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3g, 4G, 5G ? What's that all about ?  When it comes to the technology that makes the (telecoms) world go round  the G refers to Generations.  And the latest and fastest gneration is 5G. But if you want to dig deeper into this I can recommend and article from a reader.  For a detailed description just click away on https://www.clooms.com/5g-wireless-by-the-numbers

Word Transcription software
Microsoft’s new Transcribe in Word feature is perfect for anyone that needs to transcribe conversations, like students and journalists. You can either record audio live or upload recorded audio, and Word will automatically transcribe a discussion and separate sections by speakers. Best of all, it’s free for Microsoft 365 subscribers.

To start, the Transcribe in Word feature only works on the web version of Word. You’ll head to the Word live site, and either start a recording or upload one. If you’re recording a conversation live, Word can listen to your microphone and your computer’s audio, which helps you transcribe a video call.

If you prefer, you can record something ahead of time, then upload it to Word for transcription. Word accepts .mp3, .wav, .m4a and .mp4 files. In either case, Microsoft will identify different speakers and separate out the transcribed words accordingly.

Multiple video contacts That scourge, the pandemic, has resulted in a plethora of communication programs to help people work from home and to keep in tounch with friends and family.  See Help14 on this site for more detail

Smart Everything These days it is possible to do a great deal more with the aid of the internet, whether it is via a smart phone, computer or by your voice. Examples of programs are Google Assistant

Phone (tablet) "detox".  People are spending 4 hours a day on their phone or tablet.  Whoever would have thought this thing could be so addictive !  But it has and must be reducing the world's productivity by billions.  Although, on the other hand these things save you hours when you are trying to get information.  But it is possible to reduce the ever increasing pestering by thos sites that innocently tell you they keep your information safe and would you mind telling them your location and e-mail address !  Data means money, often in the form of advertising.
If you want to reduce the pestering to some extent there is a very interesting article by Mozilla/Firefox at https://blog.mozilla.org/firefox/data-detox-phone/?utm_medium=emai&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=datadetox&utm_content=1222020

Calling emergency on and Apple Watch.
To make an emergency call directly from your Apple Watch:
Press and hold the side button (not the digital crown) until you see the Emergency SOS slider appear.
Keep holding the side button until an alert sounds, and you see the emergency countdown begin. Alternatively, slide the “Emergency SOS” slider to the right. To end the call, press firmly on the screen (Force Touch) and tap End Call.

ROKU Millions of consumers are "cutting the cord" by canceling their expensive cable TV subscriptions. Instead, they use a streaming media gadget like Roku to bring movies, TV shows and online video to their television screens. (Roku is pronounced like "row-koo.")

A Roku player plugs into one of your TV's input slots, and connects to your high-speed Internet to bring a wide selection of entertainment options to your living room. Hundreds of free channels are available, but additional charges apply for subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, Youtube TV, Amazon video and other streaming services

The average speed of downloads in the UK is increasing quite rapidly as the OpenReach vans go round the country digging up paths and laying fibreoptic cable to the green BT boxes in streets. Speeds of up 100 Mb/s are becoming commonplace, although the distance between your computer and that box determines whether you will get the highest speeds. Nevertheless, this will be fast enough for most home use, including 'streaming' of videos and TV.  The idea of laying fibe cable to every house in the country is uneconomic - and will probably become unnecessary as mobile telephone connections get ever faster and will supersede the requirement for cables (my opinion)

From 2020 Windows 7 will rarely be updated, although businesses will be able to pay for updates at an increasing amount each year.  This will be a charge per Windows 7 PC. Microsoft is hoping people will finally give up on it.

iPhone 11plus due out Sept 2019, will have Ultra wide band.  This will enable you to transfer signals to another phone or iPad in a particular direction (but over a shorter distance than Bluetooth). It has few extras compared with the iPhone XS but it does have THREE high quality camera lenses with optical zoom and low light facilities. It has an OLED screen.  I just wonder if that means it is less fragile (says he with feeling)

The Wi-Fi (wireless) connection has evolved over several years.  It used to be called meaningless things like 802.1 It is now on the 6th version so will be called  Wi-Fi 6  This generation wireless standard is faster than 802.11ac. More than speed, it will provide better performance in congested areas, from stadiums to your own device-packed home. It’s coming in 2019..New equipment will be labelled Wi-Fi 6 compatible.

