Wayne Williams

OpenDNS to be acquired by Cisco -- will you still use it?


While you can use the DNS servers provided by your Internet Service Provider -- and the majority of web users do -- switching to an alternative DNS can deliver speed and reliability improvements, as well as additional features like phishing protection, parental controls, improved security and more. It might also help you bypass Geoblocked and censored content.

OpenDNS is the go-to DNS service for millions of people around the world. It is, in OpenDNS’s own words, "the world’s most loved and trusted DNS service". Today, however, Cisco announces intent to acquire OpenDNS. Will that change your mind on how you view the service?

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8 years ago today the iPhone went on sale and changed everything -- so why didn't I want one?


On January 9, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone at the Macworld Conference and Expo in San Francisco. It was the usual quality presentation from Apple’s sorely missed boss, with some great moments of humor. Our first glimpse of the phone was in fact actually a mock-up of an iPod with a rotary dial in place of the usual click wheel. The audience clapped and hooted. Jobs then went on to show the real device, and it was pretty mind-blowing.

Here was a phone that looked nothing like a phone. It looked nothing like an iPod, for that matter either. It was pretty much all screen, controlled by touch using your finger -- or fingers, thanks to the power of multi-touch -- and was, according to Jobs, powered by OS X. The device could tell if you were holding it portrait or landscape, and knew when you were holding it up to your ear, and so prevent you prematurely ending a call with the side of your face. It came with a 620MHz processor, 128MB of memory and a 2MP camera. It was a magical device. This was the future, being shown right here. A device to be coveted by all. But I didn’t want one.

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Raspberry Pi Foundation introduces a new print version of its official magazine


If you’re a big fan of the Raspberry Pi, as we are, there’s a good chance you might have downloaded The MagPi digital magazine before. This is an official magazine packed with builds, hacks and step-by-step tutorials.

It’s always been very popular (partly due to being free of course), with over 100,000 downloads for issue 31 alone. And now the Raspberry Pi Foundation is going to start printing copies of a bigger and better version of the mag and distributing it in the US and UK, starting from 30 July.

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Still not sure if you're eligible for a free copy of Windows 10? Here's how to find out


The path to a free copy of Windows 10 should be very straightforward, but Microsoft has made it more confusing than necessary by making several contradictory statements.

In a nutshell (as it stands at the moment), if you have a valid installation of Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 then you can upgrade to the new OS for free, provided you do so before July 29 2016. If you don’t upgrade in that time frame you’ll need to purchase a license. This will set you back $119 for the Home edition or $199 for the Pro version. If you’re a Windows Insider you can continue getting free beta builds, license free. Still confused? We’ve put together a simple flowchart to help you work out if you’re eligible for the free upgrade or not.

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Microsoft can't stop confusing the hell out of Windows 10 users


Over the weekend Microsoft had several stabs at explaining who will get Windows 10 for free come July 29. Previously we’d been told users would need a valid Windows 7 or 8.1 license, but three days ago Microsoft said anyone running a Windows Insider build of the new OS would get the final release too -- no license required. Great news for anyone on XP or Vista.

Then Microsoft backtracked a bit, suggesting a license was needed. But Windows Insider chief Gabriel Aul, chipping in on Twitter, seemed to contradict that by suggesting Insiders would get it free, so again no license required. Finally, Microsoft clarified things, but even then it did so in a slightly muddled way. And this isn’t even the first time Microsoft has confused would-be users of its future operating system.

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Microsoft Band is more accurate than Apple Watch at measuring your heart rate

Microsoft Band SDK released to developers

Fitness bands and smartwatches that monitor your activity are notoriously inaccurate. Wear a bunch of them at the same time and they’ll all return entirely different results. And we’re not talking about slight discrepancies either -- the results can differ by several thousand steps. The idea is the trackers provide you with a general ballpark figure, rather than a precise one, so you can see how your activity varies on a daily basis, and take steps -- hah! -- to improve on it.

As a result, comparing the results from two or more fitness trackers isn’t usually very helpful -- each device will measure activity in its own way, and who is to say what’s right or wrong? However, more advanced wearables -- Microsoft Band and Apple Watch, for example -- measure your heart rate, and it’s much easier to check how accurate they are. All you need to do is compare the results they produce with the figures from a reliable source.

