Network Technology GSM / HSPA
Launch Announced 2016, May
Status Available. Released 2016, May
Body Dimensions 114.4 x 62.8 x 12 mm (4.50 x 2.47 x 0.47 in)
Weight 110 g (3.88 oz)
Display Type TFT TN capacitive touchscreen
Size 3.5 inches (~50.8% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 320 x 480 pixels (~165 ppi pixel density)
Multitouch No
Platform OS Android OS, v5.1 (Lollipop)
Chipset Spreadtrum SC7731G
CPU Quad-core 1.3 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU Mali-400MP2
Memory Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB (dedicated slot)
Internal 4 GB, 512 MB RAM
Camera Primary 2 MP
Features Geo-tagging
Video 720p@30fps
Secondary No
Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
Comms WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot
Bluetooth v2.1, A2DP
GPS A-GPS only
Radio FM radio
USB microUSB v2.0
Features Sensors No
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, IM
Browser HTML
Java No
– MP3/eAAC+ player
– MP4/H.264 player
– Document viewer
– Photo/video editor
Battery Removable Li-Ion 1400 mAh battery
Talk time Up to 5 h (3G)
Misc Colors Volcano Black, Tech White
Price group 1/10


Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

Honestly. £20. It’s all bonkers isn’t it? This, as I’ve said before, is an Android phone that would’ve cost you £100 only a very short time ago. Now you can purchase a smartphone for a mere £20.

Let’s get some things out the way. This is entry level. Let’s not beat around the bush. It’s going to get someone on the first rung of the smartphone ladder. It has the same specs that a £100 smartphone from a few years ago would’ve had. Android 5.1, tick. A 3.5″ HVGA 320×480 pixel screen. Tick. 4GB of on-board storage (which drops down to 1.31GB out of the box thanks to “stuff”) and there’s a microSD card slot for more.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

It’s a dinky thing, measuring in a 114.4mm x 62.8mm. It’s 12mm thick and if you’re used to “normal” sized smartphones you’ll have to alter the way you hold this because it’s not as tall. It’s available in black, white and red. There’s GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0 and a 1400mAh battery with… 512MB of memory.

So yes. Set your expectations friends. Get any preconceptions out of your head about playing resource-heavy games or … look. If you’re a fan of tech and you visit this site to get your gadget kicks, go … go now. This won’t cut it. It’s £20. Twenty quid. Just 20. I can’t get too excited about it. The screen is a bit cramped, you can’t view it from any angle which isn’t directly in front and there’s a quad core 1.3GHz “Spreadtrum” CPU pushing things along as best it can.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

The camera is a 2 megapixel unit and it’s fixed focus. Stuff is blurry and a bit hit-and-miss. Don’t even think about low-light photos. Not happening dude. Auto-brightness detection for the screen? No way.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

Let’s start at the back of the phone. This entire panel pops off to give you access to the battery. The handset is designed by vodafone and there’s a hole for the camera along with a grippy rear panel to stop you dropping it. Inside, with the codename “VFD 200”, this has two slots – one for the microSD card and one for the SIM.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

The front is a bit of a fingerprint magnet. I mean sure, I had a bag of crisps a few hours ago, but I’ve washed my hands since then. Honest. Perhaps it was those Monster Munch. They tend to “stick” with you don’t they? Especially the pickled onion ones. Blimey, they’re strong.

The front, despite the fairly small screen, isn’t too badly styled. You get three capacitive buttons. No back-light here though.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

The right side is where you’ll find the power button and the volume controls. There’s a grey strip running arund the edge of the phone. This button arrangement is a design theme you’ll see carried across the other “Vodafone Smart” handsets in the range.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

At the bottom is your microUSB port and a microphone, nothing on the left but a 3.5mm port up top.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

Here’s a video overview for you. My son helped 🙂

The OS is filled with a lot of what you’d expect and the setup isn’t too painful either. A gallery system, clock, Chrome browser, Contacts management (which will sync with your Google account) and all the other Google apps (Maps, Photos, Movies and Hangouts etc) are here too.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

