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Posted on March 28, 2016

Instagrams new algorithm and why you don’t need to panic. Yet.

featured/ geek/ news

Instagrams new algorithm

A couple of weeks ago, Instagram made an announcement that it would be changing the way it displays photos on your timeline. Currently, Instagram displays posts in chronological order. In the announcement, they say that the average user misses around 70% of their feed, so to make sure users don’t miss out on the content they like to see the most, they’ll be displaying posts the order that it thinks you want to see the most, based on how you interact on Instagram. This can be based on your relationship with someone, or who you interacts on certain posts.

It’s been rumoured that these changes will happen tomorrow. All today, all I’ve seen in my feed is people asking their followers to ‘turn on notifications’ so they don’t miss a post – which is a feature that allows you to get push notifications for accounts you don’t want to miss an update from.

I don’t have notifications on any of my social media channels, so I doubt I’d ever be using this feature, but the whole thing got me interested and I wanted to do some digging. Especially after the whole #RIPTwitter fiasco last month, where it was rumoured that Twitter was doing the same thing.

There’s no need to panic yet, though, because a spokesperson from Instagram has told The FADER that there are still many tests to be done, and it’s going to take weeks or even months until they are complete and ready to be rolled out to the public.

Instagrams new algorithm

So we don’t know when this is going to happen, but we do know that Instagram has said it will let users know before it makes the changes. What these changes are specifically, we’re not sure yet. So just keep using Instagram as you are. If you want to stay ahead of the game, remember to engage with your followers because the more your followers engage with your posts, the higher the chance your posts have of being displayed in their timeline, or so it’s thought.

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Posted on March 22, 2016

How to tell when you’re addicted to your phone

featured/ geek/ phones

obsessed with phone

Hi, my name is Corinne and I have a problem. I have an addiction to my phone. I think I might be in love with it. It’s getting in the way of my life. It’s consuming my every thought. I can’t function properly with it, but the thought of being without it cripples me more. I’m not sleeping, I can’t focus on other tasks, I can’t even leave the house without fear of bumping into someone and getting hurt.

Things are bad man.. are you addicted to your phone, too?

Here are some of the ways to tell.

how to tell if you're addicted to your phone

How to tell if you’re addicted to your phone. 

  • You panic when you’re battery goes under 40%
  • You’re late to events because you need extra time to charge.
  • You press your home button to check for notifications even if it’s not lit up.
  • You press other peoples home button out of habit.
  • You panic about losing your soul phone so have to check it’s still there every 5 minutes.
  • Having it in your bag panics you YOU NEED CONTACT AT ALL TIME.
  • You refresh every social media app constantly, then start again.
  • You get in your car and spend 5 minutes looking at your phone before setting off.
  • You drive home and spend 10 minutes sat in your car looking at your phone before you get out.
  • You often think of pulling over en route somewhere to check WhatsApp and reply.
  • You’re known for waking up at silly O’Clock, sending a message or Tweet and then going back to sleep.
  • You use an average of 25GB of data a month (thanks Vodafone for that text!)
  • You have to add extra data to your bundle each month.
  • You often go to the bathroom without even needing it just to check your phone :/
  • Everything feels pointless without your phone.
  • You know you are doomed.

obsessed with phone

Are you an addict, too?

If you wanna talk about it, I’m here bro.

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Posted on March 5, 2016

How to get your iPhone’s battery to last longer

featured/ phones

iphonebattery

The struggle IS real for iPhone users.

I’ve been there so many times, when at 36% it suddenly goes flat. It jumps from 40% to 15% in a matter of minutes.

I honestly think that iPhones have a mind of their own. They’re like cats, they know how much we love them and need them and pander to their needs so just get all diva on our ass.

