Lumia 800 sets the Market Alight

The Nokia Lumia 800 is due to shortly hit our shelves here’re in Ireland, and might just hit out heartstrings. Nokia’s first Windows Phone 7 handset is seen by many as the ailing mobile giant’s last chance to turn it’s luck around, as well as the clock and rise to the top of the league again. It’s not an easy task, that’s for sure. We’re all getting pretty comfy with our snazzy iphones and androids, so it’s going to be tough to woo people away and back to what is still seen as ‘the old reliable’.

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iPhones in bars and TV’s go 3D…

It’s been an eventful week for technology world; We’ve seen Facebook ‘like’ the internet, secret space planes being launched, HP give more details on its Slate and least of all there’s some serious sacking going on in Apple all over a bar, $5,000, photos and some German beer.

Unless you’ve been on holidays on Mars for the past few days, and the roaming costs a fortune, then you’ll know that the iPhone 4G has been the centre of the biggest leak of the year. Gray Powell, a now infamous name in Cupertino and (former) Apple employee left the next iPhone in a bar, only to be picked up by someone who later sold the handset on to the popular tech website, Gizmodo.

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An Apple a day, keeps the competition away…

Apple has changed the world, literally. They’ve let us bring our music libraries with us where ever we go, made smart phones cool for the average joe blogs, now they’re going to shake up up portables and how we read news and magazines.

While this is brilliant for us, who are now so used to seeing the Apple logo, it’s practically one of our five-a-day now. The Software and hardware giant has also livened up competition, made other companies fight for our attention and forcing them to produce machines that don’t just work, but look attractive.

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Helsinki gets hot for servers…

We can all agree that this winter has been particularly bad, unless you were clever and took a day or two off for fear of slipping, like the guy on RTE News or just enjoy making snowmen.

However the people of Helsinki are getting ready to feel a little bit warmer after the coldest winter in 30 years, all thanks to a few servers in a bomb shelter.

Juha Siplia the project manager with Helsingin Energia said;

“This will be the greenest and most energy-efficient data centre in the world”.

Underneath the Uspenski Cathedral, hidden away in a former bomb shelter lies one of the worlds most high tech central heating systems. The excess heat from hundreds of computer servers in the data centre will be captured and distributed across the Finnish capital.

The system will use seawater from the Baltic to cool the data centre, with the remaining heat being put to good use by heating homes, businesses and the city of Helsinki in general. Not to mention creating a clever solution to one of the worlds fastest growing global warming concerns.

frozen helsinki to get warmer

Soon to be thawed by the power of millions of surfers...

Only about 40% of the energy used by a standard data centre goes into the actual computing, with the rest going towards cooling the hot, constantly running servers, which take up large chunks of countries energy generation (up to 3% in the UK).

Currently the internet’s carbon footprint is growing at 10% every year as millions more users connect from developing countries, creating requirements for larger server farms, and as a result the internet is currently making up 2% of global CO2 emissions. Which is pretty big!

Finland’s plan will offer the perfect, and low-carbon answer to this growing problem and Google have already announced plans to open their newest server farm in Finland in the hopes of cutting their own footprint.

So next time you hit refresh, just think of all the homes or sauna’s in Helsinki you might be heating!

Three E-Readers which will shape 2010… if Apple don’t get there first.

This year’s CES show in Las Vegas has produced a host of mouth watering gear, not least of all, amongst e-readers. Three companies have released new readers, with the intent of breaking both Sony and Amazon’s strangle hold on the current market.

Firstly and slightly surprisingly, perhaps is Samsung’s attempt at venturing into new waters, far from its netbooks and phones; the E6 and E101 readers, with six and ten inch screens respectively. The new e-reader line comes with anywhere up to 8GB of memory for all the books you’ll ever need, and a stylus for note taking, and doodling.

Is it a phone, is it a Kindle? No, it's an E-Reader

The readers, which more resemble phones than books, also pack WiFi abilities and allows users to take advantage of Samsung’s content deal with Google to access over 1million+ free titles available through the search engine in the public domain.