Vodafone have also added a bit of help via a Tips system which guides you through the various aspects of the phone. This is useful if you’re a new Android user. Vodafone have also put their “Start” system to deliver / promote various Vodafone services (Spotify, Sky Sports Mobile etc), an Updates system, a My Vodafone account system and accessories which will show you … errr.. accessories that you can purchase for the phone. There’s also a Vodafone messaging system which, as we’ve seen before, delivers a “WhatsApp style” experience letting you send multimedia messages.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

The phone also has an FM radio and, like other Android kit, will let you alter the ringtone, backdrop, lock screen etc. You can make it your own and drag icons, shortcuts and widgets onto the main screen(s).


It takes photos. That’s all I’ll say. Don’t expect too much. It’s fixed focus and the range of options within the camera app are basic to say the least. The gallery system gets the rotation all wrong, as you can see here..

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

Here’s some example shots. They look better on the screen here than the phone, if that helps any..

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

This was one of the better shots.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

Yeah. I need to do the fence panels.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

“Misty” is probably a good way to describe this.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

No. No macro.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

Don’t ask me what’s going on here. The “Richer Sounds” sign is in perfect focus, but the car is blurry – I think because it’s moving.

Vodafone Smart first 7   Review

Sweet lord have mercy. Reflections, light balance all wrong. Gah!


I say again. £20 on Pay As You Go. That’s mad isn’t it really? Whether you’re buying this for an elderly relative, for someone who isn’t fussed on the “smart” bits of a phone or just as a backup / travel phone that you want to keep for the “just in case” scenarios, it’ll do that.

If you use a Samsung Galaxy handset, or an iPhone, you’re going to look at this and say that yes, the camera is bobbins, the processor is slow and the screen is small. But your phone probably cost £500-£600. This costs about the same as the taxi home from the pub. Chuck it in a suitcase, take it on holiday. Use it as a work phone if you’re a builder or you’re continually dropping your precious top-end smartphone.

When we get down to the nitty-gritty, it’s a cheap smartphone. It’ll get your email. It’ll let you send and receive your messages (whether that be through WhatsApp, Facebook or whatever), it’ll let you browse the web and keep in touch. Sure, it’s a bit slow and the gallery didn’t seem to show my photos in the right orientation but… £20 dude. £20.


# optional, but recommended
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys BA300B7755AFCFAE

# add Typora's repository
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb linux/'
sudo apt-get update

# install typora
sudo apt-get install typora

Upgrade Typora

After install Typora, typora package will be managed by apt-get, so when your system update installed packages, or execute apt-get upgrade command, typora will also be updated to latest version.

# upgrade all packages include Typora
sudo apt-get upgrade

What is the healthiest cookware and why do people crave these sets so much? With the cookware market saturated with new gimmicky cookware, healthy cookware takes a back seat.

To make things worse, manufacturers and distributors are not even honest about labeling their cookware as toxic.

Thankfully there is a lot of information that is available on healthy cooking online. We have compiled the healthiest cookware listed in order of preference based on our research.

Hopefully this list will help serve you well when you purchase your healthy pots and pans.

Healthiest Cookware - Pan

What Is Traditional Kitchen Ware!?

Before we list to you of the our Top 10 healthiest cookware, we wanted you to know the main problems with traditional cookware such as some Teflon coating non-stick pots and pans, pure aluminum cookware and copper cookware.

All of the above mentioned have harmful chemicals that release hormone altering chemicals into your food. We stress the need for using the safest cookware. Did you know that:

  • Pure aluminum cookware is made from toxic materials that leach their toxic substances and causes diseases. Even with the new anodized aluminum which boasts an oxide layer that thickens the surface of the pan, there is still potential for aluminum toxicity itself.
  • Some non-stick cookware has chemicals that are toxic with the release of the Teflon coating back in 1946. Such chemicals include PFOA and PTFE
  • Copper cookware is made from 99% copper which creates exposure to copper toxicity. According to studies, adults should intake only 900 micro-grams of copper per day. With copper leaching risk as a result of using these copper pans, this could potentially exceed the overall daily dose of copper and lead to poisoning.

