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Why C++ is the perfect choice for modern app development

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It feels a bit ironic to be discussing, in 2014, if C++ is a viable, or more importantly, a great choice for multi-device, multi-platform app development. It’s ironic in the sense that despite the attention Objective-C, Java, and C# get for app development, most of the software we use on a daily basis is written in C/C++ and after all these years represents the largest community of developers.

There are many reasons to use C++ for your current and future app development and I will discuss five key reasons after a brief history.

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LG introduces faster G3

LG G3 Cat. 6

Following in the footsteps of fellow maker Samsung, LG just unveiled a beefed-up version of its current flagship smartphone, G3. Called G3 Cat. 6, the new Android handset comes with a faster processor and support for speedier cellular networks as its main highlights.

G3 Cat. 6, like Galaxy S5 LTE-A, is compatible with LTE-Advanced cellular networks, that enable top download speeds of up to 225 Mbps (theoretically speaking) courtesy of the Qualcomm Gobi 9 x 35 modem. In the power department, LG's device employs a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon processor to do the heavy lifting.

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Opera 23 adds new options to heart button, promises improved stability

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Opera has released Opera 23 FINAL, a relatively minor new release of its web browser for Windows and Mac. The only visible change of note is found in the behavior of the heart button in the Address bar.

The new release also adds UI elements to unblock insecure content on otherwise secure sessions, plus adds search functionality to both Extensions and Themes pages.

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Xiaomi announces Mi 4 flagship smartphone

Xiaomi Mi 4

Chinese maker Xiaomi has unveiled its new flagship Android smartphone. Dubbed Mi 4, it is described by the company's Global VP Hugo Barra as the "fastest & most gorgeous Mi Phone ever".

Mi 4 comes with hardware specifications that are typical of an Android flagship announced in 2014. It packs a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 1080 by 1920, and is powered by a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. Pretty standard stuff, except for the price.

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New Windows 9 screenshots show Start menu and windowed apps

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Windows 9 hasn’t been officially announced yet (we don’t even know if that will be its name) but already we’re starting to see screenshots purportedly showing off the feature that is set to get most, if not all of the attention -- the restored Start menu.

Myce.com managed to get hold of two new screenshots -- one showing off the new menu, and the other providing an example of windowed apps. They were taken from build 9795, which was compiled on July 13 (the calendar says both shots were taken a day later).

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Firefox 31 tightens download security, adds search box to new tab page

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Mozilla has released Firefox 31.0 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for Android 31.0 due to follow in the next couple of days.

After the relatively disappointing Firefox 30, version 31 adds some notable new features, including the ability to block known malware downloads as well as a new search box to the New Tab page.

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Search engine Indexeus can tell you if your passwords are available to hackers online

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While the rest of the world is debating the rights and wrongs of the "right to be forgotten" in the European Union, one Portuguese entrepreneur with remarkably few scruples has been making a fast buck out of the idea. Indexeus, designed by 23-year-old Jason Relinquo of Portugal, is a search engine that boasts a searchable database of "over 200 million entries available to our customers".

The site allows anyone to search through millions of records from some of the larger data breaches of late -- including the recent massive breaches at Adobe and Yahoo! -- listing huge amounts of information such as email addresses, usernames, passwords, Internet address, physical addresses, birthdays and other information that may be associated with those accounts.

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How to keep your smartphone safe in the age of industrialized hacking

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The use of mobile devices for work purposes is on the up, creating all sorts of new opportunities for the modern worker. In fact, according to a recent report from Juniper Research, the number of employee-owned smartphones and tablets in the work place could exceed one billion by 2018. It is now possible to access your company resources whenever you need to, whether working from your living room, sat in a restaurant or chilling in the park.

When you do need to work from the office, smartphones and tablets are often a lot more convenient to use than a bulky laptop. The benefits of having a computer that fits in your pocket or bag are hard to ignore, especially for people who are always going from meeting to meeting.

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Hulu Plus brings a new user experience to Roku

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Hulu is the big third player in the online video space, competing with Netflix and Amazon Prime. All of these services, and many more "channels" are part of the Roku ecosystem. It brings TV to the cord-cutter generation, which is a growing number of users.

