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As the launches of the PS4 and Xbox One near the early signs are showing that there could be a record amount of sales running up to the Christmas period and beyond.

 

At the Tokyo Game Show earlier this year, Sony's top bosses announced that they hoped sales would reach 5 million by 31 March 2014. Combine this with the tight competition by Xbox One and early predictions had sales at 10 million by at least March 2014.

 

However, pre-order sales have risen above all expectations for both consoles and the sales could reach this mark a lot sooner. Pre orders in Britain for the PS4 have taken up a lion's share of the list according to Sony Computer Entertainment's Vice President and Managing Director for the UK, Fergal Gara. 

 

It also forced Gara to show his hand and explain that pre-orders already in place are 'almost certain' to get their hands on the console before Christmas.

 

Without a pre-order gamers may be waiting beyond the fiscal year before they can walk into a high street retailer and purchase one of the new consoles straight from the shelf. GAME are still taking pre-orders for PS4s and with just a £20 deposit they are guaranteeing that it will be delivered before Christmas - as long as you place your order soon!

 

The PS4 has every reason to be dominating most of the attention in the tech world with many new features for all Sony fans to enjoy.

 

With a new generation of gaming including enhanced graphics and social features with an improved PlayStation Store that learns from the individual gamer, Sony's promises are high.

 

This console is set to be the most personally defined in the world. As well as this the much derided PS3 Dualshock controller gets a severe upgrade from a more responsive, light and comfortable gaming experience.


The welcome addition of Remote Play with the PlayStation Vita will also provide a new and unknown dimension for PlayStation fans.

 

There is also further excitement as games exclusive to the new console will be released beside it such as DriveClub, Knack, The Crew and The Division. With exclusive gaming experience, the normal 'wait for a year' attitude when buying a new console has changed as the PS4 is instantly showing what it can do.

 

With demand increasing by the day as the launch nears, there is only a short time before avid gamers will get their hands on this coveted console.

 

All prices true at time of writing.

 

Sources for client reference:

http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/10/30/ea-predicts-ps4-and-xbox-one-launch-sales

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Turing at the time of his election to Fellowsh...

Turing at the time of his election to Fellowship of the Royal Society. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fancy yourself as the next Alan Turing, the code breaker who deciphered encyrpted messages sent by the German Enigma machine in World War II? Commonly regarded as the father of computer science and the inspiration behind new Hollywood movie biopic Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Turing was a mathematical genius who helped to win the war against the Nazis.

Crack the codes in this tough, but engaging Can You Find It challenge and you could be following in Turing's footsteps in supporting the national cyber security agenda. 

If you're a computer whizz kid with a passion for problem solving and mathematical conundrums, or complex patterns make perfect sense to you, this mission set by
GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) could be your foot in the door to a career combating threats from cyberspace.

Discover whether you have the right skills to be employed by a national intelligence and security agency that works in partnership with the Security Service MI5 and Secret intelligence Service MI6. Prove your intellect and tenacious creativity and get a chance to support the Government's national cyber security agenda. Who knows, a thrilling job at GCHQ with a salary between £26-£60k (depending on experience and qualifications) might be waiting for you.

Created by a GCHQ team of top mathematicians to recruit the smartest  candidates, the Can You Find It? competition will take you on a cyber treasure hunt with a series of clues and tasks around the world-wide web which will ultimately unlock the final answer.

Also up for grabs are Google Nexus 7 tablet devices and Raspberry Pi computers, small PCs designed to promote the teaching of computer science in schools.  

To answer the question: 'Can You Find It?' go online to www.canyoufindit.co.uk





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Want to share music or play games with your friends? With the Samsung Galaxy S4 you can do just that. Group Play is just one of the new social features on the smart phone that everyone is talking about. 

 With Group Play you can wirelessly share photos and documents, blast music across devices like an integrated speaker system, and host a multiplayer game, like a poker tournament. 

So whether you want to get friends together and let them enjoy your music simultaneously or wirelessly connect devices to play games and share photos, the S4 allows you to do it. Essentially it turns a group of Galaxy S4 phones into a complete network. Clever, eh? For more information click here or watch the video below.
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TalkTalkBusiness.pngSponsored post

Many small and medium sized businesses find themselves in a tricky situation today. They need to expand their IT and communications offerings, but don't have the technical staff or the expertise to achieve this.

One reason for this is that it can be very  expensive acquiring IT and communications solutions - not good news especially at times when budgets are tight.

However, help is at hand in the form of hosted solutions - also known as cloud computing. In a little over half a decade, demand for hosted solutions has spawned a multi-billion pound, rapid-growth industry. 