A lot of the cookware from the previous generations contain one of the above materials and are harmful to cook with. Luckily, some of the newest healthy cookware on the market are tremendously improved and create healthy alternatives.

Welcome New-age Nonstick Cookware Sets

The new age kitchen ware available on the market right now has been improved drastically and healthy cookware is now a norm. Since the Teflon non-stick era, steel and aluminum cookware are now coated with complex premium materials such as stone, diamond, marble, ceramic, titanium, and porcelain. The rational behind these is that they coat the aluminum and steel to prevent the harmful effects from getting into your food. In addition, these materials were used primarily to minimize the effects of food sticking onto the cookware.

Without a doubt with these new kitchen ware coatings comes advantages and disadvantages and so it’s up to the consumer to distinguish between the toxic and healthy pots and pans to purchase. However, the new non stick cookware coatings offer more benefits than the prior generation traditional cookware.

Not only have the new kitchen ware been safe guarded against toxic coatings such as Teflon, but they also provide new ergonomics that will make your healthy cooking even more enjoyable. Such improvements are in the heat resistant handles, heat conduction through induction surfaces, and sturdier material construction to prevent vibrations and increased durability.

One thing to keep in mind is while a pan may look nice and harmless on the outside, it could be toxic after you start cooking with it. If you’re unsure about your cookware, it’s best to make your selection from the trusted list of healthy cookware below.

Without further ado, here are the top 10 healthiest cookware options in order of preference:

Healthy Cookware Brand #1: Ozeri Stone Earth Frying Pans

Ozeri Stone Earth Pans

Check out this healthy and cool frying pan! It’s one of our favorites here at because it’s one of the best healthiest cookware around. The stone pan is 100% PFOA free (no Teflon coating) so no harmful chemicals enter your food and ultimately into your body.

Better yet, the super non-stick Stonehendge coating allows you to use no oil at all for your cooking. Great for pan sticky foods like eggs and fish.

I’ve been covering Ozeri stone frying pans for months and have never seen this one priced for $29.65 well off it’s $34.95 list price.

Healthy Cookware Brand #2: GreenPan Paris 10-piece Cookware Set

Healthiest Cookware - Greenpan

The original Green Pan green cookware carries a nonstick coating that is coated with their famous Thermolon which can resist high temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius. This healthy cookware has a high end nonstick coating and is made with premium materials that are PFOA free.

In addition, Green Pans leave a very small carbon footprint when they are produced so you will be saving the environment.

Included in this set are a 2 quart saucepan, 3 quart saucepan, 8 quart stockpot, 8″ non stick frying pan, and a 11″ sautepan.

GreenPan Paris 10-Piece Hard Anodized Non-Stick Ceramic Cookware Set – now $390.58

Healthy Cookware Brand #3: GreenLife 14-Piece Non-stick Cookware Set

Healthiest Cookware - Greenlife Cookware

This piece of kitchen cookware brings out the chef in you. It’s design is for healthy cooking starting with the premium materials to the Thermolon non-stick coating that won’t distort the taste of food nor the look after cooking. This coating is cadmium, lead and 100% PFOA free which rates highly on our list of healthiest cookware.

Oven safe and made with stainless steel, the handles are ergonomic and insulate the heat to keep your hand from burning on the handle.

GreenLife 14 Piece Nonstick Ceramic Cookware Set with Soft Grip, Black – now only  $79.92

Healthy Cookware Brand #4: Tramontina 15-Piece Hard Anodized Cookware Set

Healthiest Cookware - Tramontina 15-Piece Hard Anodized Cookware Set

Tramontina cookware is made with hard anodized aluminum vessels which will not allow your non stick frying pan to leach into your precious food and distort the taste and color. This healthy cookware set is one of the best non-stick PFOA free cookware sets out there that is long lasting and designed for ease of use.

The style of this cookware is professional to give you the healthiest cookware at your fingertips!

