Thanks for 2013!

As we come to the end of 2013, here at UKTR we think back to the year that has been! Read More...
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The Tech Store is now open

The Tech Store is now open!

After much redesign we have relaunched the tech store at UKTR. We are passionate about tech and want to help our readers make informed choices when buying new kit. Read More...
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Tech Predictions for 2014

As we rapidly come to the end of 2013 it is time to think about what 2014 might bring us in the world of tech. Read More...
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Awesome Twitter Avatar

You may have seen recently my new Twitter avatars. They are really awesome and were created by @catahstrophic for only $10. Read More...
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Lego City Advent Calendar - Dec 5th

Count down to Christmas with Lego City Advent Calendar here at UKTR.
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Lego City Advent Calendar - Dec 4th

Count down to Christmas with Lego City Advent Calendar here at UKTR. Read More...
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Lego City Advent Calendar - Dec 3rd

Count down to Christmas with Lego City Advent Calendar here at UKTR. Read More...
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Lego City Advent Calendar - Dec 2nd

Count down to Christmas with Lego City Advent Calendar here at UKTR.
Read More...
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Lego City Advent Calendar - Dec 1st

Count down to Christmas with Lego City Advent Calendar here at UKTR. Read More...
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Just-eat.co.uk

I have just had my first experience of just-eat.co.uk and it has been a really good experience.

The experience started well nearly 12 hours ago when I first visited the website on my iPhone at work and found which of the 19,000+ restaurants were close to me in Birmingham. The mobile version of the website looks great on the iPhone screen and finding a restaurant and selecting a menu was really easy. Read More...
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Comic Con Birmimgham

We went to the MCM Comic Con at the NEC today.
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Lego Advent Calendar


Join us each day during Advent 2013 when we open a new door on our lego Advent Calendar. Read More...
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Sluggish Magic Mouse?

Having problems with your Magic Mouse?

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Best Christmas Advert 2013

What is your favourite Christmas advert of 2013?

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Christmas giveaway

To celebrate Christmas at UKTECHREVIEWS.COM we will be giving away a big tech bundle in December for anyone signing up to our newsletter. Read More...
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When the worst happens!

What to do when the worst happens?



I was having a fairly relaxed and normal weekend - until the worst happened.

I was checking a final edit of a video and my external USB 1TB HDD died on me. Apparently Western Digital external drives are having problems with Mavericks.

My first thought was to check my Time Machine backup of my drive which is saved on another external drive - but that hadn’t been backed up since the end of August.

Thankfully I subscribe to a great and easy to use cloud based backup service at
backblaze.com.

I am on the $95 for two years unlimited backup service which offers continuous, scheduled or ad-hoc backups from Windows and Mac computers.

backblaze-icon


The file storage system allows you easy access to your files which are kept after deletion for up to 30 days. In the event of major disaster you can access your files in three ways:

  • Download a zip file
  • Have the files mailed to you on a USB memory stick
  • Have the files mailed to you on a physical disk


As I type this the file are currently being downloaded in one 40+GB zip file.

This has been a lifesaver and I am obviously really pleased with the service.

After using this for over 6 months my feedback is really positive:-

  • Total compatibility with iPhoto and more recently iMovie albums / folders
  • Simple, clean and easy to use backup interface
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Very competitive pricing structure

I would thoroughly recommend their service.


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Win a Pong iPad case

Win a Pong iPad case worth £60


THIS GIVEAWAY HAS CLOSED AND THE PRIZE HAS BEEN DELIVERED!



72BDA778-755A-40F1-AC9F-17513B6702ED[7]

I am giving away a Pong iPad case worth £60 courtesy of http://www.raniericommunications.com .

IMG_2338

The full review can be found here.

How to enter

1. Leave a comment below via DIsqus.

2 Tweet out the following tweet by clicking
here

“I’ve entered another @mruktechreviews giveaway to win a @pongcase iPad case courtesy of @RanieriComs. http://bit.ly/16Yc8Gs”

Rules

  1. This is a UK giveaway only.
  2. You can enter as many times as you like.
  3. There is no cash alternative to the prize.
  4. The competition ends on Sunday 27th October 2013


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Canon EOS70D

The Canon EOS70D DSLR



After nearly four months of research I have bought a
Canon EOS7OD DSLR camera. This is a big investment for me and UKTechreviews. At over £1000 for a DSLR this is a beast of a camera and will form the workhorse of most of my professional video making and personal photography.

