Friday, 4 September 2015

Idiotic YouTube dares

Idiotic YouTube dares

Earlier, I expressed my fear that a steady stream of cute cat videos on YouTube was killing global productivity. Now, I’m beginning to wonder whether it might start killing off our kids. At the end of July Shah Faisal Shinwari, a popular YouTube vlogger (‘video blogger’), had to be fished out of the Thames having jumped off Tower Bridge. He hit the surface hard, gulped several mouthfuls of dirty water and was nearly swept downriver. He only survived because he dragged himself to the side where rescuers could pump the so-called water from his lungs and stomach. This ‘dare’ was uploaded to YouTube for the world to watch.

Remembering… Windows 95

Windows 95

Since it’s just turned 20, we thought we’d look back at a defining OS

DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.11 were a great combination. We could have the best of DOS gaming, while still being able to type ‘win’ into the command prompt and get a fully functional GUI to type out that college essay. It worked, and it was an easy setup to fix if anything ever went wrong, which it rarely did. Then Microsoft went and released Windows 95.

Everything you need to know before Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians

We answers 15 of your frequently asked questions about the Ha-lore surrounding Master Chief’s latest outing

Even though 2015 is leaving us spoilt for choice when it comes to great new games, Halo 5: Guardians is still our most anticipated Xbox One exclusive. But for a newcomer trying to get into the series, four games’ worth of backstory can be pretty intimidating. Especially if you then start including the spin-off games, tie-in novels, TV series,… So we’ve compiled this list, giving you everything you need to know to be prepared for Master Chief’s latest adventure.

Hell & Back


We dive into DOOM’s lightning-quick Team Deathmatch mode and discuss the game’s other fast-paced offerings with id Software’s Marty Stratton

Enter the phrase “Bruce Lee with a shotgun on a skateboard” into your search engine of choice and you’ll quickly discover it’s the favoured description id Software’s executive producer Marty Stratton likes to use to sum up DOOM’s aggressively paced gameplay. While the colourful catchphrase’s implications should please loyal but sceptical fans let down by Doom 3’s slower, survival horror-inspired style, we were determined to dig a bit deeper into the imaginative analogy.

Make a Raspberry Pi media centre

Make a Raspberry Pi media centre

Forget Windows Media Centre – you can enjoy your music and movies on a Raspberry Pi. Wayne Williams explains how to get started

Microsoft has killed off Windows Media Centre in Windows 10 due to a reported lack of interest, but there are some excellent alternatives available, including Kodi ( This free program, which used to be called XBMC, lets you access and play all your videos, music and photos – and, if you have a TV tuner installed, you can also use it to watch and record live television.

OSMC (Open Source Media Center) is a port of Kodi for Raspberry Pi. It’s very easy to set up and configure, and offers all the functionality you are likely to need. We explain how to make the most of OSMC.

Lock devices WITHOUT a password

Lock devices WITHOUT a password

Forget passwords – literally. Jonathan Parkyn explains the new tools that let you lock and unlock your PC, tablet and phone using your face, finger, voice and even your heartbeat

Your finger

How does it work?
Newer iPhones and iPads come with a built-in sensor that scans your fingerprint to verify your identity before unlocking your device using Touch ID. Apple’s not the only manufacturer to employ this technology – Samsung, HTC and Motorola are among some of the others that have added fingerprint recognition to their phones.

Best free voice assistants

Best free voice assistants

Personal voice assistants help you manage your day, perform searches and much more, without using your hands. Wayne Williams puts the top six tools to the test


What we liked:
Friendlier than Siri and Google Now, Cortana is arguably the best reason to upgrade to Windows 10. You can summon her instantly in Microsoft’s new operating system simply by clicking the search button on the taskbar, or by saying “Hey, Cortana”, and then interact with her like a real person by asking her something or typing your request. When summoned, she’ll provide a handy visual summary of the top news, the current weather and more.

Stop Using These Websites

Stop Using These Websites

What are the worst websites for dodgy privacy, hidden fees and unpleasant users? Robert Irvine names and shames 10 of the most notable offenders

The biggest names on the web are usually popular for good reason: they’re often cheaper than their rivals, offer the most interesting content, or they simply do what they do better than anyone else does. But even the most successful websites – and sometimes especially those that have made it to the top – have a dark side, where they submit to the temptation to abuse their power or cynically exploit their users.

Our guide to Alphabet

Our guide to Alphabet

Google recently surprised the world by announcing that it has become a company called Alphabet. David Crookes explains why this isn’t a late April Fool’s joke

What is Alphabet?

Alphabet is the new name adopted by Google as an overarching brand for its vast and ever-growing range of products and services. It was announced in a blog post by Google co-founder Larry Page ( and it will replace Google Inc as the publicly-traded entity. All shares in Google will automatically convert to the same number of shares in Alphabet but, as Page says, the name may take some getting used to.