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7 ways to keep your data backed up

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With so much of our lives lived on computers, we really should be more worried about backing things up. Imagine if you lost your computer or phone in a fire - if you're anything like me it'd be like losing a limb. So think ahead! Here are some top tips for keeping your data all backed up.

PS4_10.jpgThere was a time when Sony was the ultimate name in consumer electronics. It had a superb range of high-end products in a number of sectors that were just better designed, better built and crammed with more useful and innovative features than its rivals.

Then about a decade or so ago things started to go a little awry. Hamstrung by its ties to content companies it let some of its leading brands ie the Walkman slide to be superseded by the brilliant products coming out of Cupertino.

The level of innovation declined and even in gaming it found itself running a poor third behind Microsoft and Nintendo.

More recently there has been a subtle change at the company. Maybe it has just focused more on product design (maybe taking a cue or two from Apple) or maybe it has decided to really give consumers what they want (and not agonise about the impact on its music, games and video sles) but its products have once again become, whisper it, rather cool.

The ditching of the unwieldy Sony Ericsson combination has certainly helped and the arrival of 4K TVs and tablets has opened up new opportunities for the company, but it just feels like Sony has rediscovered its mojo.

Here then are five examples of how Sony has returned to form.

1 The new PS4 trumps the X Box One

The two new games consoles are fairly similar in terms of looks, hardware and range of games. But the Sony has a few trump cards. Firstly it has removed the restrictions regarding the playing of used games - which has been massively well received by gamers. Also you don't need an online connection to play games and the console is region-free. The clincher though might just be the price, with the PS4 coming in at £349, which could be as much as £80 cheaper than its Microsoft rival.

2 Sony has the only Android tablet to seriously rival the iPad

In fact a few writers have even suggested that the Sony Xperia Z tablet has the edge over its 10inch Apple competitor. It is an absolute stunner. Incredibly thin and light, yet a breeze to use and has a superb screen and excellent sound quality. It is waterproof so you can watch movies in the bath too. If you have £400 to spend on 10inch tablet you need to look at this beauty first.

3 Sony is leading the way in 4K TVs

Super high resolution 4K TVs are set to become big news later in 2013 and Sony is already setting the standard. On its books it has the flagship monster screen 84-inch 84X9005 and coming soon are the Sony KD-55X9000A and the Sony KD-65X9000A.55 and 65inch screen sets respectively which have prices tags starting at £4,000. This will start to begin the coast of 4K Tvs down and Sony is very well placed to dominate the 4k market.

4 It is rumoured to have an amazing smartphone on its way

As if the excellent Xperia Z with its groundbreaking waterproof screen wasn't enough, there's already quite a buzz about the next big smartphone from the company. The rumours are that the Honami will pack Qualcomm's Snapdragon 800 quad-core chip clocked at a staggering 2.3GHz - way faster that any of its rivals. It will also be powered by a huge 3,000mAh battery pack that will deliver running times that are well clear of rival smartphones. The screen is rumoured to be stunning too in that it is a 5-inch Full HD 1080p display running 'Triluminos' technology. The phone will be made from glass, metal and carbon fibre, and be absolutely stunning to look at. And to top it all it will sport a 20-megapixel camera accompanied by a huge 1/1.6-inch Exmor RS sensor.

5 It is making great laptops again

For while now Sony laptops have been also rans. Which a shame because there was a time when if you wanted a Windows laptop the extra you paid for design and build quality for a Sony was a very sensible investment. The new Vaio Pro is definitely a return to form. It is light, made from carbon fibre and has an Intel Haswell heart. There's a lovely screen, very good quality battery life and a decent keyboard - which not all Sony laptops have featured recently. It might be pricey at around £1000 but this might just be the best Windows 8 laptop on sale.

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Next week Apple diehards and fan people gather together for its annual WWDC bash. It comes at a very interesting time for Apple with its iPhone range in dire need of a refresh and its tablets under attack from all sides.

However, unless there is a massive surprise, don't expect new iPhones and iPads next week. There are ongoing rumours that the company has had some production problems with several elements of its 2013 range and that we won't hear product announcements until later in the Summer, or maybe even the Autumn.

So what can we expect?

TalkTalkBusiness.pngSponsored post

Many small and medium sized businesses find themselves in a tricky situation today. They need to expand their IT and communications offerings, but don't have the technical staff or the expertise to achieve this.

It can also be very expensive acquiring IT and communications solutions, which is not good news especially at times when budgets are tight.

