Monday, October 12, 2015

IT News Head Lines (Techradar) 13/10/2015


UPDATED: Netflix vs Presto vs Stan vs Quickflix
UPDATED: Netflix vs Presto vs Stan vs Quickflix

Intro, Price and Devices

Updated: Device compatibility details have been added in regards to Stan – details below!
Netflix may be the leading internet TV service in the US, but the streaming giant has some stiff competition down under, and not just from incumbent Quickflix.
Netflix joined the ranks of acting players in the Australian streaming market on March 24th, following the official launch of Stan on Australia Day this year, and the release of the Presto TV entertainment package only a week or so before that.
We will update this comparison as further device connectivity and new content deals are rolled out. In the meantime, this is TechRadar's assessment of how these subscription streaming services stack up and which ones you should be keeping an eye on in 2015.



Stan only offers one subscription services, which confirmed to cost $10 per month after a 30-day free trial.


Foxtel's Netflix rival comes in a few flavours. $14.99 per month with a 30-day free trial will get you both movies and TV content, although you can also choose between the Movie pack or TV pack for $9.99 each.


Australia's oldest surviving SVOD service starts at $9.99 with a 14-day free trial. The streaming service can be packaged with a DVD delivery service for $19.99, or the DVD service alone is available for $12.99. Quickflix also has a premium service where purchase new release titles can be purchased individually as pay-per-view.


Last to the race and keeping quiet about pricing, Netflix was able to undercut all the other streaming products, starting at $8.99 per month. This entry-level Netflix price only gets you a single stream in standard definition. $11.99 per month will get you an extra stream and access to high definition resolution. Four streams and access to Netflix's 4K content will mean your monthly subscription price lines up with the cost of the presto service at $14.99 per month. There is a possibility that the introduction of a Netflix Tax may raise the price slightly in the near in future.


Netflix Devices


Though StreamCo's service could only be accessed via iOS and Android apps at launch, Stan continues to make its users happen by adding to its list of compatible devices.
Android users can then view content on their TV via the Chromecast dongle while Apple AirPlay enables iOS enthusiasts to stream content to their Apple TV.
Stan has also introduced a native Apple TV app, that allows users to view the service without the need for AirPlay functionality.
On a Mac, the service can be accessed via Safari or Firefox, but it is not compatible with Google Chrome at this point in time.
Firefox, Chrome and some iterations of Internet Explorer are compatible with Stan on various Windows operating systems.
Users can link up to six devices to any one account, and once this is full, swap over one device each month.
And finally, after months of waiting, Stan has delivered an app for gaming consoles – the service is now available to stream on PS3 and PS4 consoles, allowing users to navigate Stan's selection from their TV screens.
Though there has been no word on Xbox 360 or Xbox One apps, there are plans to launch these at a later date.


Presto recently released apps for smartphones including, iOS devices (later than the iPhone 5) and selected Android devices from Samsung (HTC, LG, Sony and ZTE). These smartphone apps can stream to your TV via Chromecast in the same way as the existing apps for iPads and selected Android tablets, which have been available since Presto's launch.
It is also possible to use your computer's AirPlay externally, to cast from your Mac to an Apple TV, but this option is not optimised for Presto. There is a Presto Anytime app for your iPad, but you can't use that to Airplay content to your Apple TV.
A deal that was struck in March with Telstra means that people with a T-box -- Telstra's set-top TV recorder -- will have access to an app that is directly connected to the TV.
Presto sets a limit of four devices per account. After that, you can again only change one device per month, although you can use 2 devices on each account to stream different programs simultaneously.
Unless you plan on using just your computer to watch films, Presto is likely to be the most restricted in terms of usability, but if you're worried about exceeding your data allowance, Presto has announced that Foxtel Broadband subscribers will receive no data limit when streaming Presto's content.


Available directly through Samsung, Panasonic, LG and Sony smart TVs, Quickflix is also compatible with PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360.
It's also available on a range of smartphones and tablets including iOS, both Google and Samsung Androids, Kindle Fire and Windows phone. As well as Chromecast, Quickflix can be connected through media devices such as TiVo, HUMAX, Kobo and Oppo.
As Quickflix has been available in Australia for some time now, it's not surprising that this service has the most comprehensive device accessibility outside of Netflix.


Netflix is available on Samsung, LG, Sony, Panasonic, Philips and Hisense, smart Televisions from launch. The US heavyweight has also brokered a deal with the Australian set top box and alternate cable TV provider, FetchTV to have an app directly on the device.
The Fetch TV app not only adds another new option for accessibility but also puts Netflix in front of the hundreds of thousand of Australians currently subscribed to Fetch.
These combine with existing apps on Apple TV, Google Chromecast, iOS devices and both Android tablets and phones. Netflix will also be unique in offering apps on gaming consoles like the PS3, PS4, Nintendo Wii U and Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Xbox One. New Xbox One consoles purchased at selected stores will also receive three months prepaid access to the streaming service.

Kids Programs and TV Content

Kids Programs


Stan's core children's programming comes from deals with the ABC and Viacom, the latter of which has the rights to the Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. channels.
Some of Viacom's kids programs include the hit shows Avatar: The Last Airbender; Octonauts, Ni Hao, Kai-Lan, Bubble Guppies, and popular live-action shows like iCarly, VICTORiOUS, and Drake & Josh.
Stan also offers a decent collection of ABC favourites like The Wiggles, Dorothy the Dinosaur, Guess How Much I Love You and Justine Clarke, as well as overseas titles like Octonauts, Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder, Thomas and Friends, Fireman Sam, Sesame Street and Mister Maker.
The BBC also gives Stan access to the show Charlie and Lola and documentaries from David Attenborough. Stan has great TV content for kids, but doesn't offer the Disney movie titles that will be available on Netflix and Presto.


The Seven and Foxtel venture also has a content deal with Viacom, so it shares recognisable children's titles including SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
Deals with other big children's program distributors Saban, DHX Media and Hasbro Studios add an extensive range of shows that are suitable for the whole family. Classic Disney films like Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story and Tarzan are also present, complementing the newer family hits like Frozen, Ice age 2, UP, and A Night At the Museum.


Quickflix has a decent collection of children's films, though most of them are older titles. There are a few contemporary children's programs from the ABC and the BBC thrown in as well, but in terms of TV, Quickflix isn't thorough.
Paddington Bear, Sesame St and '90s Australian young adult favourite Around The Twist are the type of programs that define the Quickflix offering. There are some great movies included but on the whole there is less new content for kids to engage with than the other services we sampled.


Netflix had the movie premiere of DreamWorks Animation's The Adventures of Puss in Boots in January, for its more established streaming regions around the world, and it intends to maintain its reputation for a solid level of kids content in Australia.
Netflix has also announced deals with Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm for the distribution of children's titles in Australia.
Netflix has brought over its specific settings that allow children to browse content by themselves without accidentally bumping into something inappropriate.
The child-friendly interface that allows kids to peruse a massive catalogue of titles ordered by their favourite mermaid or Pokemon character, offers a unique and engaging experience for kids.
With popular shows like Mako Mermaid and great children's flicks like UP, Wall-E and Alice in Wonderland, Netflix has a lot of desirable content for the little ones.


Stan Content


Stan's content lineup features the fruits of deals with Sony Pictures Television, CBS (includes SHOWTIME), MGM, BBC, ABC, Viacom, and SBS and World Movies making its TV offering one of the most robust of the three live services.
Following in the footsteps of Netflix, Stan has announced that it is working on original locally-produced content including a six part TV series based on the film Wolf Creek and a mini-series called Enemies of the State. New shows like Gallipoli and a solid range of Aussie films combine to show the local streaming service's commitment to quality Australian content.
Mozart in the Jungle, Transparent, Power, UnReal, Power, Community, Lost Girl, Dig, Gallipoli and Better Call Saul are new and acclaimed TV titles that will be exclusive to Stan for the entire life of each series. There's also a good mix of popular and up-and-coming shows available on the service.
To get an idea of the kinds of shows that the service offers, check out our list of the 25 best shows on Stan.


Presto brokered a deal with HBO for its launch in 2015, which includes access to 13 popular premium shows. The latest seasons of Boardwalk Empire (currently only pay-per-view on Quickflix) will be exclusive to the Presto service.
Presto has also confirmed a deal with Showtime giving subscribers access to shows like Dexter, Californication, Deadwood and Ray Donovan. This content is complemented by selected shows from Seven West Media and Foxtel making Presto's selection decent, but still comparatively slim in range (with notably fewer exclusives).
With recent additions of the first 4 seasons of The Walking Dead, the early back catalogue of Modern Family, all nine seasons of The X-Files and the eight-part drama series, The Slap -- based on Christos Tsiolkas' best-selling novel of the same title -- Presto is maintaining its commitment to continually add new content. That said, whether these new additions actually challenge the calibre of content from Stan and Netflix, or rather, simply keep the service afloat in a competitive area, is a valid question.
For a better idea of the shows that the service offers, check out this regularly updated listing of the 25 best shows on Presto.


Quickflix currently has back catalogues of HBO shows like True Blood, Entourage, The Sopranos, and The Wire available on its subscription service.
There are also BBC titles like Sherlock, Little Britain, Faulty Towers, The Office and Torchwood, SBS titles like The Killing and Wilfred, and a huge range of films available on the $9.99 per month plan.


Netflix had a major win negotiating the Australian rights to its flagship original title: House of Cards, resecuring the title from Foxtel and it also has three seasons of its other hugely successful original show: Orange is the New Black.
The company has also shifted its focus to a global content acquisition strategy, which will allow it to avoid negotiating local distribution rights in the future. This means that, over time, the Netflix content available in each country will begin to converge.
Other Netflix Originals currently available on the service include Marco Polo, Bloodline (featuring Australian actor Ben Mendelsohn), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; Chelsea Handler, Marvel's Daredevil, Sense8, BoJack Horseman, Virunga, Mission Blue, and Uganda Be Kidding Me.
A recent deal with Beyond Distribution also will bring local stand-up comedy from Carl Barron, Arj Barker, Kitty Flanagan, Jimeoin and the Umbilical Brothers to the service. At launch, Netflix already had a solid content offering, with a number of highly desirable titles and a thorough back catalogue.
You can find more information about what the service offers in our regularly updated Netflix content line-up article.
Alternatively, you can check out our recommendations for the 25 best shows on Netflix.

Movies, Quality and Verdict



Stan's recent Roadshow Entertainment deal secured some desirable titles that are available immediately including The LEGO Movie, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, The Wolf of Wall Street, Edge of Tomorrow, The Inbetweeners 2, The Judge, and Australian films Wolf Creek 2 and Felony.
The Imitation Game, the comedy St. Vincent, and Golden Globe winning biopic Big Eyes will also be available later in the year.
Stan already had a competitive line-up of titles from its MGM deal, that will see titles like The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, 21 Jump Street and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo appearing.
MGM has also contributed a number of classic films like When Harry Met Sally, The Silence of the Lambs, West Side Story and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
Stan also has content from SBS World Movies including films from over 45 countries in more than 70 languages and big Australian titles like Animal Kingdom.


Presto's movie service precedes the new Entertainment package and has already accumulated a decent collection of movies.
Since the start of 2015, Presto has given its customers access to new titles such as Captain America: Winter Soldier, Thor the Dark World, American Gangster, Philomena and Layer Cake. The movie selection is decent, but it should be when you consider that it's the same price as the other services combined.


Quickflix offers a somewhat eclectic mix of films. Because there's a pay-per-view movie streaming option on Quickflix, the newest home rental titles are placed there first, meaning what ends up in the subscription movie basket is either good but old or seems as though it's scraping the barrel in terms of quality.
Because it boasts a tonne of films, this service is more suited to movie buffs looking for a comprehensive back catalogue rather than access to the very latest releases.


