Instant Heart Rate

When I first saw this app I dismissed it as a gimmick. Some of the reviews on the app store said as much – rubbish, it doesn’t work, con artist – blah, blah, blah. Thanks to Shakeel though I downloaded the app for my iPhone and what do you know – it works!

Instant Heart Rate for iPhone (and also Android devices) is a £0.59 app that measures your heart rate. It does this via the iphone’s camera – thats the bit that initially put me off the app. How would the camera detect heart rate? Well, by enabling the flash the camera can detect your heartbeat by the colour variation as the blood flows through your fingers. Fire up the application, click on measure and the flash is enabled. Place your finger over the camera lens and wait a few seconds for the app to settle and start detecting. It will then measure for a few seconds and start displaying your heartbeat. Once measuring accurately you can then store your heartbeat and a simple graph over time will show your measurements. The hastily shot video below shows how quickly it measures your heart rate.

I was still a bit sceptical but a few other tests after badminton and cycling confirmed it’s accuracy, tying up exactly with the heart rate monitor on my bike. As well as measuring heart rates, the app will also measure your heart rate recovery. The app will measure your rate for 60 seconds after exercise and this can be used as a simple measure of how fit your heart is. Again the app will chart your heart rate recovery over time so if you’ve made a New Years resolution and fitness is a new goal this should give you a way of measuring progress over the year.

Couple of updates from after the podcast. The app doesn’t work on the iPhone 3G but does on the 3GS although it needs a lot of light to accurately detect your heartbeat. Secondly, the app is also available for Android devices but I’m not sure on pricing or which devices are supported.

A very simple app but great value for £0.59 and definitely an app that impresses people when they see it in action.

