How to reverse image search

Finding an image for something you know the name of is easy, but the other way round things are more complicated. Our helpful tutorial explains how to find what is in your mystery image with reverse image search.

Search for images like one you already have on your phone


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The pub quiz picture round is a prime example for this problem: you have an image in front of you and you need to know what it is. You could try putting descriptive terms into Google’s search query field in hope of getting lucky with the image results, or a better solution would be to try searching by image rather than words.

(We are not condoning cheating on pub quizzes, before anyone complains.)

So let’s do that. In front of us is a pub quiz picture round featuring various characters from The Simpsons. We’ve named the first 14 characters, and we’re stuck on the last.

We could Google “old guy with orange skin, white hair, Simpsons character, BAM”, but the following steps are a lot easier.

Find a mystery image using reverse image search on your phone, tablet, laptop or PC

• Launch the browser on your smartphone and go to https://ctrlq.org/google/images

(That’s a bit of a mouthful to remember, so you can also just search for ‘reverse image search’ and select it from the results.)

• Tap the Upload Picture button

• Choose Camera when prompted

How to reverse image search

How to reverse image search

• Using your phone’s camera take a photo of the image you want to search. Try to get it in focus and taking up as much of the frame as possible

• Tap the tick icon to select that image and begin uploading it to Google’s reverse image search tool. This may take a few moments, so be patient

• When the process is complete you will get a message Image Uploaded. Click Show matches

• A new Google Images search results page will pop up with some suggestions – so we now know our mystery character is Kent Brockman

How to reverse image search

How to reverse image search

• If the service doesn’t offer you any results, try taking a photo of the image on your phone, cropping in using the built-in image editor, then uploading the edit to the reverse image search service.

This will also work on your laptop or PC, but you will be prompted to upload an image file rather than to take a photo.

Read next: Best camera phones 2017

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How to transfer videos to an iPad

It’s easy to copy films and TV shows to your iPad to watch on the move. Here are several different ways to put videos on an iPad.

Watch films on your iPad even when you’re offline


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It’s easy to copy films and TV shows to your iPad to watch on the move. Here are several different ways to transfer videos to an iPad.

We’ll explain here how to copy video files from your Windows PC or laptop to your iPad so that they don’t need to be converted into a special format which the iPad can play.

We’ll also show you how you can download videos without using a computer at all, so you can watch them whenever you want, wherever you are – even if you have no internet connection.

Use Videos or a third-party app

If you sync movies or TV shows stored in your iTunes library, they’ll appear in the native Videos app on your iPad. This is a perfectly good way of doing things, but if your video isn’t in a format that iTunes can play, you can’t add it to the library, nor sync it with your iPad.

Also, you can only use one computer to sync your iPad. If you try to sync videos from another computer running iTunes, you’ll get a warning that all your media will be deleted first.

The good news is that there are lots of apps available in the App Store on your iPad which can play videos and allow you to ‘import’ files from any computer running iTunes. Most don’t require you to first convert the video into a format the iPad can play natively (i.e. MP4). Instead, you can play pretty much anything you like, including AVI, DIVX, MKV and more.

There are various apps, including the free VLC Player. Unfortunately, many such apps have had to remove codecs following legal requests and no longer support surround-sound audio (AC-3 and others).

This means that a video file with this audio format will play silently: you would have to convert your video in a suitable application to down-mix the surround sound to a stereo soundtrack first.

One free app which has excellent reviews is PlayerXtreme Media Player by PentaLoop. This lets you transfer videos by Wi-Fi, but for speed and reliability we’ll be using a USB cable for this guide.

Check out our wider guide to playing any video format on an iPad or other tablet to find out about some other options. Obviously, install whichever app you’re going to use before following the guide below.

Step 1. Connect your iPad to a computer with a recent version of iTunes (try to use the latest version if possible). iTunes should launch automatically and your iPad will show up on the left-hand side.

How to put videos on iPad

How to put videos on iPad

Step 2. Click on the icon representing your iPad and then click on Apps in the menu on the left. Scroll down until you see the File Sharing section.

Step 3. Scroll down the list if necessary and click on the appropriate video app, in this case we’ll choose PlayerXtreme. On the right is a list of the files: it’s currently blank as we haven’t yet copied any videos.

How to put videos on iPad

How to put videos on iPad

Step 4. Click the Add File… button and navigate to the video you want to put on your iPad. Select one or more and click Open at the bottom of the dialog box. Don’t forget to select any subtitle files which go with the videos.

