How to use Sky Q Voice Search

Want to find out how to use the Sky Q voice search feature? We explain how, along with things you can do, fix it when it’s not working and 20 movie quotes to try.

Get to grips with the new voice search feature on Sky Q


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Earlier this year Sky updated its Sky Q entertainment system with the long-awaited voice search feature. Here’s what you can do with it including movie quotes and how to fix it when it’s not working. Read our Sky Q review.

What can Sky Q Voice Search do?

There’s plenty you can do with the voice search feature of Sky Q including simple requests like “What’s on Sky Atlantic tonight?” or naming a show like “Game of Thrones”. It works across live and on-demand content.

However, you can get much more specific combining requests like genres, star ratings, age and actors. So you could ask “Show me comedy films with a five star rating” or “Films starring Will Ferrell and Paul Rudd”.

You can even search for your favourite football team or with certain movie quotes – see below for 20 to try. See also: Best media streamers 2015.

How do I use Sky Q Voice Search?

Well you need to be a Sky Q customer with a Touch Remote and your box needs to be connected to the internet.

To do a voice search, simply press and hold the microphone button on the side of the Touch Remote and speak you request.

If you haven’t got Sky Q yet, then it’s now available from just £22 per month.

Sky Q Voice Search not working or stopped working

We’ve noticed that a number of customers have experienced problems with the voice search feature on Sky Q. It appears to either not work in the first place or it worked but have stopped working.

The two things most likely to fix the problem is rebooting the Sky Q box (unplug for 30 seconds and reconnect) or try updating the software. Read: Best Sky Movies on demand 2016. 

Sky Q Voice Search movie quotes

“Say hello to my little friend” – Scarface

“I’ll have what she’s having” – When Harry Met Sally

“May the force be with you” – Star Wars

“Goose” – Top Gun

“I’ll be back” – Terminator

“E.T phone home” – E.T

“The name’s Bond, James Bond” – James Bond

“You can’t handle the truth” – A Few Good Men

“Show me the money” – Jerry Maguire

“My precious” – Lord of the Rings

“Houston, we have a problem” – Apollo 13

“Yo, Adrian” – Rocky

“Don’t call me Shirley” – Airplane

“A boy’s best friend is his mother” – Psycho

“Keep your friends close, but you enemies closer” – The Godfather II

“You’ve got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? We, do ya, punk?” – Dirty Harry

“I’m ready for my close-up, Mr.DeMille” – Sunset Boulevard

“Greed, for lack of a better word, is good” – Wall Street

“Well, nobody’s perfect” – Some Like It Hot

“What we’ve got here is failure to communicate” – Cool Hand Luke

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Swiss supercomputer edges US out of top spot

For only the second time in 24 years, the US has been edged out of the top flight of the world’s most powerful number-crunchers.

An upgrade to a Swiss supercomputer has bumped the US Department of Energy’s Cray XK7 to number four on the list rating these machines.

The only other time the US fell out of the top three was in 1996.

Chinese supercomputers currently occupy the top two slots in the respected Top 500 list.

Power curve

The US machine has been supplanted by Switzerland’s Piz Daint system, which is installed at the country’s national supercomputer centre.

The upgrade boosted its performance from 9.8 petaflops to 19.6.

The machine is named after a peak in the Grison region of Switzerland.

One petaflop is equal to one thousand trillion operations per second.

A “flop” (floating point operation) can be thought of as a step in a calculation.

Supercomputers are often used to carry out incredibly detailed simulations, handle weather forecasts and tackle problems in physics, computational science and geophysics.

The performance improvement meant it surpassed the 17.6 petaflop capacity of the DoE machine, located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

The US is well represented lower down in the list, as currently half of all the machines in the top 10 of the list are based in North America.

And the Oak Ridge National Laboratory looks set to return to the top three later this year, when its Summit supercomputer comes online.

This is expected to have a peak performance of more than 100 petaflops.

While both the Swiss and ORNL systems can handle huge amounts of data, the Chinese machines in the top two slots are much more powerful.

In second place is China’s Tianhe-2 (Milky Way-2) machine , which has a throughput of 33.9 petaflops.

But this is dwarfed by the 93 petaflops available to the Sunway TaihuLight machine at the nation’s supercomputing centre in Wuxi.

Japan is currently building a supercomputer, the AI Bridging Cloud, whose number-crunching ability will go beyond the Sunway machine.

Once completed, the AI Bridging Cloud is expected to have a peak performance of 130 petaflops.

