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Jaguar I-PACE: pushed to Lands End and back again, all with an app

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 12:00

Want to drive your car all the way to the tip of the country on electricity alone? There's an app for that. Of course, what we didn't count on was a hay bale fire in the road, no charger at our destination and doing it all without a mirror. The electric adventure is very much here and now.

The plan was to take the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE from London, over 300 miles, to Lands End in Cornwall. Can that be done quickly using fast chargers? Can you just hop in and go without a tap-to-pay electric charging station card? And can the car actually do all that while you stay comfortable? These were a few of the questions that pushed us to test this car to its long range limits.

When we got in the car, we thought this electric Jag would banish fuel cars to the past, but we didn't expect to never look back literally. But as we adjusted the rear view mirror it dropped out of the car – no looking back at all then. It spent the rest of the journey in the glove box.

While this was a minor fault, it planted the seed of doubt about an already relatively new type of car. We expected the range meter in an electric car to be inaccurate but now obsessed over always having plenty of spare charge and, it turns out, with good reason.

Image credit: Luke Edwards

The electric adventure plan

So we got the Polar Instant app, which helps you use the BP-owned Chargemaster UK network of juice-up stations. The app has a handy map that lets you filter by charger type. So, based on the trip distance, the plan was to stop near Stonehenge to top up at the Holiday Inn, Salisbury. That was about a 75-mile journey and we started out near fully charged, which the car said was 235 miles. On arrival we had 58% charge left in the car (nearer the 100-mile mark).

The goal was to see if you could buy an electric car like this, but still go on long trips where no distance would be too far. With a claimed I-PACE range of up to 292 miles on a charge of the 90kW battery, this seems possible.

The UK has plenty of charging stations dotted along main roads and these can all be easily found using the Zap-Map app. But we wanted to use fast chargers only, to take advantage of the I-PACE 150kW CCS port that claims to give you up to 168 miles of charge in one hour. And we wanted to do this using only an app to pay.

The issue was that on our route down to the south west there are only regular 50kW CCS chargers. In fact in all the UK we could only find one or two 150kW stations up round Leeds way. 

Image credit: Luke Edwards

Is it easy to charge the I-PACE long range?

Thanks to the wonder of the Polar Instant app, we found the charging station easily, and the detail was so great that even finding the space where the charging bays were located was a doddle. We opened the app, plugged in the 50kW CCS charger cable, which is attached to the unit much like a petrol station, then waited for it to start. And waited. And needed to pee, so hopped and waited.

In the end we had to call the number on the unit, wait on hold for 10 minutes (hopping) then speak to someone who helpful reset the charging station. After a long reboot we were up and charging which meant a run into the hotel to use the loo, grab a hot drink and check some emails. An hour later we emerged to a nearly fully charged car with well over 250 miles in the battery tank and a 150 mile journey ahead to Bovey Castle in Dartmoor.

Image credit: Luke Edwards

Unexpected power drains

After a steady journey past Stonehenge and onward into the depths of Devon a lorry full of hay caught light in front. The hay fell and the road was ablaze. The road was shut behind and in front as fire engines and support crews arrived. It was clear this was going to be a long hold up. In all it took a good three hours. Ideal time to test the rear seats, which were comfy to lie down across and look out of the clear roof to the skies above. Comfy enough, it turns out, to sleep on too. The car was left off to save battery as it was now on 148 miles. Luckily there was no need for the heater to be running.

That time allowed for some number-crunching which revealed the car was off by about 10 miles per 100 miles on the range. There was no air con on, or lights, only music. The roads were quite undulating to be fair but even at the speed limit the range should be a bit more accurate than that. Perhaps the car was erring on the side of caution and saying it was depleting faster than it actually was.

Either way, the Bovey Castle destination only had a 3kW charger, so it would take a good overnight 12 -hour charge to get back to full, so keeping some in the tank seemed prudent in case a dash to a nearby charging station was needed. We arrived with just 81 miles left in the tank and a charger problem.

Image credit: Luke Edwards

The long night

After a three-hour delay, one hour charge wait and several hours on the road, the site of the Bovey Castle hotel – as you wind up a country lane with a golf course backdrop – could not be more welcome. The stylings of the former castle fitted perfectly to compliment the I-PACE. In fact, it was amazing how an old building and an ultra modern electric car could look so perfect next to each other. What wasn't so perfect was the charger – it was broken.

We had to settle for a wall socket, which the car reckoned would take 27 hours to get to a full charge. We had a good 14 hours overnight, so plugged it in and hoped for the best. The hotel kindly put on a massage at its Elan Spa and a stunning three-course dinner at the triple AA Rosette winning Great Western restaurant, which was all well needed after that journey. When investing in an electric car, bear in mind there may be more costs needed to help make the experience more pleasurable.

That said, this was a great way to travel, it makes you plan ahead a bit more and slow down your deadlines so you're not in a rush. All in all that makes for an ideal holiday mood on arrival, which helps enhance the enjoyment of the hotel more. In fact an early morning stroll around the stunning grounds was something that happened where it might not usually, since this meant a bit more charging time before setting off. With 170 miles in the batteries, it was time to head south.

The end of the country

To get from Dartmoor to Lands End directly is a 111-mile journey.  Despite a spare 79 miles in the car, previous experience taught that doing it in one was a risk. Also there are no high speed Polar Instant charging stations down at the bottom of Cornwall, so the range needed to be enough to get there and a bit of the way back. A stop at the iconic Headland Hotel (as featured the movie The Witches, from the Roald Dahl book) was needed for a high-speed charge. That wasn't far out of the way and meant a nice stroll along Fistral beach was an option.

Once again the need to charge meant spending a bit more time on the beach to make sure the car had even more juice. The result was a forced relaxing into the situation which ultimately leaves you feeling more calm when you get back on the road. It really is a great way to drive long-range – it feels like a pleasure and all part of the trip rather than a chore to be gotten out of the way. The irony of a new type of car reviving an old style of driving was not lost.

