What is a Phablet Phone and What Makes Them So Unique?

In every technological evolution that happens, such as the evolution of the mobile phone. There are micro-evolutions too. For it’s because of the telephone that we have the telephone that we have mobile phones. And from the mobile phones to smartphones. And from smartphones, to tablets. And from tablets, to phablets! Where phablets are a cross between a smartphone and a tablet PC. And it’s a mobile device that allows you to do and enjoy all of the features and functions of a smartphone and a tablet PC!

And in our digitally driven lives in this world we live in today, it’s just so much more efficient to have one device that can do everything for you that your smartphone and your tablet PC can do. Something that can make and take calls, video calls, surf the web, read and send emails and use instant chat apps etc.

As well as something that lets you do things on it that you might only otherwise ordinarily be able to do on your laptop or even desktop PC. And we all know how even though there is usually “an app for that” for most design and development tools, such as for musicians and directors, etc. But let’s face it, these aren’t usually quite as powerful and as easy and quick to use as the actual computer app for it is on your laptop/desktop. Continue reading “What is a Phablet Phone and What Makes Them So Unique?”

The Height of Sophistication

A little bit of a year ago, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Elon Musk said he fears the risk of “something seriously dangerous happening.” We personally think the 43-year-old has been watching too many science fiction films, but one thing he is right about is that there has been huge developments in artificial intelligence over the last few years.

We only have to look at the news recently that has seen computers performing magic tricks. And while that doesn’t suggest anything dangerous, the likes of Penn & Teller will sure be quaking in their boots.


Researchers at Queen Mary University in London gave a computer program instructions on how a series of tricks work alongside the results of experiments into how humans understand magic. Of course, a magician never reveals their secrets but the puzzle which AI has created has gone up on sale in a London magic shop and is also available to download as an app named Phoney.

It signifies yet another major breakthrough in AI, which over the years has become incredibly sophisticated in a wealth of industries.

It doesn’t take long to see how the rise of artificial intelligence has changed our lives – after all you only need to ask Siri to Google it for you. Since the 1980s, AI research has been a major industry and has slowly started to help us with everything from manufacturing cars, to beating the greatest chess champion of all time Garry Kasparov back in 1997.

As the ‘90s turned into the 2000s, technology continued to succeed against humans with IBM’s supercomputer Watson beating two champions on Jeopardy!. But far from that, they aren’t simply designed to beat humans, but rather help.

Since the invention of self-driving cars we’ve seen over 300,000 accident-free miles on the roads, and when it comes to security, our world is a much safer place.

It’s become the new eyes of surveillance; with the likes of video analytics in CCTV systems that analyze and detect abnormal activities that could pose a threat to security, with the systems learning what is normal on a day to day basis for businesses.

And it’s the same online too – everything from shopping, to banking, to entertainment. Take the online casino industry. Companies put a whole host of security in place to ensure fair games, with most popular sites having strict security measures to keep both customer information safe, and foul play at bay.

Using the most up-to-date technology, they constantly monitors their sites in order to protect their players, while Random Number Generators are used to ensure fairness.

Where AI could go from here, the possibilities are endless. It’s unlikely Musk’s prophecy will come true, as we aren’t living in a 1980s Los Angeles created by James Cameron, but it is likely to continue to help us by minimizing human error and continuing the technological revolution that never seems to end.

Kobo Aura HD: What and What Not to Expect

Although the rise of high-end tablets in the market has hugely captivated the fancies of its audience, the world might still have a place for another e-reader – Kobo’s latest Aura HD. “This is something that is designed for this most passionate, voracious reader,” says CEO Mike Serbinis during an interview with engadget.com. But considering the vast pool of competitors out there, with two main players dominating the market, is Kobo’s latest innovation still worth the purchase?

The seemingly impressive hardware

It appears that the e-reader market is composed of a number of companies that just utilize the same parts for their products over again, with processors designed by a similar company as well, so there’s not really much to brag about when it comes to the hardware. However, Serbinis is determined to give the new Aura a place in the market.

