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Doctor Who McCoy titles

Classic telly FX tech: How the Tardis flew before the CGI era

These days it’s all done with computers, of course. CGI – short for Computer-Generated Images, or Imagery – was a well established visual effects technique long before Doctor Who was rebooted in 2005, so it was never in doubt that on-set mechanical effects would be duly combined with CGI visuals during post-production. Both the …
Tony Smith, 08 Nov 2013
Dalek Attack

The CURSE of WHO: WHY has there never been a decent videogame with the Doctor?

Doctor Who has not done well as part of the videogame industry. There have been a fair number of professionally-made games based on the series, but few with the BBC’s official blessing and of them an even smaller number that were actually worth playing for any length of time. "Good" in this context doesn’t necessarily mean that …
Tony Smith, 07 Nov 2013
Doctor Who: Pyramids of Mars

Ten top stories from Classic Doctor Who

‘Classic’ is a word that was already worn out back in the mid-1980s when fanzine editors and contributors couldn’t help themselves attach it to any Doctor Who story they were particularly keen on, whatever its merits. Thirty-odd years on, the word is no less overused, but the release of stories on VHS and, later, DVD has helped …
Tony Smith, 05 Nov 2013
Motorola G at GSM Arena

Is it TRUE what they say about the 'Moto G'? We FIND OUT on the 13th

Google-owned Motorola’s rumoured lower-cost alternative to the top-of-the-range Moto X looks set to arrive in time for Santa to drop it down a few of the world’s chimneys this year. A suitably seasonal promotion card scanned and then posted on GSM Arena by a punter who claims to have found a batch about to be sent to Phones4u …
Tony Smith, 04 Nov 2013
Lenovo Yoga Tablet

Lenovo stands up rinky-dinky new Yoga tablet

Lenovo is extending its foldable laptop-cum-tablet Yoga line with an even more flexible model. The Chinese computer giant claims this one sports three usage modes to its predecessors’ two, but we think that’s, er, stretching the point. Past Yoga devices could sit on your knees or a desk as a laptop or, with the display folded …
Tony Smith, 30 Oct 2013

Everything's going to be all white: Google Nexus 5 mobe expected Friday

Google’s LG-made, plastic-backed Nexus 5 smartphone, possibly one of the most leaked as-yet-unannounced handsets ever, will be available in white as well as black, as yet another leak has revealed. The Nexus 5 - of either hue - will contain a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon chip running at up to 2.3GHz and equipped with 2GB of RAM …
Tony Smith, 28 Oct 2013
Intel Smart City

Intel on Europe: The Internet of Things could SAVE US ALL

How will Europe lift itself out of current and future economic woes - and help save the planet while it’s about it? According to chip giant Intel, with hi-tech carrots rather than government sticks. So said the head of Intel’s European R&D operation, Martin Curley, this week at the chip company’s European Research and Innovation …
Tony Smith, 25 Oct 2013

Intel: Our first five parallel-computing schools are open for business

Chip giant Intel has begun funding research into ways to make applications easier to write for parallel processing systems, and to teach those methods to future generations of computer engineers and scientists. The first five institutions to qualify as Intel Parallel Computing Centres are: the Konrad Zuse Information Technology …
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2013

Open-source hardware hacking effort 'smacked down' by USB overlords

The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), the organisation that oversees the USB standard, has apparently sent the director of a small British electronics firm away with a flea in his ear for daring to suggest how it could make the lives of open-source hardware developers easier and cheaper. Arachnid Labs’ Nick Johnson decided that …
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2013
Enterprise 64

Phantom Flan flinger: The story of the Elan Enterprise 128

Despite its name, Intelligent Software also had a nice little sideline designing hardware. Founded in 1981 by international chess champion David Levy and chess writer Kevin O’Connell, the company was best known for its chess programs, in particular Cyrus and SciSys Chess Champion. But it also developed chess computers for toy …
Tony Smith, 24 Oct 2013

Hey coders – get a sense of hUMA: AMD to free GPU from CPU slavery

AMD is to manufacture microprocessors that connect their on-board CPU and GPU components more intelligently than ever before. The upcoming chips will utilise a technique AMD calls Heterogeneous Queuing (hQ). This new approach puts the GPU on an equal footing with the CPU: no longer will the graphics engine have to wait for the …
Tony Smith, 22 Oct 2013
Volvo car power store

