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Technology

Why do I love playing with code?

This is why! “What all play has in common,” Brown says, “is that it offers a sense of engagement and pleasure, takes the player out of a sense of time and place, and the experience of doing it is more important than the outcome.” Why it’s good for grown-ups to go play – The Washington […]

What’s the best tablet for video calling grandma?

Chris needs a tablet or video-calling device for his grandma’s Covid-19 isolation. What are the options?

I want to get my grandma a tablet for easy video calling. She is elderly and needs to self-isolate, and she is already quite isolated after the recent death of her husband. I am not sure which tablet or which program to use. She isn’t very computer literate.

This new Facebook thing looks good but I am sceptical of the brand. Chris

Video calling used to be a futuristic topic. Today, it is readily available on most devices except, oddly enough, smart TVs. If anything, there’s a plethora of services, and I haven’t tried most of them. The options include Zoom, WhatsApp, Facebook, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Skype and many more. Zoom is a business service but it works well and is clearly flavour of the month, with downloads up by 1,270%. Fake backgrounds are one of its winning features.

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What do I need to work from home due to coronavirus?

How best to set up a home office for the short or long term if you’re self-isolating

What do I need to work at home during the coronavirus outbreak? At this rate, we might all be working from home for a year! How will the broadband providers cope? Do we need a plan B? FranklySwiss

Everyone will need their own customised solution, but there are two things to think about. First, will you be working at home for two weeks or four months or possibly forever? I share the view that Covid-19 could cause a permanent shift towards home working.

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Which streaming stick should I buy for Disney+?

Adnan has an old smart TV and Now TV box, so needs something new to stream Disney+

My smart TV is old (Samsung, 2014) so I watch BBC iPlayer on my Now TV box (also old and discontinued). What is the best device for all the popular streaming services including the upcoming Disney+? To my knowledge, it is not yet confirmed if it will be available on my Roku-powered Now TV box. Adnan

You may be in luck, because Disney has just signed a deal with Sky. As a result, Disney+ will be available via Sky from its UK launch on 24 March, to be followed by Now TV in the coming months, says Sky. It’s not clear how many months that means. Perhaps Sky does not know. However, I’d assume it means some time this year, not next.

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