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Apple users, Are you really that blind?

We all know that in the technology world, there are three main platforms that people tend to use, for day to day use; productivity and business, these being the following main platforms.


  • Apple and it's Eco System
  • Windows and it's Eco System with a semi hybrid approach to other integration and platforms
  • Google and it's Eco System that works hand in hand with Windows and with Google's own productivity suites and tools for business. 
But lets not forget that whilst they are the three main and biggest platforms that many businesses along with consumers tend to use, there is a slight pattern, let's delve into Google for starters, love them or loath them, Google are one of the biggest technology firms out in the world at this moment, and provide a whole host of tried and tested and some failed projects alongside that as well.

Yet look at the core of Google, at Android OS for a start as well as Chrome OS, and there is a link with Apple. that one singular link, is indeed  the Unix OS core, that has been implemented at the core of both the Google sectors and Apple's OS, it is the IOS and Apple Eco System, not a new invention that carries any innovation either.

Yet what really bothers me, is Apple Users, really are rather blind, to the sense that they are being robbed. Whilst Google forces you to use a Google Account, love or loathe it; but there are ways around the Google systems, so you can use your own personal email account.

Why though, are Apple Users, and users of it's Eco-Ssystem being rather blind? As quite simply they are being ripped off, for a Logo, and a closed source Unix framework; that needs Apple related things to work, along with the astronomical price tags that Apple products come with. Oh and as it is closed source, you really can not make it your own.

Think logically, and you could invest in a Huawei, OnePlus or Honor device, that floors everything that Apple throws out of it's pram, and you get a lot better hardware, software and it will allow the user to truly make it there's, right down to customizing Android itself, oh and you can listen to FLAC files as well.

See there is sense in delving into the Android Eco-System, and for a start, your bank balance won't feel as if it has been fleeced, by some third world nation wanting money, instead with an Android device, you pay less, but gain oh so much more. To any Apple fan boys/girls, try Android, you will be surprised, and for £1,400 for a base level iPhone XS, go figure..... 
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800 Words, A review of Life and What we are all possible of doing.

What better things to do, then watch Television, and in this forever changing world, of content binging and boxsets; it is always refreshing when a good quality television drama, comes on the screens.

When that television drama mixes the finest elements, of Drama and Comedy it is always a good thing when a television series adds drama with a vast helping or side dish of comedy, it truly is a fantastic recipe. But what happens when this television program, happens to be a blend of Australian and New Zealand? Yes I know Australian television program is beamed throughout the wider world, including the United Kingdom, America, Canada and throughout various other nations in the world, but delve closely into the film and television industries of New Zealand, and it is mainly known for Lord Of The Rings (LOTR). In terms of New Zealand television programs, not a lot are shown on channels in other countries.

That is until now, well definitely in the case of The United Kingdom, and the BBC, showing a glorious new program, fresh off the plane from New Zealand, the television drama/comedy entitled; quite simply "800 words" is yes in New Zealand officially finished, with it's third series being shown in 2017, in 2018 the BBC has shown the first two series, of this fantastically created, and at times "deep" drama/comedy series, called "800 words" which tells the series of the Turner Family, with the three main protagonists being (George Turner), a father of two children, (Arlo Turner) his youngest son and daughter (Shay Turner) the eldest of his children, whom end up moving to New Zealand, George's wife, whom was tragically killed by a car, in Sydney, the drama starts, when the Turner family arrive, in Weld, a town in New Zealand, remote and one with it's quirks. George is a writer, who writes for a magazine in Sydney, and is loved for his opinions on life in general, I suppose it is pure escapism for George whom sets the plot of, 800 words, by deciding to vacate his children across the Tasman sea, to New Zealand for a new life, of writing his articles on life and human observation, away from preying eyes back in Sydney.

Right from the start, 800 words deals with Life, friendships and how they are formed, alongside, with a sense of community, taking in an outsider, to make them one of there own, it is a drama/comedy series like no other, one that takes it's meaning to a deeper level on so many occasions, and deals with George's teenage children, seeing the world, in a different light, away from Sydney, to a small town in New Zealand, where everyone knows everyone.

