Latest Technology News

Who's looking at your screen and how can you stop them? [Q&A]

Screen snooping

We can all remember seeing kids at school hunched over their desks to prevent anyone seeing what they were writing on their test papers. But when it comes to hiding sensitive information on your screen things aren’t that easy.

How big a problem is eavesdropping in this way and what can be done to guard against it? To find out, we spoke to Dr Bill Anderson, Chief Product Officer of technology company OptioLabs which has just announced a collaboration with AMD to help solve the issue.

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Hide data inside JPGs with Free File Camouflage


Image steganography is a clever technique for hiding files inside JPEGs, so that the contents appear unchanged, but anyone who knows the secret can easily extract its contents.

Free File Camouflage isn’t so clever -- in fact, it uses the most basic approach we’ve ever seen -- but there are still a few reasons why you might want to give it a try.

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US businesses fear Safe Harbor dismissal will affect European operations

scared frighten fear cat

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) in the US are saying that the suspension of the Safe Harbor law might mean end of overseas operations for them, Reuters reported on Thursday.

The Safe Harbor law allowed companies in the United States to transport data regarding its European users to the States. It was struck down recently, by the European Court of Justice.

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The benefits of moving from VMware to the cloud

cloud migrate

VMware has long been a favorite with businesses. But there's evidence that with the advent of second generation cloud many companies are considering a move away from VMware to a more flexible option that gives them better control over configuration and costs.

IaaS specialist ProfitBricks is helping businesses migrate their systems from VMware to the cloud and has a lot of experience in the field.

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Panic over: iOS adblockers fail to trigger the 'adblockolypse'


For a company that doesn’t rely on advertising to make its money, Apple was never going to lose anything by allowing adblockers into the App Store unlike, say, Google.

Still, the recent move has certainly proved divisive. On one hand, websites that rely on advertising to survive have been bracing themselves for a loss of revenue, while many iPhone users have welcomed the change. Web pages reportedly load quicker in Safari without adverts, and if you’re on a capped mobile data plan you’ll benefit from the savings created by not downloading ads. The big question was always whether the move would impact advertisers in any meaningful way, and the early indications are that it has certainly made a difference, although it’s far from the "adblockolypse" many predicted.

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Own an Xbox 360? Play online for free this weekend

Microsoft Corporation

Gaming consoles have become exceedingly more powerful over the years, offering more realistic graphics. While better-looking games are appreciated, I would argue that the more important advancement is online multiplayer. Thanks to Xbox Live Gold, playing games against people all over the world could not be easier. True, Microsoft's consoles were not the first to gain online multiplayer support, but the company was arguably the first to get it right.

While Xbox One is all the rage nowadays, its predecessor, the 360, is still a great console. In fact, its low price and huge game library makes it a very smart buy. If you own an Xbox 360, but haven't invested in Xbox Live Gold (are you crazy?), today is your lucky day. Starting today, and through Sunday (October 9-11), you can play online for free.

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Microsoft is setting Lumia 950, Lumia 950 XL up to fail

Failure Fail Grade F

Microsoft appears to be making sure that its new Windows 10 Mobile flagships, Lumia 950 and Lumia 950 XL, have no chance of succeeding in the fierce high-end smartphone market. The software giant has, once again, made the terrible mistake of going down the carrier exclusivity path, which will hurt sales across major markets like the US and Europe and significantly affect the platform's credibility.

Microsoft has decided that its long-term Windows Phone carrier partner, AT&T, should be the sole mobile operator to offer Lumia 950, while in Europe the flagship smartphone will only be carried by Deutsche Telekom (and, hopefully, its subsidiaries). Even worse, there seems to be no talk of carrier availability for Lumia 950 XL. And you wonder why Windows Phone's market share just can't seem to grow...

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Kiss goodbye to the Control Panel in Windows 10, its days are numbered


For Windows stalwarts, the move to Windows 10 has meant embracing a number of changes. Since Windows 8, Microsoft has been keen to push its modern interface, and this is a drive that continues with renewed strength in Windows 10. In ushering in the new, the old has to be let go -- and one of the next features for the chop is the Control Panel.