Inspired by the launch of Amazon Web Service in 2006, a multitude of providers have brought cloud-based offerings to market in the UK. IDC expects global turnover to rise from £13.6 billion in 2010 to £46.3 billion in 2015, at a growth rate of 27.6%, while indirect income from the cloud is forecast to total £700 billion per annum within four years, supporting 14 million jobs worldwide

One provider that is offering an innovative new hosted solution is UK communications provider Talk Talk Business. It is working with businesses by offering them a suite of Business Grade Hosted Solutions that gives them the features and functionality their business needs, without them having to purchase equipment and technology. The offerings are scaleable too, so as a business grows, or even contracts, so can the depth of the solutions.

Talk Talk Business is fulfilling this demand with a service that provides a Hosted Data Centre, Call Centre and Call Recording - all designed to make life for SME business owners significantly easier while enabling them to keep better control over IT and comms costs.

Take the Data Centre - it is a scalable solution that can easily expand in-line with a business' hosting needs. Talk Talk Business believes that it dramatically reduces connectivity expenses while at the same time ensuring that the business owner is secure in the knowledge that they are using an innovative data centre infrastructure that uses the latest technology and is protected by the highest security standards.

Talk Talk Business is also offering a Hosted Contact Centre which is controlled by Talk Talk. So there's no additional equipment that the business has to invest in. It is a solution that enables business owners to make informed decisions, route calls efficiently and manage different sites and remote workers - wherever they are.

As part of its Business Grade Hosted Solutions Talk Talk also offers Hosted Call Recording, and Hosted Unified Communications too.

So if you are looking for an innovative, inexpensive and highly effective comms and IT offering then contact Talk Talk.

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Forewarned is forearmed when it comes to protection against online security threats. This is why Symantec Website Security Solutions has created an easy-to-follow Malware Infographic to raise awareness about the hazards posed by malicious software; and to provide tips to avoid the pitfalls.

Online threats

Malware is malicious software which damages, disables or disrupts computers and computer systems, usually to gain access to sensitive material such as passwords and financial details; or even to gain control of the computer itself.

It is a wide term that covers not only computer viruses like Trojan horses (which pretend to be useful software until after installation), worms (which replicate themselves and can spread through people's email address books) and spyware (which secretly records and transmits the activities of a computer back to fraudsters).

Unfortunately, the number of malware attacks is increasing, with Symantec's Internet Security Threat Report in April 2012 revealing it had blocked more than 5.5 billion malware attacks in 2011, an 81% increase compared to 2010. Be informed, stay safe and share the knowledge It also identified 403 million new variants of malware in 2011, a 41% increase on 2010.

Be informed, stay safe and share the knowledge According to the Malware

Infographic, 61% of malicious sites which spread malware are just regular websites that have been compromised while 36% of websites scanned by Symantec are vulnerable to the risk of malware. This makes the threats to businesses both difficult to identify and numerous.

However, the infographic also shows where the majority of these malware threats come from as well as gives advice about how to exercise precaution when online and receiving unsolicited emails; making it an indispensible guide to help the savvy web user keep their computer and website malware-free.

One piece of advice outlined is to only share sensitive information online where there is a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) padlock in the browser's address bar. The padlock means that a web user can be confident that the website has up-to-date SSL Certificates, is also protected with a strong encryption, assessed for vulnerability and scanned daily for malware.

There are also handy links to share the infographic, either through embedding it onto a business webpage to spread the message further, or via Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn; so that family, friends and colleagues can be armed with the information to protect themselves while they go online. Symantec releases a regular Internet Security Threat Report (ISTR) - next volume to be released shortly. Keep an eye out for these in order to help you stay up to date with key developments.


 

MAL-AWARE? Stay ahead of the threats - Infographic


From Symantec Website Security Solutions


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Thumbnail image for Blackberry Z10white (edit).jpgSponsored post

The BlackBerry Z10 is the first smartphone to run the new BlackBerry 10 operating system, and the device has been met with a good reception following its launch at the end of January. BlackBerry had a tough time in 2012, and reports of redundancies and flagging sales led some to believe BlackBerry had had its day. That was until the Canadian manufacturer unveiled the BlackBerry Z10, the mobile that has the potential to revive the company's fortunes.

BlackBerry has always been known for devices that allow users to communicate quickly and easily, but what's new about the BlackBerry Z10? Read on for the lowdown on the handset's features and what they can do for you...

BlackBerry Hub keeps you connected to your conversations at all times

BlackBerry Hub is a handy feature of BlackBerry 10 that collects together message notifications in one area. The hub can be easily accessed via an upward and to the right swipe from within any app or feature of the phone, allowing you to 'peek' in to check for new messages.

This functionality is known as BlackBerry Peek, and it basically means you can be playing a game, surfing the web, or doing anything else on your mobile, and view the hub without having to leave any of those things completely. BlackBerry Peek allows you to keep on top of all your conversations while multitasking, and only respond immediately to the messages which are most important to you.

