Category Archives: News

Best Keyboard Ever! #Logitech K780 Multi-device #Bluetooth http://amzn.to/2nedclO

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Logitech is king of keyboard and mice.  Hands down the best quality experience for your devices be it a tablet, phone or regular desktop computer.

I’ve been a user of the K380 keyboard (now priced at only $30!!!) since its release, it has to be the most versatile multi-device keyboard I have ever used.  The typing experience is fantastic with great feedback and feel with pretty much no compromise for what is essentially a travel keyboard.  My only criticism or frustration with the K380 was the lacking Home, End and Page Up/Down keys (using the Fn key is possible but I ended up programming my MX Anywhere 2 side buttons to shortcut Home and End).

Taking the best design from the K380, Logitech has brought its multi-device functionality to the newly released K780.  The difference between this and the K380 is basically a full keyboard vs a travel keyboard with the handy addition of a device slot up front to enable you to rest your phone and/or tablet so you can work away on several screens at the push of the device select button.  The new keyboard supports both Unifying receivers as well as Bluetooth so it can handle all of your devices.  The K780 offers a separate numerical keypad as well as my missing Home, End and Page Up/Down keys!

The keyboard as mentioned is both Bluetooth and Unifying receiver compatible and paired effortlessly with Windows 10 devices as well as my iPhone.  The Unifying receiver is tucked away in the battery compartment on the underside of the keyboard.  The K780 uses 2 x AAA batteries and Duracell batteries are included ready for an instant out of the box install!

Check out the demo video here to see how to switch between devices as well as how to utilize the handy slot to prop up your devices to multi-task!

Get your Logitech K780 keyboard here via Amazon, currently $79.99

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vipre_logoForget the resource hungry solutions from Norton/Symantec and McAfee and use a lightweight and unintrusive antivirus and protection system that will keep your web browsing, downloading and email safe and sound.

VIPRE is offering a 30% discount right now on their antivirus products, check here for more details and get better protected for 2017!

Top 10 Surface Pro, Surface book accessories

 

microsoft-surface-book-and-penSo you have bought your Surface Book or Surface Pro, now you need to accessorize!

We bring you the Top 10 best accessories to complement your Surface purchase!

If you have other suggestions for top accessories please let us know!

1. Logitech K380 Bluetooth Keyboard

k380-blue-1Buying a Surface Pro is like the Christmas Days of old….toys with batteries NOT included!  Microsoft unless you catch them on a deal still refuse to ship the Surface Pro with a keyboard option!  While I understand that there are different keyboard choices available how about include a keyboard credit so you can choose the one you want at the time of purchase?!  Ok rant over!

If you want an alternative to the Microsoft Surface keyboards and use multiple devices the number one choice has to be the Logitech K380 keyboard.  It comes in either Blue (as shown) or in a grey option with yellow highlights.  For a portable keyboard it has an amazing feel and it extremely comfortable to use.

As mentioned the keyboard can support up to 3 different Bluetooth devices.  Simply press and hold one of the three selection buttons to start the pairing process and you are good to go!  The keyboard is compatible with Windows 10, Mac devices (hands down beats the Apple keyboard for everyday use!), iOS devices, Android and Windows Phone.  This keyboard has paired and worked with everything that has been thrown at it!

Amazon has the keyboard for under $30 here – check it out!

2. Logitech MX Anywhere 2 Mouse

mx-anywhere-2-mouseThis is the perfect desktop or travel partner to the K380 keyboard above.  It works with both Bluetooth and Logitech unifying receivers.  The main selling points for this mouse are that it is multiple device friendly working with 3 devices at the push of a button on the base of the mouse.  The mouse uses Logitech’s dark field laser tracking technology which allows it to work on all surfaces including glass tables – this is a life saver!  The mouse uses a rechargeable battery and lasts forever.  A micro USB cord is supplied that plugs into the FRONT of the mouse allowing you to charge the mouse while you use it.

Amazon sells the Logitech Anywhere MX 2 Mouse for just under $60 here.

3. Plugable UD-5900 Multi-Display Docking Station with 4K Support

plugable-UD-5900-ports

Plugable has to be the go-to for any docking station solution outside of the manufacturer choice.  If you are looking to meet a budget but need all of the functionality of the more expensive OEM model without compromise then look no further.  The UD-5900 is the latest in Plugable’s range of USB 3.0 docks featuring DisplayLink.

