Tech News

The UK porn block is now one month away, and it's still a terrible idea

Latest Tech News - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 06:50

The controversial UK porn block comes into effect on July 15 2019. According to the government it’s going to save the children from online awfulness, and there won’t be any negative effects whatsoever.

But I just know it’s all going to end up like my sex life – a combination of severe disappointment, intense embarrassment and a terrible mess. So it’s worrying that nobody seems to be paying attention to what's coming down the tracks.

Porn in the USA (but not the UK) 

The UK porn block is based on the belief that if we make porn slightly harder to access, kids – and in this case "kids" includes 16 and 17-year-olds, which of course means they’ve reached the age of consent – won’t see any of it by accident, and can't see it even if they try.

As you may be aware, there’s a lot of porn on the internet. And as you may also be aware, very little of that is made in the UK. So while we can demand overseas sites implement all kinds of things, they can tell us to go whistle.

Aha! The UK government says. We’ve thought of that!

And they have. Sites that don’t implement age verification will be blocked. 

Remember how blocking the Pirate Bay stopped all piracy forever?

Exactly.

And that’s not the worst of it. 

A pandora's box of privacy issues 

Whenever somebody suggests a new law, we should ask two questions: one, will it solve the problem? And two, is it going to hurt? I think in those case the answers are “no” and “not in a good way” respectively.

We call it the UK porn block, but it isn’t really a block – that comes later. The law creates a mandatory age verification regime. When you visit a website and it identifies you as a UK visitor, you’ll be asked to prove your age. No proof, no porn.

As a bad comedian might put it: you’ve heard of cookie consent; this is nookie consent. 

The problem with age verification is simple: unless you buy a kind of porn pass in the local newsagent, which will apparently only work for a single device, it ties your real world photo ID to the porn sites you visit. In some cases just the URL of a site may make it very clear what your sexual orientation is and what your sexual preferences are. Do you really want that to end up on a government-mandated database? The data may be anonymised, but that doesn’t mean it’s anonymous.

We may think of ourselves as pretty enlightened about this stuff. After all, everybody’s turned their social media banners into rainbows to mark Pride Month. But the reality is that for many people, their sexuality, gender identity or sexual preferences can be used to hurt them. For example, LGBT+ people are abused and hounded online and off, while newspapers take great delight in kink-shaming and pillorying anyone with the slightest public profile who doesn’t stick to the missionary position.

That means the existence of any database of people’s porn preferences is worrying, because if the information gets out it can damage people’s lives. The schoolteacher who’s into some harmless kink. The LGBT+ teen who hasn’t come out yet. The crusading journalist the government wants to discredit. The businessman someone wants to blackmail. You get the idea.

Massive data breaches are so common we barely notice them any more, and if a system can be abused it usually is. If we can’t even trust the police not to abuse the Police National Computer, why should we trust companies located far beyond Europe and beyond the reach of our data protection regulation? 

Will they share their data with, say, the Home Office if they’re asked to? How long before some enterprising lawyer sees the potential? We’ve already seen fitness trackers’ location data used in divorce cases. Fancy discussing clown porn in court?

It’ll take more than Viagra to make this stand up 

Maybe I’m spending too much time in a tinfoil hat. But even if there were no privacy concerns, the UK is trying to make and enforce a system that won’t work.

We already block porn to try and keep it from kids, and the UK government says that that blocking isn’t effective. The solution? Block sites that don’t introduce age verification. “Filtering doesn’t work! Let’s do more of it!”

The UK porn block is very limited. It only applies to sites designed to make money from sales, subscriptions or ads where more than a third of their content is commercial pornography. It won’t affect social media at all, although it could encourage them to kick off people making perfectly legal adult content. 

It places an incredible burden on the BBFC, which has to decide which overseas sites count as pornography. And there are the usual risks of overblocking and mistaken blocking.

And then, of course, there are VPNs.

It’s safe to say the makers of VPN software are feeling pretty aroused right now. Sites will detect UK users by their IP address; use a VPN service and you’re immediately "in another country". So we expect to see a big spike in searches for 'best VPN for porn' in the UK from July 15.

It’s just as well there aren’t tons of affordable, reliable VPN services for every conceivable kind of device. That would make a mockery of the whole thing.

Won’t somebody think of the grown-ups? 

I’m a parent, so this legislation is designed to reassure people like me: of course I don’t want my five-year-old seeing sexually explicit content. But this parent has been reporting on porn filtering since the days of USENET, so forgive me if I’m more cynical than the average madam.

Once this infrastructure is in place for porn, what’s next? What else will we have to petition the authorities to let us see, to have recorded in a database somewhere? Do we really think it’s a good idea to tie people’s photo ID in with their porn habits? Can we trust anyone not to abuse the data?

I think you should be wary of anything that comes from people yelling “think of the children!” All too often, that means they don’t want you to think at all.

Categories: Tech News

Le Mans live stream: how to watch the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 online from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 06:34

Smell the burning rubber and taste the coffee to keep you awake, it's time for the 24 Hours of Le Mans. We have all the 2019 Le Mans live stream details right here.

This year sees the Circuit de la Sarthe as home to the 87th Le Mans which has cars race for, you guessed it, 24 hours straight. This year will be the biggest yet with an expanded field of 62 cars taking part in the endurance event. 

Last year's 24h of Le Mans winner Toyota Gazoo Racing will be defending its title having only just joined the World Endurance Championship Super Season in May 2018. With ex-Formula One driver Fernando Alonso racing for said team it's going to be a tough race to take, especially when you consider the team has already won the LMP drivers' championship. 

It's not an easy win guaranteed though with Signatech Alpine Matmut and Jackie Chan DC Racing in the running. 

Porsche has secured the GT manufacturers championship but the GTE Am fight is still to be won the number 56 of Team Project 1 Porsche of Jorg Bergmeister, Patrick Linsey and Egidio Perfetti have a 23-point lead over the number 54 Spirit of Race Ferrari of Francesco Castellacci, Giancarlo Fisichella and Thomas Flohr in both the drivers’ and teams’ championship battle. The number number 77 Dempsey-Proton Racing Porsche, 90 TF Sport Aston Martin, number 98 Aston Martin and number 61 Clearwater Racing Ferrari are also all still in the fight.

Getting a Le Mans live stream is actually pretty straightforward, and there are even some very nice options to watch it all absolutely free.

Get a 24 hours of Le Mans live stream from outside your country

Because of the sheer time-span of the 24h of Le Mans race, watching options aren't that readily available. We've given you some information below if you're in the UK, US, Canada or Australia. Then, even if you have one, you'll find that it's geo-blocked when you try to watch it from abroad.

Free stream! Who's showing a free Le Mans live stream?

Good news motor racing fans – the entirety of the 24 Hours of Le Mans is being shown absolutely FREE.

The bad news...this is only in France (sorry to get your hopes up!). France.TV will be live streaming the entire 24 Hours of Le Mans 2019 via the French broadcaster's website.

But that's not the only way, so maybe you can forgive us. Some of the international broadcasters have free trials with their coverage...

How to live stream Le Mans 24 Hours 2019 in the US for FREE

This year Le Mans will be shown in the US on MotorTrend TV and the MotorTrend app, with the full 24 hours broadcast live for your viewing pleasure. That means you can enjoy the action via your laptop, mobile app or tablet.

MotorTrend costs $5.99 per month subscription, or $59.99 for the year. Plus, and here's the best bit, it does a FREE 14-day trial meaning that you can sign up and watch the entire 24 Hours of Le Mans without paying a cent!

Want to watch that MotorTrend stream but are away from the US while the race is on? Then check out the information above about downloading and installing a VPN to get around any geo-block.

How to watch Le Mans 2019: Canada live stream

For the first time ever, the Le Mans endurance race will be shown on Velocity - part of the Discovery network - with the full 24 hours broadcast live for your viewing pleasure. So that means you're looking at requiring cable to watch.

And if you want to watch the broadcast in another territory, then there's always that VPN route. 

How to watch Le Mans 2019 in the UK

For UK residents, the Le Mans 24 Hours will get the Eurosport treatment. That means Eurosport 1, available in lots of broadcast and streaming forms, is the channel you need for the Saturday and/or Sunday. Eurosport is available with basic Sky TV packages or with a Eurosport Player monthly (£6.99) or annual pass (£4.99/pm or single payment of £39.99) that also gives you access across loads of devices.

Want to access the action but are outside the UK? Then grab a VPN service and change you IP to a UK location.

How to watch the Le Mans 24 Hours: Australia live stream

Australia is getting Le Mans 2019 via Eurosport too. That means it can be watched via the Eurosport website or through the app or, of course, via a broadcaster that offers the channel.

Categories: Tech News

The Google Pixel 4 may have been spotted in the wild for the first time

Latest Tech News - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 05:30

We might have caught our first glimpse at the Google Pixel 4 out in the wild, after a phone looking very similar to the one Google teased last week was spotted being used in London.

An image of the phone was shared by 9to5Google – you can see the square rear camera array on the back and... that's about it. The snap doesn't really tell us anything new about Google's upcoming handset.

The phone does appear to have a large front-facing bezel at the top of the display, the anonymous tipster who took the phone noted, which we think is going to be housing a dual-lens camera.

And the handset looks as if it's wrapped up in one of those official Google Pixel fabric cases that we've seen appear with previous Pixel launches as well.

Does this look like the Pixel 4 to you? (Image credit: 9to5Google)

We're bracing ourselves for a host of Pixel 4 leaks between now and October, which is the month when we're expecting the next Google flagship to be officially announced.

Even Google is getting involved with the leaks this time around, posting a photo of the upcoming handset on Twitter. The square design for the rear camera is now confirmed, though we're not sure yet exactly what kind of optics it's carrying.

There has been talk of a "spectral sensor" on board the Pixel 4, which would be able to sense hand gestures above the phone, and possibly let users control the device without touching the screen.

Apparently the phone is going to come carrying a Snapdragon 855 chipset and 6GB of RAM too, putting it on a par performance-wise with some of the best phones of 2019. We should get all the details in a few months.

Categories: Tech News

Australia vs Sri Lanka live stream: how to watch today's Cricket World Cup 2019 match from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 05:30

Having bounced back from their defeat against India with a solid win against Pakistan, Australia will today looking to consolidate their place amid the top four today Sri Lanka. No matter where you are in the world you can watch today's match by using our guide below to getting a Australia vs Sri Lanka live stream.

Getting on the pitch will be a start for The Lions, with Sri Lanka having had their last two 2019 Cricket World Cup matches against Pakistan and Bangladesh abandoned without a single ball being bowled thanks to the less-than-glorious summer England is currently experiencing. It's been 11 days since they last played and they'll want to add to their four points which has them currently in mid-table. 