Google has released two new Google Home smart speakers. The $49 Google home mini. The Home Mini is the size of doughnut; is covered in one of three fabric colours  (chalk, charcoal and coral). It is designed to bring Google assistant into every room in the house. The  Home Max is $400. It measures 336.6 x 190 x 154.4 mm and emits room-shaking sound. It also adjusts its sound based on its location in a room, and it can hear “OK, Google” voice commands even when playing loudly.(must have better ears than me then!)

They are also bringing out new ear buds which can not only bring music to your brain but can translate 40 languages in real time ! $139

Microsoft has updated its flagship operating system (Windows 10) so hardware devices and software can tap into augmented and virtual reality technologies. With the software upgrade, its fourth, Microsoft also announced plans by computer and virtual-reality headset makers to introduce new hardware for businesses,consumers and video gamers to take advantage of so-called “mixed reality” features in the software release.

Mixed reality is the term Microsoft uses to describe software that covers both augmented and virtual reality (VR)
Augmented reality overlays text, sounds, graphics and video on real-world images that users actually see in front of them, while virtual reality creates entirely computer-generated worlds

The multimedia content can be viewed on computers, TV displays, smartphones, tablets or, in the case of virtual reality, on dedicated goggles. Microsoft plans to target these features first at advanced video game players using VR headsets, with business applications to follow, officials said.
Microsoft’s push comes as the U.S. tech giants - Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook, along with China’s Baidu - increasingly battle to make augmented reality, together with artificial intelligence and cloud-based services, into the next computer platform. As well as gaming and entertainment there will be applications for communications, manufacturing, fitness, health and retail.

Microsoft  has moved to a roughly six-month release cycle for feature updates of Windows from its three-year release cycle for disk-based versions of its operating system software.

The company also announced a range of devices from key hardware partners ready to take advantage of mixed reality features in the Windows 10 update available in mid-October from vendors including Lenovo, HP Inc, Dell, Acer, Asus and Fujitsu.
Microsoft’s new software release shrinks the laborious set-up of VR headsets for users to around 10 minutes, down from two to three hours (!) now and helps cut the costs of headsets, in a step towards making such technology more mainstream.

Other new Windows 10 features include a refreshed Photos app and the capacity to save files up to the cloud using Microsoft’s OneDrive service, without consuming local storage space. Win10 will also offer “Game Mode”, which allows video gamers to devote the full processing power of their computers to what they are playing, as if it was an Xbox game console, the company said.

Snapchat Spectacles  After Google appeared to have given up on Google Glass (but have now started limited sales or a new model), the first attempt to create something similar was by the Snapchat company. They could take ten second video clips by tapping the side of the glasses. Bluetooth enabled the clips to be downloaded to your smartphone or they could be uploaded to the Snapchat site, where they could be edited.  Conscious of Google Glasses bad press on the question of privacy and voyeurism, the new glasses displayed a light when a video was being recorded.  They were much cheaper than Google Glass.
 Snapchat glasses

I cannot see the the current model will do anything for my pet idea for deaf people to be able to SEE what people are saying.  Maybe in another ten years (when 20% of the population will be deaf) the idea will resurface and someone will say : " Why didn't someone think of this before ?"
After losing $40 million, Snapchat replaced them with version 2 and they are now on version 3 at double the price. Only later models would take still photos. Thumbs down once more. Come on companies,, there is a fortune out there for the first speech to text glasses.

Be My Eyes App and volunteers help blind people  This is an app that is now being used by half a million volunteers who can be called by blind people using their smart phone or tablet .  Baically it works with volunteers, anywhere in the world, who can see what the blind person is pointing their phone at and is able to help them in that way.  See the BBC video for a fuller explanation  at magazine-39056979

P.S. Glasses for blind people. New technology will allow blind people to wear glasses which will tell wearers (audibly) what they are looking at. Facial recognition software will tell them who they are meeting (and a lot more about them... their kids names etc !)  It could read a paper, tell them the number of a bus and how many empty seats. It is expected they will be available by 2016 and could be included in phone contracts.

