Daily Archives: December 11, 2009

The sweeping changes Facebook has made to its privacy policy are so complicated, and their effects so wide-reaching, that it seems the entire tech world is struggling to make sense of them.

Privacy organisations, no surprise, are none too pleased with the changes.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation concluded that “the changes will actually reduce the amount of control that users have over some of their personal data.” The Electronic Privacy Information Center said that the default settings “may result in greater disclosure than users intend.” Read more

Some of the best gadgets are one-of-a-kind devices that can either be runaway successes with consumers and define a new category or become major flops.

In the tenth and last part of our series on the essential gadgets of the past year, we take a look at these unclassifiable gizmos – Paul Taylor sums up his best of the rest after the jump,  while Richard Waters reviews the mono-functional Twitterpeek and we republish our looks at the Livescribe pen and Qualcomm personal TV below. Read more

In a world awash with smartphones, why would anyone want a mobile gadget that did only one thing?

Perhaps if it did that one thing really, really well – and if that thing was central to your life – there might be a case for it.

There may indeed be die-hard addicts out there who require a permanent, dedicated connection to Twitter, though I’m certainly not one of them. But if those people exist, they will certainly want something better than the TwitterPeek to get their fix. Read more

Yet another “App Store” launched this week, but the new Livescribe Application Store is for a smart pen rather than smart phone.

The Livescribe Pulse has changed the way I make a record of interviews since I started using it 18 months ago. It’s a pen that records both my scratchy notes, with a built-in camera in the nib section, and the audio of interviews, with its microphone.

(This post was first published on November 22, 2009) Read more

Qualcomm, which once produced its own handsets to try to win wider acceptance of its cell phone chips, is repeating the strategy with the announcement of a Personal TV product, aimed at boosting take-up of its FLO TV mobile technology.

The new handheld device is FLO branded, Frog designed and made for Qualcomm by Taiwan’s HTC. It will go on sale at US retailers during the holiday season for $249 and will require a monthly subscription of around $10.

(This review was first published on October 7, 2009) Read more

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 sold 6.1m copies in the US alone in November, according to the monthly video game sales figures just released by the NPD research firm.

That’s three times the 2m in sales in November 2008 of the previous title in the series – Call of Duty: World at War. The game had already broken records with the biggest sales at launch on November 10 of any entertainment property, when around 3.5m units were shifted in the first 24 hours in the US. Read more