Week in Review: Barcelona to Washington and back

At this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, what particularly caught people's fancy wasn't the announcement of a new device or the birth of an innovative technology, but rather the announcement that mobile companies were willing to unite to create a universal mobile charger by 2012.

It's a great way to reduce energy and equipment waste. But more to the point, it'll make that incredibly frustrating situation when you're not at home and desperately need a charger for your phone a thing of the past. We've all been there when you are surrounded by ones that work with every other manufacturer, apart from yours!

Vodafone managed to get exclusive rights to the second Google phone in the form of the HTC Magic, and we were one of the titles lucky enough to get a bit of a play with the new device. Samsung also said it would be selling three Android-based smartphones by the end of the year.

However, anybody with a geeky or science-fiction obsessed bent would have been getting more excited about new technology from Texas Instruments that would allow mobile phones to include mini-projector technology.

Anybody of a certain age will remember the first time they saw Star Wars, when Luke Skywalker first triggers a holographic message in R2-D2 in which Princess Leia asks Obi Wan Kenobi for help.

Unfortunately this isn't quite what's on offer, as the images will be flat rather than three dimensional, but it still sounds extremely cool.

The Black Hat conference was on in Washington DC this week, and is well known for being a bane of the vendor community for its habit of giving a platform for hackers to reveal problems in IT security.

In 2008, the Kaminsky flaw was revealed, but this year Black Hat has already thrown up problems with SSL encryption, offline web services and biometric laptop security.

The companies involved won't be happy that hackers are poking holes in their security, but it's better that these flaws are revealed now rather than later, when cybercriminals have already managed to part you from your cash.