Archive for 2014

By December 14, 2014 Read More →

Win a new Panasonic Blu-ray DVD Player worth £90

Screenshot 2014-12-02 15.01.54To celebrate the new Viera TV range, Panasonic’s offering one lucky reader a Blu-ray DVD player worth £90, so they can enjoy watching high quality films at home.

Panasonic Viera TVs, which I got to see in IFA, Berlin, as part of the Viera VIP Club, produce stunning images and are packed with ‘beyond smart’ technology, allowing you to make your TV your own.

All Viera TVs from the AS650 and up let you catch up on shows when you want with inbuilt Freeview, and you can watch them anywhere on a mobile device with ‘TV Anywhere’. Plus, there’s the super smart ‘my Stream’ which recommends content to match your preferences easily via an intuitive interface. ‘My Home Screen’ also lets you customise your very own screen with social media, widgets and sites that you like, plus there’s a voice control mode and much more.

Screenshot 2014-12-02 15.00.39

As usual we are going to make this very easy for you.

To enter, all you have to do is follow tracyandmatt on Twitter and retweet the following tweet: “RT I want to win a new Panasonic Blu-ray player from @tracyandmatt and @PanasonicUK – See how you can enter too: http://bit.ly/1wi5oyq” You can also click the retweet link below to save you copying and pasting the phrase. Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw.

 

RETWEET ME!

Your twitter name will be entered in to the draw. You’ll have to keep following us as we’ll notify winners via DM. 

Entry is open until midnight on the 31st December 2014 and the winner will be picked on the 3rdst January. Will that be a lucky day for you?

We’ll contact the winner via twitter so make sure that you are still following us!

Good luck.

To find out more about the Panasonic Viera TV range, visit http://viera.panasonic.co.uk/

Posted in: Competitions, News
By December 12, 2014 Read More →

Samsung’s Gear VR in sight with 11 games

downloadSamsung’s virtual reality headset, the Gear VR, is now available for purchase. You can pick it up for roughly £160 without a gamepad or £190 with. Alone side the release of this new virtual reality device, comes a list of games that are available for its launch.

In total 11 games will be available for download when you get your new Gear VR headout set. Using the marketplace from the Oculus Rift right now and they are all free!

Here is the list of games you can expect to see:

  • Anshar Wars
  • Bombsquad
  • Darknet
  • Dreadhalls
  • Esper
  • Herobound
  • Ikarus
  • Minotaur Rescue VR
  • Proton Pulse
  • Romans from Mars
  • Viral

Of course these are just the games and doesn’t include applications that will also be available for use with the Gear VR as yet. With this device becoming available and a rather attractive price point you can expect more games and applications to hit the Oculus Rift marketplace quite quickly.

By December 8, 2014 Read More →

iMend smartphone repair review

IMG_1542No matter how careful you are, at some point many of us end up dropping their mobile phone. Sometimes you get lucky and end up with just a little scratch but other times the damage can be a little more catastrophic. Generally your choices are to get a new phone or to get the phone repaired. The former can be rather costly and the repair route typically involves sending the phone away for a week or so. 

If you reply upon a mobile phone for your business then being without it for any amount of time may be less than ideal. That’s where the relatively new service from iMend can come in very handy. 

iMend provides a phone repair call out service. Simply put, they come to you and fix your phone and they can often do that same-day.  iMend can deal with a variety of common phone issues from cracked screens to faulty buttons, water damage, battery replacement and more. Currently they can deal with all iPhone models, iPad’s and Samsung Galaxy phones. They are also adding more devices soon.

My colleague, Simon, was unfortunate enough to break his phone a few weeks ago. Having dropped it climbing out of the car the screen shattered to the point that several bits of the glass fell off! Remarkably the phone and the touchscreen still worked, just, but the phone clearly needed to be sorted out. The issue for Simon was that his mobile phone is critical to his business so the idea of sending it away for repair was unthinkable. He was on the verge of buying a new phone when I told him about iMend.

We called iMend and spoke to them about the problem. They said they could get an engineer out to us the same day but we opted to have the repair carried out the following day. We were given a time window of between 10AM and 11AM and sure enough, at a few minutes past 10 there was a knock at the door.