The key features and specs of the camera include

20.2MP APS-C 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' sensor
DIGIC 5+ image processor
ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expanded
7fps continuous shooting, burst depth 65 JPEG / 16 RAW
'Silent' shutter mode
1080p30 video recording, stereo sound via external mic
19-point AF system, all points cross-type, sensitive to -0.5 EV
63-zone iFCL metering system
98% viewfinder coverage, 0.95x magnification, switchable gridlines and electronic level display
Fully-articulated touchscreen, 1040k dot 3" ClearView II LCD, 3:2 aspect ratio
Single SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
Built-in Wi-Fi
Single-axis electronic level
Built-in flash works as off-camera remote flash controller
AF microadjustment (can be set individually for up to 40 lenses, by a digital lens serial number)
In-camera High Dynamic Range and Multiple Exposure modes (JPEG-only)
'Creative Filter' image processing styles, previewed in live view





This is their full list of activities

  1. Flying helicopter
  2. Special meal: Pizza and fish fingers
  3. Special meal: Lasagne and Ravioli
  4. Special meal: Chicken in pastry
  5. Special meal: Apple crumble
  6. Play on the beach
  7. Make Fimo models
  8. Ride on the London underground
  9. Go on a train
  10. Have a BBQ
  11. Have a water fight
  12. See the great fire of London monument
  13. See the London Eye / Houses of parliament / Buckingham Palace
  14. Sleep in sleeping bags in the living room
  15. Play a game of Monopoly
  16. Play on the Wii as a family
  17. Play scrabble
  18. Make a marshmallow chocolate fountain
  19. Make a Kiwi / chocolate bar?
  20. Play at the play barn at Hatton
  21. Play at an adventure playground
  22. Eat fish and chips on the beach
  23. Play Cluedo
  24. Play labyrinth
  25. Go to the cinema
  26. Go to Cadbury world?
  27. Teddy bears picnic
  28. Make 3D models of polygons
  29. Watch a film together at home (make a home cinema)
  30. Play music together


Author: Spencer Organ (Lead writer - Join the writing team here)


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Vlogging?

To Vlog or not to vlog that is the question!

I have been thinking quite a bit recently about the merits of starting my own vlog on YouTube. I have been recording videos and uploading them to the internet since about 1999 when I had my first geocities.com web page but think now is the time to do this on a more regular basis.

I spend over half an hour every day watching the vlogs of great vloggers such as
David Di Franco and Chris Pirillo. I have taken much inspiration from both of these guys, not only in vlogging but in how they use technology.

I guess the big questions I need to ask before starting are:-

  • Do I have anything interesting enough to vlog about?
  • Do I have the time to maintain the schedule of daily recording and editing?
  • Will people watch?

Also I need to think about my day job!

When I am not making videos and running this website I am actually a Chemistry teacher from a normal school in Birmingham. This poses a couple of key questions when thinking about vlogging.


  • Do I really want to share personal details of my life / family with my students?
  • Do I need to be careful about the public image I portray about myself?


So what do you think?

Is it ok for teachers to vlog their lives in a public place such as YouTube?

Should I do it?

I was thinking initially of a five week vlog project over the summer holidays and then reviewing at the end of August.

I generally would love your feedback on this one.

Author: Spencer Organ (Lead writer - Join the writing team here)


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iOS7 Beta: Unsupported cables

On Monday of last week iOS7 was announced at the Apple Special Event - if you missed the keynote check my blog here.

WWDC San Francisco Moscone center

Since Monday I have been using the first beta of iOS7 on my iPhone 5.

I discovered a different response when plugging in my non-Apple Lightning cable. With iOS6 it was not identified as non-Apple but iOS7 does!

Non-suported cables plugged into iOS7

Whilst it reports the lack of certification it still lets you use the cable and as far as I can see it seems to work well!

Author: Spencer Organ (Lead writer - Join the writing team here)


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1000 Twitter followers

1000 Followers on Twitter - thank you everyone!



I would like to say a massive thank you for everyone who follows me on twitter and takes time to read all my daily tech related tweets.

