Thursday, 30 May 2013

The New Xbox One Kinect


Microsoft's new Xbox One console is scheduled to be released later this year and a lot of attention has been focused on the new Kinect which ships with the console. It has been upgraded from the last version which as we know had its fair share of problems. However, this time around it seems that the developers have really gone the extra mile and produced a device with a wide range of capabilities. The new Kinect will be able to monitor the user by facial recognition, their heart rate as well as through the  use of infrared technology. Check out the first look video below courtesy of CNETTV.

Image courtesy Javier Ferreiro

Friday, 24 May 2013

Forza 5 Trailer

 The trailer for the upcoming game Forza 5 was shown at the Xbox One reveal on Tuesday. Needless to say the trailer was very impressive. Forza 5 is going to be a launch title for the Xbox One and is exclusive to this console. On a related note, the new Xbox One  case design has been revealed by Forza 5 being listed on Amazon. If you're interested, you can check it out here. Anyways, you can view the trailer below courtesy Xbox.

*Image Courtesy NewGameNetwork

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Xbox One: First Impressions

On Tuesday, Microsoft unveiled their flagship console for 2013, the Xbox One. Featuring  a new design and seemingly a new strategic outlook, the Xbox One reveal did in fact provide some intriguing moments. Let's take a look at this in more depth below.
First off there is the console's basic specifications. It comes with an eight core processor, 500GB of memory and 8GB of RAM. For the tech geeks among us, there was no mention of what type of RAM this is. At the PS4's launch earlier this year it was revealed that Sony will be incorporating GDDR5 RAM into their new console. It looks like Microsoft is holding back on certain aspects until E3. Along with the internal upgrade, the exterior has gotten a facelift as well with a sleek new design combining both matte and polished black surfaces. In addition to this, the new console has an HDMI pass through, which allows the One to function sort of as a set top box. Also included in the new design is blu ray capability.
Microsoft has also upgraded its Kinect which by the way is shipped with all purchases of the Xbox One(Yes you must buy the Kinect). The camera and motion sensing capabilities have been significantly improved allowing for the Kinect to recognize even small rotations of your hands.In addition to the improved Kinect, you can also now control the One with voice commands. Pretty nice addition in my view, which is illustrated in the video below courtesy of GameTrailers.

Probably the biggest surprise came when it was revealed that this console will be able to control your television as well. Not only that, Microsoft also plans to release exclusive television series that can only be accessed through the Xbox One. They've also partnered with Skype to allow video calls right from the One in full 1080p HD quality. It seems that Microsoft is not only going after gaming but targeting entertainment as a whole, with the aim of having the One as the center of your living room, not just a device for gaming. Yes, it's a bold move, but we'll have to wait and see how this pans out.
Call of Duty

Finally, let's mention some of the new games revealed at the event (supposedly the main reason for the Xbox in the first place). A trailer for Forza Motorsport 5 was shown at the event which claimed to be gameplay footage. After having watched the quite awesome trailer, I am still a bit skeptical as to whether this claim is true or not. Guess we'll wait for the full story on this one. Additionally, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Quantum Break trailers were shown, all of which were quite impressive. I must say though that the reveal was a bit light in the games department and one only hopes that this will be corrected at E3.
In conclusion I would say that Microsoft not only revealed their new console but also presented to us their new vision for becoming the one stop shop with regards to entertainment. Television, the internet and gaming all in one device. Is that the future of consoles? Microsoft certainly seems to think so.
For more, you can check it out at Amazon, here.

*Images courtesy Faseextra

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Top 5 SEO Points for Webmasters

search engine optimization

Confused when it comes to search engine optimization? If you are a webmaster and in to SEO(you really should be), then you know the insane volume of information there is out there about search engine optimization. The discussion as regards to linkbuilding alone can make you feel like you're in college again. Therefore, it is advisable to narrow your area of focus as it relates to SEO and concentrate on the most important core points. The question then arises, what are these core points? Check out the video below with Google's Matt Cutts explaining some of the more important areas to focus on when it comes to SEO. Obviously, he is speaking with reference to Google but the points mentioned are important for any search engine. Bing users have no need to worry though, as I will be discussing Bing on this site in a later post. Hope you guys enjoy it.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Blackberry Q10: QWERTY Keyboard is back

Blackberry Phone
Blackberry have recently released the Blackberry Q10. This phone has the old style QWERTY keyboard which will surely appeal to many Blackberry fans. In terms of specifications, it comes with a 1.5GHz dual core Snapdragon processor and a 3.1 inch 720p display. It' s got a 2100mAh battery and an 8 megapixel camera. Check out the unboxing video by Phonedog below and don't forget to say what you think about it. Has Blackberry clawed their way back into the mobile market with the Z10 and now this device?

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

How to watch youtube on Roku


Are you a Roku fan? If you are, you're probably quite surprised to have realized that Roku does not natively support Youtube. The most popular video sharing platform has been the biggest omission in Roku's great service but, there is of course a workaround for this.  It involves using the an app called Twonky. Basically, you download this app on your internet enabled mobile device and then stream Youtube videos from your mobile to the Roku set top. Yes, it's a bit of a roundabout method but at least it gets the job done and it does it quite efficiently as well. For the full set up, check out the video below from CNET.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

HTC One Battery Removal

HTC HTC's flagship smartphone for 2013, the HTC One, is a magnificent piece of technology. However, as with anything else, there were a few drawbacks, a major one being the inability to remove the battery. Even though the battery life on the HTC One is quite good, there are those who will need that extra power. For those of you that do, this tutorial is for you. Check out the video below from etradesupply showing a full teardown of the HTC One (You shouldn't really try this if you're not a professional!).

