Latest Technology News

Using freelance talent to plug the developer skills gap

Cloud developer tablet

There is a growing skills gap in the apps economy. As businesses become increasingly software-driven, this gap becomes more obvious than ever, and hiring managers are faced with a constant struggle to find the skilled developers they need.

Yet a new survey by freelance work marketplace Upwork suggests that there are developers around the world who have time available and are actively seeking work to fill it.

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The importance of education in combating phishing attacks [Q&A]

Phishing magnified

It's usually the case that the weakest link in any security system is the human element. That's particularly true when it comes to phishing attacks. Hackers have become more creative in the social engineering methods they use to gain access to sensitive information.

A new service called LUCY, aims to educate people and identify vulnerable endpoints by allowing businesses or individuals to simulate phishing attacks. We spoke to LUCY founder Oliver Muenchow to find out more about this approach.

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Apply Magic Sauce uses Facebook likes to determine your personality

applymagicsauce

We all know that Facebook has a lot of information about us, but what exactly can it learn from all that data?

Aside from the most obvious -- the things you give it, such as gender, date of birth, place of living, education, work, your favorite sports clubs, music and movies -- it can also conclude a lot of things on its own.

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ASUS VivoStick is a $129 miniature Windows 10 PC rivaling Intel's Compute Stick

Black ASUS VivoStick

ASUS is following in Intel's footsteps by unveiling a miniature Windows 10 PC, that is not much larger than a USB flash drive. Unveiled at IFA 2015, VivoStick is designed to be connected to an HDMI-enabled monitor, quickly turning it into a fully-fledged PC.

VivoStick is not all that different to Compute Stick in this regard, but the former is a better option in terms of hardware specifications and price, being advertised to cost just $129 when it goes on sale.

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Boost your trivia knowledge with Google's 'fun fact' Easter egg

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Google has lots of tricks up its sleeve -- it's much more than just a search engine -- and now there's something new to try out. Hot on the heels of the unveiling of its new logo, the company has quietly launched a new "fun fact" feature for its search tool.

The next time you have a few minutes to kill, or you just like the idea of learning something new, type "fun fact" into the search box. Google will furnish you with a random fact -- from the price of a lifetime airline pass, to where golf was first played in the US. The only danger is that it could quickly turn into a real productivity vacuum!

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Toshiba announces trio of convertible Windows 10 PCs including a Surface Pro wannabe

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Today Toshiba unveiled three new devices designed to take advantage of Windows 10: the Satellite Radius 12, the Toshiba Satellite Radius 14, and the Toshiba Satellite Click 10. The largest of the devices -- the Satellite Radius 14 -- is a 14-inch laptop with a 360-degree rotating screen which offers a total of five operating modes.

The mid-sized Satellite Radius 12 features a smaller 12.5-inch screen, and the rotating screen allows for multi-position use. Rounding off the trio is the Satellite Click 10, arguably the most interesting of the bunch, which boasts 14 hours of battery life. The detachable keyboard makes this a Surface competitor and gives the choice of working in laptop or tablet mode.

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Google will relegate mobile sites that serve large ads

Thumbs down

Google has announced that it will downgrade websites that use interstitial advertisements in its mobile search results.

Although desktop searches will not be affected, Google’s new initiative is a response to claims that mobile users are often being subjected to an unsatisfying search experience.

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Which image editor can open huge PNG files?

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You probably already know that PNG is a great lossless compression format, but have you ever wondered just how efficient it can be?

Developer David Fifield decided to find out, and the results are impressive: a 420-byte bzip2 file, which decompresses to a 5.8MB PNG, and holds a 225,000 x 225,000 pixel image.

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Hulu gets a commercial-free option

Hulu Logo

Hulu has previously come in two varieties, both free and "premium". The premium contains limited ads, but also provides access to all content available from the service. The trade-off is, of course, paying per month for this. The $7.99 fee isn't bad, but most services remove ads in exchange for premium service.

So how do you rid yourself of those ads? Well, previously you didn't, but that changes today as Hulu rolls out an ad-free plan. That's the good news, the bad is that you'll be paying a bit more per month. To be precise, you'll be upping your monthly expenditure from $7.99 to $11.99.

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GRIP platform lets you sue Google more easily

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You know things are getting out of hand when people start making platforms to sue you more easily. That’s what’s currently going on with Google in Europe, as a new platform called GRIP is launched.

GRIP, standing for Google Redress & Integrity Platform is created for those who believe to be affected by Google’s alleged anti-competitive behavior in Europe. According to a Reuters report, it was created by U.S. law firm and class action specialist Hausfeld.

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Google Maps for Android is serving up yummy restaurant discovery

GoogleMapsFood2

I'm going to let you in on a little secret -- I am overweight, and love to eat. It's true. While I have been known to chow down on fast food like McDonalds and Taco Bell, my true enjoyment is higher-end dining. Dinner at a fancy restaurant is a great way to relax after a hard week of work.

When you live in a place like New York, however, deciding on a place to eat can be difficult. The number of high-quality restaurants are endless. With that said, you never want to try a new place on a whim and end up having an expensive and disappointing meal. If you are an Android user, you can now explore and discover new restaurants without fear. Google Maps will now assist you in dining discovery, and depending on where you live, will offer curated listings as well. Hopefully this will come to iOS too. Bon appétit!

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Women largely prefer Pinterest, while men are most likely to use Twitter

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networks are not important at work

There is no connection between levels of education and whether or not someone uses social media because, as it turns out, everyone uses social media.

However, there is a correlation between a person’s education, income and gender and which social media it uses. According to a fairly extensive research paper by the Business Insider, women are more likely to use Pinterest, while men are more likely to use Twitter.

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Android apps gain massive web performance boost from Chrome custom tabs

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Android developers looking to include web content in their apps have a new option available to them that will help to greatly improve performance. The new (for the stable branch, at least) 'custom tabs' feature makes it possible to pre-load pages in the background resulting in load times that are a fraction of using WebView or firing up Chrome separately.

The feature can be used by developers to use their own app to change the way Chrome looks and feels, effectively blurring the move from app to the web. In addition to the speed advantages, custom tabs also bring improved security to apps, and provide users with a more familiar browsing experience.

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'Extremely critical' OS X keychain vulnerability stealthily steals passwords via SMS

keychain

Two security researchers have discovered a serious vulnerability in OS X that could allow an attacker to steal passwords and other credentials in an almost invisible way. Antoine Vincent Jebara and Raja Rahbani -- two of the team behind the myki identity management security software -- found that a series of terminal commands can be used to extract a range of stored credentials.

What is particularly worrying about the vulnerability is that it requires virtually no interaction from the victim; simulated mouse clicks can be used to click on hidden buttons to grant permission to access the keychain. Apple has been informed of the issue, but a fix is yet to be issued. The attack, known as brokenchain, is disturbingly easy to execute.

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Motorola unveils the new Moto 360

Moto 360 new Motorola combinations

Motorola's Moto 360 remains one of the most interesting Android Wear devices, despite being introduced a year ago. Its elegant design has been unmatched so far by most competitors and the user experience continues to be solid. However, when compared to some newer rivals, like Apple Watch, the device is showing its age, being designed with a different market in mind. A successor is much-awaited.

Today, Motorola takes the wraps off its new Moto 360, revealing a smartwatch that will appeal to a wider range of consumers, including iPhone users. The new device features a similar design to its predecessor, but improves upon the original formula by adding more powerful internals, more customization options, and a wider range of models, similar to what Apple has done with its offering.

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