Author: Spencer Organ (Lead writer - Join the writing team here)

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Free Web Mail

Interested in free web based email from UKTechreviews.com?

As we start to grow our community of loyal followers at UKTechreviews.com I would like to offer web based email. This will initially be a trail process to see if it is worth the effort!

If you are interested then please complete the signup form
here.

Author: Spencer Organ (Lead writer - Join the writing team here)
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the iWatch

The iPhone was an amazing game changing step forward for mobile phone technology.

Will the iWatch also be a game changing device?

There are many concept pictures online and these are some of my favourites:

iwatch3 iwatch2iwatch

When will it be released?

The rumours are generally consistent that if indeed it does exists and is in development it will be released in Q3 or Q4 particularly in time for the Christmas holidays.

Key features?

  • Rumour has it that it will be made from flexible glass that will wrap around your arm without breaking!
  • The device will almost certainly be bluetooth in order to connect to iPods / iPads / iPhones etc.
  • Possibly a 1.5” screen
  • A full iOS operating system
  • Hydrophobic water resistance
  • Shock protection

At the moment there are very few other details!

What the experts say

iWatch quote from MacFormat

“We imagine Apple is always looking at emerging technologies, but it does’t smell right that they’d be actively developing.” (MacFormat via Twitter)



I look forward to updating this post as time goes on.

Author: Spencer Organ (Lead writer - Join the writing team here)


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Box of Awesome - box 2

Do you like getting geeky gifts every couple of months?

If the answer is yes - then Box of awesome may be just what you are looking for!

Watch the official advert here:



We signed up as soon as we saw the first advert and have now received our first two boxes.

We have been really pleased with range of gifts ranging from stickers, books, trading cards, jelly beans, dog-tags and droids

Check out the two review and unboxing videos we have made here:






We totally recommend Box of Awesome and you can sign up here:
http://www.boxofawesome.tv/


Author: Spencer Organ (Lead writer - Join the writing team
here)
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Stop frame animation with Vine

I love animation - particularly stop frame animation with Lego!

Check out this really simple stop frame animation with vine.

You may need to click the video to play it!

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New Studio setup

We have a new studio layout for making unboxing videos and reviews.




We now use:

* Website banner on the desk for a consistent layout
* Controllable lighting using a PAR56 LED (DMX controlled) lantern
* Fuji Finepix S2995 recording in 1080p
* 7” TFT monitor for live preview of the recording

Links to all the equipment used
----------------------------------------­------

Lantern
http://amzn.to/160hYT7 £33

Controller
http://amzn.to/ZDl1zZ £34

TFT Monitor
http://amzn.to/XsjD3q £27

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Gadget Show Live 2013

The Gadget Show Live was awesome! We had a brilliant day.



Please check back for a more full review of the day

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Olloclip 3-in-1 lens giveaway

This giveaway has now ended - but check out the review and the photos


To celebrate my upgrade to the iPhone 5 I am giving away an olloclip 3-in-1 lens for iPhone supplied by
olloclip.

olloclip for comp

I shall be adding a more detailed review and test photos later but to enter simply head over to competwition.com/hTu3A to enter.

If you want one but don’t want to pin your chances on winning one then they can be bought on Amazon here:

iPhone 4/4S



iPhone 5




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Noise cancelling headphones

headphones

I was recently asked by my father in law to recommend some noise cancelling headphones to use during a long flight he will be taking soon. Having owned both a pair of active and passive noise cancelling headphones I want to explore the pros and cons of active noise cancelling and share some recommendations.

Active noise cancelling headphones reduce background noise by creating frequencies which remove the ambient noise. Even the most expensive of models will never fully remove all the sound but can be very effective in reducing the whoosh of engine noise on an aeroplane. Noise cancelling headphones come in a full range of sizes from tiny earbuds to full enclosed headphones.

The advantages of using these headphones are clearly that they reduce the ambient noise which practically means you don’t need to the volume so loud on your MP3 player. A secondary benefit is that quiet sounds and passages of music are more discernible and the contrast between loud and quiet is greater.

