About Author: Ben Crompton


Posts by Ben Crompton


PS Vita sales crash in post holiday slump

Trails the handheld pack
PS Vita sales crash in post holiday slump

Sony's PS Vita hasn't been out in Japan very long, launching in December 2011, however after a promising start its sales have plummeted, dropping to 18,361 in week five.

Although you'd expect a steady decline in sales after any big launch the week five figures constitute a 95 per cent drop on the very decent week one figures of 324,859. This is a serious bit of free fall for the console and sullies the PS Vita's 500,000 units-sold milestone.

To be fair all handheld consoles have taken a bit of a hit post-Christmas, namely the PSP and 3DS, however the Vita is lagging behind and when you consider its recent launch it doesn't make for good reading; the Nintendo 3DS coming in with 100,668 units sold and the PSP at 22,538, both ahead of the aforementioned Vita figure of 18,361.

Sony will certainly be hoping for better figures come the PS Vita's worldwide launch in February and with some top-game titles in the wings providing that all important sweetener for potential customers, it could be a very different story.


Tags: Sony Gaming PS Vita Handhelds Biz Statistics

PS Vita sales crash in post holiday slump originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Thu, 19 Jan 2012 08:44:45 +0000


Nokia Lumia 800 second update rolls out: Battery improvements incoming

Over next 2 weeks
Nokia Lumia 800 second update rolls out: Battery improvements incoming. Nokia, Phones, Nokia Lumia 800, Updates 0

As promised in December Nokia has started the rollout of its second update for the Lumia 800, which amongst other things fixes issues with the phone's battery, and should hopefully reach handsets across the world in the next 2 weeks.

This comes after Nokia responded to complaints regarding the battery life of Lumia 800 handsets in December 2011, admitting there were problems despite the first update just weeks before. Promising a fix in the early part of 2012, the company has stuck to its word.

The issue itself related to users being unable to access the full battery capacity of their Lumia 800, meaning it would never reach full charge capacity and rendering the handset brick-like within a few hours.

The update version is number 1600.2483.8106.11500, although admittedly a bit of a mouthful, along with the battery fix it brings with it the benefit of improved Wi-Fi. The Nokia conversations blog states that:

"The update will not be delivered to every Lumia 800 simultaneously, but rather will be staggered over the next two weeks through Microsoft’s standard update process. This helps each owner get the update without any hitches. Around half of owners will get the update in the next seven days, with the remainder over the following seven days."

Users are already reporting updates coming to their phones and it also looks like unlocked handset are having some joy. Smooth updates and fixes such as this will do no harm to Nokia's image and with the Lumia 900 ready to hit shops in the coming months the Finnish phone giant's fortunes could be on the up.


Tags: Nokia Phones Nokia Lumia 800 Updates

Nokia Lumia 800 second update rolls out: Battery improvements incoming originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Thu, 19 Jan 2012 07:56:41 +0000


Jerry Yang resigns from Yahoo: A positive move for the Internet giant?

After 17 years at the helm
Jerry Yang resigns from Yahoo: A positive move for the Internet giant?. Online, Yahoo, Jerry Yang, Biz 0

After 17 years building up one of the largest web-based companies, co-founder of Yahoo, Jerry Yang is resigning from the board.

Yahoo was founded 1995 by Yang and David Filo, and for years saw huge growth as it came to dominate the web, however despite a revenue peak in 2007 things haven't been so rosy for the company in the post-Facebook era.

Yang's attempts to revitalise the company came to a head in 2008 when he refused a takeover bid by Microsoft worth ?31 billion, a decision that has come to haunt the ex-chief executive as the company is now estimated to have a worth of ?20 billion.

It has also been said that Yang has been instrumental in blocking a whole host of restructuring plans designed to get the, admittedly still huge, company firing on all cylinders; so although sad in some respects it could be the start of the revitalisation of Yahoo.

This revitalisation could possibly come from a new deal, or indeed, some much-needed restructuring. The resignation of such a key figure as Yang, who clearly has an emotional tie with the company, could spawn not only innovation but a degree of detachment and objectivity that is often required if a company is going to make sensible decisions.

In a statement Yang said that: "The time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo!. As I leave the company I co-founded nearly 17 years ago, I am enthusiastic about the appointment of Scott Thompson as Chief Executive Officer and his ability, along with the entire Yahoo! leadership team, to guide Yahoo! into an exciting and successful future."