Tramontina 15-Piece Hard Anodized – Nonstick Cookware Set –  $247.46

Healthy Cookware Brand #5: WearEver Pure Living Cookware Set

Healthiest Cookware - WearEver Pure Living Cookware Set

Want the best of healthy cookware and environmentally friendly? Meet the WearEver Ceramic Kitchen Cookware set that is PFOA free, and PTFE free and cadmium free. Best of all, the nonstick ceramic coating promotes healthy cooking by using less oil.

Another benefit to using this healthy cookware is the heat distribution of the pans. Since the heat distribution is so awesome, you do not need to cook  on high heat, just medium will do. Furthermore, the clean-up is real easy as the pans are sturdy and the ceramic coating is very scratch resistant.

As one of the healthiest cookware sets around, we highly recommended for people who have allergies and sensitivities. Our hypo allergic kitchen ware testers have given us the two thumbs up.

WearEver C943SF Pure Living Nonstick Ceramic Coating PTFE / PFOA Free Dishwasher Safe Cookware set, 15-Piece, Red – was $249.99, now $154.99, save $90.09 (36%)

Healthy Cookware Brand #6: StoneLine PFOA Free Non-stick Stone Cookware Set

Stoneline Cookware Set

This one-of-a-kind kitchen ware is made in Germany and is the ultimate in fat-free healthy cooking. The surface of the cookware is formed by small tiny stone particles that together form a hard surface. Like cooking on stone and best for steaks and other meats!

The cookware comes with beautifully designed lids so that the nutrients and moisture can not escape. Great for vegetables to lock in flavor and maintain the vital nutrients.

StoneLine is 100% non stick and non scratching. In fact, you can even use metal utensils on the cookware without damaging it. Better yet, it comes with a 12 year warranty for headache-less cooking!

Stoneline Nonstick Stone Cookware – All-Purpose 8 Piece Set – was $527.00, now $299.70, save $277.30 (43%)

Healthy Cookware Brand #7: Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II 10-Piece Cookware Set

Healthiest Cookware - Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Cookware Set

These pans don’t need to be promoted by Food Network television personality Rachael Ray to make it to this healthiest cookware list. This set combines healthy pots and pans that’s perfect for everyone in your family.

Made with hard anodized aluminum, the healthy pots and pans are especially durable and heat up quickly to cook your nutritious food. Normal traditional pots and pans have “hot spots” that can typically burn food and melt away the precious vitamins that the food offers.

The ergonomic design makes this healthy cookware set stand out in your kitchen to remind you that healthy cooking starts with the healthiest cookware.

Rachael Ray Hard Anodized II Nonstick Dishwasher Safe 10-Piece Cookware Set, Orange – was $255.00, now $129.98, save $125.05 (49%)

Healthy Cookware Brand #8: Calphalon Commercial Hard-Anodized 13-pc. Cookware Set

Healthiest Cookware - Calphalon Commercial Hard Anodized Set

Research has shown that when acidic foods are in contact with aluminum, there are potential toxic risks such as leaching of salts into cooked food. With anodized aluminum, these healthy pots and pans protect from such toxic health risks and further unwanted non stick chemical byproducts. The searing and deglazing on these pans are amazing and the handles will never get hot when you’re cooking.

The healthy cookware set comes with a 3 quart saucepan, cooking pots, stock pot and non stick frying pans and comes with a lifetime warranty. Furthermore, they are fabulous looking kitchen ware that looks great on any shelf or frying pan rack. Your guests will definitely notice this high end cookware set!

Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Set, 11-Piece, Black –  $399.95 & FREE Shipping

Healthy Cookware Brand #9: Le Creuset Signature 5-Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set

Healthiest Cookware - Le Creuset Cookware Set

The coating on this PFOA free cookware set is what makes this one of the healthiest cookware around. Not your standard cast iron pots and pans, this healthy cookware set boasts a porcelain enamel that makes cleanup a breeze. The longer you use these pots and pans the more likely they will create a “natural patina” which will help with searing and glazing.

This set is the combination of the most commonly used kitchen ware and includes a 3 quart saucepan, cooking pot, stock pot, steamer pot and skillet. Best of all, the Le Creuset skillet doesn’t require any seasoning.

