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All posts by Andy Walker: Gearburn Editor

  • Tracking ebola: 8 internet resources to help keep abreast of the epidemic

    Ebola is fast becoming Africa's (and indeed, the world's) biggest contemporary health problem. The latest outbreak, originating in Guinea, is now the largest in recorded history with most of West Africa in the midst of the suffering. Since February, there have been over 1 200 reported cases and around 700 reported deaths, with this number continuing to climb as the epidemic balloons. Recently two American nationals were diagnosed with ebola disease, which has sparked fears of the virus piggybacking on international aircraft and spreading across the world. This may sound incredibly unlikely, but is theoretically possible. Although the internet cannot cure...

  • The flash and the furious: 11 of the internet’s greatest custom computers

    There are few things in this world more entertaining than stripping a device of its guts, just to put it back together again. Building something from scratch also comes pretty close. Fun turns to dread (or in some cases, panicked laughter) when the power button's flick fails to lurch it into life. Failing miserably is, thankfully largely part of the experience. These PC customisers and builders have definitely not failed by any means. From adorning their machines with glowing LEDs and glass panels, to cooling them with aircraft-sized turbines and water-pulsing pipes, building custom computing devices to take over little...

  • 7 improvements that would make Windows 9 the best Microsoft OS ever

    There's a myth around the tech world that Microsoft follows up its blockbuster OS with universally hated sequels. This theory seems to bear true when looking at its dismal track record. Starting at Windows 95, the crash-happy 98 soon followed. Windows XP, in turn, was ceded by the unstable and heavily bloated Windows Vista. And now, Microsoft's most successful OS of all, Windows 7, is overthrown by Windows 8, a version destined to become its most hated OS ever. It's not like Windows 8 is awful either. It shares its older brother's granite-like stability and boots faster than a scolded...

  • Bon appétit: 7 of the greatest French cars ever made

    The automotive world is quite indebted to the French's brilliance. Without their ingenuity, the car would probably still be rolling around on wooden wheels with sticks acting as primitive steering. From breakthrough concepts like drum brakes, catalytic converters, rubber tyres and the original steam-engined tricycle, the French have also produced some stellar cars in their time. Although many don't see it that way. All auto manufacturers are ashamed of that one ugly ducking that left the production line when heads were turned. Read more on Motorburn.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • 5-TILES keyboard review: the Qwerty pretender

    Call me a Neanderthal, but I miss typing on a phone with a physical Qwerty keyboard. Nothing quite beats the tangible feedback a springing key with defined edges provides. BlackBerry’s now largely extinct Bold range had the best example but now, although touchscreen smartphones are more powerful than we could ever have anticipated then, typing anything of length on one is an unwanted chore. Enter the third party keyboard app that hopes to kill Qwerty for good — ETAOI Systems’s 5-TILES keyboard, available for Android and likely iOS too in the coming months. Read more on Gearburn.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • New Samsung Android handsets in Nigeria to feature Celltick Start-based UI

    Celltick, creator of the Android lockscreen replacement app Start, has announced a new partnership with Samsung West Africa that will see it develop a custom Start-based Galaxy 11 interface for all Android-based Samsung smartphones in the region. Additionally, Start will be the launcher of choice, trumping Samsung's and Android's native offerings. Founded in 2000, Celltick has endeavored to morph the smartphone's usually barren lockscreen into an "interactive personalized billboard." Start comes pretty close to this. If the app's appearance is anything to go by, the UI should be particularly spiffy, clean and user friendly. Available for other Android devices via Google's...

  • 9 gadgets that scream ‘America!’

    When John Hancock signed the Declaration of Independence back in 1776, the term "technology" probably encompassed what was then bourgeoning stream engine technology and the quill used to sign the parchment. Nearly 350 years later though, as Americans gear up for the celebration of this day, technology is an integral part of their and the world society in general. As the homes and streets from New York to Los Angeles are painted red, white and blue, why should techology not follow suit and take part in the celebrations? Here are nine of the most patriotic, America-loving, Fourth of July-celebrating gizmos...