So when you’re sick of your iPhone battery dying (why can’t it be as good as an iPad, right?) then these tips might be for you.

iphone battery life

  • Close your apps. Double click the home screen and swipe away all those apps running in the background.
  • Turn down your screen brightness. 
  • Turn of any notifications. I have group chats muted and don’t get any notifications from Twitter, Instagram or other apps as it drains your battery faster to have notifications constantly lighting up your screen.
  • Turn off vibrate. Do you need your phone to vibrate every time you get a notification or message? Not only is it annoying, but it drains your battery a bit more every time.
  • Watch your signal strength. If you’re in a place where signal is bad, or no existent (think of your locker at work), flip your phone into airplane mode otherwise it’s going to be constantly trying to find a signal and will drain your battery doing so.
  • Stop being so addicted. Do you really need to check every app obsessively and constantly press the home button to check for any messages? I do. But it’s killing our batteries. Let’s stop.
  • Turn off push e-mail. I have my e-mail set so it only refreshes when I manually refresh it. If your phone is trying to fetch e-mail conversantly and checking your new mail, it’s going to drain your battery.
  • Get a portable charger. I have a portable charger for when I know I’m going to be out of the house for a long time. I usually get a full charge out of mine, but there are some that give more charges. An absolute life saver!

Do you have any battery saving tips?

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Posted on January 6, 2016

Olympus Pen E-PL7 // The Bloggers Camera

featured/ tech

olympus pen e-pl7

So, I went and did it, after months and months of dying to get the Olympus Pen, I took the plunge and finally got the bloggiest camera in all the land.

And look, isn’t it beautiful?

I was just so tired of carrying my DSLR to events with me, I was getting frustrated at not being able to take flat lays and focus properly, but most of all, I WANTED TO SELFIE.

 Olympus Pen E-PL7 DSC_0684

I’m still getting used to this little beauty, I’ve still not had chance to play with all the features yet, but I’m hoping in a few weeks I’ll have got a hang of it and faffed about with all the different filters and art modes so I can then come back and write about things I’ve learnt about the camera.

Olympus Pen E-PL7 Olympus Pen E-PL7 Olympus Pen E-PL7

Olympus Pen E-PL7 Specs:

  • 16.1 megapixel
  • Crop Sensor
  • Live MOS
  • Video
  • Detachable Flash
  • 357 gram
  • Changeable lens
  • LCD touchscreen
  • Automatic ‘selfie mode’
  • Built in Wifi to transfer images to smart phones

Olympus Pen E-PL7

Connect to your phone via Wifi.

You can connect this camera to your phone via wifi. This enables you to use your phone as a remote to take photos or you can save photos to you camera phone, which is amazing because HELLO INSTAGRAM. But getting it to connect SUCKED.

I searched and searched and searched and nothing gave me the answer. The phone was telling me it was connected. The camera was telling me it was connected. Lying dicks.

I finally got it working by going into the actual settings of the camera, clicking ‘wifi’ and making the connection ‘private’. Phew.

olympus pen e-pl7 olympus pen e-pl7 olympus pen e-pl7

I’ve been researching this camera a lot, but want thing I couldn’t find – any photographs that were actually taken with the Olympus Pen E-PL7. So to put you out of your misery, here are some unedited photos I’ve taken with it:

olympus pen e-pl7

olympus pen e-pl7

olympus pen e-pl7

olympus pen e-pl7

If you have any questions about the camera, do let me know and I’ll try to answer it in a few weeks when I’ve learnt more about it!

If you’re interested in getting your hands on your own, then just click on the images bellow go to over to Amazon!


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*this post contains affiliate links.

Posted on December 23, 2015

My favourite video games during childhood

featured/ games

favourite childhood video games

Ohh video games.

Christmas always reminds me of video games, as I often would get games consoles or games for presents. My parents have given me over the years:

  • Yellow original size game boy
  • Sega mega drive
  • Playstation 1

My brothers also had games consoles, so I basically grew up watching them play the Sega Master System and being the annoying little sister that wanted to try and play!

childhood video games

Here are some of my favourite games I played while growing up:

Alex Kidd in Miracle World

We had this built into the Sega Master system and it was my favourite game. I remember my brothers being really good at it, but I wasn’t great at getting past the first level! I’ve played it online since, as there are some sites that let you, and I’m still not much better! Those stupid birds always kill me!

