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Even when you want to cast from an app that doesn’t come with native, there is a workaround: on Android devices, you can stream the audio from any app, video player or website by mirroring the sound from your device. The downside is that quality may suffer, since the audio must be re-encoded before it’s sent across from your phone, then decoded again by the Chromecast Audio before it’s piped through to your speakers.With the multi-room facility now plumbed in via an automatic update - this lets you group Chromecast Audio devices together so you can play the same song in many rooms at once - Google’s device is the perfect party streamer as well, especially now the price has dropped to a ludicrously tempting £25.

Google doesn’t specify which DAC the Chromecast Audio uses, but sound quality is pretty decent. I connected a pair of Grado SR325i open-back headphones to the 3.5mm jack and found the audio warm, with solid bass, an open mid-range and detailed treble.There’s also now support for high-resolution audio thanks to a recent firmware update, but you’ll likely not be able to hear the difference unless you hook it up to a super-expensive audiophile hi-fi system via the optical connection - and that really misses the point of the Chromecast Audio.Still, everything I threw at it, it coped with beautifully, from Mozart’s Requiem through Aphex Twin’s Drukqs and Go Go Penguin’s effervescent jazz electronica. Some might find the reproduction a little too warm, preferring a less forgiving, more detailed soundscape, but for the money you can’t ask for much better than this.

And I found Wi-Fi performance to be good as well. Just like the standard Chromecast 2, the Chromecast Audio supports dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi and sports Google’s adaptive triple antenna array. I tested it in a particularly tricky spot in my house where laptops and phones often struggle for Wi-Fi connectivity, and found I had no problem connecting at all with the Chromecast Audio. Big tick.If all you care about is streaming audio to your hi-fi system, there are many products offering what the Chromecast 2 does, not least the excellent Gramofon, which I reviewed earlier this year. Few, however, achieve the feat with the elegance and flexibility of the Chromecast Audio, and at such a low price.Now that the multi-room facility has been added, alongside high-resolution audio support, and the price cut to a ridiculously cheap £25, it’s the perfect music streaming device. You’d be mad not to buy one.

Small-time British smartphone manufacturer Wileyfox is attempting the seemingly impossible. In a world where global giants Samsung and Sony are struggling to make money, it’s trying to chip out its own small niche, by offering low-cost, feature-packed phones in the mould of the OnePlus One and OnePlus 2. Its latest offering is the Wileyfox Storm.
It’s the firm’s second smartphone – the follow-up to the Wileyfox Swift, which as we noted in our review, wasn’t particularly swift – and, appropriately, it has far stronger innards and a larger, 5.5in screen. Despite that, it still isn’t all that pricey: you can get your hands on a Storm today for £200, and you don’t have to gain an exclusive invite to buy one either.

From the front, the Wileyfox Storm resembles a cross between the LG G3 and the Nexus 4. The handset is dominated by its 5.5in screen, and although it’s quite angular for the most part, the top and bottom ends of the handset have a gentle curve to them. It isn’t a bad look by any means, but it is pretty non-descript. One minor deviation on the front is an LED flash to go with the front-facing camera. It’s intended to alleviate the graininess of low-light selfies, but it’s distracting: a small circle of white and yellow in an otherwise clean, black frontage.Flipping the Storm over reveals a more distinct design. The back is finished in “sandstone black” – black and speckled, in other words. It’s constructed from soft plastic, and has a felt-like texture that feels odd, but offers enough grip that you never feel in danger of dropping it, despite its size.

In the centre of the back is a plastic embossed logo of a fox, which isn’t a million miles away from the distinctive alien head on Alienware laptops. Unlike the Wileyfox Swift, the backplate isn’t removable, which is a slightly odd oversight, given it isn’t a metal unibody design. The home button glows when you have a message, which is a nice understated touch, though.In short, the Wileyfox Storm is a smart enough, mid-range handset, but it’s no flagship design to rival the likes of LG, Samsung and Apple.As Christmas party season is in full swing, there’s a chance – just a small one – that someone will fall over. Don’t judge, it happens to the best of us, as this wonderful montage of astronauts falling over on the moon neatly demonstrates.

