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That large screen is the obvious stand-out feature, and its 1600x900 resolution also provides greater clarity and brightness than the 1366x768 of most low-cost laptops. It’s not quite full-HD (1920x1080) but it works well for streaming video and browsing your photo library, and there’s a DVD drive for bingeing on box-sets too.The Satellite C70D is a new model, and arrived with Windows 10 pre-installed, and it even includes a special button on the keyboard to activate the Cortana digital assistant. It was also one of the few laptops we’ve seen recently to use an AMD processor – the quad-core A8-7410, which runs at 2.2GHz (with a boost option taking it to 2.5GHz).We were curious to see how AMD would compete against its many Intel-based rivals, but the A8 processor only managed modest performance, with scores of 1699 and 1917 in the Home and Work suites of PCMark 8. Like the Asus and the Lenovo, it manages a casual gaming frame rate in the mid-teens which is still useable but not exactly the smoothest experience.

Still, it does also include 8GB of RAM to help when working with multiple apps or large file sizes, and 1TB of storage, so it can handle most routine tasks reasonably well. The Satellite C70D weighs 2.6kg, so battery life isn’t a crucial selling point, but it can manage four hours of streaming video, which will let you get in a few episodes of Game of Thrones between charges. The rider, one “Oxtox” took to the forums of Road Bike Review with a tale in which he spotted “a Google self-driving Lexus”.Oxtox says “near the end of my ride today... we both stopped at an intersection with 4-way stop signs.” The rider was aboard a fixed-gear bike. Such steeds, commonly known as “fixies”, have no freewheel so when the pedals are moving, the wheels are moving. Cyclists whose shoes bond to their pedals with cleats often prefer not to detach when stationary so use a technique called a “track stand” whereby they stand on the pedals, turn the front wheel and balance without moving.

Track stands are tricky to sustain: riders often wobble, rock and move a centimetre or five as they fight to stay keep their feet off the ground.Oxtox says the Googlemobile “apparently detected my presence … and stayed stationary for several seconds.” He then started his track stand, thinking the car would go through the intersection. “It finally began to proceed, but as it did, I rolled forward an inch while still standing. The car immediately stopped.”“I continued to stand, it continued to stay stopped. Then as it began to move again, I had to rock the bike to maintain balance. It stopped abruptly.”This sequence of events continued “for about two full minutes and the car never made it past the middle of the intersection,” Oxtox wrote, adding that “The two guys inside were laughing and punching stuff into a laptop, I guess trying to modify some code to 'teach' the car something about how to deal with the situation.”Google told The Washington Post it welcomes the incident as it will help it to improve its robo-cars' perfomance.Track stands are so-named because they're very useful during track cycling sprint races, when it can be advantageous to let an opponent past. Of late, they're more often practiced by those who ride fixed-gear bicycles, many of whom are accused of being slaves to cycling fashion.

Breaking Fad Online video content is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the likes of iPlayer, Netflix and Amazon. For many of us, those services make it possible to find something to watch whenever we want. With Netflix and Amazon throwing huge amounts of money at their own original productions, it's likely that more and more people will be considering a subscription a worthwhile addition to their monthly expenses.TV dinosaurs are coming about in just a few years thanks to being smart, once upon a time Savvy readers of El Reg will probably be using an external box like a Roku, a Chromecast, or a Fire TV stick to grab the content they want to watch, but there are a lot of people who do use the smarts in their 'Smart TV' or devices like BluRay players. Those built-in apps will become, with increasing use, almost as important a part of people's viewing as the main channels, or their old VCR.Yes, I know what you're going to say – they should know better. But let's face it, they don't. Even after Google's pulled the plug on a load of kit, people still expect that when they buy a TV with these things built in, they'll last a reasonable time.

The smart TVs for which Google dropped support were made in 2012 and earlier. Clearly not one to be outdone, Amazon's gone one better, and is dropping support for its video app on some 2013 products – so, you could have an LG BluRay player that's less than two years old that won't work after 14 September.Tough luck if you were hoping to use it to watch Clarkson and co. when they return next year.Amazon has sent an email notification to owners of 2012/2013 LG BluRay players, plus 2011 Samsung TV and BluRays. There isn't a definitive list of affected models on the website, though its PR team tells me no other brands and years are affected.Looking at the list of supported devices, there are now no Samsung TVs or BluRays from before 2012, and no LG BluRay players listed at all. It's not all bad news, though. Rather than just leave people dangling, like Google did with its YouTube withdrawal, Amazon knows it's going to make money out of its video customers. As a consequence, the emails included a 50 per cent discount on FireTV, taking the price down to a very attractive £39.The offers are being sent to those who have an affected device registered with their Amazon Instant Video account. Would it be awfully wrong of me to suggest that if you do have a smart device with Amazon Video built in, like a TV or BluRay, you should register it ASAP, to make sure you get any discount offers applicable? Think of it as a £39 tax rebate.

