Anti-piracy group being sued…by The Pirate Bay

February 14, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Filed under ‘what were they thinking’ today, an anti-piracy group in Finland known as CIAPC is going to be sued by The Pirate Bay. It sounds a bit ridiculous, but here’s why – the group has launched a website that completely rips off the design of The Pirate Bay, the exception being the logo is now of a sinking ship.

The Pirate Bay is outraged at the blatant site rip-off, and have said that legal action will be taken against CIAPC, stating “People must understand what is right and wrong. Stealing material like this on the internet is a threat to economies worldwide. We feel that we must make a statement and therefore we will sue them for copyright infringement.”

Oh how the tables have turned.

(via TorrentFreak)

LinkedIn showers every employee with an iPad mini

February 14, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Today is Valentine’s Day, and employees at LinkedIn certainly have a reason to be in love. With their CEO that is.

At a hands-on meeting yesterday, Chief Executive Jeff Weiner announced that the company’s nearly 3,500 employees would all be getting iPad minis. A spokesperson for LinkedIn confirmed this, saying “We wanted to acknowledge the hard work and accomplishments of all of our employees in 2012. During today’s biweekly All Hands meeting, we surprised our employees with iPad Minis as a small gesture of the company’s gratitude for their contributions.” Of course employees then took to Twitter to gush over their new toys, with one employee @darainfaraz tweeting “That awesome moment when your CEO dishes out iPad minis to EVERY employee @LinkedIn @jeffweiner“.

LinkedIn has been enjoying a rather positive feel from the market, reporting last week revenues of around $303.6 million, and net income of $11.5 million – plenty to spare a few thousand iPads.

(via Business Insider)

BenQ unveils world’s first full-HD short-throw projector

February 13, 2013 by  
Filed under News

At a press event yesterday in Dubai, BenQ unveiled its full lineup of projectors available in the region, in addition to focusing on two new models, the W1080ST and W1070. The W1080ST is the world’s first full HD short-throw projector, that is capable of projecting a 100-inch screen from a distance of just 1.5 meters. It also supports multiple connectivity options and is powerful enough to use during day and night time lighting conditions. Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East & Africa, commented that this year will mark an increased push from BenQ to highlight their projectors in the market, in a time where a lot of consumers are looking at investing in a home cinema experience.

Press Release: Dubai, UAE, 12th February 2012 – BenQ, the global leader in DLP® projector market introduces their latest creation, the world’s first Full-HD short-throw video projector, the W1080ST and the W1070. BenQ which is currently at No. 2 market position with a 13.23% market share in the Middle East and Africa region is a most trusted name in short-throw projector segment as well as has a complete home entertainment and cinema product line-up.

“BenQ has always been at the forefront in bringing more enjoyment to users’ viewing experience. This year, our R&D has combined short-throw technology with Full-HD video projector to level-up home cinema entertainment,” said Manish Bakshi, Managing Director, BenQ Middle East & Africa.

“The launch of W1080 ST and W1070 will strengthen our 3D Full-HD video projectors in the region. We are optimistic that BenQ will continue to lead the projector market in the Middle East as we bring new products with digital lifestyle innovations,” Bakshi added.

The BenQ W1080ST, the first short-throw Full-HD video projector is able to project 100 inch big screen in just 1.5meter which gives big screen fun in any limited space. With ISF certification, supporting multiple 3D forms, a brightness of 2000 ANSI lumen, and a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, W1080ST presents an excellent image quality. Together with Rich connectivity including 2 HDMI ports, built-in 10W speakers and SmartEco power saving feature also make W1080ST a perfect home entertainment projector. The W1070 entails all the superior specs as the W1080ST minus the short throw capability.

The world’s first Full-HD short-throw video projector
As the world’s first Full HD short-throw video projector, the BenQ W1080ST provides a 65” image at a distance of just one meter, and a 100” image at a distance of 1.5 meter, without image obstruction or shadows on the screen, ideal in any situation, but particularly important when for use with motion sensing games.

