/>
X

Techie Tories, iPhone apps and Christmas gadgets

Photos of the month - December 2009
zd-defaultauthor-tim-ferguson.jpg
By Tim Ferguson on
40153196-1-daviddavis-bmp.jpg
1 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Photos of the month - December 2009

There were plenty of photo delights on silicon.com in December as the curtain finally came down on the noughties.

And with a Conservative government a distinct possibility for 2010, silicon.com rated the party's techiest MPs.

David Davis, the former shadow home secretary (above), is a computer science graduate and has consistently spoken out on technology issues such as increasing police funding to tackle e-crime and the security and privacy implications of large state databases such as the National Identity Register, the ID cards central database.

Find out what other tech-savvy MPs the Conservative Party has in its ranks here.

Photo credit: The Conservative Party

40153196-2-personalshopper2.jpg
2 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Last month also saw IBM give a glimpse of the technology its developers are currently working on at its Hursley software development lab.

Among the tech on show was this device, a personal shopper which people pick up as they enter a shop and which can be personalised to its user.

It can be linked to a loyalty card, for instance, and show shopping lists as created by the user at home, as well as recommend offers that might be of interest or items shoppers might like to buy with their loyalty points.

Take a look at the photo story to see what other ideas are being worked on at Hursley.

Photo credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

40153196-3-childcare-robot.jpg
3 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

IBM wasn't the only tech company showing off its research projects - Orange Business Services opened the doors to its Orange Labs R&D facility in Paris in December to reveal a range of healthcare technology it's been working on.

One of the demonstrations was this childcare robot which, as well as being able to entertain kids by reading stories, is also able to take instructions from humans using voice recognition technology.

See what other technology Orange showed off in the French capital.

Photo credit: Natasha Lomas/silicon.com

40153196-4-microsoftshop6.jpg
4 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Microsoft opened a new retail store in Orange County, California in December where it's selling PCs and software as well as its games console, the Xbox (above).

If you want to see more, take the tour here.

Photo credit: Ina Fried/CNET

40153196-5-p1040795-1.jpg
5 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Other notable openings included a new exhibition at The National Museum of Computing in Bletchley Park showing the work of Britain's internet pioneers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) back in the 1960s.

Shown above is a device called a multiplexer which was developed at NPL to carry out much of the same functions as the router does today.

To find out more about the technology at the heart of the internet, take a look at the full story here.

Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

40153196-6-intel-4-scc-chip-sm540x444.jpg
6 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Meanwhile, Intel unveiled its Single-chip Cloud Computer processor in December which has 48 processor cores connected with a high-speed mesh network.

See the full photo story to find out more.

Photo credit: Intel

40153196-7-parliamentriver.jpg
7 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

With virtualisation take-up continuing to grow, last month silicon.com took at a look at which industries are making the most use of it and which are lagging behind.

The public sector is increasingly embracing virtualisation as part of government and NHS plans to make IT greener.

Find out where else virtualisation is taking off as well as where it remains a relatively unknown phenomenon here.

Photo credit: Shutterstock

40153196-8-2p1040841.jpg
8 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Last month silicon.com also revealed how datacentre company Telehouse will use the heat generated by a 19,000 square metre datacentre near London's Canary Wharf to heat nearby homes and offices.

Recycling the heat from the datacentre should save 1,100 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year that would otherwise have been generated to keep the properties warm.

Here you can see one of the centre's data halls, which are spread over five floors and can hold a total of 2,120 server racks.

To find out how the datacentre's green technology work in more detail, take a look at the picture story here.

Photo credit: Nick Heath/silicon.com

40153196-9-cfl-light-bulb-savings-calculator.jpg
9 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

But it's not just datacentres that are going green - silicon.com also took a look at some of the green apps available for your iPhone too.

Shown above is the CFL Light Bulb Savings Calculator which can help SMEs or people working out of a home office to calculate how much money could be saved by replacing standard lightbulbs with more energy efficient compact fluorescent lamps.

