Catch up: this week's most popular posts

Our most read news, reviews and in-depth articles

Xbox 360

This week saw Channel 4 running it's 3D week which was slammed by Sky for giving viewers poor expectations of 3D TV, while concerns that the PlayStation Network was moving to a pay model were quashed.

We revealed the best apps from Microsoft for Windows PC owners as well as a bunch of smart ways you can use your Task Manager to identify problems and speed up your PC.

In reviews, the public beta of Office 2010 proved popular, as did TechRadar's Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 review, and our hands on with Facebook on PlayStation 3.

Read on for this week's most popular stories on TechRadar…

Top five news stories

Chipped Xbox 360s liberated from lockout

The recent axe that fell on the necks of users of modified Xbox 360 consoles looking to use the Xbox Live service may not be as fatal as had been first thought, after a fix emerged last weekend.

Sony PlayStation Network will stay free

Sony has told TechRadar that the PlayStation Network is not moving to a paid-for model, with the basic service remaining free despite rumours to the contrary. A slide from a presentation led some to question whether the PlayStation network was going to remain free.

Sky blasts Channel 4 for low-quality 3D Week

Sky has blasted Channel 4 for giving viewers the wrong idea about 3D, with the channel using aging red-and-blue style glasses to promote its 3D Week. The dated anaglyph technology is still an interesting gimmick for many viewers, but in comparison to the latest developments in 3D tech it really does not offer the viewer a very satisfying experience at all.

BBC confirms Freeview HD 2010 details

The BBC and Freeview have confirmed that the Freeview HD rollout is to commence next year with many towns to be equipped with hi-def free-to-air channels from as early as March 2010. As we revealed last week, 50 per cent of the population will be able to receive BBC HD before the football World Cup is to take place in July.

City Wi-Fi switched off over movie download

Internet surfers in a small Ohio city have had their municipal Wi-Fi switched off after Sony Pictures complained about it being used for just one illegal movie download. Residents of Coshocton in the northeastern US state had been using the free civic wireless net for five years without problem until a letter arrived at the ISP managing the service.

Top five in-depth articles

24 best free Windows apps from Microsoft

Putting aside the ridiculous price for Windows 7 Ultimate Edition, Microsoft has got a soft side and these freebies prove it. The following list contains some of the best free applications that have been developed partially or completely by Microsoft, making your Windows 7 computer a lot more useful.

Windows apps

15 Task Manager tips for a faster PC

At first glance Task Manager looks like nothing more than a geeky way to tell you what you already know, the names of the programs running on your PC. Explore out favourite Task Manager tricks, though, and you'll find all kinds of options for monitoring your system, detecting and resolving problems, especially in its most modern Windows Vista/Windows 7 incarnation. Here's what you need to know.

Beyond iPlayer: What's next for Video on Demand?

Problem: six hundred TV channels, 2,000 hours of Video on Demand (VoD) on iPlayer and elsewhere … and you can't find anything to watch. After a hard day at work, it's all you can do to channel-hop until you finally settle on an episode of Top Gear that you've seen three times before.

Solution: Slump on the sofa and switch on the TV. The TV's built-in camera detects your body movements, analyses your face and detects that you're in a bad mood; it searches your home entertainment 'cloud' – its contents already shaped to your viewing behaviour – and plays you something uplifting like Apollo 13 or The Shawshank Redemption.

Top 12 Christmas gifts for Xbox 360 owners

Buying a Christmas present for the Xbox 360 gamer that appears to have everything? Look no further - we've found some cracking bargains and other suggestions for presents that will make even the most well-equipped Xboxer sing. Or at least enjoy Christmas Day just that little bit more...

Xbox accessories

Internet Explorer 9: what you need to know

Microsoft showed Internet Explorer 9 for the first time at its Professional Developer Conference, but a technical preview won't be available before next year (perhaps at CES 2010 in January).

Instead, Windows Senior Vice President Steven Sinofsky demonstrated the latest test version, with the Trident rendering engine running on DirectX instead of GDI - to show that IE development is still going on, and making progress on performance and support for standards.

Top five reviews

Hands on: Office 2010 review

Office 2010 is due in a few months, but the beta release is available now. It has interface changes, bug fixes, one secret new feature – and although it's still a long way from being finished, it shows much more clearly than the technical preview what you'll be waiting for.

Office 2010

Hands on: Sony Ericsson Xperia X2 review

Sony Ericsson has brought out another version of its Xperia line up, the Xperia X2, and hopes to capture the interest of those looking for a phone that crosses the line between business and leisure.

The new phone echoes the design of the original X1, but improves in nearly every area, with Sony Ericsson taking the lead on construction for the new X2.

Hands on: Facebook on PlayStation 3 review

Sony announced only recently it was adding Facebook integration to the PS3 – a move which raised a few eyebrows, considering the length of time it's taken Microsoft to add Facebook to Xbox Live and the build-up the company has given the announcement.

With the two companies now going face to face with movie downloads, Facebook integration may seem like a minor thing but in the fast-paced online world where social-networking is king, users want to know what their friends are up to at all times.

Sony Ericsson Satio review

Sony Ericsson has finally launched the Satio, the phone it showed off back in February under the guise of Idou, packing the best of all its brands into one phone. But can the sheer range of gadgetry and a new OS be enough to lure customers back to the brand?

Sony ericsson satio

BlackBerry Bold 9700 (Bold 2) review

RIM has updated its flagship model with a sleeker and more powerful model – the Bold 2 9700. Featuring an improved processor and latest UI, the phone certainly has the specs but can it stop the iPhone and Android onslaught?

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