Wednesday, 30 January 2013

BlackBerry 10

On Wednesday 30th January 2013 BlackBerry 10 was launched by RIM. They had a conference in London, Dubai, Toronto, Paris, Johannesburg, and New York where they talked about brand new features and launched new phones.

The press conference started with a video about how different people in different jobs use BlackBerry 10 and how it is perfect for business. This is referring to an interesting feature BlackBerry 10 has which allows you to have 2 different profiles on one device; one for work, one for play.

Straight after that video followed another video about why people love BlackBerry and how BlackBerry fans had lost sleep waiting for this event. A bit sad, I'll admit - those people need to go out and get jobs.

After the videos, Vice President of developer relations, Alec Saunders took took to a high platform and cut a man's hair who said last year that he wouldn't cut it until BlackBerry 10 was launched.

Immediately after that, President and CEO of RIM, Thorsten Heins took centre stage and he started to talk about how BlackBerry has evolved over the years.
"Today is not the finish, it is just the starting line." ~ Thorsten Heins

He talked about how two years ago BlackBerry needed to adopt another mobile platform or go alone and make their own OS. They decided to make their own and they don't regret it. We also learnt that BlackBerry currently has over 12,000 employees world wide. 

The first unexpected thing which was announced was a name change for RIM (the makers of BlackBerry). From now onwards, RIM will be known also as BlackBerry. Not that exciting however quite unusual.

BlackBerry Q10
Then the two big announcements came, the BlackBerry Z10 and the BlackBerry Q10. 

The BlackBerry Z10 is a touch 4.2-inch touch-screen device which apparently has the "latest screen technology." It has a flexible back cover which apparently feels great in your hands and it comes running BlackBerry 10. It included gestures to unlock, get to your homepage and access BlackBerry Hub - just swipe your finger in different directions. 

The BlackBerry Q10 is the first BlackBerry 10 device to feature a QWERTY keyboard and it also includes a perfectly square touch-screen. The back case of the phone is made from a new material which is apparently thinner, lighter, and stronger than plastic.

Vivek Bhardwaj, whom is the head of software portfolio then took the stage. He started by talking about something called 'BlackBerry Flow' which is a unique way of multi-tasking from your home screen  Swiftly, he moved on to talk about BlackBerry Hub which he says 'just flows'. BlackBerry Hub looks after all of your notifications from Gmail and Outlook to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. BlackBerry Hub also lets you post status's and message people without leaving the app. It also, of course  includes the famous BlackBerry Messenger.
"We have 60 million users on BBM, and they love it." ~ Vivek Bhardwaj
The new BBM app now lets you video call, voice call and share your screen via video call. It surprisingly seems to work very well even when contacting someone on a different continent (as they demonstrated).

BlackBerry 10 comes with a new app called 'BlackBerry Remember' which lets you flag notes, emails and pictures. The notes section is integrated directly with Evernote so all of your notes stay synced from device to device (I can imagine the notes app on iOS 7 also having this integration). BlackBerry Remember also lets you set voice memos to remind you of things you need to do.

The keyboard has a unique word prediction feature that lets you "flick" words from the keyboard to the screen. They call it "writing without typing." The keyboard also has multi-languages built in which are accessible by a simple gesture.

The cameras on BlackBerry 10 devices come with a photo editor, video maker and the ability to change the faces of people in photos. The video maker is called 'Story Maker' and reminds me a lot of iMovie for iPhone.

BlackBerry 10 already has over 70,000 apps in the BlackBerry World market place including Skype, WhatsApp and Amazon Kindle with Angry Birds coming soon!
Also, Twitter, Facebook, SoundHound, Evernote, the Guardian, Fruit Ninja, drop box, four square and including what BlackBerry claim are the top 1000 apps worldwide.
Most of the apps however looked extremely like iOS apps and there is no sign of Instagram.

The worst thing about BlackBerry 10 is the integration for Android 2.2 apps. If you didn't know, Android 2.2 is extremely old and as soon as you are in the Android app you seem to be running and Android phone with all the Android options available for you however not the BlackBerry ones.

BlackBerry 10 was the worst kept secret ever
For a start, weeks before the launch of BlackBerry 10, the phones were turning up at UK phone shops where employees could play around with the operating system and test out the new features. As expected hundreds of videos were uploaded to YouTube of BlackBerry 10 and even more photos were taken and uploaded onto sites such as Twitter.

Windows Phone 8 makers were probably extremely nervous about the launch of BlackBerry 10 because in some ways the two operating systems are very similar however after reading the reviews of BB10, I think Steve Ballmer and co will sleep easy tonight.

In conclusion, we anticipated BlackBerry 10 was going to be big and have loads of cool new features  It may have them however they don't work half as well as we expected them to and the OS is extremely clunky. There is nothing which will make a current iPhone, Android or Windows Phone user switch to BlackBerry.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Intel YOLO

Yes, you read it right - this phone is called YOLO. Named by this phone is actually the first smartphone to be released in Africa. It runs Android and features Intels new chip which they announced at CES 2013 and the chip apparently gives it a very long battery life. The phone has a 3.5-inch touch screen with 320 x 240 pixels. This phone even comes with Dual Sim so you can have 2 phone numbers. It will cost 10,999 Kenyan shillings which is approximately £79 ($125).

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Saturday 26th January: In the News this Week

It's the week of Saturday 26th January 2013 and...