BlackBerry Keyboard makes typing texts and emails speedy

BlackBerry is famous for its QWERTY phones, and it's these devices that have been popular with text, email and BBM junkies such as business folk and chatty teenagers. Although BlackBerry has done away with the QWERTY in favour of a touchscreen keyboard on the BlackBerry Z10, typing out messages is still speedy thanks to the keyboard's intuitive functionality.

It learns how you type and figures out which letters you repeatedly hit off-centre, correcting them so you don't make as many mistakes. Predictive text is on board too, and suggested words appear above the first letter of the word you begin typing so it can be easily 'flicked' into where the message is being composed with an upward swipe gesture. So, no matter whether you're writing a text, an email, or a social networking message, the BlackBerry Keyboard will allow you to do it quickly and accurately.

BBM Video and Screen Share keeps you in visual contact

As it's the 21st century, we're not just content with keeping in contact via words on a screen. That's why BlackBerry has seen fit to add video calling functionality to its BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) instant messaging service. Not only that, but the Screen Share feature also on board, which allows you to share whatever is on your screen with the person you're calling, without stopping the conversation.

For example, you could be chatting to a friend about a new house that has become available to buy. With Screen Share, you can show them pictures of the house from the internet whilst you continue to talk.

No matter what your preferred method of keeping in contact with your friends, family and colleagues, the BlackBerry Z10 really does excel in making keeping in touch as easy as possible. So if you're a communication junkie, you may want to get a BlackBerry Z10 in your life. To find out more about the BlackBerry Z10 and see the device in action, take a look at our hands-on video review.

This guest post was written by of Phones 4u, who offer amazing mobile phone deals on handsets such as the BlackBerry Z10 in white and black variants.

Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nJK-3FDrpyY
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Anyone catch sight of a too-rude-to-be-named Tubmlr doing the rounds recently, highlighting the empty buzzword-driven culture of agencies? It's pretty hilarious. When you're claiming to be the "apex predator of creative synergy" or "the unicorn of brain harmony" we're going to call BS.

You can stuff your wordplay. We want data. And Adobe want it too. They've put together this short, funny "Metrics not Myths" clip promoting their Adobe Marketing Cloud service, which offers a complete suite of analytics, social, advertising, targeting and web experience management solutions for digital marketeers, with real-time updates on the reach of your campaigns. No more "viral" claims, just the cold, hard numeric facts of your success.

It sure beats having the bull shocked out of you as in the video above! Hit play to give it a look."

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for htc-one-sv-l45-black.pngSponsored post

The brand new HTC One SV LTE has been added to the EE 4G mobile phone range - which is great news for those looking for an ultra-sleek handset with all the perks of high-speed web browsing. But what does the device offer that makes it stand out from the crowd?

Superfast performance

It's not just the 4G network that makes this phone superfast, as the on-board dual-core processor ensures everything is smooth and efficient - whether you are online or offline. If you're someone who likes to multitask, the handset should be able to keep up with you too. Play games, browse the web, update your status or check your emails - the HTC One SV will take it all in its stride.

Beats Audio sound system

Do you listen to music, stream internet radio, browse YouTube or watch films on the go? If so, this is a phone that could be right up your street. It comes complete with fully integrated Beats Audio, so songs, films and downloads sound exactly as they were intended - regardless of if they are playing through headphones or the integrated speakers.

High performance photo and video

If it's a high-performing camera you need, the HTC One SV LTE doesn't disappoint. The one-touch continuous shot mode allows you to capture the best image possible, while auto focus, LED flash and an F2.0 lens ensure photographs are as clear as possible. In addition, high definition video recording at 1080p will give amateur film-makers plenty to get excited about.

All of the above - looking great on a wonderful display

The device is equipped with a 4.3-inch super LCD-2 touch screen that is housed in Corning Gorilla Glass 2. This means that photos, videos, games and web pages all appear incredibly vivid, with colours remaining vibrant even at off-centre angles. The ultra-efficient display settings perfectly complement the sleek design, making this a stand-out piece of kit. To top it all off, the phone feels great in the hand and benefits from a strong, durable exterior that means it's built to last.

The HTC One SV LTE is available free with 24-month payment plans starting from just £36.00 a month on EE - and follows a host of other great devices from the manufacturer. These include the incredible HTC One XL, which is also featured in our extensive range of 4G smartphones.

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Samsung Galaxy S3.jpgSo you are in the market for a new phone. That old iPhone/Nokia/Samsung has served you well but it is time to move on to bigger and better things?

There are of course a huge number of handsets on sale now ranging from the latest iPhone through to the Windows powered Nokia Lumix range, but the phone that stands apart from the rest is the Samsung Galaxy S3.
But don't just take our word for it. The phone has already won numerous awards from a variety of publications including phone of the year at the T3 Awards. Here then are five reasons why you should take a look at the S3.

1 Gestures

One of the smartest things about the S3 is that it takes Gestures - which have been available on a number of phones now to another level. Gestures enable you to control your phone simply by moving it. So for example if you want to make a call to a person whose number is on the screen you can do this by moving the phone to you face.

