Latest Technology News

Microsoft continues earning money from Linux -- increases patent licensing agreements

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Many people -- let's call them 'haters' -- like to make fun of Microsoft's mobile market share with Windows Phone. True, the platform is a failure in this regard, but many users of the OS like it. Quite frankly, besides the lack of apps, Windows Phone is a rather smart and well-designed operating system.

If you choose to laugh at Microsoft over its mobile presence, feel free, but please know that Microsoft is laughing too; all the way to the bank. What you may not know is, Microsoft makes money from Android handset sales thanks to its patent portfolio. In fact, it also collects money from Chromebooks too. In other words, Microsoft is profiting from Linux, since both operating systems are based on the kernel. Today, Microsoft increases its number of patent licensing agreements, by making a deal with Qisda Corp.

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Aggressive Android app ads annoy and interfere

Aggressive Android app ads annoy and interfere

Avoiding online ads can be fairly easily achieved by installing a tool such as AdBlockPlus, but it's a different matter when it comes to ads in mobile apps. Security researchers at Doctor Web have discovered that a number of Android apps found in Google Play are plagued with aggressive ad modules.

Advertising is considered aggressive if it appears on top of other windows, interferes with the use of applications, and makes normal use of a smartphone or tablet difficult.

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Tidal isn't a tsunami (but it can be)

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Lossless leader Tidal has a problem. Last month's splashy relaunch let critics control the narrative, defining the streaming service as a tool for pampering the bank accounts of already successful musicians. But Tidal is something else: Affordable HiFi streaming for the listening elite—those people who want to enjoy music the way it was engineered, produced. The streamer should be the coolest thing, but the Jay Z ownership team fraked up the marketing messaging. Problem is fixable, but correction requires aggressive advertising, promotional pricing, and extraordinary exclusives.

For more than three weeks, I have listened to nothing but Tidal, and the service should challenge everyone signing up for the 30-day trial to do likewise. There is no other way for the majority of people to appreciate the aural benefits. The majority of potential subscribers are too accustomed to the muddy, mushy, overly-bassy sound of compressed, low-fidelity AAC or MP3 files. The brain and ears need to be freed from the habitual crappy sound to which they're accustomed. iTunes is a prison. Spotify is another. Tidal will liberate you. But you must want freedom to attain it.

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Kickass Torrents is on the run to a new domain

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We've grown used to sites like The Pirate Bay making pretty regular moves. It's kind of unavoidable in this business where organizations such as the MPAA exist. While we don't condone piracy, we also don't condone censorship, and there's plenty of studies that show that illegally downloaded content doesn't put much, if any, dent in the copyright holder's bank account.

Today the latest news surfaces -- Kickass Torrents, the top source on the web, is on the move after a brief visit to the Isle of Man. The place proved unfriendly to the organization, shutting it down rather quickly. Next stop? Costa Rica sounds like a nice tropical local, doesn't it?

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Comcast calls time on merger plans

Comcast calls time on merger plans

The planned merger between Time Warner and Comcast has been quashed. Back in February of last year the "most hated company in America" announced that it was planning to join forces with Time Warner to create a technology giant.

Today the company did an about-face, announcing that the merger is now off. The deal would have seen Comcast Corporation acquire Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion leading to the creation of the largest cable company in the US.

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X2 announces ISOLATIC 6020 -- a sexy and affordable full-tower ATX PC case

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When building a computer, there are areas where you should try to save money, and others where you shouldn't. A budget power supply? Probably a bad idea. Generic no-name RAM? Just say no. A case? Bingo. When looking to save money, the case, for the most part, will not affect performance or stability. You can find an inexpensive ugly or cheaply-made case with decent cooling.

Today, X2 announces a full-tower PC case that is not only affordable, but sexy as hell too. Seriously, the design is very futuristic, giving a premium look at a fairly budget price.

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AVG introduces Crumble for Chrome, claims you can surf without surveillance

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In today's world privacy has become a premium and companies and governments are the ones in the hotseat thanks to Edward Snowden, WikiLeaks and others. People are searching out ways to avoid being tracked, a difficult task in this current society. AVG is the latest to offer a solution.

