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Best Windows 8 apps this week

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One-hundred and nine in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows 8 in the last seven days.

This week has seen several new game releases but not a single app release of note. Notable games include Pastry Paradise, a match-3 type of game that introduces several new elements to the genre and Brave Furries, a great looking and playing puzzle game.

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US military worried about stolen cars being used as weapons

Car weapon

The US military is preparing to wage war on car crime with the specific remit to develop a plan with manufacturers that prevents hackers stealing cars and one day turning them into weapons.

A group of hackers was recently hired by the US Defense Department to see if they could break into a 2012 model car and computer scientist Kathleen Fisher, who heads the group, showed that an electronic key could be created to unlock to car’s network.

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Manage PC processes, services, drivers with Listsp

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Is your PC slow? Unstable? Whenever your system is misbehaving, it’s wise to take a look at how it’s configured, and the various processes it might be running.

You could get a basic view with Task Manager and assorted Control Panel applets. But the open source Listsp is a more complete solution, and gives you access to processes, services and driver information from a single interface.

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11 top tips to get the most from iPhone 6 and iOS 8.1

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For those of you who have made the commitment of purchasing the new iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus, you’ve probably spent a fair bit of time figuring out all the cool tricks and shortcuts that they offer. The same may also be true for anyone who has recently upgraded to Apple’s new operating system, iOS 8.1.

However, there are always a few secrets that slip under the radar. With that in mind, here are 11 tips and tricks for your iPhone 6 and iOS 8.1 that you may not know yet, but definitely should.

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India falls in love with smartphones and tablets

Lady with tablet

We're frequently being told that the real potential for growth in mobile devices sales is coming from emerging markets, particularly in Asia and the Far East.

The latest research findings from IDC into the Indian market bears this out with strong growth in sales of both smartphones and tablets.

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Social networks told to be honest and stop bamboozling their users

Social networks told to be honest and stop bamboozling their users

The UK parliament is calling on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to simplify their terms and conditions. The Science and Technology Committee has expressed concern that privacy policies and other documents are strewn with legal terms that most people do not read or understand. This means that most social network users are simply not aware that they have agreed for their personal information to be used in various ways -- and are certainly unaware of how it might be used.

The Committee is calling for social networks to make a commitment to explain in very clear terms how personal data is shared and used. It wants to work with the government to draw up a set of standards -- almost a social networking manifesto -- that companies can sign up to.

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Jolla on Indiegogo campaign: The more money you give, the more features Tablet gets

Jolla Tablet split-screen

Jolla's Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, initiated to help it bring its first tablet to market, is already a success with 12 more days to go until the deadline. The Finnish company has raised nearly $1.3 million so far, which is close to $1 million over the $385,000 goal. You may think that Jolla is resting on its laurels now, but you'd be wrong.

Jolla wants to keep the campaign's momentum going, as it just introduced three Stretch goals. The idea is simple -- the more money the company raises the more features Tablet gets. That is a nice incentive to back the campaign. Luckily for those who have already done so, at this point, hitting the first Stretch goal looks like a done deal.

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RootsMagic 7 adds automatic Web Hints, improves problem-fixing tools

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RootsMagic, Inc has launched RootsMagic Essentials 7.0, a major new version of its free (and paid-for) genealogical tool.

Both free and paid-for versions gain a new Web Hints feature that automatically suggests record matches from a number of online websites, while paid-for users also gain a number of other useful tools and improvements.

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Analog TV frequencies could be used for 'super Wi-Fi', say scientists

Wi-Fi connection

Outdated analog TV frequencies should be used to create new space for "super Wi-Fi" that would boost the world’s economy and take the strain off overloaded mobile networks even though worries persist over how workable they are.

Scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology [KIT] are calling for governments to hand over the unused frequencies so that a widespread free Wi-Fi network can be created.

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BitTorrent unveils its first original TV series -- Children of the Machine

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Although BitTorrent’s reputation is as a means to download music and movies illegally, the company is trying to change that by offering original, and legal content.

Two months ago, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke released a new album as a paid BitTorrent Bundle, and now the file sharing firm announces its first original TV series -- Children of the Machine.

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How far has your mouse cursor traveled today? Mousotron tells all

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Point, click, tap, tap -- using your favorite PC programs can become a near automatic process. But have you ever wondered how much work is really involved, how far your mouse is moving, how many left or right-clicks you’re making? That’s what the free system monitor Mousotron can help you find out.

After an adware-free installation the program displays a very lengthy status bar, with various statistics on your keyboard and mouse use. There’s the distance your mouse has traveled (miles/ yards/ inches, or the metric equivalent); the total numbers of left, right, middle and double-clicks; the average mouse speed, X/ Y coordinates, active and idle time, and more.

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Black Friday deals -- Amazon places its own devices up for sale

Kindle-Voyage

It's now the time of year for shopping and finding deals, and Black Friday reigns supreme in this category. As customers line up at retail stores, they miss the fact that staying home can also net you deals at online retailers and save you from the hectic mess that is the king of shopping days.

This time around, Amazon is offering steep discounts on its own products. Those in the market for a Kindle, Fire tablet, Fire phone or the new TV stick are in luck.

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Europe votes in favor of splitting up Google and other online companies

Europe votes in favor of splitting up Google and other online companies

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted overwhelmingly in favor of breaking up big online companies like Google. While Google is not specifically mentioned, the MEPs aim of "unbundling search engines from other commercial services" to increase competition would clearly impact on the search giant if the resolution is approved by the European Commission.

It's all part of a bid to not help the growth of the EU's digital single market, but also to help boost competitiveness. All very reminiscent of the anti-trust lawsuits that have plagued Microsoft. The vote itself was fairly decisive. 384 voted in favor of the proposed resolution, 174 against, and 56 abstained from voting.

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UK High Court orders ISPs to block a further 53 piracy sites

Piracy

If you live in the UK it’s getting ever harder to access pirated music and movies on the web. After years of trying to defeat pirates in various ways, including suing downloaders, representatives of rights holders have found that the easiest and most effective solution is to take their complaints to the high court and ask for the infringing sites to be blocked.

The process, which started with the banning of The Pirate Bay in 2012, is now so straightforward for the likes of the Motion Picture Association and BPI (British Phonographic Industry), that whole batches of sites are getting outlawed at a time. Yesterday there were 40 copyright infringing sites blocked in the UK, today that number more than doubles to 93.

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Google can count many blessings this Thanksgiving

turkey axe slaughter thanksgiving surrender

While I keep the list short this year, it wouldn't be U.S. Thanksgiving without my writing about gratitude, and why some tech company's executives, employees, and partners should prostrate and pray "Thanks".

Let's start off with Google, which continues a great run that started with Larry Page's return as CEO in April 2011. If he's not all smiles this Turkey Day, someone should slap that man aside the head. I could tick off a hundred things for which he should give thanks. For brevity's sake, so you can get back to the big game and bigger bird, I select some things that might not come to mind.

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