Latest Technology News

Mobile Internet use soars, but tablets suffer at the hands of larger smartphones

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How do you view BetaNews and other websites? While desktop browsers are still the most popular way of accessing the web for most of the world, mobile internet use is rapidly gaining in popularity.

According to independent website analytics company StatCounter, the use of mobile devices to access the internet has increased by 67 percent worldwide over the past 12 months, from 17.1 percent to 28.5 percent (as you might expect, with its tech-savvy audience, BetaNews has a higher portion of mobile users, but more on that later).

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Apple: iOS 8 will keep your private data safe from the US Government

Wilson's Weekend Whine: Snowden's call for online encryption is sad but necessary

It's very important for us to know that the things we store on our mobile devices are safe from prying eyes. It gives us a sense of security knowing that our private thoughts, photos, videos and whatnot will only be seen by us and the people we share them with. But what if it is the US Government that wants to take a look? If the authorities get hold of our devices, what's to stop them from using search warrants to see what's in there?

If we are talking about iOS 8 devices, then its security design is standing in the government's way. Apple has updated its Legal Process Guidelines to reflect that it will be unable to extract data that its customers store on devices running its latest mobile operating system, as the key which unlocks the treasure trove is solely in its users' control.

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What makes Apple such a success? -- Free ebook

2013 Apple MacBook Air Illuminated Logo

Love it or hate it, you can't deny that Apple is a phenomenally successful company. But how has it managed to achieve this from a business that started in a garage?

Mostly it hasn’t been by innovation but by taking technology that already existed and turning it into the devices that people want to buy. Apple, more than any other company, has succeeded in making technology cool and desirable.

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F-Secure SAFE 2015 protects desktops, tablets and phones

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F-Secure has released F-Secure SAFE 2015, a multi-platform security suite which protects Windows and Mac desktops, and Windows 8, Android and iOS mobile devices.

Desktop protection concentrates on the core essentials, with antivirus, browsing and banking protection, simple parental controls and a spam filter. As previously, the Windows client uses Windows’ own firewall.

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News Corp: Google is a 'platform for piracy' with 'cynical management'

Google is a 'platform for piracy' with 'cynical management' -- News Corp

News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's media behemoth, is the latest source of criticism of Google. Robert Thomson, the chief executive of the company -- responsible for the Times and the Sun in the UK as well the book publisher HarperCollins -- has written to the European Commission to complain that the search giant is "a platform for piracy". Thomson pulls no punches as he lays into Google, saying that the company was in the hands of a "cynical management" and was "willing to exploit its dominant market position to stifle competition".

The letter, addressed to Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, is bitter in tone as Thomson complains of Google's "egregious" practices. It is Google's dominance of the search market that is seen as particularly problematic. News Corps feels that Google's power "increases with each passing day" -- a claim that many have leveled at Murdoch's corporation in the past -- and fears that this "will lead to a less informed, more vexatious level of dialog in our society". But this is far from being the only accusation that Thomson fires at Google.

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Smartphone users sticking with the same apps rather than downloading new ones

Mobile device apps

Research has shown that smartphone users are spending more time on their favorite apps rather than downloading new ones, illustrating how difficult it is for new apps and developers to break into the industry.

The study, carried out by Boston-based firm Localytics, also found that consumers are now using apps 21 percent more than they did last year. This rise is apparently down to users opening applications more often, rather than simply spending longer within them. App session length stayed constant at 5.7 minutes, whereas the average amount of app openings increased by 22 percent from 9.4 to 11.5 times a month.

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The near-future technology that will have the biggest impact on our lives

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So what arenas of technology are going to make the most impact on the world over the next three years?

That's a question the 2014 KPMG Global Technology Innovation survey posed to some 768 technology business leaders, and according to the results, three of the top five disruptive technologies which should "change the way we work and live" are the Internet of Things, 3D printing, and biotech/healthcare.

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Amazon announces new Kindle Voyage, Fire tablets, Fire Keyboard and Fire OS 4 'Sangria'

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Amazon is an innovative company that makes some great products and provides wonderful services. As a Prime member, I shop there very often to take advantage of the free two-day shipping. My family uses the Fire TV almost daily to watch movies and play games and I do all of my reading on the Kindle Paperwhite. Hell, the Fire line of tablets are very enjoyable too. The only arguable misstep is the Fire phone, which many reviewers panned, but I actually liked.

Today, Amazon surprises the tech world with a lot of new devices; three new Fire tablets (including one for kids), two new Kindle e-readers and a new version of its Android fork, Fire OS. Are you excited?