The security firm is announcing Crumble, a new extension for Chrome that promises you can "surf without surveillance". The app comes from the Innovation Labs and is still in beta at the moment, but users can start testing it out now.

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How CEOs are failing to exploit social media

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Social media is a large part of many people's lives these days but it seems that people at the top of enterprises and large organizations are more reluctant to engage.

Management education advice site MBA Central has produced an infographic looking at how CEOs are lagging behind in their use of social media despite the benefits it can bring to their personal and professional reputation.

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NovaBACKUP 17 brings installation assistance, phone and email tech support

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NovaStor has announced the release of its industrial-strength backup solution for Windows, NovaBACKUP 17 (priced from $49.95 for PCs, $349.95 for servers).

The update sees NovaStor’s remote installation service "Setup Assistance" included with the sale of every server product: a 30-minute online appointment with a product technician who will remotely install NovaBACKUP, configure it and schedule a first backup job for you.

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The Apple Watch becomes an enterprise security tool

Usher AW

Everyone, it seems, is jumping on the Apple watch bandwagon today with new apps, but one of the more interesting developments comes from enterprise security specialist MicroStrategy.

It's launched a version of its Usher platform allowing the Apple Watch to be used as a secure digital key, enabling wearers to log into business systems, unlock devices, validate personal identity, and open physical doors with a simple gesture or tap.

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Apple Watch gets Amazon shopping capability

pandora Apple Watch

Today the Apple Watch begins its highly anticipated rollout. The tech world is watching, while fans are eagerly expecting the device. Of course any product today requires a healthy ecosystem of apps to survive, and Apple is doing its best to make that happen. Others are trying to do the same, also from an economical standpoint.

Amazon plans to allow customers to shop from their wrist -- why you'd want to is anyone's guess. The retailer is announcing a shopping app for the new accoutrement. The company claims it will be useful in certain situations, such as heading out somewhere and suddenly remembering something you need. Granted that's a good scenario, as you may forget by the time you return home. However, isn't that what the smartphone in your purse or pocket is for?

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Best Windows apps this week

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

Microsoft pushed out another Windows 10 build to Fast ring users bringing improvements but also new bugs along with it. The build ships with a new version of the Start menu that is resizable and customizable now.

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Android pisses all over Apple -- in Google Maps [Updated]

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Google hides lots of Easter eggs in its products and services. Usually fun little extras designed to amuse. However, the latest one discovered in Google Maps is of questionable taste.

Tucked away in Pakistan, close to the New Islamabad International Airport, is a cartoon image of Google’s Android urinating on an Apple logo. Nice.

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Samsung Galaxy S6: Positive first impressions [Review]

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I, like many others, was glued to my favorite tech site on 1 March, awaiting news on the new Samsung flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6. But when the stream I was watching came to a close, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit disappointed.

The expandable memory and removable battery was always a major selling point to me over an iPhone. However with the new S6 removing expandable memory and having a non-removable battery, I was torn. Unfortunately, my trusty S4 bit the dust and I knew I’d have to try the S6 first-hand to see if the features I had used for so long would be missed. I don’t know what I was worried about…

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Microsoft's Q3 FY2015: The highlights

Nope, Microsoft isn't getting into Android with a Cyanogen investment

Microsoft has released its Q3 FY2015 (corresponding to Q1 CY2015) financial report, revealing revenue of $21.72 billion, gross margin of $14.56 billion, operating income of $6.59 billion, and diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.61. The software giant has beaten analyst expectations, which had placed revenue and the diluted EPS at $21.06 billion and $0.51, respectively. In after-hours trading, shares have risen from $43.34, at closing time, to $44.59.

A strong US dollar had influenced Microsoft's earnings, with the software giant estimating that "on a constant currency basis" it could have revealed stronger results across the board. For reference, in Q3 FY2014, Microsoft posted revenue, gross margin, operating income and diluted EPS of $20.40 billion, $14.42 billion, $6.97 billion and $0.68. As you can see, revenue and gross margin are higher, by 6 percent and 1 percent respectively, while operating income and diluted EPS are down by 5 percent and 10 percent, respectively. Let's take a look at the highlights of the quarter.

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