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This week on TechRadar

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This week Samsung announced the UK release date for the Galaxy Tab, and the vice president of Epic Games suggested that the future of console gaming could be tablet-based.

Meanwhile, Facebook overhauled its Groups and enabled downloads of information you have added.

Our in-depth articles looked at iPhone 5 rumours, Android tablets, the BlackBerry PlayBook and the best CPUs.

Read on for this week’s most popular stories on TechRadar… 


Top Five News Stories


The death of Digg is not exaggerated

Since Digg came out with their much vaunted version 4 at the end of August, the social media blogs have documented in detail the trail of disaster which will surely become a case study in how to screw up a social site in business courses across the land.

Most recently, statistics have begun to emerge about the drop off in traffic at Digg.

There have been anecdotal stories of Digg’s importance to publishers also being diminished, so we thought we’d share our experience on TechRadar.


Samsung Galaxy Tab UK release date: 1 November

The Galaxy Tab is to land in the UK 1 November, Samsung has confirmed.

The Android-toting rival to the iPad is going to be available in UK stores a month from today and represents a new category of mobile products for the company.


Is the future of Xbox and PlayStation tablet based?

The vice president of Epic Games, developer behind Gears of War, has turned soothsayer and is predicting that the future of console gaming may be tablet based.

Explaining his thoughts on where gaming is going – and more specifically the Xbox and PlayStation – Mark Rein believes portability is the key, where mobile phones can be used as controllers and the system is a tablet.

“Imagine a future Xbox 360 that is actually a tablet you carry around,” explained Mark Rein in an interview with Develop.


Facebook overhauls Groups, allows data downloads

Facebook has announced a raft of new features that have been designed to give users more control over how they use their Facebook pages, including a redesign of the Groups feature.

It has long been a gripe that you can’t send out status updates to select groups of people (telling friends how hungover you are, but not your work colleagues).

This has now been fixed, with Mark Zuckerberg, of Simpsons and The Social Network fame, noting in a blog post: “We’ve long heard that people would find Facebook more useful if it were easier to connect with smaller groups of their friends instead of always sharing with everyone they know.


Panasonic Jungle portable gaming console revealed

Panasonic has announced it is to dip its toes in the world of gaming, with the launch of the Panasonic Jungle portable games console.

There are not many companies in the world which will take on the might of Sony and Nintendo when it comes to gaming but Panasonic has decided it is going to give it a try. 


Top Five In-depth Articles


iPhone 5 rumours: what you need to know

iPhone 5 (or the iPhone 5G, as some are calling it) rumours are flying thick and fast already. Will there be a rush release to erase memories of the iPhone 4’s antenna problems?

Will the 5th generation iPhone deliver ultra-fast mobile internet? Will it ever end up on Verizon in the US?

Let’s discover what the rumour mill has to say, and which iPhone 5 rumours are the most convincing.


Why the BlackBerry PlayBook has the power to beat the iPad

Earlier this week we learnt that the BlackBerry PlayBook has a UK release date of early 2011. But behind the hardware is a new OS that runs Adobe AIR apps, HTML 5 web apps and existing BlackBerry Java apps.

But what else does the OS have in store? We decided to delve deeper into the BlackBerry Tablet OS while in conversation with Dan Dodge, the head of the QNX team at RIM.


Best CPU: 14 reviewed and rated

Choosing a desktop CPU used to be a breeze. The bigger your budget, the faster the processor you bought. Things got more complicated as new CPU architectures were launched alongside existing models, but that was nothing compared to the crazy array of CPUs on offer today.

AMD and Intel still have the market sewn up with chips from two to six cores. Add Intel’s HyperThreading and you’ve a choice of CPUs supporting anything from two to 12 software threads in parallel. That’s just the beginning.

Both Intel and AMD now routinely offer several micro-architectures at one time. AMD, for instance, has both the Athlon II and Phenom II model lines, the latter a higher performing part with a shared cache memory pool.


