May 30, 2011
Yet another first-person shooter (FPS) game hits our shelves. It seems to be that the majority of big titles released these days are FPS, with none of them really standing alone with something slightly different to make it stand out from the rest. But does Brink break that mould and bring us something new?
Most FPS games allow you to be pretty much a solo player, running around and doing your own thing, killing anyone that stands in your way. There’s been plenty of times when I’ve single handedly won a Deathmatch on Call of Duty doubling my entire teams score (I’ve also been on the other side) as you can work individually. This isn’t the case with Brink however, as it’s vital that you work as a team to achieve your goal, otherwise you’ll find it rather tricky to achieve any objectives.Continue reading »
May 28, 2011
For four years now, Ovi has been Nokia’s primary best answer to not only Apple’s ludicrously successful App Store, but the likes of Google/Bing maps and a variety of other products that it has been pit against in the mobile market.
However, apparently the time has come for Nokia to scrap the ‘Ovi’ name, in favour of the master brand, ‘Nokia’. It’s a wise-move, from a marketing point of view, keeping it all under one header, if you like, removing the potential for confusing consumers and detaching itself from its own products in some respects. The shift takes it along the same naming path as Google operates so successfully, and will see the Ovi Store and Ovi Maps amongst others, becoming Nokia Store and Nokia Maps.
What does this mean for Nokia? Well, most importantly I would suggest that this is a simple indication of Nokia’s new direction. Rebranding frequently plays a huge part in the resurgence of an almost forgotten company, a category which Nokia so easily falls into these days, sadly.Continue reading »
May 27, 2011
Fragmentation is a term bandied about all too often these days, but since Android started doing the rounds as a popular mobile OS, it seems to be cropping up a little worryingly in all too many unwanted places.
According to a trusted source of Engadget, Sony has a round of new super-slim, super-lightweight notebooks in the pipeline, but that’s not the most interesting part. What’s more important, is the tip that the machines will sport a Thunderbolt port.
We all remember the official debut of Thunderbolt back in the latest MacBook Pro range as well as the new iMac’s, but this is the first news we’ve heard of the technology being implemented elsewhere. Of course, we know it is logically the next step forward with regards to data transfer specifically, amongst its other incredible uses.Continue reading »
May 26, 2011
For years we were stuck with the then necessary burden of keeping all of our music stashed in a drawer or cupboard, plucking out the track we’ve just arrived at the mood for and slipped it onto whatever variety of player we happened to have. In fact, it was that way for over a hundred years before the invention of the MP3 player – and that changed everything. But, could we be on the verge of another drastic shift in the methods we use to deliver, store and access our music? There are pretty strong hints that Apple will soon join the ranks of companies offering cloud-based music services, which already includes the recent additions of Amazon and Google, as well as the longstanding services such as Grooveshark and Spotify. And now the strongest, most powerful gladiators have supposedly entered the arena, it’s about time we asked the question: is it actually what the consumer wants?Continue reading »
May 26, 2011
With so many sensitive files being stored on our hard drives, keeping our data protected should be the first priority on our computers. Despite this, most users rarely have any kind of encryption between potential thieves and their files. Any sensitive data can be easily accessed if a computer is lost or stolen, but what can users do to solve this problem?
Knox for Mac is made by AgileBits, the same company that created 1Password, and it allows you to create various ‘vaults’, which are password protected and encrypted, allowing you to drop in any file that you want to securely store. The concept is fairly simple, but how does it stack up in real life use?Continue reading »
May 25, 2011
As a girl geek I get excited about impressive tech, but even more excited when I come across a gadget that is as slick-looking as its specs. That’s what happened when I came across the Innergie mCube Slim Super Compact Universal Adapter.
As you can see, the mCube’s body is an Apple-like white with pleasing rounded corners, and small enough to slip into a pocket or slot in a laptop bag. It’s reminiscent of My Passport portable hard drives; extremely light and is quite frankly a great little gadget.Continue reading »
May 25, 2011
In the past being a ‘geek’ or a ‘nerd’ wasn’t something to shout about being in mainstream society, however perhaps thanks to the Internet, more and more people are fans of ‘Geek Chic’ and embracing their inner geek!
