flag tattoo man 300x187 Tattoos stop your Apple Watch from working properly?Have you got tattoos? Got a ’50s pin-up girl on your arm like you’re a sailor, riddled with scurvy? Have you got a butterfly next to your navel? Well, you should be okay if you buy one of the new Apple Watches.

However, if you have one on your wrist, you might have problems.

Apple Watch users on a number of social media sites have noted that their expensive gadgets lose connection and delivers inaccurate heart rate results if you’ve got wrists with tattoos on them.

It seems like the watch’s plethysmograph sensor doesn’t like the ink pigmentation of tattooed people and it can’t properly assess whether or not it is maintaining skin contact.

iMore decided to run some tests, and they said “we’re inclined to agree with those early reports — if your tattoo happens to be a solid, darker color. This is has to do with the way Apple measures your heart rate.” They added: “The tests produced misleading heart rate measurements on solid black and red colours. Tattoos with lighter colors seemed to give Apple Watch less trouble, only leading to heart rate readings that were slightly off the mark.”

You can hit the link above to read their test results, but this is potentially bad news for gadget loving hipsters with full sleeves on the go.

Tidal: already a massive flop

April 24th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Tidal Tidal: already a massive flopRemember the launch of Tidal, where Jay Z said that him and his pals were making history, by offering a slightly expensive music streaming service? Those were the days eh? Our generation’s very own moon-landing moment.

Well, some of you cynics looked at the whole thing and wondered why on Earth you were supposed to feel sorry for a bunch of multimillionaires. The jaded were all ‘what? Shut up, superstars! Stick to making records, alright?’

Initially, Tidal burst into the American iPhone top 20 download chart, which was expected. However, in the fortnight since then, it has dropped out of the top 700. To make matters worse, all this talk has seen an upswing for Tidal’s rivals. Pandora and Spotify have seen a surge in customers.

In fact, since Tidal started tutting at Spotify, it reappeared in the iPad top 40 download chart for the first time in months. By attacking its rivals, Tidal has managed to give Spotify and Pandora a shot in the arm, increasing the public’s awareness of the products. They weren’t the only people profiting from all this - Beats Music has even seen an increase of people downloading their app.

Sadly for Tidal, they’ve shot their mouths off and made their competition even stronger, who have all ridden Tidal’s momentum and are now looking stronger than they were last year.

So well done to all concerned at Tidal.

Twitter threaten abusers with lockdown

April 22nd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

fail whale 300x225 Twitter threaten abusers with lockdownPeople, for some reason, like shouting at strangers on the internet. HEY BUDDY! I HOPE YOU GET CROHN’S DISEASE AND SOMEONE MOWS YOUR MA DOWN WITH A STEAMROLLER! all over something daft.

For example, someone jokingly suggested Sue Perkins for Top Gear, which saw people sending her death threats. Some of these people are actual adults with actual jobs. Some people thought they’d threaten to sexually assault a woman for suggesting that Jane Austen should be on the £10 note.

Imagine getting arrested or a criminal conviction for something as lame as that?

With that, Twitter want to try and tackle the situation, which will no doubt see some people shrieking like someone with a 2-bar heater in the bath with them: WHAT ABOUT MY HUMAN RIGHTS?! WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH?! While others will just set up a sock-puppet account and carry on as normal, like they’re notorious MP [comment removed under legal advice].

There’s a couple of policy changes which is looking at this. Twitter will allow its support team to lock abusive accounts for periods, then ask users to confirm their phone number, while asking them to delete certain tweets.

Shreyas Doshi, director of product management at Twitter, said: “The updated language better describes the range of prohibited content and our intention to act when users step over the line into abuse. This feature takes into account a wide range of signals and context that frequently correlates with abuse, including the age of the account itself, and the similarity of a tweet to other content that our safety team has in the past independently determined to be abusive.”

“It will not affect your ability to see content that you’ve explicitly sought out, such as tweets from accounts you follow, but instead is designed to help us limit the potential harm of abusive content.”

Now, the Twitter policy has got rid of ‘direct, specific threats of violence against others’ and is now stating that ‘threats of violence against others or promot[ing] violence against others’ is not acceptable. You can still call them names though, so don’t worry.

