Geek Stuff

About anything that could be considered “Geek”. Expected Doctor Who and Lego to be mentioned.

Star Wars – The Trouble with Rathtars

Lego, Star Wars, and a chance to see Han Solo and Chewbacca again, The Trouble with Rathtars is part of a series of prequels to Star Wars The Force Awakens, that have been made by the Lego Team. Whilst there is no telling if this is “canon” or not, its fun enough to make me not care.

Sit down, and enjoy.

Movieweb.com has the rest of the collection, for your Lego viewing pleasure.

 

(A Fairly Geeky) Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy T Shirt

I designed a couple of T Shirts a while back, and a few of them seem to be enjoyed by people. One of those was this T Shirt based on the answer to life, the universe and everything, from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

HitchHikers-Guide-To-Galaxy-TShirt-42

 

As I said, this a slightly geeky T Shirt, but if you know someone who knows about computers, 1s and 0s, and (obviously) The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, then I suggest this is the T Shirt for them.

Available from redbubble.com.

Staying Safe Online

Back in the day, I used to work on a Technical Support helpdesk for an Internet Service Provider. Yes I was one of those guys you ring when your internet stops working. It was around this time, when I began to care less about how the internet worked, instead I cared more about why people used the internet, and how people behave online.

I guess it was natural then that my interested was caught, when I had email come through about a new campaign from Get Safe Online and their partners. This is a campaign aimed at making people think twice before they act online, and not fall pray to scam emails, texts, or other forms of ‘Social engineering’ where fraudsters manipulate victims into sharing confidential information.

They hope that the following advert will “encourage the public to think twice before they act online”

 

Whilst the advert can possibly seem a fear inducing, I guess its to raise awareness. For example, you cant always believe that you’ve had an email from a friend who has randomly found himself stuck in the Ukraine., and needs money to get home*.

The Get Safe Online website is worth a look for their massive amount of advice ranging from online banking to safeguarding children.  While I’m not likely to send money to someone who says they’re randomly stuck in the Ukraine, resources to help educating our little one as she grows up in a more connected age then myself can only be helpful

Free Sarah and Duck Episode!

Fancy a free copy of Sarah and Duck ‘Lots of Shallots’? BBC Store is offering everyone in the UK a free digital download of the first Sarah and Duck episode. Grab your copy of ‘Lots of Shallots’ from the BBC Store before 31st Dec, and use the code EPISODE to get it for free.

I did try downloading it on the Kindle Fire – but sadly download isn’t available for Android devices yet.

The What Would Jesus Do Generator

If you haven’t noticed, this blog has a “big brother blog” in the form of The Church Sofa. Whilst writing a particularly silly post called “Christian Apps, That Must Exist!“, I had an idea, I had an idea for a What Would Jesus Do Generator. The idea behind it is simple. Click a button, and you’re told something that Jesus did*.

The What Would Jesus Do Generator can be found here.

It was a chance a to practise skills learnt from the Udemy Complete Web Developer Course, and it will probably be updated once I get a chance to flex my web design skills a bit more.

*Not all 100% serious,

Taking the iPhone 6s out for a review

Life seems to come and go in cycles. Every couple of years there will a new James Bond movie, Sainsburys will find new ways to sell Christmas every August, and there will be a new iPhone released every Autumn. This year, Apple released the iPhone 6s to the world. When I was given the chance to review the iPhone 6s, I could only really give one reply.

HDR shot taken of St Thomas / Exwick in Exeter
HDR shot taken of St Thomas / Exwick in Exeter

A quick side point, any comparisons from here on in, are to my current iPhone 5s. Which – as another side point; I love dearly.

The big differences between the iPhone 6s and the 5s are obvious as soon as you see the 6s. The new model is not only lighter and thinner, but it’s a lot larger. The screen is 4.7 inches compared to the 4 inches of the older phone. The iPhone 6s Plus screen is even larger at 5.5 inches… which (at the moment), almost feels to big? The device also feels quicker and more responsive to use.

