An unexpected holiday surprise #MakeItHappen

When Microsoft Lumia heard Lani’s family hadn’t celebrated Christmas together in over 13 yearsthey devised a top-secret plan to help #MakeItHappen. Flying both Lani and her little girl Evolet home to the US, Microsoft Lumia orchestrated a surprise reunion with a twist, sothat the entire family could enjoy the Holidays together for the first time. 

This month, Microsoft Lumia are helping people around the world to #MakeItHappen, by fulfilling 31 resolutions in 31 days. 

Share your resolution now and Microsoft Lumia could hellp #MakeItHappen

About Lani
36 year-old Lani O'Brien, an American living in Lancashire, has never managed to make it home to see her family at Christmas since moving to the UK 13 years ago. 
Lani’s husband Dean is also an expat, living away from his family based in New Zealand, so the tight-knit family rely on regular Skype conversations to stay connected. 

Lani and Dean had their first child Evolet three years ago, but financial circumstances have meant Lani’s family in Chicago, Illinois, have only met Evolet twice and have never spent the Holiday season with her.  
A nutritious by trade, Lani is now a full-time mum but also works supporting her husband Dean who his building a child entertainment business after unexpectedly losing his job when Evolet was just six months old. 
With Dean travelling throughout December for work, Lani hoped she might make it home to see her family in the US so she and Evolet were not alone during the Holiday season. Unfortunately, the family were simply unable to afford the costly travel expenses. 

Lani submitted her resolution to the #MakeItHappen campaign and Microsoft Lumia was so touched by her story they decided to #MakeItHappen. 
he film itself follows Lani and Evolet’s journey home to Chicago to surprise their unsuspecting family for the Holidays. 

About the soundtrack
“Footprints in the Snow” is a new track from singer/songwriter Scott McFarnon.

A Grammy Award and Golden Globe nominee, Scott has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the music industry including Beyoncé and Mark Ronson and in 2007 Daniel Merriweather had a global hit with his version of Scott’s song ‘Red’. Now launching a solo career, Scott’s incredible voice and unique sound will be available to the world in early 2015 with release of his debut album, Crazy Heart





Campaign: Microsoft Lumia #MakeItHappen

Agency: Mission Media

Film Production: We Are Films

Directors: Alex and Aaron Craig

Music: Scott McFarnon ‘Footprints in the Snow’

Why the HTC One M8 is a match for the Samsung Galaxy S5

The HTC One M8 has certainly thrown the cat amongst the smartphone pigeons and Samsungs new Galaxy S5 may not be the show stopping handset that the Korean Tech giant had hoped it would be.

This month, both HTC and Samsung launched their new flagship Android smartphones that will no doubt rival Apples new iPhone 6 later this year. A three-way race for the title of 'king of the smartphones 2014’ is well and truly underway and with HTCs new One M8, the bar has most certainly been raised.

I had the privilege of being able to attend the Irish launch of HTCs gorgeous new phone with its 5-inch Super LCD3 display, futuristic metallic design with premium build quality and unique Sense 6.0 UI. In addition, its fancy new camera can take images at a resolution of 2688 x 1520 and includes a very special depth sensor to allow for sophisticated image manipulation in post.

Samsungs Galaxy S5 is without doubt a challenger for this years smartphone honours, but upon launch, I couldnt help but get the sense that Samsung felt they just needed to show up’ and market the hell out of a slightly updated Galaxy series handset. Its’ familiar plastic chassis just continues to feel second best. However, although I think the HTC One M8 will be the surprise hit of the season, the S5 does have a lot of major selling points of its own.

Its rear camera is far superior for one thing, although the M8s front shooter is no slouch, earning the phone the moniker of the selfie smartphone. The S5 also offers the unique ability of being able to replace the battery, while still keeping its svelte 8.1mm frame, less than a hair thicker than thicker than the S4. In addition, the S5 comes with a fingerprint scanner, which the M8 lacks. Spec wise the Galaxy S5 does lead the way with a faster processor at a clock speed of 2.5 GHz compared to the M8s 2.3 GHz. Both chips are of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 variety.

The reconfiguration of the front buttons is also a nice surprise, and makes it that little bit easier to multitask with. However, the M8 offers superior gesture input, with numerous swipe and tap options to facilitate quick access to different features and applications, right from standby mode.

Although Im by no means seriously suggesting that the HTC One M8 will win the battle, it will almost certainly put up one hell of a fight. No one really expected the M8 to make as much of an impact as it has. HTC may certainly be the comeback kid of the smartphone world this year and Samsungs powerful marketing machine and brand awareness simply wont be enough on its own to guarantee supremacy. This will be a close run contest, with many consumers attracted to the M8s beautifully crafted design, MicroSD expansion to 128GB, aforementioned Sense UI and novelty camera concept.

One thing is for sure, although Samsung may still win the smartphone wars this year, they will have more than just Apple to contend with. HTC is back!

Dave Cullen is a technology journalist, gadget reviewer, video content creator and founder of Computing Forever. He is known to many for his YouTube channel Lack78, where he produces regular tech-related video blogs and thought provoking industry and societal polemics.

