No matter what you do, you will never, ever put a USB plug in the right way. However, things are getting shaken up in the USB world as work has begun on the next generation which will eliminate all that!
This Type-C USB is an addition to the existing 3.1 spec and will be ready to use next year. It will be roughly the same size as a Micro USB plug and it’ll fit in the slot no matter how you approach it.
In a press release, USB 3.0 Promoter Group chairman Brad Saunders says that Type-C will “meet evolving design trends in terms of size and usability” and “will enable an entirely new super-thin class of devices from phones to tablets, to 2-in-1s, to laptops to desktops,” says Alex Peleg of Intel. “This new industry standards-based thin connector delivering data, power, and video is the only connector one will need across all devices.”
Techie stuff aside, the fact that putting in USB plugs upside-down will be forever consigned to history, that means all humankind will do much less swearing under their breath. It will truly be a modern wonder of the world.
A botnet has been discovered which targets shop tills, and it has stolen what’s been described as a ‘titanic volume’ of credit card details. 20,000 cards could have been affected since August.
It’s not the first time a botnet has infiltrated points of sale – last year the Subway virus, created by two Romanian hackers, managed to cream off 146,000 credit card numbers by hacking 200 shops. But it seems like the viruses are becoming more sophisticated than ever before, and there’s been dozens of them popping up all over the place in recent months. With this particular virus, hackers are able to access payment machines in real time and issue commands, leaving customers completely vulnerable.
So what can we, the average consumer, who doesn’t know a botnet from their bottom – do about it? Well, nothing really. It’s down to digital crime units, like the one run by Microsoft, who recently busted three botnets. The latest is a group of computers called ZeroAccess, which highjacked search results and led people to dodgy websites, where it would install malware and then steal your information.
So it’s a matter of taking care on the internet and hoping that the hidden army of Cyber Bergeracs out there can take down these botnets before they get your card. Reassuring, eh?
From now on, I’m paying in CASH.
The American Patent and Trademark Office awarded Apple U.S. Patent No. 8,600,120 for “Personal computing device control using face detection and recognition,” which is all a bit sci-fi.
According to the document, face detection and recognition are two different things where detection involves locating faces within an image, while recognition goes further by pairing stored faces with a particular user.
Apple’s patent is made up of three separate systems: a face detection decision application; a face recognition application; and an input/output control application. All three work together so it can detect whether a user is authorised to operate the device in question.
Using your skin tone and features, it’ll also crate a vector of your face and use that for security purposes. So while one bit of the programme may detect a face through a sensor, it’ll then have to work out if it knows your face or not, which will then unlock the phone (or not). So, if someone steals your phone, it will ostensibly be useless as it won’t be able to recognise any stranger trying to use it.
The patent also says that this technology could recognise a user’s face over a period of time, ‘learning’ your face as it goes along. Of course, the new PS4 and Xbox One have similar things in place which use technology that is not unlike Apple’s patent and Apple themselves recently purchased PrimeSense, a motion-sensing hardware and software firm behind Microsoft’s first Kinect sensor.
Apple do make pretty robust programmes, so it’ll be very interesting to see what they do with this. Also, it gives them the chance to take loads of people to court all the time, so it’s win-win for them.
With Aldi getting on the budget-friendly tablet wagon, the UK’s appetite for cheap Android devices gets stronger. With that, Tesco’s rousing success with Hudl is about to get an upgrade.
The £119 Hudl has flown off the shelves, selling around 300,000 thus far and Tesco have revealed that they’re working on a second generation Hudl which will be launched next year.
The current Hudl has a decent spec, with a 1.5GHz quad-core processor, 1GB RAM, 16GB of storage and a resolution of 1,440 x 900 px. The new version, possibly called Hudl2, will no doubt have a quicker processor, better resolution and they’ll invariably be looking at full HD resolution. You can assume it will run on Kit Kat and have more storage too. Looks like Tesco are fully intending to become a big player in the technology world.
Chief executive Phillip Clarke has been surprised with the success of the Hudl, recently telling the Guardian that sales have been more than what they “had originally planned in total in the run-up to Christmas”. The Hudl has run out of stock twice already.