Netflix also has a deal with Village Roadshow Entertainment, meaning it will share a number of movie titles with Stan, including; The Lord of the Rings, Oceans Eleven and The Matrix trilogies.
So far, the titles available in March will include Marvel''s Thor: The Dark World, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy, as well as Disney's Saving Mr. Banks.
Other than this the Netflix film collection seems to sit inline with Stan and Presto, but Netflix stands out in the amount of documentaries it has.


Presto Quality


Stan gives you the option of using its automated bit-rate adaption technology to peg the display quality to the speed of your internet connection. Alternatively you can choose to watch titles in HD, and SD if you're watching on portable devices.


Presto currently only offers SD streaming, making it the lowest of the four in the image quality stakes.
However, the company has recently announced that it has begun testing for HD streams, which it plans to provide to its customers in the near future.


Quickflix offers standard definition videos with HD options on selected titles.


Netflix has various prices for access to the different definitions available on the service. Purely SD is the least expensive at $8.99 per month and access to 4K is $14.99 per month.
Netflix also has an automatic bit-rate monitor that will optimise picture quality according to internet speed. Unlike Stan though, Netflix streams won't have to re-buffer at the new image quality, so there is no interruption when changing definition.

Unmetered downloads

Watching movies online will use a decent amount of your monthly bandwidth and if you're contemplating signing up to one of these subscription video services, you may want to look into the different deals that each have made with ISPs. These deals allow unmetered downloads through specific ISPs on home broadband plans.


Unfortunately Stan has no partnerships with ISPs. It has announced a deal with Vodafone, although no details have been confirmed about what's included in the partnership at this time.


Telstra fixed line broadband and Foxtel Broadband will not charge you for downloaded Presto content.


Also lacking in ISP love.


A deal with iiNet that excludes satellite, NBN wireless, business accounts and mobile internet plans will give all other iiNet plans access to unmetered Netflix. iiNet subsidiaries internode, Westnet and Adam also offer unmetered Netflix.
From April 17th, Optus' fixed home broadband plans will offer unmetered Netflix. Optus will also give new customers a free 6 month subscription to Netflix until July 5th.




If you are already subscribed to the Apple ecosystem with an Apple TV and an iPhone, iPad or Mac, then it would be hard not to give Stan a solid recommendation.
Its compatibility with Apple products makes it easy to use and the service offers a good selection of titles from new releases to classics in both film and TV.
Stan has a unique number of Australian movies, local TV and has planned two original television series – including a mini-series of Wolf Creek and Enemies of the State (a drama about the controversial Australian politician Lionel Murphy that will be partly written by Australian journalist Tony Jones).
Stan's major downfalls are; a lack of ISPs deals that offer unmetered downloads and limited device connectivity that relies on less consistent casting technology.
As a whole, Stan offers users access to a great range of TV and Movies that can be viewed in in high definition for $10 per month and it's the only Australian service that, in ways, really challenges Netflix as the best streaming service.


Presto has a great movie selection and the buffering on the systems work well, but it's hard to really experience the prestige of the titles on your television when you can only watch content in SD.
While Presto has a number of noteworthy TV shows, it's considerably more expensive than Stan and the equivalent Netflix tier. Netflix does have an equally priced option, but it is for 4k content – a file quality that can be projected onto a cinema sized screen without quality loss.
Overall the TV catalogue seems slightly less extensive, with fewer exclusives and a number of partial shows offerings.
Although Presto's recent release of apps for smartphones makes the platform more versatile, the only way to stream to the Television is through Chromecast. The service does have plans to release an app for Telstra's digital set top box, the T-Box, making a little headway towards direct connectivity, but it isn't there yet.
Presto offers a decent range of content at a price that many Australians would find surprisingly inexpensive, but it's still some way off the value offered by Stan and is likely to feel glitchy and fickle once Netflix launches in March.


Quickflix has a decent selection of TV shows available, and there are apps for a wide range of devices.
The premium service means that if you really want to watch a particular show then you'll have the option to pay for it. Furthermore, if you're the organised type and don't mind the effort, forward planning and extra monthly cost required to have DVDs mailed to you, then you can actually save a decent amount of money on highly desirable shows like the Game of Thrones series.
Purely in terms of its subscription streaming, Quickflix's TV selection is the weakest on offer, and the company seems to be losing the awareness war with the arrival of these other newer competitors.
While Presto, Stan and Netflix all celebrate new content on an almost weekly basis, Quickflix seems to have little to celebrate.
What's more, its UI is slow, and counter-intuitive on many devices, leaving it well behind the settled dust of the likes of Netflix.


Netflix has been the dark horse in this race, holding off on details about pricing until the last minute and scooping two deals with Aussie ISPs that will give a broad range of users access to unmetered downloads.
The service has some amazing original content. Shows like House of Cards, Bloodline and the new Daredevil series, hold their own against the best new television shows available anywhere in the world. Content deals with Warner Bros., BBC, FOX, NBC Universal, Village Roadshow Entertainment, Beyond Distribution, Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and The Walt Disney Company, mean that it also has access to an enormous amount of TV shows and movies.
Netflix is unique in offering access to 4K content and overall device compatibility surpasses the best of the Australian services, Quickflix.
The most dramatic advantage for Netflix is its superior streaming technology. Years of experience in delivering subscription television to a diverse range of countries has allowed the company plenty time to iron out glitches and deliver a consistent hassle-free service.
Though Stan and Presto are tweaking their streaming tech every day (Stan has developed a lot since launch when it had problems with progress bars not disappearing and inconsistent apple TV casting) Netflix still has the technological edge.
This carefree user experience is complemented by a unique back-end algorithm that takes great effort to find and suggest personalized lists of titles you may want to watch next.
This may seem trivial if you are not familiar with streaming services, but consistently knowing exactly what you want to watch next, can be tricky and searching through a ton of titles is not an overly appealing experience.
The list of Australian movies and TV shows available on Netflix isn't as comprehensive as Stan, but that is really the only area that the service was found lacking.
The fact that it has multiple unmetered ISP deals will mean it is a far less expensive option initially (provided you're with a compatible ISP) and the different subscription options offer competitive rates for quality services.
If you already have a large home broadband plan, Apple devices and really care about Australian content, then Stan sneaks in as the better service for you. In almost every other case though Netflix is currently the best streaming service you can get.
That said, Stan, Presto and Netflix are all services that offer a completely new TV and movie experience, which is significantly more competitive than anything we've seen before in Australia.
It's worth some private investigation into the content of each service, as personal preference of shows is likely to be the determining factor, at the end of the day.

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People are still getting in trouble for flying drones near the White House
People are still getting in trouble for flying drones near the White House
If you've treated yourself to a shiny new drone recently, please don't fly it in areas where law enforcement agencies are likely to get jumpy at the sight of an unidentified aircraft.
An American man has just received a criminal citation for buzzing a drone around the Washington Monument and crash-landing it on the Ellipse, the busy public park just over the road from the President's house.
The pilot wasn't arrested but did have his drone confiscated. Authorities say it's the ninth time an unmanned aircraft has been flown in a national park in the Washington area in 2015.

Leave your drone at home

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has already declared Washington, DC a "no-drone zone" and there are similar restrictions in place around other national parks and airports.
In the UK, the guidelines from the Civil Aviation Authority state that pilots should keep their drones in sight at all times and not exceed a height of 400 feet (about 30 metres). There are other restrictions covering the use of drones with cameras fitted to them.
With progress in drone technology accelerating at a rapid rate, the authorities are scrambling to get fair legislation in place to dictate how they can and can't be used. In the meantime, steer clear of places with a heightened level of security - like the White House.

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How to set up Apple Watch
How to set up Apple Watch

Get started with Apple Watch

The first thing you'll want to do is put the Apple Watch on your wrist. Not so quick, flip the Apple Watch over and spot the two small indents next to the straps.
These are the band release buttons, press and hold one and slide the band out sideways to remove it. Check in the Watch's packaging and you'll find another band (you get one large and one small). Try both and see which fits best.
Now lay your Watch on a flat surface; this makes the automatic sync with your iPhone easier (try to avoid manual pairing if possible).
How to set up Apple Watch
Press the side button (shaped like a pill) to turn on the Watch and tap Start Pairing on the Watch and in Apple Watch app on your phone.
During setup you'll be asked to specify which wrist you'll wear the Watch on. This doesn't affect the orientation of the Watch's display incidentally, which is set separately. Combined, these choices tell the Watch the direction of movement that should cause its display to turn on when you raise your wrist.
Don't worry if you're unsure because all these settings can be adjusted later from the iPhone app.
For security in case your Watch is stolen, set up a passcode during the initial setup process. The Watch uses the sensors on its back to determine when you've taken it off, after which the passcode must be entered to use it.
You'll be asked whether you want the Watch to unlock when you unlock your iPhone (as long as you are wearing the Watch).
The default passcode is four digits long, but tapping 'Add a Long Passcode' enables you to enter a 10-digit number. This is much harder to bypass, but only use it if you are truly security conscious.

Additional protection

You might also turn on the Erase Data setting, which is done in the Apple Watch app on your iPhone after initial setup (look under My Watch > Passcode). When this is on, the Watch erases its contents after 10 incorrect passcode entries.
Getting back to setting up: when you're asked whether to install all Watch apps that are included with your iPhone apps, we think it's smarter to install them later to speed up the setup process. Besides, installing every available app can make the Watch's Home screen overly busy.
Finally, the Apple Watch syncs with your iPhone and you can use it as soon as that finishes (it takes a few minutes). Strap on the Watch, tap the screen and enter your passcode. Now when you raise your wrist, the screen will spring to life.

Setting up the Home screen

In the Apple Watch app on your iPhone, scroll down to find two group of apps. The first one contains Apple's apps, while the lower block is where you'll find apps from other developers.
How to set up Apple Watch
Third-party Watch apps are bundled with their iPhone app. Tap on a third-party app in the list and turn on the Show On Apple Watch switch to install it on your Watch.
Some apps also provide Glances, which give quick access to key features when you slide a finger up from the bottom of the watch face). You can enable up to 20 of them.
Apps are rearranged (and third-party ones removed) directly from the Watch's Home screen. Tap and hold an app icon until all the icons start to jiggle. Tap and hold an app icon to grab it, and move it to a new position.
To delete a third-party app (indicated with a cross at its top-left), tap its icon swiftly and choose Delete App.
It's a lot easier to arrange apps in the iPhone app. Tap App Layout and drag app icons around to rearrange them; the layout on your Watch refreshes a moment later. Tap My Watch at the top-left when you're finished.

Apple Watch settings

The Apple Watch is a vastly more complex creature than you might imagine, with myriad options spread out across several areas.
The first thing to know is that there are two places to configure settings. On the Watch's Home screen you'll find a Settings app that contains fundamental settings.
The Apple Watch app on your iPhone presents many more when you tap My Watch, making it the best place to start.

Limit interruptions

Receiving many notifications on the Apple Watch soon becomes overwhelming. Calm things down by tapping Notifications to view the settings for each app. They might offer different settings, but most include two options: Mirror my iPhone (the default) and Custom.
If you select the former, the phone's options are summarised below; to adjust them, go to Settings > Notifications on your iPhone.
How to set up Apple Watch

Customise notifications

Tap Custom to choose an app's notification behaviour on your Watch. Three options are available: Show Alerts determines whether visual notifications appear on the screen, the Sound switch controls audible prompts, and Haptic decides whether the Watch gives you a gentle tap on the wrist.
Some apps have more complex Notifications. For example, Activity presents separate controls for stand reminders (so you can stop your Watch telling you to stand up and move around) as well as progress updates during the day, daily goal completions, long-term achievements and a weekly summary.

Get rid of the red dot

If you miss a notification a red dot appears at the top of the watch face. Turn off Notifications Indicator if you find it annoying.

