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With AI investments, Taser could use its body camera division for predictive policing

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

 After announcing that it would shift some of its emphasis away from non-lethal weapons to police body cameras, for a fleeting moment it felt like the company synonymous with sticks that electrocute people was showing an interest in police accountability. Analysis from the Intercept and a 2017 “Law Enforcement Technology Report” by Taser suggest that the reality might be more… Read More


Source: TechCrunch

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With the war far from over, privacy activists cautiously celebrate a battle won

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

 After the NSA’s surprise announcement that it would pull back on a contentious surveillance tactic, privacy advocates found themselves in a strange place in 2017: They’d actually won a thing. With a mix of cautious optimism and rightfully cynical pragmatism, the organizations and figures so often quietly waging a thankless war to protect the online privacy of American citizens… Read More


Source: TechCrunch

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Algorithmic accountability

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

 When Netflix recommends you watch “Grace and Frankie” after you’ve finished “Love,” an algorithm decided that would be the next logical thing for you to watch. And when Google shows you one search result ahead of another, an algorithm made a decision that one page was more important than the other. Oh, and when a photo app decides you’d look better with… Read More


Source: TechCrunch

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Gaming Bucket List: the moments every gamer has to experience before they die

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

Gamers are a divided group. You’ve got your fighting game fanatics and your PC strategy game enthusiasts, your first person shooter lovers, and your platformer junkies. 

But there are some moments that are capable of bringing together even the most disparate of gamers. Moments that are so classic, so iconic, that every self-respecting gamer should go out of their way to experience them. 

Here are the TechRadar editor’s top picks for what these moments should be.

This isn’t one we’ve actually done but for some reason we really want to. Animal Crossing isn’t a game that you have to settle into for hours to appreciate its charm – really you only have to play it for maybe 30 to 40 minutes a day to keep your town maintained and your virtual social life in order. It’s a low-but-frequent commitment game.

However, for some reason we’re inclined to binge-play it for a few weeks at a time and then abandon our sweet village to the ravages of time, weeds, and Tom Nook’s greed. When you eventually return you’re not exactly returning to a scene from Mad Max but things have usually deteriorated enough that the game feels like a slog rather than the delightful escape it should be. 

That’s why we want to set up one save where we actually log in and visit our town every day, enjoy the changing seasons and the various themed events that pop up the way we’re supposed to.

Emma Boyle – Staff Writer

Cold, Cold Mountain is one of the most enjoyable levels on Super Mario 64 and the Lil Lost Penguin quest is one of the most fun task star tasks in it. 

Tuxie is an adorable baby penguin and if you can manage to return him to his mother without having to deal with the emotionally-taxing scenario of dropping him off the mountain’s edge or dropping him you’ll get to enjoy one of the game’s most heart-warming moments in this otherwise chilly level. 

Emma Boyle – Staff Writer

Whether you’re doing it over a Wi-Fi connection today or with a physical trade cable back in the GameBoy Colour days, trading Pokemon with your real-life friends is a key part of the Pokemon experience and an oddly emotional one at that. You can of of course trade NPCs in the game and even trade with yourself over the different game generation but neither of these is quite the same as trading with someone in real-life. It borders on being a justifiably contractual affair. 

If it’s a Pokemon you’re particularly fond of, it’s akin to giving away a cherished pet and although you’re getting a new Pokemon in return it’s hard to see your friend taking over your position as trainer.

Just don’t be the easily-swayed 7 year old we may or may not have been and trade your level 85 Mew for your older friend’s much lower level Vulpix just because you love Vulpix so much. Those are the kind of mistakes that will stay with you.

Emma Boyle – Staff Writer

The goat puzzle in Broken Sword and the Shadow of the Templars is infamous for its simultaneous simplicity and complexity. That’s why we suggest that if you ever encounter it you should try and solve it without any help online or otherwise. Though you’re reaction to the solution will be ‘seriously? That’s it?’ you’ll still be extremely happy with yourself even if it was simply a matter of trial and error rather than actual logic.