One company that is offering an innovative new solution is UK communications provider Talk Talk Business. It is working with businesses by offering them a suite of Business Grade Hosted Solutions (sometimes known as cloud computing) that gives them the features and functionality their business needs, without them having to purchase equipment and technology. The offerings are scaleable too, so as a business grows, or even contracts, so can the depth of the solutions.

Among the offerings are a Hosted Data Centre, Call Centre and Call Recording - all designed to make life for SME business owners significantly easier while enabling them to keep better control over IT and comms costs.

Take the Data Centre - it is a scalable solution that can easily expand in-line with a business' hosting needs. Talk Talk Business believes that it dramatically reduce connectivity expenses while at the same time ensure that the business owner is secure in the knowledge that they are using an innovative data centre infrastructure that uses the latest technology and is protected by the highest security standards.

Talk Talk Business is also offering a Hosted Contact Centre which is controlled by Talk Talk. So there's no additional equipment that the business has to invest in. It is a solution that enables business owners to make informed decisions, route calls efficiently and manage different sites and remote workers - wherever they are.

As part of its Business Grade Hosted Solutions Talk Talk also offers Hosted Call Recording, and Hosted Unified Communications too.

So if you are looking for an innovative, inexpensive and highly effective comms and IT offering then contact Talk Talk.

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I'd always thought that one day soon hardware manufacturers would be giving their gadgets away with deals for broadband or subscriptions to services. Now it appears that I have got it wrong and the deals are the other way round.

Retailer John Lewis has announced that if you buy an internet enabled product from the store - they will give you six months free broadband courtesy of its deal with Plusnet.

You don't have to spend a great deal either with the cheapest device included in the package a £69 Amazon Kindle ereader, but it also includes pricier items like TVs, laptops and tablets.

The offer is open for a year and to redeem it all you need do is hand over the receipt for the relevant item.

The catch is that you have to sign up for a year with John Lewis' broadband service and you then get the first six months free. After that - well for the next six months anyhow - prices start at £24.50for a 16Mbps connection and a 20GB monthly usage limit.

There are some high-end packages too included a 38Mbps fibre option which costs £38.50 per month and has a 100GB monthly limit. Needless to say that you'll need a BT line to get access to the deal too.

The details are here and there's more info here too.

Virgin-Media-logo.jpgSponsored post

According to Ofcom's 2012 report, Virgin Media has the fastest average broadband download speeds widely available to customers. This is due to the extensive network of fibre optic cables which is the fastest and most reliable way to get a broadband connection into your home.

Making sure you choose the right broadband for your own needs can be complicated, as some advertising makes services deliberately confusing and hard to compare with other services.

At Virgin Media the choice of services is laid out in a simple manner that is easy to understand, with flexible packages that let you pick and choose the different things you need, so you only pay for what you want. For full details visit their website.

Bandwidth speed

The faster your broadband speed the more you'll be able to do online, whether that means making the most of streaming media or connecting to as many people as you like at the same time.

30Mb broadband comes as standard, but if you work from home or like to take part in online gaming, stream movies or go shopping, then speeds of up to 100Mb will make sure you have all the capacity you need.

A higher connection speed can obviously send more data back and forth at the same time - it's a bit like the way more water can flow down a larger pipe than a thinner one. By understanding the right speeds for your personal set-up you can make the best choice and ensure you only pay for what you need.

Award Winning

At the 2013 uSwitch Broadband Awards, Virgin Media won four awards, including Best Broadband Provider, Fastest Home Broadband, Best WiFi Service and Best Broadband Innovation, which means Virgin Broadband is rated the UK's No 1 service provider.

Extras

In any of the packages you choose there are plenty of added extras to make sure that everything goes smoothly. As a Virgin Broadband customer you get free servicing and repairs on everything to do with your broadband and the exclusive Super Hub that is provided to run your home network

There's also the comfort of knowing there is 24 hour expert IT support only a phone call away.

Fastest wireless set-up

The Virgin Media Super Hub is provided in all packages and is designed to be the centre of your secure superfast wireless home network. It is easy to set up and maintain and seamlessly and securely connects all your devices to your wifi network and to the internet beyond.

Unlimited downloads

Virgin Media offers unlimited downloads which means that you can download and browse as much as you like in the knowledge that you won't incur hidden fees and charges.

Fibre Optic

Although Virgin Media's reputation has been built on their innovative use of fibre optic cabling to enable the very fastest broadband speeds, if your area isn't yet cabled this is not a problem as you can access fast broadband via your phone line instead. You don't need a BT line and you can choose from an extensive range of packages.

