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Tim Cook: this is how much TV has changed since the 70s

Monday, September 15th, 2014

The stress of last week’s big Apple announcements must be getting to Tim Cook. The man needs a holiday. That can be the only explanation for some bizarre comments he made over the weekend on a US television show, when he was asked about Apple’s TV plans.

“TV is one that we continue to have great interest in – I choose my words carefully there – TV is one of those things that, if we’re really honest, it’s stuck back in the seventies,” Cook said on the Charlie Rose show.

“Think about how much your life has changed, and all the things around you that has changed. And yet TV, when you go in your living room to watch the TV, or wherever it might be, it almost feels like you’re rewinding the clock and you’ve entered a time capsule and you’re going backwards. The interface is terrible. I mean, it’s awful!”

Just to jog the Apple boss’s memory, here are a few examples of how television has changed over the past 40 years.

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Five reasons why the Apple Watch leaves me cold

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Apple Watch

Darien Graham-Smith and his newlywed wife may be casting admiring glances at the Apple Watch from afar, but I don’t share his enthusiasm.

We’re still at the incubation stage of the smartwatch market, but I was hoping that Apple would provide me with a definitive reason to want one of these devices strapped to my wrist. Last night’s announcement singularly failed to push my easily goaded “Buy Now” buttons. Here’s why the Apple Watch currently leaves me cold.

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BT Home Hub 5: how to get maximum speed

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

BT Home Hub 5

BT finally got round to installing fibre in my area around a month ago, since when I’ve been enjoying life in the fast lane. However, there’s a distinct problem with the way that BT sets up the router, which wasn’t mentioned in our review of the Home Hub 5 and may prevent you from getting the most out of your fibre connection. Luckily, there’s an easy fix, which I’m going to explain here.

The BT Home Hub 5 is a dual-band router, but the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands share the same SSID by default. In other words, when you go to connect your devices, you’ll see one access point labelled “BT Hub-XXXX” and your device may connect to either of the two bands. There is, to the best of my knowledge, no way of telling a dual-band device to connect to a particular band – although if you know better, please let me know in the comments, below.

This is a problem, since the 5GHz band is much slower than 2.4GHz in my experience, and that of several of my Twitter correspondents. From upstairs, my dual-band laptop can get the full 80Mbits/sec afforded by my Infinity 2 connection over 2.4GHz, but that throughput slumps to around 20Mbits/sec when connected to 5GHz – which is roughly what Jonathan Bray found in his review of the Home Hub 5.

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20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

PC Pro started in 1994, but the A-List — our pick of the best products of the moment — didn’t arrive until three years later, in issue 28.

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If you have a copy of one of our more recent issues to hand, take a flip through the A-List: it’s six pages of 51 product categories, with our main recommendation plus an alternative choice — more than 100 pieces of kit or software we think is worth your money.

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How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour

Monday, July 21st, 2014

TimGlass

Lunch with Tim Danton is normally a jolly affair, but today he has decided to wear his Google Glass headset. Things get off to a bad start before we’ve even left the building, as I explain that I need to go via a cashpoint. “OK Glass!” barks Tim abruptly. “Directions to a cashpoint.” There is an awkward pause: I don’t know whether he’s waiting for me to speak, or has been distracted by some terribly important message that I can’t see. His face falls slightly. “It’s giving me directions to an attachment,” he explains, apologetically.

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Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

20140629_152204Until recently, there wasn’t much point taking your smartphone to a summer festival. With tens of thousands of people converging in the middle of the countryside, it was impossible to get a signal, and your battery was likely to expire on the first day anyway.

But things are changing. Coverage has improved markedly in recent years, and event organisers are starting to embrace mobile technology with official festival apps and onsite charging facilities – a more popular attraction than many of the bands, judging by the size of the queues. (more…)

Formula 1: what a difference virtualisation makes

Friday, July 4th, 2014

Dell CaterhamHere at Silverstone the preparations for the British Formula 1 Grand Prix are well under way. While the weekend will be full of headlines surrounding Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and the various other British hopefuls, it’s intriguing to see how important the background technology is; and in particular, how virtualisation is giving Caterham Racing a time-saving edge. (more…)

The insane economics of Sky Now TV

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Sky Now TV

A few months ago, after one price rise too many and a waning interest in top-flight football, I decided to cancel my subscription to Sky Sports.

I still get the urge to watch the odd game, and so this weekend – with my once-beloved West Ham giving title-chasing Liverpool a hoof for their money – I decided to investigate Sky Now TV, the broadcaster’s internet TV service. After ten minutes, I was left scratching my head at the sheer insanity of its pricing.

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Windows Phone 8.1 video: hands-on

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

We’ve been given a video preview of many of the new features available in Windows Phone 8.1.

Among the features you’ll see in the video are:

  • The new six-column design of the Start screen
  • The option to change the Start screen background
  • Action Centre: a new drop-down screen for notifications and shortcuts to settings
  • Shape Writing: the new swipeable keyboard design that means you don’t have to type every letter
  • The new Battery Saver, Storage Sense and Wi-Fi Sense apps, the latter of which allows you to let friends use your home Wi-Fi without giving them your password
  • Synchronisation with other Windows devices

Click here for more details of Windows Phone 8.1’s new Siri-like assistant, Cortana, and other new features

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet review: first look

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet

When Sony unleashed the first Tablet Z back at MWC 2013, it was the thinnest, lightest tablet around; now it’s the Sony Xperia Z2 Tablet’s turn to take over. Sony’s new top-end Android tablet is lighter and slimmer than the original, and by a noticeable margin.

In fact, at 426g, the Wi-Fi version of the Z2 weighs a full 69g less than the Z, and itmeasures 0.5mm thinner, at 6.8mm from front to rear. Quite how Sony’s engineers have managed it, we’re not sure.

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