Emma Boyle – Staff Writer

The training will be intense and you’ll have to work at it for hours, days, maybe even weeks depending on your levels of co-ordination but it’ll be worth it to perform the song you love most absolutely perfectly on expert level. There you’ll be, drenched in sweat like you’ve just done your first couch to 5K, hands shaking, allowing the hollow and empty cheers to fill your ears and you’ll think ‘right, never have to do that again.’

Emma Boyle – Staff Writer

The process of landing a person on the moon has been likened to trying to thread a needle from a mile away, and after having played Kerbal Space Program we’d be inclined to agree. When you first start the game, reaching the Mun (Kerbal’s version of our moon) seems like an impossible task. 

Slowly but surely however, after each failed mission you’ll end up closer and closer to your destination until eventually you manage to land a craft without burning up into a fireball. 

It’s a great moment…until you realise that there are nine whole other planets to reach. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

When games are frequently criticised for the amount of bloodshed and murder that goes on within them, it’s nice to see one series buck the trend. 

Starting with the second, it’s been possible to play through each of the Metal Gear Solid games without killing a single enemy. Instead you can either tranquilise them, knock them out, or, if you’re feeling especially bold, sneak past them entirely. 

You won’t get much for your efforts beyond a wink and a nod in the game’s post-credits stats, but the satisfaction will stay with you for months. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

When The Sims was first released in 2000 its titular characters were completely free from the curse of aging. Make a child Sim and it would remain a child forever, or make an adult and it would live eternally. 

This all changed in The Sims 2, where Sims would go through the entire aging process. 

But while it was always sad to see a Sim you created as an adult grow old and die, it felt far more special to see your first child progress through its terrible twos, into its awkward teenage phase, through a quarter-life and then mid-life crisis, and finally into its twilight years. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

Few games are as iconic as the original Super Mario Bros on the NES, and because the game laid the foundations of pretty much every modern platformer it’s hard not to feel like you’ve already played it. 

But there’s something to be said for going back to where it all started by playing through the seminal level for yourself to see where it all began. 

With Super Mario Bros having been re-released on pretty much every Nintendo system under the sun it’s not hard to find the hardware to play it on, but if you want the authentic experience it’s hard to fault the recently discontinued NES Mini for its authentic 80s gamepad. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

For a certain generation, Pokemon was an absolute cultural phenomenon.

But before the Pokemon cards, the anime, and the twenty movies, there were the original games, and the simple joy of building up a collection of pocket monsters. 

Everyone should experience the joy of catching a Pokemon at least once, the slight rock of the Poke-ball as the monster tries to escape, and the ensuing tense seconds where the game’s internal logic works out whether your catch has been successful or not. 

The whole process is over in moments, but it feels like minutes as you wait with your heart in your throat to see whether you’ve been successful. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

Every Legend of Zelda since A Link to the Past game contains a Master Sword, the mythical blade that is able to seal away evil within Hyrule. 

Almost all of the Zelda games qualify as classics which should be played in their entirety by any self-respecting gamer, but the act of retrieving the Master Sword is perhaps the most iconic moment in the games. 

As an aside, the famous quote “It’s dangerous to go alone! take this.” does not refer to the Master Sword since it is featured in the original Legend of Zelda, which did not include the specific sword. 

Fun times. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

‘Achievements’ were one of the more minor additions to the world of gaming introduced with the Xbox 360, but they’ve since become a staple of both the Xbox and PlayStation platforms (where they’re known as ‘Trophies’).

Achievements are awarded for the completion of a task in a game, from something as major as completing the main story, or as minor as using a certain weapon for the first time.

Something everyone should try at least once is to get all the achievements in a single game, a task which usually forces you to play it on its hardest difficulty, while also trying out all the features the game has to offer. 

At their most basic, achievements reward you for playing well, but when they get inventive, achievements can force you to play familiar games in new and inventive ways. 

Everyone should make the effort to get every achievement in at least one game to see what secrets they can find. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

In a world of generic space marines and bland everymen, BioShock’s steampunk adventure was a breath of fresh air when it first came out back in 2007. 

Part of its appeal was its impressive story, which blended engaging characters with one of the best twists in a game story since…well…ever. 

