The Register Columnists

James Sherwood

Contact Mail Follow RSS feed
Tony Hawk Ride

Activision Tony Hawk Ride skateboard controller

Review Trying your hand at skateboarding without falling on your bum or grazing your knees is now possible, all thanks to a videogame. Based on pro-skateboarder Tony Hawk it has been developed to allow you to perform virtual ollies, grinds and flip tricks using a wireless skateboard peripheral. Tony Hawk Ride Ride comes before a fall …
James Sherwood, 16 Apr 2010
Gyration Air Mouse Elite

Gyration Air Mouse Elite

Review Gyration’s accelerometer technology forms the backbone of the Nintendo Wii’s Remote that supports gesture recognition, so with sort of pedigree, I was expecting big things from the manufacturer’s latest peripheral, the Air Mouse Elite. It's a wireless mouse that also functions as a remote control for your PC and whole lot more …
James Sherwood, 13 Apr 2010
Race Telcom WiGoMo One

Race Telcom WiGoMo One

Review Tracking someone’s location using GPS technology is often regarded as sneaky or underhand, but what if you’re simply a paranoid protective parent craving the security of knowing your child’s whereabouts – day or night? Race Telcom WiGoMo One Intensive care: Race Telcom's WiGoMo One and GPS beacon Manufacturer Race Telecom …
James Sherwood, 02 Mar 2010

Microsoft to end Live support for old-school Xbox

Microsoft has announced it will soon no longer support the original Xbox console on its Live online service. From 15 April, Microsoft will "discontinue Xbox Live service for original Xbox consoles and games", according to the software giant’s Major Nelson blog. The decision will also impact Xbox 360 owners - specifically, those …
James Sherwood, 05 Feb 2010

Cambridge Uni to probe games' impact on kids

Some people believe videogames affect a child’s physical and mental behaviour, while others will swear blind that they don’t. Now Cambridge University hopes to discover the truth and has created a department dedicated to studying the messages kids absorb from “cultural sources”. The university’s Centre for Children's Literature …
James Sherwood, 05 Feb 2010

Chinese e-tailer lights up ciggie-lighter phone for smokers

Online gadget retailer Chinavasion has launched a mobile phone with integrated... cigarette lighter. Smoking_phone_01 Chinavasion's Machismo: puff while you chat The Machismo is supposedly “the world’s hottest cigarette lighter mobile phone”. Actually, it's probably the world's only cigarette lighter mobile phone. A “safety …
James Sherwood, 04 Feb 2010

Sony 'actively thinking' about PSN access fee

The possibility that PlayStation owners could be forced to pay for access the console’s online network has reared its ugly head again, following comments by a Sony executive. In a recent interview, Peter Dille, Senior VP of marketing and PlayStation Network at Sony Computer Entertainment America, admitted that the company is …
James Sherwood, 04 Feb 2010

Sony, Vodafone vie for X10 UK launch first

Sony Ericsson intends to beat Vodafone to the launch of its first Android-based smartphone, the Xperia X10. Vodafone has updated its X10 webpage to say that the smartphone is “coming soon”, with April named as the specific month. SE_X10_Vodafone Vodafone will launch the X10 in April However, staff from Sony Ericsson’s online …
James Sherwood, 04 Feb 2010

PS3 sales up, says Sony

Sony recorded a strong rise in PlayStation 3 hardware and software sales during its third 2009 fiscal quarter. During the three-month period ended 31 December 2009, Sony shifted 6.5m PS3s – up from 4.5m units of the console during the same period in 2008. Sony also saw a rise in PS3 software sales, from 40.8m units in Q3 2008 …
James Sherwood, 04 Feb 2010
Imogen Heap - Ellipse

Singer wears ‘Twitter dress’ to Grammys

A British singer-songwriter was spotted at the US Grammy Awards this week wearing a hi-tech dress that displays Twitter posts. Solo electro-pop artist and erstwhile Frou Frou vocalist Imogen Heap – her 1998 debut album was called iMegaphone – wore a customised dress to the music industry awards night in Los Angeles that included …
James Sherwood, 04 Feb 2010

Yes! It's the iPad jacket!