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Trend alert. Desktop PCs that can moonlight as tablets. Well it had to happen and ASUS claim to have got there first.

They have just released the Transformer AiO, which it is billing as the world's first All-in-One PC with a detachable display that can also be used as a standalone tablet.

So for money your get a desktop PC Station with a 3rd generation Intel® Core™ desktop processor and a detachable 18.4-inch display with its own NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core processor that can be used as a self-contained tablet that runs both Android 4.1 and Windows.

When the user takes the display out of the PC it morphs into a tablet that can be used in two different ways.

Firstly as a wireless Remote Desktop mode for Windows 8. But also as a standalone tablet with Android 4.1.

The tablet has a batter life of five hours and comes with a stand and carrying handle.

It goes on sale soon though there is no news on price yet.

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Tech giant Lenovo has made its first big announcement at CES 2013 by revealing the Horizon, a 27-inch touchscreen PC/tablet hybrid that's as much a coffee table surface as it is a computer.

The huge Windows 8 slate has a built-in stand, which you can fold away to lay the device flat, acting like a giant tabletop tablet. This also allows the Horizon to be a bit more portable, though at 7.7kg in weight we don't recommend throwing it in your handbag - not that you could squeeze it in.

Inside the Horizon you'll find an Intel Core i7 processor, a dedicated Nvidia graphics chip in the shape of a 620M and 1TB of storage.

As well as the now-standard Windows touch tile interface, Lenovo has also popped its own Aura Dual Moon UI onto the Horizon. It'll be a hub for media and games, with EA's desktop boardgame titles, like Monopoly pre-installed, as well as shipping with joysticks and "e-dice".

According to reports today it'll be launching in early summer and cost $1,699.

[Via Tech Digest]

magnifying-glass.jpgWe always come across really worrying software and apps designed to help suspicious - and sometimes just actually mental - people stalk their boyfriends and girlfriends and wives and husbands. However, a case over in the US has got people talking because a college student has been granted a civil stalking order against her parents for installing software on her phone and computer so they can keep a close eye on her while she's away from home.

Aubrey Ireland's over-protective parents were worried about her behaviour at college so decided to install software on her mobile phone that would provide them with details about incoming calls and on her laptop that would save Facebook messages and browsing history. Everything then got even weirder when her parents insisted she leave Skype on all night so they could watch her sleep and Aubrey decided to take legal action, which means her parents can't see her until she's back from college and if they attempt to turn up or do anything else with her gadgets they could face criminal charges.

Although it certainly seems like there are a few other more complicated factors at play here - Digital Trends hints at her parents having some serious issues - it's still an interesting case, which could certainly set a precedent for future invasions of privacy, regardless of who you are, who you've been stalking and whether you gave birth to them or not.

[Via Digital Trends Image via Okko PyykA's Flickr]

tobii-windows-8.jpgBack in December 2011 the Shiny Shiny and Tech Digest teams went along to a special preview of the world's first eye-controlled arcade game, called Eye Asteroids developed by Tobii.

Over the past few years the specialists at Tobii have been developing all kinds of new ways to integrate their eye tracking technology into our everyday lives and according to news this week it's set to be taken from arcade game concepts to our own computers at CES 2013 next week.

Mashable reports that Tobii is set to show off its latest eye tracking product called REX, which is simply a device that attaches to a monitor, plugs into your computer or laptop via USB and then works alongside software called Tobii Gaze to track your eyes and allow you to drag things around the screen or play games with only your eyes.

It seems that only a select number of Tobii Rex devices will be made and there's no official word about how much the whole package will cost. However, you can sign up via Tobii's website now to receive a special VIP invite 48 hours before its official release later in the year.

Related: VIDEO: Tobii creates first eye controlled arcade game Eye Asteroids

[Via Mashable]

christmas-tree-presents.jpgIt seems we've become a nation of gadget geeks this year as a study into what we're all wishing for this Christmas has found most of us have our fingers crossed for a shiny new piece of tech.

The research, commissioned by www.MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, polled a total of 2,108 adults from around the UK and found that shiny gadgets account for eight of the top ten most desirable things this year.

In at the top spot is the tablet computer (18%) followed by a laptop (15%) and an eReader (12%). When asked why they were so tech-obsessed this year most responded by saying everything's just too pricey to afford by themselves, so they expect other people to fork out for them to stay ahead of the trend. AWH. However, 31% did admit they were spending a lot on loved ones this year and would splurge on something big too.

It's hardly a surprise that the tablet computer tops the list, but if there was ever any doubt that Apple is still as popular as ever, well over half waiting for a tablet said they were specifically expecting an iPad or iPad Mini underneath the tree.

