How the BBC won streaming, Britain lost at broadband and the web changed everything

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Week in Tech
How the BBC won streaming, Britain lost at broadband and the web changed everything

It's been a good week for TV: the BBC's excellent iPlayer has taken a big leap into the future. "The BBC is the Apple of internet TV," we reckon: "It didn't invent the technology, but it looked at the sorry job everybody else was doing and came up with a better way of doing it." The new version isn't just a nice player, though: it's about something more significant. "TV is no longer something that tells you what to watch and when. It's becoming something that comes to you when and where you want it."

Good news for anyone whose iPad keeps rebooting for no good reason: iOS 7.1 is out, and in addition to bug fixes it introduces some interface tweakery, new features and a brand new voice for the UK Siri. iOS 7.1 also brings CarPlay to iOS and includes some hints of forthcoming iPad models. iPads 4.3 and 4.6 may be this year's successors to the iPad Air and iPad mini respectively, or the might just be minor model revisions for the Chinese market.

We discovered this week that Thatcher's government took the UK's lead in super-fast broadband and threw it away, with terrible results. Jay McGregor spills the beans. Still, it's not all bad: as Sir Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the world wide web 25 years ago this week, points out, we can use the internet to look at kittens. We've been sharing our stories of how the web changed our world, and we'd love to hear yours.

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In this week
Week in Tech: How the BBC won streaming, Britain lost at broadband and the web changed everything
Talking points: Tech mistakes, Google Now Launcher explained, Microsoft goof, and Sony's VR headset in view
Competition: Win! A Canton DM50 soundbase worth £399
The week's best buys: Tesco Hudl, 13-inch MacBook Air, and Canon EOS 70D
Top 20: Mobile phones
Talking points
25 tech mistakes you should never make
Regrets, we've had a few - and they're not too few to mention.  The more tech you have in your life, the more tech regrets you're likely to have.  Whether it is the platform you jumped on just as everyone else jumped off, the phone battery that died at the worst possible moment, the moment of madness when you bought a Zune or a BlackBerry Playbook.  So which tech decisions are you likely to regret today? Read more
Films and TV shows hit BlackBerry World ahead of BlackBerry 10 launch
Google Now Launcher has arrived, but you will be forgiven if you don't know much about it.  We are scratching our heads as to why Google Now Launcher was actually launched with minimal fanfare and a low-profile Google+ post. All we can say is: don't let the low-key launch fool you as this is one of Google's most important apps in years. Read more
Microsoft goof lets anyone grab Windows 8.1 Update 1
Too impatient to wait until next month to download the first big update to Microsoft's latest desktop OS? If you know where to look, you might not have to. Then again, you may not want to just yet.  Wind of a release to manufacturing (RTM) build of the forthcoming Windows 8.1 Update 1 started making the rounds of public cloud storage services after mistakenly being released by none other than Microsoft itself. Read more
Sony confirms GDC event, will it bring the PS4 virtual reality headset?
Sony's rumoured virtual reality gaming headset could make its public debut next month, with the Japanese giant confirming a presentation at the Games Developers Conference.  The firm is inviting GDC attendees to an event on "innovation at PlayStation," and "the future of gaming" on March 18. Read more
WIN! A Canton DM50 soundbase worth £399

Soundbases give a boost to the sound of flatscreen TVs, while also acting as a solid plinth, and we’ve teamed up with Canton to offer you the chance to win one of the very best of them. Available for £399, the Canton DM50 is the least intrusive of the soundbases on the market at just 65mm tall - and yet it can hold a TV of up to 40Kg.

The DM50 is available in black, white and silver finishes­ so you can find the best match for your TV, and if you win one of the two up for grabs in this competition, you can choose the colour you want. With a powerful 200W internal amplifier, this small box can fill even a large room with sound.

Enter competition
WIN! A Lytro Field Camera
Enter competition
Your tweets this week
The week's best buys

You'll get some surprisingly accomplished components for your money, but the Tesco Hudl fails to really wow in any department apart from the price. If your budget can't stretch any further you won't be disappointed.
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While it has yet to make the leap into Retina, this is still the laptop that the ultrabook aspires to, thanks to incredible battery life and AC Wi-Fi.
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Based on its bigger brother the Galaxy Tab 10.1, the Tab 8.9 . provides another decent Android tablet experience, with a lighter body, but of course a sacrifice in screen size. The smaller and lighter Galaxy Tab 8.9 is great for reading books and checking emails.
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What's the first thing you remember doing on the web?
@richardcobbett Wishing Compuserve was faster.
@McFlyinDelorean Earliest internet memory is using a library computer to find out what the PS2 was going to look like.
@JamesHutton80  Thinking how there must be a better way than dial up connections.
Top  10  mobile phones
How do you decide which phone is best for you? With our continually updated comparison of the top 20 best smartphones in the UK, of course.
View top 20
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 New issue out now
Phones and tablets tailored to you, why 2014 is the year of the iCar and 43 insider apps to help you rule at everything.

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