Sky TV is showcasing its 3D technology in a number of undisclosed locations over the next year. However they are promising at least 100 3D shopping centre demos. The first of which took place in the Westfield shopping centre in London. Sky will be launching their first 3D channel later this year and want users to get a taste of what it may be like in advance. The technology will work on any 3D enabled TV which already has an HD box and the service will be free for those with HD - at least to begin with. A number of sporting events are being filmed in 3D and Sky have said a number of programmes will be shown.
Google Street Maps now allows users to look at 95% of UK homes according to The Daily Mail. Google have now made another 210,000 miles of detailed maps available to the public, these include previously unseen small towns and cities and even pedestrianised areas such as Stonehenge and the Eden project. Google have said that they service will allow people to get to know a town better or to check out an area before they visit. People have voiced concerns over privacy, but Google are quick to remove images which show faces or number plates, once they have been alerted by the public via the feature.
Vodaphone is to cut 375 jobs in the UK as part of a cost saving exercise. The company has around 9000 staff and those roles which will go are mostly back office ones across the whole country. It has also warned that other changes and efficiencies will be made in an effort to improve performance during difficult economic times.
New technology is to be retrofitted into social housing homes around the country as part of 80 projects undertaken by The Technology Strategy Board's Retrofit for the Future programme. It is hoped that the scheme will allow the government to meet it's CO2 reduction promises of 80% by 2050. The work is due to start in August 2010 and will include efficient energy systems and renewables, ventilation systems to recover heat and circulate it through the home and extensive use of insulation. The Technology Strategy Board commented that improving the housing stock already in use will help to identify what should be used in the long term.
The BBC website has this week featured ways to protect gadgets from thieves. One item featured is the biometric wallet known as the iWallet, which has a fingerprint reader to allow just the owner to open it. It is also blue-tooth enabled to alert the owner should anyone else attempt to open it, provided they are still within range. The inventor Steven Cabouli came upon the idea after he was a pick-pocketing victim. Another invention is a blue-tooth enabled tag to attach to gadgets or handbags. If the gadget is moved too far from the owner an alarm will go off encouraging the thief to drop the item and leave. It will also prevent someone from leaving their items behind when leaving a restaurant or even home.
Scottish scientists are developing weather bulletins which will be sent direct to the users mobile phone and will be personalised for that person. Text messages will be sent to warn of rain, hot weather or storms and will be highly accurate and localised. They can be sent half hourly and will even say how long a rain storm is likely to be. A network of mini satellites are due to be sent into space next year by Clyde Space, a Glasgow company. The satellites will send out signals similar to radar to Earth, detecting rain and weather systems. This will then be transmitted to Earth for collection by mobile phones and filtered according to location. The managing director Craig Clarke has said that people nowadays expect this type of technology and if it isn't done by them someone else will do it within the next ten years.
A brand loyalty study by Crowd Science has found that two out of five Blackberry users would like to switch to an iPhone when they upgrade. In addition, 32% of Blackberry users would prefer a Google Nexus One. This doesn't look good for Blackberry as 90% of iPhone and Nexus users are happy to stay with their current phone. Blackberry still has the largest share of the smartphone market, however it does appear that despite the release of a new web browser, the Blackberry is losing popularity.
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