Aura appears to have a larger screen, and in a tow, a bulkier reader. With a footprint of 6.97×5.05×0.46 inches, the device is noticeably larger than the Glo or Kindle’s Paperwhite. It’s much heavier than its competitions as well, and avid e-readers could immediately attest to that. Although the design appears to be just convenient to hold, it can be little slick, as well, especially if you have sweaty hands.


Boasting the HD screen

The screen also boasts a resolution of 1,440 x 1,080 – something that could definitely put many tablets to shame as it promises a 20 percent upgrade to clarity than most HD readers on the market – so it’s an extremely sharp reader. Battery-wise, it can last up to over a month, already with its light and Wi-Fi on. That’s plenty of time.

Atop the reader is a dedicated button for the device’s built-in front light. Just like the impressive technology from Glo, it wouldn’t fail its users once it’s on – showing off that evenly-distributed light across the whole display. The company isn’t really a fan of the standard micro-USB cords, as they’ve built a pretty good-looking cord solely for the device. It also holds a micro-SD slot for you to add up to 32GB storage to device’s 4GB built-in storage. That would certainly mean a lot to committed e-readers.

The not-so impressive software

With the goal of most e-readers to make the hardware “disappear” as much as possible, Kobo exerts an awful lot of effort to lifting the software. There’s nothing really much to expect with the software, just that it isn’t as user-friendly as other e-readers in the market. It can still read a multiple selection of file formats, including EPUB, PDF, JPEF, GIF, HTML, TXT, and a lot more. Although you will get by for some time, the company would really need to do some tweaks to its operating system to make a name in the market.

It was just the right move for the company to make the Aura HD a limited edition product, considering the e-readers bulkiness and the whopping $169 price tag. With Kindle and Nook on the market, the Aura HD is even much more difficult to sell.

Five OS X tools for your analogue life

I often wish I had certain utilities in my daily life which I have in my computer operating system. Tragic, isn’t it. But go with me for a minute, if you want your neighbours to look like Scarlett Johansson and your food to fly into view like some quartz composed magic that is.

1. The find function – A classic, every time you lose your keys, your wallet or the chuffing TV remote, you wish there was a find function in your living room. I can see it now. This is your Wallet, These are your unwashed dinner plates, this is your porn stash. That would be pretty damn awesome. Maybe as GPS chips become smaller and more accurate, we can start planting them in everything we ship out of China, and plot their locations via some sort of mobile phone interface. You’re fucked when you lose your phone like.

2. Disk Utility – Typically every Friday morning during University term time, and quite often Sundays too, I wish I could forgo the sense of confusion and then anger caused by my inability to think properly. I’d like to either roll back to my pre-alcohol stained brain, or just run defrag and get everything unjumbled again. Repair permissions could do the same job, but everyone knows that doesn’t really work.

3. Single User Mode – You work with idiots, you live with idiots, you commute with idiots. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just snap your fingers and have them all disappear? Not permanently of course, just until you have things sorted out, and you’ve covered your co-workers cubicle in post-it notes and/or newspaper.

4. Show input source name – Picture the scene. Your in an early meeting, you got wankered last night, you feel sweaty and you have bad breath, and the co-worker across the table is uttering words you don’t even recognise. You’re in a pickle, at least if you knew the language they were speaking you could just reply with a random selection of “yes”, “no” and “dunno”. Fuck it, go the whole hog and get VoiceOver to do it for you and go grab some sleep by using your jacket as a pillow on the toilet seat in the disabled loo (more floor space, lesser used: It’s an obvious choice).

5. Uno – Only really applicable to the budding Adolfs amongst you, Uno in your analogue life would allow you to make everyone look the same. Blonde hair, check. Blue Eyes, check, no nasty mail.app type lozenges. Check. You’d have to get everyone to write their names on their heads so you could tell who was who, but this has to be preferable to genocide – and maybe you could even have a ‘make everyone look like Scarlett Johansson option.