In the two games where they've actually made it on to the pitch, Sri Lanka suffered batting collapses that has seen them bowled out on both occasions.

With one of those defeats coming at the hands of minnows Afghanistan, its looking like things could get brutal against Australia's more formidable bowling line up - anything but a routine victory for the Baggy Greens seems unlikely.

It's a big match for both teams and you’ll be able to watch with ease from anywhere in the world if you follow our Australia vs Sri Lanka live stream guide below.  

Watch a Cricket World Cup 2019 live stream from outside your country

For cricket fans in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, US or India and looking to find out how to watch the match, we've got all the details about the broadcaster with the rights to show the match in your region below. 

If you're away from home country and looking to see the action you'll likely to find you won't be able to thanks to geo-blocking. Thankfully there's a way to alleviate that frustration. By using a VPN you'll be able to watch the game without having to resort to watching via an illegal feed from a dodgy website.

Watch a live stream of today's match in Australia

How to stream 2019 Cricket World Cup online in India

How to stream Australia vs Sri Lanka live in the UK 

How to watch the cricket in Pakistan

How to watch the game in New Zealand

How to watch Australia vs Sri Lanka: US live stream 

Categories: Tech News

BT Broadband continues its big tech giveaway with fibre deals for another week

Latest Tech News - Sat, 06/15/2019 - 05:05

We have absolutely no shame in admitting that we love a freebie. OK, so they may be an eye-catching way for retailers and internet providers to draw in customers, but...who cares!? And BT Broadband is a consistent purveyor of freebies, most recently throwing in a pricey tech gift if you sign up for one of its broadband deals.

The offer reared its beautiful head a month or so ago, disappeared, and then came back last Friday. Now BT has confirmed that it will continue through for another seven days and is due to end on Thursday June 20.

With the choice of a free pair of JBL headphones, a Samsung tablet or an Amazon Echo all up for grabs, these are undoubtedly some of the best broadband deals in the UK right now (and one less thing to buy on the forthcoming Amazon Prime Day)

In terms of which of BT's packages offer these incentives, the standout deals come from the Superfast Fibre and Superfast Fibre 2 bundles. But as if the big tech freebies weren't enough to win you over, BT also offers BT Reward Cards with these deals. Depending on which package you choose, that could mean either £30 or £60 extra on top of this deal.

Ready to collect your new gift and super fast speeds? You can see all of the details of these offers from BT down below. Or check our guide to the best fibre deals to see what else is out there.

Find out more about these tech freebies:

JBL 650 Live Headphones - Featuring a high-end punchy sound, good levels of comfort and Google Assistant/Alexa support, these are a great set of headphones.

Samsung Tablet A - This tablet features a HD screen, powerful processor and a stylish design. One of the better Android tablets currently on the market.

Amazon Echo - the now legendary smart speaker, an Amazon Echo is perfect for any house. Change songs, ask questions and make reminders all by voice.

BT's new fibre broadband deals + free gift: What is a BT Reward Card?

The Reward Card that BT sends out is a pre-paid credit card that you can use anywhere that accepts Mastercard. In short, that's around a million shops, cafes and restaurants around the world, so you shouldn't find it difficult to find places to spend, spend, spend.

It's an old-fashioned chip and pin card, rather than contactless. But do make sure that you claim your Reward Card within three months of installation, otherwise you'll lose out on all that cash.

Today's best broadband deals in the UK
Categories: Tech News

macOS 10.14 Mojave release date, news and features

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 19:34

Now that macOS Mojave has made it on our Macs, bringing key iOS apps like News and Stocks to the fold, Apple’s OS is better than ever – not to mention, stocked with awesome new and improved features like the system-wide Dark Mode and increased productivity through Finder.

In the coming years, we’ll see more iOS apps coming to the best Macs. Apple confirmed this at WWDC 2019 with Project Catalyst, which makes it easier and more seamless for developers to bring their iPhone and iPad apps to mac. And, Project Catalyst is available to developers as of June 3 with the beta version of macOS Catalina, the macOS to succeed Mojave in Fall 2019, so we can expect app developers to be rolling out those macOS versions soon.

But until then, there’s already a lot to love in macOS 10.14. And, even though macOS Mojave has dealt with its own fair share of security issues, most notably KeySteal, the operating system is generally safe and secure. 

Apple’s macOS Mojave has been on our Macs for more than eight months at this point and most, if not all, of the problems have been addressed. Plus, any problems that do remain are outweighed by the benefits this new OS brings to the table. 

So, now that we have macOS Mojave, we’re going to dive into all of its features, alongside any new features that are added, so you can decide for yourself whether or not the upgrade is for you.

Cut to the chase
  • What is it? The 2018 edition of Apple’s Mac operating system, macOS
  • When is it out? macOS Mojave is out right now
  • What will it cost? macOS 10.14 is free


macOS 10.14 Mojave release date

Apple unveiled macOS Mojave back in June 2018 at WWDC 2018, where most of its features were detailed.

This was followed by a public beta launch back in July, and finally macOS Mojave a full launch on September 24, 2018.

Apple is keeping macOS Mojave updated with all the latest features. The latest of these updates, macOS 10.14.4, brings Dark Mode to Safari, alongside the new Apple News+ service. Past updates included a fix for the FaceTime Bug that allowed people to access your camera without you answering their call, and a supplemental update to boost reliability for the 2018 MacBook Air.

Apple has also released macOS 10.14.5, which will likely be one of the last major updates to the operating system before macOS 10.15 is unveiled. This update focuses on stability, and is still very much worth downloading despite the lack of marquee features.

Keep it tuned as well, because we will keep this section updated with all the newest updates as they’re made available.


macOS 10.14 Mojave features

Now that macOS Mojave has been out for a while, there are a lot of new features available to your Mac. We’re going to dive into a detailed run-through of everything your Mac can do.

From Finder improvements to more rigid security, the best Macs are about to become a lot better.

Read on to uncover all the new features macOS Mojave has on offer, whether or not you’ve updated your computer yet, so you can take full advantage.


Dark Mode

Apple’s macOS Mojave brings in a system-wide dark mode, which extends to every first-party program on your Mac.

Even Xcode gets a full makeover, completely in black, making those extended programming sessions easier on your eyes.

Third party programs are also adopting this new theme, with changes happening automatically for any app that uses standard colors through AppKit.

Even developers that don’t use AppKit are working on bringing Dark Mode to their applications. For example, in a recent bug report, Google Chrome developers confirmed they’re working on a way to implement Dark Mode into the massively used web browser – they just have some issues to iron out first.

Group FaceTime

Initially shown as part of the initial release of MacOS Mojave, Group FaceTime is released as part of macOS 10.14.1. This feature allows you to have FaceTime conversations with up to 32 people across iOS and macOS devices. 

Group FaceTime is implemented in a way that makes it remarkably intuitive in macOS Mojave. You can start a group FaceTime chat from any group iMessage thread, and invites are sent via a ringless notification, so it won’t be disruptive.

Once you’re in a Group FaceTime Chat, it automatically detects whoever’s speaking, bringing them front and center so that you’re always looking at the person actively speaking.


Stacks

Your days of cluttered desktops are over, thanks to macOS Mojave. Whenever your desktop starts to look like a virtual hurricane blew through it after a full day’s work like ours does, just utilize Stacks.

With Stacks, macOS Mojave sorts similar files together so that you have a less cluttered desktop, organizing photos with photos, pdfs with pdfs and so on.

You’re even able to go through thumbnails using a two-finger scroll, so that you can make sure the file you’re looking for is actually in the stack. It’s terrific and useful.


Gallery View

In macOS 10.14 Mojave, Apple has added a new Gallery View to Finder. This view lets you quickly browse through, annotate and edit files. No matter what kind of file you select, you are able to quickly and easily find exactly what you're looking for. 

This is made even better, thanks to the very detailed metadata display in the Preview pane. This feature makes it easier than ever before to take note of all the information of any file on your Mac.

Finally, thanks to the inclusion of Quick Actions in the Preview pane, you won’t even need to leave Finder to work on files. You should be able to edit images, add protection to files and more. You can even assign Automator tasks as Quick Actions to make browsing through files more effortless.


Continuity Camera

If you often find yourself needing to implement a document or a photo on a project you’re working on, you’re in luck. With Continuity Camera, it’s easier than ever to do exactly that. 

Across a multitude of different apps - Numbers and Pages, for example – you’ll be able to simply Control + Click in the body of the document, and select “Take Photo” or “Scan Documents.” It’ll then open the camera on your iPhone or iPad, where you’ll be able to take a photo and instantly pop it right into what you’re working on.

It’s easy to use, it’s convenient, and it’s going to be a boon for anyone that needs to save some time while doing schoolwork or that next big project.


Markup in Quick Look and Screenshots

Quick Look is already an easy way to look at files quickly, but macOS Mojave takes that accessibility even further. With the update, you are also able to quickly and efficiently use Markup to edit files you open in Quick Look. 

Additionally, Markup is implemented into screenshots. You are able to bring up any screenshot and instantly edit any content within. Being able to swiftly crop screenshots in macOS Mojave without any third-party photo-editing software is going to be a huge time-saver. 

When you capture a screen, you’ll see a preview image open up, similar to iOS 12, that you can click on to preview and edit your screenshot.

That's not all. Screenshots are still a simple shortcut away, but with macOS Mojave, a new easy-to-use menu includes screen-recording tools that allow you to capture animated content. And, perhaps most importantly, you can choose to save the screenshot to your clipboard, saving time – not to mention space – if you just need to send someone a quick screenshot.


Apps

Apple News, Stocks, Voice Memos and Home are all brought over from iOS to macOS Mojave, with special care given to optimize them to fit your computer.

These apps leverage the power of the best Macs to deliver an awesome experience. Voice Memos, for instance, will automatically transfer any memos you take between your iOS and macOS devices – rewarding anyone who relies on the ‘Apple Ecosystem’ for a more seamless workflow.

This isn’t a full iOS app migration, however. In fact, since these apps are specifically redesigned for macOS, they feel like new Apps. Plus, the new Apple News+ service is available on Mac the same day as iOS. 

Apple did say that it’d be bringing more iOS apps to Macs this year, but we’ll have to wait until the later part of 2019.


Security

Like you, Apple is concerned about your device security, and now macOS Mojave asks for permission with more features, including the camera and microphone. Mojave’s security also offers more robust protection for your file system.