The films will start copying to your iPad – a progress bar is shown in the pane at the top of iTunes.

How to put videos on iPad

How to put videos on iPad

Once they’re transferred, you can disconnect your iPad, launch PlayerXtreme (or whichever video playback app you’re using) and the videos will be there, ready to watch.

Bear in mind that playing video formats which aren’t natively supported by iOS will use up the battery faster unless the app can use hardware acceleration (which PlayerXtreme can).

Use a video downloader app

If you don’t want to have to connect your iPad to a computer running iTunes, there are other ways to get films onto your iPad. One is to install a video downloader app. Using the app’s built-in web browser you can head to YouTube or another video streaming site and find a video you want to watch.

When it starts playing, a pop-up window should appear giving you the option to download or save the video. You might have to type in a name for it, or it might automatically take the name from the web page.

These apps tend to disappear from the App Store quickly because of Apple’s policies on potential copyright violation, so we can’t link to any specific ones.

However, our colleagues at Macworld UK have put together more detailed instructions on downloading YouTube videos to an iPad with step-by-step instructions.

Download catch-up TV

BBC iPlayer and the All 4 app (Chanel 4) both allow you to download TV shows (including films) to your iPad. iPlayer now gives you 30 days to watch stuff you download, while with All 4 it depends on when the show was broadcast as to how long you have before the download expires.

Neither ITV Player nor Demand 5 allow you to download shows.

Buy or rent from iTunes, Google Play, or another service

If you launch the iTunes store on your iPad, then tap on Films at the bottom, you’ll find a great selection of the latest movies available to rent or buy. Renting a new film costs £3.49 in standard definition or £4.49 in HD. Classic films are a pound cheaper. Buying one to watch repeatedly whenever you want costs £9.99 or £13.99 depending on the movie.

How to put films on an iPad:

How to put films on an iPad:

Although you can stream the films immediately, a bought or rented film will also be downloaded to your iPad so you can watch it without an internet connection.

Finally, if you prefer to stick with the built-in Videos app and want to put films from your computer onto your iPad, you’ll need to use the computer you use to sync and backup your iPad.

When your iPad appears at the top of iTunes (after connecting it with a USB cable or using Wi-Fi sync), click on the Films tab and you will see a list of all the films you’ve imported into your iTunes library. Bear in mind that they may appear in the TV Programmes tab if they’ve been incorrectly tagged. This is also true of TV shows which are wrongly tagged as films.

How to put videos on iPad

How to put videos on iPad

Tick the Sync Films box, then tick the films you want to add to your iPad from the list. Alternatively, tick the box next to ‘Automatically include all films’, and use the drop-down menu to choose an option from the list such as ‘all unwatched’.

You can install the Google Play Movies and TV app if you prefer and buy or rent videos that way.

Download from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video

If you have a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription, you can now also download content from both of those services. If you want to try it out, we have dedicated guides to downloading videos from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video.

If you’re not sure what to watch, we’ve also rounded up what we think are the best films on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video too.

Follow Jim Martin and PC Advisor on Twitter.

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Ultra-mobile Windows 10 PCs built with smartphone processors coming this year

We now have a timeframe for the arrival of the first PC with an ARM processor running Windows 10, with the device expected to pitch up in the fourth quarter of 2017.

This will be the debut of what Microsoft has dubbed ‘mobile PCs’, and the initial offering is likely to be a tablet or hybrid (or perhaps an ultra-thin notebook) powered by the Snapdragon 835 system-on-a-chip (pictured above).

The launch timeframe was revealed by Steve Mollenkopf, the chief executive of Qualcomm (which makes the Snapdragon chips), who said in an earnings call this week: “Our Snapdragon 835 is expanding into Mobile PC designs running Windows 10, which are scheduled to launch in the fourth calendar quarter this year.”

Of course, the Snapdragon 835 is used in mobiles – like the Galaxy S8 – and eventually, we can expect to see smartphones running full-fat Windows 10 and heavyweight x86 Windows apps.

Power problems

Microsoft actually demonstrated Photoshop running on a Snapdragon 820 last year, but declared back then that only the Snapdragon 835 would have the power to pull off running Windows 10. As we speculated at the time, the power efficiency of the chip (i.e. without the portable device’s battery going flat way too quickly) would also play a key part.