Central Perk opens in Beijing
A fan of the American TV Sitcom 'Friends' has opened the iconic 'Central Perk' Cafe in Beijing in China. The man who opened the Cafe unfortunately isn't called Gunther however he is called Du Xin and he is a 'Friends' super fan. After watching the show, he started searching around Beijing for a place where he could actually sit on an orange couch just like the one his favorite heroes relaxed on in the sitcom. When he couldn't find one in Beijing, he decided to open his own Central Perk. In order to nail all the things he wanted, Du studied thousands of photos of the show’s set and watched endless reruns. Five months later and he had the Cafe of his dreams.

J.J. Abrams directing Star Wars Episode 7
This has been rumoured for a few days now however yesterday a lengthy post was released on the Star Wars website officially stating that TV/Film director J.J. Abrams will be directing the 7th Episode of Star Wars despite him saying that he wouldn't.
Creator of Star Wars, George Lucas says "I've consistently been impressed with J.J. as a film maker and storyteller. He's an ideal choice to direct the new Star Wars film and the legacy couldn't be in better hands."

Dubai Underwater Hotel
This concept idea has been thrown around for years now however it has finally became finalised and the design has been confirmed. The hotel will have 21 suites split between two main discs – one above water, one below – and facilities include a bar and a dive centre.

Friday, 25 January 2013


Social networking and social media website Twitter purchased the start-up business, Vine, last year and yesterday the Vine app for iOS was launched.

It is a perfect video sharing app for Twitter because it only allows videos which are 6 seconds or under in length  This follows Twitter's way as Twitter only gives you 140 characters to compose a Tweet. This micro-video sharing service doesn't have a pacific audience yet so we still don't know what type of content is going to make it popular and become mainstream on the app.

The app is simple and works really well; you follow people and whenever they upload goes straight onto your home news feed.

Recording a video is as easy as pressing your finger against the screen and holding it there when you want to record. There are currently no effects you can add to your video however Vine gives you the option to share it on Facebook or Twitter.

When on Twitter, your Vine micro-video is embedded perfectly onto your tweet on both the Twitter website and Twitter app so your followers can view it without having to leave Twitter it's self.

The future is bright
If media companies such as the BBC, Sky or ITV contact Vine and start using this video sharing service we could expect to see some extremely popular and interesting videos being uploaded which would expand the Vine community. Media companies could use Vine to show crashes in F1 races, tackles and goals in football matches, highlights of tennis and much much more.

I'm assuming that in the future this app will expand onto Android devices and possibly even BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone 8 however I doubt it.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

My 2013 predictions


  • iOS 7 to be launched in September as it usually is. I think it will be the first time the Apple OS will be completely rebuilt instead of just updates. We might see a completely new style of app or the app icons might change shape or size.
  • iPhone 5S/iPhone 6 - No doubt it will have a faster chip inside however I cant think of any needed hardware updates that they could make off the top of my head.
  • iPad Mini with retina display - I'm surprised that they didn't originally launch it with a retina display.
  • iPad with some sort of keyboard 'touch cover'. Microsoft added this to the Surface and it has been extremely popular so I think the iPad will make a keyboard cover too however the iPad one will somehow be a lot better.
  • I seriously doubt that Apple will make a MacBook Pro with a disk drive and a retina display but fingers crossed.
  • Launch of a new OS named after another item of food - maybe Fajitas or Chicken Casserole.
  • Big push of NFC technology in their phones, more apps which use it. 
  • They will slowly stop making phones running 'Symbian' and they will make sure that all the Symbian apps migrate onto Windows Phone 8.
  • More Windows Phone 8 phones.
  • Maybe a first Nokia Android Phone??
  • A Nokia Windows 8 RT tablet has been rumoured and it would definitely be interesting to see if nothing else.
  • Hopefully the launch of Windows Phone 8.5
  • Windows Phone 7.8 should be coming to Windows Phone 7.5 users in the next couple of months.
  • Windows 9 maybe - however 4 months in and it still seems like Windows 8 was launched only yesterday  plus Microsoft tends to only release a new operating system every 3 years.
  • Office 2013 officially released at the end of January - brings touch support for Word, Excel and Powerpoint. Fingers crossed Publisher will also be made for Office 13.
  • Windows 8 for Mac
Pebble (Smart-watch)
  • This was a project funded by however I don't think people will be that impressed with it once it launches at the end of January so they won't make a Pebble Watch 2.
  • If they do make a new version I hope it comes with Blackberry 10 and Windows Phone 8 support.
  • Google Glasses will hopefully be launched at the end of 2013 so you can use the cool new spectacles.
  • Start building of new offices near Kings cross station in London.
  • Hopefully they will also start building Windows 8 apps (like Drive, Blogger, Translate and more)
  • Better Google+ website and apps - I personally don't like them however I like the idea of Google+.
  • Launch of graph search.
  • Completely new mobile apps.
  • Completely new website.
  • Hopefully a Windows 8 app.
  • Completely new features never seen before.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Gangster Squad

This movie reminds you exactly why you love Gangster movies. Set in 1949, this movie is about cops who have returned from World War 2 and who are now fighting a huge group of Gangsters in Los Angeles ran by ex-boxer, Mickey Cohen.

Mickey Cohen is filthy rich, he owns half of the city and is extremely territorial, if some Gangsters from San Francisco come onto his patch, he will find them and he will punish them in cruel and unusual way.