Now to celebrate this, us geeks now have our own day, 25th May is Geek Pride Day and has been celebrated since 2006 – why the 25th May? Well back in 1977, that was the day of the premiere of the original Star Wars movie, so that seems like a suitable date to me!Continue reading »
May 22, 2011
Before I delve into the actual point that I’m going to hopefully get across in the article, I’m just going to put my cards, face up so you can all see them, right out on the table. The title of this article makes the massive assumption that Microsoft hasn’t already had this same thought. Either that, or it is just too damn belligerent to take note of what the rest of the world is thinking. It’s there to make you read the article, and seeing as you’re reading this right now, I guess it might have worked.
Now, let’s get down to business. And business is exactly the first point of this little agenda. I wouldn’t like to hazard a guess how many business customers Microsoft currently provides for. I could probably find out, but I fear that my brain might malfunction and cause a minor aneurysm should I try to process so many digits. Suffice it to say, it’s a lot. It’s the focal point of the business, and that’s a point that I’ve attempted to reiterate time and time again in posts for Zath, particularly in recent review of Windows Phone 7, the Redmond-based software giant’s latest and thankfully greatest mobile OS.Continue reading »
May 18, 2011
Yet more chaos surrounding Windows Phone 7 updates has arisen today, after much speculation surrounding the unofficial updating tool ‘ChevronWP7′. Originally, Microsoft claimed that the update would leave your device in a ‘non-serviceable state’, though that evidently left many users confused.
Exactly what that meant, though, has become clear today, thanks to an outburst from Senior Director for Windows Phone, Brandon Watson. Apparently, the official update left the NoDo update incomplete, with destructive remnants of the pre-NoDo build remaining on the device, leading to the inability to achieve any further updates.Continue reading »
May 17, 2011
Back in July of last year Steelseries announced two headsets specifically designed for Xbox 360 gaming: the Spectrum 5xb and 4xb, and over the last couple of weeks we’ve had our hands on the former of these to see how well it matches up not only to the pretty good pedigree that Steelseries have created for themselves but also against the competition.
The SteelSeries Spectrum 5xB Gaming Headset is their first (or more correctly, the better of their first two) headsets specifically designed for gaming on the Xbox 360 which means that not only do they come with the usual headset paraphernalia but also a neat little box that allows you to adjust the audio from your Xbox to ‘optimise your gaming experience’.Continue reading »
May 16, 2011
Just over a year ago we took a look at CleanMyMac, a utility from MacPaw that removes any unnecessary language files and universal binary files from your OS X drive and leaves you with more space to play around with for more important things, like your music.
Coming from a company named MacPaw, I never expected the utility to make its way over to Windows, but sure enough the developers have decided to venture into a world already containing free software such as CCleaner. Is it likely to be a successful move, or should MacPaw have stayed on Apple’s side of the fence? Let’s check out CleanMyPC for Windows!Continue reading »
May 15, 2011
Amazon has been growing its arsenal of tablet worthy software and services for some time now, and from a business standpoint it makes perfect sense to enter a market in which it is already so familiar. With the Cloud Drive, their controversial cloud-based music streaming service already available, and a number of other digital distribution networks for the many forms of media commonly demanded on tablets, Amazon is all set to head straight to the top of the increasingly congested tablet market, with a potentially impressive combination of tablet hardware and software.
One of the key services that will undoubtedly be implemented onto an Amazon tablet will be Kindle functionality. Amazon’s eBook service is far and away industry leading, it sells more eBooks than physical hardbacks now, and is already hosted on its own hardware as well as being available as an app on every other device under the sun (almost). But could this be a hinderance to the large scale adoption of an Amazon tablet?Continue reading »
May 14, 2011
Sidefolders for Mac OS X is a simple utility that’s available from the Mac App Store – it positions a drawer-style pane on your desktop, in which you can store links to any files and/or folders you currently have on your Mac. The premise of the app is extremely good, offering quick access to those hard to reach places that you have to dive into fairly regularly.
