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Autumn Tech Roundup 2013

Autumn Tech Roundup 2013

Autumn Tech Roundup 2013

Pebble watch Good morning, good day, good evening and welcome. It's that time again where we look at what's been happening in the world of technology. Let's see if we can do this one without mentioning the Xb... Pl... erm, any new consoles shall we?

iPad Air

Apple's at it again - hot on the heels of the iPhone 5s and 5c comes the new thinner, lighter, more powerful iPad Air. Boasting an improved camera and a 64 bit processor, which will be taken advantage of by the latest incarnation of iOS, does it still have what it takes to keep the top tablet spot - especially given the rumoured update to Google's Nexus 10? While we are slightly confused at the lack of fingerprint scanner (included on the iPhone 5s - perhaps it's penned in for a future iPad upgrade, much like the retina display on the iPad mini?) this is certainly a very attractive piece of hardware. There’d be no issues viewing the Plusnet website on a screen that nice though. Interested? Unsure? iOS or Android? Pop into our Community Forums and let us know what you think.

Apple poaching clothing design CEOs

Speaking of Apple, they've been doing some very interesting recruiting recently.  Paul Deneve, latterly CEO of Yves Saint Laurent has been appointed their VP of special projects and most recently Angela Ahrendts of Burberry will be looking after both the physical and online Apple stores. While there's no doubt these are canny moves on both parts, we can't help but wonder if - as well as fortifying Apple's position as a luxury brand - some kind of clothing is in the pipeline? We're starting to see more and more clothing with included electronics, and now that printed circuitry and flexible display panels are within technological reach it'll be interesting to see what comes of this. We're imagining t-shirts that display what you're listening to, bags with built in iPod controls/displays so you don't even need to take it out of the bag to fast forward to the next track, maybe even a sweatband with a built in keyboard? Okay the last one's silly... what would you like to see in the fusion of fashion and technology?

Nvidia vs AMD - are AMD rocking the top spot?

Remember back in the early Noughties? It was all about AMD. Their socket A Athlon XP chip was the chip to have, and very little could touch the ATI 9800 pro - at least until nVidia's 6000 series. Since then Intel have been in the lead in the processor stakes (at least straight performance wise, though granted if you look at bang-for-buck there's much less in it) and nVidia have arguably had the edge as far as graphics goes - though again the bang-for-buck argument carries much weight here. The fight's been on throughout though, and is set to step up another notch with AMD's release of the 290X - spurring nVidia to reduce the prices of its 7-series cards and announce the 780Ti. As a gamer, this is fantastic news - though granted it's not many of us that have a 4k display. Still, price wars are generally a good thing for the consumer at the end of the day, whether your preference lies with nVidia or AMD. Which do you prefer? Why not pop a post in to our gaming forum and let us know?

Chris' Pebble Review

You might remember that a few months back we wrote about the Pebble smartwatch and we mentioned that one of us had ordered one. Now that one Plusnetter has had it for a few months we thought we'd give you an insight into their thoughts. Over to you CParr...

“I love it! The watch isn't the heaviest, most bling piece of wristwear out there, but it's simple to use and has some great features and apps. Before I continue it's worth noting that I'm using this with an Android phone, so the features and apps may differ from iOS ones. The apps I'm using at the moment are the default Pebble app, Pebble Notifier and Canvas for Pebble. Pebble Notifier is a cool app, it means I can allow any app on my phone that notifies me via the top bar icons to send an alert to my watch. Handy for email, twitter among many others. My favourite Pebble app though has to be Canvas. This allows you to create your own watch faces. I'm a fan of simple and clean watch faces, but with good information on. The watch face I created and usually use can be seen in the screenshot below.” Chris' pebble watchface Back to Matt for the rest of the Tech round-up....

Gadgets for Chr... the Holiday Season

Yep. It's coming up to that time of year again, (we'll try not to mention it...) so what should you be looking for? Assuming you've not already spent up on the Pebble, the iPad Air and the new AMD 290X of course. Well, you may remember a while ago we mentioned the nVidia Shield. This is out now in the US though not in the UK, but it should be before Ch... er, the shopping season starts Smiley It's $299 across the pond so expect around £250 we'd guess. It does indeed do everything that was mentioned back in our previous review though at the time of writing the feature enabling users with sufficiently powerful nVidia cards to stream games from their PC is in beta. Looking at tablets as we were, as well as the new Air and the new Nexus offerings there's also the Tesco Hudl - granted the screen's not quite up to the same standards as the big boys, but neither is the price. By all accounts the performance doesn't fall very far behind either, it's certainly a viable multimedia and gaming platform and even offers a mini-HDMI out for viewing on the big screen. What are your Chr... er, seasonal wants this year? Why not pop into our Community forums and let us know?

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Personally I don't like the creeping Americanisation of referring to this as the holiday season (isn't that the summer for most people?) rather than Christmas - and I speak as an atheist. If someone wants to wish me Happy Hanukkah too, that's great. But if you do feel it inappropriate to refer to Christmas for fear of upsetting some over-sensitive soul, please have the courage of your convictions and get on with using the alternatives rather than this indecisive middle ground! Happy Christmas to one and all.
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Hi, happy Christmas - the not trying to mention it was intended as more of a joke, what with all the advertising and shopping and everything going on. In a kind of tongue in cheek 'you're hearing enough about this at the moment so I'll try and avoid doing yet another Christmas blog' type way. Sorry it didn't come across as such, but that's what I intended Smiley Regards, Matt
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Plusnet telly looks good, but is any of it live? I'm buggered if I'm paying the thieving telly tax.