Android tablets: what you need to know

It has been a few months since we published our feature detailing the rising force that is the Android tablet. However, a lot has happened in those few months, and we are on the brink of a wave of Android tablets all trying to steal the limelight from the Apple iPad.

As such, we thought it was time to update this feature and give you the low down on the plethora of new tablet devices, all sporting Google’s Android OS.


The curious case of a Facebook fake

A security researcher has infiltrated the highest levels of America’s intelligence agencies using nothing mo
re than Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and a picture of a pretty woman.

‘Robin Sage’ appeared on social networking sites in December, claiming to be a 20-something Cyber Threat Analyst at the US Naval Network Warfare Command in Norfolk, Virginia. Within weeks, she had hundreds of friends and followers in the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency (NSA), defense contractors and the British military. 




Amazon Kindle 3 review

With a £109 price-tag, decent specs and the backing of the UK’s biggest book etailer, the new Kindle has made many of the other eBook readers look outclassed and hugely overpriced.

Nokia N8 review

Nokia’s gone back to the drawing board to bring out the Nokia N8, featuring a new OS and a huge amount of high end tech packed under the hood. Does it live up to the hype?

Philips 40PFL8605H review

The 40PFL8605H is Philips’ first 3D-ready TV to hit the shelves. You need to pay an extra £150 to buy the 3D kit if you want to watch 3D though – is the 3D performance worth the cost?

Toshiba AC100 review

If you want a device for carrying the web around with you, and you don’t want a tablet and can’t be bothered with a Windows 7 powered netbook, then the Android-powered AC100 may be for you.

Apple iMac 27-inch SSD review

Apple’s mid-2010 refresh of its popular iMac range offered an interesting new customisation option for the high-end, 27-inch machines. If you buy online through Apple’s online store, you can opt for a 256GB solid state drive instead of – or even as well as – the off-the-shelf 1TB hard disk drive. 


Also Reviewed This Week



Unison Research Unico Nuovo review

Musical Fidelity M1 HPA review 



Teuful Aureol Groove review 


Hi-Fi Accessories

Pro-Ject DAC Box USB review

The Chord Co. Carnival Silver Screen review 



Toshiba Satellite A665-11Z review 



Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 review

Times Newspapers Ltd Times (iPad) review 



NAD C426 review 



RegaRP1 turntable review 



LG 19LD350 review

Linsar 19LED805T review

Samsung LE32C580 review

Panasonic TX-L19D28EP review

Philips 19PFL3405 review

Samsung UE19C4000 UE19C4000 review

Toshiba 19DV714 review

LG 37LE5900 review


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This Week on TechRadar

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This week’s big news on TechRadar was the 1,000s of records of personal details of P2P users accidentally leaked by law firm ACS: Law and the possible legal repercussions. Elsewhere, Sony Ericsson has both delayed its Xperia X10 Android update and announced it isn’t going to release any more Symbian smartphones.

We also got the lowdown on the Blackberry PlayBook, looked at the best Freeview HD PVRs available out there and found even more top Windows 7 tips and tricks.

Read on for this week’s most popular stories on TechRadar…


Top Five News Stories


Massive porn data leak at P2P piracy law firm

Civil rights organisation Privacy International is planning to take legal action against a law firm that has accidentally leaked personal details of thousands of Brits online.

Privacy International has highlighted the massive security breach which involved the leaking of personal information of thousands of P2P users.

The data was obtained by ACS: Law, in order to track P2P users illegally sharing copyrighted pornographic films.


Apple Peel 520 ‘iPod to iPhone converter’ leaves China

An iPod case created by Chinese developer Yosion is heading to the US, which turns humble iPods into fully functional iPhones.

Although the Apple Peel 520 has been out in China for a while, the case is set to debut in the west after GoSolarUSA announced it would be manufacturing the product for the American market.

