June 8, 2009
In January we brought you news of Spotify; a free and very easy way to stream music straight to your computer using the magical powers contained within the internet. Samknows Broadband queried this idea of this sought after company and has finally come back with the treasure.
It turns out that the ad-based streaming website is officially, and most importantly legally, allowed to operate within the UK, after talks with the Performing Rights Society. It isn’t exactly known how much individual artists receive by users surfing on Spotify, but it’s safe to say that the artists are at least being recognised and rewarded.Continue reading »
June 6, 2009
By now most of us have at least heard about Twitter, if only in some reference from the mainstream media, if you’re still not entirely sure what it is then take a look at some of our previous Twitter-related articles here on Zath, but what if you want a quick and easy to understand explanation (or parody) which relates to real-life situations, then take a look at this video below!Continue reading »
May 27, 2009
When people claim to have consumer electronics made specifically for women, I tend to shudder and walk hurriedly away. I have yet to come across a piece of technology that has been specifically designed to be used, and only used, by a lady (please refrain from the crude jokes about sex toys – I’m clearly not referring to these). What they tend to mean is that the item is now pink. Or is covered in glitter. Or sequins. For me, this usually makes my face scrunch up into a rather goblin-like state, whilst I mutter unpleasant things endlessly until said piece of technology is no longer within my periphery.Continue reading »
May 26, 2009
So they were taken to caught and tried, then eventually the Pirate Bay Four were convicted in a case continues to cause controversy and raise some serious questions about the quality of the Swedish system as more and more problems are found.
As was predicted by pretty much everyone (and promised by Peter Sunde [one of the four] ) they launched an appeal against the combined four year and £2.5 million fine, and one of the principle points raised during this questioned the bias of the judge who administrated the sentence.Continue reading »
May 22, 2009
Google have now officially released another version of their Chrome browser and are calling it Chrome 2, however Google have said that despite it being a whole new version number, there aren’t a huge number of new features as such.
Ever since Google Chrome browser was launched last September there’s been various changes being made to it and it has been automatically updated on a monthly basis…even if you weren’t that aware of it…which was a point that I was making when I reported about the Google Chrome TV advert.
However, this time I have found some information about the update and what it contains…Continue reading »
May 20, 2009
Over the past few months there’s been a lot said about Google Street View (UK) whether it’s how useful it is now, what potential it holds for future navigation methods or just highlighting people’s concerns over privacy – this even caused a privacy blockade in Broughton stopping the Google Car collecting images.
Well Google have now announced a further addition to Google Street View, it will now be adding a “Path View” by deploying special ‘Google Trikes’ that will carry the now familiar Street View camera around footpaths in specific locations which will be voted for by the public at Street View Suggestions.Continue reading »
May 19, 2009
Can Twitter ever be better than Google? Well perhaps in the future we might get a definitive answer to that question; however I thought I’d write about a recent situation where I found that Twitter gave me a better result when looking for an answer than the mighty Google did! Especially given I was originally I was anything but an advocate of Twitter, in fact a couple of years ago when I started this blog I was a big skeptic and did question of what is the point of Twitter?
First of all, I’m not comparing Twitter’s in-built searching capability of tweets with that of Google’s searching of webpages – I’m sure Google is still the finest indexer of information out there and if there is an answer to what you’re looking for, I believe it can get you to it more efficiently than other search engines, be it Yahoo, MSN/Live, Ask Jeeves or the recently released Wolfram Alpha.Continue reading »
May 18, 2009
Back in March we brought you news of Wolfram Alpha’s impending release and labelled as ‘the British take on Google’ it promised a whole new type of search engine, and one that could revolutionise the way we think about searching; so now its release has come does it live up to the hype? Could it beat Google at its own game?
Well the first thing to make clear is that it isn’t a ‘Google’ – it doesn’t search for web pages and it doesn’t merely redirect you to the information (although Google is doing more of its own data representation). What it does do it find the answers for you, which is something we haven’t seen before mainly due to limitations in our computation skills.
So what’s Wolfram Alpha like? Well much akin to Google it has a simple layout with a search bar at the top (note the ‘equals’ sign rather than a ‘search’ button which hints towards a more mathematical outlook) but when you search you are presented with information on your input, or an answer to your question (if it could interpret it).Continue reading »
May 13, 2009
If you start to look at who has suffered most from the growth of the internet over the last decade then the first thing you would probably think of would be the music industry, which is surprising as you would have thought that Newspapers would have been hit the hardest (who needs to pay for news when you get it for free on the internet?).
However thanks to a combination of tradition, wanting to have news ‘on the go’ and numerous other reasons they have managed to hang in there, and the industry would appear to be still going strong, the vast majority also have thriving websites.
But unfortunately for the newspapers their popularity is declining, and the most obvious solution would be to exploit the capabilities of the internet and generate revenue via online means as well as (or maybe in the future instead of) the paper version.
May 6, 2009
Back in March we had the Gaming BAFTA Award Winners 2009, the awards that celebrated achievement in the gaming world; but that’s not the only computer orientated awards out there – the internet also has its own awards ceremony that rewards those that have stood out in the world of the web, the Webby Awards.
And yesterday was the date for the 13th Annual Webby Awards and with just under 70 categories from ‘News’ to ‘Best Use of Typography’ and from ‘Banking/Bill paying’ (I know, one category for both, ridiculous! :p) to ‘Weird’ there really is an award for everyone.
