Watch out, Hackers about and it is up to you to protect your computer data with the appropriate software.
As a young child I can remember playing a game we knew as "Pig-in-the-Middle". Now as an adult, with a thicker waist line and many grey hairs, it seems the situation is returning. I, and many others, find ourselves in the middle of an ongoing battle that is taking place between security companies and those who are intent on infiltrating the computer data and facilities of ours for their own nefarious purposes.
Every new Pen camera from Olympus is a pleasure to review. For such a small overall unit to give brilliant quality images and video without you having to be a semi-professional user is great. This latest offering camera only was sent with the new 14-42mm lens so I could review it.
The Olympus Pen E-PL10 measures 12.5x6x6cm and weights 471 grams. There is about 3cm of extension with the lens. Let’s start with the top of the camera, pop up flash, flash shoe, nine position wheel, and finally on/off button. On either side of the top are neck strap anchor points. The left side is clear, while the right side has a door covering HDMI and USB sockets. The base has tripod screw and the solid battery bay as well as SD slot. The face has the motorised lens.
A picture, so they say, may be worth a thousand words but sometimes the image does not tell the complete story. Images, especially those of celebrities, have sometimes been doctored to enhance and modify the original image by specialist using software such as PortraitPro 19 from Anthropics Technology.
This product is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max versions with this review being based on the top-of-the-range 64-bit PortraitPro 19 Studio Max offering. As its title should indicate, this software's main focus is concerned with the facial features of the subject featured in an image. This software does work best when dealing with a full face or profile view of the main character featured in the image.
ewel Match Twilight 3 is the latest edition to Suricate Games’ Match-3 series. As the game’s title might indicate, this offering has a ghostly theme as it features eerie sounds and abandoned buildings that require restoring. This review is based on a Collector’s Edition of the game that comes with bonus levels, spooky wallpaper and music.
Jewel Match Twilight 3 is the latest edition to Suricate Games’ Match-3 series. As the game’s title might indicate, this offering has a ghostly theme as it features eerie sounds and abandoned buildings that require restoring. This review is based on a Collector’s Edition of the game that comes with bonus levels, spooky wallpaper and music.
This is a DAB and FM radio with presets, it is also a speaker for those who want output from the ‘Aux’ input plus it also has ‘Alexa’ built in. This oval unit has another big plus the ability to run from its internal battery for up to fifteen hours.
I called it oval as it has rounded corners but in truth it is a 10cm cube when in use. The height when switched off is only 8cm. The on/off mechanism is simply by pushing down in the centre of the top and this releases the unit to show the display, push down again from any mode and the display disappears and it becomes 10x10x8cm. On first switch on you should be given the option to set your language of choice.
Early this year I told you about the Google Home Hub, now Google have launched another range of products. I will start with probably the smallest the Google Nest Mini (2nd Generation) that is truly small but it has a big sound with twice the base of the first generation offering.
The Google Nest Mini is round with a 9cm diameter and is 4cm thick; there is a choice of four colours: chalk; sky; coral or charcoal. There are three touch controls on the device volume down, volume up and mute. The only physical connection is the 1.5 metre long micro USB to mains plug. The initial setup requires the Google Home App which is available on the iOS or Android store. Once setup is completed you can run the Nest Mini totally from your voice so the phone does not need to be present.
While this was launched before the Cricket World Cup it did not arrive with me until the Cricket season was finished. Indeed anyone watching the main courts at Wimbledon would have seen the ‘oppo’ name on the show courts, great advert but how many will have known what the name referred to.
The Oppo Reno 10 Pro measures 16x7.5x.8cm and it weighs 216grams. The viewable screen is 15.5x7.2cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 6.6inches. This is a large phone with hybrid zoom. The selfie phone gives a wider capture angle as the lens is not in the screen but on a pop out above it. Start up is 13 seconds and shutdown only 1.2 seconds. Going around the outside has the on/off button on the right. The base has USB ‘C’, SIM entry point and speaker.
Originally only available for those taking out insurance from this company, it is now available for all. I looked at the early offering in February. Now it comes with packaging more fitment options and the chance to get far longer video clips.
Since my first review nine months ago the camera will now work with Alexa and you have the option via a subscription to get far longer video clips, the basic is twelve seconds and this increases with the extra subscription to sixty seconds, either way your videos are stored for 14 days. The camera itself is a five centimetre cube but the height can increase by another three centimetres by the base lifting on itself in a three way movement to let you get it pointing in exactly the correct place.
As notebooks get smaller something had to go, the easiest to lose was the optical drive, other things were harder possibly the Ethernet connection and then the flood gates opened as some devices have just a single USB ‘C’ and sometimes little else.
So the market for third parties to produce the ability to let your notebook have all the connectivity when in the office and still be as small and light when out of the office. So from Brando those clever people in Hong Kong comes the ‘USB-C Multifunctional Converter’ which gives everything you used to have but no longer do with the exception of the optical drive. It is 28cm long 7.5cm wide and a minimum of 1cm and maximum of 2cm thick, it weighs just 258 grams.