The UD-5900 supports multiple screens and comes equipped with both DVI and HDMI sockets.  A DVI to VGA adapter is also supplied in the box if needed.  You can run dual screens, three screens including the Surface panel.  4K resolution on one screen if you want the highest possible resolution.

The dock comes with 4 x USB 3.0 ports, 2 front and 2 on the back.  The audio port is thoughtfully placed on the front of the dock for easy access.  Networking support is provided via a gigabit adapter and all of these interfaces run through the USB 3.0 Host port to your Surface device.

The device is constructed of aluminium wrapped around a plastic casing and seems very robust and small in size and weight.  An external power adapter is supplied to independently power the device.

At $119 the Plugable UD-5900 is a compelling choice when faced with the more expensive Microsoft Surface Dock!

4. BaseQi MicroSD adapter

surface-book-sd-cardThe biggest failing on the design front is the inclusion of the SD card slot on the Surface Book vs the MicroSD card slot provided on Surface Pro devices.  The main issue with this flaw is shown.  The device as-is using SD Cards is only useful for reading cards.  With regards to expanding storage which is important when your internal SSD storage is limited (most Surface users opt for the 256Gb middle mark model).

You cannot keep an SD card in the device due to it not being flush in the device.

BaseQI have adopted the same solution the Macbook has had for a while and created an adapter to sit flush within the Surface Book.  The adapter has an aluminium front to match the Surface Book device and the MicroSD card sits inside the plastic tray that slots into the machine.  The adapter does not support the higher UHS-I and UHS-II speeds but for additional document and download storage this is the best solution for expanding your onboard storage.  The device supports up to 200Gb cards effectively doubling your internal storage.

You can get the BaseQi MicroSD adapter here for $24.99

5. SD and MicroSD cards

With SSD storage still being expensive and sizes being limited there is still a need for extra storage.  SD cards, or with the BaseQI adapter, MicroSD cards can supplement your onboard storage relatively cheaply.

Cards up to 200Gb are available

6. Bidul USB 3.0 hub, DisplayPort and Ethernet Adapter

surface-pro-3-hub-installedBidul offers you extra expansion on the move for your Surface Pro device.  The only limiting factor on the Surface Pro devices is that they only have one USB 3.0 port.  The Bidul solution plugs into the existing USB 3.0 and DisplayPort and provides passthrough ports as well as an additional USB 3.0 port and an Ethernet port.  The device is unique in that it sits snuggly and securely on the side of your Surface Pro device and require no additional power.  This is a perfect solution for Surface Pro road warriors who need occasional access to hard wired ethernet network connections as well as the ability to plug in more than one USB device at the same time.

The Bidul USB 3.0 hub and Ethernet adapter can be found here for $40.

7. Juiced Systems Microsoft Surface Pro 3 – 4 in 1 Adapter – 2x USB 3.0, SD/SDHC/MMC4.0, Micro SD/SDHC

juiced-surface-pro-3-installedIn a similar approach to the Bidul adapter above Juiced Systems has designed a different kind of USB hub which is more storage focused.  Again using the existing USB 3.0 port as a support the device attaches to the side of your Surface Pro 3 or 4 expanding your number of USB ports to two and providing you with additional card reading options for both SD and MicroSD cards.

The Juiced Systems 4-in-1 adapter can be found here for $29.99

8. Microsoft Surface Dock

Surface-Pro-Dock-HD-1024x576The high end docking solution for your Surface Pro 3, 4 and Surface Book device.  Microsoft offers this sturdy solution to answer all of your port requirement needs.  Like the Plugable solution the Surface Dock offer 4 USB 3.0 ports, two front and two back.  All other ports are on the back of the device and comprise of two mini DisplayPort ports, gigabit ethernet, audio and power.  The power adapter that comes with the dock is larger than and heavy like the dock itself.  This is definitely a desk bound solution.  Unlike the Plugable the Surface Dock utilizes the unique Surface blade connector to both power and drive all of the devices.  This makes for a neater solution than the Plugable as you simply slide the connector into your device and are good to go, other solutions require both USB 3.0 and your power adapter.  There have been some monitor compatibility issues with the Surface Dock, there is a specific firmware tool to allow you to update the dock.  Most issue seem to arise from daisy chaining DisplayPort devices rather than driving separate monitors.  The dock retails at $199 which is incredibly high considering the Plugable comes in under $120.  The neat one plug magnetic feature is very useful though and I’m sure the native support over the cable surpasses USB 3.0 speeds (not verified!) and provides less processor stress trying to drove everything via USB.