Three Great Smartphone Gadgets

There is no denying that smartphones and smart-devices are taking over the world, in a good way. Just about every person nowadays has this magnificent object sitting in their pocket. The smartphone in essence is a miniature super-computer, photo gallery, camera, arcade, calculator as well as the holder of all knowledge, although, for some, it is simply a device used to laugh at pictures of cats doing funny things on the internet. Along with the rise of smart-devices, an almost infinite range of wonderfully interesting gadgets and accessories has emerged. Your smart-device can be magically transformed into just about anything, from a heart rate monitor to a DJ’s turntable. Here are three of the coolest gadgets out there today.

Rokono BASS+ Mini Speaker

This fantastic miniature speaker is the perfect gadget needed for turning your one-man-party into something much more social. Thanks to its portability, this speaker is the perfect edition to anyone’s gadget collection. Easily clip the speaker closed, making it smaller, slip it into your pocket, and you’re ready to make the world dance. It works perfectly with any 3.5 mm audio jack, playing great sounding music for 10+ hours of continuous playback from a single charge.

iPhone Slot Machine

Thanks to this fantastic docking station for Apple products, charging of your phone will never again be a boring, tedious process. Slide your device into the miniature one-armed-bandit slot machine, and watch as the screen springs to life. There is nothing greater than hearing that glorious sound of victory. Although this device does not work with many online gambling websites currently, that is about to change. Spokesperson of the popular online gambling site, JackpotJoy said recently that they are thrilled with the concept of this gadget, adding that you can definitely expect to see more of these gambling-related gadgets popping up.

Hone for iPhone and iPad

Ever since the first lock was invented, people have been misplacing their keys. Luckily, thanks to this nifty little gadget, that is now an issue of the past. Simply attach the small device to your keys (or any valuable, easy to lose object), press the “find” button on your phone, and listen. Using Bluetooth, the device attached to the lost object will light up and create a sound. All that’s left now is a quick game of hide-and-seek.

By Jason 

WIN the experience of a lifetime and an Xperia Z1

Sony Xperia GB are teaming up with Ed Stafford and his crew of intrepid explorers to take the Xperia Z1, the world's best camera in a waterproof smartphone, to four Hidden Wonders of the World, testing its capabilities to the limit. Follow them as they post clues along the way and locate the Xperia Z1 for your chance to win a trip to one of our Hidden Wonders. This sounds like an excellent adventire and you can discover more, along with details of how to enter here

Smartphones – making our lives easier, every day

What is meant by a smartphone? 

A smartphone is a mobile phone that has multiple capabilities and possesses many of the same functions of a desktop computer. 

There are currently just under 7 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide, with smartphone subscriptions sitting at over 1 billion. The most popular are Android and iPhone smartphones, which contributed to 90% of smartphone sales in 2013. 

What are the key developments in smartphone improvements?

Some of the key developments in smartphones over the years include faster processors, increased camera resolution, increased variety, bigger storage space and larger screens. 

Have they become smarter since they were first released?

Certainly. Smartphones have rapidly developed and improved since their inception in 1996, and continue to make people’s lives easier with each new development. The smartphone market is heavily competitive, with each operating system designed to support quicker and better features than the smartphones before. 

Let’s take a look at the history and development of the BlackBerry smartphone. The first BlackBerry smartphone was developed in 2003, and it has been a transformative presence in the world of communication, drastically improving the way people communicate and the technology capabilities of smartphones. 

When the BlackBerry smartphone was introduced, the possibility of sending and receiving emails on a smartphone was realised. It also enabled web browsing, thereby opening up a whole new platform of possibilities and options for users. People were no longer limited to accessing the internet on their desktops, and could now connect to the internet wherever they were, at whatever time they chose. 

These are some of the improvements BlackBerry has made over the years:


  • The improvement of third party apps, which means that apps can run faster. For example, if you are a fan of mobile casinos, you can download Royal Vegas Casinos Online quicker and easier than ever before 
  • The short battery life of smartphones is a thorn in the side of many smartphone users. However, the battery life of the BlackBerry has seen over 60 battery saving improvements since 2003 so that users can enjoy longer usage. 
  • Increased camera resolution 
  • A perfect example of the improvement of smartphone features is the Blackberry Z10. It has a 4.2 inch screen, USB and HDMI connectivity, a dual core processor of 1.5 GHz and an 8 megapixel camera as well as 2GB of RAM


More Google Now smart features for Nexus 5 tipped for November 13 update

A publication has revealed in a Nexus 5 one-week-of-use review that the handset may soon get new Google Now features, with an update pegged for November 13.

According to Wired, more smart Google Now features are coming soon, although Google is yet to officially announce them.

Apparently Google Now will get even smarter than it currently is, with the voice-based assistant getting some sort of answering back features...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Devices for People Who Never Switch Off

The modern smartphone generation seem to be constantly attached to their gadgets and more clued up than ever before about the latest developments in the tech industrythat would have blown many of us away ten years ago, because we simply didn’t have any idea what they were on about.

