Top 5 awesomely informative sites to track the February blizzards online


Four inches? Five? Twelve? I’m talking about the snow, you filthy individual. You might have noticed the white stuff accumulating outside at an alarming rate today – at the time of writing it’s still coming down in North London – and you’re probably starting to worry if it’s ever going to stop.

I can assure you, it will. As for when – well, it’ll probably be sunnier tomorrow, but then go back to sleety snow for the majority of the week. But you want more detail, right? Right. Well, here’s my top five places where you can track this week’s snowfall online in-depth. Click over the jump to begin.

2008: The gadgets we couldn't live without

As the lights go out tonight on 2008, we thought we’d reflect back in the year just gone, and pick a few gadgets that we absolutely, positively, couldn’t live without this year. I’ve contributed a couple, and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say it was tough to narrow the list down.

I could have nominated my brilliant Acer Aspire One netbook. I could have nominated my beloved Zune 30 MP3 player (and very nearly did). I probably should at least mention my Victorinox WT messenger bag that goes almost everywhere that I do. However, none of those approach the love that I have for the gadgets that made the list.

See those gadgets, and Dan and Gary’s choices, too, by clicking on my beloved N95 below.

Related posts: Top 100 Christmas Presents 2008 | Top 10 Tuesday: Best Christmas Gadgets

5 ways Obama used technology to win the White House


Today was a good day. At four o’clock this morning our time the polls closed on the west coast of America and exit polls led to the networks calling the Presidency for Obama. What’s phenomenal about Obama is that he came from practically nowhere two years ago, and despite running against established rivals – first Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, and then John McCain – managed to not just take the White House, but surfed into it on a landslide. Obviously psephology is phenomenally complex, but one thing is clear: Obama used technology to motivate his base and get the vote out. But just how did he do it? Here are five uses of technology that helped win it.

Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is out – 5 reasons why you should try it


The biggest news this morning (that doesn’t relate to a German trade show) is that Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2 is out. It’s still a developer’s preview version, but it seems stable enough for consumers to test. I’ll cut to the chase – you can get it here.

Internet Explorer is still used by a whopping 73% of internet users, and 47% of Tech Digest readers (42% Firefox, 7% Safari, 4% other, in case you were wondering). Why do so many people use it? Well, almost certainly because it comes as standard on Windows machines. Many people can’t be bothered to change the default. At one point in 2003, IE had 95% market share.

A little history, then. IE6, released in 2001, was a big pile of awful. It was insecure and heavily criticised, which let Firefox (and Apple, too) take quite a big chunk of market share. IE7 was playing catchup, adding tabs and better security, but IE8 looks game-changing, and a strong challenger for Firefox 3.0. Click over the jump to find out why…

Top Five gadgets that would make the London to Brighton bike ride a lot more pleasant


My brain is in meltdown and my body in need of panel beating, for yesterday, with 26,999 others, I completed the 54 miles of the London to Brighton bike ride. Pedaling like fury while crawling inch by inch up the mighty Ditchling Beacon I decided to take my mind off my screaming thighs by compiling a Tech Digest top five gadgets that would make the London to Brighton bike ride a lot more pleasant…

Top 5 gadgets most likely to get you stopped at Heathrow Terminal 5


A gentleman by the name of Brad Jayakody was stopped from boarding his flight at Heathrow Terminal 5 on Monday for wearing an Optimus Prime t-shirt with a cartoon gun on it. Utterly ridiculous as it is, a spokesmen from BAA explained the security policy:

“If a T-shirt had a rude word or a bomb on it for example, a passenger may be asked to remove it.”

Mr Jayakody’s had neither, and that got me thinking about what else they wouldn’t allow you on a plane with and decided to come up with the Tech Digest top five gadgets most likely to get you stopped Heathrow Terminal 5. So, here is the Tech Digest top five gadgets most likely to get you stopped at Heathrow Terminal 5…

Top 5 gadgets for Florence Nightingale – Happy Birthday to the Lady with the Lamp


As you may or may not know, today is the anniversary of the birth of one of Britain’s finest – the Lady with the Lamp herself, the pioneer of modern day nursing, Miss Florence Nightingale. It’s an education over here at Tech Digest.

If Flozza were alive today she’d be really old and not much good at nursing anymore and she’d be well on the way to her second telegram from her second queen at the ripe old score of 188 years old. Doubtless she would also be fascinated by advances in tech and were she to do her rounds in this day and age, then these would be Florence Nightingale’s top five gadgets.

Top eight planet-saving gadgets for Earth Day – don't be mean, be green


If you are as yet to navigate to the Google homepage today, you may be unaware that it’s Earth Day today. Happy Earth Day everyone!

Earth Day is a day as old as the hills – even older. It’s as old as the mud the hills are made from. Earth Day started back in ancient Egypt when the villages on the banks of the Nile would celebrate the annual floods which brought silt deposits to fertilize their land.

In celebration, the villagers would throw the mud at one another in joy and to this day people still mark the event with the giving and receiving of pieces of earth.

Actually, that’s a complete lie but it was a nice story, wasn’t it? No, Earth Day is about awareness of the environment as started in 1970 by a gentleman named Gaylord Nelson and to do our part at Tech Digest we’re going to look at the best Earth-saving gadgets that money can buy…

Top Five Gadgets From The Skies Above America


Anyone who loves gadgets and lives in the UK will know of the Innovations catalogue. Sadly it no longer exists, it went out of business a couple of years ago, but it was often found dropping through your letterbox inside the Sunday newspapers.

And what you’d find within its pages were some of the most weird and wonderful gizmos in the world. All the stuff you never really needed (ever) but bought from your hard-earned cash just in case – and because it looked “interesting”. I wasted a fortune back in the days of Innovations and was horrified when it bit the dust.

So imagine my joy last week when I caught an internal flight from Orlando to Miami in the States on American Airlines and found a copy of the SKY MALL catalogue in the pocket in front of my seat. It’s Innovations US-style and I’ve picked my five favourites
over the jump. Best thing about it, even those in the UK can order from it!