‘Is that an iPad in your pocket or are you just pleased to see me?’ If you’re wearing the latest gadget jacket from geek clothing firm Scottevest then your answer will probably be the former. ipad_jacket Scottevest's Travel Vest: the World's first iPad compatible coat? That’s because the company’s Travel Vest - North American …
James Sherwood, 03 Feb 2010

UK suffers videogame 2009 sales blow

The games industry is often perceived as going from strength to strength, with titles like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 claiming record sales figures. But 2009 actually saw UK sales plunge, market watchers said today. Over-the-counter unit sales of console games were down six per cent compared to 2008's figure. Sales of games …
James Sherwood, 03 Feb 2010
World of Warcraft Mobile Armory

World of Warcraft auctions coming to iPhone

World of Warcraft fans will soon be granted access to the game’s auction houses through their iPhones. Publisher Blizzard has announced plans to add the feature to its free Mobile Armory app, which was released in July 2009. Auction houses are described as the “central hub for buying and selling goods” in WoW. Such houses …
James Sherwood, 03 Feb 2010

Dell unveils ultra-skinny Latitude laptop

Dell has taken its ultra-thin business-centric Vostro V13 notebook and tweaked it for suits. The Latitude 13 is a real “beauty” – says Dell — but one with brains. The machine contains your choice of an Intel CULV Celeron or Core 2 Duo processor, supports “remote manageability” and disk encryption through a Trusted Platform …
James Sherwood, 03 Feb 2010

Nikon names world's slimmest 10x zoom shooter

Nikon has developed what it claims is the world’s slimmest compact camera with a wide-angle lens and 10x optical zoom. Nikon_S8000_01 Nikon's S8000 Coolpix: slim body, 10x optical zoom The S8000 Coolpix measures 27.3mm from front to back and manages to cram in a 3in LCD screen. Images snapped on the S8000's 14.2Mp image …
James Sherwood, 03 Feb 2010
Apple iPhone 3G S

Apple updates iPhone OS

Apple has posted an iPhone firmware update that, it claims, delivers improved battery analysis on the 3GS, while also fixing bugs. Version 3.1.3 – also compatible with the iPod Touch – improves the 3GS’ ability to detect how much battery power it has left, Apple said. The update – which supersedes version 3.1.2, released back …
James Sherwood, 03 Feb 2010

Designer pitches iPad gaming wheel

Wacky iPad accessories are slowly starting to surface, with one designer convinced that a steering wheel is what’s required if you hope to play games on the Apple tablet. The iDrift, designed by Michael Greenberg, is essentially two thin, circular plastic halves that fix onto either side on the iPad, turning Apple’s tablet into …
James Sherwood, 02 Feb 2010

First Vaio laptop with numberpad hits UK

Sony has crafted yet another good-looking, high-spec Vaio. But this one’s different from the others: it’s the first Vaio laptop to feature a full-size numerical keypad. Sony_Vaio_E Sony's Vaio E: dedicated keys for letters and numbers To complement the Vaio E’s keyboard, Sony has given the laptop an “extra-narrow bezel” …
James Sherwood, 02 Feb 2010

Eco Vaio netbook en route to Blighty

The UK will take delivery of an “environmentally friendly” Vaio netbook later this month, Sony has said. Sony_Vaio_W_01 Sony's Vaio W: made of recycled plastics The Vaio W – unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last month and already available Stateside – is an “eco edition” netbook, Sony said, because the …
James Sherwood, 02 Feb 2010