Naturally, Tesco will have to work on the image of the tablet as it is seen as something akin to Skoda (nice cars, once desperately uncool) to the Bentley of the iPad. However, money talks and Tesco could well forge a strong position in the market if they get the next Hudl right.
Aldi are going to launch their own tablet for under £80 as it climbs on the bandwagon of Tesco and Argos who launched their own budget devices.
The 7-inch Medion Lifetab E7316 will be available in stores from Sunday for £79.99, but stocks are limited. It’ll have 8GB of storage and a screen resolution of 1024×600 with a four hour battery life. Not great, but this is clearly aimed at the starter market.
Aldi’s Lifetab weighs 301g and runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean processor on a 1.6GHz quad-core CPU. It has front and rear facing cameras with 0.3MP and 2MP resolutions respectively. You can up the memory with a card if it doesn’t have enough space for you.
The main thing here is that this tablet undercuts MyTablet and the Hudl device by £20. Tempted?
It’s time for phase two of EE’s 4G rollout, and this time the big switch (sadly not turned on by Bob Carolgees and Peter Andre in a dismal shopping centre) has lit up 10 new UK towns with super fast internet.
They are…*drumroll* Bath, Bournemouth, Cambridge, Darlington, Newcastle-under Lyme, Northampton, Poole, Portsmouth and…..REDCAR ba-dum-tish! They plan to increase the 4G service to a total of 160 towns before Christmas, so that everyone can enjoy a faster download speed for all their festive porn.
So the next rollout will take place in the next couple of weeks, and include such sexy hotspots as Grimsby, Ipswich and Swindon. EE CEO Olaf Swantee (too many eees, man) said: ‘That’s the fastest rollout of 4G in Europe, and with well over one million people already using the service, one of the most successful too.’
OK, Olaf, calm down.
But perhaps EE are entitled to show off a little bit. After all, some mobile providers, like the useless phone donkeys Three, are only just launching the service. Others have only managed coverage in big cities. And nobody is matching EE’s new trial of the speedier LTE advanced network, with download speeds of 300Mbps.
EEEEEE! Scream if you wanna go faster…
Would you like to get money for nothing out of your government? You could try and recreate the scam undertaken by some Farmville fans in Romania, who managed to con more than £400,000 in subsidies out of their government for their fake farms.
Of course, the government caught wind of it all and stopped payments, however, that isn’t the end of the tale as the faux-farmers are now suing.
The eight men claimed to be in possession of 1,860 cows and received roughly £100 per animal over three years.
The Farmvillites say they weren’t told the farms had to be real when they applied and are taking their case to court, where a drunk old judge will no doubt irritate himself half stupid because he has to spend time finding out what the internet is before proceeding with the case.
So, seeing as the government Autumn statement means you’ll have to work ’til you die, you may as well try and blag them out of some money for your pretend animals.
Let us know how you get on.
Technology firms have lost their minds. First, Sony announced they were looking at making a SmartWig, and now Microsoft are taking time out from ballsing everything up with the new Xbox to make a SmartBra.
Researchers have made a prototype smart bra that is capable of detecting the wearer’s mood, because obviously, women can’t detect their own mood, so need some underwear that can do it for them.
This thunderously pointless accessory will use removable sensors to monitor the user’s heart and skin activity and send mood data to a smartphone app. A woman’s partner should surely have a companion app called Are They In The Mood Yet?
Microsoft do think that this has a use, such as helping to tackle stress, so women don’t indulge in ‘emotional eating’. Microsoft there, nudging everyone and saying “Women eh? What are they like?” A gyroscope and accelerometer are embedded in the boob holder while an electrocardiogram and electro-dermal activity sensors are used to collate data from the skin and heart.
Apparently, Microsoft researchers tried something similar for men, but it didn’t work out as well in tests because underpants are so far away from the heart (but right next to a man’s brains, some will cry). Until these bras are on-sale, we’ll just have to use the tried and tested method of seeing what mood someone is in, which basically means waiting for them to come home from work and counting how much wine they put away while complaining.
It takes a lot to be banned in the UK – even Nigel Farage and Nick Griffin are free to walk the streets, drinking pints and inciting hatred. But there’s been no such lenience for the naughty HTC One Mini phone, which has been the subject of a mega ongoing lawsuit from Finnish company Nokia.