Do remember this though: if you’re concerned that you aren’t being allowed to say what you want on a social media platform or indeed, in the comments on a websites, your freedom of speech isn’t under threat because you can still go and set up a Tumblr account or whatever, and spout off about whatever you want, whenever you want. So stop crying like a big internet baby.

YouTube – dead to older iPads and iPhones

April 22nd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

youtube 300x300 YouTube   dead to older iPads and iPhonesGoogle has decided to pull YouTube support from over 100 million iPhones and iPads, not to mention some Apple TVs. There’s a host of devices that won’t be able to work with YouTube.

Google say the they’re giving up on the following:

- iOS devices which cannot be upgraded to iOS 7 and above
- Apple TV first and second generations
- Google TV versions 3 and 4
- Numerous smart TVs and Blu-ray disc players.

Google’s full list can be found here. If you have a third-gen Apple TV, you’ll have something to do as well, as you must now install a newly YouTube app if you want to keep watching videos on the service.

It is thought that this is going to be a problem for in excess of 100m iPhones and iPads plus around 50m iPod touches and Apple TVs.

Instead of watching a cat play a synthesizer or a compilation of funny Vines that say ‘bruh’, those with affected devices will start seeing this instead:

That said, you can still use the web browser to watch YouTube videos rather than the app, and there’ll inevitably be a bunch of 3rd party apps you can look at.

However, first and second generation Apple TV doesn’t have a web browser, so you’ve had it.

google Are we ready for Googles mobilegeddon then?There’s a lot of chat about ‘mobilegeddon’ at the moment, thanks to Google’s new mobile focused algorithm. Sod your desktop browsing.

So what’s the score? Well, Google’s newest update to the way they ranks the search results will now look at how mobile-friendly a site is. If you haven’t got a good mobile website, you’ll slip down the rankings.

While Google have labelled sites with good mobile offerings, now, it’ll make a much bigger impact on placement than before. Takaki Makino, Chaesang Jung and Doantam Phan, Google’s web wolves said in a blog: “We will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results.”

One site that could suffer is the Mail Online, who don’t have a mobile-friendly front page. However, they’re not daft and have been raking money in, so they’ll be sorting that out in the coming weeks. And yes, we know about ours.

With more and more people accessing the internet primarily through their phones, Google reckon that eventually, around 50% of searches will be through mobile devices.

Google haven’t given out any figures on the percentage of web searches that will be affected.

Apple Watch: not available in the shops

April 16th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple watch 300x200 Apple Watch: not available in the shopsAre you thinking of popping down the Apple Store to buy yourself one of their new fancy smartwatches?

Think again.

You see, the Apple Watch won’t be available to buy in-store from next Friday and throughout the whole of May. This is according to a memo to staff from Apple’s retail chief Angela Ahrendts.

The memo says that customers will be prompted to order their watches online: “Are we going to launch every product this way from now on? No. We all love those blockbuster Apple product launch days – and there will be many more to come,” she added.

“It’s important to remember that Apple Watch is not just a new product but an entirely new category for us. There’s never been anything quite like it. To deliver the kind of service our customers have come to expect – and that we expect from ourselves – we designed a completely new approach. That’s why, for the first time, we are previewing a new product in our stores before it has started shipping.”

So, if you see one in a shop, it is only there for display and preview purposes. You’re going to have to wait until summer before you can get one in your hands in a store.

“The Apple Store app and our online store make it much easier to purchase Apple Watch and the new MacBook. Customers will know exactly when and where their product arrives,” Ahrendts wrote. “This is a significant change in mindset, and we need your help to make it happen. Tell your customers we have more availability online, and show them how easy it is to order. You’ll make their day.”

So there you have it. We hope some Apple fans queue-up outside a store, out of sheer habit.

mark zuckerberg facepalm 274x300 Zuckerberg is bringing free internet to Europe, apparentlyFacebook honcho Mark Zuckerberg has done a Q&A with people Who Like That Sort Of Thing, and has been talking himself up.

He’s said that Facebook’s free internet project, Internet.org, want to muscle in on Europe. He said: ”Yes, we want to bring Internet.org [everywhere] where there are people who need to be connected. We’re starting off by prioritizing the countries with the most unconnected people and by working with network operators and governments who are most excited about working with Internet.org to get everyone online in their countries.”