The roads to Lands End were hilly, rain-filled and busy. Despite a lot of stop-starting, the destination was finally reached and with plenty of charge to spare. It's funny though how things like headlights, wipers, heaters and music all become extra battery drains in your mind when you're driving to a tight range.

Image credit: Luke Edwards

Cheat charge

The mission was to do this journey all on Polar Instant high-speed chargers only, plus hotel. Since it was camping the second night, that wasn't an option. Going back to Newquay was a faff, so instead the car was left in the Penzance Sainsbury's, which offers free charging on a 3kW station. That meant a long slow charge to get enough power for the trip back up to a charger the other side of Dartmoor. 

As a result the day was spent walking to St Michael's Mount and working in a great coffee shop with a fantastic view. None of that would have happened if it wasn't for the need to stop and charge. Technically, the car was filling up as we were working and actually making money. What car do you know that makes you money to fill up?

Image credit: Luke Edwards

The last leg

The final run meant a stop at a farm shop just past Exeter before pushing on to Salisbury for a late night charge and a sandwich there. Technically, in terms of range, the journey could be done without that stop but after realising there is a lot of uphill climbing on the way back it was a good choice to plan a stop. It also meant discovering a great little farm shop with mini diggers for the kids to play in. Plus it meant chatting to another charging station user and feeling a human connection you're not likely to get at a regular petrol station.

When home the worry of running out of power was gone and the car could be pushed a bit. It's fast. Really fast. Like 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds fast. All that torque kicking in at once flings you back into your seat and the handling, unlike a certain American all-electric car, is actually really good for the size of the vehicle. In short it's a lot of fun to drive, more so than most petrol cars, in fact.

So you can do long journeys in an electric car and you can do them for cheap. The charging station costs a few pounds (or dollars) each time and you do have to plan more time for stops, but the stops are good. They make you relax, enjoy the trip and – it turns out – learn to enjoy life more by slowing down. But, in this case, that's slowing down without the need to sacrifice super speed bursts when you want them.

Categories: Tech News

Google knows what you want: lots more ads in its apps

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:48

Google has announced something that'll bring a sigh of annoyance to anyone who uses its mobile apps: a raft of new and exciting ads.

According to The Verge, these will include 'gallery' ads, which you can scroll through (think the shopping ads on Facebook that present all kinds of products you didn't know you didn't want), ads on Google's mobile homepage, and ads interspersed between news stories in the Discover feed. 

YouTube will get some attention too, with new ads slipped in between recommended videos.

These new ads are only destined for mobile screens and are only being rolled out in a few locations for the time being, but if you're one of the 'lucky' few chosen for testing, you'll definitely notice.

May I have your attention please...

So far, much of Google's advertising is text-based, but the company says gallery ads will become widespread later this year.

It's in keeping with the more visual nature of Google search results, which now include thumbnails of movie posters, game covers, actors and musicians when you search for something related.

Unlike Facebook's gallery ads, Google's efforts are also likely to be relevant to your interests, rather than strange recommendations for water bottles, cat carriers and rain ponchos. So that's a plus.

Categories: Tech News

The best SIM only deal will finally be coming to an end tonight

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:17

Update: This deal was meant to end tomorrow on Friday but it looks like we'll now be seeing it end tonight...very sneaky.

Well, it's finally being taken away from us. There was a glimmer of hope that Three's incredible unlimited data SIM only deal would become a permanent offer. But alas, they've broken our hearts by announcing the end of what we're happy to label 'the best SIM only deal ever' this Friday.

But, there's no point mourning its end, now is the time to jump on in and grab yourself unlimited data from Three. At a price of just £20 a month, Three has undercut the nearest competition by a fiver each and every month.

We can save you the time and effort of scrolling through the best SIM only deals and tell you, nothing will touch this in terms of value - especially if you're looking for lots of data. 

You can see this offer in full below, but like we said above, a hurried attitude might be needed here. With the deal disappearing on Friday, May 17 there really isn't much time to get it.  

Three's best ever SIM only deal in full: Why go for a Three SIM only deal?

If you haven't already been won over by this amazing offer then you'll be excited to hear that Three doesn't shy away from offering up some extra incentives as well. Whether that be free exclusive prizes or extra roaming. You can see all of best parts of a Three SIM only deal down below.

  • Wuntu - Exclusive offers and freebies with Three's rewards app
  • Go Roam - Roaming abilities in 71 worldwide countries at no extra cost
  • Travel Swagger - Get travel upgrades with Easyjet with bag drop and early boarding

Probably the only downside is that you have to commit to a whole year if you go for this offer. At £240 for an entire 12 months of all-you-can-eat data, texts and calls, we think it's still well worthwhile. 

But if you're a commitment-phobe who wants more flexibility to cancel, then check out Smarty's £25 per month unlimited data SIM that only makes you commit to 30 days at a time. On top of that, Smarty is offering a free month to TechRadar readers, meaning your first two months will only cost £12.50 each. 

Categories: Tech News

Epic Games Store sale could steal Steam’s thunder with big discounts like 45% off Metro Exodus

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 11:05

The so-called Epic Mega Sale has just begun on Epic’s online games store, and whatever your views on this sometimes controversial retail outlet, it can’t be denied that this is indeed a pretty epic event in terms of the discounts available.

The sale runs from now until June 13, and has interesting timing in terms of stealing thunder from Steam’s summer sale, which we’ve just heard is rumored to start on June 25.

So Epic is getting in there first, with the Mega Sale offering discounts of up to 75%. That’s not all, though, because on top of whatever discount the publisher is offering, Epic is also cutting a further £10 (or $10) off all games, providing they cost more than £13.99 (or $14.99). Note that this doesn’t apply to purchases which aren’t full games, such as DLC or in-game items.

