Simon BarkerSimon Barker is the founder and editor of Zath who just so happens to be a big technology and gadget fan! If you'd like to follow and/or contact me on Twitter, please feel free to do so, I'm @SimonBarker.
Here are all the Zath articles written by Simon Barker...
March 25, 2013
In the past year or so, crowd-funding websites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo have become a really popular way for individuals and companies to gain upfront funding/support for their projects from the people who would be interested in buying the end-product.
If successful, this method of funding means that these creative people can concentrate on producing their product rather than chasing around trying to gain funding from other sources such as banks and investors…therefore we all get to see their cool end-products much sooner than we might otherwise!
With that in mind, one of our very own writers here on Zath; Serena Obhrai, has launched the Elysia Kickstarter project for a brand new 300+ page sci-fi/fantasy graphic novel that she’s created with her illustration partner, Jennie Gyllblad.Continue reading »
March 6, 2013
The Think Visibility conferences are all about helping to you to “get more from your website”, no matter how you use it or what type of business you have.
Think Visibility 9 was the 5th anniversary of this impressive online marketing, social media and SEO conference based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. I’ve personally attended all but one of these events for a variety of reasons including the quality of the speakers, the location, the other attendees that it attracts, but also for the fact that #ThinkVis isn’t like just any other conference, it’s well different…Continue reading »
February 12, 2013
The RBS 6 Nations Rugby Championship is now well and truly underway and now thanks to their collection of apps for various platforms, you can keep up-to-date with the very latest team news and live scores whichever of the popular smartphones or tablets you might have.
However, in addition to just doing the usual job of providing live game information and news between games with their standard app, the RBS 6 Nations Live Challenge App takes watching the live game on TV to a whole more interactive experience!Continue reading »
December 1, 2012
A couple of months ago I bought myself a Samsung Galaxy S3 (which was a rather pleasant and substantial upgrade over my iPhone 4), so when I was offered the chance to attend a preview event of the WIRED Pop-Up Store, I was certainly looking forward to seeing what kind of technology a respected magazine publisher and Samsung could assemble into a temporary high street space in the run-up to Christmas!
The whole idea of this collaboration is to present the concept of the “New Industrial Revolution” – where creative thinking is meeting new technologies to inform new manufacturing techniques, product customisation and SMART business innovations – and give a glimpse into the world in 2013.Continue reading »
August 25, 2011
Here on Zath we’re obviously a big fans of the Internet and like to be able to access our favourite online services wherever we might be. In the past we’ve looked at various ways of doing that including using a MiFi, tethering with your mobile phone or using a 3G broadband dongle.
Well now we’ve teamed up with Three Mobile to bring you a competition for our UK-based readers to win one of the latter, specifically Three’s PAYG Premium 3G Broadband Dongle (Huawei E367) which we recently reviewed.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 »
April 6, 2011
During the last couple of months I’ve been testing out one of the Three Mobile MiFi devices (the Huawei E585 wireless modem to be exact) which allows you to create your own personal internet-enabled Wi-Fi hotspot wherever you may be.
I initially had mixed feelings about its potential usefulness given my current HTC Desire Android-based smartphone allows you to setup wireless tethering to share your mobile phone’s internet connection – however, I was pleasantly surprised with how I ended up using the MiFi in practice.Continue reading »
March 2, 2011
Here on Zath we’ve been interested in Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect Sensor/Motion Controller ever since it was first announced as Project Natal at E3 2009, the idea of Wii-style games without the need for a controller interested us greatly, however it was the potential for truly different kinds of gaming that this gaming accessory could provide us with.
One specific example of this was demonstrated by Peter Molyneux’s Milo artificial intelligence concept, which although the concept won’t see the light of day as its own game, the technology will no doubt be used in future games.
Anyway, you’ve probably had chance to read our recent Kinect review in which we asked whether you should buy one, and also found out what we thought to Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports, well now we’re going to give you the chance to win an Xbox Kinect motion controller for yourself in our latest competition here on Zath!Continue reading »
February 9, 2011
Here on Zath we recently wrote about the Q-Waves Quicklink TV which is recently released product that allows you to wirelessly connect your laptop to your TV which really takes most of the hassle out of hooking up your computer to your big screen to watch online catch up TV services such as the BBC iPlayer, 4OD, Seesaw and Sky Player, afterall do you really want the cables trailing all over your living room? You know one of these times you’re just going to trip over them! Or at least I would anyway!