The main disadvantage of noise cancelling headphones is the reliance of a power source to power them. Some headphones only require the power supply (typically a replaceable battery) to engage the noise cancelling but some models will not work at all when the battery is dead. Some headphones only contain a rechargeable battery that is charged up by an external power supply - these may not be totally suited for long journeys.

Having researched the market place these are some of the best active noise cancelling headphones I have found.

For the best prices check the links at the bottom of the page.

Bose Quiet Comfort 15

  • Enjoy your music and movies even more, with clear and lifelike Bose sound
  • Comfortable, around-the-ear fit
  • AAA battery: 35 hours average life
  • Fold- Flat earcups rotate 90 degrees for easy storage and portability in the included case

Product link --> Bose ® QuietComfort® 15 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Sony MDRNC200D.CE7 Noise Cancelling Headphones
  • DNC Software Engine - Delivers accurate, interruption-free sound in the noisiest and quietest environments by pushing out optimal noise cancelling signals
  • Auto Noise Cancelling - Headphones automatically select the best noise cancelling mode for where you are, or choose via the shortcut AINC key
  • S-Master Digital Amplifier and Equalizer - Crystal clear sound for playback faithful to the original source, in superb clarity
  • Urethane Cushion - Lightweight and pressure-relieving cushioned earpads reduce ambient noise, so all you can hear is your music
  • Foldable design - Travel-friendly 2-way folding mechanism swivels headphones together, making them easy to carry and store

Product link --> Sony MDRNC200D.CE7 Noise Cancelling Headphones


Audio Technica ATH-ANC1 Active Noise-cancelling On-Ear Headphones
  • Hifi Design
  • Eliminates Upto 85% Ambient Noise
  • With Travel Pouch & Plane Adapter
  • Type: Hifi Design

Product link --> Audio Technica ATH-ANC1 Active Noise-cancelling On-Ear Headphones


AKG K490 High Performance Active Noise Cancelling Headphones - Black
  • High-performance, active noise-cancelling technology
  • Unique 3d-axis2 folding mechanism for easy transport and storage
  • Lightweight for longwearing comfort
  • Exceptional AKG sound quality
  • Convenient charging from any USB port

Product link --> AKG K490 High Performance Active Noise Cancelling Headphones - Black





Please leave your recommendations and experiences in the comments below.

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Yahoo email hacked

This morning I woke up to over 40 emails in my inbox mostly with mailer errors as they couldn’t be delivered.

Email failure


Having just woken up my suspicions were aroused that something may be wrong, particularly that the emails had been sent form my Yahoo account which I no longer use! A few minutes later an email arrived my friend arrived asking why I had sent them spam!

The bad news what that my Yahoo email account had been compromised and a spam email had been sent to everyone in my address box. Thankfully the email with link wasn’t anything too nasty or embarrassing, but never less I was upset that my account had been compromised.

Yahoo Mail

The account is now deleted and all the other websites that used it as a log-in have now been changed.

I am still confused about how this happened but I am looking carefully at my other email accounts to look for suspicious activity.

5 top tips for preventing email hacking and compromising of passwords



1. Make sure that your passwords are sufficiently complicated - a mixture of letters, numbers and symbols.

2. Change your passwords frequently

3. Don’t use the same password on more than one site

4. Don’t tell your kids your password for your iTunes / App store account (read this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-21629210)

5. NEVER, EVER, EVER use an email password as a log-in password when registering with a website / service

Spam

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Kingston 8GB St David's Day giveaway

st-davids-day-uk


St David’s Day Giveaway

Tomorrow is St David’s day (1st March) and to celebrate my Welsh relatives I am giving away a 8GB Kingston Technology USB Flash drive / memory stick.

To enter the giveaway simply tweet out this link by clicking here

Entries only available 28th Feb - 1st March. Uk entries only.

Kingston 8GB

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Kingston Technology winners feedback

It is great getting feedback from people!

Yesterday I posted the prizes awarded in my latest give away and it was great to get feedback from the winners.

Kingston competition photo

Kingston competition winner 2

Check out this great video one of the winners shot.



I love your feedback - keep it coming!

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Kingston Techonology Flashdrive winners

Congratulations to the winners of the Kingston Technology giveaway.



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Kingston Technology FlashDrives to giveaway

Fancy a free flash drive?