At any rate, it’s an exciting development to see ARM chips emerge as an alternative to Intel and AMD processors when it comes to Windows 10 devices.

Fingers crossed that the emulation of x86 apps on Snapdragon chips runs as smoothly as it seemed to in Microsoft’s demos last year – because if they don’t get the implementation right, this whole thing is likely to be sunk.

Via: On MSFT

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Grillbot grill-cleaning robot review: The best thing to happen to barbecues since fire

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t enjoy good barbecue, but I’ve also never met anyone who enjoys cleaning the grill afterward. Whether you’re a vegan or a carnivore, scraping and scrubbing away the charred and greasy remnants of whatever food you just cooked, with the brush flicking the charred bits at your clothes on the backstroke, is about as enjoyable as cleaning the toilet. The only thing worse is not cleaning the grates until the next time you’re ready to grill. Just as robots have relieved us of the drudgery of vacuuming and scrubbing floors, the Grillbot frees us from cleaning the ‘cue.

The Grillbot is a battery-powered robot with three removable rotating wire brushes that automatically cleans your barbecue grill. You simply place it on the cool or warm grill, push a button, and put the lid on the barbecue. The surface temperature needs to be less than 250 degrees Fahrenheit, but a heat sensor will warn you if it’s too hot. If the grill is cool enough, the Grillbot’s brushes will spin, stop, and restart in a random fashion that makes the robot crawl across the surface of the grill. Things get a little noisy as the plastic chassis repeatedly bangs against the barbecue’s lid, but enduring the clatter is vastly better than scrubbing and scraping by hand.

The robot comes from the factory with brass brushes, but you can upgrade these to stainless steel brushes for heavy-duty grates or nylon brushes for coated grates that you don’t want scratched. A set of three replacement brushes of any type costs $14.95, plus shipping. The brushes can be removed and placed in the dishwasher for cleaning. The manufacturer recommends replacing the brushes after each season or after 100 uses. I used the brass brushes on my 36-inch built-in gas grill and was very impressed with the results.

Grillbot with case Grillbots

The Grillbot can be purchased with a carrying case for $139.95, which is a $10 discount over buying the robot and case separately.

I’m not the most fastidious housekeeper, especially when it comes to outdoor equipment, and my barbecue hadn’t been deep cleaned for months before I set the Grillbot loose on it. Following the instructions in the user manual, I pushed the On button three times to schedule the 30-minute maximum scrub (press it once for 10 minutes and twice for 20 minutes). An LCD display shows a countdown, and a 5-second delay gives you time to replace the lid. The robot will beep when it’s finished, or you can manually turn it off by holding down the power button.

Not quite perfect

I did encounter two minor issues on my particular barbecue: It’s a Vermont Castings model and it came from the factory with three enamel-coated cast-iron grates and an equal-sized griddle of the same material. Since the griddle doesn’t have any crossbars, the Grillbot couldn’t find purchase on its surface and was sometimes unable to make its way back off. I couldn’t remove the griddle, or the robot would fall to the barbecue’s sear plates, so I wedged a couple of thin plates between the griddle and the adjacent grate as a barrier.

The other issue had to do with the thickness of the barbecue’s grates and the length of the bristles on the Grillbot’s brushes: They don’t reach all the way to the bottom, so some charred food residue remained deep between the grates after cleaning. My workaround for this problem was easier: After the first 30-minute cleaning, I flipped he grates so they were upside down and had the robot clean them for another 30 minutes.

As with any wire brush, you should examine the Grillbot’s for loose bristles, and you should inspect your barbecue grate to make sure none get into your food. If that’s the type of problem you’re extremely worried about, switch to the nylon bristles; they’ll just melt in the heat if don’t notice them on the grill before you cook.

Is it worthy?

The Grillbot isn’t nearly as sophisticated as a robot vacuum or floor scrubber, but it doesn’t need to be. The upside of its simpler design is a lower price tag: $119.95 or $139.95 for the Grillbot and a carrying case that costs $29.95 if purchased separately. Given how greasy the device got after just a few cleanings, the case is a good investment that will keep the grime isolated to the robot. Well, mostly. Removing the brushes for periodic cleanings is bound to leave your hands dirty, and you’ll occasionally want to scrub down the rest of the Grillbot—and the rest of your barbecue—too. But you’ll never need to scrape the grates, and that’s awesome.