Super Mario Brothers 2

I had this on my big yellow game boy and I remember this one so well, because unlike the first Mario game where when you got game over, you had to start again, this one saved your progress so you could just select continue and re-start the level.

I was so close to completing this, with only the last level to go! I think I got to the last boss a couple of times but could never complete it.

Bomberman

This is another Gameboy game that my friend had, but I used to borrow it all the time. I don’t know why it was so addictive, but it just was!

Pandemonium

This is one of the games that came with my Playstation 1 when I got it for Christmas and I loved it! I’ve spoken to a few people about it since but not many people seem to know it.

It’s a platform game with a girl and a jester. I would LOVE to be able to play this game again!

Donkey Kong

This is another game that I loved on the Gameboy. I loved how the game cartridges were yellow, just like my Gameboy. I think I had Donkey Kong 1, 2 and 3 and spent hours playing them.

Kirby’s Dream Land.

This was another of my friends games. Well, it was actually her younger brothers. It’s a really simple game, a big pink round thing that just went around sucking things up and spitting them out at enemies to kill them.

Worms.

This is one of the first games on PC that I played. My friends had it at their hours and we used to go over and play. We loved it how they would shout kamikaze and all the cute phrases they came out with!

Crash Bandicoot.

My all time favourite game on the Playstation 1. The first one was actually the best – even though I did have the others. I think I like this one the most because before I had my own Playstation, I used to play it at one of my friends house and we would take it in turns – handing over the controller whenever one of us died.

Tekken.

I spent HOURS on Tekken on my Playstation 1. I also remember playing it with my brothers quite a bit, as well as friends.

At uni, we had a PS2 and would play it then – the best thing about it is that you just hit all the buttons and get combos, so most of the time we could win the boys who were pro’s at video games!

Street Fighter.

This is a game I had on my Master System and again, I loved it! Button bashing games are clearly something I have a talent for, as that’s basically what this game was all about.

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Now I feel all nostalgic!

What were your favourite games growing up?

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Posted on December 16, 2015

iPhone 6S Plus Rose Gold is Bae

featured/ phones

iPhone 6S Plus Rose Gold

I went and did it. I went and upgraded my iPhone 6 to the iPhones 6s Plus in rose gold.

I was going to wait until the 7, but I wanted the bigger screeeeeen so I could watch YouTube and Netflix at the gym – I was also in dyer need of the longer battery life as my iPhone 6 barely lasts 9 hours! I have to charge it in the car on the way to work and on the way home.

iPhone 6S Plus Rose Gold

I love the size of it, when the plus first came out I thought it was stupid. But I’ve warmed to the idea of it now and I’m in love with the phone. It feels like the perfect size and I can’t even image having an old iPhone 4!

iPhone 6S Plus Rose Gold

iPhone 6 Plus vs iPhone 6s Plus

I’m not going to go through all the details of the phone, as most of you will be familiar with it, but I just wanted to highlight some key differences.

iPhone 6S Plus Rose Gold

  • Has an A9 processor chip, vs the iPhone 6 Plus’s A8
  • Weighs very slightly more than the iPhone 6 Plus
  • 2GB ram, instead of 1GB
  • Better camera, 12MP rear, 5MP front vs 8MP rear, 1.2MP front
  • Bluetooth 4.02 vs Bluetooth 4.0

iPhone 6S Plus Rose Gold DSC_0047 DSC_0049 iPhone 6S Plus Rose Gold

I’m so happy with this phone and I’m also excited to see what the 7 will bring. I don’t think I’ll ever go back to a normal size iPhone now. The plus is perfect for what I watch it for and it makes viewing Instagram much better with larger photos!

