News: Windows on Chromebooks

Windows 10 on Chromebook

The Chromebook with its’ Android-derived Chrome OS is Google’s answer to the the Windows laptop. No onboard storage and a setup for cloud-based computing means no Windows-based applications like MS-Office, Notepad, or anything by Adobe. Except you can now run Windows 10 on Chromebooks – in a virtual machine. Continue reading

How-to: Buy a Tablet

How to buy a tablet

Tablets are starting to mature. Android’s new 4.1 release dramatically improves the user experience. Apple’s iPad is now on its third iteration and continues to dominate the market. Microsoft pushing hard with Windows 8 RT, which is likely to inspire a range of new models. The tablet market is growing and looks continue on the back of the iPad’s stunning success.

The question is now what to choose: large or small, iOS, Android or Windows? Continue reading

Opinion: Android Hacks and the Stagefright from Hell

Stagefright, Creative Commons, Gresham College via Vimeo

You may have read about the multiple-hack affecting Stagefright, the code in Android that plays back media in MMS (multimedia messages). An enterprising hacker (allegedly) needs only send an MMS containing the exploit to the phone number of an Android 2.2 or later device and Stagefright will write code to any part of that device for which it has permissions – with the potential to affect 950 million, yes million, Android phones.

Whilst it is in theory quite easy to upgrade your phone to the latest Android (off-brand Chinese phones excepted), the question is how many users of those 950 million (that are still in use) are actually capable of doing so? Even if you go to the right website to get the latest phone software, there are many obstacles to making those phones secure again.

Find the right site, identify your phone, download the software, read, study, backup your data (yes, you!) then cross your fingers as you flash the firmware and wait for the rising smoke from your handset. But don’t even attempt it until you’re absolutely certain you understand the instructions and follow them to the letter.

Easy. Continue reading

Review: Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 Tablet

Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tabletSamsung Galaxy Note 8.0 $380

A thin, light tablet that looks like a stretched out Galaxy S4 with a 1280×800, 8.0-inch screen that is good for a TFT, but not even close to a Nexus 7. Which makes $380 a hefty price tag for a device that’s so very 1998: calling all stylus-lovers, you too can tap away with a stylus like some ancient Greek scratching away on clay…

The Galaxy Note 8.0 is a relatively new device from Samsung comes with a built-in stylus; so what’s not to love? Two things, really: the screen and the price. It’s and at $380, this thing charges a hefty price for the addition of a stylus. How’s your handwriting?

But if you can cope with, or ignore the stylus, the attraction of the Note 8.0 is Multi-Window. Gosh! It almost dragged me away from DesqView X. Fancy that: having two apps open side by side. Just imagine, a Web browser on the left and a notes app on the right. Continue reading

Review: Sony Xperia Z Tablet

Sony Xperia Z tabletSony Xperia Z Tablet $500
If you want a 10-inch tablet that’s light, waterproof (up to a point) and performs almost as well as an iPad, Sony’s Xperia Z may be it.

The 1920×1200 display may not be as good as the iPad’s Retina but it knocks spots off the competition. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and 2G B of RAM, an 8 megapixel camera, and running Android 4.1, it is very capable, and, bought from Sony direct, has a bundled 8 GB micro SD card to for expanded storage.

Interestingly this one has an infrared emitter for controlling your TV, so we’re starting to see the convergence and the use of tablets as a domestic controller. Expect to operate your heating and microwave over Bluetooth soon. Continue reading