The first big update to Apple’s mobile operating system is currently rolling out to users now. The update includes various improvements and bug fixes.
Among the additions are support for CarPlay, and enhancements to Siri, iTunes Radio, Calendar, and Accessibility. There’s also a new camera setting which can automatically enable HDR on iPhone 5s.
Every month video streaming service Netflix trots out its results list for speed tests of US internet service providers, ranking each in descending order. There was a recent stir of controversy, as Comcast took a sudden nose-dive in the standings. This came, rather coincidentally, just before Netflix paid up for better service. In fairness, the deal was already in the works during the drop-off, so it was at best a negotiation tactic.
With that mess now in the rear-view mirror, Netflix announces it is expanding the list of ISPs that it plans to track and include on its monthly shame and fame list.
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Nowadays, things tend to spread virally, thanks to the internet and social media. If you discover something cool, you will share it with friends and followers. People like to share videos, pictures and even apps. With the exception of advertisements masquerading as real suggestions, people share discoveries for the sake of sharing -- it is a nice gesture.
Once a financial incentive comes into play, a suggestion becomes tainted. For example, a salesman on commission may be genuine in their suggestions, but since their pay is dependent on the sale, you can never be 100 percent sure. Sadly, Google announces that it is turning users into sleazy commissioned salespeople with paid referrals. Will you sell your soul for $15.00?
Microsoft has unveiled an update to its Windows chat app with the release of Skype for Windows 8 v2.6. Version 2.6 unveils one major update, support for syncing read chats and picked-up calls across multiple devices.
The new feature means that users can switch from their Windows 8 device to another platform and be sure that any chat updates or picked-up calls made on the secondary platform are now acknowledged by the Windows 8 app too.
From tomorrow (March 11) the product becomes generally available with new and enhanced features to enable users to rapidly assess applications and speed up cloud migrations.
Smartphone penetration continues to rise in markets across the globe, as vendors compete to get more attractive devices, at increasingly lower price points, in consumers' hands. Meanwhile, the premium market is becoming a niche, as indicated by the ongoing drop in average selling price. The consumerization of smartphones also means sellers have to get creative, or at least attempt to, to get buyers to shell out a hefty sum.
Mobile operators have bundled smartphones with accessories and other smart devices in order to attract buyers. For instance, my Nokia Lumia 920 came with a free pair of Nokia Purity HD headphones. Now, Vodafone's UK arm is using a similar strategy, giving those who pre-order a Sony Xperia Z2 a free Sony Bravia TV.
The dominant theme at this year’s RSA Conference in San Francisco was actionable security intelligence, a term which can mean different things to different people. For example, do bad IP addresses, DNS fast fluxing information, and geolocation constitute security intelligence? Additionally, do malware campaigns and adversary tracking count as security intelligence?
The answer is yes for both questions, but it is important to note that these are not the only high-level indicators that can be considered security intelligence. The key challenge is understanding how to "apply" security intelligence in such a way that it is actionable. The following may be considered provocative and even go against the grain of opinion in Silicon Valley: In most approaches to security, there is too much emphasis on the adversary and not enough on understanding the attack surface.
Last year saw a number of credit card data breaches that made the headlines. A new report says that this shows how well the "deep web" of cybercrime is serving its customers.
McAfee Labs Threats Report for the fourth quarter of 2013 says that not only did Point of Sale (PoS) attacks like that on Target steal large numbers of records they point to a refinement in criminal technique.
Whenever a pundit brings up apps as an irrefutable argument for Windows Phone weaknesses, platform fanboys and apologists quickly point out they could not care less about whatever the Store is then lacking. They may also say that there already are good alternatives available, and major titles -- that are popular on Android and iOS -- are not really that important, when you have live tiles to look at all day. Basically, such an argument is, therefore, a pathetic excuse to bash their beloved platform.
Instagram? "No, thanks, that is for hipsters". Candy Crush? "I do not need that lame game on my Windows Phone as there are better ones available". "Oh, and you are an iPhone/Android fanboy for mentioning this!". You get the gist. But after we get off the comments train, we see that whenever Windows Phone gets a popular app, it quickly rises to the top of the Store. Yes, these users, of which I am proud to be one, do crave major titles, just like everyone else.