  • 9 stunning cars showcased at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed

    The Goodwood Festival of Speed is debatably England's premier motorsport show, taking place every year since 1993 in West Sussex's height of summer. The Goodwood House and its stoned walls flank the iconic hillclimb, a strip of tarmac used decades before the event became a social and motoring highlight. The tradition of returning every June/July to British motorsport's spiritual home is now held in high esteem by all in the motoring world. Its popularity is unquestionable. Personalities and legends from F1 champions John Surtees and Emerson Fittipaldi to NASCAR great Richard Petty and Le Mans master Derek Bell all graced...

  • Red-E PowerBank review: smartphone charging on the go

    While smartphones and other mobile devices have been growing in speed and utility in the past decade, their overtaxed batteries often struggle to keep up. Even though new platforms like Android L and iOS 8 aim to manage battery life more effectively, there's only so long a single charge can last on a battery. Thankfully, there are external power packs to save us from that dreaded "low power" warning. The Red-E is the latest contender in a saturated external power pack market, yet it's R565 pricetag is one of the best seen for it's 6 000 mAh capacity. Read more on...

  • Luis Suarez’s bite memes are why the World Cup and Twitter belong together

    Yesterday's FIFA World Cup match between Uruguay and Italy will be remembered more for an incident involving teeth and less for footballing tactics. During the second half, everyone's favourite footballing villian Luis Suarez, took a large, unsubtle bite of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini's shoulder. No caution or disciplinary action was issued, leading to internet-based uproar across the world, no less in Italy. The incident is pictured below thanks to Pete Blackburn's TwitPic page. However, this isn't the first time Suarez munched on an opponent. Last year while playing for Liverpool, he was banned for ten matches after biting Chelsea defender...

  • 7 things you really ought to know about Apple’s iPhone 6

    In 2007, a Steve Jobs-led Apple announced "Project Purple," the codenamed operation that would eventually spawn the original iPhone. After its official launch a year later, the device became a mixed bag of sweet sales success and salty near-sighted design flaws. The world has since seen four additional iPhone models, with the sixth and most important version since coming later this year. Thanks to the usual barrage of Apple stories both fictitious and fact, we have a pretty fair idea of what to expect from Cupertino. Here's what consumers could, should and ought to expect from the firm's next super...

  • 6 petrol (and diesel) powered cars that’ll make you think twice about hybrids

    We've covered the flashy, footballer-friendly rides of World Cup stars, not to mention a gaggle of Formula 1 inspired vehicles for track day enthusiasts too, but what if style and speed aren't your prerequisites for a new car and fuel economy is? Currently hybrid cars win the battle between the pumps more often than not, but this doesn't necessarily mean all petroleum powered cars are slobs in comparison. In fact, some can challenge even the best hybrids on fuel efficiency numbers. Read more on Motorburn.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • Ghana’s World Cup defeat to the US: the Twitter numbers

    Twitter is continuing its alternative coverage of the World Cup, this time dishing out metrics from the US and Ghana's (#GHAvsUSA) Group G clash, and Germany's 4-0 rampage of Portugal. Unfortunately for the Black Stars, the US ran out 2-1 victors against the run of play, thanks to an 86th minute winner from 21-year-old sensation John Brooks. With two goals in the final eight minutes of the match, it was one of the more exciting encounters in an already entertaining tournament. But how did the Twitter community react? 4.9 million total tweets for #GHAvsUSA According to the social network's analytics wizards, fewer...

  • Formula E is not the environmentally-friendly racing series we were hoping for, but it’s a start

    Let’s not fool ourselves. Although I hate to knock it before its first race, Formula E really is no greener than it’s petroleum-based cousins. The Formula E cars once racing will emit no carbon emissions, but that’s just on the track. The series’s trailer frustrates me the most. The stock footage of an unspoilt earth, people frolicking in fields and wind turbines gently twirling in the breeze suggests that Formula E is the motorsport that will change everything. If it is purporting to be a green series, its not only fooling itself but the public as well. Even though its...

  • 8 3D printed foods that will change the future of cuisine

    Like it or not, 3D printed food will be at the forefront of future cuisine. The technology to print edible foodstuffs practically on demand is around the corner, but the real issue for companies will be ridding 3D printed food of its unnatural, synthetic taboo. Food supply is a global issue and as the population continues to balloon, alternative resources must be found. 3D-printing provides a potential solution to the problems of food and time wastage, by producing 3D-printed food that one can enjoy practically immediately, without the added strain placed on the environment. Read more on Gearburn.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");