Latest Technology News

Microsoft drops Windows Dev Center fee -- expect a crap app avalanche

Microsoft drops Windows Dev Center fee -- expect a crap app avalanche

Free's good, right? Who doesn’t like something gratis? Microsoft has -- sort of -- cottoned onto this idea and dropped the annual fee associated with the Windows Dev Center. The 'sort of' caveat remains because signing up for a Dev Center account is not completely free; there's still a registration fee of $19 to pay, but this is for a lifetime account -- no more annual charges. Announcing the move on the Windows blog, Todd Brix explains that "each of our 600,000+ registered developers will no longer need to pay any additional fees to maintain their account. It’s also a very good time for developers new to the platform to get a Dev Center account and start submitting apps".

Having paid the fee, developers are then free to submit apps to both the Windows Phone Store and the Windows Store. But this is not the only change that's coming to the Dev Center. In what is becoming something of a trend, Microsoft clearly pinned back its ears and made it easier to promote apps and provide offers to users. Improvements to in-app advertising means that campaigns can be more easily run on a global scale and pay outs are made faster.

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Political infighting may stifle your Internet speed

politician

New analysis shows that the increase in the average Internet speed over the past five years is generally much smaller in politically divided states than in states controlled by a single party.

Democrats and Republicans both have stats to point to when touting their policies about high-speed Internet, but just because America’s two biggest political parties have had individual success with their high-speed Internet policies, doesn’t mean they’ve learned how to work together.

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T-Mobile reveals Samsung Galaxy Note 4's US availability and price

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 N910 Black

When it announced Galaxy Note 4 in early-September, Samsung revealed everything we wanted to know about its new phablet, except the date of availability and price. The two missing pieces of information would tell prospective buyers when to prepare for its arrival and how much they should expect to shell out for it, and help paint the full picture about how Galaxy Note 4 stacks up against its biggest rival, Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus, which goes on sale tomorrow.

Those who were hoping to find out what Samsung left out weeks ago are in luck, as US mobile operator T-Mobile has announced when Galaxy Note 4 will officially hit its store shelves, and, just as importantly, also at what price.

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Simple Secure -- open source security organization backed by Google and Dropbox

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Strong security is necessary nowadays. However, some solutions can be overwhelming to many users, so they are often not implemented or simply misunderstood. In other words, regardless of how strong a security implementation is, if users do not understand how it works or how to use it, it may be worthless.

Today, Dropbox, Google and the Open Technology Fund come together for a new organization called Simple Secure. This organization is designed to spread knowledge of open source security tools and empower people to use them properly.

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B1 File Manager adds streaming support

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Popular Android app B1 File Manager has been upgraded to 0.8.7 with the addition of cloud streaming support.

As previously, the app can access Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, Box and 4Shared accounts, as well as connecting via FTP, SFTP or SMB.

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Automate processes for a sustainable supply chain

Supply chain

Meeting twin goals of sustainability and efficiency is big challenge for supply chain professionals everywhere. Bill Leedale, Senior Advisor for Manufacturing and Engineering for IFS North America explains the situation: "For sustainability to take hold at many firms, management has to reconcile conflicting objectives all the way down the chain. Too often, the top-level message is about sustainability, but it is also about low cost, so you have to be really disciplined to reach both objectives, otherwise the lowest-cost option will win".

In fact, what may appear to be a low-cost option at one point in the supply chain may actually be more costly at later stages in the process, or expose an organization to increased risk over time. Sustainable processes maintained consistently across the entire supply chain are not only environmentally, socially and ethically beneficial -- they're economically wise choices, too. Deloitte says that "a green supply chain is good for society and the planet, but it's also good for your bottom line and brand". Top supply chain executives know that it's true. In a recent survey more than two-thirds of them said that sustainability is an important part of their strategy for the future. Still, the question remains as to exactly how they will apply it.

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Xiaomi Redmi 1S is the 4th best-selling smartphone -- in the world!

Xiaomi Redmi

Apple might be hoping to make big inroads in China with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, but it has some stiff opposition standing in its way.

Xiaomi is a Chinese smartphone maker known for producing powerful yet affordable handsets. While its name might mean little to you, Xiaomi is now the world’s fifth largest smartphone vendor and the company’s devices are so popular in China that they account for 14 percent of the smartphone shipments in that country, easily beating the likes of Samsung, Lenovo, and Huawei. One of its handsets, the Xiaomi Redmi 1S, is so successful it now ranks as the world's 4th best-selling smartphone.

