It doesn’t matter that the CPU is some Chinese chip no-one has ever heard of, that has just enough power to drive the disastrously bad screen.Is there a way to reconcile these two separate worlds? In reality, the answer is: no, not really. You can educate people as to the pros and cons of the technology but - at the end of the day - the heart wants what the heart desires. The fix for such a scenario is to not ask the gift’s intended recipient but to just buy it and deal with any potential fallout.This is risking disappointment but it is also tempered against the potentially never-ending questions around why is it so slow, and trying to explain that any laptop for under £300 is going to be a compromise in some shape or form.A candidate as market leader with good reason, Sony’s strap on was up and running in an instant once the Smartband Talk SWR30 Android app was installed. It works with Android 4.4 or later and uses NFC pairing – simply hold the wrist strap to the back of phone. If all others on test had been this easy to set up many would ditch a traditional watch and go smart.The low power e-ink display is ideal for outdoorsy types, as it’s easy to read in bright sunlight. Yet in low light that unlit display can be harder to make out. This is no touch display either, but Sony encourages voice control. There’s a mic and speaker built in so you can even receive and answer calls on the wrist and a number of different commands are available so you don’t have to take your smartphone out of your pocket, but the meagre one hour talk time, is less than ideal.
Notifications from social media, calendars and messages can also be read on its screen and talk notwithstanding, on average, the battery life is three days, with charging from a USB cable. But if you just want instant notifications, the Garmin VivoSmart is worth looking at.For a more hands on approach, the button control is easy and in use with the Sony Lifelog app it can track when you’re running, walking and sleeping, so on the fitness side of things, it’s rather spartan. Still, the designer rubber wristband sits snugly on the arm to enable continuous wear as any decent lifelogging device should – how else to track sleep?For £25 you can even choose a different wriststrap from the six available colours. The e-ink display provides a permanent clock screen which is handy for a sneaky glance at the time in meetings, rather than the more obvious double tapping to wake up, which most other bands require. And unlike many fitness bands it looks expensive on the wrist, which at £130, is just as well.It’s not out and there's no date yet for the Apple strap on except early 2015. You’ll need an iPhone 5 or later and there are three to choose from: Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport and Apple Watch Edition to suit the chaps and girls with the options of leather, stainless steel mesh or link and sporty bands available.
They’re not for swimming but water resistant, however, Apple's Watch has various activity apps and comprehensive speech and notification functions built-in. Pricing is currently only in US dollars but all too often this figure translates to something similar in sterling.For more specific activity, you'll find more and more devices appearing to match a particular sport or fitness regime. We found a couple that while not worn on the wrist have unique selling points.What makes the Lumo different is it promises to improve posture not how many steps taken – yes, it’s as simple as sitting up straight, which apparently few of us do. The technology is built into the tracker, which weighs only 12.5g worn on clothing attached by a magnetic clasp near the collarbone. It uses an algorithm to detect posture with vibration alerts if you should be sitting or standing a little taller plus it counts steps, distance and calories as well on the app.To get started, download the Lumo Lift app (only for iOS). The app gives step-by-step instructions with just an email address needed to pair it before attaching the device. It will then vibrate three times and you’re set to go. You can realign it at anytime to allow for standing or sitting postures.
That’s it. Your posture will be tracked during the day, then check on the app for a rating of how good you were with other measurements like steps taken. Overall, this is a real nag monitor. Having trained as a dancer I assumed my posture was pretty good, but apparently not, as it knew the instant my shoulders drooped. I’m now walking taller and the pedometer was accurate too.My competitive nature for running and gym stuff is somewhat lacking. While I enjoy it, I really don’t care if someone outperforming me. However, when it comes to tennis it’s another matter. The Zepp is a wearable attached to a racket or golf club, which measures your speed and performance with tips on how to improve. Inside are two accelerometers, one that captures low speed and another geared for high speed movements.You pair the Zepp with the iOS app to see how each hit you make can be improved by reviewing the results on the app. Here you see 3D version of yourself taking the swing you made, tracking your speed, accuracy and technique. For instance, when I tried it out, the speed of the ball started at 22mph and built up quickly to 32mph by following the tips offered. After a game you can analyse the results but it’s an ideal tool when working out with a trainer. Undoubtedly it’s an expensive way to improve your swing but a very enjoyable way of doing so.
