Friday, 10 October 2014

It would be revealing the apparent to say that the common smartphone customer user is spoilt for choice.

With new designs released almost weekly, and offering of the additional functions, there is something for everyone. But it isn’t just the mobile phones battling it out. Electronic staff — some well-known, some less so — are also competing for your interest.

Microsoft’s response to Siri and Google Now was revealed to the globe at the Develop Designer meeting a few months ago. Since then, customers of the Ms Windows 8.1 OS in the US, UK and Chinese suppliers have had to communicate with Cortana. The technical massive desires it to be worldwide available by the end of this season, or by beginning 2015.

What customers love: Users declare the electronic associate brings together the character of Siri with the intellect of Google Now. There is more comfort management, as the customer chooses how much information to discuss. Also, the stage of marketing is apparently greater.
Typical complaints: The delay here we are at Cortana to get connected to reasoning cloud servers is lengthy at periods. And considering that most around the globe hasn’t met her yet, the overall effect is yet to be measured.
Did you know - The name comes-from a personality that was an aspect of Microsoft’s Halo game series? Jen Taylor, who talked her, also talked the individual associate in the US-specific edition.

S Voice
Samsung’s electronic associate is suitable with several designs created by the South Korean giant, and the included speech control program comes with all gadgets released in or after 2013.

What customers love: Users declare it gives them a choice over and above Google Now. Home-grown, it is at periods more user-friendly when it comes to New Samsung products.
Common complaints: Obviously, it does not coordinate up to Siri and Google Now with regards to performance. The S Voice shortcut does make the product more slowly.
Did you know: Nuance, the creating organization, launched its first professional speech application returning in 1996? Last season, their CEO lastly verified that their technological innovation is an aspect of Apple's Siri.

First released as an application on the App Store, Siri — which indicates "a wonderful lady who brings you to victory" in Norwegian, and "secret" in Swahili — was later combined into Apple’s application system with iOS 5.

What customers love: One of the first exclusive staff on the modern-day cellphone, Siri surprised experts and customers by providing strong voice-enabled look for functions. It also has a feeling of humor. Ask Siri if it realized Bob Tasks, and it says, “Apple doesn’t say me all, you know.”
Common complaints: It doesn’t comprehend Native Indian accessories that well. And its reaction time can be slowly. Besides, it provides fewer details than Google Search.
Did you know: Siri, Inc. had allegedly declared that their application would be available for BlackBerry and Android operating system gadgets, but these growth initiatives were terminated after the purchase by The Apple Company.

Voice Mate
Formerly known as Quick Voice and Q Voice, it was relabeled later. Also, the preliminary editions were planned by experts. A variety of application modifications was presented with the LG G2, while was the Voice Mate.

What customers love: It has a pretty precise knowing of what is said. It also has an excellent primary capability to comprehend the perspective of what is said.
Typical complaints: One factor you can’t obviously do is practice it to keep in mind factors about you, like which get in touch with is your spouse or brother. You also allegedly can’t tell it where you stay or perform to speed up routing queries.
Did you know: The app was initially designed in Korean, and it was simply in 2012 that the English edition was declared?

Google Now
Hailed by Popular-Science-magazine essentially the “Innovation of the Year” for 2012, Google Now was first involved in Jelly Bean 4.1. Since then, it has become a fundamental element of Android mobile phones, and has also been made accessible for iOS as an upgrade to the Google Search and Google Chrome apps.

What customers love: It is excellent at web queries, and can do an excellent job at text-to-speech — even when off-line. The record of instructions is extensive as well.
Common complaints: More suitable for some gadgets than others — Motorola’s gaining the most, thanks to their genuine Android operating system encounter. But it doesn’t have much of a character and will not perform on a closed cellphone in most situations.
Did you know: It was initially codenamed “Majel” after Majel Barrett, the spouse of Celebrity Travel designer Gene Roddenberry, and well known as the voice of PCs in his franchise?

BlackBerry Assistant
After several weeks of delivering out teasers, BlackBerry lastly revealed the BB Associate with the lately released BlackBerry Passport.

What customers love: That the BB cellphone lastly has an electronic assistant and that it is contextually conscious. It can offer solutions and extra perspective if you ask it a query via a Wireless earphones and can’t see the display. If you kind, it gives an itemized reaction. If you talk, it speaks returning.
Typical complaints: That BB took such a lengthy time to release it — almost after everyone had given up on it and shifted on to Android operating system and iOS gadgets.