Increase your privacy

While the Watch's small screen makes it fairly private, you might want to hide the content of alerts. Switch on Notification Privacy and you'll only see the type of alert and the person it's from, and you'll only see the full details if you tap the alert.
How to set up Apple Watch

Check for updates

One important feature found in the Apple Watch app that isn't on the device itself is software update. Go to General > Software Update and the app will check if a new version of Watch OS is available and enable you to install it.
Your Watch will need to be charging and have at least 50% battery power though.

Auto update apps

To save having to remember to install new apps, tap General > Automatic Downloads and switch on Automatically Download Apps.
Now when you install an iPhone app with an Apple Watch component, it'll automatically appear on your Watch's Home screen.

Check the usage

Your Apple Watch only sports 8GB of storage, which might quickly fill up because only 5.9GB of it is available to you. You can see what is eating up space in General > Usage.

Fast-forward the time

If you like to set a watch slightly ahead of time, tap Settings on your Apple Watch's Home screen and choose Time. Tap where it says '+0 min' and rotate the Digital Crown to determine how far ahead you want to set the time, then tap Set.
This only affects the watch face; the actual time is displayed elsewhere.

The Settings glance

Swipe up from the bottom of the watch face to open Glances and then swipe right until you reach the leftmost one: the Settings glance.
It contains shortcuts that toggle AirPlane Mode, Do Not Disturb, and Silent Mode with just a tap.

Find your iPhone

The large button across the bottom of the Settings glance is used to tell your iPhone to emit a pinging noise (reminiscent of a submarine radar). This is ideal for locating your iPhone when you've put it down nearby yet can't remember exactly where.

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New HTC One A9 leaks show off the handset from every angle
New HTC One A9 leaks show off the handset from every angle
A fresh batch of leaked images of the HTC One A9 have made their way online courtesy of serial tipster @OnLeaks. The pictures show a dummy version of the phone from just about every angle you could want.
For those new to this particular handset, we were expecting it to be another flagship to sit alongside the One M9 and One M10 coming next year - but recent rumours suggest it's going to have a much more mid-range feel.
HTC One A9
HTC One A9
In fact the most promising aspect of the new phone we've heard so far is that it's said to be arriving with Android 6.0 Marshmallow on board. If you want the latest and greatest version of Google's mobile OS then it might be worth watching out for this one.

Start the countdown

HTC is expected to reveal all about the HTC One A9 (or the HTC Aero as it was once known) at a scheduled press event on 20 October. Previous leaks suggest you're going to have six different colours to choose from.
Despite early speculation promising one of the most powerful smartphones in the world, it now sounds like the handset will have fairly modest specs: an octa-core Snapdragon 617 CPU, 2GB of RAM and a 1080 x 1920 pixel 5-inch screen. Let's hope the price is a fair one.
And yes - it does look a lot like an iPhone. When HTC has something official to say about its next device, we'll pass it on. In the meantime read up on everything we know about the phone so far.

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Opinion: Should Apple merge iOS and OS X together?
Opinion: Should Apple merge iOS and OS X together?

Introduction and Windows 10

On stage a few weeks ago, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, stated that the company has "no intention" of merging iOS and OS X, Cupertino's two main operating systems upon which almost all of its hardware is based. While it may seem odd to consider merging two almost completely contradictory elements – after all, what does the iPhone have in common with the Mac Pro? – another technology giant is currently doing just that, and going ahead merging a phone operating system with a desktop one.

Second time lucky?

With Windows 10, Microsoft is attempting what was previously considered a bad idea and, to a degree, the evidence does bear out this conclusion. The launch of Windows 8, the first attempt at combining the two, did not go down well with customers and forced Microsoft into back-tracking on certain key areas, such as the Start menu which got lost in the mobile-ification of Windows. However, the fortunes of Windows 10 seem a little better.
At an event on October 6, Microsoft announced that over 110 million people had installed Windows 10 onto a device, a staggering achievement considering the software has only been available for a little over two months. The success of Windows 10 is, in the most part, down to Microsoft's focus on what users want, not what is in vogue with the technology press. By starting the Windows Insider programme, Redmond accurately gauged the feeling towards the OS and only implemented things users really wanted, such as the Start menu.
Of course, Apple is continuously doing this. John Gruber, one of the foremost bloggers on the firm, wrote that Apple is one of the most – if not the most – customer-driven company around today, taking the feelings of users into account every step of the way. Even the most radical ideas, such as the original iPhone's lack of keyboard, are thought of with the user in mind and are ultimately shown to be good choices in time.

Listen up, Tim

The case for merging iOS and OS X is quite strong, and Cook would do well to listen. Developers, the cornerstone of Apple's products, are becoming disenchanted with the company's offerings, especially with regard to the App Store which doesn't offer demos or the ability to "upgrade" to the latest version for a reduced price. Some developers have even taken it as far as claiming that Apple's platforms cannot sustain anything other than a hit game or an uber-niche piece of enterprise software. Merging iOS could solve these perceived shortcomings.
Developing software is long and laborious work and if developers start to feel that the monetary rewards are insufficient then they may move elsewhere. (There are, of course, other rewards, but none put food on the table quite like cold, hard cash).
That "elsewhere" could end up being Windows 10, for one key reason: developing an app for Windows 10 is also developing an app for HoloLens, the virtual reality headset, for Xbox, and Windows 10 Mobile. For the same effort, the app can be used across tens of millions of devices, all because Microsoft made one operating system.
There are drawbacks, and they do number highly. For example, the experience on a mobile device is impaired by the fact that it is also designed for a laptop and a desktop. On a MacBook, everything is geared toward being controlled by a keyboard and a mouse. On a Windows 10 machine, however, the same cannot be said and this can lead to some odd compatibility issues.
A good example of this is the Office suite. When it was first released on the Surface back in 2012, the suite of apps was designed for a mouse and keyboard but was being used on a touch device (the Surface). This would never happen for Apple – iWork is distinct on both – but it did for Microsoft, and users didn't get the best experience as a result.

User experience and satisfaction

This is where the idea of user experience – and, as Tim Cook loves to tout, user satisfaction – comes into play: Apple has evidently assessed the market and the things consumers want and decided that merging iOS and OS X does not come under the label 'things customers want.'
The complications arise when considering products such as the iPad Pro, a device that is clearly geared toward having a more 'Pro' set of applications. The two other devices that share its namesake – the MacBook Pro and Mac Pro – both run OS X and so the inclusion of iOS is noticeable for how 'un-Pro' it feels, even if certain apps, such as the iWork suite, have been built out to work better. Many speculated that the second version of the iPad would come with a custom-build version of iOS which brought in some features of OS X, but it never materialised.
iPad Pro

Room for manoeuvre

While Tim Cook's comments seem categorical, there is still some room for manoeuvre. The Apple of Steve Jobs, which was likely where the clearest distinction between OS X and iOS was made, is gone, and the ideas that came with it may also be vanishing.
The very introduction of the iPad Pro and its associated Pencil – effectively a stylus wrapped up in Apple's cute branding – show this clearly. Jobs famously said that "if you see a stylus, they [the company] blew it" and it may be the case that in the future people look back on Tim Cook saying that Apple has "no intention" of combining iOS and OS X in a similar light.
Another angle that has to be considered is that while these operating systems might not merge, OS X could be gradually phased out and replaced by iOS. We have already started to see this with the MacBook which is an amalgamation of the iPad and a MacBook Air. (The iPad Pro is the reverse but expresses the same ideals).
The PC industry, especially desktop machines where OS X is most suited, is dying out to be replaced by iOS which can inherit the features of OS X without ever officially merging the two, just as OS X inherited the features of iOS back in 2010.

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5G field test hits a blistering 3.6Gbps data transfer speed
5G field test hits a blistering 3.6Gbps data transfer speed
If you're interested in faster download speeds on your smartphone - and aren't we all? - then you'll want to know about the latest field tests of 5G technology being carried out in Japan.
The new trial carried out by Huawei and Japanese carrier NTT DoCoMo is the first to use conditions that match the real world: in other words, a lot of users connecting at once on a spectrum compatible with today's handsets.
The good news is that the engineers managed a peak data transfer speed of 3.6Gbps - not too shabby when you think that 4G maxes out at about 20Mbps. Those kind of speeds could transform our smart cars, our smart cities and just about every other aspect of 21st century life.

Five years' time

"As the first in the world to succeed with such a large multi-user environment test, this is an important milestone," said NTT DoCoMo's Takehiro Nakamura. "This is very encouraging as the industry works to commercialize 5G by 2020... I look forward to even more impressive results when we move to the next phase of [the] field trial in Japan."
Further tests are expected to take place at the 2018 World Cup in Russia, while the UK government has promised that Londoners are going to be enjoying 5G speeds within the next five years.
There's a lot of work still to do but the signs are promising. 5G has a theoretical top speed of 20Gbps, but away from laboratories and specialised equipment the actual speed you get on your 2020 flagship smartphone will be lower than that.

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How to use Gmail
How to use Gmail

How to use Gmail

How to use Gmail
Gmail is, in many ways, the core service in Google's suite of office tools. It connects directly with Google Calendar and Google Plus.
Gmail attachments are opened in Google Docs or can be saved directly to Google Drive. Tasks, now a feature of Calendar, originated here – as did the practice of using labels instead of folders, which is widely implemented across Google apps.
On top of this, of course, your Gmail account is how you connect to all the other Google apps. It's your Gmail address you use to log into Docs, Plus, YouTube and all the rest.

Big numbers

The last time Google published figures, it announced that Gmail had around 425 million active users, and an educated guess would put the figure closer to 600 million now.
That's a larger user-base than both Microsoft's Outlook Live service (formerly Hotmail, which had a massive head start over Gmail) and Yahoo! – its closest rivals.
There's a good reason for this. Gmail offers a sophisticated mail service with a lot of features you used to get only in desktop software. It's reliable, offers lots of free storage and it sorts your mail for you on the fly.
Plus, Gmail's smart spamfiltering has made junk mail something we can almost forget about. Here we'll take a look at some of Gmail's basic and not-so-basic features, so that you can get the most from the world's most popular email service – which, of course, is also free.

1. Fill your inbox

How to use Gmail
With Gmail you never have to delete a message. It gives you 15GB of free storage (shared with Docs and Google Plus) and a powerful search tool so that you can find any email ever received or sent.
A quick tip: click the small arrow at the end of the search box for advanced search options.

2. Automatic tabs

How to use Gmail
By default, Gmail sorts your mail into tabs for you. Primary is for person-to-person messages, Social for updates from Facebook and the like.
Promotions is for advertising mail you've opted into; Updates are auto messages from services you use; Forums are messages from mail groups.

3. Configure tabs

How to use Gmail
To configure tabs, click the + icon at the end of the tab bar to view a list of tabs that you can switch on or off.
Removing a tab doesn't remove the mail – it will get distributed into other tabs. Finally, tick "Include starred in Primary" to quickly move starred mail to your main tab.

4. Creating labels

How to use Gmail
Gmail doesn't have user folders – but it does have Labels to help you organise your mail. To create a Label, open the message you want to categorise and click the Labels icon.
Choose Create new label. Labels can be nested like folders, so can have sub-labels within a category.

5. Using Labels

How to use Gmail
When you've created a Label, it's easy to use it. In any Inbox tab, select one or more emails by ticking the box next to the sender info. Click the Labels icon and choose a Label from the list. To see emails that are organised with a label, select the label name from the sidebar.

6. Filters

How to use Gmail
You can get even more from labels – use them to tag incoming mail automatically. Click the arrow at the right of the search box and enter a search term.
Click "Create filter with this search". In the next dialogue is a range of things Gmail can automatically do to emails, including add a label.

7. Add POP email

How to use Gmail
Gmail can retrieve mail for you from other email accounts. Click the Settings icon and choose Settings. Click on the Accounts tab and choose "Add a POP3 Account you own".
Enter the email address of your other account and click Next. Gmail will fill in the details – you provide the password.