On top of that, Safari also has its own share of security enhancements. Those include shutting down cookies that track you across websites, and making sure that Safari asks permission before it allows cookies of any kind to access your browsing data. Among these are those annoying social buttons that mysteriously appear on every page – Facebook and Twitter can’t track your activity outside of their own websites unless you grant them permission.


New Mac App Store

The App store has been a crucial part of macOS for years now, but it always seemed a little out of place. That all changes with macOS Mojave. Apple has completely refreshed the Mac App Store, and it’s now designed exclusively for the best Macs.

It looks great, and it also lets you browse through apps depending on what you’re trying to install. If you’re looking for an affordable alternative to Logic Pro X or Adobe Photoshop, it’s organized so that you can easily find the best Mac apps for you.

The new Mac App Store also adopts the iOS App Store’s approach to editorializing its content. It’ll now have a much more modern interface with featured apps getting tutorials, spotlights and other such content. It really does bring the Mac App Store into the modern age.

What’s even more exciting is that a ton of third-party developers, like Adobe and Microsoft, are bringing their apps to the Mac App Store, so you won’t have to go through not-so trustworthy websites to get the apps you need.


macOS 10.14 Mojave specifications

Unfortunately, with all these new features, some older Macs will have to go without updating to macOS Mojave. This is a departure from macOS High Sierra, which basically had the same system requirements as macOS 10.12.

macOS 10.14 requires at least 14.3GB of hard drive space for the installation, as that’s what was required last year. To be on the safe side, have at least 20GB of free space.

However, macOS Mojave does have more powerful hardware requirements than High Sierra. macOS 10.13 required at least 2GB of RAM and OS X 10.8 or later – that’s not the case anymore. These are the Macs supported by macOS 10.14 Mojave.

  •  MacBook (Early 2015 or newer) 
  •  MacBook Pro (Mid 2012 or newer) 
  •  MacBook Air (Late 2012 or newer) 
  •  Mac mini (Late 2012 or newer) 
  •  iMac (Late 2012 or newer) 
  •  Mac Pro (Late 2013 or newer, or older models with Metal-compatible GPU) 
  •  iMac Pro (2017) 

Unfortunately, while the required models rarely change year after year, they have with macOS 10.14. If you have an older MacBook, you might need to upgrade your device to enjoy this new version of the OS.

Images Credit: Apple

  • These are the best Macs we’ve tested within the past year
Categories: Tech News

What is a Google Chromebook?

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 19:25

You’re probably on here because you’re asking yourself, “What is a Google Chromebook?” You’ve probably seen the term Chromebook thrown around on the internet, and you might be wondering what exactly they are, and how they differ from traditional laptops.

In this guide, we’ll explain what a Chromebook is, list the pros and cons of these devices, and hopefully help you decide whether or not a Chromebook is the right device for you.

And, when you do decide that it is, then head on over to our Should I Buy a Chromebook? and Best Chromebook guides for an in-depth buying advice on specific models.

What is a Chromebook?

Let’s begin with a quick overview: what is a Google Chromebook exactly? Generally speaking, Chromebooks are light and cheap laptops that run Google’s ChromeOS operating system.

Most traditional laptops run on either the Windows 10 operating system or the macOS, if they’re Macs. Chromebooks, on the other hand, run on the ChromeO, a lightweight operating system that isn’t as fully featured as Windows 10 or macOS. In fact, when ChromeOS was first released in 2011, it was extremely bareboned, and you needed an internet connection to use apps such as Google Docs.

ChromeOS has evolved since then. Now install apps – including Android apps – and use it (to an extent) without an internet connection. However, it’s still more limited than Windows 10 and macOS. 

The fact that's it’s a lightweight operating system is one of the reasons why Chromebooks are so appealing to many users, in the first place. It doesn’t need powerful components to run, and it can use hardware that Windows 10 or macOS would struggle to run on, keeping the overhead price down. This enables Chromebooks to be much more affordable to users than other laptops.

That also means Chromebooks have impressively long battery life, easily lasting a whole work day – plus, some movie watching – on a single charge.

While we sometimes refer to the devices as ‘Google Chromebooks’, a number of major laptop manufacturers make Chromebooks. In fact, the first Chromebooks were released by Samsung and Acer in May 2011, and other manufacturers like Dell, HP and Asus joining have jumped on the bandwagon.

Of course, Google has also released its own Chromebooks over the years. Interestingly, while most Chromebooks are affordable alternatives to Windows and Mac laptops, Google’s Chromebooks, like the Google Pixelbook, are premium devices that show that a Chromebook can be as powerful, and as beautifully designed, as any MacBook or Windows laptop – and also just as expensive, if not more.

What software can a Google Chromebook run?

Now that you know the answer to the question: what is a Google Chromebook?, let’s get into how it works. Because Chromebooks run ChromeOS, you can’t simply install and run Windows or Mac programs. Instead, you are limited to Chrome apps and online apps that you can run through the Chrome browser, such as Google Docs.

The good news is that there’s a decent selection of Chrome apps. Plus, using online apps like Google Docs means you won’t need to install as many as apps, which is why many Chromebooks only need small hard drives – which again helps to keep their price low.

Additionally, Chromebooks are now also able to run Android apps, giving Chromebook users access to thousands of apps through the Google Play Store. Most modern applications have a version for Android devices, which means Chromebooks users have a huge range of software, from office suites like Microsoft Office to photo editors and even games, at their disposal.

Chromebooks can also run Linux applications, further bolstering the productivity benefits of the devices. Compatible Chromebooks can now use programs that were created for Linux, the open source desktop operating system.

While ChromeOS used to be seen as a limited operating system, the scope of the software you can now run on a Chromebook is truly impressive, making it – now more than ever – a viable alternative for more users.

Lastly, ChromeOS is a lot less prone to viruses and malware than Windows 10, as malicious users are more likely to attack Windows 10 devices due to their popularity. Using cloud-based services on a Chromebook also limits the number of files you download and install, and ChromeOS is automatically updated with the latest security patches to keep you safe and secure.

Chromebooks and education

Because of the affordability, long battery life and security of Chromebooks, they've become increasingly popular in the education sector.

They're indeed ideal laptops for students, as they come with pretty much all the software they would need, including word processors and presentation programs. The use of cloud services such as Google Docs also allows for online collaboration between students and teachers, and several manufacturers have made Chromebooks that are specially designed for students, with durable bodies that can survive being tossed into a backpack and carried around all day.

The Chrome Education License also enables schools to provide Chromebooks to students and easily manage the devices centrally, ensuring that only approved apps are installed.

Most importantly, the parental controls these Chromebooks have on hand can also ensure that students are kept safe from inappropriate online content.

So, to answer the question, 'What is a Google Chromebook?' Essentially, they're affordable laptops with simple designs, and they can surprise you with how flexible and adept they are for handling many day-to-day tasks.

Categories: Tech News

Copa América 2019 live stream: how to watch every football match online from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 17:02

The Copa América, South America's biggest football tournament, heads to Brazil for the first time in 30 years with Chile looking to be crowned champions for the third time in a row. Regardless of where you are on the planet, our guide below for getting a Copa América 2019 live stream will ensure you don’t miss a kick.

While the hosts will be missing talisman Neymar, the tournament won't be short of big name stars from across the continent, with Argentina's Lionel Messi, his Barcelona teammate Luis Suárez and Brazilian/Liverpudlian Roberto Firmino all due to set to be in action.

Having failed to mirror his trophy-laden club career with Barcelona on the international stage, all eyes will be on Lionel Messi to once again attempt to end his tournament hoodoo and lead Argentina to some silverware. His country are a long overdue some glory in the competition having not won the Copa América since 1989.

Despite having won the competition twice on the spin, Chile come into the tournament way down the list of favourites according to Betfair, thanks to an ageing side and star player Alexis Sánchez‎ struggling for form at Manchester United.

After recent tournament disappointments, Brazil will be looking to gain ground on their great South American rivals Argentina who have lifted the trophy 14 times in comparison to the samba stars eight triumphs in the Copa America. A major plus for the hosts will be home advantage - they've won the tournament on the four previous occasions that they've held it.

If you want to know where you'll be able to watch every single match, we'll tell you exactly where you can catch them online with our 2019 Copa América live stream guide.

How to watch the 2019 Copa América 2019 from outside your country

Below we have a full rundown of your viewing options for the 2019 Copa América in different countries - check out how to watch in the US (where ESPN+ will be streaming the tournament in its entirety), the UK, Canada and Australia.

The problems start when you try to watch your domestic coverage online while out of the country. Give it a go and you'll quickly find your stream in geo-blocked.

That's super annoying, but not unavoidable. We've found that using a Virtual Private Network - or VPN - to be a handy solution. You select a server in your home country and then watch as if you were sat back at home on your couch.

How to watch the Copa América: US live stream 

- Discover our pick of all the US's best sports streaming sites

How to stream the Copa América live in the UK 

How to watch Copa América: Canada live stream 

How to live stream the 2019 Copa América in Australia  2019 Copa América fixtures

Saturday 15th June
Brazil v Bolivia (1:30am BST)
Venezuela v Peru (8:00pm
Argentina v Colombia (11:00pm BST)

Sunday 16th June
Paraguay v Qatar (8:00pm),
Uruguay v Ecuador (11:00pm BST)

Tuesday 18th June
Japan v Chile (00:00am BST)
Bolivia v Peru (10:30pm BST)

Wednesday 19th June
Brazil v Venezuela (1:30am BST)
Colombia v Qatar (10:30pm)

Thursday 20th June
Argentina v Paraguay (1:30am BST) 

Friday 21st June
Uruguay v Japan (00:00am BST) 

Saturday 22nd June
Ecuador v Chile (00:00am BST)
Peru v Brazil (8:00pm)
Bolivia v Venezuela (8:00pm BST)

Sunday 23rd June
Qatar v Argentina (8:00pm)
Colombia v Paraguay (8:00pm BST)

Tuesday 25th June
Chile v Uruguay (00:00am BST)
Ecuador v Japan (00:00am BST) 

Friday 28th June
Quarter-finals
Group A winner v Group B/C third place (1:30am BST)
Group A runner-up v Group B runner-up (8:00pm BST)

Saturday 29th June
Quarter-finals
Group B winner v Group C runner-up (0:00am BST)
Group C winner v Group A/B third place (8:00pm BST)

Wednesday 3rd July
Semi-finals
QF1 winner v QF2 winner (1:30am BST) 

Thursday 4th July
Semi-finals
QF3 winner v QF4 winner (1:30am BST) 

Saturday 6th July
Third-place play-off
SF1 loser v SF2 loser (8:00pm BST)

Sunday 7th July
Final
SF1 winner v SF2 winner (9pm)

Categories: Tech News

Fitbit price cut at Walmart: save on the Fitbit Versa, Charge 2 and Alta HR

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 15:25

Summer is officially here, and if you're looking for an affordable smartwatch deal, then you've come to the right place. Walmart has slashed the price on the popular Fitbit Versa down to $179.95. That's a $20 discount and the lowest price we've found for the smartwatch.