Did you know: The buzz around this electronic associate was so high that its pictures were leaked online a few months ago?

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Gadget Desk: Best Android Apps that are available in the market nowadays gadget using which you can reduce your phone bill. These types of apps you need only to be connected to the net. When you are connected to the net when using the video and audio chatting apps can. You can-share-your photos and videos with friends, make groups can and can talk with them to shore. You are not required to spend any of the money. Net of the bill you pay is much cheaper than your phone bill.

Here's your mobile phone bill to reduce and keep track of your apps and entertainment are provided. Entertainment by means of the help of which you can find-savings. It is best free android apps

Google Hangouts  
This is an app that can give you online chatting with video calling facility. Without having to spend any money online through a mobile voice call or video call with another user can be using. You need to connect to the net only in the State. The connection is much cheaper than the phone is recharging. This can reduce the phone bill.

Here's a show that's been around the world before the modern and user-friendly way Skype video calling can be launched. Use it to go on Skype for the IDs of creating crops remains. Log in as soon as video chatting and picture sending can be. The weak or slow, but it works well on the Internet can be.

It seems as though different in terms of video chat is not any answer. The app can be-used in combination with many people talking. The combination of 12 people (6 video and 6 audio chat) can talk to.

The video chatting and instant Messaging provides a different experience you can share the photo with photo editing. Not only can it play when you want to download the games.

This is a multiplatform app, which can be done using the audio and video chatting. It is easy to bring other Social Media Apps contacts here.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Apple Inc., the company struggled to restore momentum to the rollout of its latest phone as a bug-ridden software update, and then bending to lift iPhones, broke his silence on complaints about an hour.

"With normal use, the iPhone is extremely rare for a curve and by the sale of our first six-day total of nine customers have a tendency to contact Apple with the iPhone 6 Plus, "Apple spokeswoman-Trudy-Muller said in an email.

Apple shares market value of nearly $ 23 billion, wiping, down nearly 4 percent on Thursday closed at $ 97.87.

The new phone "bendgate" dubbed the face of criticism over their bend ability. Social media and online forums to a new mobile phone in the pocket or while wearing skinny jeans can bend is abuzz with comments about it.

Apple's iPhone and smartphones industry strong high tensile strength glass for use in stainless steel and titanium inserts feature.

Someone put it in his back-pocket and sit on the phone intended for an extremely long time may have an iPhone trend is the same way, Laban Roomes, the way and the gold plate iPhones Goldgenie, and the chief executive said. When the announced new iPhone release date just iPhone 6 batter iPhone 5

Some users call its new phone service disruptions in its latest operating system from Apple after complaining of a faulty update was forced to withdraw.

"We apologize for the huge problem experienced by users," Muller said.

To overcome the problem that Apple was working on an iOS update, and will be released in the next few days, it said on its website.

"I speak for the Apple implementation issues to consider," JMP Securities analyst Alex Gauna said. "At-the-end of the day I believe that this too shall pass, but we have noted with concern that the miscues pile."

Apple iPhone 6 and 6 Plus Monday it had shipped 10 million units.

iPhone 6 and 6Plus users update to iOS 8.0.1, but after a fingerprint-reading had complained about the inability to use the Touch ID.

After moving some users, iOS 8 "sluggish Wi-Fi and a dwindling battery life," said the complaint, Time magazine reported earlier this week.

On Thursday, Apple launched last week by the latest version of iTunes to restore iOS 8 users step-by-step guidance, issued. Health app will not work at the present and will-be-set in the next software update, the company said.

Customers, however, support their devices, Apple executive, citing an examination, tech news website The-Next-Web reports passed depending on their attitude can hope for is a replacement for iPhones.

"It's not game over for Apple, but that we must pass on," Gauna said.

Trend of iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s Cult of Mac cases, completely covers Apple in 2013 was reported by the website.

Rival smartphone manufacturers took digs at Apple's troubles.

BlackBerry Ltd. CEO John Chen said, while Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. announced its own production bending the phone display: "I challenge you guys will bend our passports"
Business News - WhatsApp bought for $ 19 billion in February, social media site Facebook announced its intent. The deal is still pending regulatory approval is required, but according to a report from Reuters, it has conventional approval from the European Union.