8. Use your own address

How to use Gmail
If you own a domain name with an email address, you can use that with Gmail. First, you should set up the domain so that it forwards mail to your Gmail address – check with your domain name provider.
Then in Gmail go to Settings > Accounts and choose "Add another email address you own".

9. Use Gmail with Outlook, Thunderbird and more

How to use Gmail
To access Gmail from other mail apps such as Outlook, you'll need to enable POP and IMAP.
Go to the "POP/IMAP Download" tab in Settings and click the Enable buttons for both of these.
In the email program you want to use will need to enter in your email address and the following information:
Incoming Mail (IMAP) Server:
  • Port: 993
  • Requires SSL: Yes
Incoming Mail (POP3) Server:
  • Port: 995
  • Requires SSL: Yes
Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server:
  • Port: 465 or 587
  • Requires SSL: Yes
  • Requires authentication: Yes
  • Use same settings as incoming mail server

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Running Man of Tech: 9 Kickstarter campaigns that every runner should back
Running Man of Tech: 9 Kickstarter campaigns that every runner should back

Great ideas

Aqua Arm
Another day, another wasted dream. That's how I like to live my life, apparently, as once again I came up with another million-dollarpound idea only to realise that someone had already done it and taking anything from an idea into a reality is much harder than it looks.
It occurred to me when I was out on a long run and once again cursing the stupid fact I had to hold a water bottle with me. I sometimes run with a Camelbak, but there are multiple times when I don't need THAT much water, and other times when I've lost my tube and would therefore just be carrying around water like a camel, but with no way of accessing it.
Anyway – my idea was genius. A water bottle that strapped around your arm, so you didn't need to carry it and it would be right there, balanced off from gravity. It was winning. Genius. I was going to change running forever.
I got home, and within about 2.4 seconds of Googling, I found the Aqua Arm. Great. This is like the time I saw a pen knife for the first time when I was a child and I'd had a great idea to sellotape scissors to a screwdriver.
The Aqua Arm doesn't half look chunky though – which gave me a thought: there must be loads of utterly insane ideas on Kickstarter that we can all look at together and laugh at. People are crazy, right? We'll have so much fun.
Except, well, they're apparently not so dumb. I found loads of running tech, but every time I was ready to mock I realised that, dammit, I would buy that.
So instead, here are nine Kickstarter projects that every runner would probably love. Just don't wear them all at once.

1. Hydrosleeve

I'm getting this one out of the way now – it's not on Kickstarter (but was on Indiegogo). It's a thing you can already buy. It's the only one, promise.
However the Hydrosleeve has one thing all these on the list have in common: it's clever. Aside from the fact it only hold a few (long) sips of water, it's definitely something that solves a problem. It's water on your upper arm, with a bendy straw that lets you slurp away without breaking stride.
By moving it further up your arm, there's less swing and you're more easily able to drink – and you can even turn it inside out for a cheeky wash.

2. Ingenious Hat

OK, this was it. This was my big find, the dumbest thing you can imagine for runners. It's already called 'Ingenious Hat', which is a bad name for anything (especially things that aren't hats or in any way clever) and the picture looks terrible.
It's a hat with a square drawn on the front, which looks like a display. Ha, you can't read that – it's on your head. FOOLS!
Then I looked at what it did – measures UV rays and air pollution. Two things that I hate worrying about on a run. Putting the sensor on the head is a great idea to capture the most samples and keep a close eye.
An alert telling you when things are getting too high? Great idea. Dammit, Ingenious Hat, you're onto a winner here.
That said, at the time of writing it was nearly at deadline and there was almost no funding, so it doesn't look like this will see the light of day.

3. Roadnoise Vest

Ha, this is a stupid one, right? It's speakers in your shoulders so you don't have to put headphones in your ears!
The Roadnoise Vest is like the boomboxes of old come back to haunt us runners – except why would we need that? Who needs to have sound blaring out at all angles? Well, unless you're on a campaign trail and can't afford a van, I guess.
Except… dammit, it's happened again. This thing can not only hold all manner of objects, nutrition and even hydration packs, but it also allows you to stay focused on your surroundings while listening to tunes or podcasts. Safety on the roads, not being disqualified for races and they're even waterproof.
That all makes sense. I kind of want one. Although I hope it doesn't annoy the crap out of anyone running nearby... but then again, who DOESN'T love eurotrance?

4. Hydrosport Vest

It's vest o'clock suddenly, as I suddenly found another one of these chest-based objects on Kickstarter. The Hydrosport Vest seemed even madder – it doesn't even have speakers! Ha, who wants that?
Well, me again, it turns out. This thing is contoured to the body, doesn't go over both shoulders so it's cooler (perhaps only in the temperature sense, as it doesn't look great) and has dedicated hydration with the vest itself, with an easy tube to get at the water.
It's basically a more comfortable-looking Camelbak with more accessible pockets. That makes sense. Darn.

5. Stridalyzer

OK, this one just sounds awesome – and it's already been funded, so I'm going to spend my waking hours tracking one down.
The Stridalyzer is Moov but to the next level (if you've read my previous columns, you'll get why I'm excited).
It's two sensor-based insoles, using piezoelectric elements to properly map where you're putting pressure. Over rotating your foot? The app will correct you in real time. Trying to get faster cadence? It can do that too – in fact, it can even do heat maps showing where you're putting pressure on your knees.
That's just genius – and while the app could definitely do with some work to help you learn to run better, this is a great idea and one that shows the effect wearable tech is having in the running world.

6. Clipless

I chose this one mostly for the picture, but then realised Clipless is actually a rather good idea. There's a clip on your phone. There's a magnetic pad. You put your clothing in between, they lock together.
That's pretty basic, but makes sense when you consider it dispenses with the need for an armband or unsightly fanny pack.
But it also has NFC inside as well, so when you sucker your phone to any part of your body, you can fire up your favourite running app or music player instantly.
*Nods with appreciation*.
*Nods to Will Smith's Men in Black 2 theme song*.

7. Okey

Come on, this is the one that's the most ludicrous, right? It's a place to store your keys! THAT'S WHAT POCKETS ARE FOR, YEAH?
Okey is just a magnet that's been made to hold your keys in place and attach to any part of your body. We don't need it. We've got pockets.
Except sometimes we don't. And sometimes even when we do they're too big and the keys rattle around and can even hurt our delicate, beautiful skin.
So this actually IS a good idea. And it's eye-catching in case you drop it. OK, it's a great idea.
Sadly, this wasn't quite funded, but it made over €12,000, so that's a good enough return to think this will continue.

8. Stryd

This is the big one, that thing that's been covered over and over already – and it looks to be a game-changer.
Stryd is a small device that clips onto your belt and automatically tracks your run in 3D, using powerful metrics to really assess how you're running, where you can improve efficiency and technique, but more importantly giving you a power output.
If you're a cyclist, you'll know all about this, as it's a key way of learning how hard you're pushing. With Stryd, the same thing is available to runners, which means you no longer have to try and work out your pace and heart rate and what they mean on the go.
It even connects with running watches (although surely will have to be used in cycling mode to show power, as that's traditionally where it lives) so you'll get real time updates on how you're doing.
Plus it looks a bit like a squashed egg.

9. Night Runner

night runner
Headtorches suck because, well, they're expensive and on your head. That's where things like the Ingenious Hat need to live.
But what if you put them on your feet? What if you had torches in your shoes that showed you when you're were going to run into stuff at night as you sprint, petrified, down that pitch black trail you've got to go down because you're an IDIOT WHO GOT LOST AND IS THAT A BEAR NO IT'S A DRAGON NO IT'S A TREE AAAAARGH YOU'RE GOING TO DIE OUT HERE OH WAIT THERE'S THE ROAD IT'S OK.
Night Runner lives on your shoe's tongue, so have a higher level of illumination to see obstacles in front of you – plus you'll feel like you're wearing massive flippers made of pure light. We've all had that dream, right?
270 degrees of visibility will make you look like a luminous adventurer, ploughing down the path of life – plus you'll look a bit like a space traveller to small children. Win-win.

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Week in Gaming: Microtransactions are seeping into console gaming, and it makes me feel bad
Week in Gaming: Microtransactions are seeping into console gaming, and it makes me feel bad
Imagine you're a child. Imagine you're out in the park one day, and you find a shiny 50p. Also, imagine it's the 90s. Stick with me here.
You take your hard-earned pocket money to the corner shop, selecting for yourself a paper bag of sherbet lemons and some Opal Fruits ("what excellent, historically accurate detail," you say. "I am so totally immersed right now"). The huge, hairy shopkeeper looms at you. "It'll cost you extra if you want anything but yellow Opal Fruits," he booms. "Also, I'm out of sherbet lemons. You can have peeled grapes instead. Maybe come back tomorrow, but you'll have to pay again." You pay, unhappily, taking your yellow Opal Fruits (the worst flavour) and your peeled grapes. He doesn't give you a bag. "50p extra for a bag," he snorts, turning away to read his copy of Smash Hits.
Microtransactions are the peeled grapes of our time. We're so used to people putting up prices, charging more for our petrol, houses, and sherbet lemons, that we just keep wearily handing out coins in the vain hope that one day, we might actually own a thing and all the salespeople will just go away forever. Microtransactions are games companies taking advantage of this new sort of thing called FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out - which terrifies us so much that we will throw all the 50 pence pieces we've ever owned at whatever it is that makes us feel like we belong again.
For some of us, that thing is Twitter, and the currency we spend on it - to make sure we never miss a thing - is time. For many gamers, it's microtransactions, which give you access to extra game modes (the ones your friends might be playing) and customisable things like outfits and weapon skins (the ones your friends might all have, and they'll judge you if you have all the vanilla stuff). And if spending that money makes you happy, then what's the problem? It's your money, after all!
The problem is that your money should buy a solid investment in something. Increasingly, gamers are being treated like disloyal or "casual" customers if they buy only the base game. It started with pre-order bonuses and now it's moving onto microtransactions. It's like buying entry to a club, only to be told that all the cool stuff is upstairs in the VIP area. Wouldn't it be better not to know there was a VIP area? Whether it's extra emotes in Destiny, perks to make the game easier in Rise of the Tomb Raider, or just slightly nicer champagne and padded seating in VIP, if there's something we know is exclusive, it makes us feel inadequate not to have it. Like we aren't VIPs. We're just Ps. No one wants to just be a P.

Rise of the Bank Raider

When companies like Ubisoft start to charge in excess of $100 for extra in-game currency to buy weapons, outfits and missions, you know something's gone really wrong. Are they saying that these things are worth more than the base game? Are they saying that anyone who just paid the $60 to purchase the game are less valuable than those who buy microtransactions? How are the companies really making their money, and are they not making enough from the game sales themselves? How far will this go?
Destiny's microtransactions, announced this week (and mentioned by me earlier) will only allow the player to buy emotes, which are simply gestures that your character is able to make. They're entirely cosmetic and buying all the emotes in the world won't make you a better player. But many Tomb Raider's in-game purchases (also announced this week) will give you an advantage in leaderboard modes, while some, such as Big Head Mode, are also cosmetic. Cheat code have gone away - now we pay for them.
Microtransactions are difficult to form an opinion on, given how wildly different they can be. With free games like Hearthstone, they offer a deeper, more immersive experience for people who want to get more into the game, the same as real-world card games do. With games aimed at children, it can be an insidious way to market directly at younger, more impressionable minds who will transfer the marketing in a much more effective way to their parents.
But with games you've already paid a lot for, it's tricky - does it offer more for people who have the money, and want more? Does it encourage companies to raise prices? Will it devalue the customer who bought the game in favour of those willing to spend more? Unfortunately, given the relative newness of microtransactions, only time will tell. Maybe they'll die out, just like Opal Fruits. Here's hoping.

