Posts Tagged ‘tech’
As predicted, Google have announced that they’re giving everyone a new way of paying for things, called Android Pay. Like all the other apps, it allows you to pay for things by wafting your phone at a machine and will be introduced down the shops in due time.
All the tech and financial big guns are getting in on the action, despite the fact most people have never even seen someone complete a payment with a phone’s near-field technology, let alone used it themselves. Most people are still cooing at contactless payments on their cards like they’re in a science fiction film, set in Japan 4729AD.
Anyway, undeterred, Android Pay is getting cosy with over 700,000 shops in That America and then they’ll be rolling it out across the world. There’s no mention of a UK release date, so it looks like Android are doing the same as Apple and getting out in the States to iron out all the bugs first.
If you’re uninitiated in all this, basically, to use Android Pay, you’d unlock your phone as you normally would, and then, you hold your device over the machine in the shop, they wirelessly talk to each other, some of your data gets gobbled up and, hey presto, you’ve made a payment. You’ll be glad to know that retailers won’t store your account number, which is something.
In addition to this, Android Pay will work with other apps, so you can hit the payment button while looking at things in, say, Groupon.
If you don’t like reading words, here’s a video with the usual musical hipster drivel, telling you all about it. Beware – there’s a lot of irritating people in this.
According to research, there’s around 2.8 million of you out there who have downloaded Minecraft applications on their Android smartphones and tablets, which are malicious.
There’s been a host of dodgy apps doing the rounds in the last year, and 33 of them have been spotted in the Google Play store. These apps tend to offer cheats and tips to players, but of course, they’re doing something else that is no good for you at all. Once you download these apps, you end up getting a warning which says your device has been infected with a “dangerous virus”.
These are some of the malicious apps.
If the apps fool you, you’re then asked to sign-up with a premium-rate SMS subscription which tells you that it’ll rid your gadgets of nasties.
It won’t, of course. What it will do is charge you for texts, coming in at £3.40 per week, which is around £177 per year if you don’t sort it out. The bogus virus warning page looks like this.
One of the things that gives away these apps are the myriad of negative reviews and comments they’ve received. If you’re ever downloading any app, it is always worth looking at the score they’ve been given and checking out the reviews on Google Play, right before you hit the download button.
A number of the apps have been removed from Google Play, but that’s not to say they got them all. Obviously, snide developers are probably making more and tying them in the with hugely popular Minecraft game.
Like we said, to stop this happening, always look at the ratings and reviews on any app and get some security software for your Android phone. You can see some of the best anti-virus Android software here.
Southern Rail are a PR disaster at the moment. A director at the train company admitted that their trains being on time were ‘few and far between’, while one fella hates them so deeply, that they got a tattoo announcing as such, with some rather colourful language to boot.
And now, they’re only making themselves look worse as they’ve fined a bunch of customers who were forced to stand-up because the train was too crowded.
Commuters heading to London found themselves on a train that was so packed that they had to stand-up in the first class section, because their wasn’t room anywhere else. Did anyone make provisions or stop this from happening? Of course not. Southern Rail ticket inspectors were too busy doling out fines because customers didn’t have the right ticket.
Add all this to being one of the least punctual train companies in the country, coupled with some of the highest fares, and you’ll see why people think they’re a laughing stock.
Peter Boyland wrote to his MPs - Crispin Blunt and Sam Gyimah – to complain about all this, saying: ”The train was so packed in fact that the ‘revenue officers’ were unable to pass through to me to check my ticket, despite my clear proximity to them. This is a fine example of the attitude of Southern, who only seem concerned about protecting their revenue, and less about providing an acceptable level of service.”
A Southern Rail spokesperson said that these fines are just dandy, and with a straight-face, said that passengers would have been fined either £20 or twice the price of a single fare – they choose the fine by going for whichever of the two amounts is greater.
“In this instance, passengers who were issued with penalty fares were sitting in first class accommodation whilst holding standard class tickets. First class accommodation is not declassified automatically if the train is busy, but Conductors can use their discretion to declassify if it is deemed necessary,” the spokesperson told The Independent.
Refund and Compensation
If you think you’re entitled to a refund or some compensation, have a look at our guide to getting your money back. While the train wasn’t late enough to get reimbursed, the fact remains that Southern didn’t provide an adequate service and it is worth trying to dispute the fines and asking for the price of your ticket back.