DigitalOutbox Episode 76

DigitalOutbox Episode 76
In this episode the team discuss Bing copying Google, Honeycomb news, Apple geting greedy and the launch of The Daily.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:37 – Bing is copying Google
– Google has run a sting operation that it says proves Bing has been watching what people search for on Google, the sites they select from Google’s results, then uses that information to improve Bing’s own search listings. Bing doesn’t deny this.
– As a result of the apparent monitoring, Bing’s relevancy is potentially improving (or getting worse) on the back of Google’s own work. Google likens it to the digital equivalent of Bing leaning over during an exam and copying off of Google’s test.
– “I’ve spent my career in pursuit of a good search engine,” says Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow who oversees the search engine’s ranking algorithm. “I’ve got no problem with a competitor developing an innovative algorithm. But copying is not innovation, in my book.”
– Is it copying or being clever?
– Whatever your view, read how Google caught Bing on searchengineland – great article
– MS and Google employees also have flame war on twitter – very entertaining
– Plays out on search panel too – http://www.mattcutts.com/blog/google-bing/
– Seems to go back to Bing bar or IE8 install – encrypts and returns search results from Google to MS if user has turned on Suggested Sites feature
– If MS is using 1000 signals to return results, why does one link that Google have created deliberately also get generated in Bing?
6:15 – Microsoft release H.264 plugin for…Chrome
– Today, as part of the interoperability bridges work we do on this team, we are making available the Windows Media Player HTML5 Extension for Chrome, which is an extension for Google Chrome to enable Windows 7 customers who use Chrome to continue to play H.264 video.
…but it’s not all bad for google
8:15 – Speak2Tweet
– Google team up with SayNow (which they bought last week) and twitter to launch a speak to tweet service
– It’s already live and anyone can tweet by simply leaving a voicemail on one of these international phone numbers (+16504194196 or +390662207294 or +97316199855) and the service will instantly tweet the message using the hashtag #egypt. No Internet connection is required. People can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.
– No net connection required
10:20 – Art Project by Google
– Virtual tour of many of the worlds art galleries
– Similar to street view, walk around gallaries
– Click on + button to view hi rez art
12:38 – Android Honeycomb Event
– Showing off fragments which let developers break up components of an app into different pane.
– Modular development is an important part of the app framework
– All 2D Drawing that developers have been doing can be hardware accelerated
– Developers can also tap into an animation framework, allowing developers to fluidly move between views
– RenderScript: A new rendering engine optimized for high performance 3D graphics. Showing off the new YouTube app, which takes advantage of RenderScript.
– New music app, Google body, demo game ported from PS3 – graphics similar to PS2, new camera app with image stabilisation built in
– Announcing the release of the Android Market Webstore. This is big — it was previewed at Google I/O last year, and now users can go to browser and browse entire catalog and install/purchase apps direct from the web.
– When you click to buy, it shows which permissions it needs, asks which device you want to install to, — click ‘complete your purchase’. As soon as the credit card transaction completes, you get a notification on your phone, and the app is downloading to your phone. Very cool. “No wires, no syncing with computers, none of that sort of nonsense.
– In-app purchasing coming to Android
18:37 – Greedy Apple
– NY Times report – Apple blocked Sony’s e-reader application from the iPhone and mandated that it would need to sell content via In-App purchases:
– The company has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer sell content, like e-books, within their apps, or let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store.
Apple rejected Sony’s iPhone application, which would have let people buy and read e-books bought from the Sony Reader Store.
– Apple told Sony that from now on, all in-app purchases would have to go through Apple, said Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division.
– Many Apple loyalists dismissed the report saying it was weak – Kindle won’t be affected as they hand off purchasing to Safari
– LOL at Sony as they would struggle to implement there own payment system – they are that bad
– However….
– Now an Apple spokesperson has given us this statement:
“We have not changed our developer terms or guidelines. We are now requiring that if an app offers customers the ability to purchase books outside of the app, that the same option is also available to customers from within the app with in-app purchase.”
– What? This is a change in policy.
– The most relevant passage from Apple’s developer guidelines — which were only published in September, mind you — appears to be section 11.2, which states:
Apps utilizing a system other than the In App Purchase API (IAP) to purchase content, functionality, or services in an app will be rejected.
– So what about Spotify, RTM, Comics, Netflix, Wired…the list goes on?
– Why just books?
– Is this related to subscription options coming soon?
– Whatever, as it stands this is plain wrong and the dangers of a company like Apple, running a closed system and changing the goalposts looks set to bite
– It’s also so greedy – no matter what you sell, we want our 30%
– Amazon and others can’t afford that other 30% cut
– Ian – with Honeycomb coming out it may be time to look elsewhere for mobile devices
– Loving the backtracking from the loyalists…I mean fanboys
– More to come on Feb 2nd surely? Reduce 30% on in app content?
24:47 – The Daily launches
– Murdoch notes that a growing population of news consumers no longer read print or even watch TV. His aim with The Daily is to combine “the magic of great newspapers” with the magic of technology. “The Daily is not a legacy barnd moving from the print to the digital world. We have license to experiment. We believe The Daily will be the model for how stories are told.”
– A new edition will come out every day, with updates throughout the day. it will feature a carousel navigation that looks like Coverflow, an dinclude video and 360-degree photographs.
– Since there are no trucks and no printing costs, The Daily will cost 14 cents a day or about $1 a week. The first two weeks are free, thanks to a sponsorship by Verizon. You will be able to download it live at noon ET.
– Apple exec Eddie Cue announced today at The Daily launch, as expected, that Apple will be enabling subscription pricing for news apps. There will be one-click subscription billing either weekly (99 cents) or yearly ($39.99). Apple is starting with The Daily, but Cue says “you will hear an announcement very soon for other publications
– The subscription billing solves a business model problem for media companies, but now they have to create compelling products that people will not only want to pay for but keep paying for over time.
– Asked whether The Daily would come to other tablets, Rupert Murdoch says, “As other tablets get established, we expect to be on all the major tablets.” But he also notes, “We believe this year, and maybe next year belong to Apple.
– Ian – nothing here for UK users, not available in UK store (or anywhere else apart from US) and the content isn’t the best. App feels a bit slow…and news is out of date. Comments were mostly – first or noise – nothing of any consequence. However the movie/music news was ok and some feature articles were good. Lots of movies and photo’s, including 360 degree photo’s. But, it’s just more of the same – no WOW. Updates also take quite a while – couple of minutes before you can start to read new edition. More of a WOW – it took $30 million to get to this point
– The Daily official twitter account did say they they are looking forward to getting to the UK soon. With subs, I’d pay for Guardian on the iPad to be delivered digitally.
– Want to see all the articles but you’ve not got an iPad – http://thedailyindexed.tumblr.com/
– Andy Baio is creating an index for the articles which are published on the web for free but not indexed well
– Up at moment but no sure for how long
33:06 – Real Broadcast Competition May be on the way
– Pub landlady in Portmsouth used cheaper Greek satalite decoders to show Premiership footy in pub. Much cheaper than Sky… who have exclusive broadcast rights to premiership footy games in UK.
– Landlady initially fined £8000 – she took it to European court on grounds that the exclusive territorial rights were a breach of European market laws… judge upheld the argument.
– Judgement from Advocate is not binding but judges generally follow the advice.
– Have every confidence that this won’t see an end to the monopoly – but in the short term it does seem to intimate that you are free to by decoders from any EU country and watch their broadcasts.
38:57 – England & Wales Crime Maps Launched
– Enter street name or postcode and see crimes in that area
– Cost £300,000 to develop – totally overloaded on day 1 – 75,000 hits per minute
– Information on crime is broken down into six categories – burglary, robbery, vehicle crime, violence, other crime and anti-social behaviour. Sex crimes have been included in the “other” category, along with crimes such as theft and shoplifting, to help prevent victims from being identified.
– Also lists details of local police team
42:30 – Flickr accidentally deletes users Pro account
– IT architect and Flickr user Mirco Wilhelm couldn’t log on to his 5-year old account yesterday, and when he asked the Flickr team about this issue they flat out told him they had accidentally flushed his entire account, and the 4,000 photos that were in it, straight down the drain.
Apparently Wilhelm reported a Flickr user with an account that held ‘obviously stolen material’ to the company last weekend, but a staff member erroneously incinerated his account instead of the culprit’s.
– Offer 4 years pro usage to say sorry – they can’t restore the account and it’s photo’s, content etc once it’s deleted
– This practice of deleting accounts without any way of reversing it is a disgrace
– Yahoo finally say something +ve:
– Yesterday, Flickr mistakenly deleted a member’s account due to human error. Flickr takes user trust very seriously and we, like our users, take great pride in being able to take, post and share photos. Our teams are in touch with the member and are currently working hard to try to restore the contents of his account. In addition, we are providing the member with 25 years of free Flickr Pro membership. We are also actively working on a process that will allow us to easily restore deleted accounts and will roll this functionality out soon.
47:22 – Facebook Deals
– Finally launches in Europe
– Check into via Facebook Places and you may receive a deal – 20% of or such
– Starbucks, Debenhams and O2 already signed up
50:39 – Immigration officer fired after putting wife on list of terrorists to stop her flying home
– An immigration officer tried to rid himself of his wife by adding her name to a list of terrorist suspects.
– He used his access to security databases to include his wife on a watch list of people banned from boarding flights into Britain because their presence in the country is ‘not conducive to the public good’.
– As a result the woman was unable for three years to return from Pakistan after travelling to the county to visit family.
– The tampering went undetected until the immigration officer was selected for promotion and his wife name was found on the suspects’ list during a vetting inquiry.
– The Home Office confirmed today that the officer has been sacked for gross misconduct.

