Best of TechRadar: this week's best words and star features

25th Jan 2014 | 10:01

Best of TechRadar: this week's best words and star features

Our favourite words from the last week

How Spotify, Netflix and Amazon control your online habits

How Spotify, Netflix and Amazon control your online habits

When is a choice not really a choice?

Whatever you watch on Netflix, listen to on Spotify or buy from Amazon this week there's a good chance you won't actually make a choice - it would have already been done for you. With thousands of TV and movie options and millions of songs on tap, it may feel like there is real choice. But these companies with their vast oceans of content have crafted powerful recommendation engines, taking heed of what we already like and drawing conclusions about what else we would enjoy. We gobble up the recommendations because they're so convenient. Read why this could be a problem

Mac in time: 30 years of Apple's legendary PC

The original 'Bondi Blue' iMac

From the original Mac to the new Mac Pro

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the original Apple Macintosh − the computer that kick-started the PC revolution as we've known it. Here's a potted history of Apple's ever-evolving machine − the first mass-market personal computer to offer a graphical user interface. Which ones do YOU remember?

Why DAB radio in the UK is broken...

Why DAB radio in the UK is broken, and how to fix it

...and how to fix it!

DAB radio in the UK is badly broken and needs fixing. That's right, fixing, and not replacing with internet streaming. Here's why. The problem is all about bandwidth, even if there's inevitably more to it than that. Did you know, for instance, that many DAB radio stations in the UK are broadcast at just 64kbps mono using the MP2 codec? Do not adjust your screen that really is just 64kbps. That really is mono not stereo. That really is MP2 and not MP3. To put that into context, MP2 is a less efficient codec than MP3, so that 64kbps figure is more like 48kbps in MP3. And that, reader, is actually offensive. Continue reading...

What is the point of SteamOS? I can't think of a single one

What is the point of SteamOS? I can't think of a single one

Why PC gaming doesn't need to be saved...

SteamOS has been hailed in some circles as the saviour of PC gaming and I take issue with that on two counts. Firstly, PC gaming just doesn't need saving - there are already 75 million active PC gamers out there on Steam alone and that number is rising. Secondly, even if it did need saving, to ape the TV box + control pad form factor of the traditional console is, for me, ignoring the key differentiator of the PC as a gaming platform – the control, finesse and precision of the keyboard and mouse combo. Underestimate it at your peril. I just can't see this ever catching on

How the mobile phone killed the MP3 player

How the mobile phone destroyed the MP3 player

The phones that gave us the best sound...

It may seem hard to believe now, but in the dark ages of mobile playing music on a phone was unheard of. That is, unless you count rocking out with a low quality ringtone. These days many people spend more time listening to music on their phones than actually, you know, making calls. The mobile phone, and even more so since becoming smart, has become the dominant portable music player on the planet, overtaking dedicated MP3 players a while ago. Continue reading...

Why virtual reality gaming is the exciting future of PlayStation 4

playstation 4

PlayStation Gamer: From what I've been told by people familiar with the matter, Sony is preparing to reveal its own VR headset, custom built for PlayStation 4. It was initially going to be announced at Gamescom in August, but for reasons unknown was pulled at the last minute. Despite the silence, behind the scenes there appears to be a lot going on. Key first-party games like DriveClub are already being tested with the head-mounted display, which apparently could also work with the PS4's add-on camera to facilitate head-tracking. Read all about it...

How tech shapes the future of gaming: are we better, connected?

xbox one

Xbox Gamer: Games aren't isolated experiences any more, and almost every new game today strives to offer you some level of social interaction with other players. Those traditionally wary of multiplayer modes - and many gamers are - feel uneasy about the shift. But Lionhead isn't stupid - it holds up games like Dark Souls and the PlayStation-only Journey as examples of the kind of multiplayer it wants to create. Read all about it...

Tizen: The operating system that could thwart Android?

MeeGo

We delve into the depths of Samsung's mysterious new mobile OS

The name 'Tizen' has been bandied about in mobile tech circles for some time now but for anyone other than the most ardent follower of mobile matters, the odd-sounding moniker mightn't mean all that much. For those who are still unsure what exactly Tizen is, what it might mean to the general tech consumer, and wondering whether it'll prove a viable competitor to Google's Android, we've taken a closer look at this next gen-operating system. Continue reading...

Android Modding 101: what you need to know about rooting your phone

Android Modding 101: what you need to know about rooting your phone

In Mod we trust...

"Just root it" is something you've probably heard said if you've spent any meaningful time hanging around a hardcore Android user. But, unless you've spent too much time lingering in the darker corners of the internet, you probably get lost when people start comparing ROMs. As Android phones have taken off, rooting (the process of getting super access to your phone, and being able to change it as you see fit) has become an increasingly mainstream thing to do. Continue reading...

The exciting technology that's making driverless cars a reality

nissan leaf

What can you expect from the brave new world of driverless cars?

As BMW enters the race to build a fully functional driverless, and with this year's CES giving away 140,000sq ft of exhibition space to the concept, it's no longer a case of if, but when will these vehicles arrive on our streets. Had too many Jägermeisters? No worries, get yourself some kip and let the car do the driving. Can't find your vehicle in the parking lot? Don't sweat it, the car will come to you. This isn't fantasy, tech companies and car manufacturers are teaming up to make it a reality.

Replacing the Wii U would be madness - Nintendo needs a different kind of Fusion

Replacing the Wii U would be madness - Nintendo needs a different kind of Fusion

Is a new console just a pipedream?

No one really buys into this Nintendo Fusion business, surely. Locking down the specs of a whole new console before the Wii U has even turned two? Unlikely at best. And as for replacing the 3DS, the best selling console of 2013, in the process - now that really doesn't really add up. NintendoNews is confidently standing by its "very reputable source" – fair enough – but it all smells pretty fishy to us. Continue reading...

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