The report cites two people recognizable with the substance, and the European Union unconditionally approved the deal, and they have no anti-competitive effect on the industry do not see it as having a say.

Someone were to find an anti-competitive effect, it's probably (about competing for four years as Google has been testing) is Europe.

In April, the United States Federal Trade Commission approved the deal, but do not go through it, Facebook it must mess with the user's privacy when that condition was.

A few-months-ago, a report on worldwide trends in the use of social platforms and KIK Messenger WhatsApp Snapchat got the third fastest growing social application. Vine's own Instagram, Twitter and Facebook had preceded it.

EU competition authority's decision to deal with the final set for October 3.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

10 million during the first three days of the availability of Apple's new iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models were sold. This almost certainly does not-come as much of a surprise, but the iPhone is breaking records for the opening weekend.

"Plus for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 launch weekend sales exceeded our expectations, and we could not be happier," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "We all previous sales records by a large margin shattering, our best launch ever want to thank all of our customers. Better than ever before our team has managed to ramp production, we supply many more iPhones sold may have and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible. "

The devices States, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and is currently available in the UK, and on September 26 will be available in 20 more countries.

The company updates on the availability and estimated delivery dates back to the Apple store or online to check potential customers are telling. Or you can now spend a silly amount of money and can buy a new iPhone on eBay.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

A quality 10in Android tablet let down by some niggling flaws

Back in Issue 429 we reviewed the Galaxy Tab S 8.4, a superb Android tablet with a screen so good that it even surpassed the outstanding screen of the iPad Mini 2 which is already great - in quality. The 10in counterpart of the Tab S has now arrived and while it's obviously similar to the smaller Tab S, it has a few unique flaws of its own that prevent it from beating the 10in iPad Air.
The Tab S 10.5 looks almost identical to its smaller relative. It has a soft-touch surface on its rear and what appears to be a metal rim, but is actually plastic. The white version looks a little tacky, but the 'bronze titanium' variant, which is really just grey with a gold trim, looks surprisingly stylish.
The Tab S 10.5 may not be all-metal like the iPad Air (see our review, Issue 411), but it feels almost as sturdy and it's just as light at 465g. Despite its exceptionally slender build, it still has room for a microSD card slot. Disappointingly, though, it doesn't have a micro USB 3.0 port similar to the Galaxy Note 3 phablet. This would very much reduce the amount of time needed for copying lots of files from your computer.
“The 10.5in screen
has a huge resolution of
2560x1440 pixels” 

The Tab S 10.5 does have a few design flaws, though. The two unsightly holes on the back of the tablet are used for attaching Samsung's optional cases, which double as screen covers, but these can easily come off when jostled in a bag. The tablet has very thin borders on the left- and right-hand sides when held horizontally, which makes it tricky to get a firm, comfortable grip. This isn't a problem if you hold the tablet in portrait orientation where the borders are thicker, but here it's far too easy to accidentally press the touch- sensitive back and 'recent apps' buttons on one side, or the power button on the other, which is very annoying.
The 10.5in screen has a huge resolution of 2560x1440 pixels so text is very sharp. The screen uses AMOLED techno-low so it's dazzlingly bright, but thankfully doesn't have any of the sharpness or colour-accuracy problems of older AMOLED screens.
        Like the Tab S 8.4, the 10.5 excelled in our app tests, but sometimes struggled when it came to responsiveness. The touchscreen occasionally lagged behind our finger movements when we scrolled through multimedia websites and web apps. We had no complaints about battery life - it lasted an impressive 14 hours and
20 minutes when playing videos on a loop.
Samsung has added its own TouchWiz interface on top of Android 4.4 KitKat. Although it's less cluttered than previous versions, we still don't like it. There are calendar and news widgets that you can't remove, but you can of course ignore them. The bar running the length of the base of the home screen for holding your most frequently used apps has been removed, as has the option to have multiple user accounts. There is at least a substitute for the latter in the form of Kid's Mode - a child-oriented alternative interface that also prevents little ones from tampering with your apps and data.
TouchWiz isn't all bad. You can regulate a wide diversity of settings such as screen rotation from the Notifications drawer with just a few taps. You can also run a small selection of apps simultaneously side by side and there's a handy file-manager app for copying files back and forth between the tablet and online storage services such as Dropbox. More unusual is Side Sync, a pair of apps that let you control your tablet using your computer's keyboard and mouse.
The Galaxy Tab S-10.5 is one-of-the best 10in Android tablets. This only makes its flaws - from its ungainly physical design, to its questionable software - all the more irritating. Still, if you can live through these drawbacks it's a good-value tablet. 