Volvo: Need a new car battery? Replace the doors and roof

Volvo reckons it has a better place to locate an e-car’s power storage: in the vehicle’s body panels. The technique throws out traditional lithium-based batteries in favour of a carbon fibre and polymer resin sandwich. What Volvo, boffins from Imperial College and researchers from seven battery and materials companies together …
Tony Smith, 21 Oct 2013
Boston Dynamics Atlas

Terminator-style robot busts leg in martial arts demo mishap

Hong Kong University robotics researchers ended up with egg on their faces today when their new $2m walking robot tripped over and broke its leg while trying to strut its funky stuff at its first public performance. HKU’s prize robot – called Atlas and created by Massachusetts Institute of Technology spin-off Boston Dynamics – …
Tony Smith, 18 Oct 2013
AnkiDrive

Man+iPhone versus artificial intelligence: Anki robot racer slot cars

Anki, the racing toy maker clipped together by a band of robotics boffins, will begin selling its iDevice-controlled slot car set Anki Drive in just over five days’ time. It has apparently taken them six years to create this 21st Century version of that old favourite, Scalextric. AnkiDrive In pole position for release on 23 …
Tony Smith, 17 Oct 2013
Computer Chess

Computer Chess: Geek, gaming and retro-tech movie of the year

Surely no normal person would ever want to spend an hour and a half, let alone a whole weekend, in the company of beardy-weirdy 1970s computer nerds as they challenge their chess programs to beat all comers – and maybe, one day, even a human too? Director Andrew Bujalski must be rather keen to do so, because it’s the subject of …
Tony Smith, 11 Oct 2013
WD My Cloud

Do-it-yourself Dropbox: Western Digital's My Cloud 2TB NAS box

Western Digital’s My Book Live line has been around for three years now, but beyond the addition of a 3TB model to 2010’s 1TB and 2TB versions, WD hasn’t done a lot with it in the intervening period. Sure, we’ve had some regular firmware updates - not all of them meeting users’ approval, incidentally - but there’s clearly …
Tony Smith, 10 Oct 2013
Elite: Dangerous

21st Century Elite remake to support Oculus Rift virtual reality rig

Elite fans eagerly awaiting the completion of the classic space trading game’s 21st Century refit, Elite: Dangerous will be pleased to learn that it’ll support the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset when it is completed next year. “We’ve been playing with the Oculus Rift dev kits and are excited about the potential – just …
Tony Smith, 10 Oct 2013
Science Museum '3D: printing the future'

Printing the Future: See a few of UK’s 6.2 million 3D-printed ‘things’

is an occasional column written at the crossroads where the arts, popular culture and technology intersect. Listen to many of today’s bright, young and entrepreneurial things and you could be forgiven for coming away with the notion that every product we buy in the not-too-distant future will have been manufactured by a 3D …
Tony Smith, 09 Oct 2013
Raspberry Pi

UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi

A Sony-owned factory in South Wales has now punched out more than a million Raspberry Pi board computers. This is laudable, but it shouldn’t be taken as a sign that Britain is going to ride to economic recovery on the back of a new generation of young programmers. The Raspberry Pi is a fortysomething’s wet dream of early 1980s …
Tony Smith, 08 Oct 2013
High Fidelity Pure Audio

Universal's High Fidelity Pure Audio trickles onto Blighty’s Blu-Ray hi-fis

Universal Music Group’s bid to get us all buying discs again kicks off this month with the release of the first batch of High Fidelity Pure Audio albums – 27 in all. Well, that’s what UMG says, and its website shows all the upcoming titles will be out in Blighty on 21 October, four months after the format was announced – it went …
Tony Smith, 07 Oct 2013
Intel Galileo

The life of Pi: Intel to give away Arduino-friendly 'Galileo' tiny-puter

Intel is now actively attempting to recruit the maker community to aid it in its battle against ARM. Today at a major gathering of European hardware hackers in Rome, the chip giant announced it has cooked up a Raspberry Pi-style board computer with the blessing of Arduino. The computer is called the Galileo and it sports a …
Tony Smith, 03 Oct 2013
Dell XPS 11

