Archive for February, 2011

Kindle software update rolls out

Amazon Kindle 3GAmazon have announced that they’re rolling out a software update to Kindle owners, taking the software version to 3.1. It’s a seamless update that should come through automatically, just as soon as you activate your Kindle’s wi-fi. There’s no information about whether the update comes through via 3G.

There are 4 main features that will become enabled as part of the update and I’ve listed them below in order of importance (from my own perspective). Unfortunately, there’s no change to allow custom screensaver images (as was possible on previous Kindle versions), or to default the images to align with the current book or publication you’re reading. I’d much prefer to see something specific that I choose as opposed to the classics author images that currently pop up.

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Social media tracking tools

It’s often useful to find out what’s being said about particular topics or news stories – and fortunately, there are a range of tools to help take some of the grunt work out of this labour intensive task. So, rather than having to visit each individual site, forum or blog that might contain information that you want to read, use some of these tools instead.

I’ve put together a selection of some of the tools I’ve come across and used previously, as well as a quick summary of some alternative options – including some paid-for applications. If you have others that aren’t mentioned here, please leave a comment and share your experiences. Thanks!

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Sony Xperia Play phone announced

Ok, I know I’m all grown up and shouldn’t be interested in a phone that includes its own portable playstation system, but I am… in fact, I’m very interested in it.

Not only does it appear to have full smartphone capabilities, but it’s apparently housed in a reasonably svelte package (albeit larger than typical smartphones) – and it looks pretty damn good.

The videos I’ve seen online about playable demos are really encouraging… as long as the battery life holds up, it’ll make for more entertaining journeys on public transport, for example!

One of the main unanswered questions currently focuses on how much the thing will cost. Well, Amazon UK currently has the phone available to pre-order for £599.99 (link HERE) – scheduled to be released on 4th April 2011. Inevitably, this price will tumble as the April launch date looms – and I also expect there to be significant discounts when purchasing the phone through a mobile carrier, as it’ll be heavily subsidised too. The main networks in the UK have already announced that they’ll be carrying the phone.

Importantly, as with all gaming devices, they live or die by the quality of the games available – and Sony have apparently lined up 50 games to be ready at launch, including some classics… I’m just hoping my all time favourite PS one game is on there: Circuit Breakers!!!

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Use temporary email addresses to beat spam

Temporary email addresses are free services available online that allow you to set up and use a temporary email address. They’re all pretty easy to use, but one of the ones I’ve used and would recommend is 10 Minute Mail (link here:

Why use a temporary email address? – Well, for one thing, it can be really handy when signing up to some web sites or forums that insist on you registering before accessing all the content, or submitting any of your own questions. It’s also great at avoiding spam – because if your temporary email address has expired, there’s nowhere for the email to go!

Signing up with 10 minute mail gives you a temporary email address for 10 minutes (you can keep extending the 10 minute window though, but only so long as you are on the site). The interesting part of this disposable email service though, is that it allows you to receive, read and respond to any emails received whilst your address is currently live. This means you can sign up to web services or forums, for example, and click on the confirmation email request as and when it comes through.

It’s definitely going to be added to my favourites, and will certainly be a tool I’ll use again.

VPhase drops price to £299

VPhase voltage optimisation is now available for just £299 including VAT and installation*, when purchased through their national framework supplier Eaga.

With VPhase voltage optimisation you can save around 10% off your electricity bills without having to change the way you live. It’s a simple fit and forget solution that requires no ongoing maintenance.

How Can VPhase improve my home?

  • Save around 10% on your electricity bills
  • No change to lifestyle required
  • Maintenance free for its 25+ year life
  • Easily installed by any qualified electrician, or their national fulfilment partner Eaga
  • Reduce household carbon footprints
  • Comes with a 5 year warranty

Payback periods of typically under 5 years means it’s a risk free investment for the home

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