Just in from Gizmoville
Samsung's mobile frenzy and more
Tech Digest Certified gadget obsessives Tech Digest and Shiny Shiny scour Gizmoville for the oddest digital goodies, Bayraider keeps tabs on the best and worst of eBay and Propellerhead answers your PC queries.
Now Samsung has a skinny phone
Earlier in the week it was Motorola, today it is Samsung’s turn to grab the mobile spotlight. It has launched no fewer than five mobiles for the European market two of which are 3G models. The one likely to get all the attention is the SGH-P300, which is basically Samsung's attempt to out skinny the Moto RAZR. It is 8.9mm thick, or is that thin? Yet Samsung has shoehorned in a 1.3 mega pixel camera with flash, music player and video recording capabilities. Looks a bit like a calculator though... The 3G-ers, the SGH-Z510 and SGH-Z540 mix small (for 3G handsets) frames with the usual whack of features. Both tout a 1.3 mega pixel camera and 4x digital zoom, video telephony, real-time video streaming and video messaging.
The SGH-Z510 has a very cool looking 2.2-inch QVGA screen display and includes MP3 playback, while the SGH-Z540 is aimed at the fashion conscious buyer (aren’t we all?) and sports a similar set of features as well as Bluetooth and storage of a pretty impressive 150MB. Samsung also debuted the SGH-D800, a 14.9mm slim slide-up phone with a 1.3 mega pixel camera, document viewer, Bluetooth, PictBridge, and TV-out, and the slightly chubbier SGH-D820, another slide-up phone. It features a wide (2.12-inch) and high resolution (QVGA) LCD screen and 1.3 mega pixel camera. All will be available in European stores before the end of the year.
Celeb auctions for Children in Need
The BBC is kicking off a series of celebrity auctions for its Children In Need appeal, including a signed copy of a collection of 50 poems and lyrics written by Sir Paul McCartney. We'll be disappointed if they've left The Frog Chorus out. Other items up for grabs include tea with actor Joseph Fiennes, Ulrika Jonsson's artworks, a signed and bound copy of the Love Actually script (BURN IT, BURN IT!) and even the chance for Jamie Cullum to write you a personalised love song (BURN HIM! BURN HIM etc etc). More items will be added daily on the Beeb's Great Big Bid website, which also lets you sell off your old stuff and donate the proceeds to the appeal. Well, it beats sitting in a bathtub of baked beans...
PC tip of the day from Propellerhead
Reclaim desktop space
Here are two quick and simple little tips that will let you reclaim valuable screen space. The first one is to make the Windows taskbar disappear when it's not being used, and magically reappear when needed. This trick works on all versions of Windows and all you have to do is right-click on the Taskbar, select Properties and the Taskbar tab (Taskbar options in Windows 9x) then put a check in the box next to Auto Hide the Taskbar and click Apply. It will vanish, and rematerialise when you hover the mouse over where it used to be.
My second and preferred tip for increasing screen real estate is to move the taskbar to the right hand side of the screen. This tends to be a dead area in most applications and moving it to the side will increase the depth of the screen by a centimetre or two, handy for web browsing and word processing. To move the taskbar right click on it and make sure 'Lock the Taskbar is unchecked. Next, move the mouse point to an empty area of the Taskbar, click and hold the mouse button and in one swift action drag it to the side of the screen. You need to be fairly decisive and keep the mouse button down until it is in position otherwise it can expand and shift around. Click on the border to trim the width and move the separator bars to shift your Quick Launch and open application icons to where you want them and when you are happy with it go back and re-check Lock the Taskbar
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