Well here at Zath we’ve now teamed up with Q-Waves to help make your online TV watching that bit easier by offering you the chance to win one of the Quicklink TV kits for yourself in our latest competition.Continue reading »
February 6, 2011
This weekend has seen a number of preview events for the upcoming Nintendo 3DS handheld gaming console in cities around the UK and I had the opportunity to attend one (thanks to Dom “The Hodge” Hodgson), so I went along to one of the Manchester sessions.
The Nintendo 3DS has been long-anticipated ever since it was first announced and will be the latest in the long line of handheld gaming console updates from the iconic gaming company, some of which include the Game and Watch LCD games, Gameboy(s), DS, DSi, DSi XL – they even had a few of these historic gaming devices on show at the start of the event.Continue reading »
January 31, 2011
Over Christmas I was lucky enough to receive the Humax Foxsat HDR Freesat Digital HDTV Recorder, having had chance to play with it over the last few weeks I thought I was high time it got a review.
For those of you that don’t know (now that you’re surfacing from underneath that rock) Freesat HD is effectively the free version of Sky HD, much like Freeview, except that a satellite dish is used rather than the traditional aerial. However, unlike with Freeview HD set top boxes, you can get a decent signal pretty much anywhere which offers a view of the sky, fantastic for those people who live in the back of beyond. It also offers a larger range of channels and can be used to simultaneously watch and record different programs.Continue reading »
January 24, 2011
As soon as I bought my Apple iPad, I knew straight away from looking at its cool looking metal finish and from experience of owning an iPod that I’d definitely be needing to get a case for it otherwise it would be getting scratched and taking impacts all over the place. I’ve now ended up coming to the conclusion that the Marware Eco-Vue iPad Case is my preferred option and here’s why…
I initially tried a slimline silicone case, however it wasn’t quite what I was looking for in terms of protection and aesthetics, instead I moved to a more robust iPad leather flip case, this was definitely an improvement and meant I was more confident in carrying it around, however it was a little limited in how you could position the case in use.Continue reading »
January 19, 2011
Nearly a year ago I wrote up a quick post about my Apple iPad pre-launch thoughts/questions as they were at that time about this new tablet device, would it be a netbook and Kindle replacement and whether I should buy one – given the questions posed about how would you use an iPad, I certainly wasn’t going to be in a rush to get one…however, I did end up buying an Apple iPad on the day of release here in the UK – that being the 16GB WiFi version, ie. the cheapest option while not being tied into another monthly mobile data expense.
In my opinion, the Apple iPad is one of those devices that you don’t need as such, but it’s very cool to actually have one to use when you have a definite use for it. For instance, it’s good for simply checking email, browsing webpages, using Twitter while sat on the sofa in front of the TV – obviously you could do that with your phone/netbook/laptop, however the iPad lets you do it in such a compact device that is just enjoyable to hold/use/touch – plus it doesn’t generate huge amounts of heat that you’d encounter from resting a laptop on your lap.Continue reading »
December 14, 2010
A new website called Social Artworks opened its doors for business today which is combining an established creative idea with the personal and social network aspect of Facebook.
The product that Social Artworks have launched today reminds me of my student days when I’d often see all sorts of collage-style posters around the place, although admittedly these often revolved around alcohol. However now you get yourself a custom collage poster or canvas to hang on your wall which is quite literally personal to you!Continue reading »
December 2, 2010
With Christmas just around the corner, we thought it was time for another competition here on Zath, and this time we have teamed up with the guys over at Game People to bring you the chance of winning six great games on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 platforms that are collectively worth over £220.