The service has already launched in India, Kenya, Zambia, Colombia and Tanzania and, in the Q&A, one person said that the service wasn’t very good, to which Zuck replied: “Having some connectivity and some ability to share is always much better than having no ability to connect and share at all”.

As long as Zuckerberg can get his hands on all that lovely personal data, which makes him so dazzlingly wealthy, the quality of the service is a mere by-product.

He also spoke about Oculus VR: “Our mission [is] to give people the power to experience anything. Even if you don’t have the ability to travel somewhere, or to be with someone in person, or even if something is physically impossible to build in our analog world, the goal is to help build a medium that will give you the ability to do all of these things you might not otherwise be able to do.”

People who like watching dirty films on the internet, take note.

Google to play nice with iPhone?

April 10th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple android Google to play nice with iPhone?Apple and Google are usually at war with each other and sadly, as yet, haven’t started firing missiles at each other’s head-offices or conducting drive-bys on each other’s houses (seriously – if you’re going to beef, do it properly).

The lack of decent hostilities might be something to do with the fact that Google are looking at making their Android Wear compatible with iOS. One day, you lucky things, you might well be able to receive iPhone notifications on your Google-having smartwatches.

According to reports, Google is “close to finishing the final technical details” which is required to bridge the gap between the two platforms.

This new version of Android Wear is currently in-development and will work with a companion app on the iPhone which will receive notifications from FaceTime and all that jazz, as well as displaying information from Google Now cards. It is about time really.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that Apple will return the favour and actually allow Google to run anything on their devices and if they do, they won’t open up their OS to everyone, because they’re a bit protective like that.

Problems with Apple Watch orders

April 10th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Apple Watch Problems with Apple Watch ordersApple Fanboiz will know that the Apple Watch became available for pre-order this morning, and since then, there’s been a bit of bother.

Thanks to huge volumes of traffic, some people have found that the Apple website is unresponsive, groaning under the weight of people wanting the new smartwatch.

What’s a little more surprising is the news that there’s going to be rather a long wait for the watch to be delivered. While a small number of people bagged an April delivery date, a lot of people have noted on various social networks that they’re looking at deliveries in May, with a ’4-6 weeks’ window being offered.

Some will have to wait until June or July to get the thing on their wrist.

It seems it all depends on which model you’ve ordered and, seeing as there’s a lot of variations you can choose from, there’s a lot of variation in delivery dates.

Whether this is a matter of Apple not being able to make their Watch quickly enough to sate demand, or whether this is a case of Apple withholding some stock to make their product feel more exclusive, is anyone’s guess. Both aren’t out of the realms of possibility.

Either way, the earliest anyone will be getting one is the end of this month.

How many internet things do you own?

April 10th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

slow internet connection 300x294 How many internet things do you own?Unless you’re wearing a tinfoil hat and worried about people spying on you, getting someone to read this out to you on a self-destructing sheet of paper in a lead coated house, chances are, you’ve got some internet on you.

With that, we mean devices that access the internet. In Britain, we have a lot of gadgets and according to a survey, the average British household owns 7.4 internet devices. Your old HTC Desire that ran out of memory after a week counts as the .4 or something.

Count up how many you have. Tablets? Phones? Consoles? Laptops? There’s a lot of stuff that talks to the internet these days.

The survey also showed that people are getting more into the idea of tablets, with 40% having purchased one within the last year. The YouGov poll found that consumers are most likely to have a smartphone to get online, followed by laptops and then tablets. Per British household, on average, there’s 1.7 smartphones, 1.3 laptops, and 1.2 tablets. How about that then? 70% of households now have at least one tablet. 11% have three or more, like massive show-offs.

When the survey asked which bit of your life would be most affected without the internet or phones, 51% said banking and finance. After constantly checking your balance came keeping up with the news (42%), shopping (38%) and relationships (37%).

And how much would you pay for internet things? Well, the survey found that the average Briton would be willing to pay up to £1.53 a month for their email service, £1.33 to use search engines, £1.10 for video content, 92p for news websites, 88p for social media, 55p for online games and 52p for price comparison sites.

Let us hope we don’t have to pay subscriptions to our own emails and tweets, eh?

