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Sorry Apple, Dell's laptop is better -- Precision M3800 destroys MacBook Pro

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Apple makes wonderful computers. Hell, they are more than just computers, they are art as well. Much like a high-end premium automobile, the MacBook Pro demands attention, portraying the message that the owner is a success. Even if you want to run Windows, an Apple computer may be the best choice from a hardware perspective.

Well, at least it was. Unfortunately for Tim Cook and crew, the MacBook Pro has lost a bit of its luster, especially in the professional world. Why, you ask? Dell's Precision M3800 is a better machine from a performance standpoint, and arguably just as attractive. Don't just take my word for it, Dell commissioned a study to back it up.

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Is LibreOffice 4.4 the 'most beautiful' ever?

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The Document Foundation has unveiled LibreOffice 4.4, describing it as "the most beautiful LibreOffice ever".

But while there are plenty of visual tweaks (an enhanced Sifr monochrome icon theme is now the default on OS X), most of the UI improvements are about usability.

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Windows 10 updates -- new Surface Pro graphic driver, new Windows Phone Windows Insider App

Windows 10 updates -- new Surface Pro graphic driver, new Windows Phone Windows Insider App

We're gradually moving towards the official release of Windows 10, but in the meantime we have the Technical Preview to work with -- Build 9926 specifically. As we're only at the preview stage, it is to be expected that there will be a few issues here and there.

The good news is that Microsoft is working on fixing these problems, not just for the eventual RTM release of Windows 10, but also the preview builds. Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3 owners complained about problems with stability when watching videos, and this has been addressed with a driver update.

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Best Windows apps this week

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

Microsoft released its Q2 FY2015 this week and additional information on Windows 10, the fate of Windows RT and its cloud file hosting service OneDrive. If you are running Windows 10 already on a system you may have noticed that it ships with two stores: the old store that is also available on Windows 8.1 and a new beta store which the company plans to switch to when Windows 10 gets released.

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EFF prevails in legal battle over government spying

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Ever since the Edward Snowden revelations began pouring out to the media and creating quite a stir of panic, government spying has been in the forefront of people's minds. One group that doesn't take these things lightly is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that tirelessly fights for and against all sorts of causes. Spying was certainly one of the big ones.

Now the EFF is announcing it has won a major battle, though certainly not the war. This legal fight began long before the Snowden information leak -- four years ago to be precise. The group filed suit over secret legal opinions regarding the Patriot Act, another controversial item in the eyes of many citizens.

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Google proves once again it is terrible at selling smartphones

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Getting the latest Nexus smartphone from Google in the first few months of availability can prove to be a real adventure. You know how it goes, as the same thing has happened before with its predecessor. You have to be either extremely lucky to get one early on or extremely committed to the brand to put up with the perennially insufficient stock by waiting your turn at finally getting one. It's insane.

Because of these issues, I have long given up on the thought of buying the latest Nexus smartphone while it's hot -- including the Nexus 6 phablet, as much as I would love to grab one. The fault lies consistently with Google. The search giant is terrible at selling smartphones. Even worse, it comes up with a crappy excuse to justify it.

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Doxing: what it is, and how to avoid it happening to you [infographic]

Doxing: what it is, and how to avoid it happening to you [infographic]

There are many potential dangers to using the internet, and most people are familiar with the idea of identity theft, unauthorized access to online accounts and the like. But there's another hazard which has come to prominence recently: doxing. The idea is not new, having its roots back in the 90s, but there have been numerous high profile cases of celebrities who have fallen victim to "document dropping".

This involves releasing personal information about someone to the internet -- information that could be embarrassing, personally revealing, or something that the victim would just rather keep to themselves. Interestingly, doxing is not necessarily illegal, but that doesn't mean that the ramifications are not far-reaching.

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Microsoft launches Outlook for iOS and Android

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Microsoft has unveiled its official Outlook app for iOS, a free email client based on the Accompli app it acquired at the end of last year.

An Android version is also available, although only as a preview.

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Nokia shows sharp Q4 profit growth

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Nokia’s best decision might have been selling its mobile division to Microsoft for £5 billion, removing the sinking division and giving the Finnish company enough capital to re-invest in networking and mapping technologies.

The results are already noticeable; Nokia reported £2.84 billion in revenue and £331 million net profit in the fourth quarter, compared to £2.60 billion in revenue and £17 million in net loss last year.

