Posts Tagged ‘tech’

Apple: Releasing a load of stuff again

October 17th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple logo Apple: Releasing a load of stuff againApple love the big event so much that, at the moment, they’re having one every two seconds, or at least, that’s what it feels like.

Yesterday, they revealed two new iPads and a high-resolution screen iMac desktop, which of course, we already told you about.

Basically, Apple are giving everyone the iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3, as well as blarting on about Apple Pay where you can pay for stuff with your phone (which of course, is a thing that’s been around for ages under different names).

So what about the Pad Air 2? Well, it is thin. You can get it in silver or gold and it is now thinner than a biro at just 6.1mm thick. Apple reckon it is the world’s thinnest tablet. It comes with a faster processor and a better camera too.

The new iPad has now got a lot of the features that you’d find in an iPhone, so you can now do slow motion video and burst shots with it, and it has the fingerprint ID sensor. Apple’s new OS, Yosemite, will be available as a free download too.

The new iMacs will have a sharper display. How much sharper? According to Apple, they’ll have seven times the amount of pixels you’ll find on a standard HD TV.

If you’re after a new iPad, prices start at £319. If you’re wanting a new iMac, prices start from £1,999.

EasyJet allow you to check-in with photo

October 14th, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

easyjet 300x180 EasyJet allow you to check in with photoEasyJet are allowing passengers to check-in for their flights via the budget airline’s official app, by taking a photograph of their passport.

This means, thanks to an update to the Android and iOS apps, you now don’t need to manually tap-in all your details when registering for a trip.

The idea is that, this new feature makes the check-in process a whole lot quicker, by allowing everyone to sign in with their smartphone up to two hours before their flight at the 110 EasyJet airports.

“Our new mobile passport scanning function will save time for the millions of customers who use the app to input their travel documentation details,” said EasyJet head of digital James Millett. ”It’s another example of innovating to make travel as easy as it is affordable with EasyJet.”

The app is free on the App Store and Google Play.

Argos is offering free tablets and broadband as part of a pledge to provide practical skills and access to technology to 9.5 million Brits who aren’t online in a partnership with digital skills charity Go ON UK.

Trained staff members will help people learn the basics of how to use a tablet and how to connect to the internet with workshops that will run from 25th October through to mid-January.

Bz0c FTIEAACTtY 500x250 Argos offers 10,000 free tablets and broadband through workshop

John Walden, Chief Executive of Home Retail Group, which owns Argos, said: “The digital revolution continues apace, however, millions remain on the side-lines. Argos Internet Workshops have been developed to help people overcome the barriers of access and affordability and improve their knowledge, understanding and confidence in digital technology.”

“The internet is becoming increasingly essential in day-to-day life, and offers a world of new possibilities that we believe everyone should be able to access.”

And, they just all happen to be potential Argos customers as well.

Either way, if you can’t be arsed showing your granddad or mum how to use a tablet and get online, Argos will do it for you. They’ll be calling you every 3 minutes on Skype in no time at all.

Snapchat hacked: Prepare the n00dz

October 10th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

snapchat 300x300 Snapchat hacked: Prepare the n00dzAfter the huge celebrity leak of photos, dubbed ‘The Fappening’, looks like we’re due ‘The Snappening’ as rumours abound that hackers have got a load of Snapchat photos and plan release all the mucky, naked ones that match with usernames.

They’ll be available on October 12th on a torrent.

According to reports, the hackers have a 13GB library of snaps from a third-party app which allows users to save Snapchats without the sender knowing.

Snapchat know about the leak: “We can confirm that Snapchat’s servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks. Snapchatters were victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our Terms of Use precisely because they compromise our users’ security. We vigilantly monitor the App Store and Google Play for illegal third-party apps and have succeeded in getting many of these removed.”

Snapchat are deflecting blame away from themselves, but if they were really vigilant, they should’ve got third party apps removed from app stores or something.

What should worry people though is that a lot of young people use Snapchat, which means anyone looking at any potential leaks could basically be looking at compromising images of underage kids.

Next week, will we see a new Apple TV?

October 10th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Apple have issued an invitation for an event that will take place on October 16th. Now, seeing as they’ve just updated the iPhone and brought out the Apple Watch, what on earth are they going on about?

Whatever it is, it comes with the strapline of: “It’s been way too long.”

 

apple invite 500x269 Next week, will we see a new Apple TV?