Nokia claim that HTC nicked patented technology from them, and a UK judge has decided that Nokia are right –so the product is now effectively banned. The hardware has been described as a ‘modular structure for a transmitter and a mobile station’, for which HTC failed to obtain a licence.
HTC (now an acronym for Holy Titting Crap) were beside themselves because the HTC One Mini is their flagship phone, and there will literally be no sales of it in the UK.
However, there is some relief for the firm, as Judge Richard Arnold has delayed a similar injunction on the HTC One, which is still on sale. That’s to protect their business interests in the short term, while simultaneously slapping them on the wrist.
Even so, HTC have vowed to appeal the decision and deny that they’re dirty stealing tramps. Meanwhile, we can only assume that the HTC One Mini will become something of a collectors item – a holy grail thing, like a shiny Panini sticker or a Star Trek Pog.
The iPhone 5C might be cheaper and come in pretty colours, but the iPhone 5S is outselling it by three to one in the UK. It seems that it takes more than some hackysack-playing hipsters waving neon yellow phones around to woo us.
Criticised as ‘unashamedly plastic’, the iPhone 5C has gone down as well as Rob Chubby Brown at a feminist rally. But it seems we’re not really buying either model in our droves. According to analysts Kantar, Apple’s market share slipped in the third quarter of the year from 32.7% in 2012 to a more modest 28.7%.
Kantar think that because there aren’t that many exciting new features on the 5S or 5C models that we’re saving our pennies for the arrival of the iPhone 6. They added: ‘This is not wholly unexpected as shoppers tend to react more positively to full releases than incremental improvements such as the 5S and 5C.’
But Apple will be pleased that the iPhone 5C has been a hit in the US, with many customers switching from other brands, rather than upgrading an existing iPhone. But it seems that in Blighty, we’re happy to pay more for a better product, cos we’ve got class and that.
*wipes nose on sleeve*
The TV Anywhere app is new to Android and already available on Apple devices, and Virgin have added another nine channels to their line-up, prompting Virgin Media to claim that they’ve got “more channels in total than Sky Go”.
“Virgin TV Anywhere offers more live channels than Sky Go, with 90 available online and 67 to watch on mobile and tablets. 39 of these channels are not available on Sky Go, including BT Sport, ITV, Channel 5, CBS Reality Premier Sport and many more,” said Virgin Media in a statement.
So what are these new channels? You get Alibi, Dave, Drama, Good Food, Home, Really, Watch, Yesterday and CBS Reality. Presumably, they all come under the ‘Meh’ package elsewhere.
The app is free for Virgin Media Tivo customers, which means you’ll be able to remotely control your Tivo set-top boxes, setting timers for shows and all that jazz. You can also rate programmes too, should that be of any interest at all. The app isn’t available to anyone who isn’t a Virgin customer.
You know how it is. You’re upgrading your computer, so you chuck out your old one, giving it up to linger in a landfill forever more. BUT WAIT! Your hard drive was full of Bitcoins from 2009, which were nothing but worthless pixels back then. You had 7500 stored on there, which you’d generated yourself. And now they’re worth £613 each. Which means…YOU THREW £4,597,000 IN THE BIN YOU ****** IDIOT.
Well, that’s what happened to IT worker James Howells from Newport, South Wales, who was tidying up his drawers one day and decided to throw out his knackered machine. He’d forgotten about his crazy Bitcoin generating phase, and got rid of it last year.
Bitcoin launched in 2009, and you used to be able to make them yourself on an ordinary computer. Now it’s become increasingly harder to generate them, and they have grown in value – today they fetch $1000 each.
James explained: ‘I hadn’t kept up on Bitcoin, I’d been distracted. I’d had a couple of kids since then, I’d been doing the house up, and forgot about it until it was in the news again. There’s a pot of gold there for someone… it’s my mistake throwing the hard drive out, at the end of the day.’
Poor, foolish James. Now, digging it up would be like looking for bitcoins in a crapheap. According to landfill officials in Newport, the computer could be anywhere amongst the acres of festering rubbish, and buried approximately four feet deep.
*Puts on wellies*