Whilst those things were nice, the thing that made me go “ooooo” was the 3D Touch feature which is new to this generation of iPhones. If you’ve not heard of it, it’s basically holding your finger down on the screen to activate other features.  For example:

  • Example of 3d touch on iPhone 6sThe Notes app now comes with the ability to ‘sketch’ onto the screen*. The harder you press your finger, the darker the colour of your onscreen “pencil” becomes.
  • Pop Up Menus! Want to take a selfie quickly? Hold down the camera icon to activate the menu, and then select the “Take Selfie” option. (And yes, the front camera has a flash now, meaning you can take selfies – or indeed Facetime in the dark)
  • Activate Live Photos! Live Photos are new in the iPhone 6s. When you take a Live Photo, your camera records a second or so before and after you hit the button. Therefore giving you a burst of life to go with your photo. Thats enough about Live Photos for a bit…

Whilst the Clock Face isn't great, I find this picture works, while the iPhone 4s simply struggled.I was mostly interested in the iPhone 6s because of the camera. I don’t feel there’s any massive need to get particularly technical about the camera (there’s other sites for that), but the camera over all feels quicker to focus, it has a better zoom, and a greater ability to deal with low light.

The photo to the left shows The Clock Tower in Exeter. I’ve tried taking pictures of it in the dark on the 4s for a while, this is by far more detailed than anything I’d previously managed.

The photo below isn’t just a cheap plug for my Tales From The Toy Shelf Facebook or Instagram page

I failed taking this picture on the SLR and the iPhone 4s. Neither would focus properly. The 6s managed to focus nice and quickly.

I took both phones out the other week to compare the photos between the two on a particularly misty morning.

iPhone 5s
The iPhone 5s
The iPhone 6s
The iPhone 6s

Not the easiest conditions, but I feel it’s fairly clear that the 6s wins hands down here.

Now. Live Photos. As I said above, when you take a Live Photo, your camera records a second or so before and after you hit the button. Therefore giving you a burst of life to go with your photo. This gives a Harry Potter “moving photo” style affect to your photos.

So in the end you not only have your photo, but you have a quick video clip that goes alongside it. Which is lovely when your taking photos of your kid, and they say something like “cheese” in a particularly cute away. Such as in this picture:

Cheese

The Live Photo version of this photo looks like this:

Sharing the “Live Photo” element though is a bit of a pain at the moment. You could upload it to YouTube, but from what I can tell you need to transfer the video file over to your computer first. This is because the iPhone seems to look at it as a picture, and doesn’t recognise it as a video as well.

You can also use it as a way to make your own .gif files, but again, that process is a little convoluted. If it becomes possible to share Live Photos to people not within the iOS world, then Live Photos may become something special

I might sound a little negative, but I’m not. I was still playing with Live Photos just the other day to see what I could catch. They just feel like a work in progress, and seeing as iOS9.1 featured an update on how they’re recorded, I wouldn’t be surprised if there are more tweaks coming.

Would I recommend the iPhone 6s to people? It’s probably not worth it if you already have the iPhone 6, but as with the other “s” releases, this probably isn’t for you. For everyone else: yes, if you can afford it, get it. It’s the iPhone you know, and (if you’re still reading) probably love, except it looks nicer, runs faster, goes for longer, has a better camera, reacts better, and generally has more features.

And one day. Live Photos will be awesome.

The iPhone 6s was loaned by ThreeUK for review purposes.

Doctor Who Twitter Account Regenerates Into One Big Tease

This evening, the Doctor Who Twitter Account has tweeted that they have some HUGE Doctor Who news…

Then they troll us with…

They even reassure panicking fans…

Which just winds people up more…

I’d place my bets on another Doctor turning up at some point this series.

Just ideal speculation. Please don’t quote me…

That was a stupid guess… The announcement was unveiled in this tweet: