Editorial

By July 26, 2013 Read More →

Personalise your laptop with a laptop cover

decal Laptops are useful tools and they’re becoming indispensable in many homes. But, it can be a little dull to look at the same cover day after day and as with mobile phones, it’s sometimes nice to change the look of your device. In homes where two or more identical laptops co-exist then it can be important to be able to easily distinguish between them, too. This is where laptop covers come in very handy.

Works of art or humour?

People get very attached to their laptops and the way they look has become as much an extension of the owner’s personality as phone covers have. There is a huge range of covers available and a simple web search will lead you to any – from plain coloured ones to some absolutely gorgeous designs. There are many based on common themes, current memes and trends and a few arty ones, but look at websites promoting and selling an individual artist’s work in different formats for some really unique ones. There are even sites that allow you to design your own cover, if you have the cash to spend on something bespoke. A good way to start is with a simple search for “laptop covers” plus an interest of yours.

Decals

If you like smaller designs, then decals may be an alternative answer. They’re just as easy to change as covers, if you feel like a change and are sometimes a more affordable option. You can get a big variety of designs too. If you’re a Mac user then it’s worth looking out for clever decals that make good use of the apple logo. Available from the internet, you can find plenty of humorous, interesting and beautiful decals and one benefit is that since they don’t necessarily take up the whole space you have much more say over the positioning of your decals.

Practical decoration

As well as looking good, there are some practical benefits to using a laptop cover. Making your laptop more individual makes it easy to identify it immediately; Useful where, as mentioned before, identical laptops co-exist, or in the library if lots of people are studying and moving between books and computers. Covers also provide a level of protection from minor bumps and scrapes. Finally they’ll keep some of the everyday dirt off of your laptop. You can get covers that have inserts to stop lint getting into the USB and charger ports but even a simpler one will protect from little scratches and general dust to some extent. This will all help to extend the life of your laptop, or keep up the resale value when you need to upgrade. You can of course get paid cash for your netbook if you do decide to upgrade.

There are so many different kinds of laptop covers, decals and other decoration that it’s really very hard to choose between them. You can easily spend hours searching for just the right decals and covers related to your interests or deciding between glorious art works.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 25, 2013 Read More →

TV Faster Than the Speed of Reality

television apparatus from 1950 Our living rooms are filled with more screens these days. Smartphones tell TV viewers more about their favorite characters as they watch. You can play "Words with Friends" while you’re waiting for the commercials to end. And laptops allow people to multitask on homework during halftime.

Meanwhile, marketers are trying to reach consumers on second, third and fourth screens. Let’s pull back the curtain to show the tactics being used in order to maximize the budding romance between advanced smart TV technology and the ever-present Internet.

Faster is Better

We demand high-speed Internet, uninterrupted TV signals, and Wi-Fi on our phones wherever we go. Why should our views of TV be any different? Now, TV programmers are shifting their focus to fully integrate with users on multiple devices. So far, Twitter is the platform of choice.

Many TV shows allow viewers to give instant feedback or ask questions through the social channel while a show is broadcast. TV programmers put hashtags on screen and use them as immediate sounding boards for their shows. TV show hosts often respond back to viewers’ questions in real time, empowering those at home to feel like they are a part of the show.

Networks have also introduced connected TV apps. Bravo’s "Bravo Now" app allows viewers to answer in-program poll questions during the show “Watch What Happens Live.” The answers are displayed on the show in real-time.

Is Reality Finally Real?

TV programmers are driving viewer engagement by allowing faithful followers to have a direct impact on a show’s outcome. For example, the “Miss USA” pageant lets fans vote for their favorite contestant online. The contestant who received the most votes automatically makes it past the first cut during the live telecast.

This is not only gets viewers interested in the live pageant before its television debut, but it is also a way to ensure direct participation from a wide group of individuals. Plus, the higher the interest level from viewers, the more the pageant can charge for advertising and sponsorships. Reality shows such as “Survivor” also are using social media as a way to encourage fans to vote for contestants they feel should win prizes or special awards.

