The Nintendo Switch, Hands On

People will continue to buzz about the Nintendo Switch for the foreseeable future. Based on our time with the console, its Pro Controller, and the flagship Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, that’s because Nintendo made some good decisions, some bad ones, and more than a few befuddling errors.

Switch was built to make it so people don’t have to choose between a home console and a handheld device, and you feel that concept of compromise in nearly every aspect of the device.

Hardware

Switch is larger than most handheld devices, thanks to its 6.2” display and the Joy-Con controllers attached to its side, but smaller than the PlayStation 4. It doesn’t fold in half like the 3DS, nor does it sit horizontally like the Xbox One. It’s truly unique in the modern console market.

Also unlike the various iterations of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which use custom 8-core CPUs based on AMD’s Jaguar microarchitecture, the Switch uses a custom Tegra processor from Nvidia. It also has just 32GB of onboard storage, versus the 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB options from Sony and Microsoft. The Switch has more in common with smartphones than with other consoles.

Product Name Nintendo Switch (Console)
Size 102 x 239 x 13.9mm (with Joy-Con attached)

Please note: 28.4mm at the thickest, from the tips of the analog sticks to the ZL/ZR Button protrusions.

Weight Approx. 297g

(With Joy-Con controllers attached: 398g)

Screen Capacitive touch screen

6.2 inch LCD

1280×720 resolution

CPU / GPU
Nvidia customized Tegra processor
System Storage 32 GB

Please note: a portion of this internal memory is reserved for use by the system.

Communication Features Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac compliant)

Bluetooth 4.1 (TV mode only. A wired LAN connection is possible through the use of a commercially available wired LAN adapter.)

Video Output Maximum resolution: 1920×1080, 60 fps

Please note: output via HDMI cable in TV mode. In tabletop mode and handheld mode, the maximum resolution is 1280×720, which matches the screen resolution.

Audio Output Supports linear PCM 5.1ch
Please note: output via HDMI cable in TV mode.
Speakers
USB Terminal USB Type-C terminal
Used for charging or for connecting to the Nintendo Switch dock.
Headphone Mic. Jack
Stereo output
Game Card Slot
Exclusively for Nintendo Switch game cards.
microSD Card Slot Compatible with microSD, microSDHC, and microSDXC memory cards.

Please note: an update via an internet connection is required to use microSDXC memory cards.

Sensors Accelerometer

Gyroscope

Brightness sensor

Operating Environment Temperature: 5-35°C

Humidity: 20-80%

Internal Battery Lithium ion battery / battery capacity 4310mAh

Please note: the internal battery cannot be removed. If the battery needs to be replaced, we plan to offer paid replacement via Nintendo Customer Support.

Battery Life Battery life can last for more than six hours, but will vary depending on the software and usage conditions.

For example, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can be played for roughly three hours on a single charge.

Charging Time 3 hours approx.

Please note: this is the time taken to charge while the console is in sleep mode.

That novelty extends to where you can use Switch. Nintendo wants you to use the device in three different modes—handheld, tabletop, and TV—instead of limiting it to one aspect of your life. That’s the console’s primary appeal: giving you the chance to play with Switch on the bus, prop it up on a friend’s coffee table, or connect it to a TV back at home, all without interruption.

We’ve spent a while with the console in all three modes—one less than the others, for reasons that will become clear.

Go to Source

First full-scale Hyperloop system is almost ready for takeoff

Hyperloop One is well on its way to developing the world’s first fully operational Hyperloop transportation system. The company revealed its progress on Tuesday at the Middle East Rail conference in Dubai, sharing pictures and footage of its Nevada development site dubbed “DevLoop.” 

Taking Elon Musk’s Hyperloop concept of a levitating pod in a low-pressure tube, Hyperloop One has developed what is so far the only full-scale, full-system Hyperloop test site. In May, the company successfully tested its propulsion system and said it plans to test the entire apparatus this year. If successful, the first commercial application for the transportation system would be linking Dubai to Abu Duabi, a one-and-a-half-hour trip that would be reduced to just 12 minutes. 

Hyperloop One DevLoopHyperloop One

Hyperloop One’s DevLoop test structure spans 500 meters along the Nevada desert. 

On it’s website, Hyperloop One said that it hopes to be transporting cargo by 2020 and passengers by 2021. 

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld’s Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.