Apple's Mac Pro gets crushed on features by new HP Zbook laptops

Apple’s Mac Pro has been ignored for so long that even Windows 10 mobile workstations are catching up on features and performance.

Take HP’s latest Zbook laptop workstations , which were announced on Friday. These heavy built laptops — which is why they are called mobile workstations — have comparable memory and storage capacity technology to the Mac Pro, but excel in other areas.

The laptops feature Thunderbolt 3 ports, DDR4 memory, Intel’s latest Kaby Lake-based Core and Xeon processors, and the latest GPUs from Nvidia and AMD.

By comparison the Mac Pro has Thunderbolt 2 ports, an old AMD GPU, DDR3 memory and Intel Xeon processors based on the Ivy Bridge architecture, which were released in 2013.

Add that all up, and you can rely on the Zbook for work like content creation, VR and video editing that you would otherwise do on a Mac Pro. Windows desktop workstations, like HP’s Z and Dell’s Precision desktops, are already far superior in technology than the Mac Pro.

And the Zbook laptops — which come in screen sizes of 14-, 15.6- and 17.3-inch screens, are up to half the price of a Mac Pro. Apple has said it will upgrade the Mac Pro in 2018 or 2019, but the current version, which was released in 2013 and recently got a minor upgrade, is so behind that many have moved over to Linux or Windows PCs.

The ZBook 17 is the most powerful of HP’s new workstations. It supports up to 4TB of hard drive or SSD storage, 64GB of memory, and can be configured with Intel’s Xeon E3 v6 or Core i5/i7 chips. It has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can support two 4K displays. It can support GPUs including Nvidia’s latest Quadro P5000, which can handle VR content creation. The laptop can be configured with a 4K screen, and it also HDMI and USB 3.0 ports. It will be priced starting at US$1,519.

The Zbook 15 has many features that are similar to the Zbook 17, but is a step down in some features. It supports up to 3TB of storage, and supports Nvidia’s Quadro M2200 GPU, not the P5000. This laptop can be configured with a 4K screen, and is priced starting at $1,419.

How to install a hard drive into an external enclosure

A step-by-step guide explaining how to turn an spare internal hard drive into a portable USB drive whether it’s an HDD or SSD.

If you’ve upgraded ton an SSD, reuse the old hard drive as external USB storage


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If you’ve upgraded your laptop or PC with an SSD, its old hard drive might be sitting unused. For little money, you can install it in an external enclosure and use it as a portable USB drive. Here’s how.

What is an external enclosure?

Hard drive caddies – or enclosures – are inexpensive and allow you to turn an internal hard drive into an external one that you can use for backing up files, or even to attach to your smart TV so you can pause programmes or record them (if it supports those functions).

You’ll need to buy the appropriate caddy for your particular drive, but there are two main types: 3.5in and 2.5in.

3.5in hard drives are mainly used in desktop PCs, while 2.5in disks are used in laptops. Laptop hard drives vary in thickness (either 7mm or 9.5mm), so make sure your chosen caddy has enough height inside to accommodate your disk.

We’re using a standard 9.5mm drive here and an Inateck enclosure, which you can buy for £10.99 from Amazon and will accept both 9.5mm and 7mm drives, including SSDs as well as traditional hard drives.

It’s a USB 3 enclosure, and it’s well worth spending a few pounds more over a USB 2 version as they can be up to 10 times faster when connected to a USB 3 port on a PC or laptop.

Most hard drives use the modern SATA connector (you can see this in the photo below), but older hard drives have IDE connectors with two rows of gold-coloured pins. Again, make sure you buy an enclosure which is compatible with your drive. 

How to install it

Step 1: If you haven’t already done so, remove any brackets and screws from the hard drive.

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

Step 2: Open up the caddy: the Inateck FE2005 we’re using is a tool-less model, so it’s a simple case of unlocking it with the switch, sliding open the end and inserting in the hard drive. Be careful to slide the hard disk in the right way up – look inside to see the orientation of the SATA port.

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

Step 3: Use the included USB cable to attach the enclosure to your PC or laptop.

Step 4: Depending on what’s on the disk, it may show up in Windows File Explorer and be ready to use. Because our disk was from a Windows laptop, it was formatted as NTFS and was assigned a drive letter automatically.

You can treat it like any hard drive, copying files to it, or formatting it. If you plan only to use it with Windows, you can leave it formatted as NTFS, but it’s best to use exFAT if you want to connect it to other devices such as set-top boxes for video playback.