In walked a very nice young man, Vil, with a couple of briefcases full of tools and parts. We gave him a small work area to carry out the repair and he confidently said that the repair would take less than 30 minutes. Part way through the repair, Vil noticed that the power button wasn’t working properly. A fact that Simon was aware of; the button hadn’t been working for a few months. Vil asked at that point if we would like him to swap the button at the same time. This seemed like a good idea so we agreed. 

After about 45 minutes, it took little longer because of changing the power button, Vil  declared that the phone was fully fixed. Sure enough Simon’s iPhone 5 looked brand new and even had a nice screen protector stuck on too. A nice touch!

All in all, the service from iMend was amazing. Punctual arrival on the date and time promised and at a time and location that suited us. The quality of the work was second to none and even comes with a 12 month warranty. 

The cost to replace the screen on the iPhone 5 was £59 which is comparable to many of the send-away services available but the convenience is invaluable. I would absolutely recommend iMend to anyone in need of a smartphone repair.

Please visit the iMend website for a full list of phones covered and their repair price list.

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
By December 4, 2014 Read More →

Hands on with the Panasonic Viera TX42AS740B 42 inch 3D LED Smart TV

vlcsnap-2014-12-03-16h17m20s205As part of the exclusive Viera VIP Club, Gareth spends some time getting familiar with the new Panasonic Viera AS750 42 inch 3D LED Smart TV from Panasonic. This smart television has a highly customisable overlay and some significant social network integration.

  • Full HD LED TV with 1200Hz (BLS) – high-speed panel for brilliant, smooth motion picture quality and 
  • my Stream – enjoy content recommended to match your preferences, easily via an intuitive interface
  • Built-in camera – take Skype video calls, or get your personalised My Home Screen from Face Recognition
  • TV Anywhere – your entertainment, from the TV to your Web-enabled mobile device, even outside the home`

    Find out more at http://viera.panasonic.co.uk/

By December 3, 2014 Read More →

Vodafone Ireland customers first to experience 4G+ in Ireland

Screenshot 2014-12-02 15.06.44@VodafoneIreland is the first operator to deliver Ireland’s first 4G+ technology providing speeds up to twice as fast as first generation 4G, and speeds exceeding the standard fixed-line broadband experience. From 1 December, Vodafone customers in Waterford city will have access to data speeds of up to 150Mbps with 4G+, while Cork, Dublin and Limerick cities will be switched on by the end of December.

With 4G+, customers can now experience the fastest speeds available on mobile to enjoy services like, instant video streaming in HD, live TV with high reliability and the potential to broadcast live from events. In addition, business customers can download higher volumes of data even faster than ever before.

4G+ is available to Vodafone RED Super Business and RED Extra Super bill pay customers at no extra cost until April 2015 using one of three select Samsung 4G+ enabled smartphones; Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Alpha.

Celebrating the launch of the first 4G+ network in Ireland, Vodafone Technology Director, Madalina Suceveanu said “Vodafone customers in Ireland already have access to the widest 4G footprint across six cities and 377 towns and villages – covering over three quarters (79%) of the country and 95 per cent of 3G coverage nationwide. In tandem with our 4G roll-out, we are modernising our network nationwide, providing customers with improved voice call quality and data services to all areas with existing voice services. This new addition of 4G+ services is an even greater boost for our customers. Quite simply, 4G+ downloads, streams and delivers chosen content even faster than before.”

Commenting, Vodafone Enterprise Director, Anne Sheehan, “With 4G+ super-fast speeds now available in Ireland – it opens up a new world of mobilisation for our business customers, with video calls and Cloud based applications really coming into their own”.

4G+ speeds are delivered by combining two 4G bandwidths. Location coverage maps will be available as areas are switched on. For full details of 4G+ please see www.vodafone.ie/network/4g.

Posted in: News
By December 2, 2014 Read More →

Sports Tech: Using data to shape your team’s tactics

Your team’s star centre-forward pops his Achilles tendon in training – season over. The starting QB dislocates his shoulder a week before the SuperBowl, missing the biggest game of the season. The scrum-half pulls up with a torn hamstring ten minutes into rugby union’s Heineken Cup final; his team struggle without him.