Picks
Ian
Instant Heart Rate
– £0.59
– Thought it was a gimmick but it actually works
– Uses camera to track colour change
– Accurate, allows for charting and also measures recovery rate after excercise
– Great on 4g due to camera – needs good light for other iPhones

Henry
X-mini
– Great speaker in a tiny form factor
BoinxTV Home
– Home recording software for the Mac
– £29.99
– Green screen, lower thirds, text
– Easy to use editor

Form factor prediction…

In January 2010, I started to write a post about the future of device form factor… I never finished or published it. I wish I had now, as I would have actually looked more intelligent and insightful than I actually am! See below for the unfinished masterpiece…

————– // ——————

Form Factor Fads

We can cram computing power into all sorts of different shapes and sizes. The excitement of cramming powerful computers into devices we can fit in our pocket has created a huge global industry. Devices that know where they are and that are always connected have seen many innovations and uses.
The biggest problem is one of form factor. A device that fits in your pocket is often compromised on the display and input front. Even though an iPhone is an exceptionally capable device being worked on by millions of talented individuals, it still has some inherent limiting factors to its capabilities. Screen size and data input.
We see more and more niche products being released that all have different combinations of form factor. Different screen sizes to suit particular tasks. Different input methods to facilitate different types of application.
Users aren’t going to buy 101 different devices to meet all their different requirements. It’s wasteful and unnecessary. What needs to happen is a separation of computational device and display/input devices.
A computer that can sit in your pocket and be portable can be used to output content to any size monitor or display and can be attached to any input device imaginable. Your device can then act as an eReader, Personal Computer, Media Streamer, Word Processor, Catalogue etc etc Users can then make purchasing decisions about how they want to interact with their device and its data. With commonality of input/output interfaces, everyday objects, like TV’s, will immediately become huge lounge portals to any digital media.
Buying a bigger laptop will simply be a matter of buying a bigger shell – with keyboard and screen that your pocket device can interface with.