The case uses a wireless skin that includes a circuit board, a 4.5-hour battery, dock connector and SIM card.


Mysterious Android tablet available from Next

UK retail outfit Next is selling an Android tablet on its website for £180.

Dubbed the Next 10-inch Tablet, the Android-toting device is pictured scarily next to a glass of water and on top of a book.

There is also a specs list, which shows that the tablet comes with a 10-inch WXGA LCD touchscreen display, Arm 11 processor, Wi-Fi, 2 x USB ports, microphone and headphone socket, and 8GB storage plus a card reader.

There is no word on which Android OS is being used, but it is definitely running Google’s operating system.


Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 2.1 update delayed

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10, X10 Mini and X10 Mini Pro owners who have been waiting for Android 2.1 to be rolled out to their handsets will be disappointed to know that the company has delayed the update.

The X10 was slated to get the update in Q3 2010, but Sony Ericsson has now suggested on its forums that it will be the end of October before Éclair arrives on the handset.

“The revised plan is to start the roll-out from end of October and onwards,” explained Sony Ericsson’s Rikard Skogberg.

Sony Ericsson waves goodbye to Symbian on its smartphones

Sony Ericsson has announced that it is no longer supporting Symbian as an OS for its smartphone range, preferring Google’s Android platform instead.

Speaking to Business Week, Aldo Liguori, a spokesman for SE, confirmed that the phone company is no longer putting its efforts into creating phones with Symbian as an OS, explaining: “We have no plans for the time being to develop any new products to the Symbian Foundation standard or operating system.” 


Top Five In-Depth Articles


iTunes 11: 11 things Apple should change

When Steve Jobs unveiled iTunes 10, he spent a short while going through its best bits.

There are some things to like, notably improved iOS device sync, with a capacity bar that updates in real-time.

However, plenty of gripes remain, and so below are the 11 things we’d like to see Apple change in iTunes 11.


Blackberry PlayBook vs iPad vs Samsung Galaxy Tab

Apple’s dominance of the modern tablet market may be coming to a close: rival firms have seen the iPad’s sales figures, identified its weaknesses and built some very convincing alternatives.

The tablet wars are just beginning, but we’ve already seen two very serious bits of kit enter the ring: the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the BlackBerry PlayBook. So what do the three tablets – PlayBook, Tab and iPad – have in common, and more importantly, what sets them apart? Let’s find out in our Blackberry PlayBook vs iPad vs Samsung Galaxy Tab stand-off.


BlackBerry PlayBook: what you need to know

Everything that was rumoured about the BlackBerry tablet seems to be true but there’s a lot that didn’t make it into the rumours.

Dan Dodge runs the QNX team at RIM and after the announcement we tracked him down for the key details, so while we couldn’t prise a PlayBook out of the glass case, here’s the in-depth technical breakdown of what’s interesting about the PlayBook that you won’t see in the basic specs.


10 best Freeview HD PVRs in the UK today

In the rush to bring out Freeview+ HD recorders in time for the World Cup, one or two manufacturers – including Pace and Sagemcom – quite obviously rushed out their products before they were finished.

Cue EPGs that didn’t work, stalling operating systems and snarling consumers. Happily, virtually all of those teething problems have since been fixed via over-the-air software updates, giving us the chance to compile the definitive top ten best Freeview HD PVRs in this now sparkling new genre.

There are 500GB hard disks with options to double that capacity, one-touch series link recording, wireless streaming of media around your home, and even the occasional built-in Blu-ray player.

Oh, and pin-sharp high definition recordings.


85 Windows 7 tips, tricks and secrets

Whether you’ve just bought a new PC running Windows 7 or you’ve been using it for a while, there are bound to be things you didn’t know you could do.

Whether it’s tweaks to get the desktop the way you want it, tips for troubleshooting or ways to squeeze more performance from Windows 7, we’ve got it covered.