Let the Games Begin

Smart TVs and second screens have created another trend – gamification. For the 2012 show, "The Great Escape," TNT created an app that allowed viewers to take their own journeys alongside the show’s contestants. The app rewarded the player for watching the show, and used game mechanics to keep interest high.

Other shows jumping on the bandwagon, too, to fuel fan loyalty and amplify viewer numbers. As the programs shift in this direction, programming providers are doing so, as well, notes http://www.Direct4TV.com.

What Does the Data Show?

TV show apps can provide content creators and advertisers with rich data and targeted consumers. Not only can advertisers better target their ads, TV writers and producers can even better tailor their content and interactive elements based on second screen user demographics of their most invested viewers.

And while networks are expanding their reach, websites are creating content to enhance the TV screen, too. TV networks and program providers are embedding videos directly on their Web pages to increase SEO and enhance the probability for more social likes. By showing segments of popular TV shows or creating new content, the TV and the Internet continue to intersect.

Whether it’s through real-time interaction by way of Twitter during a live telecast, or through audience participation in a specially designed gamified app, the strong ties between TV and the Internet are undeniable.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 13, 2013 Read More →

What’s New (and Improved) on the PS4?

arcade If you thought the PS3 could do everything, just wait until the PS4 comes out later this year. However, if you were hoping that the PS4 would be able to make you coffee and do your taxes, you may have to wait for the PS5 for that. The PS4 introduces some cool new features like improved controllers, social sharing, facial recognition technology and the ability to stream games using cloud technology-not to mention that the PS4’s CPU is discernibly more powerful than the PS3’s. Let’s take an in-depth look at some of these new improvements.

Improved Hardware

Although the leap in graphics from the PS3 to the PS4 isn’t as big as the one we saw from the PS2 to the PS3, it is still significant enough that hardcore gamers will be impressed by the improvement, according to the Los Angeles Times. What stands out on the PS4 is the 8 GB unified memory and a GPU that has 18 processing clusters with 64 cores each. This means faster response time and increased parallel computing power.

DualShock 4 Controllers

The new controllers are fitted with motion sensors, and the PS4’s new camera will be able to track each attached controller with pinpoint accuracy. The controllers also have a high-resolution touchpad. If that isn’t enough, the controller also features a share button. Since the PS4 automatically records the previous several minutes of your game, you can simply push this button and share those recordings with your friends.

Playstation Move

If you have been waiting for facial recognition capability from a game system, you won’t have to wait much longer. The new Playstation Move will track the light bar on your controller and then identify your face to your game avatar. The new Move will also have two dual-color cameras, a three-axis tilt sensor and four wide-baseline microphones. It is not yet known whether the PS4 will launch alongside the new Move controllers and Eye Camera or if it will be a console upgrade that updates the current camera and sensors, as explained on TechRadar.com.

Sony’s Cloud and Streaming Games

Unfortunately, the PS4 will not have backwards compatibility for PS3 games, or PS2 games and PS1 games for that matter. However, the Official Playstation Magazine – UK stated that GaiKai (a cloud technology provider that Sony acquired in 2012) is claiming that after the PS4 is released, we are likely to see PS1, PS2 and PS3 games be made available through the Playstation Network. So eventually, every game on every PlayStation could be available via the cloud.

Of course, identity theft is still on the rise and there is always the possibility that the PSN could be hacked like it was back in 2011. So if you’re afraid of having your identity stolen, take the advice of an article published in the USA Today and get an identity theft monitoring service like Life Lock in addition to making your password more unique and trickier to crack.

Confirmed Games

It’s easy to get caught up in all the new game console features and forget about the actual games. If you don’t like the games you are playing, what good does an expensive game console really do you? The good news though is that Playstation does have a pretty awesome list of games debuting with the PS4. Some highly anticipated game releases include Diablo III, Knack, Assassin’s Creed 4, Infamous: Second Son, and Killzone: Shadow Fall among others.

