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Paul Ridden

Paul Ridden

While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag.

Follow Paul:

— Mobile Technology

Skype launches global WiFi hotspot program

Just when you thought Skype couldn't be any more useful, the company has announced a partnership deal with leading Wi-Fi hotspot providers around the globe. Skype Access, the company's pay-as-you-go service, will now be available through mobile networks in over 500,000 locations including airports, cafes, trains and offices. And the announcement comes with a sweetener – the company is offering free access throughout Spain during Mobile World Congress 2011. Read More
— Computers

Built for speed: Plextor launches 12x external Blu-ray writer

Plextor's new external Blu-ray writer is designed with speed in mind. The PX-LB950UE offers a 12x write speed for single-layer Blu-ray media and 8x for double layer. The company has also thrown USB 3.0 and eSATA connectivity into the mix to help keep waiting time to a minimum and there's in-device labeling technology for professional-looking disc production. Burn accuracy, quality and stability is given a boost with the inclusion of a low vibration system and 8MB buffer. Read More
— Electronics

Counterfeit-proofing chips with digital fingerprints

As any reader of detective fiction will tell you, no two fingerprints are alike. The similarly unique physical structure of microchips could help manufacturers protect their products from piracy, thanks to research at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology. The team has developed technology that makes use of slight variations generated during manufacture to produce unique, clone-proof digital fingerprints. Read More
— Mobile Technology

HP announces first webOS tablet: the TouchPad

In conjunction with the announcement of the Veer and Pre 3 webOS smartphones, HP has revealed that users will soon be able to enjoy the webOS experience on a bigger screen. Its new TouchPad tablet is headed for a Q3 release and will run on a dual-core Snapdragon processor, offer genuine multi-tasking and feature a host of useful productivity tools like Synergy and touch-to-share. There's Wireless-N and Bluetooth connectivity, a webcam for online chat and cable-free charging via an optional touchstone charging dock. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Nikon's 36x COOLPIX superzoom breaks cover

Bringing distant subjects into sharp focus has just received a COOLPIX boost with the announcement of the P500 from Nikon. The 12.1 megapixel camera features a whopping 36x zoom lens, hybrid vibration reduction technology and a vari-angle high resolution display. It can shoot full high definition movies and sports a number of useful scene modes to help users capture the best panoramic, tone rich or low light images possible. Read More
— Home Entertainment

Marten creates distortion-free premium amplifier

Sweden's Marten is well-regarded for its high-end speakers and takes a fair amount of pride in their audiophile-pleasing performance. So it comes as no surprise to learn that the company has decided that the only way to ensure optimum sound for its products is to create its own amplifier. Introduced at this year's CES, the M-Amp Mono Power Amplifier uses a new technology called Adaptive Modulation Servo (AMS) that's said to provide a wide bandwidth, really low audio distortion and high power output. Read More
— Digital Cameras

The GXR system gets Leica-friendly lens mount expansion unit

Since introducing its modular GXR camera system towards the end of 2009, Ricoh has kept its promise of regularly adding new interchangeable units to the setup. The line now includes four units which between them offer a broad range of different lens and sensor configurations. Now, the company is branching out a bit with the announcement of an expansion unit that will give users the freedom to use different lenses. Read More
— Bicycles

StreetFlyer: hang-gliding on three-wheels

If the notion of flying through the air appeals then hang-gliding might be your first thought. But if your fear of heights keeps you closer to the ground then perhaps Dr Carsten Mehring's StreetFlyer may be of interest. The human-powered three-wheeler suspends its user from an arched frame so that when enough momentum is generated, the legs can be lifted off the ground and you're away – at a cruising altitude of just a few feet. Read More
— Urban Transport

European cities influence travel behavior through parking reforms

A report into inner city parking reforms has found that European cities are leading the way in the battle to coax people into using public transport instead of clogging up city streets with cars. The Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) has revealed that cities which have implemented a host of innovative parking policies in recent years are now benefiting from improved air quality and better standards of urban life, all thanks to significant reductions in car use. Read More
— Computers

DreamPlug offers compact, low power, performance computing

Applications developers looking for a low power, small form factor computing solution that won't break the bank will no doubt appreciate the DreamPlug from Globalscale Technologies. Expanding on the company's GuruPlug system, the new low-profile plug computer is powered by a Marvell processor, has half a gigabyte of DDR2 RAM and a generous helping of onboard micro-SD flash memory to store the Linux kernel and root system files. Physical connectivity and expansion options include USB, eSATA, JTAG and UART and the unit also has built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth wireless capabilities. Read More
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