The Fitbit Versa is a health-focused smartwatch that can help you meet your fitness goals while also keeping you connected. The Versa tracks activity, distance, calories burned, and offers 24/7 heart rate monitoring. The Versa also offers personalized workouts with on-screen coaching that will give you real-time stats conveniently on your wrist. The smartwatch also tracks your sleep so you can gain helpful insights to get a better nights rest.

You'll be able to enjoy your favorite music on the Versa with 300+ songs that you can store, or connect to Bluetooth headphones so you can listen to music wire-free. You'll stay connected with access to your favorite apps and the ability to receive notifications, make calls, send messages and more.

If you're interested in a slimmer design, Amazon has the Fitbit Alta HR on sale for just $72.49. While the Alta HR isn't as feature-rich as the Versa, it does offer continuous heart rate monitoring, and tracks activity, exercises, and calories burned.

Amazon also has the Fitbit Charge 3 on sale for $119.95. That's the best price we've found for the waterproof fitness tracker that offers exercise, sleep and heart rate tracking.

Fitbit deals:

You can find more Fitbit Versa offers with the best Fitbit Versa prices and sales that are currently available.

You can also learn more about the above activity trackers by checking out our Fitbit Versa review,  Fitbit Alta HR review, and Fitbit Charge 3 review.

Learn more about Amazon Prime Day with our guide to Amazon Prime Day: everything you need to know for the July deals event.

Categories: Tech News

How to watch Love Island online this weekend and catch up on week 2 highlights

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 15:14

For the Love Island devotees, that Monday to Friday grind just isn't enough - do they really need to spend Saturday cleaning out the villa?! But if that absent episode is leaving you wanting more then don't worry, there is a host of weekend content meaning you can still watch Love Island online all the way through the week.

Want to find out all the dirty details about the islanders relationships? Want to see what happened to Sherif? Want to be ahead of the game when it comes to what's coming next week? The weekend episodes are just what you need.

Split into two special viewings - Aftersun and Unseen Bits - there is an additional two hours of weekend drama to catch up on. Tune in on Saturday, the day of rest for the islanders and you will be rewarded with Unseen Bits. 

Consider this a highlight reel of the best moments, weirdest moments of flirting and lines you can't believe came out of someone's mouth in a romantic setting. Come back on Sunday at 10pm and its Aftersun. A sit down with Caroline Flack while she interviews the exiles of the island and talks over the best moments.

But don't worry, this doesn't replace the classic Monday through to Friday games of flirting for £50,000, you can still tune into those parts. No matter which part of Love Island you're aiming to watch, you can find out how to down below, even if you happen to be away on holiday at the time.

How to watch Love Island online for free in the UK:

Whether you're a Love Island die-hard fan, wanting to fill out the missed episode on Saturdays or someone not fussed with a whole week of dating, needing it condensed into one episode, Love Island's weekend content is for you. 

By now we should all know that Monday to Friday is core Love Island episodes, all airing at 9pm on ITV2. But, the weekend possesses some hidden gem dating content. On Saturdays there is Unseen Bits, which acts a lot like a weekly catch up episode - this airs at 9pm on Saturday. 

But did you know there's a normal episode on Sunday? If not, you could have been missing out on core Love Island drama! An episode airs on Sunday at 9pm, followed by Aftersun staight after at 10pm, a show that goes over all the gossip of the week.

Rather not watch it all on TV? You can watch Love Island online, even the weekend content via the ITV website or watch it on your mobile devices via the ITV Hub app which you can download here for Android and here for your iPhone or iPad.

How to watch Love Island online from outside the country

If you’re from the UK and have planned a holiday while the show is on then you'll sadly be missing it, even the weekend episodes! But don’t worry as we can help you avoid any annoying geo-blocking allowing you and your friends to catch Love Island on your holiday. By using a VPN, you can change your IP address to one in the UK which will allow you to stream the event using your ITV account. Keep reading and we’ll show you how.

  • Stateside? Check out the very best US VPN services

Categories: Tech News

Edge may be coming to Linux

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 15:12

During a recent AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, the Microsoft Edge Developer team answered user's questions about its browser and even offered some details on upcoming features.

However, the biggest takeaway from the Q&A session was the fact that the company is open to the idea of creating a version of its browser for Linux.

The Edge team explained that there are no technical limitations stopping them from releasing Edge for Linux but that they are not quite ready to do so yet, saying:

"We don't have any technical blockers to keep us from creating Linux binaries, and it's definitely something we'd like to do down the road. That being said, there is still work to make them 'customer ready' (installer, updaters, user sync, bug fixes, etc.) and something we are proud to give to you, so we aren't quite ready to commit to the work just yet.

Currently the Edge Developer team is working on bringing stable versions of the browser to other version of Windows as well as to macOS.

Tracking Protection

The Edge developers also revealed the fact that Microsoft is planning on rolling out a Tracking Protection feature for its browser similar to one Mozilla introduced in Firefox 63, saying:

"We are committed to building features that give users control and transparency over their privacy on the web. One of our first features is Tracking Prevention with 3 levels of control to choose from, with Balanced setting being the default."

While Microsoft's team provided a lot of information on upcoming features, they still remained non-committal on their answer regarding how Chrome's upcoming extensions API could prevent current ad blockers from working.

The company is still waiting on talks with “popular extension developers and with the Chromium community” before it gives a final answer on whether its browser will also cripple ad blockers as Google is planning to do with Chrome.

Via ZDNet

Categories: Tech News

"Son of Mirai" botnet appears

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 14:00

While the Mirai IoT botnet primarily targeted consumer devices using default credentials, a spiritual successor has emerged which could potentially infect devices running on enterprise networks.

Security researchers at Palo Alto Networks' Unit 42 recently discovered a new strain of a botnet malware called Echobot which is based on Mirai's source code and targets flaws in business tools.

In addition to previously targeted vulnerabilities, Echobot also tires to exploit the CVE-2019-2725 vulnerability in Oracle WebLogic Server and the CVE-2018-6961 vulnerability in VMware NSX SD-WAN to add even more machines to its botnet.

According to Palo Alto's team, those behind Echobot have expanded the malware's exploit arsenal as a way of reaching additional devices besides home routers, webcams and digital video recorders. Mirai gained notoriety for preying on consumer devices and now, Echobot and other variants have set their sights on the enterprise.

New targets

By expanding its range of targets, Echobot now poses an even greater threat than Mirai once did and according to Akamai's Larry Cashdollar, the botnet is also trying to exploit security flaws from the past.

Cashdollar discovered that several of the malware's new exploits are for vulnerabilities that have been around for almost a decade but were never properly addressed including the CVE-2009-5157 vulnerability found in Linsys devices and the CVE-2010-5330 vulnerability in Ubiquiti's devices.

In a blog post on Akamai's site, Cashdollar provided further insight on how Echobot is trying to exploit older vulnerabilities, saying:

“Botnet developers are always looking for ways to spread malware. They are not just relying on exploiting new vulnerabilities that target IoT devices, but vulnerabilities in enterprise systems as well. Some of the new exploits they've added are older and have remained unpatched by the vendor. It seems the updates to Echobot are targeting systems that have possibly remained in service, but whose vulnerabilities were forgotten. This is an interesting tactic as these systems if found have remained vulnerable for years and will probably remain vulnerable for many more.”

Via The Register

Categories: Tech News

Argentina vs England live stream: how to watch today's Women's World Cup 2019 match from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 13:17

England opened their World Cup campaign with a welcome 2-1 win over Scotland. For most of the game they were dominant, but questions will be asked as to how they allowed their neighbourly rivals to get back into the game in the later stages.

Argentina will have their tales up after earning a hard-fought goalless draw against fancied Japan in their first Group D match, earning the South Americans their first ever point in a World Cup.

How will the two teams fair today, in this, their second Women's World Cup 2019 Group D match? Read on to find out how you can catch an Argentina v England live stream from anywhere around the world with our instructions below.

England will have to make do without Barcelona star Toni Duggan who is ruled out with a thigh injury, but Demi Stokes should be back in contention after the Manchester City left back started on the bench against Scotland.

The omens look good for England, with the Lionesses winning their only previous Women's World Cup encounter with Argentina 6-1 during the 2007 group stages in China.

Argentina have meanwhile lost their three previous matches against European opposition at the Women's World Cup, with a worrying combined aggregate score of 2-23, shipping an at least six goals in each match.

Will today's match be another drubbing, or can Argentina keep another clean sheet? Don't miss any of the action by following the instructions below and grabbing a live stream of Argentina vs England wherever you are in the world.

Watch a FIFA Women's World Cup 2019 live stream from outside your country

If you're in UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, we've got your viewing options listed below. If you're out of the country for today's match, you may find that geo-blocking will prevent you from watching your regular domestic coverage from abroad. You don't have to risk watching the match on a dodgy stream, however.

With the option of using a VPN service, you can tune into the match no matter where you are in the world, and its super easy to set up.

How to stream today's match in the UK 

Live stream Argentina vs England in the US

- Discover our pick of all the US's best sports streaming sites

As well as opening up your viewing options for the Women's World Cup, using a VPN allows you to watch all your domestic sports coverage from abroad.

How to watch Argentina vs England: live stream in Australia

How to watch FIFA Women's World Cup: Canada live stream 

How to watch an Argentina vs England live stream in New Zealand 

Categories: Tech News

Yubico to replace compromised authentication hardware

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 13:12

Yubico has announced that it will soon replace hardware security keys from its YubiKey FIPS series due to a firmware flaw that reduces the randomness of cryptograhic keys generated by the devices.

Unlike the company's consumer-focused products, the YubiKey FIPS Series are certified for use on US government networks and take their name from the US government's Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS).

In a recent security advisory, Yubico explained that YubiKey FIPS Series devices running firmware version 4.4.2 and 4.4.4 contain an issue where the first set of random values used by YubiKey FIPS applications after each device power-up have reduced randomness.

This means that these devices will generate keys that can be either partially or fully recovered depending on the cryptographic algorithm the key is using for a particular authentication operation.

