opinion

Windows XP isn’t dead: It just got more dangerous

Windows XP isn’t dead: It just got more dangerous

Windows XP end-of-life: the day that, for a very long time, seemed like it would never come. Microsoft has officially washed its hands of XP after twelve years, prompting celebration from security experts tired of the old OS' holes. Yet the shift in focus to newer platforms - like Windows 8.1 - means that many at-risk users will simply be left behind, despite Windows XP's still considerable footprint.

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I bought the Amazon Fire TV, and I love it

I bought the Amazon Fire TV, and I love it

I’m a weak person. I know it. Every time a new gadget comes out, I find a way to justify buying it and I do just that – without even thinking.

On April 2, when Amazon unveiled the Fire TV, I fell into the same trap. I saw what I believed to be a compelling set-top box, and I didn’t waste time jumping over to Amazon.com, plunking down my $99, and having it shipped to me overnight. The reason? I need a set-top box in my bedroom, and what better device to scratch that itch than Amazon’s latest and greatest device?

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Nest’s smoke snafu only validates the Internet of Things

Nest’s smoke snafu only validates the Internet of Things

"Why would I want to live in a smart home?" It's a common question, the cost of either building home automation tech into a new property, or retro-fitting an existing one with smart home tech, proving an insurmountable argument for most when faced with internet-connecting appliances, switches, and fixtures. Convenience is the usual answer, but as the Nest Protect glitch today demonstrates, safety may well be the real selling point of the Internet of Things.

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The Secret to Smartwatch Success is Non-tech Firms

The Secret to Smartwatch Success is Non-tech Firms

Smartwatches will be everywhere this year. With Google announcing Android Wear and companies already showing off devices at CES and Mobile World Congress, it won’t be long before a slew of smartwatches are sitting on store shelves.

Of course, smartwatches are already available. In fact, several companies, from Samsung to Pebble, have offered their interpretation of wrist-worn wearables. The trouble for those firms, however, is that so far, those products haven’t taken off. And it’s unclear whether even Android Wear could go a long way in pushing smartwatches onto more wrists.

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iPad mini Retina: Four Months On

iPad mini Retina: Four Months On

The iPad mini with Retina display addressed a lot of the complaints iOS tablet users had of its first-gen predecessor. No longer did a smaller tablet mean lesser screen resolution or a weaker processor, two of the key criticisms, and while the iPad Air undoubtedly improved Apple's full-sized slate, many suggested that the still-more-affordable mini version had become the obvious choice for new tableteers. Four months in, though, has the shine of the Retina iPad mini faded?

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I Went Old-School Gaming: Now I Miss the Old Days

I Went Old-School Gaming: Now I Miss the Old Days

I had some free time over the weekend last week, and decided that rather than read that book I've been trying to finish or go out for a walk, I'd sit down on my couch, put up my feet, and play some games.

As I've said here before, I'm a long-time gamer with a true love for all types of video games. That's probably why I've kept all the old consoles I owned – even the 3DO! – and all the titles that went with them. You never know when the urge might strike you to play some old games.

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That Creepy Camera: Lifelogging Lessons Learned

That Creepy Camera: Lifelogging Lessons Learned

"What's that you've got there?" the barista asks, tapping his chest. I don't need to look down to know what he means. "It's a lifelogger, it takes a picture every thirty seconds, every day" I tell him; I've got my reply down-pat by now, have explained dozens of times over the past few weeks. "At the end of the day it shows me the best ones." I half-tense myself for a frown, or a "you can't wear that in here," but he just smiles, tells me it's "cool" and makes me a latte. Not exactly another convert to the wearable cause, but another in a series of unprompted interactions that started when I fastened Narrative's Clip to my lapel.

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Why I didn’t become a Google Glass Explorer

Why I didn’t become a Google Glass Explorer

Late last year, I reported on these pages that I was offered by Google to become a Google Glass Explorer. I had signed up to be notified when it was "opening its books" and Google offered me beta access to the program. Like everyone else, I was asked to pay $1,500 to become an Explorer and get my Google Glass headwear. I would then become the Explorer I thought I wanted to be.

When the notice came that I could join the program, my first reaction was to sign up. But then I took a step back, came to these pages to find out what the world thought, and make a decision from there. I decided against the move, realizing that right now might not be the best time to be an Explorer.

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The CarPlay Compromise

The CarPlay Compromise

Apple has finally played its first hand in automotive, and while it's not a car with an Apple logo on its hood, CarPlay could eventually be an even bigger deal. That's not the case today, however. CarPlay still feels like a beta, perhaps more so than Siri ever was at launch, and if Apple is to take it from there to establishing the sort of ubiquity of the iPhone, it has a significant challenge ahead.

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