Netflix clamp down on your proxy

April 8th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

netflix transparent Netflix clamp down on your proxyRemember us telling you about Netflix clamping down on people using proxy servers and VPNs?

Well, they’ve updated their terms and conditions and now they’re threatening to “terminate or restrict your use of our service, without compensation or notice” if you start doing things in a way they don’t like. As a result, there’s going to be a number of disgruntled customers who will ditch subscription services in favour of firing up a torrent.

If you want access to content that is (pointlessly) restricted to other territories, then you’re going to have to go through the back door.

The clauses in the T&Cs that are relevant to all this are:

Article 6C: “You may view a movie or TV show through the Netflix service primarily within the country in which you have established your account and only in geographic locations where we offer our service and have licensed such movie or TV show. The content that may be available to watch will vary by geographic location. Netflix will use technologies to verify your geographic location.”

Article 6H: “We may terminate or restrict your use of our service, without compensation or notice if you are, or if we suspect that you are (i) in violation of any of these Terms of Use or (ii) engaged in illegal or improper use of the service.”

Netflix have said that they intend to reduce the need for proxy and VPN fiddles. A spokesperson for the company said: ”Virtually crossing borders to use Netflix is a violation of our terms of use because of content licensing restrictions. We employ industry standard measures to prevent this kind of use.”

“By way of background, what we do is nothing different than what traditional TV networks do to prevent, for example, someone from outside the US from watching the Olympics on NBC.com… we are working to become a global Internet TV network and, as part of that, will have more global rights to series, features, docs, comedy specials, etc., this should make this whole issue moot overtime.”

Chrome snoop-apps banned by Google

April 8th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

spy title cropped Chrome snoop apps banned by GoogleA number of Chrome add-ons have been stealing your sensitive data. Google have noticed this and shredded over 200 of them from the Chrome store.

These small extensions can be helpful additions to Chrome and Firefox when it comes to browsing, but some of them were problematic when you get under the hood of them. Google teamed-up with the University of California to analyse and nix a number of these apps.

They found that 5% of everyone visiting a Google page have at least one malicious extension, and most of those have a number of add-ons which are malicious.

One of the problems, according to researcher Alexandros Kapravelos, is that the dodgy extensions use the same techniques to collect your data as the legit ones.

“Even when we have a complete understanding of what the extension is doing, sometimes it is not clear if that behaviour is malicious or not,” he said. “You would expect that an extension that injects or replaces advertisements is malicious, but then you have AdBlock that creates an ad-free browsing experience and is technically very similar.”

1 in 5 Brits never back-up their devices

April 1st, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Old women on laptop 300x221 1 in 5 Brits never back up their devicesBacking-up your PC? Backing up the stuff on your phone? Pah! That’s for losers! At least that’s what 1-in-5 British PC owners think, according to new research. Over a third of Brits with mobiles can’t be bothered either!

Storage device providers, Verbatim (so no bias then) did a survey to coincide with World Backup Day. Yes. There’s a World Backup Day.

“Having the hard drive on your PC crash can be a traumatic experience. It’s not difficult to do regular backups. There’s a plethora of hardware and software solutions available for backing up, and innumerable tutorials and advice on the internet. Backup and restore is even built into the latest version of Microsoft Windows and requires just three clicks of the mouse. Apple offers similar functionality with Time Machine,” explains Rüdiger Theobald of Verbatim.

He added: “Computer data recovery is a tricky business. Where physical failure has occurred, and the hard drive needs to be worked on in a cleanroom, typical costs can be in excess of £500 and there’s no guarantee all the data will be recovered.”

Turns out that, when questioned about it, the things people are most concerned about losing are their photographs, personal documents, videos and music.

And losing these things is easy, when you consider that of those polled, 25% suffered from hardware failure, accidental damage (17%), a computer virus (13%) and software corruption (13%).

Skim-read the article? Here’s an infographic for you.

unnamed 1 in 5 Brits never back up their devices

Are you going to sign-up with Tidal?

March 31st, 2015 7 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Tidal Are you going to sign up with Tidal?By now, you will have heard that Jay Z and his famous friends are going to change music forever. How? By offering some expensive streaming to us plebs via Tidal.

