Articles about Digital Lifestyle

Hack your health using fitness technology

hackhealth

I’m a big fan of fitness apps and wearable gadgets -- anything that can help make working out more interesting and fun is a big plus in my book, which is why I love apps like Zombies, Run! and Superhero Workout.

I’m not alone either -- one in four smartphone owners use a device to track health, diet or exercise, and fitness apps are among the fastest growing niches in the app market, rising by 49 percent in 2013.

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How technology is changing football (or soccer) for the better

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The use of technology in sports has historically been a contentious issue. "Video reviews will slow down the game" and "unfair advantage" are some of the complaints that get thrown at sporting bodies the world over when technology comes under scrutiny. Just look at the controversy with full-body swimsuits being banned in Olympic swimming. In this case records were broken, but so were rules.

Sport is big business. The latest European football transfer window only closed after £835 million ($1,356 million) was spent by British Premiership clubs. That's the highest spend ever seen within the league. Football clubs operate like any other business, meaning that cash flow and business documentation are vital processes. With so much money, hundreds of jobs and scrutiny from millions of fans worldwide reliant on actions on and off the pitch, things needs to run as smoothly as possible. That's why I believe that clubs need to embrace digital technology off the pitch. However, what about technology on it?

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Is Apple Watch out of time?

Apple Watch

I am reluctant to criticize unreleased Apple Watch because my analysis about original iPad -- given before seeing it -- was wrong. That said, Android Wear, while seemingly sensible comparison that analysts, bloggers, and journalists make, isn't right. When put in perspective of next-generation wearables, I think Apple Watch should be compared to Google Glass.

Be honest. Which looks more innovative to you? The utility of something you see at eye level that provides real-time, location-based information is much greater than something that demands more responsive -- "Hey, Siri" -- interaction and turns the glance and fingers downward. Granted, Apple Watch delivers alerts, and you feel them, but your attention is always to look away.

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Are you a child of the '60s, '70s, '80s or '90s? Your computer use history has the answers

After the disaster that was the Apple III, Apple released the Apple IIe in 1983, adding a full ASCII character set and keyboard. The IIe is the longest-living product in Apple's history, having sold for 11 years with few changes. (Photo credit: vectronicsappleworld.com)

It’s always nice to take the occasional stroll down memory lane, reminiscing over past experiences and the things you used to like or grew up with.

Our first computers, or game consoles, are usually something of an important milestone in our lives as we discover the possibilities they offer. I had my first computer at the very start of the 1980s, and even to this day I share a slight bond with other users of the same system, due to that shared experience.

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BBC aims to make programming sexy with new coding TV shows for kids

BBC aims to make programming sexy with new coding TV shows for kids

The BBC is looking to create a new generation of code monkeys with a programming push in schools throughout England. Of all the subjects available to study at school, computer science, IT, computing (call it what you will) isn’t exactly, you know, sexy and exciting, but the Beeb is hoping to change that. Back in the 1980s the BBC -- the UK's license free subsidized public service broadcaster -- spearheaded a drive to popularize computing in general, but particularly programming. Three decades later, the new initiative includes plans for not just one, but several programming-themed TV shows aimed at children.

The BBC has already held talks with Microsoft, BT, Google and Samsung, and has managed to sign agreements with between 10 and 20 partners to help with the new endeavor. In addition to the TV shows, there will also be a range of study guides and other material made available at BBC Bitesize, the broadcaster's online education resource. Jessica Cecil, controller of the BBC's coding and digital creative initiative, said: "It's about giving the next generation a chance to shape their world, not just be consumers in it."

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Your personal porn is public

stalker

The Internet is buzzing about celebrity nude photos pilfered from iCloud. The problem is bigger than Apple's security, if breached, which I doubt. Behavior is the larger concern, and how people adapt during the contextual cloud computing era. If your phone automatically syncs pictures or videos to any cloud service -- Google Photos, iCloud, OneDrive, or another -- you must assume that nothing is private.

That personal nude video you shoot on the HandyCam is very different from the one taken on Galaxy S5, iPhone 5s, or another device. I should be stating the obvious, but given pervasive attitudes about the Internet -- where people feel safe browsing in the sanctity of their domicile or WiFi coffee shop -- carelessness must be the presumption. These leaked celeb nudes, if real rather than Photoshopped, are good example. Simple rule: Don't shoot any photos or videos on a cloud-connected device you don't want everyone to see.

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Lumsing E-DR15 car charger: Splitting one cigarette lighter socket into three [Review]

splitter

A few years ago, the very concept of a three port extender for your car's cigarette lighter socket would have caused some raised eyebrows. Even if you were in a car packed full of chainsmokers, three lighter sockets would be deemed excessive.

Of course, these days, the lighter socket is less for lighting cigarettes and more for powering devices, so Lumsing's power splitter serves a clear purpose.

