Latest Technology News

The greatest innovator in mobile payments isn't Apple

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Every week the technology world holds its breath with anticipation as the latest tech giants make new strides into the mobile payments sector. After years of low consumer take-up of services like Google Wallet and Square, the launch of Apple Pay last year was hailed as a pivotal moment, signaling the time when mobile payments would finally go mainstream.

With mega players like Facebook and Microsoft now joining the peer-to-peer money sending and digital payments fray, even sceptics are wondering if 2015 might truly be "The Year of Mobile Payments". Yet what many don’t realize is that these services are already lagging 10 years behind.  The rest of the world is paying attention to a different mobile payments phenomenon -- one that’s been taking place thousands of miles away. Last month, global telecoms body GSMA revealed that the number of active users of Mobile Money -- a service which enables users to send and receive money from basic mobile phones without requiring a bank account or payment card -- had doubled from 2013 to reach 103 million globally.

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Mobility is the top focus for developers

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According to a new survey by application delivery company OutSystems, 43 percent of respondents rate apps or sites that are mobile friendly as critical to their plans in 2015. The way in which Google has changed how it weights mobile-friendly sites is presumably a driving factor.

The survey conducted with content specialist TechValidate talked to 200 IT decision makers worldwide and focused on the business and technical priorities and challenges that IT organizations face in building applications in today's complex development landscape.

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Find the best Wi-Fi networks around the world with wiMAN

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Restaurants, malls, trains, hotels: it can feel as though Wi-Fi is everywhere these days. Until you’re traveling, when you can still spend an age trying to find a network, only to find it’s password-protected or the local winner of Slowest Wi-Fi 2015.

WiMAN is a free Wi-Fi manager for Android and iOS which can display a map of all your local Wi-Fi networks, along with estimates of distance (x minutes by foot/ car), and flagging them as "verified" (another wiMAN user has connected), "authentication provided" (another user has connected but you need a user name/ password) or "not verified" (no-one has connected yet).

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38 percent of Apple Watch buyers have no idea when to expect their orders

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Apple Watch went on sale last Friday, with the first lucky buyers receiving their pre-ordered devices over the weekend. Apple’s latest product line hasn’t had the smoothest of launches, but at least some purchasers finally got to see what they had ordered online.

However, according to digital commerce analysts Slice Intelligence, only 22 percent (376,000) of the estimated 1.7 million pre-ordered Apple Watches have been delivered to US consumers so far. Other less fortunate (or just slower) buyers can expect a far lengthier wait.

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Free Windows 10 upgrade is actually a 'marketing and promotional activity'

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To drive consumers' interest in Windows 10 from the get-go, Microsoft announced earlier this year that its upcoming operating system will be available as a free upgrade to Windows 7, Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 users. This surprising move is expected to have a major impact on the immediate consumer adoption, as well as convince developers to embrace Windows 10 early on.

What is interesting is that, while it is publicly touted as a free upgrade, formally Microsoft is calling it a "marketing and promotional activity". And it certainly seems to fit the bill.

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The top 5 recommendations for IT decision makers

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During competitive and challenging economic landscapes, business productivity takes precedence over other priorities. Without service assurance, poor service performance degrades the customer experience, reduces business productivity and eventually results in lost revenue. Since both lost productivity and revenue are quantifiable and can be tied back to quality of service, IT infrastructure and operations need to explore best practices that can resolve any performance issues.

However, this is a complex process because problems can originate anywhere across the service delivery infrastructure, including networks, servers, enablers, and applications. In a recent survey, Forrester found that 91 percent of senior IT decision makers at large North American firms responsible for application, network and/or service monitoring technology cited problem identification as the primary area that needed improvement. The survey found that one hour of service downtime costs $29,162. Since half of these respondents reported that 90 percent of their IT issues take more than 24 hours to resolve, the annual cost of brown-outs or service downtime quickly escalates into the millions.

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Broadband policy could affect how 1 in 5 UK residents vote

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If you live in the UK it probably won't have escaped your notice that there's an election campaign underway. But could your broadband connection affect the way you vote?

According to a survey from broadband, TV and mobile comparison site Cable.co.uk almost one in five (18 percent) of 2,500 people polled say that broadband policy could affect the way they vote.

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The Top 15 Apple Watch apps -- according to Apple

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When the Apple Watch hit the stores last Friday, the Watch App Store opened its virtual doors to everyone in possession of the fabled wearable device.

The store already has some 3,000 apps available for download, but the Cupertino company narrowed the choice down to a handful of apps it believes are a must-have at this point.

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Debian 8 'Jessie' is here -- download the Linux distro now!