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Sond Audio Bookshelf Speakers: Quality Bluetooth speakers for the home [Review]


We review -- and get asked to review -- a lot of Bluetooth speakers. While the ones we look at might be from different makers, and of varying quality, they all share one thing in common. They’re small, and portable. Not so the Sond Audio Active Bookshelf Speakers.

The twin speakers are large, and designed to sit in the one place. This could be a bookshelf, provided you have one that’s deep enough to accommodate them, or the floor. If you enjoy listening to music, and the sound quality delivered by portable speakers doesn’t cut it for you, then the 180w these speakers offer could well be what you’re looking for.

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How to easily switch from Android to Windows Phone


Once people have made the decision to go with a particular mobile operating system, they tend to stick with it. Moving all of your data from one device to another can be a bit of a pain, and it’s made even harder if you’re also switching operating systems, and have to find and re-buy all of your favorite apps.

If you’re thinking of making the move from Android to Windows Phone -- perhaps in anticipation of Windows 10 Mobile later in the year -- the process doesn’t have to be stressful. Here’s what you need to do.

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Nest refreshes its entire product line -- major redesigns, updates, a new cam and more

nest cam

Nest has been quiet for quite some time, but today it breaks that silence with multiple product announcements.

Alongside the launch of a new Nest Cam, there’s a completely redesigned second-gen Nest Protect smoke and carbon monoxide alarm that is apparently actually good at detecting fires, and a software update for the Nest Learning Thermostat that adds new features. There’s a new app too.

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Samsung's new 4TB portable hard drives are the thinnest and lightest in the world


Storing data on a portable hard drive means you’ll have access to it wherever you happen to be, and can connect the device to any computer. Of course you don’t want to be lugging around a heavy drive -- the lighter the better -- but neither do you want to be compromising on capacity.

Samsung HDD, a division of Seagate Technology, today announces two new 4TB external hard drives -- the M3 Portable and the P3 Portable -- which it says are the first 4TB USB-powered single drive solutions to come in 2.5in enclosures.

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Microsoft Lumia launches an uplifting 'good news' paper to inspire commuters


Most newspapers are full of bad, and depressing news. Microsoft Lumia wants to change that, and is putting together its own print newspaper that it hopes will inspire commuters and help them to "achieve more".

The Five to Nine newspaper will focus on positive, uplifting content, and also show workers how they can use technology to work smarter and more efficiently. There will be five editions, published between 22 June and 26 June, all focusing on a different theme (culture, music, fashion, design, and sport) and featuring commissioned content alongside crowd sourced "good news" stories, life hacks and musings.

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Keep your Raspberry Pi 2 safe with the official new case


Although there are plenty of enclosures available to buy for the Raspberry Pi, all of them come from third parties. There’s never been an official case for the Pi, until now.

The brains at the Raspberry Pi Foundation first talked about creating an enclosure for the wildly popular device some two and a half years ago, and it’s finally come to fruition. If you’re worried about damaging your Pi, or just want to give it a stylish look, then the Official Raspberry Pi Case is for you, and as you’d expect, it’s incredibly cheap.

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LastPass hacked, email addresses, password reminders and more compromised


A lot of people trust LastPass to keep their passwords safe, which is why news that the company has been hacked and its user data compromised is seriously worrying.

LastPass discovered and blocked some suspicious activity on its network last Friday and immediately launched an investigation. Today it reports its findings, and they're very concerning indeed.

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Watch Sony's PlayStation E3 press event live here


Microsoft’s press event has finished, and revealed a lot of great gaming news, including that the Xbox One will soon be able to play selected Xbox 360 games. Huge news.

Next up it’s the turn of Sony. The company will have lots of gaming news of its own, and it won’t only be content relating to the PlayStation 4. Expect to find out more about Morpheus, the company’s VR headset that’s set to rival Oculus Rift.

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Watch Microsoft's E3 keynote live here


The annual E3 video game conference gets underway properly from tomorrow, but Microsoft’s press keynote takes place today, and you’ll be able to tune into it right here as it happens.

The company’s focus will, naturally, be on the Xbox One and Windows 10, but there will also be plenty of games announcements too -- Microsoft says we can expect to see "the greatest games lineup in Xbox history" this year.

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