Simply enter the giveaway before Friday 15th February 2013.



If you can’t wait to win one buy one here!


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February giveaway

Celebrate the start of February by entering this giveaway for a new pair of Gear4 Angry Bird Space Tweeters - Stereo Headphones worth £20.

Angry Bird Space Tweeters

Angry bird tweeters for competition

Full product details here

To enter make sure you are following me on twitter.




Finally submit a
photo here for the gallery and tweet this page.

The draw will be made at the end of February and is only available to UK residents.

The more photos you submit the more chances you have of winning. Every photo = 1 entry

Good luck!





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Sennheiser Momentum Headphones

I have just received a pair of Momentum headphones from Sennheiser to review. My first thoughts are amazing and a full review will follow soon.



Check out the link
here for these awesome headphones
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My iShrine

Do you keep your boxes after you have opened your precious Mac goodies?

I do and I’m really proud of my ever growing iShrine!

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The end for Jessops?

I was really sad to hear on the news earlier today that Jessops has gone into administration with the possible closure of stores and the loss of over 2000 jobs. The website confirms that at the moment no orders are being taken. This is a really big blow to the high street as Jessops is the last true national camera shop to survive. I remember buying my first SLR in Jessops over 20 years ago and most recently bought my FinePix S2995 in the Solihull branch.

Jessops

The (possible) loss of Jessops from the high street would be a sad blow to the photographic community of both amateurs and professionals and I really hope that this is sold and kept going.

I have been really impressed with the amazing customer service and community engagement from Jessops through their stores and on-line.

Here is my review of the amazing S2995 bought last summer.

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Tech and Booth Babes at CES 2013

Do we always need scantily clad women to sell tech?

A really interesting article from BBC News on the rise of Booth Babes at CES 2013. This poses a really interesting question - do we still need scantily clad women to sell tech at big trade shows?
Get Adobe Flash player
What do you think? Is it necessary in 2013?

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Paying for advertising

Do you want to pay for advertising but only have a very small advertising budget?

I have found a really cost-effective way of buy advertising is through cool-walls and other similar ads on tech websites. My most recent ad / link is on an amazing website called
geekanoids.co.uk. The ad will remain on the Geekanoids website for as long as the site lives. The price paid for this - only £5.

I am always on the lookout for similar deals on other websites and I believe that for a relatively modest advertising budget it is possible to promote your site or YouTube channel effectively.


Geekaboids cool wall

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Gadget Show Live 2013

I’ve bought tickets for Gadget Show Live 2013 at the NEC on 3rd April 2013. I am taking my 8 year old son who is already excited about this.


Gadgetshowlive

You can expect a full review and plenty of videos coming up soon here.

For more details click
here.

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What should you expect from Free Apps

What should you expect from a free app?


For the last few years Apple have released a now familiar app called “12 days of Christmas” where each day from December 26th - January 6th a free iTunes gift is given each day. This App generously is free and gives people with a new iOS device a certain amount of free content to start with after Christmas.

12 days title

With the vast amount of varied content on iTunes across all the different media streams it is unlikely that everyone will like every App, song, video, iBook or music video offered.

Today (Day 7 - January 1st 2013), the selection was a free film from Disney Pixar - Toy Story Toons. Like many people I eagerly hit “Get Free Film” shortly after midnight in the anticipation of showing this to my kids later that day.

Pasted Graphic 1

Unfortunately I was met with an error message that this video was not available in the UK. Reading some of the comments on iTunes for the 12 days App it quickly appeared that I was not the only person getting this message.

Pasted Graphic 2

Many of the comments posted on iTunes expressed a great deal of anger and frustration at Apple and iTunes for this mistake. This poses for me an interesting question.

If an App or product is provided as a free gift, do we as consumers have a right to complain when it fails to meet a good standard (or even work in this case)? The comments provided by iTunes users overwhelmingly believe that they do have a right to complain and leave negative feedback. Personally I don’t believe that we should complain when something free (or in this case 1/12 of it) doesn’t work but am hoping that it will be resolved quickly. If this became a regular issue and more content either didn’t work or wasn’t available in certain countries I think the consumers would have an issue with iTunes.

What do you think?

Leave comments below!

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