Archive for August, 2013

By August 24, 2013 Read More →

Retro Tech Addicts Podcast 01: For those of you just joining us

RTA Logo MTAGareth and Matt enjoy a warm and fuzzy recollection of days gone by in this the latest instalment of the Retro Tech Addicts podcast.

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Posted in: Podcast, Retro Tech
By August 23, 2013 Read More →

Sky NOW TV Box Review

Sky NOW TV BoxSky TV is the most popular satellite TV service in the UK to date, Virgin Media can’t touch Sky for channels and services so for this reason you might ask ‘why the heck release NOW TV then?!’ well to be completely honest with you i felt exactly the same when i first heard about the streaming service but it then dawned on me.a lot of people might not be able to afford any of the Sky TV packages.

So for that reason alone the Sky NOW TV box represents insane value for money because at £9.99 delivered you gain access to Sky’s entire catalogue of Sky Movies and also access to all of the Sky sports channels, plus BBC iPlayer, Sky News, BBC News and Demand 5. There is one downside to this though, none of it is free as well, this is Sky after all! You get a free trial for 30 days of Sky Movies and in my particular box i received a free 1 day Sky Sports Pass which will last 24 hours. Otherwise to gain access to both Sky Movies and Sky Sports it will cost you (after the 30 days trial) £8.99 for 3 months and then £15.99 thereafter for just the Movies package, to get Sky Sports too it is a whopping £9.99 per day! This would be ok as a once a month thing but for Sports fans its a shocking deal!

That’s the pricing details out of the way so lets talk about the box for a bit then i will tell you about the viewing quality.

Posted in: Reviews, TV & Home Cinema
Tags: , ,
By August 22, 2013 Read More →

Mobile Tech Addicts Podcast 207: Crickets and Tumbleweed

Web bannerGareth, and Matt are here with another UK update on the mobile front.

Featuring Gareth and Matt

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Posted in: Podcast
By August 21, 2013 Read More →

PS4 USA and Europe Release date officially announced

gaming-playstation-4-sony-first-full-look-at-hardware-e3-2013-e2013 is a huge year for gamers across the globe because it is the first time since 2005 that we get new console hardware! E3 2013 brought us the official unveiling of both the Xbox One and the PS4 and it’s the latter that we will focus on today because Microsoft STILL haven’t released official launch dates for their console.

With that in mind Sony yesterday at their Gamescom 2013 press conference announced that as of November 15th in the US and on the 29th November in the UK we will be able to get our hands on the long awaited ‘Next-Gen’ console! This is almost as bigger coup for Sony as the £100/$100 difference in price compared to its Microsoft counterpart, which should at first at least grab gamers attention more than the hugely expensive £429 for the Xbox One.

The official prices for the PS4 on its own are as follows: US=$399, UK=£349

I have spoken to my local GAME store representatives though and they say that yes you are still able to pre-order the PS4 but they are as of now unable to guarantee ‘Day One’ delivery of the console as demand has been so high, so if you want one as close to launch day as possible then i recommend pre ordering one right now.

 

Here’s a refresher on the main features of the PS4 for those of you still unsure about which console (if any) to plump up the cash for:

  • CPU: low power x86-64 AMD "Jaguar", 8 cores
  • GPU: 1.84 TFLOPS, AMD RadeonGraphics Core Next engine
  • Memory: GDDR5 8GB
  • Hard Disk Drive: Built -in
  • Optical Drive (Read only): BD 6xCAV, DVD 8xCAV
  • I/O: Super-Speed USB (USB 3.0), AUX
  • Communication: Ethernet, IEEE 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth® 2.1 (EDR)
  • AV output: HDMI, Analog-AV out, Digital Output (optical)

 

There is a lot to look forward to regards the PS4 with a whole host of amazing games that will launch alongside it on November 29th including, Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag, Battlefield 4, Call of Duty Ghosts, Watch Dogs, Killzone:Shadowfall, DriveClub and many more!

Just one last thing to add here.watch this space at the end of September because i will be at Eurogamer in London covering all of the amazing gaming tech that will be on offer so look out for lots of posts and photos on the site around then, i will be tweeting live from the event as well so drop me a follow at @veseinho89.

Post by: Chris

Posted in: News
By August 21, 2013 Read More →

Sonivo Easy Speaker and Bluetooth Headset unboxing video

Easy-Speaker-Products We’ve looked at a number of wireless speakers and Bluetooth Headsets in the past but here we have a couple of products that are a little bit different.