You know the scene. You fight your way through hordes of enemies to reach the inner sanctum of Rapture’s leader, Andrew Ryan. 

What happens next is special, and is something everyone should get to experience for themselves. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

Games can be full on. Rush forward, kill the enemies, solve the puzzle before a timer runs out, then stealthily make your way through an area while coming within an inch of being spotted. 

All of this makes Metal Gear Solid 3’s quietest moment, where you’re forced to spend several minutes climbing one massive ladder, all the more striking. 

There’s no way to skip the segment, and no way to speed it up. Instead you’re just left with the image of your protagonist, Snake, slowly climbing a ladder as the game’s Bond-inspired theme tune plays softly in the background. 

It’s probably one of the game’s more surreal moments (aside from that guy that shoots bees out of his mouth), but it’s definitely one not to miss.  

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is a game whose appeal is the way its entire map slowly unlocks like a delightfully intricate puzzle box. What starts out as a linear series of corridors soon expands into a massive labyrinth maze as your character gets the skills and abilities needed to traverse it. 

Then, halfway through the game, the whole concept is quite literally flipped on its head as the castle you’ve been exploring for a dozen hours turns upside down. 

It’s one of the most surprising moments in gaming but the effect is brilliant, and immediately forces you to relearn an environment you’ve slowly learned as well as the back of your hand. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

Progress is overrated. Sure, that slow-but-steady improvement is tantalising, but there’s something to be said for taking stock and appreciating what you have in that moment. 

SimCity is a game that embraces these moments. You’ll spend hours zoning residental areas, building up transport infrastructures and maintaining public services, but reach a certain point and your city will hum away like a well-oiled machine. 

Sure, you could immediately start planning the next set of improvements and expansions, but at a certain point you’d be missing the point. The payoff in SimCity is making a city that just works, at which point it becomes almost like a virtual fishtank for you to zoom right into and explore ad infinitum. 

Jon Porter – Home Technology UK Writer

The year is 1996. Your Playstation sits glistening in its muted grey beneath your modestly sized CRT TV and Crash Bandicoot has just launched. It’s a level like none before it. You play through the first seven – including seeing off the portly Papu Papu – and out of nowhere the game throws a curveball at you. 

That ball is Hog Wild. The squeal of the hog and you jump on, its frisky jumps over pits, fallen columns and shield natives, the ever-so-catchy music and the sheer panic of what to do the first time the level greats you. It’s a perfect cocktail of confusion, excitement and down-right good, old fashioned gameplay.

John McCann – Phones, Wearables & Tablets UK Editor

Doctor required in inflator room” – the trill, grating voice rings out on the tannoy through the corridors of your slap-dashed medical facility. 

Meanwhile a man patiently sits outside the GP’s office, waiting his turn to see the physician whose biography describes him as a ‘foolish risk-taker who couldn’t care less’ – but you hired him anyway…

It’s not like this poor chap has a choice, his head is the size of a beach ball and there’s only one remedy – a quick trip to the Inflator room. Zoom into the room to watch the action close up, as a hose is unceremoniously shoved into the mouth of the ill fellow, swiftly inflating his head further, until it explodes. Only to then re-flate it to a ‘normal’ size. Healthcare is fascinating.

John McCann – Phones, Wearables & Tablets UK Editor

You either love or hate FIFA. It’s an iconic gaming franchise, which admittedly is now ruled more by churning out money than actually making a fully fledged football simulation – but for one sweet moment in FIFA 97 and 98 it seemed EA Sports was onto something.

Enter, the indoor arena. This wasn’t your standard 11-a-side match on astro under a huge dome – oh no. This was proper indoor football, five players on each team, 6ft x 8ft goals, an insanely close penalty spot and a wooden floor.

You could score direct from kick off with the right amount of shot power thanks to a goalkeeper glitch which would see the ball roll embarrassingly under the foot of the hapless man between the sticks – but that wasn’t the charm here.

There was no office, the walls around the outside ruled out throw-ins and corners, which left you with an intense game of football pinball. It was by far the greatest FIFA stadium ever created, and it’s an absolute crime that it has not featured in a game since FIFA 98 Road to World Cup.