Built to withstand heat up to 500 degrees, you’ll be able to cook almost almost any type of gamy meats such as lamb. We recommend that you buy a handle mitt so that your hands don’t burn. Comes in a punchy red color which will stand out to your guests!

Le Creuset Signature 5-Piece Cast Iron Cookware Set, Flame – was $610.00, now $424.95, save $185.05 (30%)

Healthy Cookware Brand #10: Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized Nonstick Cookware Set

Healthiest Cookware - Analon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized Cookware Set

This dishwasher safe cookware is designed to be cooked with minimal oil and butter for a healthier lifestyle. This theme is embedded across all the healthy pots and pans and provides for easy cleanup. As a result, this has one of the best cookware sets reviews on the market.

Included in this set is a 3 quart saucepan, stock pot, French skillets, grill pan, and saute. These pans are extra durable and and are twice as tough as stainless steel. Created for even the most reckless chefs around!

Anolon Advanced Bronze Hard Anodized Nonstick 11-Piece Cookware Set – was $425.00, now $269.99, save$155.01 (36%)

What is the safest cookware?

I’ve gotten multiple emails this week from readers who are engaged and wondering what the safest (and healthiest) cookware and bakeware options are to put on their gift registries. This is a topic I’ve researched quite a bit, so I’ve compiled my top five choices in order of preference. Thankfully, there are some great options out there that aren’t much more expensive than the harmful teflon and non-stick varieties.

Hopefully, this list will be helpful to some of you, as there are many changes I’d make if I could do my registry over again! In fact, I’ve thrown out quite a bit of what was on my original registry when we got married and am slowly buying replacements as I can afford them.

The main issues with traditional bakeware like non-stick and aluminum is that they can leach hormone disrupting chemicals and toxins into food… probably not the best choice! Some of the new-old-fashioned options are a lot better, and are much more fun to cook with once you get the hang of them!

Here are my  favorite bakeware/cookware options in order of preference:

1. Ceramic Cookware and Bakeware

I am a huge fan of X-trema Cookware since I got several of their pans for Christmas a few years ago. They are the most inert cookware I’ve found and they don’t leach anything into food. The one downside is that they can break if you (or kids *ahem* drop them while being taken care of  by extended family *ahem*). They are the absolute easiest option to clean, as you can use steel wool or scrubbing pads without scraping the surface. They have a non-scratch cooking surface, heat evenly and hold in flavors in foods.

They are technically dishwasher, oven, microwave and stove safe and can be scrubbed with anything. I love these pans so much that despite my kids breaking my skillet TWICE, I’ve replaced it. They cook better than cast iron or stainless and are easier to clean!

My favorites are the 10 inch skillet (which I use multiple times a day), and the 3.5 Quart Saucepan, which I use to cook soups, heat foods, and even bake in.

Xtrema-Ceramcor also has some collapsible silicone food storage sets that are very compact in the cabinet but can safely store food in the fridge or freezer (and can technically be heated, though I prefer not to heat in silicone).

Pssst… Xtrema is giving a 10% discount on any order with the code WMX10 if you use this link. (That is an affiliate link, so if you decide to purchase through that link, or any other link on the site, I may receive a small commission to help support my blog. Many thanks!)

2. Cast Iron Cookware

Funny though it sounds, I am glad I listened to my great-grandmother-in-laws and my dad’s (who was a boy scout) advice and started cooking with cast iron. At first, I was worried because it sounded complicated to season cast iron and clean without using abrasive soaps, etc. Now that I’m used to it, I love cast iron and the added benefit of the extra iron in our diets. I mainly use it for cooking meats and for deep frying in coconut oil (I have a large skillet that perpetually holds about an inch of coconut oil or tallow for frying… talk about good seasoning!).

As long as you don’t scrub it with soap and a brillo pad, a good cast iron skillet can be an excellent non-stick surface to cook on and cooks evenly and with good flavor. The one downside is that you can’t cook tomato products in it as the acid interacts with the pH of the pan and gets an off-flavor. Cast iron is great because it can be used in the oven or on the stovetop (or on a campfire!) or all of the above.

