Latest Technology News

What retailers need to do to take advantage of the Internet of Things

Internet of Things

If you have ever visited your local electrical retail chain only to discover that you know more than the salespeople do, get ready for a whole new era of dissatisfaction.

Internet of Things buzz at the Consumer Electronics Show reached fever pitch this month. Smart home and wearable gadgets like thermostats, kettles and watches represent the first new product categories technology retailers have seen in years. Interested customers will expect retail staff to be knowledgeable experts, able to educate us and answer questions that guide us through purchasing decisions. Their managers will expect them to have sufficient knowledge to make the sale. But, while buyers nowadays are arming themselves with highly detailed product information found online to ask ever-more complex questions, busy sales staff often only seem knowledgeable about a few characteristics of each of a store’s wide product offering.

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Facebook Lite officially available for low-end Android devices

Facebook Lite Android

Facebook is not exactly the lightest mobile app around. In fact, it is one of the worst offenders, no matter if we are talking about Android or iOS. It uses plenty of resources, both in terms of data and processing power. We may have gotten used to it by now, but these are major pain points in developing and emerging markets, where more and more potential users are going online for the first time.

There, lots of consumers are rocking low-spec Android devices and small cellular data plans, and the standard Facebook flavor is not a great match for them. So, the social network has finally released a lighter version of its Android app, called Facebook Lite, which promises to address those shortcomings. Let's take a look at it.

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Turkey to Facebook: ban pages that insult the Prophet Mohammad or we'll block you

Turkey to Facebook: ban pages that insult the Prophet Mohammad or we'll block you

Over the weekend a court in Turkey told Facebook to block several pages that had been deemed to insult the Prophet Mohammad. A court order was delivered to the social network with the threat that if Facebook failed to comply, the site would be completely blocked in Turkey.

Turkey's banging of the religious insults drum comes just weeks after satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo was targeted for featuring a cartoon that mocked the prophet. At the time Mark Zuckerberg spoke out in support of the #JeSuisCharlie campaign that followed the tragedy, saying that Facebook had previously refused to ban content about the prophet, but it's not clear whether Turkey's threat could make things different this time.

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Build the perfect portable toolkit with SyMenu

SyMenu200-175

If you regularly work on other people’s PCs then it can be wise to bring along some software of your own.

Add portable Firefox and GIMP to a USB stick, say, and you won’t need to rely on the host PC’s browser or graphics editor any more. Your favorite applications will be available wherever you are, with your own settings, and a relatively private history (it won’t be as easy for the PC owner to see the sites you’ve accessed).

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How to remove embarrassing photos from social networks

Embarrassed business woman

Sharing photos and videos online has never been easier. Internet access is available practically anywhere and everywhere, and interconnected wearable and portable devices with photo and video recording options are omnipresent.

In such a world, getting the wrong material posted online can become a huge problem, especially for teenagers unaware of the consequences.

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UK government tries sneaking previously rejected snooping laws into Counter Terrorism bill

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The UK government has been trying to impose new surveillance laws on the internet at large, but for the past four years privacy activists have thwarted attempts by Labour and the Conservatives.

In a recent push, the government secretly added 18-pages to the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill (CTSB), including a mirror image of the Communications Data Bill, rejected in 2012 for the potential of national surveillance on every person.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926 hands on -- making good on earlier promises

Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926 hands on -- making good on earlier promises

Windows 10 has been something of a tease so far. There have been hints that it could be a good operating system, protestations that it will be great, but a series of preview builds that have been a little uninspiring. With the release of build 9926, it appears that Microsoft is starting to deliver on its promises. From this release we can see that Windows 10 is actually starting to take shape.

Microsoft is clearly pleased with the progress that has been made because it has simplified the process of upgrading from Windows 7 and Windows 8 -- Windows Update can be used to install the Technical Preview. It might not quite be ready for prime time just yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic even though I've been far from impressed with previous builds. Oh, and before you ask, there's no sign of Spartan just yet. So… what's new and what's improved? Let's take a look.

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Windows 10 is the final nail in the coffin for the Linux desktop

grave

For years now, we Linux fans -- yes, myself included -- have been dreaming of the fabled "Year of the Linux Desktop". What does that mean? To have Linux-based operating systems snag a bigger piece of the desktop pie, if not a majority. While a majority share of the desktop is admittedly absurd, a respectable share was always something I considered a possibility.