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Wiz Khalifa is the tenth member of YouTube's Billion Views Club
Wiz Khalifa is the tenth member of YouTube's Billion Views Club
What do Wiz Khalifa, Mark Ronson, Meghan Trainor, Enrique Iglesias, Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and Psy all have in common? As you might have guessed if you read the headline, they all have videos with more than a billion views on YouTube.
Khalifa's See You Again, a tribute to the late Paul Walker and featured on the Furious 7 soundtrack album, is the newest member of that exclusive club. YouTube announced the news with a post on its Trends blog.
YouTube :
See You Again is the second-fastest clip to reach the magic 1,000,000,000, taking just 184 days to get there. It's beaten only by Psy's Gangnam Style, which did the same trick in 160 days, but then the South Korean pop smash hit holds just about every record going on YouTube.

Members only

The success of See You Again is indicative of a broader trend: we're all watching more videos than ever before, and the rate at which clips become successful is accelerating.
"At the start of this past June, only two videos had reached that echelon," writes YouTube's Kevin Allocca. "But in just the past six months, EIGHT additional videos crossed the mark." The next one expected to hit the same heights is Counting Stars by OneRepublic.
We imagine Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth will have to go through some kind of initiation ceremony the next time the Billion Views Club gets together - presumably Taylor Swift and Katy Perry are in charge of proceedings, as they have two entries each in the top 10 list.

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How to get the most from the Windows 10 command prompt
How to get the most from the Windows 10 command prompt

Introduction and copying text

If you tried out the previews of Windows 10, you may have seen the experimental options in the command prompt. Now that it's released, the Experimental tab in the Properties dialog is gone, but the key features are still there – just slotted into the other tabs.
To see what's available, right-click on the title bar of a command prompt window and choose Properties if you want to only change the current command window, or Defaults if you want to change every command window you open.
Master the command line

Easy selection and copying

The big new features are on the Options tab. 'Quick Edit Mode' isn't new, but it is now enabled by default. If you're looking for information about your system, like using IPCONFIG to find out your IP address, the output of this command shows you more information than you need, laid out in blocks on-screen. Quick Edit Mode makes it much easier to copy text from the command prompt because it selects the characters you drag your mouse over, rather than an arbitrary block of text on the screen.
It's now a much easier process to select and copy text from the command prompt
Make sure 'Enable Ctrl-key shortcuts' is turned on and you can finally use Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V to copy, cut and paste text you've selected in the command prompt instead of having to right-click on the window title and hunt through the Mark menu for the commands. That means you can copy a folder path from File Explorer and use it in a command, just by copying and pasting it.
If you're pasting in a command you've found online or someone has emailed to you, make sure 'Filter clipboard contents on paste' is enabled andpaste will now automatically clean up special characters like tabs and smart quotes so the command actually works (in the past you had to do that by hand, which meant checking everything in Notepad or using a utility like ClipMate).
Selecting 'Filter clipboard contents on paste' will mean special characters are automatically tidied up when pasting
If you're used to using Ctrl-C as the BREAK command – to cancel a command that's still running – just press Ctrl-C twice instead of once.
You've been able to search inside the command prompt for a while, but again the command was hidden in the menu; now you can just type Ctrl-F. Ctrl-A selects all the text in the command prompt to make it easier to copy. Make sure 'Enable line wrapping selection'is selected to have Windows clean up the text you copy.

Them's the breaks

The command prompt still treats what you select as a block of text that might be broken up over multiple lines instead of a single string of text, and again you used to have to use Notepad or ClipMate to get rid of the extra line breaks – with line wrapping enabled, you get the text without the line breaks. If you need them occasionally, just hold down the Alt key as you start to select the text and you'll get the block mode for just that selection.
If you mostly use the mouse, you won't need to turn on 'Extended text selection keys' – this lets you use the Shift and arrow or Page Up and Page Down keys to select text a character, line or page at a time, in the direction of the arrow. Use Ctrl-Shift to select a whole word at a time with the arrow keys, or select to the top or bottom of the screen with the Home and End keys.
You can also use Shift+Home and Shift+End to select from where the cursor is to the left or right side of the screen; if you're in the middle of typing a command, use them to select either what you're typing, or the whole line.

Resizing and readable fonts

Resizing tricks

You can now resize the command prompt window just by dragging the corners of the window to the size that you want. Make sure that 'Wrap text output on resize' is selected on the Layout tab and the text in the command prompt will resize with the window, rather than making you use the horizontal scrollbar to see the end of the line if you made the window smaller.
You don't need to change the buffer size (which is where the command prompt stores commands you've already typed, so you can reuse them just by pressing the up arrow key to pick an earlier command) to match the new window size by hand anymore – Windows automatically increases and decreases it to match the window as you drag it, so everything reflows correctly.
If 'Wrap text output on resize' is enabled, the text in the command prompt resizes with the window

Readable fonts

On very high resolution screens (including the Surface Pro), the command prompt has been all but unreadable because the text size was so small – make sure you choose one of the TrueType fonts on the Font tab instead of Raster Fonts and it will automatically scale so you can actually read it easily. The default Terminal font is a raster font, so make sure you change it to one of the TrueType fonts instead.
You've been able to change the colours of your command window on the Colours tab for a long time (handy if you have two windows open for running different sets of commands). Now there's also an opacity slider that lets you make the window semi-transparent so you can see the windows behind it.
You can now make the command window semi-transparent with the opacity slider
If you're running a command that makes a change to another window or application, like saving a list of all the files in a folder to a text file with the command DIR /B>FILE.TXT, you can see through the command window to the Explorer window to make sure the file appears correctly. You can't drag the slider to less than 30% opaque; the Windows team found it was too easy to lose the command prompt entirely if you made it more transparent than that.

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In depth: How Netflix works - 400 billion interactions per day ain't easy
In depth: How Netflix works - 400 billion interactions per day ain't easy
Eight million events per second, and billions of metrics every minute. That's the staggering size of video streaming service Netflix, which now claims 37% of peak hours internet bandwidth in the US – and it's pushing towards being used by close to half the population.
The streaming video service, whose recent raising of its prices was headline news, is popular and expanding globally fast, but how does it work?

How big is Netflix?

"We're in 60 countries and expect to be in 200 by the end of 2015, so 65 million will turn to 100 million," says Josh Evans, Director of Operations Engineering at Netflix, speaking at AWS reInvent 2015 in Las Vegas in October. "We've just launched in Japan and we're going to launch in four other Asian countries in 2016."
Early 2016 will see Netflix launch in Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, though some say Netflix is cherry-picking 'low hanging fruit', only operating in highly developed countries where a monthly subscription is affordable.
According to the most recent Sandvine Global Internet Phenomena Report, Netflix is making gains in new European markets they entered late last year, with the service now accounting for almost 10% of peak downstream traffic in both Austria and France.
"At peak we consume 37% of internet bandwidth in the US," says Dave Hahn, Senior Engineer, Critical Operations and Response Engineering Team (CORE) at Netflix in Los Gatos, California, who spoke to us after his talk 'A Day in the Life of a Netflix Engineer'.

The need for speed

There are thousands of people clicking play at the same time, with activity peaking in the evening, though as a global platform it's a constant peak.
The challenge is how to run a service with zero loss while processing over 400 billion events daily, and 17GB per second during peak.
"Starts per second is the heartbeat of Netflix," says Evans. Pressing play is big business.

How the user interface works

You might have noticed that the way you interact with the Netflix user interface has recently changed.
"We created what we call our 'Darwin' user interface, moving form vertical to horizontal box shots, and we tuned our algorithms … a lot of innovation went in," says Evans.
The same kind of interface is on the website, too, creating what Evans calls the 'Akira' user interface.
"All the information you need is at your fingertips," he says. It sounds simple, but it's built on advanced telemetry, real-time analytics and advanced machine learning.

Is Netflix in the cloud?

Yes, but here comes the weird bit – Netflix is hosted by Amazon Web Services (AWS), whose Amazon Prime Instant Video it competes with.
"Everything that is Netflix from an operational standpoint lives on AWS with the exception of the video bits," says Hahn. It might seem odd, but Amazon actually helps Netflix address the unpredictable peaks in traffic.
"We rely on Amazon's elastic infrastructure to help us scale when we need to," says Hahn. "We go to them for the heavy lifting – for us to build a datacenter and run it really well doesn't help our customers enjoy entertainment, so we're more than happy to have a partner in Amazon that does that stuff for us."
However, it's perhaps a mistake to see AWS and Amazon as partners; the former only regards the latter as one of its customers.

Where does the video come from?

All video is cached and stored on Netflix's own OpenConnect content delivery network (CDN), which connects directly to Internet Service Providers (ISPs). This is the core of Netflix; it's where everything is stored, and it comes complete with cloud management, a delivery engine, and an automation platform.
"Everything else runs on top of AWS," says Hahn. "We built this CDN over the last few years with hardware that works with ISPs around the world."
The CDN is global, so wherever you are in the world, when you request a video the system selects the nearest location to stream it from.
It's in stark contrast to Netflix's past; which started as a DVD rental service, and then racked and stacked its own servers when it began streaming.

Has Netflix always been on Amazon?

No – it used to sit on Netflix's own data centres, specifically one single location on the West Coast of the USA.
This was five years ago, when Netflix wasn't the phenomenon in developed countries that it currently is.
Given its aggressive expansion plans, an easily expandable infrastructure like AWS was the answer. "We started building in 2009 and we had the first devices connect to AWS in 2010," says Hahn.

How does Netflix cope with regional content licensing?

It's complicated.
Hollywood and the movie and TV industry generally is one of the last vestiges of digital geography, which is why some shows are on Netflix US, Netflix Sweden or Netflix Canada, but not on Netflix UK, or vice versa.
It's often a case of there being multiple rights owners, where the studio who produced the movie having rights to sell in one country while a distributor has exclusive rights in another.
However, Netflix is trying to get around this archaic model by producing its own shows like Orange is the New Black, Marco Polo and the not-as-good-as-it-was House of Cards.
Some Netflix users try to get round geolocation restrictions by using a VPN to mask their location and thus browse Netflix libraries not technically available to them, but Netflix has to oppose this, at least officially.

Is it Netflix Vs Amazon Prime Instant Video?

It might appear that way, but since both services are built and run from AWS, Amazon is all too keen to support its main global video streaming rival.
Perhaps that's no surprise given its size, though there is evidence that streaming on Amazon Prime Instant Video is more popular.
Hulu Plus (USA only), the BBC iPlayer (UK only) and other territory-specific rivals aside, there's also iFlix, a startup in South East Asia that's aiming to gain traction in markets that Netflix has thus far ignored.
So far launched into Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, iFlix charges a few dollars per month for everything from South Korean soap operas to Hollywood blockbusters (and several Hollywood power brokers sit on its advisory board).
Netflix won't completely dominate the globe, but video streaming likely will.

How much does Netflix know about what is being watched?

It knows everything.
Every time you watch, browse or view a trailer, Netflix knows. By analysing its global streaming data it can tell the exact point that a show takes-off.
Think it's all about a great pilot show?
"No one was ever hooked on the pilot," says Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer for Netflix, who studied data from 20 shows across 16 markets. "This gives us confidence that giving our members all episodes at once is more aligned with how fans are made."
In short, binge-watching is what it's all about, or so says the data.
Netflix engineers managed to identify 'hooked' episodes where 70% of viewers who watched that episode went on to complete season one.