At the moment, Windows 10 users have something of a strange, split experience when customizing the operating system and changing settings. Some things are handled by the old-fashioned Control Panel, others by the Settings app. Microsoft's Gabe Aul and Brandon LeBlanc have made it clear that the Control Panel is due to die.

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Best Windows apps this week


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

No best app of the week this time, even though several good games and apps were released.

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US government will not force companies to decode encrypted data... for now


The Obama administration has announced that it will not require companies to decrypt encrypted messages for law enforcement agencies. This is being heralded as a 'partial victory' by the Electronic Frontier Foundation; partial because, as reported by the Washington Post, the government "will not -- for now — call for [such] legislation".

This means that at the moment companies will not be forced to build backdoors into their products, but there is no guarantee that this won’t happen further down the line. The government wants to continue talks with the technology industry to find a solution, but leaving things in limbo for the time being will create a sense of unease on both sides of the debate.

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PC shipments decline in Windows 10's launch quarter


In Windows 10's launch quarter, PC shipments declined by a considerable margin compared to the same period a year prior. Year-over-year, shipments are down by 7.7 percent according to Gartner or 10.8 percent based on IDC's findings.

It would be easy to blame Windows 10 for the PC market's decline, however it is actually weak demand for new hardware which is hampering sales. IDC expects the effects of Windows 10's availability to be felt in the long-run. Gartner reveals, based on its 2015 personal technology survey, that 50 percent of consumers intend to get a new PC in the next year.

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Windows apps on Android will soon be a reality


If you have an iPhone, you're stuck with running iOS apps; if you have an Android phone, you're stuck with Android apps. At least that used to be the case. For desktop platforms such as OS X and Linux, tools and emulators exist that make it possible to run software designed for a different platform. CodeWeavers produce CrossOver which enables PC games and applications to run on non-PC platforms.

At the moment, CrossOver is available for Mac and Linux, but there are plans to bring the tool to Android. This means that, ultimately, it should be possible to run Windows software on an Android phone or tablet.

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Sony PlayStation 4 Universal Media Remote finally coming this month -- order now


Nowadays, video game consoles are not just about gaming. You can use an Xbox One or PlayStation 4 to watch Blu-ray discs, or stream music and movies too. While this arguably impacts the focus of the machine, it also presents a better value to consumers.  Since the PS4 doubles as a media player, how the heck has Sony not yet released a proper remote control? Many PS4 owners have been clamoring for one.

Well, PlayStation 4 fans, you are finally about to get your wish. Starting now, you can pre-order the official Universal Media Remote. It will ship this month and the price is actually very reasonable. Will you buy it?

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Mozilla sets out its proposed principles for content blocking


With Apple embracing ad blocking and the likes of AdBlock Plus proving more popular than ever, content blocking is making the headlines at the moment. There are many sides to the debate about blocking ads -- revenue for sites, privacy concerns for visitors, speeding up page loads times (Google even allows for the display of ads with its AMP Project), and so on -- but there are no signs that it is going to go away.

Getting in on the action, Mozilla has set out what it believes are some reasonable principles for content blocking that will benefit everyone involved. Three cornerstones have been devised with a view to ensuring that content providers and content consumers get a fair deal, and you can help to shape how they develop.

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Android is for Muggles -- Harry Potter 'Enhanced Editions' for Apple hardware only


While I was a bit old for the Harry Potter books when they first came out (so I thought at the time), I did enjoy the films. As someone who is extraordinarily average, I can understand the allure of a character like Harry, who goes from nothing to greatness.

Reading the series has been on my to-do list for quite some time now, as many people tell me it is not a children's-only affair. Today, Apple announces that it is enhancing the Harry Potter books on iBooks only. If you own a Mac, iPhone, iPad or iPod touch, you can experience the stories all over again, or for the first time, in the best way possible.

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