If you have listened to previous episodes of my podcast(MHF Tech), then you will know that we had announced that we were working on a new website. I can now tell you that the website is now live. You can check it right now by going to mhftech.net.
Earlier today, Nokia announced a new phone. It’s called the Nokia Lumia 925. This guy has got a 4.5-inch screen with a resolution of 1280×768, 1GB of RAM, a 1.5GHz dual-core CPU, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. In terms of the camera, you have an 8.7-megapixel camera which is capable of shooting 10 photos one after the other. You will also have a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera.
The Nokia Lumia 925 will be releasing in the UK, Germany, Italy, Spain and China in June and will cost you about €465 before taxes(approximately £475 including VAT in the UK). USA and “other markets” will follow soon after that.
BlackBerry Messenger(BBM) has been a killer app on the BlackBerry mobile platform for a long time now. However, during BlackBerry Live(BlackBerry’s annual developer conference), BlackBerry announced that they are going to bring BBM to iOS and Android.
With about 60 million monthly active users, BBM is quite a popular messaging service. However, the company is trying to get people excited about their phones and tablets once again with the recent launch of the BlackBerry 10 mobile operating system for their smartphones and tablets back in January. That being said, only time will tell if this will get people excited about BlackBerry once again or if they are late to the party.
You read the headline correctly folks! In a post on the Blogging Windows blog, Microsoft has announced that they will be making Windows 8.1(previously known as Windows Blue) a free update for current Windows 8 users. No official word on the actual release date of 8.1 just yet. However, Microsoft has stated that they will be making a preview version available on 26th June.
I for one am glad that it is going to be a free update. After all, keeping up with the latest and greatest in Windows operating systems can be quite a costly affair. In any case, I will be downloading the public preview edition so I can give you my first impressions, so stay tuned for more.
Update: You will be able to get Windows 8.1 from the Windows store on release day.
Just before Apple’s sold out WWDC conference, Google is going to be holding its developer conference, Google IO 2013. On 15th May 2013, there will be lots of stuff happening including the opening keynote. I can announce that you will be able to watch a live video stream of the entire 3-hour keynote live right here. They keynote itself will be starting at 9AM pacific time(5PM in the UK), so make sure you’re here for it. We will have the live video feed along with a live blog available very close to the start of the keynote. I will also be posting articles detailing any product announcements if they happen after the fact.
We are just a day away from Google IO 2013, and Google is making changes to Google Drive, Google+ and GMail. At the moment, you are able to store up to 5GB of data in Google Drive. However, Google has announced that they will be increasing the amount of free storage from 5GB to 15GB. This will be shared between your GMail, Google+ and Google Drive. Their blog announced that this change “will roll out in the next couple of weeks”.
Here’s how it works: Let’s say that I create a new Google account today. I have 15GB right out of the gate. I then start uploading a few photos which add up to a total of 50MB. I have therefore used 50MB out of my 15GB allocation. I then receive an email which has a total size of 50MB, taking my total to 100MB out of 15GB. However, I also upload some 3GB worth of documents up to my Drive. Therefore, I would have used a total of 3.1GB out of my 15GB total.
Side note: For the record, I am a regular user of Google+, Google Drive and Gmail.
Since I did not share a pick last week, I have two picks this week.
Up first is FoxIt Reader. Essentially, it’s an alternative to Adobe’s Reader application. Like Adobe Reader, it’s a PDF reader which allows you to open PDFs. However, it also allows you the ability to create PDF files from within Microsoft Office using their add-ins. I have been using this as my PDF viewer for about a month now and it is just awesome. From turning on my computer to opening my PDFs, it blows Adobe reader right out of the water. The other thing that makes FoxIt reader cool is the ability to open multiple PDFs in the same window using tabs(just like web browsers). I highly recommend that you check this one out. I can tell you that FoxIt Reader is free and is available for Windows PCs(and yes it runs on Windows 8).
The second of my picks is the iRig Pre Universal Microphone Interface for iOS and Android devices . This allows you to plug your XLR microphone into your iOS or Android device(along with your headphones). Of course, the device also has a 48V switch(AKA phantom power), so it makes it compatible with all XLR microphones which need phantom power and those which don’t need phantom power. It is powered by a 9 volt battery and comes with a velcro strap as well. The other thing I should mention is that you also have a gain control on the side to control the amount of gain going out of the interface.
I will have a test recording uploaded on this site very soon so you can be the judge of how good the sound quality is. By having this interface with you, it will allow you to turn your tablet or phone into a mobile recording rig.
I have been also testing it on some Skype calls for three weeks on my iPad and I have to say that this works like a dream. If you’re a podcaster who’s been looking to record content on-the-go then this is a really good interface for the job.
I would highly recommend picking up one of these for yourself. The iRig Pre XLR Interface is available for about $40 on Amazon USA
(£24.75 on Amazon UK).
Update: You cannot monitor using the headphone jack on the iRig Pre(by monitor, I mean hearing what’s coming out of the XLR microphone)
Just today, Seagate has announced it’s first ever consumer-level SSD. Known as the 600 series, it will be able to sequentially read data at speeds of up to 500 megabytes a second. It will be available in three variants: 120GB, 240GB and 480GB. Seagate have also announced that it should work with most operating systems but in order to take advantage of the Trim features, you will have to use it with Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8.
On one hand, I’m really glad that Seagate finally released an SSD, and with super fast read speeds, I’m sure that it will make for quick boot-up times especially if you have a PC with the new UEFI BIOS style.
On the other hand, there are already a lot of companies such as Crucial, Corsair and OCZ who have already been making SSDs for a while so I’m a little worried that Seagate were a little late to this market.
As we know, there are a lot of people uploading tons of new content to YouTube every single day. However, there have been a handful of people that have been consistently churning out good content. However, YouTube has confirmed that it’s looking into creating a paid subscription model whereby people would pay $1.99(£1.28).
On one hand, it allows content creators a new way to make money from the videos they upload to YouTube. Some content creators have nearly 1 million subscribers. Whilst YouTube has not stated what percentage of that £1.28 goes to the content creator, it could mean some big bucks for content creators. It also allows YouTube to go up head-to-head with platforms such as NetFlix who are already bringing out their own original content such as the hit House of Cards.
However, this news also worries me. A lot of people have been trained that YouTube is a place where people can consume video content for free. If they are then asked to start paying for the content they are watching then they could go somewhere else for their video content.
What do you think? Is this a boon for content creators or a possible catalyst for a mass exodus of users? Let me know in the comments.
side note: I apologise for the lack of articles in the past couple of weeks. This has been due to personal commitments. However, I can reassure you that normal service has been resumed.
Today, Facebook has announced a new feature called Trusted Contacts. Using this feature, you will be able to give people you trust a security code should you ever lock yourself out of your account. You will then be asked for these codes when you do get locked out to verify that it’s actually you who’s logging in.
First of all, I know that it’s not going to happen but you have to be prepared should the worst happen to you.
The second thing that I have noticed is that you have to be really careful with who you choose as your trusted contacts. The reason I say this is because Facebook say that you have to “Choose people you trust, like friends you’d give a spare key to your house.” It’s all well and good having this system in place, but like all other security systems, a hacker will be able to use this to gain access to someone’s facebook account.