10.Sin pixel touchscreen • 1.9GHz +
1.3GHz Samsung Exynos Octa 5420 processor • 30B
memory • 16GB storage • micro SD slot Mali T628
graphics chip Android 4.4 KitKat • 465g
• 247x177x7mm (HxWxD) • One-year warranty 

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

The Amazon Fire phone, which we previewed last month, has unique capabilities that make it easy and even fun, to spend
Money with the retail giant. But even diehard Amazon shoppers could be turned off by the phone’s limited access to Google apps and its short battery life.
One of the phone’s distinguishing features is the Firefly app, which turns its microphones and rear camera into scanners, enabling the phone to recognize sounds and objects. The audio scanner generally worked well in our informal trials (Ratings will be available soon), identifying a film otherwise song within a little seconds. (But it had trouble “hearing” songs in a noisy New York City restaurant.) Similarly, when we pointed the Fire’s camera at a product container or bottle, little firefly like dots swarmed around the object’s logo or bar code until an ID was made. Though it was often successful, it occasionally failed to recognize well-known objects, such as a bottle of San Pellegrino water.
Amazon’s Dynamic Perspective technology, which can build sure flat images come into view three-dimensional on the phone’s 4.7-inch display, worked well for the most part. When we tilted the phone, we could see items from different angles. But as of now there aren’t many 3D items to view, so the feature doesn’t seem that helpful yet. Tilting the phone also enabled us to scroll up and down Web pages and summon app menu options, which is a plus. By jerking or tilting the phone, we could view messages and other notifications. Some gesture controls took a bit of effort to master.
For all of its pluses, the Fire phone has a few major drawbacks. App choices are confined to Amazon’s App-store, which is notably bereft of Google apps. That means no Gmail, Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Music, Google Now, Google Plus, and of route, Google’s Play app store. You may be equal to jump in using the phone’s Silk Web browser or a third-party app, other than you won’t like the synergy of Google apps working jointly on the same device. Also, the operating system will be unfamiliar to most users, and battery life is shorter than on many other phones.

The Fire phone is available from AT&T (and on the Amazon website) for $200 (32GB) and $300 (64GB). At press time, it included 12 free months of Prime, Amazon’s $99-per-year, two-day shipping and media-streaming service. Present Prime members will obtain 12 months added to their subscription. Fire phone owners get unlimited Amazon Cloud storage for photos taken with the Fire phone—which looked very good in our tests.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Take advantage of the new contactless technology built into your device

If you’ve followed phone and tablet specifications in the previous pair of years you’ll have heard of Near-Field-Communication (NFC), which is a technology that lets two devices, communicate with one another at close range. Still if you’re not recognizable with the term, the chances are you’ve had some experience using it. If you exist or work in London, or travel around the capital on a regular basis, you might use an Oyster card on the tubes or buses. Or you might have made a small purchase using the contactless payment feature of your debit or credit card. Both of these are examples of using NFC technology.
However, what you might not have realised is that you can make use of NFC yourself, to automatically change the settings on your phone or tablet depending on where you are. As long as your device is NFC-compatible, it’s easier than you strength imagine to set up.