Dell ‘xpands XPS line with 'WORLD-FIRST' MEGA-RESOLUTION laptops

Dell has extended its XPS line of “prosumer” notebooks with an 11.6-in model that takes its cue from Lenovo’s Yoga tablet-cum-laptop. Dell XPS 11 The XPS 11 sports a 2560 x 1440 display Yes, the new XPS 11 is a notebook with a keyboard hinged to fold right back against the rear of the screen housing, just like the Lenovo …
Tony Smith, 02 Oct 2013
Dell Venue 11 Pro

Dell revives WinPho handset brand for Win 8.1 fondleslabs

Dell has revamped its tablet line-up, hoping to hook punters in - professionals in particular - with removable batteries, full-size USB ports, quad-core chippery and the revival of an old but apparently popular moniker, Venue Pro. Dell last used Venue Pro back in 2011 for its first and only foray into Windows Phone 7 handsets. …
Tony Smith, 02 Oct 2013
Bungie's Destiny

Bungie ’bois offered ‘early’ access to post-Halo FPS Destiny

Activision is dangling a rather juicy carrot in front to gamers eager to get their mitts on Bungie Studios’ massively multiplayer online shooter Destiny: direct access to the beta test programme. Ths stick: you need to cough up full whack for the game by ordering it ahead of time. Bungie's Destiny Bungie’s Destiny: Pfhor what …
Tony Smith, 02 Oct 2013
WD MyCloud

WD embraces C word* and hews HDD handles from NAS kit

Western Digital is re-branding its MyBook Live line of basic NAS boxes to better stress the device’s personal cloud capabilities. So yes, from today they will be called MyCloud drives. They’ll also getting new internals, a revamped casing and upgraded software for devices that want to tap into the drives’ storage. Inside, you’ …
Tony Smith, 02 Oct 2013
3D Systems Cube

Dixons preps home 3D printer for plastic-piping punters

When a technology hits the High Street, you know it's making its way into the mainstream. 3D printing isn’t there quite yet, but it’s perhaps only a step away as Dixons’ stores PC World and Currys will tomorrow start selling a consumer-oriented additive manufacturing rig online. The printer in question is 3D Systems' Cube, a 26 …
Tony Smith, 02 Oct 2013
Picture by Afonso Lima

Sharp whispers its vital statistics: 15.6in 3840 × 2160 IGZO screen for next MacLap Pro?

Will the next MacBook Pro refresh sport a 4K display, one 4,000-ish pixels wide? If Apple wants to ensure that its flagship laptop does indeed feature such a massive resolution screen, Sharp has just the LCD it needs. The panel pusher today said it is sending out samples of a 15.6-inch display with a 3840 × 2160 pixel resolution …
Tony Smith, 30 Sep 2013
Wuaki.tv Selection

'Wacky' Spanish VoD squad launches people-picked online vid service in UK

Bizarrely named video-on-demand service Wuaki.tv – the first part’s pronounced “wacky” – has introduced a new subscription scheme: a selection of movies and TV shows which changes every seven days and is picked by people rather than computers. Readers over a certain age will be familiar with this kind of notion already. It’s …
Tony Smith, 26 Sep 2013
Xmas 2001 Cash'n'Carrion 150x300 short sky

Glowing Nook knocked to under 50 quid for Xmas

Barnes & Noble will today knock a tenner off the price of its Nook SimpleTouch Glowlight e-reader, reducing the price to just under £50. It’s the latest move in the US bookseller’s attempts to battle for second place in the British ebook business. The Nook e-reader’s launch price was £109, but B&N has been selling the device for …
Tony Smith, 25 Sep 2013
Tesco Hudl

Shopping list for Tesco: Eggs, milk, bread, tablets (the £60 7in Android kind)

It has a silly name, but a surprising price. Tesco’s new seven-inch Android tablet, the Hudl, will cost a mere 60 quid and a stack of Clubcard points. Well, when a Google Nexus 7 will set you back £199, every little helps. Ahem. The Hudl incorporates a 1440 x 900 LCD, 1.5GHz quad-core CPU, dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4 …
Tony Smith, 23 Sep 2013
Judge Dredd