Adding to its range of graphics software products, Corel has released version 23 of its Pinnacle Studio offering. I was fortunate to have been sent a free version of the top of the range Ultimate product rather than the standard Studio or Studio Plus products.
Without a doubt, the fact I had been sent the Ultimate version of the product added to the time required for the downloading of the software and its installation on my work system. The size and length of time required by the tasks can be judged by the number of desktop icons that were created. Normally you would expect a product, even one involved with graphics, to make do with a single desktop icon.
Amazon started life as a book seller, now it sells EBook readers.
Books, a valuable source of information and entertainment, whether in hardback or paperback format, have been around and will continue to do so for many years. However this should not mean that new, or more recent concepts with regards literature, should be ignored. Not only does the digital format of text presentation provide the means to read literature but it also delivers additional information concerning the story and its author.
It been a while since I have reviewed a camera that can fit in your pocket, of course most recent SmartPhones have better than average cameras but I do not know any that can shoot underwater as this latest offering from Olympus can.
While it was clearly marked sample and it was just the camera no leads and most importantly no manual, I was able to download the manual sometime later and this helped me to fill in some of the things that the camera is capable of that I was unable to figure out without it. I defy most to get anything like the best from this unit without a thorough read of the 168 pages of the manual.
Recently my review of an 8th Generation Kindle was published and it was something I had not seen for a number of versions. Here another such items a Fire Tablet which I see – over the years - I had tried three previous versions, now it comes with Alexa built in so it is possible to talk to your Tablet. So what exactly has been happening with the Fire Tablet recently?
The Fire 7 tablet from Amazon measures 19x11.4x1cm and weighs 288 grams. The viewable screen is 9x15.2cm which gives the diagonal imperial measurement of 7inches. A full charge via trickle charge is 3½ hours boot up is 20 seconds and shutdown is 3 seconds. Going around the outside has the micro USB slot on the right side, the base is clear; the right side has the speaker near the base. The top has volume up and down buttons, 3.
This is a small but extremely powerful tower system. Acer does a number of different versions under the same name and model number both with and without an SSD drive, it also has various Intel and AMD processors so do think about all this prior to selecting where to purchase it from as certain models like this one are only available from two outlets.
It’s 35cm from front to back but add another 5cm for cables to be inserted. It is 16.5cm wide and 35cm tall. The top has a wireless charging plate towards the front. The front has a vertically mounted optical drive and towards the right near the base an SD card port, a USB ‘C’ and a USB3 port (always on) as well as 3.5mm headphone and microphone sockets. The back has kettle style mains lead, lower down are four USB2 sockets and below this two USB3 ports and an Ethernet port.
Raspberry Pi has launched its 4th generation model which is significantly faster and more capable than any of the existing products.
True wire free connection as this kit is Wi-Fi and uses rechargeable batteries that should last months between charges. This means you just need to find somewhere to fix an external camera, this kit also includes a second camera and a motion detector even for total darkness so while other kits say they are wireless often you still need something going through an external wall.
The kit is controlled by the siren which can be set to on or off, this connects to your router via a supplied Ethernet lead and this also needs mains power once this is connected you download an App to your phone from either the Android or iOS store. Once you have created an account just follow the prompts and in around two minutes you should be setup. You now have two cameras each around 8x5x7.5cm although they are more oval than rectangular.
F-Secure, as you might presume from the company’s title, offers users a range of hardware, software, apps and Cloud protection solutions.
For those looking for an all-round protection software solution, F-Secure offers its Total product which consists of three main elements. There is another fourth element but I am reserving that element for another review. The three main elements are SAFE, FREEDOME VPN and KEY. As well as being available on a subscription basis, there is also a 30-day trial version for checking out the product.
Certainly the biggest TV to have invaded my lounge, unlike most others that allow me to slide my own TV back on the unit this needs to be towards the back of the unit because of the width of the screen and the size of the stand.
The Cello QLED 55inch 4K TV measures 124x70.5x.6cm and the stand it sits on is 76cm wide at the front and 24cm from back to front, it is the shape of a ‘C’ this raises the unit by 7cm from what it sits on. It can of course be wall mounted. However as the fitment is the only place I can put any TV the width of the ‘C’ is vital for me.
When it comes to Huawei handsets, you can never really complain that you are spoilt for choice.
Huawei offers a regular flow of new models, whether part of its flagship Mate or Honor brands, to suit a variety of taste and pockets of potential customers. The latest Huawei model to come under my gaze is the company’s Mate 20 lite offering. With dimensions of 75.3 x 158.3 x 7.6 mm (W x H x D) and weighing approximately172 g, my review sample was decked out in black with highly polished and reflective front and rear panels.