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How to update Kodi

The popular media centre software Kodi has been updated to 17.3 Krypton – here’s how tow to update Kodi on Windows PC, Mac, Android, Fire TV and Raspberry Pi.

Kodi has released its new v17.3 build, named Krypton, and we show you how to update your devices to the latest version


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Kodi, the popular free and open-source media-centre software, has been updated to the new v17.3 Krypton build. In this feature we’ll show you how to make sure you have this latest version running on your device, and some of the new features included in the upgrade. 

Worried about the legality of Kodi? We put your worries to rest here: Is Kodi legal?

How to update Kodi

While it would make life easier if Kodi updated in a similar way to apps on iOS, but it’s not the case. In fact, depending on the hardware you installed Kodi on, it might take a bit of effort.

Windows

If you haven’t already installed Kodi on your Windows PC, then all you need to do is visit the Kodi Downloads page select the Windows installer and then follow the wizard. Updating the software from a previous version is pretty much the same process.

Kodi doesn’t have an automatic updater built-in, so to make sure you’re running v17.3, you just download that version from the Kodi site and then when you go through the installation. The previous version will be replaced by the newer one without losing any settings, files or add-ons.

Android

Many people use Kodi on Android as it’s an excellent way to maintain and consume music and video content. Thankfully, the process for updating Kodi on this platform is straightforward. If you have your apps set to auto-update, which we generally recommend, then chances are you’re already running the latest version.

If you prefer to manually update the apps on your device then you’ll need to open the Google Play Store app, search for Kodi, and then tap the update button. Whatever you do, don’t delete the app and try re-downloading it, as it’ll wipe any settings and add-ons you downloaded. 

Amazon Fire TV stick

Much like the way Windows doesn’t have an automatic upgrade feature, those using Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV stick will need to completely reinstall the software if they want to run the latest version.

To take you through the process we’ve created this step-by-step guide on how to install Kodi on an Amazon Fire TV stick.

macOS & Mac OS X

Updating Kodi on a Mac involves the same steps as doing so on a PC. You’ll need to replace your current version with a fresh install of the v17 release. To do do visit the Kodi Downloads page, select the macOS installer, then launch the downloaded package and follow the instructions.

Raspberry Pi

As with many things on the Pi, there’s a certain amount of manual work to be done if you want to update to Krypton. Much depends on the flavour of operating system you are running, and due to this complication it’s worth reading through the dedicated page on the Kodi site that deals with the upgrade process.

how to update Kodi

how to update Kodi

Now it is up to date, here’s how to use Kodi

Exploring Kodi V17.3

With your system now up and running you’re free to experiment with Krypton to see what’s changed. We’ve put together a quick look at Kodi 17 and also listed the additions that you’ll need to make the most of this impressive software.

Have a look at our guide to the Best Kodi add-ons for 2017, and get ready to take your media centre experience to the next level.

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How to manage your digital music library

The music industry is racing towards streamed distribution, but many of us have built up sizeable music collections. I certainly have, and I spent weeks ripping my old CD library a few years back (and then repeated the job when I realized that 128Kbps MP3s weren’t going to cut it). And if you prefer to own your music, versus renting it in perpetuity via a streaming service, you’re likely still either buying (and ripping) CDs or purchasing digital downloads.

But like your neighbor’s well-kept garden, the secret to a strong music library is regular maintenance. Untagged or unnamed tracks, missing artwork, duplicate files, music scattered across a swathe of folders and devices—these are the “weeds” that must be found and uprooted before your collection goes to seed.

If your music library is devolving into an audio jungle, there’s no better time to wrestle back control. I’ll walk through some simple jobs and handy tools that’ll keep your collection in good order and help you save valuable storage space. I have tips for both PC and Mac users.

  • Reorganize your music folder structure
  • Identify and relabel unnamed files
  • Update music metatags
  • De-duplicate your music library
  • Upgrade and find missing cover art

Reorganize your music folder structure

Before you get hands on with your audio files, you should do a little thinking. A clear and simple music folder structure makes library management far easier. Time spent reorganizing your files and folders now will be repeatedly paid back over the coming years.

I recommend creating a top-level Music folder in your Windows media library, with sub-folders for each Artist in the collection. In each artist folder, create sub-folders for each release. Each release folder includes the audio tracks and cover artwork (named folder.jpg which is the standard nomenclature, ensuring artwork appears in your favorite media players).