The Gangster Squad
There is one cop though who has not been bribed by Mickey Cohen though, his name is Sgt. John O'Mara and he is fearless. Since he came back from the war he has been a brilliant fighter however his wife tries not to encourage him because she is pregnant and she knows his work is dangerous.

The mayor of Los Angeles talks to Sgt. John O'Mara one day and he decides it is time to take down Cohen and his business empire of various shops and casinos.

So Sgt. John O'Mara gathers a team together of excellent shooters, amazing scientists and accurate knife throwers. Despite a shaky start, the elite team starts to slowly take down Cohen's empire.

From the beginning this movie is packed with action and the despite the plot being slightly complicated it is brilliant and adds to the suspense and feel of the movie.

In conclusion, I would recommend this movie for action lovers and people who love gangster films - because this is a good one!

We can expect a lot more good movies coming out over the next 6 months including 'Flight' staring Denzel Washington, Iron Man 3 staring Robert Downey Jr. and the 5th Die Hard movie staring Bruce Willis.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Saturday 19th January: In the News this Week

It's the week of Saturday 19th January 2013 and...

Tesco Horse Burgers
It isn't illegal to put horses into burgers or any product in fact however it is illegal not to put in the label that the product contains horses. Tesco, Aldi and Lidl unfortunately didn't do this and have been in the press this week for putting horse meat in something that is labelled as 'beef burgers'. In the Tesco burgers there is apparently more than 20% of horse meat!
Tesco has been in even more trouble this week for tweeting this:

The next day, Tesco apologised for the joke. On a serious note though, all 3 huge supermarket chains are taking horse meat out of their products.

Google Opening New Office in London
Google has spent £650 million on the plot of land near Kings Cross Station and the buildings are estimated to be finished in 2016. The building should be worth around £1.6 billion when it is finished. This should bring hundreds, if not thousands of jobs to nerds all over London.
In my opinion, this is the perfect time to bring Computer Science to the British National Curriculum at least once a term. Google will be making new apps, new softwares, new programs, new operating systems and loads more in this new building and all of those need people who know how to write code. This means Schools needs to be planting the seeds for future computer programmers.

BlackBerry 10 Apps and Hub
It was announced earlier this week that the new BlackBerry Hub on BlackBerry 10 will be integrated with LinkedIn, Google Talk, Facebook and Twitter. You might even be able to direct message straight from BlackBerry Hub. If you didn't know, BlackBerry Hub combines most social networks so you can message people from one place. (As expected BlackBerry Hub also combines BlackBerry Messenger and test messages.)
BlackBerry opened its app marketplace for developers earlier this week. It now has over 15,000 apps and BlackBerry is promising each one of those developers $100 each for making a good app.

America opening first book-less library
Instead of books, this new library in Texas has hundreds of Apple iMacs and nothing else - this makes the library look a lot like an Apple store. 'Old fashioned'  libraries which feature books struggle to get funding as most non-fiction books go out of date pretty quickly because information is updated and changed, with this new library, all information is up-to-date and the library owners just need to pay for electricity once they have bought all the computers.
How successful do you think digital libraries will be and could you see them becoming more common?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Facebook 2013 Announcement 1

Facebook had a press event on Tuesday 15th January 2013 where they announced a brand new Facebook feature.

"Our mission is to make the world more open and connected, we do this by giving people tools so they can map out the stories of their lives." ~ Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg first started by talking about their new campus and then he swiftly moved on and started talking about the 3 pillars of Facebook; News Feed, Timeline and a new thing called Graph Search. Graph Search is not the rumoured Facebook web search, instead it is personalised and searches through content which has been shared with you.

You can type into Graph Search "Which Friends live in London" and then Graph Search will bring up all of your friends who live in London. You can also filter the searches as well so it only comes up with friends, like or comments. You choose.
Facebook also lets you search for businesses and locations and then match them with your friends to see if your friends have visited there recently. This is ideal if you are organising a meal and want to know which friends like a certain restaurant or pub without trawling through all of your friends liked pages.

The possibilities with this new Graph Search are basically endless. From your friends best photos to a list of Star Wars films which your friends like.

"It's a completely new way for people to find information on Facebook." ~ Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook say this new search feature will make users worry about their privacy so they now give you the option in settings to let you see what pictures and videos you have made public. They are letting users review their content before rolling this feature out for everyone. Facebook has also formally identified that Bing has been their partner whilst making this unique new feature.

Facebook has changed its logo on the homepage so it is now just the Facebook 'F'.

After a demo of Graph Search Mark Zuckerberg came back on and told journalists that tomorrow they will be announcing updates to languages, posts, and something called 'Open Graph'. Apparently the Facebook team have been working on some awesome new mobile apps.

The Impossible

Staring Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts the Impossible can only be described as an eye-watering true story.

The movie starts off with the 'perfect family' going on holiday to a tranquil island in Asia. The island which obviously once was only inhabited by local people is now swarming with tourists from around the world. The island is a perfect place to go on holiday!
The family of 5 whom are spending Christmas on the island are having a fun holiday until one day...
The family are relaxing around the pool when without any warning a huge tsunami hits the island separating the family.

This film follows the family in their attempt to survive and find each other once again.

This film is definitely an emotional roller-coaster however the lows are lower than any other movie - yet the highs are higher.