What's coming next for Netflix

While 65 million people might sound a lot, it's a drop in ocean compared to the amount of people Netflix could be streaming to, so growth (most immediately in Asia) is in Netflix's future.
Netflix streaming is also being made available to airline passengers with phones, tablets or laptops on 10 of Virgin America's new Airbus A320 aircraft in the US, though it's only free until beta testing on its new ViaSat inflight WiFi system ends in March 2016 (expect high prices thereafter for such a data-intensive app).
More important for Netflix as a whole is a more lively UI.
"You'll see more video incorporated into the user interface embedded directly into the UI, and all of this requires growth in the backend infrastructure," says Evans, who shows us a graphic of what the Netflix architecture looks like.
"That's simplified," he says of the complex, spiderweb-like image. "It's more like an organism than a computer programme."
We've also got HDR on the way next year, as Netflix works with the UHD Alliance to help finalise the broadcast standards. As well as an intermediary resolution between HD and Ultra HD for those without the bandwidth to go for the full UHD/HDR monty.
It's also working on new high-efficiency mobile encoders, because it doesn't believe its customers really want to go for the download route if they can stream without completely destroying their mobile data allowances.
And it's going to need a whole lot more Amazon space as it swallows up more and more of the internet.

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First look: I stuck my head in this stunning curved Asus monitor
First look: I stuck my head in this stunning curved Asus monitor
Curved monitors have made a surprisingly large splash in everything from high-res 4K TVs to productivity-minded displays built for gaming. Asus wants to break into curved gaming monitors in a big way with its 34-inch Republic of Gamers PG348Q display.
The monitor is absolutely massive and when you stick your head near the center of it, the PG348Q really does envelop your entire field of view. It also sports an incredibly sharp 3,440 x 1,440 resolution even after all the pixels have been spread across a giant 34-inch canvas.
The display is big enough to envelop your entire vision
There's also plenty of technology packed into the screen, including G-Sync to smooth out frame rate issues and tearing. The display also uses an IPS panel so it renders vibrant and accurate colors with deep blacks.
I got the chance to see the display in action at Asus' Republic of Gamers event in California this week, I and it produces an amazingly uniform picture. Typically displays that span such a wide area run into uniform backlighting issues, but none of these problems were present.
Splotchy blacks are a bit of a problem
However, I did notice some splotchy areas of shadow. At the time the screen was looping a Fraps demo so it might have had more to do with the source footage than the quality of the screen.
The monitor's twisted tree motif is unique and cool
Aside from the massive size of the screen itself, the design of the ROG Swift PG348Q display is bonkers. For instance, the monitor stands on a metal base that spirals from the top all the way to its feet like a twisted tree. It's a unique motif I haven't seen in many products before, and it's even etched into the surface of the display.Along the back of the unit, you'll find lines that coil into themselves.
The Asus Republic of Gamers logo is projected from the screen
Oh, and it also projects a logo onto your desk, which is both utterly useless and one of the coolest things I've seen built into a monitor.
Asus has yet to announce pricing or a release window, so it's unlikely we'll see this 34-inch curved display any time soon. Still, I love the gorgeous picture quality and Asus ambition to release a wholly gamer-focused curved monitor.

Read More ...

Xbox One and PS4 bundle deals: Up your console gift-giving skills
Xbox One and PS4 bundle deals: Up your console gift-giving skills

Xbox One and PS4 bundle deals

Xbox One bundle deals
The holidays are almost here again, and whether you're still putting together your Halloween costume or already dreaming of gift-wrapped presents, at some point you're going to need to do a bit of shopping.
While you can still look forward to our annual gift guide, if you've got gamers on your list - none of whom have upgraded to the current generation of consoles yet - there are a dozen great console bundles worth considering for a spot on your holiday shopping list.
Both Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PS4 come in a few different flavors, from systems with a small amount of hard drive space for the casual gamer to all-out monsters with 1TB HDDs, and almost always include one (or more) of the biggest games of 2015.
To help make the decision of which Xbox One or PS4 bundle to buy easier, you can find the specs listed on each page, along with a small description that you can use to match the console to the special gamer in your life.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III PS4

PS4 bundle deals
Does that special someone in your life know what a "bouncing betty" is? Do they dream of calling in air-strikes and spend more time plotting out the perfect kill-streak bonus than they do on their homework? If so, they're going to love the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops III Limited Edition PS4.
What's in the box:
  • Custom orange and black PS4 with a 1TB hard drive
  • Custom Call of Duty: Black Ops III controller
  • This PlayStation 4 Limited Edition also includes a physical copy of the game and a download code for the Nuk3town Bonus multiplayer map available on day one
  • One chat headset, HDMI cable, and power supply
Pre-order it in the US here for $429: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £385: GAME UK
Pre-order it in Australia here for AU$579: EB Games

Xbox One Limited Edition Halo 5: Guardians

Xbox One bundle deals
Not interested in joining PlayStation Nation? Microsoft has plenty of special edition Xbox Ones to keep you entertained long after the snow melts. At the front of the pack is the limited edition Halo 5: Guardians Bundle that lumps a special version of the console, a 1TB hard drive, the game itself and a Covenant ship-worth of DLC into one package for around $500 (£399/AU$599). The only thing missing from this set? A membership to Xbox Live Gold needed for online play. But hey, those make pretty good stocking stuffers.
What's in the box:
  • Custom gray and black Xbox One with a 1TB hard drive
  • Custom Halo 5: Guardians-themed controller
  • One chat headset, HDMI cable, and power supply
  • A digital download code for Halo 5: Guardians
  • The Warzone REQ Bundle that includes 14 premium Requisition Packs, FOTUS-class armor and multiplayer emblem
  • Plus a Guardian model by Metal Earth, Halo: The Fall of Reach - Animated Series, Blue & Osiris team dossiers and Spartan Locke's Classified Orders
Pre-order it in the US here for $499: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £399: GAME UK
Pre-order it in Australia here for AU$599: EB Games

Limited Edition Destiny: The Taken King PS4

PS4 bundle deals
Remember five years ago when all anyone could talk about was Halo? Well Destiny: The Taken King - a living, breathing first-person shooter made by the same team behind the Halo series - is 2015's version. The game forces players to band together to take down an alien force invading the last bastion on Earth, sending you to intersolar system locals like Venus, the Moon and Mars to take the fight to the invading force.
What's in the box:
  • A 500GB Glacier White PS4 with Custom Silk Screen Artwork
  • One Glacier White DualShock 4 Wireless Controller
  • AC Power Cable, HDMI Cable, USB 2.0 Cable and Mono Wired Headset
  • A physical copy of Destiny: The Taken King Legendary Edition
  • Plus a digital voucher for the Destiny: The Taken King Digital Collector's Edition upgrade
Pre-order it in the US here for $399: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £320: GAME UK
Pre-order it in Australia here for AU$569: EB Games

Xbox One Fallout 4 Bundle

Xbox One bundle deals
Not to play favorites here, but if I were to only get one gift this holiday season, I wouldn't be upset in the least if it was the Fallout 4 Xbox One Bundle. It might not come with flashy exclusive artwork or a limited-run controller, but it does come with one of the most anticipated games of the year - Fallout 4. Fallout 4 (or as I call it, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim with guns) puts you in the dust-ridden boots of a survivor of the apocalypse. Everything you knew of your old life is gone, and it's up to you to make sense of the crazy world that now stands in its place.
What's in the box:
  • A 1TB black Xbox One console
  • One wireless Xbox One controller
  • One chat headset, HDMI cable, and power supply
  • A physical copy of Fallout 4 on Xbox One
  • One digital download code for Fallout 3
Pre-order it in the US here for $399: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £369: GAME UK
Not available in Australia

PS4 Limited Edition Star Wars Battlefront Bundle

PS4 bundle deals
Now this is the PS4 bundle you've been looking for. For anyone with a Dark Side, the new limited edition Star Wars PlayStation 4 prominently features Darth and comes with a red, blue, white and black special edition controller and a copy of the new game. While a console and a new game would've been enough for most spice traders to cut a deal, Sony and EA are tossing in four Star Wars Classics - Super Star Wars, Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Jedi Starfighter and Star Wars Bounty Hunter - to sweeten the pot.
What's in the box:
  • Custom Darth Vader-inspired 500GB PS4
  • Custom red, black, blue and white PS4 controller
  • HDMI cable and power supply
  • The deluxe edition of Star Wars Battlefront
  • A download code for four Star Wars Classics games
Pre-order it in the US here for $399: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £385: GAME UK
Pre-order it in Australia here for AU$599: EB Games

Xbox One Limited Edition Forza Motorsport 6

Xbox One bundle deals
Right behind Halo 5: Guardians in anticipation is the latest title in the long-running racing game series, Forza Motorsport 6. What's nice about this package is that it offers a custom (and inexplicably) blue system, a 1TB hard drive and full game download, but costs around $100 less than its sci-fi-themed comrade. It also includes the 10th anniversary car pack DLC, which is basically a bonus for any auto enthusiast who loves to virtually get behind the wheel of some of the fastest cars ever made.
What's in the box:
  • Custom blue Xbox One system with a 1TB hard drive
  • Matching custom Xbox One controller
  • One chat headset, HDMI cable, and power supply
  • A digital download code for Forza Motorsport 6
  • Plus a digital download code for the 10th Anniversary Car Pack DLC
Pre-order it in the US here for $399: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £365: GAME UK
Pre-order it in Australia here for AU$549: EB Games

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain PS4

PS4 bundle deals
While I have no idea how long Sony has planned on making a sweet red and black version of its console to commemorate the launch of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, I can tell you the game itself was in the oven, so to speak, for at least three years. In that time the team, led by Hideo Kojima, inserted dozens of side-missions and outlandish characters, endearing moments and a painfully rich narrative that dwarfs even the most paradoxical Japanese Role Playing Game. Need another reason to invest the $750 (£359)? If you have one of those almost preternatural abilities to keep things in the box for 20 years, this console could easily fetch 10 times its price in 2025.
What's in the box:
  • Limited Edition Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain 500GB Console
  • Matching custom DualShock 4 MGS controller
  • HDMI cable and power supply
  • A physical copy of Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain Day 1 edition
  • UK Version includes a strategy guide
Order it in the US here for $750: Amazon
Order it in the UK here for £359: GAME UK
Not available in Australia

Xbox One EA Sports FIFA 16 Bundle

Xbox One bundle deals
Have a football fan on your list and don't know what to get them? Check out the EA Sports FIFA 16 Xbox One Bundle that includes the full game and download codes that will bring some of the best players in the world out on the pitch for their team. Also included is a year-long subscription to EA Access, a download portal and beta hub for all of EA's big titles. Your giftee will get to play sports games before anyone else and access a swath of the publisher's back-catalog, including games like Dragon Age: Inquisition, Battlefield 4 and Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare.
What's in the box:
  • Standard black Xbox One with a 1TB hard drive
  • Standard Xbox One wireless controller
  • One chat headset, HDMI cable, and power supply
  • Digital download of FIFA 16
  • Three FIFA Ultimate Team Loan Legends
  • one-year subscription of EA Access
Pre-order it in the US here for $399: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £349: GAME UK
Not available in Australia

Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 Bundle

PS4 bundle deals
GameSpot, a popular video game website, uncovered an interesting statistic the other day: 80% of PS4 owners haven't played the original three Uncharted games. Uncharted, as you may know, is a staple in Sony's game library and has been since the PS3 needed a new exclusive in a bad way. That's the beauty of the Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection PS4 Bundle - it's the ultimate "two birds, one stone" scenario. Not only will that PlayStation gamer in your life get a cool, new next-gen system, but they'll also get three of the games that put PlayStation and developer Naughty Dog back on the map.
What's in the box:
  • A standard black, 500GB PS4 console
  • A standard black DualShock 4 controller
  • HDMI cable and power supply
  • A physical copy of Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection on PS4
  • Access to the Uncharted 4: A Thief's End multiplayer beta in December
Pre-order it in the US here for $349: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £299: GAME UK
Not available in Australia