So, what have Apple been ignoring and left to gather dust on the shelf?

The company updated the iPad just last year and the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro both got a revamp recently, so it can’t be them. The iMac got tinkered with in 2013, so you can’t imagine they’re making an announcement about that.

Weighing up what’s likely, that means Apple are up to something with either Apple TV or the MacBook Air. You have to assume, what with everyone jumping on TV services at the minute, that Apple are going to give theirs a shot in the arm. They released Apple TV in 2010 and have only indulged in minor tweaks here and there, never giving it a big rehash.

Recently, Apple CEO Tim Cook while talking about TV, said: “TV is one of those things that is stuck back in the ’70s. Think about all the things that have changed… and TV almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock, and the interface is terrible. It’s awful.”

What with Cook getting randomly jumpy about TV, it looks like the newest Apple product could well be a new and improved Apple TV. Of course, there’s a good chance Apple will cock it up, like they have with everything at the moment. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Google are still at war with Java

October 9th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

google plus logo Google are still at war with JavaGoogle have been at war with Oracle for ages now. It has been going on so long that it is almost a battle of Biblical length. They’ve been fighting over the incredibly exciting thing of Java implementation on Android and it might get all the way to the US Supreme Court.

When it does, take stock of where you are and what you’re doing because future generations will ask: “Where were you when everyone died in the Google-Java conflict?”

The Supreme Court has listed Google’s request to have the US Court of Appeals’ decision reviewed.

If you aren’t aware of what’s been going on (seriously? You’re that jaded by warfare?), Oracle said that Google owed them “billions” because Android’s class libraries replicate the functions and code of some of Java’s copyrighted API packages.

One of the big arguments is whether or not you can copyright an API (that stands for ‘application programming interface’, just so you’re aware).

In May, the Court of Appeals said that you could indeed copyright APIs, but then handed the case over to another court so the argument of ‘fair use’ could be thrashed out.

And now, the Supreme Court is listening to Google’s argument that; “Early computer companies could have blocked vast amounts of technological development by claiming 95-year copyright monopolies over the basic building blocks of computer design and programming.”

If Oracle win this case, then it will mean a whole load of trouble for more companies than just Google. For more, the case has its own Wikipedia page. We can’t wait for the Hollywood blockbuster that is made of this dispute.

fat blogger 294x300 Charging your phone in a bedroom makes you fatHere’s a thing you probably didn’t know – charging your phone in your bedroom while you sleep is making you fat.

That’s the slightly barmy findings from a study by the University of Granada.

They reckon that artificial light from phone screens, street lights, laptops or television stops the body generating a hormone that combats obesity.

So that’s why you’re lardy, obviously. Not those 8 packets of shortbread fingers and a share bag of Doritos you had after your tea, all by yourself. It’s your phone’s screen.

You need Melatonin to regulate sleep patterns and it is a powerful anti-inflammatory that boosts the metabolism.

The scientists resorted to trying it out on rats, and saw that increased consumption of the hormone made them lose weight and also fought type two diabetes. Naturally they believe it can have the same effect on humans. Countries around the world are starting to strain at the edges due to an increase in obesity rates and diabetes.

Professor Agil, who lead the study, said: “Currently this process is frequently interrupted, as a result of excessive exposure to artificial lightning during the night, which reduces the levels of endogenous melatonin. For instance, many people are in the habit of sleeping with their lamps, televisions or their computers switched on, or with the blinds drawn up.”

“For all these reasons, it is important to try to sleep in absolute darkness, to avoid interference in the generation of melatonin.”

So there you have it.

public wifi 300x169 BTs cheap mobile network plans held up after glitchBT have hit some technical difficulties with their plans to launch a super cheap mobile network and it looks like it will now be delayed until 2015. Basically, BT were looking at cutting costs by carrying loads of voice traffic over WiFi networks.

The plan was to use their 5.4 million WiFi hotspots to create its own mobile phone network and the phone operator had already struck deals with EE to use a portion of their 4G spectrum also.

However, BT have found that there’s issues with the technology used to switch between WiFi and mobile networks, so basically, calls get interrupted when the signal switches. Customers would not be able to ‘roam’ seamlessly between the two, which is no use to anyone.

Not only that, BT are looking at increasing their mobile network capacity by using Home Hub routers as mini 4G mobile masts. It’s an ambitious project.