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Another day, another Linux distribution. While many distros are yawn-worthy, Debian demands attention. The wildly popular operating system is used by many people, and it is used as a base for many projects. Most notably of late, Raspbian, the often-used operating system for the Raspberry Pi, is based on Debian.

Today, after a long wait, the operating system finally reaches 8.0 with a code name of "Jessie". This gender-neutral named Linux distribution has as ton of changes, with ISOs available featuring multiple desktop environments such as GNOME, KDE and Xfce to name a few. Will you try it?

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De La Soul 'And the Anonymous Nobody' Kickstarter success -- an interview with Dave aka Trugoy

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De La Soul is one of the most important rap groups in the history of Hip-Hop. When they debuted in the 1980s, many other rappers were acting phony and embellishing their lives of crime. Conversely, the Long Island trio kept it real by rapping about everyday life and not fantasy. Unfortunately, many took their realness and honesty for a weakness, dubbing them 'positive' rappers; a label that followed them their entire careers. While many other rap groups have come and gone -- formed and broken up -- De La Soul is still here. In fact, they are planning a new album called "And the Anonymous Nobody".

Rather than go the traditional route of signing with a record label, the group has turned to Kickstarter to fund the project. Yes, these aging rappers have turned to the Internet, crowd-funding and social media, to make the album happen and it has been a huge success. They met their goal of $110,000 in one day, and as of today, are over $500,000 with close to 10,000 backers. In other words, you can teach an old dog new tricks, and sometimes the old dogs outfox the young pups. I talked with David Jude Jolicoeur, aka, Dave, aka Trugoy, from De La Soul about the campaign.

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Nokia won't produce phones, but could return to smartphone business by brand-licensing

Nokia buys Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion, considers selling HERE

Wouldn’t it be great if Nokia started manufacturing phones again? If the recent reports are to be believed, the Finland-based company is planning to do just that. Citing its sources, Re/code earlier this week reported that the company will be returning to the phone manufacturing business by 2016, and would launch a couple of Android smartphones. Too bad, that’s not happening. Nokia announces today that it doesn’t intend to return to the smartphone manufacturing business, squashing all the recent reports that claimed otherwise.

On its website (via Reuters), the company notes that the recent news reports that claimed that Nokia expressed its intention to manufacture consumer handsets out of an R&D facility in China “are false". "Nokia reiterates it currently has no plans to manufacture or sell consumer handsets.", it further says.

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Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD -- this is the drive you've been waiting for [Review]

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The absolute best upgrade for any computer that's operating system is running from a hard disk drive, is a solid state drive. Why? The performance increase is significant, while SSD prices are decreasing. In other words, you can speed up your PC without hurting your wallet.

The problem, however, is deciding which SSD to buy. While affordability and speed are important qualities, I tend to put a premium on reliability. Of course I want the drive to be fast, but the contents of the drive -- important documents and family photos -- trump anything else. Luckily, Samung's offerings have proven to be both reliable and fast, while also being reasonably priced. Today, I am taking a look at the latest and greatest SATA variant; the 850 EVO.

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Google and Facebook offer support after Nepal earthquake

Google and Facebook offer support after Nepal earthquake

When disaster strikes, technology can often be put to good use. Following the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal this week, Google and Facebook are among the companies helping those in the area, as well as people looking for friends and relatives.

Google's People Finder does very much what it says on the tin. It's a very simple website that enables people to publish requests for information about loved ones, as well as giving those with information somewhere to share it. Facebook's Nepal Earthquake Safety Check provides a similar feature.

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Philips lets you control your Hue lights from Apple Watch

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Yesterday was the big day for Apple Watch, and also a big day for companies looking to capitalize on the hype and sales. We've seen Amazon jump on board, along with many others. Now the top lighting manufacturer in the world is getting into the game also, as Philips announces that it will be offering customers the chance to control their Hue lights right from their wrists.

Hue, if you aren't familiar, is a line of lightbulbs that are internet connected and can be controlled from multiple devices -- Apple Watch is the latest.

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Did you buy Apple Watch? Tell us about it

Apple Watch in Apple store

Today we closed our poll asking readers if they would purchase the first fruit from the field tended by Tim Cook. Apple Watch marks the era of new gadgetry developed on the CEO's, er, watch. Sales started today, which effectively meant preordering two weeks ago. All three models are sold out from the company's online store, which lists ship dates as "June" for orders placed April 24.

Are you one of the lucky Apple Watch buyers? That's assuming you feel lucky. Two-thousand forty-nine people responded to our poll, with a stunning (and, honestly, unbelievable) 42 percent planning to buy the gadget. Really? Someone wants this gadget.

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