Injuries can disrupt a match or change the entire course of a season, and certainly spoil that pre-game sporting wager you might have placed with betting website like Vernons – hot favourites can instantly find themselves at a disadvantage when their leading goal scorer or most prolific wicket taker pulls out the day before the fixture.

Bad luck, eh? Well… maybe not. New intelligence and the increasing use of data means that clubs are no longer prepared to play a game of chance with their highly prized and valued assets. Their players, in other words.

Using data to shape a team’s strategy is not brand new. The book Moneyball, published in 2003, covered the project embraced by the Major League Baseball outfit Oakland Athletics. The A’s general manager, Billy Beane, had the second lowest payroll in baseball and needed to build a team capable of competing with more illustrious opponents. He has turned Oakland into regular contenders by statistics and data to identify previously unheralded players to bring to the club. Recently, in an interview with the Guardian, he discussed whether he could translate that approach to football.

Germany, winners of the 2014 World Cup, used data to feed player intelligence and tactics in the build up to the tournament. The German Football Association developed an application called Match Insights – in partnership with a software company called SAP – which, according to The Telegraph, ‘analyses vast amounts of data about members of the German team and their opponents, based on their on-field performance.’

Player performance is analysed using eight cameras surrounding the pitch, and data is used to measure a range of key performance indicators. One example of how this  data was translated practically can be demonstrated by the Germany national team improving their passing speed; reducing average possession time from 3.4 seconds in 2010 down to 1.1 second earlier this year.

Technology can also be used to forecast injuries, which can have a serious impact on the performance of a team. This article discloses that: ‘Major League Baseball teams spent $665m last year on salaries for both injured players and their replacements, NBA teams lost $358m last season; $44m alone by the injury-ridden Los Angeles Lakers. And in the NFL, where the average salary is about $2m, starters missed a record 1,600 games in 2013.’

So, that’s huge! Anything teams can do to mitigate these losses can be of major benefit. As such, the industry of performance analytics is a fast-growing one and data can anticipate that an athlete is likely to be injured before it actually happens.

There is more detail about such analytics here. The NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles have invested a reported $1m on technology (a fraction of the cost of the average salary bill). Players wear monitors that measure agility and acceleration, allowing coaches to identify when performance begins to decline; heart rate monitors that create post-workout recovery reports to indicate when athletes are physically ready to handle more training; a system that captures data on fatigue, stress and aerobic capacity and more.

Last season, the Eagles were the second least-injured team in the NFL, with 14 players who started every regular season game. They had a 10-6 record and won the NFC East division. That compares favourably with a 4-12 record the season before.

Posted in: Editorial
By November 29, 2014 Read More →

Unboxing Archos Activity Tracker and Connected Scales

vlcsnap-2014-11-24-14h40m28s186Gareth unboxes the Archos Activity Tracker and Connected Scales. These now budget fitness accessories cost £50 a piece and promise to enhance your fitness tracking.

The Activity tracker is a simple pedometer that connects, by bluetooth, to your smartphone, Apple or Android. An app collated the information and presents you with targets and results from your daily activities.

The Connect Scales are another simple addition. To keep you weight loss (or gain) in check the scales can differentiate between four different people can record results to the same app as the activity tracker.

By November 27, 2014 Read More →

ALCATEL ONETOUCH adds two new smartphones to the affordable POP C range

image004ALCATEL ONETOUCH has released the POP C5 and the POP C7 to the UK SIM free market. The latest smartphones to be added to its range of easy to use POP smartphones, the POP C5 and POP C7 are designed with the first-time smartphone buyer in mind.

The POP C5 has a 4.5” screen and 5 megapixel camera, which comes with a panoramic picture function as well as a front camera, enabling video chat.

The POP C7 features a 5” display with a Quad Core 1.3 GHz processor to accelerate all tasks and apps. The POP C7 also features a 5 megapixel camera capable of taking great quality images, perfect for instant sharing.

image004

 Both the POP C5 and POP C7 run the Android operating system. Based on the ethos of the POP smartphone range: ‘easy to choose, easy to use’ the POP C5 and the POP C7 come preloaded with popular apps, such as Facebook, What’s App and Twitter, so the smartphones are ready to use, straight out the box.