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5 things Microsoft's Android-powered CyanogenMod Lumia needs for success

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While I don't usually speculate on rumors, sometimes they are just too interesting to ignore. Imagine my surprise to hear a rumor from the Wall Street Journal that Microsoft has allegedly invested $70 million in Android ROM-maker, Cyanogen. Think about that for a moment -- the company behind Windows, investing in the Linux-based CyanogenMod operating system -- insanity!

Sure, it does sound crazy, but it's totally plausible that the new Microsoft, focusing on software and services, could jump-start its mobile offering by embracing Android and dumping the seemingly-stalled Windows Phone (or supporting both). Regardless of whether or not you believe the rumor, its fun to imagine what could be. With that said, here are 5 things a potential Android-powered CyanogenMod Lumia would need in order to be a success.

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If your internet connection isn't at least 25Mbps, it's not broadband

If your internet connection isn't at least 25Mbps, it's not broadband

For a long time, the official definition of a broadband connection is one that delivers a download speed of at least 4Mbps. Now the FCC has increased the lower limit so any connection that has a download speed of less than 25Mbps and an upload speed below 3Mbps will no longer be considered a broadband connection.

If you look at your line stats and feel a little let down, you're far from being alone, and the FCC feels your pain. The Federal Communications Commission voted to increase the minimum speed as part of an ongoing effort to push ISPs into offering higher speeds. The reason? The modern web demands it.

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Follow Super Bowl 49: Patriots vs Seahawks on Twitter with #SB49

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Hey bro, it's almost Super Bowl Sunday! You know what that means, right? Testosterone and fatty foods. For one day a year, weak computer nerds like me pretend to be men by watching NFL football and eating junk food. Truth be told, I enjoy watching American football, but for the most part, I am happier watching Big Bang Theory or The Bachelor with a nice cup of herbal tea!

Don't worry, if you are a computer nerd that isn't interested in watching sports, you can at least use technology to enhance the Super Bowl experience. How? With Twitter, of course! Yes, between watching the commercials, you can pull out your iPad or Nexus 9 and follow the action with the hashtag #SB49. This will enable you to at least look like you know what you are talking about when the other guys are discussing the game.

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Apple is boring

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Perhaps you have seen such statement somewhere on the InterWebs sometime during the last couple of months and increasingly the past few weeks. It's a meme slowly growing -- and for good reasons. While others innovate, Apple iterates and succeeds unblushingly well. The company is mountains more successful today innovating less and taking fewer risks.

Apple is the new Microsoft, where maximizing margins matters more than innovation. Look how much more successful Apple is by being boring and following where innovators lead. Consider today's Strategy Analytics report that puts Apple and Samsung tied for calendar fourth-quarter smartphone shipments. Such scenario was all but unfathomable two quarters earlier. Yet the foundation laid long before Apple cofounder Steve Job's death, when logistics genius and now CEO Tim Cook managed day-to-day operations. Risk-to-innovation defined Jobs' management style. Cook is more tactical.

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The EU's awful cloud adoption rates revealed

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The growth in high-speed internet connectivity across Europe, the increasing adoption of cloud services, the consumerization of IT and the move towards mobile working are all trends that, in theory, play to the strengths of SMBs -- allowing them to compete more effectively.

The proliferation towards cloud-based services such as Skype, Google Drive and Salesforce is also making life easier for employees -- allowing staff to access content from anywhere and work collaboratively. However, research of 2,500 European office-based workers recently conducted by ZyXEL, has found that while SMBs are starting to make the most of new technologies and services, there are inconsistencies with the progress being made in each country.

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US firms don't want to hand over source code and provide backdoors to Chinese government

US firms don’t want to hand over source code and provide backdoors to Chinese government

Technology firms in the US have written to the Chinese government asking for a postponement to the introduction of rules that would oblige companies to hand over source code as well as providing backdoors into hardware and security products sold to Chinese banks. A group of companies wrote to the Communist Party committee on cybersecurity to express disapproval at plans to underrcut the requirements later in the year.

China says that it is concerned solely with cybersecurity and wants foreign technology companies to submit to audits in addition to complying with the other demands. Outside China, the feeling is that the proposed regulations have been designed to either control outside business, or to scare companies out of the market, opening the way for Chinese firms.

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