Latest Technology News

Microsoft enables animated GIF search on Bing

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While some people find animated GIFs to be tacky and silly, I find them fun. Sure, many people use the images to flood social media with memes, but they also serve as a great way to show a short animation using a small file size. I often use them in things like PowerPoint presentations, as they jazz it up a bit and keep things exciting.

Searching for the perfect animated GIF can be problematic, as most images are not named as such, and unless the search engine gives an option, they may be mixed in with non-animated images too. Today, Bing gets even better, with the all-new option to filter image searches by animated GIF.

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Apple's Tim Cook is gay -- the fact it needs to be announced shows what’s wrong in tech

Apple's Tim Cook is gay -- the fact it needs to be announced shows what’s wrong in tech

The sexuality of people in the public often comes in for scrutiny. Whether we're talking about Michael Stipe coming out at the same time as REM released Monster, Morrissey using Autobiography to give a beautifully tender glimpse into the loves of his life, Ellen DeGeneres revealing her sexual preferences to Oprah Winfrey, or any one of countless other celebrities who chooses to make their sexuality public, where those in the limelight fit onto the sexual spectrum has long been -- and will undoubtedly continue to be -- of endless interest to people.

Writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook, entirely unprompted, has said that he is gay. For many people this will come as no surprise, for most it will be of no consequence, some will take exception to it. But what's interesting is that, in 2014, a man (or woman, for that matter) proclaiming their sexuality, is news. Tim Cook is currently the top trending topic on Twitter.

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Choose a cloud vendor that meets your needs

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There is little doubt that cloud will play an increasingly important role as more and more organizations adopt cloud based strategies to underpin their IT infrastructures. Indeed, cloud hosting offers a wide variety of advantages to companies with the expertise to take advantage of it. Applications can be rolled out faster, resources can be rented rather than purchased and infrastructure can be right-sized to support monthly and seasonal peaks.

However, a global survey commissioned by iland in April 2014 and undertaken by analyst firm Enterprise Management Associates (EMA), highlighted that there are also plenty of challenges when moving to a new cloud based infrastructure. In fact, 91 percent of those surveyed experienced at least one unexpected challenge when moving to the cloud with pricing, performance, scalability and location all topping the list of issues.

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Microsoft gives developers new opportunities with Apps for Outlook.com

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At the Inbox Love event in Mountain View, CA, Microsoft revealed the latest way for developers to bring extra functionality to the user. Starting next year, Outlook.com will support third-party apps, known -- uninspiringly -- as Apps for Outlook.com. Just a couple of days ago, Microsoft launched new APIs and SDKs to give developers new options for working with Office 365, and the latest announcement caters for development in the cloud.

Although Apps for Outlook.com will not officially launch until next year, Microsoft is giving developers the chance to start creating apps for the Outlook Web App. Those with a penchant for coding are invited to come up with new, exciting, and productivity-enhancing ways for users to interact with Outlook.com.

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Apple and Google are in a fierce battle for your car -- which will win the war?

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When I was a younger man, it was all the rage to replace the stock stereo and speakers in your car with better, third-party options. This enabled you to have more features and increased volume. If you did not have something like an Alpine or JVC deck, you and you car were lame. However, as time marched on, car manufacturers slowly began to improve the stock offerings, and, today, many people are content with the factory audio.

Two tech companies are looking to shake-up the car audio industry -- Apple and Google. Yes, the smartphone wars are advancing from your homes and pockets to your automobiles. Google has Android Auto, while Apple has CarPlay. Even though Android has handily become the dominant force in smartphones, according to a new study, the war for your car is still either company's to win.

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IBM and Twitter join forces to improve enterprise decision making

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Twitter provides a unique window into public thinking and that can be useful for businesses, not only to see what people are saying about them but also to get an insight into market trends.

In order to help enterprises understand their customers and markets, IBM and Twitter have announced a partnership that will allow Twitter data to be used in IBM's cloud-based analytics platforms.

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What's your password backup plan?

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After news broke earlier this month that hackers had gotten their hands on nearly 7 million Dropbox login credentials, the familiar media chorus of password safety tips soon followed. You likely saw the headlines: "How to Change Your Dropbox Password". "It’s Time to Enable Two-Step Authentication on Everything". "Never Ever Reuse Your Passwords".

It’s not that good password hygiene isn’t important. Enabling two-factor authentication, not using the same passwords for multiple sites, changing passwords every couple of months -- these are all aspects of a smart and savvy approach to protecting the files and data that you store online. But they’re not foolproof. As hackers grow increasingly sophisticated, even users following all the "rules" may see their login credentials compromised as part of an attack. Additionally, for companies whose employees use consumer-facing platforms, enforcing password safety rules can sometimes be a challenge. Whether it’s a result of hacker expertise or human error, when passwords fail, companies must make sure they have a backup plan in place.