Sony and Arsenal to stream match highlights to PSPs

Sony has released an application that will to stream live football footage to PSP-clad Arsenal fans. As we reported in January 2009, the PSP app – officially called Arsenal TV Matchday+ - can be used by fans at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium to watch goal replays during a match. The app also provides slow-motion footage, Arsenal …
James Sherwood, 02 Feb 2010

Movea waves in free-space mouse

Consoles look set to shift to motion-based controllers - witness the Xbox 360’s Project Natal — so PC peripherals manufacturer Movea has launched a mouse that responds to “natural hand movements”. The Gyration Air Mouse Elite contains Movea’s proprietary motion-sensing technology that it promised enables users to control …
James Sherwood, 02 Feb 2010

FujiFilm intros 'ultimate' all-in-one camera

FujiFilm has launched a bridge camera touted simply as the “ultimate” all-in-one shooter. FujiFilm_HS10 FujiFilm's HS10: the "ultimate" all-in-one camera? The FinePix HS10’s 24-720mm integrated mechanical lens offers an impressive 30x optical zoom. Images are snapped at 10.3Mp. Taking its lead from many existing digital SLRs …
James Sherwood, 02 Feb 2010

Sony Ericsson preps BlackBerry-style WinMo phone

Sony Ericsson (SE) has taken another stab at Windows Mobile, launching a business-grade handset based on the Microsoft mobile OS. SE_Aspen_02 Sony Ericsson's Aspen: WinMo 6.5.3-based and slightly eco-friendly SE's only Windows Mobile device to date was the Xperia X1. The new model, called the Aspen, runs Windows Mobile 6.5.3 …
James Sherwood, 02 Feb 2010

UK mum lost 50kg with 'Wii Fit diet'

A British woman who used to tip the scales at 114kg (18 stone) has proclaimed that Wii Fit saved her life, after she lost a whopping 50kg playing the Nintendo videogame. In just one year, Laura Roberts of Farnborough, Hampshire went from size 22 to size 10 by exercising with Wii Fit for one hour each day, the News of The World …
James Sherwood, 01 Feb 2010

Sony heralds 'Greenest Company of 2009' award

Sony today claimed its eco credentials have been given a boost after an environmental blog named the electronics giant “the greenest company of 2009”. Sony has “proven over the last year that being environmentally friendly and profitable can go hand in hand”, said Chris Ingham-Brooke, Editor of website Environmental Graffiti. …
James Sherwood, 01 Feb 2010

Sky 3D soccer fails to score

Hands Eyes On As Manchester United scored its first goal against Arsenal yesterday at the Emirates Stadium, a lucky few secretly soaked up another football triumph: the world’s first football match broadcast in 3D. The game was the first live sporting event broadcast over Sky’s soon-to-launch 3D TV channel, and I was invited down to one of …
James Sherwood, 01 Feb 2010
Nokia N97

Nokia updates N97 firmware

Nokia has taken steps to improve the N97’s call stability and touchscreen by releasing a firmware update for the handset. Nokia N97 Mini Nokia's N97 update improves call stability and touchscreen operation The firm’s online forum contains several user rants about the N97’s alleged inability to keep hold of calls. Others …
James Sherwood, 01 Feb 2010

Lens firm promises shake-free cameraphones

Cameraphones will sport much improved image stabilisation within a year, lens manufacturer Varioptic has promised. The company has designed its first lens to feature optical image stabilisation (OIS) and yet is also small enough to fit inside a cameraphone. Varioptic expects phone firms to launch handsets featuring the lens, …
James Sherwood, 29 Jan 2010

Sony slams colour e-paper quality

The quality of electronic paper is not yet high enough for Sony to develop a colour e-book reader, an executive at the company has said. Fujio Noguchi, Deputy President of Sony’s digital reading business, said during a recent press conference that while the company is “considering making colour e-book readers” there “is no …
James Sherwood, 29 Jan 2010

Moto to make Nexus One version two?