In many cases, your typical web-browser traffic will contain personal identifiers (things like Facebook login cookies, advertising-network tracking cookies and so on) that could allow your Tor-anonymised activity to be correlated with your regular open browsing. Accordingly, the recommended approach is to use the Tor Browser Bundle which includes a privacy-optimised browser (derived from Firefox), pre-configured to run through Tor and always operating in Incognito mode.Websites and other services can be provided as a Tor Hidden Service, which means your traffic to that location disappears in to Tor and never emerges through an exit node. This allows the service to be hosted in a fairly anonymous manner which is very difficult to track down - but given that the Silk Road eventually fell to the feds, apparently not totally impossible. Silk Road was run as a Tor Hidden Service, as are many dark web sites.The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Surveillance Self-Defense project has a lovely writeup describing how Tor works, which is well worth the time to read if you're going to use it.If the opposition has compromised the software on your local machine, through exploiting an unpatched vulnerability in the operating system or tricking the user in to opening a poisoned file that exploits an application-level bug, you have a very real problem. Your data is in plaintext on your computer, and if the opposition are in there too, they can just take it at the source. The ultimate back-stop against this is to boot in to a read-only environment which doesn't allow itself to be modified except in very limited ways.
The preferred solution is a Linux live distribution called TAILS (The Amnesiac Incognito Linux System); Amnesiac because by default it won't remember anything about you between sessions or leave any trace on the host PC. “Incognito” because it comes pre-configured for Tor and has a strong focus on preserving your anonymity.The OpenOffice suite is included to allow for general productivity, along with a GPG-ready email client, the Pidgin IM client with OTR plugin pre-installed (both configured to run via Tor straight away). There is an insecure web browser available in case you need to get through a browser-based Wi-Fi login, but otherwise you will be going via Tor for everything.Don't run TAILS inside a virtual machine. If your real machine is compromised, all your keystrokes would be at risk before they get into the VM – and the RAM of the VM could also potentially be breached from the outside. You need to boot a real machine in to it; to be properly safe, an un-**** laptop from a few years ago should fit the bill nicely. It will certainly detect VirtualBox and complain accordingly.
There are general guides around for TAILS on the project's own website. I recommend burning the ISO to a DVDR initially, because the absolute-best end result is to use TAILS to install itself on to the USB stick you want to keep using. Boot from the burned disc, but then use the TAILS Installer tool to install it onward to your USB stick.Alternatively, you can temporarily ignore my previous dire warnings about not using TAILS in a VM; boot a VM from the ISO disc image, configure your VM software to pass-through your desired USB stick drive so the virtual TAILS machine sees the stick plugged in to it, and proceed from there.It would be very little fun if you had to re-enter all your configuration details every time you booted this Amnesiac operating system. So there is a feature available called the Persistent Volume, which gives you an encrypted partition on your USB stick where the included apps can store settings and you can store user files. It is also the reason for installing TAILS twice as I described earlier – it only works properly when TAILS fully installs itself to your USB stick, rather than us loading the ISO using the Universal USB Installer tool.
Don't run TAILS inside a virtual machine. If your real machine is compromised, all your keystrokes would be at risk before they get in to the VM...You need to boot a real machine in to it - to be properly safe, an un-**** laptop from a few years ago should fit the bill nicely.
At the absolute strongest level of paranoia (but is it paranoia when we know they really are out to get us?), you may wish to validate that your TAILS download has not been tampered or replaced with an evil version. As the developers publish their PGP public key and sign their releases, we can use that to validate that the ISO we download is intact.The best defence I can come up with to that fundamental problem is to presume that their original website is intact and the intrusion would be a man-in-the-middle sort of attack. I previously downloaded their PGP public key using a wide variety of approaches (directly, then over Tor, then over my 4G mobile data connection, then over a commercial VPN service and so on) and compared them by taking SHA256 hashes of all of them.Big in 2013, Anonymous slipped from 2014’s headlines but not the actions of hackers per se. JP Morgan Chase, one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms and the company that help underwrite Twitter’s IPO in 2013, suffered a cyber attack estimated to be one of the largest on record: 76m household and seven million small business accounts compromised.