Author Archive: Matt

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.

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By January 17, 2014 Read More →

Google Glass wearing driver escapes prosecution

abadieIn what was the first case of motorist being stopped and given a ticket for wearing Google Glass while driving the defendant was found not guilty in a San Diego court yesterday.

The court ruled that Cecilia Abadie was not guilty as she had been cited under a code that makes it illegal to watch or use video or TV on the front of a vehicle while it is moving. Under the code it is a requirement that there be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the device was in operation. This is something that the officer that stopped the defendant was not able to provide.

This seems like a positive outcome for Google and supporters of Google Glass, like me. However, Commissioner John Blair did state, following the ruling, that the he felt that there is sufficient scope in the code that bans the use of TV and Video to include Google Glass.

Whilst this ruling may not in itself set a legal precedent relating to the legality of Google Glass and usage while driving and this is likely to rumble on for some time to come until there is a definitive ruling and laws passed.

 

Posted in: News
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By January 16, 2014 Read More →

Tesco Online Offering Big New Year Discounts On Electrical Items

tesco_logoFor those who are yet to buy anything from Tesco online, it’s important to start by giving a short description of the online store. Tesco online is an online store just as the name suggests. There is a variety of products ranging from household goods, electrical appliances, groceries, clothing, electronics, and phones to jewellery and even toys at very cost-effective prices from the Tesco online store.

There Are Discounts Right into the New Year 2014

After the excitement of the end year festivities come to an end, the dust seems to be settling down on many shopping malls but Tesco is yet to relent. It seems the company has decided to extend the end year celebrations by giving its clients a New Year gift. With the New Year, all shoppers buying electrical items at Tesco online are getting discounts of up to 40%. Anyone who missed out on the end year sales offered by many stores towards the end of 2013, there is a great opportunity especially for anyone who is intent on buying any kind of electrical appliances. It is even better to note that you can easily redeem your discounts at Voucherbox.co.uk for a host of other offers.

Tesco Has a Swift and Flexible Delivery System

There are important factors that many clients consider especially when shopping online. One of these factors is the delivery system. This is important because one cannot enjoy any products bought from an online store unless the item can be delivered on time. As a major online shopping store with a vast number of clients, the company seems to have invested in a reliable delivery system that ensures clients can easily get their items within the next day of purchase. With a dynamic website and a large inventory to meet the needs of almost every client, shopping from the store gives online shoppers a great experience.

It Is Easy To Manage Returns and Exchanges

Every once in a while, one might buy something online only to realize it is not the right one upon delivery. If this happens, a client wants a system that can help them return the item and organize for an exchange as soon as possible. This is an essential feature for any successful online store. At tesco online, there is a system that completely understands and swiftly resolves these challenges to ensure your satisfaction as a client. With these kinds of systems in place together with a large inventory, this store seems to have an irresistible offer on electrical appliances as well as a host of other products.

Posted in: Editorial
By January 15, 2014 Read More →

Four Major Problems That Can Be Resolved by Upgrading POS Hardware

POSWithin the average retail work environment, anything can go wrong at any time. One of the most important aspects of your business where these problems can occur frequently is with your point of sale (POS). Whether you have a traditional brick-and-mortar business or an eCommerce online store, resolving any issues to do with equipment and procedures associated with your POS is essential in order to increase your conversion rates and keep your customers happy. By making simple POS equipment upgrades, you will be able to go a long way toward resolving these problems fully. You can also get free integration with most eCommerce platforms like the ones on https://shippingtree.co/services/ecommerce-fulfillment/ to automate your shipping and customs clearance solutions. You can check out the details here.

Posted in: Editorial
By January 14, 2014 Read More →

No KitKat for HTC One X and One X+

No KitKat for HTC One X and One X+Just a few weeks ago we brought you news of HTC’s new pages that allowed us to track the progress of OS updates for the HTC One and several other HTC phones.

On that list you’l find the HTC One Mini and One Max and Desire 601. However, there are a couple of devices that HTC have apparently confirmed that will not see Android 4.4 KitKat and these, most significantly perhaps, include phones like the One X and One X+.

Both the HTC One X and One X+ were hugely popular and can still be found on sale in many locations. Whilst it could perhaps be argued that the One X is getting towards end of life, being two years old on February, but the One X+ is far newer, at October 2012 so its a little worrying that HTC will not be continuing to update these ‘older’ devices and we certainly hops this isn’t a taste of things to come in terms of cutbacks.

Posted in: News, Phones
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By January 14, 2014 Read More →

Sony announces Xperia E1, claims it best in class

1_Xperia_E1_White_FrontToday Sony have announced its latest Android smartphone, the Xperia E1, and claim, based upon its specification, that the E1 is the best device in its class.