Alfred for Mac

Alfred for Mac has been available for nearly a year but I only recently tried it via the Mac App Store. It’s a productivity tool in the mould of the much loved Quicksilver and more recently Launchbar. Alfred can be used to quickly launch any application, find documents on your computer or quickly launch web shortcuts plus a whole lot more.

Alfred is still called a beta but it’s been rock solid so far in my usage. Downloading the free version from the App Store brings with it a host of functionality. Alfred is called via a keyboard shortcut which can be chosen by the user. I always use cmd+space for my launcher applications. So typing cmd+space opens the Alfred window and from there I can search for applications and files on my local machine or on the web. For example, type 1p and Alfred will start to list files matching the text 1p. As I’ve launched 1Password before, Alfred will present that as my favourite result.

If I don’t want to launch 1Password I can tap down through the returned results via he arrow keys or I can use cmd+number to open another file, contact etc. This allows for very quick searching and launching of applications and files. On a file or contact returned in Alfred I can press the right arrow key to conduct a series of actions – launch file, mail file, delete file etc. Alfred will never replace the finder for me but for seeking out a file to edit or mail on to a friend it’s far quicker than the default Mac tools. The free tool also comes with a calculator and spell checker as well as a variety of built in web searches. Type google searchterm and a Google search will be run for the given searchterm, opening in a new tab in your default browser. Custom searches can also be added so it’s easy to add a shortcut for Bing Images for example. As a free tool it’s great but there’s also a paid option for Alfred – the Alfred Powerpack.

The powerpack isn’t available via the App store as in app purchasing isn’t supported yet. Instead, buy the powerpack from the Alfred website for £12 and you unlock a far more feature rich tool. Fallback searching (if nothing is found then search via Google) is added plus the ability to e-mail form Alfred. However the bigger additions are iTunes and Clipboard extensions.

An iTunes mini player allows you to search and control iTunes not only selecting music and the usual play/pause controls but also rate music as well. A more useful feature is Clipboard History and Snippets. Launched via a separate shortcut or by typing snip within Alfred, the snippets extension will show you your clipboard history allowing you to easily copy old clipboard entries to application. Snippets allow you to setup a library of snippets for commonly entered text. I find that really useful for the podcast – I have path entries, twitter text, iTunes boilerplate text entered as snippets so I can paste them in when required.

Alfred is not only a very functional app but looks good with it as well. The original Quicksilver always looked great and although Launchbar is functionally more rich that both Quicksilver and Alfred, I find the performance of Alfred coupled with the better design to be much better (might be due to size of Launchbar index over time). If you already have Launchbar then the extra cost of paying for Alfred can’t be justified but if you’ve not tried a keyboard driven launcher before then fire up the App Store and try the free version of Alfred. I’m pretty confident that after a few days you’ll be paying for the powerpack version as the time saved over a few weeks is worth far more than £12.

DigitalOutbox Episode 75

DigitalOutbox Episode 75
In this episode the team discuss Egypt blocking the internet, Sony NGP and O2 rolls out free wifi.

