Latest Technology News

Windows 10 will support ASS, SRT and SSA subtitle formats

Microsoft releases Windows 10 SDK tools for developers

One of the main reasons why third-party media players like Media Player Classic and VLC are extremely popular among Windows users is the proper subtitle support. A lot of folks watch videos in a foreign language, and having the option to easily attach a subtitle in their mother tongue, no matter the format it's made available in, is a must-have feature for many.

It would help if Windows Media Player or the built-in Video app, the latter of which is part of Windows 8 and newer versions of the OS, would meet their needs, but, so far, that hasn't been the case. However, Microsoft wants to change that with Windows 10.

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Enterprise security places increased reliance on threat intelligence

Hidden threat

It's easier to combat security threats if you're prepared for them so it isn't perhaps surprising that security teams are increasingly turning to threat intelligence to stay ahead of the game.

A new report commissioned by endpoint protection specialist Webroot and prepared by the Ponemon Institute shows that most companies believe threat intelligence is essential for a well-rounded cybersecurity defense and has proven effective in stopping security incidents.

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Gmail for Android gets unified inbox, Google Drive now lets you manage photos

Gmail Unified Inbox Android 1

Late last year, Google introduced support for multiple email providers in Gmail for Android, welcoming users of Outlook.com, Yahoo Mail and other such services to manage all their accounts using its app.  There are plenty of folks who are not just Gmail or Google Apps users, after all. However, the app wasn't properly designed to handle all the extra accounts that users would set up.

The problem? Users had to switch between accounts every time they received new emails or wanted to reply to a message. Now, Google is finally correcting this by giving Gmail for Android a much-needed unified inbox.

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50 shades of gray -- hands on with Windows 10 Build 10049, the dullest Windows ever

ZZZZ

We might have waited ages for a new build of Windows 10, but a mere fortnight later and Microsoft has rolled out yet another update, again initially only to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring.

The star of this build is Project Spartan, Microsoft’s new web browser. It’s an early version, but it’s a good look at what the tech giant has been working on, and of course it comes with the new rendering engine. That’s not all that’s new in this latest OS build, however. Let’s take a more detailed look.

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Backup, clone or reformat USB keys with ImageUSB

ImageUSB-200-175

ImageUSB is a free Windows application for creating and writing images of USB drives. It sounds much like many other free tools, but wait -- this one is much better than you might expect.

The program comes from a trustworthy developer, PassMark Software, so you can download it with confidence. That won’t exactly take long -- it’s a very compact 463KB -- and there’s no installation required, just unzip and go.

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At $800, Xiaomi's 55-inch 4K Mi TV 2 is the best freaking smart TV you can't purchase (yet)

55-inch Mi TV 2.jpg

Xiaomi is back in the news once again. At an event in China, the Chinese technology conglomerate today launches the much anticipated new variant of its 4K TV. Called the Mi TV 2 (yep, no Mi TV 3 yet), the new version sports a 55-inch display and costs RMB 4,999 (equivalent to $800 USD).

The world’s most valuable startup gleaned a lot of attention last week when it launched the 40-inch, full-HD variant in its Mi TV 2 lineup. The 55-inch television set is the successor to company’s last year 49-inch Mi TV 2 that retails for $640. The TV, which was until now only available in China, is expected to launch in India and other regions later this year.

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British Airways frequent flyer Executive Club accounts compromised

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Tens of thousands of British Airways frequent flyer accounts have been compromised in a cyberattack, forcing the company to freeze the accounts and issue an apology, the media have reported.

British Airways sporadically responded to tweets from concerned customers, The Register reports. In one such exchange it said:

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Why traditional email marketing techniques aren't dead [Q&A]

Email

Most of the hype around online marketing these days seems to revolve around using social media, big data and other tools to predict what the customer wants.

It would be easy to assume that outbound marketing techniques like email campaigns have become a bit last century, but Victoria Godfrey, chief marketing officer at B2B data provider Avention thinks otherwise. We spoke to her to find out why.

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Caliber: instant messaging for your LinkedIn contacts

Caliber200-175

Most instant messaging apps market themselves on just how much fun they are, with group chats, location services, media sharing, and of course way more stickers and emojis than everyone else.

Free Android and iOS app Caliber bypasses all this and goes for a different audience entirely: it’s instant messaging for your business contacts.

