Latest Technology News

Microsoft announces Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta

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When Microsoft bought Minecraft-maker Mojang for a boatload of money, many people -- myself included -- were perplexed by the move. Don't get me wrong, it is a wildly popular game which has much value, but it didn't seem to fit with the company's goals. HoloLens, however, made the world collectively understand the Minecraft purchase and vision.

Today, on this United States Independence Day, Microsoft makes a huge announcement regarding the blocky game. Timed to coincide with the July 29th new operating system launch, comes Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta. Holy macaroni, the 29th will be like Christmas in July!

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UK businesses risk data loss with BYOD policies

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By allowing you to bring your own, unprotected mobile devices to work (BYOD), UK businesses risk losing data, a new research report suggests.

Forty percent of UK businesses have no security or policies in place to prevent unauthorised employees from accessing what they shouldn't, the research by Arlington Research and Acronis found.

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Hacktivist group AnonOpsIndia hacks BSNL website, days after hacking nation's PAN database

BSNL Hacked AnonOpsIndia

In what appears to be a protest against the Indian government’s stand on net neutrality and the way it is handling Digital India, hacker group AnonOpsIndia hacked BSNL Telecommunications' website on Friday. Hours after the breach, the website is still affected.

AnonOpsIndia, which seems inspired by the major hacktivist group Anonymous, describes itself with a similar reverence and asks to be referred to as "Anonymous India". This is the third major hack the group has managed to pull off, after hacking the nation's PAN database and a coal-sector website last week.

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Capture, edit and share webpage screenshots with qSnap

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Taking a screenshot of what you can see on a computer is easy. Capturing something larger than the screen -- in particular, a lengthy web page -- is much more of a challenge, and even specialist screen capture tools won't necessarily do it.

QSnap is a free service and set of browser add-ons which helps you capture web pages, no matter what size they are, and can edit and share them, too.

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Facebook in talks with music labels

Facebook at Work unleashed to cater for the office

Social giant Facebook has been in talks with music labels for the past few months, although nobody is quite sure what the company is planning.

Reports say Facebook has met with Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, three of the big music licensing labels. Since this doesn’t seem to involve indie labels, we can assume it isn’t a music streaming deal, but instead a licensing and content protection deal.

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OnePlus has free Google Cardboard VR headsets for everyone!

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Virtual reality is making a comeback. Forget the atrocious examples we endured in the 90s, now we have the likes of Oculus Rift to delight our senses, and Microsoft is tempting us with HoloLens. Neither of these are particularly cheap, but Google came up with a cheap alternative in the form of Cardboard.

As the name suggests, this is a foldable cardboard unit which can be used to transform a variety of smartphones into a fully-fledged VR headset. While much cheaper than the likes of Oculus Rift and HoloLens, Cardboard is not free... or at least, it wasn't. Ahead of the launch of OnePlus 2, OnePlus is offering its own OnePlus CardBoard for free.

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Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 420X Xbox One Headset coming soon -- pre-order now

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Video games have come a long way. What was once a single or double player affair, is now much grander thanks to online gaming. It is much more engaging to play against multiple real people, rather than an artificial opponent. You can even communicate with other players by using a microphone -- very cool.

The Xbox One comes with a headset in the box, and it is passable, but hardly comfortable nor high quality. Marathon gamers will want to invest in a premium headset for improved audio and comfort. Turtle Beach will soon be selling its self-proclaimed "affordable" Ear Force Stealth 420X wireless headset, and it looks like a winner.

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Scan pages as searchable PDFs with NAPS2

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Earlier this year we wrote about NAPS2 (Not Another PDF Scanner 2), a tiny open source tool which could scan documents to PDF, TIFF and other file formats. We liked the program’s simplicity and ease of use, and in the past few months it’s been further extended with some major new features.

Integrated OCR means you can now make your PDFs searchable. There’s no complex interface to navigate, no manual setting of OCR regions or anything else: just click the OCR button, choose the document language and NAPS2 handles everything else.

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The 2015 Nexus 5 will be built by LG

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The Nexus range of smartphones has proved a popular way to get a fairly high-end handset running stock Android at a decent price. Previous models have (largely) sold well, and there is always eager anticipation surrounding the next release. One thing people are always keen to know is just who is going to be making the handset.

According to a report by AndroidPIT, it is LG who will be responsible for the 2015 Nexus 5. A spokesperson said that the device is to be based on a yet-to-be-seen prototype rather than the LG G4. Based on previous launches, it's safe to assume that the release will coincide with the launch of the next version of Google's mobile operating system, Android M.

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Reddit faces yet another user revolt, mods shut down several top subreddits

Reddit User Revolt

An insurrection is underway on Reddit, one of the largest websites on the planet. The juggernaut network which maintains thousands of open groups -- called subreddits -- dedicated to news, science, technology, entertainment, and sports among others is facing a backlash from moderators of many top subreddits over the company’s decision to fire Victoria Taylor, one of the key figures over at Reddit’s extremely popular AMA subreddit.

Victoria Taylor joined Reddit in 2013 as its director of communications. As several moderators bring to our attention, Taylor headed AMA’s celebrity sessions. She relayed users’ questions to high-profile figures and transcribed their responses to the website. Her sudden and unexplained departure has left moderators with a feeling of betrayal.

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5 common Wi-Fi problems -- how you can resolve them

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Say it’s up to you to pick a Wi-Fi solution. If the Wi-Fi experience is great -- fast and dependable -- you’re a hero. But if performance is slow or connections drop, people get grumpy.

Here, in plain English, are five culprits behind bad Wi-Fi and how to avoid them.

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Best Windows apps this week

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

Microsoft pushed out three builds of the Windows 10 operating system to Fast Ring systems this week (the latest is 10162) and will pick a suitable RTM soon for the operating system.

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Firefox 39 introduces social network sharing of Hello conversations

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Mozilla has unveiled the latest version of Firefox, 39.0 for Windows, OS X and Linux PCs, along with Firefox for Android 39.0.

The new desktop build adds a social invite tool for its Firefox Hello chat feature while implementing a number of improvements and security features for Mac OS X and Linux.

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Buy a Windows Phone from Microsoft, get Nokia headphones for free

T-Mobile Microsoft Lumia 640 with free Nokia headphones (Coloud Boom in yellow)

If you are in the market for a new Windows Phone now is the time to pull the trigger. Microsoft is running an attractive promotion, giving customers a free pair of Nokia headphones with the purchase of any Windows Phone from its online store.

And I mean any Windows Phone. This promotion applies to all Acer, BLU, Microsoft and Nokia-branded Windows Phone devices that Microsoft sells, so you are not limited to a certain brand or, most importantly, a certain price bracket.

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Your online payments could soon be authorized with a selfie

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Make an online payment with your credit card and you're probably used to having to enter a password or PIN. But if a trial scheme by MasterCard takes off, this could become a thing of the past. The finance company is testing out a new payment authorization technique including fingerprint scanning and facial recognition.

MasterCard is working with Apple, BlackBerry, Google, Microsoft, and Samsung to introduce the biometric checks. The initial plan is to trial the system with 500 participants before possibly rolling it out on a larger scale. It's something that MasterCard believes will be welcomed by millennials and should simplify the process of making payments from a smartphone.

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