Smartphones, sports cars, tablets, datacentres and IE9
Photos of the month - September 2010
Smartphones and cars have a lot in common - they're both becoming increasingly high tech and serve as status symbols with the gang in the pub. Bearing these parallels in mind, in September silicon.com went a step further and came up with a list of smartphones and their automotive counterparts.
The HTC Legend is one of the most stylish smartphones available although it lacks some of the processing power of its competitors. In the car world the Legend's equivalent has to be Aston Martin's V8 Vantage, above, which is great to look at and drive but lacks a bit of power when you put it up against its rivals.
To find the car equivalent of your phone, take a look at Photos: If smartphones were cars, what would yours be?.
At September's Intel Developer Forum, Dell unveiled its 10-inch touchscreen computer that converts from a tablet to a netbook with the flip of a screen.
The Inspiron Duo's screen rotates to make the device turn from tablet to netbook as shown above.
To see more check out Photos: Dell unveils tablet-netbook hybrid.
IT services company Capgemini showed silicon.com around its Merlin datacentre in Swindon, which it touts as the most sustainable facility of its type in the world.
The claim is based in part on the Power Usage Effectiveness rating of the site, and also takes into account the amount of embedded carbon used in the construction of the datacentre, its water use and the contaminants produced.
Shown above are the power cables that bring electricity to each datacentre module. They're 5m above the ground to protect them from being tampered with.
To find out more take a look at Photos: The datacentre casting a green spell.
In September Apple updated the iOS operating system for the iPhone 4 and iPod Touch. iOS 4.1 offers bug fixes as well as a number of nifty new features.
One of the additions is the social application Ping, which is now available from the main iTunes menu, as shown above.
Find out what silicon.com sister site CNET thought about the new features in Photos: Apple iPhone update iOS 4.1 tested.
Screenshot: Kent German/CNET
Apple also unwrapped some new additions to its iPod line-up.
Among the revamped MP3 players joining the range is this iPod Nano, which has a multitouch interface for the first time and is half the size and weight of its predecessor.
To see what other products Apple unveiled earlier this month, check out Photos: Apple refreshes iPods, relaunches Apple TV.
Photo credit: Donald Bell/CNET
More hardware came courtesy of HTC, which launched two new versions of its Desire smartphone, the Desire Z and Desire HD, along with a new web service that users can take advantage of using their HTC devices.
Shown above is the HTC Desire HD, which has a larger 4.3-inch LCD screen. For more pictures and details about the new devices and web service check out Photos: HTC unwraps Desire Z and Desire HD smartphones.
The world's biggest mobile maker, Nokia, also unveiled new devices at its annual product showcase, Nokia World. Nokia showed a number of new smartphones - including a new handset in its business-friendly E-Series.
The touchscreen slider E7, pictured above, runs the latest iteration of the open source Symbian OS - Symbian ^3 - and comes in a range of snazzy and not-so-snazzy colours.
For the rest of the hardware launched at Nokia World, see Photos: Nokia debuts slew of new touchscreen Symbian smartphones.
Anyone thinking of ditching that ancient brick of a mobile might want to hold on for technology that promises to turn old phones into touchscreen gadgets.
The technology from InputDynamics uses the sound generated when a person taps the screen of their phone to add touchscreen functionality to the device.
To find out how the technology works and to see what other tech was on show from British start-ups, see Photos: Datacentres, drug-busting fingerprints and 3D gaming.
If it's tablets not smartphones you're after, Samsung chose September's IFA conference to reveal the Galaxy Tab - its entry into the tablet computing market.
The device runs Google's Android 2.2 OS and has a seven-inch TFT LCD display.
To find out more, see Photos: Samsung unveils Android tablet, the Galaxy Tab.
Chipmaker Qualcomm was in London to demo a variety of hardware and software at its Innovation Day - including an augmented reality smartphone app, shown above, which enables mobile users to play a virtual game of Rock'em and Sock'em Robots.
Wireless healthcare apps were also shown off, along with plenty of Android-based hardware - from tablets to smartbooks.
For more of the tech on show, see Photos: Augmented reality and mobile health - Qualcomm's future tech.
There was more mobile innovation on show when Visa invited silicon.com to check out a contactless mobile payments trial taking place in the Spanish city of Sitges.
