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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.

(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…)

Meet the robots helping teach children

Friday, June 20th, 2014

There are some invitations you don’t turn down, and for me, a room full of robots is on that list. Earlier this week, at a Humanising the Robot Society seminar, I got a sneak-peak at prototypes of robots that could shape our society in the near future. Here’s my pick of three of the most intriguing creations being used to help children learn and get around – although the last one isn’t very “human” looking, despite the name of the group putting on the seminar.

DSCF3686
(more…)

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Phishing emails: how I nearly got caught out

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

A phishing email popped into my inbox this morning. That’s hardly a rare occurrence, but what was unusual about this one is that I really wasn’t sure, for a moment, if it was malicious or not.

Take a look:

natwest

This caught my eye, as I’ve recently returned from overseas travel, and I did (foolishly) log into my account on hotel Wi-Fi without taking any precautions. What if someone had nabbed my login credentials?

(more…)

Tech support: your horror stories, tips and tricks

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

frustrated

Have a bit of tech savvy? Do your friends and family know it? Then you’re likely used to acting as unofficial tech support, taking calls at all hours to fix wobbly internet connections, or offering step-by-step instructions to turning a laptop on and off again.

You’re the one carefully explaining Heartbleed to confused friends who saw conflicting headlines about password resets, and warning parents to change login details on Ebay.

(more…)

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eBay hack: Are tech giants above the law?

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Fine

Earlier today, the information commissioner admitted that doling out a fine to eBay for losing 145 million customer records will make little difference to the company.

While in theory a breach like this means that “your brand is trashed”, many tech companies are too big and too successful for any monetary penalty to make a real dent in them. That’s especially so for a company like eBay that has no real competitor. Any damage to the brand will be minimal and transient.

It doesn’t help that data breaches are hardly exceptional events. As consumers we’re all too accustomed to hearing that one of our tech providers has suffered a data breach. We read the news reports, sigh, change our passwords and move on.

(more…)

Office for iPad: key information

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Word for iPadMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella, in his first appearance since taking over the top job, has confirmed that the company will shortly release a native version of its Office suite for the iPad, as well as updating Office for Mac. Some have called the decision a gamble for Microsoft, while others have seen it as a positive step. Here’s what you need to know. (more…)

HTC One M8 vs Samsung Galaxy S5: 2014’s big-hitters compared

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Samsung Galaxy S5 vs HTC One M8

We now have full details of  the major Android phones of the year: the Samsung Galaxy S5, which was announced out at MWC in Barcelona in February, and the HTC One M8, just launched at events in London and New York. The big question is, how do they stack up against one another?

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Kittens and six other web revelations from Tim Berners-Lee

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

tbl4x3

The web turned 25 yesterday. Well, sort of — it was the 25th anniversary of Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s original paper outlining the principles of the web, but let’s roll with it.

To celebrate this first milestone, Berners-Lee was all over the web, giving interviews, posting videos and even taking part in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session. As someone with a massive professional crush on the man — I once dodged a PR and vaulted a chair to shake his hand; I think I alarmed him — I’ve read through every one of his AMA posts. Here’s a collection of the web creator’s best revelations from the Q&A session.

(more…)

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Why Apple can’t be insanely great after Steve Jobs

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

Steve_JobsMy very last session at SXSW was arguably the most interesting, with Geoffrey Fowler from the Wall Street Journal interviewing journalist-turned-author Yukari Iwatani Kane. Her new book, Haunted Empire, charts what life is like at Apple in the shadow of Steve Jobs.

What became incredibly clear during her talk is that the company can never be the same again — and nor should it try to be. Here, I try to explain why. (more…)

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