Latest Technology News

Turn a Raspberry Pi into your own personal cloud

Pi cloud

Tonido lets you transform a PC (spare, or otherwise) into a web server so you can securely access your files from anywhere, share content with friends, and stream music over the internet. You can expand the software’s functionality by installing plug-ins and there are free apps available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.

The company has also just introduced Tonido Personal Cloud Server for Raspberry Pi, so you can now turn your credit card sized device into a personal cloud, and remotely access all the files held on any storage connected to it.

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Microsoft's EMET 5.0 blocks vulnerable plugins


Microsoft has unveiled Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 5.0 (EMET), a free security tool which uses a variety of techniques to block common software exploits.

The update adds a new mitigation, Attack Surface Reduction (ASR), which prevents an application from running specific modules or plug-ins.

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Creative announces T3250 Wireless Bluetooth 2.1 Speakers


Creative is a company that is very hit or miss. Over the years, I have enjoyed many of its products -- mostly sound cards. However, while much of the company's hardware is solid, software and drivers have been dreadful. In fact, driver support and performance in Windows Vista and 7 were so bad, that many users decided to boycott the company altogether. If a card actually worked, it was often subject to random cracks, pops and screeches -- painful for ears. I spent many nights in Creative's forums witnessing the atrocities of both its drivers and poor customer support.

With all of that said, I am not one to hold grudges and never want to see a company falter. Yes, I am willing to start looking at Creative products again after a long hiatus since my X-Fi Elite Pro woes from years ago. Today, the company announces some inexpensive speakers that appear to be a good value -- the T3250 Wireless Bluetooth 2.1 Speakers.

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Top 10 Facebook scams to avoid


With Facebook's popularity rocketing, the social network became a target for scammers and malware peddlers, and social engineering attacks have only increased massively since it became a phenomenon.

So it's always handy to be aware of what current major scams are doing the rounds, so there's no danger of you being tempted into clicking and ending up with something nasty on your machine.

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Doctor Who month comes to Hulu


Long-running TV show Doctor Who, which is produced by the BBC, will be coming back for yet another season on August 23rd. However, fans who can't wait can catch up through Hulu, which has debuted what it terms "Doctor Who Month".

The streaming service is hosting two exclusive specials, as well as a pair of classic episodes that had previously been lost for 30 years. Those episodes were recently recovered and can now be viewed via Hulu.

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Best Windows 8 apps this week


Ninety-second in a series. Windows Store saw some great releases this week, including three Runtastic fitness applications and the official NFL preseason application.

Several core applications such as the Xbox Video application have received updates this week. The app features a full redesign which, according to Microsoft, should make it easier for users to find and play contents using it.

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Microsoft unveils Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad 1.1, adds user-requested features


Microsoft has unveiled the first major update to its stable of iPad Office apps with the release of Word for iPad 1.1, Excel for iPad 1.1 and PowerPoint for iPad 1.1.

All three apps gain exclusive new features, but all gain the ability to export documents to PDF, improved picture editing tools and support for third-party fonts.

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Auslogics reveals BoostSpeed 7


Auslogics has unveiled BoostSpeed 7, a major update for its PC cleanup, maintenance and optimization suite.

The Live Speedup module gains a Disk Priority Manager to optimize applications in real-time. Your hard drive is now monitored to reduce file fragmentation, while disk and Registry cleanups can be scheduled to run automatically.

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Windows Phone 8.1 available for AT&T Nokia Lumia 925, Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 925

Months after its unveiling in early-April at Build 2014, Windows Phone 8.1 is finally rolling out to compatible smartphones. Among the latest Windows Phone 8 devices to receive the coveted software upgrade are the AT&T variants of Nokia Lumia 925 and Lumia 520, the latter of which being a branded version of the most popular Windows Phone to date.

AT&T customers using Lumia 925 and Lumia 520 can apply the software upgrade right away, suggests the US mobile operator, by heading to the Settings menu, opening the phone update submenu and tapping on the check for updates button, the last of which will reveal the option to kick off the install.

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Qi standard to enable wireless charging at a longer distance

Sony Xperia Z2 Qi Wireless Charging Plate Cover Case

Despite being called wireless charging, the technology we love today still has a long way to go before it can allow us to top up our devices' batteries at a considerable distance from the charger. But, Wireless Power Consortium signals that the Qi standard may be able to (one day) outgrow this limitation.

Right now, devices compatible with the current version (1.1) of the Qi standard can be charged only at a very short distance away from the charger. Based on my experience, you can barely pick up your device without having the connection drop. The new version (1.2) of the standard, however, increases the charging distance to 45 mm, which is no small feat.

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Refresh app helps build stronger sales relationships


The sales process is all about making effective connections with customers and potential customers, so any tool that can help with that process will make meetings run more smoothly and profitably.

A new web app and iOS app from Refresh is aimed at giving sales staff deeper insight into their contacts. The app syncs to the sales person’s calendar to provide instant information on the people they’re meeting.

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Internet Explorer 11 is much more usable in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1

Internet Explorer 11 Twitter Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1

While it can never be faulted for being slow, Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1 still has some catching up to do with rival browsers from competing platforms, mostly regarding the way it displays some websites. My biggest gripe is that it quite often shows the desktop-optimized versions, when it should load the mobile-friendly versions instead (not the dated ones, mind you, like it does so frequently now).

Fortunately, those problems appear to be fixed in the version of Internet Explorer 11 found in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. "Based on your feedback, we pursued a web experience for IE users consistent with what is available on iOS and Android devices -- even where this meant we would be adding non-standard web platform features", says Microsoft. "We believe that this is a more pragmatic approach to running today's less-standardized mobile web".

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Enterprise mobile spending expected to grow more than 50 percent

Mobile graph

There has been rapid growth in the number of mobile devices attached to corporate systems in recent years and this shows no signs of slowing down.

A new survey sponsored by Oracle shows that not only are enterprises more committed to mobility, but that the rate of development, deployment and spending for support of mobile applications and devices is set to increase dramatically.

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Windows 8.x loses market share for second consecutive month

Wrong way sign

Windows 9 can’t come soon enough for Microsoft, as Windows 8.x continues to lose market share, according to the latest usage data from Net Applications.

Last month I reported that in June Windows 8.x had gone into reverse gear, losing market share for the first time, and posed this question -- "Statistical anomaly or downward trend?" It’s too early to call it a "trend" but anyone who expected the tiled OS to make a recovery in July will be disappointed by the latest set of figures. There’s a striking difference this time around too -- both Windows 8 and 8.1 show drops in July. Ouch.

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Must it always be Windows?

office workers

Many companies use Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environments to enable their employees to work with mobile devices or from a home office. With VDI, employees remotely access hosted solutions and work securely on corporate servers. What sounds like the perfect answer unfortunately turns out to be, in reality, an aggravating, eye-opening experience for the users.

The reason for this is that these hosted apps usually run more slowly than local apps and require a steady, high-performance online connection, which is not always available in home offices. Thus, the work in a home office often goes slowly and is not accepted by the users. They would much rather work with their local applications on their desktop, especially since Microsoft Office applications are available on almost every computer.

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