Starting with the Sonivo Easy Speaker, there’s no cables, no WiFi, no Bluetooth and no NFC connection. Yet this is no passive speaker set, has a rechargeable battery and built in amplifier.

So how does it work then? I’m tempted to say magic but in reality you place any mobile or MP3 player with built-in loudspeaker, on top of the Easy Speaker and the sound is amplified. Inside the unit a set of transducers pick up the induction signals from the loudspeaker. In practice this works well, there is a BUT though. If you have an HTC One, the placement of the speakers mean that only the left OR right channel will be amplified. You can use the supplied 3.5mm cable to get around this though.

The SBH-150 Bluetooth Stereo Headset from Sonivo is a good looking bit of kit. It uses Bluetooth 3.0 and can be used as both stereo bluetooth headphone or as a wireless headset for use with your mobile. Add to that the passive noise cancelling, media controls and folding design and you’ve got something a bit different.

Check out the unboxing and demo video below to see them both in more detail.

Sonivo Easy Speaker and Bluetooth Headphones

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By August 20, 2013 Read More →

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 now £339.99 from Expansys UK

Samsung Galaxy Mega As the title of this post suggests Expansys UK have the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3, which for those of you who aren’t aware is Samsung’s answer to the ‘bigger than Note 2 but smaller than the Note 8 form factor’ Basically if you have huge hands then this is the phone/phablet for you! Otherwise it could basically be used a tablet, which in my opinion wouldn’t be a bad thing at all.

The device can be purchased in one of two ways, you can pay the amount in full as you would any other product online but the second option is what’s different with this deal, Expansys have recently added Finance packages to their deals and for this particular device it’s a pretty tasty prospect for anyone looking to buy this phone but don’t necessarily have the funds to do so immediately.

The finance package made available to customers is as follows: Pay £30.60 per month for 10 months, with 0% interest and a exceedingly small £34.00 deposit How good is that?! if only you could buy the major league devices such as the HTC One or Samsung Galaxy S4 in this way, we would definitely see a lot more of the devices out and about!

 

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Specification:

  • GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
  • 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
  • 4G Network LTE 800 / 850 / 900 / 1800 / 2100 / 2600 GT-I9205
  • Dimensions 167.6 x 88 x 8 mm (6.60 x 3.46 x 0.31 in)
  • Weight 199 g (7.02 oz)
  • Display Type SC-LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colours, 720 x 1280 pixels, 6.3 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)
  • 3.5mm jack Yes
  • Memory Card slot: microSD, up to 64 GB
  • Internal 8/16 GB, 1.5 GB RAM
  • WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
  • Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE
  • NFC
  • Infrared port
  • USB: microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go, USB Host
  • Primary Camera: 8 MP, 3264 x 2448 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
  • Secondary Camera: 1.9 MP
  • OS Android OS, v4.2.2 (Jelly Bean)
  • Chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 400
  • CPU Dual-core 1.7 GHz Krait
  • GPU Adreno 305
  • GPS, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
  • TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
  • Battery: Li-Ion 3200 mAh battery

 

Posted by: Chris

Posted in: Phones
By August 19, 2013 Read More →

The 5 Most Important Things to Look For in a Web Hosting Company

hosting It’s time to start your own website-maybe you’re going for a personal blog, or maybe you’re launching a multimedia powerhouse. You’ve read the reviews, gotten an idea of what’s out there and now you’re on the hunt to purchase. Here are five things you have to keep in mind as you compare hosting services:

Operating System

The operating system of your Web host’s server is an important factor in picking the perfect host. Many hosts offer a variety of operating systems, such as the latest Windows server edition and various distributions of Linux and BSD. The operating system determines the Web technologies that are supported, the scripts you can use and the database system available. In most cases, you’re going to want to choose a Linux-based server due to the flexibility you get with this operating system. However, if you’re using Microsoft-specific technologies, such as Frontpage Extensions, go with a Windows server.

Customer Support

Even if you’re an experienced system administrator, you’re going to run into problems with the server from time to time. There is nothing worse for an entrepreneur than the servers going down and losing valuable Web traffic. Find a host that has an appropriate range of support options, focusing on those that offer 24/7 support. Many hosts keep lower-tier clients on a ticketing support system, so find out whether you can call in without additional costs, or if you are going to be waiting for your ticket to be addressed.

