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Money4Machines Blog

  • Iconic red phone boxes go green to charge your mobile on the go

    Image ref. BBC Image ref. BBC

    Whatever your wistful memories of the old red telephone boxes - nostalgic icon or pee-smelling pit of filth? - it's great to see them being put to good use again. 

    All over London, old red phone boxes are undergoing a quick paint job and tech-y revamp in order to turn them into beacons of modern technology - solar powered mobile phone charging points to let you charge your mobile on the go!

    So far six boxes have been set up on Tottenham Court Road. The first was unveiled last week.

    It's free to charge your mobile on the go, although a screen inside the phone box will show adverts to users as they wait.

    It's hoped the project, created by students Harold Craston and Kirsty Kenny, could potentially see more of the UK's disused phone boxes being reborn at charing points for your gadgets. 

    For more on this story, head to BBC Tech.
  • New Hero4 GoPro comes with amazing 4K resolution

    Image ref. GoPro Image ref. GoPro

    Bottom line, the Hero4 now shoots in 4K 30fps, or 2.7k 50fps.It has a faster processor and is able to offer twice the speed of the Hero3, making it perfect for those that want to use it as a professional film camera - some scenes in The Raid 2 were shot using a GoPro Hero3, so we can't wait to see what the Hero4 can do!

    So, what else is there to shout about on the new GoPro Hero4?

    The Black Edition features a touchscreen - finally! - meaning you can finally dispense with the fiddlesome need for a smart device when reviewing footage and controlling the little guy.

    Diving depth is set at a maximum of 40m for both the Black Edition and it's baby bro, the Silver Edition.

    The new GoPro Hero4 Black Edition classically comes with a bit of a price tag at £369, while the Hero4 Silver Edition will set you back £289. 

    Both devices hit stores on 5th October 2014.

    For a great preview of what the new GoPro Hero4 can do, head to Huffington Post UK.
  • Bent iPhone 6 and 6 Plus devices are "rare", says Apple

    Screen Shot 2014-09-28 at 20.33.02According to Apple, iPhone 6 and 6 Plus handsets will only bend under extreme pressure that extends beyond "normal use".

    After global media reported that several iPhone users had reported their  new devices to be far more susceptible to bending that previous handsets - especially when carried without a case in a back trouser pocket - Apple hit back by saying only nine customers had come forward with provable claims that their bent iPhone handsets had been damaged in such a way.

    Apple said,

    "We also perform rigorous tests throughout the entire development cycle. iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus meet or exceed all of our high quality standards to endure everyday, real life use. With normal use a bend in iPhone is extremely rare and through our first six days of sale, a total of nine customers have contacted Apple with a bent iPhone 6 Plus. As with any Apple product, if you have questions please contact Apple."

    One such test is alleged to be a "sit test" to assess the potential for handsets to be damaged - bent - by numerous occasions of being sat on, i.e. normal use.

    For more on this story, including some cool videos and links to related titbits, head to BBC Tech.
  • The Apple Watch is a luxury item (and that's why it will do well!)

    Image ref. Business Insider Image ref. Business Insider

    It will set you back at least £216 and needs the gracious assistance of at least an iPhone 5 to work. So how can the Apple Watch be a success? 

    According to business insiders, Apple is going right for the luxury jugular. Just look at the potential finishing options - 18kt gold? That's not for us yobs on the street. The Apple Watch comes in plenty of luxe finishes as well as more humble base model options.

    The device isn't being billed as the latest thing. Apple's marketing strategy seems to say "It's not essential, but it will get you ahead of the game in terms of having the absolute latest toys".

    So, if you're a moneyed starlet looking to stand out at the farmer's market, you're probably going to fall for the spiel. And if you're one of us normals, you may also find the allure of the hype - "Me? I can own a luxury item and look like one of them beautiful people??" - too tough to resist.

    Honestly, as Apple fans, we a) can't wait to try the Apple Watch, and b) tip our hats to Apple for a clever marketing strategy!

    Head to Business Insider for more on this story.
  • UK Amazon Fire launch set for end of September

    Image ref. Amazon Image ref. Amazon

    The Amazon Fire is set to be released in the UK on 30th September 2014. 

    Coming just months after the US release of the 3D handset, the UK Amazon Fire launch will be handled exclusively by O2, giving the firm an edge in a market craving new technology.

    The 32GB or 64GB handsets will all be free on contract and run an Amazon version of Google's Android OS.

    So what's with all the 3D hype? The Amazon Fire is billed as the first smart device to use "Dynamic Perspective Display" - basically it uses cameras on the front of the screen to give the impression that the screen is 3-dimentional.  This new bit of tech also comes with Firefly - a visual recognition app run through the handsets cameras that can identify everything from food to book passages and direct you to the relevant products in the Amazon online store.

    Will UK users will resent the seemingly obsessive Amazon sales push that critics say exists too heavily in the general use of the device? Tell us what you think!

    For similar stories, head to Huffington Post Tech UK.
  • Barclays finger biometrics system to be introduced to internet banking

    Image ref. Barclays Image ref. Barclays

    Accessing your bank account online is likely one of the most security conscious things you'll do in your day. 