Epic also clarifies that those who have pre-ordered an unreleased game will get the aforementioned £10 (or $10) discount automatically applied as a refund, so they don’t have to cancel their pre-order, and re-purchase the game.

Also, if you’ve just bought a game from Epic’s store, from May 2 through to May 15, and it is now on sale, fear not as you will get the current reduced price (and any difference in what you paid extra refunded). For the exact details, you can check out the FAQ here.

As you can see, Epic certainly seems to be in a generous mood, and that’s reinforced by the stepping up of its free game giveaways, with one game freebie to be made available every week during the sale (as opposed to two weeks). The first free offering will be Stories Untold, a novel sounding experimental adventure from No Code. (Although currently at the time of writing, World of Goo is free, with Stories Untold still marked as ‘coming soon’).

So, which are the best games on sale right now? Here are the top titles with chunky discounts that caught our eye.

Of course, don’t forget that you get £10 (or $10) off almost any game you buy (with the aforementioned caveats). So if you want to pre-order Borderlands 3, for example, even though publisher 2K obviously hasn’t discounted that title, you get 20% off courtesy of Epic.

And with cheaper titles like Shakedown Hawaii, even though it only has the Epic discount applied, that means the game is reduced by 66% overall, and you can get the 2D GTA-alike for just five crisp notes.

Categories: Tech News

How to watch Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6 stream online from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 09:14

Well, after 8 seasons spanning almost decade, Game of Thrones is finally coming to an end. Yes, this is a sad moment for everyone but much like Jon trying to find the good in Daenerys, we're looking to the positives and tracking down the best locations to watch season 8, episode 6 of Game of Thrones.

Season 8 has been an interesting medley of action-packed battles, big emotions and a little bit of controversy (don't worry...you won't find any spoilers here) but with it all coming to an end, this is the one episode of Game of Thrones you cannot miss.

After a somewhat...fiery episode last weekend (you can see how to watch Game of Thrones episode 5 here), there is a lot to wrap up here so expect your eyes to be glued to the screen when you watch Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6.

If the past three episodes have been anything to go by, we're expecting Game of Thrones to go out with a rather huge bang. 

This is great news for those ready to see it all come to an end in the most dramatic kind of ways, not so much for those not ready to say goodbye. So with the episode airing this weekend, this is how to watch Game of Thrones, season 8, episode 6 on catch up. 

After 8 seasons, 2 days, 23 hours and 17 minutes worth of content and a plethora of memorable moments, it has all led to this final episode. You can find streaming options for English speaking countries below.  

Watch Game of Thrones episode 6: stream from outside your country

Want to watch Game of Thrones season 8, episode 6 in (deep breath) the US, UK, Canada, Australia, India, UAE or New Zealand? We've found all of your best options and listed them below.

But, if you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstances where you've booked a holiday over the air time of the big finale, then things get a bit more difficult. For those unlucky fans, all hope isn't lost yet. You will find that watching it won't be an option thanks to geo-blocking. This means that broadcasters do tend to try and stop you from watching in other countries, putting up some virtual roadblocks.

But, thanks to a little bit of working around, there is still a way to catch all the episodes while you're away. By using a VPN, you will still be able to catch up on the show by changing your IP address to a location back where you live, allowing you to watch that important first episode (assuming that doesn't breach any TS&Cs, of course) - and that's without finding some dodgy download or a grainy stream on Reddit.

Watch Game of Thrones episode 6 online in the USA

Watch Game of Thrones episode 6 online in the UK

Watch Game of Thrones episode 6 online in Canada

Watch Game of Thrones episode 6 online in Australia

Watch Game of Thrones episode 6 online in New Zealand

Watch Game of Thrones episode 6 online in India

Watch Game of Thrones episode 6 online in the UAE

Categories: Tech News

New Amazon Fire 7 tablet offers more power for the same low price

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 09:00

Amazon’s cheapest tablet has just had an upgrade, as the company has announced that it’s launching a new version of the Amazon Fire 7 and that it’s charging the same price as for the old model, making it just £49.99 (presumably $49.99 but that’s to be confirmed).

The slate packs in twice as much storage as the old model, with 16GB or 32GB built in (along with a microSD card slot), and it has a faster 1.3GHz quad-core chipset. It also gives you hands-free access to Alexa, and has an upgraded 2MP front-facing camera.

Most of the rest of the specs and features sound similar to its predecessor. There’s a 7-inch screen, a 2MP rear camera, and a number of Amazon-exclusive features, such as X-Ray and Family Library. Interestingly, the battery life is listed as up to 7 hours, which is actually one hour less than the old model.

The new Amazon Fire 7 will be available in Black, Twilight Blue, Plum and Sage shades, and is available to pre-order from today (May 16), with the slate shipping from June 6.

But this isn’t the only new tablet from Amazon, as the company has also announced a new version of the Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition. This is also the same price as the old model, at £99.99 (likely $99.99), and it too has a faster chipset than the old model.

It additionally has a 7-inch screen, 16GB of storage, a kid-proof case with an adjustable stand, a microSD card slot, and parental controls. It also comes with a one-year subscription to Amazon Fire for Kids Unlimited, which provides access to child-friendly books, videos, apps, games and audiobooks.

The new Amazon Fire 7 Kids Edition is also available to pre-order from today (May 16), hits stores on June 6, and it comes in Blue, Pink and Purple colors.

Categories: Tech News

Wilder vs Breazeale live stream: how to watch the boxing online from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 08:39

US boxer Deontay Wilder is currently champion as the holder of the WBC heavyweight title. He's also one of the most intimidating boxers on the Earth right now. Unperturbed, Dominic Breazeale aims to knock Wilder off his throne and grab his belt in the process. And you can get a Wilder vs Breazeale live stream wherever you are using this handy guide.

