Online storage…Is it worth it?

storage

Recently there has been a massive uproar about online storage security, with celebrities Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlet Johannson to name a couple, suffering nude photo leaks onto the web. It has spawned another debate about how much it costs to maintain your right to have that storage. What happens to the images if you just stop paying?

As some of you may already be aware, Apple’s iCloud storage system has recently changed its price plan, and allows just 5GB free storage, before you have to start paying a monthly fee.

Now for smartphone users it may be a worthy investment to pay for more cloud storage. However in the long run it would be cheaper to just buy a hard drive and store all your private photos, videos and files on.

At dabs.com we see the pros and cons to both sides of the argument. Online storage can be very convenient and easy to use without having to transfer files to physical hard drives.  But, do you fully trust the security measures the large cloud storage companies have in place to protect your data?

So we thought we would try to help and point you in the right direction to some products that may help you to solve your storage concerns.

Check these out!

http://www.dabs.com/category/components-and-storage,other-drives–optical–usb-/11268?q=encrypted

http://www.dabs.com/category/components-and-storage,hard-drives,external-hard-drives–desktop-and-portable-/11157?q=encrypted

Everything you need to know about the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus

iphone6

 

As you know smartphones need something to set them apart in order for them to do well. Well, Apple have been working on the iPhone 6 & 6 Plus which was official unveiled yesterday. So when we got all the information we started to understand why there is all this hype about the latest iPhone. Hopefully these insights will help you understand why the latest Apple smartphone will be truly awesome. (in no particular order).

 

1. Comes in 2 sizes. The standard iPhone 6 will have a 4.7 inch screen and the iPhone 6 plus will don a 5.5 inch screen.

2. Brand new operating system the iOS 8.

3. A sharper quality camera and video recording. Only having however, an 8MP rear camera. 1080p HD video recording capable of 30 fps or even 60 fps, and a nice additional feature of Slow-Mo video capture with 120 fps or 240 fps capability. As well as the 6 Plus coming with added optical image stabilisation.

4. Will have built in Health apps, which will integrate with the Nike Fitness App. Will run along the highly anticipated smart watch and wearable tech (something we are looking forward to too).

5. This new phone will feature an Ion strengthened glass screen display. Not only that but the display will be what Apple call a Retina HD display with 1334 x 750 pixels on the iPhone 6, and the iPhone 6 Plus will boast a 1920 x 1080 pixel Retina HD resolution display.

6. Built in Barometer.

7. It is on sale from the 19th September.

8. The competition that the iPhone 6 will have with  HTC One M8, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G3 and the Sony Xperia Z3 as well as the latest Nokia series in terms of size, specs, power and performance, will affect sales.

9. The iPhone 6 will be 6.9mm thick & iPhone 6 Plus being 7.1mm thick.

10. Comes in 3 memory sizes 16GB, 64GB & 128GB.

11.  Talk time of up to 14 hours (subject to settings you have it on)

 

All in all we think this is an amazing phone and we look forward to them coming on sale in 9 days’ time. (19th September 2014) But we would like to know, what do you think of the new iPhone 6 & 6 Plus?

 

NVIDIA Shield has an Announcement….

As we all know NVIDIA have just released the Shield gaming tablet, and we came across this article. Which has the list of new games for the NVIDIA Shield Tablet, which includes Trine 2, War Thunder, Talos Principle, Portal & Half Life 2.

We thought this was very exciting and had to share it with everyone!  What are your thoughts? 

Also take a look at the video on this page (link below) tell us what you think.

http://bit.ly/1A5s1Z3

 

Remember to join us on our social media pages; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest & Youtube.

 

Attention we have an announcement….

chrashspyro

How many of you miss games like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro the Dragon, Jak & Daxter and Tekken (to name a few). Well we at dabs.com are always on the look out for the latest rumours and news. We came across these articles (below), and they shed light on some future plans to revive some of our old (and still) favourites. Not only that, Tekken 7 has now been announced, with a trailer attached and Super Smash Bro’s have introduced 3 new characters to their latest addition of the franchise. To find out more about these upcoming games, and all other rumours that we have come across. Go to the links below.

http://bit.ly/1mFBKjp – Tekken 7

http://bit.ly/1qbY1s8 – Super Smash Bro’s

http://bit.ly/1zExpSG – The latest rumours!

We would like to hear from you. What are your thoughts?

Follow us on our social media sites to get more info, news, and take part in our deals and competitions.

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Google gets into gaming – With a little help from their friends.

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So not sure if you missed it but at the Google I/O event we were shown just what to expect from gaming in the near future.  Using a demo of “Rivalry”, which utilized Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 and an NVIDIA K1 Terga processor, the evidence was there for all to see.

