I'm generally not a fan of "smart speakers" like Amazon's Echo Dot, Apple's HomePod or Google's Nest Mini. I like the technology but I didn't own any of them for the longest time. I won't froth at the mouth about the alleged spying nature of these devices but I will say I dislike voice-based interfaces. I'd rather talk to people than machines, and type my commands into the latter when they require input. Recently though, I switched electricity providers and got two Google Nest Minis in my mailbox as a reward (they usually sell for about €50 a piece). Google is one the three major players in the market for virtual assistants, yet I never had the chance to review their Mini–until now. Let's get started!
Apple wants to keep child sexual abuse material off their iCloud servers and away from minors–and has created an uproar among their fans and beyond. Because, however noble and necessary their cause, the technical implementation and unspoken general suspicion towards everyone sparks controversy. So what is Apple planning, how far can they go as a private company, and how are other service providers handling the issue? Let's find out!
For the longest time, Microsoft swore blind Windows 10 would be the last Windows–with Windows 11 being more of an inside joke among nerds. Many were surprised when, in Fall 2020, Windows 10X appeared on the scene. It was a feature-reduced Windows 10 meant for laptop and tablets, and it never saw an official release. Consequently, there were expectations that the Fall / Winter 2021 update for Windows 10 would incorporate major design changes to bring its somewhat outdated visuals up to speed. Instead, we got Windows 11! So it is reasonable to assume Windows 11 borrows heavily from both the aforementioned design overhaul and the ill-fated Windows 10X. Time to take it for a spin.
Christmas is rushing up fast and many are looking for electronic gadgets to entertain their loved ones or themselves. Amazon's products are frequently part of the equation because of their comparatively cheap prices and aggressive marketing. However, their mere mentioning can cause awkward silence and instantly turn the mood from cheerful to fairly frosty among tech enthusiasts. It's the ubiquitous incentives to buy and the frequent attempts to ingrain Amazon's services further and further into the daily lives of their users that taints Amazon's devices. I set out to take another look at the situation through Amazon's budget 9th generation Fire HD 10 (32 GB) tablet and learn more about its strength and weaknesses–and its annoyance factor!
I usually do my photo editing on my home PC. From meticulously placed filters and image parameter adjustments to one-click optimizations, it all depends on my mood and the quality of the photo. When I was recently out and about, to the extent permitted by the current situation, my cellphone was again stretched to its limits. The morning mountain panorama seemed more grayish than mystical, the backlighting was anything but ideal, and I could have taken better care cropping my shots. So I spent a quiet evening in my hotel room to do some prettifying. Here's what I found!