Alternatively, you could get the battery replacement text version courtesy of iFixit from the link below, showing you how to remove the battery on the HTC One. One word of caution though, this process was quite arduous and permanent damage to the HTC One's aluminum body looks like being unavoidable, so attempt this at your own risk. HTC definitely didn't make this phone with repairability in mind, that's for sure.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

HTC One Scratch Test

HTC Scratch Test
HTC have just released their flagship smartphone the HTC One. I've already reviewed it (check it out here), and overall I would say that this phone is a near perfect smartphone. One of the possible drawbacks however, is that the beautifully constructed aluminum uni body may be susceptible to nicks and scratches. PhoneBuff recently uploaded a video showing a scratch test done with the HTC One which you can check out below.  One word of caution though, if you're one who really takes great care of your mobile phones, this may be a bit hard to watch.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Google Glass Demos

Image Courtesy Ars Electronica
The $1500 explorer edition of Google Glass is out and already users have uploaded videos taken using the device. Google Glass is a head mounted display (HMD) device that can basically be viewed as a wearable computer. It is capable of taking pictures and video. Additionally, it works with many Google apps including Google Now, Google + among others. Google has also released the API so that apps can be developed for Glass.
It is Google's hope that this project will become a major success in the future, but only time will tell. For now, check out the Google Glass videos below and don't forget to post a comment with your thoughts on Glass.
Courtesy Dan McLaughlin

 Courtesy Laura Ockel

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Full HTC One Review

HTC One SmartphoneHTC have just released their flagship phone for 2013, the HTC One. It can be viewed as  a direct competitor to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and many will be wondering how does it stack up. Is it the phone many are making it out to be? We analyzed it and here are  the results.
Let's start off with the basic stats. The HTC One boasts  a 4.7 inch display with a 1.7 GHz quad core Qualcomm processor. It runs on Android 4.1.2 Jellybean(update to 4.2 coming out anytime now) and is 4GLTE enabled. The display on this phone is truly outstanding with full 1080p HD and a resolution of 468 ppi. Screen images are clear and sharp, even in direct sunlight. It comes with 32GB  internal storage and 2GB of RAM.
When you first get a hold of the HTC One, the first thing that strikes you is the great way it feels in the palm of your hand. This phone is built from a single piece of aluminum alloy which was shaped out on a CNC machine for approximately 200 minutes. After such a long time to construct a single phone, it better be outstanding and it certainly achieves that. In terms of Android phones, the HTC One's construction is certainly the best there is. Of course, as it is a metal phone, there is the problem of nicks and scratches. HTC have stated they are confident that this phone is durable enough to withstand daily wear and tear but only time will tell on this front.
The HTC One has a  4.1 MP main camera with flash. At first glance that seems woefully inadequate for a high end smartphone such as this, but HTC have coined the term Ultrapixel to define their new camera technology. Basically, while other smartphones have been increasing their MP count and as a result decreasing micron size, HTC have gone the other direction and have used a camera with 2 micron pixels compared to other smartphones which have used 1.1 microns. What this means is that the camera has improved low light sensitivity as its main advantage. After seeing pictures taken in low lit areas such as bars and restaurants, I can say that it indeed performs better than other smartphones on the market now but maybe not as great as HTC would have you believe. Another interesting aspect of this phone is the Zoe videos. These are short video clips combined with about twenty pictures which can be taken with the HTC One and uploaded to social media sites or shared via email.I must say I really do like this feature.
This smartphone boasts dual frontal speakers with inbuilt amplifiers and Beats audio. HTC have labelled this setup as Boomsound. It must be said that the sound output from this smartphone is outstanding. Even at high audio output levels the sound is still crisp and distortion is at a minimum. Although you probably don't use your smartphone for high decibel sound output, it's still great that you can turn up the volume quite a bit.
The power button on the HTC One can also be used as a remote control for your home theater equipment since it also acts as an IR transmitter. Along with HTC's Sense TV app, you can use the One as a remote control and TV guide as well. I find that this particular feature is quite a nice addition and it is in fact very similar to Samsung's WatchON feature. Another thing that you will notice with this smartphone is that it's designed with only two capacitive buttons, Home and Back. This may be irksome for some users who are not used to this particular design, but I find that you get used to it quite quickly.
Let's move on to the battery. As with all smartphones, battery life is crucial. This phone is shipped with a 2300mAh non removable battery and HTC gives it a useable battery life of approximately 19 hours. I can tell you that after  a day of moderate use of this phone, there was approximately thirty percent battery life left. This is indeed very good and this actually mirrors my experience with the iPhone 5, so I think you get the picture, great battery life on this phone.
The HTC One comes with Android Jelly Bean 4.2.1 and HTC have put their software called HTC Sense on the phone. HTC Sense was present in HTC's previous smartphone offerings and the UI on this phone is reminiscent of those phones but with some minor changes. They seemed to have gone for a more minimalist look by removing the iconic clock and weather widget. The major change though is the addition of what Samsung calls Blinkfeed. This is basically a news and social aggregator which is the default home screen. Although it cannot be completely removed, it can be customized to show any one of HTC's home screens(Check out the Blinkfeed customization tutorial here). Through the use of the Google Play Store, users can download apps by choosing from a  list of approximately 700,000. No lack of choice there.
In terms of performance, the HTC One is fast, really fast. It utilizes a quad core Snapdragon 600 processor and from what I saw, nothing can slow this phone down. Whether you're surfing the web or just flipping through the phone's features, movement was seamless.
Overall, one could say that the HTC One is a near perfect smartphone. Again, drawbacks such as no micro SD slot for expansion and the non removable battery may annoy some, but I don't think these create too much of an issue for this phone. It is available on all the major carriers except Verizon, but there are rumors that it may come out on Verizon later this year. If you're thinking about getting it or you just want more info,  check it out here.
Please feel free to leave your comments below and say what you think about the HTC One.