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Not every day of the Christmas break is going to be sunny, but with these Golden Shirt winners you’ll be well kitted out for any overcast and drizzly days that force you stay inside.

 

Sphero

Sphero’s robotic ball is one of the more interesting ways to waste time. Simply grab the ball, and use either an Android, iOS device or even a Windows Phone to control it like you would a remote control car.

You can make it roll fast or slow; move it left or right and backwards and forwards, or set up an obstacle course.  The Sphero even comes with little plastic stunt sets, so you can make it do all sorts of tricks, and even film them for your own pleasure. Get your pet dog into the mix, and you’re sure to be in for some seriously mad fun.

 

Check out our hands on of Sphero…

Google Snapseed photo editing

We can’t all be Photoshop experts, and we can’t call own copies of Photoshop either, but as long as you have a Google account (which is free) and a web browser, you can upload your images into Google’s online edition of its photo editing software, Snapseed.

When we use our Android cameras, we’re always editing the pictures with the Android equivalent of Snapseed, and over on the desktop the photo editing application is just as useful, just in your browser.

If you want to make any of your digital photos come to life and add a variety of creative effects, this online application is just the ticket.

Check out our hands-on…

Hola webpage unlocker

So many services are geoblocked for people living outside America or Europe, which leaves many an Australian feeling left out. Fortunately, there’s a solution, and it comes in the form of a browser plugin.

Hola is that solution, integrating with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox to make it appear like your web page requests are originating from outside of Australia. This means you can watch content not usually available here, from great UK and US websites such Hulu, Netflix, and BBC’s iPlayer.

Check out our hands-on…

Apple Logic with digital drummer

Musicians keen to make the next big single don’t necessarily need other people to start a band these days. They just need a piece of software and a Mac.

If you have the latter and want to make music, grab the former, which is the latest edition of Apple’s Logic, a music creation application that this year has added a virtual digital drummer to makes it easier that ever to lay down beats for your music. It even works with the iPad, turning any instrument into an one that’s easy to play easily when a sequence of buttons are touched on Apple’s tablet.

Check out Apple’s Logic…

Blunt Plus waterproof umbrella

When you’ve exhausted all the entertainment options inside the house – the kids are sick of TV, movies, video games, tea parties, and dancing like a loon – braving the weather outside might be all that’s left. This is the time to pull out a secret weapon: the New Zealand-made Blunt Plus waterproof umbrella.

While all umbrellas are designed to repel water, the Blunt Plus also features a water-resistant coating. This benefit is that  beads of water don’t absorb into the fabric of the umbrella, but can be literally shaken off , leaving you with a dry brolly.

Check out our hands-on in the rain…