Which Apps Make the Best Use of the iPad Mini’s Dimensions?


Image via Flickr creative commons from Cole Camplese

Anyone who may have been a little sceptical about the benefits of an iPad Mini will have been surprised at its popularity. After all, what benefits are other than being slightly smaller than the full-size iPad – which you already have?

Although the devotion of Apple fans probably means the device would have flown off the shelves regardless, things tend not to shift hundreds of thousands of units without having something to offer. The most obvious benefit being the size, the Mini is very portable and easier to handle should you wish to take pictures or shoot video.

It was also more affordable than the standard iPad, leaving some extra cash to go and stock up on iPad Mini cases from The Snugg. That did not mean it sacrificed speed or memory. It runs on an Apple A5 Dual Processor – the same as the iPhone 4.

Regardless of the other benefits, the main draw of the iPad Mini is the size – it is in its name after all. This has made it the go-to device for many a businessman, wanting the best quality in a device that is easily transportable.

Here are some of the applications which have found themselves particularly suited to the iPad Mini.


As the Evernote app lets you sync everything back to your desktop computer, it is perfect for those who want to take notes without being encumbered by a larger device. Users can take notes with text, voice or photographs. It also allows you to access existing Evernote data, so you never leave anything behind.

That is, unless you forget your iPad Mini.


As the iPad Mini is smaller than its older sibling, it loses a little memory as a result. To keep its speed as high as possible, you will also not want to overload the device with too much data. That isn’t a problem, especially when you have cloud storage on your side. SugarSync, for example, offers 5Gb of free data (Dropbox offers 2Gb) and allows you to access a full library of photos, files and music, wherever you are in the country.

GoogleDrive also offers 5Gb of free storage.


Portability, as mentioned, is where the Mini comes into its own. A quick tube or bus ride across the city to the next important meeting is the perfect time to chill out with a book. Unlike with Amazon’s portable Kindle device, you cannot buy books directly through the app. But it is perfect when you don’t want to carry around more than one device and find yourself with a few free moments to read a couple of chapters.

Camera+ for iPad

As mentioned earlier, the iPad Mini is far easier to take photos with than the larger iPad. For that reason it is the perfect place to download Camera+ – for the relatively cheap price of 69p. The camera on the Mini will never be perfect and is not the thing to rely on if you’re after professional quality photos. Camera+ editing software goes some way to improving your snaps, with adjustable effects and an excellent clarity filter.

Protecting Your In-Car Electronics From Theft


Image via Flickr creative commons from  Jason Cartwright

Whether your car contains the latest in-car radio, fitted with Bluetooth and mp3 function, or your car radio is fairly old, you should always be conscious of keeping your in-car electronics out of sight when you park up. The reason for this? Many hundreds of cars are broken into every year on account of thieves trying to access the in-car electronics to sell on. By keeping your valuables out of sight, you will remove the possibility of your car being attractive to thieves. There are many ways to protect your car and its valuables – here are some further tips for ensuring that your in-car electronics are not stolen.

Park somewhere public

If you park your car in an unknown area, well out of sight of anyone and anything, there is a higher chance that you may come back to find that it has been broken into. Conversely, if you park your car in a very public place where there will constantly be people milling around, then this risk is lessened. The more people that are around, the less likely someone is to attempt to break in to your car, for fear of being caught.

Invest in a car alarm

An inexpensive way to stay on alert to thieves is to install an alarm on your car. All you have to do is activate this alarm when you lock your car and hey presto. The majority of cars these days do not come equipped with alarms which makes it easier for a break-in to occur unnoticed. If a thief is suddenly disturbed by a loud and wailing alarm, he is likely to move on pretty sharpish before he attracts the attention of somebody.

Make sure all windows are closed and all doors are locked

It may sound obvious to shut your car windows and to lock your car doors but think about it for a moment: it’s a really hot and sunny day so all of your car windows have been open to allow plenty of air to circulate. When you come to a standstill, it is likely that you will once again feel the warmth of outside radiating in and thus you won’t even think about closing the windows. It is a similar case with locking your door. Oh it won’t matter because I’ll only be in the shop for a minute. The next thing you know, there is a huge queue and you spend at least 15 minutes inside the shop. That is more than enough time for someone to open the car door and take anything valuable on display, without alerting anyone’s attention.

