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August, 2011

Apple: IP protectors or patent trolls?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1Apple’s recent behaviour has been understandably overshadowed by Steve Jobs’ resignation, but it’s been on the warpath over the past few weeks – with Samsung in Cupertino’s crosshairs.

Apple’s already tried, and failed, to have the Galaxy Tab 10.1 banned, and new documents reveal that Apple’s now gone through the Dutch courts to get the rest of Samsung’s Galaxy family pulled from the shelves.

The problem? Patents. Apple already has one that seemingly prohibits competitors from producing rectangular computers, and its latest IP claim is just as vague, concerning the mere act of scrolling through pictures on touchscreens. It’s so vague, in fact, that Apple has been accused of manipulating images to make Samsung’s devices appear more like Cupertino’s kit than they really are. (more…)

Samsung Series 7 700T tablet review: first look

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

The tablet: Samsung 700T1A
With everyone’s gaze fixed upon Android and iOS, the humble Windows tablet has shrunk from the limelight. Samsung wants to drag it back to centre-stage, however, and its sub-1kg 11.6in 700T1A looks just like the ticket.
Windows 7 remains

DSC01743-1We can understand if the mere thought of a Windows 7 tablet is enough to set alarm bells ringing, but Samsung’s Series 7 700T marks the company’s first attempt to revitalise the genre.


Samsung Series 7 review: first look

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011


The super-slim Series 9 laptop drew many an admiring glance, and Samsung’s Series 7 range looks likely to repeat the trick. In a meeting room at PC Pro, we were given an exclusive first glimpse of the 15.6in Samsung 700Z.


The rock and a hard place of Britain’s broadband network

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

British broadband

Put yourself in the shoes of Broadband Delivery UK – the Government body charged with making Britain’s internet network go whoosh. Well, more pffft when you consider the pathetically lowly target of universal 2Mbits/sec connections by 2015.

You’ve got only £362 million of funding to kickstart fibre broadband projects, which in relative terms is like walking into a Porsche showroom with £1,000 in cash and hoping to drive away in a new 911.

You’ve essentially got two choices: hand that money to the big boys such as BT and Virgin Media (via local councils) in the hope that it will prompt them to extend their fibre footprint to areas that wouldn’t otherwise stack up financially; or, pump the cash into a local fibre project.


What’s next for Apple after Steve Jobs?

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Apple logo

The news that Steve Jobs has resigned the position of CEO and that Tim Cook, the long term COO, is taking over the position, should come as no surprise to anyone following both Apple and Jobs. Steve Jobs has been battling cancer for many years. That he remained in the position of CEO for so long shows his love of the work, and the company he both built and then rebuilt upon his return in the 90s.

Although he doesn’t mention his health in his resignation letter, it’s the only possible reading of the first paragraph: “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.”


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Posted in: Newsdesk


Six stupid things said about Steve Jobs

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs has — as you’ve heard, no doubt — stepped down as CEO of Apple. He hasn’t retired; he’s now chairman of the board. And, despite many publications clearly running their pre-prepared obituaries as “profiles”, he hasn’t died.

His departure as CEO is clearly big news, the end of an era, and, given that it’s inevitably down to his poor health, quite sad. No matter what you think of Apple, its products and how it operates, Jobs at the head of that company was a powerful combination.


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Posted in: Newsdesk, Rant


SD cards: the cheap way to boost laptop storage

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Apple SSD

An increasing number of laptops these days boast SSDs, but capacities are rising quite slowly. For some people, 128GB as your main drive might be enough, but if you want more, is it worth shelling out the huge fees charged by manufacturers to upgrade to a higher capacity SSD, or can you make do with alternative storage?

To find out, we ran our standard file transfer tests – first between a RAM disk and the SSD of a brand new laptop, then between a RAM disk and a variety of external storage devices. (more…)

Smartphone crapware: worse than laptops?

Monday, August 22nd, 2011

Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini ProA couple of years ago I holed myself up in the PC Pro Labs with some new laptops to see what impact their pre-installed software — known as crapware, bloatware and shovelware — had on performance.

The results proved shocking but, when it comes down to it, that software is pretty easy to deal with it’s just a matter of uninstalling everything and, if you’re really particular, running an app like CCleaner to get your Registry back to its fighting weight.

Not so with smartphones. On Friday, I eased the Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro from its box, turned it on, and was greeted with a message urging me to set up McAfee WaveSecure before I’d even set up the phone with my Google account. (more…)

What’s really killing your Wi-Fi? Here’s a graphic illustration

Friday, August 19th, 2011

We’ve written many times about how crowded the 2.4GHz frequency band is becoming these days, and how that can affect the reliability and speed of your wireless network.

There are so many devices and routers now using the unlicensed space between 2,400MHz and 2,475MHz that finding a quiet, undisturbed channel for your network to reside on is nigh on impossible. That’s why we recommend anyone upgrading their wireless router chooses a dual-band model — one that gives you the option of connecting in the less congested 5GHz frequency band.


Why HP is giving up PCs, in picture form

Friday, August 19th, 2011


There are surely a host of reasons behind HP’s decision to ditch making consumer products (aside from printers) in favour of business services and software. However, I’m not going to pretend to be in Leo Apotheker’s mind — he’s German, after all (don’t get offended; my mother’s German, and I don’t get her sometimes either).

The decision took many by surprise, not least because HP is the biggest maker of PCs in the world: if it can’t survive in the computer market, where does that leave other companies? Is this the death of the PC? (Personally, I don’t think so, but working for the UK’s finest PC magazine probably means I’m a little bit biased.)







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