Brilliant Image Performance
With a brightness of 2,000 lumens and a contrast ratio of 10,000:1, the W1080ST & W1070 showcases Full-HD content in a sharp, 1080p definition image. Blu-ray video, console games and HD broadcasting are displayed in beautiful, high-contrast quality without any downscaling or compression. The two models have ISF Certified Calibration Controls with Day & Night modes and can adapt to the layout and size of any room and any ambient light level. Moreover, the projector also supports different 3D formats and with an HDMI connection, consumers can easily experience the virtual reality of 3D movies and games.

Easy setup
There is no need for setting up with Hi-Fi or external speakers. The W1080ST & W1070 have a built-in 10W speaker that makes setup easy and is free of annoying wires or cables. However, rich connectivity (HDMI x 2, Composite Video in (RCA), S-Video in (Mini DIN 4pin), Component Video in, Audio L/R in (RCA), USB, RS232 (DB-9pin), DC 12V Trigger, etc.) meets all the demands of the home user for different Audio & Video devices.

World-Leading SmartEco™ Technology, Green up your living room
BenQ’s SmartEco technology has provided a perfect DLP projector for use in home entertainment. This special innovation, can save up to 70% of lamp power consumption and lower maintenance costs through its dynamic power saving features while still bringing an ultra-vivid picture quality to your living room.

Among the BenQ video projectors already available in the market are W7000+, the first projector in the world to be accredited with the TUV Rheinland 3D Full HD Certification; and W710ST, world’s first short throw HD-ready home theatre projector. The W7000+ is also compatible with the latest HDMI standard allowing to directly play 3D movies from a Blu-ray DVD player, live sports via cable or satellite and 3D video games on PlayStation 3 without additional setup. It is also packed with BrilliantColor™, Texas Instrument’s DynamicBlack™, and Philip’s VIDI™ lamp technology to deliver a 50000:1 high contrast ratio, and 2000AL to render high quality images.

Meanwhile, the W710ST projector’s unique lens design can deliver 63-inch of cinema quality projection at just one metre allowing users to view any movies or enjoy any motion-control game even in small spaces. It also has a built-in 10W big speaker and can transform any audio-visual entertainment with industry-leading 3D technologies, DLP Link™ and NVIDIA 3D® Vision™.

Prestigio MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo Review

February 12, 2013 by  
Filed under Reviews, Spotlight, Tablets

Android is certainly the OS of choice when it comes to affordable tablets. In recent years we’ve seen tablets of all sizes powered by Google’s OS; some do it well while others are just cheap paperweights. I managed to get my hands on the Prestigion MultiPad 7.0 Prime Duo this week for a quick review, to see if it was a capable Android tablet or just another one to be abandoned in the corner.

Build quality & design

What impressed me most about the MultiPad was its build quality. The sleek little tablet is mostly made of plastic, but despite this feels quite study in your hands. The back is covered with a smooth metallic finish with the Prestigio logo on it, with the rear-facing camera at the top. Around the top of the tablet you’ll find a microUSB port for charging as well as the power button; adjacent to that you’ll find the volume rocker. Oddly enough, the speakers are placed at the bottom, and when holding the tablet horizontally they tend to be covered up, muffling the sound quite a bit. A microSD slot is hidden at the back, behind the large plastic cover near the rear camera.

Despite the somewhat low-end pitch of the MultiPad, it looks and feels much better than any of the cheaper Android tablets that I’ve reviewed over months passed.


The specifications on the MultiPad are decent, given that it’s supposed to be an affordable entry-level tablet in the first place. The 1.5GHz processor is more than capable of running Android Ice Cream Sandwich, and the 16GB offers plenty of initial storage space for media. While I didn’t expect the MultiPad to have NFC, I was surprised that it didn’t have Bluetooth, which is something I’ve seen on some other Android tablets. This means you won’t be able to connect Bluetooth hardware such as speakers or headphones, which is a bit of a disappointment.