Creating the devastating scenes of the island after the tsunami must have been a hard job however it paid off; the vast amount of ocean water and destroyed buildings on the island sets of a tone for the movie. You would expect the weather to match the tone of the film as well however it is sweltering hot all the way through.

What truly makes this movie stand out is the setting because there is a disturbing beauty to the destroyed island. Where people once lived and relaxed there is now dirty water filled with dirt and debris.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Vegetable Omelette Recipe

This meal is surprisingly easy to mess up despite being an extremely simple meal to make. What I have learnt from experience is that you need to make sure that you definitely raise the heat when adding the egg and milk mixture or you will end up making scrambled egg rather than an omelette.


  • 4 table spoons of milk
  • 2 eggs
  • Seasoning
  • Half an onion
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 mushrooms
  1.  Put the 2 eggs into a bowl and then mix. Season and add the milk.
  2. Chop the peppers, mushrooms, spring onions and onions until they are very small.
  3. Heat a pan with 2 table spoons of oil. Make sure it is hot before adding vegetables.
  4. Pour in the egg and milk mixture and raise the heat. Leave to set.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

The PAPE"R"MAIL Tech Awards 2012

Ok, these awards are anything but official and 2012 was ages ago but for my readers I though I might tell you some of what I think are the best pieces of technology that came out in 2012.

Best Smart Phone Hardware
This award goes to the Nokia Lumia 920 which runs Windows Phone 8. The Nokia Lumia 920 includes an NFC Chip so you can transfer media by simply swiping it against something else with an NFC chip. It also allows you to make payments as you can store up to £15 on the magic chips.
The special thing about the NFC Chips on this phone is that they allow you to charge the phone as well. This means by simply placing the phone over a unique Nokia charging pad you can recharge your battery.
The Nokia Lumia 920
This phone has a huge 4.5-inch touch-screen however the best thing about the Nokia Lumia 920 is the camera. It is a special Nokia PureView, 8.7 MP camera which can take high quality 1080p pictures and take HD videos with controversial video stabilisation. The camera has a night-mode which easily beats competition like the Samsung Galaxy S 3 and the iPhone 5.

Best Website
'The Next Web' has one of the best websites in the world simply because of how well it works on tablet devices. The Next Web is a news website which has an amazing red design and is extremely easy to use.
Experts say that in 2013 websites will be changing a lot so they look better and The Next Web is leading the way in good design. Even the search bar fits in with the website and doesn't look out of place.

Best App
This was one of the hardest categories to decide however after hours of playing around on apps, I have decided that the best app of 2012 needs to be Evernote. One of the main reasons I think it is the best app of 2012 is because of it's compatibility. It is an app available to download on every mobile and tablet platform. Even the website is easy enough to use.

Best Looking Phone
This award goes to the HTC Droid DNA. We know that HTC has never made an ugly phone however in my opinion this one is definitely the 'crème de la crème'. With it's inbuilt red stripes and curved style, this phone has a certain dark aspect to it which makes it cool. This is the type of phone which a Gangster would have.
If you are a gangster and interested in purchasing this phone you should know that it runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, it has Beats Audio built-in and it has the ability to connect to 4G networks. It also has a huge 5-inch screen which shows amazing colours.

Best Tablet Device
Despite the Microsoft Surface being launched recently, the iPad 4 is simply amazing and with it's new USB support this tablet simply blows its competition out of the water. It costs £399 for the 16 GB version and it is the most popular tablet on the market by far.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Saturday 12th January: In the News this Week

It's the week of Saturday 12th January 2013 and...

iPhone Mini
Rumours started earlier this week about a smaller and cheaper iPhone being announced at the end of this year. We don't know how big the screen will be or if it will even run iPhone apps. When Apple was questioned about this they denied having even started planning a smaller iPhone however they also said this last year about the iPad Mini.
I honestly think that it is highly unlikely that Apple will make a phone cheaper than the iPhone because there is not much of a  market for small phones any-more.

Sergio Perez infront of car number 6
Sergio Perez at McLaren
The young Mexican driver, Sergio Perez, had his first photo shoot with his new team, McLaren earlier this week. Perez will be starting the 2013 F1 season racing for the successful team along side Jenson Button. In the past Perez was part of the Ferrari Driver Academy however he quit that in 2012 when he started racing for Sauber.

CES 2013
Earlier this week it was the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Samsung, Lenovo, Sony, Panasonic and many more huge brands were there announcing and launching new products. From 4K TV's (next thing after HD) to phones you could leave underwater for half a hour - CES 2013 had it all.
My highlight of the show was Lenovo launching the first mini ultra book. It is called the IdeaPad Yoga 11S and it has an 11.6-inch touch-screen display. The only downside with this unique product was the extremely short, 6 hours battery life it has to offer.

Read about CES 2013 here:

Friday, 11 January 2013

CES 2013 - Day 4 and CES Writing

It's the fourth and final day of CES 2013 and here is the only interesting thing which happened today...

The Lenovo Idea Pad Yoga 11S
The first mini ultra-book was announced at CES today, it is called the IdeaPad Yoga 11S and it is made by Lenovo. It has an 11.6-inch touch screen and it apparently has 6 hours battery life when you first get it. Unfortunately that isn't that long however I'd be prepared to compromise on battery life for a super cool touch ultra-book running Windows 8. 
The Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga's (including the Yoga 13) are becoming slightly famous for their flexible hinge connecting the screen and the keyboard; the screen folds all the way back so it looks just like a tablet.
This sleek ultra-book has 2 USB ports, a HDMI port, a SD card slot and 128 GB of flash memory. It comes in 2 flavours - black and orange - and black and silver. Finally, it will cost around £700 ($800) and it comes out in June this year.

