8 gig hard-drives, the internet was but a pipe dream, and WordArt was about the best thing you could do on your PC? You do! I’m glad, me too.

Well, the Dutch based company is back as a part of Acer, and with a snazzy new logo and some interesting products to boot.

Most interesting of all is it’s iMax-Mini nettop, which is actually just a revamped Acer Revo. But what it means is you get an Atom processor on nVidia’s ION platform, giving the iMax-Mini significantly more punch than most other nettops.

And because it comes with a motion sensor game control Packard Bell are seeing it as, “a rival to the Wii”, however outlandish that might sound. It’ll be available in the UK with a 19 inch monitor on broadband deals.


Packard also unveiled their high-end EasyNote TR85, a snazzy-ass notebook, featuring an edge-to-edge display, multi-touch trackpad and slot loading optical drive. And at just £599 with a feature-set and styling to make your eyes water, the EasyNote might hit right note with buyers.


And finally, the obligatory netbook: The 10.1 inch dot s and 11.6in dot m wield multi-gesture touchpads, Dolby headphone, optional 3G and six-cell batteries and though they’re hitting a market already saturated market, the fact that they come with Photoshop Elements 4 pre-installed might shift a few units.