John McCann – Phones, Wearables & Tablets UK Editor

Dubbed ‘the biggest dick move in gaming’ by one YouTuber – an opinion I very much happen to agree with – stealing a star from someone in Mario Party is the ultimate kick in the balls.

Considering Mario Party is supposed to be a child-friendly digitized board game, it manages to harbour a unnerving amount of hostility, backstabbing and general ‘dickishness’ among its players.

The aim of the game is to collect the most stars, which are hard-earned through highly competitive mini-games and the tallying of many, many coins – all while trying to avoid the numerous pitfalls around the board. However, the ease at which Mario Party lets your challengers rob you of your hard-earned stars is so brutal we’re surprised there are no recorded star-stealing related murders.

But boy, does it feel good when you’re doing the stealing.

John McCann – Phones, Wearables & Tablets UK Editor

Yes, it might requires no skill, but the first time you enter Mexico in Red Dead Redemption is one of the most beautiful experiences in any video game. 

Riding a horse through some beautiful countryside, underscored by Jose Gozalez’s stunning song Far Away. Bliss.

Andrew London – Staff Writer 

This probably required you being a young child, playing a game before the age of the smartphone. Your mate brings round a piece of paper with codes written on that apparently lets you actually “Finish him!” 

You get your favourite character up (Scorpion) and watch as he pulls the spine out of your still breathing combatant. 

Andrew London – Staff Writer 

Now that the film is out, the leap of faith feels slightly less special. It was in every trailer, on every poster. It was everywhere. Nothing quite compares to actually doing a leap in the game. You spend what feels like an eternity climbing a building, and as you reach the top, the camera swings over and you get the genuinely vertigo inducing moment as you plummet to the hay bale below.

Andrew London – Staff Writer 

Up until the library, there is a feeling that you can outrun most problems in the game. The Clickers are terrifying but you can strategically avoid them. 

The library is the first moment where you seriously have to plan and attack or you won’t survive. 

You try, you fail. You try, you fail. You fail so frequently that it feels you may never succeed. You get angry which makes your strategy worse. You fail worse. Then finally, finally, you make it through alive. Words cannot describe how satisfying it it.

Andrew London – Staff Writer 

Whether it’s taking hours to gently pick off your targets by gradually switching outfits 30 times or you just running in guns blazing, the Hitman games try to let you decide how to murder your targets however you want.

There’s nothing more satisfying then entering a level of Hitman (2016) and achieving a Silent Assassin rating. There are many challenges to complete in the latest Hitman game, but the Silent Assassin rating is a must-have and is perhaps the hardest ask. 

You’ll need to only kill targets, do it with no witnesses, no bodies found, make sure you don’t get caught on camera and not get spotted once. It’s a difficult one, but oh-so satisfying.

James Peckham – Phones, Tablets & Wearables UK Writer

You can spend hours upon hours creating yourself in The Sims. Choosing your haircut alone probably took you twenty minutes and that’s before you even get anywhere near building the dream house you’re going to live in.

But then a few hours into the game, you get that urge. Could I delete the door? Could I intentionally start a fire in the kitchen? Could I take away the ladder in the pool? There’s something strangely satisfying about killing yourself in The Sims, but it’s something you’ll have to do one day.

James Peckham – Phones, Tablets & Wearables UK Writer

This isn’t the most difficult item on the bucket list, but it might seem like it when you’re face-to-face with one of the many grotesque bosses in the Dark Souls games.

Reaching through the fog without a helping hand can sometimes feel like a fool’s errand, but if take the time to learn the boss’s movement pattern and believe in yourself, you can totally do it.

Handling a boss by yourself won’t make playing with a friend any less fun, but knowing that you can survive alone is a huge confidence boost that’s necessary to make it through the treacherous haul.

Cameron Faulkner – US Mobile Editor

Rocket League might seem easy, but it’s extremely difficult (and very fun) to master the basics. One of said basics is jumping. It’s handy to bop the ball when it comes toward you, but when used in tandem with boost and a little steering, you can soar through the air.

Many people use aerial abilities to show off or to blast the ball to the other side of the field, but if you get your timing down just right, an aerial jump lets you score a goal so quickly that your opponents won’t know what hit them.