Writing about CES 2013
Technology news websites from all around the world were at CES 2013 and it was a challenge trawling through the hundreds of stories to find out what people will find interesting. I filtered the CES news into the best and most interesting CES news; that is what you read.

The first official day of CES was the hardest to write for because as soon as I had wrote something there was new information coming in about the product. 
It was almost like finishing filming a movie and then the script writer deciding he wants to add more detail to a scene it the middle. It was awkward and sometimes hard work.

Keeping reviews original was hard as well and not repeating myself; there are only a certain amount of tablets which you can call 'awesome' and 'amazing'. Reading about a games console on a news website and then trying to rewrite that in different words can also be hard because most of the time the reporter from the news website has worded everything perfectly.

I will shortly be writing a post about the highlights of CES 2013 so watch this space!

Thursday, 10 January 2013

CES 2013 - Day 3

It's day 3 of CES 2013 in Las Vegas and news has slowed down to a trickle; the stuff which is being announced though is extremely interesting...

Youm in action
One of the extremely interesting things which was announced today was a Samsung Windows Phone with a flexible display, Samsung are calling the technology 'Youm'. The bendy phone has an mega thin OLED screen which apparently is designed to bring out better colours and contrast.
In the last couple of years Nokia and LG have also released smartphones with flexible displays. Nokia's concept idea of a phone with a flexible screen was rather cool because you used gestures like twisting forward and backward to control the phone.

Microsoft announced a product today which isn't officially the XBOX 720 however will probably feature on the XBOX 720. It is called 'Illumiroom' and uses your Kinnect to scan the room you are in (in real time) and then it somehow projects an image onto your walls. The image depends on what game you are playing - on the demonstration video Microsoft showed, bullets fly out and around your room. This idea does sound amazing and will probably be extremely successful if it works well however we will need to wait until April to see another demo and find out.

Although Microsoft's partnership with CES ended last year they still announced a mighty product there today!
The Microsoft Surface Pro was announced at CES today. It runs Windows 8 Pro and has loads more features than the Microsoft Surface RT. For one it comes with a stylus which the screen recognises, this means that if you want to highlight a word you simply use the stylus and when you want to do something else you use your finger. Amazingly the display knows the difference!
It has a HD display and a HD camera on the front and back. Unfortunately it is considerably thicker than the iPad 4 and the Surface RT however you expect that with a tablet which has loads more features.
On the software side, you can run your old Windows 7 apps and softwares on this tablet because it has Windows 8 Pro built in. Finally, of course you have Microsoft office 2013 also built into the desktop mode which is optimised for touch.

Panasonic today announced some wireless headphones which send the music directly into your skull - no surgery required! The headphones use Bluetooth to send vibrations inside your head.

Watch this space tomorrow for the products announced on the 4th and final day of CES 2013.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

CES 2013 - Day 2

It's day 2 of CES 2013 and the initial rush of companies showcasing their new products is over. Instead news is now coming out at a steady pace which is easier to keep up with.

The Lenovo IdeaPhone K900
with a 13MP camera
One of the most unexpected things announced today was a 5.5-inch smartphone by Lenovo. It is called the IdeaPhone K900 and it features Intel's new dual-core processing chip. This phone is both extremely thin at 6.9mm and it is extremely square with no curved corners or edges. Removable backs seem to be coming standard with modern smartphones as this phone gives you the option of different styled back covers. The operating system Lenovo has selected is Android 4.1 however this has lots of customisations which Lenovo have added (although you can turn them off if you don't like them). This phone is currently set to launch in China during April however no where else in the world and we are still waiting for pricing.

We all know the story of the Pebble watch; the smart-watch which holds the record for getting the most backers on This smart-watch connects to your iPhone or Android phone and then all your notifications are pushed to it (like e-mails, Twitter notifications and calender events). The wizardry watch vibrates whenever you get a new notification and even allows you to view text messages on the screen. Want to change your track however can't be bothered to reach into your pocket to get out your phone, well just go to the Music app on the Pebble Watch and it wirelessly changes your track. It has a back-lit screen, magnetic charger and changeable watch faces which can be downloaded.
The Pebble Watch has been in the media's eye for many months now so the builders of it have been under pressure to make the watch perfect and it looks like they have. It is extremely simple to use and works seamlessly with your iPhone or Android phone. For those who have backed the Pebble watch on, they start shipping on the 23rd January 2013.

Last year Justin Bieber was at CES and this year it was pop star and tech enthusiast Unlike Justin Bieber from last year, wasn't at CES to advertise a product instead it was to do a keynote speech. I'm not sure what his speech was about however from what I hear he starts by saying:
"Have you ever thought about the bathroom?" 
So it definitely sounds interesting!

