NEWS

The good people at BenQ got in touch with me this week to see if I'd like to try their new eReader Lamp. I wasn't really sure what that meant, but of course said I'd love to! What it actually is, is a table lamp that sits on top of your monitor. It's not quite as simple as that though, the BenQ ScreenBar eReader Lamp has five important features to make it stand out from other lamps.

BenQ ScreenBar

The BenQ ScreenBar eReader Lamp features the following -

  • Auto Dimming. Optimal Brightness Instantly
  • Space Saving. No Lamp Base, More Desk Space
  • Glare Free
  • USB Powered
  • Adjustable Color Temperature:

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Up until very recently I thought it was too expensive to go 4K. I remember last year I noticed some quite nice 4K TV's for around £600, but decided against it as there still wasn't much 4K content available. I'm not sure what really changed my mind this month, but I upgraded both our living room TV (55") and my bedroom TV (40") to 4K HDR and wow... amazing! It's not even the 4K content, the 1080p I watch looks outstanding! I now understand what people mean when they say it looks too real. It's hard to explain, but every now and then you get a shot that just looks so real, you expect the director to walk in shouting 'cut!'.

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It all began about 6 months ago when my brother splurged on a pair of Bose QC 35 ii's for his hour plus commute to work. Now, I remember hearing Bose noise cancellation before, a demo somewhere, sometime, but I don't remember it being as impressive as it was when I reviewed his Bose headphones. I almost instantly ordered my own set.

I then realised they weren't as perfect as I thought. Playing games I noticed quite a delay in the sound, from firing a bullet to hearing it fired was around a third of a second. It doesn't sound much but actually it's quite off putting. Also, ask a gamer what he thinks of playing competitively with a 300+ ping! So began my hunt for the perfect wireless noise cancelling headphones!

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Google I/O has been on this week and with it came the beta release of Android's latest OS update, Android P. At this point we don't know what P will stand for, we don't even know what version this will be, will it be 8.2 or Android 9?

Some good news for non-Pixel types though, Android P Beta is available on many more phones than it's been allowed on in the past -

Google Pixel Google Pixel XL Google Pixel 2 Google Pixel 2 XL
OnePlus 6 Essential PH‑1 Sony Xperia XZ2 Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S
Nokia 7 Plus Oppo R15 Pro Vivo X21

I think it's very interesting to see OEM's like Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo on the list, well done Google!

Android P Beta Easter Egg

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Many people in the UK have never heard of Xiaomi, but they're actually the worlds 5th largest smartphone company with revenue of $15 billion in 2017. They aren't just limited to smartphones either, my pedometer is a Xiaomi product for example. They make drones, TV's, laptops and air purifiers to name just a few other products.

If you watched my Redmi 5 Plus review from last week, you'll already know that buying Xiaomi devices over here in the UK is a slow process, taking weeks and including a income tax Russian Roulette element when receiving the device. Maybe soon that will all change though.

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At a recent 'Hack in the Box' security conference in Amsterdam, two researchers called Karsten Nohl and Jakob Lell of the firm Security Research Labs revealed the results of a two year long investigation into Android security patches by vendors. In their study, they examined the firmware of 1,200 Android devices, to see if the patch level quoted in the OS was actually the patch level found on the device for patches released in 2017. They found what they call a 'patch gap' in many of the well known OEM's devices.

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Every now and then I get asked about what equipment I use to make my YouTube videos. Well, once I got asked. Okay, once I told someone and now I'm going to tell you...

It doesn't take a huge amount of money to get a decent setup, but you do need to spend a little. If I get to a YouTube video and the lighting means the camera can't focus or the person can barley be understood as the audio is that bad, I quite often just move on. I think my setuo can be had for around £500, which I think is reasonable if you're serious about YouTube videos. So, lets take a look at the kit.

My YouTube Equipment Setup

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Everyone loves saving money when shopping online, right? So I've got some of my best tips that could save you hundreds of pounds every year. If you're reading this on your phone, sorry, most of these tips are for when shopping on your PC.

Save Money Shopping Online

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Interesting timing, the day after I record my video about online security that Cloudflare and APNIC announce they have a simple way for everyone make themselves more secure and private online and it can be done in a matter of minutes. It was also quite interesting that they chose to announce it on April 1st... so many people took the news to be a joke!

[ 1.1.1.1 ]

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Until last year I hadn't really thought about passwords, how they're stored online and what are the best ones to pick are, but then I needed to code them into my website. I thought it was interesting enough to share with everyone, to hopefully help keep people safer online.

There are really 4 ways you can be compramised (I missed one in the video below)

  • Phishing attack
  • Social engineering/too easy to guess password
  • Brute force attack
  • Website hacked
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    Click here to see my video explanation of this.


    I don't feel the review video went as well as most I do, but hopefully you get a good feel for my opinion.

    So do I like it? Generally, I'm quite a fan actually. The main negatives people give are the screen and design, but I can't say the screen was an issue for me and the slightly larger bezels don't bother me.

    On the plus side, I love the portability, I love the gestures, I love the backlit keyboard and I'm just about coping with MacOS which is actually nice and smooth, even on what is considered the 'budget' MacBook.

    I think I could definitely be tempted when a 2018 version comes out and I am also on the lookout for a cheap second hand iPhone, but I promise you, it's only for helping with my iOS coding development, I'm not switching sides!

    Click here to watch ,y review of the MacBook Air 2017.

    Come and let me know what you think on my forum post about my MacBook.


    I actually enjoy debugging code... mostly. I think you need to if you're going to be a programmer, you spend too much of your time doing it!

    I'd noticed this week that the 'accordion' effect wasn't working consistently on this front page. Sometimes you could click something and it wouldn't open. Then you would open new articles but the others didn't close.

    Someone had mentioned to me that the navbar broke with the latest version of Bootstrap, but I wondered if this update would fix my accorion woes, so this morning I updated Bootstrap.

    It did break the navbar, but that was quite easy to fix. In fact, now it's much better, on a mobile you don't get an oversized bar, covering half the site, you get a little drop down menu button instead!

    I also realised the collapsing accordion code had totally changed, so I went through each of these news items and changed the code! Okay, they bit wasn't all that fun, but it's done the job!

    Now I need to see if I can be bothered to do it for the 'Show more news' bit at the bottom... that's a lot of work!

    In the mean time, please report any bugs you find in the coding forum. Thanks!


    6th March 2018

    Not a video I had thought I would ever be making, but don't worry, I explain why...

    Click here to see my explanation of why I bought a MacBook Air 2017.

    Do you think it was a good idea? Why not come and discuss it with me on my forum post?


    3rd March 2018

    I took my DJI Mavic Pro out last night and this morning to get some shots of a snowy Barnet.

    It's a shame it's too hazy this morning for a decent photo. If the sun breaks through, I'll get back out there, but already I can see the snow is clearing up on the ground.


    25th February 2018

    I've set up a forum, giving you all a new way of discussing tech and interests with me and others.

    Simply click on 'Forum' in the Navbar at the top, register and post away! If you'd like me to look into reviewing something, let me know!


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