Wayne Williams

BBC officially releases Doctor Who episodes on BitTorrent

Dr who

Although BitTorrent’s reputation is as a means to download music and movies illegally, the company is trying to change that by offering original, and legal content via paid "bundles". It scored a success in 2014 when it released Radiohead’s Thom Yorke's new album in this way, and later in the year it will be debuting its first original television series, Children of the Machine.

But today BitTorrent announces a really impressive coup -- the BBC has agreed to put out an official digital Doctor Who box-set via the file sharing network.

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Windows 8.x is flatlining


With Windows 10 arriving in the summer it’s no surprise to find that Windows 8.x’s growth has stalled (not that the tiled OS ever really took off in the first place).

According to NetMarketShare, Windows 7 was the big usage share winner in March, going from 55.99 percent to 58.04 percent, an increase of 2.05 percentage points. Windows XP, still shedding users, lost 2.21 percentage points, and is now on 16.94 percent. Which, naturally, is still way more than Windows 8.x.

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Microsoft announces Surface 3 -- thinner, lighter, and runs full Windows


Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop, according to Microsoft. Assuming you spend money buying a Type Cover for it of course. My colleague Brian Fagioli absolutely loves his Surface Pro 3, but it’s not cheap.

If you fancy the slate, but your budget won’t stretch to the asking price, there’s good news -- Microsoft has just announced a cheaper follow up to Surface 2, called, naturally enough, Surface 3, and it’s cheaper than the Pro version, and doesn’t run Windows 8.x RT like its predecessor.

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50 shades of gray -- hands on with Windows 10 Build 10049, the dullest Windows ever


We might have waited ages for a new build of Windows 10, but a mere fortnight later and Microsoft has rolled out yet another update, again initially only to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring.

The star of this build is Project Spartan, Microsoft’s new web browser. It’s an early version, but it’s a good look at what the tech giant has been working on, and of course it comes with the new rendering engine. That’s not all that’s new in this latest OS build, however. Let’s take a more detailed look.

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How to create a bootable Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 USB flash drive

man hand usb flash laptop drive business suit

If you want to install Windows from scratch, you have two choices -- you can install the OS from a CD/DVD or from a USB flash drive. The latter is the better option, especially as optical drives are becoming something of a rarity these days.

The process of creating a bootable USB flash drive for Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, is quick and easy. Here’s how to do it.

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ZTE Blade L2: An affordable 5 inch quad-core Android smartphone [Review]

ZTE Blade L2

Smartphones have become such an important part of our lives that it makes sense to get the best make and model you can. However, not everyone can afford an iPhone 6 or Samsung Galaxy S6. Fortunately, there are plenty of great budget smartphones to choose from, and these days a budget price doesn’t have to mean a budget experience.

The Blade L2, from Chinese firm ZTE, is a great example. It’s priced at just £89.99 off contract, and for that you get a handset with a quad-core processor and a 5-inch screen.

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Don't go to Xtube without protection -- the adult site could give you a nasty infection


A month ago, Malwarebytes reported that adult site RedTube had been compromised and was infecting unsuspecting visitors with malware. That issue was swiftly fixed, but now the security firm reports another adult site, Xtube, is currently serving exploits.

While attacks of this nature usually come via malicious advertising (malvertising), in this instance the nasty snippet of code has been injected directly into Xtube itself.

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How to install Windows 10 March Build (10041) on Oracle VirtualBox

virtualbox win10

Microsoft has just released ISO files for latest build of Windows 10 Technical Preview. There aren’t a massive amount of new features in Build 10041, although the Start menu gains transparency, you can drag and drop apps to Start, virtual desktops have been improved, and Cortana is now available in countries outside the US.

As with the previous releases, Build 10041 is still a very early version of the OS, so you wouldn’t be advised to run it as your main operating system, and while you could set it to dual boot, running it in a virtualized environment is probably a more sensible idea.

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Download the ISO image of Windows 10 Build 10041 directly from Microsoft


When Microsoft released the latest build of Windows 10 Technical Preview it only made it available to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring, and only through Windows Update. It has now made it available to those on the Slow ring too, which means there are now official ISO files to download.

If you need to perform a brand new install -- either on a spare PC, or to run in a virtualized environment -- then grabbing the ISO image file is the easiest, not to mention quickest option.

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Smartphone owners aren't as privacy minded as they think they are

Phone privacy

A Pew Research study published last week on Americans' awareness of government surveillance programs revealed just 15 percent of American adults have changed their mobile phone habits in the wake of Edward Snowden's revelations.

Security firm Lookout has just released the findings of its study on mobile device use, and that echoes Pew Research’s findings, showing that while many mobile phone users claim to be highly aware of privacy issues, few actually do enough to safeguard their data, and many are willing to trade privacy for convenience. There’s bad news for businesses too, as a huge percentage of smartphone owners admit to not caring too much about protecting work data on their devices.

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Amazon's Fire TV Stick finally arrives in the UK -- Grab one for just £7


Amazon launched its Fire TV Stick in the US last October, leaving those of us in the UK feeling a little jealous of our stateside cousins. However, we don’t have to wait too much longer to get our hands on the retail giant’s streaming device as Amazon announces it will soon be available on British shores.

The Fire TV Stick is available to preorder today and will begin shipping on April 15. And there’s great news if you’re an Amazon Prime member, or have been toying with the idea of becoming one.

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How to download an ISO image of Windows 10 Build 10041


Although Microsoft released a new build of the Windows 10 Technical Preview earlier in the week, it only made it available to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring, and through Windows Update. It’s not officially available as an ISO image yet (Microsoft currently only offers downloads for Build 9926).

However, it is possible to grab an ISO of the new build through unofficial channels.

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Epson: Unlocking the potential of augmented reality today [Q&A]

Moverio thumb

Microsoft’s HoloLens, and the Google-backed Magic Leap might be touted as the future of augmented reality wearables, but electronics giant Epson has beaten both firms to the punch. Its own AR smart glasses are already on the market and finding an appreciative audience among gamers, movie watchers, businesses, and even the registered blind.

I spoke with Valerie Riffaud-Cangelosi. Epson’s New Market Development Manager, about the Japanese firm’s venture into augmented reality, and its plans for the future.

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Windows 10 won't be the operating system I was hoping for

start menu

It could be argued that with Windows 10 still a work in progress it’s too early to express disappointment and dissatisfaction with Microsoft’s forthcoming operating system. But with a summer launch announced, the truth is we’re probably not likely to see too many major changes in the coming months. What’s on show in Build 10041 is probably quite close to what we’ll get in the finished thing, albeit with some spit and polish.

When Microsoft announced it would be listening to users and implementing changes based on feedback, I was excited. Sure, a camel is a horse created by a committee, too many cooks spoil the broth and all that, but at least it meant that the sort of blatant usability problems Microsoft managed to somehow miss in Windows 8 wouldn’t occur in Windows 10. However, as time has ticked past I've started to doubt that Microsoft is listening as closely to Windows Insiders as it claims to be.

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Seagate Personal Cloud: Home media storage done right [Review]

seagate box

The average family has multiple devices capable of taking photos and videos. Seagate Personal Cloud from Ebuyer provides a central repository for all of this media, and can automatically back up content from your computers, smartphones and tablets.

You can access movies, music, photos and files from any supported device on your network, and stream media directly to Chromecast, Roku, Apple TV, and some Smart TVs. You can also access your files remotely over the internet, and sync content with cloud storage services.

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