[Image via Alan Cleaver's Flickr]

We've come a long way since the days of the regular old laptop, now there are ultrabooks, tablets and laptops to contend with, as well as a bunch of other devices that straddle those categories, which are often referred to as laptop/tablet hybrids or convertibles.

Some allow you to rip them in two and ditch your keyboard if you'd rather have a tablet for a day and others are flexible, allowing you to bend and twist them into whatever you please (within reason, you can't create a balloon-like sausage dog).

If you're looking to really splash the cash on someone this Christmas and they're after a small laptop or tablet, then take a look at our top pick of bang up-to-date convertible devices running Windows 8 for the style conscious.

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On the whole we're actually not THAT offended by female-friendly tech. Sure it's a bit condescending, insulting and nauseating at times, but at the end of the day some people like their sparkly pink bags and belts and stuff, so why deny them a laptop to match?

However, Fujitsu's latest offering just takes the "girly tech" concept far, far away into a place that, if we could walk through it, would look like a My Little Pony had thrown up all over a Barbie palace and stuck little marshmallows to it with a fairy's pink, sparkling tears.

The new line of laptops by the Japanese brand is called Floral Kiss (of course it is) and the products are all unashamedly aimed at female users. But don't be offended you easily offended womans you, fellow females took part in the design process, so the results are totally your own doing, OK?

The press release unveiling Floral Kiss focuses on some really confusing things like processors and operating systems, but don't worry your little head with that! Instead you'll be happy to know there's gold trim, a fingernail-friendly clasp (NO ACTUALLY) and zirconia adornments - if there's one thing that'll finally push me over the edge and make me jump straight off planet Earth it's zirconia adornments.

But that's just the hardware (the outside bits), inside you'll find a whole range of super useful stuff, like a diary and daily horoscopes to tell you how to get through the day! Awesomez!

Our all time totally favourite part has to be that there are three different kinds of laptops to choose from, Elegant White, Feminine Pink and Luxury Brown. Yeah it's nothing about what's inside, it's all about the colour and nothing says luxury like a really good BROWN, right?

Well thank goodness this laptop exists and we no longer have to sit in a stupid little corner on our own, unable to even handle tech because our slender fingers and long nails get in the way. But we get it. Yes there might be a demand for pink sparkly stuff and yes it's maybe aimed at different markets, but it's still totally going to make us throw up all over our gold-trimmed, zirconia-covered bedrooms. Now hand us our horoscopes, put on The Notebook and let us cry about our periods in peace please.

[Via Jezebel]

Shiny Shiny's sister site Tech Digest has headed over to IFA 2012 in Berlin this week to find out the latest from the biggest names in tech...

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With the launch of Windows 8 looming large over much of what we've seen so far at IFA 2012, Lenovo are looking to get a head start with three new additions to their S Series laptop range.

While the the Lenovo S300, S400 and S405 laptops will arrive in the coming weeks with Windows 7 pre-loaded, owners of each will be given the option to make a free jump to Windows 8 when it lands on October 26th. Each of the S Series laptops have had close attention paid to their touchpads as a result, making them better prepared for the bevy of gesture controls set to land with Windows 8.

With all three models measuring 21.9mm thick and weighing 1.8kg with a 14-inch display, the differences lie with each laptop's internal configuration.

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The Lenovo S300 and S400 pack in either a 3rd generation i3 or i5 Intel core, leaving the S405 with AMD A8 quad-core APUs. The S405 also has the larger storage capacity at 1TB, while the S300 and S400 manage just 500GB.

Landing in red, pink and silver shades, prices start at £349 for the entry-level models.

Click here for more news straight from our sister site Tech Digest from the IFA 2012 technology show.

acer-olympic-tablet-image.jpgToday Acer has launched its new special-edition Olympic tablet, the Iconia A510, which comes with a pre-loaded Eurosport Player for sports fans to enjoy watching the action from the games in full HD.

The device is running Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS, has 15 hours of battery life, powerful quad-core performance and can handle HD videos, gaming and fast web browsing, so it's pretty capable to say it's being marketed purely as an Olympic tablet. When it comes to storage the tablet has 32G, which can be expanded by an extra 32G (to 64G) by SD card too.

Eurosport Player is embedded into the device, so you can have instant access to Olympics-based content on-the-go. But, it's worth noting that it's only for a trial period until the 13th of August, after then you'll have to part with your pennies if you still want to access the latest sports content.

