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May, 2013

Want child porn blocked? Meet the IWF

Friday, May 31st, 2013

webblocking

Whenever something bad happens, the powers that be look to an easy scapegoat, and more often than not these days, that’s the internet.

After the horrific murder of Lee Rigby, Home Secretary Theresa May and others called for the return of the so-called Snoopers Charter, though as of yet there’s no evidence to suggest that seeing the sender and recipient of every email sent by Britons — but not the content — would have prevented that poor man’s death.

Today, after the sentencing of Mark Bridger for murdering five-year-old April Jones, it’s happening again. This time, politicians and lobbyists are calling for some combination of porn, violent porn, and child porn to be stripped from Google or otherwise blocked from the web.

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Is it worth upgrading a media centre to Windows 8?

Friday, May 24th, 2013

WMC

Shortly after the release of Windows 8 last year I upgraded my front-room PC to the new OS. I rarely use that PC for anything more than watching videos, but I was keen to see whether the Media Center application would have any new or improved features in Windows 8 – and besides, I thought, what have I got to lose?

Today, a PC Pro reader asked me whether, with the benefit of experience, I consider that the upgrade was worth it. I have to say it wasn’t.

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Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Flickr 2013 homepage

Almost two years ago, I wrote about how I’d abandoned the stagnating Flickr for the altogether more modern photo-sharing site 500px. Finally, Yahoo has found the time to give Flickr its desperately needed facelift, and thrown in a terabyte of free photo storage to sweeten the deal. Will that be enough to tempt me and other photographers back?

Firstly, let’s deal with the aesthetics. Until last night, Flickr’s design was marooned in 2002: acres of white space, thumbnail images that took the name literally, and clunky drop-down menus. As I wrote in 2011, Yahoo had “allowed Flickr to stagnate to the point where the only reason to keep using the site is the size and talent of its user community”. In fact, it’s staggering how many photographers persevered with Flickr despite the outdated design.

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Posted in: Newsdesk

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Hands on with the new Google Maps

Friday, May 17th, 2013

I’m still waiting for my Glass headset… but for now Google has at least given me a new version of Google Maps for the web. Here’s what it looks like:

Maps (3)

The first change you’ll notice is that the map now fills your window. The map itself looks subtly different too: there’s a new cleaner design, with a paler palette, more white space (well, light grey) and – if I’m not mistaken – Google’s Roboto font now used for labelling.

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Posted in: Random

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Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

Nokia Lumia 925Nokia has a new flagship Windows phone 8 handset in the shape of the Nokia Lumia 925, and it looks like a big step forward. The Lumia 925, which was launched in London, hot on the heels of the US launch of the 928 earlier this week, is far slimmer at 8.5mm and lighter than its predecessor, the Lumia 920, and eschews that phone’s bulbous rear in favour of a sharper, sleeker, more modern look.

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Posted in: Random

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Why I won’t subscribe to Creative Cloud

Friday, May 10th, 2013

Photoshop CS 6

This week, Adobe formally announced that it would cease development of Creative Suite and focus all its efforts on delivering its collection of apps via Creative Cloud.

The outpouring of rage has been considerable. Twitter has been ablaze, with the majority calling for human sacrifices in the Adobe boardroom. Others who are already using Creative Cloud have been wondering what the fuss is about, claiming it’s a great service.

I’m not using Creative Cloud yet, but I’ll eventually be forced to if I want to update Photoshop and the other apps I use as a professional photographer. So what’s the problem?

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GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy’s toy

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

So how did I come to strap a GoPro camera to a remote control helicopter? (Play video in full screen and select 1080p option for best quality.)

At the recent National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, I was walking down an aisle between two large stands, and felt my hair being gently rustled by a powerful draft from above. Looking up, I saw a quad helicopter sitting a few feet above my head. It was perfectly stable, and under the control of someone off in the distance. It gently, and oh so accurately moved down the hallway, turned right and came to a landing.

Now remote control helicopters are not new. And ones that talk to your iPhone or iPad aren’t new either. Indeed, I bought the AR.Drone when it first shipped. It gave me two live camera feeds back to my iPad, and the facility to record the video. The only problem was that it was rubbish.

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Acer Iconia A1 review: first look

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Acer Iconia A1

The Acer Iconia A1 is the latest of a flurry of compact budget tablets to have hit the market recently. It was launched alongside the exotic Aspire R7 and Aspire P3 at the company’s annual Global Press Conference in New York.

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Acer Aspire P3 review: first look

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Acer Aspire P3

The Acer Aspire P3, launched at a glitzy New York press event in New York, wants desperately to be a rival to the Microsoft Surface. At first glance it looks like it could be: it has a keyboard cover, just like the Surface, and that cover can be folded over so you can use it  as a tablet or prop it up at an angle for use in laptop mode.

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Acer Aspire R7 review: first look

Friday, May 3rd, 2013

Acer Aspire R7

We’ve seen some wacky hybrids in recent months, but the recently launched Acer Aspire R7 has gone further out on a limb than most. Its hinge, dubbed the “Ezel”, resembles the central support strut of an all-in-one PC more than a laptop hinge, and it delivers a surprising amount of flexibility.

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