The phone automatically rings them. There are other very useful Gestures too such as shaking to update the information on the screen or tilting the phone to zoom in on an image on the screen. A word of warning though. Most of the Gestures have to be activated before they will work so take a look at your settings when you get the phone and tick the motion activation box.

2 The screen

The Samsung Galaxy S3 boasts a real state of the art screen. For starters it is one of the biggest screens available. The HD Super AMOLED screen comes in at 4.8 inches, which is a,lot bigger than its rival handsets.

So why would you want a bigger screen? Well websites, books and images look so much bigger (and better) and personally I think if you have used a phone with a big screen you won't go back. Secondly the screen has a maximum resolution of 720 x 1280. which is as bright and as detailed as almost all its rivals. It really looks crisp and clear.

3 The apps


If you are worried that the apps you have on your current smartphone won't be available on the S3 think again. Almost all the new-ish apps developed for other major platforms work on the S3 and there is a growing number that are unique to the platform.

The S3 uses the Android operating system - which is now the most popular smartphone platform in the world - and Google Play store - which as you might imagine is stacked out with games, apps and content. For a list of the ten apps to download first go here.

4 Battery


Battery life was something that Samsung was very keen to improve on with this phone. On the S3 the battery runs significantly longer than the S2. The S2 did have one of the longest battery running times of any smartphone and now the S3 has trumped that.

5 Performance

Samsung has included a quad-core 1.4GHz Exynos processor in the Galaxy S3, and added 1GB RAM. What that means is that the phone is very quick to process what you request it to do. So it will fire up very swiftly and has no problems shifting between the apps.

As for storage the handset is available in 16, 32 and 64 GB guises and you can further add to that via its micro SD card slot.

If you haven't bought a Samsung Galaxy S3 yet try
Carphone Warehouse for some great deals.

 

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Kart Racers We'd Like to See

Thumbnail image for kartgames-01-masseffectkarting.jpgSponsored post

Currently top of the list of trends in video game genre we all thought had died: the me-too kart racing game. Between SEGA & All-Stars Racing Transformed, Little Big Planet Karting and the bizarre bobble-heads of F1 Race Stars, we're pretty sure that every single base has been covered. Well, unless they go with these:

Mass Effect Karting
A galaxy-spanning kart game with circuits on a large variety of planets, featuring a cast of playable drivers drawn from the story of the main trilogy. The chief gimmick of the game is the branching nature of the circuits: after every second turn, the player must choose the "Paragon" and "Renegade" route. The former is often fraught with less danger, whereas the latter is usually quicker and more direct. Of course, despite the thousands of routes available through each course, the driver always ends up in the same final straight.

À la Karte
From the blurb: "À la Karte is a new interactive experience crafted by a team of professional game artists, featuring the finest characters and abstract concepts from the indie art game scene on its driving roster. Players will actuate through seven environments dense with atmosphere and metaphor: petty jubilation will not be the only emotion elicited from the player when the chequered flag falls."
In À la Karte, you'd likely be able to choose from the following famous characters:
• Julian Luxemburg, the protagonist from "Dinner Date"
• The Narrator from "Dear Esther"
• The Elderly Woman from "The Graveyard"
• The Gust of Wind from "Flower"
• The eight pixel high protagonist from "Passage"
• The Concept of "Curiosity" from the Peter Molyneux game of the same name
• The Weight of Society's Expectations Regarding the Performance of Gender in both Public and Personal Spaces, from "Dys4ia".

Kart of Duty
With falling sales and stagnant critical reception, Activision makes a welcome announcement: Black Ops and Modern Warfare titles will alternate with a release every year. But what of the profits to be reaped from the COD faithful? The answer is obvious: Call of Bejewelled. Then somebody remembers that EA owns Pop Cap (and Peggle of Honor was a failure). Upping their game, somebody puns "Kart of Duty" onto a whiteboard, an executive greenlights the project, and an easily jettisoned development studio begins work. But imagine all of Call of Duty's memorable characters in one place. You know, like that dudebro who crawls about in a nuclear explosion. Or the non-dudebro scientist who gets blown up in space by a nuclear explosion. Tracks include explosions in the vein of Split Second: Velocity, including a track where you race on an explosion, in an explosion, against explosions.

Final Fantasy Dewey Decimal Karting
Once upon a time, a Final Fantasy character was put into retirement after staring in a sixty hour RPG. They didn't owe us anything. Then nostalgia and creative bankruptcy happened (also, actual looming real bankruptcy, thank you very much Spirits Within) and Final Fantasy characters ended up inserted sideways into everything. Sequels, Disney Action RPGs, fighting games, rhythm action games - but never a racing game. No, Chocobo Racing doesn't count. Where are the uncomfortable cameos, the dense "time and space are ending" storyline and the ill-fitting RPG elements? This isn't just any old karting game: it's Final Fantasy Dewey Decimal Karting, and you can file it in section 125 because the fun doesn't stop.

