It's been a busy week when it comes to tech and gadgets. e-Readers have been blamed for the death of high-street bookstores such as Borders, O2 revealed its giving its customers a location-based app that provides deals and services based on where its users are and Ofcom is forcing BT to drop the price it charges ISPs that use its network to provide net access in rural parts of the UK. Here's the five stories that our readers were most vocal about this week.

Ofcom forces BT to drop wholesale price of broadband in rural areas

Ofcom revealed this week it will force BT to drop the price it charges ISPs to use its network to offer broadband in rural area , in a bid to improve services in these areas. The regulator hopes that by forcing the telecommunications company to reduce the amount it charges by 11 percent below inflation, around three million homes and businesses in rural parts of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as the South West of England, Norfolk, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland, will benefit consumers by offering cheaper and faster broadband.
However, David said: "We, that live in the rural areas, need to get away from copper. If we don't we will be going through the same 'upgrade' issues again in a few years time".

If e-readers destroyed high-street bookshops, they have only themselves to blame

Borders gave up the ghost this week, announcing the closure of 399 US stores with the loss of 10,700 jobs. The UK stores, of course, went before. And we, like many others, had to question whether for the demise of the high-street bookstore is down to the e-reader? Did the Kindle kill Borders? As far as we're concerned the answer, to an extent, is yes. After all: Amazon was banging on about e-books for years before they started to have a significant impact. 'Real people don't use them', we'd say. 'Wait and see', they'd reply.
Lezzliea revealed e-readers of any description will never beat books.
"I love the feel, smell and weight of a new book in my hands .I hate trying to read literature off a screen. I've had books that have lasted most of my life 40+ years and can still read them when I want to, e-readers won't last that long," she said.
Our Editor, Matt Egan, admitted he too is a big fan of the physical book.
"It's a staggering piece of technical design. But I haven't bought one for months, because my tablet can hold thousands of the things, most of which I downloaded for free."

Double resolution screen for next iPad

According to The Korea Times, Apple's next version of the iPad will feature an improved display resolution of 2048x1536 pixels  with a 4:3 aspect ratio, to provide a full high definition (HD) viewing experience. The current iPad 2 has a 1024-by-768-pixel resolution at 132 pixels per inch (ppi). The paper quoted a source saying that the display will support quad extended graphics (QXGA), with Samsung Electronics and LG Display, the world's two largest makers of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), close to securing big orders from Apple.
However, Hoggleboggle believes it's "total nonsense"
"What is much more likely is that the device will be able to output that resolution on external screens."

O2 launches location-based deals service for its customers

O2 was also in the news this week after it launched a location-based service that offers its customers access to discounts and special offers at nearby retailers.
The Priority Moments service uses GPS technology on mobile phones to identify the user's location and then provide access to special offers such as half price books at WH Smith or a free glass of Prosecco with any meal at Zizzi. The retailers are just two of 30 brands that have initially signed-up to take part in the scheme. Others include Harvey Nichols, Pizza Hut and Little Chef. However, Mark Pearson, chairman of deals website MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, said the app was simply a "marketing gimmick".
AG22163 said: "Mark Pearson...methinks he protests too much. An O2 app for those who are OK with having their every movement tracked, is the future and his response suggests he knows it. Vouchers require intentionality, a mobile app is immediate."

Price of iTunes and Mac apps rise by up to 25%

Apple came under fire this week after it bumped up the prices of apps in its iTunes and Mac app stores by as much as 25 percent  in some cases. The changes, which according to Apple reflect the fluctuations in exchange rates against the dollar, has seen the cheapest apps, which were originally priced at 59p, now costing 69p. The most expensive rises see iOS apps priced at £3.99 and £7.99 rising to £4.99 and £9.99 respectively. Meanwhile, Final Cut Pro X has gone up a whopping £20 from £179.99 to £199.99.
However, The Bunker believe it's a weak excuse for a price hike - certainly in the UK at least.
"The US$ to GBP exchange rate has been hovering around the 1.6 mark for nearly 18 months and there are no definitive signs of that changing dramatically in the near future," he said.
"Fact is, the dollar is not the strong currency it was around the globe, so I think the reasoning goes something like this:- The dollar buys less, Apple products are in strong demand, Apple is a US based company that wants to keep it's domestic market happy in the continuing bubble of delusion, So lets put the price up in every country outside of America."

 
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The five most commented stories of the week - 27 May 2011

The issues that got our readers fired up

There's been plenty happening in the world of tech this week, from Microsoft unveiling Mango – the latest iteration of its Windows smartphone platform to changes to EU legislation that requires websites to alert users about cookies coming into force.

Here's the five stories from PC Advisor this week that generated the most comments from our readers

Windows Phone 7 Mango: First Look at the hot new features

This week, Microsoft took the wraps off 'Mango,' an update to its Windows Phone 7 platform that includes more than 500 new features designed to improve multitasking, offer more dynamic information and make apps and the OS work together more efficiently.

James Boone was "very excited about the update and the new hardware to ship with it".

"There are a few features that I haven't seen mentioned that I'd like to see though," he said.

Microsoft online chief: I would never log into a Chromebook

Google's love of inside jokes was on display this month at the Google I/O conference, where a demo of Google's new 'Chromebook' computers used the login name 'Tom Rizzo'. Rizzo is the senior director of online services at Microsoft who has claimed that Google is "failing" in the enterprise. When told about the demo, Rizzo said Google can keep using his name in demos because "me logging into a Chromebook will never be a reality."

Francis Bookshire said: "I trust my information with Google more than I do with Microsoft, but then again I wouldn't save confidential information on Google's servers either."

"I do use Gmail though, much better and cleaner than that Hotmail rubbish that M$ offers," she added.

UK firms get one year to comply with cookie law

The Information Commissioner's Office is giving UK firms one year to comply with EU legislation regarding cookies. Changes to the EU Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive came into force this week and require websites to gain consent from web users to store or access information on their computers, under changes to European law. However he Information Commissioner Christopher Graham, who is responsible for enforcing the legislation, has agreed to give UK businesses more time to implement the necessary changes.
However Samuel Shoesmith was not impressed with the changes at all.

"Yeah, protection, protection and all that. I do really look forward to the days when I get pop-ups on every website listing what they are going to store about me therefore hindering my work. If web laws need to be changed it should be up to the individual country not the EU!" he said.

How to speed up your PC: 24 performance tweaks

We looked at hardware upgrades, software tweaks and networking tricks that will give your PC a definitive boost of power. But John_696969 disgareed with one of the tips.

"There is absolutely NO POINT in moving from 4Gb to 8Gb unless your running a 64bit system and operating system. So the Dell item is pointless unless we are told it was a 64bit system," he said.

"It does not surprise me that there was no performance change if it was a 32bit system as anything above approx 3.8G RAM is un-addressable."

Hold the half-baked hardware

And finally, we questioned how much should you pay for a laptop compared to how much you actually want to fork out. While the latter is probably a lot less than the figure you mentally answered for how much you should pay but the correlation between the two is important. It's often true that you get what you pay for, but it's also the case that you get what trends dictate is available, at a price the market will bear.

But as Mickey pointed out: "And what exactly are we going to do if we don't want to wait until makers get them right? We're hardly going to start our own company to do it ourselves. We'll buy it anyway."