    Barclays bank has announced the imminent introduction of finger biometrics to make online banking as secure as possible. Barclays finger biometrics takes us beyond the world of passwords and secret questions (it's not that difficult to find out your mother's maiden name, first pet or the road you lived on as a child, by the way!)

    Developed in partnership with Hitachi Finger Vein Authentication (VeinID), the device will read the "subdermal patterns of the client's finger vasculature" There are numerous benefits to this kind of identification, especially in the fight against identity fraud. Speed and reliability are clear pros of the Barclays finger biometrics system. 

    For more detailed info, head to the Ars Technica news blog.
  • New smartphones are going to be amazing once more!

    Old British dial telephonesIt's been a while since we were truly left speechless by any new smartphones.

    There are have been plenty that we like a lot, find useful, couldn't really function well without, etc. But nothing that's made us sit up and worship a true game-changer. Case in point - the market is still dominated by a 4-inch screen Apple smartphone, Samsung are still making plastic phones and the rate of technological development is moving at a glacial pace, and we know how that thrills you.

    So why do the folks at TheVerge believe we're on the edge of an exciting smartphone free fall into amazingness? And we don't mean any of this "wearable tech" nonsense!

    Android and iPhone internals are about to change. A lot. Apple's iOS 8 is going to  mark the most significant change to iOS since the introduction of third party apps. And Google's Andorid L is set for a BIG visual overhaul. The iPhone is going to grow significantly for the first time, entering the hamlet market. This week's IFA will include an onslaught of competitor Android phones that have finally discovered the old less-is-more side to design and function (YAY!) For some cool videos and more linked stories, head the The Verge.
  • Jennifer Lawrence iCloud hack - should we all be worried?

    Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 11.28.17Celebrities generally don't fall for the old phishing email tricks, but they can certainly fall foul of hackers, the Jennifer Lawrence iCloud hack potentially being a glaring and tough example! 

    The entertainment world (and Twitter!) went a bit melt-down-y today as detailed emerged of an iCloud hack involving celebs such as Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Dunst, Rihanna, Kate Upton. Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Selena Gomez.

    Winstead even came out on Twitter to say the photos of her had been deleted, meaning a pretty advanced hack must have taken place in order to pull the images.

    Blogger Perez Hilton initially shared some of the images, but removed them and apologised once the scale of the hack was revealed.

    Looking further into the abyss, it seems many folks are out to blame a flaw in iCloud. But with detail still a little hazy, we just don't know how the hacker gained access. One thing HuffPost believes we should keep in mind is that iCloud is really, really secure and there's no need to panic or jump to conclusions just yet.

    So, how did these nefarious creeps gain access? Probably not by iPhone or iPad. Photos within Photostream and iCloud are encrypted and safe. If you use your touchcode ID and passwords, you should also be fine. However, if your Camera Roll isn't password protected, then those photos could be ripe for the taking when you hook your iPhone up to a computer.

    For more on this story and updates on stuff related to the Jennifer Lawrence iCloud hack, head to Huffington Post Tech.
  • HP recalls 6 million power cables over potential fire hazard

    HPIn recent days, HP has received numerous complaints from consumers relating to the potential fire hazard alledgedly contained within the firms power supplies. 

    Following  these complaints and information from a Consumerist article, HP recalls 6 million power cables and asks consumers to contact them with any reports of overheating, charring or related potential fire hazard occurrences.

    Manufactured in China, the power chords are compatible with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers and with AC adapter-powered accessories such as docking stations and have an LS-15 moulded mark on the AC adapter. The products were mainly sold in the US and Canada. 

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission set up a recall page on their website to help consumers navigate the course of sending their old product back to HP.

  • No iWatch until 2015, say KGI forecasters

    silver-apple-logoAccording to a recent Huffington Post article, we're going to be waiting even longer for the heralded iWatch. NO iWatch until 2015- boo hiss! 

    Chinese analysts at KGI recently announced suspicions that Apple are unlikely to reveal such a potentially game-chaning product anytime in 2014. With the potential market domination of the first phablet-design iPhone, it doesn't make sense.

    Thomas Tamblyn of the Huffington Post said,

    "We reiterate our view that iWatch, as compared to existing products, and as Apple’s (US) first attempt at a wearable device, represents a much higher level of difficulty for the company as regards component and system design, manufacturing and integration between hardware and software."

    Translation - the wearable smart tech market is a tough cookie to crack, and Apple aren't going to throw a half baked effort into the ring.

    We still don't know much about the Apple iWatch, and that doesn't bode well for a quick release. Apple is known for well-timed temptations and titbits of information, something that conspicuously lacking as we head towards the end of 2014.

    So, with no iWatch until 2015 (maybe!), what do we actually know about Apple's first foray into the wearable tech market?  Well it's likely the product will tie in with iOS 8 and OS Mavericks. Rumours abound that it will be a kind of third wheel in the expanding world of Apple device communication features.

    Want to read more about iWatch rumours? Head to this Huffington Post must-read.

     

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