PC Gaming Kart
When a platform holder comes of age, it starts making crossover games: Nintendo has Smash Bros, the SEGA Superstars series, Sony has Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, and even someone like SNK has a crossover with Capcom. I can't think of a Microsoft equivalent, but then they barely into their second decade - Sony really seemed to struggle to include characters, having to loan in all kinds of non-Playstation exclusives (Big Daddy's inclusion is especially odd when you remember that Bioshock was a year late to the PS3). The PC on the other hand, has been around a lot longer, and has a range of iconic characters you can stick in a kart, licensing issues be damned. Some of them would even look kind of appropriate. Candidates include:
• Commander Keen
• The Avatar (Ultima)
• Elaine Marley (Monkey Island)
• Jazz Jackrabbit
• The Doom Marine
• SHODAN (System Shock)
• Duke Nukem
• Gordon Freeman (Half-Life)
• Boo the Space Hamster (Baldur's Gate)
• Cate Archer (No One Lives Forever)
• Alice Liddell (Alice: Madness Returns)
• Sarah Kerrigan (Starcraft)
• The Heavy (Team Fortress 2)
• Minecraft Steve

This is definitely the least terrible of the ideas on this page.

Steph Woor is a content writer for Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, a car leasing company based in the UK


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Fans of Super Mario games were recently given plenty to celebrate when two new adventures arrived on the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Wii U console. But what can you expect from each of these latest visits to the Mushroom Kingdom?

All new challenges in New Super Mario Bros. 2

If you're looking for platform adventure specifically for your Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL, then New Super Mario Bros. 2 has loads to offer. The game has over 80 stages of fun and for the first time ever you'll have the chance to collect up to one million coins. There's also Coin Rush mode, which challenges you to complete three randomly-generated levels back-to-back without losing a life.

Like all good adventure games, New Super Mario Bros. 2 comes packed with power-ups too, all designed to help you make your way through the many levels. One option is the Gold Flower, which allows Mario to become Gold Mario and use Gold Fireballs that take care of tricky enemies and obstacles by turning them into even more collectible coins.

All new ways to play in New Super Mario Bros. U

Wii U brings with it a whole new way to play - especially when teamed up with New Super Mario Bros. U. Up to five players can get involved in the action, whether you're racing your way through levels in an attempt to finish with the biggest haul of gold coins, or using the Wii U GamePad to place Boost Blocks and create customised courses.

If you prefer to play alone, you can use the Wii U GamePad to do so - and if the TV is in use the controller will even act as a second screen so you can continue the fun. There are some great special modes to enjoy too including Challenge Mode, Time Attack, Coin Collection, 1-Up Rally and the miscellaneous games of the 'Special' category.

He may have been around for some time, but with two fantastic new adventures to play on the Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL and Wii U, it looks like Super Mario has plenty more tricks up his sleeve to keep gamers entertained for years to come.




Let's face it, understanding how much gas and electricity you are using - and most importantly how much it is all costing you - isn't an easy process. Usually you have to climb up on a ladder or go down into the cellar to find the latest meter readings, submit them to your energy company, only to get a nasty shock when you get a bill for hundreds of pounds a few days later.

Thankfully the days of having to read your own meter are nearing an end. The Government has signalled its intention for all homes to have smart meters installed by 2019 and some energy companies, like British Gas, are getting ahead of the game and installing them in people's homes right now. Billed as the biggest infrastructure programme since the 1970s when we switched from coal to natural gas as our main fuel, smart meters will fundamentally change the relationship we have with our energy provider by putting us in control of our usage.

infographic.pngAs part its vision for a Smart Energy Future, British Gas commissioned Oxford Economics to investigate the value of smart metering to Britain. It found that, while the national roll out will cost £11.5 billion, the benefits of smart meters could total £25.3 billion - a gain for the country of nearly £14 billion. For more information, see the infographic (right)  for a visual summary of the money that could be saved by switching from analogue to smart meters.

As with a conventional meter, there is no upfront cost for the user. You simply pay for the meters (one for gas and one for electricity) through your energy bills, just as you do right now. However, the key is that smart meters allow you to monitor usage in real time much more effectively via a handheld device known as a smart energy monitor.  With a smart energy monitor you can see how much energy you are using at any given moment in time - even how much it costs you to boil a kettle if you so wish!

You can also set daily, weekly or monthly budgets depending on the kind of user you are and receive 'traffic light' based information to help you plan your usage - ie. red lights show if you are exceeding your limits, amber if you are close to the limit and green if you are below the limit. It's even possible to bring up the actual meter readings on the smart energy monitor's display to save you ever having to visit the meter in the cellar or that cupboard at the top of the stairs. Importanly smart meter readings are sent back wirelssly to British Gas which means no more estimated bills. You're only paying for the electricity and gas you use, making it easier to budget.