Playback
Listen via iTunes
Listen via M4A
Listen via MP3

Shownotes
1:05 – Egypt Blocks the Internet
– Started off with rumour of Facebook and Twitter being blocked
– Vodafone said it wasn’t them – govt were blocking
– Internet and SMS and Mobile phone networks now being blocked
– Follows a week of protests and escalating violence on the streets – protests over ruling government – demonstrators demanding the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak
– Tim Bray, an engineer at Google, tweeted: “I feel that as soon as the world can’t use the net to watch, awful things will start happening.”
– http://gigaom.com/2011/01/28/how-egypt-switched-off-the-internet/
– http://www.renesys.com/blog/2011/01/egypt-leaves-the-internet.shtml
4:53 – BBC Cuts
– 360 staff to lose jobs
– Online budget to drop to £103m by 2013 – 25% cut
– BBC said it will meet with commercial rivals twice a year to clarify its online plans, increase links to external sites to generate 22m referrals within three years and will halve the number of top level domains it operates.
– Blast, Switch and h2g2 are among the sites to be ditched.
Other closures will include the standalone websites for the BBC Radio 5 Live 606 phone-in show and 1Xtra, 5 Live Sports Extra, 6 Music and Radio 7 digital stations.
– In all, the BBC is pledging to close half of its 400 top level domains – with 180 to be gone ahead of schedule later this year.
– The 606 site and iPlayer Message Boards close. iPlayer will become focused on “long form video content” – no radio via iPlayer – http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/aboutthebbc/2011/01/delivering-quality-first.shtml
– While BBC iPlayer has been a good home for online radio, the way audiences want to interact with radio and music online is different to TV. Radio and music will come out of BBC iPlayer, and we’ll develop a new stand-alone product. All radio station sites, music events, podcasts and programme pages will be integrated to focus on highly interactive live radio, quick and seamless access to programming, support for new music and personalisation – on whatever internet-connected device you happen to have.
9:26 – Sites Hacked/a>
– Lush has it’s site hacked
– anyone who made online purchases on the handmade cosmetic company’s UK site between October 4th and January 20th is at risk of having their credit cards used fraudulently
– Site was hacked on Christmas Day but Lush only took down their site on Friday 21st
– Many people angry at the delay – no wonder – Lush say they were investigating the hackers intentions – only when they started to use small test payments using stolen card details did they take action
– Paypal driven website to launch shortly
– Trapster’s site also compromised
– http://www.itpro.co.uk/630250/trapster-passwords-leaked-after-hack
– 10 million e-mail addreses and passwords potentially stolen
– Ouch
– If you used a common password, nows the time to change it
– E-mail addresses and passwords now ‘in the hands of hackers’
14:48 – ACS Law stops chasing file sharers
– The patent court in London is currently scrutinising 26 cases brought by ACS: Law on behalf of its client MediaCAT. The law firm had sent thousands of letters to alleged file-sharers.
– Those who received such letters may pursue ACS: Law for harrassment, said law firm Ralli, which represents some of the defendants.
– In a statement read to the court, solicitor Andrew Crossley said he had now ceased all such work
– “I have ceased my work…I have been subject to criminal attack. My e-mails have been hacked. I have had death threats and bomb threats,” he said in the statement, read to the court by MediaCAT’s barrister Tim Ludbrook.
“It has caused immense hassle to me and my family,” he added.
16:51 – Google censoring torrents
– The search engine now actively censors terms including BitTorrent, torrent, utorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload from its instant and autocomplete services. The reactions from affected companies and services are not mild, with BitTorrent Inc., RapidShare and Vodo all speaking out against this act of commercial censorship.
– What is most surprising about the new filter is that the keywords appear to be picked arbitrarily. It includes BitTorrent clients such as uTorrent and Xunlei, but not BitComet and Vuze. While cyberlockers such as RapidShare and Megaupload are banned, prominent sites such as 4shared, HotFile and MediaFire are not.
– In addition, all the names of popular torrent sites including The Pirate Bay are not included in Google’s banlist either. BitTorrent’s Simon Morris agrees that this is odd, to say the least.
21:23 – Amazons Record Quarter
– Significant milestone – tipping point?
– Sold 115 kindle books for every 100 paperbacks – doesn’t include free downloads
– Ian – been enjoying using Kindle software, not hardware
– Amazon in general doing really well – sales up %40 on last year – first $10 billion quarter
23:46 – Microsofts Great Quarter
– Kinects – 8 million in 60 days
– Entertainment division doing well
– Office 2010 – fastest selling consumer version of Office yet – licence sales 50% ahead of 2007 at this stage
– Windows 7 – fastest selling op system yet – sold more than 300 million licences
– Windows phone 7 – umm – 100 new apps per day?
27:08 – O2 Rolls Out UK WiFi
– O2 is planning to deploy 13,000 Wi-Fi hotspots over the next two years, with free internet access in exchange for your mobile number and a few quid from the venue.
– Free for all, no matter what network your on
– The network won’t just be for O2 customers: anyone with a mobile phone will be able to sign up to the service, which will provide free internet access while logging the customer’s location and details for better delivery of targeted advertising. This will all be paid for by the venue, which might also like to make use of that advertising channel.