Tags: Online Yahoo Jerry Yang Biz

Jerry Yang resigns from Yahoo: A positive move for the Internet giant? originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Wed, 18 Jan 2012 10:02:00 +0000


PanicGuard for iPhone/Android: World’s first police preferred security app

Shake or tap to activate
PanicGuard for iPhone/Android: World's first police preferred security app. Apps, Android apps, iPhone apps, PanicGuard 0

The new PanicGuard app is a way for you to ensure that you have the best possible chance of getting help in the event that you should find yourself in a dangerous or life-threatening situation.

Free to download and test, the PanicGuard app will activate a number of your phone's functions in order to deter? any would-be attacker as well as call for help.

Activated through tapping or shaking your mobile, the app will spring into life turning on any GPS functions and calling any emergency contacts you have stored in your phone. It also turns on video in the hope of recording any crime which can later be used to track down the perpetrator.

To top it off, a further shake of the phone will activate an earpiecing alarm which might go some way to deterring an attacker.

There are similar products around at the moment, however this is the first to get the backing of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and consequently it's been awarded Police Preferred Specification (PPS).

It's important to note that this doesn't actualy call 999 for you, but ensures someone can do it on your behalf through SMS, email, Facebook or Twitter.? Detective Chief Inspector, Martin Ford, head of the National Mobile Crime Unit said:

"The MPS is supportive of all responsible efforts to improve the personal safety of individuals within our communities. Integrated, well thought out solutions such 'PanicGuard' have the potential to contribute to the security of vulnerable persons?by using new technologies to their best capacity."

The app is available now and although free to download, you will be stung with an ongoing security service cost of? ?3.99 a month.

Tags: Apps Android apps iPhone apps PanicGuard

PanicGuard for iPhone/Android: World's first police preferred security app originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Wed, 18 Jan 2012 08:55:21 +0000


AMD to offer cheap Intel Ultrabook alternative

Using new Trinity APU
AMD to offer cheap Intel Ultrabook alternative . Intel, Laptops, Ultrabooks, Chipsets, AMD 0

Ultrabooks are set to make a big splash in 2012, the thin but powerful form factor clearly a huge advantage for those who need to remain portable. The one snag is the expense, however it has been suggested that AMD is looking to produce a powerful and light cheaper alternative that will launch this year in direct competition to Intel's Ultrabook.

According to a Digitimes report, the new super-light laptop from AMD will carry its new Trinity APU, as opposed to Ultrabooks which carry Intel's hardware. There is also suggestion that the AMD offering will be around 10 - 20 per cent cheaper than the Intel Ultrabook form factor.

On the whole AMD-powered hardware has been cheaper than the Intel equivalent so the news that it will be going down this road is no massive surprise, but what it could do is create some healthy competition within the market and so drive prices down sooner than you might expect.

There is also a suggestion that we could see these devices as soon as June this year; so if any of this report comes to fruition it should be a lively year for the laptop, especially considering the many new Ultrabook additions Pocket-lint saw at CES 2012.


Tags: Intel Laptops Ultrabooks Chipsets AMD

AMD to offer cheap Intel Ultrabook alternative originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Wed, 18 Jan 2012 08:04:00 +0000


Wikipedia blackout to mark protest against SOPA piracy bill

24 hours begins 5am on 18 Jan
Wikipedia blackout to mark protest against SOPA piracy bill. Online, Wikipedia, Piracy 0

In an unprecedented move, Wikipedia, the go-to web-based encyclopaedia, has decided to shut down its English-language website for 1 day on 18 January in protest against the US online piracy bill.

The decision to "go dark" came out of discussions between over 1800 Wikipedians during a 72-hour period, culminating in this protest action against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

According to the site, "This is by far the largest level of participation in a community discussion ever seen on Wikipedia, which illustrates the level of concern that Wikipedians feel about this proposed legislation."

This blackout protest is going ahead despite news that the White House has as good as halted the SOPA bill, but Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, said that it's important it goes ahead anyway, citing PIPA as a cause for concern.