Okay, sure, the astronauts in this clip definitely haven’t been drinking, and the spacesuits are a little more unwieldy than your average Christmas jumper (although some monstrosities certainly put up a good fight), but it’s still good to know that the best trained, best equipped and finest human specimens of the 1960s and 70s weren’t above taking an embarrassing tumble. As one commenter points out, “it’s like watching babies walk for the first time”.
Of course, the flip side to that comment is that, if highly trained astronauts can look like drunks in a spacesuit, then amateurs like you or I would really struggle – especially as Buzz Aldrin once described the surface of the moon as like “moist talcum powder”.The European Commission has put forward proposals in its new Digital Single Market strategy that could end digital copyright restrictions across Europe, allowing users to access services regardless of their location within the EU.

The changes could allow Britons to watch BBC iPlayer or Sky Go without needing to be in the UK. At present, access to such services as these, as well as Netflix, are disrupted because of different EU states having different copyright laws.The EC said it would introduce regulations that allow “portability” of online content services throughout the EU, harmonising the laws of 28 member states.
Andrus Ansip, vice president for the Digital Single Market, said: “We want to ensure the portability of content across borders. People who legally buy content – films, books, football matches, TV series – must be able to carry it with them anywhere they go in Europe. This is a real change, similar to what we did to end roaming charges. Today, we also set out our vision for a modern copyright regime in the EU – and the gradual steps to achieve it.”He added that the EC wanted to widen access to cultural content online and “strengthen European R&D, using technologies like text and data mining”.

"The Digital Single Market is the blueprint for Europe claiming its place in the digital era. Today we start making it a reality,” said Ansip.This comes as the Commission plans a new EU-wide copyright framework next year that better mirrors and enables people’s use of digital content within the EU.The four main aims of the framework are first to widen access to content within the EU, and second to codify copyright exceptions. Third, the EC aims to create a fairer marketplace and fourth, fight piracy.“We want a copyright environment that is stimulating; fair; rewards investment in creativity; and makes it easier for Europeans to access and use content legally. Our ongoing work on the role of platforms and online intermediaries will also help to translate our plan into concrete proposals,” said Günther Oettinger, commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society.In response to the new proposals, Charlotte Holloway, head of policy at Tech UK, said that the Commission’s thinking on the proposals will have a direct impact for UK companies operating here in the country and also exporting across Europe.

“In the push for a more harmonised single market, it is vital that we harmonise in a direction that supports innovation and doesn’t seek to roll back the clock on Europe’s digital transformation. UK firms, together with UK Government, will need to remain fully engaged on getting the detail right on what could be important pro-growth pro-innovation policies,” she said.She added that the Commission “must listen to companies to gain a clear understanding of the technical viability of what is being proposed”.“Creative media companies will be looking to further detail on proposals cross-border access that maintain the existing value facilitated by territorial copyright.” The netbook is well and truly back, with the HP Stream 11 representing the best-value Windows laptop you can buy. Not to be outdone, Toshiba regularly shows off what it calls Cloudbooks, which are super-cheap netbook-style devices that assume you will store all of your files in the cloud instead of locally. The Satellite C40-C is just one of these.

Sadly, the offer of a year’s free Microsoft Office 365 is absent, something both HP and Asus were able to do last year. Still, what you get with the Satellite C40-C is a large, light laptop with bargain-basement components for an almost offensively low price – and it’s not half bad, either.Despite being cheaper than the HP Pavilion x2, you get an extra four inches of screen – 14in in total – and an improved 1,366 x 768 resolution. Text and images have room, so everything feels a little more comfortable. There aren’t quite enough pixels to fit two windows side by side and work effectively in both, but you could snap a Twitter feed or other column-based apps to the left or right of your screen and still have room to work on a document. The screen has a glossy coating, which does suffer a little under the scorching British sun. However, on those rare cloudy days, it’s perfectly usable, even if you’re trying to save power by turning the brightness down.

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