We’ve updated our popular Windows 7 tips article with a load of new ones, including how to re
cover locked-up apps, how to extend your jumplists, leave a Windows 7 Homegroup, and more. Read on for 85 tips to help you get the best from Windows 7. 


Top Five Reviews

Nokia N8

Nokia’s gone back to the drawing board to bring out the Nokia N8, featuring a new OS and a huge amount of high end tech packed under the hood.


Sony Bravia KDL-60LX903

If money is no object, or the viewing of TV or movies is an all-consuming passion, then this feature-packed giant is definitely worth considering.


Asus G51Jx

This lappy employs Nvidia’s cutting edge 3D Vision technology, which features a special design of glasses that enable you to play the latest games and watch films in impressive 3D.


LG 47LE8900

The idea with this TV is that people who don’t care about 3D can get the best of LG’s TV picture quality without having to splurge out extra for the three-dimensional wizardry


MSI produces a broad variety of laptops, from award winning netbooks, such as the Wind U160, right up to powerhouse gaming laptops, such as the GX660R on test here. 


Also Reviewed This Week



Apple Mac mini server 2.66GHz review

Apple Mac Pro review


Graphics cards

XFX HD 5770 review

Gigabyte HD 5770 Super Overclock review

Sapphire HD 5770 Flex Edition review

HIS HD 5770 review


Hard disk drives

Crucial realSSD C300 64GB review

Corsair Force F40 CSSD-F40GB2 review


Hubs & switches

Sitecom WL-309 Gaming Router 2 review



Acer Aspire Ethos 8943G review



A-Data XPG Plus 1866+ review

Patriot Sector 5 2,400MHz review

Crucial Ballistix Tracer 1,333MHz review

Corsair XMS3 2,000MHz review

Corsair Dominator GT 2133MHz review

Geil Evo Two 2000MHz review

GSkill Tri-Channel 1600MHz review

Kingston HyperX 1,600MHz review

Crucial Ballistix 1,600MHz review

A-Data Extreme 2,000MHz review

OCZ Platinum 1,600MHz review

Kingston HyperX 2,000MHz review



MSI Big Bang XPower review


Power supplies

SilverStone Strider Plus review

Xigmatek NRPPC602 600W review

Spire Blackmoon 650W review

Corsair Professional Series Gold AX1200 review

Antec TruePower 550W review

SilverStone Strider Essential Series 500W ST50F-ES review

Nexus RX-1.1K Gold review

OCZ StealthXStream2 600W review

Coolermaster Silent Pro Gold 800W review

Corsair HX 650W review

Antec TruePower Quattro 1200 review

XFX ATX 850 12V: Black Edition review

Thermaltake Toughpower XT 775W review

Fractal Design Tesla 650W review

Nesteq Xzero 700W review

Thermaltake Toughpower Cable Management 1500W review



Canon PIXMA MG6150 review



Red Giant Magic Bullet Quick Looks 1.3 review

Equinux iSale express review

Softway Freeway 5.5 Express review

Twitter (iPad) review


Sound cards

Aim Audio SC8000 review

Asus Xonar DG review


TV tuner cards

Avermedia Hybrid Volar HD review



Logitech HD Webcam C510 review

Trust Widescreen HD Webcam review



Video: Can Your iPod nano Walk? This One Can!

Dancing iPod nano

It’s nice to sometimes take a break from reporting about mythical products such as the Verizon iPhone or the Facebook Phone and just kick back for 35 seconds and watch video of an iPod nano walking. Wait, what…?

Mashable is reporting that an enterprising hacker known only as PachimonDotCom has taken to YouTube to share his love of robotic wizardry with the world. After previously turning both the iPhone and the iPad into dancing robots, he’s now set his sights on Apple’s new diminutive iPod nano — and judging from the embedded video below, we’d say he’s succeeded nicely.

