About Ben Reid





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ben [dot] reid [at] redmondpie [dot] com

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Ben has blogged 4217 post(s).

Posts by Ben Reid:

What with Facebook being a public company these days, making money just so happens to be one of its primary objectives, but while we’re more than used to seeing ads every time we log into the social network, the new auto-playing video ads feel just a little obtrusive. If you’re irritated by these recently-introduced advertisements, then you’ll be pleased to know that, for the time being, at least, there’s a way out. Below, we take you through the steps on how to deactivate them, regardless of whether you’re on Android, iOS or the Web.

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With Google having announced the smartwatch-optimized Android Wear OS as short while ago, it’s looking increasingly likely that Apple will respond with a device of its own. Even though, as revealed last year, the Cupertino company has apparently assigned a dedicated team to the process of developing the so-called “iWatch,” we don’t, as yet, have much idea as to its form factor. The various concept designers have regularly offered their takes on what might be in the offing, and Nermin Hasanovic’s latest effort presents a very circular, Moto 360-esque approach.

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Earlier on this month, A3Tweaks finally took the wraps off Auxo 2, the second-coming of the revolutionary multitasking tweak. After a bunch of teasers, it has been well worth the wait, and in a swift update, Auxo 2 has just been bumped to version 1.1 with support for the larger display of the iPad.

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When you think of Hitman, your immediate image is probably of a cold, besuited and inhumane character whose job it is to get rid of people for cold cash. That is, after all, the role of a hitman, and when you think back to previous Hitman titles, it’s no wonder you have such a gruesome recollection. But with Hitman GO, a new mobile game released today for iOS, developer Square Enix has taken a decidedly alternative approach, essentially turning Hitman into a puzzling, intriguing board game.

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One of the lingering questions encircling the initial excitement around Google’s Glass project was just how it was going to support wearers of prescription lenses. After all, it seems a rather twisted irony that, so far, the majority of folks able to fully enjoy the Explorer Edition of Google Glass have been those who don’t usually wear glasses. But the Big G has been working on a solution for some time, and having rolled out the Titanium Collection back in January, is now offering a try-before-you-buy option to prospective Explorers.

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Facebook has just rolled out a new feature called Nearby Friends which, as the name suggests, helps you to connect with those on your friends list who happen to be close-by. The tool is optional, however, so if you do wish to remain off the radar, you’re not obliged to participate.

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Even though the iPhone 5s is scarcely halfway through its life cycle and we still have around five months until the release of the so-called “iPhone 6,” the blogosphere has been abuzz with reports and speculation pertaining to Apple’s next-in-line. From what we can gather, there’ll be at least one new, larger handset ready for the fall release period, and according to reports, it will pack a 4.7-inch display. Now, one tech fan has sought to offer an idea of how apps might look when optimized for the new, larger panel.

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The iPhone 5c mightn’t have taken off in the manner that Apple would have hoped, but this hasn’t stopped the concept makers from trying to dream up designs for its would-be successor. Based upon sketches leaked out into the wild, designer Ferry Passchier mocked up some renders of the so-called “iPhone 6″ a short while back – and beautiful they were. Now, he’s gone back to the drawing board, so to speak, and re-created the same concept but with plasticky, iPhone 5c-like overtones.

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Apple released iOS 7.1 back in March, and with it, introduced CarPlay, iTunes Radio enhancements, and several other minor tweaks and alterations. Today, reports suggest that iOS 7.1.1 release is on its way, although it appears that said update will focus on house-keeping, with the usual spate of bug fixes and general performance enhancements.

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Apple’s Siri voice assistant has been gradually improved by Apple in its two-and-a-bit year lifespan, but it’s fair to say that there’s plenty of scope for further enhancements. At present, Siri is very one-dimensional, and can only perform tasks or actions based upon a limited field as predetermined by Apple. We expect this to change at some point in the future, but if you don’t wish to wait for the Cupertino to broaden Siri’s horizons, then you might be interested in GoogolPlex, the brainchild of four University of Pennsylvania students that does exactly that.

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The Samsung Galaxy S5 is the electronics giant’s latest and greatest smartphone, and has brought with it a myriad of exciting new features. As well as the fingerprint sensor, gold color configuration, heartbeat monitor and other such niceties, the device is also a great deal more rugged than its predecessor. Thanks to a more robust build quality that also renders the handset waterproof, the Galaxy S5 is a lot more rough-and-ready than its predecessor, although as you might imagine, it more than met its match when faced with the bullet of a .50 caliber sniper rifle.

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Microsoft is known predominantly as a software maker, with the likes of Windows and Office among its most celebrated products. But for a long time, the company has also shown that it’s not too shabby when it comes to building innovative keyboards and mice to accompany the experience of using its famed line-up, and moving with the times, the software company’s new All-in-One Media Keyboard is designed specifically with your smart TV in mind.

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So, you’ve been using Facebook to stalk people, have you? Don’t worry – it’s something that most people do nowadays, and even if you do occasionally use the social network to, you know, socially network, the chances are, you’ve looked up a crush – or an ex – or a crushes’ ex using the wealth of tools embodied by that very attractive Search box. Like any good stalker, you probably don’t want to leave any traces behind you, so join us after break to discover how to clear your Facebook Search history in a couple of very easy steps.

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Earlier on this month, we heard that Google would be releasing an imminent update to the Android Camera app, bringing it up to scratch with the offerings of both Samsung and HTC with their respective flagship releases. Today, the day has come, with version 2.1.037 of the native Camera bringing plenty features, including – as promised – a little fake bokeh.

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Hyundai already confirmed its intention to begin rolling out CarPlay-enabled cars after striking a deal with Apple, and today, the Seoul, South Korea-based company has officially announced that the 2015 Sonata – releasing this summer – will be the very first beneficiary of Apple’s in-car variant of iOS.

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A new case leak – perhaps the clearest we’ve seen so far – offers yet another insight into the shape of the so-called iPhone 6, and as well as giving us a glimpse of the rounded design traits, it also shows that the power button could move from the top to the left-hand side of the device.

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Historically, Samsung has been all too willing to slander Apple and its products with ads, but for a while a few years back, the Korean outfit took a back seat, preferring to let Google take control of the Apple-bashing. But while, as has been revealed during the unfolding of events in the current Apple vs. Samsung court case in California, the Galaxy maker did cease to attack Apple for a while, the company’s marketing team saw the death former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs as “the best opportunity” to re-ignite its smear campaign.

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Google has several innovative projects on the go at any one time, and while the world continues to be fascinating by Project Glass, Project Ara – the company’s endeavor to build a modular smartphone that allows specific hardware features to be swapped in and out at will – has gathered a significant amount of interest in recent weeks. It’s a concept that, if the Big G manages to pull it off, could really change the face of the smartphone market, and with a couple of teasers already having been released by the Project Ara team, we’re now hearing that the first modular handset will be available from January next year.

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The tech community had collectively declared the iPhone 5c as being a flop, but given the increased attention that Apple seems to be paying to its lower-end, polycarbonate-clad handset, the reality of the situation appears to be quite the opposite. A short while back, the Cupertino company began rolling out an even cheaper, 8GB version of its smartphone line-up’s second-in-command, and today, the handset has begun retailing in a further six nations.

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Those looking to attend Google’s big I/O developer conference can now register their interest in obtaining tickets for the event. The Big G is holding a lottery for tickets, so there’s no need to rush over to the registration page, and you have the next three days to sign up for a chance to win.

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