Top Tech News

For tech-minded people, there’s been some super-cool news in the last week or so. Here’s a few things that caught my eye…

Microsoft launches “Surface”
Want a huge PC in your coffee table with Minority Report style touch technology? Well, soon you can thanks to Microsoft Surface. Despite being a slow flash-based website, it’s definitely worth a visit to see Surface in action. Object awareness is achieved via barcodes on things like cameras, cellphones and music players. Don’t expect it to be cheap though – US$5-10K and only for commercial customers at first (according to the Scobleizer)…

Google goes offline with “Gears”
The good folks at Google have released an open source browser plugin called Gears that will let web apps work in offline mode. This is not only awesome but a big deal – a significant step in letting Google compete in the desktop environment. Google’s “Reader” (for RSS) got this functionality today, letting you browse your latest 2000 items without an internet connection.

Apple launches DRM-free music with new iTunes
For a little extra cash per song/album, you can now legally buy non-copy protected music via iTunes Plus. This means you can now play your purchased music in other apps and migrate it to other players. One caveat though – your username is embedded in the file so they can track piracy (unless you convert it to an mp3 of course…)

Apple TV to get YouTube and a fat HDD
That sexy little media box called Apple TV is getting pimped out with a fat 160Gb hard drive and will soon not only play your iTunes content (music/TV/movies) but will also stream YouTube videos. Very cool. Now if only they’d open it up to DivX/Xvid content I’d buy one tomorrow.

Second Life gets first embassy
Something a little bizarre to round off – virtual world Second Life now has it’s first government sanctioned embassy from Sweden. While I’ve never experienced Second Life, it’s certainly popular with close to 7 million residents and an insane amount of real money being spent in the virtual world (over US$1 million in the last 24hr as I write this!)

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About Chris
A self confessed geek, meteorologist (aka weather forecaster), father & proud kiwi mainlander living, working & playing in Wellington, New Zealand.

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