Let us know how you get on.
It isn’t good to mess around on your mobile while your hands are covered in chicken grease. With that in mind, KFC are pulling a stunt where they serve fried chicken on trays that come with disposable Bluetooth keyboards.
The tray syncs up with your mobile, allowing you to troll friends and be ignored by celebrities on Twitter without making your touchscreen a complete mess.
It has been named the ‘Tray Typer’, the mega-slim Bluetooth keyboard is so thin and flimsy that it can be folded up.
Regrettably, this was only available in KFC Germany for a week, but we do hope that this gets tried out elsewhere, so we can try it out. It was so popular in Germany that every single keyboard was taken home (aka ‘nicked’).
WE WANT ONE.
The appetite for Google Glass hasn’t been too great, leaving Google to pull the idea for a while. While the idea of the gadget isn’t all that bad, there was something awry about it and the prohibitive price didn’t help matters.
With all that in mind, the wearable technology could be making a comeback, as part of a new crop of wearable products. With the Apple Watch selling like hot cakes, the time might be right for Google to chance their arm again, in this particular field. We shouldn’t forget that virtual reality is just around the corner too.
So what’s the score? Well, there’s been a number of job adverts on Google’s website. The Google Glass team are now focused on developing “smart eyewear and other related products,” suggesting that Google are going to expand beyond the goggles.
These job listings include an Audio Hardware Manager, a Human Factors Designer, an RF Systems Engineer and a Hardware Automation Engineer (Manufacturing). It has also been rumoured that Google will be unveiling a new version of the Glass headset alongside other wearable products at the Google I/O developer conference at the end of this month.
Google just need to remember that, whatever they do, it has to have style as well as substance, as the old glasses looked a bit grim. The Apple Watch has been warmly received for the aesthetic, so Google Glass needs to look like a designer pair of specs and, importantly, not cost a grand. Then, they might be on to something.
We’re all spending twice as much time online in the UK, that we did 10 years ago. That might be something to do with the fact that the internet was slow and painful a decade ago and now it is… well… less slow.
Of course, we’ve collectively got more gadgets to play with now. Mobiles are better and there’s also the small matter of tablets and now, smartwatches.
This is all according to new research by Ofcom.
If you’re 16 or over, you’re spending an average of 20 hours and 30 minutes online each week, which is up from 9 hours and 54 minutes in 2005.
Ofcom’s Media Use and Attitudes 2015 report showed that the largest increase in internet use was among 16-24 year olds, which almost tripled from 10 hours and 24 minutes per week in 2005, to 27 hours and 36 minutes by the end of last year. There’s apps on your phone where you can easily send people photos of your junk now. All we had in 2005 was a row of fields and a phallus shaped stick to share.
Now, we spend time online while out and about, which is a relatively new thing, increasing from 30 minutes in 2005 to 2 hours and 18 minutes in 2014.
Interestingly, the mobile phone is now the primary gadget used for gaming.
Instant messaging has also seen a sharp increase, going from 38% of mobile users in 2013 to 42%. This is thanks to apps like WhatsApp and BBM. With Facebook getting in on the action, that figure is only going to increase.
Is actual reality getting you down? Is everything too humdrum and irritating? Well, never fear, because virtual reality is on the way! Which one? Well, you can get the highly anticipated Oculus VR nonsense at the start of 2016!
That’s right – Rift with be released within the first three months of 2016.
There’s been developer versions of Rift knocking around, but they’re not too indicative of what customers will see on the shelves. The Facebook owned Oculus VR will be the first of the VR headsets on the market, beating HTC’s rival Vive product, and Sony’s Morpheus too.
Thus far, we’ve been given teasers which promise that Rift has a “more natural fit” and an “improved tracking system” than earlier models which we’ve seen. ”In the weeks ahead, we’ll be revealing the details around hardware, software, input, and many of our unannounced made-for-VR games and experiences coming,” Oculus said on its blog.
“Virtual reality is going to transform gaming, film, entertainment, communication, and much more. E3 is just around the corner – this is only the beginning.”
Seems customers have been hopping mad that Three’s devices aren’t doing what they’re supposed to, with the femtocell Home Signal units creating blackouts.
