Minibyte »

  • White iPhone 4: no longer a myth

    April 27, 2011 @ 1:57 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    The news that the elusive white iPhone 4 will finally be available from tomorrow should cause a bit of excitement – if you’re not already looking forward to the iPhone 5, that is.

    It was promised as long ago as July last year, but apparently making it proved more challenging than Apple thought.

    But after many false starts, the device will finally hit stores in Ireland, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macau, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, UK and the US tomorrow.

    It’s pretty much the same as the regular iPhone 4, only in white. Er, that’s about it really.

  • Playstation Network remains shut down

    @ 7:57 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    Well isn’t this a massive mess. Sony’s Playstation network has been hit by a major attack and, if you’re registered with it – as 77 million people are – your personal details may now be in the hands of…who knows?


  • Facebook ‘Like’ button is a year old. (Like)

    April 25, 2011 @ 11:14 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    Hasn’t time flown? A year ago, Facebook introduced the web ‘Like’ button, and added a new element to social networking: collective back-patting. Web-wide.

    But now, is it it time that they took it one step further, and added a ‘Dislike’ button?


  • I’ll be watching you…

    April 21, 2011 @ 9:03 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    In case you missed it, the iPhone (and iPad) apparently tracks its location and saves it to the phone, complete with handy little time stamps. So everywhere you go, it takes a record of it. A stalker’s dream, wouldn’t you say?

    I don’t think anyone is too surprised that they can be tracked by a phone that contains location services. And if you have anything like Find My iPhone on your handset, you can pinpoint your phone’s location in real time.

    But it’s the level of data retention that has raised some eyebrows, plus the danger posed by potential access to the file. And even if you switch off your location services, the phone will still keep track of you, because it uses data triangulated from mobile towers rather than the built-in GPS.

    Apparently no other smartphone keeps the same creepy log of all your movements, so congratulations, Apple, you’ve scored another first. Though I doubt it’s one that will be making it into STeve’s next keynote, somehow.

    If you’re interested to find out just what’s stored on your iPhone, have a look at the application here.

    UPDATE: Android tracks location too, but in a slightly different way. As someone who has set up several Android phones, I’ve seen that check box. However, the important difference to me is that the Apple warning about this is in the EULA agreement – and how many people bother to read that, despite knowing we should?

    It’s not stopped me from using my iPhone, however. And I doubt very many others will be ditching the phones either.

  • This. This is my favourite.

    April 1, 2011 @ 1:00 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    Out of the many April Fool jokes that are doing the rounds online (some far, far better than others, it has to be said), this is my favourite so far. Firebox’s Re-Cycle Cardboard bike. Which ironically, is not suitable for recycling.

    Cardboard wheels, paper chain, rip/tear saddle, paper allen keys… the page even has ‘reviews’ from ‘customers’. Of particular note is the user who had an unfortunate accident after encountering a smouldering cigarette butt.

    Not for Irish weather though.Even with its plastic coating ‘for durability’

  • Tech tools: Pentax Optio WG1GPS

    @ 12:00 pm | by Ciara O'Brien

    Most people, at some stage, have managed to drop, scratch, bump or splash a piece of electronics equipment. Some of us are clumsier than others; some of us simply have more active hobbies.

    Suitable for either category is the Pentax Optio WG1GPS. A potential companion for treks in the wild (or even just the local park), the Pentax Optio WG1GPS can take most of the abuse you are likely to throw at it.

    The camera is waterproof up to 10m, drop-proof from 1.5m and can withstand up to 100kg of weight on it.

    It will even keep out dirt, dust and mud, thanks to airtight seals, and can take temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees. So given recent Irish winters, it’ll just about survive the cold days.

    The 14 megapixel camera has all the essentials, including a Pentax 5x zoom lens that starts at a wide angle 28mm.

    Extreme close-ups are possible with its macro function that allows you to focus from 1cm away; a stand to eliminate the risk of camera shake and five LED macrolights.

    And if that isn’t enough, you can also shoot full HD movies.

  • And another…

    @ 10:00 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    You know how it is. You’re standing at the microwave, defrosting som food, nuking a ready meal or whatever, and what’s missing? That’s right, gaming.

    So over to PopCap, which this morning (and there’s the clue) sent out an email heralding the Christmas launch of its PlayWave microwave, which will allow you to play games (Bejewelled etc) while you cook.

    How? A fully functional touchscreen built into the microwave door and a wireless internet connection. So you get “full power” and “defrost” settings alongside the “playtime” setting, which will allegedly cook the food according to your game performance.

    Sadly, the bathroom version – the Play-n-Poop – won’t even get a prototype until 2012. Probably announced on April 1st too.

  • April 1st!

    @ 8:52 am | by Ciara O'Brien

    In case you’d forgotten, it’s April Fool’s Day. Which means lots of fake stories will be flying around the internet, Twitter and Facebook.

    Including this one from Gmail: Gmail motion. Controlling your email with your body.

    You know you want it.