Category Archives: PersonalComputing

PC, tablet, mobile and wearable technology.

Project Ara Goes Live, the First Working Prototype Demonstrated.

Project Ara has gone live, the first public demonstration of a working prototype took place on May 29, 2015 at the Google I/O conference. The day that changed how we connect electronics together.

Project Ara Lead Engineer Rafa Camargo took the helm for the demonstration, happily hands on with Project Ara, snapping into place all of the modules that make a phone a phone. Startup time and operation seemed just like any other phone. Taking a picture of an audience with a phone, now that’s pure Rafa. What makes Project Ara so special then? Its whats on under the surface that makes the difference.

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SoundHound takes Voice Recognition to Stunning New Levels.

Many people with busy lives have often wondered how nice it would be to have an assistant. Someone there just to help with the mundane tasks. Such an arrangement is bound to lead to many more tasks getting done, surely? Unfortunately not many of us can afford the opportunity to test the theory so we go assistant-less, sigh.

As always technology is coming to our rescue in the shape of the virtual assistant, the voice interface is finally listening. Demonstrating just how far voice has progressed SoundHound recently gave the  world a sneak peak at their Hound app. With lightning fast reflexes Hound is capable of answering any question and may one day become everyone’s favorite virtual assistant.

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HP Pavilion 15-P001AU Laptop, the Hunt for Value or How Cheap is Too Cheap?

Recently after being tasked with finding a value laptop as a Mothers Day present I proceeded on a journey, a hunt for the perfect computing device for mom. Being a light user; web, photos and a little Skype raw computing power wouldn’t be as important as user experience and value.

Like walking a tightrope if you lean too far in either direction (value or performance) your balance will be lost and tumble down you go. But how low down the performance scale can you go before slow is too slow even for a light user? This was the question rattling around in the back of my brain as the journey began.

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Google Dial-Up Mode, Slowing Fibre Down to the Speed of People…

As the world is made smaller by technology the speed of life is also increasing, especially the speed of our digital lives. Google’s latest product seeks to provide a pause button or throttle for these digital lives of ours, sneaking in a little time for our other lives to shine. Dial-Up Mode is this product and it can help anyone escape life in the fast lane just long enough for normality to return for a moment.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the poignant gag from Google. A brief insight into the side-effects of living with Google’s amazing Fibre internet connection, this is what Gigabit speed and limitless quota’s will get you. Sit back, relax and prepare to giggle at the Google.

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Windows 365, the First Cloud Based Operating System Explained…

The cloud may seem like a mystery to many but it is simply the ability to do work remotely, think of it as the ability to outsource a computers workload and storage. While the cloud revolution has already begun for IT departments and people that run servers the cloud revolution for consumer electronics is yet to begin. This is Windows 365, the operating system that will kick off the consumer electronics cloud revolution.

Much of the speculation of Microsoft’s next generation Operating System has been fuelled by a patent lodged by Microsoft. The patent was first noted by a regular reader of the website NeoWin and gives many hints on the future and at the same time gives no solid details of future products.

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The NVIDIA Tegra X1 and Shield Upgrade Rumour, Teraflop Tomfoolery…

Rumours have been swirling around the wobbly web that suggest NVIDIA will soon be releasing the next generation Shield tablet, a tablet based on the brand new Tegra X1 chip that’s capable of delivering a Teraflop of processing power.

Helping to further whip the net into a frenzy NVIDIA this week sent out invites for a mysterious media event on the 3rd of March in San Francisco. It is expected that NVIDIA will announce the release date of the new Shield, some rumours suggest the release date will be as early as the 17th of March while other whispers are suggesting the new X1 Shield may appear as late as June 2015.

Will the Shield be the first product to use the X1 chipset and become the first Teraflop tablet? Will the world’s first Teraflop tablet be a Q1 or Q2 product? Hopefully NVIDIA will answer these questions and more on March 3rd.

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10 Streamers getting Swatted, Shocking Live Stream Footage…

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the shocking live feed footage of 10 incidences of streamers being raided by SWAT teams, being Swatted. 10 examples of people’s lives being invaded by the heavy hand of the law in response to fake 911 calls.

Swatting (or being swatted) is the practice of calling in a fake emergency call to police in order to provoke a reaction from the authorities, generally leading to a Swat team being dispatched upon your target. This disturbing practice has been given an even more sadistic twist in recent times, watching the swatting happen via your victims live feed.

People streaming video game footage with a webcam insert of themselves, a streamer, seem to be the favoured target of swatters at the moment. In one case the perpetrator of the swatting even rubs salt in the wound by displaying the message ‘F The Police’ on the targets screen while the police are there looking at it.

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Google Project Ara, Be Part of It…

Since the inception of the mobile phone new features and technology has been rolled into these handheld wonders. Unfortunately with each new technology a new generation of phone has been required to integrate the technology, also requiring the wholesale disposal of the previous generation.  Think of this development process as hard wiring of functionality, a process that requires phone manufacturers to maintain their own system architecture and continually modify the hardware and software to add new functionality.

The current smartphone architectures also limit the choice for consumers, limiting it to the hardware manufacturers want to include, a decision generally based on gaining the most market share. If you want a phone with functions that aren’t in the mainstream vocabulary you are out of luck. This is just the nature of trying to cater for a generalised user base and has led to phone manufacturers battling over screen resolution or phone thickness. Never willing to take a chance with a feature only few would ever require.

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The Mars Levitating Speaker, Making Waves While Floating on Air…

Making waves in the tech world during the throng of CES, sound waves especially, is no easy feat but the Mars levitating Bluetooth speaker seems to be doing just that. Raising its voice and levitating above the myriad of new gadgets Mars is capturing attention through incredible amounts of cool, Bluetooth speakers are now a dime a dozen after all.

Mind you the Mars speaker isn’t simply using levitation just because levitation makes everything cooler, no; instead it has been put to use taking away any directionality of the speaker. A design intended to seamlessly produce 360-degree sound giving everyone around the room clear audio.

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Worlds Simplest Electric Train is Just Too Cool…

Sometimes in life the simplest things are the most incredible; take for example the world’s simplest electric train which consists of dry cell battery, a coil of copper wire and some powerful magnets. Ingredients that produce an incredibly simple form of locomotion as demonstrated by YouTube channel AmazingScience.

The train itself is propelled by the magnetic field generated by the electricity passing from the battery through the magnets and to the copper wire. This field then acts upon the poles of the magnets which are attracted in and repelled out of the magnetic field created as the permanent magnets touch each coil of the wire.

Presented for your viewing pleasure is the incredibly simple electromagnetic train, an experiment that anyone can try and will amaze everyone who watches it. Be assured this is no fake trickery, just plain old physics in action. Sit back, relax and be sure you’ve bought a ticket to ride the World’s Simplest Electric Train.

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