Deals can be found on the Surface Dock here, including keyboard bundles at reduced prices!

9. Microsoft Wireless Display Adapter

wireless-display-adapter

The Surface devices like most laptops and tablets these days come armed with Miracast compatible graphics cards.  The device simply plugs into your flatscreen HDMI port and USB port for power.  Once connected you can choose the option to Connect to the screen via the Notification bar.  The wireless adapter is compatible with all Windows 10, 8 and 7 devices.

10. Surface Pen Tips

Surface Pen TipsIf you like using the pen check out the replacement tips available for the Surface Pen.  The different tips have varying thickness and friction to give a better writing/drawing experience.

The Surface Pen Tip set is available for just $10. 

Michael Kors moves into Smartwatches with Access

Product DetailsEveryone and their dog seems to be moving into the Smartwatch arena, Michael Kors is the latest to release a more fashion oriented, stylish version of AndroidWear.

How much does it cost to add a Michael Kors watch to your MK collection?  Starting at $350 this gets you a good selection of styles and an additional $50 will get you switchable, fashionable bands.

Appealing to the younger more trendy fashionistas vs the geek squad, Michael Kors advertises the Access range of watches featuring Zendaya and Martha Hunt, showing us their daily activities from messaging, exercising to socializing and customizing the face of the watch to match your look.  This range is geared to the younger fashion focused demographic.

Product Details

The underlying operating system is Google’s AndroidWear, there are some custom faces and a Michael Kors app that allows you to save watch face customization as well as set automatically a look for day 6am-6pm and a look for night 6pm-6am – again geared around accessorizing your fashionable look!

Michael Kors also offers some lesser functional activity trackers (think fashionable Fitbit Flex/Flex2) but the Access range of watches offer the full AndroidWear gamut of functionality:

  • Activity Tracker
  • Sleep Monitor
  • Social Media Notifications
  • Music Controls
  • Custom Watch faces
  • Microphone & Speaker
  • Alarm Clock
  • Wireless Syncing

All of this is geared to the younger user looking to accessorize their look.  Michael Kors also aims to be user friendly and start up guides are available to watch online to help you get started with your new fashion accessory.  Everything about the Michael Kors Access range aims to impress and be stylish.

 

Check out the Michael Kors Access range of activity trackers, smartwatches and custom straps available here on Amazon.

Product Details

 

#Yahoo #Security Breach 500 Million accounts – change your passwords NOW!

Probably the largest security breach ever has been reported by Yahoo.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/yahoo-confirms-at-least-500-million-accounts-breached/ar-BBwtQgT?OCID=ansmsnnews11

The information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers, Yahoo said. 

facebook-reallyI suggest changing any passwords on any Yahoo accounts you have immediately.  If you have used the same username/password across various sites I recommend changing ALL of your passwords to prevent what is called credential stuffing where the hackers use your known username and password around many common sites around the Internet hoping to gain access to your banks, credit cards and social media accounts.

 Keeping unique and strong passwords is a challenge.  A recommendation for password managers – Dashlane

This application allows you to store (encrypted) all of your passwords and have then securely autofilled on all of your websites.  Should there be a security breach like Yahoo you can with one click change all of your passwords immediately.  You don’t need to remember passwords anymore, you can also sync them across devices too e.g. Android or iPhone.  Dashlane creates and uses strong passwords automatically keeping your accounts secure.

Don’t lose those #Apple #AirPods thanks @SpigenWorld! amzn.to/2ccAvsM $9.99

apple-air-podsWhen Apple announced the new Airpods everyone’s first reaction was ‘I’ll lose those in a heartbeat!’

Well within a heartbeat Spigen, the mobile accessories company, has developed and is launching the Airpod Strap on October 17th!