In terms of hierarchy, a simple Music library structure looks like the following:

Music > Artist > Release Name> Audio & Artwork Files

music folder structure Terry Shaw/TechHive

A clear music folder structure makes library management a cinch.

If you’re a true audio enthusiast, you likely prefer lossless audio tracks (FLAC, ALAC, DSD files) to “lossy” MP3s. But it’s even more likely that your collection includes both types of files.  In this scenario, you might prefer to split your folders accordingly, with (for example) MP3 and Lossless sub-folders tucked under the top-level Music folder.

iDevices Socket review: Retrofits nearly any lamp, but not cheaply

The iDevices Socket retrofits a regular light socket to make it smarter. It has built-in color-controllable LED ring to communicate status during setup, which acts as a nightlight or accent light at other times. The fixture turns on an off an incandescent, LED, CFL, or halogen bulb of no more than 60 watts or the equivalent. If the bulb is dimmable, the Socket can control lighting intensity, too.

The protruding portion of the device is about 2 inches tall, limiting it to a lamp with a harp that’s 8.5 inches or taller, or a harp-free lamp in which the bulb won’t peek out the top or under a shade without causing aesthetic issues or casting light where you don’t want it.

You set up a Socket with the free iDevices Connected app, which is available for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets (this review was conducted using the latter). The Socket is compatible with Apple’s HomeKit smart-home technology, which allows one or more Sockets to be controlled via the Home app and by Siri voice commands.

It can be managed remotely via a HomeKit-enabled Apple TV or iPad. The Socket can also be controlled with voice commands via Amazon’s Alexa (Amazon Echo) and Google’s Assistant (Google Home).

iDevices Socket nightlight Michael Brown/TechHive

The iDevices Socket has a built-in variable-color nightlight.

Set up should be easy, but I had trouble with the Socket I was sent. It wouldn’t set up initially, and I followed instructions to put it back in pairing mode, which failed. I then used the reset instructions, also simple, and tried to pair, which worked, but didn’t complete. After a few more tries, I got the Socket connected to the Wi-Fi network and paired in HomeKit.

In iOS, HomeKit “sees” the Socket as two separate devices, but because of the limited space in how the Home app shows assigned rooms and device names, you’ll need to customize each Socket appearance so you can tell the difference between the bulb control and the LED ring.

Socket’s place in the market

It’s impossible to not compare the Socket with the line of Philips Hue bulbs and other lighting products, which was early to market and dominates the connected-home lighting market. Hue requires a hub, which a Socket doesn’t—it connects directly to a Wi-Fi network. Hue bulbs include both the lighting source and a ZigBee radio, enabling them to fit into many more lamps than a Socket. And Philips offers both dimmable white and white/color bulbs, which can double as nightlights at low intensities and soothing colors. Hue bulbs can also sync lighting to music.

iDevcies Socket ring color Glenn Fleishman/TechHive

You can set the hue, saturation, and brightness of the ring through the iDevices app.

The Socket’s LED color ring is the real defining characteristic and differentiation, since Philips can only do light and color at the same time in a single bulb. The Socket ring allows you to set hue, saturation, and brightness, and select from a few preset colors, but there’s no option to associate colors with a schedule or set up color cycling or patterns.

How to use Microsoft Excel's Conditional Formatting

Microsoft Excel’s conditional formatting is a wonderful “automatic” feature that allows you to formats cells based on the value of those cells or the value of the formulas in those cells. For example, you can specify that all the sales totals in your spreadsheet that exceed $5,000 are highlighted in yellow; or all the dates prior to the current year use a dark-green font; or use a shape or ratings icon to flag all duplicate values above 12,000. The options are endless and, in addition to all the preset formats, you can create your own custom formatting rules.

The best thing about this feature is that it provides a quick snapshot of your spreadsheet when you view it or show it to others. Because the formatting is based on values, you don’t have to do anything to make it work except update your data.

A. Format cells that meet these value conditions

1. Open a sales spreadsheet or enter a dozen names with sales totals for the first four months of 2017; that is, Jan, Feb, Mar, and Apr.

2. Highlight the Jan column of sales totals.

3. Select Home > Conditional Formatting > Highlight Cells Rules > Greater Than.

4. Excel displays the Greater Than dialog box. In the field box under Format cells that are GREATER THAN, enter a number (for this example, 5000) and click OK.

5. Note that all the sales totals in column B that are greater than $5,000 are now highlighted in light green with a dark-green font.