I’ve also put Christmas wallpapers on to get in the mood and bought the most adorable giraffe case for it. Love.

What phone do you have?

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Posted on November 8, 2015

The Cave // Game Review

featured/ games

The Cave game Review

The Cave is a puzzle/platform game that was released in 2013, published by Sega. You can get it on the Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo eShop, Playstation Network or from Apple’s App store.

I downloaded this from the App store and played it on my desktop.

It’s an interesting story that starts with seven characters on the screen and the amusing voice over tells you about each one.

You then get to select three characters which you will then play with, taking them through the cave.

Each character has an ability that will help them through their section of the game. As you can only pick three out of seven of the characters, you can only explore all the cave if you play multiple times with different characters.

It’s a puzzle game where you click with objects to interact and fit things together, or move things to progress.

It’s a simple, yet visually appealing game with a funny voice over that keeps it interesting.

I’ve only played through once so far and while some people have previously criticised the game for being too simple and relying too much one the visual beauty than the game play, I have to disagree.

But then again, I’m hardly your hardcore gamer, so maybe some of the things I struggled with would have been obvious to others.

Either way, I enjoyed this game, I liked how each character had their own little story line and chapter and the voice over was fantastic – not like something I have heard before in a video game!

Well done, Sega!

The Cave game Review The Cave game Review The Cave game Review The Cave game Review

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Posted on October 28, 2015

What I’m currently playing // xbox one

featured/ games

xbox games

Oops, a month or so ago I did something terrible.

I ordered an Xbox. A complete impulse buy.

After the amount of time I’ve sunk into my Xbox 360, I’ve been putting off buying the new console because I honestly don’t have time to play for hours a day!

favourite xbox games

I’ve only got 3 games so far and I’ve told myself I can’t buy any more until I’ve played the a decent amount of these! So here are the games I’ve got so far and my first impressions.

DSC_0179Elder Scrolls Online

I’m in love with the Elder Scrolls series. I love this style of game play, where you can level up, gain abilities and do side quests that will keep you going for months.

I put hours and hours into Oblivion, it’s the only game I’ve ever completed where I’ve got 100% achievements.  I also spent around 100 hours on Skyrim before blogging came and took my attention away from video games!

This is an online version of the game that is set 1000 years before Skyrim and features Skyrim, Morrowind and Daggerfall.

I’ve only spent a couple of hours playing so far but I’m excited to see how the online aspect of this will play out! I’ve come across a few other players but I’ve yet to actually interact with them.

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Dragon Age Inquisition. 

Dragon age 2 is probably one of my favourite games. The storyline was easy to understand (complicated stories in video games get lost on me as I hate to read lots of text) and the navigation of quests was easy. I played and completed the game in about 2 days.

Dragon Age Inquisition seems to be more like the original game, so far. I’m finding it hard to get into the storyline and progress through the game. Though I’ve only been playing for about 2-3 hours, I’ve decided I’m going to push through and try to get this game completed so I can then put all my effort into the Elder Scrolls.

First impressions are that the map system is complicated, as the abilities and level up systems – but hopefully this will get easier when I’ve had more in game time.

I love how the characters are familiar though and the ability to switch between different people and revive each other if one dies during battle.

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Call Of Duty Advanced Warefare.

Oh, COD. How I love and hate you. Probably like most people.

What I love about Call of Duty is that you can nip on for a quick game if you don’t have too much time, so you don’t have to spend hours and hours on it.

You do, however, have to spend hours and hours on it if you want to be any good.

I’ve lost a lot of my mad skillllzzz and my death to kill ratio hasn’t been great! I’ve not played it since Black Ops 2 a few years ago and a lot has changed.

The exo boost system is mad. I just feel like I keep getting shot by magical flying men! I’ve been playing in local play on my own trying to get the shoot while jumping action down, but it’s not going great!

First impressions are that it’s a fun game, but I have no idea why hardly anyone plays kill confirmed, which is my favourite game to play! I just seem to sit on the lobby on my own and then give up and go play domination.