Hardware

Some server applications are absolutely brutal on system requirements, so check the hardware specs of the server you’re considering to determine whether they will be able to stand up to your needs. The base server hardware isn’t all that you need to consider, either. If you’re looking at a shared or virtual private host environment, confirm with the host you’ll be able to get enough system resources allocated so your script runs smoothly.

Control Panel

You probably aren’t going to want to control your entire website through SSH, so having a solid control panel option makes your Web hosting life a lot easier. One of the most common control panels you’re going to run into is cPanel. This is a full-featured control panel that makes most administration and website management tasks simple. It’s also an excellent choice if you’re reselling your hosting package, as you get complete control over sub-accounts. Direct Admin is another great option for a control panel.

Pricing

Generally, the cheapest Web-hosting services are shared servers, and the most expensive are dedicated servers. If you’re running a small, personal website without resource-heavy scripts, then a shared host works well and costs less than $10 a month. If you have hundreds of domains, databases and resource-hungry scripts, a dedicated server makes better sense. The cost of a dedicated server can go into the hundreds or thousands of dollars for high-end options. Tech Radar reports 37 percent of people believe if a business has a bad website, they’d be better off having no website instead. You don’t want to have that kind of issue when you set up your site, so choosing a solid host is a necessary requirement.

Consider using an online guide that helps you compare service providers, such as WebHostingBlueBook.com. Make sure you’re not just looking at price, either; a good guide should help you compare a wide range of factors, including the control panel, overall ease of use, support, reliability and popularity.

What Web host do you use for your websites? Share in the comments.

Posted in: Editorial
By August 18, 2013 Read More →

Innergie PocketCell unboxing video

Innergie PocketCell There are numerous charging and external battery solutions available for mobile devices, from cases and backpacks with built in batteries to large external battery packs that you connect with a cable, each has it’s own merits.

I spend a lot of time away form the home and office where I don’t have access to mains power to charge a phone so I’ve had a large rechargeable external battery pack for quite some time. The only ‘problem’ with the one I have is that it’s not something you can put in your jacket pocket, it’s too big for that.

So, enter the Innergie PocketCell. The PocketCell is an extremely neat solution to the issue of running out of power. In simple terms it’s just a 3000MAh rechargeable battery that you can then use to recharge or boost the power of your mobile device, whether that be an iPhone, BlackBerry or other phone or an iPad or other tablet.

The PocketCell can supply 2.1A of charging power which is important for charging tablets as they draw far more power. With this battery pack you can extend the usage time of your iPhone by around 25 hours, iPad 4.5+ Hrs (Using time) and HTC/BlackBerry 15+ Hrs (Talk time). This is achieved in a neat little package weighing just 72g and measuring 90.9 x 29.8 x 21.1mm.

The other thing I like about the Innergie product is that it comes with a ‘Magic Cable Trio’. This is a cable around 8 inches long with a USB plug on one end and MiniUSB, MicroUSB and 30pin apple connector on the other. This combined cable can also be used to recharge the battery pack from a PC or Mac so you only need to carry one cable and the PocketCell itself.

The Innergie PocketCell is ideal for anyone not wishing to lug heavy external batteries or spoil the look of their phone with large jackets or covers. It’s small and light enough to go in your pocket or, ladies, in your handbag.

Check out the unboxing below for more.

Posted in: Videos/Unboxings
By August 17, 2013 Read More →

The next big thing in Wi-Fi

13.06.11-Hotspot2 Wi-Fi has become a cornerstone of our digital lives. It has filled the voids in mobile networks, which have historically never been as fast or as reliable as we would like. Hotels, restaurants, coffee shops; wherever we go, we can safely assume that there will be Wi-Fi waiting for us.

However, it has not been without its flaws. Speed is one of them but it usually still beats the one bar of 3G that plagues much of the country. The biggest drawback to Wi-Fi hotspots for most is the need to constantly log on. Every time you enter a new hotspot, you need to logon; every time you let your device go to sleep, you need to logon and sometimes you just need to logon again for no good reason at all. Well, the days of ‘logging on’ are numbered as Hotspot 2.0 is on the way.

You may have heard the term batted about once or twice; for example, at the launch of the new Samsung Galaxy S4 or the new iOS7; but what is it and what does it mean for you?