We're not sure how successful the new device will really be in the wild, especially with the arrival of the Microsoft Surface tablet and a range of other tablet PCs that are set to shake up the market. However, the decent price tag and Eurosport Player integration is bound to entice some sports fans who have been looking for the right moment to purchase a tablet.

The Acer Iconia A510 is available from Carphone Warehouse now for £349.


macbook-air-2012.jpgThe next-generation MacBook Pro may be as good-looking as it is powerful, but it still isn't as slim as the MacBook Air. Also getting a 2012 makeover at WWDC, Gerald from Tech Digest runs us through the key new specs of Apple's catwalk-friendly notebooks.

While all eyes will undoubtedly be on Apple's next-generation MacBook Pro as the computing weapon of choice for Apple fanboys for at least the next couple of months, there were also updates to the MacBook Air line too.

Both 11 and 13-inch models get a makeover. Up to 8GB of RAM can be squeezed alongside a 512GB SSD in the latest models, kept ticking speedily along with Intel Ivy Bridge processors, clocked at up to 2.0GHz dual-core i7 and higher speeds with Turbo Boost.

Integrated graphics give a 60% improvement over previous models with Intel's HD 4000 graphics, while there's also now a 720p FaceTime HD camera on the front too, as well as USB 3.0 connectivity.

OS X Lion comes pre-installed, with Mountain Lion coming as a free upgrade when it launches in July.

Prices start at £849 for the 11-incher and £999 for the 13-incher.

Full press release below:

SAN FRANCISCO--June 11, 2012--Apple today updated MacBook Air with the latest Intel Core processors, faster graphics and flash storage that is up to twice as fast as the previous generation.* The current generation 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro have also been updated with the latest Intel Core processors and powerful discrete graphics from NVIDIA. Apple's popular AirPort Express has been redesigned to include features previously available only in AirPort Extreme.

"Today we've updated the entire MacBook line with faster processors, graphics, memory, flash storage and USB 3 connectivity," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "We've made the world's best portable family even better and we think users are going to love the performance advances in both the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro."

Available in 11-inch and 13-inch designs, the new MacBook Air features the latest Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors and is perfect for browsing the web, making movies and managing photos. The new integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 is up to 60 percent faster and gives the MacBook Air plenty of power to tackle games and videos.** MacBook Air features flash storage up to four times faster than traditional hard drives for instant-on performance and fast access to your apps and data. Now with 4GB of faster memory, configurable up to 8GB, you can run memory-intensive apps with ease. MacBook Air also features a new FaceTime HD camera that delivers high-definition 720p.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro features the latest Intel Core i5 or Core i7 dual-core processors up to 2.9 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz. The 15-inch MacBook Pro features the latest Intel Core i7 quad-core processors up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.7 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M discrete graphics. Both the 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro can be configured with a 1TB hard drive or SSDs up to 512GB that are up to twice as fast as the previous generation.

MacBook Air and MacBook Pro both feature a high-speed Thunderbolt port and two USB 3.0 ports to easily connect to external displays and a wide variety of high performance peripherals. The 13-inch MacBook Air, and 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro deliver up to 7 hours of wireless battery life, and the 11-inch MacBook Air delivers up to 5 hours. Mac notebook batteries use advanced chemistry and Adaptive Charging technology to provide up to 1,000 recharges.***

The MacBook Air and MacBook Pro ship with OS X Lion. Starting today, customers who purchase a Mac are eligible for a free copy of OS X Mountain Lion when it becomes available. Mountain Lion introduces innovative features including the all new Messages app, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, AirPlay Mirroring, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper. With iCloud built into the foundation of OS X, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to keep your content up to date across all your devices.

Priced at just £79, the new AirPort Express features a completely redesigned compact enclosure and new wireless and connectivity capabilities. Simultaneous dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi allows users to easily create a network that delivers optimal performance and range. The AirPort Express also features an audio-out port to connect external powered speakers or an A/V receiver and use AirPlay to wirelessly stream from iTunes on your Mac or iOS device. A USB 2.0 port allows you to share a printer wirelessly over your network, and an additional ethernet port lets you connect to other computers and network devices. Setup is built right into OS X and iOS and can be done in just a few simple steps, and with AirPort Utility 6.0 for OS X Lion and iOS you can access a visual map of your network for viewing and reconfiguring devices.

