Latest Technology News

Apple releases iOS 8.4, OS X 10.10.4 Yosemite -- here's what's new

Apple pushes iOS 8.1.1 update to speed up older iPhones and iPads

Just as expected, Apple today released iOS 8.4, officially launching its Apple Music streaming service and the Beats 1 radio station. Also new for today is an update for OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which comes with a significant number of bug fixes and improvements in tow.

Apple Music and Beats 1 are introduced through the redesigned Music app. Upon launch, it promotes the company's new streaming service, inviting users to a free, three-month trial. There is a new icon as well as a new user interface -- if you want to keep listening to your existing music collection, you can do so as easily as before. The new Music app is not all that is new in iOS 8.4, as the new release also features a number of bug fixes and improvements targeting iBooks and other parts of the operating system.

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Apple DID conspire to inflate ebook prices, must pay $450 million

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On the same day that Apple Music launched, Apple received some bad news from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 2 to 1 vote, judges ruled that the company did conspire with publishers to inflate the prices of ebooks sold through iBookstore, agreeing with a 2013 ruling.

The judges found that Apple had violated federal antitrust law in coming to arrangements with five publishers, resulting in book prices jumping from $9.99 to between $12.99 and $14.99. Two years ago US District Judge Denise Cote said that Apple was "central" to a price-fixing conspiracy. The ruling having been upheld today, Apple will now have to pay $450 million.

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Rdio shoots to thrill as AC/DC rocks onto the service

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Many may argue that they don't make bands like AC/DC anymore, and perhaps they'd be right. The Australian group shaped the youths of many of us with their hard sound and clever lyrics. Nobody will forget original singer Bon Scott or replacement Brian Johnson who raised the band from its ashes after the tragedy of Scott's death.

But now you can hop onto the Highway to Hell and take a ride using Rdio, the music streaming service that aims to compete in this market with many formidable rivals. The music site has announced the whole epic catalog is available to its users.

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The first 3D-printed supercar can reach 60 mph in 2.2 seconds

The Blade 3D-printed supercar

A San Francisco-based firm has become the first company to create a 3D printed supercar, which can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.2 seconds.

The Blade, created by Divergent Microfactories, was developed using a series of chassis parts held together by carbon rods, instead of coming out as a single unit, and was put together like a Lego set.

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Linux Mint 17.2 'Rafaela' available now for download

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If you have never tried Linux Mint, you are doing yourself a huge disservice. It is a fantastically refreshing distribution -- built on the dependable Ubuntu -- that makes using a Linux-based operating system an absolute treat.

Typically featuring two desktop environments -- Mate and Cinnamon -- users can select an interface that meets their needs. Cinnamon in particular is very pretty, and has a traditional start menu that Windows defectors will appreciate. Today, Linux Mint 17.2 'Rafaela' reaches a "final" release. If you are using Linux Mint already, you should definitely upgrade, while Linux-curious outsiders should consider it too.

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Track & edit video objects with Sensarea

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Most video editors provide various effects you can apply to a movie, maybe tweaking its brightness, contrast or colors. But typically these filters work with the entire frame only, which seriously limits their usefulness.

Sensarea is a free video editor for Windows which allows you to select objects, then tracks them in the frame, automatically applying your chosen effects. If you wanted to conceal someone’s identity, say, you could set up the system to pixelate their face with just a few minutes work.

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Facebook for iOS gets new photo-editing tools

Facebook rides roughshod over privacy laws

The 2013, Facebook’s failure to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion went across the world like a forest fire. Since then, it seems that the social networking giant has adopted some of the best features of Snapchat and has simply started including them in their apps.

The Facebook Slingshot app is one example of the social networking giant’s attempt to imitate Snapchat. The app lets users send colourful drawings and text to friends similar to Snapchat. Other features such as filters, text, and stickers are now added to the list.

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O&O DiskImage Professional 10 promises faster file-based backup, adds support for Windows 10

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O&O Software GMBH has unveiled a major new update of its Windows drive-imaging and backup tool with the release of O&O DiskImage Professional 10 64-bit. Also available for 32-bit versions of Windows, the new release adds support for the forthcoming Windows 10 release.

It also debuts a completely rewritten file backup engine, the ability to trigger multiple tasks with portable devices and support for integrating drivers into the program’s rescue boot medium.

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PagerDuty backs its product with Downtime Insurance

Reliability meter

The IT services industry revolves around service level agreements (SLAs) but they don't often provide adequate compensation for damage caused to business by an outage of providers' systems.

Operations and performance management specialist PagerDuty is so confident of its product that it's putting its money where its reliability is and introducing Downtime Insurance, the IT operations industry's first reliability service-level agreement to be backed by a multi-million dollar insurance policy.

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OpenDNS to be acquired by Cisco -- will you still use it?

DNS

While you can use the DNS servers provided by your Internet Service Provider -- and the majority of web users do -- switching to an alternative DNS can deliver speed and reliability improvements, as well as additional features like phishing protection, parental controls, improved security and more. It might also help you bypass Geoblocked and censored content.

OpenDNS is the go-to DNS service for millions of people around the world. It is, in OpenDNS’s own words, "the world’s most loved and trusted DNS service". Today, however, Cisco announces intent to acquire OpenDNS. Will that change your mind on how you view the service?

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Kyvos aims to change the big data analytics landscape

Big data

Big data can provide many benefits for businesses, but the complexities of dealing with systems like Hadoop can make it expensive and time consuming to roll out projects.

California-based Kyvos Insights is launching a new product specifically designed for big data that enables business users to easily and quickly derive powerful insights from their data for more informed decision-making, with no programming required.

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When in Istanbul, Uber lets you hail a boat

UberBOAT Istambul

Uber is planning to add boats to its growing list of travel services, which now include all variety of cars alongside a growing delivery service for merchants and food.

Named UberBOAT, the service will be available first in Istanbul, Turkey. The city is famous for the Bosphorus, the connection between Asia and Europe, split by a strait.

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Head up displays 'are a threat to safety' -- but aren't we better off with them?

BMW Head up display

Car makers offer some interesting equipment options that are said to increase driving safety. One of those features is a head up display, which shows the driver essential information, such as the speed and turn-by-turn directions, without having to take the eyes off the road. This is a benefit that is commonly pitched by car companies, as, in theory, it would allow the driver to be more focused on what's ahead rather than be distracted by a smartphone or navigation system.

However, a University of Toronto report contradicts this assertion, claiming that, in practice, HUDs are distracting and "a threat to safety" because they force drivers to focus on two different things at once: the road ahead and the windshield.

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Network visibility solution harnesses the power of big data

Network switch

Thanks to the Internet of Things and the growth in the use of mobile devices, network traffic is growing faster than ever. But the tools used to manage and monitor that traffic haven’t kept pace.

Network visibility specialist Kentik (previously known as CloudHelix) is launching a SaaS platform to enable full visibility into networks of any size giving real-time, actionable insights into network traffic activity, DDoS attacks and peering efficiency.

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Huddle launches updated iOS collaboration app

Collaboration

Businesses need their employees to be able to collaborate on projects but the increasingly mobile nature of the workforce and the pressures of BYOD use can make that hard to achieve.

Collaboration software specialist Huddle is updating its iOS apps to provide iPhone and iPad users with a simple and secure way to collaborate on content and manage projects while on the move, as well as delivering a more social experience by focusing on team activity around content.

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