My favorite cast iron piece is my large skillet, which is great for frying, cooking meats and even oven-cooking. A smaller skillet is great for eggs and oven omelets and I love my dutch oven with skillet top as it does double duty and cooks a mean roast in the oven or cobbler on the campfire. A grill pan is also great for meats, especially in the winter when it’s too cold to grill… though perhaps with all the talk of cold therapy lately, I should just suck it up and grill in the cold 🙂

Just make sure you season your cast iron well before using it, so that food won’t stick and it will cook better.

3. Le Creuset Enameled Cast Iron and Stoneware

The reason this isn’t one of my first two options is because of the cost. Le Creuset is the gold standard of coated bakeware and cookware and they have the prices to go with it. The one Le Creuset piece I own cooks wonderfully and I hope to add to my collection one day. If you have the budget, or are looking for a great option for a wedding registry, I’d include some Le Creuset pieces.

My personal favorite (i.e. the only one I’ve tried) is their coated stone ware baking casserole dish, which cooks amazingly evenly and makes delicious food and which is also easy to clean. (It’s also gorgeous and comes in colors that match your kitchen… I love the red ones!). They also have matching color pieces including their french oven which is on my if-I’m-rich-one-day list.

4. Regular Stoneware

More for baking than cooking on the stove, stoneware is a great alternative to aluminum baking sheets or roasting pans. There are also muffin tins, bread (not grain!) pans, and many other stoneware pieces.

These can be tricky to clean but give amazing flavor to food and cook very evenly. You won’t want to use soap, as the stone absorbs the flavor, but a properly cared for stoneware piece can last a lifetime!

My favorites: The basic stoneware baking sheet (large) which I use to grill veggies, bake healthy cookies, and re-heat food. It is so versatile, plus I get an arm workout lifting it! 🙂 I also really like their baking dishes which can make casseroles, meats, etc. They also have bread pans, but who uses those… 🙂

5. Glass and Corningware

Corningware especially has a lot of nostalgic value to me, since I remember seeing it in both my parent’s houses and using it in my parent’s house growing up. It’s not as versatile and is mainly used for baking, but it is inexpensive (comparatively) and is low on the leach-poisons-into-my-food scale.

My favorites: This set of Corningware  which I’ve used (and broken) extensively and my beloved Pyrex Storage set which I use a lot since I don’t use plastic and everything in my fridge is stored in this or mason jars.. so classy! 🙂 I also use my Pyrex Bowls with Lids and my Bake and Store Pyrex Set a lot! If you’re registering for your kitchen, I’d put a lot of Pyrex and Corningware on it!  (and Corell dishes.. those things don’t break easily… my kids have tried!)

6. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is also a good option, though I personally prefer the other types above. We have several good stainless pieces that have lasted us for over a decade and still look new. Our most used stainless item are these large roasting sheets that we use daily for roasting meats, veggies and almost everything else…


In Android, once you launch an application, it will continue to run in the background, even after you’ve left it and moved on to other tasks. After enough applications are opened in a session, you may notice your device lagging a bit due to the number of open applications using up your device’s RAM. This isn’t so much of a problem on newer, highly-specced devices like the Galaxy S4, but several less powerful devices still stutter a bit when too many applications are open and running. Also, if someone else picks up your phone, they will also be able to see what apps you’ve been using which is a privacy issue.

Here’s how to kill applications running in the background.

1. Launch the recent applications menu. How you get to this menu will vary a bit from device to device. On the HTC One, for example, you tap the home button twice to get to Recent Apps, whereas it takes a long press on the Samsung Galaxy S4’s physical button, and an on-screen button takes you to this location on the Nexus 5.

2. Find the application(s) you want to close on the list by scrolling up from the bottom.

3. Tap and hold on the application and swipe it to the right. This should kill the process from running and free up some RAM.

4. Navigate to the Apps tab in settings if your phone’s still running slow. On Samsung phones, this menu is called “Application Manager.”

5. Select the Running tab to see what’s still running.

6. Return to the “All apps” tab, scroll to the application(s) that’s running, and click on it.

7. Tap “Force Stop” to kill the process for good.



A television remote control Image copyright Thinkstock

A legal case concerning the sale of video-streaming set-top boxes that can access subscription content for free, begins on Tuesday.

