WHAT’S NEW IN GADGETS AND TECHNOLOGY

 
Timothy Barber
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SONY LAUNCHES NEW VAIO RANGE
Sony unveiled its new range of Vaio laptops this week, including the strikingly-coloured C Series. Available in luminous orange, green and pink, it features light emitting technology that makes your laptop look like it’s glowing. For the more demure consumer, you can also grab it in black or white, and it packs a punch for a mid-range product. The other attention grabber was an updated version of its L Series touch-screen all in one desktop, clearly placed as an alternative to Apple’s revolutionary iMac. While it still features a full keyboard for typing, most basic functions can be carried out by touching the screen. Sony is also showing off its first 3D laptop, the F Series, which debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. It provides a high definition viewing experience with battery powered glasses. Finally, the S Series is its new ultra-thin, ultra-powerful laptop, which looks slick and features the new hybrid graphics chip from Intel.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT HACKERS?
The biggest players in the gaming industry appear to be taking different approaches to dealing with the bedroom boffins dedicated to cracking their software. PlayStation 3 manufacturer Sony is taking the hard line, threatening to sue hackers of the PS3 and promising that anyone using circumvention devices or pirated software will be banned from using the system for life. Meanwhile Xbox creator Microsoft is embracing both the nerds and the spirit of crowdsourcing. It’s planning to release a “starter kit for application developers” for its highly successful Xbox Kinect, which will enable enthusiasts to create their own uses and experiences via Microsoft’s technology. That’s coming in the spring, with a commercial version to follow.

R2D2 VACUUM
There are two problems with vacuum cleaning: one, it’s an utter bore, and two, it’s an utter bore that makes an awful lot of noise. Robotic vacuum cleaners that you leave to mosey round the room on their own may have been around for a bit, but Samsung’s aiming to solve problem two as well with its newly-launched NaviBot Silencio (pictured). Apparently faster and a lot quieter than most of its peers, creating just 62dB of noise while it goes about its business at the touch of a button. To work its way around the room it has a small integrated camera providing a “visionary mapping system”.