Kaspersky Total Security 2019 is aimed at meeting a family’s need for computer security with Safe Kids parental control being one of its additional features.
The first monitor that I have seen that takes both its power and video signal from a USB ‘C’ port. In fact it has just one connection the USB cable – the other end goes to a USB ‘C’ port on your Notebook or Tablet and an on/off button.
The AOC I1601FWUX portable full HD monitor measures 37x23.5x.7cm and weights 1053grams with prop and USB ‘C’ cable attached so small enough to travel with you. The viewable screen is 34.5x19.5cm which gives the notional diagonal imperial measurement of 15.6inches. While the claimed 1920x1080 is of course available the notebook/tablet I did most of my tests with showed 2160x1440 and this reproduced that either landscape or portrait where of course the display was 1440x2160.
It’s taken a while, 18 months in fact from change of agency to the first arrival of an HP notebook. Its thin its light and it has connectivity so what is not to like about this 13inch offering called very appropriately by the name of ENVY.
The HP Envy 13-ad015 laptop measures 30.5x21x1.5cm and weighs 1359 grams. It is matt silver grey in colour with four silver lines of two lengths that form a very clever HP logo. The left side has a USB port, 3.5mm headphone socket, USB ‘C’ port and micro SD card port. The front is clear the right side has USB ‘C’ port, USB port and charging port. Open the lid and the screen can go back to 135 degrees.
Putting your digital photos to work can be achieved with this next product from MAGIX
As a result of the digital age take-over, the collection of captured image owned by users has grown substantially. Taking up space on hard disk storage devices, these images are just crying out to be put to some useful service on our behalf Offering to be helpful in this respect is MAGIX’s Photostory Deluxe software with the release of the product’s latest 2019 version of this slideshow creating product.
Most wireless earbuds still have a cord of some sort even if it’s just enough to link the two buds behind your neck. Here nothing more than the buds that fit in your ear. So the total weight is just an amazingly small 13 grams the pair. So as they say on the box ‘no strings attached’.
The no strings goes as far as charging as instead of attaching a cable to the buds they come with their special case and the USB lead attaches to the back of that so they are charged in a fitted case ideal for transporting them when not in your ears. As regular readers know I have a somewhat problematical existence with earbuds in that my ears swell and after less than an hour they start to become uncomfortable.
Offering to provide self-help with blood pressure monitoring is a device from Braun.
According to research conducted on behalf of the National Health Service (NHS), around 25% of the UK adult population suffer from high blood pressure often without them realising that they have the condition. High blood pressure can occur as the result of smoking, poor diet and the lack of regular exercise. I plead guilty to two of these. The condition of high blood pressure has been known to increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease and dementia.
Filtered water is often the best option simply because unfiltered water can have a taste and as this could even be kept in the fridge it is also chilled. So it is opportune for those who drink bottled could switch to something like Zero Water. One large supermarket chain has recently increased a two litre bottle of own brand water by 25% that is when they have stock.
You get a large jug you pour the water from your tap into the top of the unit it then passes through the patented filter unit and emerges into the jug ready to be drunk. You can then pour water into a glass or using a button on the bass to allow water to flow into a glass placed under the edge of the unit. The Jug is 28cm from the top back of the handle to the front of the spout, 28cm tall and 14.5cm at its widest.
I have a Prime account and this enables me to get quicker delivery and also avoid delivery charges on most items under £20 even when the items are from some of the Amazon affiliates, the socks in this review are a case in point.
Do read the small print as another – non Prime – seller had them 5p cheaper but for the same delivery option that I had you would pay a mouth-watering £13.98 delivery charge but in fairness if you were willing to wait six days they would deliver for free. I have been Diabetic for 25 years but it’s only in the last two of three years that I had noticed how much the tops of my socks bit into my legs.
Whenever the subject matter of Anthropics Technology arises, my thoughts immediately turn to graphics software for editing specific types of digital images. In this case the designated target is that of landscapes.
Maybe your face might not launch a thousand ships, as the face of Helen of Troy is claimed to have done, but this next software might help when using your digital image prior to setting sail.
It does seem somewhat incongruous that Anthropics Technology, a company best known for its face enhancement software, should be based in a location known as Ugli Campus in West London but maybe it is a case of opposites attract. The company has recently released the latest version 17 of its PortraitPro offering which is available in Standard, Studio and Studio Max editions. I have been looking at the top-of-the-range PortraitPro Studio Max version.
No sooner had I completed my review of the Honor 7X smartphone than Huawei announced the released of its Honor View 10 model. It was not too long before a unit was winging its way to me for the purpose of reviewing the product.
Available in a choice of colours including Midnight Black, Charm Red,, Beach Gold and the Navy Blue of my review sample, the Honor View 10 certainly has a stylish appearance with its glass front and aluminium body. The side bezels are so narrow that they are almost non-existence and give on a reflective effect that can give you the impression that the handset is encircled by a metallic band.