It is the kind of program, that should make us stop and think for a while, that life is for living, and if you open your heart, soul and mind to things, it is possible to make a living anywhere in the globe, and to be sucked into a world where friendships can be formed, and those friends, can be more than "just friends" It is magical and sublime, fantastically well acted, and provides laughter with tears at the same time, I shall not spoil this program, by telling you all what it is about, other than what I have written above, which gives a small insight into how the Turners ended up in Weld, across the Tasman sea, from Sydney, it is as magical as romance and has comedy themes and a serious element, which truly makes it a fantastic drama, to watch. 
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Another Galaxy, Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

So, it is 2018, and we have already had CES in Las Vegas. It might seem like a while since we got any technology, being shown off, across the globe, along with what the latest tech trends are going to be, throughout the year.

Move on, and it is that time of year, in Barcelona, when all the major Mobile Carriers, and Mobile Phone Manufactures gather together at the MWC or (Mobile World Congress).

And yes, this year, Samsung have decided to open the show, with what appears to be a rather large arena, yes they do have a rather large budget to go along with it, however the point is, that Samsung have kicked off this years MWC, in a style that involves the press and vloggers/bloggers in suits writing, tweeting and blogging the event, but what have they released? Another Galaxy, yes that is right, Samsung have just dropped the Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9+

Whilst the S9 has one camera on the back, the S9+ has dual cameras, and both appear to have 8mp front facing cameras. Whilst the actual hardware looks the same as the S8 and S8+, there have been some changes, such as slow motion capabilities within the camera application, the S9 and S9+ have also bought Emoji's. definitely not stolen from Apple? Oh wait...... And another thing, at least Samsung have included headphone jack, perfect for listening to music without the need for spending extra money. Add to that improvements with Bixby, and Samsung pay, and it looks like Samsung, really are keeping things minimal, which can only be a good thing, yes it is an expensive device, but it is Samsung and hey-ho they are the Android equivalent to Apple.

Yet the design as I have said above, remains the same as the Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ hardware specs, it has a much bigger battery so the all important battery life at least is a lot better. Not only that, but Dex has also been improved, and has been pushed towards the world of Business, and big IT companies, rather 007?

Either way, what a good start to Mobile World Congress, whilst Samsung phones are the Premium version of the Android world, it is needless to say that the S9/S9+ are the right formula for a flagship, and it is good when a company listens to it's consumers, and instead of something radical, they improve the hardware.

Well done Samsung, oh and glad you have included a Headphone Jack, Apple please do take a note out of Samsung's books next time. 
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Can you really be secure enough? iStorage Datashur 2, review

One of the major news trends, that is becoming more and more important to us on a daily, if not weekly basis, within the world of technology, is security. With things such as major breaches of security happening on a weekly if not daily basis, people are becoming slightly worried.

Not just in big business but also on a personal level, we always have to ask ourselves, just how secure is our data? In one aspect it is very secure, yet in another aspect, when companies such as Yahoo, Avast, Microsoft and the PlayStation network, have all fallen victims of cyber attacks, that question could be open for a very lengthy discussion. "Great" i hear you say, and yes I can fully agree, and within this day and age of the vast digital world we live in, where we store photos online, and documents within the Cloud, just how secure is our data? I mean we trust the Cloud, don't we. Yes we do, but we also prefer a more solid way to store our data, and that is why a lot of us choose to use External Hard Drives and USB drives, to store our documents, and yes while it is possible, using third party software to secure and lock our data storage mediums, from preying eyes, it can be quite tricky to fully secure something like a USB drive or an External Hard Drive. However there is  a company, that is changing that aspect.

You might not have heard of them, and I had not heard of them until I was watching a video by Explainingcomputers, over on YouTube, please do check the channel out, truly brilliant channel it is, and Explainingcomputers, really does make simple watching, for someone who is new to technology. His channel is below.

https://www.youtube.com/user/explainingcomputers

Now this is where I had to investigate the world of Encrypted data storage. Can data storage truly be secure and have data encryption? Well yes it can, and that is down to a company called, iStorage.

