Lighting up a Hue and cry [Northern Echo (England)]
(Northern Echo (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) We've seen TV sets and fridges that connect to the internet. Now it's the turn of the humble lightbulb. Giles Turnbull explains
AT first glance, it's easy to dismiss the Hue, a new internet- enabled lightbulb from Philips, as a bit of a gimmick.
After all, you'd think: what's the point What on earth can you do with a connected lightbulb that you can't do with a normal one
Hue is more than just a bulb. It's a programmable LED lamp with extra electronics tucked inside. It connects to your wireless network, and through that to the rest of the internet.
There's an app (of course there's an app) that you can use to control your lights. Perhaps youmight want to adjust the lighting in another room without getting up from your chair, or subtly alter the atmosphere during a party.
Hue can be instructed to switch on and off at particular times, so you can use it as a kind of visual alarm clock.
All of that might sound like a bit of harmless fun, but not very practical. Here's where the internet connection comes in useful. You can control your Hue from anywhere in the world, as long as you're online.
So while you're on holiday, you can switch lights on and off at home, or make your office look occupied when it's actually empty. You can use pre-set "light recipes'" to switch different lights on in different rooms at different times.
All this high-tech lighting isn't cheap, of course. A starter pack of three bulbs and a "bridge" box of electronics costs [pounds]179. Individual bulbs are [pounds]50 each. Such is the price of a global light switch.
For more information and a snazzy demo video, take a look at meethue. com
WINNING AT WORDPRESS
WORDPRESS (http: //wordpress . com) is the world's most popular blogging system, and powers millions of websites. Although powerful and flexible, it needs regular maintenance and care to ensure that malicious hackers are kept out.
Managing large number of Wordpress sites can get fiddly and messy.
Should you find yourself needing to do that, take a look at Manage WP (managewp. com), an online service that brings all your Wordpress site control panels together in one place.
After logging in there, you can access all your sites in a few clicks.
There's a free version for up to five personal blogs, and a series of paid versions for professionals.
Wii WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
JUST in time for the festive shopathon, Nintendo is releasing a new way to Wii. The Wii U is a new console that comes in two parts: the tiny box that plugs into your telly, and a separate hand-held touchscreen controller. It's backwards compatible with plenty of older Wii games, and can connect to the internet with its own Wi-Fi card. It will also have its own online store for downloading games. Expect to pay about [pounds]250 (although look out for deals with bundled games and accessories).
GOOGLE GOES BIG
SENDING very large files over the net has always been a pain, and some third-party file transfer services havemade a fortune out of trying to simplify it. If you use Google's Gmail service, you can now send large files with it as long as they're stored inside Google Drive (http: //drive. google. com). How large is large The maximum is 10GB, which is huge, big enough for video clips if need be. More information is available on the Gmail blog: http: //gmailblog. blogspot. co. uk
Websites of the week
SAVING MONEY The expert speaks moneysavingexpert. com
Compare prices pricerunner. co. uk
Vouchers all over myvouchercodes. co. uk
Free stuff for the taking and giving freecycle. org
Cheaper mortgages, loans and more moneynet. co. uk
Find cheap petrol near you petrolprices. com
Thing of the week
Further Up Yonder: A message from Nasa http: //vimeo. com/ giacomosardelli/furtherupyonder
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