Connecting you PC or tablet to your TV   Google produces a 'dongle' which enables you to see whatever you can view on your PC or tablet and see it on a television (providing it has an HDMI socket - all modern TVs have this)  You can connect some tablets and laptops via a cable if they have an HDMI socket.  But some (including Apple tablets) do not.  This 'dongle' called Chromecast, enables you to do this wirelessly from most tablets . The latest version on the Chromecast is 30.  It still requires you to have wi-fi enabled and there is a setting up procedure. But once set up you can watch many films and Youtubes, making your ordinary TV into a (fairly) smart one. See the setup guide at  https://youtu.be/Bw0oAxuN4PQ?t=31

Dating fraud record  The figure was a record 40 million for the UK alone. Which is why you never see a dating advert on this site !

Amazon is to add Artificial Intelligence programs to the Raspberry Pi (the tiny computer used by geeks as the basis of many developments style="font-weight: bold;">[Google’s] survey mentions face- and emotion-recognition and speech-to-text translation, to natural language processing and sentiment analysis, the firm has developed a lot of technology in the fields of machine learning and AI. The tech giant also provides powerful technology for navigation, bots, and predictive analytics.

Amazon Echo dot (49.99) and Alexa. Use voice (even from a distance) not just to order stuff from Amazon but also to request music, ask for a wakeup call or almost anything.  Just be careful how you configure it. There are stories of kids requesting a load of stuff. And even a case where a child is saying "Alexa buy me a ********** doll. And a number of households had a doll delivered !  The Amazon site is at   https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01DFKBL68/ref=fs_bis
 For a demonstration see https://youtu.be/jgOjYy9sPFQ  He mentions the larger, more expensive Echo, which has better speaker, volume etc. Some people have them in several rooms. There is a useful setup video at https://youtu.be/u--lmSEywJg

Easier Insulin Injection

Fantastic news for Diabetics. NICE have approved the use of a device for administering insulin without injection. The device can be stuck to an arm or stomach and supplies the insulin when needed via a cannula into a vein. The device is programmed via a hand held controller the size of a smart phone. It calibrates the blood sugar level so that precise amounts of the drug are administered.  It even takes account of activity levels  It wirelessly communicates with an on line app which keeps a log of treatment which can be viewed by patients or doctors. Amazing stuff
Password free phones ?

My iPad or phone can be made password free or I can use my fingerprint. Google has a piece of software called Abacus.  
Abacus makes use of a phone’s camera, microphone, and built-in accelerometer. It recognizes your face, your voice, the rhythm of your movements, and the way you type, combining many biometric measurements into a digital signature that uniquely identifies the authorized user of a phone. It also uses location information provided by your phone’s GPS, another feature not found in desktop PCs. But so far it will only work on an Android phone. App developers will use the Trust API to access Abacus, which will be integrated into the Android operating system. Some of the applications already developed using Abacus are pretty impressive.

Mastercard are also experimenting with alternatives to passwords.  They include facial, voice and fingerprint recognition and even heartbeat ! MasterCard is reportedly partnering with Apple, BlackBerry, Google, Microsoft and Samsung to use their devices in the trials.

But when it comes to passwords there are a couple of programs which will remember them for you and tell you whether any are weak or duplicated. They will even make up really difficult passwords for you. But make sure you know THEIR master password. There are free programs which will work on ONE machine.  But if you want them for all your equipment there is a fee (annual or monthly), See Lastpass or Dashlane.

Nearby Bluetooth.
Simply put, companies that want to advertise their apps or websites using Nearby deploy a tiny Bluetooth-based hardware device known as an Eddystone beacon. Eddystone is a protocol devised by Google to allow advertisers to find and communicate with your (Android) mobile phone as you walk by. If your phone can receive and process the “here I am” broadcast from one of these beacons, it can use the identifier that is broadcast by the beacon to fetch and display adverts. You would have to have Bluetooth turned on.