How to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Booting into Safe Mode in Windows 8 or 10 isn’t as easy as with previous versions of Windows, but it is possible. Here’s how to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode, and how to get out of Safe Mode too.

We show you how to boot a Windows 10 PC or laptop in Safe Mode, and how to get out of it too.


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Unlike previous versions of Windows (XP, Vista and 7), you can’t just hit F8 when your PC is booting to see the advanced startup options, such as Safe Mode. It all changed with Windows 8 and 10, but here we explain what you need to do and how to get back that old boot options screen by pressing F8.

When your PC has shut down incorrectly or refuses to boot up properly, Safe Mode is your friend.

Safe Mode starts Windows with a limited set of files and drivers – no programs start automatically with Safe Mode, and your PC or laptop won’t connect to the network so an infection is unlikely to get worse. This means you can find and solve problems with your PC, without endangering your hardware or data.

Got issues with the Start menu in Windows 10? It’s common; here’s how to fix the Windows 10 Start menu

How to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode

If you’re able to boot into Windows, it’s a simple case of going to the Start menu, clicking Settings near the bottom, then on Update and Security.

Choose Recovery, then Advanced startup. Click on Startup settings and then Restart now and when your computer reboots you will see some options.

Choose Troubleshoot and then Advanced options, Startup settings, Restart. Then pick from the list, in which Safe Mode should be no. 4.

How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

Follow on-screen troubleshoot messages

If you need Safe Mode or another advanced startup option, you’ve probably got a problem which is preventing Windows from booting in the first place. If that’s the case, then Windows 10 should automatically start in the recovery environment with a message similar to ‘Recovery. It looks like Windows didn’t load correctly’. You should see the Troubleshoot option as in the image above.

Failing this, you can use another computer to download and create a bootable Windows 10 flash drive and use that to try to fix whatever is causing your boot problem. Also, don’t forget to follow our advice on fixing a PC that won’t boot.

Other ways to boot into Safe Mode in Windows

If you’re able to boot Windows normally but still need to enter Safe Mode, you can skip the rather convoluted previous method by going to the Start screen and typing msconfig (this also works in Windows 8.) Launch System Configuration from the list of search results, then select its Boot tab.

On this screen (pictured below), you can check a box to enable Safe boot, with various different types of Safe Mode available below. Click Ok, then click Restart to boot your computer into Safe Mode.

Windows 8 System configuration

Windows 8 System configuration

There is also an even easier way: at the Windows login screen, simply choose restart and hold down the Shift key. You will arrive at the windows with options to troubleshoot your system from which you can select to boot in Safe Mode.

Of course most people who need Safe Mode will already have a problem with their PC. If you are already logged in and can see only a black screen, hit CTRL, ALT, DEL to bring up the selection screen, and choose logout, restart. Then hold down the Shift key and you will be taken to the window via which you can choose Safe Mode.

How to get the old Advanced Boot Options in Windows 10

First, create the Windows 10 bootable USB flash drive or DVD mentioned in method 1. Boot from it (change your BIOS boot device settings if necessary) and then click through the initial language screen to get to the ‘Repair your computer’ link.

Choose the Troubleshoot option, then Advanced options, then Command Prompt.

How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

How to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode

At the prompt, type c: and press Enter. This will change from the default X drive to your Windows drive. If you know Windows is installed on a drive with a different letter, use that instead.

Now type the following command: bcdedit /set {default} bootmenupolicy legacy and press Enter again.

Type exit and press Enter to quit out of the Command Prompt. You can now remove your bootable Windows 10 flash drive or DVD and turn your computer off.

When you next boot your PC, you can press F8 to get the Advanced Boot Options menu you once had in Windows 7. Just use the cursor keys to select the mode you want and press Enter.

How to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode with F8

How to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode with F8

How to get out of Safe Mode in Windows 10

To exit Safe Mode in Windows 10, you’ll need to enter msconfig. You can do this by simply typing in msconfig or System Configuration in the Start Menu. Alternatively if it doesn’t show up, click the Windows Key + R, or finding Run in your Start Menu and then type msconfig in the Run search box and hit enter.

Once you have msconfig open, navigate to the Boot tab at the top and untick Safe boot under Boot options. Click Apple and then OK – you’ll be prompted to restart your machine to apply the changes. If you’re not prompted manually restart the PC and you will now be out of Safe Mode.

Exit Safe Mode - msconfig

Exit Safe Mode - msconfig

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