Latest Technology News

Windows 8.x goes back into reverse gear, losing the most usage share yet

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Windows 10 really can’t come soon enough for Microsoft as its predecessor is continuing to tank. In August the tiled OS actually gained usage share -- according to web analytics firm NetMarketShare --which was unusual as 8.x had lost users in the previous two months. But any suggestion of a recovery are swiftly crushed looking at September’s figures.

Both Windows 8 and 8.x lost a load of usage share last month, while Windows 7 reached an all-time high. It’s Windows 7 users Microsoft really needs to be aiming for with Windows 10 (and if it can tempt XP users too, so much the better).

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Watch the Windows 10 presentation

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Microsoft disappointed a lot of people yesterday by not livestreaming its Windows 10 reveal. It was a strange move considering that most tech companies offer a stream these days (and even a bad livestream, as Apple gave us for the iPhone 6 launch, is better than none at all).

The reason why the Microsoft didn’t offer a stream is that it wasn’t a product launch as such, or even a presentation aimed at consumers. The company revealed the name -- Windows 10! -- talked about the benefits for the enterprise, and then quickly ran through an early build of the product. But while there was no livestream, the event was recorded, and it’s now available to watch.

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Need user-friendly bootable recovery media? AOMEI PE Builder Free has your back

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Everyone -- and we mean everyone -- needs some kind of recovery disc. It could be the only thing between you and losing critical data, or a lengthy (and possibly unnecessary) Windows reinstall, for example.

Most PCs ship with some kind of onboard recovery or repair tools, but these are often limited. What’s the solution? If you’re running Windows 7 or 8 (but not, as yet, 8.1), it could well be AOMEI PE Builder Free 1.0.

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Find a bug in Chrome? You could earn $15,000 and entry into the Google Hall of Fame!

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There are award shows for everything nowadays, celebrating actors, athletes and more. However, computer nerds do not get the credit they deserve; we should get an award show too, right? Hell, they should give out trophies for fixing family members' computers. I have spent hours at my Uncle Roy's smelly house removing malware, only to leave with not so much as a thank you.

Don't worry though, Google cares about your nerdy endeavors -- if it helps the Chrome browser, that is. You see, the search giant is increasing the maximum bounty for finding bugs in the browser to $15,000. While money is awesome, the recognition may be equally cool, as your name may be added to the Google Hall of Fame!

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Sorry Linux fans, Windows 10 will continue Microsoft's desktop domination

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I'll admit, when Windows 8 was first announced, I hated it. Even though I am open-minded about UI changes, the Start Screen rubbed me the wrong way. At the time, I was strictly a keyboard and mouse user, who enjoyed doing things on a large monitor. After months of trying to convince myself that I would eventually like the changes, I gave up and went to Linux full time. I was already a casual user of operating systems based on the open-source kernel, but now I was jumping in head first.

Initially, life was great and I hopped from distribution to distribution trying Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora and many more. What was cool about these Linux-based desktop operating systems, was that I could choose the environment of my liking. In other words, if I didn't like the UI, I could easily switch. This was in stark contrast to Windows, which has a take it or leave it approach. Ultimately, I decided on Fedora and the GNOME 3 environment. This surprised me, because as a lifelong Windows user, I expected to gravitate towards KDE. Over time though, something strange happened -- I went back to Windows 8.

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With Windows 10, Microsoft leaves lots of questions unanswered

With Windows 10, Microsoft leaves lots of questions unanswered

So… we now know that Windows 9 is by far the least successful version of Windows ever, grossing Microsoft a total of $0. But Microsoft is as keen as ever to look to the future, and it's pinning its hopes on the newly revealed Windows 10. At the unveiling in San Francisco we learned quite a lot about the upcoming version of the successor to Windows 8.1 (yep... it's going to sound weird for a long time), but there were also a lot of unanswered questions. It was interesting to see that the demonstration used build 9841 which we have already seen in leak, and in this regard there were few surprises. Between the release of Windows 10 Technical Preview Microsoft still has a lot of work to do, and a lot of people to convince to upgrade.

What do we not yet know? We don’t have a release date, at least nothing that has been pinned down. We know it will be some time in the second half of 2015 -- if everything goes to plan -- but that's quite a big Window. We also don’t know what costs, if any, might be associated with the operating system. It has been suggested that Microsoft would make Windows 10 available free of charge, but nothing official has been said on this front. We have no idea what sort of upgrade path may be available -- would this be Microsoft's opportunity to usher everyone away from Windows XP once and for all? Simply offer a free upgrade to an operating system that addresses the issues users have raised and the security problems associated with an ancient version of Windows should diminish.

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One way (maybe the only way) Yahoo can succeed

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Alibaba’s IPO has come and gone and with it Yahoo has lost the role of Alibaba proxy and its shares have begun to slide. Yahoo’s Wall Street honeymoon, if there ever was one, is over, leaving the company trying almost anything it can to avoid sliding into oblivion. Having covered Yahoo continuously since its founding 20 years ago it is clear Y! has little chance of managing its way out of this latest of many crises despite all the associated cash. But -- if it will -- Yahoo could invest its way to even greater success.

