How To: Watch the World Cup on a PC, iPad, iPhone or Android handset

Gerald Lynch Android apps, Features, Internet, iPad, iPad apps, iPhone, Mobile phones, Online TV, Sport, Tech Digest news, World Cup 2010 17 Comments

World Cup season is upon us once again! Every four years we all go crazy watching 22 men kick about a leather sphere, make heroes of goal-scoring stars and endure heartbreak when we get knocked out. And we love it!…

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Apple iPad: Everything a UK owner needs to know

Gerald Lynch Apple, Features, iPad, Tech Digest news 1 Comment

Here at Tech Digest, we've been covering the iPad, rumours and all, since it was just a spark in Jonathan Ive's madly creative head. What with the Apple tablet now officially launched here in the UK, we thought we'd…

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Sky offer old Sky TV Guide back to visually impaired viewers

Gerald Lynch Digital set-top boxes, HDTV, Satellite TV, Tech Digest news Leave a Comment

The message boards over at our Shiny friends HDTVUK have been alight with readers venting their spleens over the new-look Sky + HD Guide, which completed its nationwide roll-out last week. Many of you have been complaining that the new…

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Six steps to recording the perfect podcast

Andy Merrett Internet, Web 2.0 7 Comments

Ever wanted to hear your dulcet tones on the Internet but didn’t know where to start? Read our handy guide to recording, editing and hosting your podcast and you’ll be there in no time.

We can’t guarantee you’ll be popular, but at least you won’t stay silent.

1. Get the right hardware

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It’s fairly obvious that if you want to record yourself speaking you’ll need some way of getting audio on to your computer.

There are plenty of ways of doing this, but you’ll want to get the best quality piece of kit you can afford if you want to sound good and minimise the amount of tidying up you’ll have to do later.

Podcast Pick:

My absolute favourite mic for podcasting (and indeed many other uses) is the Blue Microphones Snowball USB mic. At around £85 it’s not the cheapest option but it’s used by professional broadcasters and podcasters alike. Simply plug it in to a spare USB port and you’ve got a quality audio recording device for vocals, instruments and ambient sounds…

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Guide: The difference between SSDs and HDDs

Andy Merrett Comparisons, Hard Drives 3 Comments

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This guide outlines the main differences between solid state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs).

There are two major types of SSD in current production — NAND and DRAM. This guide focuses on the more common one: NAND.

It’s worth noting that advances are being made all the time on both types of drive and that these differences are generalisations. Individual performance will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer.

1. Speed

Most solid state drives, except ones made using cheaper components, are significantly faster at reading data than a hard drive.

This is because there are no moving mechanical parts on a SSD and so the “seek time” is significantly reduced. Incidentally, DRAM drives are faster still.

Writing large files is also generally quicker on a SSD, though at present there are often performance problems when trying to write a lot of small files to a SSD. It’s possible to overcome this through improved system design.

In general, though, SSDs are faster than HDDs.

(PS: SSDs are generally quieter than HDDs because they don’t have any moving parts and are usually fanless)

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25 Camping Gadgets you really should have

Andy Merrett Gadgets, Travel Gadgets 3 Comments

The British camping season is now truly upon us, offering inexpensive holidays under canvas.

Here are 25 bits of kit that will make your life a lot easier, whether you’re cooking, foraging, hiking, or relaxing under the stars.

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1. Tent

It goes without saying that you’ll need a decent tent if you’re planning on sleeping in a field.

My personal favourites are Khyam tents. They come in a wide range of sizes and styles and are generally quick and easy to erect. You may pay a bit more but you can usually find them on special offer, and they’ll last a long time…

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UK Satellite TV Comparison Guide: Sky versus Freesat

Andy Merrett Satellite TV 8 Comments

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Two services that require you to stick a satellite dish to the side of your house.

One has been around for two decades, the other has just celebrated its first birthday.

Both will demand an upfront payment: one will continue to drain money from your bank account each month.

So which is best? Read our comparison guide to see if you should go with coming-of-age Sky or new-kid-on-the-block Freesat.

Read on to find out…

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How to: choose the perfect blogging software

Andy Merrett Internet 3 Comments

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Are you feeling the need to start a blog?

Perhaps you’ve already got an account on Blogger, WordPress.com or LiveJournal but you’re ready to host your own blog.

This Tech Digest how-to guide will help you to decide which of the many pieces of blog software and hosting options is right for you.

I’ll look at:

  1. the pros and cons of the different types of blog hosting available;
  2. the benefits of having your own domain name;
  3. a quick way to narrow down the choice of which blogging software to use;
  4. an overview of the main types of blogging software;
  5. some things to look out for when it comes to choosing a web host for your blog

Head over the jump to start…

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How to: search the Internet using Google and find exactly what you're looking for

Andy Merrett Internet, Websites 19 Comments

Welcome to the Tech Digest guide to online search.

This guide will:

Google Basics

Though Google has an incredible array of advanced options (see next section), usually some very basic ideas will get you a long way.

Find all words

Type in two or more words to search for, separated by spaces, to find web pages with all of those words.

Example: apple microsoft finds any page referencing both “apple” and “microsoft”

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