Go to Source

D-Link DCS-2530L review

D-Link has been making IP security cameras for years, and the current range is larger than most manufacturers’. The DCS-2530L is the latest and has an ulta-wide-angle lens that gives you a full 180-degree view, so there’s no need for a motorised pan and tilt mechanism.

D-Link DCS-2530L review: Price

You can buy the DCS-2530L from D-Link’s website for £166.

As it’s brand new, that would be a pre-order: it goes on sale 22 March.

This is relatively expensive for a camera that offers no bundled  cloud storage. The Y-Cam Evo, for example, is £130 and gives you a week’s rolling cloud storage for free.

D-Link DCS-2530L review: Features and design

With its plastic body and stand, you don’t get the same feeling of reassurance from the DCS-2530 that you do with the Nest Cam.

However, given that this is an indoor camera designed to sit on a shelf, it’s not a big issue. The circular camera rotates within the body of the stand, so it can be mounted at any angle: there are slots in the base which can be hooked onto screws.

DCS-2530L review

DCS-2530L review

Placing the camera could be an issue, though, as the power supply has a 1.5m cable – noticeably shorter than most. It has a micro-USB connector for power though, so you could use a spare phone charger with a USB extension cable.

As well as a 180-degree lens the camera has a 1080p sensor and recordings are stored on a microSD card, which slots into the side. Up to 128GB cards are supported, but none is included.

Features are pretty much what you’d expect: you can view a live feed from the camera via an app for Android or iOS, plus through D-Link’s website. You can opt to set recording triggers for motion or sound, and everything is configurable.

There’s no speaker, so no two-way audio, but the microphone does allow you to hear what’s going on.

Infrared LEDs automatically turn on when it’s dark for a better night view in extremely low light.

D-Link DCS-2530L review: Setup and operation

We set up the camera using an iPad. You have to download the free mydlink lite app, which walks you through the process of either using WPS to get the camera onto your Wi-Fi network, or connecting to the camera’s own Wi-Fi and then entering your network password.

It’s an easy process, and it sensibly asks you to set a password to prevent unauthorised access to the camera feed.

Creating a mydlink account is optional, but if you don’t you won’t be able to view the video remotely, nor change any settings or get push notifications when you’re not connected to the same local Wi-Fi network.

We couldn’t create an account on the iPad due to a strange error, but it was no problem doing so on D-Link’s website.

Once that’s done you have to tap the button to the right of the camera to enable it in your D-Clink cloud account.

Recording clips to the cloud is a separate service (and app), but can you record on demand by using the button from the live view (this and snapshots are saved to your camera roll), and you can browse the recordings on the SD card when you’re out and about.

Overall, the app feels clunky and in need of some bug fixes and interface changes. For example, you can set the sensitivity of motion detection, but in the iOS app we mainly tested with, you can only select – but not de-select – boxes in the grid.

D-Link DCS-2530L review

D-Link DCS-2530L review

Selecting a box means you want to watch for motion in that area, but the 5×5 grid is too coarse and doesn’t allow the precise control you’d want.

If you dig deep into the advanced settings available in the online portal, you’ll find a much finer grid, but here it appears you can select only 15 or so tiny boxes.

The other gripe concerns the way the app is split into ‘local’ and ‘remote’ sections. You have to tap on the relevant one depending on whether you’re at home connected to Wi-Fi or away and ‘remote’. This is unnecessary and confusing.

When you are at home, you can choose to view a 480p, 720p or the full 1080p feed, and there’s very minimal delay. You can also pinch to zoom in on the image and drag it around to simulate panning. This works well, and is far better than the sluggish, frustrating mechanism of the SpotCam Eva, which is a real pan / tilt camera.

Image quality is very good, too, but do be aware that the wide-angle lens means objects appear much smaller than on a camera with a ‘normal’ lens. So when you zoom in, you won’t see any more detail. The benefit here is that you can see a huge area, whereas on a ‘normal’ camera without pan and tilt, you cannot.

Here’s a 1080p ‘photo’ taken within the app, unedited. It’s compressed more highly than we’d have expected, amounting to only 200KB in 720p mode, and 350KB in 1080p. 

D-Link DCS-2530L sample

D-Link DCS-2530L sample

Returning to the web portal for a second, you have to install a plugin in Chrome in order to see the camera feed. This has to be done for each computer you use, but only once. The downside is that there’s no way to pan around the image when you’ve zoomed in, so full-screen viewing is the only way to see the detail in the image, unless you just want to look at the centre.