E-book him! Entire Judge Dredd back catalogue gets iDevice treatment

Dredd fans! Tharg the Mighty has added almost every single 2000AD story the future lawman has passed judgement in - well, apart from the ones that were once banned by m’learned colleagues - to the official iDevice app. Yes, the Judge Dredd Complete Case Files compendia - which extend to a colossal 20 volumes - are now available …
Tony Smith, 20 Sep 2013
Apple iOS 7

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it ... Win Phone 8? No, it's APPLE'S iOS 7

Apple's iOS 7 has come some way since its initial preview release and public unveiling back in June at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference. Back then the focus was inevitably on the operating system’s new visual styling, and Apple does seem to have taken on board the early criticism of the new look. The ultra-spindly font …
Tony Smith, 19 Sep 2013
Shot of Palm Folio

‘Priceless’ unique Palm ‘FAILEO’ laptop goes under the hammer

It was the product that was almost immediately dubbed the ‘Faileo’. It was announced but never released. And it can now be yours - if you pony up enough cash to beat other bidders to a one-of-a-kind auction item. Devised by Palm co-founder and chief engineer Jeff Hawkins, the Foleo - to give the gadget its correct handle - was …
Tony Smith, 18 Sep 2013
Apple Newton MessagePad

Stylus counsel: The rise and fall of the Apple Newton MessagePad

It will forever be remembered as the butt of a-thousand-and-one jokes about its poor handwriting recognition, but Apple’s MessagePad was bold in its conception. Its legacy is ARM’s conquest of the mobile microprocessor world. The company said on 8 August 1993: The Newton MessagePad is the first in a family of communications …
Tony Smith, 17 Sep 2013
Viewsonic Smart Display

Psst.. Wanna Android all-in-one PC? We have the chip tech, says Intel

Intel did its bit for the ongoing “tabletisation” of the desktop PC at its Developer Forum this week: it's encouraging engineers to get cracking on Android-powered “Smart Display” systems to go on sale in 2014. The chip giant’s pitch is that these 17- to 21-inch devices - basically, huge tablets with a keyboard - will appeal to …
Tony Smith, 12 Sep 2013
Thunderbolt Logo

4K-friendly Thunderbolt 2 WILL ship this year, Chipzilla pledges

Chip giant Intel has reiterated its pledge to get a faster version of its Thunderbolt connectivity tech out in time for Christmas and its plethora of high-res vid-streaming kit. Speaking at Intel Developer Forum this week, Ben Hacker, who does planning for Intel's Client Connectivity Division, said the firm’s Falcon Crest Falcon …
Tony Smith, 12 Sep 2013
Apple 64-bit

Apple’s iOS 64-bit iUpgrade: Don't expect a 2x performance leap

What are the implications of Apple’s 64-bit ARM A7 processor for the iPhone user who upgrades to the new 5S? Not as many as you might think. Apple has said the chip is compatible with all the iOS software out there that is still 32-bit. For the moment, at least, that is all third-party programs. Apple hasn’t said how much RAM …
Tony Smith, 12 Sep 2013
Seagate Ultra Mobile HDD

Seagate parades spinning skinny model to oust flash from fondleslabs... almost

Would you trust a tablet or a smartphone with a hard disk rather than flash storage? Seagate hopes its Ultra Mobile HDD will persuade you to trade rugged but pricey solid-state memory for 30 times more storage space than your average (16GB) tablet sports. Seagate claims the skinny, 96g 500GB UM HDD offers the same “power, …
Tony Smith, 10 Sep 2013
Pimoroni Pi Hub

Bin half-baked Raspberry Pi hubs, says Pimoroni: Try our upper-crust kit

Raspberry Pi accessory specialist Pimoroni reckons it has the answer to one of the tiny ARM-based computer’s signal limitations: too few USB ports for all the add-ons you might want to hook up to it. Pi users have dealt with only having a pair of USB 2.0 ports - there's only one on the cheapest, the Model A Pi - by connecting a …
Tony Smith, 10 Sep 2013
Nissan Nismo Watch

Smartwatch news: Sleek-but-vaporous timepiece promised by... NISSAN?