What is NFC?
Near Field Communication is a short range wireless RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology that uses interacting electromagnetic radii) fields to allow compatible devices to transfer information when they come into close proximity. Unlike Wi-Fi, which has a range measured in tens of meters, and Bluetooth, which should work across a room, NFC’s range is rarely more than a couple of centimeters. Some NFC chips even require the devices to physically touch.
If you’re buying a coffee or some other item, and you want to pay using a contactless card (banks use ‘contactless’ or ‘tap-and-pay’ as a more friendly sounding alternative to the name NFC), you’d just place your debit or credit card on the card reader, or bring it close enough to register, and the correct amount of money will be
automatically transferred from your account without you needing to enter your PIN. For security purposes, purchases made in this way are currently limited to under £20.
The NFC technology is embedded in a chip on the card, and it’s also built into some smartphones and tablets, which makes it possible to make payments using your Android phone in the same way as you’d use a contactless card. There are a number of UK trials underway, and stipulation you’re concerned you can check with your bank to see when they plan to offer this feature, and what devices it will be compatible with.
From what we’ve talked about so far, you might get the idea that NFC is only used to make (and receive) payments, but actually it can be used intended for every one sorts of other tasks. With the right app you can use the technology to do certain things when you’re in particular location. For example, you can use NFC to turn off data and switch on Wi-Fi when you get home, turn the volume down and the ringer off when you get into work, and ensure you’re not disturbed by calls or notifications once you’re in bed. You can also use NFC to launch apps, open web pages or start a favourite song playing. If you’ve ever fancied having your own theme tune that starts up the moment you walk into a room, this is the way to make that weird dream a reality.
For all this magic to work you’ll need to get hold of some NFC tags. Maplin sells packs of 12 RapidNFC stickers (in 6 colours - red, blue, yellow, green, black and white) for under £10 from You can also buy tags from eBay and other similar places. Tags can program over and over again, so are fully reusable. The colour coding will help you remember what each tag is programmed to do. If you don’t fancy stickers, RapidNFC ( sells different types of NFC tags, in the form of wristbands, key fobs, cards and tickets. Before you spend any money
buying tags, however, you’ll need to make sure your mobile phone or tablet is NFC enabled. Provided it’s fairly new and runs Android, it should he (Apple iPhones and iPads don’t support the technology yet) but you can check by browsing the list of globally available NFC enabled mobile phones and tablets at There’s also a full list of devices on Wikipedia (

Get the app
There are lots of free NEC apps available for Android in Google Play. One of the best, and our personal favourite, is Trigger ( The app is trouble-free to utilize and lets you combine triggers and actions to create tasks that can be written to tags. Tapping your phone on a programmed NFC tag (or bringing it near enough to register) will run that task. The app even comes with a handy Activity Log that shows you when various tasks were last run, the total number of actions performed, and the action that have been performed that week. Find out how to run your own NFC tasks on the app by following our Mini Workshops opposite and below.

Before you start
One obsession it’s important to be conscious of is that actioning a task is just a matter of tapping on a NFC tag with your phone or tablet, hut for the connection to be made, your device will need w he turned on, and the screen unlocked. The latter fact will obviously cause a degree of battery drain, SO if you’re not happy with that, you’ll need to remember to unlock your phone before you tap on the tag, which will of course add another step to the process.
NFC, like Bluetooth, can be toggled on or off, and you’ll need to make sure it’s enabled before you can use it. To turn it on in Android, go to Settings and look for NFC under ‘Wireless and Networks’.

MINI WORKSHOP: Program a NFC tag using Trigger

Launch the app and a bar of options appears. From here you can create tasks by clicking the plus sign, or by going into My Tasks. The most excellent way to get in progressed is by selecting Suggested Tasks. This will let you try out the function using one of the ready-made examples.

Pick a task. Options include Data Saver (turns off mobile data when you're connected to Wi-Fi), Bedtime Tag (silences your phone and sets an alarm) and Battery Saver (disables features when battery is low). On the after that screen, choose NFC as the trigger-type.

Separate an NFC tag from the rest (you don’t need to stick it in place yet) and put your device on top of it. The app will program the tag and you’ll hear a confirmation sound and see a message. You can now use that tag for your chosen task.

MINI WORKSHOP: Create your own Trigger tasks

Trigger allows you to build your own NFC commands, so that you can get your phone or tablet to do just about anything with a simple tap. To construct your task, tap the plus symbol, then tap it again and select NFC as the Trigger type.

Tap next and tap the plus sign to choose some actions to add. Browse through the categories list. There are sections for Wireless & Networks, Bluetooth, Sounds & Volume, Display, Social Media, and so on. Tap next, and configure the action, if you need to.

You can add a second task by tapping the plus sign. Trigger will automatically toggle between tasks every time your device comes into contact with the associated NFC tag. Tap done, and place your device over the tag to write. 