While PachimonDotCom’s previous efforts involved utilizing iOS to create “faces” for the iPhone and iPad, that proved to be trickier for the iPod nano, especially since its proprietary OS doesn’t allow installation of apps. So how did this enterprising hacker get around the dilemma? The eye animation was created with a simple animated GIF.

Getting the iPod nano to dance required a little more ingenuity: “For this project, I have developed very simple way to control two servo motors by iPod nano: using the sound from headphone jack as PWM signal that controls the servo motors!” the hacker explains on his YouTube channel. “Yes, two servos are powered by miniature 3.7V 110mAh Li-Po battery and control lines are directly connected to headphone jack! Very simple!”

If you’re as fascinated by dancing Apple mobile devices as PachimonDotCom is, the hacker encourages folks to follow him on Twitter and of course, you can always subscribe to his YouTube channel as well to see what he’ll come up with next. Dancing Apple TV, anyone…?

(Image and video courtesy of Mashable and PachimonDotCom)

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Do Some Plane Scouting With This Augmented Reality Plane Finder App

We’ve talked about augmented reality iPhone apps here before, but Plane Finder AR has to be one of the coolest we’ve seen yet. This application lets you find planes in the air by pointing the camera on your iPhone (or now, iPod touch) in the air near a plane. When you do, a heads up display will show you information about the plane, including flight number, aircraft registration, speed, altitude and how far away it is.

While there’s already an application that does something similar, this is the first application that overlays this data on the camera, giving you an augmented reality view of your surroundings. This app uses the ADS-B transmission technology found on commercial airplanes to get the information and relay it to your iOS device.

Unfortunately, this application won’t be usable in all locations, but the fact that you can now hold your iPhone up to the sky to get information about planes flying in the area is extremely cool. You can check the coverage map on

Click to embiggen image.

We tried the application, but in San Francisco, the application couldn’t find any planes. Before purchasing this application, we suggest visiting to see if the application will work in your area.

You can find the app in the App Store for £1.79 (.79).


Follow this article’s author, Cory Bohon on Twitter


This Week on TechRadar

HTC Desire HD

The big news this week was the announcement of two new phones from  HTC – the Desire HD and the Desire Z, and we got hands-on with both.

In Apple phone-land, Adobe resumed development work for iPhone after Apple relaxed its App Store rules.

Over at Microsoft, a public beta of IE9 was released and so we pitted it against Firefox and Chrome, with results that may surprise you.

Read on for this week’s most popular stories on TechRadar… 


Top Five News Stories


Next-gen smartphones set to land in 2012


ARM is predicting that mobile phones powered by its new high end Cortex A15 will be on sale two years after the chip was announced.

Eric Schorn, VP of marketing for ARM’s processor division, told TechRadar that the two year time frame was based on past timelines:

“We should be seeing [ARM Cortex A15-powered] smartphones by the tail end of 2012, inside handsets on the store shelves.


HTC Desire HD and Desire Z get UK release date


HTC has announced that the HTC Desire HD and Desire Z will be released into the UK soon.

Speaking at the London launch, the Taiwanese firm confirmed that the two handsets, which offer high level tech specs and the new Sense UI, have been given a UK release date of mid-October 2010.

Vodafone is the first network to offer the phones in the UK, building on a long relationship with HTC, with the HTC Magic and HTC Legend both being brought to the networks on exclusive.


The iPod nano watch arrives – Apple on your wrist


Steve Jobs may have alluded to the new iPod nano as being watch-like, but Apple hasn’t come out with a watch attachment.

No worries, as unsurprisingly a watch manufacturer has come out with an iPod nano band to do just that.


Adobe resumes work on iPhone development


Adobe has announced it will restart its development work on it Packager for iPhone after Apple announced it was relaxing the App Store rules.


UK teen banned from US after sending threatening Obama email


A 17-year-old teenager from Bedfordshire has found himself with a lifetime ban from the US, after it was found that he sent a threatening email to President Barack Obama.

Luke Angel from Silsoe, sent the email while drunk and called the president abusive names after watching a documentary on the 9/11 attacks. 


