Latest Technology News

Sony's new PS4 update makes it easier for gamers to edit and share videos

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At GDC last month Sony announced update 1.70 for the PlayStation 4 gaming console. Now some details are beginning to trickle out about what customers can expect from the update, the biggest of which seems to be a new method for editing and sharing gaming videos.

Known as SHAREfactory, the service will let gamers edit and customize these clips before sharing them with everyone. This isn't just simple editing either, it will allow the customer to utilize filters, transitions, and even add text and stickers.

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Windows 8.1 business users get Update reprieve

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Microsoft has had a rather lax policy when it comes to providing Windows updates, allowing users to receive patches, for a long period of time, even without having the latest service pack applied. That changes with Windows 8.1, as the software giant has revealed installing Update becomes mandatory to apply future updates that will be rolled out starting this May's Patch Tuesday.

This move gives Microsoft more leverage than ever before, as the software giant now has a real chance of convincing Windows 8.1 users to more quickly apply Update. But, businesses, which have had trouble getting Update through WSUS (Windows Server Update Services), are getting a reprieve.

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WordPress gains faster, easier media editing

WordPress

WordPress.org has announced the release of WordPress 3.9, a significant update which brings a host of worthwhile improvements.

Uploading your images is now as easy as dragging and dropping them into the editor. Once there, quicker access to crop and rotation tools, as well as the ability to resize them "in place", makes for a smoother editing experience.

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Your repeat offenders aren't the insider threats

Insider threat

Almost every organization today has employees that regularly violate standard security policies and protocols. However, oftentimes these violations aren’t the work of a malicious insider -- they’re usually the actions of an employee trying to do his/her job or taking a shortcut to get the job done. Corporate information security teams have the challenge of determining the motive behind these violations. While network monitoring security tools and InfoSec point-solutions are designed to help catch these infractions, they can, and do, unintentionally create an immense volume of work by flagging every policy violation as a threat -- creating thousands or even hundreds of thousands of security events to sift through daily. To make matters worse, these events are often labeled as high-urgency alerts.

The challenge is empowering your IT security teams to identify and respond to the most urgent threats while maintaining compliance with industry regulations.

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Sketch 3 for Mac adds reusable Symbols and Presentation Mode, improves Export tool

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Bohemian Coding has released Sketch 3.0, a major new version of its Mac vector-based design tool. Version 3.0 adds a brand new feature called Symbols, which lets users combine multi-layered objects into a reusable group.

Other changes include major improvements to the Export Tool, redesigned Text and Layer Styles, a revamped inspector and a new Presentation Mode for showing off designs in full screen.

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How the cyber threat landscape is evolving -- Comodo security [Q&A]

Threats

In recent years the threats faced by both individuals and businesses have changed thanks to the adoption of new technologies like the cloud, a shift towards social engineering attacks, BYOD and more.

We spoke to Egemen Tas, vice president of engineering for leading certificate authority and security software provider Comodo to get his view on current threats.

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BetaNews Exclusive: Try Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac FREE for 6 months

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Last week Derrick Wlodarz debunked the Apple myth, explaining why security through obscurity isn't security. Macs are not virus-proof -- Apple-targeted malware is proliferating and users need to become aware of the risks and protect their devices just like any other regular Internet user, without false security expectations.

Here’s where Bitdefender steps in. The new Bitdefender Antivirus for Mac is specifically designed for Apple users, and Bitdefender is offering BetaNews readers a free six month license. This is the full version that usually retails for $49.95, not some featured limited "special" edition. However, you’ll have to act quick as the offer is only available for 48 hours.

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Emsisoft, Kaspersky top AV-Comparatives' Real-World Protection Test

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Independent security testing lab AV-Comparatives has revealed a summary of its March 2014 Real-World Protection Test, where top antivirus products are exposed to a test set of 1,264 current threats.

Topping the chart this time were Emsisoft Anti-Malware 8.1 and Kaspersky Internet Security 2014, both blocking 99.7 percent of threats with no false positives at all.