Cameron Faulkner – US Mobile Editor

Dishonored’s physics-warping powers and steampunk-inspired weaponry lend themselves to all kinds of imaginative and gruesome kills. Freezing time, possessing a member of the City Watch and manoeuvring him in front of his own bullets is a classic trick, but there are many others.

One of the most unpleasant devices in your arsenal is the spring razor – a kind of dirty mine packed with shrapnel and bits of bone that detonates when an enemy gets too close. But why wait? Lurk in the shadows and summon a swarm of rats, then stick a spring razor to one unfortunate rodent and watch it embark on a kamikaze course towards an unsuspecting group of guards. Squeak squeak boom.

Cat Ellis – Downloads Editor

Leonardo da Vinci is Q to Ezio Auditore’s James Bond. After providing Ezio with his first hidden blade, the brilliant and earnest inventor delivers a seemingly endless supply of tricked-out Renaissance vehicles and weapons, including a hidden gun, a fire-dropping hang glider, and even a tank (painstakingly developed and built, then destroyed in minutes).

In one of the pair’s many cutscenes, Leonardo raises his arm for a brotherly hug and you have a second to accept before the opportunity passes. It’s a heartwarming moment, but blink and you’ll miss it. There’s no in-game penalty, but Leo’s wounded expression if you fail to reciprocate is worse than desynchronizing. 

Cat Ellis – Downloads Editor

We can’t be the only ones that had short attention spans as kids – even with video games. Like this editor in particular, maybe you had a bad habit of failing to play games to their completion, even those that you today consider absolute favorites, pinnacles of the medium. For anyone that calls, say, The Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past their favorite Zelda game despite having not even conquered it (this guy), then this may be the most daunting item on your bucket list yet.

Joe Osbourne – Senior Editor

It’s the ultimate dick move but oh-so satisfying. Just sitting there continuously tapping a button to make Blanka crouch and electrify his opponent. It’s even better if the person you are beating is in the same room as you as you can witness their anger first-hand as all you do his fry their tiny minds with Blanka’s superpower. 

Marc Chacksfield – Global Managing Editor

Journey is such a thoughtful, beautiful game that playing it should be on everyone’s bucket list. But, playing it with just one companion throughout makes it extra special. You don’t know the person controlling the other robed figure but you get to know them in a wonderfully delicate way. The way they help you when your power is down, will swirl around you when you aren’t quite fast enough to catch them up, how you can communicate with them through singing. Knowing there is another person interacting with you and just you somewhere else in the world, is pretty poignant.

Marc Chacksfield – Global Managing Editor

As decisions in games go, it’s one of the biggest: do you nuke a whole town or not. From a game point, it’s a simple choice between becoming evil or staying good. But from a moral standpoint, committing one of gaming’s biggest atrocities holds a lot of weight. I pressed the button and once I saw that mushroom cloud appear, I instantly wanted to turn back time. But it’s something that needs to be done to understand just how complex and emotive a game such as Fallout 3 can be.

Marc Chacksfield – Global Managing Editor

There’s no bigger gaming adrenaline rush than the first act of Sonic the Hedgehog. I was lucky enough to be born in the 80s so witnessed first hand Sonic on the MegaDrive. There wasn’t a game like it around. It wasn’t just the speed of Sonic and the bright color thrill of Green Hill Zone but the music, the ping you got when each ring was collected, the way the game made you feel both out of control and in control… it’s one of the purest, perfect gaming experiences ever made.

Marc Chacksfield – Global Managing Editor

When it first came out, Mortal Kombat was unfairly compared to Street Fighter 2. I say unfairly because no fighting game was ever going to match Street Fighter. Kombat was slower and sloppier but it had two great USPs. 

The first was the real-life look. It was one of the first games to digitize real people and put them into game form. They were still jagged and a little rough looking but they looked, well, real. 

The second was the genius and bloody idea of being able to finish an opponent with a fatality – a Finish Him move that saw spines punched out bodies, people frozen to death and, my favorite, having your heart ripped out and still pumping while your limp body falls to the floor. It was graphic, brutal but also brilliant to witness.