Deontay "The Bronze Bomber" Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KOs), 33-year-old heavyweight champion, will put his impressive record on the line against powerhouse challenger 33-year-old Dominic "Trouble" Breazeale (20-1, 18 KOs). As you can see from those stats these two are both knock-out specialists which should make for a really high power pairing.

While Wilder is undefeated as belt holder, Breazeale has lost one of his 21 fights in a seventh-round knockout by unified world heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua in 2016. So while Wilder is one of the fiercest fighters out there, Breazeale is no bum either.

Basically put...don't miss this match if you're after some intense heavyweight boxing action. We'll do our part by telling you how to get a Wilder vs Breazeale live stream from absolutely anywhere in the world.

How to watch the Wilder vs Breazeale fight from outside your country

If you want to watch the boxing outside of your country you may find that the content is geo-restricted. That could mean that, despite having access when on home turf, you are blocked while away. Fret not, that can be rectified with the use of a clever piece of software called a VPN.

How to watch Wilder vs Breazeale: US streaming

How to watch Wilder vs Breazeale fight in the UK

How to live stream Wilder vs Breazeale in Australia

Categories: Tech News

Your best broadband, phone and TV deal just got even easier to find thanks to Ofcom

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 08:02

It's about to get easier to get the ultimate deals on broadband, TV and phone offerings, following new rules announced by Ofcom. A whopping 20 million people could benefit and one of those might be you.

The new requirements mean that broadband, TV and phone providers must send important information out to customers when their contracts are coming to an end. They must also then continue to send details on a regular basis after that.

Around one in seven people don't know if they're still tied to a contract after it has ended. Essentially the new rules help those people, to not only realise this but also to see how much they could save by trying a new deal. For example, deals that offer half price line rental for the first six months, before hiking up, will be more expensive in the long run past a contract's end.

Ofcom has given providers nine months to get their systems in order to support this, meaning the new notifications will start going out from 15 February 2020.

New alerts include details on when the contract ends, the price paid before, changes to the service, the price paid at the end of the contract, notice period information and the best deals and prices available to new customers. 

It couldn't be easier to save money and improve your broadband, TV or phone provision and we have all the options laid out for you to pick from in our best broadband deals and best mobile phone deals guides.

See more:

Categories: Tech News

PGA Championship live stream: how to watch 2019 US PGA golf online from anywhere

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 08:00

Golf's second major tournament of the season is here - and if it's even halfway as extraordinary as the Masters was, we're in for a treat. The PGA Championship has been brought forward to a pre-Memorial Day weekend slot, excitement is at fever pitch, and you can get a 2019 PGA Championship live stream no matter where you are.

It's rare to enter a golf tournament with so many narratives intertwining. Tiger Woods remains the name on everybody's lips at this year's PGA Championship after last month's astonishing Masters victory. Can he continue his remarkable resurgence with a win at the Bethpage Black Course in New York? He won the US Open at this very venue back in 2002, so the omens are good for TIger.

Brooks Koepka capped an amazing 2018 with a PGA Championship win last year, while world number 1 Dustin Johnson is well overdue a major win with still only one to his name. But then the PGA Championship has been the tournament where some of recent history's most promising golfers have finally broken their major duck - with Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Jason Day making up three of the last four victors. Could somebody like Rickie Fowler or Jon Rahm repeat history?

Bethpage is looking like a handsome home for the 101st PGA Championship and there are plenty of places you can watch all the action, with some very easy-to-access FREE online options in there, too. Keep reading to see how to get a PGA Championship live stream from any corner of the Earth.

Live stream golf for free at PGA.com

Well here's a stroke of good news (pun very much intended) - the official tournament website, PGA.com, is live streaming some of the best action.

But, it's by no means comprehensive. The schedule currently says that it will be showing a live stream of featured groups only, as well as holes 16 through 18. Nice if you're only interested in following the likes of Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and Justin Rose, but not so good if you want full and proper coverage.

Furthermore, it seems as though the free PGA Championship live stream just isn't available in certain regions, such as the UK, Australia, South-East Asia and big parts of Europe.

Aside from the US PGA live stream, we have more US watching options below.

How to get a PGA Championship live stream from outside your country

Assuming you want better golf coverage than the limited US PGA live stream as described above, you can scroll down to discover how to watch from the UK, US, Canada and Australia.

But if you're on your holiday or abroad with work, then things become a little trickier to watch. That's because host broadcasters apply geo-blocks on their coverage. You need to find a way to bypass these blocks and watch as if you were sat back in your home country.

How to watch the US PGA golf in the US

There are number of options you can watch the US PGA golf if you're stateside:

- The live stream from PGA.com as mentioned above. Although you'll be limited to what the website wants to show you. That's looking very limited, unfortunately.

- TNT and CBS have grabbed the rights in the US this year. Cable-based TNT has all four rounds, but only the early action of the crucial third and fourth rounds. CBS will provide coverage on its website of the third and fourth round - including the concluding action - which you can also watch if you sign up to a trial of its All Access service. Great news for golf fans who don't want to shell out for a subscription.

- If you're outside the US this weekend but want to access one of the above options, then you can use a VPN service to effectively transport your computer, phone or tablet's IP back to a US location.

And they  aren't you're only options either, with all of the top US-based TV streaming services all providing an alternative. Each one offers a free trial to get you started and has masses of other content and channels for you to enjoy if you subscribe: 

  • Hulu with Live TV $40 per month - Hulu with Live TV includes CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.
  • PlayStation Vue From $45 per month and the ideal choice for PS4 owners thanks to its access to the likes of ESPN, NBC, Fox, Disney and other essential networks. Crank up the price and you can add the likes of Showtime and HBO, too.
  • DirecTV Now $50 per month - DirecTV Now includes CBS, Fox, NBC, ESPN and for $5 extra you can add the NFL Network.
  • FuboTV $35 for the first month - FuboTV gives you the first month at a discounted rate but after that the price increases to $45 a month. The service includes CBS, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network but does not come with ESPN.
  • YouTubeTV $40 per month - YouTubeTV gives you access to CBS, Fox, NBC and ESPN.