Pricing & Availability
The 11-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1.7 GHz processor, 4GB of memory and is available with 64GB of flash storage starting at £849 inc VAT (£707.50 ex VAT), and 128GB of flash storage starting at £929 inc VAT (£774.17 ex VAT). The 13-inch MacBook Air comes with a 1.8 GHz processor, 4GB of memory and is available with 128GB of flash storage starting at £999 inc VAT (£832.50 ex VAT), and 256GB of flash storage starting at £1,249 inc VAT (£1,040.83 ex VAT). Configure-to-order options include a 2.0 GHz Intel Core i7 processor, up to 8GB of 1600 MHz DDR3 onboard memory and up to 512GB flash storage.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available with a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB of memory and 500GB hard drive starting at £999 inc VAT (£832.50 ex VAT), and with a 2.9 GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory and 750GB hard drive starting at £1,249 inc VAT (£1,040.83 ex VAT). The 15-inch MacBook Pro is available with a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 4GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, and 500GB hard drive starting at £1,499 inc VAT (£1,249.17 ex VAT); and with a 2.6 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB of memory, Intel HD Graphics 4000 and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, and 750GB hard drive starting at £1,799 inc VAT (£1,499.17 ex VAT). Configure-to-order options include faster quad-core processors up to 2.7 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 1TB, up to 8GB of memory and solid state storage up to 512GB.

Via: Tech Digest

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After a long old wait, Apple have finally revealed the next-generation of their MacBook Pro line. And for once, the Cupertino company seem to have made good on every rumour that's made the rounds on the web these past few months. Gerald over at our chums Tech Digest gives you the low-down on everything that may well make these Apple's best laptops ever.

"The very best computer for today, and for the future", according to Apple, the next generation MacBook Pro packs a Retina Display into a thinner chassis, along with SSD storage, Intel Ivy Bridge processors and NVIDIA Keplar-series graphics.

A 15.4 inch model, the next gen MacBook Pro introduces the Retina Display to the laptop line. Running at a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1800, it's hitting 220 ppi, or 5,184,000 pixels, or four times the pixels of the last generation, which Apple claim will be a real boon to photo editors. Mac Apps will need to be updated to take full advantage of the higher resolution however. Better viewing angles with reduced glare and higher contrast ratios were also touted.

The chassis gets a fair bit slimmer too, at just 0.71-inches thick, making it 1/4 thinner than the current Pro. At 4.46 pounds, it's the lightest Pro ever too. Again, a large glass trackpad features, alongside a backlit keyboard.

Ivy Bridge Intel processors power the machine, with configurations starting at 2.3GHz quad-core i7s and going up to 2.7GHz quad-core i7s, and as much as 16GB of 1600Mhz RAM available for those looking to splash out. Ivy Bridge leads to a 60% integrated graphics performance boost, though that's not all that important, thanks to the the discrete NVIDIA chips onboard. Their latest Kepler series GT 650M graphics is inside, showed blasting through a Retina-display updated version of Diablo III.

Flash storage is now also in the MacBook Pro. You can configure up to a 768GB SSD, allowing for super-fast boot speeds and fast application loading.

Connectivity options on the next generation MacBook include an SD slot, HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as the thinner new MagSafe 2 connection, two Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack. There are also stereo speakers, as well as dual-mics, useful for clear audio when Facetime HD video calling with the built-in webcam and OS X Mountain Lion's new dictation feature. FireWire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt adapters will also ship soon, with 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 handling wireless connectivity.
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Something had to give however, and as expected, it's the optical drive. You'll need an external drive to watch DVDs or Blu-ray's, which is a shame considering the insane display on show. Same goes for disc-based software. Still, that won't hurt Apple's HD iTunes movie downloads or Mac App Store sales we guess.

Even with all this going on, battery life matches previous models. 30 days of standby time and seven hours of typical usage per charge are on offer, with a video showing the new MacBook Pro's internals dominated by battery packs.

As expected, OS X Mountain Lion will be a free upgrade when it launches in July. OS X Lion comes pre-installed.

"The new, next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display. It is the future and, best of all, it is going to start shipping today," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple.

And start shipping it will, so long as you've got the pennies. As ever, Apple products command a premium, and this being their new computing flagship, it's going to get pricey. You're looking at $2199 for the entry level model with a 2.3GHz quad-core chip, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. Expect it to easily push $3,000 once you've maxed out the build-to-order specs.

Still, even the most cynical Apple haters can't complain about this one. Ticking pretty much every rumoured spec on our wish-list, our bank account just shed a single, emptying tear.

macbook-pro-retina-top.jpg
After a long old wait, Apple have finally revealed the next-generation of their MacBook Pro line. And for once, the Cupertino company seem to have made good on every rumour that's made the rounds on the web these past few months. "The very best computer for today, and for the future", according to Apple, it packs a Retina Display into a thinner chassis, along with SSD storage, Intel Ivy Bridge processors and NVIDIA Keplar-series graphics.