Hide your valuables

Rather than leaving your valuables on sight for all and sundry, you could transfer them to your glove box. Or better yet, as the majority of thieves will now break in to your car in the knowledge that valuables are stored there – store them in your car boot or take them out with you. A Halfords portable DVD player on full display is like a magnet to a thief. Likewise, if you have a Halfords GPS and you do not remove it from the window, anyone can see it. Remember the phrase, out of sight, out of mind? You should live by this motto when it comes to protecting your in-car electronics.

Advantages Of Shopping Online For Women’s Clothing


Image via Flickr creative commons from Marco Gomes

The rise in the number of online retailers, alongside the increased usage of digital technology has led many shoppers to hunt online to make their clothing purchases. Not only does online shopping offer customers the ability to fit their clothes shopping around their daily schedules, it also makes it possible for customers to purchase new clothes or shoes from any supported electronic device. Online shopping offers a number of advantages to the shopper as well as the business owner. So let’s take a closer look at how shopping online for women’s clothing can be of benefit to you.


We all lead fast-paced busy lifestyles these days which can make it rather difficult to find the time to go shopping. The benefit offered by online stores is that you can access them from any supported electronic device, such as your home pc, a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. When you make the most of this new rise in digital technology, you’ll find that it is so much more convenient to do your shopping online. There’s no having to rush through your household chores so you can get to the shops and avoid the traffic queues. Instead, you can enjoy shopping for clothes from the comfort of your own home. And if you’re one of the super busy people, you can shop while on the train or bus on your daily commute to work.

Try before you buy

Although there are no physical changing rooms when you shop online, there has been talk of developing virtual changing rooms in which you can build your own personal avatar who can ‘try on’ the clothes you have selected. This is a great way to see how the clothes will look on your body and how to match items before you navigate to the payment section. What’s more, shopping online gives you access to consumer reviews so if you’re in two minds as to whether to buy that dress, you can see what other people have to say about it regarding size, quality and fit to help you make a better informed decision.

Save money

It’s so quick and easy to compare the price of items when shopping online which means that you’ll almost always come away with a better deal than if you’d shopped regularly in-store. In addition to this money saving, there are often exclusive deals to be found online, not to mention an absence of pushy sales people who can coerce you into making purchases just to get them off your back.

More choice

When you choose to shop for clothes online, you’ll be faced with an infinite amount of choice. What’s more, you’re not only limited to purchasing clothes from your local area either as you’ll have access to retailers from around the globe. There are also many items listed online that are exclusive to the online store which you wouldn’t see had you not trawled the sites online. And the fact that you have instant access to all of this information right at your fingertips holds appeal for many shoppers. Check out the huge range of women’s clothing at Missguided.

Which on-trend items will you purchase next online?

Finding Android Apps For Your Kindle Outside The Amazon App Store


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So you’ve bought a Kindle. Well you’re not alone as it is estimated that Amazon sold around 1.7 million Kindle Fire devices in the first quarter of the year – although the company refuses to release official figures. One of the main reasons why people choose to invest in a tablet is to download and make use of the latest apps, from movie software to games. Once you’ve got your hands on one of these gadgets you’re going to want to find a Snugg Kindle Fire cover to keep it safe and then plenty of apps to keep you occupied.

