Best of TechRadar: this week's best words and star features

Our favourite words from the last week

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How Spotify, Netflix and Amazon control your online habits

How Spotify, Netflix and Amazon control your online habits

When is a choice not really a choice?

Whatever you watch on Netflix, listen to on Spotify or buy from Amazon this week there's a good chance you won't actually make a choice - it would have already been done for you. With thousands of TV and movie options and millions of songs on tap, it may feel like there is real choice. But these companies with their vast oceans of content have crafted powerful recommendation engines, taking heed of what we already like and drawing conclusions about what else we would enjoy. We gobble up the recommendations because they're so convenient. Read why this could be a problem

Mac in time: 30 years of Apple's legendary PC

The original 'Bondi Blue' iMac

From the original Mac to the new Mac Pro

This week marks the 30th anniversary of the original Apple Macintosh − the computer that kick-started the PC revolution as we've known it. Here's a potted history of Apple's ever-evolving machine − the first mass-market personal computer to offer a graphical user interface. Which ones do YOU remember?

Why DAB radio in the UK is broken...

Why DAB radio in the UK is broken, and how to fix it

...and how to fix it!

DAB radio in the UK is badly broken and needs fixing. That's right, fixing, and not replacing with internet streaming. Here's why. The problem is all about bandwidth, even if there's inevitably more to it than that. Did you know, for instance, that many DAB radio stations in the UK are broadcast at just 64kbps mono using the MP2 codec? Do not adjust your screen that really is just 64kbps. That really is mono not stereo. That really is MP2 and not MP3. To put that into context, MP2 is a less efficient codec than MP3, so that 64kbps figure is more like 48kbps in MP3. And that, reader, is actually offensive. Continue reading...

What is the point of SteamOS? I can't think of a single one

What is the point of SteamOS? I can't think of a single one

Why PC gaming doesn't need to be saved...

SteamOS has been hailed in some circles as the saviour of PC gaming and I take issue with that on two counts. Firstly, PC gaming just doesn't need saving - there are already 75 million active PC gamers out there on Steam alone and that number is rising. Secondly, even if it did need saving, to ape the TV box + control pad form factor of the traditional console is, for me, ignoring the key differentiator of the PC as a gaming platform – the control, finesse and precision of the keyboard and mouse combo. Underestimate it at your peril. I just can't see this ever catching on

How the mobile phone killed the MP3 player

How the mobile phone destroyed the MP3 player

The phones that gave us the best sound...

It may seem hard to believe now, but in the dark ages of mobile playing music on a phone was unheard of. That is, unless you count rocking out with a low quality ringtone. These days many people spend more time listening to music on their phones than actually, you know, making calls. The mobile phone, and even more so since becoming smart, has become the dominant portable music player on the planet, overtaking dedicated MP3 players a while ago. Continue reading...

Why virtual reality gaming is the exciting future of PlayStation 4

playstation 4

PlayStation Gamer: From what I've been told by people familiar with the matter, Sony is preparing to reveal its own VR headset, custom built for PlayStation 4. It was initially going to be announced at Gamescom in August, but for reasons unknown was pulled at the last minute. Despite the silence, behind the scenes there appears to be a lot going on. Key first-party games like DriveClub are already being tested with the head-mounted display, which apparently could also work with the PS4's add-on camera to facilitate head-tracking. Read all about it...

How tech shapes the future of gaming: are we better, connected?

xbox one

Xbox Gamer: Games aren't isolated experiences any more, and almost every new game today strives to offer you some level of social interaction with other players. Those traditionally wary of multiplayer modes - and many gamers are - feel uneasy about the shift. But Lionhead isn't stupid - it holds up games like Dark Souls and the PlayStation-only Journey as examples of the kind of multiplayer it wants to create. Read all about it...