The trial involves 1,500 mobile users - all furnished with an NFC handset - and more than 500 retailers, such as the one pictured above brandishing a contactless-enabled POS.
To read more on the Sitges m-payments trial, see Mobile wallets coming to UK in time for Olympics - and for more photos check out Photos: Sun, sand, mobile wallets - Europe's biggest m-payments trial.
Microsoft unveiled a number of new apps for the Windows Phone 7 mobile OS in September including Twitter, Flixster and OpenTable.
The restaurant reservation service from OpenTable is shown above.
For a glimpse of the other apps in action, see Photos: Windows Phone 7 apps on show.
Another organisation with its eye on the future of mobile is the Royal Mail, which sealed digital makeover in September with the launch of what it calls "intelligent stamps".
When the stamps are viewed by a smartphone camera with the Junaio app, they take the device's browser to a particular website.
Take a look at more of the pictures in Photos: Royal Mail stamps get smart with mobile image recognition.
A Local Government Association report has found that councils are using a variety of new technologies to make efficiency savings equivalent to £230m, including clever smartphone and web apps.
The 'Scores on the Doors' app allows diners to check the ratings that different restaurants were given by local council hygiene inspectors.
To see more apps take a look at Photos: iPhone apps that save the government millions.
For mobile information of a different stripe, check out silicon.com's iPhone Reader App, which launched in September.
The silicon.com Reader App - which can be downloaded from iTunes - is designed to be fast to load and easy to use. The app is perfect for getting up to speed during the morning commute.
silicon.com's photo galleries look fantastic on the iPhone Reader App as well.
For more of the app in action see Photos: silicon.com's free iPhone app.
Social magazines were the centrepiece of a story looking at apps that use social networks to create personalised news publications.
Pictured above is silicon.com's Twitter feed as seen through the lens of the Flipboard for iPad app - an application that presents web content in a magazine-style page format better suited to casual browsing.
Screenshot: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com
Some bizarre tech was on show as part of the Electrolux Design Lab industrial design competition this month, as design students battled it out to win an internship with the company with their technology concepts for the home of 2050.
Shown above is the Elements Modular Kitchen concept, which has different compartments that can be used for storage, lighting, refrigeration or cooking.
To see some even wackier creations that made the grade, check out Photos: The tech in the home of 2050.
This is the main supercomputing cluster used by the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University to create models of galaxies to study how they are formed and evolve.
The cluster is composed of 800 AMD processor cores and 1.6TB memory but even with this much power the institute has to simplify its cosmological models to get them to run on the 64-bit processors in the cluster.
To find out more, take a look at Photos: Digital galaxies and the supercomputers behind them.
Moving to desktop computing, the beta version of Microsoft's latest Internet Explorer web browser was unveiled in September with improvements including better support for HTML5 and other web standards.
The screen above shows the most frequently visited websites and how often the user visits each one.
To find out what else IE9 has in store, see Photos: Internet Explorer 9 beta unveiled.
Screenshot: Seth Rosenblatt/CNET
Sticking with the web, Google has been celebrating holidays and special occasions with versions of its logo on its homepage over the years - dubbed Google Doodles. silicon.com sister site CNET took a behind the scenes at how the company comes up with the ideas for the Doodles.
Shown above is Doodle team member Jennifer Hom working on her Buckyball doodle sketch on the Wacom tablet that she and the rest of the team use.
To see more, check out Photos: Google's Doodle team - behind the scenes.
Google also unveiled its new Instant search system, which delivers search results dynamically by displaying links as soon as the user starts typing a query.
The graph above shows how long the standard search takes. It includes an average of 20 characters and takes around nine seconds to enter. Google takes only 400 milliseconds of networking time to send the query and result. According to Google's VP of search Marissa Mayer, Google Instant search cuts this time by two to five seconds per query.
To see more check out Photos: Google revamps search with launch of Instant.
Another tech behemoth was in the news in September as Oracle kicked off its OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.
silicon.com editor Steve Ranger was on the ground to snap some photos of the more colourful offerings on the conference floor, including the Google-sponsored Lego pit pictured above.
For more views of Oracle OpenWorld, see Photos: Oracle OpenWorld in pictures.