The Amazon App Store 

A court case fought between Apple and Amazon that came to a close in July means Amazon is now able to legally use the term appstore, something that Apple was keen to prevent until it pulled out of the case. The appstore has thousands of apps available – both free and paid for – that can be downloaded by Kindle Fire users very easily from their device. There is no denying that there are some great apps in the store, from the likes of hit games titles such as Angry Birds Star Wars Premium HD and Hill Climb Racing through to video-on-demand apps from LoveFilm and Netflix. But it is not the only game in town…

Third-party apps

While the Amazon appstore is the only official way to find apps for the Kindle, there are other third-party providers out there. But why go anywhere else? Well the main reason is that you will find a wider range of apps available elsewhere. How come? The main reason is that commercial interests make it undesirable for Amazon to offer its customers access to these apps as a matter of course. For example, as journalists at Business Insider found out, it is quite possible to download the Nook e-reader app onto the Kindle Fire, something that Amazon would of course never make available through its own store. So when it comes down to it, while the Amazon appstore has plenty of top quality content for the Kindle inside, if you want a free choice of what available apps you want then you’ll have to go third-party.

The technical bit

Ok, so it’s not actually that technical, but you will need to be careful to make sure that before trying to download apps from third-party sites that you ensure that you change the settings on your Kindle Fire – otherwise it simply won’t work. Go into Settings, More and then Device and ensure that the section entitled “Allow installation of applications from unknown sources” is switched to on. You’ll then get a warning to tell you that this course of action might not be safe. If you’re satisfied then you’re ready to get some new apps!

Where to find third-party app sites 

GetJar is said to be one of the best third-party Android app stores out there at the moment and the firm claims to have in excess of 100 million people using its services. Download the app onto your Kindle Fire and soon you’ll have access to a huge range of new apps.

Tips for keeping your data centre cool


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During the summer months, just as clients and employees will get hot under the collar – so will your data centre. Keeping it cool will require a range of data centre solutions – but for any business, maintaining a low temperature can be expensive.

The first step, unfortunately, can often be the most expensive. Optimising your computer room air conditioning units can increase efficiency. At the same time, you should begin an investigation into the integrity of the facility. Look where you are storing it – leaky windows and doors can compromise efficiency. The same applies for ventilation or ceiling tiles that have been removed without being replaced.

If you are in an area where there is a problem with humidity, make sure you have a vapour barrier. Many devices will have been built with one installed so it is important to make sure this is working properly.

Keeping temperatures down can be as simple as maintaining your units regularly. Just like a car, air conditioning units can become unreliable if neglected. Depending on where it is and depending on the season, filters can become clogged with dust over time. If these are not regularly cleared they can become one of the main causes of overheating. The very minimum maintenance schedule should be around twice a year, anything less than that will give you serious problems.

As well as the external factors that increase the temperature of your data centre, the amount of work it is doing can be pivotal in its survival and efficiency. All of the energy it produces will be converted to heat – other than noise, it is the data centre’s only waste product. For almost every bit of energy it spends on processing, you will need to spend on cooling.

If the floor of the room you store your data centre is raised, make sure the grates and similar perforated tiles are as near as possible to the hottest racks. But make sure these are not too close to your air conditioning. If you need to, don’t be afraid to rearrange your units, it will help with air circulation.

Measure the temperature of your racks, where the air is drawn in. If the bottom area of these is coolest, try to rearrange your servers to the coolest areas of the room. At the same time, make sure you use blanking panels to block off the unused, clear room in front of the towers. This process with help with the whole room’s air circulation.

The room shouldn’t be in use by people too often, a human body can add around 100 watts of energy to a room. When it is not in use, make sure the lights are turned off at all times, this can save up to two per cent of electrical heat.

If things get too hot, make sure you have a backup plan to shut down all the non-essential parts of the data centre. This contingency plan will save important data and systems when things get too hot.

Make Sure you Don’t Give Away Confidential Information with Your Old PC


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Making sure you recycle a computer, or any other electrical device, correctly is becoming more and more important. A typical laptop will include harmful components, such as mercury, lead, chromium and other heavy metals. If these end up in a landfill, they have the potential to contaminate the land and water around them.

Recycling is important and can help those who are less fortunate, by giving them access to a PC and potentially the internet. If this is the case, you need to make sure your device is completely wiped of personal data – this can be achieved by procedures such as Computer Disposal’s data destruction process.

