Death used to be the end, at least as far as socialising was concerned. Not any more. I recently came across Eter9 (www.eter9.com), a new social network that promises a form of internet immortality for its users. From what I understand, it works much like Facebook, at least while you’re alive, connecting you to friends, family and others who share your interests.
Wednesday, 30 September 2015
An affordable way to carry your files with you
Available in black, white, red, blue or ‘satin gold’, this shiny portable hard disk is designed to work equally well with Macs and Windows PCs. You’ll need a modern computer to get the best from it, since it uses a USB 3.0 connector (you can normally identify USB 3.0 ports by looking for a blue stripe inside the socket). Plug it into a USB 2.0 port and it will still work, but files will copy across more slowly. No mains power is required.
Fire? There’s an app for that
Nest, founded by the man who created the iPod at Apple but now owned by Google, is best known for its smart thermostat. That costs £249 and requires professional installation, but the Nest Protect, a smoke alarm that can similarly connects to your mobile devices, is much more straightforward. It costs £89 in battery or wired configurations (the latter to replace existing wired units), and you can install it yourself. The battery version uses no less than six AA cells, presumably because it draws power relatively fast.
Get new features before anyone else, recover deleted files and make your Dropbox super-secure
Drag and drop web addresses
Dropbox has a brand new feature for saving and sharing website addresses (or URLs) with a simple drag and drop. Double-click your web browser’s address bar to highlight the URL you want to save and then drag and drop it into your Dropbox. You can even drop links via the Dropbox web interface at www.dropbox.com, as long as you open it in a separate browser window.
Speed up your Wi-Fi router
802.11ac is the latest Wi-Fi standard, and potentially offers both higher speeds and better reception than its predecessor, 802.11n. If you have an 802.11ac router connected to your broadband, new devices with 802.11ac built in can take full advantage, while older 802.11n devices can still connect too. But what if you have an 802.11n router – whether one that you bought yourself or was supplied by your broadband provider – and no particular inclination to spend around £100 replacing it?
A smartwatch – in one sense, at least
Smartwatches still feel like a bit of a white elephant, but they’re not going away. Apple has updated the software for its Watch, and more devices are coming from tech giants such as Motorola, Samsung and Huawei. This one is rather different: it’s from an independent British company, looks like a real watch, and offers a stripped-down approach reminiscent of the popular Pebble.
We’ve given Stuart Andrews day release from The Final Straw so he can give his verdict on the new OS
What do I think of Windows 10? Predictably, it’s a love/hate relationship. On the love side, I think it has the potential to become not just the final Windows version, but the best. I’m not sure whether it’s a brilliant strategy or lucky coincidence, but just as people are falling out of love with tablets, Windows reincarnates with the Desktop interface centre stage. From the reappearance of the Start button to a more usable Start menu and the ability to put Windows Store apps in the traditional floating windows, it’s an operating system (OS) that combines the best of Windows 7 and Windows 8.
A complete desktop system at an attractive price
If you like your PCs solid and simple, you’ll like the look of this one. The robust case (made by Cougar) is as plain as it’s compact, but the bold, chiselled front panel stops it being boring. Thanks to a Mini-ITX motherboard, it’s small enough to fit on a cluttered desk or hide away in a quiet corner.