A 15.4 inch model, the next gen MacBook Pro introduces the Retina Display to the laptop line. Running at a maximum resolution of 2880 x 1800, it's hitting 220 ppi, or 5,184,000 pixels, or four times the pixels of the last generation, which Apple claim will be a real boon to photo editors. Mac Apps will need to be updated to take full advantage of the higher resolution however. Better viewing angles with reduced glare and higher contrast ratios were also touted.

The chassis gets a fair bit slimmer too, at just 0.71-inches thick, making it 1/4 thinner than the current Pro. At 4.46 pounds, it's the lightest Pro ever too. Again, a large glass trackpad features, alongside a backlit keyboard.

Ivy Bridge Intel processors power the machine, with configurations starting at 2.3GHz quad-core i7s and going up to 2.7GHz quad-core i7s, and as much as 16GB of 1600Mhz RAM available for those looking to splash out. Ivy Bridge leads to a 60% integrated graphics performance boost, though that's not all that important, thanks to the the discrete NVIDIA chips onboard. Their latest Kepler series GT 650M graphics is inside, showed blasting through a Retina-display updated version of Diablo III.

Flash storage is now also in the MacBook Pro. You can configure up to a 768GB SSD, allowing for super-fast boot speeds and fast application loading.

Connectivity options on the next generation MacBook include an SD slot, HDMI and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as the thinner new MagSafe 2 connection, two Thunderbolt ports and a headphone jack. There are also stereo speakers, as well as dual-mics, useful for clear audio when Facetime HD video calling with the built-in webcam and OS X Mountain Lion's new dictation feature. FireWire 800 and Gigabit Ethernet Thunderbolt adapters will also ship soon, with 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0 handling wireless connectivity.
macbook-pro-retina-2.jpg
Something had to give however, and as expected, it's the optical drive. You'll need an external drive to watch DVDs or Blu-ray's, which is a shame considering the insane display on show. Same goes for disc-based software. Still, that won't hurt Apple's HD iTunes movie downloads or Mac App Store sales we guess.

Even with all this going on, battery life matches previous models. 30 days of standby time and seven hours of typical usage per charge are on offer, with a video showing the new MacBook Pro's internals dominated by battery packs.

As expected, OS X Mountain Lion will be a free upgrade when it launches in July. OS X Lion comes pre-installed.

"The new, next-generation MacBook Pro with Retina display. It is the future and, best of all, it is going to start shipping today," said Phil Schiller, senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple.

And start shipping it will, so long as you've got the pennies. As ever, Apple products command a premium, and this being their new computing flagship, it's going to get pricey. You're looking at $2199 for the entry level model with a 2.3GHz quad-core chip, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of flash storage. Expect it to easily push $3,000 once you've maxed out the build-to-order specs.

Still, even the most cynical Apple haters can't complain about this one. Ticking pretty much every rumoured spec on our wish-list, our bank account just shed a single, emptying tear.

Via: Tech Digest

Do you feel like just because you know a bit about tech your family and friends are constantly asking how to do the most BASIC things? Or maybe you wish you could help that friend on the other side of the world download Skype so you can dance around in front of each other? Well then you should give an app called Soluto a try, which aims to revolutionise the way we handle our PC trouble-shooting problems.

Soluto is a slick and easy-to-use program that allows users to help one another solve computer-based problems, from downloading a simple application to addressing more complicated hardware repair issues.

You begin by adding a group of people and one is elected as the tech whizz kid, becoming the main source of help for other users, but that doesn't mean to say everyone can't use their skills to aid each other.

Everyone that's part of your group logs into the Soluto interface and users can then view problems that others are having and use the Soluto tools to remotely fix things, they can amend start-up programmes, install apps, spot when hardware needs repairing and upgrade things too. It's particularly useful for those who live far away and need some basic assistance, but not enough to call up a helpline or take their gadgets back to where they bought them and complain!

Soluto has a super slick user-interface and you can easily sort out tasks that your elderly relatives may find daunting to be completed at certain times or just help your brother install the right anti-virus software as a one-off.

Despite having access to different computers, it's important to note that you can't access another users' documents, photos or emails, so there aren't any privacy concerns with Soluto. Not that you'd want to hack into your dad's golf trip photo album anyway.

Soluto isn't just about updating apps for your pals, it's got an impressive feature that uses your solutions to help other people all around the globe. This means others will be able to see information about the way different apps operate on your device, so for instance you'll be able to see which apps tend to crash the most. But don't worry, no one will know your identity, they'll just be able to see what's playing up.