The maps aren’t my favourite, but I’ve been having fun with my experience so far!

xbox games

What have you been playing lately?

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Posted on October 21, 2015

Microsoft Lumia 640 Review // My Favourite Lumia Yet

featured/ phones

Nokia 640 Lumia Review

The Lumia 640 is the third handset I’ve tried out of the Lumia range from Microsoft.

I’ve also reviewed the Lumia 830 and the Lumia 930 – and although the Lumia 640 isn’t classed as one of the high end phones amongst the range, it has to be one of my favourites.

nokia lumia 640 review

The Specs:

  • Display: 5 inch
  • Camera: 8mp
  • Front Facing Camera: 0.9mp
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Network: 4G LTE
  • Processor Type: Quad-core 1.2GHz

http://skinnedcartree.com/2015/03/nokia-lumia-830-review.html

The specs are not top of the range, the memory isn’t the biggest and the camera isn’t the best according to the numbers. Though take away the numbers from the equation and you wouldn’t have been able to guess the specifications aren’t high compared to a lot of models on the market in 2015.

You can pick it up sim free for around £120 – which baffled me as it felt like it would be worth much more. It’s a budget phone, for sure, and I think you’d find it hard to get a better phone any cheaper.

microsoft lumia 640 review

The thing I love most about the phone is it’s design. It’s cased in a bright orange cover (other colour options available) and the screen is vibrant.

The cover plastic, which may seem cheap to those used to phones that are housed in, or finished with, metal bodies, but I liked the feel of the plastic and how light the phone seemed to be. There was a difference you could tell between the Lumia 640 and my iPhone 6.

microsoft lumia 640 review

microsoft lumia 640 review

The winning point of the phone for me was it’s bright, clear display.

I downloaded a few games, just to test the graphics of the phone and how well games ran. After experiencing some lag on the previous Lumia handsets, this phone seemed to run like a dream.

It offered a smooth gaming experience and beautiful graphics.

microsoft lumia 640 review

microsoft lumia 640 review

The operating system is now familiar to me and I keep finding more and more functions within the Windows OS. My favourite yet has to be being able to pin individual Whatapp chats to your home screen – and when I am in so many group chats, I like to easily be able to access the ones I use the most.

I have to mention the OneNote application again – as it’s something that has changed the way I work since discovering it on the first Lumia handset I tried. It’s a note app that lets you create different notebooks that each have tabs to use in various ways. I have it downloaded on my iPhone and use it daily at work to keep a track of things such as to do lists, photos of figures, information and passwords I need to keep coming back to and more.

The camera also worked well, without any of the lag I’ve experienced before.

Lumia 630:

microsoft lumia 640 review

iPhone 6:

microsoft lumia 640 review

The images from the Lumia 640 are a lot sharper than the iPhone 6. It captures detail great and the camera app is easy to use.

Overall, I’m impressed with this little phone. It offers so much for those looking for a cheaper option. The graphics are beautiful and I loved the feel of the phone when I was holding it.

Well done, Lumia!

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Read the Previous Reviews: 

830 930

 

Posted on October 18, 2015

Evoland // Game Review

featured/ games

Evoland review

I have no idea what I was getting myself into when I downloaded Evoland from the Mac App Store.

After getting some iTunes vouchers, I knew I wanted to play some form of platformer game on my desktop and this sounded intriguing.

The concept of Evoland is simple – it starts off as a very early style video game in black and white, almost the type of game you would play on the original Gameboy, and as you progress through the game and collect stars, the game starts to evolve into something more like the video games today.

You gain better sound, better graphics, the way your hit points are measures changes..

It’s like a mix between Pokemon, Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy and Skyrim all in one. It even has some cool hidden jokes and references in there that certainly kept me amused!

The game isn’t very long, after a couple of evenings I found myself at the final boss.

If you’re looking for some nostalgia, a short but amusing story line, then this game is for you.

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