Exposed: The invisible conflict being waged by the world’s superpowers
The next world war will be online, and the consequences will be very real
In the long Cold War between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, espionage was rife. Security services placed secret agents in sensitive positions, spy planes photographed strategic locations and information was smuggled through borders.
The reasons were simple: each side believed that they would eventually end up at war with the other – and when conflict began, knowing your enemy’s secrets could make a crucial difference to the outcome. There was only one rule: don’t get caught. Getting caught could spark an international incident and bring the world one step closer to war. Is something similar happening online?
Flying cars: how long until takeoff?
Sky-high ideas start to take flight
Ever since the first cars arrived on the world’s roads, people have been wanting to fly them. They’ve become a trope of science fiction, featuring in heavyweight titles like Star Wars, Blade Runner, Back to the Future and more recently Marvel’s S.H.I.E.L.D.
Flying cars are about as synonymous as jetpacks are with our concept of "the future". Continue reading…
Sony: ‘If people are searching for music, we messed up’
Music Unlimited’s head talks Sony’s stream dream
When Rhapsody announced that it was buying up Napster in 2011, there was a feeling that online music had come full circle.
Rhapsody was the first-ever music streaming service to offer a monthly fee way back in 2001; Napster was the model that in 1999 showed the world that music could be shared and distributed through the web, albeit with a complete disregard for copyright.
In a strange way the two teaming up 10 years down the line to compete with the likes of Spotify was a move that made them seem like they were late to the party. A party they had essentially started. Continue reading…
Dear Intel: Please put your best tech into the PC
It’s in Intel’s interests to give the tech community something to be positive about
Fact the first: Intel makes by far the best PC processors you can buy. Fact the second: They’re still nowhere near Intel’s best technology.
So I’m here to ask – to beg, even – Intel to reward its long-loyal PC customers with something to get excited about. I’m not asking for all that much. Just for Intel to put chips it’s already making into PCs. Continue reading…
BBC Playlister: What is it and why should I use it?
Come and have a play right now…
The BBC has taken a step forward in the music streaming space today, and though it’s not quite doing its own Spotify, it does hope to go hand in hand with your favourite music services.
The result is BBC Playlister, a music discovery service waiting for the next time you ask "what was that track being played on Strictly Come Dancing last night?"
It’s completely browser based for now, which includes mobile browsers. Though integration with the iPlayer app is coming in the next few months, the BBC tells us. Continue reading…
This week’s hottest reviews…
Panasonic’s first 4K TV is simply brilliant
Panasonic’s TX-L65WT600 offers the first sighting of tomorrow’s high frame rate 4K, and it’s a thrilling display. Astonishingly clear images that are eye-soothingly easy to watch, 4K at 60Hz looks likely to transform sports coverage.
Not that all 4K is destined to be at 60Hz; movies for the most part look likely to remain at 24fps, and this set seems fine with that too. Early adopters looking for a forward-looking UHD TV need look no further. It looks like the future has arrived ahead of schedule. Panasonic TX-L65WT600 review
Boldly undercutting Google and Amazon – is the Tesco tablet a thing of budget beauty?
If you’re looking to jump aboard the tablet bandwagon but have been put off by the prohibitive cost of trusted brands at one end and the questionable pedigree at the other, the Hudl is the perfect device for you.
At £120 it’s a fair bit cheaper than the Amazon Kindle Fire HD, yet we think it’s a more complete tablet overall thanks largely to the presence of stock Android.
You’ll get some surprisingly accomplished components for your money, including a decent HD display and decent storage, while even some occasionally underwhelming performance and an atrocious camera can’t erode its bargain status. Tesco Hudl review
Sony SmartWatch 2
The wrist-based sequel that Samsung should be worried about
The Sony Smartwatch 2 is the ideal companion for your Android Ice Cream Sandwich or above smartphone, making it an almost universally appealing device.
It’s got sleek lines, a lower price and a decent range of apps available at launch, making it a toy you can legitimately ask for at Christmas and then spend all day playing with.
The Smartwatch 2 doesn’t suffer from the lag we’ve seen with so many other smartwatches, and a long battery life makes it a much better proposition for the charging-naysayer than the Galaxy Gear. Hands on: Sony SmartWatch 2 review
Canon’s workhouse G series premium compact gets refreshed
Canon always produces solid performers in its G series cameras. While that’s appealing to the traditionalist crowd, it is now fighting a harder battle than ever before to keep market share in the crowded premium compact camera market.
While we’ve no doubt that the Canon PowerShot G16 will be capable of producing fantastic images, it will have to go some way to beat the excellent Sony RX100 Mk II. It’s interesting that Canon has decided to keep the same (relatively) small sensor for the latest G series and hasn’t been tempted to go down the same larger route as the Sony. Whether image quality will suffer because of this remains to be seen. Hands on: Canon G16 review
HP Chromebook 11
Has the Chromebook finally found its feet?
Overall, we really took to the Chromebook 11, which could well prove to be the first Chromebook that tempts us away from our catwalk dwelling ultrabooks to try something a bit different, honest and (whisper it) maybe even a bit sexy.
But it has to be remembered that at this price, Chromebooks are almost certainly going to be about compromises for the foreseeable future, whether that’s wringing the most out of the comparatively limited Chrome OS, plugging it in more often, or putting up with less screen estate and processing horsepower. Hands on: HP Chromebook 11 review
Olympus OM-D E-M1 review
It’s Olympus’s top-end compact system camera
Olympus sees the OM-D E-M1 as the replacement to the E-5, the last high-end SLR the company made. It’s hoping that it will convert diehard SLR users to switch to a lighter, more portable camera. On the face of it, Olympus may get its way: the E-M1 has a comprehensive featureset and its handling seems well thought through. Of course we’ll only know for sure once we’ve been able to shoot extensively with a full-production sample.
The E-M1 will be available from mid-October 2013. Prices start at £1,299 (AUD$ 1,599) for the body only and £1,949 (AUD$ 2,399) for a kit including the new M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 12-40mm 1:2.8 lens announced at the same time. Hands on: Olympus OM-D E-M1
This week’s videos…
Sony Xperia Z1 review…
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 review…