Marc Chacksfield – Global Managing Editor


Source: TechRadar

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Reasons to be cheerful

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

 I know, I know, it’s been a rough year. Fury, discord, and hatred seem to be on the rise. The super-elite keep getting richer, while young workers keep getting poorer, and economic mobility has plummeted. “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” And yet. Quietly, stubbornly, defying the headlines, bit by bit, around the world, slow… Read More


Source: TechCrunch

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Apple and Tesla want to see some changes to self-driving regulations

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

California is a self-driving testing hotspot at the moment – a lot of the world’s biggest tech companies are based there, and the state has special laws governing the testing of autonomous vehicles – but Apple and Tesla want to see a few tweaks to regulations coming into force soon.

Specifically Apple wants to see less information shared about “disengagements”, where human drivers have to take control, on the grounds that too many tales of self-driving mishaps will shake trust in the fledgling technology – it would rather keep its operations mostly under wraps until it’s ready.

In Apple’s note to the Department of Motor Vehicles in California, it says the company is “investing heavily in the study of machine learning and automation”, an open secret we’ve known for some time. Still no details on what exactly Apple is testing, though.

Self-drive me crazy

Both Tesla and Apple have called for the DMV to allow the testing of heavier autonomous vehicles too – we know for a fact that Elon Musk’s company wants to get a self-driving semi truck out on the roads, and apparently Apple has designs in that direction too.

The amendments Tesla, Apple and others are asking for relate to updated regulations that the state of California is planning to implement soon. Among the changes are permissions for self-driving cars to be tested without humans on board at special designated tracks.

Waymo (owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet) and Uber have also sent in requests as well: Waymo wants to see automobile makers let off the hook for crashes that aren’t their vehicles fault, while Uber would like permission for its paying customers to ride in autonomous cars as they’re being tested.

Via MacRumors


Source: TechRadar

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Your next computer could be in a data center

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

 Most of the apps on your phone already rely on a server component to store and process your data. When you post a video on Facebook, it gets re-encoded into multiple formats on the server so that other users can stream your video in SD, HD, etc. But I think this trend is going to become even more important in the coming years, with all your devices acting as a simple screen into your stuff… Read More


Source: TechCrunch

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Best travel apps 2017: make travelling a joy

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

Best travel apps 2017

With cheap and frequent flights to almost anywhere in the world, it’s never been easier to see the Earth. That doesn’t mean that the actual traveling part of it is easy. To help make the whole experience of traveling less stressful we have compiled the best travel apps available on the market right now. 

Our list has a range of different types of apps to cover every aspect of travel, from how to get there, what to do once you’re there, how to speak to the locals, and even apps to take the pain out of paying for things.

So before you pack those bags and slap on the sunscreen, make sure you’ve got these downloaded to your phone of choice.

Airbnb

Airbnb is now a household name but it wasn’t that long ago that it upturned the way people booked their accommodation on holiday. It used to be that if you were going away you pretty much stayed at a hotel. Or a hostel. 

Then Airbnb came along and suddenly you could stay in a beautiful house in the center of a city, or a little cottage out in the middle of nowhere.

The app makes booking your accommodation simple, and also has guides for local inspiration and a section for booking experiences.

App in the Air

App in the Air may have a gimmicky name, but there is a reason this app is an Editor’s Choice on the App Store. The app gives you real-time flight updates, gate changes, airport navigation maps and tips, meaning you will never find yourself frantically running through an airport terminal again.

What’s more, you can still receive updates offline so you’ll incur no roaming charges if using the app abroad.

Booking.com

Booking.com is one of the world’s best known hotel booking websites. Their smartphone app builds on their successful model, allowing you to search for the best deals on over 1 million hotels and homes all across the world. If you’re struggling with where to book, there are over 107 million user reviews to help you decide.

What’s more, once you have completed your booking, you will receive instant confirmation of your booking, complete with paperless check-in and offline maps of the area. 

British Airways 

The British Airways app, unsurprisingly, is the app for if you are flying with British Airways. What is surprising is how good it is.