Motorola’s CEO has confirmed that the company is developing a “consumer device” in partnership with Google. While announcing Moto’s fourth-quarter financial results – we’ll zip through those in a minute — Sanjay Jha said the company will launch “at least one direct-to-consumer device with Google” in 2011. The CEO’s comment has …
James Sherwood, 29 Jan 2010

GTA IV updates coming to PS3

Downloadable updates for violent videogame Grand Theft Auto IV will finally be available for the PlayStation 3 in March. The game’s publisher, Rockstar, has confirmed that Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City, which contains both The Lost and Damned and The Ballad of Gay Tony episodes, will be offered for download over …
James Sherwood, 29 Jan 2010

First mass-produced camera heads to auction

An extremely rare model of the world’s first commercially produced camera will be auctioned later this year. Daguerreotype_01 The Daguerreotype originally cost 400 French Francs - an average yearly salary in 1839 The Giroux Daguerreotype camera was designed by Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre and produced in 1839. It will be …
James Sherwood, 29 Jan 2010

World+Dog jumps on iPad accessory bandwagon

The iPad was uncloaked fewer than 24 hours ago, but manufacturers — and Apple itself — are already tripping over one another to launch accessories for the still unavailable tablet. ipad_keyboard_dock Apple's iPad Keyboard Dock: physical keys, USB power and audio-out Apple’s most noteworthy accessory has to be the iPad …
James Sherwood, 28 Jan 2010

Nokia adds police radar to handset

Police use radar guns to snare speeding drivers. Now Nokia has adapted the technology to improve the way people interact with mobile phones. The “active radar sensor” – nicknamed Mobile Radar by Nokia – is capable of measuring speed and direction of movement. The technology behind the sensor is a closely guarded secret, but …
James Sherwood, 28 Jan 2010

Apple iPad to hit UK this March

Apple has confirmed that its iPad tablet will appear in Blighty the month after next. A late March UK iPad arrival is all Apple’s European PR team is willing to say for now. The company hasn’t confirmed what the device’s starting price will be, and the March launch is only expected to apply to the Wi-Fi iPad. Even in the US, the …
James Sherwood, 28 Jan 2010

Sky 3D to launch in April

Sky has confirmed that its long-awaited 3D TV channel will launch in April. And the broadcaster plans to kick things off this weekend with 3D footie coverage at nine British boozers. The 3D TV service will work with all existing Sky+ HD boxes and will “initially” be available at no extra cost to customers already signed up to …
James Sherwood, 28 Jan 2010
Warning: aircraft

Kiwi airline adds PC, iPod support

Gadget-laden long-haul travellers could do worse than fly Air New Zealand, because the Kiwi airline has just equipped its cheapest seats with a plethora of PC and iPod portage. Called a “Skycouch”, the redesigned economy seat features an “entertainment system” comprising a PC power plug, USB connection – probably not USB 3.0, we …
James Sherwood, 27 Jan 2010

Teen attacks father in Fifa 2009 fight

Critics often blame violent videogames when any youth who owns a console steals or stabs. But a teenager in Italy has proven that violent games aren’t always the driver for physical brutality. The perhaps aptly-named Mario – aged 16 and from Rome – allegedly stabbed his father with a kitchen knife earlier this week following an …
James Sherwood, 26 Jan 2010

Nokia's X6 now Doesn’t Come With Music

Nokia has updated its X6 Comes With Music (CWM) handset with a rehashed model that... er... doesn’t come with music. The Finnish phone giant unveiled its X-series handset line – the successor to its established XpressMusic range — in September 2009. Nokia_X6_02 Nokia's X6 now comes with...just 16GB The X6 was the first model …
James Sherwood, 26 Jan 2010

Windows Mobile 7 to arrive on HTC smartphone?