Xbox One Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle

Xbox One bundle deals
Ah, Gears of War, the game to revitalize our love of shooting really big virtual guns, using a chainsaw to solve all of our problems and bro-oping, the act of playing a game all the way through with your best friend. The Xbox One Gears of War Ultimate Edition Bundle offers a way to relive the experience of the Xbox 360 original in HD, alongside downloads of the entire Gears of War collection and early access to the upcoming Gears of War 4 beta test.
What's in the box:
  • Standard black Xbox One with a 500GB hard drive
  • Standard Xbox One wireless controller
  • Digital download code for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Digital download code for Xbox 360 Gears of War collection
  • Superstar Cole multiplayer skin
  • Early access to Gears of War 4 Beta
Pre-order it in the US here for $345: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £299: GAME UK
Not available in Australia

Xbox One 1TB Holiday Bundle

Xbox One bundle deals
Microsoft's official Xbox One Holiday Bundle is an interesting mix of games from the system's storied past. For starters, it includes a digital download of Rare Replay - a collection of 30 games from Rare's heyday. On it, you'll find titles like the original Perfect Dark, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Killer Instinct, Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie and even some Xbox 360 titles like Viva Pinata and its sequel, Trouble in Paradise. Pair that with downloads for the Gears of War trilogy, 1080p Gears of War Remastered and 2015's Ori and the Blind Forest, and there's plenty of content for the whole family.
What's in the box:
  • Standard black Xbox One with a 1TB hard drive
  • Standard Xbox One wireless controller
  • One chat headset, HDMI cable, and power supply
  • Digital download code for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
  • Digital download code for Rare Replay, featuring 30 iconic games from Rare
  • Digital download code for Ori and the Blind Forest full game download
  • Digital download code for Xbox 360 Gears of War collection
Pre-order it in the US here for $399: Amazon
Not available in the UK or Australia

Xbox One Rise of the Tomb Raider Bundle

Xbox One bundle deals
There was a lot of confusion around the new Tomb Raider when it was announced at E3 2014. First Microsoft said it was a system exclusive until the company later backpedaled (typical Microsoft) and said it was only exclusive for a limited time before heading to the PS4 and PC. Despite not staying an Xbox One exclusive indefinitely, Lara's home for the holidays is on Microsoft's system, and to that end she's getting her very own console bundle equipped with everything you need to survive another long trek home to your parents' house.
What's in the box:
  • Standard black Xbox One with a 1TB hard drive
  • Standard Xbox One wireless controller
  • One chat headset, HDMI cable, and power supply
  • Digital download of Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • The Tactical Survival Kit Content Pack DLC, which contains a new outfit and weapon skins
  • Digital download of Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, the HD remake of the 2013 Xbox 360 / PS3 / PC game
Pre-order it in the US here: Microsoft
Not available in the UK or Australia

Xbox One Elite Bundle

Xbox One bundle deals
We saved the best for last. Announced at E3 earlier this year,the Xbox One Elite Bundle comes with a huge 1TB hard drive and new Xbox Elite Wireless Controller. If you're looking for an upgrade to an early Xbox One that's running out of memory, the Elite is probably your best bet. The Elite Controller costs around $150 on its own, and the larger hard drive is a definite boon for anyone who downloads and plays every free Games with Gold title or more than four or five games at any given time.
What's in the box:
  • 1TB solid state hybrid drive Xbox One console
  • Xbox Elite Wireless Controller and carrying case
  • One chat headset, HDMI cable, and power supply
Pre-order it in the US here for $499: Amazon
Pre-order it in the UK here for £399: GAME UK
Pre-order it in Australia here for AU$599: EB Games

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Elon Musk: Yo, I don't hate Apple
Elon Musk: Yo, I don't hate Apple
Updated 5.15pm (PT): So maybe Elon Musk didn't mean to take a dig at Apple and it's new hires.
"Yo, I don't hate Apple," Musk tweeted, likely in response to an article published in a German newspaper where he basically said that if you don't make it at Tesla, you end up at Apple.
Musk's tweet, which comes after many people (techradar included) thinking his words were a very blatant burn, also said, "It's a great company with a lot of talented people. I love their products and I'm glad they're doing an EV."
Oh, and he also didn't mean to belittle the Apple Watch, apparently. In another tweet, Musk said, "Regarding the watch, Jony & his team created a beautiful design, but the functionality isn't compelling yet. By version 3, it will be."
We'll leave it up to you to decide whether or not he was making fun of Apple and it's employees - his quotes in the German newspaper could have been taken out of context, after all.
Original article...
Tesla chief Elon Musk has taken a swing at Apple, referring to Tim Cook's company as the "Tesla graveyard".
Speaking to German newspaper Handelsblatt, Musk dismissed claims that Apple is currently poaching important staff from the automotive firm.
"Important engineers? They have hired people we've fired," said Musk. "We always jokingly call Apple the 'Tesla Graveyard'. If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding."


Nonetheless, Musk was asked if Apple's interest in the car space posed a concern for Tesla. "Did you ever take a look at the Apple Watch?" was his joking response.
"No, seriously: It's good that Apple is moving and investing in this direction. But cars are very complex compared to phones or smartwatches. You can't just got to a supplier like Foxconn and say: Build me a car.
"But for Apple, the car is the next logical thing to finally offer a significant innovation. A new pencil or a bigger iPad alone were not relevant enough."
We have mental images of Jony Ive lunging wildly at Musk - Tim Cook doing his best to restrain him - the moment Musk starts trash-talking the pencil.

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Black Friday: Black Friday deals 2015: where to find the best bargains
Black Friday: Black Friday deals 2015: where to find the best bargains

Black Friday deals 2015

Black Friday deals in the US launch next month, now that it's October, and America's popular shopping "holiday" will break new records in 2015, according to financial analysts.
Even with the shaky economy, there's a reason Black Friday sales in the US will increase: tech toys like the Sphero's Star Wars BB-8 drone, Apple's iPhone 6S and iPad Pro, and Samsung Galaxy phones and tablets are going to sell in droves.
Here's another reason: the same applies to video game deals, as recent Xbox One and PS4 price drops are going to sell out, with the best console bundles always going early. Skylanders: SuperChargers, Disney Infinity and Fallout 4 are expect to help break those Black Friday sales records in 2015, too.
These are the sort of Black Friday gifts what will drive deal-seeking shoppers to stores and online during Cyber Monday. And, thankfully, they'll make you forget all about the lackluster Amazon Prime Day.
You won't be disappointed if you're a bargain hunter - and you won't be alone. On Black Friday a year ago, websites crashed, sales records were smashed and shoppers ravenously scooped up deals on tech, video games and clothing in what was in many countries was the biggest weekend of online shopping in history.
Adobe crunched the numbers and reported that on Black Friday in the US last year consumers spent a record-breaking $2.4 billion - up an extraordinary 24% on the previous year.
Walmart-owned ASDA stores moved 8,000 TVs before breakfast and made 130 sales every second throughout the day, while GAME's website was selling PS4 and Xbox One consoles to British gamers at a rate of 3,600 per hour.
It was an international spending frenzy the like of which the internet had never seen before. Black Friday in 2015 is only going to get bigger and start sooner. The countdown is on for the unofficial November 1 launch.
black friday deals best buy

What happened on Black Friday last year?

The numbers were so big that websites fell over like Victorian ladies on a hot day, with HP, Best Buy, Currys, Tesco, Argos, Boots and Game's websites all requiring smelling salts.
Online retailers in the US slowed to a crawl, as deal-happy consumers sucked up all of the bandwidth and Amazon Lighting Deals vanished or expired before their eyes.
The chaos isn't over, either. Black Friday 2015 is now less than three months away and it promises to dwarf last year's stats in almost every way. Online retailers are already planning for it.

You're much safer online...

Of course, Black Friday is not by any means a phenomenon that's confined to the virtual realm than physically waiting in line in front of stores.
It was conceived originally as a unit mover for high street retailers, a way for stores to shift a lot of stock at a time when most people in the US have time off work for Thanksgiving.
And while Black Friday chaos online led to websites crashing, bedlam on the highstreet tends to be a lot more troublesome.
Last year, fighting broke out in many stores across the US, with police being called to national retail chains. From Best Buy, to Walmart, we see almost the same security camera footage every year at the stroke of midnight.
YouTube :
It's not unheard of for bargain hunters to pepper spray each other in an attempt to get the best deals in the US.
YouTube :
Clearly - it's much safer to stay at home and pick up your deals on the internet, and that's what the majority of people did on Black Friday 2014.
To give you an idea of just how busy the sites were, John Lewis and Currys - two of the UK's biggest retail websites - both saw their web traffic triple compared to Black Friday 2013. Meanwhile, TechRadar's own Black Friday pages attracted more than 1.6 million page views.
So it's no exaggeration to say that the pre-Christmas retail landscape was changed forever on November 28 last year. Retailers knew Black Friday 2014 was going to be big, but it actually ended up being far bigger than they ever imagined.
So what lessons have they learnt, and what can we as consumers expect from Black Friday 2015?

Lessons from the past

Some retailers were like ducks on Black Friday last year: they may have appeared calm, but under the water their little legs were going like crazy.
Some stores totally panicked, as Patrick O'Brien of retail analysts Verdict Retail told TechRadar:
"Some retailers like Amazon planned promotions well in advance, but others were sucked in when they saw the scale of Black Friday and realised that without promotions, they would lose out on footfall or website hits in a key spending weekend."
The upshot? Those retailers cut prices even though they hadn't originally planned to.
"Those retailers ended up losing margin as they typically went for a percentage cut across numerous or even all lines, rather than having planned promotions that they could have organised with the help of their suppliers," O'Brien says.
Black Friday Chaos

Winners and losers of Black Friday 2014

Not everybody was hurt, though. Some firms used Black Friday as cover. "The weather meant that clothing retailers had a lot of stock left to shift, so they used the cover of Black Friday to mark down stock."
And others had deals in place with their suppliers to deliver apparent bargains, with stock bought in especially for Black Friday.
You can see the Black Friday winners and losers in ComScore's UK figures for November 2014. The big winners were mainly large electrical, digital and entertainment retailers, with Amazon, Argos and Tesco at numbers 1, 2 and 3 respectively.
In America, meanwhile, we're seeing an interesting shift: the Black Friday money is moving to Thanksgiving instead.
According to IBM, Black Friday sales were 63.5% higher than Thanksgiving Day sales - but last year they were 70%. For US consumers, Black Friday is increasingly becoming a shopping weekend that starts on Thanksgiving and ends on Cyber Monday
Indeed, Cyber Monday is bigger than them all for US customers - last year's Cyber Monday was the US's biggest online shopping day ever.

Where does all the money come from?

One of the most interesting questions about Black Friday is whether it created new demand or just brought forward people's Christmas shopping by a few weeks.
The answer appears to be the latter - Verdict Retail found "no evidence that it stimulated demand" - and some retailers' panicky discounting was tantamount to shooting themselves in the foot.
Essentially, the Black Friday frenzy moved a lot of stock, but that stock was less profitable than usual. founder and chief executive John Roberts used the firm's annual report to note that Black Friday "did not produce incremental sales, but condensed sales into a shorter time period", while GAME issued a profits warning because its heavy discounting on games and consoles had a negative effect on its bottom line.
In the US, IBM reported that while overall sales were up, the average order value was down across both Black Friday and Thanksgiving.
That might explain why John Lewis boss Andy Street has poured cold water on the idea of Black Friday, telling the BBC that "We've got to ask if it's right to concentrate trade so much in that one period… I don't think we can put the genie back in the bottle but do we need to stoke that fire any more? I personally hope not."
Street predicts that Black Friday 2015 will still see lots of deals around electronics and computing, but says he hopes that fashion brands and other kinds of retail would be "more confident holding their price."
As Patrick O'Brien points out, though, John Lewis's "never knowingly undersold" guarantee means that if rivals go crazy on Black Friday 2015, "it cannot opt out!"
black friday walmart

Rubbish for retailers, excellent for everyone else

If you take a step back, Black Friday should really be called Foolish Friday. Slashing profit margins during the busiest shopping period of the year for no good reason doesn't make much sense, not least because it gives retailers less room to manoeuvre if sales closer to Christmas need some extra oomph.
But as John Lewis's Andy Street said, the genie's out of the bottle - so if retailers don't take part, they'll see their rivals get all the business.
And that's why Black Friday 2015 is likely to be another step up in terms hype and excitement.
Expect even more commercials leading up to Black Friday, bigger headline promotions and even more chaos.
"Black Friday is here to stay," Patrick O'Brien says, "but it will be a lot different in 2015. Retailers are planning for it."
You can be sure that retailers are already talking to their suppliers about the kinds of promotions they can support, and that the deals we see this year will be what Verdict describes as "geared toward gaining footfall and upsetting to full price goods rather than across the board percentage discounts."
black friday goodies

What deals can we expect this year?

