We have been stealing music forever

When I was 13, my babysitter showed up with a box of 12 new cassettes. I was amazed that she had been able to afford all this music. I grew up poor and even one new purchase was news; a dozen purchases was cause for celebration. Had she robbed a bank? Found a wad of twenties in a misplaced wallet? Been blessed by the benevolent lottery gods? Seeing the wonder in my eyes she grabbed the TV Guide sitting on the coffee table and opened it up to an advertisement for Columbia House, and there it was in bold letters: “12 tapes for a penny.” Thus began my life of crime… More at engadget.

This is true to a point. How many people do you know who think nothing of saving a friend’s music to CDs, who taped records back in the day and who gladly share music files. It is simply too easy to do and too difficult to police.

Walk to pay off your Apple Watch

Members can bag a Series 2 for just £69 and then “repay the balance” by earning Vitality points. They then take out a credit agreement for 24 repayments of £12.50 at 0% APR but only pay back a percentage of that based on how active they are.

To translate physical activity into points, 7,000 steps a day earns a user three points, 10,000 steps earns five points and 12,500 steps bags 10. You need 160 points in a month to repay £0 on an Apple Watch plan, which means you’ll need to hit 10,000 every day for a month (plus a little extra one day)… More at Wareable.

What a brilliant idea. Seriously, that would make me walk a lot more.

The Casio Edifice EQB-600 Smartphone Link

Now this is an unusual take on a smart watch. Casio has released the Edifice EQB-600 Smartphone Link which uses the GPS receiver in your phone to ascertain your exact position. This not only means that battery power is significantly increased on the watch, but that mobile towers can also be used to save even more power.

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The real unusual part though is the polar projection 3-D map of the Earth which rotates depending on where you are and which gives it a unique look and feel. It’s a good idea and much care has been put into it, but the overall design could be a little more appealing?

Are wealthy people treated better?

A business mentor of mine once told me, “You can judge a man by the watch he wears.” That’s precisely why I never wear one; with nothing on my wrist, you actually have to listen to what I say to form an impression. Plus my iPhone tells the time just fine, thanks, and even changes time zones automatically.

But then I got an email from a company call Eleven James. This company will rent you a luxury, high-end, your-sad-sack-salary-would-never-let-you-afford-it wristwatch, one at a time, for $150 a month. Like Netflix, except if you forget to return it you’re out a lot more than 15 bucks. And since I travel a lot for work — and am judged daily by everyone from flight attendants to business executives — this seemed like a way to test whether the old mentor knew what was up. So I set out on the road to see whether a fancy watch makes a lick of difference… More at Thrillist.

I’m not convinced that this isn’t an advert for Eleven James because of the way it is written and the fact that 99% of people have no idea what is and isn’t a high-end watch, but I do wonder if people do change their behaviour when confronted with signs of wealth.

Some retail store and hotel workers will know what to look for and I notice a difference in the way I am treated if I wear a work suit or jeans in a shop. I guess we all judge people in a second and that clothing and jewellery are a big part of that.

Ad blocking growing further

The researchers behind it project an even more pronounced spike next year — up to nearly 300 million total users — given the growing pool of people with internet access in emerging countries.

“If U.S. advertisers don’t try to address user experience, they can potentially see another 20 million people added to the ad blocking pool based on similar rates we’ve seen in other countries,” said Becky Tasker, Adobe’s managing analyst for digital insights.

The team arrived at that number through an extensive survey given to more than 1,000 consumers as well as proprietary data tracked by PageFair’s software… More at MashableUK.

This is an issue that is going to grow over time and one which divides people depending on which side of the web they sit.

I’m not convinced by the idea that addressing the user experience will help though because people tend to ad block by default which encompasses every site they visit.

Credit Card Power Bank charger review

I picked up one of these chargers in a store recently for 2 reasons. First up it was cheap and secondly it was small. That’s all I need in a charger because I don’t need one every day and I don’t want to carry something around that gets in the way, ever.

The charger itself is very small at 5mm thick and it is approx 25mm shorter than my iPhone SE while being roughly the same width. If you put this in your pocket, you really will not notice it and that is a huge advantage. Add to this the fact that it cleverly includes lighting and microUSB connectors and you have no need to carry a cable either. As far as portability goes, this has proved to be the most convenient charger I have used to date.

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The slightly bendy lightning connector works fine by the way.

The unit, as you can see, is an all-in-one unit that cleverly hides the lightning adaptor and which uses the microUSB as standard. So you effectively get a microUSB to Lightning adaptor for free in a charger that costs less than £10.

In use it has proved to be reliable so far over a period of one month and always kicks in the charging process immediately, something that hasn’t happened with every charger I have bought in the past. The charging process is as quick as using a wall charger and when I have needed it, power has been available despite it not being charged for a few days and I have been more than happy with the results.

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I can’t get too excited by such a thing as a charger, but in a world where a £500 phone cannot always get me through 1 day of use, it is pleasing to be able to spend 2% extra to give me that facility, and in a space that is incredibly small.

With 2,000mAh capacity and the ability to charge everything from an iPhone to an Android phone to a Kindle, it’s hard not to recommend an accessory as well priced as this one is.

Portable Power Bank 2000 mAh – Credit Card sized Power Bank In-Built Cable which charges all Smartphones (White)

Drilling holes in iPhones. Surely not?

A fake YouTube video claiming to show users how to get the much-missed sound input has gone viral – with many unknowing victims following its lead.

Owners have copied the video’s instructions to place the phone in a clamp and take a 3.5mm drill to where the headphone hole used to be.

Needless to say drilling a hole into your iPhone will leave you with a very broken handset – and not the promised addition… More at The Sun.

This surely cannot be happening. How can people this stupid have enough money to buy a new iPhone?