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Today's Tech: Google sells out of Nexus 4, Acer-made Chromebook released, iPad mini gets top marks

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, 13 Nov 2012News
Today's Tech: Google sells out of Nexus 4, Acer-made Chromebook released, iPad mini gets top marks

It was a bittersweet day for Google, as the launch of its new hardware line-up saw its LG Nexus 4 and all variants of the Samsung Nexus 10 sell out. The high demand for Google’s next-gen devices will have made the tech titan's day, but the multitude of irate consumers will have left a bad aftertaste on festivities. Would-be customers were unable to make purchases on Google’s Play store - which is currently acting as the sole vendor for the new range of devices - because of site errors related to high volume traffic.

The Google news doesn't stop there, however. Today saw the release of the cheapest addition to its Chromebook family - the £199 Acer C7 Chromebook. The 11.6in C7 joins the Samsung Chromebook and Samsung Chromebook 550 in the current line-up of netbooks running Google's cloud-based Chrome operating system. It is powered by an Intel processor, and boasts a clickable trackpad and 320GB of storage. The C7, which is being touted by Google as the simple netbook for consumers who do most of their computing online, is available through the Google Play store from today.

In other news, a new website based on the popular photo-sharing service Instagram is shining a light on one of the murkier aspects of America's contentious 'war on terror.' Founded in October 2012, Dronestagram is the latest project of London-based blogger, writer, and technologist James Bridle. Centred on a Tumblr micro-blog and founded in late-October 2012, Dronestagram shows photos of alleged drone strike locations drawn from Google Maps Satellite View, along with a short description of the purported attack. Locational information is derived from reports by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, with Dronestagram posts beginning life as an Instagram share before being distributed across Tumblr and Twitter. For Bridle, the unmanned aerial vehicles, or "flying death robots," are symptomatic of the way technology often functions as a disengaging or distancing force - follow the link for more insights and a closer look at how Dronestagram harnesses the cumulative power of social media as a investigative force.

This morning brought news of a major leadership reshuffle at Microsoft, with Windows chief Steven Sinofsky departing the firm with immediate effect. The move had eyebrows rising and tongues wagging across the tech world, and of course the rumour mill surrounding Sinofsky’s sudden exit is in full flow. Here we ask whether Sinofsky walked (as his farewell email suggested) or if he was in fact pushed. Windows 8 is simply not old enough to start judging its success yet, but with reviews of the OS largely lukewarm, and reports suggesting that “Sinofsky was an aggressive, divisive force that was hard to work with,” perhaps the episode has not been as amicable as Microsoft is suggesting.

In Apple news, the firm finally capitulated to consumer demands by releasing a miniature version of the iPad earlier this autumn. But while other tablets in the 7in category - like Google's Asus-produced Nexus 7 and Samsung's Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 - are priced in the sub-£250 range, the iPad mini runs all the way up to £529. Our very own Riyad Emeran took the 7.9in device for a spin to see how it fares in other areas, and whether the Apple premium is in fact worth it. Ultimately, "as with all Apple products, there are cheaper alternatives, and the cost of storage increments are close to criminal," he readily acknowledged. "But if you've already bought into the Apple ecosystem and want a light and slim tablet to extend that ecosystem, the iPad mini is exactly what you need." Follow the link to find out why.

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