Previously, Three have described the Home Signal as “a great way to make calls and send texts if you have trouble getting signal indoors”. Basically, by using your internet connection, you can make and receive calls. However, it looks like they’ve been failing and customers are irked.
“Three are usually very good and I’ve not had any issues with them before, but the scale of this seems big and no one at Three has bothered to make any kind of statement or press release,” one customer told Giz. ”It’s not good for those who are sat at home with no way to call Three and find out what’s going on.”
This appears to have been a problem over the whole of the Bank Holiday and there’s still problems now, with no word on what’s going on. So if you know someone who lives in the sticks and they’re on Three, they might not be ignoring you. At least you can tell yourself that anyway.
Gadget vendors Apple have been warned that they’re looking at a £1.5billion bill if they are found guilty of avoiding taxes across Europe. The tech behemoth is currently under investigation by authorities in the EU who, if they find Apple guilty, they have the power to rake all those unpaid taxes back in.
This week, Apple talked to investors about the scale of the potential repercussions. The amounts they could end up paying out ‘could be material’, which is a stock market term which translates to 5% of their average profits over the last three years. That should work out at over a billion quid, which is not to be sniffed at.
Apple’s deal with Ireland and taxes has been scrutinised for a while now.
In a statement to the stock exchange, Apple said: “If the European Commission were to conclude against Ireland, it could require Ireland to recover from the company past taxes covering a period of up to 10 years reflective of the disallowed state aid, and such amount could be material.”
Of course, Apple made £8.9billion in profit between January and March of this year, so they’re invariably not too worried about these looming tax penalties. They’ve probably got a couple of billion down the back of the sofa that’s fallen out of their jeans pocket.
European competition chiefs will release their report in June.
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.
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.
First, Yahoo! wanted to kill the password, and now Jonathan LeBlanc, global head of developer advocacy at PayPal, wants them dead too. As he says: ”Passwords are not secure, they need to be replaced.”
LeBlanc gave a presentation at a techie thing called ‘Kill All Passwords’, with a lot of people in thick-rimmed specs all nodding at the demise of passwords as we know them. ”Passwords are so complex it’s just a system that doesn’t work anymore,” chirruped CNET editor Dan Ackerman.
They’ve all been having a think about it and there’s too many sites asking for too many passwords which are hard to come up with – minimum numbers for characters, with a symbol and a number in it, with upper and lowercase letters and all that jive – which is why a lot of people use passwords like ’123456′ and the evergreen ‘password’.
LeBlanc reckons it is time to start thinking of weirder, more interesting things to get by our security measures, pointing out that there are people who are looking at scanning your eyes or face and, as you may know, Google are looking at a smart contact lens that measures the glucose in your tears. That’s not enough for LeBlanc – he wants wearable circuit board tattoos, brain chip implants and password pills that will allow you to eat your way into devices.
You may think that your body being ID is already a thing with fingerprint sensors and the like, but LeBlanc said that PayPal is working with companies who will create scans of your veins and measure your unique heartbeat, instead of passwords.
LeBlanc says: “I ground a lot of my talks in reality, but toward the end of the presentation things get a little strange.”
Sky have gone and expanded their Buy & Keep service, offering it the download/delivery service to non-Sky subscribers. Last year, Sky’s TV subscribers got the service which lets you download a digital copy of a film while you wait for the physical DVD to be delivered, but now, anyone can do it.
If you think this sounds better than just downloading stuff or going down the shops, then from today, you can go to the Sky Store website and sort yourself out.
Seeing as they’re opening it up to everyone, the service is going to be available on a load of different mobile platforms and internet-connected set-top boxes. If this sort of thing fills you with dread, do remember, you can just watch Freeview and tut about stuff.
Nicola Bamford, Director of the Sky Store says: “People want the simplest and most convenient way to buy and watch the movies they love, which is why it’s great news that from today Buy & Keep will be available to everyone and across multiple devices.”
Some bigger, newer films will cost you £13.99, while older flicks are going for £7.99 each. If you use torrents, try and keep your laughing down because you’re upsetting the consumers.
You’ll also be able to use the Follow Me function, which lets you pause a movie and resuming watching it on a different one.