The games that you’ll have a chance of winning are as follows:
- Red Dead Redemption (Xbox 360, RRP £49.99)
- Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction (PS3, RRP £19.99)
- Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty (PS3, RRP £9.99)
- Tiger Woods 11 (PS3, RRP £49.99)
- Dead Rising 2 (PS3, RRP £49.99)
- Naruto Shippuden Ultimate Ninja Storm 2 (PS3, RRP £44.99)
November 9, 2010
Here at Zath we pride ourselves on bringing our readers high quality technology and gadget related content on a daily basis, it’s always good to get feedback from people on what they think and especially when that takes the form of an award nomination. So having said that, I’m pleased to announce that Zath has been shortlisted for Computer Weekly’s IT Blog Awards 2010 under their Gadgets category!
You may remember that Zath was also nominated for a Computer Weekly IT Blog Awards in 2009, unfortunately on that occasion we didn’t quite make it through to the shortlisted section where the public get to vote for their favourite that they want to win. However this year we have, you’ve got a chance to vote for Zath, so we’re definitely in with a chance of winning this time round.Continue reading »
October 7, 2010
Here on Zath we recently wrote about Virgin Trains’ latest promotion called ‘Don’t Go Zombie’ which featured an innovative zombie game that was based off Google Street View in which you could run go around your local streets ticketing the zombies to save them and get them onto a Virgin Train. In fact, if you go zombie hunting around York, you may even find our very own Zath Zombie!
Well here at Zath we’ve now teamed up with Virgin Trains to help you prepare for the zombie apocalypse by offering up one of the new Amazon Kindle (Wifi) ebook readers along with a copy of what will be a very useful book; Zompoc: How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse – These are useful things to have after all, when you’re dealing with zombies, you want to pack light, so being able to carry your book collection around with you on one light device rather than deal with the weight and bulk of all those paper and hardbacks will be a definite advantage!Continue reading »
October 6, 2010
Last week Zath got invited to the Microsoft offices in London, to have a sneak preview of what is in store for us with the new Windows Phone 7 operating system (OS) and also speak to Oded Ran (Head of Consumer Marketing, Windows Phone, UK) to see what answers he could give us to the various questions that are on our mind regarding Microsoft’s latest mobile phone platform.
One of the first things that strikes you when you look at Windows Phone 7 is it’s very different from the previous mobile versions of Windows, perhaps following the success of Windows 7, they are now wanting a mobile operating system which is worthy of being badged with the Windows (Phone) 7 name.
Also, many of the design successes from the likes of their media players such as the Zune HD have been used in this new mobile OS and choosing to leave behind support for previous versions of Windows Mobile has allowed them to create something new from the ground up.
In fact from seeing Windows Phone 7 in action, you see how their philosophy of removing the need for you to think what application you need to load to accomplish a given task, instead you are just presented with the options you might want to do, for example, to find the nearest pizza restaurant, you can just search without first thinking, do I need to be in search or do I need to be in the mapping application.Continue reading »
September 24, 2010
Late last year you may have seen us here at Zath cover the Magic Wand Universal Remote Control which was released by Kymera, a company dedicated to creating consumer electronics which take their inspiration from magical objects and effects.
This particular piece of hi-tech (or is it actually old technology?) has recently been featured on the latest series of the BBC’s Dragons’ Den show where the Kymera Magic Wand had the Dragons spellbound and saw Duncan Bannatyne coming out on top and making the largest ever single investment of £200,000 – no doubt we can expect lots more magic-inspired gadgets coming our way in the years to come now!
We’re big fans of these kinds of devices here at Zath and we’ve now teamed up with the online gadget and gift retailer, I Want One Of Those to run a competition in which one lucky reader will win one of these Magic Wand Remote Controls, which given that the Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows (Part 1) movie comes out soon, it definitely ties in well with the wizarding theme this autumn.Continue reading »
September 2, 2010
As soon as I got my Apple iPad from PC World on release day, I knew much like any new shiny, beautifully designed portable product from Steve Jobs’ company, I was going to need a case to prevent scratches and general wear and tear that occur even if you’re the most careful of people – I’ve owned a shiny backed iPod Classic!
This particular iPad leather flip case doesn’t weigh much so it doesn’t make the overall weight of the iPad really noticeably heavier when you’re using it, equally the case is quite compact in terms of thickness of the leather-style exterior, therefore the overall bulk of carrying/using your iPad isn’t increased, while offering a fairly secure form of protection from bumps and scratches.Continue reading »