RIVALRY DEMO:

 

“Through our close collaboration with NVIDIA, Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 ‘Rivalry’ project demonstrated at Google I/O shows what’s possible when PC-class gaming technologies and performance are brought to mobile devices” said Tim Sweeney, founder of Epic.

Speaking at the I/O event David Burke, director of engineering for Android advised “Quite literally this is PC gaming graphics in your pocket,” There is no doubt in the near future that PC gaming will be realised on a mobile device. It  actually may be very close indeed as Tim Sweeney , went on to add that ” In less than three weeks we were able to port content built for high-end PC and the DirectX 11 graphics API to Android and Google’s AEP (Android Expansion Pack) extensions for ES 3.1. Developers can deliver incredible graphical complexity on a mobile chipset thanks to Tegra K1 and AEP”

The question remains when will we see an NVIDIA K1 processor in a mobile device?

 

Paul

See more at:

https://www.unrealengine.com/blog/unreal-engine-4-rivalry-demo-debuts-at-google-io

http://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2014/06/25/google-io-tegra-aep-gaming/#sthash.SiF8ind7.dpuf

 

esoblog

Conflicted by ESO, ArcheAge a new hope!!

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Hi Guys, so some people may not like an ArcheAge and Lord of the Rings Online (LOTRO) comparison but for me there was only one true open world  MMO and that was Lord Of The Rings Online. Yes WOW was the originator and yes it is an open world MMO  and we have a great deal to thank it for but the difference between them is vast. This is due in no small part to the lore and the style, if you do not like the lore or the cartoon style of WOW then there is little chance you are going to explore the entire land and progress through the levels. However, with LOTRO it is the lore of Tolkien and the graphical style, for me, offered a more realistic  character type.

The Cartoon style prevalent in WOW was also the reason that at first I did not like the idea of the new Wildstar MMO  although I do have to admit it once I got passed the first hour of hating the cartoon graphics I now absolutely love this game and will talk about Wildstar in the future, so what do I know? Even if you take away the lore from LOTRO which for obvious reasons is just beautiful, you still have in LOTRO the most open world game I have ever played. While I have been playing ESO (Elder Scrolls Online) recently and this has some big areas, you simply do not experience the freedom you have in LOTRO. I have also played Neverwinter as well and while I enjoyed the game it would seriously give Dragons Age 2 a run for its money on linear gaming and Neverwinter is an MMO!!!!!

ESO PVP - IT'S NO OBVILION
ESO PVP – IT’S NO OBVILION

I still have a heavy heart with ESO and I truly cannot put my figure on why it falls short for me but it does. However, there is one major point I can think of and that is Cyrodiil, the imperial home world from Oblivion. Don’t get me wrong I love Cyrodiil and nothing to my mind was, or has been since, so convincing at immersing you into your character and surroundings. Oblivion was the game that did it for me and the world was massive, beautiful and the lore was great. Yes the areas in between the cities were uninhabited and some would say boring but Nexus mods sorted that out in the main. The problem is that it is only available in PVP on ESO and I think that is the major issue here.  In Cyrodiil there are galactic amounts of emptiness between  big PVP battles in which next to nothing else happens from a PVE or PVP  perspective, this feels almost criminal when looking back at the part Oblivion plays in the Elder Scrolls franchise and for anyone who is not into PVP then the whole game loses a main focus. I actually travelled to Weynon Priory just so I could see it again in the MMORPG  setting and when I  got there , it looked ok , it brought some of the  memories back from playing oblivion and then there was just nothing to do, I would not have minded but it took me what felt like travelling from Manchester to London to get to it in the first place!!!

BACK TO THE OLD SKOOL!!
BACK TO THE OLD SKOOL!!

This therefore is why a trudged back to LOTRO to gain the lost lore, however I did not stay long (Sob sob)  as the graphics are so dated it was painful to play, but I saw I could go anyway and do anything and not be confined except by death, which would always ensue from entering high level areas. However, I could still go there and explore and it felt open. I then started downloading AION, RIFT, TERA and anything I could get my hands on like I needed an MMO fix fast, basically trying any MMO I had played before to try and find that buzz I had been missing from ESO and then I uninstalled them all after about 5 mins as I realised they did not give me that expected rush,  like the one you have when you first play a new MMO.

Then i came to realisation that I actually liked the combat mechanic that ESO gave me as it was not just endless button mashing and the hits felt like hits,  it also sticks to a more realistic character model as mentioned earlier, which are two of the major saving graces of ESO. However, this leads to a cycle of building a character in ESO then deleting  sometime after you hit level 20 it and starting again. While I am well aware you can reset all your points I started to dislike my own character so it had to go, plus you have to level up new skills so that takes a while, so you end up fighting with a level 35 character and a dual weilding skill you just changed to a level 1. Therefore, I am still on the proverbial fence with regard to thsis game and I  would like to revisit this in more detail another time. Then while searching for something that could get me back the buzz  I began reading about ArcheAge and watching some streaming videos and reviews.

