Week in Review: Is the Queen really on Twitter?


The week began with the news that Microsoft's Surface' table will finally be coming to the UK. If you're not familiar with Surface, then let us explain it's a table - that you can touch. Genius, Microsoft.

The serious point is that the table is a computer interface that reacts to a person's touch and to objects placed on it making your whole desk one large iPhone-like interface. It's been available in the US since last year but now UK businesses can get to have a go if they're willing to part with the best part of 10 grand. Microsoft is working on a consumer offering, but it'll have to drop a touch in price before we start to see these things appearing in homes.

Since Apple decided to jump onto the Intel processor bandwagon, its products have been the first to introduce the chip company's latest offerings. It's done it again this week, by announcing its new Mac Pro workstation line, which will be the first commercially available systems to feature Intel's Nehalem' Xeons. As we all know, these are the first Intel processors to feature an integrated memory controller and support for DDR3, and this is one of the reasons we can expect a massive performance boost over the previous generation.

Apple also bumped the specs and dropped prices on its consumer line of iMac and Mac minis good news for the latter, which has long been rumoured to be retired completely.

It was also CeBIT this week the IT trade show that puts the fear of God in the hearts - and corns on the feet - of every tech journo that has to attend.

Not surprisingly, attendance was down this year but as well as a play with the aforementioned Surface, we also learned about a PC that draws no power from the wall at all when in hibernation. That's very worthy, but it's very dull, so thanks god for the wifi-spreading flying robots..

The next day we were all amused in the royal sense by the news that the Queen, yes, HRH, was tweeting. We all know that Twitter already has a vice-president in Stephen Fry, so would there be room for another? As it turns out the Telegraph was getting ahead of itself it was a fake Queen on Twitter, not the real thing. (We're wondering if the Fake Sheikh is on Twitter, too).

There comes a time when every new online golden child gets its first bad press, but it didn't take long for Spotify. It was revealed that its protocols had been breached, enabling hackers to prod it repeatedly for weak passwords to get into the system and swipe user info.

Fortunately, it only applies to users who signed up before 19 December, so there's no chance someone can hack in and find out that I used it to listen repeatedly to Miley Cyrus's album. Phew, that was close.

Benny Har-Even

Benny Har-Even is a twenty-year stalwart of technology journalism who is passionate about all areas of the industry, but telecoms and mobile and home entertainment are among his chief interests. He has written for many of the leading tech publications in the UK, such as PC Pro and Wired, and previously held the position of technology editor at ITPro before regularly contributing as a freelancer.

Known affectionately as a ‘geek’ to his friends, his passion has seen him land opportunities to speak about technology on BBC television broadcasts, as well as a number of speaking engagements at industry events.