Even if you do not intend to send your laptop onto someone else, it still needs to be wiped. It can be picked up by anyone once it has been thrown in a skip and they can harvest it for information to be used against you.

You need to be aware that deleting everything does not clear your hard drive. The same applies for formatting so you need to take a few further steps to make sure the laptop is completely blank. A real wipe of the hard drive requires special software.

In 2003, two students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology bought 158 used hard disks from eBay – from those, the discovered 5,000 credit card numbers, personal and corporate financial records, medical records and emails. Only twelve of the drives had been properly wiped.

The best thing you can do to avoid this is to invest in a proper disk-wiping programme or get a professional to do it for you. If you are going to do it manually, the first thing you need to do is back up all the files you want to keep; once you have finished there will be no chance of getting them back otherwise.

Next, you need to download a free data destruction programme or shredder. There are a number of ways to do this without such a programme, but these tend to take much of the hassle out of data destruction.

Then you need to burn the ISO file onto a disk before wiping the device as per the instructions of your programme.

If you are performing a manual clean up, there are going to be certain things you want to keep and an order through which to delete items and folders. Start the process with your personal folders and files. This should be followed by web settings and internet browsing history. Then, make sure you get rid of all emails. This is particularly important as you may think getting rid of stored bank information such as credit card numbers finishes with your web browsing – you may find out that you have detailed these in a past email.

Remember, when you wipe a hard drive the programmes you need to use and the specific processes will depend on your operating system. The method will be different between Windows 7, Windows 8 and XP, for instance. Make sure you research this thoroughly.

How Does The Enigma Machine Compare To Modern Encryption?


Image via Flickr creative commons from Erik Pitti

Messages written in some sort of code as estimated to date back for at least 2,000 years, and demonstrate that mankind has had a desire to conceal the content of information which it wants to send to a third party for as long as he has been in existence.

Morse code was invented in 1838, and is probably the world’s best-known example, remaining in use through much of World War I – until each side realised that messages could be easily decrypted if they were intercepted.


Taking the conflict up a notch

As a result, when hostilities were about to flare up again, the Germans started work on developing a new way of keeping secret messages which were intended solely for transmission between staff of one of the country’s armed forces. The German boffins’ response was the Enigma machine. Effectively it was similar to a manual typewriter of the day, but it was capable of encoding any message into a code which had 150,000,000,000,000,000,000 different combinations. The machine operated by an electric current being sent from the keyboard through a set of rotors and a plugboard, which illuminated the alphabetical code which was to be used. The codes were varied by changing the order of the rotors, their starting positions, and the order of the plugboard connections.

In this way, the Germans believed that their codes would be unbreakable, until the Allies realised that the only way they could do so was to build a prototype computer, and this was the job achieved by famed codebreakers led by Alan Turing, when they devised what became known as the ‘Bombe‘ machine. While other partly successful attempts had been made to break the Enigma codes, the Bombe provided the real breakthrough, and it and its team of operators helped bring the war to a swift and decisive end. They also used techniques similar to those described on this article on modern day hacking by Parcel2go, Social Engineering – The early enigma decryption relied heavily on finding cases when the German enigma machine operators had not followed proper procedure with their machines rendering the messages much easier to crack, often the same day they were received.


Mechanical v electronic

But whereas, because it was essentially a machine, Enigma’s code-breaking capacity was limited by its physical size. The advent of modern computers powered by a microchip packing massive processing power into a tiny space, therefore, was the key to scientists’ and mathematicians’ ability to take encryption to new levels.

As a result, experiments have been carried out comparing the length of time it would take for a modern-day computer to do the job of the Bombe. And a collaborative project has also been carried out in which a group of computing experts set out to break a message created using an Enigma machine which had, until then, remained uncracked.

At the time they were sent, in 1942, the Germans had considered the messages to be undecryptable. But this project began to disprove that – even if, in the words of the person who answered the question posed on Yahoo!, “brute force [is used] to test the encrypted message against all possible set-up configurations of the Enigma.”