Watch out, Apple. Step aside, Samsung. Push off, Pebble. Here comes the latest contender in the smartwatch wrist-grab: er, Nissan. The car maker today pledged to be the first company to tie a smartwatch into a car’s telematics and entertainment systems. Nissan Nismo Watch Nissan’s Nismo Watch concept: Designed “specifically …
Tony Smith, 09 Sep 2013
Pansonic 20-inch Windows 8 tablet

Panasonic whips out MONSTER fondleslab for serious S&M sessions

Panasonic’s monster tablet – an 18-inch big boy with a 4K Ultra HD display – will come to market in November, the Japanese colossus has promised. The price? A beefy £3,335. The tablet now known as the Toughpad 4K UT-MB5 was first shown off, kind of, in January at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Panasonic said it would “ …
Tony Smith, 06 Sep 2013
Samsung Galaxy Gear

It's the software, stupid: Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch bags big apps

Samsung is not a great innovator, yet it’s certainly one of the world’s greatest imitators. Although it follows other companies into booming markets with me-too products, it remembers to add a little more sparkle to its offerings so that it not merely to catches up with its rivals, it eventually pushes past them. That’s what …
Tony Smith, 05 Sep 2013

Xbox One launch date REVEALED - and it's on the 360's birthday

Xbox buffs can get their mitts on Microsoft’s new console, the One, on 22 November - eight years on from the Xbox 360’s arrival in the US. The console went into “full production” this week, Microsoft claimed today. It will hit the streets in 13 countries to begin with, including the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The initial …
Tony Smith, 04 Sep 2013
Barnes and Noble Nook HD

Barnes & Noble knock Nook slate down to £79

Barnes & Noble has knocked a further 20 quid off the price of its Nook HD and HD+ tablets as it continues to try to shift existing stocks of the gadgets. Originally introduced in September 2012, the 7-inch and 9-inch Nook tablets were priced at launch at £159 for a 16GB HD and £226 for the same-capacity HD+. Both tablets, …
Tony Smith, 04 Sep 2013
HDMI

HDMI 2.0 spec arrives ... 1.0 years late

Eleven years on from the commencement of work on the first version of the telly connectivity standard, the minds behind the High Definition Multimedia Interface – HDMI to you and me – have taken the wraps off release 2.0 a year later than originally anticipated. At one level, HDMI 2.0 is essentially about nothing more than …
Tony Smith, 04 Sep 2013
WD Red 2.5-inch 1TB HDD

WD outs 'Mini Me' Red label NAS drives

WD has taken the wraps off its first 2.5-inch hard drive designed for network storage roles, NAS nuts in need of a more compact connected storage box – and, crucially, teensy drives to put in it – will be pleased to hear. Part of WD’s NAS-centric Red series, the notebook form-factor drives come in 750GB and 1TB capacities. Both …
Tony Smith, 03 Sep 2013
Myst

Myst: 20 years of point-and-click adventuring

For many years it was the best-selling computer game ever – at least until The Sims turned up. It created a whole new gaming genre, and it was a major help in getting a new computer storage format established. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we're talking about Myst. Myst debuted on the Mac back in September 1993 after two years in …
Tony Smith, 03 Sep 2013
Nintendo 2DS

Nintendo is FLATLY UNHINGED: New 2DS is a handful of game

Nintendo has abolished hinges and autostereoscopic 3D displays to create a new handheld console called the 2DS. Keen to kick smartphones and tablets off the mobile gaming throne, Ninty has revealed a portable games device that doesn’t sport a clamshell casing and looks a bit like a fondleslab. It does feature all the usual DS …
Tony Smith, 29 Aug 2013
Kobo Arc 10HD

Do not adjust your eyes: This Kobo ten-incher has a 2560 x 1600 resolution

Kobo has got in ahead of rival Amazon’s anticipated Kindle refresh to update its own line of reading-centric fondleslabs and e-readers: among them is a ten-incher with a monster 2560 x 1600 resolution - that's bigger than many a desktop monitor here in Vulture Central. This is the Arc 10HD tablet - ‘Arc’ being Kobo’s brand for …
Tony Smith, 28 Aug 2013
Smartphone user on Tube

Three axes data-roaming fees in SEVEN countries

Mobe operator Three has abolished roaming charges. Well, in seven countries, at least, and only on calls and texts sent homeward bound. All Three customers who travel to Australia, Austria, Denmark, Hong Kong, Italy, the Republic of Ireland or Sweden will be able to make calls to Blighty, send texts to the UK and – crucially – …
Tony Smith, 28 Aug 2013