– Users wanting to take advantage will need to provide a mobile phone number, from any network, which will be confirmed with a text message. O2 then links the number to the MAC code (unique identity) of the kit connected, enabling it to automatically authorise future connections as well as spotting when the customer enters an area covered – enabling the delivery of the aforementioned advertising by text message or MMS.
-You can opt out of O2 Wi-Fi altogether, which will prevent you from receiving content from the venue.
– The system will only know you’re there if the equipment with the registered MAC address is switched on when you pass by, so advertising should only really happen when you try to use the service. That will change over time – modern smartphones constantly monitor for Wi-Fi networks, and connect to them when they are available, which will be enough for O2 to consider you fair game for a text message.
– But at least O2 won’t be tracking usage or browsing habits, nor will it be filtering content beyond what’s legal and in contrast to the mobile network. All UK mobile operators are required to block access to pornography and other adult services over their mobile networks until the customer presents proof of age, but it seems the same company can provide internet access over Wi-Fi without any such obligation: a strange double standard that surely can’t be allowed to continue.
31:12 – BSkyB buys The Cloud
– The acquisition gives us ownership of over 5,000 public Wi-Fi locations across the UK, ensuring that customers can access our online service at a network of convenient locations,” it said in a statement.
– “In addition, the initiative will complement our existing broadband services by offering customers a comprehensive option for Wi-Fi connectivity while they are on the move.”
32:28 – Galaxy Tab Price Drop
– Amazon and Tesco have also chopped their prices to a palatable £341.24 ($542) and £359.20 ($571)
– Dropped $250 in America
– Not selling too well or new updates coming in next 3 months or so?
– Honeycomb can be installed seemingly on the tab
34:35 – Android 3 Honeycomb Previewed
– Built for tablets – looks really, really good
– I like how they’ve made more changes due to screen seize, especially on home screen – iPad missed opportunity in many ways – lots of widgets and stacks
– Latest Android SDK includes an early Android 3.0 system image for developers
37:09 – Runkeeper Pro Free Forever
– Formerly priced at $9.99, fitness-tracker RunKeeper was one of the first 200 apps in the iTunes app store and became one of the store’s top sellers. After a month of free downloads, the company announced today that the product will remain free indefinitely. It’s not about app sales – it’s all about the platform.
– “We are less concerned about short term monetization,” founding CEO Jason Jacobs told us by email today, “and more concerned about building up the biggest, most engaged community of fitness enthusiasts that we can.”
– Jacobs told us that three million users had downloaded a RunKeeper app over the past 2 years, 1 million of whom downloaded Pro for free in a single week in January. The free and Pro versions of the app both made Apple’s top free and grossing apps of 2010 lists.
39:36 – Playstation Suite
– Sony unveiled a cross-platform software framework called PlayStation Suite, which sounds rather boring in those words, but what it amounts to is an official PlayStation Store filled with games for your Android tablets and cellphones.
– Sony’s starting with an emulator for existing PSOne titles and is promising an Android game store later this year, but soon it might be much, much more: the company’s calling PlayStation Suite a “hardware-neutral” development framework to make games portable for all sorts of handhelds, and says that “new and exciting content” is also on the way.
– PlayStation Suite requires Android 2.3 at a minimum
– Emulate touch screen controls
41:01 – Sony NGP
– 5 key concepts – Revolutionary User Interface, Social Connectivity, Location-based Entertainment, Converging Real and Virtual (augmented) Reality
– Specs include a quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor, 5-inch touchscreen OLED display with 960 x 544 resolution, dual analog sticks (not nubs as on the current generation), 3G, WiFi, GPS, a rear-mounted touchpad, the same accelerometer / gyroscope motion sensing as in the PlayStation Move, an electronic compass, and cameras on both the front and back.
– Games will come on “new media,” not UMD anymore, but we’re unclear on what sort of flash memory is being used. Sony’s rather proud of the fact it’s offering the world’s first dual analog stick combo on a portable device, though we’re more geeked about the quadrupling of pixel count from the original PSP.
– touch panel on the back is the same size and positioned directly under the front OLED touchscreen, which allows for some pretty sophisticated controls when using the two simultaneously.
– In closing its presentation, Sony trotted out Hideo Kojima to show off a cutscene from MGS 4 rendered in real time on the NGP. It was pulled directly from the PS3 version of the game and ran at 20fps, which looked very smooth indeed
– Allegedly…the power of a PS3 and will deliver PS3 like graphics
– Out in 2011…in at least one territory

Picks
Ian
Sketchbook Express
– Free from Autodesk
– Supports tablets – bamboo and higher spec tablets from Wacom – great mockup tool for free
– Pro version for £44.99 (was £19.99 at Mac store launch) has more tools, layers and export options

Chris
Speedlight SB-400
– A great compact flash from Nikon
– Makes a big difference when shooting, especially indoors