Welcome to The Independent’s Work, Relax, Play site in association with Intel®
Featuring celebrity interviews and exclusive vodcasts with DJ Gilles Peterson and Sarah Beeny, top tips for enjoying technology in your leisure time, insights into making it big in eBusiness and how to keep in touch with music today, as well as the latest Buyers’ Guide and eZine.
PLUS: WIN >> an amazing holiday for two to Japan, a £10,000 garden makeover, £2,400 worth of the latest technology… or one of three Intel laptops for all your work, relax and play needs.
CLICK HERE if you missed Issue 1 of Work, Relax, Play featuring Giles Deacon and DJ Mark Ronson.
eBay sellers Maggie Harding and Paul Say describe the beauty of the internet and how running their businesses online has given them a new lease of life.
YOU AND YOUR COMPUTERHannah Duguid discovers twelve top ways to enjoy technology in your leisure time. Click on the topics you are interested in to read more.
INTERNET RADIOBy communicating wirelessly with your broadband connection, an internet radio gives you access to thousands of free internet radio stations from around the world – receiving both live and on-demand shows - without even needing to switch on your computer. Website Last.fm also offers a personalised service, keeping track of the music you listen to and enabling you to search for information on artists, gigs etc. You can also “scrobble” songs you listen to on your computer or iPod, which are added to your Last.fm profile, and used to recommend music and create radio stations personalised to you.www.last.fm
SCHOOL REUNIONThe ubiquity of Facebook means that it’s relatively easy to organise a school reunion online. Almost everyone is on Facebook and those who aren’t can be tracked down by those who are. In the online networking craze that’s sweeping the land, it’s good to venture away from the screen and meet the people whose profiles you snoop at.www.facebook.com
NIKE + IPOD SPORT KITThe Nike +, a wireless sensor that can be inserted into Nike shoes with an appropriate pocket, is a device that uses a sensitive accelerometer to track you as you run or jog and wirelessly feeds the information to a special receiver plugged into your iPod nano. You can then transfer your workout data onto your computer, where you can evaluate your performance, set goals and even challenge other runners to a virtual race. The Nike+ tracks things like your time, distance, pace and the calories you’ve burned. And if you want, you can even have real-time spoken feedback as you run or jog. www.apple.com/ipod/nike
SELL YOUR BELONGINGS ON EBAYIt’s not worth selling small-time junk on eBay – better to take a stall at a car boot sale – but if you have quirky or larger items, then post them up on eBay and see what happens. If you’re planning a whole new look for your home, you’ll feel better – and richer – if you’ve flogged off your old stuff first, rather than throwing it away. It’s amazing what sells – old doll’s houses and furniture from the Sixties are hot right now. www.ebay.co.uk
ELECTRIC MASSAGE CHAIRAn electric massage chair may not be the most attractive piece of furniture, but that’s instantly forgotten once you sit in one. With a choice of shiatsu, sport, head and shoulders, lumbar, and anti-stress settings, the chairs are able to provide a wide range of massages, depending on your needs. The massaging action isn’t quite like a real masseur but it’s every bit as pleasurable. Top athletes use these chairs to keep their bodies in shape and if they’re good enough for them… uk.keyton.com
WRITE A BOOK AND PUBLISH ONLINEFor a frustrated author, self-publishing could well be the path to recognition. Publishing online certainly doesn’t guarantee you success but it is a chance to get your book out there at little expense. Some people choose to self-publish in order to avoid interference from publishers, in the same way that some punk musicians avoided becoming embroiled with record labels. Historically, some of the world’s most famous authors began by publishing their own work, including William Blake, Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman, William Morris and James Joyce. www.authorsonline.co.uk
COMPUTER GAMESAlternative reality games (ARGs) take place in real-time. Players interact directly with characters in the game to solve plot-based challenges and puzzles, and communities of gamers often work together to analyse the story and co-ordinate real-life and online activities. ARGs rely on the internet and use multiple media, including telephones, e-mail and mail. Perplex City was a long-term ARG in which players looked for The Cube in pursuit of a real reward of £100,000. After two years of puzzle solving in search of The Cube, a man from Middlesex found it in a wood in Northampton and claimed the reward. www.argn.com
YOU AND YOUR COMPUTERHannah Duguid discovers twelve ways to enjoy technology in your leisure time. Click on the topics you are interested in to read more.
ROAD TRIPBelieve it or not, it’s possible to install a European road map on your mobile phone. Satellite navigation companies produce global positioning system (GPS) software for most mobiles. This means you can take a road trip all over Europe, down winding French lanes and rocky Greek mountain passes and be accurately guided by your mobile. The map-reading arguments that once marred your holiday will be a thing of the past as you cruise past olive groves and vineyards in harmony. www.pocketgpsworld.com
WII TOURNAMENTThe Wii (pronounced we) is the latest Nintendo video games console. The genius of its gadgetry is the wireless remote that allows players to control games through movement rather than buttons or a joystick. Virtual bowling games require the same arm movement as the real thing, for example. And tournaments with teams of people are possible with no need for a bowling alley, just a large screen and a gang of friends. Other sports games are available too – anyone for tennis? www.nintendo.com
TELEVISIONWhile Plasma and LCD TVs are currently the best TVs money can buy, theywill face strong competition when the latest technologies enter the market.The new surface-conduction electron-emitter displays (SEDs) combine asuper-slim flatscreen appearance with the advantages of traditional cathoderay tube (CRT) televisions, resulting in better colour fidelity and contrast, better resolution on moving images, and a better view from angles. Apart from a susceptibility to screen burn-in, the viewing quality is near miraculous. Other ways of watching TV are also becoming popular,such as on-demand TV (see the Slingbox Pro in our Buyers’ Guide).www.channel4.com/4od; www.sed-television.net
YOUR OWN WEBSITEThe advantage of Dreamweaver is that it allows you to build websites with no knowledge of HTML code. The latest Dreamweaver software incorporates Photoshop, making it straightforward to put images on your website. Dreamweaver’s not the easiest computer program to master but there’s plenty of help available online, which will lead you through the various stages. You can, of course, make a website for anything: your business, your hobbies or just for fun.www.uktechstore.com
DIGITAL ARTAs the name suggests, digital art is art created on a computer in digital form. It can be purely computer generated, in Photoshop, for example, or taken from another source, such as a scanned photo, but bear in mind that the skill required to create digital art is equal to that of traditional drawing.www.adobe.com
The Independent’s Art Editor, David Lister, explains the massive part computers now play in music and how he stays in touch with the rapidly progressing industry.
DJ Gilles Peterson
DJ Gilles Peterson has the power of the internet and radio to thank for his international renown. He tells Work, Relax, Play why the quality of music file sharing is so important, and offers up his tips for the ‘next big thing’s.
Watch our vodcast featuring DJ Gilles Peterson.