It's impossible to know for sure which products will receive the biggest discounts this year, but we can certainly make some predictions based on what we saw in 2014.
One of the hottest products on Black Friday last year was the iPad mini and that will likely be the case again in 2015. In fact we'll likely see some highly attractive deals on many Apple products, partly because they're so popular but also because there is room for manoeuvre in their prices.
Last year in the US we saw the Macbook Pro and 21.5-inch iMacs selling for $900 a pop, with Macbook Airs available for $780. In the UK the iPad mini was going for under £150 practically everywhere.
It's worth retailers offering us these headline products with big discounts because they expect that we'll buy more than one item once we're on their site.
It's a safe bet also that Black Friday 2015 will see the cheapest-ever PS4 and Xbox One deals as well as some irresistible bundles. If you fancy buying your kids a console this Christmas, wait until November 27.
We saw many amazing deals on TVs last year so if you're interested in buying a 4K TV in time for Christmas, again you'd be wise to wait for the Black Friday deals madness to begin.
Last year in the we also saw amazing soundbar deals, DualShock 4 game controllers for under half price, Google Chromecast for under $23/£18, huge savings on iPhones, amazing deals on cameras of all shapes and sizes from all the biggest brands, headphones, fitness bands, speakers.
You get the picture. Expect more of the same...
black friday deals

This year Black Friday falls on November 27th

black friday 2015 deals links

Quick links US:

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The Golden Joysticks 2015: vote now and get Bioshock Infinite for a £1/$1
The Golden Joysticks 2015: vote now and get Bioshock Infinite for a £1/$1
The Golden Joysticks are the longest running and most popular awards in the history of gaming. Also known as the people's gaming awards, they now enter this, their 33rd year, of celebrating all that's great in gaming.
The reason the Joysticks have such a special place in gamers' hearts is that they're voted for by gamers themselves - and there's still time this to vote this year if you'd like to have your say. Head on over to the Golden Joystick voting site, hosted by our friends at GamesRadar. It's easy, it's free and you'll get yourself a copy of Bioshock Infinite on PC for just £1/$1 for your trouble.

The dawn of gaming history

Way back in the dawn of gaming history - well, 1982 to be precise - in the Joysticks' very first year, the classic Jetpac from Ultimate Play the Game (who eventually became Rare) became the Joysticks' very first Game of the Year. The Strategy title was scooped by Melbourne House's pioneering graphic adventure The Hobbit, while Best Arcade Game went to Matthew Smith's seminal platformer, Manic Miner. Some amazing titles there for the gaming greybeards amongst you (youngsters, ask your parents).
Peering back through the mists of Joystick history is like taking a stroll through the archives of some gaming museum, and will evoke golden memories for anyone who ranks gaming as their first love. Titles like Elite (1984), The Secret of Monkey Island (1991), GoldenEye 007 (1996), Grand Theft Auto III (2002) and Half-Life 2 (2005), are just some of the many of the all-time classics honoured over the years.
And it's not just about the games. The Joysticks have also always honoured the people who create them too. From the early Programmer of the Year awards won by the likes of Jon Ritman (Match Day) and The Bitmap Brothers (Speedball), to more recent Life Time Achievement winners like Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid series) and Ken Levine (Bioshock series), the Joysticks have celebrated the visionaries who have expanded gaming's frontiers and created its finest electronic dreams.

Level up

But just as gaming constantly re-invents itself, so the Joysticks have evolved too. This year console-specific award categories have been reintroduced to honour amazing titles like Uncharted, Halo or Zelda, which are only available on each platform. New awards like the Critic's Choice reflect the global nature of the Joysticks too, for they've now become an annual phenomenon. Votes are cast from all corners of the world by gamers from many different countries, many of whom will be tuning in via Twitch TV on October 30 to see the live ceremony and which of their favourite titles have won.
This year blockbuster titles like Bloodborne, Elite Dangerous and The Witcher 3 rub shoulders alongside innovative indies like Her Story and Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. A total of 21 different gamer-voted categories, ranging from Best Audio, to Innovation of the Year, to Best Gaming Moment, form the Golden Joysticks. But who will win the most coveted prize in gaming, the Ultimate Game of the Year 2015?
Well ultimately that's for you, the gamers, to decide - although, as we know of course, you're a shy, retiring bunch, who rarely have an opinion about any aspect of your favourite pastime (ahem).
So if you've not voted yet, or if you've never voted in the Joysticks before, now's the perfect time to stake your claim by taking part in its favourite awards. Head on over to GamesRadar and make yourself part of gaming history.

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Hands-on review: Dell XPS 12
Hands-on review: Dell XPS 12

Dell XPS 12 review

Dell unabashedly admits its inspiration for the 2015, hinge-free Dell XPS 12: Microsoft's Surface tablets. The Austin, Texas-based firm's goal was to make the transition between laptop and tablet as fluid as possible for this device, perhaps even more so than it is with a Surface.
However, the XPS 12 also had to offer what Dell calls a true typing experience; "not an accessory," as a Dell executive told me during a recent preview event. And, from my brief time with the XPS 12, it seems as if Dell has nailed it on both fronts.
The company's solution is, frankly, quite clever. Rather than employ a hinge with strong clasps or magnets, Dell's approach uses both finely tuned magnets and, well, physics. Let's dive in, shall we?
Dell XPS 12

Design and display

The new, magnesium-clad XPS 12 comes in two distinct pieces – the 11.46-inch-wide tablet and laptop-grade keyboard base – that never actually connect mechanically. Instead, where a hinge would be on the base is rather a rubberized trough that's been expertly machined to accept and hold the tablet at an ideal angle.
When attaching the tablet, simply place it within the trough and let the magnets (and physics) work their magic. Between the two, it's rather tough to have either separate when holding the device by either end.
That said, this approach only allows use of the XPS 12 in one configuration and angle while in laptop mode. While the most commonly used position and likely the most common angle, adjusting the screen to avoid some distracting fluorescent lights doesn't look like it's in the cards here.
In case you were wondering, more magnets help the laptop keep closed when you shut it. It certainly feels weird at first to close a laptop without a hinge, but it quickly fades away when you learn to simply treat it as if there were one there.
Dell XPS 12
Regardless, Dell wasn't kidding about its dedication to the typing experience: typing on the XPS 12 feels no different than if you were on, say, a new Dell XPS 15. (Save for the extra room, of course.) The rubberized keyboard deck and roomy, smooth glass trackpad round out the inputs quite well.
Now, Dell claims to have broken new ground with its 12.5-inch, Gorilla Glass XPS 12 display: the first hybrid device to house a 4K Ultra HD (3,840 x 2,160-pixel) touch panel. And, boy, is it sharp if only arguably unnecessary – hence why Dell offers a 1,920 x 1,080 option.
I'm told that Dell worked directly with the display gurus at Sharp to build the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) panel to achieve 100% color gamut accuracy on the 4K screen. You're also probably wondering how the thing can house a 12.5-inch screen within an 11.46-inch wide frame. That's Dell's Infinity Display tech at work here, which reduces the left and right bezels to nearly nothing. We first saw this tech in the Dell XPS 13 model launched at CES this year, and it works like a charm here.

Built for both business and pleasure

With the new XPS 12, Dell has decided to target an audience that Apple has been able to attract like moths to the flame, seemingly without even trying. It's that cross between the C-level executive that wants a strong, sharp and serviceable device when going into offsite meetings and the consumer that wants much of the same for somewhat different, more personal reasons.
Dell XPS 12
To that end, Dell built the new XPS 12 with the hope of attracting both crowds and the capability to serve both. So, yes, this system comes with all of the tools – and the BIOS – that Dell-toting IT managers have come to know that can simply fade in the background when in the hands of an average user at home.
Will the new XPS 12 succeed in that effort? That's tough to call right now, but I will say that the trend right now seems to be aluminum or magnesium construction, not either coated in rubberized plastic.

Spec sheet

The XPS 12 comes packing the same dual-core, 1.1GHz Intel Core m5-6Y54 processor in all configurations, with 8GB of RAM and either 128 or 256GB of solid-state storage. A Dell exec reassured me that this device, with Intel HD Graphics 515, is able to push tasks in 4K from spreadsheet work to watching video in Ultra HD.
Naturally, the decision to use Intel's Core m technology was to avoid having to use a fan within the system. And the company believes that the target audience wouldn't expect to do much more than crunch spreadsheets and watch 4K video anyway.
Dell XPS 12
Moving on, the XPS 12 sports 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.1 on the connectivity front, and not one, but two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 technology (one for power and the other to support a USB-C cable-docking station). Finally, a full-size SD card reader and headset jack round out the input-output options.
Unfortunately, Dell isn't yet prepared to talk about battery life, despite the XPS 12 hitting store shelves this November.
All of this will cost you $999 (about £652, AU$1,361) to start, though Dell hasn't disclosed the price of the 4K option.
Dell XPS 12

Early verdict

Dell has been batting a thousand with its XPS series as of late, and the new XPS 12 looks to be no exception. The company has achieved a far cleverer and elegant method for the 2-in-1 experience than any PC-based manufacturer, save for Microsoft itself, and that should be commended. (Though, Lenovo's watchband hinge is super neat.)
While I'm not quite sold on including 4K in such a device, it's a fine bullet point to add to the device's list of features – but let's see how much it costs first. I'm also not a huge fan of the soft touch plastic coating over what could've been some gorgeous magnesium underneath, but surely Dell has its reasons.
What I'm most impressed by is its approach to the hinge, or lack thereof. Simply put, it's cool and far easier to deal with than even the new Microsoft Surface Book – there are no latches to deal with. We'll save answering the "should I buy it" question for our full review, but I'm most definitely intrigued.

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Your Xbox 360 games may get a new life on PC
Your Xbox 360 games may get a new life on PC
Big changes are coming to Xbox One this fall, but even bigger ones might be on the horizon, at least according to Xbox Chief Phil Spencer.
In a recent interview with Gizmodo Brazil, Spencer had heaps to say about the recent addition of Xbox One-to-PC streaming and backwards compatibility with the Xbox 360 that was arguably one of the biggest announcements for the company during E3 earlier this year.
In an off-the-cuff remark Spencer also mentioned that he's given some thought of bringing the catalog of original Xbox and Xbox 360 games to PCs, however, there's really no timeline or team dedicated to it yet.
Here's the translation provided by Google:
"Gizmodo: But do you plan for the future [to] include original Xbox games?
Phil Spencer: It's something I want to do. It is a matter of priority. I would love to have the ability to play Xbox 360 on PC at some point too, [but we] have different things to think [about] when we plan these things. But it would be great to have support for original Xbox games.
So yes, I want to do [both], but [we] have many other things we want to do as well. People fight with me for not having background music (laughs), so we have [a lot of] work to do. Which is great! It's great to have that feedback."
Both features would likely be appreciated on gamers with massive backlogs stretching back to the original system, but just how - or even when - Microsoft would do this remains unclear.
Xbox One will receive Windows 10 in November, alongside rolling out backwards compatibility to the community at large.
Via VentureBeat

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