Benchmarks and Performance

While this may be billed as an entry-level Android tablet, the MultiPad was actually a great joy to use. It took around 48 seconds to boot up from a powered-off state, and once it was up and running it sailed through the screens and apps. Okay, maybe ‘sailed through’ is a bit of a stretch, but it was certainly fast enough to launch apps and get a decent amount of work done.

Browsing on the MultiPad went off without a hitch, with websites rendering fairly quickly and apps launching nearly instantly. As seen in other Android tablets there is a bit of a delay in switching between horizontal and vertical orientation, but other than that you won’t run into any issues running any of the basic apps on the MultiPad. There’s also a cable included that you can connect to the microUSB port to allow you to use full-fledged USB devices such as hard drives, keyboards, mice, and 3G dongles.

UI and Apps

The MultiPad comes with the stock Ice Cream Sandwich UI and a few basic apps pre-installed. In fact, when you first turn on the tablet and set it up, it asks you if you’d like to install the bundled third-party apps, which is a great idea because choosing not to install most of the apps can reduce the amount of bloatware you’re running on the tablet anyway. You get some useful apps such as Skype, Instagram, an ereader, and even a Currency converter, and you’ve got full access to the Google Play store as well.

Screen and Camera

The screen on the MultiPad is certainly better than the ones I’ve seen on other Android, but it won’t blow you away. The 1,024×600 resolution is decent enough to watch videos and HD clips without noticeable pixellation, though the screen’s glossy surface means that you’ll run into a few issues using the MultiPad in bright light or outside.

The camera on the MultiPad certainly won’t impress you, with the 2MP rear camera producing very washed out images overall. Still, I’ve always said that tablets really aren’t suited for taking photos with anyway, and the MultiPad is no exception.

Sound Quality  & Battery Life

The sound on the Multipad is great if you have headphones. The inbuilt speaker is loud enough at full volume, but due to the speaker placement the sound gets very muffled when you hold the tablet horizontally as your hand will most likely cover the speaker. Battery life was rather poor, with the Multipad dying after about 4 hours of usage, which included streaming videos from YouTube, surfing the web, and playing a few Android games. Clearly battery life won’t be the MultiPad’s winning points.


So where does the Prestigio MultiPad sit among the slew of Android tablets in the market? Well it’s neither here or there to be honest – on one hand it does sport a better than average build quality and slighty speedier response time, but on the other hand it doesn’t have a very good battery life, something which is almost crucial for a tablet. Still, the MultiPad is a decent and affordable Android tablet even if it does have a few kinks that need ironing out.

Nike FuelBand not coming to Android any time soon

February 12, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Bad news for those of you who own a Nike FuelBand and an Android device, as Nike have openly said that they are no longer working on an Android app.

The Nike FuelBand is a wrist device that tracks a user’s activity to convert it into ‘NikeFuel’. The data can then be synced with an iOS app or on the web via USB and accompanying software. Nike has said back in 2012 that an Android version of their app was in the works, but there was no further update on any progress. Now, in a recent conversation with Droid Life, Nike confirmed that they’re only focusing their efforts on iOS and the web. Nike’s PR released a statement to the site, saying “To deliver the best experience for all Nike+ FuelBand users, we are focusing on the FuelBand experience across iOS and, where you can sync your activity, set new goals, and connect with friends. At this time, we are not working on an Android version of the mobile app.”

Later in the day Nike’s official support account on Twitter also confirmed this, saying “Right now, we’re focused on iOS and web. We’re not working on an Android App”. This didn’t go down well with many users, who flooded Nike with tweets demanding for a refund for supposedly lying to their customer base.

(via Droid Life)

Sharp launches 20″ touchscreen in Middle East

February 11, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Sharp Middle East today announced the availability of a 20″ full HD touchscreen, which is fully compatible with Windows 8. The unit can be primarily used as a PC monitor, however it can also be positioned nearly flat on a desk as an alternative display mechanic, or to use an on-screen keyboard. The display also comes with a 2mm pen point stylus, which is ideal for making detailed notes and illustrations. The display also prioritizes the pen’s input, which means that even if your wrist is resting on the screen, you won’t make any accidental clicks on the screen. The display was first shown at Infocomm at GITEX last year, and overall the feedback from visitors was quite positive. We certainly like the sleek looks of this display, and can’t wait to get our hands on one for review.