Intrigued about this, I sent iStorage a nice email, asking if I could review one of there products, and I got a very good response, and surely enough I was sent the iStorage Datashur 2 (personal). A lovely pen drive, with hold on, yes numerical keys on the front. All very James bond like, if you ask me!! Yes this was it, the Encrypted USB drive had arrived.

And as we can see, the USB drive, was presented in a lovely and neat manner, with it's keypad, and numerical buttons, for authenticating the drive. The drive was an 8gb pen drive, and iStorage have a fantastic range of storage mediums, to purchase from there range of stockists. Not only this, but they do things from USB drives, to external hard drives, and external solid state drives, all with the added keypad, for encryption and security.

Naturally, I wanted to have a play about with this drive, to see if it really did say what it says, on the packaging. And for a little USB drive, to be compatible with the likes of Windows, Apple, Linux based operating systems, and of course with anything running Chrome OS, this Pen drive, does not disappoint, I tried it on Windows 10, and it worked like a dream, the drive is both fast at writing files to, and without the security pin, it simply will not show up, you have to input a security code; this can be changed, very easily. But once you put the security code in, the drive shows up.

And there you go, the drive shows up, after the code has been entered. Yes this truly is a secure pen drive, for storing your important files, I honestly, did not think it was possible for a company to make a truly out of the box, secure data storage method, without having to put a third party application, on a drive, which can be a rather sloppy and difficult process, instead, this pen drive, like iStorage and there wide range of products, already have inbuilt security, built within and on the drive.

All in all this is a fantastic pen drive, for those who are concerned about sensitive documents, that they might not want other people to access. I have to say, that iStorage, really have nailed it here, with there range of secure storage, featuring encryption, that also works across a wide range of operating systems, this truly, in my opinion, is what a lot more companies should be looking at doing, making practical solutions for people who are concerned about security, and storing those important documents and files.

Please, also do check out my review on YouTube, in which I test, and review this fantastic USB Pen Drive, and also a big shout out to iStorage, for allowing me to review this fantastic product.


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Quantity not Quality?

The world, in 2017 is a rather strange place. I mean this in a number of ways; the first being is politically, on one side of the spectrum we have got Donald Trump attempting to run America whilst acting and behaving like some comedian from a dodgy comedy show, either way he does provide the world with a good laugh, at what he posts on his social media feeds, day in and day out. On the other side, we have got good old England, which seems politically unstable what with the departure of the UK from the European Union. On top of which technology is changing and the way we talk to others is also changing, gone are the days of letters or telegrams, but hello are the days of hashtags, Instagram photo's and social media, to tell the world that we are on the loo, reading a Shakespeare classic.

Yes it is that translation from the days of pencil and paper, to a phone that has more power than the Apollo 11 rocket, that I find is rather scary, and in such a short time as well. And yes, I believe that social media, and technology has proven that in some cases, it can be downright awkward and interfering. In other ways, technology can be useful, and the way in which we access media, the news and have the ability to have an opinion, has rapidly changed.

I myself; completely understand this. Yes I have made friends, through school, through family and through having a thing called a "social life" and yes, I like to blog, I love photography etc.... I could do a long list. But a 5 years ago, through a conversation I had, on a subject, I will not mention, I made a friend, whom I am friends with, 5 years on, amazing; isn't it the power of technology, it can bring people together through fate. And in some way, I do think this is what happened here, but mainly the important thing, is we still talk to each other on a regular basis, and yes; the other day, this person, I saw the other day, after three years of not seeing each other.

But the point is, that having friends, is not about how many you have, but it is the quality of them, a person could have many friends, but how many are true friends? Let that sink in a while.
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WWDC 2017. A Leaf from the Open Source Community.