Sunday, 31 August 2014


Battery Historian
With Battery Historian, developers can now visualise exactly what’s using your phone’s battery and to what extent it’s being drained. It can locate the precise areas that require improving on and can help lead the development of streamlining battery consumption for both light and heavy users. It's something we're really excited about.

Job Scheduler API
Another essential for developers is the new Job Scheduler API. This clever tool enables developers to define specific background tasks for their apps when the user or device meets certain conditions. Even if it may not sound similar to a large amount, this feature will enable developers to prevent your battery life being used excessively.

New Battery Saver Mode
One new feature that most Android smartphone users will want to check out is the inclusion of a Battery Saver mode. This setting will look to lengthen the life of your Smartphone’s battery during a single charge by reducing your phone’s overall performance to keep it going.

Battery Stats

The battery overview screen has undergone a redesign to make it not only in line with the new Material Design concept, but as well to make it more nearby to everyday Android Phone users. You’ll find a general battery usage screen where you can pinpoint how your battery is being used, as well as a detailed history screen.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

As the budget smartphone market gets more competitive, Karbonn,
one of the most successful Indian brands has launched the Titanium S99, its answer to the likes of Micromax Unite 2, the Moto E and the Lava X1. The Titanium S99 is undoubtedly the company’s best product in this price point, but how well does it compare against some very formidable competition?

Compact and easy to use
Owing to its relatively small screen and compact form factor, the Titanium S99 is an easy to use and handle smartphone. We have seen better looking phones but its rounded edges make it comfortable to hold. It has a 4.0-inch display on the front, along with a front facing camera. The back is removable, houses a 1,400mAh battery, dual SIM slots, a microSD card and also houses a 5.0-megapixel rear camera. Also present is a front-facing camera which does not have a very high megapixel count, but does give the device an edge over the Moto E.

Android KitKat!
The S99 runs the latest version of Android, 4.4 or KitKat, which is quite impressive at this price peak when you think that many so-called flagship devices are still waiting for the latest version of the OS. The interface is clean, smooth and worked without any lags whatsoever. The phone also handled task like movies and games
very well. The screen is low on resolution but viewing angles are very decent. Where it does arise small is in battery life and the camera. While the battery struggles to get through a day of normal use, the camera does not deliver good results, with poor image quality and washed out colours.

Smooth operator
The S99 worked smoothly and handled games well but stuttered when it came to handling multiple tasks. It is powered by
1.2GHz quad core processor has 512MB RAM and 4GB internal storage with 1.6GB available for use. The last is expandable by
using a microSD card. It is laden through a number of apps like Amazon Kindle, Clean Master, OLX, Saavn, Firstpost, FM radio,
Karbonn ebazaar, Klive, Money Control, and Opera Browser. The display is prone to scratches and it also gets dirty frequently, so do keep a clean cloth handy to buff it. The speaker quality is decent but gets muffled when held in hand or kept on a surface. On the connectivity face, the mobile phone supports 3G and come with GPS, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

At Rs 5,990, the Karbonn Titanium S99 is a decent handset on any given day and superior to the scores of budget smartphones that flock the market. Where it does tend to lose out is in parameters like onboard storage, camera and design, other than on the turn over side, it does provide you the newest zest of Android at an unbelievably low price. Those seeking alternatives can also consider the Lava Iris X1, Moto E, and the Micromax Unite 2, all of which come with the latest version of Android and are available at around the same price point.

Size |133x66x9.7mm
Weight | 120 grams
Memory | 4GB, microSD
OS | Android OS v4.4
Screen Size | 4.0-inch, Capacitive
Battery | Li-Ion 1,400 mAh
Talktime/Standby | Up to 5 hours/Up to 168 hours
GPRS-3G-BT-WiFi – Yes-Yes-Yes-Yes
Camera | 5.0-megapixel
Others | Amazon Kindle, Clean
Master, OLX, Saavn

