Monthly Archives: November 2012

Chris Nuttall

One PC upgrade that can always be recommended is a larger monitor that can provide more screen real-estate for your applications.

With 27in ones now available for as little as $300 in the US, there has never been a better time to step up in size and I have been trying models from ViewSonic and AOC at this low-end price. Read more

Now that Barack Obama has been re-elected US president, every fantastic campaign promise will collide with the reality of the global economy, write Garry Kasparov and Peter Thiel.

Mitt Romney made different promises but would have faced the same dead end. Although the election appeared to offer a choice of futures, both candidates were silent about the bright future gone missing: the age of scientific ingenuity we once expected to solve our problems.

During the past 40 years the world has willingly retreated from a culture of risk and exploration towards one of safety and regulation. We have discarded a century of can-do ambition built on rapid advances in technology and replaced it with a cautiousness far too satisfied with incremental improvements.

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The choices are blurring for consumers looking for a mobile device. While tablets are still popular, laptop screens and keyboards are being separated and recombined in new ways. Hybrid machines from Lenovo and Sony, using Microsoft’s Windows 8, give the indecisive a – somewhat unsatisfying – taste of both.

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Tim Bradshaw

Many Twitter users were confused and alarmed this morning by an email from the service saying that their accounts had been “compromised” and forcing them to change their passwords. Read more

Software, to borrow a phrase from venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, is eating the world. Last month Facebook announced its billionth active member. An Android-powered Google is worth more than Microsoft. Companies from Kickstarter to Khan Academy to Skype to Amazon to Etsy are transforming the retail, telecoms, education, manufacturing and financial services sectors, writes Andrew Keen.

East London’s Silicon Roundabout, a cluster of tech companies, has received support from the British government. Yet some people remain sceptical. Sir James Dyson, an inventor, has told the BBC that hardware manufacturers are a smarter investment than software companies.

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Chris Nuttall

AT&T has launched two smartphones licensed to kill the opposition with their specifications.

I felt rather like Q, 007’s gadget meister, in testing the Sony Xperia TL (a.k.a. the Bond phone), and the LG Optimus G quad-core, LTE smartphone, available since November 2 for $100 and $200 respectively with their two-year contracts. Read more

Getty Images

Interesting commentary from around the Web on the tech story that made headlines this week.

For many, Tim Cook made his first significant mark on Apple this week with a reshuffling of senior executives that included the departure of Scott Forstall, Apple’s senior vice-president of iOS, and John Browett, its head of retail operations.

At the same time, commentators welcomed news that chief hardware designer Sir Jonathan Ive would now oversee software design. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Starbucks's Verismo 580

An Espresso machine is only as peripheral to personal tech as a printer – both help me through my computing day – and the current vogue for pod-based machines reminds me of the printing peripherals business model.

The coffee makers are sold cheaply, the same as printers, and money is made on the coffee pods, just like the ink and toner cartridges. Starbucks is the latest entrant with its $199 (£149) Verismo 580 machine and I have been testing it and tasting the results. Read more

Apple’s battle with Samsung in the UK courts has taken yet another new twist, after the US group was reprimanded by a judge for posting a statement on its website that was too cheeky, writes Robert Cookson.

Last month, the Court of Appeal ruled that Samsung had not infringed on the design of the iPad and ordered Apple to post a statement on its UK website to ensure that the public were aware of the judgement. Read more

Samsung Galaxy Note II

Samsung Galaxy Note II
Rating: 5/5

I was dubious when Samsung launched the first Galaxy Note last year because it seemed to fit into neither the smartphone category nor the emerging tablet market. Its 5.3in screen was bigger than on most smartphones but it was only half the size of popular tablets. But then I began to appreciate its virtues, particularly the precision of the touchscreen and the electronic stylus (or “S Pen”), as well as the bigger screen for watching video or running navigation and other apps.

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