However, I think it’s important to point out the major flaw with these awards before I go on, and simultaneously explain why Zath.co.uk hasn’t won any. It was of course because we were not entered as both a pay-on-entry and pay-on-attend policies are in effect and although both generate revenue, both also put off some of the smaller websites that may otherwise win awards.Continue reading »
April 30, 2009
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has finally given a verdict on the legality of Google Street View going live in the UK, and fortunately for Google (and the millions of people that find the novelty useful and entertaining) it is one that says the online service including the continuing expansion should not be stopped.
This follows claims by many people that it should not be allowed for many different reasons – the most common two being that it infringes people’s privacy, and that it facilitates crime by allowing potential burglars to map out their route and identify weak spots without leaving their home.
However the ICO ruled that although it carries a small risk of privacy invasion removing Google Street View would be “disproportionate to the relatively small risk of privacy detriment”. It is definitely encouraging to see a watchdog use some common sense – listening to the quiet majority rather than the very vocal minority.Continue reading »
April 29, 2009
There are some cool ways to use Twitter from the comfort of your Mac desktop, rather than keeping a browser tab open and hitting refresh every 12 seconds – so, for all you Mac users out there, here’s seven of the best Mac desktop applications to make Twittering easier:Continue reading »
April 28, 2009
Did you know that Facebook has an English (Pirate) language option within the standard settings? I certainly didn’t and don’t know how long it’s been there (probably ages), but have just seen it mentioned on Twitter by Jamie Harrop and had to give it a try.
All you need to do is scroll down to the bottom of any Facebook page and click on the link which say English (UK) or whatever current language you’re using, a popup window appears with a selection of standard languages, except one of the options is for English (Pirate) – you then simply select this and when you’re returned to your Facebook pages, you’ll see that most of your Facebook interface has now become Pirate-ised and ye will be talking like a pirate in no time!Continue reading »
April 28, 2009
Yesterday I brought up the issue of technology giving us more than we can handle with the case of highlighting Swine Flu, but it can also have worrying implications with our safety and how susceptible we are to giving out our personal emails.
In a recent survey commissioned by ‘Get Safe Online’ it was found that internet users in full time education were far more vulnerable to online crime and security threats than any other demographic, which may be surprising as both the people in question and the general population see them as being ‘very computer literate’.
We have all got the spam emails from our friend who is stuck in Nigeria and needs £3000 to get back, and apart from the first time where we went through our phone book to find out if any of our friends were on holiday in Africa we delete them instantly. But although this may seem like the most prominent threat, and although it is so widely publicised, young people are still falling foul to the internet.Continue reading »
April 27, 2009
No-one can deny that technology has made the majority of our lives that bit better, and in fact we would struggle to live without certain aspects of it (e.g. life support systems). However sometimes it can have some fairly negative effects – such as fuelling the fire of hysteria.
Unless you have spent the weekend in a cave you will know that the threat of a pandemic (which has been prophesised by scientists for years) is now coming from a mutated form of Swine Flu which has originated from Mexico, and cases are popping up across the world; so what better to do than follow it’s spread in real time using Google Maps?Continue reading »
April 23, 2009
Cooliris has been around for a while now, and has managed to rack up an impressive 12 million downloads of the plugin that allows you to browse and search media in a whole range of popular websites; but now they have got to update number 10 – and it is definitely one that will push it into the limelight.
Along with a few bug fixes and additional support (which I will get onto later) you will now be able to look at photos on your computer using the Cooliris set up, look through Facebook albums on the streaming 3D wall and get a whole lot more information about the images you are looking at.Continue reading »
April 22, 2009
Today was the day that Chancellor Alistair Darling released the budget for government spending over the next financial year, and within the budget was some interesting promises regarding not only plans to bring broadband to everyone but also about implementing ideas brought forward in the Digital Britain report.
Currently the UK is lagging behind the leading MEDC’s with regards to its broadband speeds – we are struggling to reach an average of 4Mbps while Japan (around 61Mbps), Korea (around 46Mbps) and Finland (around 21Mbps) are the top of the 20 countries that have average broadband speeds higher than ours (a list that includes Poland, Iceland and the Slovak Republic).Continue reading »
April 21, 2009
Just yesterday Ask.com brought back Jeeves in an attempt to fight back against Google, so it is very apt that today Google released two new experimental products that will hopefully change the way we search – and in the meantime add nails to the coffin the likes of Ask.com and Yahoo.
The two new ideas in question are ‘Similar Images’ and ‘Timeline’ both of which are very different from what we’ve seen before, and both of which should not only boost Google’s popularity but also raise awareness of the ‘Labs’ section of Google which has been given a little bit of a makeover.Continue reading »
April 21, 2009
Since it kicked off here in the UK a few weeks ago, Google Street View has courted controversy with the residents of a Buckinghamshire village, Broughton, who refused to be photographed, and the privacy lobby who say that the service is against human rights.
Here at Zath towers however, we prefer to focus on the fun and beneficial side of the mapping tool. Here’s the top seven strange sights we’ve found so far as you take a virtual stroll round these fair isles…Continue reading »
April 20, 2009
I think it’s fair to say that some of the search engines out there are starting to clutch at straws in their attempt to claw back market shares from Google, Yahoo going into talks with Microsoft being a good example. But Ask.com are struggling as well, so they have called on the person who made them the company they are – Jeeves.
Yes, our favourite online answer-retrieving butler is back – and although Ask.com hasn’t told us why, the answer is probably to try and increase traffic on the back of people visiting on the back of curiosity, or for the nostalgia.Continue reading »