In order to be a success the Soluto team will need to keep updating the programme so it caters for techies of all levels, although there's a decent list of apps you can download remotely to someone else's PC at the moment, the selection isn't exactly extensive, which could leave some frustrated a few months down the line.

Regardless, Soluto is a slick and intelligent solution for dealing with all kinds of remote IT problems that your friends, relatives or colleagues might be having.

The programme is free for up to five users and if you're wanting to use it within a small business you can sign up for a premium account too, although we assume most will already have an IT service in place.

Soluto exists as a fancy Windows 8 Metro app, but you can also access your dashboard via the web too.

For more, visit: www.soluto.com

porn-stick-pro.jpgWe've heard of creepy 'porn detection' software and devices before, but now a new gadget called the Porn Stick Detection Pro will snoop around in the dark depths of your computer and uncover any kinds of pornographic images or videos that it deems to be a little too inappropriate.

It may look like a regular flash drive (aside from the fact it's got 'porn' written on it in caps of course), but it uses advanced software and algorithms to work out what's a bit too adult and what isn't. Whether it actually works is another question, but according to its manufacturers it will be able to thoroughly look through all kinds of video files, like MOV,MP4, MPEG1 - MPEG4, DV, Ogg, Real, ASF, AVI, SWF, FLV and pretty much every image file you could imagine. It'll look everywhere too, it can search all your different drives, the browser cache and deleted folders.

What worries is us why people are using it, as the website stresses that it "works covertly". Some of the top ways it's suggested that people can put the gadget to good use are to monitor what their family are doing online, find out if their other half has a porn addiction (what a trusting and mature way to go about it), check that their employees aren't doing anything naughty in company time, or just find out if they've accidentally (yeah, right) downloaded anything dodgy in the past. Oh, and one funny commenter suggested he could use it to find all of his porn and put it in one safe place. Ahh, there's always one.

Whether it works in practice and weeds out everything pornographic on a computer remains to be seen, but is it good this gadget exists so parents can keep an eye on what their kids are looking at? Or is it a creepy spying device that's all a little too Ninteen Eighty-Four for your liking?

If you're less freaked out and more excited at the thought of playing a fake detective, then you can get hold of a Porn Stick Detection Pro from Gadgets and Gear for $99.

[Via Chip Chick]

Lenovo-ThinkPad-T430u-big.jpg

Ultrabooks are set to be the hottest gadgets at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas next week. All of the top PC manufacturers are rumoured to be launching super thin, super light devices, but this week Lenovo announced its two new PCs a little earlier than the rest.

First up is the ThinkPad T430u ultrabook and then there's the the ThinkPad X1 Hybrid laptop and both boast a thin and light design without sacrificing on internal performance.

ThinkPad T430u Ultrabook

The 14" ultrabook is specially designed for businesses, giving them a thin, light (less than 4lb) and portable device for easy computing on the move.

It looks good too, with a matte, soft-touch finish and an aluminium top cover.

ThinkPad X1 Hybrid Laptop

The second 13.3" laptop combines the key features of the X1 (its predecessor), with double the battery life and an Instant Media Mode (IMM), which will be powered by a second processor and operating system. That's why it's called "hybrid", because you can switch between Windows 7 and IMM, which makes the laptop operate more like a smart phone, allowing you to watch videos, view photos, listen to music and browse the web while requiring fewer charging sessions.

Although this device isn't being called an ultrabook, it's actually thinner than the T430u and at 4lb it's also the same weight.

Dilip Bhatia, vice president of the ThinkPad Business Unit at Lenovo said:

"The ThinkPad X1 Hybrid and T430u ultrabook represent the next generation in thin and light computing.

From small businesses that literally live their life on the road to corporate professionals working in a managed environment, these new crossover laptops fundamentally change the way people think about mobile computing technology."

Although Lenovo clearly has businesses and professionals in mind for the new small, thin and light devices, it'll be interesting to see how regular consumers react to the new products as well. We can certainly imagine investing in a new ultrabook for both work and pleasure purposes if it means the capability of a high-end laptop in a small, portable and good-looking package.

The products will be officially debuted at CES next week, but Lenovo decided to make the announcements ahead of the competition. However, if you want to get your hands on one of these new ultrabooks you've fortunately got a bit of time to save your pennies, the ThinkPad T430u will be available from August and will retail at around £545 and the ThinkPad X1 hybrid will be available from Spring and will retail at around £1025.

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