Google ploughs on with their offerings. It is now possible to find stereoscopic photos via Street View and Youtube.  On Youtube they are  marked with symbol of a viewer. They are selling the simple self-assembly viewer called Cardboard (from 10). This enables you to slot in a smartphone and turn youtubes into something like Virtual Reality (VR)
Regrettably Google retired Picasa in favour of Google Photos (https://photos.coogle.com) Although very clever (intrusive almost) I have yet to discover the easy ways I have used for years to crop, brighten, annotate, print,arrange and generally improve my photos using Picasa. It still works apart from emailing. I may have to find an alternative package for these jobs. Everyone hates change, including me.

Google photos Grabs your photos from almost anywhere. It then decides how you might want them displayed ! ASSIST shows things like Discover the day.  Your photos from an arbitrary year long past.  It makes animations of similar pictures,  COLLECTIONS Groups your photos in the way IT thinks might please you, and adds Group titles.  One group is 'Your Year in Photos'.  Again not clear how they decide which of your years is worth recording.  It may include videos. Frankly, I am put off by ANY software that thinks it knows what I want, especially when it comes to text.

New disks :
An iDrive
is a standard 1-terabyte external hard drive, commonly used for backups. But it has the unique feature of Wi-Fi connectivity, so you can backup multiple computers (up to 5 at once) without connecting it manually to each one.

Solid State disks (SSD) are faster than spinning hard disks. These are beginning to replace traditional hard disks, especially in small, slim netbooks.  They also use less power, so batteries last longer.. They can be fitted in existing laptops but also in desktops, though the common 2.5" form factor versions would need an adapter as most traditional hard disks are 3.5" . There are 'hybrid' versions with 1 or 2 Tb capacity of traditional space but with, say 8gb of flash (Nand) memory, which speeds up response rates considerably, 


IBM said chips made using 7nm components should start appearing in computers and other gadgets in 2017-18. An entire chip made using 7nm components would have about 20 billion transistors ! How many transistors are there in the human brain ?


Shrinking memory SD cards Memory chips get ever smaller but with greater capacity.  Though still quite expensive this 128gb chip is so small a sneeze would blow it away !

An the latest Solid Hard Disks have capacities of twice this and cost as little as 25. The are much faster and less liable to fail than the spinning disks. Many older laptops and desktops would benefit if they can be installed

Verizon is to buy out AOL for $4.4 billion.  Hopefully that will pull the aging ISP out of the doldrums. 

Apple is to help older Japanese with iPads.  http://appleinsider.com/articles/15/04/30/apple-to-aid-japans-elderly-with-ipads-in-latest-fruits-of-ibm-alliance

I think the TED http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TED_(conference) talks are very interesting and often introduce new concepts

Microsoft's Internet Explorer replacement, Edge, strips out a lot of dead wood from Internet Explorer in order to make it compete with other browsers. IE will then just become a distant memory.

Google say they will prevent bad alternative software to gain high spots on the search pages. You know, when you search for the good stuff like Ccleaner or Malwarebytes and it appears about fifth down the list (probably because the rotten programs paid for the privilege of being higher). This may prevent many people getting the wrong software.  Frankly, I don't think it is working.  Money talks in this business. (which is why my site is way down the list - I refuse to pay - despite rdaily blandishments from the likes of Facebook.

Unfortunately Windows 10 may prevent you from installing non-Microsoft software.  But there is a way to prevent it from being obstructive in this way.

Good news : the Ramnin blaggards have been disrupted. They were responsible for infecting millions of Windows PCs, with the sole object of getting into bank accounts. Although most of the PCs affected are in the USA and India, if you are concerned, Microsoft has issued instructions how to check for and clear this malware  http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/detect-remove-ramnit-virus

Guru Bob Rankin says he depends upon the free Microsoft Defender. In fact the  site above says that, if you run altertenative anti malware software it may stop Defender from working. This is to makie sure that they are not fighting each other and slowing your PC.

