Saturday, 27 December 2014

Are Online Communities Killing Tech Support?


Mark Oakley asks whether traditional technical support has been usurped by the online space

"iTunes is currently unavailable. Try again later."

So for the tenth time or so of trying, my Apple TV refused to load my latest iTunes movie purchase. I had intended to spend the evening watching a film that I'd missed when it was showing at my nearest multiplex. The kids were asleep, my wife was out for dinner with a friend and I had a good stash of chocolate by my side. I was all set, but the last piece of the puzzle refused to play ball. Apple had let me down.

Google Chrome Tweaks

Google Chrome Tweaks

There's usually more to your bog standard internet browser than it may first appear, and unless you spend some time looking through the preferences, you may miss out on some useful setting that can help you get more out of your online experience. This is especially true when it comes to security. Recently, we looked at Internet Explorer and found a whole heap of security features that many users may miss if they simply use the browser 'out of the box'. With Firefox, we uncovered a mass of hidden options, some of which we took a closer look at. These options can be used to tweak all aspects of the browser, freeing the software's shackles for those who want to really push its limits.

Lossless Data Compression

David Briddock examines the history of data compression algorithms

Any efficient communication system relies on some form of data compression. Even morse code, invented for telegraphy in 1838, used shorter codewords for common letters, such as 'e' and't' in English. Most communication relies on a lossless solution, where the compressed data can be restored to exactly the same state as before.

Escape Dead Island

Escape Dead Island

Now that's some solid advice...

Escape Dead Island is a terrible excuse for a videogame. Relying heavily on good will brought about by the first two titles in the series, this iteration arrives hoping to win over the same audience on name value alone. In short, don’t be fooled. Loosely fitting in to the plot set by the first Dead Island, you’re given the opportunity to take control of Cliff Calo. a genuine pillock of a human being whose personality and attitude grate from the offset - 'Let him die’ will be a constant thought process that infects your brain. It's not hard to understand why either: the man whines constantly from the off. ruining any chance there may be something appealing about him. Fatshark, it seems, is attempting to play off the long-running concept of a disenfranchised and obnoxious youth who finds himself through a traumatic experience, but the writing never reaches such lofty heights. Instead, he’s a nightmare of an individual tasked with slicing his way through a horde of zombies.