The Xperia E1 is powered by Qualcomm’s MSM8210 1.2 GHz Dual Core processor, 512 MB RAM and features a 4 inch (233 ppi) display combined with a large 1700 mAh battery, which is the basis for the ‘best in class’ claim.

Full press release and further details follow:

Posted in: News, Phones
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By January 14, 2014 Read More →

The future of Tachograph technology

TachographDigital tachographs are well established in Europe. The technology first took centre stage in 2004 and was made compulsory by the EU in 2006 for vehicles over three and half tonnes. The technology is used to track and record the time a driver spends behind the wheel and how fast they are going. They are commonplace in the transport industry where employers have to manage and stay within EU drivers’ laws.

However, recent developments in India have lead the country to start considering the adoption of the technology.  In an article published by Dipak Kumar and Pankaj Doval for The Times of India, the Road Transport Ministry in Karnataka are seeking an explanation for a series of recent bus fires. The ministry sought an explanation from manufacturer Volvo and are also looking into the possibility that overworked drivers could be behind the incidents. A spokesperson from Volvo said that a finalised report is coming soon, as they are still conducting an inquiry into the case.  

Tachograph technology could greatly benefit India when investigating traffic accidents like this in the future. Automobiles can be fitted with a digital tachograph and the data from a driver’s journey can be recorded onto a ‘driver card’. The information stored on this card can be periodically downloaded by transport authorities or employers to track the driver’s speed, distance travelled and rest times.

While this may sound good in theory, questions are raised as to which governing bodies would check and enforce this technology. In the EU, it is an employer’s responsibility to keep track of these driving records and be ready to present them when transport authorities require them. Failure to make or keep records under GB domestic rules can lead to fines up to £2,500.

Aside from it being a legal requirement, there are a number advantages to digital tachograph equipment. It helps reduce the likelihood of unfair competition when a business forces its drivers to work over their legal driving hours. As such, it creates a fairer market where smaller companies that abide by the rules aren’t being muscled out by exploitative competitors.

The technology also allows employers to identify problem areas and improve their efficiency. Stoneridge Electronics are a company which provide tachograph analysis packages that can be very beneficial to employers. They can use the analysis software to create business reports and track trends. If drivers aren’t taking the most efficient routes for example, employers can work with them and improve efficiency. It is also a good deterrent against bad driving habits like speeding.

But perhaps the biggest advantage to tachograph devices are their usefulness in the event of a road accident. If a driver is ever involved in a crash, the tachograph will give a detailed report of how fast they were going and how long they had been driving. When this data is stood up against eye-witness accounts and other testimony, it can be invaluable for shedding light on the events.

While the implementation of tachographs in India may only be a pipe-dream, it’s clear the country could make excellent use of this technology and the advantages it provides.

Posted in: Editorial
By January 13, 2014 Read More →

Windows 8.2 could be Windows 9

Windows 8.2 could be Windows 9Many reports are currently circulating about the anticipated update to Windows 8 dubbed ‘Threshold’. It was previously understood that the next version would be Windows 8.2 and many hope that it will include the return of the much demanded start menu.

However, according to this report, it’s likely that the successor to Windows 8.1 will be called Windows 9 and that Microsoft out the next iteration of its client operating system at the Build Conference on 2 to 4 April in San Francisco. It is claimed that Microsoft want to create some distance between Windows 8 and the Start Menu debacle, hence the change to Windows 9 and a seemingly clean slate.

If the report is accurate we could expect to see Windows 9 to start shipping to consumers in early 2015.

More details here.

By January 13, 2014 Read More →

Google Glass Glassware must-haves

Google Glass GlasswareMany of you will know that since I got my Google Glass about a month ago I have become a massive convert and huge supporter of it. In fact I wear my Glass almost all the time now, pretty much only taking it off when I go to bed or before meeting.

Those that I work with have also become accustomed to seeing that ‘thing’ attached to my head!

At the moment Google Glass can still be considered to be in Beta and, as it stands, the list of apps, known as Google Glass Glassware, is somewhat limited. However, many new developers have taken up the mantle and and the list of available third-party apps is now growing.

So I thought I would take a moment to mention a couple of the apps that I consider to be must-have and those that I use all the time.