What you might not want is for the drive to show up as two disks, as ours did due to a 100MB system partition from the old Windows installation.

We’ll deal with this in the next step, which also applies if your disk doesn’t appear when you connect it.

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

Step 5: If it doesn’t show up in Windows Explorer, search the Start menu for Disk Management and then look for a disk with unallocated space, or a disk without a drive letter assigned. You can then right-click on it and format it.

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

If, like us, you need to remove an unwanted ‘System Reserved’ partition, just right-click on it and choose Delete Volume. It will then be unallocated space, and since it’s only 100MB, we will just leave it unused.

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

How to use a spare internal hard drive as an external hard drive

Can I get a USB-C enclosure?

Yes you can. USB-C ports are slowly becoming the standard and you’ll find these on the latest PCs and laptops including the new MacBook.

Aukey sells an enclosure that you can buy for £14.99 from Amazon UK (or $15.99 from Amazon US).

Aukey USB-C external enclosure

Aukey USB-C external enclosure

Theoretically the USB-C connection on this caddy can operate at up to 5Gb/s or 625MB/s, but it will be limited by the hard drive you put inside it.

It’s simple to install your drive. As before you should check that you are inserting it the correct way around – check the orientation of the SATA connection. You can then use the included USB-C to USB-C cable to attach the portable drive to the USB-C port on your PC. No drivers are needed, so it should be a simple case of plug and play.

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Free hacking tools 'help young into cyber-crime'

Free, easy-to-use hacking tools help many young people slip into a life of cyber-crime, according to a report.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) has detailed the “pathways” taken by people who become criminals.

Many started by getting involved with game-cheat websites or forums that talked about ways to change or “mod” games, its report said.

Mentors, role models and positive opportunities could deter people from committing cyber-crime, the NCA added.

Social club

The report is based on a small number of interviews with people arrested or cautioned for carrying out computer-based crimes as well as analyses of academic studies of offenders.

It also draws on information resulting from many more “cease and desist” visits to people the NCA identified as being on the periphery of malicious hacking.

Many of the people interviewed and charged were teenagers “unlikely” to be involved in theft, fraud, sex or harassment crimes.

The average age of those interviewed and arrested was 17, far lower than for those the NCA picks up for drugs offences (37) or financial crime (39).


Analysis

By Angus Crawford, BBC News correspondent

At the heart of the NCA’s report is a simple but worrying conclusion: the internet is creating a new kind of criminal.

Young people who in the real world wouldn’t dream of committing a crime are, in their online world, stealing other people’s data, vandalising websites, taking down servers. Breaking the law, causing real damage to real victims.

It’s a world where the line between right and wrong can seem blurred. After all if you can win a computer game by launching a cyber attack on an opponent, it may seem like a short step to doing the same to a school, company or government agency you don’t like.

This world can seem very seductive. Where you can make “friends” quickly and easily and you are praised for your skills, rather than being criticised for being a “nerd”. But it is also a place where the vulnerable or naive can become criminals without quite realising what they are doing.

The bad news is that suspects are getting younger. Seventeen is the average age, according to the National Cyber Crime Unit, but some are as young as 12.

The good news, though, is that they don’t seem to be motivated primarily by money, which means early intervention can be very successful.


Factors defining the pathway leading to cyber-crime included:

  • low barriers to entry thanks to the wide availability of easy-to-use hacking tools
  • easy access to illegal programs
  • a low risk of being caught
  • a perception that hacking was a victimless crime

These factors conspired to create “an environment in which more young people are becoming involved in cyber-crime”, the NCA said.

This brought a significant risk with it, because it had “brought the ability to cause significant harm within reach of the young and relatively unskilled cyber-criminals”.

In contrast to older criminals, few of those in the report sought to make money directly from hacking.

Instead, it found, many did it because they liked overcoming programming problems, bolstering their skill with web and networking technologies.

“I was driven by my curiosity, I wanted to understand the best modifications and cheats,” said one offender picked up for running “booter” sites that aggrieved gamers can use to kick rivals off servers.

Others got involved because they wanted to prove themselves to their peers – a fact that underscored the “key” social aspect of cyber-crime.

“Offenders thrive on their online relationships,” said the NCA.

This social aspect could also help provide a way out of cyber-crime by giving offenders examples of positive ways to use their skills.

Interventions by ex-offenders, computer professionals or police could also help divert younger people, it said.

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