"PIPA is still extremely dangerous,” said Wales. He continued: "Today Wikipedians from around the world have spoken about their opposition to this destructive legislation. This is an extraordinary action for our community to take - and while we regret having to prevent the world from having access to Wikipedia for even a second, we simply cannot ignore the fact that SOPA and PIPA endanger free speech both in the United States and abroad, and set a frightening precedent of Internet censorship for the world."

There are, however, two sides to any argument and many supporters of the acts claim that the money lost through piracy is unacceptable to large media companies and artists alike.

Although it does seem that the legislation put forward is a somewhat sledgehammer approach as it doesn't look carefully enough at how it would affect censorship of the web. As with most things balance is key and if piracy is to be addressed then care needs to be taken to ensure the Internet remains as free and open as possible.

Other sites are set to join Wikipedia in the blackout, which will begin 5AM GMT on Wednesday until 5AM GMT on Thursday.

Tags: Online Wikipedia Piracy

Wikipedia blackout to mark protest against SOPA piracy bill originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Tue, 17 Jan 2012 09:10:00 +0000


Apple to digitise classroom with ‘Garageband for ebooks’

Education event rumours
Apple to digitise classroom with 'Garageband for ebooks'. Apple, ebooks, iPad, Software, Rumours,  0

Apple could be about to launch a new platform for for digital textbooks, which it hopes will bring an innovative method for students to interact with the subject matter and all linked to the iTunes platform making it very easy to access. All to be revealed at this Thursday's Apple education event.

The WSJ mentions that Apple has been working with McGraw-Hill publishers for best part of a year in the lead up to the event.

Importantly, this will also possibly be coupled with a new tool for creating educational ebooks. The tools available for doing this at present, in the form of iWork, at times being a rather clumsy application. The new software should make ebook creation far simpler and has been described as a Garageband for ebooks, according to Ars Technica.

In order to make this possible Apple has implemented the EPUB 3 standard, although the different standard may mean that sharing content between platforms is more difficult, it should make for an easier way for developers to create interesting interactive content for ebooks.

So the news could be two-fold: a new platform in which to access a huge variety of educational and highly interactive content; and a new, easy way of creating said content, which will ensure that there's a ready supply of developers willing to work on the new platform. This model has served Apple very well in the past.

This kind of interactive ebook learning could have some very positive effects on learning in the classroom and help bring otherwise stale subject matter to life. However, there are possibly a few concerns with this move.

The first is that when bringing any standard into the classroom we have to be aware that students will be learning through that particular standard, in this case through an Apple product, so it is important that they have other platforms to work with so they don't get locked into the Apple ecosystem - something Apple would no doubt want. Having your product in the classroom is a sure fire way to create brand loyalty when that person grows up. Just look at Windows.

Also, it's important to remember that it is the teacher's job to educate and create an environment in which students can be excited about a given topic, so over reliance on a tablet to do this for you isn't always a good thing.

We'll be bringing you all the news on Thursday.


Tags: Apple ebooks iPad Software Rumours

Apple to digitise classroom with 'Garageband for ebooks' originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Tue, 17 Jan 2012 08:18:00 +0000


APP OF THE DAY: The Sheeps review (iPhone)

Baah, baah black...
APP OF THE DAY: The Sheeps review (iPhone). Apps, iPhone apps, App of the day, Gaming 0

Quite apart from anything else, a decent platformer, like the one featured in our App of the Day, goes a long way in banishing boredom during the cold winter months.

When you start adding an innovative, if characterful, design, multiple methods of level completion as well a nice sound, then you're surely onto a winner.

And that's if you're not a sheep fan; if you do have a soft spot for the friendly-four-legged-fleecy folk, then this is an absolute must. It is...

The Sheeps


The premise of The Sheeps is, indeed, a simple one: you have to get your three friends across the screen from point A to point B in one piece. However, as this is a puzzle game, your route will often be barred by many ingenious obstacles meaning you'll have to resort to the grey matter in order to achieve your goal.

the sheeps

Controls are simple enough with your sheep able to jump and walk around the screen. Controls are added on both sides of the screen enabling a degree of flexibility when moving the three sheeps around.

The sheep in question also have names: Katty, Justine and Samantha. But their names aren't the only thing that differentiate them, oh no; they are also different sizes. This gives them different attributes when it comes to crawling under objects, pushing things out of the way or jumping up over boxes, and as all of the sheep need to reach the end it will mean the three sheep working as a team.

the sheeps

If anyone has played the old PC game Head over Heels, it is similar in the way you have to team up to get past an obstacle - just on a smaller scale, thankfully.