Replacement security keys

Yubico discovered the issue internally in March and conducted a full investigation into the root cause, impact and how it could mitigate the issue for its customers. The company fixed the issue fully in YubiKey FIPS Series firmware version 4.4.5 but as a result of the firmware update, FIPS recertificiation was also required.

Yubico is also now advising owners of YubiKey FiPS Series devices to check the firmware version of their security key and affected users can sign up for a new key on its replacement portal. The company said that its customers would receive new YubiKey FIPS Series keys with firmware version 4.4.5.

According to the security advisory, most of the affected devices have either been replaced or are in the process of being replaced:

“To safeguard the security of our customers, Yubico has been conducting an active key replacement program for affected FIPS devices (versions 4.4.2 and 4.4.4) since the issue was discovered and recertification was achieved. At the time of this advisory, we estimate that the majority of affected YubiKey FIPS Series devices have been replaced, or are in process of replacement with updated, fixed versions of the devices.”

Yubico also reassured customers by informing them that the company is now aware of any security breaches that have occurred as a result of the issue.

Via ZDNet

Categories: Tech News

Three's new Samsung S10, S10e and S10 Plus big data deals are nothing short of extraordinary

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 13:05

They say good things come in threes. Well, at the moment, good things come in threes from Three. It has just unleashed some incredible new deals on Samsung's trio of 2019 handsets, taking an instant first place in the ongoing search for the very best Samsung Galaxy S10 deals.

The discounts come on the network's 100GB tariff across each of the flagship Galaxy S10, bigger brother S10 Plus, and budget-friendly S10e. So you immediately know that you're not going to be found wanting when it comes to Netflix binging and Spotify streaming away from the Wi-Fi.

But the prices that Three is offering aren't just good value for so much data, they're actually the outright best contract prices for these phones full stop.

See for yourself the quality of these S10 deals below and act fast if you like the look of them. We can't imagine Three are going to let them go this cheap for long...

Read more:

Categories: Tech News

TV’s biggest competitor? TCL's CEO says smartphones

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:54

Screens are everywhere now. Taking into account mobile phones, tablets, laptops, desktops and televisions – not to mention smart displays – it’s no longer surprising to have several screen-based devices in your home, making the classic television a harder proposition than ever. So how does a TV maker compete in such a flooded market?

We spoke to the Kevin Wang, CEO of Chinese electronics brand TCL Multimedia, about the challenges facing TV makers today – even for one like TCL, which recently became the second-largest TV manufacturer in the world by units shipped.

Wang, who has held the chief executive position since 2017, admitted concern on the growth of the TV market, and the need to keep up amidst intense competition to get TVs into people’s homes:

“The whole market has big growth now. So you need big innovation… We have 8K coming, all on bigger screens, and a lot more panels [being produced].

“When I was a boy, I only had a 29-inch CRT. 29 inches was a big deal! But 20 years later, it’s a totally different experience.”

TCL's X10 QLED starts at a massive 75-inch size (Image Credit: TCL)

With so many devices competing for viewers’ attention – we only have so many eyes, after all – it’s only natural that televisions have had to aggressively target their core proposition: offering a larger and more cinematic viewing experience than the other screens that you own.

Whereas 40-inch TVs used to be seen as market-leading (let alone the 29-inch CRTs of Wang’s childhood) buyers today are largely opting for 55-inch TVs, with 65-inch TVs being the fastest growing size category. Even larger than that, the 75-inch televisions out there are appearing more and more, even if the compact homes of Europe and the UK are somewhat resistant to the trend.

Wang himself says he needs a TV to be “as big as possible”, and prefers watching on an 85-inch television – something we assume isn’t too hard to get hold of when you run one of the world’s largest TV makers.

But it’s clear that televisions have had to fight furiously against the tide of smaller-screen media – what with all those distracting social media apps and ‘friends’ – with Wang saying the products available today have to compensate by being “much, much more beautiful than five years ago.”

The need to improve visual performance to compete with smartphone screens is a sentiment echoed by Jiangyue Wang, PR Manager for TCL Electronics Europe – who added that the picture processing in TCL's latest televisions utilizes "the same color and effect to make a selfie look better, or more pretty."

Kevin Wang: “In China, a lot of customers have a TV, but they don’t have much time to watch TV... They’re just too busy on their phones.”

If you can't beat 'em, phone 'em

TCL subsidiary CSOT manufactures AMOLED panels for both Samsung and Oppo smartphones (Image Credit: TechRadar)

The comments are even more interesting in the runup to TCL’s first own-brand smartphone. While TCL technically manufactures mobile screens through its subsidiary CSOT, it has yet to release a smartphone model under its own name.

While Wang states that TV will remain "our major business", it makes sense to leverage its current manufacturing facilities to diversify the products under the TCL brand – adding the smartphone to a host of new audio and lifestyle ranges including headphones, soundbars, and even smart mirrors and toothbrushes.

The mobile market isn't easy to enter, though, with even Apple reporting smaller iPhone sales YoY amidst fierce competition. But TCL's hand in smartphone production should help somewhat.

While details are currently scant, we expect the model to land before the year is out, around September or October. Release in Europe is confirmed, but not whether that will include the UK. We’re told by a TCL spokesperson that it will be “high quality”, but TCL’s aggressive pricing makes us think it won't be a model to break the bank.

We’ll be sure to keep you updated when we know more on pricing, specs, and where exactly we can expect the smartphone to land.

  • TCL 2019: every television coming from the TV make this year
Categories: Tech News

Nintendo E3 2019: every game shown, teased and played at the show

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:50

Nintendo had a very strong showing at E3 2019 – somehow without even being at the expo. Thanks to its hugely popular Nintendo Direct livestreams, the house of Mario has managed to continue gripping gamers and gaming press alike with its joyful and nostalgic roster of titles – and this year it really knocked it out of the park.

Two years into the Nintendo Switch's lifespan, there are still massive mainline franchises pulling out the stops. We may not have got more details about the rumored Switch console upgrades coming later in the year, but there was still plenty for us to chew on: fantastic-looking new games, significant updates to existing favorites, smart ports and remakes, as well as at least one bombshell sequel.

So what did Nintendo have on show? We've collated all of the most exciting game trailers and new announcements below – from Luigi's Mansion 3 and Pokemon Sword and Shield to a whole load of Zelda titles in the works. 

There's plenty we didn't see, to be far: no sign of the delayed Metroid Prime 4, or the soon-to-be-released Mario Maker 2. But for an expo that largely exists to create hype around new and upcoming releases, we're certainly excited about what we saw.

An (unnamed) Zelda: Breath of the Wild sequel

It was the final mic-drop moment of Nintendo’s E3 live stream, but what a moment it was. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild isn’t getting more DLC – it’s getting a whole new sequel.

At this stage, there’s no name or release date to go on (we'll just have to call it The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2 for now), just a momentary clip instead. It showed Zelda and Link exploring beneath Hyrule Castle, before encountering a resurrected warrior foe – potentially an undead Gannondorf. The camera cuts to a view of Hyrule Castle from a distant location. There’s a ground-shaking quake, Hyrule Castle is engulfed in dust. And that’s it.

Very much looking to be in keeping with the new Zelda formula laid down by Breath of the Wild, this could be this generation’s Majora’s Mask.

Luigi’s Mansion 3

You may not be afraid of no ghost, but Luigi still is. We got an extended look at Luigi's Mansion 3 during the Nintendo livestream, which introduced us to a few new mechanics for the game. Namely, it’s looking like it’ll be a much more kinetic outing for the scaredy-cat plumber, who will be able to use his ghost-catching vacuum cleaner thing to slam spectors against walls, while also doing an area-of-effect air blast. On the floor at E3 we got to play through tons of content from the trailer (seen below) and made it to our first boss battle with the King Ghost. 

There’s also a new multiplayer mode announced for the game called ScareScraper, letting you compete for ghost-hunting prowess against your buddies, as well as a co-op mode that introduces a new character called “Gooigi”. Imagine a Flubber-fied version of Luigi, and you’re there, with the green gooey version of Luigi able to walk on spikes and squeeze through fences like a friendly T-1000 terminator. He’ll also be the secondary character couch co-op players get to play as. 

Sadly, there’s still no firm release date for Luigi’s Mansion 3 beyond “2019”. We’ll keep you posted.

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening 

We knew the remake of the GameBoy classic, Link’s Awakening, was going to be at E3 2019 but we didn't know how much fun we'd have with it. In a 15-minute demo with the game we were able to get our trusty sword from the beach, trudge through the mysterious forest and battle the first dungeon's mini-boss, Rolling Bones. 

Still keeping to that top-down style that the series was once so famous for (but with a new, modernised, Pixar-like art style), Link's Awakening for Nintendo Switch has now been revealed to have a build-your-own dungeon mode. Drag-and-drop tiles will let you build new challenges within the game – here’s hoping there’s an online element so that you can share them with your friends.

The Witcher 3 for Nintendo Switch

Someone had better send a demon hunter to Nintendo HQ – there must be some sort of dark magic being cast in order to make The Witcher 3 run on the Nintendo Switch. But monster hunter Geralt is indeed headed to the hybrid console, both in its docked and on-to-go handheld modes.

It’s the complete edition of the game, including all its expansion packs, and while the lengthy, engrossing adventure is perfect for mobile play-anywhere sessions, we’re still stumped as to how they’re going to make it work on relatively underpowered hardware. We can’t wait to see it in action for ourselves.

Pokémon Sword and Shield

We’ve seen a lot about Pokémon Sword and Shield, which is coming to Nintendo Switch November 15, 2019. The hype is high, the release date is soon, but Nintendo doesn’t have much more to show off than it did during its Sword and Shield-dedicated Nintendo Direct presentation released a week before E3 2019.

Our demo at E3 gave us a taste of the Galar region that players will be exploring, and specifically showed off the vaunted ‘Dynamax’ feature that temporarily evolves your Pokémon to colossal size and power. We took on the Water Gym Leader Nessa in a huge arena in front of cheering crowds using an oversized Grookie and, in the end of the demo, got out first badge.

The only thing missing from that demo was a look at the legendary Pokémon that give this generation its name, Zacian (sword) and Zamazenta (shield). But there's always a chance Nintendo will put out a demo before the game's launch in November.

Panzer Dragoon

Panzer Dragoon originally came out for the Sega Saturn in 1995, which tells you how iconic the game has become as the only title from that doomed console to be remembered so fondly. The game has been completely remade for a Switch release later in 2019.