Anyway, that is it from the 2nd day of CES 2013, read here tomorrow for some of the highlights of the 3rd day of the phenomenal tech show!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

CES 2013 - Day 1

It's the 8th January 2013 and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is finally officially open. Here are some of the highlights of the first day:

One of the TV's Samsung announced at CES 2013
Technology giant Samsung have released something which is being described as a floating TV. It is called the Samsung UN85S9 and it has 4K resolutions (which is basically the level after HD). It is the largest 4K TV yet with a screen size of 85-inches and to the untrained eye it seems to be floating however it in fact has a very thin and stylish stand. It even has hinges on it so you can move the screen up and down.
There are numerous reasons why this TV is the most impractical thing in the world; it is way to big, hardly any content is made to work on 4K TV's and nobody will be able to afford it.
However, this is what CES is all about!
The only content which is available is from a new Netflix Beta service which can stream certain shows to your 4K Samsung TV.

Another company which has recently adopted the 4K resolution idea is Panasonic however not for their TV's. For some reason they have given a 20-inch Windows 8 tablet the high quality display. This is insane because 4K resolution is fairly new and therefore very expensive so the price of this tablet will hike up. Because there are so many pixels that you are able to use, Panasonic provides you with a fine stylus. The tech company say that this tablet is aimed at photographers, designers and architects. Panasonic have added their own app to the device which looks like it is a high quality photo viewer, if you want to edit a photo you are put straight into the desktop version of Adobe Photoshop (because Panasonic and Adobe are partners on this product).

The Sony Xperia Z which is waterproof for 30 minutes
Sony has announced some crazy products at CES as well starting with the new Xperia Z smartphone which can survive for 30 minutes underwater. Texting in the bath has became more and more popular and this phone eliminates the chance of your phone braking next time you drop it in the water. Also, lots of people keep their phone in their back pocket which unfortunately means that when they sit on the toilet it drops out and hits the bottom of the pot. Well with the Xperia Z, the toilet water will not break the phone, your only problem will be wiping off the brown stains.
Apart from those amazing qualities, this phone has a HD screen, 13 MP camera and a micro-SD card slot. It runs the latest version of Android and it surprisingly has an NFC chip inside (NFC is basically the new Bluetooth)

In an unexpected move, Sony are bringing back the Walkman.
It won't be much competition to the Apple iPod so the product is a bit pointless, but hey, everything at CES is useless! What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Qualcomm are a computer chip company and today they announced a new quad-core Snapdragon chip. It will be capable of supporting 55-megapixel images (ultra HD). This is actually a quite practical product because with companies such as Samsung, Sony, Lenovo and many more wanting to make faster and more powerful Windows 8 devices they will be looking for faster chips.

The Tweet from Windows Phone
Windows Phone tweeted that we could expect something exciting from them today and that came in the form of 2 new phones. The Samsung Ativ Odyssey was one of them. It is a 4-inch Windows Phone 8 device which has a 5 MP camera. It is not as big as the Samsung Ativ S which came out at the end of 2012 however it is still a good quality phone. It is set to come out over the next 2 weeks as a mid-range Windows Phone. Competitors are lightly to be the Nokia Lumia 710 and the HTC 8S.

The much anticipated Huawei Ascend W1
The other new Windows Phone is the Huawei Ascend W1 which is also going to be a midrange phone. @Evleaks has been posting pictures of this phone on it's Twitter account for months now so it has been expected for a while now. This device has a 4-inch screen and is extreemly standard - Huawei haven't even built any custom apps or photo lenses for the device.

Last product that I am going to tell you about is the world's first' curved OLED TV made by Samsung. It has a 55-inch screen and Samsung claim that it makes a 'more immersive viewing experience'.

More from CES coming tomorrow!

Monday, 7 January 2013

CES 2013 - Day -1

CES in Las Vegas isn't even officially open yet however companies such as Vizio and Lenovo have already started announcing new and updated products.

One of the biggest thing which has been announced so far is Vizio's first breed of smart phone. They have made 2 HD phones, one with a 5.5-inch screen and the other with a 4.7-inch screen. Both phones run the latest version of Android however at the moment they are only going on sale in China.
I was expecting something a little more exciting and futuristic from Vizio however both of these phones look like standard android phones; the only thing which is slightly interesting is the dual Sim Card capabilities on the 4.7-inch model.

Whilst I am on the subject of Vizio, I can confirm that they have updated all of their current laptops and ultra-books so they have a touch screen  They have also updated them so that they have a brand new track pad which comes from a completely new manufacture (probably because the old manufacturer did a rubbish job).
The new OS revealed when the 'Ideacentre Horizon' is laid flat

The coolest thing which has came out of CES so far has to be the 27-inch all-in-one, Lenovo, Windows 8 PC called the 'Ideacentre Horizon'. It is a normal Windows 8 PC whilst it is stood up and you can use it like how you would use a normal desktop computer however as soon as you lay it down flat it starts to run a completely new operating system. This unique operating system is exclusive to this 'coffee table tablet' and it uses fresh ideas and features which we have never seen before:
  • You can sit around this huge tablet because the operating system works easily no matter what direction you are using it from; even if you are sat near a corner!
  • It has a circle in the middle with options and apps around the circle which face outwards.
  • When looking at something like a photo you use 2 fingers to move it around, make it bigger and rotate it.
  • As you may expect it is excellent for playing board games such as Monopoly.
Overall this is a really cool tablet/all-in-one PC/coffee table and with a price of just over £1000, this is perfect for both the living room and the office.
Is it unusual that Nvidia who usally
makes computer chips is now making
Gaming devices?

