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By 28 May 2010 | Categories: news

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iPad now selling in ten countries
 
Apple’s iPad is finally being sold outside the US. Cupertino’s magical device (both the Wi-Fi and 3G models) is as of today available in nine new markets. These nine countries are Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and the UK. In July a further nine markets will get to experience the iPad, as it will be rolling out in Austria, Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Singapore.
 
In related news, Apple has overtaken Microsoft as the biggest tech company in terms of market value. Cupertino on Wednesday was worth a lovely $222 billion and Microsoft just over $219 billion.
 
New material may lead to super-storage disks
 
Japanese researchers have discovered a new material that can be used to create cost effective super-disks, which will dwarf DVDs and Blu-ray disks in terms of storage capacity. Shin-ichi Ohkoshi, a chemistry professor at the University of Tokyo, told the news agency AFP that this new material, a new crystal form of titanium oxide, undergoes a transformation from a black-colour metal state that conducts electricity, to a brown semiconductor after it is struck by light.

This promising material could lead to the creation of next-generation optical storage disks, which could hold over 1 000 times the amount of data that a Blu-ray disc can. “You don’t have to worry about procuring rare metals. Titanium oxide is cheap and safe, already being used in many products ranging from face powder to white paint,” professor Ohkoshi said.  
 
Battle for Finnish top spot
 
Finest Fones performed benchmarks tests between the forthcoming Nokia N8 and the current top dog in the Finnish manufacturer’s stable, the Nokia N97. The results of the benchmarking showed a 180% performance improvement of the N8 over the N97 in Speedy Go! tests. The N8 was also successfully run through a number of FPC bench 3D tests.
 
In related news, Vodafone has included the Nokia N8 on the Coming Soon section of their website, pitching its 12 MP camera and social networking features as reasons to go for the smartphone. The N8 will be available during Q3 in selected markets, including SA. 
 
Facebook improves its privacy control
 
After receiving heated criticism concerning its privacy settings, Facebook’s (FB) CEO and co-founder, Mark Zuckerberg, introduced new simplified privacy controls, which make it easier to control the info that is shown to people viewing your FB page. The new settings hasn’t done enough to appease FB’s most vocal critics though, as Robert Ellis Smith, publisher of Privacy Journal told CNET that Internet users are “victimized by Facebook”. Smith is just one of the many critics and government lobbyists calling for new government rules that are targeted at social networking sites. It looks like the privacy row is set to continue throughout the rest of the year.
 
YouTube gets partial ban reprieve in Pakistan
 
Pakistan has partly curbed its ban on the popular video sharing site YouTube. The nation banned access to both Facebook and YouTube after a group was started on the former, calling on people to draw the Prophet Mohammed, while “growing sacrilegious content” appeared on YouTube referencing the Facebook group. Within Pakistan, the overwhelming majority of the population is Muslim and a great many of them regard any depiction of Muhammad as blasphemous.

“YouTube has been unblocked, but the links to sacrilegious content would remain inaccessible in Pakistan,” Khurram Mehran of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) told AFP. On Wednesday Pakistan's interior minister Rehman Malik stated that pages containing blasphemous material would remain blocked, but the ban on popular sites including Facebook and YouTube would be lifted in the next few days.

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