Go to Source

Como Audio Duetto radio review: Retro done right

One could easily mistake the Como Audio Duetto as a vestige of the Rat Pack era. The half-inch walls of its cabinet are sheathed in a furniture-quality wood veneer rarely seen these days. There are six radio preset push buttons above the display, and three old-fashioned knobs below it. But that nostalgic feeling evaporates as soon as you push the leftmost knob to turn the radio on, and an analog clock face changes to a grid of icons that includes the Spotify logo.

The 3.2-inch display doesn’t boast a high resolution, and it’s not a touchscreen, but it hardly matters. Most speakers in this class don’t include a display at all. And if you must have a touchscreen, download the Como Audio app to your smartphone (there are Android and iOS versions). Don’t want to use your phone? There’s an infrared remote, too.

Music sources

However you choose to control the Duetto, you’ll be able to access music from just about any source you have, whether it be online (Spotify Connect, internet radio); on your network (from a DLNA media server running on a NAS box); on your smartphone (connected via Bluetooth, with NFC for easy pairing and aptX codec support for near-CD audio quality); a USB drive (the Duetto can enumerate and decode everything from AAC to FLAC, MP3, WMA, and WAV files); or terrestrial FM radio (DAB/DAB+ in the areas of the world where that standard is available).

Duetto io Michael Brown

The Duetto covers all the bases in terms of audio inputs and outputs.

One of the few ways you can’t feed it music is by “casting,” at least not natively. You can power a Chromecast Audio dongle (or even an Amazon Echo Dot) from the Duetto’s USB port and plug a 3.5mm cable into its aux input. Need even more flexibility? There’s a Toslink digital optical input and a 3.5mm headphone jack, too, though it would be more convenient to have the latter mounted in front.

I streamed music from a variety of sources, including Spotify, internet radio, a WD My Cloud Mirror NAS box on my network, Bluetooth from my phone, and finally from a USB flash drive and then a USB hard drive. The chief benefit of the Duetto’s support for Spotify Connect is that the music streams over Wi-Fi versus from your phone via Bluetooth. The music will never be interrupted by a phone call.

Playing music from a storage device is convenient if a friend comes over with a thumb or hard drive with his own collection of music, or if connecting to your Wi-Fi network just isn’t an option. (The Duetto has an 802.11n Wi-Fi adapter onboard, but there is no option for hardwired ethernet.)

Duetto display Michael Brown

Having Spotify Connect onboard is much preferred to streaming Spotify from your phone (provided you’re a Spotify subscriber, of course).

The radio had no problem spinning up newer-vintage mechanical drives, but it couldn’t provide enough juice to spin up an old 250GB Seagate FreeAgent Go that I found in my closet. No great loss on that score, as far as I’m concerned. I typically play music from the NAS box or stream Spotify or Tidal when I want to hear tracks I don’t already own. Come to think of it, Tidal would be a nice addition to the Duetto’s repertoire.

Amplifier, drivers, and performance

The Duetto has a 30-watt-per-channel (RMS) Class D amplifier driving a pair of 19mm soft dome tweeters and two 3-inch long-throw woofers. A rear bass port helps with the reproduction low of frequencies, and the radio benefits tremendously from having a wall or other vertical surface behind it to reflect those sound waves.

How to skip ads on ITV Hub

How to skip ads on ITV Hub

While ITV Hub has some great shows they can often be interrupted by a barrage of ads. Here’s why you should endure them, and how you can remove them.

It’s possible to watch shows on ITV Hub without the annoying ads. Here’s how


By

Streaming TV shows over your broadband on demand is many people’s preferred way to watch these days. All 4, and ITV Hub grant free access to their content (BBC requires you to have a TV licence these days), meaning it’s easy to catchup on your favourite soap, documentary or crime drama.

Of course these shows have to be paid for and in the case of the ITV Hub this is done through adverts. But due to their frequency some people find they can become quite distracting. So, is it possible to skip those ads? Yes it is, and we’ll show you how.

See also:

Do I need a licence to watch ITV Hub?