Various devices are now available to help people keep an eye on elderly relatives who live alone (as long as they agree)
See www.myageingparent.com/

With a quick search of the internet showing refurbished Windows 7 machines selling for as little as 100 it really is time for people to 'bite the bullet' and upgrade from XP and Vista. Version 8 had a bad press and has failed to be taken up by the majority of users. By 2019 I still prefer Version 7 to 10. If you have moved to V 10 be aware that you machine probably still has the old Windows cluttering up the hard disk. It amounts to several Gb of space....

  1. Step 1: Click in Windows' search field, type Cleanup, then click Disk Cleanup.
  2. Step 2: Click the "Clean up system files" button.
  3. Step 3: Wait a bit while Windows scans for files, then scroll down the list until you see "Previous Windows installation(s)."

Google have stopped selling Google Glass. "Sales were pretty much a failure," says Brier Dudley, technology columnist for The Seattle Times. Google Glass. He says that Google will try a new model later this year, which will be "more discreet" and "less obnoxious". It was frustrating to use says Mr Dudley, but at least it got software developers thinking about the technology.

Fed up with paying ridiculous prices for ink cartridges ?  Hewlett Packard are proposing a new method.  You pay from 1.99 a month for 60 pages (regardless of type).  After that the printer would stop unless you pay for a top-up.  If the ink runs low you would be sent new cartridges as part of the deal.  But HP are ensuring hat ALL their new printers will NOT work with refilled cartridges.  So you have to pay their prices or retire the HP printer in favour of one that will. That is usually the cheaper alternative even in the very short run.

BT and Huawei have developed a data transfer mechanism so efficient (3Tb/second) it can transmit the equivalent of 100 uncompressed HD films in one second. That's fast

In Dubai the cops are being given face recognition software so the wearer can recognise people. I could use this !

Since it took over the Nokia handheld business, Microsoft has a smart phone (the Lumia 630, which runs a form of Windows but it has now released the X2. This is an improvement on the Nokia X.  Bigger screen, selfie camera, better battery and 1Gb of memory - and all for 80.  And, guess what ? it runs under Android, not Windows. One does begin to wonder whether the eternally insecure Windows will eventually be beaten into second place by Android versions. Android is free and supported by many free or cheap apps.

China has banned later Windows for official use.  In this case it is not like the old days when anything Western was under suspicion.  It is that, with Microsoft having let down a quarter of their users (still on XP) they are seeking more solid ground in future. They are still, wisely, approving Windows 7 but are looking towards non-windows operating systems such as Ubuntu  

Dash Cams or Car cameras that fix to your windscreen record what is happening in front of you and can be useful when giving evidence whose fault it was. Even if your insurer doesn't reduce the cost of your policy, being able to prove it was the other person's fault could save you hundreds in higher premiums.  They continually record and the better ones react to a crash because of a motion sensor. From 30 - 100. 

MU-MIMO  WTHeck is MU-MIMO.  It stands for Multi User Multi Input Multi Output.  Qualcomm says that  their new chips will avoid the slow down in routers and other devices that results from Multi use. Currently when you are in an hotel or in a restaurant your connection to the net is in contention with other users.  This imperceptibly slows your access.

Microsoft has made Word, Excel and Powerpoint apps available to the iPad and promises them for Android. But, instead of charging a large one-off amount for their Office Suite, Microsoft's new technique is to charge an annual fee (per machine of course). It remains to be seen whether this will solve Microsoft's evident problems in view of the much cheaper Apps now available on pads

Both Apple and Microsoft are working on in car facilities which would use a car's 'infotainment' system to display screens and allow phoning, e-mail Sat/Nav etc

Google and Facebook are both experimenting with facilities to enable access to the net from the stratosphere (around 12 miles up) Google prefers the idea of balloons (they term the 'Loons'.)  Facebook is considering solar powered 'drones', which can fly indefinitely and have more control.  They both have an eye on populations that are not well served at present, such as Africa, Asia and parts of rural USA.

