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Video: World Tech Update - BlackBerry, Apple and PlayStation Vita

Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update. I’m Nick Barber. Blackberry service is back for users worldwide and at Research in Motion’s developer conference they heard from RIM’s founder and CO-CEO.

“We’re going to offer money to customers…” Conference attendees—many of whom are also app developers—say, $100 in apps is a good customer service decision. “Especially the games—there are a lot of games….”

The outage description was brief, before Lazaridis moved on to describe all the ways in which Blackberry is planning to gain more customers. He unveiled an operating system called BBX during his keynote, which can be used interchangeably on Blackberry tablets, smart phones and systems.

In more mobile news Apple’s iPhone 4S hit stores around the world late last week. In Tokyo hundreds lined the streets, with the death of Steve Jobs still on people’s minds. Softbank, which had been the country's exclusive seller of the iPhone, held a ceremony at its main retail store in the upscale Harajuku district. At the Apple store in the hip Shibuya district, fresh flowers were laid in memorial. It was still a festive atmosphere though.

The lines stretched for several blocks, and as the temperature rose employees passed out drinks and Apple umbrellas. Customers at several shops said booking systems had frozen and disrupted some sales.

And while the device isn’t available in China it’s already popping up in Beijing’s gray market at whopping prices up to $2,000. One Beijing vendor who declined to give his name said the phones came from Australia and the US where they had been originally bought. They were sold without a contract and came unlocked. There’s no launch date for the iPhone 4S in the Chinese market.

In San Francisco crowds also lined the streets, but a nearby Sprint's store line disappeared after the phone sold out. It was the first time Sprint had the iPhone so it could explain why the stores sold out by mid morning.

Sony's PlayStation Vita portable game console will go on sale on Feb. 22 in the Americas and Europe. The system is slated to appear first in Japan in mid-December, Sony has said, but it hadn't given a launch date for elsewhere in the world. The PlayStation Vita handheld gaming system has touchscreens on the both the front and back, dual joysticks, a camera and comes in Wifi and 3G models.

Overlooking Central Park from his famous 5th Avenue headquarters Donald Trump had an ebook signing for one his latest co-authored titles "Midas Touch - Why Some Entrepreneurs get rich and most don't." The book is available in both e-book and print formats and before doing the ebook signing Trump and co-author Robert Kiyosaki had a live chat on Kiyosaki's Facebook page.

They used an iPad and Autodesk SketchBook Pro to scrawl their signatures, which will be inserted onto a special signrature page that readers will see when they download the book onto their iPads.

Fujitsu held an open house at its research labs in Kanagawa, southwest of Tokyo. The company said areas of focus will be technologies that interact directly with people and environmentally friendly applications. In one example, researchers demonstrated a small, flexible sheet that uses differences in temperature to generate small electric charges of up to about 20 microWatts. The company said it could be applied directly to the human body, using our body heat to power sensors, or on pipes at a factory. Also on display was a program that combs social media for trends and occurrences. A demonstration using  Twitter mapped mentions of crime onto a map of Tokyo, using both GPS and locations mentions within Tweets.The company also showed its interactive voice technology, which runs on smartphones and car audio systems.


As many Japanese words have the same pronunciation, one of the research fellows said the system attempts to use previous queries and context to come up with the correct word for a situation.

Well that’s our show for this week. Thanks for joining us here on World Tech Update. To find out what’s coming up on every week’s show, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Coming up next time we'll take a look at an iPad controlled spy tank and a building at MIT that keeps close track of what's going on inside. As we head out we’ll leave you with shots of the iPhone 4S launch. I’m Nick Barber and for all of us here at the IDG News Service thanks for watching and we hope to see you next time.

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