How to watch the US PGA Championship live: UK stream

Live stream the 2019 PGA Championship action in Canada

How to get a US PGA Championship live stream in Australia

Categories: Tech News

The best iPhone XR deal just got even better thanks to a big price cut

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 07:48

In a world filled with £1,000+ phone price tags, saying that Apple makes some of the most expensive devices is an impressive - yet daunting - title to hold. But behind those hefty price tags are some of the world's best smartphones, which is why anytime there is a chance to grab iPhone deals at reduced prices, that is a opportunity well worth seizing.

Luckily, the stars seem to have aligned to not only offer you a reduced iPhone offer, but the price reduction just so happens to be on the best iPhone XR deal on the market. 

Before this price cut we would have already praised this as one of the best Apple contracts out there but now after a £50 price drop, we would tell you with absolute certainty that you won't see an iPhone XR deal like this again for a while.

You can see this top of the line mobile phone deal down below, as well as the rest of the best when it comes to price cuts on the iPhone XR. But we wouldn't wait around too long, you'll be kicking yourself if you miss these kind of prices.

This bargain slashed-price iPhone XR deal iPhone XR deals: the best of the rest
  • Still can't decide what to choose? Check out our best mobile phone deals to see all of your options across every major device.
Compare these tariffs to other iPhone XR deals:
Categories: Tech News

Adata claims crown of world's cheapest 1TB SSD with $86 offer

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 07:47

Pioneer’s reign as the cheapest per terabyte SSD didn’t last long as another storage manufacturer, Adata, is now selling the Ultimate SU650, a 0.96TB SSD, for $85.99 at popular online retailer, NewEgg, until Monday 20. Granted it is not a 1TB model like Pioneer’s but it has a cheaper per TB cost at $89.57, undercutting its rival by $3.42 (or 3.68%). Every little helps.

Like most drives within this price bracket, this is a SATA-3 DRAM-less internal drive that uses 3D NAND Flash memory with SLC caching and “advanced error correction” technologies. Adata quotes speeds of 520MBps and 450MBps on read and write respectively, which makes it a below average SSD but still far, far faster than most, if not all, hard drives.

Free software galore!

Every SU650 purchase qualifies for free downloads of ADATA SSD Toolbox and Migration Utility. The first one allows users to monitor and manage the SU650, with drive status, wear level, and lifespan information while the Migration Utility is especially helpful for users making the move from HDD to SSD, as it is designed for simple and quick backup and migration of the contents of entire drives, including the operating system.

A 2.5mm spacer is bundled for use in 9.5mm drive bays, allowing compatibility with virtually every laptop, desktop PC, and gaming console.

You can only buy five of these drives at a time. Note that they come with three year warranty and that you can buy them in the UK from CCL Computers for £79.99, which is roughly the same price when you remove UK Value Added Tax (VAT). 

Categories: Tech News

Lilium's 186mph airborne taxi takes to the air for a successful test flight

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 07:42

You're now one step closer to hailing a ride in a flying taxi. German startup Lilium has carried out a series of successful test flights, putting its automated, all-electric aircraft through its aerial paces.

So far the full-sized vehicle has only been shown taking off vertically, hovering and then landing, but Lilium hopes that eventually it will be able to whisk passengers to their destinations at up to 186mph, with a range of 186 miles on a single charge.

The craft takes off in a similar way to a helicopter, but it works very differently, with 36 engines built into four tilting wings, giving it a weirdly serrated appearance when seen from above.

It's also much quieter than a chopper, thanks to a ducted engine design that dissipates noise and minimizes vibration. No shouting to be heard over noisy rotors while you're soaring from point A to point B.

An uplifting experience

The 36 engines also mean that there's plenty of redundancy if one happens to fail, and there's a triple-redundant flight control too, and the jet is being built to standards set by the European Aviation Safety Agency, and the US Federal Aviation Authority.

You can check out the full-sized craft's test flight below (and judge for yourself whether you'd be willing to give it a shot instead of an Uber).

Source: The Verge

Categories: Tech News

Why is hospital security lagging behind banks?

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 07:30

A recent MIT study revealed that the healthcare sector “has lagged behind other industries in protecting its main stakeholder (ie, patients)”. 

One healthcare security professional highlighted the gap in a comment to the researchers lamenting that “When [I was] in banking, I would have had 25 employees at an organization of this size.”

Why is hospital security lagging behind other sectors such as banking? To answer this, it’s helpful to think about the basic cybersecurity methods used by banks:

On-site security: Inside a bank, the public can interact with a small number of highly-specialized machines like ATMs. More generalized computers are strictly for staff only and are never left unattended or unlocked.

Online security: banking was also an early leader in online access. Banking apps and websites often require strong passwords, secondary authentication, automatic log-outs and other security measures. 

Multi-factor authentication: Banks routinely require Two-Factor Authentication. The most obvious example of this is at an ATM which usually needs a bank card (something you have) and a PIN (something you know). For many transactions with bank tellers, photo ID (something you are) is required instead. 

Compare this with hospitals. 

Lax on-site security: Hospitals are full of quiet corners and empty offices. Nurse workstations can be left unattended but logged in when the nurses have to rush to deal with a patient emergency. A cyber-criminal may be able to find opportunities to access a hospital’s network via an unguarded wall socket or an unlocked workstation. The constant, 24-hour nature of a hospital makes some forms of security close to impossible; in one recent case, a malware researcher was able to access a radiology department after hours and connect a malicious device without being challenged. 

Chaotic online environment: Because healthcare is made up of interconnected providers from GPs and specialists to insurers and large medical centers, there’s a lot of different systems all exchanging patient medical records in different ways. These different systems and interoperability requirements create an enormous “attack surface” where hackers could exploit vulnerabilities and get access to private patient data.

