Latest Technology News

What is San Diego Comic-Con really about?

Superheroes

Tomorrow night begins my seventh sojourn to the greatest geekfest and pop-culture event on the planet. Imitator shows are everywhere this Century, but none commands character and class like the original. San Diego Comic-Con is an amazing amalgamation of hopes and aspirations—and the grandest storytelling—where, for four days and a Preview Night, tens of thousands of people can be themselves—fit in, rather than feel oddball—or be whom they would want to be by dressing up as beloved superheroes or villains and by adoring the storytellers and actors behind them.

The first, full three-day event took place from Aug. 1-3, 1970, at the U.S. Grand Hotel, with about 300 attendees and sci-fi luminaries, including Ray Bradbury and A.E. van Vogt. This week, 130,000 attendees will storm San Diego Convention Center to enter an alternate reality, where the social rules binding them everyday no longer apply.

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Windows 10 Mobile Insider Preview Build 10149 hits Slow Ring

windows_10_logo

Builds of the desktop version of Windows 10 have been released at an accelerated pace in recent weeks, but Windows 10 Mobile users have had far fewer updates to install. A couple of weeks ago, build 10149 was made available to Insiders on the Fast Ring and today it makes its way to the Slow Ring.

Build 10149 has been deemed stable enough to make its way to a larger audience. New features to look forward to include Microsoft Edge, Cortana improvements, updated apps, and plenty of bug fixes.

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NSA's XKeyscore may be collecting your Skype, webcam and router data

Spying

The NSA's covert data collection has become the worst kept secret in the world. Edward Snowden blew the lid off the program and has released many documents providing validity to what he has said. While he continues to harbor in Russia, the US is split over whether he is a traitor or hero. Whistle blowers certainly aren't new -- they date back many years and include the famous Deepthroat who revealed Watergate.

Now more information has come to light in the form of XKeyscore, a program designed to glean data from user's router, webcam and Skype calls. It's just as scary as it sounds.

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Pressure mounts on Google to extend Right to Be Forgotten to US

us_flag_gavel

The Right To Be Forgotten has proved controversial. A little over a year ago Google was told by a European court that it should accept requests to remove from search results pages that are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant". Now, calls for the scheme to be extended to the US are growing ever-louder.

Consumer Watchdog not only says that the Right To Be Forgotten should be brought to the US, but also that Google's refusal to do so is an "unfair and deceptive" business practice. The consumer group is writing to the Federal Trade Commission calling for the search giant to be investigated and forced to consider the removal of certain search results. As has been proved in Europe, it's something that is not without controversy.

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Bitcoin prices rise after Greece referendum

Bitcoin

A crisis to some is an opportunity to others, and Bitcoin seems to be taking full advantage of Greece’s current situation.

IBTimes reported on Monday how the price of Bitcoin rose to a four-month high this past Sunday. The price rose after Greece voted "No" in a referendum regarding the international bailout.

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Translation Connector for AEM helps companies manage localized content

Language translation

Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) is used by many businesses to control content and ensure that it's consistent across channels. But what it doesn't help with is localizing sites into different languages.

Into this gap is stepping translation specialist Smartling with Translation Connector, which brings its cloud-based translation management platform to users of AEM 6.1.

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Malware-as-a-service is cyber criminals' new lucrative business

Faceless cyber criminal hacker

Organized criminal gangs (OCGs) are increasingly using software services of the type more usually associated with legitimate corporations to grow their operations. By offering malware-as-a-service, OCGs are employing business models similar to those developed by legitimate companies in order to extend their global reach.

The companies providing the software used by OCGs to break into organizations’ IT systems, commonly called malware, now employ business models frequently comprising a revenue stream, a budget, market researchers, a global pool of developers, software quality assurance and testing, help desk support, and even money-back guarantees. This process is now being referred to as the industrialization of cyber crime.

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How mobile access is changing the Internet

Mobile internet

Mobile Internet doesn't just liberate us from the constraints of a wired connection, it offers hundreds of millions around the world their only, or primary, means of getting online.