Hotspot 2.0

Hotspot 2.0 is a specification pioneered by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the Wireless Broadband Alliance and other partners, which will automate the connection to hotspots without any input from the user. Passpoint devices (such as the Galaxy S4 and iOS 7 devices) will be able to connect to certified hotspots using the SIM card to authenticate.

This means that devices will be able to pass between Wi-Fi hotspots and even the cellular data network without any input from the user. The implications of this new technology are massive.

As mobile service providers and hotspot providers forge new roaming partnerships, the Holy Grail of ‘always connected’ will finally be realised with devices always finding the best available connection.

People’s mobile data usage will fall dramatically as devices automatically hook up to local hotspots. This will not only mean that people use less of their data allowance; but the overcrowded cellular networks will get a break too. The truth is that even with rollout of 4G, the mobile spectrum is becoming increasingly overcrowded and Hotspot 2.0 will provide some much needed relief. Less traffic on the cellular data network means that when people do need to access the internet on the move, the experience will be a much better one.

With Wi-Fi being much more battery efficient than mobile broadband, devices will need to be recharged much less. When it comes to roaming abroad, Hotspot 2.0 could be a huge money saver. Mobile roaming is incredibly expensive business and Wi-Fi roaming is likely to give frequent travellers a break in data costs.

hotspot2-1

Great, when can I get it?

The great news is that the technology is already in place. The Galaxy S4 and new Apple devices are Passpoint compliant and a number of access point vendors are already shipping HS2.0 enabled devices.

Expect more devices to follow this year and for the technology to really begin taking off in 2014. It is finally time to wave goodbye to those annoying ‘Please login’ screens.

Written by The Cloud (www.thecloud.net). We are a BSkyB company and one of Europe’s biggest public access WiFi providers.

Posted in: Editorial
By August 16, 2013 Read More →

Upgrading Your Rural Home Technology

3656734759_8507e609 You enjoy an uncomplicated life in a place far removed from most people. Now you’ve decided to upgrade your home with a few high-tech capabilities. You immediately run into obstacles, because rural America lacks the infrastructure that larger communities already have. Sixty percent of households in rural areas still do not have access to the Internet. It’s time to upgrade, but you’ll need to start with getting reliable network access.

The Internet Access Puzzle

Start by checking with your local telephone companies to see if they have any network options available to you. They may have DSL available, but it is very dependent on your location. Dial-up may be available, but there are so many things you can’t do with a dial-up connection.

You can also research local satellite Internet providers for options. Two-way communication via a satellite dish is available and doesn’t require additional cabling. The upload speed on this set-up is much slower than the download speed, but it is still an improvement over dial-up.

Tied to Your Phone

Some carriers have put their expansion dollars into building cell towers instead of overall network access. If you live in an area with limited Internet options, but have reliable cell phone service, you might look at tethering as an option. Tethering gives your computer the ability to connect to your cell phone and access the Internet through that connection.

Mashable reviews several tethering apps that run on the cell phone. Normally, all that is required is a cable from your computer’s USB port to the phone. Run the app on the phone, and your computer will now have Internet access. Because apps and phones vary, you’ll want to research how this might affect your cell phone bill. In some cases, you will have access to the Internet for free. Other carriers may require changes to your data plan and a monthly fee.

Secure Your Home

More home security options become available to you with a network connection. Home automation is now available and affordable to the homeowner and will let you do things remotely, such as:

  • Turn lights on and off
  • Lock and unlock doors and windows
  • Turn alarm systems on and off
  • Watch or record activity in your home with video cameras

Various devices can be connected to your home network. When you are away, you can use a computer or smartphone to access your home network to control these devices. You gain peace of mind when you are away from home and wonder if you turned your alarm system on before you left.

Make Your Home Wireless

Installing cables throughout the home for network access in each room can be replaced with affordable and easy-to-install wireless devices like a wireless router. If you have a large home with many rooms, or more than one story, you may need a device called a wireless repeater, which captures your home network signal, and amplifies it so there are no weak signal areas in your house.

You can purchase wireless printers that connect to your network and network attached storage (NAS) devices that act like wireless disk drives. With a total home wireless system, you can access printers, disks and other computers from anywhere in the house, with no wiring required.

Have your own tips? Share them in the comments.

Creative Commons image by paul_irish

Posted in: Editorial