Nvidia announced an unusual product called 'Project Shield' which is a handheld gaming device. It runs on Nvidia's Tegra 4 processor which means it is capable of powering 4K video and streaming PC games. The device looks extremely weird as it has a 5-inch HD screen which stands vertically on top of a huge XBOX like controller. For a hand held games device it actually had lots of ports; HDMI, micro-USB, microSD slot and a 3.5mm audio jack.
Inside, the device actually runs Android Jelly Bean which means that you might be able to play your favourite touch games with the controller such as Angry Birds however I'm not sure how that would work. 
The release date is around April 2013 and more information about this product will be released soon. During the presentation something called 'Project Thor' was mentioned however everyone is clueless regarding what that might be.

Anyway, that is all from the day before CES is officially open. Read tomorrow when CES will be officially open and we will see a lot more awesome technology!

Sunday, 6 January 2013

CES 2013 Preview

The Pebble Watch
CES 2013 is the Consumer Electronics Show which is held in Las Vegas every year. It is one of the biggest technology events which is ironic because it has a rubbish and confusing website. CES has partners all around the world from Panasonic to Engadget. Most big technology businesses will be there; Justin Bieber was even there last year! This year it is taking place between the 8th and 11th of January 2013.

What to expect
The project, the Pebble watch, will be making some sort of announcement during CES. Writers and journalists are unsure if it will be the official release of the 'smart' watch or if it will just be an update on the progress the builders of the watch are making.

Visitors to the show are expecting to see a huge amount of weird and wonderful Windows 8 devices. Maybe, if visitors are really lucky, a technology company might even make a practical device which consumers may even consider buying. I say that as if it is not lightly because some of the current Windows 8 tablets are a bit silly and nobody in the right mind would buy them; sometimes because of the high price, other times because of lack of useful features. Some of the Windows 8 devices which cost over £500 don't even have a VGA port!
Hopefully CES will provide the general public with some ultra ultra-books, some tremendous tablets, and some desirable desktop PC's. 
Fingers crossed anyway.

Samsung is apparently preparing to show a much anticipated flexible phone. According to various sources it will have a 5.5-inch screen and it will be able to bend both forward and backwards. I don't know why you would want to do that with your phone however it certainly looks cool!
Nokia showed off a flexible phone last year which used a lot of gestures to move around the operating system. For example you would bend it backwards to zoom out.

Earlier this week Samsung sent a picture to the press  (left) showing what looks like a portrait TV. This is obscure because all television programs are shot in landscape. The only videos which are shot in portrait are those of smartphone owners who obviously don't know how to use a camera.

CES in 1980
Anyway, I will be posting loads in the next couple of weeks about CES 2013 so watch this space.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Saturday 5th January: In the News this Week

It's the week of Saturday 5th January 2013 and...

First Minecraft Snapshot of 2013
Mojang have released the first Minecraft Snapshot of 2013, this is a prototype update which users can download from the Mojang website. This Snapshot is brings a lot of Red Stone updates and more Red Stone options; for example there are now daylight detector blocks, chests which activate Red Stone and Pistons are more stable. This snapshot apparent also brings a new ore to the Nether and "a whole bunch of other stuff". Mojang will be announcing the official release date as soon as they have added more features and make them as bug free as possible.

The Facebook design by Fred Nerby
Facebook Design
Artist and web designer, Fred Nerby, has made a modern look for the Facebook website. It would work on a desktop and a touch-screen and it looks amazing! Unfortuantely it is not a real website so you can't use this version of Facebook for yourself however Nerby has said that he is willing to talk to Facebook if they offer him a job.

New Studies into the Radiation emitted by mobile phones
Are mobile phones safe?
Studies like this have been going on the last 4 decades and one of the biggest research projects was by Orange. This was obviously biased though because their whole company is selling mobile phones.
This new study is being conducted by an independent group of people in New York and New Jersey and so far they have built an antenna which does not include any metal sections. This is so they can actually see the results when they put it in an MRI. They have also put a similar antenna in a cows brain and put that in a MRI so they can see if the radio waves effect the brain.
They are hoping that in the future Scientists will be able to produce a 3D image of mobile phone radiation to see if mobile phones are actually a threat.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Strawberry Cheesecake recipe


  • 50g (2oz) Butter or margarine
  • 75g (3oz) Plain flour
  • 25g (1oz) Porridge oats
  • 75g (3oz) Caster sugar
  • 700g (1 and a half lb) Natural cottage cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 60ml (4tspn) Natural yoghurt
  • 225g (8oz) Fresh strawberries, hulled
  1. Grease and base line a 20cm (8 inch) loose-based round cake tin. Put the fat in a saucepan and heat until melted, then stir in the flour, oats and 25g (1oz) sugar. Stir until well mixed, then press into the base of the cake tin. Bake at 180C (350F) mark 4 for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rub the cottage cheese through a sieve into a bowl. Beat the eggs, then beat into the cottage cheese. Add the lemon rind and the remaining 50g (2oz) caster sugar and mix well together.
  3. Pour the mixture into the cake tin. Return to the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Spoon the yoghurt over the cheesecake and bake for a further 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 3-4 hours.
  4. When cold, carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin. Slice most of the strawberries and arrange. With remaining whole strawberries, arrange on top of the cheesecake before serving. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Apple iOS 7 coming in March

March is usually the time when a new iPad is released, well it has been like that for the last 3 years anyway and I think that this March we will see the announcement of iOS 7 and an iPad Mini with a retina display.