Such has been the advancement in technology over such a short period of time, businesses are now able to encourage – and almost expect – their employees to use the devices at their disposal to stay on top of work-related issues even when they’re away from the office. Some people just naturally stay ‘switched on’ with emails coming through to their own devices and taking calls even when at home, while others have been allowed to get involved with the latest enterprise trend, Bring Your Own Device to help boost productivity. 

BYOD – as it is also known – is an innovation that lets employees use their own range of smartphones, tablets and laptops in the workplace rather than having to use those provided by the company, meaning that they can be much more productive because they’re not having to deal with different platforms and operating systems every time they work in a different location. Cloud computing and enterprise mobility have opened the door to all kinds of mobile business possibilities, and people who were struggling to handle technology – in any form – ten years ago, are now embracing whatever they feel can be beneficial in their professional and personal lives.

A lot of people are criticised for working too hard, sending and receiving emails at all times of day and night, but it can be argued that they’re committed to their job and trying to go above and beyond the call of duty. If they’re going to be working at all hours, they want to take advantage of the latest technology and security to make sure that they’re fully equipped, and that their data is safe. Devices would include:


Laptops started this trend, with people able to access their files and emails from wherever they wanted to. Whether it was an important news article they were working on, a spreadsheet to present to the board, or a presentation that would help to seal a new contract for the company; employees were now able to do their work from a mobile device rather than having to sit at the office PC late into the night which ruined their family life.


The development of the smartphone changed a generation, quite simply. All of a sudden users were able to do just about anything from one small, handheld devicewith the BlackBerry among the first smartphones designed for business with access to emails, instant messaging and the Internet. Mobile security has had to be developed in the same way to anti-virus and firewalls on computers because of the digital data trail left behind when emails and messages are sent between devices, which has actually proven to be a huge challenge to administrators in recent years with BYOD playing a key role.


The latest of the great innovations, tablet computers are being used in business for a variety of purposes, with apps and programmes enabling people to work from any location and even to control presentations using their device.

Casinos Go Mobile

With the rising popularity of smartphones, more and more people are filling their spare moments by playing games, checking their social networks and having a quick gamble online; but of these three options we find the last is becoming more and more commonplace. It's estimated that out of the 780 million participants who play social games on Facebook alone, 98 million of these play casino games and even while the number of members on Facebook dropped in 2011 the utilisation of casino games increased by 60%.

However You Want,

There are quite a few benefits to playing online casinos on your mobile, but the variety of options for how to play is by far the biggest one. No matter your game, you will find something to your liking on a mobile site, native app or local app; most good gambling websites now have their own mobile sites which are optimised for iPhone, Android and iPads. Studies show that one in twenty iPhone owners are users of sport betting apps, mostly used on public transport or while watching TV.

Whatever You Want,

The many game and theme choices are completely open to players. While websites like offer casino games, slot games and video poker games on their optimised mobile site as well as blackjack, live baccarat and roulette, other websites will specialise in themed slots or specific card games. There is also a huge amount of bingo games on offer, from quick, small bets to longer games where chat options are popular.

With Whomever You Want!

Speaking of chat, the sociable aspect is one of the most appealing features of mobile gambling. With Facebook gaming, players are able to compete with or against their friends, and on many bingo sites live chats are commonplace, unlike a bingo hall in real life where chatting among players is strictly prohibited. First time or nervous players can also get a lot of additional help on gambling sites from live chat hosts.

A study released in 2010 revealed that expectations are that by 2015 the total sum wagered on mobile casinos games will be over $48 billion, and another forecast predicts that the 2014 mobile gaming revenues from around the world will reach $11.4 billion. The online casino industry is estimated to be worth over $30 billion, with mobile capitalising on bringing entertaining and challenging games to the pockets of those in desperate boredom on trains, bus stops and waiting rooms around the country.

Samsung Galaxy S5 could run Tizen instead of Android

The Samsung Galaxy S5 could come in two flavours: tasty, familiar Android and untried untasted Tizen.

After a Samsung Galaxy S4 was spotted showing off new Tizen software, IBTimes suggests that some versions of the new phone will run Samsung's own Tizen operating system instead of Google's Android OS...

Read the full story here... Source: CNET

Smartphones Under Attack

Modern times have seen a real switch from the brick phone and flip phones from many years ago. Nowadays, your mobile phone or 'smart'phone is more like a handheld computer. With viruses, malware & phishing activites abundant on desktop & laptop computers, this means your smartphone is also vulnerable. Check out the video below to hear my thoughts on this subject.


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Moto X rolling out to other carriers in just a few days

The Moto X launched on AT&T today, even though the MotoMaker can’t be used online just yet, but Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint don’t have the device available yet, which raises an important question: when will they have it available?

Well, according to Motorola’s Punit Soni, it shouldn’t be very long from now. In fact, it could be as early as next week. In his Google+ post, he mentioned that “other carrier versions rolling out..."

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority

Fan favorite – which Android manufacturer are you rooting for?

By 2017, more than two billion phones will be sold every 365 days. A vast majority of those will be smartphones. With this in mind, we have the world’s biggest technology companies engaging in technological, marketing, and patent warfare. But which manufacturer deserves our acclaim, our respect, and the hard earned dollars of consumers worldwide...

Read the full story here... Source: Android Authority