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Notebooks ship more than desktops for the first time

Third quarter computer shipment figures are just in and we have finally passed a significant albeit inevitable milestone on the road to ubiquitous mobile computing and connectivity - the notebook has finally taken over from the desktop as the most popular computing platform, Fuelled by the success of the exploding netbook market, global notebook PC shipments rose to 38.6 million units in Q3 while desktop PC shipments declined 38.5 million units. In taking over as the primary computing form factor, the notebook is probably just holding the baton for a few years before its constituent sub-set of netbooks dominates the market. The emergence of the cut down, lightweight, cloud computing netbook has been the big story of 2008. Just 500,000 netbooks were sold in 2007, yet over 10 million will be sold this year and IDC predicts 40 million units by 2012. It has taken just 60 years to squeeze a computer which filled a room into a usable form factor of less then 1 kilogram and a price less than a weekly wage. One wonders what the next decade holds in store for us.  Read More

The iChange shape-changing concept car

Each year for the last three decades, Swiss-based Rinspeed has presented a new concept car at the Geneva motor show – customizing Porsches might be the company’s bread and butter, but synthesizing highly inventive and original concept cars is the company’s forte. This year’s concept car is entitled the iChange, and its defining feature is its ability to change shape from a streamlined teardrop one-seater, to a three seat compact sportsvan. The iChange car makes the most of its 130 kw electric propulsion system by having very low weight and high aerodynamic efficiency.  Read More

Now available for $99

While rumors of Wal-Mart selling a 4GB iPhone for $99 have recently been smashed, there's still one way you can get your hands on an iPhone 3G for under US$100 - provided you're not averse to compromise.  Read More

The Steam Holiday Sale: 10-75% off everything

If you forgot to get a Christmas present for yourself, now is as good a time as ever to hit Steam. With a minimum 10% off everything in the store and critically acclaimed games like BioShock and Portal available for just US$4.99, you're bound to find something suitable.  Read More

Internet surpasses newspapers as main news source

2008 will be seen as a landmark year in global communications in the textbooks of 2100 – it was the year that the internet finally surpassed what was once considered an unassailable bastion of main media, newspapers, as the leading source of national and international news in America. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press is an independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward the press, politics and public policy issues. This year, for the first time in a Pew survey, more people said they relied mostly on the internet for news than those that cited newspapers (35%). Television retained top spot with 70% but it’s now clear that it’s when, rather than if, the internet will become the key news communications medium.  Read More

The impact of the economy on family stability

The Christmas holiday period coincides with a spike in domestic violence, suicides, partnership dissolution and the initiation of divorce proceedings in Christian countries. This year, the economic situation will add more stress as security is high on the agenda of basic human needs and a plummeting of couple's net worth seemingly has dire consequences on family stability. Indeed, remarkable new research from the U.K. Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) concludes that there is a direct relationship - for every unexpected 10% fall in housing prices, an extra 5% of couples will split up. Throw in all those share portfolios that have shrunk in value and there's good data to suggest we should not make any rash decisions this holiday period!  Read More

Bagtv: techno chic or fashion faux pas?

It may not be the most logical example of a two-in-one product we've ever seen, but Bagtv will almost certainly score you some points in the novelty department. As the name suggests, this line of handbags incorporates a 7-inch LCD screen into the design so that you can watch DVDs, Mpegs and view photos while you're out and about in the urban jungle.  Read More

The PlayStation 3

According to iSupply, in November 2006 the entry-level US$499 PlayStation 3 console was made up of over 4,048 different components at a cost to Sony of $805. Two years on, they've ripped open a current revision of the game console and while there's 30% fewer parts, Sony is still making a loss of just under $50 per console - making it clear why there was no aggressive price cuts this holiday season.  Read More

How iFart iPhone software makes US$10,000 a day

Tales of becoming instantly wealthy in the computer software industry were common a few decades ago, but the growth of online sales for iPhone apps via Apple’s popular iTunes App Store is starting to create a few overnight developer successes too. One of the stars of the last few weeks has been the iFart program – successfully digitising scatalogical humour, the US$0.99 app offers a virtual orchestra of flatulent effects (choose from the “squeeser”, the “wet one”, the “quack”, the “sick dog” and 16 more) and there’s a “Sneak Attack” function where you can set your phone up to trumpet rude noises a few minutes down the track. You may well scoff at the infantile humor, but thousands, indeed, tens of thousands of men are embracing their inner child and purchasing the application every day – sales revenues reached US$9000 a day on December 22.  Read More

US$15 Pogo Sketch turns MacBook Trackpad into pen tablet

It’s not often we report about potentially disruptive technology in a US$15 package, but that’s the way we see the Pogo Sketch. Made specifically for use with the newest MacBook multi-touch trackpad, the stylus is claimed to transform the notebook into a pen tablet for premium drawing programs and artistic applications. Without trying it, we can’t be sure it’s the real deal, but we acknowledge the massive potential of adding tablet functionality to any computer for just US$14.95. We recently raved about Ten One Design’s Pogo Stylus for the iPhone and iPod touch which uses the same special conductive tip to transfer the signal from the user’s hand to the capacitive touch screen display. Indeed, the Pogo Sketch can also be used on an iPhone and iPod touch too, so it’s potentially a game changer in our humble opinion.  Read More

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