Authentication woes: Hospitals are complicated environments, often with thousands of staff, patients and visitors. Hospitals have a wide variety of machines, which are often in use helping patients but without direct supervision. Some of these machines have no authentication at all; anyone can change their functionality. 

Image credit: Pixabay

Instant payday

Comparing the two, it’s pretty clear that banks have a more organized and systematic approach to security than hospitals, but the question becomes – why? 

One reason for this becomes clear when we imagine what motivates a cybercriminal to try and breach an organization’s security in the first place. 

When it comes to banks, it’s very obvious what criminals are after: money. Just as old-fashioned physical security in banks is primarily focused on preventing bank robberies, so too are bank cybersecurity solutions mainly concerned with preventing online heists. Stolen bank information could also be used for identity theft or blackmail, but those are less straightforward. 

With hospitals, there’s no instant payday from stealing medical data. The most immediate path to cash is to sell the stolen data on the darkweb or black market. The black market value of medical information is believed to be at an all-time high; one hacker told the MIT researchers that “a hospital record costs 20x more than [a] social security number”. 

Criminals can use this medical data like bank information for identity theft, or potentially blackmail if a patient has a medical condition that they don’t want revealed. Releasing private information about very high-profile people could be used to manipulate markets or for political gain. Alternatively, a hospital itself could be the target of blackmail or ransomware. Most worryingly, a cybersecurity attack on a hospital could disable or hijack medical equipment and harm patients. 

In all these cases, though, the financial reward is at least one step removed and the hacker must wait on their reward, leaving more time for law enforcement to catch up with them.

Importance of trust

Everyone understands what a bank robbery means, so bank customers, employees and management all immediately expect that a bank’s cybersecurity should match its physical security. For many people, the whole idea of a bank is as a place to keep money safe. Trust is their core business. 

On a deeper level, this trust underlies the whole banking system. Banks don’t have the cash to pay back every depositor; nevertheless, we trust in the bank that it will be able to pay out when we need it to. If that trust disappears, then a run on banks can cause the whole system to collapse. 

That deep level of trust also applies to hospitals and medical centers. As patients, we invest our trust in hospitals, allowing them to alter our bodies materially via drugs and surgery. We rarely understand how a particular diagnosis is made and why it requires a specific course of treatment. We have to put our trust in the doctors, nurses, tests and machines. 

For both institutions, if there isn’t trust, you’d never walk through their front doors. For banks, this trust relationship boils down to a matter of security: “will my money be secure?” For hospitals, it’s a matter of safety: “will I or my loved one be safe here?” 

Image Credit: Pixabay

Hospital security can no longer be ignored

In today’s world of advanced, networked devices, with the development of the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), safety and security are no longer distinct concerns; they are one and the same. An insecure respirator or infusion pump is a danger. 

Hospitals are inherently more difficult to secure than banks. Machines will always need to be left unattended while doctors and nurses treat patients. There will always be multiple categories of connected devices, secluded corridors and thousands of strange faces. 

Healthcare providers are quickly waking up to the need to protect their patients like banks protect their customers, keeping them both secure and safe. And it’s about time. How long can we really accept a situation where our hospitals, that protect our lives, are less secure than the banks that protect our money?

Safi Oranski, VP of Business Development and IoT Ambassador for CyberMDX

Categories: Tech News

Windows 10 cumulative update causes confusion by apparently installing itself twice

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 07:23

Some Windows 10 users have encountered a problem with Microsoft’s latest round of cumulative updates for the OS, specifically with KB4494441, which is an important update (more on that later) for those running the October 2018 Update.

The issue here, as highlighted by folks on Reddit, is that KB4494441 is installed, and then the update is installed again by Windows 10. Update history then indicates that there are two KB4494441 updates installed, the second of which has a number two in brackets at the end of it – KB4494441 (2).

While this doesn’t seem to make any odds and the update still works just fine, as reported by those experiencing the issue, it has unsurprisingly led to some confusion about exactly what’s going on with the double installation.

Microsoft hasn’t replied on Reddit or elsewhere with an official explanation that we’ve seen, but we did a little digging and noticed that the software giant has now provided further details on the Windows 10 Release Information page.

Multi-stage installation

Essentially, what’s happening is that the cumulative update is actually a multi-stage process that requires an initial installation, followed by a reboot, and a further installation (and another reboot).

This should just happen and be recorded as the installation of a single update, but there’s a bug which is causing Windows Update to report that KB4494441 has been installed twice, when in fact that isn’t the case.

There’s no harm in the glitch, save for the confusion it has caused – but it would have been nice if Microsoft had provided a clear official explanation with some visibility, rather than hiding it away in the middle of a convoluted Windows 10 info page.

As to the resolution of the problem, Microsoft comments: “No action is required on your part. The update installation may take longer and may require more than one restart, but will install successfully after all intermediate installation steps have completed.

“We are working on improving this update experience to ensure the Update history correctly reflects the installation of the latest cumulative update (LCU).”

In other words, a fix should be in the pipeline to ensure that Windows Update history simply reports this cumulative update as a single entity which has been installed.

We mentioned at the outset of this story that this is an important update, and that’s because it patches against what Microsoft describes as a “new subclass of speculative execution side-channel vulnerabilities” (like Meltdown and Spectre), and it also enables ‘Retpoline’ by default.

The latter is a fix designed to improve performance of Spectre variant 2 mitigations, meaning that your PC (hopefully) won’t be slowed down as much by said mitigations. So there are both important security and potential performance boosts in this cumulative update.

Via Windows Latest

Categories: Tech News

Why even small businesses need big data

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 06:30

Throughout the past few years, one key-word took over the digital revolution that has been going on for nearly three decades. That key-word is data. 