It is that time of the year again, yes that time of the year, when the glossy and sleek lines of Apple, decide to release new products and items; for there users and ecosystems. Now whilst I'am not part of the Apple ecosystem and would never go back to them, I have noticed something, and this little thing that I have noticed, is that Apple very much are taking a leaf out of the open source community. No, I mean it, whilst Apple has it's roots under the open source community, so far we have seen quite a few changes, that look as if they have just come out of an Android device, and where we can see this so far, is on the new,

Apple Watch: 
Whilst it is a very popular smart watch, all that I have seen with it, is a few changes, and merely some new features, such as exercise apps, which are all connected, including the ability to sync the data between your Apple Watch and any exercise machine's so you can actually have guess what, yes accurate data. I mean other android products such as smart watches are incredibly accurate.

MacOS High Sierra:
Last year we saw, MacOS Sierra, named after the Sierra Nevada Mountains, in California, so what have we decided to do, send our team out, and look for names, so we sent them higher into the highest peaks and areas of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, so they decided to name it MacOS High Sierra. I mean this is laughable, but hey ho, it adds some little tweaks for developers as well as a new file system. I mean it is amazing that Apple as a company, can not now, seem to come up with a major change, except for more developer tools and VR integration, something that Windows has been doing for a little while now, alongside with Android. As for the actual OS, it seems like Apple really are shoving the we have been the best when it comes to GUI's down our throats, when the Open Source Community had GUI's before you existed.

New Apple iMac's:
They look the same as last year's models. Amazing isn't it, we can not come up with a "radical change" here at apple. so we will just ramp up the iMac's and add AMD Graphics, and guess what, we have added more 4k, which Windows have been doing for a while with there displays, but lets not forget that with the iMac's we have released today has guess what, more VR Capabilities and development kits. Why Apple can you not really make a radical change, oh and we have just seen the iMac Pro, it looks the same as the other iMac Pro, from last year..... However it will be in a different colour. Amazing, another way to rip people off.

New iMac Pro:
And now onto the Pro. Yes the creme de la creme, I mean amazing isn't it, it is the Most Poweful Mac ever made, and with 128gb of RAM memory. I mean really, do we really need this much or is this overkill? It will also cost $4999, apparently if you built a Machine of the same specifications sheet, it would cost more. Or would it, I mean we do not need 18 cores, Kaby Lake Processors and 128gb of RAM do we? Bit overkill there Apple, I mean I would not need 128gb of RAM for anything.

IOS 11: 
Guess what, we have slightly here at Apple, changed IOS, with IOS 11, and it looks as if it has been taken straight out of google. Yes it looks very much like Android O, and there is an App Draw at the bottom, I for one sense that Apple are trying to get Android users back to there ecosystem. If this happens then I will be amazed, but Apple I want to be able to use Android without iTunes, and to have FLAC support with my Music on your IOS music apps. I also want a much nicer interface that Android has. And one that is not locked by IOS. But great Apple, you have stolen your new design interface from Android. And that swipe feature, is certainly stolen from Android, yes the swipe one in which you can see your notifications on screen.

Adding to that the Live Photo ability, Google Photo's have been doing this for a while, as have Windows devices.

New Navigation apps, yes really good, and the ability to navigate around airport's is also rather handy isn't it? I mean seriously Apple. Adding to this, the new Apple Air Play 2, being able to play music to different speakers around the home is something the open source community have been able to do before.

New MacBook's:
Other than Intel Kaby Lake power, faster SSD's and better graphics, not much else has really changed with the design either.

Apple Music:
It really seems like Apple have been taking a list out of Spotify's book. Apple Music, now have the ability to see what your friends are listening to, I mean we can do this with Spotify as that itself gives you the ability to see what your friends are listening to, and the playlists, That again is from the big book of Spotify. So really Apple, you seem to be stealing ideas, not coming up with anything original.

App Store: 
The biggest app store in the world, faster review times, for apps that people are downloading, perhaps a redesign. Oh and yes we have just got a new App store from Apple, again you are trying to dig yourself out of the Android app store, which has the same layout, and yes Android app store, or the Play Store as it should be known, has Tabs, I mean Tabs is something from the open source community. Come on Apple are we going to see anything original and new?