Now, Roku is introducing an improved user experience to its tiny set-top boxes. "If you're a big Hulu streamer like me, you've likely noticed the new Hulu Plus experience on Roku. It’s quick to load, navigation within the channel is super snappy too -- 5x faster than the old channel! And the layout is slightly different to highlight stunning imagery from your favorite TV shows and movies", the manufacturer states.

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Are you Bing-curious? Microsoft's search engine comes to new tabs in Google Chrome

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Bing is a wonderful search engine. My love for it is hardly a secret, as I declared my affection earlier today. However, while Internet Explorer is getting better all the time, Chrome is still my preferred browser on Windows, Linux and OS X. Unfortunately, using Bing as the default search engine on Chrome just felt wrong. I pictured Google employees spying on my web activity and shaking their heads in disappointment at my horrible crime.

Of course, that is not really happening (I hope), but still Bing on Chrome felt out of place and third-rate in comparison to Google. Today, this changes as Bing comes to new tabs in the Chrome browser.

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Do Not Track is bolstered by EFF's Privacy Badger extension

Do Not Track is bolstered by EFF's Privacy Badger extension

Online security and privacy are hotter topics than ever. Just this weekend, Edward Snowden made an appearance at the Hope X 2014 hacker event, and called for those in attendance to help make encryption tools easier to use. Another fierce advocate of online privacy is the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), and today the group released a beta version of Privacy Badger, a beautifully named extension for Chrome and Firefox designed to stop a number of tracking techniques used online. The idea of tracking cookies is something that will be familiar to most, but tracking takes many forms, including advertising and social media. Privacy Badger aims to block this tracking.

Peter Eckersley, EFF Technology Projects Director, said: "Widgets that say 'Like this page on Facebook' or 'Tweet this' often allow those companies to see what webpages you are visiting, even if you never click the widget's button. The Privacy Badger alpha would detect that, and block those widgets outright. But now Privacy Badger's beta version has gotten smarter: it can block the tracking while still giving you the option to see and click on those buttons if you so choose".

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Ferrari beats Mercedes at the German Grand Prix -- in the battle of the F1 team websites at least

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Sports fans are increasingly demanding a multi-channel experience, wanting all the news and all the facts on multiple devices. Website owners can’t afford to ignore this, as creating a superior user experience to that offered by rivals can mean a competitive advantage in terms of user happiness and, ultimately, website traffic.

Mobile, cloud and web performance specialist Keynote believes that not enough sites consider online performance during high-profile sporting events, and so decided to monitor and compare the performance of 11 popular Formula One constructor team web pages -- including Caterham, Ferrari, Force India, Lotus, Marussia, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Sauber, STR and Williams -- during the German Grand Prix (19-20 July). The results make for interesting reading.

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Microsoft announces Bing Offers Card-Linked -- enter to win $100

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Google is a great search engine, but so is Bing. Many people dismiss Microsoft's offering without even trying it. This is a shame, as people do not know what they are missing. While its search-results are relevant and appropriate, there is so much more. Google is simplistic in its design, but Microsoft creates a world of color, images and discovery to bring life to the overall experience. There are benefits to both design choices and it is a personal preference, but I prefer beauty over a white page with a Google logo.

Besides all of those benefits of Bing, one of my favorites is Rewards. Essentially, Microsoft will pay you to use its search engine. Is it bribery? Sort of, I suppose. However, if you are searching anyway, why not take advantage of it? In addition to Rewards, Microsoft has Bing Offers, which lists special deals for Bing users (sort of like Groupon). Today, Microsoft announces that it is expanding Bing Offers beyond the web with a new program called Bing Offers Card-Linked -- uninspired name, but cool concept.

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Need to take control of your Android mobile's files? Tomi File Manager is just the ticket

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Ever struggled to find a particular file on your Android mobile? Wish you could exert more control over your photos and other media, or uninstall more than one app at once? You need a file manager, and not just any file manager, but Tomi File Manager 1.4.2 at that.

Tomi File Manager packs in lots of useful features, works with both internal and external storage and is far more than a simple tool for viewing files -- plus, it’s free.

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Paragon Rescue Kit adds virtual disk support

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Paragon Technologies has released Paragon Rescue Kit 14, its free-for-personal-use disaster recovery environment.

The program creates bootable recovery media based on Windows PE, or, new to this version, SuSE 12.3. The second adds support for migrating a Windows system to a different hardware platform, including 64-bit setups using UEFI.

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