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The Indiana Pi Bill, Ellen Pao, and IBM

IBMjapancover

The Indiana Legislature is in the news for passing a state law considered by many to be anti-gay. It reminded me of the famous Pi Bill -- Bill #246 of the 1897 Indiana General Assembly. There’s a good account of the bill on Wikipedia, but the short story is a doctor and amateur mathematician wanted the state to codify his particular method of squaring the circle, a side effect of which would be officially declaring the value of π to be 3.2.

The bill was written by Representative Taylor I. Record, sent to the Education Committee where it passed, went back to the Indiana House of Representatives where it again passed, unopposed. Then the bill went to the Indiana Senate where Professor C.A. Waldo of the Indiana Academy of Science (now Purdue University) happened to be visiting that day to do a little lobbying for his school. Professor Waldo explained to the Senators the legislative dilemma they faced.

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Using a Chromebook -- one year later, and still happy

HP Chromebook 11 Keyboard

Last year I wrote about my big move to Google's computer operating system, Chrome OS. At the time my plan was simple -- use a Chromebook for the summer since I work from my porch and wanted something light and small to move around with me. The 15.7 inch Windows laptop wasn't going to cut it and, for obvious reasons, I wasn't moving a desktop outside, especially with a porch that seems to face the rain in every summer storm.

Though the time of my move hadn't occurred to me, the subject came up today in our newsroom. Joe Wilcox urged me to write about my experience, while my colleague Brian Fagioli tried mightily hard to get me to change to a new Chromebook. He called my HP 11 underpowered and implored I get the new Toshiba. Throwing money at a problem I don't have is not in my DNA. What I have works fine and I see no current reason for unnecessary expenses.

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India's latest attempt in the digital space: Use open-source software to build e-governance apps

open source

The Indian government is becoming increasingly focused towards the development of the country’s technology sector. Under the reign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the government last year announced Make in India and Digital India programs through which it plans to widespread the reach of modern technologies to more places while creating more jobs in the country, as well as promote local vendors over others.

The latest step in this direction is to make it mandatory to use open-source software in building apps and services. The government hopes that this will ensure efficiency, transparency and reliability of such services at affordable costs. The policy will require all government organizations to consider open-source solutions while implementing e-governance applications and systems.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Technical Preview 10049 with Project Spartan

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Microsoft has promised a summer release for the RTM build of Windows 10. For fans of the operating system, this is great news. Unfortunately, this means the company has its work cut out for it. Don't get me wrong, version 10 is shaping up nicely, but it is far from perfect in its current state. In order to make the summer deadline, much more testing will be needed; both internally and with the Windows Insider program.

Today, Microsoft releases a new build of Windows 10 Technical Preview, with the number designation of 10049. The highlight, however, is the inclusion of Project Spartan. Yes, the web browser of the future is included in a public build for the first time. This folks, is what we have been waiting for.

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Syrian Electronic Army hacks Hostgator, FastDomain and more for hosting terrorist sites

Syrian Electronic Army hacks Hostgator, FastDomain and more for hosting terrorist sites

It has been a little while since we heard anything from the Syrian Electronic Army, but now the group has made an appearance once again. SEA has hacked five big-name hosting companies -- Bluehost, Justhost, Hostgator, Hostmonster and FastDomain -- all part of the Endurance International Group.

SEA launched the attacks on the five hosts for "hosting terrorists websites" (sic) adding to the list of high-profile names it has already targeted -- a list that includes names such as Skype, Facebook, PayPal, Twitter and Microsoft. No sites were mentioned by name for having gained SEA's attention.

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Will you buy Chromebook Pixel 2015?

Chromebook Pixel LS

Because some BetaNews readers think Chromebook is a joke, I realized the necessity of getting out our Pixel buying poll before April Fools' Day. So here we are. Google released the second-generation Chromebook Pixel on March 11. The high-end laptop costs less than its predecessor (one model for under $1,000), but many potential buyers will question—and they should—the wisdom spending so much on a computer with browser user interface meant to be mostly Internet-connected.

Chromebook Pixel isn't for everyone—probably not most people. But our readers aren't most people. Many of you live on technology's cutting edge, and some bleed because of it. The laptop could be for you, and it most certainly is for me. I bought the high-end LS model on launch day and took delivery on Friday the 13th. I will have much good to report in my forthcoming review. But what works for me may not for you. So let's look more closely at the computer.

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