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Windows 10: “free” and 6 other things to know

1. Free upgrade for Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Phone users Microsoft has promised customers who use these versions of Windows a free upgrade in the first year after the launch of Windows 10. The company also says it will “continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost”. It’s promising to deliver new features when they are ready rather than wait for the next major release. 2. Holographic computing Microsoft has…

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The ‘worst passwords of 2014’ – 123456 and password

The number combination ‘123456’ is in at number one, while the word ‘password’ is in at number 2. The annual list of the 25 most common found passwords found on the internet is compiled by SplashData, which provides password management applications and aims to encourage the adoption of stronger passwords. Here’s the rundown from 1 to 25: Rank Password Change from 2013 1 123456 No Change 2 password No Change 3 12345 Up 17 4 12345678 Down 1 5 qwerty…

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Windows 10 features – are you excited? Vote here

Update: Read our latest post on Windows 10 – including news of a “free upgrade” pledge – by clicking here >>> Windows 10: 7 things to know   The start menu appears to be back with Windows 10, which Microsoft is expected to further show off on Wednesday 21 January 2015. Following the lukewarm, at best, response to Windows 8, Microsoft has decided to skip a number to Windows 10 – which some have argued is an attempt to differentiate its latest product.…

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5 examples of iconic technology today’s kids may not recognise

1. The Supersonic passenger plane Perhaps one of the most iconic passenger planes ever built, this plane was the result of British and French co-operation. It is of course Concorde, which could speed beyond Mach 2 – two times faster than the speed of sound. Scheduled flights began in 1976 but Concorde was officially retired in 2003. The fastest ever transatlantic Concorde flight was to London Heathrow from New York JFK airport and took just under 3 hours and took place in February 1996. Photo…

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A screen grab of YouTube video - Project Ara: Part of it (Credit: Google ATAP, YouTube)

Could your mobile phone look this in future?

Creating your own mobile phone with features you want is the goal of Google’s Project Ara and a market pilot is planned for 2015. Project Ara: Part of it (Video: Google ATAP (Advanced Technology and Projects group)/YouTube) The goal of the project is to develop a modular phone, which allows consumers to buy a phone frame and data backbone, and then add the building blocks they want to personalise the features they want. For example, they could choose the camera they want rather than…

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Using a mobile phone (photo credit: graphicstock.com)

Have you heard of “tech-neck”?

Tech neck is claimed to be brought on by regular use of smartphones and tablets. Looking down at devices up to 150 times a day has led to something dubbed tech-neck – with people between 18 and 39 being most affected. It seems to be something to do with saggy skin and a distinct crease around the neck caused by all that looking down, according to the Telegraph website. Although, everyone’s skin is affected by ageing neck-tech is reportedly being seen in much…

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The selfie stick: 5 ‘facts’ that may surprise you

1. 1925 – the first ‘selfie stick’? The selfie stick is an extendable rod or monopod with a mount or clamp to hold your smartphone or camera at one end and handle at the other end. The idea is that you can take better pictures of yourself (known as a selfie) or group shots. Some even have remote or Bluetooth controls. But the selfie stick may be a much older phenomenon. In December 2014, the BBC reported about a photo of a couple taken in…

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Tech turkeys or ahead of their time? Betamax and 4 other gadgets that didn’t quite make it

1. Sony Betamax video Japanese electronics giant Sony fought hard to convince us that its Betamax video system was better than the rival VHS back in the late 1970s and into the 1980s. But the cheaper VHS system won the day – although you might be surprised to know that Betamax continued in production until the end of 2002. (Original image by Bettenburg at de.wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons) 2. LaserDiscs Also known as DiscoVision in the…

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Apple has won a patent for a flexible device (photo credit Engadget/Twitter)

Could Apple make a bendy iPhone on purpose?

Apple patent for flexible electronic devices hints at bendy iPhone possibility and folding devices. Designs and ideas about flexible devices have been around for a while, but the new US patent awarded to Apple points towards a product where pretty much everything is bendy. According to Apple Insider, the patent incorporates malleable external and pliable internal parts such as batteries. The website even suggests such a device could allow force-based gesture controls and fold up like a trifold wallet. While such a device…

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Screen grab from YouTube video (credit: Hugh Ryono/Aquarium of the Pacific/YouTube

P…P… Pick up an iPad. Watch Penguins Play on iPad

A group of penguins has been enjoying playing with an iPad game at an aquarium in America. Watch the video of penguin gaming sessions on an iPad (credit: Hugh Ryono, Aquarium of the Pacific, YouTube) The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, is always looking at innovative and creative ways to interact with its animals – and staff came up with the idea of introducing an iPad game to its Magellanic penguins. A few curious birds – Jeremy and…

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