It’s Friday, which is good news in itself. But it also means a chance to catch up on some of the gadget news that’s been bubbling under the surface over the past week – stories worth knowing about from the wide world of technology.
Our selection this week covers movies, phones, aliens and games – which is pretty much the perfect way to kick off any weekend, if you ask us. Enjoy!
Jobs: the movies
The Steve Jobs biography has proved a massive hit, selling by the truckload and giving gadget fans the world over an insight into the life of the late Apple founder and CEO. But there’s also an independent movie in the pipelines simply titled Jobs, and this week saw the first photos of lead actor Ashton Kutcher in character, bearing a surprising likeness to Jobs’ longer-haired 1980s look. Not only that, but we also heard that Sony has landed The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin to pen the screenplay for the separate Jobs biopic that’s also in the works.
Siri back on the straight and narrow
While we’re on the subject of Apple, non-iOS devotees (and even a few fans) have been having a good chuckle at iOS voice assistant Siri singling out the Nokia Lumia 900 as the best smartphone on the planet. Well needless to say Apple has stepped in to put matters to right, and has done so in a way that for many sums the company up perfectly. Ask Siri the same question now and thanks to a software update she’ll now simply deflect the question with one of several pre-programmed responses, the pick of which has to be “wait… there are other phones?”
The Android invasion
At the other end of the scale is of course Android, which seems to have taken over the world by weight of sheer numbers. Most of us have a vague idea that the number of Android devices kicking around the place has steadily gone from “a few” to “quite a lot” to “I’ve lost count”, but this week a group of hardy souls presumably without much of a social life revealed the true extent of Android fragmentation: there are now officially 3,997 distinct Android devices in circulation around the world. At that rate, surely they could have waited another 20 minutes for it to hit an even 4,000?
Nintendo DS leads the way
For some reason, Japan tends to be the source of many of the stranger technology tales we come across, and here’s another: Toyota and Nintendo have created a service that turns the Nintendo DS handheld console into a portable GPS device. It’s not as daft as you might think, either: the screen size is about right, and if you’re on a family outing there’s every chance the DS will be in the car anyway. Of course, getting the youngsters to hand it over so you can commandeer their gaming gizmo to get you from A to B probably won’t be easy – plus there’s the $3,000 you’ll have to hand over for the compatible Toyota Smart Navi system and the $92 for the Kuruma de DS title itself. Is it just us or does spending a couple of hundred quid on a TomTom make way more sense?
Max Payne 3 out now!
It’s been quite a week for gamers, though perhaps Rockstar Games won’t be feeling too clever right now for going ahead with today’s Max Payne 3 launch given how soon it comes after Diablo III’s headline-grabbing emergence. Still, hardcore gamers will no doubt have cleared their schedules for the next few… months to make room for both, and there is an unexpected bonus waiting if you do snap up Max Payne 3: apparently tucked away somewhere on the game disc is a file containing a full list of vehicle names from Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V, which is set to arrive somewhere around the end of the year.