 

Toolkit for Glass

This one is from my dear old friend Paul O’Brien. Toolkit for Glass offers several features that probably should have been a part of the base OS of Glass. Paul’s toolkit provides the following:

  • use ‘open camera’ to give you a camera viewfinder, take pics using the camera button. Enables you to properly frame a photo.
  • use ‘switch wifi’ to toggle wifi with voice confirmation. Turning off WiFi when you aren’t using it helps to extend the battery life.
  • use ‘switch bluetooth’ to toggle bluetooth with voice confirmation. Turning off Bluetooth when you aren’t using it helps to extend the battery life.
  • use ‘get status’ to receive a voice readout of battery, wifi and bluetooth status’
  • just for testing some stuff – use ‘magnify’ to open the camera where sweep forward will zoom in, sweep back will zoom out

Glasquare

This is an unofficial version of Foursquare specifically for Google Glass. Glasquare features include:

  • 3 voice commands: Check me in, Show best venues and Search venues for …
  • super-fast check-ins with a possibility to add photos and comments
  • 10 best venues around you/matching your search with details
  • directions towards a selected venue
  • read tips of the selected venue

SpeedHUD

google_glass_screenshot-300x168The use of Google Glass while driving continues to be controversial and there are still plans to ban it while driving.  However, there are a couple of apps out there that, in my opinion, would certainly improve driving safety and one app that I enjoy using is SpeedHUD which is believe demonstrates the very reason why a blanket ban is premature at best.  SpeedHUD shows your speed and compass direction.

 

Obviously there are many more Glassware apps out there but these are just the third-party one that I use all the time. Whether you are new to Google Glass or an veteran they are definitely worth a look!

 

 

By January 12, 2014 Read More →

Lenovo Ideapad Miix 10 unboxing and hands on

Lenovo Ideapad Miix 10Lenovo have a wide range of ‘multimode’ devices on the market and we’re continuing to look at the entire range with the Ideapad Miix 10.

This Windows 8 computer can transform from laptop to tablet in seconds offering great flexibility and enables you to have the capabilities of several devices in one package. The keyboard doubles as a flexible case/cover but this can be removed completely should you wish to use it in naked tablet mode.

Those out there considering their first tablet computer may want to look at devices like this, running Windows 8, as they offer a good alternative to Android and iOS tablets on the market as they are capable of running desktop applications which is useful in the corporate environment and where business productivity is important.

In the video below you’ll see the Miix 10 in a little more detail, I’ll show you the hardware and how the keyboard works with the removable tablet unit. Not the normal unboxing as our review unit was a bit battered but otherwise it’s a full unbox and hands-on.

By January 11, 2014 Read More →

Better than Black Friday: Deals to Look Forward to After Christmas

Better than Black FridayEvery year, consumers across America push themselves away from the Thanksgiving table and hit the stores in search of Black Friday deals. Some even camp out for days in hopes of securing a fantastic deal. Although many people believe that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest sales day for retailers, that honor, according to Time.com, typically goes to the day before Christmas when the panic-stricken and the procrastinators are frantically looking high and low for a few last-minute purchases.

If you decided to skip Black Friday this year but are still looking for bargains, don’t fret. There will be plenty of time after Christmas to pick up the items you wanted for much less than full price.

Wait to Buy Electronics

If you really want a certain electronic item, but don’t need to have it before Christmas, then the Christian Science Monitor recommends waiting until after the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Prices for electronics typically drop not long after the public gets a look at the new models that will soon be hitting store shelves.

Jackets and Winter Clothing

If you’ve had your eye on a jacket and you can tell there is plenty of inventory in your size, take a gamble and wait. According to Boston.com, the prices of cold weather-related clothing typically drops dramatically after Christmas. Of course, there is always a chance that last-minute Christmas shoppers will snatch up the item you wanted and that you’ll be greeted with an empty rack on the 26th. If that happens, don’t despair. You can always search for the item online. For example, if you really love a pair of two-tone boots at Macy’s, but your size is no longer available when you visit your local store, check Macy’s website, which may still have what you’re looking for.

If you don’t find your size online, re-visit your local store in a week. Remember, after Christmas is a notorious time of the year for returning gifts and, with any luck, you may find that someone has returned the item you’ve been lusting after.

Groupons and Living Social Deals

These social network websites offer coupons for goods and services. Typically, you will pay half of the actual cost of the item being offered by these sites, which means that you can stretch your dollars even further when you hit the sales floors.

Travel

The period after the holidays and before Easter is one of the best times of the year to find travel bargains, according to CNN.com. People tend to travel less during the winter months, kids are in school and most people are still feeling the pain of the Christmas binge spending. If travel was one of your Christmas wishes, then wait until after the 25th to book. By doing so, you will typically be able to find great deals on flights, hotels and attractions, such as Disney.

Cars

If you didn’t get a car with a big red bow on it in your driveway, then head to the dealerships. Because the dealers and salespeople will be trying to meet their sales goals, you will find the best bargains on autos at the end of the year, according to USA Today. In addition, the dealerships are eager to clear their sales floors to make room for the new year’s models, so you’ll find great incentives at this time of the year to purchase a car.

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