The original Panzer Dragoon perched the player on the back of a dragon and gave them a gun. It’s a rail shooter on a dragon. Need we say more? Okay, the game didn’t just make its bones on then-novel 3D gameplay - its vibrant world and lore captured players’ imaginations, too. We knew the game was being remade by Polish publisher Forever Entertainment, but didn’t know the Switch would be included in its release plans.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

The Marvel's Avengers game from Square Enix made plenty of waves, sure, but Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: the Black Order deserves plenty of attention too. You’ll be able to play as one of countless characters from across the rich Marvel universe in an interesting-looking action RPG. Plus, we got to see Magneto wielding an Infinity Stone, and we can’t wait to see how that pans out. 

Luckily, we only have to wait until July 19 to get our hands on it... not that it stopped us from playing it at E3 2019. In a short demo three of our editors were able to team up, taking control of Wolverine, Captain America and Storm, while battling through Hand forces in Hell's Kitchen. 

We didn't get to see the complete list of characters coming to the game, but if you’re a fan of non-Avengers Marvel lineups like the Fantastic Four and the X-Men, keep an eye out for the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order season pass that will have tons of cool characters.

Banjo-Kazooie and Dragon Quest's Hero

Some of the more surprising faces were those added to the roster for Super Smash Bros Ultimate, the Switch entry for Nintendo's iconic fighting franchise that came out last year. There's been a steady drip-feed of additional Smash Bros DLC content with new characters like Piranha Plant and Persona 5's Joker joining the fray – though Nintendo has now revealed the next two fighters for the coming content packs. 

The first is Hero! You know, Hero? The (technically unnamed) protagonist from the recent Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age will be slashing his way onto Smash Bros stages later this summer, with a nifty trailer showing off some serious swordplay – and three alternative skins that let you play as the lead characters from Dragon Quest III, Dragon Quest IV, and Dragon Quest VII.

The other is Rare mascot Banjo-Kazooie, who first appeared on the Nintendo 64 back in 1998, and has been at the top of fan's lists to add to the game, alongside the likes of Dragonball's Goku or Crash Bandicoot (we're still holding out hope for the others).

Banjo-Kazooie will be available to download – with additional soundtracks and stages for the game – in Autumn 2019. As a fighter, they're sure to add a whole load of vertical strategy with that bird strapped to Banjo's back.

Animal Crossing New Horizons

Our first gameplay footage of Animal Crossing: New Horizons shows the villager farming and crafting new furniture – something that has never been an aspect of the main Animal Crossing games. Some of these features look like they’re lifted from Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, while other aspects are completely new for the series. 

The setup for the game, as was revealed by the trailer, is that Tom Nook is now chartering vacation packages to a deserted island which you, as the villager, must explore and cultivate into a thriving community. It’s a neat spin on the classic formula, and one that we’ll hear more about before it comes out on March 20, 2020.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

This one’s a match made in heaven for Nintendo’s portable machine. Ni no Kuni is, in our humble opinion, one of the most underrated JRPGs of the last decade. 

With art direction helped along by some of the Studio Ghibli team, it combines beautiful anime visuals with a Pokemon-like battle system that has you training up companion monsters for turn-based battles. It’s also got an absolutely heart wrenching story. It’s a long and fairytale-like adventure, making it perfectly suited for on-the-go play.

Doom Eternal

The upcoming latest edition in the Doom series has been confirmed to be making its way to Nintendo Switch, meaning you can transverse the hellscape while on your work commute. A truly terrifying thought.

Unfortunately we don’t know exactly when we’ll be seeing the Doomslayer making his way to Switch - seeing as Doom Eternal doesn’t actually have a release date yet - but we do know it’ll be later this year.

While violent first person shooters don’t exactly have the charm factor that Nintendo is known for, the most recent Doom game went down a treat on Switch and we’re expecting Eternal to do the same. Who said the Nintendo Switch was just for kids?

Alien Isolation

Nintendo’s not known for its horror titles either, but it’s getting one of the best ever made in the shape of a port of Alien Isolation.

Based on the classic sci-fi franchise, you play as Ellen Ripley’s daughter as she’s hunted down by a lone xenomorph aboard an abandoned space station. It’s more survival-horror than action, where hiding and holding your breath is a better bet than going in all guns blazing. And, with the Nintendo Switch being a hybrid handheld, you can bring the game on the toilet to play in case you get so scared that you… well. You get the picture.

Dauntless

Dauntless officially launched in May 2019 with a bang, drawing millions of players to the free-to-play monster hunting game. Sure, it seems to lift a lot from Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise, but at least F2P makes it accessible to fans who can’t stomach the high price tag of a new game - and lets their friends try it at no cost.

Dauntless exists in a world torn asunder by a cataclysm that releases gigantic monsters, Behemoths, that the players must hunt and destroy. Like Fortnite before it, Dauntless allows cross-platform play, so expect to link up with your buddies on WIndows, PS4 and Xbox One when the game launches on Switch later in 2019.

Collection of Mana

If you're after some RPG nostalgia on Switch, Nintendo has you covered. The Collection of Mana released in Japan back in 2017, bundling a trilogy of iconic games from the Mana series – and is now available to download from the Switch eShop across the world.

That includes Final Fantasy Adventure (Game Boy, 1991) and its sequel Secret of Mana (SNES, 1993) – as well as the third game in the series, Trials of Mana (Super Famicom, 1995) that until now has never been released outside of Japan. See the trailer below for some wonderful pixel action.

  • E3 2019 is the biggest gaming event of the year. TechRadar is reporting live from LA, telling you all about the biggest announcements of the week, from epic game trailers to shocking release date reveals. Follow our expert analysis of the keynotes and what we see on the E3 show floor.
Categories: Tech News

Prime Day will struggle to match this PlayStation Plus discount from Amazon

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:23

Gamers won't need to wait for Amazon Prime Day to find fantastic savings on PlayStation Plus memberships. For a limited time, Amazon is offering a $20 discount on a 12-month PlayStation Plus membership. This is the best price we've found and a great time to stock up and play your favorite PS games.

A PlayStation Plus membership is perfect for gamers that enjoy playing with other members and like to experience the hottest new games. The online gaming subscription service is for PlayStation gaming consoles and includes exclusive discounts and free monthly games. The membership is required for the PlayStation 4 if you want to play multiplayer games online too. The PS Plus also gives you access to 100GB of storage so you'll be able to upload your saved games to the cloud and transfer them to other consoles or have them backed up somewhere safe.

This killer deal from Amazon gets you a whole year of PlayStation Plus membership perks for the low price of just $39.99. We don't think Amazon will have this promotion for much longer so you should take advantage while you can.

Shop other offers with the cheapest PlayStation Plus prices for memberships and see the the best PS4 prices, bundles, and deals that are currently available.

Categories: Tech News

Qualcomm readies for a 5G future

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:19

With 5G now poised for release across the UK, the use cases for the next-generation networks are beginning to be realised in full flow.

Qualcomm has been heavily involved in 5G for many years, with its role as probably the world’s leading chipmaker putting it in pole position to take advantage of the technology within the mobile industry as a whole.

But with all the hyperbole surrounding the benefits 5G can have, what does a company with this unique viewpoint see as the immediate effects of the new networks?

Get connected

“What is striking from our point of view right now (is that) you see a full set of commercial, or very near, commercial smartphones all running on 5G,” says Ben Timmons, Qualcomm's European director of business development.

“We’ve talked about 5G for so long,...and now it's here, working.”

Timmons notes that Qualcomm started work on 5G in 2006, and is unsurprisingly upbeat about the benefits the new technology can bring, offering the potential to unlock high-speed internet access for billions of people around the world.

With only the highest-price handsets supporting 5G at launch, the onus will soon be on hardware firms such as Qualcomm to provide the kit to make such connectivity available to the mass market.

“This is about democratisation,” he says, “bringing 5G quickly down the tiers in smartphones, improving the efficiency and the cost base of the devices.”

“That's what we do...we're trying to enable other people. And in the end, it's our partners, not customers, the OEMs, the operators, the infrastructure vendors, they're the people are actually implementing it in the end and putting it in the hands of consumer.”

Timmons notes that Qualcomm’s OEM partnerships are "critical" to the future of 5G and to the company as a whole. “They have to build the devices that exploit the underlying capabilities that we're offering,” he notes, “it's no good doing all our work in the chip if there aren't customers out there that can exploit this.”

“This is the real 5G transformation....we've got things that are going to help make the new Industrial Revolution,” he says.

(Image credit: Shutterstock.com)

IoT future

 Speaking of industry, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Industry 4.0 are set to be one of the key areas benefiting from the incredible improvement in connectivity that 5G will bring. Smart manufacturing, working on the go and smart cities are all areas that will receive a significant boost from 5G, and this could be excellent news for the likes of Qualcomm.

As Timmons says of the IoT, “"I continue to think that, over time, this is the most important transformation 5G will bring.”

“There is an extraordinary complexity of the way in which communications and networking technology is used in pretty much any enterprise application that you can think of, even at the kind of straightforward level of a way that would that would impact people like us.”

He also notes the potential that has to make, “massive productivity gains in complex industry,” with increased use of robotics a key use case in providing huge savings across the board.

“There's a lot to do in the whole industrial area where we've got the technology in place now and then we've got to start to build the product and the relationships and sort out the processes”

“With 5G, you can connect millions of devices, you can deliver extremely high bandwidth, extremely low latency, with enormous efficiency,” he adds. “It's a huge step.”

Categories: Tech News

Best Amazon Prime movies: the best films to stream in June 2019

Latest Tech News - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:12

Amazon Prime may be best known for its original TV series these days, including Good Omens and The Tick, but it also adds a huge selection of new movies each and every week to suit a range of tastes. 

UPDATE: Amazon has recently added a number of new-ish releases to its library, including the remake of spooky (and not to mention gory) horror flick Suspiria, as well as darkly funny biopic I, Tonya and John Wick: Chapter 2 - just in time for a rewatch before you hit the cinema to see the next instalment: John Wick: Parabellum. 

Although Amazon Prime's top rival Netflix also focuses on original content and new movies, Amazon does a pretty good job of keeping its movie streaming catalogue loaded up with classics, fun action flicks and some award-winning films too.

The problem is you often have to go hunting for the best options, as they don't always show up straight away in Amazon's Recently Added Movies section.

Having said that, there are also lots of films in Amazon's library that are boring, mediocre and really, really rubbish. The cream is there, but there's a lot to dig through first.

That’s why we've done all the hard work for you. We've scoured all of the movies on offer for anything and everything that's worth watching on Amazon Prime.

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

We've collected together more than 100 movies that you can stream on Amazon Video (that’s the movies and TV streaming section of Amazon Prime) for free right now. Expect a mixture of recent releases and timeless classics, as well as films that are suitable for the whole family.

