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Microsoft: Windows 10 will keep you safe, and this is how

Secure Windows 10

The reason Microsoft has given for pushing Windows 10 so aggressively is it wants to get users to a "safe place". Very altruistic. Although there’s no excuse for forcing users to upgrade in the manner that it has.

Still, there’s no questioning that Windows 10 is Microsoft’s safest operating system to date and to help sell the security benefits, the software giant has put together a web page detailing how the OS can protect you from modern security threats.

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Microsoft Azure IoT hub is now available -- here's what you need to know

Internet of things

Microsoft has released the latest component of its cloud IoT suite, the Azure IoT hub, which was first announced back in September.

Azure IoT Hub is designed to make it easy to connect IoT devices to the cloud as well as allowing bidirectional communication, with device to cloud telemetry and cloud to device commands.

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Heading to the Super Bowl? Stay away from these apps.

Super Bowl 50

Last year’s Super Bowl brought in over  114.5 million viewers worldwide, and chances are even more are gearing up to watch the big game this weekend (we’ll let you decide if it’s for the football or the commercials). While much of the focus should be on the big screen broadcasting the plays, it’s inevitable that viewers will pull their phones out of their pockets throughout the game. With 52 percent of smartphone owners reporting that they check their devices several times an hour or more frequently, and the Super Bowl typically lasts about four hours, it’s almost a given that you’ll be looking at your mobile device at some point during the game.

Social networking apps will probably take up the most time on the phone screen, as last year’s Super Bowl saw more than 28.4 million global tweets, making #SB49 the most tweeted Super Bowl ever. Facebook also boasted some impressive stats, with more than 65 million people posting about the game, including 55 million from the U.S. alone. During the final play of the game (which sealed the deal for a win for the Patriots), over 1.3 million unique people per minute were active on Super Bowl-related content.

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Industry's reaction to Europe's new EU-US Privacy Shield

Question

After months of negotiations, this week saw the European Commission (EC) announce a replacement to Safe Harbor after it was declared invalid in October 2015.

The new framework, dubbed the EU-US Privacy Shield, has been put in place to protect the rights of Europeans when their data is transferred to the United States and ensure legal certainty for businesses.

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How to boot a USB key in VirtualBox

VM.200.175

VirtualBox is an amazing virtualization tool, ideal for all kinds of software testing situations -- unless they involve booting from USB, where there’s no direct support at all.

There’s a workaround which will sort-of solve the problem, no additional software required, but it’s awkward and inflexible. Virtual Machine USB Boot is an interesting alternative, an open-source portable tool which makes it much easier to boot USB keys in both VirtualBox and QEMU.

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Dridex botnet hacked to deliver free antivirus software

NurseRobot

Widely used by cyber criminals to introduce malware onto systems, the Dridex banking trojan has been subject to a number of high profile investigations, and a takedown by US authorities last year.

These things don't stay dead for long, however, and Dridex is back in business. But in an interesting new twist it seems that the Dridex botnet has been hijacked to deliver the free Avira antivirus program rather than its more usual malicious payload.

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Windows 10 hits 18 percent usage share in the enterprise

windows_10_purple

Windows 10 is doing great. Despite various problems, security and privacy issues people have had with its virtual assistant Cortana, the adoption rate of Microsoft’s latest operating system has been quite impressive.

According to the latest studies done by Spiceworks, 18 percent of businesses are currently using Windows 10. The predictions are saying that 40 percent of businesses are expected to upgrade by July this year, when Windows 10 celebrates its first birthday. The operating system seems to be on good course, as the penetration has increased seven percent since October last year.

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New UK homes to get superfast broadband -- maybe

Tablet BYOD building

The UK government has today announced that it will work with Openreach -- BT's local access network business -- and the Home Builders Federation (HBF) on an agreement to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to new build properties in the UK.

The deal will mean that fibre-based broadband is offered to all new developments either for free or as part of a co-funded initiative.

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Mozilla kills Firefox OS 2.6 for smartphones but it lives on in smart TVs and connected devices

Firefox OS

Following on from the announcement that Firefox OS would no longer be developed for smartphones, Mozilla has explained the thinking behind the decision (failures on its part) and also revealed that Firefox OS will continue to live on in other devices.

The operating system is already used to power Panasonic SmartTVs, and this is set to continue. This will certainly come as good news to owners of such TVs, but Mozilla says that the OS stack will be used in a range of Connected Devices.

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Here's how to bypass the iOS lock screen passcode

iphone_in_hand

There are numerous ways to keep your smartphone safe from prying eyes, and a lock screen protected with a passcode is a popular choice. But a newly discovered vulnerability in iOS 8 and iOS 9 means that iPhones and iPads could be accessed by attackers.

The vulnerability was discovered by security analyst Benjamin Kunz Mejri and it has been assigned a Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) count of 6.0, as well as a 'high' severity rating. Apple has been aware of the issue since late last year, but has yet to issue a patch.

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Mozilla moves Firefox to variable release schedule

Mozilla offers up to $10,000 to security bug hunters

In mid-July 2011, Mozilla announced that it would speed up the release schedule for Firefox, bringing it down to just six weeks between major versions. Firefox 5 and subsequent releases have been impacted by this decision, bringing new features and changes to users at a faster pace. Fast forward to today, and the organization decides to relax things a bit.

After studying the fixed -- so-called "Train Model" -- release schedule process "carefully" and learning "a lot" from it in the past years, Mozilla has announced that Firefox is now moving to a variable release schedule.

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Best Windows apps this week

evo

One-hundred and sixty-sixin a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows 8.x and Windows 10 in the past seven days.

This week saw the release of several high profile apps and games.

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PSA: Updating iOS could brick your iPhone 6 with error 53

restore_iphone_6

OS upgrades can often be a pain, but you don't usually expect to run the risk of killing the device you are upgrading. If you’ve spent a small fortune on an iPhone, you're likely to be particularly upset if an upgrade is borked, but this is precisely the problem facing iPhone 6 owners who have previously had their handset worked on by an unofficial third party.

Growing numbers of iPhone 6 users are encountering error 53 in iOS9, effectively rendering their handset useless. What the affected handsets all appear to have in common is that their home button was fixed by a non-Apple technician, although some users report the same issue if they have a problematic home button that has not been fixed.

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PowerArchiver 2016 unveils major redesign and rebuild

powerarchiver-200x175

ConeXware has released PowerArchiver 2016, a major new release of its trialware archiving tool for Windows. The new release is the first version of the program to be developed using IDE, a process that began over two years ago.

Version 2016 adds 4K resolution and touch-screen support, a major new user interface and the splitting of key features into separate, fully independent apps.

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WhatsApp Web now works in Microsoft Edge

whatsapp

WhatsApp introduced a web interface for its messaging service a year ago, initially supporting only a single browser -- Google Chrome -- and a single mobile platform -- Android. Since then, the number of browsers that work with WhatsApp Web has increased, and iPhones were added into the mix.

Depending on which web analytics resource you believe, Google Chrome is either the most-popular desktop browser (according to StatCounter and W3Schools) or the second (per NetMarketShare's numbers), so WhatsApp's decision to support it first is understandable. But the latest browser to work with WhatsApp Web is an unexpected choice.

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