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Corning announces all-new USB 3.Optical cables

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I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for USB. As someone who lived before the invention of the Universal Serial Bus, I realize how much of a game-changer it was. Over the years, I've amassed quite the collection of USB cables, hubs, flash drives, PCI cards -- you name it.

If you think all USB cables are the same, you are mistaken. They come in different lengths, colors and connection types, to name a few. But still, it's hard to get people excited about cables. However, Corning has managed to do just that, with the all-new USB 3.Optical cables. Whoa.

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Microsoft All-in-One Media Keyboard is ready for some HTPC action

FeatMSK

Over the years, many hardware companies have had varying levels of quality. However, there are two companies that you can almost always depend on for solid input devices -- Logitech and Microsoft. Both of these companies make phenomenal mice and keyboards. Sure, there are missteps every once in a while, but for the most part, their hardware can be trusted to work well and last long.

Last week, Logitech announced the brilliant Illuminated Living-Room Keyboard K830 -- a combination keyboard and trackpad. It is an elegant solution (BetaNews will be reviewing it soon), but is a bit pricey at $99. Today, Microsoft announces similar hardware, called the All-in-One Media Keyboard. The price? A very low $39. Is this the perfect low-cost solution for HTPC and Raspberry Pi?

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Google Camera goads iPhone

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Android phones running stock or manufacturer-installed KitKat 4.4+ get a big photo-shooting upgrade today. Google Camera is now available from the Play store. The app replaces the standard shooter on Nexus devices and places a separate camera app on others. The headline feature: Lens Blur, which does exactly what the name indicates. You shoot the image, and then use the app to either blur the foreground or background. Photographers call the capability "bokeh", and it usually requires a specialized lens on dedicated hardware to produce well. The blurred effect is highly desirable for portraits. Can you say selfie?

Google does what Apple should -- use software development wits to add hardware smarts. This is exactly the kind of thing I would expect from the fruit-logo company first. But that's a number recently missing from the iOS crop. Google is by no means first to offer software blur, but in my testing delivers arguably the best effort. Hell, the new camera app even shames newfangled hardware mechanisms. HTC One M8 uses two lenses and feature UFocus to produce bokeh. In my testing, on The One and Nexus 7, blur is surprisingly comparable.

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Google scanning and analyzing the numbers on your house -- strengthens reCAPTCHA

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The greatest dream for many people is home and land ownership. House prices, at least in the USA, are extraordinarily expensive, putting this dream out of reach for many. For those that do achieve the dream, there are many hurdles that must be faced afterwards -- utility bills, property taxes and maintenance to name a few.

Well, homeowners have one more thing to worry about -- the visibility and legibility of their house numbers. You see, Google is now using a sophisticated algorithm to scan Street View data and detect those numbers. The end result is better accuracy in Google Maps, and a stronger reCAPTCHA.

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Bluhell Firewall: a simple but effective ad-blocker for Firefox

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Building the perfect ad-blocker is a complex business, not least because your users can have very different ideas on how it should work.

Some developers try to address this with layer after layer of features. You’ll be able to whitelist this, blacklist that, and add custom filters for just about everything else. Sounds great, until you have to spend an age learning how everything works, and start to notice how all these layers are slowing you down.

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Logitech Harmony Smart Keyboard now controls Amazon Fire TV

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It's been a busy couple of weeks in the home theater market, with a few major releases, including the Roku streaming stick, but also Amazon's much anticipated Fire TV and the latest offering from Harmony. The Logitech-owned company offers a number of smart remotes, but now also has the Smart Keyboard, designed to control your home theater.

The introduction of Amazon's Android-based box seemed to offer a challenge, as the remote is Bluetooth, but Harmony has stepped up and made it work.

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EssentialPIM adds support for cloud sync, Pro users gain PGP encryption

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Astonsoft has released EssentialPIM Free 5.8 and EssentialPIM Pro 5.8, major new versions of its personal information manager tool for Windows.

Also available in portable form as well as on Android and iOS, version 5.8’s headline feature is integration with the new EPIM Cloud feature, allowing data to be synced using the cloud.

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