Amazon's offering 50 per cent off a Fire TV to people affected by the loss of Instant Video on other devices It's unlikely, of course, that this will be the last such service withdrawal. As various sites and TV stations overhaul their online offerings, we're likely to see more older kit fall by the wayside. Sometimes, that will be for sound technical reasons – like a codec change, which requires new hardware – but all too often, it's going to be laziness, inertia and a complete disregard for consumers.Makers of TVs and similar equipment throw their kit out of the door, and typically you'll be lucky to get a couple of updates in the first year, if that. My own TV set is one of the first generation VieraCast Panasonics; it never got iPlayer, and no longer has YouTube. I should be grateful, I suppose, that there were a couple of updates to its firmware, but these days it's really just used as a dumb monitor, and everything I need comes from either an old Roku 2XS or a Chromecast, via the AV amp.

Mind you, that Roku is from late 2011; it's never had the new version of Netflix with user profiles, but it still works. Hopefully, that will remain the case for some time.In May of this year, Roku stopped providing channel and software updates for its first generation players, but owners of those can still watch Netflix. The oldest models date from 2008.First generation VieraCast sets fell victim to Google's API and Panasonic's uninterest Of course, technology marches on, as Reg readers know all too well. Sometimes, it's hard to carry on supporting older devices, especially if there's limited funding available, as in the case of the BBC. But Google's not short of cash, and nor is Amazon. I reckon either could find a way to support the necessary APIs for some of this older kit. Is a Roku box from 2008 really so much more advanced than a 2013 LG BluRay?I believe it's becoming increasingly important for vendors to give some indication of support timeframes, wherever possible. No one expects that a TV set with only a DVB-T tuner will suddenly get an upgrade to T2; that's impossible. But when it comes to software, we really should be expecting better from the vendors of much of our consumer electronics kit.

I'm still using an early 2008 MacBook Pro – the model before the Unibody was released. Admittedly, there are a few apps I can no longer run on it, but that's not because of the hardware. It's because I've still not updated to the latest Mac OS.If I wanted to, it would be completely free. Seven years life isn't bad for a laptop, and it cost about the same as a high end TV set at the time. Why is it reasonable to have free updates on one, but none at all on the other?In a post-Snowden world most IT people are painfully aware that most of us would not win a fight against a well-funded organisation, or government, that wants the data on your network, laptop or device.When someone is targeted by such an entity, they won’t go for the ever-popular “spooks” style secret bugging or custom zero-day exploits. Those tricks are reserved for the real bad boys (and other governments, if you live in the US).A user can use all the encryption they like, but the UK government’s strongest weapon is a potential two-year jail term for those who don’t roll over and comply with decryption key requests. In less enlightened nations spanner decryption may well be used to persuade a suspect to hand over those crypto keys.

With that thought in mind how can administrators and power users secure a company network against data loss as well as the common or garden variety thief, attacker or malware slinger?A lot of individuals and companies view the theft or loss of laptops and mobile devices as a big issue. Such theft represents two distinct issues.Once control of the device is lost the security already present on the device is the only thing preventing an attacker from lifting all the information. At the recent SpiceWorld London a straw poll suggested that approximately two thirds of attendees used Full Disk Encryption. The other one third must be either lazy or just mad.

Any device I own or manage for others uses Full Disk Encryption (FDE), often overlooked is making a device auto lock and password protected. In such a lose configuration, once a device is lost or stolen they will more than likely be in control of a Facebook, LinkedIn or some other account.Just make sure it is password protected OK! Fingerprint scanning? Just don’t trust it. Anything that can be defeated by a gummi bear is not worthy of being called secure.When working as a junior admin many years ago, before InfoSec became a big security issue, we had a laptop theft due to a salesman not being careful with his company laptop. One day we noticed the stolen laptop come online on our remote management product. With the remote viewing capability we decided to just watch.Somehow this stolen computer had ended up being purchased (or otherwise obtained) by a student at a London university (according to the IP geolocation data). We knew it was a student because rather than wipe the laptop and start over, a new account was added and Ti graphing and MattLab software installed.

We even watched him do his coursework on it. When the police were contacted it was an exercise in futility. We gave up when we tried to explain IP addresses to a copper who was neither interested nor IT literate.Eventually this “user” clocked the software and removed it post-haste. Luckily, there was no real sensitive info on the machine. Lesson well and truly learned: most laptops that are stolen are by opportunistic thieves.There really is no excuse. Most modern devices and operating systems come with the option to enable inbuilt FDE. Assuming the inbuilt security algorithm is robust is the only thing a user can really do.Make sure that the encryption phrase used is strong and lengthy. I typically run to thirty characters including the whole range of non-alphanumeric ones.The loss of the information on the device can be either an inconvenience or a disaster depending upon how good the backups are. Secure backups can be a complex issue in themselves.

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