We all know that streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video can turn an occasional movie-watching hobby into hours (and hours and hours) of endlessly flicking through film options. It's also worth bearing in mind that for every award-winning work of art on Amazon Video, there's lots of B-movie trash that isn't even worth putting on to ease away a Sunday morning hangover.

Although we do love the odd guilty pleasure now and again, in this list we’ve created you'll only find the best picks. So let's dive straight in.

End of Watch

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Before David Ayer was assembling a Suicide Squad and creating one of the most abysmal comic-book movies ever, he made this highly original film that’s shot documentary style and focuses on a couple of cops whose job it is to patrol South Central LA and keep the peace. Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña are superb as the pair who risk life and limb to do their job. Given Ayer grew up on streets not dissimilar to what’s being portrayed in the movie, End of Watch is a searing and honest portrayal of an area of America few would dare venture.

Free Fire

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Set in Boston in the late '70s, Free Fire is a fantastic, inventive film that mostly takes place in a warehouse. Because of the limited scenario, it's thanks to Ben Wheatley's effortless and stylish direction and the superb ensemble cast - and lots and lots of gun play - that Free Fire never becomes boring.

Hanna

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Heat

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Heat is widely regarded as Michael Mann’s best film. And it also has the classic combo of Robert De Niro and Al Pacino at the height of their acting powers.
De Niro’s Neil McCauley is planning one last heist before retirement and Pacino’s Lieutenant Hanna has to stop him. A story of two flawed alpha males on each side of the law, their relationship is one of both enmity and respect. This isn’t your average by-the-numbers crime thriller.

The Hurt Locker

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Kathryn Bigelow is one of the best action directors around, so it’s no surprise that The Hurt Locker won her the Best Director award at the Oscars - the first time a women won the accolade. What is surprising, though, is just how nuanced the film is. Given it’s about disposing of bombs, the tension is in the quiet moments, rather than when the explosions start. 

John Wick: Chapter 2

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Logan Lucky

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Brothers Jimmy, played by Channing Tatum, and Clyde, played by Adam Driver, plan to carry out an elaborate robbery during the Charlotte Motor Speedway. It's an action-packed comedy with a stellar cast, alongside Driver and Tatum, Daniel Craig, Hilary Swank, Katie Holmes and Sebastian Stan all star. Steven Soderbergh reportedly came out of retirement in order to direct and distribute Logan Lucky, if you wanted anymore proof it's definitely worth a watch.

The Imitation Game

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

I. Tonya

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Molly's Game

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

A hard-hitting crime drama written and directed by Aaron Sorkin that's based on the true story of Molly Bloom (played by Jessica Chastain), an Olympic skier who ran an underground poker empire in Hollywood and the FBI investigation that's targeting her. 

The Illusionist

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

This dreamy, almost fairy-tale-like story follows a famous magician called Eisenheim who is based in early 1900s Vienna. He falls in love with a woman way out of his league when it comes to class and money and when she's engaged to a prince, he does everything he can to sabotage their plans.   

Watch on Amazon Prime Video.

Mud

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

This American drama is about two boys who go exploring along the Mississippi and find a boat. Just as they're about to start planning what to do with it, they realise someone is living inside. It's a mysterious, heart-warming drama starring Reese Witherspoon and Matthew McConaughey that's got great reviews and is definitely worth a watch if you've not seen it before.

The Wrestler

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

This touching and (and at times heart-breaking) movie from Darren Aronofsky is about a wrestler (played by Mickey Rourke) who despite being too old and ill for the ring tries to cling onto the success he had decades before while trying to rebuild his relationship with his daughter.

Last Flag Flying

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Based on Darryl Ponicsan's book of the same name, Last Flag Flying is Richard Linklater's latest movie starring Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne. That stellar line-up play three veterans who reunite after one of their sons is killed in the Iraq War. 

Borg Vs McEnroe 

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Perhaps one of the most iconic tennis matches of all time has been immortalized in this drama from director Janus Metz Pedersen starring Sverrir Gudnason as Björn Borg and Shia LaBeouf as John McEnroe. This isn't just about the tennis though, as the drama follows how the legendary duel at Wimbledon affected the men's lives too.

The Lost City of Z

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Largely overlooked upon its release, The Lost City of Z is in fact a fascinating tale, with Charlie Hunnam playing real-life British explorer Percy Fawcett. At the turn of the 20th century he ventured into the heart of the Amazon, and discovered an unknown, advanced civilisation. It become a great passion, understanding this culture, with Fawcett returning multiple times to demystify a people previously considered "savages", before Fawcett himself mysteriously disappeared. If you're adverse to films starring Robert Pattinson (co-starring here) after his Twilight days, don't let that stop you from giving this wonderful film a go.

Silence

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Martin Scorsese has been in the movie business long enough to do whatever he wants. Silence is his him at his most uncompromising. A difficult sell after the fleeting fun that was Wolf of Wall Street, Silence is a meditative, hard-to-watch movie about pilgrimage. Starring Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver as two monks who go on a journey to find a place where Christians are put to extremes to prove their love for god. It's a trying movie and one that takes the utmost concentration. It's not quite the masterpiece Scorsese was seeking, given he's been mulling the story for decades but it's a worthy, if meandering watch.

Manchester By The Sea

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It's hard not to write about Manchester By The Sea without stepping into spoiler territory so here's the broad strokes: Casey Affleck stars as a Boston janitor who has to take care of his brother's son after his brother dies. What ensues is a heartbreaking movie. Its backdrop is a snowy Manchester in Massachusetts, something that echoes the characters in the movie. This isn't a film that wraps up neatly in a bow in the end - it's much more closer to fractured, complicated business that is real life.

Room

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Brie Larson stars in this heartfelt study of human endurance. Larson is Ma. She has been imprisoned in a small shed for years, having to bring up her little boy Jack (a great Jacob Tremblay) in isolation. The film follows their story to the bittersweet end. For a film that’s mostly shot within the confines of a small room, director Lenny Abrahamson manages to eek out pathos in the mundane but it’s the acting of the two leads that’s the real reason to watch the heart-rending movie.

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

John LeCarre’s superb spy novel is given a decent adaptation, thanks to Let Me In director Tomas Alfredson’s measured, careful take on the source material. Gary Oldman is superb as George Smiley, the veteran spy catcher brought out of retirement to find an Russian mole in the ranks of the MI6. Even if you know who the mole is, the way the film unfurls this information is utterly captivating.

The King's Speech

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Another Oscar winner seemingly grown in a petri dish for the sole purpose to win awards, The King's Speech is one man's struggle to get over a speech impediment and subsequent fear of public speech - it just so happens this man is also the king of England. For all its faults, it tugs on the right strings and is very watchable.

Elysium

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

From the mind of Neill Blomkamp of District 9 fame, comes Elysium, a sci-fi movie set in 2154. The world is divided into two, the rich live on a fancy man-made space station and the poor are left to fend for themselves in dire conditions on Earth. It may not have been as well-received as District 9, but it's a fascinating take on the future with plenty of thrilling action - even if the story doesn't hold up so well in places.

Inception

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Looper

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

One of the more interesting sci-fi movies of the past decade and a huge reason why director Rian Johnson got the Star Wars: Episode VIII gig. Looper focuses on the timey wimey tale of a bunch of hitmen, whose job it is to send people from the future into the past to kill them. Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are superb in the film, which manages to take complex ideas and boil them down into an entertaining popcorn thriller.

Attack The Block

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Star Wars alumni John Boyega got his first break on this great UK indie, as did newly instated Doctor Who Jodie Whittaker. Attack The Block is the first movie by Joe Cornish - of Adam and Joe fame - and it’s an absolute corker. Aliens have come to earth to wreak havoc and it’s down to a South London gang to make sure their neighbourhood doesn’t become a disaster zone. Full of warm wit and fantastic humour - not to mention some startling special effects - the movie mashes together a number of genres together and has a whole lot of fun doing it.

Source Code

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

You wait years for a sci-fi movie that’s influenced by Groundhog Day to come along and then two appear at once. Yes, Source Code has a similar time-repeating plot to Edge of Tomorrow but it’s less bombastic and more thoughtful in its approach. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as the soldier who only has eight minutes to stop a bomber on a busy train, before time resets and he has to do the whole thing again. Duncan Jones does well in the director seat, managing to make a plot device that could grow old rather quick really work.

Birth

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

A creepy metaphysical love story that follows Anna (played by Nicole Kidman), a woman convinced her husband has been re-incarnated into the body of a 10-year-old boy. What follows is a series of strange and unnerving events, but do we ever really find out the truth?

Prisoners

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

The Hunt

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

The Hunt is a Danish movie starring Mads Mikkelsen. It's set in a small village and follows the story of a man (played by Mikkelsen) who becomes the target of mass hysteria when he's been wrongfully accused of sexually abusing a child. 

Nightcrawler

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Terminal

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

This noir thriller is about two assassins who realise they're part of an evil mastermind's plans. It didn't receive great reviews, but Robbie's acting and the aesthetic of the movie have been praised, so if you're a fan of hers then it might be worth a lazy Sunday afternoon watch.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer

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Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos or The Lobster and Dogtooth fame, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is an intense psychological horror movie based on the Greek play Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides. It follows the story of a successful cardiac surgeon (played by Colin Farrell) who befriends a mysterious teen. As you'd expect from a psychological horror from Lanthimos, this is hardly an easy Sunday afternoon watch. You've been warned.

The Handmaiden

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Describe a movie as erotic and it usually conjures up something that's utterly not sexy like 50 Shades of Grey or the Lego Movie. The Handmaiden, though, is erotic and shimmers as a result. Directed by South Korean's finest, Park Chan-wook, the movie is masterful in its suspense and when sex is shown - and it's a lot of the time - it's used to bolster the characters and the story, rather than for pure titillation. The Handmaiden is yet another new release that's headed to Amazon Prime Video - we're not sure why it keeps getting all these 'just released on Blu-ray' movies but we're happy that it's happening.

Chloe

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Director Atom Egoyan is not one to take the conventional route when telling his tales - and Chloe is no different. Starring  Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried and Liam Neeson, it’s about a seemingly normal couple who resort to using a sex worker to test the trust in their relationship. This turns out to be a very bad decision. The film is a remake of the superior French drama Nathalie but it’s a decent thriller that manages to walk the line between gratuity and maturity well.

