Saturday, 7 March 2015

Are your gadgets secretly spying on you?

gadgets secretly spying on you

Sarah Dobbs investigates the technology that's checking up on you

Anything you say in the safety of your own living room is private, right? Not so fast. Your sofa might not be as private as you thought; even once the kids are in bed, there could be someone listening in. Yup, your most prized possessions, your gadgets, might be spying on you.

Over the last week or so, you might have seen a worrying screencap retweeted into your Twitter timeline. Originally posted by Parker Higgins (@xor), the tweet juxtaposed part of Samsung's smart TV privacy policy with a passage from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. In case you missed it, here's what Samsung has to say about its tellies:

Repairing Your Screen

Repairing Your Screen

A broken screen doesn't necessarily mean a broken device...

A broken screen is no laughing matter, especially if that screen is embedded into several hundred pounds worth of electronic hardware that might otherwise be in full working order. It's enough to break your heart at the best of times, but If you can't see what's going on in your system then it can be hard to recover the contents stored therein, and that's potentially a more serious issue. If you think junking your iPad's bad, imagine that iPad containing an unfinished novel, a dissertation that's due imminently or a set of family photos that haven't been backed up yet.

Don't cut your losses and chuck that broken hardware in the bin just yet, though. A non-working screen doesn't have to mean the end of a system's lifespan. There are options available to you, and if you want to get a screen repaired or replaced - or indeed, do it yourself - then the right expertise, tools or parts are easy to obtain if you know where to look.

In fact, the hardest part is choosing how to proceed, and that's why we've put together this guide to help you diagnose, replace and repair a faulty screen, no matter what the problem might be.

Mad Max: Blood & Gasoline

Mad Max

Mad Max is a broken man. Over the course of George Miller’s film trilogy, tragedy forged Max into a hard, but hollow shell. In many ways, his detachment from the increasing chaos around him made him into the legendary survivor that audiences know. He’s an opportunistic user, and if his actions benefit anyone else it’s purely a collateral effect.

“The insides of Max are a wasteland, and he’s living in a wasteland,” says Odd Ahlgren, the game’s director of narrative design. “It’s like a mirror image of himself. It’s the complete demise of everything that he knew. And now it’s turned into this completely chaotic, super-violent, desperate world – and that’s what’s going on inside of him as well. It’s a constant struggle.”

Between Avalanche Studios’ open-world game and Miller’s upcoming film Mad Max: Fury Road, the franchise is undergoing a revival. As we learned during a two-day visit in Avalanche’s Stockholm, Sweden, office – which included hours of hands-on time – that doesn’t mean that he’s going soft. The game provides its own take on the character and the Wasteland. It’s respectful to the franchise that fans love, while leaving plenty of room for the Just Cause studio to do what it does best: create open-world mayhem.

Uncharted 4: The Adventure of a Lifetime

Uncharted 4

How the lessons Naughty Dog has learned, from Drake’s Fortune to the Last of Us, have given birth to the PS4’s biggest exclusive

It is somewhat fitting that Naughty Dog appears to be framing A Thief's End as the conclusion to the Uncharted series. We say that because, as well as representing the culmination of Drake's story, the game will also provide an opportunity for the studio to pour everything it has learned over its 26 year history into creating the definitive Uncharted. In that sense, Uncharted4 may just be the apex of everything the studio has been trying to achieve with the series since it debuted back in 2007.

Return of the Spectrum

Sinclair Spectrum Vega

The developer of the Spectrum Vega discusses its new system

The Sinclair Spectrum Vega is making a lot of gamers very excited. After all, who wouldn't want to own an official Spectrum device that includes 1,000 games pre-loaded? Created by Retro Computers Ltd, the Vega is an official Sinclair product, an impressive deal in its own right. Coupled with the machine's rich legacy in the UK, it's not a surprise that the project smashed its £100,000 funding price in a mere matter of days.