Press Release: Sharp Middle East has officially launched its latest small size touch screen LCD in the Middle East, bringing businesses an expanded range of versatility through smart design and intelligent integrated features.

The region had a first look at the device on Sharp’s stand during Infocomm 2012, held during GITEX Technology Week last year, but the small size screen packed with technology is now officially available across the Middle East.

The full HD unit is primarily a PC monitor, however the in-built features give it flexibility beyond the notion of a traditional PC screen, making it truly multi-use for businesses. It is right up to date with the latest features, with full Microsoft Windows 8 touch function compatibility, and the zero bezel flat screen enables smooth Windows 8 touch operations.

“We want to challenge the perception of what a PC monitor can do, and the benefits it can bring to a business – the 20 Inch touch screen display does exactly that,” said Ravinder Kumar, Deputy General Manager, Sales, Sharp Middle East. “By incorporating features which add value through multi-use versatility, the 20 Inch helps companies to think about investing in new IT peripherals in a smarter fashion, weighing up what returns they will get on their investment.”

He added: “The feedback we received during Infocomm about the model was hugely positive, especially with the unit running on Microsoft Windows 8, with visitors intrigued at the numerous applications the display can be used for, so we’re very excited that we can now offer this to our customers across the Middle East.”

One key feature of the display is its use of the world’s thinnest pen point stylus. The pen, at 2mm, makes detailed notes, precise pointing and neat digital handwriting smooth and natural. This, combined with the innovative palm cancellation feature, which prioritizes pen recognition so users can write with the touch pen even if their palm is resting on the screen, opens up a range of uses for the unit including electronic signature boards and education or business note taking directly on a presentation.

One of the most attractive features to business looking to supplement an existing professional display installation is the full compatibility with many of Sharp’s other professional LED displays. The 20 Inch is ideal as a digital lectern or teaching aid linked to a large size professional displays such as Sharp’s 90 Inch, or a Sharp video wall, enabling audiences such as students to see exactly what the teacher is doing through real time mirroring, all in high definition.

Depending on the application desired, the monitor can be inclined at 10 degrees – perfectly angled for handwriting with the stylus – as well as being used flat on a table top or mounted in standard ‘standing’ style at 75 degrees for easy viewing in a group situation.

Sharp is targeting a variety of applications and vertical industries with the 20 Inch. In addition to using it to control larger LCD signage and video walls, there are uses as diverse as interactive touch signage at airports, shopping malls, and travel agencies, along with hospitality and banking uses and medical uses in hospitals and dental surgeries for going through digitised doctor’s notes, scans and diagnoses.

The model slots into the Sharp professional LCD line-up at the smaller end of the scale, giving businesses the opportunity to select models from 20 Inch all the way up to 108 Inch. Sharp recently launched its 90 Inch LED with the unit completing the full professional display line-up in ultra-large sizes from 60 Inch to 108 Inch.

5 quick tech gifts for Valentine’s Day

February 11, 2013 by  
Filed under Features, Spotlight

Valentine’s Day is this week, and already I’m swamped with emails from various hotels about ‘getaway offers’ and special romantic meals. But I’m a techie, so a box of chocolates or a candlelight dinner isn’t going to cut it for me.

So rather than spend a ridiculous amount of money on flowers, chocolates, or other things that will be forgotten the next day, here are five quick tech gadgets you can splurge on for your better half this Valentine’s Day.

Libratone Zipp – AED 1,999

A new kid on the block, the Libratone Zipp is a portable wireless speaker that delivers 360 degrees of sound. Not to mention it comes with a handy leather carrying strap and a range of funky zippable covers. It supports AirPlay, DLNA, and requires literally zero setup. We can’t wait to get our hands on one of these for a review – for science of course.