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Lumsing PBJ-6200 Power Bank: A stylish phone charging solution [Review]

lumsing

I charge my iPhone 5s every night -- it's pretty much a standard routine. Although people moan about the iPhone's battery life, I have no complaints. In fact my old Samsung Galaxy S III needed charging more regularly. But every so often a little extra battery boost is required, which is fine if I'm at home, but less convenient when I'm out and about (and I have no interest in being a wall hugger). This is where an external battery pack can come in handy.

Lumsing's PBJ-6200 Power Bank has already proven to be a life saver in the couple of weeks I've had it. The device is roughly the same dimensions as my phone -- 4.88x 2.64 x 0.51 inches (124 x 67 x13 mm) -- and has a 6,000mAh capacity, which is enough to charge my iPhone about three times (a Galaxy S4 twice, or an iPad mini once).

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Google Authorship comes to the end of the line

Google Authorship comes to the end of the line

Continuing its propensity for terminating projects, Google has decided to kill of its Authorship program. The markup was introduced to provide online writers with a way to link their work to their Google+ profile and have their profile picture displayed in search results. But in its three year lifespan, Authorship did not really manage to take off, and Google Webmaster Tools' John Mueller announced that "we've also observed that this information isn't as useful to our users as we'd hoped, and can even distract from those results. With this in mind, we've made the difficult decision to stop showing authorship in search results".

Head to one of the Google Authorship support pages and you're greeted by the message: "Authorship markup is no longer supported in web search". This is an interesting move, especially considering how keen Google has been to push people into using Google+. Authorship not only enables writers to more visibly stamp their mark online, but also to gain a following. In practice it was found that Authorship did little to help drive traffic and "wasn't always easy to implement".

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British parents set to spend millions on back to school gadgets

School children laptop

More than a quarter of British parents say they'll be buying new gadgets for their kids ahead of the autumn return to school, with an average spend of £329 per family making a massive nationwide total of £659 million.

This is among the findings of a new survey by comparison and switching site uSwitch.com which finds that the average school bag now contains around £130 worth of tech.

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Twitter Analytics now lets everyone check the popularity of their tweets

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For a while now, verified users and advertisers have been able to check statistics about their Twitter account so they can see how many times individual tweets have been viewed, check what types of tweet encourage the most engagement, and so on. Now Twitter Analytics is available to everyone -- free of charge.

It doesn’t matter if you have a blue verified tick next to your name or not, now you can use the analytics dashboard to check the performance of tweets. While this is a useful tool for businesses, for the average Twitter user it is a tool that will satisfy an idle curiosity and provide a way to while away the time obsessing over what key phrases yield the greatest return.

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Circular-faced LG G Watch R to be unveiled at IFA 2014

Circular-faced LG G Watch R to be unveiled at IFA 2014

IFA 2014 kicks off in Berlin next week, and one of the devices that will be on display is the LG G Watch R. LG is looking to expand further into the wearable market with another Android Wear watch and the killer feature this time around is a round display.

The circular Plastic OLED face has be been designed to make use of the entire surface -- there is no bezel whatsoever. In terms of looks this could be what sells LG G Watch R, as it's a device that's likely to appeal to those pandering for a more traditional look to their wearable tech.

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UK kids spend over £10 per week on tech

Teenage tablet users

British children are more likely to be spending their money on technology than on comics and chocolate according to new research by the Halifax bank.

Three-quarters of 8 to 15 year olds have a mobile phone, 65 percent own an MP3 player and 87 percent a games console. Hardly surprising then that they say they spend most of their cash on games and downloads.

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Google makes it easier to see who's online in Hangouts for Gmail

Google makes it easier to see who's online in Hangouts for Gmail

The point of any chat system is to make it easier to communicate with others. This is something that Google Hangouts has singularly failed at, for one reason. Rather than making it obvious which of your contacts are online, it has -- up until now -- displayed a chronological list of the conversations you have held with people. This is about to change. Rolling out over the next few days, is an update which will see your online contact move to the top of your chat buddy list.

This might seem like a small change, but it's one that has been requested for some time now. Google seemingly thought that the tried and true way of ordering contacts was due for a shakeup -- now we know that the experiment didn’t really pay off. There's another new feature to play with as well. Just as Chrome -- and other browsers -- make it possible to pin frequently used tabs so they are always available, now Hangouts users will be given the opportunity to pin contacts to the top of their buddy list.

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Paranoid much? Americans are now self-censoring online after Snowden's NSA revelations

Paranoid much? Americans are now self-censoring online after Snowden's NSA revelations

The effects of Edward Snowden's revelations about the activities of the NSA continue to be felt. Internet users are now familiar with the idea that what they do online is possibly (probably?) being monitored in one way or another. Some users have taken to the likes of Tor in a bid to increase security and anonymity, but there has also been a more interesting side-effect. Figures released by "nonpartisan fact tank" the Pew Research Center suggests that a "spiral of silence" has developed as Americans start to censor themselves online.

The research group conducted a survey of more than 1,800 people in the middle of last year and found that while most people (86 percent) were quite happy to talk about state surveillance in person, less than half (41 percent) were willing to do so on Twitter (itself involved in censorship). This self-censorship is an interesting repercussion of the NSA's activities, and it seems that social network users have been hardest hit:

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