So how do you get a smart meter? When your home is ready for an upgrade, British Gas will contact you and their highly trained Smart Energy Experts will change your meters, explain how to use your Smart Energy Monitor and even show you how to save on your bills by providing Energy Efficiency advice. If you want to pre-register for a smart meter you can do so by entering your details here.

Want to know more about smart meters? Then click here.

You can also check out British Gas on social media: Facebook site and Twitter site



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Thumbnail image for novatech-desktop-pc.jpg.jpg

Christmas is as good an excuse as any to invest in a new PC and, whether you're treating yourself or somebody else, it pays to properly consider your options. The choice is no longer as simple as choosing an appropriately-spec'd desktop PC, with contemporary computing now offering a variety of other, more portable options such as laptops and tablets. UK-based computer manufacturer Novatech is all too aware of the shifting needs of consumers as they transition from desktop computing to something more portable.

So what type of PC should you request from Santa this year? Here are a few things about each for you to consider:

Desktop

Pros

·         Often more powerful than its portable counterparts for less

·         Cheap, barebones systems are incredibly affordable

·         Easier to replace parts for upgrades and similar - desktop PC parts tend to be cheaper than those designed for laptops, and tablets almost always have to be sent away to be fixed

Cons:

·         While dedicated gamers will lug their rigs to LAN parties time and time again, for the most part desktop PCs are not very portable

·         Can be rather noisy if you don't have a decent case/fans

·         Desktop PCs and their peripherals can take up a lot of space

novatech-nspire-n1706.jpg.jpg

Laptop

Pros

·         Very portable - laptops can perform all the functions of a desktop PC on the go

·         Great for taking work to and from the office/university/etc.

·         Excellent for portable entertainment, especially as most have CD/DVD drives (indeed, some of the more upmarket models do Blu-ray)

Cons:

·         The sound quality provided by integrated speakers rarely comes to close to that of purpose-made peripherals

·         While perhaps not so easily lost as a tablet, laptops are a frequent target for thieves

·         Can be prone to overheating if not given sufficient ventilation space

novatech-nov-97-tablet.jpg.jpg

Tablet

Pros:

·         Highly portable, tablets take up less space, and are often significantly lighter than  laptops

·         Tablets' touchscreen interfaces make them incredibly easy to use, even for those who might not been particularly good with technology (e.g. children and the elderly)

·         Incredibly well optimised, often making them generally more reliable than other types of PC

Cons:

·         Soft keyboards can be a pain to type on for extended periods of time

·         If something goes wrong, tablets usually have to be sent away to be fixed (and often at significant expense unless you have insurance)

·         Quite easily lost or stolen due to their compact size and, in the wrong hands, easily dropped

iHome iP4 boombox.jpg
Over at our sibling site Brandish they have been compiling the 21 best gadgets for under £200. There are some that will be very familiar to TD readers, plus a few surpises (like Bluetooth gloves) and some cool retro type things.

You can check out the list here.

Other features on our men's lifestyle site include

The retro gadgets that you might actually want to own

The 12 most iconic band T shirts ever

The Unmissables - the top 10 debut albums of 2012

Cashmere Jumpers
, Classic Jumpers and Christmas Jumpers

A very cool Lomo camera

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Businesses are always looking for ways to adapt their organisations in a way that integrates new and developing technologies into their business plans.
Due to the demands of fast paced and volatile markets, businesses need to be ready and prepared for any eventuality. The main means of ensuring this is through the development of a well-designed and comprehensive system that utilises the newest and most useful technologies.
One such technology is IP telephony, which is now being used by a huge number of businesses as an efficient replacement for traditional communication systems.Here we take a look at exactly what IP telephony is and what it can do for you and your business.

What Is IP Telephony?
IP telephony is essentially a means of communicating over a network system. By converting your conversations into packets of data and transporting them across LAN or internet connections, users are able to talk in real time more efficiently than over the phone. IP telephony, also often referred to as VOIP (Voice Over IP) fulfills one need in particular, replacing the use of traditional phones and phone networks, with an internet based system. IP Telephony works as an outbound service for making calls and works in conjunction with non geos like 0845 numbers which you may already have in place to handle your incoming calls.

Benefits
While the quality of voice communications was historically poor, in recent years these technological hurdles have been overcome and the quality of communications are now incredibly high. IP telephony proves to be a brilliantly inexpensive option for businesses, largely due to lower installation fees and reduced monthly rental charges. Now that high levels of bandwidth are no longer required to transmit voice communications, the implementation and use of IP telephony is incredibly beneficial. Though the exact savings will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your business, savings can be made by moving away from traditional forms of communication.
Businesses can also benefit from the increased mobility allowed with the use of IP telephony. Thanks to the increasing amount of smartphones and mobile devices being used, IP telephony services can be accessed from almost anywhere at any time, giving your employees a greater amount of freedom and independence. Using IP telephony also gears your business towards those technologies which may emerge in the future, ensuring that you're not left behind in the coming years.