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CyberLink unveils Director Suite 3, including PowerDirector 13 and PhotoDirector 6

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CyberLink has announced the release of PowerDirector 13 (from $79.99), PhotoDirector 6ColorDirector 3 and AudioDirector 5($129.99), all available individually or as a part of the new Director Suite 3 ($299.99).

PowerDirector 13 highlights include a new Transition Designer, which enables you to create your own custom transition from any image.

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FAVI announces the Pico+ Smart Projector -- an All-in-One Android Projector PC

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Android is a very robust operating system that finds itself in many places. Other than phones and tablets, it also runs on laptops, desktops and cameras to name a few. The secret to this diversity is that Google's mobile OS is powered by the open-source Linux kernel.

Today, Android is shoe-horned into yet another form; a projector. Yes, a company named FAVI announces the Pico+ Smart Projector, which is an All-in-One Android Projector PC. Is it cool, or just plain weird?

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Tag Heuer wants to get in on the smartwatch action

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Luxury watch brand Tag Heuer has announced plans to follow the likes of Apple and Samsung into the smartwatch industry.

The Swiss watchmaker, now part of French luxury goods group LVMH, recently lost its vice president of global sales, Patrick Pruniaux to Apple and is seeking revenge by going into direct competition with the tech giant.

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HooToo TripMate Elite -- the "electronic Swiss army knife" for tech travellers [Review]

HooToo TripMate Elite -- the "electronic Swiss army knife" for tech travellers [Review]

When I first learned about the HooToo it sounded, frankly, a bit nuts. Pitched as an "all-in-one device charger, AC adapter, personal cloud, travel router, Wi-Fi hotspot, and wireless bridge" I was instantly intrigued, but fearful that this was going to be a device that promised the world and delivered little. Was I setting my expectations too low? Before we look at things any further, it's probably worth spending a moment or two decoding what it actually is. One of its more basic functions is a rechargeable USB battery pack complete with two outputs. But there's more to the TripMate Elite. Much, much more.

The 3.2 x 3.2 x 1.0 inch (82 x 82 x 28mm) black box is home to a 6000mAH battery that's perfect for powering up a dead mobile or tablet on the move, but the 7oz (200g) package has plenty more tricks up its sleeve. As it's a portable battery pack, it's hardly surprising to find a couple of USB outputs, one kicking out 1A, the other 1/2.1A. Equally unsurprising -- but no less useful -- is the battery level checker on the adjacent side; tap the button and four blue LEDs let you know the charge level. But what's that next to the charge lights? Internet and LAN indicators? Curiouser and curiouser, said Alice.

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BitTorrent Bleep alpha goes public, adds Android and Mac

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Chat has become popular on many platforms, from computers to mobile. But BitTorrent has a client that seems to be changing how this all works, by removing the cloud storage from the equation, making this a bit more secure.

Today its chat client, known as Bleep, becomes available to all users. It's still in alpha form for the time being, but these things are moving forward.

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iPhone 6 is exceptional

iPhone 6

Well, the first iPhone 6 reviews are in, and they are unsurprisingly glowing. Apple's handpicked group of preferred, early reviewers don't disappoint in their enthusiasm. Not that anyone should be surprised by that. But reading them all -- and I did just that last night while waiting at the hospital with my 92 year-old father-in-law -- common observations tell a story about Apple's newest handset. This is one Once Upon a Time that anyone buying gadgets or manufacturing them should listen to. It's a morality tale about putting benefits before features and the fine art of achieving balance.

Among the many missives from Apple's love children: "iPhone 6 Review: It's a Winner" by Walt Mossberg; "Reviewed: iPhone 6 Is a Thin, Sexy Phone with a Killer Camera" by David Pogue; and "iPhone 6 Review: Apple's Cure for Android Envy" by Geoffrey Fowler, among many others. These reviewers really like the device, which by most definitions is exceptional -- and that will surprise fanboys waving around spec sheets and yelling "copycat!".

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Logitech announces the G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Keyboard

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Keyboards are an awfully personal thing, just like picking an underwear type. Some men wear boxers, some wear briefs and I am pretty sure a few BetaNews writers do not wear any at all. Believe it or not, much like underwear, there are many types of keyboards too.

Lately, mechanical keyboards have been all the rage with gamers and typists alike. It is not hard to understand, as these types of keyboards offer great performance and feedback. Today, Logitech announces a new model called the G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Keyboard. The company calls it "the most advanced mechanical gaming keyboard in the world", but is such a claim true?

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