It allows you to book flights, check-in, choose seats, and download a digital boarding pass so you don’t have to go near a printer or check-in desk if you only have hand luggage. 

The app has live departure gate and in flight information, meaning you can choose which movies to watch while you wait for your flight to board. 

Cleartrip

Cleartrip is an app for booking flights, hotels and trains. Cleartrip was originally founded in India, and while its success means it now has over 10 million users worldwide, there are still regions it doesn’t support so make sure to check you’re in a supported region.  

With the capability for securely storing card information, you can do 1-click purchase of plane tickets, meaning you can choose between deals then purchase tickets, all in 60 seconds. 

Cleartrip can search for the best deals on hotel rooms in over 15,000 cities worldwide, too. 

Citymapper

Citymapper is essential if you want to be able to move around like a local while abroad. Supporting many major cities worldwide, Citymapper is a map app that you can use to plan a route using any mode of transport the city offers. It gives live updates on delays and closures, and is very intuitive to use.

You can save maps offline and can access the maps for transport services like Tube maps, so if you want to navigate your own way, you can do that too. 

Duolingo

Duolingo is a language learning app that makes learning a new language easy and fun. If you want to be able to converse with the locals, there are few ways of learning that will get you there as easily as Duolingo. The simple interface and game feel of the app makes learning a new language a pleasure.

The list of languages that Duolingo offers is constantly expanding. Currently you can choose from 23, including Spanish, German, Swahili, and Vietnamese. What’s more, it’s completely free.

Expedia

The Expedia app is one of the world’s most popular all-in-one-place booking apps. You can book flights, hotels, rent a car, even book tickets to tourist attractions and theme parks all through the one app. 

Expedia has recently rolled out the ability to book bundle deals, so your hotel and flights are all included in the booking, potentially saving you even more money. 

Guides by Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet made its name creating in-depth travel guides. With Guides, you can now get a condensed version of what they are best at, on your phone. 

In the app, you can download the guide for the city that you are going to visit, then select what category you want information in. These include things to see, places to eat, places to drink, places to sleep, places to shop, and places to play. 

Essential information, including maps and descriptions are all stored offline on your device so you don’t have to worry about roaming charges while you’re away. What’s more, there are even phrasebooks included so you can converse with the locals. 

There are over 100 cities catered for in Guides.

Google Trips

Google Trips is the travel planning app from the search giant. Where Google Trips is different from the other travel planners is that you don’t actually book through Trips – this is the app you use to collate all of the information about your trip, and being Google, it provides plenty of suggestions of things to add once you’re there.

The app pulls in all of your bookings for your trip from your Gmail account and brings them together, meaning if you find deals from a number of different places, rather than having to have a number of different apps, emails and print-outs all giving you piecemeal information, you have your entire itinerary in one place. 

What’s more, Google has recently announced that they are introducing a feature letting you share your itinerary. 

Google Translate

Google Translate is fairly phenomenal if you haven’t used it before. There are a few different methods of translation that it offers: text translation, where you type a phrase and it is translated into whichever language you choose, Conversation Mode, where you can actually talk to someone in a different language with the app translating as you speak, and camera translation, where you point your camera at text (like signs) and the translation appears on your screen.

This technology has been around for a while now, but still feels magical somehow. 

It is a given that most places you go in the world people speak English, but this is an incredibly useful app for overcoming language barriers.

KAYAK

KAYAK is an app that searches travel sites to get you the best deals on flights, hotels and car hire. Once all of your bookings are complete, it compiles all of the information into an easy to manage itinerary.

Where KAYAK really comes into its own is its ability to track not only where the best deals come from, but even fluctuations in the price over time, sending you notifications when the deal you are looking for becomes cheaper.

There is even a function where you can put in your budget and it tells you places you can afford to visit.

PackPoint

PackPoint helps you pack. You put in where you’re going, when you’re going, and what you plan to do there and PackPoint suggests a list of things to pack. You can add or remove things from the list, then tick them off once they are packed.

It works with TripIt too, so you can get suggestions based on your travel itinerary automatically migrated from that app. 

Never have that ‘Did I pack my…’ feeling again.