See how else the humble iPhone can be used to help save the planet here.

Image credit: Yuan Ventures/CFL Light Bulb Savings Calculator

40153196-10-tesco-wine-app2.jpg
10 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Meanwhile, Tesco launched its own iPhone app in December which uses image recognition to help discerning customers find the perfect wine.

Tesco Wine Finder uses the phone's camera to retrieve information from a bottle's label. Here you can see wine discovery feature in which the user defines a set of search criteria which then produces a set of recommended wines.

Check out the story to see how the app works in more detail.

Image credit: Tesco Wine Finder

40153196-11-4sleigh.jpg
11 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

With Christmas on the horizon, December also saw silicon.com delving through the festive apps for your iPhone. This sleigh bells app allows the user to do an impression of Santa's sleigh by shaking the handset.

See what other fun can be had with the iPhone here.

Image credit: Apple

40153196-12-mifi.jpg
12 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

And bearing Christmas in mind again, silicon.com compiled a list of some suitable presents for the CIO in your life. This the MiFi, a pocketable device that provides a mobile wi-fi hotspot that you can carry around with you.

And there are plenty of other tech toys to browse through here.

Photo credit: Novatel Wireless

40153196-13-radio.jpg
13 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

The IT pros weren't forgotten in the run up to Christmas either. The Squeezebox radio from Logitech can be hooked up to an internet connection using wi-fi or Ethernet and stream web radio or play the tunes already stored on a PC on the user's network.

See what else IT pros could find in their stockings here.

Photo credit: Logitech

40153196-14-usb-tengu.jpg
14 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

And there were even some ideas for getting more out of your USB port in time for Christmas. The Tengu (above) will react to music by lighting up, changing its expression and lip syncing as the tune plays.

See how else the USB port can keep you entertained here.

Picture credit: Gadgetsquick.co.uk

40153196-15-amazon5.jpg
15 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

The Christmas theme continued with a behind-the-scenes look at online retail giant Amazon's UK operations in the run up to the big day.

Shown above are the thousands of boxes waiting to be loaded onto delivery vehicles at Amazon's Marston Gate Distribution Centre in Milton Keynes.

Check out the tech Amazon uses to get those presents to the right places at the right time here.

Photo credit: Amazon

40153196-16-skating2.jpg
16 of 16 Tim Ferguson/ZDNet

Moving to the virtual world, silicon.com took a look at what Second Life fans could get up to during the Christmas period.

Ice skating (above) was just the tip of the iceberg - take a look at the full list of ideas here.

Image credit: Tim Ferguson/silicon.com

Related Galleries

Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus
Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus in action

Related Galleries

Chargeasap Flash Pro Plus

10 Photos
Galaxy S21 FE 5G, Huawei P50 Pro, Sony Xperia Pro-I, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup
poco-m4-pro-5g-in-hand.jpg

Related Galleries

Galaxy S21 FE 5G, Huawei P50 Pro, Sony Xperia Pro-I, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup

11 Photos
LinkOn 130W USB-C car charger
LinkOn 130W

Related Galleries

LinkOn 130W USB-C car charger

4 Photos
Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Go 3, Huawei MateBook 14s, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup
linksys-velop-wifi-6-ax4200-card.jpg

Related Galleries

Apple 16-inch MacBook Pro, Microsoft Surface Go 3, Huawei MateBook 14s, and more: ZDNet's reviews roundup

16 Photos
DJI Mavic 3 in flight
Superb aerial camera platform

Related Galleries

DJI Mavic 3 in flight

10 Photos
Satechi Dock5 Multi-Device Charging Station
Satechi Dock5

Related Galleries

Satechi Dock5 Multi-Device Charging Station

6 Photos
Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor
Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor

Related Galleries

Satechi USB-C Hybrid Multiport adaptor

10 Photos