A question we often get asked is whether you actually need a TV licence to watch online content from services such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, and My5? The answer depends on which content you consume. If you use BBC iPlayer then yes. If you watch live shows on any of the services, it’s yes again. But, if you only consume on-demand media from any service other than iPlayer then a licence isn’t needed.

how to skip ads on itv hub

how to skip ads on itv hub

Obviously subscription services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Now TV, don’t require a TV licence as you pay for access to their content.

Can I use an ad blocker to skip ads on ITV Hub?

The most common way to avoid intrusive ads online is to employ an ad-blocker. This will usually be an add-on to your browser that filters out embedded videos, banners ads, or pop-up boxes. The Opera browser even features a built-in ad-blocker so you can just set it and forget it, freeing you from the clutches of rampant online capitalism.

This does pose a moral quandary though. Most sites pay for content creation, broadcast rights, hosting costs, servers, staff wages, and other expenses through advertising. So by denying the site its income you’re benefitting from the content but refusing to pay your way. In some cases it can be understandable when ads are so prominent that it’s actually hard to view the content you came for in the same place. But once you turn on an ad-blocker there’s no way to know if the site in question changes its ad servers or style.

Like most things in life you are free to make your choices, but the long term consequences could be that the site isn’t there when you return one day, or that major platforms move to subscription models which could get quickly get expensive for the average consumer.

In some ways though this has become a moot point on ITV Hub, as the site is aggressive in its treatment of ad-blockers. It actively scans your browser and if the presence of a blocker is detected it refuses to let you view any content. In other instances you can still watch the shows but the ads remain, overriding your ad blocker’s attempts to filter them out.

In fact the search software is so sensitive that many viewers have actually complained that they are being told they have a blocker installed when they don’t. Chrome seems to suffer the most from this problem, and many of the reports we’ve seen suggest that switching to Firefox or IE gets around the ‘false positive’ issue.

You can try installing a blocker – read our How to skip ads on YouTube article for detailed instructions – but by all accounts they seem pretty ineffective.

Can I pay to remove ITV Hub ads?

ITV does offer a subscription service called ITV Hub+ which removes the ads from most shows. ITV Hub+ costs £3.99 per month and is available for PC, Mac, and iOS, with an Android variant on its way. Due to copyright restrictions you’ll still see ads on some of the American shows, but for everything else your viewing will be unencumbered by entreatments for shower gel, car insurance, or ‘cheap’ loans.

So, not great news for those who like to block, but at least there is an option to remove the ads if you’re willing to pay. Of course if you’re going down this route then it might be worth investigating the top quality entertainment you can find on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, or Now TV. For us they offer better value for money, high quality streaming, and feel more like a step into the future rather than clinging to the past.

Check out our Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video comparison review to see what these two rivals have to offer.

Go to Source

Nokia 3310 review | Hands on with Nokia's retro phone

If you’re going to trade on nostalgia for a brand, you might as well trade on nostalgia hard. That’s clearly the thinking at Nokia, which has managed to overshadow its own range of new Android smartphones with the announcement of a phone that doesn’t have a touchscreen, won’t let you install any apps, and doesn’t do much of anything except make calls and play Snake: the Nokia 3310.

Read next: Best basic and budget phones

That’s right, Nokia is ready to party like it’s 2000, with a sort-of re-release of one of its most iconic feature phones. Strictly speaking, this is more of a combination of a few of Nokia’s old devices – along with a handful of modern conveniences – so it should feel immediately familiar to anyone who’s ever held a clunky ‘90s phone. We’ve had a bit of time to go hands-on with the new budget phone at Mobile World Congress 2017 – find out what we thought in our Nokia 3310 review.

Nokia 3310 UK price and availability

There’s no firm UK release date for the Nokia 3310, but we know that we can expect it some time in Q2 2017 – which means some time between April and June. We’ll update this when we have more exact information.

Read next: Best cheap phones

As for price, the 3310 will sell for €50 (£42), placing it firmly at the budget end of the market – no-one’s expecting this to be an iPhone killer. As with the release date, no firm UK price has been announced yet, but we’ll update this when one is.

Nokia 3310 design

The new 3310 is both immediately familiar and subtly original. If you were hoping to buy a new phone that looks identical to the 2000 model, then we’re afraid you’ll be disappointed – the new version has undergone a redesign. For one, there’s a much bigger screen (a whopping 2.4in) that stretches most of the way to the top edge, while the buttons are all chunkier and rounder.

