Latest Technology News

24 hours with Apple Watch [First-impressions review]

Apple Watch Sport on wrist

After Tim Cook demoed the Apple Watch at the Spring Forward event two months ago I declared I should want an Apple Watch -- but I don't. Despite being an iPhone owner and a watch wearer, I felt the new device was an "unfocused mess" and features like talking to your wrist and sending drawings to fellow Watch-owning friends just didn’t appeal. They were something only a ten year old would be interested in.

The way Watch was being retailed -- online only, with crazy delays -- didn’t impress me either. In fact, I called Apple’s launch a brand-damaging botch job. I still stand by that statement, but here’s the thing. Despite all that Apple Watch negativity, after I went into an Apple Store to look at the device I ended up buying one. I know, talk about easily swayed.

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Android's factory reset leaves private information behind on 630 million devices

Insecure Android smartphone

Sensitive data, such as user credentials, can be easily recovered from an Android handset after performing a factory reset, according to a University of Cambridge report. The feature, which is claimed to "erase all data" from the device and is especially recommended come resale time, will not work as advertised on up to 630 million Android handsets.

A factory reset will not properly wipe the data partition, where "credentials and other sensitive data are stored", on up to 500 million handsets, while on a further 130 million devices it will not properly clean the user-accessible storage. Even worse, relying on encryption to secure sensitive data does not help.

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Apple Pay to launch in Europe this summer

Apple Pay on iPhone 6

Apple Pay is still a US-only service, despite it being available for seven months, but the European launch is reportedly coming as soon as this summer.

That’s according to Belgium’s KBC Bank, confirming on Twitter that Apple Pay support will be available this summer. Even though KBC Bank removed the tweet after a few hours, it suggests that the Apple Pay European launch is coming sooner than expected.

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Best Windows apps this week

roboto

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

The official Dropbox application is universal now, and Microsoft released a new build of Windows 10 for Insiders on the Fast ring.

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UK elderly and disabled are missing out on Internet use

old man

According to new figures released by the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), in the first quarter of this year 86 percent of adults had used the Internet in the last three months, up one percent from the same period in 2014.

That means that 11 percent (5.9 million people) have never used the Internet. But this percentage is much higher for the disabled, a group where 27 percent of adults (3.3 million) had never been online. There were also 0.5 million disabled adults who had last used the internet more than three months ago, making up 48 percent of the total 1.1 million lapsed internet users.

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Microsoft threatened job cuts to influence UK government IT policy

Microsoft threatened job cuts to influence UK government IT policy

By threatening to implement job cuts in affected parts of the country, Microsoft tried to influence UK government IT policy. The company stands accused of trying to blackmail members of parliament when it disagreed with planned IT reforms.

The claims come from Prime Minister David Cameron's former strategy chief, Steve Hilton. He says Microsoft telephoned politicians in areas that the company has research and development departments with the threat of "we will close them down in your constituency if this goes through". And it seems that Microsoft is not alone in this sort of activity.

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Apple may have leaked its upcoming iPhone 6c

Apple leaks iPhone 6c with Touch ID on UK listing of Lightning Dock

There has been another leak of an Apple smartphone -- far from an unusual event in itself, except this time Cupertino itself is responsible for spilling the image.

The Guardian spotted the picture which popped up on the Apple Store, advertising a new charging dock with a lightning connector. Inside the dock was an iPhone 5C with a difference – rather than a home button, it appears to have a fingerprint scanner.

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Top lessons from data breach investigations

Security breach lock

Data breaches are an all too common part of our landscape today, but are we learning the lessons from them to make our systems more secure?

The 2015 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that there were nearly 80,000 security incidents -- including more than 2,100 confirmed breaches spanning 61 countries in the past year. Security solutions company Rapid7 has produced an infographic of expert takeaways from the report.

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Why businesses should embrace the hybrid cloud

cloud hosting

When cloud technology started to gain traction with businesses the main concerns expressed were over data security and control. Customers questioned what compromises they would have to make with their on-premise infrastructure to reap the benefits of cloud computing.