Lots of websites are saying that iOS 7 will be announced in March and I think one of the reasons Apple will be releasing it early is because of the success iOS 6 lacked. Apple Maps was an extreme disappointment and Passbook didn't take off as well as everyone hoped either. iOS 7 being released early will be Apple's way of apologising for iOS 6.
That is a rumour anyway.

Multiple users on iOS 7?
People around the world seem to be hoping for a new lock screen for some reason. Bloggers and technology writers seem to be hoping for a live Weather feed and other various feeds to be displayed next to the time.

With iOS 6 you can access the phones camera directly from the lock screen by clicking on the camera logo and sliding up. A cool feature which iPhone fans would apparently like to see is the ability to change the quick access to camera with quick access to twitter, stopwatch or another app.

A feature which I would like to see on iOS 7 is to be able to have multiple users on 1 iPad. Although some small Android tablets have this feature, it doesn't work that well because it is extremely slow and the lag can be up to half a minute when switching from one account to another.

Apple has the amazing ability to create new markets and for people to want their product straight away. 
With Microsoft people but a new product when their old one breaks or because it is going cheap. People buy Google products because they want something extremely similar to Apple however can't afford the standard and quality.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Life of Pi and Tim Squyres

This is one of the best films of 2013 so far!

Okay, well it is a bit better than that. This film is about an Indian man telling the story of his life and how he came to where he is now.

Piscine Molitor (Pi) grew up living on his Fathers zoo in India. He was named after a swimming pool in France which his uncle visited and he thought it to be extraordinary because of the clear water. Pi's uncle insisted Pi was to be named after this swimming pool if he was to have a clean soul.
During his childhood Pi got bullied by other children because of his name so one day Piscine decided he would rather be called 'Pi', so he recites over 100 decimal places of Pi (π) and shows everyone in his class.

Whist Pi was a child he also became almost obsessed with religion and although his father didn't like it, by the time Pi was a teenager he was already a Hindu, a Catholic and a Muslim.

One day Pi's father thinks it would be beneficial moving his Zoo across the North Pacific Ocean and to Vancouver in Canada where they can start their life again. None of the family including the father want this however they think it must be done if they want to have money.

They cage up all of their animals and pack up all of their possessions and head out on a Japanese ship to Canada. One extremely stormy night, Pi goes outside on the boat to see the thunder and lightning. Whilst he slips around on the deck of the boat he sees that members of the ships crew are getting swept away by some of the waves that are coming over the sides and on to the boat.

This is where Pi's journey begins, he is forced to get onto a life boat with other people on the ship however they are tragically swept away by strong waves and Pi is left on the life boat on his own; floating away from the Ship and everyone on it.
Pi is not alone though, he is accompanied by a injured Zebra and he later finds out, a Tiger too!

This film shows us what life is like for Pi as he spends dozens of days in the wilderness of the North Pacific. He sees some amazing sights and experiences beautiful wildlife despite being close to dying many times.

The way in which this film is shot is outstanding because every camera angle feels like it is just perfect. The colours of the sea and of the scenery are bright and colourful but most of all they feel real. Even the animation of animals (especially Richard Parker, the Tiger) is outstanding and mind blowing.

Life of Pi is both a marvellous film and a fine piece of Art

In conclusion, this film is unique and visually perfect in the cinema no matter if you see it in 2D or 3D however without the big screen and surround sound I'm not sure how good this film will look so I would strongly recommend you go and see it in the cinema whilst you still can.

Rating: 8.7/10

Tim Squyres
Tim Squyres is the film editor of 'Life of Pi' and he has won an Academy Award for film editing. He did a fascinating interview with 'The Verge' last month where he talked about how hard it is to edit films in 3D especially when they include animated animals and lots of special effects.

He said "Things that are relatively simple in 2D re a nightmare in 3D" however he also said that "Very often in a film, one of the scenes you spend the most time on has no visual effects at all. For me it’s the scene where Pi’s family is having dinner and talking about religion versus reason when Pi is 11. That scene we worked on a lot — changed it, rewrote it, reshuffled it, and shortened it. We decided early on that we were going to drop some of it, but what lines do we drop, and what lines do we put back?"
All the hard work did pay of in the end because Life of Pi was a truly wonderful film.

Digital Actors
In the interview, Squyres was asked about digital actors and how possible they are to create and look realistic. He says "The hardest part is the face. Body motion we can do fairly well, because to some extent with body movement you can actually just use motion capture data or just photograph people. There are so many muscles in the face, and humans are so adept at interpreting those movements."
He added "With a tiger we can get away with it is since they’re covered in fur, and don’t have the same degree of expressiveness. Without the fur it’s really hard, but it’s not impossible."

By the looks of it, this means that the likes of Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz will still be working for a few more decades however the amount of stunts that humans perform will decrease and we will slowly be replaced with CGI. There are less risks using digital actors for stunts instead of real people and therefore more practical for the producers. Money will be saved on insurance because there is a 0% chance of Tom Cruise crashing a Ferrari and breaking his nose.

Digital actors could make the stunts that we never thought possible, possible!

Although digital actors would put tens of thousands of real actors out of work, they would be replaced with tens of thousands of special effects editors and CGI creators. Making people on computers and animating them is debatably more skilful than acting so creating digital actors would be a high paid job and the animators might even become celebrities. Despite this, Squyres ended the interview with the statement "Things should go under-appreciated. You should just be able to watch the movie."