Sunday, 31 May 2015

Online Region Hopping Is It Illegal?

Online Region Hopping

Pretending they're in America so they can stream certain content has become the modus operandi for computer users around the globe. Rob investigates the legal issues of region hopping

Anyone who regularly watches TV shows, films or other videos online will have come across the words 'We're sorry, but this video has not been made available in your region' before. It can be infuriating to be denied access to content, especially in a world where many of us have access to hundreds of TV channels via Freeview, can access most pop music free-of-charge through Spotify, and/or use services like iPlayer to access a library of free film and television content at the click of a button.

Wear It Out

LG G Watch R

Ian McGurren spends a week with Android Wear strapped to his arm

Watches eh? They're rubbish! Just telling the time and the date, maybe an alarm if you're lucky, but do they have any apps? Or a high-resolution screen? No, so by that extension they deserve to be cast from the hi-tech futureworld of 2015 like vinyl records, newspapers and the Teasmade. Thankfully, though, both Google and Apple have seen fit to bring this relic of technology into the 21st century, so what happens when the crusty old, precision-engineered wristwatch of the past meets bang-up-to-date, bleeding-edge technology?

Apple's Force Touch And Taptic Engine

Apple Force Touch

David Briddock investigates the touchy-feely experience on Apple's latest MacBooks

On 9th March, at one of Apple's Special Events, CEO Tim Cook announced changes to its MacBook product line-up. Included in this was a brand-new, ultra-thin and light 12" MacBook plus an enhanced 13" MacBook Pro. Both models had Retina displays, a better keyboard, USB-C and other welcome updates.

Confusingly, the 12" MacBook is lighter than both the 11" and 13" MacBook Air products, which may well disappear altogether at some point. However, what caught many people's attention was a completely re-engineered touchpad. It's a design that embodies both Force Touch, first mentioned for the Apple Watch, and the all new Taptic Engine technology.

Remembering... Commodore 64

Commodore 64

A monumental 8-bit computer this week

The school yards of the early 80s were home to such gaming wonders as British Bulldog, Manhunt and Conkers, but above all else, they were the battleground for who preferred the Spectrum over the Commodore.

To the Spectrum owners, the C64 was a toilet-coloured, uninspiring box that produced blocky graphics and was purchased by parents who had more money than sense. The truth, though, was something else. In fact, the C64 (however much I hate to admit it) was a far more competent and technologically advanced machine than its 80s 8-bit rival.

Fixing Files

recover files

Not all that is corrupt is lost...

As technology marches onwards, we become more and more reliant on hope that data we store long-term will remain in pristine condition. These days, it's entirely possible that everything from your music collection to your holiday snaps to your complete archive of personal correspondence could exist only digitally, with no hard copies available anywhere.

While having data on a computer makes it easy to search, archive and reproduce, it also makes it easy to destroy. Data in digital form is vulnerable, in some ways more vulnerable than when it's stored on paper and other 'analogue' mediums. After all, in what other manner could a single particle of smoke leave your half-finished novel wiped out or inaccessible? Where else can a single scratch mean that all your schoolwork or research material becomes instantly lost to you?