Is It Right For You?
IP telephony is now considered a hugely important part of most businesses and is an integral part of business communication, through call centre staff, homeworkers and mobile workers. IP telephony is right for nearly all businesses especially those with multiple sites. When combined with easy to set up 0845 numbers, your inbound and outbound telecoms are likely to be in good shape as a business for years to come.

Samsung's ChatON messaging service gets updated

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chaton-top.jpgSamsung's own messaging app, ChatON, has been given a significant upgrade in time for the launch of their forthcoming Galaxy Note 2 handset.
Adding animated emoticons and animated messages to the usual instant messaging feature set, Samsung also offer a host of extra downloadable cartoons to add to your messages, meaning you'll never run out of fresh smileys to send.

ChatON also offers an Enhanced Group Chat option that lets you send messages to multiple buddies at once, letting you have a proper conversation with a bunch of mates on-the-go, on your handset, no matter where you may all be. Whether it being organising a night out, or sending a birthday message to an old chum, ChatON allows you to make messages more colourful than with any other instant messaging service.
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Messages sent through ChatON aren't just limited to interactions between other users with the app downloaded. The "Trunk" feature acts as a content sharing box, where ChatON users can leave comments and even share messages with other sites, such as the ridiculously popular Facebook social network.

If you like to keep a track of just how influential you are among your mates, there's also the Interaction Rank system built in, which lets users check how often their pals are interacting with each other, and whose posts are being the most shared.

Available now in 120 countries and 66 languages, ChatON is available not just to Android mobile owners however, but also to iPhone, BlackBerry owners too.

Grab the app for free by clicking here

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Pro-10 laboratories2.jpgWe all know that if you want to get fit you need to eat well and exercise. We also know that you won't see results overnight and no product on earth can turn you into Vin Diesel. What many of us don't know is the science behind building muscle and how you can help your body along.

Quick breakdown of the facts:
• Muscle building is a natural process and is your body's reaction to damage from strenuous activity
• The body will overcompensate to reduce the risk of this damage happening again by building more muscle than needed
• By gradually increasing the workload for your muscles through increased repetitions, heavier weights or frequency of exercise you can build your muscles up
• Your body uses amino acids to build muscles
• Amino acids are the structural units that make up protein
• To give your body the amino acids it needs to build muscle you need to increase the amount of protein you take on board
• The process of building muscle slows if you do not have sufficient protein

The level of protein you require can be obtained through changing your diet to focus around eating turkey, chicken and fish. These have to be eaten in larger quantities and regularly.

If you are like 90% of the population and not quite ready to relinquish potatoes, pasta and rice in favour of high protein foods, then you can supplement your intake with protein shakes.

Protein shakes are often based around whey protein and this is because it contains high levels of all the essential fatty acids (amino acids) that your body cannot synthesise and must be added through diet.

You will need to have 2 - 4 protein shakes per day depending on the level of exercise you are doing.

Pro-10 laboratories (smaller).jpgYou will consume a 1kg bag of whey protein powder in 20 days if you have 2 a day, or 10 days if you have 4 per day. If we take a figure in the middle - 15 days, you will be using 2kgs per month.

This can begin to be expensive, but you don't want your hard work going to waste.
Pro-10 offers high quality whey protein, but they have reduced the price to only £12.99 per 1kg. Gram for gram that is the same price as organic chicken breast. Each week special offers enable you to try new supplements or bundle packs, and they are launching over 40 new products over the next 6 months.

There is no witchcraft involved with protein shakes and if you want to see the best results from all your hard work then take advantage of our 10% discount to give it a try. Visit www.Pro-10.com and enter TECH10 at the checkout to receive your discount. Valid until the 17th August 2012.


Chrysler 300CIt wasn't that long ago that state of the art technology inside a car meant a built in CD player and central locking. Now the latest luxury vehicles boast more on board facilities than a top spec hi-tech home or super yacht!

Take Chrysler's latest model, the 300C. We test drove this £40,000 machine around the Cambridgeshire countryside last week and were bowled over by its impressive spec. Not only does it boast a 3 litre V6 turbo diesel engine which ensures a smooth and powerful ride (as well as surprisingly good fuel efficiency up to 47.9 miles per gallon), it also features an 8.4 inch touch screen display that serves as the hub for many of the vehicle's advanced features.

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Obviously it goes without saying there's a great sound system on board, complete with audio jack input for plugging in your iPod, or other MP3 device. But also fitted as standard is a 9 speaker sound system which can be upgraded to a 19 speaker Harman Kardon 7.1 surround sound set up complete with three subwoofers. Other entertainment features include an SD card reader for MP3 sound files, AM/FM radio tuner a CD/DVD player and an input for USB devices.