The gameplay is good, and most of the puzzles are well thought out, although at times it feels as if your route to the end needs an element of luck to go with your well thought-out strategy - although this doesn't happen often.

There is a paid-for version available without the ads, although they're pretty unobtrusive. There are also tips to be had with the free version, although strangely require a purchase with the paid-for app. Still, it's entertaining and there's enough here to give your brain a good workout.

Tags: Apps iPhone apps App of the day Gaming

APP OF THE DAY: The Sheeps review (iPhone). Apps, iPhone apps, App of the day, Gaming 1  APP OF THE DAY: The Sheeps review (iPhone). Apps, iPhone apps, App of the day, Gaming 2 

APP OF THE DAY: The Sheeps review (iPhone) originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Mon, 16 Jan 2012 18:00:00 +0000


BabyPing Wi-Fi Baby Monitor launches for iOS

CES 2012: Hear, view and monitor
BabyPing Wi-Fi Baby Monitor launches for iOS. Dad, Baby monitors, BabyPing, Apps, iPhone apps, CES2012 0

BabyPing has unveiled the latest in high security Wi-Fi baby monitors at CES 2012, which allows parents to to keep an eye and an ear on their little cherubs through their iOS device.

If a traditional baby monitor just doesn't cut it any more and you prefer the belt and braces approach to baby monitoring then this new device will keep you constantly informed by way of "double-layer security and alerts to inform the user if the baby cries, if the Wi-Fi connection has been broken or if the monitoring iOS device is out of range".

You'll also get full-colour video at 640 x 480 resolution, a high quality built-in microphone and superfast wireless Wi-Fi. The baby monitor's Smart Filter cuts out the background noise and static normally associated with baby monitors, while Constant-Connect "acts as a permanent tether between the app and monitor, instantly notifying the user when the baby is upset or if the connection is broken at any point, ensuring parents can put their trust in this new technology."

The company says that: "BabyPing only uses your home Wi-Fi network to transmit information, avoiding unnecessary web streaming and bandwidth costs, as well as ensuring instant alerts and updates from the monitor, without the long delay associated with other baby cameras. BabyPing is the only Wi-Fi baby monitor on the market with invisible infared night vision, offering round the clock visibility without disturbing the baby."

Not a bad solution for any would-be parents, and it should especially appeal to those first-timers, as after number one drops and number two arrives you tend to relax a bit.

The BabyPing Video Monitor will be available in the UK from February 2012 priced at ?149.99 and available from Amazon, BabyPing.com and other select stockists.

Tags: Dad Baby monitors BabyPing Apps iPhone apps CES2012

BabyPing Wi-Fi Baby Monitor launches for iOS originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Mon, 16 Jan 2012 14:36:00 +0000


Sky Sports Formula 1 speeds onto Virgin Media

Coming March
Sky Sports Formula 1 speeds onto Virgin Media. Sky, Virgin Media, Formula 1 2012, Home Cinema,  0

Virgin Media has announced that it will be showing off the new Formula 1 Sky Sports channel, making the entire Formula 1 Grand Prix 2012 season available to Virgin Media customers.

Starting in March the new channel, Sky Sports F1, will be introduced onto Virgin Media's TV service, bringing comprehensive reporting of the world's most popular motorsport series, including live coverage of every race, practice, and qualifying session.

Martin Brundle, David Croft, Georgie Thompson, Ted Kravitz, Simon Lazenby and Steve Rider will bring viewers all the news, views and live action from the start of the new Formula 1 season.

If you are already a subscriber to the Sky Sports package on Virgin Media the new channel will be automatically added alongside Sky Sports 1, Sky Sports 2, Sky Sports 3 and Sky Sports 4.

Cindy Rose, executive director of digital entertainment at Virgin Media, said: "We’re delighted to be able to offer this new channel right from the off as it’s certain to be an exciting Formula 1 season with a record number of races and six former or current world champions racing for the title."

Tags: Sky Virgin Media Formula 1 2012 Home Cinema

Sky Sports Formula 1 speeds onto Virgin Media originally appeared on http://www.pocket-lint.com on Mon, 16 Jan 2012 13:04:00 +0000