You can decide whether you want Sidefolders docked on either the left or right of the desktop, which may depend on your preference regarding the OS X dock. Down the inner tab of the pane, you have a few controls. ‘+’ and ‘-’ are pretty self explanatory, in that they allow you to add or remove directories to your Sidefolders pane, and underneath that there’s a typical settings icon. Clicking it opens a simple context menu, which allows you to quickly hide or show the default directories, switch the position of the pane to the other side of the screen, check out what Sidefolders is about, or quit the app. You can also set it to open on startup, which is helpful as ever.Continue reading »
May 13, 2011
For the last few months, in fact since the announcement of the 3DS, we have all had mixed feelings regarding the state of 3D technology. The small screen, in my opinion, negates the necessity for 3D, providing only a strain on power and subsequently precious battery life, as illustrated perfectly by the Nintendo 3DS, which has an almost embarrassing endurance.
The thing is, though, 3D is moving fast. So fast, in fact, it may not even be worth buying a 3DTV right now, instead saving your pennies for a day when 3D does not require the awkward and sometimes expensive glasses.Continue reading »
May 12, 2011
If you’re like me, or the millions of other ordinary folk on this wonderfully rewarding planet of ours, then you need to keep a track of your finances. There are any number of tools about that can help you do this, some even provided by the banks, but I’ve been reluctant to take the plunge and spend a great deal of my hard-earned money on an all-inclusive finance management package just to keep track of a few outgoings here and there.
But, then I came across the Account Tracker iOS app, and on the face of it, it’s the ideal, simple solution for just noting down what you’re spending and producing a few forecasts here and there so I know how much to spend and save each month. Well, I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now so here’s the full review.Continue reading »
May 11, 2011
Haven’t you heard? USB 3.0 is all the rage nowadays! At least until Thunderbolt takes centre stage anyway… We’ve checked out a few super speed USB peripherals in the past here at Zath, including LaCie’s FastKey and Startech’s Hard Drive dock, but what happens when all of those new peripherals of yours are too much for the ports built in to your machine to handle? You need a high speed hub, of course!
The TruLink USB 3.0 Hub contains four ports, but the unit itself is deceptively small compared to the mock-ups of the product that we saw upon release. The top of the device is coated with a material that is given a brushed metal look, and it looks great compared to a lot of the cheaper USB 3.0 hubs you are likely to see on the market.Continue reading »
May 10, 2011
Almost a decade ago, a small group of relative unknowns from the relatively unknown nation of Estonia developed what would later become known as Skype. From a diminutive background, the Internet Telephony software has endured a turbulent history, a series of name changes and an ‘interesting’ takeover by eBay back in the latter end 2005.
As a result, the growth of Skype has been exponential, and it’s branched onto all manner of platforms, and the end product is a gargantuan buyout by software behemoth Microsoft. A wise move? Certainly from Microsoft’s point of view, but is it in the interest of the consumer? And will it have any knock on effects for the loyal user base? All questions that need answering. Urgently.Continue reading »
May 2, 2011
Almost every office in the world has a collection of computers, yet paper seems to be as stubborn as Windows XP: it just won’t disappear. The hunt for a truly paperless office is still ongoing, and it doesn’t look like we’re going to get there anytime soon. If you’re a Mac user, though, you may be able to take the first step with Paperless.
Paperless for Mac does exactly what it says on the tin: helps you to get rid of all those messy collections of paper and digitalise your life; it can take care of everything from receipts to the electricity bill. The developers of Paperless kindly gave us a review copy of the application, so let’s take a look at how it performs!Continue reading »
May 1, 2011
We all knew that this would be announced one day, even if it has taken longer for news of Wii 2 to arrive, well now Nintendo have officially come out with the announcement that the Wii 2 will be unveiled in June at E3 2011 with a release date of late 2012 and there’s now news and rumours appearing.
An official name is yet to be released for Wii’s successor, but it currently has a working title of Project Cafe and there are rumours of the console being called ‘Stream’.Continue reading »
May 1, 2011
Everyone is well aware of the recent PSN hack that has caused Sony no ends of problems, not to mention the 77 million PSN users whose details have been stolen. It’s been two weeks since the hack and still the PSN is down, infuriating gamers still. But Sony have released some details of their ‘Welcome Back’ offer to all registered PSN users.
Every user of PSN will get a free month subscription of Playstation Plus, including those who are already signed up to the service. On top of that, users will be receiving some free “entertainment content” which is going to be different for each region, but no details have emerged as yet as to what each region will get.Continue reading »