Even then, the test bypassed the plugboard, meaning that a code produced by an Enigma machine, in its original form, might still have remained unbroken to this day, showing that, while new and more sophisticated codes have been devised – and broken – since, the original Enigma remains just that.

How Advanced Battery Technologies Have Contributed To The Development Of The Electric Car


Image via Flickr creative commons from PodKnox

Initially designed and developed back in the 1830s, the electric vehicle has come a long way since then. Witnessing its prime during the early 1900s before seriously declining between the years 1940 and 1960, the electric car has now established itself as a possible future leader in car technology. The green energy aspect of electric cars could well cement their place in the future of vehicle development, as people are becoming more environmentally aware and wish to adopt greener lifestyles. Whilst the future of the electric car is yet to be determined, it is possible to see how far technology has advanced over the years. Here is how advanced battery technologies have contributed to the development of the electric car.

Battery technology in current electric cars

The way electric cars work, is by using an on-board battery to store electrical energy which is then recharged when connected to an electrical supply. Until the late 1990s, the lead-acid battery was the most commonly used battery for electric vehicles. Since then however, the lithium-ion and lithium-polymer have been favoured as they are able to provide significantly improved performance and the longer vehicle range preferred by both manufacturers and drivers.

Back to the beginning

The first electric car, invented by Thomas Davenport, was powered by a DC electric motor. However, a few years later in 1842, both Davenport and Scottish inventor Robert Davidson, decided that there was a need for the electric car to be more practical. That’s why they chose to incorporate the use of non-rechargeable electric batteries. This idea was topped in 1865 by Camille Faure who pronounced the need for better capacity storage batteries if the electric car was to be a practical vehicle.

Improved battery inventions

Gaston Planté was considered to be one of the great pioneer developers of batteries, due to his invention of the lead-acid battery in 1859. Later, Thomas Edison created the nickel-iron battery in 1901, causing much anticipation for the long-awaited new developments of the electric car. Before long however, the popularity of the electric car was replaced by gasoline-powered autos and the electric car suffered a decline.

Things changed in 1989

The invention of nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries in 1989 seemed to turn things around for electric cars. It was this type of battery that was used to help save fuel during acceleration in Toyota’s hybrid-electric vehicle, the Prius. The only problem with a nickel-metal hydride battery is that it was unable to power the Prius over a long range, which meant that battery technologists had to come up with a better solution if people were to take electric cars seriously; hence the forthcoming of the rechargeable lithium battery in 1991. Whilst the early stages of this battery development led to it short circuiting, Sony created a battery that used a combination of graphite, allowing the lithium to be used without the risk of short circuiting. It worked by moving lithium ions between the two electrodes during charge and discharge, thus giving it the name “lithium-ion”.

Breakthrough imminent for electric cars

Bob Purcell has dedicated 20 years to the development of electric vehicles, and promises to not retire until he sees a high volume in them. Now chief executive of a technology start-up he founded called Protean Electric, Purcell and his team have developed a wheel hub motor that could finally mean that the electric car is practical for drivers everywhere. Basing his research on the fact that fossil fuels are in short supply nowadays and the use of all of which will seriously impact the environment, he predicts that the electric car will soon become the viable option for car purchasers around the globe. Thanks to Purcell’s team, getting your hands on subprime car finance will not mean a large cost for the consumer. The production of the new electric car is due to start in 2014, so consumers will not have to wait long to see the effects.

Protecting your Android device from malware


Image via Flickr creative commons from greyweed

If you’re a seasoned computer nerd, then you’ll no doubt have encountered viruses and malware in the past. Malware can destabilise or even disable your computer, tablet or smartphone device – so you need to be on your guard against it. What’s more, malware can also be used to allow hackers to gain access to your device, thereby helping themselves to your sensitive personal information. Ensuring that all your computers, laptops and mobile devices are as secure as possible should be a basic obligation for every user, but it can seem a little bit confusing at first for those of us who aren’t experts on the subject. Once you’ve bought a new Android device – along with all the other accessories you’ll need, such as theSnugg nexus 7 cases– the first thing you need to do is work out how you’re going to keep it safe from malware.