 The POP C5 and the POP C7 are available in Bluish Black from Freemans.com.  The POP C5 is priced RRP £85 SIM free and the POP C7 is priced RRP £115 SIM free.

Posted in: News, Phones
By November 26, 2014 Read More →

Alcatel Onetouch Pixi 7 at Three store

PictureThere is a new Alcatel Onetouch tablet hitting the market in time for Christmas, – the PIXI 7 – a wifi tablet which has gone on sale in Three stores nationwide today for £69.99.

This 7 inch Android tablet features a 960 x 550 pixel screen, a 2840 mAh battery, a low quality 0.3 mp camera on either side of the tablet and an unusual triple core processor. Combined with KitKat and a price of £70 this might just be enough to catch a little attention from those not so sure that they need a tablet but are happen to have one somewhere.

 

ALCATEL ONETOUCH today launches the PIXI 7 to the UK market, a 7 inch WiFi tablet which offers affordability without compromising quality.  

The ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 is designed to be compact and light, weighing only 285 grams, making it one of the lightest 7-inch ULC tablets on the market. Available in Bluish Black the ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 has a sleek and modern design with rounded edges.
Powered on Android 4.4 (KitKat) the PIXI 7, comes with a selection of pre-installed apps making the tablet user friendly straight out of the box. This Android operating system delivers optimised memory and touchscreen functionality and redesigned e-mail.
The PIXI 7 is equipped with two cameras: a front camera and rear camera, so photos can be quickly uploaded to social networks thanks to the built-in high speed WiFi.
The ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 is also the ideal TV companion. It contains an infrared port which transforms the tablet into a universal remote control and the PIXI 7 also allows you to stream content straight from your tablet to your TV.

The ALCATEL ONETOUCH PIXI 7 is available in Bluish Black from Three stores nationwide priced at £69.99.

For more information regarding ALCATEL ONETOUCH please visit www.facebook.com/alcatelonetouchuk.

Posted in: News, Tablets
By November 25, 2014 Read More →

ExpressVPN keeping you safe and secret

Screenshot 2014-11-19 at 15.03.24There is no shortage of Virtual Private Network solutions out there, they really seem to be all the rage this side of the NSA reaching into the search engines and online storages to harvest our very personal data and to build a profile on each and every one of us. It seems in the future a Virtual Private Network, or VPN, will be requirement for anyone wanting to “close the curtains” and keep themselves to themselves online. Much like Anti-virus and Malware scanners you can pick up something fit for purpose for not a lot of money. ExpressVPN promises to cover your tracks on your mobile device and provide you peace of mind when browsing on your phone.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-07-21-44

 

Using ExpressVPN couldn’t be simplier. Loading the app takes only a few seconds and you are greeted with a list of networks available to you. This is were you can take advantage of simple services no matter where you are in the world. For example, if you happen to be a UK citizen and wish to access BBC Iplayer whilst on a trip to New York, you can select a Network in London and this will in turn tell BBC Iplayer that you are in fact in the UK and will let you connect.

In the screenshot above I have selected Los Angeles as a recently connected server. This will scramble any trace of where I am for the duation of my connection to the server and make it impossible for a service to track, or spy on your location. 

Screenshot_2014-11-13-07-21-51

 

By comparison to some other VPN’s out there there is a short delay as the app connects to the required server. Other VPN packages can connect automatically to a random server and in the case of F-secure Freedome connect instantly. ExpressVPN is notably cheaper F-Secure’s offering and whilst not as pretty the savings are worthwhile.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-07-22-05

 

Once connected, that’s it. A little key icon will appear in the notification panel to let you know you are safe. You are on-line, in that country and various online services, trackers will believe this. It is important to point out that online stores might present prices in the currencies pertaining to the country network you have connected to and to remedy this you will need to switch the VPN off. However, this can also be handy for price matching and even finding cheaper deals for the international travellers.

Screenshot_2014-11-13-07-22-12

 

A subscription to ExpressVPN is available for $99.95 for a year. This is an incredibly good deal if you take you online privacy seriously. There are a lot of threats out there and alongside the security come some of the bonuses of not having to worry about local internet service providers limiting what you can see and where you can see it. In addition ExpressVPN brags round the clock support and a money back guarantee if not satisfied.

Posted in: Apps & Games, News, Reviews
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