The latest Global Internet report from the Internet Society focuses on mobile usage and how it has changed, and is changing, the way we use the Web.

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Skype for Business debuts on Windows Phone

Skype for Business arrives on Windows Phone

Skype for Business is Microsoft's new enterprise communication tool, serving as a replacement for Lync in the software giant's business-oriented lineup. It was officially released in April, with new features and improvements coming from its predecessor, but is only now available on Windows Phone.

Windows Phone is actually the first major mobile platform which offers a Skype for Business app, with Android and iOS still having the old Lync 2013 client in their respective app stores. The transition from Lync 2013 to Skype for Business, on Windows Phone, is accompanied by new features.

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Bing Maps gets major redesign, available now in preview

Bing Maps Major Redesign User Interface

Whenever I use Bing Maps I get the sense that Microsoft has long conceded that its service will never be as popular as Google Maps. Otherwise it would look more visually appealing -- not as if it is a low-priority product -- and frequently gain new, powerful features. With Windows 10 on the horizon -- and Bing a key part of the experience -- not having Bing Maps ready for an influx of new users feels like a missed opportunity.

However, Microsoft is actively working on a major redesign for Bing Maps, which might put it back on consumers' radar. "Users want a map experience that is fast and easy to use, and makes the most of the visually rich data that maps can bring to life", says the team behind the service. And with lots of changes, it certainly looks promising.

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New backup service protects data stored in cloud apps

cloud

You might think that by moving applications to the cloud your data is automatically protected and worrying about backups is a thing of the past.

But just storing and processing data in Office 365 or Salesforce doesn't guard against user errors like accidentally deleting files. To offer extra peace of mind, backup specialist KeepItSafe is launching a new Cloud2Cloud service to protect data in SaaS applications.

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Object Theory to create mixed reality apps for Microsoft HoloLens ecosystem

HoloLense headset

Microsoft's take on virtual reality, HoloLens, caused waves of excitement when it was announced a few months ago. Today, a new company founded by a former member of the Microsoft HoloLens Studios team launches to start feeding the ecosystem with a range of apps it is describing not as virtual reality, or even augmented reality, but mixed reality.

Michael Hoffman's Object Theory has been set up with the aim of helping other organizations to build apps that take advantage of what HoloLens can offer. We've already seen how HoloLens can run Windows apps in 3D, and a recent demonstration of Minecraft at E3 thrilled gamers. Object Theory wants to ensure that there is a range of impressive apps on launch day.

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FFmpeg is a one-stop audio and video converter

FFmpeg200-175

If you need to convert a few audio or video files then you could try out a few freeware transcoders, do your best to avoid the adware, hope they support the formats and options you need.

Or you could just grab a copy of FFmpeg, the open-source media-processing powerhouse which is the engine behind most freeware converters, anyway.

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Police: Don't buy a gun-shaped iPhone case

iPhone-gun-case

There are a lot of novelty iPhone cases out there, but here’s one which really isn’t a good idea: a gun-shaped case.

Yes, as you can see from the image above, this is essentially a replica gun built to be a holder for your iPhone, and as you can imagine, that’s really not a bright idea -- particularly not over in the US where it’s on sale, and gun crime is rife in one form or another.

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Small businesses under-prepared for cyber security

Boardroom security

Although there has been heavy media coverage of information security issues in the past year, more than half of Britain's small businesses say that they aren't taking any preventative measures to protect themselves against cybercrime.

According to a survey by identity protection specialist CSID 52 percent of UK small businesses aren't guarding against cybercrime and a large majority (85.3 percent) don't have any plans to increase their budgets for security implementation, and less than 13 percent are working with a third party vendor to protect themselves. When asked about their concerns in the event of a data breach, 53 percent of respondents were worried their reputation would be damaged. Yet despite these fears only 47 percent of respondents are monitoring what is written about their brands online, and less than 15 percent have a social media policy in place. Only nine percent were worried about the negative impact on employees.

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