Category Archives: Computing

Would a cheap refurbished laptop run Photoshop?

Yuri needs a laptop to run Adobe Creative Suite but is short of funds. Could he get an old machine that will do the job?

I’m a graphic designer with a long-term health condition that regularly puts me in hospital. At home I work on a desktop, but when I’m on the ward, I’m forced to use my partner’s laptop. I need a PC that can run the Adobe Creative Suite, including 3D in Photoshop when necessary, support a second monitor and store large files. It also has to be pretty solid as it will travel to and from hospital often. Times are tough financially, but last week you suggested refurbs. Can you recommend a laptop that would suit me? Yuri

Last week’s answer covered desktop PCs, which become available as refurbs after they have been retired from corporate use after three or four years. There are even more refurbished laptops, which can do sterling work for people who don’t need the latest and greatest specifications.

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Source: gadt

Boston Dynamics is teaching its robot dog to fight back against humans

‘Testing robustness’ apparently crucial to SpotMini’s development, with machine showing it won’t be perturbed by human interference

It appears that, just like their flesh and blood counterparts, you just can’t put a good robot dog down, even if you’re a human fighting it for control of a door.

Boston Dynamics’ well-mannered four-legged machine SpotMini has already proved that it can easily open a door and walk through unchallenged, but now the former Google turned SoftBank robotics firm is teaching its robo-canines to fight back.

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Source: gadt

Growth of AI could boost cybercrime and security threats, report warns

Experts say action must be taken to control artificial intelligence tech

Wanton proliferation of artificial intelligence technologies could enable new forms of cybercrime, political disruption and even physical attacks within five years, a group of 26 experts from around the world have warned.

In a new report, the academic, industry and the charitable sector experts, describe AI as a “dual use technology” with potential military and civilian uses, akin to nuclear power, explosives and hacking tools.

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Source: gadt

Apple bug crashes apps that display Telugu character

Company is working to fix glitch in software update that can put devices into bootloop

Apple is working urgently to fix a bug in its latest software update that crashes applications that display a particular letter from the south Indian language Telugu.

Typing or receiving a message that contains the letter causes apps such as Gmail, Instagram or WhatsApp to crash.

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Source: gadt

Is it worth buying a refurbished PC for under £150?

Mark needs to replace a 10-year-old desktop computer on a budget. Is a refurbished model a good option?

I’m considering buying a new general-purpose home computer for $200 [£142] or less, and I’d like a mini-tower that I can easily repair and upgrade.

I will use it on the web, to scan photographs (with a flatbed scanner), and to watch video recordings from my trail cameras. I’d like to buy the minimum PC that can handle these tasks significantly faster than my 10-year-old Dell Dimension B110. I think I’d be happy with a 64-bit Intel Core 2 Duo.

Many people are familiar with the idea of “fleet cars” that have been bought or leased by large corporations and replaced after two or three years. They are cheap and have generally been well maintained, which makes them popular in the second hand market. There’s a similar market in “fleet computers”, which are usually recycled after three years and sold as refurbished PCs.

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Source: gadt

Humans no longer required: Google tests robot to chat with friends for you

With its new Reply system the firm is taking the art of conversion one step forwards – or should that be backwards?

Are you tired of the constant need to tap on a glass keyboard just to keep up with your friends? Do you wish a robot could free you of your constant communication obligations via WhatsApp, Facebook or text messages? Google is working on an AI-based auto-reply system to do just that.

Google’s experimental product lab called Area 120 is currently testing a new system simply called Reply that will work with Google’s Hangouts and Allo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Android Messages, Skype, Twitter direct messages and Slack.

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Source: gadt

A pirate's life for me: Rare's ambitious plans for Sea of Thieves revealed

The Xbox and PC online multiplayer pirate adventure will boast sea monsters and skeleton forts – and this is only the beginning

When the veteran British games studio Rare first revealed Sea of Thieves in 2015, it’s fair to say the response was positive. After years spent concentrating on the controversial Kinect device, the creator of luscious SNES and N64 classics Donkey Kong Country and Banjo-Kazooie unveiled an online pirate adventure where groups of friends would set sail on an open ocean, seeking out treasure and doing battle with other player crews. It felt like the beloved developer had truly returned.

Two years later, anticipation remains high. Within five hours of the recent closed beta test going live, it was the most watched game on streaming service Twitch, beating even the mighty League of Legends. In the end, more than 300,000 people signed up to play, spending 2m hours and completing 400,000 quests in the week-long test.

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Source: gadt

Unanswered emails were the bane of my life – until I spent a month in search of inbox nirvana

Is your life weighed down by thousands of emails? Moya Sarner’s was too. So she decided to try all the top recommended techniques to stop the deluge

At 5.10pm on New Year’s Day, I had 16,516 unread emails in my inbox.

At 5.11pm on New Year’s Day, my inbox was empty.

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Source: gadt

Will I be able to do more work with three screens?

Having more screen space makes people more productive, but it’s not necessarily best distributed over multiple monitors

Will I be able to do more work with three monitors? Jean

Research shows that people can get more work done if they have more screen area available, and using multiple monitors is a simple way to double or triple your workspace. However, that doesn’t mean having three screens is the best option for you or anyone else. The final decision depends on the way you work, the programs you run, the amount of desk space you have available, and how much you are willing to spend.

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Source: gadt

Taming the beast: how to build a gaming PC for 2018

Buying a new computer for gaming can be a confusing endeavour. We asked a group of experts what you’ll need for a slick experience

Buying a new games machine is a major investment in these financially tricky times. A capable PC that will cope with the latest releases for at least 18 months will start at £600, but, whatever you pay, your quest will involve a series of challenging decisions and compromises.

So, if you’re thinking about splashing out this year, we’ve pulled together tips and recommendations from a group of highly experienced PC builders. James Hannett is a coder at Frozen Synapse developer Mode7; Nick Tannahill is marketing director at Firefly Studios, creator of the Stronghold series; Byron Atkinson-Jones runs Xiotex Studios; and Guardian reader Simon Beck has built dozens of PCs over the last 10 years.

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Source: gadt