A new hope
A new hope

As it stands I am stuck between really wanting to play this game now and parting with the £109 for alpha access that my brain and my partner say “What!!!!!!! A £109 for a Game!!!!!”  However , from the housing mechanic  to the open world feel and through to the combat, I believe this is the game  will not just get me playing MMOs again but actually love MMOPRGs again. ArcheAge seems to be the true open world experience I have been looking for since LOTRO and once you reach around level 21 or so, it appears it may open up to be a true sand box gaming experience.

The really big challenge is PVE and PVP, I think they have concentrated on PVP to much, by all accounts, as the two forms of play maybe linked on every server and therefore you can be attacked at any time. Maybe they will add a “Peace time setting for PVE” that is what I have heard people talking about, so you can’t be attacked or maybe there will be a dedicated server for PVE?  Myself i am a  PVE player and do not have much interest in full blown PVP battles at all really, so  this PVP leaning  is my biggest potential issue with ArcheAge and as of writing this nobody seems to definitely answer this question.  If you search the forums and go to the website it does seem to have a heavy PVP element that is intertwined with normal PVE environments. Anyway here I sit with my money in hand going back and forth about buying the alpha, which is available now and has been for a while, right up time until it’s released.Then I remembered that at release all of your progression will be lost and you start from scratch  but then  you will  have the advantage of  game experience and this could be key in building  your character to be the best it can be, argh the agony.

 

Oh no you didn’t, I challenge you
Oh no you didn’t, I challenge you

While it may be that Archeage will be the sandbox/open world king of the MMORPG  genre we have been looking for, there are these doubts about any longevity for PVE players. This is due in no small part to the way you   gain experience, which appears to be through endless grinding on mobs and not the actual quests themselves, which all leads to grinding to  level so you are  able to enjoy the PVP content instead of following a main plot and quests to bind players to the lore. With all that said as a PVE player I will continue to keep an eye on Archeage with my money still currently in my pocket and knowing that one day I may enjoy the freedom of Archeage. There is little doubt it will be epic, if it continues to develop with the same care and attention it has been to date but from what I have seen it will be an epic PVP rather than PVE experience.

Paul

7fcb9158-9e25-416e-b1dc-33fc65ffbd00 copy

ArcheAge Closed Beta announced for 17th – 21st July

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So ArcheAge moves on step closer with the first closed beta announced for Thursday 17th July to Monday 21st July. However, as most of you know ArcheAge is not free join, while the beta founders pack weighs in at around £74.99, there has been no confirmation on how many beta events there actually are. Therefore, you may wish to pay the additional £35 and get access to everything including the Alpha which is ongoing and includes Beta access until release.

 

 

Here is what Trion had to say about the beta “Closed Beta Events will be three to five days in duration and your progress will persist between each event.  Much like ArcheAge’s Alpha, the level cap will be 50 and we encourage you to share your ArcheAge adventure with the world via video, screenshots, or livestream as there will be no non-disclosure agreement (NDA)! Eager to explore and provide feedback on the sandbox world of Erenor before ArcheAge’s launch later this year?Sign up for a chance to be invited or guarantee your access to ALL Closed Beta Events by becoming an ArcheAge Founder. Invites and installation steps will be sent via email before each event. Closed Beta forums will be opened for testers to share their experiences, meet other players, and discuss Closed Beta feedback with the ArcheAge community.”

 

If you want more information on Archeage then check out their FAQ which is linked below.

http://www.archeagegame.com/en/faq/#beta

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Black Desert trailer (1), plus an MSI laptop voucher!!!!

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With Black Desert coming to the UK  sometime this year, i have my fingers crossed on that one, it looks like being one of the best MMOs of all time. Black Dessert seems to offer a true open world feel, stunning graphics and action packed combat plus the most customisable character creation we have ever seen. We here at Dabs.com will be keeping a close eye on developments and you should check out this mounted combat gameplay for Black Desert  so you can understand our excitement for this game.

PRODUCT IS : MSI GE60 2PE-049UK Apache Pro 15.6

Get £100 off this product by using voucher code: MSI100

Valid Date:  midnight on the 17th  July 2014 or until stocks last.