Siri on an Ipad. While Siri on an iPad is very clever, it is dependent on programmers to anticipate what you might ask. If you ask it "who are Manchester United playing next week? ". You will get an accurate audio response giving the team, time and location. Even if you ask it the height of Ben Nevis you get an accurate spoken answer. But if you ask it for information about something less well known such a as "What is the height of The Malvern Hills ?" it has to do a search and displays the answer, along with a map.But see my brief (old) video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nz4_jwr6HNE&list=UUpZOLbW4dN9BgUwZJQ8nXXQ

Researchers are trying to improve upon this by taking into account other factors - some of them available such as the tone and pace of delivery of the speaker. More can be gleaned about computer users, such as their age, sex, location, the time of day, the local weather, their interests and buying habits and much more. The iPad is constantly 'learning' things, such as how I spell names of friends etc. This sort of information is already being used by marketing companies and could make Siri-like programs much more sophisticated. After all,  it has access to more information than any of us can hope to remember and they will, in the future, begin to 'personalise' their responses. "Where can I get a meal near here?" is likely to get "well, I know you like rare steak, as you had one last week, so I suggest Fred's Place on 6342178" or, maybe, "you can't afford to eat out this week, so I suggest you stay home and take that 2 ready meal you bought last week out of the freezer" !

I do not intend to stop rabbiting on about Speech to text as a way forward for deaf people to understand what is being said. I conjectured (ten years ago) that the time would come when the computing power to convert speech to text would not necessarily be have to carried with you.  The speed of transmission to a big computer somewhere and back to you (and your speech recognition glasses, 'pad' or phone) if not immediate, is not far behind.  After all,  how long does it take for you to Google a question and get the answer ? Now I understand that, with Apple's latest speech recognition program, you can choose whether the recognition is processed 'in the cloud' (i.e in a big computer) or locally on your own machine. They reckon the Cloud processing will be more accurate. This is because it learns things about you:. How to spell your name, your city, your wife's name etc. In fact they are even COLLECTING all this information about you ! Shades of the spying scandals. But my little mini iPad is equally intelligent and learns all those things, too.  So maybe I don't need the Cloud ? Well, if I am walking around, and want to SEE what you are saying, I will need to connect to some sort of CLOUD, rather than my router.  But, make no mistake, folks, it is coming and one day I WILL be able to see what folks are saying.

Interesting new device. See Ultraleap.com : small box connected to the USB port of an Apple or PC. With a wave of a hand or lift of a finger, you’re about to use your computer in a whole new way. The Leap Motion Controller senses how you move your hands the way you naturally move them. So you can point, wave, reach, and grab. Even pick something up (on screen) and put it down. $79.99 plus software.

Microsoft Xbox One is a powerful piece of kit and one wonders where computing will go next. It connects to a TV and although designed primarily as a Games machine (with sophisticated games costing 40 and 50 a throw) it does so much more. It  has a feature a little like Siri where it responds to commands such as "Xbox on" and much more besides..  Its 'Kinect' feature can even detect and recognise people in the room. The Xbox has a massive (8gb) memory and 500gb mechanical (not solid) hard disk. It has an integrated router and naturally connects to any digital TV. But Microsoft are looking to their cash flow. They are talking about linking games to specific consoles (preventing a second hand market) and adding advertising - even paying users for viewing adverts. The existing Xbox 360 games will not play on the new one, which also includes a Blue-ray player. Skype will be integral. There is also the possibility that the console will include game projection, meaning that the edges of the game scene will appear on your living room walls !

Although I don't play such games I can see that they are often in the forefront of developments (because it is profitable). Things like speech and motion detection develop because of games. Disabled people can benefit from using a computer with gestures or even eye movements and blinking or talking.

I have just dictated to an iPad with a Bluetooth microphone to an iPad Mini and the result was near perfect.  So what? So, it brings me a step nearer my dream of using such equipment to enable deaf people to SEE what people are talking about.  This is the actual size of the microphone and it can be worn inconspicuously over either ear. The speaker just taps the 'on' button and speak. The deaf person would see what they say ion their phone or tablet..

Bluetooth Microphone

China is working with Ubuntu developer, Canonical, to develop its own open source operating system. Ubuntu is a popular version of the Linux Operating system. "Open Source" means that, unlike Windows and Apple's operating systems, anyone can access the code and change it to suit their own purposes and no charges are made.