Nokia Lumia 620 – AED 899

The Nokia Lumia has been making quite a few waves since its launch, and the recently released Nokia Lumia 620 is no different. Packaged in a small form factor with the staying power of Windows Phone 8, the Lumia 620 is great if you’re looking for a Windows Phone that won’t break the bank.

Cyberbike2 – AED 499

Because nothing says “I love you” more than “You need to work on your thighs”. No seriously, this bike for your PlayStation 3 not only gives you a good workout but also comes with a compatible game so that you don’t notice you’re exercising. What better way to burn off those pesky V-day chocolates?

iPod nano – AED 649 (16GB)

The Apple iPod nano is a cute little thing, but despite its small size is capable of cramming in a truckload of songs. Add to that the newly designed headphones, Nike+ support, inbuilt radio, and an ultra sleek body and you’ve got one groovy gift for your Valentine.

Raspberry Pi Type B – AED 150

If you’ve got a true geek in your life, then they’ll appreciate the mini wonder that’s the Raspberry Pi. This tiny hackable mini-PC can be configured to do just about anything with the right code in it, so grab one from here if you’d much rather spend Valentine’s Day writing lines of code than reciting lines of poetry.

Microsoft Surface Pro jazzes up your meetings with dance

February 11, 2013 by  
Filed under News

Microsoft’s Surface Pro tablet has finally come out this week, and in keeping with the high-impact yet seemingly bizarre adverts that we’ve seen in the past, Microsoft released another one at tonight’s Grammys, touting the Surface Pro’s USB port and pen digitizer. The advert, entitled entitled “The Vibe”, opens at what appears to be a simple meeting, but instantly transforms into a dance routine featuring flying covers, somersaults, and beat-boxing. Because nothing softens the blow of a disappointing sales report better than reenacting Peter Pan in your boardroom.


In contrast, Google also released an advert during the Grammys, opting instead to go for a more sane approach when talking about its Google Now feature on the Nexus 4. The advert flips to different countries and shows Google Now reporting the weather, giving directions, and of course Google Hangouts.


Egypt court orders YouTube one month suspension

February 10, 2013 by  
Filed under News

An Egyptian court has ordered that Google’s YouTube service be suspended for one month, following the broadcast of an anti-Islam film.

The film, “Innocence of Muslims” was uploaded to YouTube back in July 2012, and has since sparked controversy across several Arab countries, including Egypt and Libya. While Google does not necessarily police the videos uploaded to its YouTube service, it does take down or block videos that are flagged by the community as offensive or in violation of copyright. The video in question is still available online, however it carries the warning “The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as being potentially offensive or inappropriate. Viewer discretion is advised.”

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has previously vehemently denied any involvement of the U.S government with the film in question, and called the video “disgusting and repressible”.

Egypt’s National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority said it would carry out the ruling as soon as it receives a copy of the final verdict.

(via Reuters)

The Pirate Bay documentary now online

February 9, 2013 by  
Filed under News

The Pirate Bay is one of the world’s most popular and notorious websites. For years authorities have been relentlessly trying to take it down and bring its founders to justice. As one of the world’s largest file-sharing websites, it has come under attack year after year, and emerges bruised but never beaten.

Now a documentary entitled “TPB AFK” (The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard) sheds light on what goes on behind the scenes at the website, as well as what makes the site so determined to stay online despite pressure from various legal bodies.

In a statement, director Simon Klose narrates how his meeting with Pirate Bay founder Peter Sunde back in 2008 changed his life, and inspired him to put out this documentary. “One reason for making this film was that I couldn’t relate to the media industry’s claim that sharing files was a threat to creativity. To me, the unrestricted access to culture was the very spark in the online revolution, where every imaginable artistic expression exploded with creativity. On one hand, many of my artist friends were suffering from less sales, but on the other, the possibilities to produce, market and distribute their art had fundamentally changed for the better. I kept thinking that there must be ways to build a thriving digital economy that incorporates these new tools rather than criminalizing them.”

The film can be watched for a minimum $10 contribution or downloaded via magnet link on The Pirate Bay website. Or, you could just grab a bowl of popcorn and watch the entire movie on YouTube which we’ve embedded below.


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