Basically, Jay Z, Jack White, Daft Punk, Beyonce, Rihanna, Chris Martin, Arcade Fire, Kanye West and a load of other people including Calvin Harris, have teamed-up to make Tidal the first major artist-owned streaming service. If you remember, United Artists did something similar with a record label (and that ended well).

The funny thing is, is that these artists are all talking about Tidal like it is Live Aid or something, looking at what they’re doing as something akin to social justice when, of course, the idea behind it is to get people to spend their money.

Basically, Tidal will cost you roughly twice the amount of a Spotify account. Or, if you use torrents, then this will cost you money, period. The idea is that, through Tidal, musicians will release their music there first, at a higher quality than anywhere else. Those involved in it made a little film about it all too, which will make you grind your teeth.

Of course, Jay Z in 2015 is a businessman first and a rapper, second. It isn’t really surprising that he wants to get in the world of tech. Dr Dre has made a pretty penny through Beats and signing up with Apple.

Sadly for him, a lot of music fans aren’t convinced. Some are even angry at the whole thing, with the general bile being along the lines of “Oh, poor you – you’ve been destitute for so long haven’t you? With your champagne, fur coats and helicopter pads…”. It seems that one of the biggest jobs Tidal will have, is PR, if they want a load of disposable income to be thrown their way.

What do music fans actually get from this? Lossless music, demo versions of songs and the chance to hear new releases for a week on Tidal, before it goes to the other platforms. And… uh… that’s about it really.

If you want to check it out, find it here. Do you fancy it and, perhaps more pertinently, do you think it is going to be the saviour of the recording industry?

car crash Telematics is coming to your car insurance policy  and itll tell your mumTelematics- the black box that can be fitted to cars- are already A Thing, but for most people, the decision of whether or not to subject your driving to such scrutiny is a voluntary one. However, increasingly drivers under 25 are being ‘encouraged’ to install a system or face the consequences of higher insurance premiums. But some insurers are even installing systems that will grass you up to your mum if you exceed the speed limit.

The new technology not only tracks youngsters’ every move behind the wheel, but texts their parents if it thinks they have broken the speed limit, or are braking too quickly, for example. Insurers claim this is all kosher because parents, who often cough up to fund their child’s car, have more influence over their child’s driving habits than the insurer.

“We contact parents, as well as phone call, text and update a driver’s online account if they don’t drive safely,” Crispin Moger of specialist insurer Marmalade told the Telegraph, adding “We involve parents as we don’t want young drivers to ignore messages we send them, although we can withdraw the policy if they keep driving badly.”

Other insurers will only tell parents if they have bought the policy.  Steve Kerrigan of The Co-operative Insurance, who have shopped 1,500drivers for speeding since installing telematics four years ago think the system offers “reassurance to parents who can ‘see’ their children when they are out on the road and otherwise on their own.”

Some firms work by reducing premiums for drivers who agree to have telematics installed, others offer discounts for good driving behaviour, like More Than, who offer a discount of up to 2.5% after every three month review or the Co-Op who assess driving every 90 days and when the premium will either go up by 20%, or be discounted by 30%. Marmalade just slap you with a £250 penalty for bad driving as “if it was just a £10 increase then people would ignore it.”

But of course these telematics are entirely optional. You can choose to pay up to £1000 extra for a non-monitored policy. The average increase for More Than customers is around £750, and premiums are 25% higher with Direct Line than if you concede to having a black box.

But is telematics going to be forced on to the rest of us? On a purely market-led basis, the answer would be no as the eye-watering prices levied on young drivers- who are twice as likely to have an accident than the over 60s- are what makes the cost of installing a system worthwhile for the insurer.

There are cheaper options though- some insurers offer an app that can track your driving an earn you a discount, although these systems aren’t without their issues.“The difficulty with an app-based product is the potential for fraud – you could switch your phone off or give it to your gran,” said Graeme Trudgill of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association, with uncharacteristic common sense.

But chances are that we will all be driving cars with telematics in the future as from 2017, all new cars will have black boxes installed, as part of new EU targets. The “eCall” project says that, in two years, all new cars made or sold in the EU should have a telematics device that can transmit data to insurers and call the emergency services in the event of a crash.

So is this a good thing? Surely once Big Brother is watching all of us, premiums will be weighted towards those more likely to cause an accident and safer drivers will benefit from cheaper premiums. In theory anyway…