Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 has been out for several days now. It is available to download directly from the Windows Store (on current Windows 8 devices) and then executes itself. I tried out the preview a couple of months back, and I thought that it was great, so I really wanted to get the full version.

This turned out to be a bit trickier than expected. The download took about thirteen hours. This is quite a long time for a 3GB download. Partially this was due to my slow connection speed, but the delay was also caused by the Windows Store’s strange download “techniques”: it requires you to check back every twenty minutes (or it closes) and the app itself is buggy. Occasional glitches cause the download to appear more or less complete than it actually is.

Once it was downloaded, however, it worked fine! The updated is automated and finished its work within fifteen minutes, leaving me with a shiny, new OS! Actually, there aren’t too many changes. There are a few new apps: Health and Fitness, Food and Drink, Help and Tips and a Reading List (but with no offline reading feature??). Also included is a calculator (with scientific mode) and a voice recorder. The search feature has been much revamped, and of course there are plenty of performance updates. The lock screen now allows you to take pictures without entering a password, and the “PC Settings” menu is now much more comprehensive.

Oh, and did I mention that The Start Button, in all its humble majesty, has returned?

Currently all it does is returns you to the Metro screen, but it should give a few months of ease to all the Windows 7 fanboys!

Perhaps the best features of the new update relate to customisation. There are now FOUR tile sizes on the Metro Screen: 1/2 x 1/2, 1×1, 1×2 and 2×2. The colour theme settings are much more detailed. Now (one of my favourites) you can also have your metro background the same as your desktop!

I still need to check and see if the Windows Experience Rating is there.

N.B. The Messenger App IS still there, contrary to previous reports!

To conclude, I think that (as long as your connection speed is decent) the 8.1 upgrade is very worthwhile. Get the newest Windows OS in the world now!

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Improve iOS 7’s Battery Life

An investigation by Ars Technica  has discovered that iOS 7 kills battery life faster than iOS 6.1 on every device you can use it on.

 

Here are a few tips on how to preserve that precious battery life:

 

1. Change Your Spotlight Settings

 

With iOS 7, you can now search for anything on your iPhone using Spotlight. All you have to do is pull down on your Home screen and you can search everything.

ios 7 battery life

It’s convenient, but it also takes a lot of battery power to index it all. You can change exactly what Spotlight looks in when you use it for search by going to Settings, General then Spotlight search. Remove what you don’t need.

 

2. Turn Off AirDrop 

 

iOS 7 now allows you to quickly and easily share files with your friends’ iPhones. This is only available for iPhone 5, 5C and 5S. It’s a great new feature, but it doesn’t need to be on when you’re not using it. To turn it off, go to your control center by pushing up from the bottom of any screen. From there you can disable AirDrop until you want to use it.

 

3. Turn Your Brightness Down

 

This is a classic way to save battery, and it’s been made even easier. Instead of going through Settings to get to your brightness, you can change your screen’s brightness from the Control Center.

ios 7 battery life

 

4. Turn Off Parallax

 

This is the aspect of iOS 7 that makes everything look a little bit 3D and makes your background move around behind your apps. It also drains your battery. To turn it off, go to Settings, General, then Accessibility, then Reduce Motion. Turn Reduce Motion on to stop the parallax effect.

 

5. Turn Off Bluetooth And WiFi

This is another old one, but it’s really handy. Just disable them in Control Center when not in use.

 

6. Disable Auto Downloads

 

Your iPhone now downloads app updates from the App Store automatically, draining your battery. This feature also automatically downloads purchases from iTunes and the App Store you’ve made on different devices to your iPhone, which you may not want. To stop this and just update your apps and music manually, go to Settings, iTunes & App Store, and scroll to Automatic Downloads. There you can turn Automatic Downloads off for music, apps and books.

 

7. Turn Off Frequent Locations

 

Your iPhone wants to learn the places you often visit to give you “provide useful location-related information.” This is takes up a lot of battery and is unnecessary and invades your privacy. To disable it go to Settings, Privacy, then Location Services. There, scroll all the way to the bottom and hit System Services. There you can also turn off Location Based iAds (ads from Apple based on your frequent locations). Then go to Frequent Locations and turn that off, too.

 

 

ios 7 battery life

 

8. Turn off Siri

Unless you’re using Siri regularly, you’re better off disabling her to save battery. To do so, go to Settings, General then Siri. Tap Siri and you can turn her off.

 

9. Don’t Use A Moving Background

The new moving backgrounds that iOS 7 offers are super cool, but they will kill your battery. Use one of the static backgrounds or just your own photo.

iOS 7 Security Flaw

Here’s a (relatively) major security flaw in the new Apple operating system, iOS7. This poses a problem on iPhones 4S and upwards and some iPads. It allows anyone to access contact details and send photos without knowing the passcode to the iDevice.

First, turn the iPhone on and open the control center by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Now launch the clock app. Pressing the power button at the top of the iPhone brings up the option to power off the device. Press cancel rather than sliding to power off, then immediately tap the home button twice to bring up the iOS 7 multitasking interface.

From there, you can see recently used apps, kill apps and, most worryingly, open the camera app. From here you can click the icon at the bottom left to see the camera roll. You can then share them via email, iMessage, Facebook, Twitter and so on. Also, by doing this you can see details about the phone owner’s contacts, including phone numbers, email addresses and birthdays.

Great job Apple!

Make a CD Ejecting “Virus”

Here is yet another VBS virus you can easily make and execute! This one will continually eject all CDs from your computer, no matter how many times you put them back in! To stop it, simply end the wscript.exe process (in task manager) or restart your PC.

Type the following into notepad, and save it as “Virus.vbs” (or Virus.*vbs) under “All Files”:

 

Set oWMP = CreateObject(“WMPlayer.OCX.7”)

Set colCDROMs = oWMP.cdromCollection
do
if colCDROMs.Count >= 1 then
For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count – 1
colCDROMs.Item(i).Eject
Next
For i = 0 to colCDROMs.Count – 1
colCDROMs.Item(i).Eject
Next
End If
wscript.sleep 5000
loop

 

Now simply run it! A great way to prank your friends!