Latest Technology News

Google injects steroids into HTTPS for Chrome on Android

Steroid

As the online world gets scarier by the day, security becomes a more discussed topic. This is a shame because, computer security should always be on the minds of users. Sadly, it takes something like the Heartbleed bug, the Target breach or a whistleblower like Edward Snowden to make people start caring. In other words, security is not more important today than it was prior to Heartbleed -- it is just finally being discussed.

Say what you want about Google, but the company seemingly has security as an important focus. After all, it patched Heartbleed on its services with incredible speed. Today, Google announces that earlier this year, it improved HTTPS connections on Chrome for Android, making it dramatically faster and stronger.

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Microsoft Q3 2014 by the numbers: $20.4B revenue, 68 cents EPS

Satya Nadella

Today, after the closing bell, Microsoft disclosed results for fiscal third quarter, during most of which freshly-minted CEO Satya Nadella captained the ship. Of course, he carries a course set for him by predecessor Steve Ballmer, and his real impact is really quarters away. But there's a fresh presence behind the wheel and a new hat hanging in the captain's cabin. That's reason enough for Wall Street to forgive any storms the good ship Microsoft sales -- eh, sails.

For the three months ended March 31, Microsoft reports $20.4 billion revenue, flat year over year. Operating income: $6.97 billion. Net income: $5.66 billion, or 68 cents a share. All figures are GAAP.

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Hulu brings remote control app to iOS and Android

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Hulu, arguably one of the big three streaming services on the market right now, is available on almost any platform you can name. However, one thing it has been lacking is a remote control app to allow customers to use a mobile device to add Hulu content to the TV.

That changes today as the company announces it has produced its first official remote app. "Expanding on the great Chromecast support we successfully launched last year, remote control functionality for Hulu Plus brings that same awesome experience to your living room through the Hulu Plus app on your Xbox One, PlayStation3 (PS3) or PlayStation4 (PS4) systems", says Mitch Walker, a senior developer with Hulu.

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Google invites children to 'Take Your Classroom to Work Day'

Career

When you are a child quite often your parents' careers are foreign to you. Sure, you may see them get ready for work in the morning and you may even know their title ("Fireman", "Lawyer", "Janitor"), but what they do throughout the course of a work-day is a mystery.

In reality, it is very important for children to know what a work-day entails. After all, children grow-up, and they need to be prepared for the real world. Unfortunately, while some businesses offer things like "Bring Your Child To Work Day", not all do. And so, many children are unable to get the exposure that they need. Well, Google is aiming to change this, using its Hangouts service, for what it calls "Take Your Classroom to Work Day".

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PlayOn brings 100 broadcast channels to Chromecast

family-watching-tv

PlayOn has become a symbol of the cord-cutting movement, providing customers with access to an array of broadcast stations that can be watched on both the TV and mobile devices. There is a long list of gaming consoles and set-top boxes that support the service, allowing users to get the content to the big screen.

Add to that list one more -- today PlayOn announces full support for Chromecast, the little HDMI dongle from Google. "PlayOn’s support for Chromecast will instantly bring online content from more than 100 channels to Chromecast users including content from CBS, NBC, ABC, Comedy Central and Hulu (no Hulu Plus subscription needed)", the company says.

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CCleaner adds support for Windows 8.1 Update, improves browser cleaning

CCleaner

Piriform Ltd has released CCleaner 4.13 and CCleaner Portable 4.13, the latest versions of its popular Windows cleaning tool. Version 4.13 adds support for Windows 8.1 Update and Windows Server 2012 R2 Update.

It also comes with improved browser cleaning tools as well as some general program improvements and support for three new applications, including Real Player Cloud.

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Telematics adoption saves money for fleet operators

Delivery trucks

Despite more and more aspects of business moving online, many tasks still need to happen in the real world. In fact some things like vehicle fleet operations have arguably become more important as increasing numbers of us shop online and have our goods delivered.

Operating vehicles can be a major part of a company's costs so anything that can help control them is worthy of management consideration.