So-called “fully-loaded Kodi boxes” have gained popularity, but the legality of their sale is in question.

Middlesbrough trader Brian Thompson is accused of selling equipment that “facilitated the circumvention” of copyright protection measures.

The trial has been described as a landmark case by industry watchers.

Mr Thompson will not enter a plea on Tuesday, but has told local media he intends to challenge the charges.

What is Kodi?

Kodi Image copyright Kodi
Image caption Kodi turns compatible devices into a “media centre”

Kodi is free software designed to bring videos, music, games and photographs together in one easy-to-use application.

It began life as a program called Xbox Media Centre (XBMC) that added a feature-rich media player to the original Xbox games console.

The open-source project was developed by volunteers and can now be installed on a variety of devices including smartphones and computers.

It can also be loaded on to television-connected devices such as the Amazon Fire stick or Apple TV box, although it is not supported by those manufacturers.

What are Kodi boxes?

Set-top box
Image caption Some set-top boxes can be modified to run Kodi

Some shops sell ready-to-use set-top boxes or television sticks preloaded with the Kodi software.

They are also known as Android boxes, because many of the devices run Android as their primary operating system.

The developers behind Kodi say their software does not contain any content of its own and is designed to play legally owned media or content “freely available” on the internet.

However, the software can be modified with third-party add-ons that provide access to pirated copies of films and TV series, or provide free access to subscription television channels.

Some traders sell Kodi boxes preloaded with such third-party add-ons that can access pirated content. It is the sale of these “fully-loaded” boxes that is the subject of a legal case.

What do the makers of Kodi say?

A social media post promoting a streaming box
Image caption The makers of Kodi do not want the software advertised in this way

The developers behind Kodi have said they do not support “piracy add-ons” and have criticised those who advertise “fully-loaded” set-top boxes for sale.

The group said it would maintain a “neutral stance on what users do with their own software”, but would battle those using the Kodi trademark to sell a “fully-loaded Kodi box”.

Discussions about “pirated content” and add-ons that provide access are removed from its message board.

A date for Mr Thompson’s trial is expected to be decided on Tuesday.


(德国之声中文网)自从今年1月中下旬德意志银行亏损67亿欧元的消息传出后,有关欧洲经济火车头德国的第一大银行深陷危机的担忧情绪不断加剧。从 2016年伊始,德意志银行股价已经下跌超过40%,而该银行次级债券的”信贷违约掉期”(CDS)近期却跳涨。在此背景下,金融市场,尤其是中国金融市 场开始大幅度关注”德意志银行是否会成为下一个雷曼兄弟”的话题。

就此,德国央行负责银行金融监管的董事多姆布雷特(Andreas Dombret)向德国之声表示,德国银行的资本实力在过去几年中明显得到改善,现金储备也相当雄厚。所以目前的情况“根本无法和2008年的雷曼危机相 提并论。”他说:“所以我现在感觉轻松许多。当然也会仔细关注事态的发展。”


包括《华尔街见闻》、”中金网”和”新浪财经”等中国媒体报道中所提及”德意志银行恐成雷曼兄弟”的说法源自美国金融话题博客Zerohedge。该博客 举例称,截止至2014年年底,德意志银行在金融衍生品方面的”赌注”约为64万亿美元。这笔金额是整个欧元区当年GDP(13.2万亿美金)的近5倍, 是德国GDP(3.9万亿美金)的16倍。

Frankfurt Zentrale der Deutschen Bank 德意志银行设于法兰克福的总部

但 有专家认为,光看一个银行在金融衍生品方面的”赌注”总额意义有限。因为一般来说,银行只是金融衍生品买卖双方的中介。比如跟汇率挂钩金融衍生品存在的意 义就是,买卖双方通过从银行购买衍生品避免汇率浮动给生意带来汇率上的风险。这种交易的本质是:如果一方受益,另外一方肯定需要蒙受损失。对于银行来说, 它虽然在面值上有两宗汇率衍生品交易入账,但银行需要为此承担的风险和支出在正常情况下为零。