You can pre order the Airpod Strap here on Amazon for just $9.99!
and get FREE SHIPPING!

sve-your-airpods

What the f$$$ #Apple, seriously…#WTF

lightning-adapter-connected-power-audioSo it is new iPhone time, welcome iPhone 7 and iPhone 7+

True to form the latest incarnation of the iPhone is pretty much an incremental upgrade from the previous – an industry trend now as even Samsung has no groundbreaking features that disrupt the existing very competitive and tired space.

So what’s new?  Water resistant is a great new feature as are new jumps in memory and processing BUT that’s not why we are here today folks.  The latest and most controversial feature is the omission of the trusty headphone socket.  Apple’s stance on this is that it is a brave move to go forward and innovate in new ways and adopt new technologies and form factors.  The problem is though, as usual they refuse to adopt industry standards or improve on their existing solutions.

The removal of the headphone socket means that to listen to music now you will receive a set of Earpods with the very recognisable, ubiquitous Lightning plug.  Should you have some nicer or favourite headphones using the now redundant 3.5mm jack Apple thoughtfully thought to include an adapter that converts from Lightning to the archaic jack plug – as shown on the left.

The issue becomes apparent immediately, for most, as there seems to be a design flaw or missed thought or use case……how do you listen to music while you are charging your new iPhone?  In short you cannot!  But wait!  There is a solution!  Coming soon Belkin, in partnership with Apple, will be releasing yes, you guessed it – an adapter for that!!!  Come October you will be able to spend yet another $40 on the Belkin Lightning Audio + Charge RockStar so that you can, as pictured above, both charge your phone and listen to music!

There are some other more immediate and/or other expensive options for you to get around this oversight on Apple’s part:

iphone-lightning-dockApple Lightning Dock – this spendy piece of kit, not exactly a portable solution, is available now for $49 and allows you to utilize both a Lightning port for charging AND a trusty 3.5mm jack for your audio listening pleasure.

apple-air-pods.PNGNext solution comes in the form of the newly announced Apple AirPods – release date also October.  At $159 these are a premium solution for sure!  Note that the Airpods are widely incompatible with non-Apple Bluetooth phones and devices.   They are geared as per most Apple products to solely work on their devices.  These new headphones utilize Apple’s new custom W1 chip which facilitates pairing seemlessly with your existing Apple devices.

 

 

A wireless solution be it Apple’s Airpods or any other Bluetooth device frees up the Lightning port for charging duties.

So why say ‘What the f$$$ Apple?’  as the headline screams?

This is why:

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Despite the millions of dollars invested in new phone technology, design work, manufacturing and testing you still cannot make a charging connector that is either standard or long lasting.

lightning-chip

The design of the connector seems to be the failure point itself.  The required or hacked ‘authentication chip’ that keeps Apple’s accessory and ‘Certified by Apple‘ program alive and well seems to be part of a major stress point in the design.

This is not a small problem, there is a WHOLE INDUSTRY around this epic design flaw:

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So the question has to be asked….why oh why Apple would you not take the time and resources to improve what seems to be a fundamental design flaw in your products?  As a company who prides itself on sustainability and green credentials, the poor design of cables and now headphone accessories will I guess have a twofold effect:

  • Increased profitability

    • Renewed interest and life to the Certified by Apple program as third parties create new headphones for the iPhone 7 devices
    • Constant rebuying of new leads and now headphones as the design flaw evident in charge cables is now inherited in the Lightning headphone technology.  Does the authentication chip exist in headphones too?
  • Increased Electronic Waste

    • Apple and third party companies will be warranty replacing these cables and headphones constantly
    • Connectivity of adapter to adapter, daisychaining cables will lead to more stress on the connectors and the phones themselves causing more damage to devices and accessories
    • The premium cost for original ‘certified’ cables will result in the continued purchase of imported, inferior (sometimes even dangerous) cables

lightning-bulk-cables

There is a need for a new design, a new solution, surely someone with the design chops of Apple with all of its creative talent, huge R&D budget and resources could come up with a better, more robust and cost effective solution?

THERE HAS TO BE A BETTER WAY!!!

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Maybe new leads with right angled connectors BUT with a passthrough port would be a better design.  Headphones plug in first and the regular charging cable can slot into the bottom of the headphone connector?