Posted in: Editorial
By July 11, 2013 Read More →

The Television Revolution Continues

TV Wikipedia-rfSatellite television revolutionised viewing opportunities; live events beamed around the world became common place.  The Internet followed and these two factors have ensured that the revolution has continued. Everyone can get access to information and entertainment day or night.

Sport value

One of the major beneficiaries has been sport and its stars have suddenly found their incomes multiply out of all proportion because the major stars can expect earnings from business that wants to reach the consumer.
The value of sports clubs has risen dramatically as business has diverted its promotional budget towards popular sport and its stars. What better way to persuade consumers of the quality of their products, whether luxury or everyday than to get them associated with world sports stars in soccer, golf, tennis and beyond?
Marketing strategists understand that a prominent logo on clothing sends a positive message to the audience that for major competition can be spread right around the world.

Posted in: Editorial
By June 23, 2013 Read More →

Streetcar Not Desired: Privacy Issues Stunt Google Initiatives

googleview Those who have never used the Google Street View application on their laptops or Google phones are missing out on one of the coolest features of Google Maps and Google Earth. Once you’ve zoomed in as far as the satellite images allow, Street View images, where available, can be accessed for an up-close-and-personal look at college campuses, historic landmarks, and even a home you are thinking of purchasing. The technology brings several cities across the globe right to your desktop, but the way the images are gathered have caused several governments to halt Google’s operations in their respective jurisdictions.

Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office accused Google of using its Street View cars to gather and store data from unsecured wifi networks it encountered in the process of taking photos and videos. Google initially dismissed the charges as "a simple mistake" on their part, according to the Daily Mail, but a follow-up investigation by U.S. regulators discovered Google specifically engineered software for the purpose of data hoarding. The ICO re-opened its investigation last summer and has requested Google reveal any personal information was gathered and what steps it took to prevent privacy breaches.

Around the same time Australia’s Privacy Commissioner discovered Google failed to destroy data it said it "inadvertently" gathered through 2010. According to ZDNet, Google informed the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, in March of 2011, that all the data it collected from open wifi networks had been destroyed. French authorities not only ordered Google to delete private data it gathered from its citizens, but also requested the actual data disks be surrendered to them.

Self-Driving Cars

The next big endeavor Google hopes to introduce to the general public is its self-driving cars. Company co-founder Sergey Brin told Time magazine he expects their automated vehicle technology to be a reality in the next five years. A vast majority (93 percent) of fatalities as a result of vehicle accidents are due to human error, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Google reasons their self-driving vehicles will save lives, lower auto insurance costs, and revolutionize transportation in general.

The fact Google’s self-driving cars rely on the data Street View cars gather may limit their geographic reach. Big Brother Watch, a U.K. civil liberties organization, has repeatedly referred to Google’s operations as "spy-fi" and said Google continually makes excuses instead of admitting its spying activities. China has already blocked access to most Google services, while authorities in Bangalore, India banned Google Street View cars in June of 2011.

More Trouble for Google

Privacy issues aside, the sheer cost of Google’s self-driving technology will hinder sales even if the cars are made available by 2017. Developers at Oxford University have been touting their own version of automated driving technology. The major difference between theirs and Google’s is the price, which Oxford claims would cost about $150 per car, compared to the six-figure price tag for Google’s automated cars. Oxford also claims it does not need the mapping data Google uses to navigate its cars.

The one place Google has been relatively free from scrutiny is its home United States. Other than the U.S. Department of Defense banning Google from publishing pictures of military bases, the company has endured just a few scattered lawsuits. The Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission alleging Google violated the Wiretap Act and Federal Communications Act. The FTC, however, failed to prosecute the case.

Posted in: Editorial
By June 13, 2013 Read More →

Green Technology to Improve Your Household

gogreen Many people have green aspirations – after all, who wouldn’t want to save the planet. Some people, however, allow worries associated with the potential costs of going green to keep them from realizing their eco-friendly goals. While some green products – like striking smart cars – are expensive, others are highly affordable. Instead of continuing to put off the adoption of green practice, start with something small and affordable, like adding some green technology to your home.