Europol, the law enforcement agency for the European Union, is warning that people should exercise extreme caution when using WiFi hotspots when out and about. Citing an increase in the number of "man-in-the-middle" attacks on such connections, the head of Europol's cybercrime division, Troels Oerting, said that public WiFi connections are being used to "steal information, identity or passwords and money from the users who use [them]". The advice is to not necessarily stop using public networks, but to avoid using them for anything that involves transmitting personal data.
Singled out for particular attention is online banking, which Oerting suggests people should do "from home where they know actually the wi-fi and its security" rather than in a coffee shop. Europol is currently working with several member states of the European Union following an increase in the number of WiFi network attacks.
Privacy in social media can be a falsehood. The whole concept of sites like Twitter and Facebook is to share. Sure, you can limit what you share, and with whom you share, but once the information hits the servers, you have lost control. Hell, there is the possibility of accidentally sharing something by simply not understanding the settings. Some argue that the settings on some sites are intentionally confusing.
People sometimes need to limit or hide sharing for important reasons -- maybe someone is stalking them or maybe they are sharing sensitive business details with a specific intended group. Sadly, Twitter announces that a bug has affected 93,788 protected accounts, which allowed unauthorized users to read protected tweets.
It's already tough times in the Microsoft world, with Windows 8/8.1 under fire and the impending update coming under recent scrutiny for being, well, a mess, to put it much more politely than my colleague Mark Wilson worded things. If a bad time could go to worse then that would be rival Chrome OS invading the market.
While we largely think of these devices as low-priced notebooks, actual desktops are also getting into the game. Now the Asus Chromebox has hit pre-order in the US on the Amazon website.
You can't argue with free can you? The absence of a price tag makes just about anything seem more attractive, and the latest company to join the freebie party is none other than Getty Images, that bastion of photos whose pictures you cannot fail to have seen in newspapers, magazines and on websites. Previously only available to those willing to cough up the cash, Getty Images' new Embed Images tool can now be used by any to... well... embed images into web pages and blog posts. And there are literally millions to choose from.
Sounds great, right? You must have found yourself struggling to find a royalty free image to use in a blog post, ultimately settling for working with something less than ideal -- after all, you wouldn’t just "borrow" an image from another site, would you? Now you can simply head over to the Getty Images site and, assuming you're not going to use pictures for commercial purposes, start browsing for and using whatever photos take your fancy. Hoorary!
Download a program called "CopyCD" and you're probably not going to expect very much. Copying discs is a very basic task, after all, and limiting itself to CDs makes the program seem even worse.
CopyCD's extremely basic interface -- like something written on day 2 of a "Learn Visual Studio" course -- doesn't help. You're able to choose your "master" drive (the source), and your "copy" (the destination); an "OK" button launches the copy process, while an "Exit" button closes CopyCD down. Can that really be it?
It's been a busy week for Microsoft -- and not necessarily for the reasons the company might have expected. For anyone unwilling to wait until April to receive Windows 8.1 Update, a few methods emerged that made it possible to grab a copy of the eagerly awaited update ahead of the official launch. While some of these options appear to have been stopped in their tracks, where there's a will there's a way, and numerous users -- my good self included -- jumped on the downloads as soon as possible. Some were impressed while others -- yep, me again! -- were not. Perhaps it is little wonder that Windows XP usage continues to grow faster than that of Windows 8.x. This lead to analysts suggesting that the decline of the PC will be slowed rather than avoided by the continued popularity of XP.
Windows 8.1 Update wasn't that only Microsoft download that was on the agenda this week. Brian had details of how Windows RT users can update their copies of Office 2013 to SP1. At the top of Microsoft, a quick reshuffle saw a change of faces in a number of key positions as well as the departure of some well-known characters. Skype rolled out to Outlook.com around the world and gained HD video calling as well. It is normally Microsoft that is to be found on the giving-end of a smeary advertising campaign (hello, Scroogled), but after the Oscars it was Nokia poking fun at Ellen DeGeneres' blurry selfie that was taken on a Samsung device.