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Avira Free Mac Security sports redesigned user interface, supports network share scans

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Avira has released Avira Free Mac Security 2.0.4, an update to its free anti-virus tool for Macs. Version 2.0.4 boasts a user interface redesign as well as performance improvements and tweaks to the Scheduled Update and Scheduled Scan tools.

The update also adds support for scanning network shares and squashes a number of bugs that plagued earlier versions.

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Visme wants to be the only tool businesses need for visual content

Visme 1

Whatever message you want to get across, whether it's in an advert, an infographic or a presentation, how it looks is key to success.

Maryland-based Easy WebContent has relaunched its Presenter tool under the name Visme aiming to make it a "Swiss knife for visual content".

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Stop users running specified programs with Simple Run Blocker

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Sordum has released Simple Run Blocker, a compact portable tool which can prevent users on your PC from running certain applications.

The program is very simple to use. Drag and drop any target executables onto the Simple Run Blocker interface, save those settings, and the application should be blocked (although we found you may need to restart Explorer or reboot, first).

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Android apps make way for Heartbleed exploits

closing the door on the way out, exit, abandon

Lots of things have been said about OpenSSL bug Heartbleed, including what to do to counter possible exploits (many have advised users to change all their passwords) after it has reached the public's attention. The main focus has been on popular products from top companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft. However, the actions of other developers (that may actually be inconspicuous in the whole Heartbleed debacle) can have a far-reaching effect as well.

A new report from FireEye notes that 150 million downloads of Android apps "contain OpenSSL libraries vulnerable to Heartbleed". As Google has said, Android itself may not be vulnerable to it, post version 4.2 Jelly Bean at least, but that advantage is lost if app developers expose users to the dangers of Heartbleed.

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SmartFTP debuts new ribbon-based interface, drops Windows XP and Vista support

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SmartSoft has unveiled SmartFTP 6.0 (32-bit) and SmartFTP 6.0 (64-bit), a major new update of its powerful FTP client for Windows machines. Version 6 debuts a new ribbon-based interface, plus vastly improved text editor and remote browser.

It also sees a rewrite of various features, removing all legacy code relating to Windows XP, which -- along with Vista -- is no longer supported as of this release.

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Digital Me: Will the next Cringely be from Gmail?

MaxHeadroom

My last column discussed the intersection between Big Data and Artificial Intelligence and where things might be heading. The question for this column is can I (Bob Cringely) be replaced by a machine?

Look below the fold on most news sites and you’ll see ads that look like news stories but aren’t: "One Weird Trick to Grow Extra Toes!", or "The 53 Hottest Ukrainian Grandmothers!" I’m waiting for "One Weird Trick to Becoming a Hot Ukrainian Grandmother with Extra Toes!" Read the stories and they are total crap, that is unless you have a fetish for Ukrainian Grandmas… or toes. They are all about getting us to click through page after page and be exposed to ad after ad. Alas, in SEOWorld (the recently added 10th level of Hell) some people call this progress.

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Mmmm, Microsoft shows that the Surface 2 can be yummy

IceCreamLady

When you think of tablets, the iPad and Android variants seem very hip and sexy. While I love the Surface 2, it conjures images of nerds editing spreadsheets. As an owner of a Surface 2 (and spreadsheet-loving nerd) I know there is much more to Microsoft's tablet -- it is great for games and media too.

However, it seems Microsoft is intent on changing the public's perception of its awesome Surface 2. In a new video, the company features a hip, young, bakery owner named Loren Brill. Microsoft's tablet helps her bake yummy treats. Does she change the way you think about Surface?

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UK webhost 123-Reg in DDOS attack

cybercrime cyber terrorism hacker gun malware security

Businesses using 123-Reg's web hosting service were knocked offline on Wednesday evening following a reported distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.

123-Reg is the UK's largest domain provider hosting over 1.4 million websites. The company said it was hit by a DDoS style attack that caused disruption to some customers on its shared hosting packages.

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