They’re serious about it though, as BT paid out £186 million for a chunk of the 4G spectrum last year, so watch this space. It is likely that we’ll see some results from the company around April 2015.

Tesco launch hudl2

October 3rd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

hudl 300x199 Tesco launch hudl2Tesco have gone and unveiled their latest hudl tablet, just in time for Christmas (and in the hope that they can talk about something positive after a frankly disastrous month).

The 8.3-inch hudl2 has been made with an eye on entertainment and is powered by a quad core Intel 1.83 GHz processor, which means the new tablet is three times faster than the previous hudl.

It’ll cost you £129, but it will be available on Clubcard Boost, which means you could get it for as little as £65, which is not to be sniffed at.

The hudl2 is available in eight colours and will come with a parental filter and goes on sale from October 9th.

The full spec for the hudl2:

- 8.3 inch 1920 x 1200 (Full HD) screen
- Intel Atom quad-core processor up to 1.83 GHz
- Android Kitkat 4.4.2 operating system
- Stereo speakers with Dolby optimised audio
- 5MP rear facing camera and 1.2 MP front facing camera
- 16 GB storage which can be expanded to 48 GB
- 8 hour battery life
- Dual band Wi-Fi
- Available in 8 colours: Jazzy Blue, Zesty Orange, Slate Black, Rocket Red, Tropical Turquoise, Dreamy White, Perky Purple and Bubblegum Pink.
- Pre-loaded with Parental filter
- Access to over a million apps via Google Play

Facebook says sorry to drag queens

October 2nd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Bitterwallet Facebook censorship Facebook says sorry to drag queensFacebook have been tinkering again, and decided at some point that it was bad that people were using their services with their nicknames, rather than their real name.

So that means Pele would have to be on Facebook as Edson Arantes do Nascimento and anyone who is better known by their nickname would have to go under their real name. Looking at you David Bowie.

One of the things that caused controversy around this was the fact that drag queens were getting rough-housed into using their birth names and, of course, an simpleton can see why that would be a sensitive issue. There was a campaign to change the policy after a group of drag queens and LGBT groups pointed out that this ‘real name’ rule could well compromise the privacy, health and safety of many, including people surviving domestic violence and immigrants.

And Facebook, after a lot of people shouting at them, finally saw it from another point of view and apologised.

They said the whole thing was a big misunderstanding and that, after a meeting, Chief Product Officer Chris Cox issued an apology on his own Facebook page.

“In the two weeks since the real-name policy issues surfaced, we’ve had the chance to hear from many of you in these communities and understand the policy more clearly as you experience it. We’ve also come to understand how painful this has been. We owe you a better service and a better experience using Facebook, and we’re going to fix the way this policy gets handled so everyone affected here can go back to using Facebook as you were.”

“Our policy has never been to require everyone on Facebook to use their legal name,” he added. “The spirit of our policy is that everyone on Facebook uses the authentic name they use in real life.”

At last! A wearable drone that takes selfies!

September 30th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Some inventors have cooked up a wrist-based drone that takes selfies. That’s it. Everyone can go home now, we’ve finished as a species.

The Nixie is a flyable wrist-worn camera, and is the brainchild of Christoph Kohstall, Jelena Jovanovic, and Michael Niedermayr who are a team of one of ten finalists in Intel’s Make It Wearable (MIW) Challenge.

LET’S SEE IT IN ACTION THEN

It was originally meant to be a flying pair of glasses, which would have no doubt been REALLY useful, but now morphed into a wristband that unfolds into a remote-controlled quadcopter.

The Intel Creators Project blog said:”With traditional cameras, shooters have to interrupt the moment to take pictures, and the controls require manual manipulations. Nixie puts you front and center in your photos and videos—without requiring your hands, or your attention.”

While still a prototype, the Nixie should include preset modes for all sorts of filming criteria.

Within its capacity as an Intel MIW Challenge entry, the Nixie, of course, utilizes Intel’s Edison—a functioning, Quark-powered computer with wireless capabilities packed into a chip as slim and small as an SD card.

It’s just one of the inventions in the running for the award, along with nine others that include  sports, healthcare, robotics, and existing wearable technology.

The winning team will be announced at the Make It Wearable Finale Event on Nov. 3.

People exchange their kids for free WiFi

September 30th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

stupid children 214x300 People exchange their kids for free WiFiSix fully grown humans who should know better agreed to give their children away in exchange for free WiFi. Have they been arrested and the kids taken off into care?