What is a "Phablet"? It is an Apple or Android tablet with a Sim, so it can send or receive calls. Not all tablets have a slot for a SIM

I never cease to be amazed at what apps are now available. I can tell my (mini) iPad to "Time my egg to four minutes", it answers me and sets the alarm. with a countdown to blast off. I have an iPhone app which, when I am cycling or walking, tells me the speed, time, route, distance and how many calories burned ! Most smartphones can now be used as a Sat Nav with spoken directions. Try WAZE (free) You don't have to have a Wi-fi connection. Even a basic tablet can connect to the Satellites.

Wireless hard disks ! The Seagate Wireless Plus 1 TB Mobile Device Storage has Built-In Wi-Fi Streaming. That opens up a lot of possibilities.
                                                             
Passwords are a pain. As well as a password keeper (see above)  I have a printed sheet of them and still find I am getting refused with what I feel sure is the correct one.  Google (as usual) is heading the field in how to make accessing all your gadgetry - and bank account - more secure.  One day it could be a ring on your pinky or a wink of your eye!  In fact iPhone X uses facial recognition.

A new mobile phone under development has a normal colour screen but on the other side is a low power paperwhite 'E-ink' screen which, like a Kindle, uses hardly any power at all. Which is good as powerful colour phones use batteries very quickly.

Microsoft bought Skype from Ebay in 2011.  As it does all of what MSN/Live Messenger can do, Microsoft has decided to retire MSN/ LiveMessenger, transferring users to Skype. For the (many) programs which now make video conferencing commonplace see my page HERE

Disk drive R.I.P? As I forecast many moons ago Apple’s new iMac, its flagship desktop computer, was released with no disc drive. Just a Solid 'disk' (SD) This marks a trend that has already begun on some laptops, like Apple’s MacBook Airs, and of course with mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. Over time, an optical disc will be as much of an historical curiosity as a floppy disk.. According to Apple, where sleeker, thinner designs are always en vogue, dumping the disc drive was a no-brainer as SDs get ever cheaper (and quicker). Even my old Dell desktop has one and works faster than a much more modern laptop with a terabyte of memory and 8Gb of RAM !

An instance is the Google (Samsung) Chromebook.See http://www.google.com/intl/en_uk/chrome/devices/#utm_campaign=en&utm_source=en-hpp-em-uk&utm_medium=hpp Chromebooks boot in seconds, have apps built-in, and back up your stuff safely on the Cloud. With 3G phone connection and all-day battery, you use them anywhere and everywhere so you will not be tied to a WiFi connection.

Microsoft is confusing us all again.   Feeling the pinch from Gmail, Microsoft is to retire its creaking old email program, Hotmail, despite it having 350 million adherents.  They  are being migrated to a popular new email program Outlook.com. So, they have tried to kill Outlook Express by omitting it from Vista onwards.  People started to use Msn.com, then Live Mail, now this.  Surely there are other words without repeating 'Outlook', which stays as their premier email program, as part of the main Office Suite (but not the cut down Office suite, which merely has Word and Excel (plus adverts to make up for their lost income) 

Touch screen PCs.  An slim HP desktop with touch screen sells from 399

Google's Android thefree operating system oftware, which is used in many devices, especially mobile phones and many tablets is being developed at a remarkable rate.Now on Version 11 (shortly 12) it has been known as Ice Cream Sandwich, Marshmallow, Lollipop, Kitkat and Jelly Bean. It offers free apps such as  "Now" which will tell you the state of traffic or the time of the next bus and "Places" will tell you about nearby restaurants etc. 

I predict that free wifi, which is very cheap to provide, will become commonplace everywhere within a few years, not just in the every restaurant. I was surprised to be able to connect my iPad, without a password, at a tiny airport in Morocco. But you have to be careful in such situations, especially if you fail to log off from emails etc.

Most cities in the USA have free wi-fi.

Also, the range  (distance) of WiFi will increase. For instance, in the USA they are selling this receiver, which is said to pick up wifi up to a mile away !

Super wifi

 

Google Maps : Not only give you directions how to get there but includes street level photos of every junction !

Directions with Google Maps

 


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