Voice Control

In car navigation is becoming increasingly important to help take the stress out of planning your journey and here the Chrysler 300C excels. On board is a Garmin based sat nav system complete which can be controlled safely either via the controls on the steering wheel or handsfree by voice alone so you can tell the car the name of the street you want to go to and it will do the rest.

Uconnect Voice Command with Bluetooth control also lets you manage a Bluetooth compatible phone without having to take your hands off the steering wheel. The first time the phone is synchronised, the phonebook is downloaded to the car's hard drive and numbers can be selected simply by saying the person's name.

When it comes to safety features, the Chrysler really does excel. While reversing into a parking space an image on the touch screen display shows the view from the back of the car provided by an board camera including a representation of the width of the car so you know instantly if the car parking space is big enough.

Another safety feature is Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) which uses radar to automatically modify the Chrysler 300C's speed to keep a safe distance when the car approaches another vehicle in the same lane or even when a vehicle enters from another lane. Similarly Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) uses an ultra broadband radar sensor to search for cars that might be briefly concealed from your view. Icons illuminate in the mirror and an acoustic warning signal sounds if there is a car in the blind spot.

DSCN4464-480.jpgFor the ultimate in luxury the touch screen control can also be used to control your individual settings. Not only can the air conditioning be set to different temperatures for the driving and passenger seat, you can also precisely adjust the positioning of the seat, even set your seat to move out of the way of the steering wheel when the car is stationary to make it easier to get out of the car.

Finally, the two front cup holders, cooled as heated and standard, come with LED lighting that glow blue when they're chilled and red when they're hot! What could be better than that! It seems driving really has entered the 21st century at last.

See video below for an explanation about everything that the Chrysler 300C's touch screen display can do:

See images of the new Chrysler 300C below:



Chrysler 300C



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British Gas Smart Meters

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This is a sponsored post on behalf of British Gas

The days of estimated bills and letting a man into your house to read the meter are nearing an end. British Gas is starting to roll out Smart Meters which will revolutionise the way we consume energy - and save us money to boot!

Whereas traditionally meters sit in remote places such as under your stairs or in the garage and are only disturbed when the meter reader comes along to take a reading, smart meters aren't even disturbed by the meter reader. Instead, these clever smart meters - which can  be located in remote locations like their less smart cousins - communicate wirelessly to an in home display unit, known as a smart energy monitor (see picture).

In turn, the Smart Energy Monitor gives you an instant view of your energy consumption for both gas and electricity.  This includes near real-time on energy usage, cost and greenhouse gas generation. You can keep an eye on your energy usage in kwH, CO2 and pounds and pence as well as access historical usage to see how your consumption is changing over time.

Unlike traditional meters, with smart readers you can also control your energy usage via a smart phone app or online via a PC. Smart meter readings are sent back to British Gas once a day which means an end to having to submit your own meter readings and also an end to estimated bills.

home display meter 2.pngAlready there are 160,000 British Gas homes in the UK with a Smart Meter with the company committed to providing Smart Meters in all homes by 2019. Watch the YouTube video below for more information.

British Gas Facebook: www.facebook.com/BritishGas, Twitter @BritishGas



British Gas Smart Meter





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Sponsored video: IT and humanity

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By KfirGodrich

Thurstein Velben said that "invention is the mother of necessity" - certainly this is something that is describing very well the IT drivers of the current year.

If you agree that your business is just as good as the IT running it, then you can certainly understand the shift we took from focusing on efficiency towards productivity. This trend is not only imposing a culture of innovation for the enterprise, rather than better utilization, but also creates a mechanism of pressure from the management level downstream. This method is based on output measurement. Therefore, the increased requirements for business intelligence are taking a stake of about one third out of all IT technologies segments across all industries nowadays.

To support the directions mentioned earlier, the IT industry is changing accordingly; from being supported out of pairs of high availability data centers towards multiple distributed data centers with lower availability (Cloud Computing models might include also combination of the mentioned schemes).

The owned or outsourced models are based on minimized CAPEX and OPEX followed by variable services cost models. The former efficiency process turns into an optimized "transfer function" such as ROI (Return of Investment) or equivalent. The physical enabler of that approach is the "Industrialized IT" - the ability to put IT into the business in a fast, affordable, modular and scalable fashion.

But behind the inventions, the strategies, the technologies and the implementations stand people that devote their time and skills to take the clients business forward, supporting the decision makers with the methodology and tools leading to the right decision.

The new HP "Humanity" campaign, which I'm proud to be part of, is providing a closer look into the ways in which we are trying to help our customers with innovative Technology Services. Hope you'll take some time to visit and "connect" with me and my colleagues at www.hp.com/go/tsconnect. So although Einstein said that "it is appallingly obvious that our technology exceeds our humanity", maybe we can do something to compensate there.

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