As a whole though, it’s still small and light, measuring just 115.6 x 51 x 12.8 mm. It feels much more compact than we remember the old 3310 being, but it doesn’t feel any less tough (the original was almost indestructible). Build quality is high, with a comfortable weight, attractive finish, and satisfyingly clicky buttons. Light as it is, the 3310 feels solid – this is a phone you’d be happy to knock about, in a way that you probably wouldn’t with a Pixel or iPhone.

The 3310 also now comes in four colours: Warm Red, Yellow, Dark Blue, and Grey, so you can be as cheerful or as sombre as you like. All the colours look great, with bold tones that are nicely offset by the white accents, but we’re particular fans of the red and yellow variants – they really highlight the chunky, playful aesthetic that Nokia is going for. It’s worlds away from the plain black monoliths we’re used to from the smartphone world, with sleek curves instead of sharp corners.

Nokia 3310 features

Let’s be honest, this is going to be a bit of a short section. The Nokia 3310 can make calls and send texts. It can play MP3s and FM radio. It can take photos. It can browse the internet, email and Twitter. It can play Snake. What it can’t do – and this may make your purchasing decision for you – is WhatsApp and Facebook.

Read next: Nokia Android tablet news

Your current phone can probably already do all of that (well, except maybe Snake). But you know what your phone can’t do? Manage 22 hours of talk time on a single charge. Or survive a full month on standby. And other than the pure nostalgia kick, that’s where the 3310 is going to come into its own. It’s not going to replace your smartphone, but it might become your backup, or the phone you take on holiday or to festivals.

Nokia 3310 hardware and specs

Thanks to the simple functionality, it doesn’t take a big battery to keep the 3310 going – even for a full month – it’s packing just 1200 mAh. Elsewhere, there’s that 2.4in QVGA screen, a headphone jack, Micro-USB charger, and 16MB of internal memory. You’ll want to supplement that with a MicroSD card though (it supports up to 32GB), because that’s how you’ll need to store photos from the 2MP camera – something the original model definitely didn’t feature.

Read next: Budget smartphone reviews

As for connectivity, there’s Bluetooth 3.0 and support for 2G – so while you can technically browse the web on this, you probably won’t be loading anything fast. Finally, software-wise it runs an updated version of Nokia’s old Series 30 operating system, meaning it should be instantly familiar to most users. It takes a few minutes of adjustment to remember that you can’t use the touchscreen (when did pushing physical buttons begin to feel so old fashioned?) but the muscle memory soon kicks in.

Go to Source

HP’s slim new all-in-one PC means serious business

HP has revealed a number of fresh business PCs, spearheaded by an all-in-one which boasts some really neat features including vanishingly thin bezels and optional pop-up webcams.

This is the redesigned EliteOne 800 G3 (third-generation) which HP notes is the first commercial all-in-one computer to include dual-facing cameras – these are pop-up webcams, as mentioned, with infrared support, allowing for Windows Hello logins.

The machine sports a 23.8-inch non-glare touchscreen with a Full HD resolution, and the bezels on three sides are very thin (with the bottom bezel being thicker because it contains the integrated speaker – with audio by Bang & Olufsen, incidentally).

The thin bezel means the EliteOne 800 not only looks aesthetically pleasing, but if you’ve got several of the PCs situated next to each other in multi-monitor fashion, the displays blend seamlessly. This computer also has an adjustable stand.

In terms of the spec, there’s a Kaby Lake processor, and you can run with the integrated graphics or plump for a discrete AMD Radeon GPU for a bit more oomph. Pricing hasn’t yet been revealed.

Tower power

Alongside this nifty all-in-one, HP also unveiled several desktop and tower PCs, including the EliteDesk 800 G3 Tower which is being billed as the ‘world’s most powerful commercial desktop’, and a VR-ready machine.

It can be specified with a Kaby Lake processor (up to a Core i7-7700), and up to 64GB of system memory along with a varied selection of storage options (which include HP’s 1TB Turbo Drive G2, an NVMe SSD). Prices currently start at around $890 (about £730, AU$1,175).

Described as its smaller sibling, the HP EliteDesk 800 G3 Desktop Mini is designed for those who want a computer that takes up the minimum amount of desk space. It comes in 35W or 65W models, equipped with a Kaby Lake CPU, Intel Optane memory and Windows 10 Pro. Prices start at $799 (about £660, AU$1,055).

Go to Source