After years of focusing on processing speed and sophisticated protocols, companies realized that the most valuable asset in this digital age is actually user-generated data, and started restructuring their models accordingly to benefit from every single piece of information generated by every single user.

This strategy was first adopted by companies that are data-centered to begin with, like Google for example, but other major corporations rapidly followed suit by putting in place data-driven plans and trying to generate as much value as possible from the data at their disposal.

Birth of big data

The three main obstacles that prevented a data-centered ecosystem from emerging sooner were the high storage cost, the difficulty of processing large volumes of data, and the insufficiency of the user-generated data that companies have immediate access to.

But with giant tech firms dedicating enormous resources to the subject, these three obstacles were rapidly solved via the birth of big data. Thanks to achievements at both Google (the MapReduce paper) and Yahoo (the Hadoop project),  distributed storage using commodity hardware became a reality. Rapidly afterwards, distributed memory-based processing followed suit, announcing the start of a new era of this digital age: the data-driven era.

In the years that followed, a continuous exponential drop of data-storage costs accompanied by a continuous exponential rise of the amounts of data being generated on a daily basis meant that big data was the only path forward for major corporations. The open-source Hadoop ecosystem became a crowded space filled with promising technologies and aspiring startups working on big data products.

Yet, many small businesses that work with data still distance themselves from this world and its tools and still rely on trusted SQL-centered software. The reasons such companies might give when asked about their decision not to go into big data might be valid, but only if the question is asked back in 2011.

Image credit: Shutterstock

Why adopt big data now

We live in an era where data is not only getting more valuable by the minute, but also each minute more data is being produced than the one before. Deciding to stick with older technologies will simply delay your business's transition to big data, making it more complex and messy when it eventually happens.

Sure, the first few years were bumpy for big data. Many technologies were introduced as game-changers at the start of the decade but then failed to scale accordingly when put to the test in production environments. But twelve years after the first Hadoop release, the ecosystem matured enough to allow for a seamless transition to big data even for small businesses. 

The key advantages of the transition are the following:


This is the first reason that generated the need for big data in the first place. Putting in place a big data architecture means that your infrastructure will be able to scale with your business with no extra effort and it'll allow you to dedicate your resources to other needs on the long term instead of adapting your data infrastructure

Extended functionalities

After nearly a decade of development and improvement thanks to the efforts of the world's best talents, open-source big data technologies offer much more than what you get with old-school servers on every level. With a parallel-processing technology like Apache Spark you can work with your data in completely new ways and generate insights that you have no access to with old querying models. Additionally, with a tool like Apache Zeppelin you could have direct and immediate access to your data to query it in whatever way you like thanks to its interpreters, before visualizing the output immediately in the same notebook.


With distributed computing, you don't just do more, you do more in less time. And at this day and age, in-depth analysis of your data is an essential factor to thrive, and with big data you could extend the reach of your analysis while maintaining a near-real-time performance.

With these advantages in mind, sticking with pre-big data technologies becomes a pointless fight that simply prevents you from generating more value from your most valuable resource. Additionally, thanks to cloud-based services, you can adopt a big data architecture with no hardware hurdles. Going into big data has never been easier, so what are you waiting for?

Mahdi Karabiben, big data consultant at INVIVOO

Categories: Tech News

Valve's Steam Link app is now on iOS, one year after Apple rejected it

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 06:16

Valve's Steam Link app has finally landed on the App Store, meaning iOS users can finally beam their Valve-purchased PC games to play on their iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV.

Steam is still the leading marketplace for video games on PC, despite some fiery competition from the Epic Games Store – and the Steam Link app allows for a more flexible gaming experience that doesn't chain you to your PC monitor.

While Steam Link was already available on Android, its fate on iOS was uncertain for a long time, after Apple rejected Valve's bid to join the App Store last year. 

Apple cited "business conflicts" for the failed bid, likely due to Valve's plans to sell games direct through the app – something that could completely sidestep the roster of games in Apple's App Store and take a bite out of Apple's revenue.

Apple may also have been concerned about the effect on its incoming video games subscription service, Apple Arcade, which is launching in late 2019.

The Steam Link app may not be a cause for excitement for you if you don't play Steam games, or are already getting your fix through the App Store's roster of games, but we're always happy to see more ways for players to leverage their existing game library – so they won't have to purchase the same titles across different platforms.

Via Engadget

Categories: Tech News

Instagram is scrapping its Direct messaging app

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:37

Instagram will be closing the doors on its standalone messaging app, Direct, within the next month. 

A message confirming the planned closure is being displayed to users in the Direct for Instagram app, and was first spotted by social media industry commentator Matt Navarra in the Dutch version of the app, who posted the Tweet below:

If you use Direct for Instagram regularly and you're worried about losing your conversations, fear not; according to Cnet they're just "moving over to the dedicated Instagram app", where your direct messages would normally appear. 

A short lifespan

Instagram's standalone messaging app has been relatively short-lived, having only been launched in December 2017.

Much like Snapchat, the app opened your phone's camera upon launch, and
installing the app meant that your direct messaging inbox disappeared from the regular Instagram app and could only be accessed via Direct for Instagram.

So far Instagram hasn't responded to requests for comment, so we can only speculate as to why it's decided to cull the messaging app so early in its lifespan; perhaps users wanted all their Instagram-related activity to be in one app as opposed to two. 

Either way, Instagram's foray into the world of instant messaging hasn't been as successful as that of its parent company: Facebook's Messenger app had 1.3 billion users worldwide as of April 2019, coming second only to WhatsApp, which boasts 1.6 billion. 

Via Cnet

Categories: Tech News

Why machine learning could be the key to the future of gambling

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:30

The gaming market is changing at a rapid pace. With the shift to online and mobile gaming – and now the advent of new immersive technologies like augmented and virtual reality – operators face intense competition in terms of attracting customers, with ongoing innovation key to their success.