The Place Beyond The Pines

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

This is most definitely a movie of two halves - in that something significant happens midway through that changes both the pace and tone of the movie considerably. For some, the shift is too much but it really does work. Ryan Gosling plays Luke, a fantastic stunt motorcyclist turned bank robber who’s trying to do the best for his family. Eva Mendes is his estranged partner, while Bradley Cooper crops up as Avery, a good cop that’s trying to make the best out of some terrible situations. Brilliantly acted and expertly told, The Place Beyond The Pines is a powerful movie watching experience.

Submarine

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Richard Ayoade has proved over two feature films that he is a director to watch. While The Double was a fascinating Gilliam-esque comedy thriller, his first movie was much more in keeping with the French New Wave, despite being set in the depths of Wales. It’s set in 1980s Swansea and focuses on the relationship between a teenage loner and a girl who seems to share his passion for doom and gloom. Craig Roberts is fantastic as the loner - a role that won him plaudits and the starring role in Amazon Prime’s fantastic TV show Red Oaks.

22 Jump Street

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Toni Erdmann

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

This is a superb movie. It's so good that a US remake has already been announced. Toni Erdmann is about an estranged father trying to reconnect with his daughter in a rather bizarre way: by pretending to be her boss's life coach.  It's a surreal movie, packed with embarrassing moments and some surprising empathy.

Four Lions

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It’s a shame that Chris Morris doesn’t do more stuff as when his new projects come along they always change the game in some way. Four Lions finds humour in one of the most serious subjects: terrorism. For a film shot in 2010, it’s still surprisingly current. It follows docu-style British jihadists who are trying to conjure up a terror plot. The problem is, they’re idiots. Starring, among others, Riz Ahmed, Four Lions is funny, frank and endlessly controversial. But it’s done in such a way that you can’t help but admire the movie.

In The Loop

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

It’s a shame that The Thick Of It never hit the big screen. What with Brexit madness and the UK government a mess of contradictions, a movie starring Malcolm Tucker swearing them all into shape is sorely needed. In The Loop is the closest thing we’ve got. It’s a strange movie as it takes strands from The Thick Of It and ports it to the US. This means the film is a hybrid of The Thick of It and the US show Veep. What we do get though is Malcolm Tucker (a never-bettered Peter Capaldi), full of vim and vigor, spinning his way through the choppy waters that is US politics. It’s not perfect, but as satires go it’s one of the most searing.

The Lego Batman Movie

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Your Name

A surprise 2016 hit that saw a rare mainstream overseas success for Japanese anime, Your Name is a supernatural high-school-romance-come-body-swap disaster movie. Yep – there's a lot going on here, as a teenage boy and girl find themselves inhabiting each other's bodies, slowly unravelling the mystery surrounding their condition – and that of an awful disaster. J J Abrams of Lost and Star Wars fame is said to be looking into making a live-action version, such was the success of the animation – but it'll take something to top the magnificent original.

Paddington 2

Paddington 2 joins a select roster of movies where the sequel is better than the original. Paddington 2 is an absolute joy. It continues the adventures of Paddington, adding in a superb performance by Hugh Grant as one of the sweetest villains around and takes the story of the little bear to unexpected emotional heights.

The Red Turtle

Will the magic ever dim at Studio Ghibli? The lyrical animation powerhouse delivers yet again with The Red Turtle, the story of a man shipwrecked on a remote island, inhabited just by turtles, crabs and other critters. What appears a simple story slowly peels back to reveal hidden depths, with Studio Ghibli's inimitable attention to detail in animation remaining the industry benchmark.

Son of Rambow

One of the most endearing coming-of-age movies you are likely to see, Son of Rambow is about two children growing up in the ’80s who are obsessed with Rambo. So much, they decide to make their own version of the movie with the help of their friends. What ensues is a fun, inventive film about the magic of childhood friendship and imagination. Directed by music video supremo Garth Jennings, Son of Rambow is a trio of love letters: one to the Eighties, one to home videos and the other to the cartoon violence that was born out of an era where Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Willis ruled the box office.

Lost In Translation

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Lost in Translation is a superb, dreamlike movie that wonderfully captures feeling of alienation and loneliness you can feel in a city you don’t belong in. The city in question is Tokyo, the lonely people are Bill Murray as an ageing actor and Scarlett Johansson as a college graduate left to her own devices by her photographer husband. The chemistry between Murray and Johansson is electric, both endearing and hilarious, as is the soundtrack and the way the film slowly creeps up on you in an wonderful way.

True Romance

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

It's not your standard love story, but True Romance stands up as one of the greatest in Hollywood history. Take two unlikely lovers, a bunch of crooks, drugs, guns and arguably the best script Quentin Tarantino has ever worked on, and you've got a cult classic if ever there was one.

When comic book nerd Elvis falls in love with Alabama, the beau of a big time drug dealing pimp, the two have to race across country in an attempt to avoid the mob from whom they've accidentally stolen a suitcase of cocaine from. With violence around every corner, will they ever be free to just enjoy each other's company?

The Big Sick

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Loosely based of the real lives of the film's stars, Emily V Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani play an interracial couple who have to deal with Emily becoming ill and how cultural differences affect the couple. The film has been nominated for Best Original Screenplay at the Academy Awards 2018, but it's already on Amazon Prime ahead of this year's big ceremony.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

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Woody Allen managed to assemble a cracking ensemble for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. The film is a fun look at friends Vicky Cristina (Rebecca Hall) and Cristina (Scarlett Johansson) as they travel to Barcelona and meet a mysterious artist, played by Javier Bardem. It’s all sex and sultriness until his unhinged ex-wife appears. She’s played by Penelope Cruz with such magnetism that you are drawn to her and kind of forget the rest of the characters. It’s not Allen at his best but even his ‘good enough’ films are a cut above most.

Blue Valentine

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There’s a deep, maddening love portrayed in Blue Valentine that is so powerful it ends up being destructive. With that in mind, this isn’t the movie to put on if you don’t want you and your loved one to question your own relationship. It’s a brutal, raw movie that focuses on the relationship between married couple Dean and Cindy, played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams respectively. They are two people in love, pushed apart by circumstance. The story flits back and forth in time, so with each tender moment you get anguish. Powerful stuff.

Carol

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Todd Haynes is one of the world's most fascinating directors, who loves to mine different eras for inspiration. While he courted the ’70s with Velvet Goldmine and I’m Not There, it is perhaps the ’50s where he has managed to use the tensions of the era to create superb character dramas. Carol is just that, a romantic tale between two women - Rooney Mara is the clerk that falls in love with Cate Blanchett’s character who is unhappy in a marriage of convenience. The anxieties and problems Haynes highlights in his earlier movie Safe are back with Carol. In this movie, though, everything has been given a more sumptuous sheen.

Knight of Cups

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Thank goodness we live in an era where Terrence Malick is back and making movies on a regular basis. Knight of Cups is as dreamlike and fractured as you have come to expect from the revered director. As with all his movies, it’s clear he shot way more footage and didn’t decide on what film he was making until he hit the edit suite, but that’s part of its charm. Here we see Christian Bale as Rick, a writer who flits between Vegas and LA with six different women. Vegas is perfect Territory for Malick, a desert of neon suits his filmmaking style. While the supporting cast Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman and Freida Pinto all add gravitas to the film.

Dark Days

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This documentary may have gained prominence thanks to its DJ Shadow soundtrack, but it’s the subject matter that makes Dark Days such a must watch. Shot and directed by Marc Singer, Dark Days shines a light on those who live in underground tunnels under New York. Criminally, this was Singer’s only foray into documentary filmmaking but at least he created a classic.

Gimme Danger

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Jim Jarmusch uses music in his movies to fine effect, so it makes complete sense that he is the one to helm a documentary about The Stooges and their enigmatic frontman, Iggy Pop. The Stooges may not have hit the heights of, say, The Rolling Stones but they’re an important piece of the rock puzzle. This doc does well to uncover what made the band tick, complete with recent talking heads with members of the band.

Hereditary

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Let The Right One In

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

This 2008 film manages to be an atmospheric creep-fest and a romance movie at the same time. It’s about a 12-year-old boy who strikes up a friendship with a vampire girl he meets in the snowy suburbs of Blackeburg in Stockholm. The less said about the film the better, because it really is unusual, beautiful and a treat for the eyes. The movie is in Swedish, with English subtitles, and although it was later remade for English-speaking audiences, it didn’t quite have the same magic as this original. 

The Woman In Black

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Daniel Radcliffe has done well to rid himself of his Harry Potter persona and it's all thanks to choosing roles in movies such as Women In Black. Based on the celebrated novel of the same name and in turn the stage play, the film is a gothic delight, harking back to the good ol' days when horror was implied rather than rammed down a watcher's throat. Well, until the final act at least. Prepare to feel your spine tingle.

Kill List

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Director Ben Wheatley adds the right amount of realism and menace to Kill List - a film that is never quite what it seems. On the face of it, it’s a kitchen sink drama about a hitman and his latest assignment to kill three people but as the story unravels so does the hitman’s life (played in earnest by the brilliant Neil Maskell). It flirts at being a family drama, teases you that it’s a crime saga then hits you with the most relentless horror that you’ll be watching the end behind your hands. Great stuff.

Suspiria

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Train To Busan

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

South Korea has slowly but surely marked itself out as a country that's producing some fantastic filmmakers. Interestingly, two of the best movies from South Korean directors of recent times have been based on trains - Joon-ho Bong's Snowpiercer (which criminally never got a UK release) and Sang-ho Yeon’s Train To Busan.
Train To Busan is a brilliant zombie horror movie. By having most of the action take place on a train, we see what it's like when a zombie epidemic takes hold in close confines, complete with cloying claustrophobia. It's part action movie, part love story, all character study, showing that a situation such as a freaking zombie outbreak can bring out the best and the very worst in people.

Hell House LLC

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

Well this was unexpected. The name Hell House LLC doesn't exactly scream 'must watch' but despite its rather Grindhouse-esque title, this is a brilliant slice of horror. The plot is simple: a group of friends who create haunted house experiences for Halloween find a house to convert that's seemingly filled with real-life ghosts. The movie is their footage spliced together, with police reports and the like. The found footage genre is rather stagnant now but Hell House manages to breathe new life into it, mustering up some genuine scares that will have even the most hardened horror fans watching from behind their fingers. Its final scenes don't quite match what went before it (or make much sense) but this is one of the best horror films to come out in years.

Pontypool

Image Credit: Amazon Prime

A low-budget chiller that takes place in a small town in Ontario, Canada (bet you can’t guess its name) and follows the exploits of a talk radio team who are reporting on strange goings on in the town. It’s essentially a movie about zombies but distilled through the eyes of a small, yet vocal, group of people. Its budget may well be small but its ambition is big and that’s what makes Pontypool such a fun watch.

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