For some, this desire stems from a hatred of Microsoft and Windows; that is not my stance, however. No, I love both Linux-based operating systems and Windows; I just want Linux distros to get a bit more respect. A lot of work goes into Ubuntu, Fedora and others and it is sad that they are not used by more people. While the consumer hatred of Windows 8 seemed like an opportunity for Linux to grow, sadly, it did not happen. Even sadder? Windows 10 closes the door entirely. The year of the Linux desktop will never happen. Rest in peace.

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How to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 via Windows Update

How to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 via Windows Update

If you like the idea of trying out the next version of Windows before it is officially launched, Microsoft has made the Windows 10 Technical Preview available for everyone to use. There are various ways to get the preview installed on your computer, but since the release of build 9926, it is possible to upgrade your current Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation to Windows 10 using Windows Update.

This is a much simpler option than downloading the ISO image, but it is an upgrade route that almost encourages people to install the preview build on their everyday computer -- don’t forget that this is not a finished product! We've already looked at how to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine, but if you have a spare machine running Windows 7 or 8, using it as a test bed for Windows 10 just got a whole lot easier.

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Dell steps up with help in the fight against Ebola

dell-ebola

Thankfully the media hype over the Ebola virus has died down. It was never a serious threat thanks to the nature of the way it spreads and the lack of actual cases in the US. Africa isn't quite as lucky, as the outbreak is a bit worse. In fact, according to the CDC, cases totaled only four in the US and one in the UK, while Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were less fortunate, totaling up over 13,000.

So, it's still serious enough, and technology can be used in the fight against this disease. Dell is working in this fight to combat the deadly illness. That isn't an easy task, but every little bit can help, and the emergency personnel can certainly use any aid.

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Rdio brings new features to Favorites

music woman tablet headphones

Streaming music services are everywhere today and few people bother buying CDs because of them. While those with "golden ears" may not approve, for the vast majority the quality is just fine. Those who want more can look into Neil Young's Pono Player, but for the rest of us, Rdio will work out nicely and save you some money as well.

Now the music streaming service is announcing a slew of updates to its Favorites feature. Introduced last September, this section is now receiving a refresh that allows for much more functionality.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926 is much better, but there are known problems

Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926 is much better, but there are known problems

Yesterday, Microsoft took a lot of people by surprise by releasing Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9926 rather earlier than expected. Here at BetaNews we've installed the latest build on various machines -- virtual and real -- having battled with downloads, and now it's time for testing.

We'll be taking a look at this latest build in more depth in future articles, but before we do, it is probably worth pointing out some of the known problems. From playing with build 9926 just briefly it's easy to see that it's a marked improvement on previous releases, but Microsoft has helpfully forewarned users of issues they might encounter.

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Adobe issues security bulletin for Flash...again

hackers-ahead

In the race to the bottom of security, Flash has remained a strong contender, competing with Java to win the competition. It's really nothing against Adobe, the company seems to try fairly hard to keep things safe. It's more that Flash is so popular that it becomes a primary target. Something Microsoft would know a thing or two about, given the success of Windows.

The company has issued its latest security bulletin. It isn't the best of news -- the report seems to encapsulate two vulnerabilities, and both are being exploited in the wild.

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Tweet translations come (back) to Twitter thanks to Microsoft Bing

Tweet translations come (back) to Twitter thanks to Microsoft Bing

After introducing the "while you were away" feature to help ensure you don’t miss out on tweets because of, you know, getting away from Twitter from time to time, there's now another feature that will help you to get more from the microblogging site. By teaming up with Bing, Twitter is now able to provide on-the-fly translations for tweets in foreign languages.

This is not an entirely new feature; Twitter has brought a translation to the web and mobile version of its service before, but it disappeared. Now the feature is back. It works in the iOS and Android apps as well as in Tweetdeck and on the Twitter website.

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How to install Windows 10 January Build (9926) on Oracle VirtualBox

win 10 9926

Microsoft has just released the latest build of Windows 10. New features and changes include a more polished Start menu, Cortana on the desktop, new Settings, Photos, Maps and Xbox apps, and the ability to connect to wireless audio and video. As with the previous builds, this is a very early version of the OS, so you wouldn’t be advised to run it as your main operating system, and while you could set it to dual boot, running it in a virtualized environment is probably a more sensible idea.

The process is very simple -- all you need is a copy of Oracle VM VirtualBox and a Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO. Microsoft updated the latter earlier today.

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