An article from Gizmodo offers a number of useful hints and tips when it comes to protecting your Android device from malware. It notes, first of all, that Android is somewhat more susceptible to malware than iOS, although some basic common sense should enable you to protect your device from malware. Setting a lock screen is worthwhile to begin with. It is worth noting that this won’t render your device completely secure – it isn’t impenetrable – but it will offer you some protection against casual attacks. You should have a number of lock screen options – including password, PIN, pattern and face unlock – and while setting a password may involve the most fiddling around, it’s also the most secure.

Secondly, you should also take a look to find out more about the range of anti-malware programs out there for you to choose from. You should find quite a few anti-virus programs for Android, and installing one of these can provide you with additional protection from malware. Many of these anti-malware programs are available completely free of charge, so it’s worth taking a look online to find out more about what they’ve got to offer. Check a few reviews first to find out more about which one is likely to offer you the most protection.

Cacheing passwords may save you a few seconds when you’re browsing email and other accounts via your Android device – it’s particularly handy for those of us who seem to have a million and one different passwords and struggle to remember any of them – but it’s also ideal for anyone who happens to steal your phone, as they can access your personal data with minimum hassle. Check your browser’s settings to ensure that it doesn’t automatically save passwords without you realising.

An article from eWeek also offers some pointers when it comes to maximising Android security. It suggests that you may be better off sticking to websites you know you can trust and steering clear of those whose security credentials you can’t be sure about. Furthermore, it also points out that you should keep up with the latest Android security news, so you know which malware to look out for and how you can protect yourself from it.

How To Determine The Optimum Location For Your Wireless Router


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Once you have waded through the strange world of gigahertz, 802.11n and 802.11g and finally got your new wireless router home from – you can waste the world’s greatest router by putting it in the wrong place. Regardless of how powerful, there are a lot of things that can hamper its effectivity. Generally these things will be near impossible to consider when perusing wireless routers at BT Shop.

If your PC or laptop falls out of range, then obviously the connection will fail but factors such as obstructions and interference can play a part.

First off, you need to make sure you don’t settle on a router location prematurely. Experiment with a few different places – trial and error may not be particularly scientific, but without shelling out on some super high tech equipment it is the simplest way.

Most often, the best place is a central location – but if the router is only going to be used by one computer, locating it near the place it is going to be used most is bet. If you intend to play music or stream video via your television, then it is recommended you place your router accordingly.

The people at Microsoft say: “If your wireless router, modem router, or access point is against an outside wall of your home, the signal will be weak on the other side of your home.”

Similarly, if the router has to be on the ground floor and your PC or laptop is on the second floor, place the router high on a shelf in the room it is located.

Physical barriers as unavoidable as plastered internal walls can be a hassle to signals. If you are in the situation where locations are limited, try a wireless repeater. Place it halfway between your wireless router, modem router, or access point and your computer, and you can get an instant boost to your signal strength.

But you needn’t worry if you can’t move your wireless router, because there are many other ways to improve your connection. First off, remove the router from the floor and away from metal objects – these can interfere with your router’s signal.

Other electrical items around the house can also prove a headache. The most common wireless technology operates at a frequency of 2.4 GHz. Many cordless phones, microwave ovens, baby monitors, garage door openers, and other wireless electronics also use this frequency. To avoid this try to keep your device out of the way of these household items. If you can’t do this, consider changing your wireless channel until you find one that suits.

In certain circumstances, replacing the antenna can also have its benefits. It is most often the case that the aerial the device comes with is designed to be omnidirectional – sending out a signal in all directions. If this is the case, placing the router near an external wall will waste a lot of its potential. Most routers will not allow you to increase power output, but you can focus that power by sending it all in the direction you need.

For wireless networks with multiple clients, you will need to find a compromise position. Devices too far away from the base station will only be able to manage ten to 50 per cent of the bandwidth of clients nearby. You might need to sacrifice the network performance of one client for the good of the others.