Dabs product  Quick Link  : 9B34

Have fun

Paul

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A Really Basic Guide to SLR

I’ve been after an SLR Camera for ages. I knew a few people who had one, but they cost crazy money.  Then SLR became affordable.  Tech that five years ago was prosumer all of a sudden was entry level. So for Christmas I finally got my SLR.  An entry level Nikon D3200 (with cashback).  Good job they come with auto mode.  As much as I like the photos I took, I really wanted to know what the heck all those notches on the dial meant.  M A S P.  I tried using them but the photos I took were rubbish.  I tried Google, but I don’t learn by reading something then trying to do it.  There was only one thing for it – a beginner’s photography course.

Living close to Manchester means that there’s a lot of learning opportunities out there, but I opted for Manchester Photographic.  It’s only a day long, but it was definitely worth it just to put into practise what I had learned.

First off, we covered A – Aperture Priority.

Aperture relates to the amount of light the lens lets in (much like your iris).  In this mode I decide the size of the aperture or f. the camera decides the shutter speed and ISO settings.  Aperture is good for blurring backgrounds to really highlight your subject.  To do the blurred background you choose a larger aperture size (this is where it gets confusing), which is a smaller number.  If you want to take a picture where you have the background in focus too, use a smaller aperture size (like when you squint to see something in the distance) – this is a higher number.

Hopefully the table below will clarify this for you.  These are the examples of the most common applications of the aperture that the tutor provided.

f. Example of Use
1.4 Good for showing details in portraits
1.8
2 Object in focus, background blurred
2.8
4 Standard Portrait
5.6 Average
8 Landscape
11 Landscape
16 Great detail within a landscape shot
22

 

f. 1.4 – f.4 – are a shallow depth of field

f.8 – f. 22 – great depth of field         

f.4
f.4

 

f.8 35mm fixed lens
f.8 35mm fixed lens
f.1.8
f.1.8

Next we looked at S shutter speed priority.  That is the time it takes the camera to build the photograph, or, the amount of time the camera’s shutter is open. Shutter speed is good for taking arty shots with blur (think iconic pictures of New York taxis, a yellow blur).  If you are using Shutter priority, your camera will select the Aperture for you based on some maths calculations I cannot get my head around!

 

f. Shutter Speed (seconds) Example of Use
1.4 1/4000
1.8 1/2000
2 1/1000 Good for showing water droplets
2.8 1/500
4 1/250 Standard Portrait
5.6 1/125 Average
8 1/60 Use a tripod!Low light situations eg candles on a cake
11 1/30
16 1/15
22 1/8 Milky effect of water
Exposure Time 1/8
Exposure Time 1/8
Exposure Time: 1/8
Exposure Time: 1/8

If you really want to play with shutter speed, wait until dusk, set your shutter speed to 4 seconds, put your camera on a tripod and take a photograph of someone walking slowly across the field of vision.  They will be in the photo 3 times!  This shutter speed is also good for light lines on cars, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to use a tripod in these low light situations.

We covered ISO next.  This is accessed via the menu rather than the dial on my camera.

ISO relates to light.  The brighter the situation, the lower the ISO.

My camera’s pretty good, in that should I feel the need to play with ISO, it tells me what setting to use in which situation.

IMG_1770[1] IMG_1769[1]

But, here it is in table format.

100      Lets light in slowly – shows high detail.

200

400      Good for Manchester’s rainy weather!

800

1600

3200    Lets light in fast – but shows grainy detail.  Good for low light situations.

A situation where you could utilise the ISO is when you’re using a slow shutter speed.  It’s also good when you’re not able to use a flash. A high ISO will bring light in but the quality of the pictures lower.  This is way too much for me to be thinking about so I set the ISO to auto.

After the course I got a little lens happy.  I went on eBay and bought a second hand 70-300mm lens.  Unfortunately in my excitement at seeing such a lens for £60 I didn’t realise that it wasn’t AF-S.  This means that the lens doesn’t have a motor to auto focus.  It’s all manual.  This is OK sometimes, but I find that I think it’s in focus and then when I see it on my screen, it’s not.  But it’s still a cracking lens that takes stunning photos when I’m in focus!

The tutor on the course was a Canon fan.  She mentioned that when she first started, then lens that she used most was a 50mm fixed lens (also known as the nifty fifty).  Great for portraits and landscapes.  She showed us some of her work.  It’s amazing the variety of shots a lens can take in the right hands!  Bearing in mind the D3200 comes with a DX format lens as standard, I will always be a few mm out.  Therefore, when Nikon did their latest cashback, I bought the 35mm prime lens.  I’m really glad I did.  It does that whole portrait / blurred background thing so well.  My 9 year old daughter even remarked “You do like that lens, don’t you!” as I took yet another picture of her eating ice cream!  And this time I made sure I got the AF-S version!