Latest Technology News

Is Apple Watch out of time?

Apple Watch

I am reluctant to criticize unreleased Apple Watch because my analysis about original iPad -- given before seeing it -- was wrong. That said, Android Wear, while seemingly sensible comparison that analysts, bloggers, and journalists make, isn't right. When put in perspective of next-generation wearables, I think Apple Watch should be compared to Google Glass.

Be honest. Which looks more innovative to you? The utility of something you see at eye level that provides real-time, location-based information is much greater than something that demands more responsive -- "Hey, Siri" -- interaction and turns the glance and fingers downward. Granted, Apple Watch delivers alerts, and you feel them, but your attention is always to look away.

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View, edit and manage RAW images with Photo Browser

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RAW image formats may have been around for a very long time (Adobe’s DNG is 10 years old this month), but they’re still not widely supported. Most graphics software handles one or two file types at best, or ignores them entirely.

Photo Browser is a little more ambitious. Once a commercial product, now freeware, this capable image viewer supports the popular RAW file types DNG, CRW, CR2, RAW, NEF, PEF, RAF, SRF, SR2 and ARW files, as well as the usual JPG/ GIF/ PNG/ TIFF and others.

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Surface Pro 3 stock sellouts and record iPhone 6 pre-orders make for nice headlines but are meaningless

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My colleague Brian Fagioli reported some news a couple of days ago that had me smiling. "Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is a worldwide success -- strong sales cause limited supply" his headline declared. It’s the sort of headline Microsoft would have hoped for when it announced the news that some overseas retailers had run out of Surface Pro 3 stock.

"A worldwide success" is pushing it. What happened was demand outstripped supply, in some countries, and the supply was probably on the low (prudent, if you like) side to begin with. Microsoft announced no numbers, and posted a cleverly worded blog which makes it sound as if Surface Pro 3 is a huge hit. Unless you read what it actually says.

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Facebook is going to start taking notice of why you hate certain ads

Facebook is going to start taking notice of why you hate certain ads

Adverts are pretty much universally hated online. Sites can try to justify their presence as much as they like but visitors will still view them with loathing. Among the many complaints levelled at Facebook, the irrelevance of many of the advertisements that appear on users' pages is a major cause of complaints. For quite some time now Facebook has given users the chance to voice a dislike of individual ads -- opt to hide an ad via the official Facebook method and you can indicate that you find it irrelevant, offensive, repetitive, spammy, and so on -- but it has been hard to know just how much notice has been taken of these complaints. Now Facebook wants to assure users that it is listening and that more relevant ads will be displayed.

Hopefully this can be taken to mean "ads that are more relevant" rather than "there will be more ads and they will be relevant", but the point is that Facebook wants to ensure that you see ads that might actually be of interest. Two new updates will help to tailor your ad experience. The first seems like a fairly obvious one:

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Facebook's 'real name' policy is wrong, discriminatory, and potentially dangerous

Facebook's "real name" policy is wrong, discriminatory, and potentially dangerous

Facebook's policy requiring the use of real names on the social network is not all that new, but it remains controversial. Many users would like to be able to use a nickname (other than the "variation of your real first or last name" permitted by the site), but Facebook continues to insist that forcing the revelation of birth name "helps keep our community safe". Or does it? There's certainly an argument that suggests it makes sense to know who you are dealing with, but this cannot be a one-size-fits-all policy. There will always be exceptions, and this is something highlighted by ReadWrite.

As Selena Larson points out, there are many people who choose to use "pseudonyms online for both safety and personal reasons". And yet the site is trying to force Sister Roma -- a drag artist and member of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a "leading-edge Order of queer nuns" -- to use her birth name rather than what is being regarded as her stage name. Who is Facebook to try to interfere with this? This is the site that only recently was encouraging its users to boost their privacy by checking the settings they had in place. It smacks of giving with one hand and taking with the other.

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Chromebook is nothing without Android apps

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Google geeks have speculated for nearly a year about Android and Chrome OS coming together as one operating system. Yesterday's announcement -- that some Android apps can now run on the browser-based platform -- seems to foreshadow a combined future. Make no mistake about what this really means. Chrome OS is an ecosystem with no future because there is little monetization of apps. The platform would be dead if not for the existing and smoothly integrated Google cloud ecosystem.

Android apps inject life into the Chrome OS ecosystem. Free apps can't sustain any platform because developers have no incentive to create them. Android opens a huge spigot of apps -- and some which developers can monetize, more than they do through paid services tacked onto free web apps. BTW, Microsoft should take a cue from Google, by bringing boatloads of Windows Phone apps to its PC operating system.

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Are you a child of the '60s, '70s, '80s or '90s? Your computer use history has the answers

After the disaster that was the Apple III, Apple released the Apple IIe in 1983, adding a full ASCII character set and keyboard. The IIe is the longest-living product in Apple's history, having sold for 11 years with few changes. (Photo credit: vectronicsappleworld.com)

It’s always nice to take the occasional stroll down memory lane, reminiscing over past experiences and the things you used to like or grew up with.

Our first computers, or game consoles, are usually something of an important milestone in our lives as we discover the possibilities they offer. I had my first computer at the very start of the 1980s, and even to this day I share a slight bond with other users of the same system, due to that shared experience.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is a worldwide success -- strong sales cause limited supply

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When Microsoft introduced the first Surface Pro to the world, the reception was tepid at best. This is understandable, as it was expensive, had a small screen and ran a much maligned operating system in Windows 8. In a short time however, Microsoft transformed the negative perceptions with a new CEO, Windows 8.1 and eventually, the much improved Surface Pro 3. Yes, the 3rd iteration was the game-changer that the world was waiting for.