Top Five In-Depth Articles

HTC Desire HD vs iPhone 4 vs Samsung Galaxy S


The HTC Desire HD has been announced. So how does it stack up compared to the other leading handsets?

We’ve pitched its key specs up against Apple’s iPhone 4 and Samsung’s Galaxy S. See how your next phone stacks up.


Hands on: HTC Desire HD review


HTC has announced its latest top end smartphone, the HTC Desire HD, and TechRadar ran to the demonstration stand to get our paws all over it to see if it was a decent upgrade over the much-lauded HTC Desire or just a phone with a larger screen.


IE9 beta vs Firefox vs Chrome: what’s the best browser?


Internet Explorer 9 is shaping up to be the best version of Internet Explorer yet – but how does it compare to its rivals? Is it catching up with Chrome? Could it be faster than Firefox? There’s only one way to find out.

We tested IE9 against the latest betas of Firefox (4.0 beta 6) and Chrome (6.0.472.59).


Hands on: Internet Explorer 9 review


Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 9 has a very tough task indeed. It needs to shake off the now fading millstone that is IE6 and persuade defectors to Chrome and Firefox that they should return.

In IE9, it is immediately apparent that Microsoft has taken many of the lessons learned from the process of extricating its Windows brand from the gutter.


Hands on: HTC Desire Z review


The world might have been going gaga for the Desire HD, but it’s easy to forget another phone was announced at the same time, and given the specs the HTC Desire Z is no little brother – it’s a decent handset in its own right.

Featuring a full aluminium shell and slide out QWERTY keyboard, the HTC Desire Z is not only nice to look at and hold but solves an issue for people with fatter thumbs: a physical keyboard along with Android 2.2 and a raft of HTC-only features. 


Top Five Reviews

New Apple iPod touch review


Despite the new iPod touch being thinner than before, Apple has managed to squeeze into it a Retina display, two cameras and the A4 processor that powers the iPhone 4 and iPad.


Panasonic Lumix LX5 review


The Panasonic Lumix LX5 is a refresh of the popular Lumix LX3, a well-regarded power compact that’s also caught on as a D-SLR replacement. It’s a fantastic camera, giving the Canon G11 a run for its money.


New Apple iPod nano review


Somebody at Apple obviously hates the phrase “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” because it has completely redesigned its best-selling iPod, the iPod nano, yet again.


Samsung WB600 review


At first glance, the 12 megapixel Samsung WB600 doesn’t look like a camera that particularly stands out from the crowd of mid-range compacts. But with a 15x zoom, it does.


New Apple iPod
shuffle review


Apple’s third-generation iPod shuffle boasted a radical new design. Instead of locating its controls on the body of the audio player itself, it mounted them on the earbud cable instead. 


Also Reviewed This Week

AV Receivers

Marantz SR7005 review


Blu-ray players

Pioneer BDP-LX53 review

Samsung BD-C7500 review



Vivadi MediaMaster MM320 review


Digital TV recorders

Philips HDT8520 review



Sigma SD15 review


Graphics cards

Asus GeForce GTS 450 TOP review


Hi-Fi Accessories

Audio Technica AT-F3III review

Goldring 2300 review

Grado Prestige Gold 1 review

Ortofon Vivo Red review



Acer Aspire 5741 review

HP G62-a45SA review

Packard Bell EasyNote NM86 review

Toshiba Satellite Pro C650-197 review

Acer Aspire 5738DZG review


NAS drives

Dane-Elec MyDitto 1TB review



Lexmark Interpret S405 review



Runco LS-5 review



Crystal Acoustics Bipolar Series BPT5-10BL review

Procella Audio P10 / P8 / P6 review



Pro-Ject 6 Perspex review

SRM Arezzo Kinetic review

Thorens TD309 review



Panasonic TX-P65VT20 review

Panasonic TX-L42D25B review



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