Friday, 29 August 2014

Kickstarter may have brought us some amazing hardware and software in excess of the previous year or so, but it's also the bearer of other less wonderful campaigns. In fact, it's often seen as something of a joke these days, with good ideas taking a back seat in favour of the ridiculous.
However, Ignition for the Raspberry Pi appears to be one of the more favourable campaigns to grace the pages of Kickstarter recently and aims to give the RPi gamer a retro experience. Ignition is the brainchild of Alex Stubbs, a lifelong retro gaming enthusiast as well as top developer and designer It's his vision to create an open and modern platform for access to retro games where not only can you play the classics as of the golden age of gaming but you can also
enjoy more modern features such as gaming achievements, gaming profiles, online play and social interaction.
It's an interesting idea, where you could be playing Street Fighter-II on your RPi against a rival as of the other elevation of the world and sharing the fact that you've just trounced most of North America. It certainly sounds good.
The OS Alex is selling, for want of a better word, is very Xbox in design, with access to the games themselves, along with various functions like social achievements and the like. But there's also a hint of the Steam front end in there too, and possibly a soupcon of the PlayStation's graphical splendour.
The OS will naturally support any emulator or game that can currently be run on the Raspberry Pi, including those that are purely command line based too. And any new emulators developed either with Ignition in mind or separately can easily to be added to the OS support list via the set of easy-to-understand configuration files.

Funding Goals
Next to the time of writing, there were just four days left on this particular project. However, since Alex was only asking for a funding target of $4,500, the current pledges had raised a decent sum of $7,388. As a result, it looks favourable indeed. And in all honesty, it's something that could really be extended to beyond the Raspberry Pi and introduced into the PC or handheld market.
There have been a hardly any attempts at creation an all-encompassing retro gaming operating system in the past, with special reference to Puppy Arcade, but the difficulty through them is that they're a small too not easy for the normal user to get to grips with.
If Alex's idea comes to fruition, then we could be playing with our favourite classics via a very tasteful, easy to use and fluid operating system.
Optimistically in the upcoming months we'll have incredible more to report on, maybe even a working model we can review and test. In the interim, we'll have to build do with the scattered collection of emulators and retro hardware we've gathered over the years.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Like movies? You’ll love Netflix. Except for these few minor problems

Netflix is another one of those services that feels too good to be true. Hundreds-upon-hundreds of cinema and television shows, available instantly, for the cost of the coffee and a muffin per month? Madness. Other than this is the globe we’ve built intended for ourselves? Netflix offers more entertainment than you could ever work your way through in a lifetime, even stipulation you did not anything but take a seat and watch it. And it’s all cheap and legal and convenient — you can stream movies through your computer, games console or smartphone, whenever and wherever you want.
So what's the catch? There are a few annoying niggles that render Netflix not quite perfect...

Eeeek! Endless choice
The Netflix interface is, for the most part, pretty simple and intuitive. You can either search for a title, director, genre or keyword to find something to watch, or you can browse through Netflix’s extensive and ridiculously detailed categories to find something to suit your tastes. (Dark suspenseful gangster movies, anyone? Romantic sports movies?)
The problem is that means it perfectly possible to spend more time browsing Netflix than actually watching anything. And stipulation you do resolve on incredible and find after 20 minutes that you’re not into it, it’s very easy to just stop and find something else. Our attention spans must be getting shorter by the day.
Here another minor niggle related to the search system: to see more info about a title, you hover over it and wait for Netflix to pop up a window telling you more about it Click on it, and you’ll find the movie or TV show automatically starts playing. Oops.

Fix it: There's no fix for this, really. The massive amount of choice is a feature; it’s our brains and indecisive nature that are fault.

Oh No! Algorithms
Another feature that can start to seem like a bug is Netflix's clever recommendation algorithms. If you watch something, it’ll take note and recommend you more things like it. You can also give ratings to things you’ve watched to give Netflix more info on your preferences...

But what happens when you let your niece watch half a dozen
episodes of iCarly on your Netflix profile? Your recommendations will be wall-to-wall kids’ shows forever more. Nightmare.

Fix it: You can create different profiles for different users in the same Netflix account, which solves this problem. Each user gets his or her own history and watch list, so the recommendations are tailored to the person, not the household. Just remember to switch to the right person every time you watch something!

Argh! Disappearing titles
Not everything on Netflix is forever. Titles are constantly being added and removed, and that means if you’ve been meaning to watch something for ages, you probably ought to shift it in the direction of the top of your to-do list, or you might find it's gone before you get round to it.

Fix it: There’s no official warning system about when something’s about to be taken off Netflix, though several unofficial fan sites have popped up to either issue warnings or just let you know when you’ve missed the boat. If something you really wanted to watch is gone, though, at least there are hundreds of other options available...