当然,市场对德意志银行的信心缺失也体现在该行”信贷违约掉期”近期高速攀升的现状中。简单来说,”信贷违约掉期”是一种投资者为银行可能出现信贷违约的 情况而购买的一种保险。这个保险的价格越高,说明市场中对这种保险的需求越大,同时也说明投资者认为该银行出现信贷违约的可能性也越高。2016年年初以 来,德意志银行5年信贷违约掉期暴涨超过130点,从1月4日的98.3飙升至2月10日的231.6点。

德国经济研究所(Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft)的金融问题专家德玛里(Markus Demary)指出,导致德意志银行”信贷违约掉期”价额高速攀升确实意味着市场认为德意志银行违约的风险变大。但更重要的原因是市场对银行监管机构新推 出的有关”应急可转债(CoCos)”的政策规定了解不够。有关政策规定当银行的某种债券无法被支付时,这种债券就会强制性的被转化为银行的自有资本。以 前这种债券对于银行来说是借贷,如今必须被视为银行的亏损。推出这种政策的初衷是在上一次金融危机的背景下,政府不愿意让纳税人为拯救银行买单,而是让银 行自己为此承担代价。德玛里指出,由于这是一个新的调控工具,市场对其缺乏了解,所以在大环境令人不安的背景下,许多投资者认为德意志银行的许多债券很有 可能会直接变成债务。但投资者们的这种担心不免有些过激。

Infografik Deutsche Bank Gewinne 2006-2015 Englisch 从2006年开始,德意志银行的盈利大幅高于亏损


对于德玛里来说,现在人们看到的银行股价下滑是一个”全球性”的现象。并非只是德意志银行自己一方的问题。根据德意志银行提供的信息,该行2015年虽然 亏损,但大部分业务的盈利能力强劲。造成67亿欧元亏损的主要原因是许多”特殊情况”。比如说与”法律纠纷、资产贬值、公司内部改革所带来的人员安置费用 有关。”这些”特殊情况”不会长期存在。

德玛里另外分析称,当前国际原油价格不断下跌,已经早就预示了世界经济放缓的趋势。虽然对于企业和个人来说,原油价格下跌意味着成本降低,是件好 事。但对于那些曾大举向利用水力压裂法(Fracking)技术开采石油企业放贷的美国银行来说,油价大幅下跌意味着相关企业的利润大幅下跌,可能无法偿 还贷款。但德玛里强调,与2008年金融危机爆发时的房地产次级抵押贷款规模相比,这些与Fracking技术有关的信贷所占比重远远更低。

另外一个导致包括德意志银行在内的银行股票下跌的原因是许多国家央行开始奉行负利率政策。这意味着商业银行必须为存放在央行的资金支付负利息。德玛里指 出,这部分利息方面的支出规模庞大,所以也会减少银行的盈利。投资者原本以为各大央行会慢慢告别低息政策,但事实是许多央行反而推出了更低的利息。这让市 场感到十分不安。


但在德玛里看来,市场目前的反应其实有些过激,因为全球金融市场中笼罩着强烈的不安情绪。石油价格下跌,各大央行推出负利率等因素加上中国经济可能面临” 硬着陆”对世界经济发展产生影响的担忧让金融市场反应紧张。然而这位德国金融专家认为,这并不意味着世界已经迎来了另一轮银行危机。他指出,与2008年 相比,银行的自有资本水平更高,抗风险能力更强。而且政府对金融市场的监管力度也与当年大有不同。德玛里说:”2008年金融市场调控的漏洞已经不再。所 以现在我看不到发生银行危机的实质风险。”








































三 元桥大修将采用“桥梁全体置换工法”,这种技术初次在国内大城市重要交通节点上运用。施工时,重达1600吨的旧桥梁中跨将会由驮梁车分两幅依次移 走,1300余吨的新梁将会被全体驮运精确就位。这样的环梁施工只需求24小时,就可以“旧桥变新桥”,相较于本来近一个月的工期大大延长。