Home Security

You can stay green while keeping your home secure. According to www.securitycompanies.com, do-it-yourself home security systems are viable, green options, thanks to new technology. Companies like FrontPoint Security now offer systems that you can order online or via the phone – saving the gas-sucking drive a salesperson would have to make. You can even install these entirely wireless, drilling-free systems yourself. The billing process is even green with paperless statements.

Posted in: Editorial
By May 30, 2013 Read More →

Creating a Quality Website With 1 & 1

1and1.co.uk Having an attractive and informative website is essential for individuals and businesses looking to promote products, services, or just to keep others informed. However, efficiently building a quality website from scratch can seem a daunting task. Premier web hosts are available who can assist in creating such a website suited to one’s specific needs.

1&1 Internet Inc. is a leading Web hosting provider. The Company provides a complete portfolio of web services for business and personal needs. They gear their services to various skill levels and budgets. Their MyWebsite offering allows one to create a professional web presence quickly and easily, following easy-to-understand steps.

Posted in: Editorial
By March 31, 2013 Read More →

My love affair with HTC

HTCphones Ok so the title of this post might be a bit extreme but HTC has been a company that I have followed for the past 12 years.

I’ve been using HTC devices even before HTC were selling devices with their own brand name on them. My ‘smartphone’ obsession began long before the term smartphone was in common use. I first got my hands on the HTC Canary, being sold as the Orange SPV here in the UK, in November of 2002. By today’s standard it was an extremely basic phone but at the time it was groundbreaking with its 176×220 colour screen, 132MHz CPU, SD Card reader, 16MB RAM and running Windows Smartphone 2002. It could run some of the existing Windows CE apps but there was suddenly a raft of apps that began to flood the scene soon after. You could even use MSN Messenger!

This was all at a time when many other phones were still using mono LCD screens.

There have been many other iterations of the SPV range and some of these began to spill over to other mobile networks here in the UK and beyond.

It wasn’t until June 2007 with the launch of the HTC Touch, powered by Windows Mobile 6.0, that HTC really began to drive forward with the use of their own brand name and have now, just under 6 years later, really established themselves as a global player in the smartphone market.

Over the past 11 years I’ve been lucky enough to be able to use and/or own almost every device that HTC made. Some have been amazing, those that stick in my mind most include the HTC Touch Diamond, TyTN and TyTN 2 and the Desire. At the moment I am super-impressed with the HTC One and really enjoy using it as my main daily phone, easily knocking the iPhone 5 off that spot.

Over the next few weeks I thought it would be fun to look back at some of the HTC phones that I still own. Feel free to fire over your requests and of course share your own experiences!

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Editorial
By March 12, 2013 Read More →

HTC One arrives

HTC One I first got to see the HTC One a few weeks ago and since then I have been waiting impatiently to get my hands on one to play with and review.

I’ve mentioned in earlier posts about being impressed with the phone and being more excited about the HTC One than any other phone for quite some time but the past few weeks have made me wonder if my desire for the phone has simply been fuelled by not having one and whether once I had one here it would be less exciting than I remembered.

So my HTC One arrived just a short time ago, I’ve already set it up and have been playing with it. Do I like it as much as I thought? You’re going to have to wait and see, I’ll be tweeting and commenting about it all day I suspect and there will be an HTC One unboxing video up shortly! 🙂

 

Posted by: Matt

Posted in: Editorial
By March 9, 2013 Read More →

How to make a successful mobile phone insurance claim

mobile phone insurance This week the Financial Ombudsman has suggested that there has been a record number of complaints being processed about mobile phone insurance based on failed claims, so with this in mind we did some digging and have managed to find a quote from the Director of www.mobileinsurance.co.uk Jason Brockman about why he thinks there have been so many complaints and how he and his company believe to be the right way to make a mobile phone insurance claim.

We hope that the following statement and follow up information on the website at the bottom help you guys to gain more knowledge about mobile phone insurance so that it gives you peace of mind as much as anything.

Posted in: Editorial, Phones
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