But in such an environment, new issues will arise and new solutions will need to be found.  Thanks primarily to the proliferation of internet-connected devices, operators need to be aware of how an abundance of accessibility can cause potential risks for some individuals.

In two areas specifically, Experian believes machine learning can help. Namely, the protection of minors and the identification of problem gamblers.

Protecting the youth

As most parents will be aware, teenagers nowadays have access to a host of internet connected devices, whether that’s their phone, laptop, or games console. All these devices have the potential for individuals to access games, and from an age protection point of view, this is a substantial concern. One in five adults play games on a mobile, while those aged between 16-34 are more likely than average to use devices for gaming as well.

Typically 18-24 year olds will have a very small data footprint, as they have little or no credit history. Machine learning can help identify minors who have fall into this ‘thin file’ category more readily, based on other alternative data points individuals may have.

Behavioural monitoring can also play a part in age verification. A common issue which many parents will be familiar with, is children using their ID, to gain access to services.

Thanks to machine learning models, and other tools – such as keystroke analysis – it is becoming possible to determine if the individual is behaving like you would expect those in their peer group would do.

For example, if a teenager steals their 45-year-old mother’s information, monitoring will be able to flag that they’re not behaving in a way like you’d expect. Then operators can ask for additional verification checks, to confirm their identity.

Image credit: Pexels

Protecting potential gambling addicts

Protecting vulnerable customers is something any responsible businesses can’t ignore. According to our research, nearly 9 million people are using credit to cover the cost of everyday living expenses, while 1.8 million are defined as being in persistent debt.

If you then consider that 11.5 million adults have less than £100 in savings – leaving them with very little in terms of a safety net to deal with an unexpected change in their circumstances – it’s clear that businesses need to account for vulnerable customers who could be financially distressed and experience affordability issues.

Using trended data models, operators can see data on the ability of individuals to afford products and services on an ongoing basis, giving them the opportunity to make more responsible decisions over their customers in terms of what they offer customers. 

Image credit: Pixabay

Using new technologies to improve gambling

With gaming now more ubiquitous and accessible than ever before, machine learning can provide greater assurance for both operators and customers alike, and steps are already being made. Experian’s affordability check for gaming sites, which launched earlier this year, shows how Open Banking technology can offer solutions to an industry that is operating in a constantly evolving landscape.

In the modern world, consumers are becoming increasingly conscientious about the type of businesses they deal with, expecting them to operate with ethical considerations at the heart of their decisions. Furthermore, it’s likely calls to implement greater verification checks will grow, if the industry comes under closer scrutiny from both regulators and the Government.

Operators can get ahead of the curve by embracing machine learning, ensuring they are fully prepared, if and when, any new possible regulation comes into force, while showing that they are doing what they can to act in a responsible manner.

Meanwhile, those that choose to ignore the benefits, risk their reputation being damaged, and being left behind by both their customers and the industry itself.

Micah Willbrand, Managing Director for Identity and Fraud at Experian UK&I

Categories: Tech News

Google kills Windows 10 on Chromebooks

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 05:00

It appears that Google has dropped its plans to allow Windows 10 to be installed alongside Chrome OS on Chromebooks.

The plans – known internally as Project Campfire – would let Chromebook owners install Windows 10 so that they could switch between Microsoft’s operating system and Chrome OS – the default operating system made by Google that ships with Chromebooks. The feature was often referred to as Alt OS – in reference to the ability to install an alternative operating system.

While that feature would have made Chromebooks even more versatile, an eagle-eyed member of Reddit spotted that a change to the Chromium Gerrit suggest that the Alt OS feature will be deprecated – which means it will not be worked on or added to Chrome OS.


Although Google never officially announced the feature, there will be many people who will be disappointed that it has been dropped.

The ability to install Windows 10 would have made Chromebooks even more useful, as you'd be able to run programs that aren’t supported on Google’s limited Chrome OS software.

However, it’s not entirely surprising that this feature has been dropped. Part of the appeal of Chromebooks is that they are lightweight affordable laptops with excellent battery lives – which means they usually come with low-powered components.

Chrome OS is built from the ground up to run on hardware like that, but Windows 10 is a lot more resource intensive, so would likely struggle. There’s a good chance that on many Chromebooks, using Windows 10 would have been a sluggish and annoying ordeal.

However, Microsoft is working on Windows Lite, which is a version of its operating system that’s designed for low powered devices. It would have been the perfect fit for Chromebooks, but with the Alt OS feature now dead, we may never see that happen.

Via About Chromebooks

Categories: Tech News

Samsung apparently has a plan to fix the Samsung Galaxy Fold

Latest Tech News - Thu, 05/16/2019 - 04:59

When reviewers were given the Samsung Galaxy Fold, it was quickly discovered that the foldable device has a durability problem – Samsung has since taken steps to cancel pre-orders for some customers, and the Galaxy Fold has no new release date in sight.

However, despite appearances to the contrary, it looks like Samsung has a plan to fix the Fold, according to a report.

The new report, from Yonhap News and based on information from industry officials, lists a few different changes Samsung is apparently making to the Samsung Galaxy Fold, and also suggests a possible release date as "next month" for the folding phone.

One of the aspects of the Samsung Galaxy Fold that broke for many reviewers was the hinge, when materials like dust, dirt and fluff got caught up in the mechanism. But according to the report Samsung is to reduce the size of the hinge so the pre-existing protective frame on the device is the right size to protect the part.

Many reviewers also found that peeling off the Samsung Galaxy Fold's screen protector broke the display, and it was later discovered that this wasn't a screen protector but part of the display itself.

Samsung is now apparently set to expand this plastic film so it tucks into the handset's frame, so that consumers won't confuse it for something they should remove.

Samsung's plan to introduce a wildly different form factor to mobile phones got off to a rocky start, but if it can fix these issues and recover with grace, the company may still lead the foldable phone revolution – unless more durability problems are discovered upon release.

Categories: Tech News