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The best CRM software as selected by business professionals

CRM

By allowing companies to track and manage customer interactions, CRM (customer relationship management) systems are key to the success of sales and marketing teams. There are a lot of alternative systems to choose from though which can present a problem when it comes to picking the best option for the needs of a particular enterprise.

In order to help with this business software user review site G2 Crowd has produced its regular Grid report ranking 27 different CRM systems.

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LG's efficient OLED light panels set to arrive in November

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LG plans to bring OLED technology into the commercial lighting sector, challenging existing LED bulbs with a range of new products in November that are capable of matching the performance of current options.

The firm’s LG Chem arm has created OLED panels that have an efficacy of 100 lumens per watt and a life of 40,000 hours that is far greater than the 60 lumens per watt that current OLED panels can achieve.

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Mobile Internet use soars, but tablets suffer at the hands of larger smartphones

smartphone world map

How do you view BetaNews and other websites? While desktop browsers are still the most popular way of accessing the web for most of the world, mobile internet use is rapidly gaining in popularity.

According to independent website analytics company StatCounter, the use of mobile devices to access the internet has increased by 67 percent worldwide over the past 12 months, from 17.1 percent to 28.5 percent (as you might expect, with its tech-savvy audience, BetaNews has a higher portion of mobile users, but more on that later).

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Apple: iOS 8 will keep your private data safe from the US Government

Wilson's Weekend Whine: Snowden's call for online encryption is sad but necessary

It's very important for us to know that the things we store on our mobile devices are safe from prying eyes. It gives us a sense of security knowing that our private thoughts, photos, videos and whatnot will only be seen by us and the people we share them with. But what if it is the US Government that wants to take a look? If the authorities get hold of our devices, what's to stop them from using search warrants to see what's in there?

If we are talking about iOS 8 devices, then its security design is standing in the government's way. Apple has updated its Legal Process Guidelines to reflect that it will be unable to extract data that its customers store on devices running its latest mobile operating system, as the key which unlocks the treasure trove is solely in its users' control.

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What makes Apple such a success? -- Free ebook

2013 Apple MacBook Air Illuminated Logo

Love it or hate it, you can't deny that Apple is a phenomenally successful company. But how has it managed to achieve this from a business that started in a garage?

Mostly it hasn’t been by innovation but by taking technology that already existed and turning it into the devices that people want to buy. Apple, more than any other company, has succeeded in making technology cool and desirable.

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F-Secure SAFE 2015 protects desktops, tablets and phones

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F-Secure has released F-Secure SAFE 2015, a multi-platform security suite which protects Windows and Mac desktops, and Windows 8, Android and iOS mobile devices.

Desktop protection concentrates on the core essentials, with antivirus, browsing and banking protection, simple parental controls and a spam filter. As previously, the Windows client uses Windows’ own firewall.

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News Corp: Google is a 'platform for piracy' with 'cynical management'

Google is a 'platform for piracy' with 'cynical management' -- News Corp

News Corp, Rupert Murdoch's media behemoth, is the latest source of criticism of Google. Robert Thomson, the chief executive of the company -- responsible for the Times and the Sun in the UK as well the book publisher HarperCollins -- has written to the European Commission to complain that the search giant is "a platform for piracy". Thomson pulls no punches as he lays into Google, saying that the company was in the hands of a "cynical management" and was "willing to exploit its dominant market position to stifle competition".

The letter, addressed to Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, is bitter in tone as Thomson complains of Google's "egregious" practices. It is Google's dominance of the search market that is seen as particularly problematic. News Corps feels that Google's power "increases with each passing day" -- a claim that many have leveled at Murdoch's corporation in the past -- and fears that this "will lead to a less informed, more vexatious level of dialog in our society". But this is far from being the only accusation that Thomson fires at Google.

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Smartphone users sticking with the same apps rather than downloading new ones

Mobile device apps

Research has shown that smartphone users are spending more time on their favorite apps rather than downloading new ones, illustrating how difficult it is for new apps and developers to break into the industry.

The study, carried out by Boston-based firm Localytics, also found that consumers are now using apps 21 percent more than they did last year. This rise is apparently down to users opening applications more often, rather than simply spending longer within them. App session length stayed constant at 5.7 minutes, whereas the average amount of app openings increased by 22 percent from 9.4 to 11.5 times a month.

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