HTC’s Touch Diamond 2 bagged the Editor’s Choice award among Register Hardware’s top Windows Mobile smartphone of 2009. But it appears the firm is already working on a successor, this time designed to run Windows Mobile 7. The successor will be known as both the HTC Diamond 3 and the Obsession. HTC had planned to launch the …
James Sherwood, 26 Jan 2010

Panasonic intros compact camera foursome

Panasonic has kicked off 2010 by refreshing its compact camera line-up, launching four models to cater for everyone from first-time shooters to photography feature fanatics. Panasonic_TZ10_001 TZ10 The Lumix DMC-TZ10 included all the usual shooting features – such as face detection, geo-tagging and 720p video capture – you'd …
James Sherwood, 26 Jan 2010
HP Logo

HP talks up slate launch

HP has confirmed plans to launch a tablet later this year, hinting that the machine will cost considerably less than $1500 (£930). The PC giant teamed up with Microsoft to unveil the tablet – currently unofficially referred to as the HP Slate – at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) earlier this month. Phil McKinney, CTO of HP’s …
James Sherwood, 26 Jan 2010

Multi-million investment hints at UK battery swap shops

Leccy Tech A UK rollout of Better Place’s battery swapping system now looks all the more certain. The firm has just secured a $350m (£216m) investment from some of the world’s largest banks. The money - $125m (£77m) of which was provided by HSBC – will be used to help Better Place “expand its geographic footprint” by expanding into markets …
James Sherwood, 25 Jan 2010
PS3 Motion Controller

Sony registers 'PlayStationArc' domain name

Evidence is mounting that Sony’s motion controller wand for the PlayStation 3 will be officially called the Arc. domain_name_sony_Arc The website is owned by Sony Sony announced last week that the wireless unit will hit the UK this autumn, but stressed that “Motion Controller” may not be gadget’s eventual …
James Sherwood, 25 Jan 2010
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

Nokia app to stream live skydive record attempt

Nokia has designed an application to let mobile phone users watch in real time skydiver Felix Baumgartner’s upcoming attempt at breaking the sound barrier. The Austrian extreme sportsman plans to jump from a parachute at a height of roughly 120,000ft. Baumgartner hopes to become the first person to break the sound barrier – …
James Sherwood, 25 Jan 2010

Galaxy Portal joins Samsung's Android gang

A smartphone with augmented reality at its heart has been unveiled as Samsung’s latest addition to its growing UK portfolio of Android mobiles. First seen back in September 2009 and subsequently delayed by Samsung for unspecified reasons, the Galaxy Portal handset – also known as the i5700 – is available exclusively through T- …
James Sherwood, 25 Jan 2010

UK PS3 sales exceed 3m units

UK sales of the PlayStation 3 recently surpassed 3m units, Sony has claimed. Some 2.2m PS3s had already been sold across the land by July 2009, according to Sony. So the company sold 800,000-odd units between the summer and the tail end of last week, when the new sales total was published. The console still has some way to go …
James Sherwood, 25 Jan 2010

BBC and ITV chase gaming cash

ITV and the BBC will soon fight it out for more than just viewer numbers. It has emerged than both broadcasters are to create videogame versions of their most popular TV shows. Auntie has announced ambitions to transform a selection of shows, including Top Gear and Doctor Who, into games - the latter has been done plenty of …
James Sherwood, 22 Jan 2010

Zero-power LCD aims to reduce paper use

Pen and paper remains the simplest and often quickest way of scribbling down messages. Now US-based screen manufacturer Kent Displays has launched a power-free LCD writing tablet designed to reduce the world’s paper use. boogie_board_01 Kent Displays' Boogie Board: create electronic images without power The Boogie Board LCD …
James Sherwood, 22 Jan 2010

Rickets rise linked to excessive gaming

The number of British kids suffering from the deficiency disease rickets is soaring, medical experts have claimed. The cause: too many hours indoors playing videogames. Professor Simon Pearce and Tim Cheetham, both of Newcastle University, wrote in the British Medical Journal this week that rickets – which can cause sufferers to …
James Sherwood, 22 Jan 2010