No.

That’s because this was some kind of social experiment where researchers set up a WiFi hotspot in London which had a lengthy t&c section.

The terms contained a “deliberately ridiculous” term which, if you’d read, said that in return for the free access to the internet, the individual using the service was prepared to “render up their eldest child for the duration of eternity”.

The report is called ‘Tainted Love: How Wi-Fi Betrays Us’ by security and privacy company F-Secure. It states that, regarding people allowing their children to be given up for eternity: ”Despite this, six people decided that it was a fair exchange and signed up.”

Hopefully, the researchers will see the clause out in scenes akin to the baby being fought for in Ghostbusters 2. Hopefully they’ll have a massive magic oil painting too.

The report concluded: “Our results illustrate the very real problem of the modern world which is that – while massively dependent on the technology – the population is unaware of its capabilities for surveillance and intrusion into their lives. The problem is that people implicitly trust their technology and are not aware of the implications of that trust.”

“There is an insatiable pursuit of bandwidth, driven mainly by the desire to have video, data-rich apps and super-fast website performance on the move.”

“This appetite for bandwidth has blinded consumers to the risks that they are taking. In pursuit of free bandwidth, people are prepared to do anything as our experiment showed with its draconian terms and conditions.”

In fairness, the six people involved might have really quite horrible children. You just don’t know do you? Have you met some of them? They can be infuriating.

TL;DR – Breaking news: People don’t read terms and conditions on anything, ever.

Macs vulnerable to Shellshock bug

September 26th, 2014 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple logo Macs vulnerable to Shellshock bugForget Heartbleed – now you’ve got to worry about Shellshock which is affecting Mac and Linux computers.

The proper name for Shellshock is ‘CVE-2014-6271′, which is about as catchy as Leonard Cohen song, but it is making a lot of people very jumpy. The National Cyber Awareness System has given the bug a 10 out of 10 severity rating.

If you’re really techie and want to get into the smaller details of the Shellshock bug, click here for the low-down by people who really know what they’re talking about.

For the rest of you, this is the kicker: if you haven’t got your updates up-to-date and are using OS X, hackers might be able to get control of your computer. Mercifully, the chances of this happening are reasonably small.

A lot of Linux distributors have released patches to stop Shellshock, but Mac OS X haven’t got anything yet.

Sadly, the immediate fix for this is reasonably techie and can be seen in the link above. If you’re not the kind of person who is equipped to get under the hood of your devices, the best thing to do is make sure all your important files are backed-up, stored in your cloud accounts and what have you, just in case your computer ends up being wrecked.

It looks like Linux is going to be shored up soon enough, but Apple haven’t even made a comment yet, so we’ll just have to wait and see what they’re up to.

Amazon are giving away loads of apps for free!

September 26th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

amazoninstant Amazon are giving away loads of apps for free!Once again, Amazon are giving away a load of apps for free. Yes, you’d normally pay for these particular ones.

There’s 29 apps on offer, and the offer is available until 12pm on September 27th. So act sharpish if you want some.

There are games and other useful things to be had like alarm clocks and dieting things.

You can get your paws on Autodesk Sketchbook Pro, Paper Camera and Office Suite Professional, as well as a Sonic the Hedgehog game and the popular Threes. You can even get an Air Harp, which is much less space-consuming than a real harp.

Some of the apps look like a load of rubbish, but those are the breaks with a deal like this. You really should check them out for yourself.

To download these paid apps for free, head to this Amazon Appstore page.

Tesco launches Hudl2 next month

September 25th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

HUDL 300x168 Tesco launches Hudl2 next monthTesco have done a “Look! Over here! Shiny!” diversionary tactic after a grim week, and announced details of the launch of Hudl 2.

Now it turns out the secret reveal is going to be October 3rd.

The company has sent out invites to a launch with such crypticness as #letshudl on them… but who would want to huddle with people who just make stuff up in their accounts?

The company’s Hudl page has also updated with a new section for customers to register for updates about the second generation tablet.

It looks like they’re launching it in several colours. WHOOP!

The company assure us that the Hudl 2 will improve “on just about every area of its predecessor, from screen size to speed, design and accessories.”

Will it save Tesco? We have no idea. However it was one of the few successes the terminally mental company have had in recent times. Plans were afoot to release a Hudl phone too, but they can’t be arsed now.