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10 clever ways Microsoft could improve Windows 10

Windows 10 Technical Preview feedback: what users want to change

Aurélio "Baboo" knows what he wants to see in Microsoft’s next operating system, and has put together his own vision of Windows 10 "build 9928", spending over 50 hours on creating images in Photoshop that show the changes he thinks Microsoft should implement.

Top of his list, and that of many Windows users, is the return of Aero. Flat might be where it’s at right now, but there’s no question that adding some transparency effects to windows looks good, and I’d be happy to see Microsoft include this option in Windows 10. "I’m honestly not worried about the extra cents in energy consumption Aero that costs me when I’m using my desktop or laptop, because Windows is much more enjoyable with it", Baboo says.

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How multimodal biometrics improves border control security

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The use of biometrics by border control agencies worldwide is now commonplace. Many countries around the world are deploying or have already deployed biometric border security systems for accurate and fast identification of citizens and foreign travelers.

Border security biometric systems include national database deployments in entrance and exit systems, immigration, and e-passports, to track and manage the flow of humans across borders. More sophisticated technologies like multimodal biometrics identification are now considered more reliable to improve border control security.

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Xiaomi is the third-largest smartphone maker

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For a manufacturer that has only been selling smartphones for a couple of years now, Xiaomi is doing better than expected. The Chinese company, founded in 2012, became the third-largest smartphone vendor in Q3 2013, surpassing the likes of Lenovo, LG and Huawei. Xiaomi is also closing in fast on Apple, which has enjoyed a comfortable lead, in volumes, over its immediate competition.

Xiaomi's shipments have increased by 211.3 percent year-over-year, to 17.3 million units in the past quarter from just 5.6 million units in Q3 2013. That is more than eight times higher than the market average, of 25.2 percent. Meanwhile, Apple's shipments only grew by a mere 16.1 percent, which is well below the market average, to 39.3 million units from 33.8 million units.

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Bye bye, Moto: Lenovo takes Motorola Mobility from Google's hands

Bye bye, Moto: Lenovo takes Motorola Mobility from Google's hands

Way back in January, Google announced plans to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Today that deal has completed. The acquisition sees control of Moto X, Moto G, Moto E and the DROID product ranges moving out of Google's hands as Motorola operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary under Lenovo. Google's CEO is happy with the outcome: "Motorola is in great hands with Lenovo, a company that's all-in on making great devices".

Lenovo takes a total of 3,500 employees under its wing, and becomes the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Practically speaking, at least in the immediate future, little should change. Motorola will remain headquartered in Chicago, and Rick Osterloh will stay on as COO.

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UK national videogame museum set to open in 2015

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A videogame museum is opening in Britain that hopes to become the "hub for videogame culture".

The National Videogame Arcade in Nottingham will display a selection of highlights from the National Videogame Archive, a collection of 20,000 objects owned by the Science Museum.

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Microsoft introduces Band smart activity tracker, Health platform

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Microsoft is getting into the wearables business, but not with a smartwatch as the rumors have suggested for more than a week. The software giant is actually approaching this market with a smart activity tracker called Band, and a dedicated platform called Health.

Like the rumored smartwatch, which could have competed with Android Wear devices and Apple Watch, Band works on all three major mobile platforms, Android, iOS and Windows Phone. It is designed for both fitness junkies as well as average folks who wish to keep track of their daily activity.

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The NHS is still clinging on to Windows XP

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NHS Trusts across the UK are risking a security meltdown due to the widespread presence of Microsoft’s outdated Windows XP OS with the government looking at another £5.5 million bill from Microsoft for support.

Citrix, the mobile workspace company, filed a freedom of information act request that found all the of 35 NHS Trusts questioned are still using Windows XP and that just five are utilizing desktop virtualization technology to handle migration away from it.

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Lenovo unveils the 13-inch Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows

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Lenovo makes some great computers; its laptop build-quality is legendary. While its tablet offerings have been average, the newest line of tablets is sure to change that. You see, the Yoga Tablet 2 line, has quite the impressive specs, which consumers should notice.

Earlier this month, the Yoga Tablet 2 Pro was the star of the show, when Lenovo unveiled the new line. The "Pro" tablet stood out, as it has a 13-inch screen, coupled with an impressive audio package, including a subwoofer. Unfortunately, the 13-inch tablet only came with Android, leaving Windows fans in despair. Fear not though, Lenovo has decided to right that wrong, and announces the 13-inch Yoga Tablet 2 with Windows.

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