Unfortunately, the Surface Pro 3 was initially only available in the USA, Canada and Japan; it only expanded to countries like Australia, Germany and China on August 28th. Apparently, people across the globe like what they see, as sales are strong and Microsoft's hybrid computer is in short supply. I guess Apple is not alone in its success.

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It's time for business-led IT to come out of the shadows

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In the past, business-led IT spending -- and by that I mean technology investments outside the IT budget -- has been viewed by IT as unusual or threatening and pejoratively labelled "shadow" or "rogue" IT.

Whatever the perceptions, we all agree this trend is here to stay. According to CEB's latest research, business leaders now spend an additional 40p on technology for every £1 spent through the traditional corporate IT budget. Interestingly, much of the business-led IT budget is dedicated to innovation and new capabilities. In fact, we estimate that three quarters of all spending on IT innovation now occurs outside the traditional IT budget.

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Sorry Android users, Apple does it again -- iPhone 6 and 6 Plus set new preorder record

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Believe it or not, I am relatively platform agnostic. I've never understood the need to pick a side. On the desktop front, I use Windows 8.1, OS X Mavericks and Fedora 20. My bedtime tablet is an iPad Air, my work tablet is a Surface Pro 3 and Android is typically my phone of choice. Unfortunately, many Android and Windows users seem to strongly dislike Apple, which I have never totally understood. How do you hate a successful, forward-thinking company that makes products people like? Even if you do not prefer its products, anger and hatred seem excessive.

Android has been dominating in smartphone marketshare, and many users of Google's platform have been salivating as they daydream about the iPhone losing relevance. Guess what? It isn't happening. Pundits have discussed whether the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would be a success and today, we're one step closer to the answer. You see, Apple works its magic again, as the new iPhones set overnight preorder record.

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Latest Windows 9 videos show live tiles and the virtual desktop feature

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After having released some screenshots from Windows 9 build 9834, an early build of the forthcoming Technical Preview which is expected to debut later this month, WinFuture.de released a video showing off the new Start menu in action.

The site has now followed that up with two new videos. The first gives us another look at the new Start menu and live tiles, while the second shows us how the new virtual desktops will work.

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Apple's next big thing is even bigger for Invensense

Apple Watch

Analysts and the Apple faithful alike fawned over the new device when Apple introduced the Apple Watch on Tuesday, the company’s first new product of the Cook era. However, if you’re one to believe rumors, an upstart company called Invensense may stand to gain the most from Apple’s latest device.

An increasing amount of evidence now suggests that the San Jose, Calif. based company stands to cash in on the Apple Watch, as it is believed that Invensense is supplying Apple with the components necessary to power the Apple Watch’s most compelling features.

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Apple takes the lead in the health and fitness race

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The health and fitness industry is one that Apple has been involved in for a while now. Its partnership with Nike has seen a bunch of dedicated apps appear on several previous iPhone and iPod models. Apple's latest batch of products is no exception. In fact, the fruit-themed company has made the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch much more fitness-focused than any of its previous products, which clearly suggests that the company sees this area as a potentially lucrative one.

The first illustration of this comes through the iOS 8 operating system, which will be available as a free upgrade from 17 September. iOS 8 will be released with a health app, as well as a tool for developers called 'HealthKit,' which will bring information from a potentially unlimited amount of health apps straight to your fingertips.

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Want to know if your Gmail account is vulnerable? There's an app for that

scaredlady

Google is an amazing company that offers many products and services that make our lives better. For example, Gmail, YouTube, Maps and Android help many people every day. Unfortunately, there is one downside to living in Google's world -- having one password.

You see, with Google services, one password gains access to them all by utilizing a central account. If your password is exposed, nefarious people can wreak havoc across Google, including your precious Gmail account. Unfortunately, this recently happened to 5 million users and you could be one of them! Don't panic -- there is now an app for iOS and Android that can tell you if you are affected.

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T-Mobile brings free Wi-Fi calling to its customers, and it's terrible news

T-Mobile brings free wifi calling to its customers, and it's terrible news

At its seventh Uncarrier event in San Francisco, T-Mobile unveiled plans to clutter up the internet for everyone -- T-Mobile customers and non-T-Mobile customers alike. On the face of it, things sound great. The T-Mobile Personal CellSpot offers free Wi-Fi calling and "fast data". The Cellspot is essentially a router which can be yours for a deposit of $25 but the difference is that it has been tweaked so that it prioritizes HD Wi-Fi calls over other traffic on the network. If you live in an area with poor mobile reception -- which can be just as frustrating as having to put up with a terrible internet connection -- this might sound like wonderful news, but when you look at the bigger picture, it is really such good news?

Let's try to ignore the fact that in order to get hold of one of the Personal CellSpots, you need to stump up a refundable deposit -- whoever heard of renting their router? -- and ask the first question: who actually needs "HD" phone calls? Pictures are HD, and there really have been very few complaints about the overall quality of voice calls on mobiles over the years. This is just gimmicky and inefficient. T-Mobile CMO Mike Sievert indicated that customers would enjoy the portability of the device -- easy to take on the road and set up anywhere. But how many people take a router away with them? Is this really going to become the norm?

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