Splittr

  • $1.99 (£1.99)
  • iOS

Splittr allows you to easily split costs between a group, meaning if you are travelling with a group of people, you no longer need to squabble over who paid for what. 

You simply add expenses to the app as you go, then at the end of the holiday Splittr divides the bill and sends a PDF to all parties involved. 

Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a booking app for flights, hotels and car hire. 

The Skyscanner website’s calling card has always been easy customisation and the app is no different, allowing you to adjust your trip using flight duration, airline, stop-overs, flight class, and arrival and departure times. It even has a color-coded calendar that shows you when the best time to book your trip is to get the best deal.

Time Out

Time Out is an app that helps you figure out what to do in a city. With restaurants, art galleries, night clubs, and pretty much everything in between this app is hard to beat if you’re in a strange city at a loss for something to do.

Time Out has been helping people discover hidden gems since the 1960’s so it knows what it’s doing. Once a magazine that focussed on London, the app now covers 30 cities worldwide, with more being added soon.  

TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor is the app to use if user reviews are your thing. The app has over 500 million user reviews for hotels, restaurants, and events. Users can rate, write and even photograph, so if you want the full picture before you decide to book somewhere, this is the app for you.  

Once you’ve ploughed through all those reviews, you can book a table, a concert, a plane ticket, all through the app.  

You can also download maps, saved destinations, and reviews so that if you want to wait until you’re abroad to make final decisions, you can do so without incurring roaming charges.

TripIt

TripIt is a travel itinerary app that makes it easy to see your whole trip in one place. You simply forward all of your booking emails to TripIt and the app collates all of your information. The information is available offline so you don’t have to worry about roaming charges.

What’s more, TripIt works with App in the Air and PackPoint (also in this list) so you can get flight notifications and packing advice based on your itinerary. 

In order to use all of the functions TripIt has to offer you will have to upgrade to TripIt Pro for $49 per year (about £37, AU$65) but the free version does include all the basics you need like manual changing of plans, syncing with your calendar, compiling travel documents in one place, and sharing of your itinerary. 

XE Currency

With over 55 million downloads, XE Currency is the most popular currency exchange rate app on the market, and with good reason. 

It gives accurate conversion rates for every currency worldwide, refreshed every minute and stored offline so that even if you lose internet connection, you can still use the app.


Source: TechRadar

594 total views, 17 today

Hacker leaks new episodes of Orange is the New Black online

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

If you’re Netflix, then you undoubtedly want episodes of your original shows to be as closely guarded as possible – if they find their way out onto the web at large, then fewer people are going to sign up for a monthly subscription package.

With that in mind, the powers-that-be at the streaming service are likely to be fuming that new episodes of Orange is the New Black have leaked online more than a month before the official premiere date of June 9, as TorrentFreak reports.

At least 10 episodes of the fifth season have now appeared on The Pirate Bay, thanks to a hacking group that goes by the name of thedarkoverlord. According to the hackers, Netflix was asked for an OITNB ransom that it didn’t pay.

Hacked off

It sounds like the breach happened at a post-production studio used by Netflix. “We are aware of the situation,” Netflix said in a statement. “A production vendor used by several major TV studios had its security compromised and the appropriate law enforcement authorities are involved.”

More leaks could be on the way, too – thedarkoverlord says it has more material from the likes of Fox, National Geographic, and ABC. Presumably the pirated shows can be returned if a ransom fee is forthcoming.

“It didn’t have to be this way, Netflix,” say the people behind thedarkoverlord moniker. “You’re going to lose a lot more money in all of this than what our modest offer was. We’re quite ashamed to breathe the same air as you.”


Source: TechRadar

30 total views, 0 today

Tempow turns your dumb Bluetooth speakers into a connected sound system

Uncategorized April 30, 2017

 Meet Tempow, a French startup that can make your Bluetooth speakers more versatile. The company has been working on a new implementation of the Bluetooth protocol in order to let you play music from your phone on multiple speakers and headphones at once. Bluetooth speakers have become a common gift and a hit item in consumer electronics stores. Most people now have multiple Bluetooth speakers… Read More


Source: TechCrunch

32 total views, 0 today

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