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May, 2011

Why you won’t get the mobile broadband speeds Ofcom claims

Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Mobile BB Dongles

On first inspection, Ofcom paints a rosy picture of the state of mobile broadband in Britain. O2 (somewhat surprisingly, given our past real-world tests) tops the charts with average speeds close to 3Mbits/sec, with only Orange customers looking like they should find a new network.

However, examine Ofcom’s testing methodology more closely, and it becomes clear that those chart-topping 3Mbits/sec speeds are likely to be far higher than the average customer will receive.


Is the new Twitter Tsar a Ryan Giggs fan?

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011

Ryan Giggs

Twitter is having another one of those ‘I’m Spartacus!’ moments. The last one was when the powers that be decided someone making a joke post about blowing up Robin Hood Airport was a potential terrorist and prosecuted the poor sod.

The Twittersphere responded by retweeting the posting in question, on the basis that the police couldn’t arrest everyone. The same thing has now happened following the ridiculous situation where everyone and their dog knows the identity of a footballer who stands accused of doing what footballers seem to do when not kicking a ball around and earning obscene amounts of money.

An MP even used his Parliamentary privilege to suggest the footballer in question was Ryan Giggs. Something the masses on Twitter have been doing for the past fortnight or so, with tens of thousands of tweets and retweets naming the Manchester United player.


Glossy vs matte screens: why the PC industry’s out of touch

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

The following charts neatly encapsulate exactly how out of touch the PC industry is on the issue of glossy vs matte screens.

We asked PC Pro readers which type of screen they prefer. They answered as follows:

Glossy matte chartAnd this is the type of screen used on the nine ultra-value laptops from our recent Labs in issue 200:

Laptop screens chart


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Posted in: Hardware


Lenovo ThinkPad X1 review: first look

Thursday, May 19th, 2011


It’s already made its stateside debut, but over in good ol’ Blighty Lenovo has finally shown off its latest business ultraportable, the 13.3in ThinkPad X1.

From the off, it’s an unmistakeably classic ThinkPad. A sea of smooth matte black – magnesium alloy top and bottom – stretches all around, interrupted only by the occasional flash of red. It’s seriously slim, too, measuring just 17mm thick and adding a claimed 1.7kg to your laptop bag.


Why Android owners shouldn’t worry about Metro’s front page splash

Wednesday, May 18th, 2011


Today’s Metro has a spectacularly sensationalist headline (that’s now been changed on the website) screaming from its front page: “Android phones ‘all leak secrets’”. That’s potentially worrying if, like me, you’re an avid Android user – after all, if I wanted my phone to be less private than Jordan’s holiday, I would have bought an iPhone (only joking Apple lawyers).

According to Metro, “almost all” Android phones are vulnerable to a problem that allows “criminals to steal users’ personal information”. That’s done, theoretically, by hackers using unsecured Wi-Fi networks to gain access to the data contained within your phone’s Calendar and Contacts applications, according to researchers at Ulm University, in Germany. (more…)

Microsoft connects you to the cloud at TechEd 2011

Tuesday, May 17th, 2011

Robert Wahbe

Relax – when I say Microsoft’s “connecting you to the cloud” this isn’t the long-predicted release of a brain implant chip worthy of Cronenberg at his finest. It’s a bit more straightforward, though describing it to those not already in daily contact with the cloud produces furrowed brows – not because it’s hard to understand, but because systems designers considering a cloud rollout in their business can’t believe it’s not included already.

It is now. Robert Wahbe was the main presenter in the TechEd keynote, and he laid out a toolkit for linking your internal servers to your Windows Azure cloud instances. There’s Azure Connect, which is all about the TCP/IP pipeline between the inside of your organisation, and the inside of your cloud presence: and there’s Concero (not Concerto, before the subeditors shoot me), which is a data synchroniser, so you can have an internal server and a cloud server and keep the two in step.


HP Pavilion dv6 and Pavilion dv7 review: first look

Monday, May 16th, 2011

DSC00893It’s not often we get too excited about mid-range laptops, but HP’s makeover of its Pavilion dv6 and dv7 series laptops has just made our hearts skip a beat. With its all-new brushed aluminium chassis and a selection of Sandy Bridge processors, the Pavilion takes more than a little inspiration from HP’s Envy series.


Why Unity made me fall out of love with Ubuntu

Monday, May 16th, 2011


I’m falling out of love with Ubuntu, which is strange because it’s as good as it’s ever been. And no, this isn’t one of those blogs. I’m not going to proclaim that it’s now too mainstream, or soulless or any other such tosh. It’s not. In fact, it’s very brilliant in many of the ways that matter, just not the one that matters to me. It’s simply not the Ubuntu I’d hoped it would become.

At the root of this statement is Unity. I’ve read all sorts of complaints about the new front-end, and to my mind they veer from wildly silly to outright daft. Quite frankly if you can’t suss out a new scrollbar, then evolution’s wasted on you.


Will Apple grab Samsung’s game-changing display?

Friday, May 13th, 2011


The news that Samsung is readying production of a 10.1in display for tablets, running at a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, is a game changer. This is 300dpi on a near A4-sized display device.

Without question, this changes the rules for display of information.


Revealed: Bin Laden’s trick to beat email snoops

Friday, May 13th, 2011


The news wires are abuzz with details on the “painstaking” system that Osama Bin Laden used for sending emails so that US authorities could not spot either the messages or the recently deleted terrorist leader.

With an army of electronics surveillance professionals scouring the wires and airwaves for Bin Laden’s digital fingerprint, he avoided detection with a technical master stroke – not actually using the internet.







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