Google, Microsoft and others are muscling in on Apple’s iOS devices with keyboard apps that offer more tools than the standard one. Andy Shaw finds out whether they’re good enough to justify making the switch
Saturday, 18 June 2016
Torrents aren’t all dubious, dangerous downloads – they have many legal uses, too. Wayne Williams explains everything you need to know about downloading videos using BitTorrent
Today there are more ways than ever to stream and download videos from the internet, but BitTorrent is still one of the easiest no-cost options. The peer-topeer file-sharing protocol has been helping web users grab films, TV programmes and other large files since 2001. Despite court orders making torrent sites harder to access, ISPs throttling download speeds and some BitTorrent software bundling nasty extras (uTorrent once included a sneaky Bitcoin-mining tool), torrenting is still incredibly popular, with an estimated 250 million users worldwide.
Andy Shaw tests a USB dongle that lets you record Freeview TV programmes and watch them anywhere, on any device
There are all sorts of devices for recording TV programmes, from Sky Plus to Freeview boxes with hard drives. The problem is that you still need to sit in front of your TV when you want to watch what you’ve recorded. Wouldn’t it be far more convenient to be able to stream your recorded programmes, and even watch live TV, wherever you are and on whatever device you have to hand?
This is the promise of the DVBLink TVButler – a USB dongle that plugs into myriad devices, records Freeview TV programmes to them, then helps you stream the recordings to all sorts of other devices, so you can watch live and recorded TV even when you’re away from home.
This week we go back to basics
Despite having dreams of wanting to program my own games, with an aim to one day become a developer, I never really progressed much past BASIC.
While BASIC is fun, it’s not exactly something that many software houses look for when considering a CV. I eventually found tinkering with the hardware and playing around with batch files more fun, but there’s still a little part of me that wanted to reach the heady heights of z80 assembly or even C programming.
Parrot launches some of the most desirable wireless cans yet
At the very moment I unpacked Parrot’s Zik 3.0 wireless headphones, there came the realisation that these were something special, and that’s even before I discovered how much they cost!
Everything about them is lovely. From the bone-like elegance of the metal support arms, to the sculpted ear cushions finished in leather. The review models even had a new ‘croco’ effect leather, if they weren’t sumptuous enough already.
Buckle up, because Zotac just found the loud peddle for PC storage!
For a long, long time there was only one significant way to connect storage to a PC, and that was SATA. But these days we’ve got that option plus various M.2 choices, mSATA, SATA Express and PCIe.
I suspect that M.2 will win out ultimately, but in the meantime, if you’d like to have some of the fastest storage around, then Zotac has this Sonix PCIe solution.
Samsung consolidates their SATA SSD range with a new model
As a rule, the numbering of technology parts goes up, inferring better performance or a higher spec. When it goes down, as it has with the new Samsung 750 EVO, then usually a lowering of expectations is in order.
As I’ve referred to before, SATA SSDs have run into a cul-de-sac performance wise, as they’ve hit the ceiling of what bandwidth SATA-3 offers. That leaves price as one of the few differentiating factors that hardware makers can easily adjust.
Curvaceous and colourful – just how we like our monitors
We’ve had a number of great examples of curved monitors through our door in recent months. Both BenQ and Samsung have produced some excellent displays with curved panels, including an array of screen enhancing technologies.
Now it’s AOC’s turn with the C3583FQ. This is a 35" VA panel with a 160Hz refresh rate, contrast ratio of 2000:1, dynamic contrast ratio of 50,000,000:1, a response time of 4ms and, of course, the icing on the cake, a large screen curve of 2000R.