Born in sunny England I think I got the best time possible, growing up with PCs and Consoles to feed my gadget hunger. I have about a billion hobbies: football (teh proper type, not your American rubbish :-p) squash, music, guitar, piano, computers, gaming (esp. CSS and TF2) along with about a million other things. Who knows what the future holds, but for know I'm quite happy trying to be on top of the technology world!


Chinese search engine trouble after medical P4P

BaiduThe massive Chinese search engine Baidu is in trouble after state media uncovered that unlicensed medical services are buying good positions on the page through their P4P (pay-for-performance) scheme. This is a problem as more people then click through to their website and the pay for very expensive and totally useless treatment.

This inevitably leads to more cases of dangerous, and sometimes lethal, disregard of safety and expertise meaning that many operations are useless, expensive, and health-threatening. Examples include a man being charged $1,500 for an operations that didn’t do anything, when he could have paid $15 for effective treatment at a public hospital.

Recession got you down? Why not pick up a $5,879 Blu-ray player?


There are some companies in the world that aim purely at the upper end of the pay scale. Denon has just released their new DVD-A1UD which costs a staggering $5,879, a price that us debt ridden unemployed mortals can only gape at.

So what does it actually do? Well, it can play Blu-ray discs, SACDs, CDs, DVD-Audio, and DVD-Video. This is Denon’s first Profile 2.0 Ready (BD Live) Blu-ray DVD player and it supports the HDMI 1.3 spec. It can also upscale non-HD sources and can convert signals so that they properly fit 16:9 screens without black bars or distortion. And lets face it, if you can spend this much you definitely have a widescreen TV.


A nice little way to hide your memory stick


With the advances in technology meaning things are smaller and more valuable people are always looking for new ways to stop things from getting lost, and stop them from getting nicked. Memory sticks certainly fall into this category: it is now far too easy to lose your new tiny memory stick, and if you are that sort of slimy person, it is also very easy to take them off your desk and copy all your valuable documents. Bring in the CurrentKey: the height of USB stick disguise and poor puns.


The new pirate busting idea: second hand music


Piracy is a massive problem in the music industry as it is getting easier and easier to get your music free off the Internet. Obviously the music industry is trying to keep up, and the people at Bopaboo (what a weird name!) think they have come up with a solution: second hand music. But not any old music, oh no, you can now buy used digital music. “How on earth does this work?” I hear you cry, and that is exactly what I thought, but let me first explain the idea behind this and what is supposed to happen. . . .

New .tel domain opens up

Telnic logoNew domains are always exciting, and if you can remember the most recent major one (.me) you will remember the vast amounts of money are usually spent as people bid for the best of the selection. However .tel will not involve vast amounts of money or even much media coverage, because it is something different and a new way of looking at domain names.

These domains will not be about websites, but more of a way of sharing the information of the domain owner, and will not involve any building, hosting or managing. They are effectively domains that tell you all about the domain owner, such as their business, their address and their phone number: a bit like an online contact card. Keep reading after the break.


As the mouse reaches 40, what’s for the future?

Yesterday I talked about the keyboard and how it is rooted in the history of computers, but this week is also important for another input device: the mouse. The 40th birthday of the mouse also coincided with history being made, as Logitech announced that they had shipped a billion mouses (or mice) since they started production. But how did it start, why is it so good and what is the future of the mouse? Read on.

A solution to your USB port wiring problems

USBCheckAs anybody new to computer building will tell you getting as much help as possible is crucial. I know as well as anyone that when you are dealing with hundreds of dollars worth of hardware you do not want it to go wrong. Fortunately there are products out there to help you, and the newest of which is the USBcheck which checks your wiring for USB ports.

The new failure of a keyboard

KeyboardTrying new stuff sometimes just doesn’t work, especially when it is embedded into society and is in the hearts and minds of some of the most loyal people in the world (i.e. geeks!). So why, oh why, would you want to redesign the keyboard? The history, the tradition and the time learning to type on it are three things that no previous attempt have been able to overcome, but nevertheless μTRON have tried and the result is at no less than interesting.


Reality TV meets Symphonies and Youtube

Youtube symphony
The idea of Reality TV with music has been around since American Idol where people auditioned to be put into the knock out competition where eventually the top prize was a juicy record contract and a nice cash prize. This idea has now moved into the Internet domain (no pun intended) with YouTube, who is now taking auditions for their own Symphony Orchestra.

The idea of an organization having it’s own orchestra is nothing new (it all started with the BBC in 1930) but this is a good example of how the world is becoming more globalized and encouraging anyone to have a go. The idea is that people will film themselves playing parts of the specially selected Symphony (which I will talk about later) to show their talent, as well as one to show their overall personality.

Nintendo DS taps into e-reader market

DS100classicbooksOne of the growing markets within the tech world at the moment is the e-reader, a futuristic answer to the book. Lots of manufacturers are getting in on the act following in the footsteps of the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Readers, it was only a matter of time till portable consoles caught up with this trend. It would appear that Nintendo is ready to go the e-reader route with their first eBook software allowing you read books on your DS.

The DS would seem like a good solution: it is small, it has a touch screen, it can connect to the Internet and many people have them which translates to a large user base.

MP3 becomes official king of music

Digital MusicSince it became an official standard in 1991, Moving Picture Experts Group -1 Audio Layer 3 (or MP3) has proven popular due to the fact that it is easily transferable, good quality and cheaper than hard copies. So far it has been unpopular with record companies as a result of the close links it has to piracy, but recently Atlantic Records said that over 50% of their revenue was coming from digital sales.


Sonim XP3: The beast of all phones

XP3When I say beast I do not mean in looks (like the iPhone), in functionality (like the G1) or low cost (like the Motorola Dyna 8000X). I’m talking about the height of practicality, a phone designed to suffer the falls, scratches and splashes that your average Joe phone would break merely looking at. This phone is not about looks, being small, or taking high resolution photos: it is the sort of phone you would expect to see on a building site, or on the top of a mountain. Let me introduce the Sonim XP3.