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, thinking like Type A CEOs nearly always seem to think, wants to take some of the billions reaped from the Alibaba IPO and dramatically remake her company to compete again with Google , Microsoft , Facebook, and even Apple. It won’t work.

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Microsoft takes the wraps off Windows 10 -- No, seriously

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Microsoft has finally announced its new OS. The Wi-Fi password at today’s intimate San Francisco event was "Windows 2015", leading some to speculate that Microsoft might have chosen to return to naming its OS after the year of launch (a nod to Windows 95/98), but that turned out not to be the case -- a wise move. So what name would the tech giant choose? Not Windows 9, the obvious and expected pick, nor Windows One, the rumored alternative.

No, to the surprise of everyone, Microsoft has revealed that the next version of its operating system will be called… drum roll… Windows 10! Wait, What? Way to confuse consumers Microsoft. I guess Windows X was too close to OSX. Or maybe Microsoft choose Windows 10 because 7 8 9 (seven ate nine)? Infoworld's April Fool's joke got it right.

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Acer bringing Aspire V Nitro Black Edition gaming laptops to North America

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Acer makes some great machines, but the company is often associated with budget laptops. This is not a bad thing though, as the company's notebooks are inexpensive, but not cheap. In other words, Acer computers give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Today however, Acer is going the hardcore-gaming route and is delivering some beasts to North America, with the Aspire V Nitro Black Edition laptops. Make no mistake, these laptops are not budget-oriented, but power-oriented.

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Occupy Hong Kong protesters are locked in a technology arms race with the Chinese government

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Thousands of protesters have flooded into the heart of central Hong Kong over recent days to demonstrate against the Beijing government's plans to phase out the semi-autonomous province's democratic elections by 2017. The campaign seeks to blockade Hong Kong's financial center, and represents the first major challenge to the rule of the new Chinese President, Xi Jinping.

For anyone confused by the protests, here's a bit of background: when the UK handed the territory of Hong Kong back to China in 1997, the Chinese government agreed to a policy of "one country, two systems" that allowed the city a high degree of control over its own affairs and kept in place civil liberties unseen on the mainland. It also promised the city's leader would eventually be chosen through "universal suffrage". That appears to not have been entirely true, and it's got thousands of people taking to the streets.

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eBay and PayPal to split into separate businesses in 2015

eBay and PayPal to split into separate businesses in 2015

A giant of the modern web is to be cleft in twain. eBay Inc is set to split its online payment service PayPal into a separate, independent, publicly traded company; eBay and PayPal will be divided into two in the second half of 2015.

By keeping the auction and payment services at arm's length from each other, eBay will be hoping to breathe new life into the beleaguered selling site. The move comes after a review of the company’s structure and growth strategies by the board of directors, and is described as providing "shareholders with more targeted investment opportunities".

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Another data breach... Yeah, yeah, whatever

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It seems like data breaches are seldom out of the news these days, but whilst that means we're more likely to be aware of their existence it also means there's a risk that individual threats begin to fade into the general day-to-day techy chatter and we don't give them the attention they deserve.

The growing number of breaches -- up 10 percent over last year according to a recent study by the Ponemon institute -- means they're less likely to catch our attention. Security training firm KnowBe4 refers to this phenomenon as "breach fatigue" and warns that it may be placing companies at risk.

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Windows 10 -- What to expect from the new OS [updated]

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Microsoft has announced its new OS today, and although we’ve already seen various leaked images and videos, this was our first official look at Windows 10 (not Windows 9, as everyone was expecting), Microsoft's successor to the much maligned Windows 8.

The demo itself was very short, and the technology preview isn't yet available, but we already have a good idea of what the new operating system will offer. Here's a guide to the main features.

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Google Glass adopted by Edinburgh Airport staff as wearables explode in popularity

Google Glass adopted by Edinburgh Airport staff as wearables explode in popularity

At the airport, it's normal to see customer service staff equipped with phones, walkie-talkies and perhaps a tablet. Passengers travelling to and from Scotland who pass through Edinburgh airport will soon find that they are greeted by staff adorned with Google Glass. Google's wearable specs are to be trialled in the Scottish airport in a bid to provide more help and information to travelers.

Customer support representatives will be able to call up flight details and answer queries using the head-mounted Android-powered hardware.

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Audacity refines user interface, improves selected effects

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Popular open-source, cross-platform sound recording, editing and mixing tool Audacity 2.0.6 has been released. The new build contains a number of minor improvements and various bug fixes.

Most of these changes affect the user interface. Both Cut and Delete options have been moved to the top of the Edit menu, for example. The Transport menu has also been altered to offer a single Play/Stop button as well as a "Play/Stop and Set Cursor" option for leaving the cursor set where playback has halted.

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