However, the cloud has developed significantly over the past few years, and the emergence of hybrid cloud has allowed businesses to reap the benefits of lower cost public cloud offerings whilst keeping control of their most prized and sensitive data on-premise. Hybrid cloud is any combination of public and private computing combined with existing on-premise infrastructure which is tailored to fit each individual business’ needs. With hybrid cloud, organizations are able to invest in both public and private cloud offerings from different vendors, giving them more flexibility and control.

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Google brings open source gaming to Cardboard

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Virtual reality is definitely a popular thing nowadays. Unfortunately, the hardware can be rather expensive. Not to worry though, it doesn't have to be pricey. Last year, Google released its Cardboard project, bringing virtual reality to anyone with a compatible Android phone and some cardboard (plus rubber bands and lenses, etc.).

Today, the company announces it is bringing its open source Android game, Pie Noon, to Cardboard. Are you ready to play a game with your smartphone strapped to your face?

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Hackers leak the sexual preferences of millions of online daters to the dark web

Pants Down Caught Handcuffed Bound Bondage

The details of millions of users of Adult FriendFinder -- the dating site with the tagline "hookup, find sex or meet someone hot now" -- have been leaked by hackers. Channel 4 reports that details of nearly 4 million users were exposed on the dark web after a security breach.

As well as information such as names, email addresses, and dates of birth, hackers also gained access to personal information such as users' sexual preferences and details of their willingness to conduct extramarital affairs. The compromised data includes accounts that had been deleted by their owners, and the hackers are now threatening to hit out at victims.

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Google apologizes for Maps racism

sorry

When it hit the national news that searching for certain racist and offensive words in Google Maps brought up the White House, I was immediately appalled. As someone who grew up listening to Hip-Hop music, I've heard similar language before, so I was not offended by the words themselves. I was, however, disappointed in the apparent disrespect towards our President and the ignorance of the perpetrator.

With that said, I was not angry at the search giant, as I knew it was not the company's doing, but simply a byproduct of a user's anonymous free speech. Heck, Barack Obama and Google are quite close -- blaming the company makes no sense. Of course, modern society and the public relations machine requires an apology for this, so today, Google has done so. Do you think the search giant needed to?

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Google finds security questions are crap because your answers are fake

Google finds security questions are crap because your answers are fake

Apple and other handset manufacturers might be trying to push users to securing their data with biometrics, but the vast majority of services still rely on the good old password. Lots of sites use the idea of memorable data either as a means of locking down accounts, or as a way to gain access to a forgotten password -- the likes of your mother's maiden name, town of birth, favorite color of underwear, and so on.

Research by Google shows that the security question system is failing, and it should come as no surprise that the blame is laid firmly at the door of the likes of you and I. We already know that people are rubbish at picking passwords, but there is also a problem with the answers they provide to security questions. Answers are either too easy for others to guess, or they are made up -- and people are forgetful buggers prone to failing to remember the answers they dreamt up.

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Facebook Messenger video calling is now available worldwide

Facebook Messenger Windows Phone Logo

Facebook has announced that its new addition to Messenger, namely video calling, has now rolled out across the globe.

The video calling capability was bolted on to Messenger on both iOS and Android at the end of last month, but obviously rolling it out to every market worldwide takes some time.

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The big problem with unlimited cloud storage

Warning Sign Sky Cloud Cloudy

By 2017, iHS iSuppli predicts there will be more than one billion personal cloud storage users around the world. Considering the purchasing power of these digital consumers, it’s no surprise that cloud storage’s biggest players are improving their systems to gain a competitive edge. The most recent upgrade -- unlimited cloud storage space.

In March, Amazon announced its own unlimited cloud storage system, situating itself as one of the market’s most affordable solutions. However, like most shiny things, the megalith’s offer is not quite as spectacular as it first appears. Why is that? Because it, like its competitors, is not truly unlimited.

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