Tech Today: Apple to ditch hard keyboards? Avatar Kinect arrives

Plus: New BlackBerry today, new iOS release

It's the tech news that broke after you logged-off

Avatar Kinect lounge launches for Xbox Live Gold members
Microsoft has outed the eagerly-anticipated Avatar Kinect feature, which allows your Avatar to enter the digital world and, well, do the things that you do. The feature shows of Kinect's facial recognition tech, which will follow your mouth and eyebrow movements It allows groups of people to hang out together and interact in lounges and pretty much create your own talk show. Joystick has a really cool demo video. Check it out.
Link: Joystick

Apple outs iOS 4.5.3, moves closer to iOS 5
Apple rolled-out a new software update for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch late on Monday, but it's not the one we're all waiting for. The company launched 4.5.3 update which doesn't offer a lot, but does address a "certificate violation issue." iOS 5 is scheduled for release later this year.
Link: Apple Insider

BlackBerry to launch a new handset on Tuesday?
RIM is promising something "new, shiny and social all over" on the company's Facebook page, which leads many to believe that a brand new BlackBerry handset is on the cards. Will it be the Torch 2? Perhaps the release of the Bold Touch? Or something difference altogether? We won't have to wait long to find out.
Link: Engadget

Apple patent suggests the end of the hard keyboard
It seems that Apple files about 10 patents a week, some interesting, some not so. This one falls into the latter category. A new patent suggests that Apple wants to offer a flat keyboard solution on its non-iOS devices also. According to Patently Apple, Cupertino is looking at glass, metal, plastic, haptic feedback and acoustic pulse recognition to find the perfect solution.
Link: Patently Apple

Hackers go after Italian crime unit
The hacking collective Anonymous has begun to release information from the Italian cyber-crime unit, the CNAIPIC (National Computer Crime Centre for Critical Infrastructure Protection), after being passed the information from a source. Officers from the units had performed a number of raids on the homes of suspected Anonymous members earlier this month.
Link: BBC

News@8: Monday saw more speculation about the iPhone 5 release date, while a leaked teaser video shows off the yet-to-be-announced Samsung Galaxy R smartphone. Catch-up on this and all of Monday's big tech news in our daily News@8 round-up.