The reader feels sturdy, and looks it too; being similar size to the Kindle, but does look noticeable bigger.

The E6 is expected to retail at $399, and the E101 at $699, and will be available in early 2010, nothing said yet about how much the product would cost in Europe, so we’ll have to wait and see for now.

A complete show stopper at CES was the Skiff, an impossibly thin, and flexible e-reader.

The Skiff sports an 11inch screen, making it bigger then most e-readers currently out there, and is almost completely touchscreen. The device itself is housed in a thin, metal frame which really is barely noticeable.

Flexible, light, like something from the future; today!

The touchscreen is designed to take input from both finger and stylus, which makes it feel much more natural then the Kindle, or some other models out there which make reading feel more like being on a computer than curling up with a good book.

The Skiff also packs a lot into it’s 7mm thickness, such as a USB port, 4GB memory for enough books to put a librarian out of a job, SD card slot, and wi-fi and 3G wireless abilities.

All in all, the Skiff combines the wireless joys of the Kindle, with the flexibility of real books and magazines which is really what it’s aiming for, and versatility of any of its competitors.

Not currently available in shops, the Skiff is rumoured to make a debut sometime in mid-2010 in US, again not a peep about a European release date.

Another flexible E-Reader brought out at the CES, was the QUE, from UK based; Plastic Logic.

Almost equally as thin as the Skiff and packing similar memory, the Que also represents another glimpse into a more, flexible future. Encased in plastic, instead of metal thereby making it shatter-proof, the Que aims to expand the now jam-packed E-Reader market, by introducing itself into the workplace, and replacing the many messy documents which might be lying around, rather like a notepad that will never fill up.

Presenting; (Drum Roll...) The Paperless Office!!!!!

The Que boasts the largest touchscreen of all the readers, coming in at 8.5”x11” along with 3G and WiFi inbuilt as standard, and a choice of 4GB or 8GB, depending on how many books or documents you might want to be bringing with you.

The 4GB version comes with WiFi only, and costs $649 while the 8GB version has both WiFi and 3G and will set you back by $799. Currently only available in the US, with AT&T providing the 3G coverage, Plastic Logic is expected to roll out the Que over the coming year.

Of all the E-Readers being churned out, it seems the CES has finally begun to spark the market widening into new fields, whether it be the office, or dedicated magazine and broadsheet displays.

Depending on what you’re looking for; there’s an E-Reader to suit you;

Samsung would probably suit best if you were a hardcore bookworm, offering a nice comfortable sized screen, with buckets of memory and connectivity. While should magazines and newspapers with some books thrown in be more your thing; then it looks like the Skiff might be right down your alley; thin, flexible, sturdy, clean and big you can take whole news-agents with you everywhere! Finally if you’re just a high flying exec, then surely there’s nothing better then having your desk with you without the pain of skimming a laptop screen for hours, you can sit back and read a report as if it were a piece of, slightly plastic feeling, paper.

Whether the Skiff and Que will be affected by Apple’s iSlate remains to be seen; the new device that everyone is talking about could well change the E-Reader market while it’s still in its infancy, but we’ll have to wait and see. It will be interesting to see how colourless e-ink displays stand up to the might of Apple.

Battle stirring among mobile operators for Nexus

The Nexus One is set to be shipped out in the coming months. However the questions that seem to be on people’s minds are, “What carrier?” and “What price plan?”

It looks like mobile giant, Vodafone is an early leader for gaining the retail rights to Google’s first ever smartphone, however whether the search engine is likely to stick with just one operator for very long is unlikely.

Vodafone is known to be one of the largest, and probably more expensive networks available in the UK and Ireland. What exactly the price plan is and other details regarding the potential contract between the two companies, haven’t been announced yet.

Vodafone also recently gained the rights to sell the Apple iPhone, after O2 having exclusivity up until 2010 and has already set it’s own price plan for the popular smartphone.

The Nexus One will be running off of the verizon network in the US.