Archive for the ‘Other’ Category

Ten things you might not know about me (


What started off as a bit of fun on a long New Year’s day weekend, has launched as

… a place to share (up to) ten things about yourself that your friends and co-workers might not know.

It’s in part inspired by the recent viral hit but also an old blogging meme whereby bloggers wrote a post dedicated to letting their readers know a bit more about themselves. Just for fun. And so in the age of Twitter and Facebook in which most people don’t blog anymore, was born so that the old ‘ten things’ meme could live on.

Here’s 10 things you might not know about me

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Quick review: Amazon Kindle 3 e-reader

This morning I took (early) delivery of Amazon’s new Kindle 3 – I opted for the WiFi only version – a device that claims 50% better contrast than any other e-reader, a 21% smaller body while keeping the same 6″ size reading area, and a 20% increase in the speed of page turns. These are, of course, all very welcome improvements but specs alone don’t tell the real story of Kindle’s appeal and why it sets the bench mark for an e-reading experience. Instead, it’s Amazon’s decision to adopt a vertical model: controlling the hardware, software and, most controversially, content of the Kindle that define the user experience. But first, let’s dive into the device itself.

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We’re back in action, just

As some of you may have noticed, last100 has been dormant of late and even off-line for a few weeks. The truth is that other blogging and work commitments have kept me very busy recently but more serious, the site was hacked.


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The Gadget Show Live: Elonex £99 touch screen colour eBook reader

At last week’s The Gadget Show Live, Elonex showed off a new eBook reader, which will retail for £99 and features WiFi and a 7 inch colour touch screen. It doesn’t utilise eInk for the display, of course, instead it’s plain old TFT and as a result won’t be as easy on the eye for long reading periods and won’t offer eInk’s amazing battery life.

On that note, I suspect the Elonex rep featured in the video below got his wires crossed when talking in terms of page turns when describing power consumption, and the device on show wasn’t a working model either, so overall we’re holding our judgment.

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I is back (from the Gadget Show Live 2010)

As is becoming a tradition at last100, I was away for the best part of last week at The Gadget Show Live (2010) in Birmingham, UK and generally taking a bit of time out to recharge my batteries, or at least that was the idea.

Aside from clocking up multiple Foursquare check-ins and quite a bit of mileage, I got to check out some of the latest consumer tech, which compared to last year’s show, was a little underwhelming. It just seemed that there wasn’t much new – and a lot of products were noticeably missing in action (Apple iPad anyone?)

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OnLive streaming games readies US launch, vapourware accusations put to rest?

onlivePerhaps this will put the vapourware accusations to rest.

OnLive, the streaming games start-up, has announced that it will begin rolling out its subscription service ($14.95 per-month plus the cost of purchasing or renting the games themselves) to customers on the 17th of June 2010 to coincide with this year’s E3 gaming conference.

It will be a US-only offering, however, at least for the foreseeable future, restricted to “to early registrants throughout the 48 contiguous United States”. This is in-line with their beta test program which requires users to be within 1000 miles of one of OnLive’s data centres.

The idea behind OnLive is that rather than having a powerful games console in your home, OnLive handles all of the heavy duty computation and graphics rendering. Then, a video stream of the game is sent back to your screen, and your controller inputs are sent back to them, and so on.

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The Gadget Show Live 2010 – discounted tickets available

It seems a bit early to be talking about an event that doesn’t take place until April next year, but I wanted to give UK readers a quick heads up that The Gadget Show Live 2010, which takes place from 8 to 11 April, is currently running a pre-Christmas promotion.

The expo is a spin-off of the popular Channel Five TV show of the same name and takes place at the NEC in Birmingham. This year’s The Gadget Show Live was a lot of fun and I got up close with products from Sony, LG Mobile, Flip, Swap, BeBook, and more – shooting some video along the way. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do the same again next year. I’ve already bagged a couple of press passes so with a bit of luck (and budget) we should be good to go.

Talking of budget, here’s how to qualify for that early bird discount. Go to and insert the code VH22 for the special £11.95 Christmas discounted ticket, available only until 24 December 2009. Apparently 36,000 tickets have already been sold (around 50,000 is the capacity over the four days) and that Saturday is already fully booked.

And for a bit of reminiscing, here’s the highlights of our coverage from this year’s event…

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First 'powered by Chumby' device to be a digital picture frame, Internet-connected TVs to follow

When Chumby, makers of the boutique gadget of the same name (a sort of cross between an alarm clock radio and digital picture frame, housed in a leather ‘bean bag-esque’ casing), announced that is was porting its widget-based platform to third-party hardware, the emphasis was on Internet-connected TVs, Blu-ray players and set-top boxes. Now it seems that the first ‘powered by Chumby’ device will be something much closer to the company’s own hardware: a digital picture frame, to be released in time for the holidays, reports Forbes.

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Why Sony is embracing the 'open' ePub eBook standard (Hint: Amazon)

I’ve argued before that with regards to eBooks and the Kindle, Amazon doesn’t view itself as a hardware company. Unlike the iTunes ecosystem designed to shift more iPods and iPhones, for Amazon it’s actually about selling digital content — the eBooks themselves — as demonstrated by the release of the iPhone ‘Kindle’ eBook reader and the company’s work-around to keep Apple away from any iPhone-generated eBook revenue.

The Kindle hardware exists to kick start and accelerate the uptake of eBooks, and as well as creating Kindle reader software for other mobile platforms, similar to what the company has already done on the iPhone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon one day license its Kindle platform to competing hardware eBook readers. As I said, it’s clearly about shifting content, and to achieve this, owning the eBook ‘standard’ and therefore default store.

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The Pirate Bay sold, plans to go legit. Users urged to become capitalists.

When the Pirate Bay four were convicted of “assisting in making copyright content available” and sentenced to a one year prison term and a fine of $3.6 million, the site’s co-founder Peter Sunde played down the verdict, claiming that it was business as usual. The argument being that the site itself was never on trial, only the four individuals named in the law suit.

Today, however, we learn that, moving forward, it’s far from business as usual as The Pirate Bay has been acquired by Global Gaming Factory X (GGF), a publicly listed company in Sweden, for the grand sum of $7.8 million. Profit made from the sale will be used to fund a new political organization set up “to help with projects about freedom of speech, freedom of information and the openness of the nets”, according to a blog post published on The Pirate Bay.

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