One thing I have been seeing from Apple and there WWDC 2017, so far, is that they have not come up with any real changes, instead what seems to have happened is that Apple seem to have taken a leaf out of Googles big book, and have come up with various Tabs on the App Store, and an IOS interface which looks as if it is a carbon copy of Android O. Now lets have a look at Wingnut AR.

Wingnut AR: 
Why the heck have Apple decided to call there AR, Wingnut. I mean come on Apple, Project Tango, which is open source, and that Google came up with first, trying to make gains in the AR field will not really get you far, and saying it just works, well so does Project Tango on the Lenovo, and other Tango ready devices.

So we are getting a new iPad, oh the iPad Pro is getting a new makeover... Let's see where this is going. Oh we are going to get the new iPad Pro "Claps and woops" around the room, and now we are getting a 10.5 inch iPad Pro. We now have a Full screen keyboard, on the size of a device like this. and now Apple have decided to push HDR content onto the new iPad Pro, again a very stolen idea isn't it, as many Android tablets have HDR content and abilities. Adding to this the ability to photo edit, with Affinity pro. I mean we have guess what, Adobe with apps for both Android and Apple, already exist and can do what Affinity can. And now we have USB 3 on the iPad Pro. Rejoices.

And lets add on to this, fantastic conference that Apple have pulled off. Yes, the iPad even has a dock, which you can pull apps up and use it for multi tasking, Much like many android apps have. Now for something slightly different, The Home Pod, Apple's very own answer to you guessed it, Alexa or Google Home, again straight out of the open source crowd, and yes things which have already been released, getting introduced to the Apple EcoSystem, and whilst the ideas are good, Apple you have a lot of catching up to do, I mean it is one thing releasing new products, but you have not released any new products, you have added your take on existing products, over hyped them, and now you expect us to pay double for something which is cheaper elsewhere.

For more, info, and coverage, then I shall leave a link below, from The Guardian, and there Technology site.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/live/2017/jun/05/apple-wwdc-2017-keynote-ios-macos-iphone-macbook-live







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Pure Android, from a Retro company?

I wonder, just wonder how many people remember the days when Mobile Phones, did not have Android, IOS or Windows Phone. When the humble Mobile Phone first came into our lives, it was revolutionary; all we could do was make calls, and perhaps play a few games like Snake, yep truly retro. And yet Nokia is a company best known for being, well a company running Symbian OS and Snake. 

Well Not anymore. Yes Nokia are indeed back, and are back on true form, perhaps not with Symbian OS, but instead with a re-launched Nokia 3310, a small and simple phone that has had a couple of updates, yet remains retro, and has guess what? Snake, all be it, slightly changed, but at long last, we will now all be able to play Snake again at long last. Yes where do the years go. 

Yet, where has Nokia changed? Well with it's ability to launch a device and a smartphone that goes stock with Android. Yes, the devices are listed below.

  • Nokia 3
  • Nokia 5
  • Nokia 6
  • Nokia 3310
The 3310, whilst it does not run android, it is a step in the right direction. As for the 3, 5 and 6 Lets look at the top. The new Nokia Flagship device. Well the Nokia 3 and 5 all will run Android 7 as standard along with the Nokia 6, but what sets the Nokia 6 apart from other devices? Well lets take a look.

Nokia 6 Details

  • 3GB Of Ram
  • 16mp Rear Facing Camera
  • 8mp front facing camera 
  • Fingerprint Scanner
  • USB C connectivity 
  • 32GB Of storage space
Ok, so it might not be the highest powered phone in terms of RAM, but hey ho, it is a delve in the Android pool for a company that we knew of many years ago, before smartphones came into the world. However for these devices, they have enabled us to access Android on the cheap, yet get a stock and simple experience. Who would have thought it, Nokia and Android, Finnish design meets Android in a seamless way. More information, is below. 

http://www.androidpolice.com/2017/02/26/nokia-takes-wraps-off-nokia-5-3-3310-also-announces-global-availability-nokia-6/
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