Latest Technology News

Corporate PC demand will last

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The health of the PC market has been a topic of debate as spending shifts towards tablets and smartphones. This shift is readily evident in the consumer market, but the enterprise market paints a completely different picture. PCs still rule within the walls of business and will likely continue for a while.

Why has the corporate PC been spared from this down cycle? First and foremost, we are in the midst of a business-centric refresh cycle. The factor that has received the most attention when attempting to explain this new growth is Microsoft’s end-of-life (EOL) support for Windows XP in the spring of 2014. This hard deadline served as a wakeup call for many companies who, by mid-2013, started to upgrade their PC fleet. There is quite a bit of additional data, however, that suggests the EOL of Microsoft XP is only one of several factors driving a corporate PC refresh, and that this bounce may have legs once the Windows XP refresh has run its course.

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E-cigarettes can damage your PC's health

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Using e-cigarettes, or vaping, is widely touted as being healthier for you than smoking tobacco, however, it may not be so healthy for your PC.

Many e-cigarettes offer a USB charging option but a story on social news site Reddit suggests that this is a potential source of malware attack. An executive's PC became infected after he'd recently given up smoking and the infection was traced to his e-cigarette charger.

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Slow devices are causing billions of lost hours a year

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I’m pretty impatient when it comes to technology and I’ve often wondered just how much of my time is being wasted while I’m waiting for something to load, or download, or for tasks to complete. Memory expert Crucial.com has done a spot of surveying and discovered that slow tech is responsible for wasting billions of hours every year.

The company surveyed 1,148 Brits, aged 16-65, and found the average person wastes over 39 hours each year (or 6.5 minutes a day) waiting for slow technology to complete everyday tasks. It also found some people wasted as many as 121 hours a year. For the whole of the UK, this equates to a whopping 2.1 billion hours of wasted time per annum.

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Microsoft has an amazing deal on Lumia 635 -- just $39 off-contract

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If you want to get a Windows Phone 8.1 device for cheap, chances are you are waiting for Black Friday or Cyber Monday to start to pick one up. And who could blame you? Microsoft as well as various retailers will have some nice deals waiting for you -- and millions of other shoppers -- then.

But why not get one right now? Microsoft has an amazing deal on Lumia 635, selling the smartphone -- in black, AT&T trim -- for just $39, off-contract. That is amazing value for money.

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Blinkbox now offers offline TV and movie viewing on iPad

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The online streaming service Blinkbox now allows customers to download films and TV shows to watch offline.

Currently, the service is only available to iPad owners running iOS 6 or later, but it is expected to come to Android devices at a later date.

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Pro-Hong Kong websites hit by massive cyber attacks

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Websites supporting the Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong have been hit with what is being described as one of the largest cyber attacks ever recorded.

The two sites, Apple Daily and PopVote, have been covering and vocally supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. The two even carried out spoof elections for a new chief executive in the region.

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Handbrake 0.10 ends XP support, adds H.265 encoder

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Popular open source video transcoder Handbrake has been updated to version 0.10 with some major additions and improvements.

New encoders include Intel Quick Sync Video, a speedy hardware-based H.264 encoder. Basic H.265 support is provided by x265 1.4, while WebM's libvpx can encode VP8 to MKV files (and sees Theora deprecated).

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AMD to launch 'Carrizo' mobile APUs in 2015 -- improved performance and efficiency

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Intel is the current king of processors -- let's just get that out of the way. From a performance standpoint, you can't go wrong with the company's chips. Not to mention, Intel is a huge Linux supporter, so its hardware (chipset, Wi-Fi, etc.) works well "out of the box" with many distros. So why would someone go with AMD? A very good question -- Intel's competitor also makes great chips, often with a focus on value. This year, AMD launched the brilliant AM1 platform, featuring the FS1b socket. Sure, it won't win in performance, but it excels in low-cost ownership. You see, not only is the upfront cost low, but it will save you much on your electricity bills, as it is very low-wattage.

Now, AMD is looking to the future, as it announces a new mobile APU family called "Carrizo". Starting next year, Intel may have some serious competition on its hands, as Carrizo APUs begin showing up in consumer devices.

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Symantec uncovers Regin, a highly advanced stealth spying tool developed by a nation state

Symantec uncovers Regin, a highly advanced stealth spying tool developed by a nation state

Security firm Symantec has released details of an advanced cyberespionage it has discovered. Called Regin, the backdoor Trojan is described as having a structure that "displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen". Symantec goes as far as saying that the levels of resources required to create such a highly advanced tool indicate that it was created by a nation state -- although there is no suggestion about who it might be.

The report says that Regin has already been used in mass surveillance programs not by but against government organizations. Symantec estimates that the tool may have been years in development, as it delivers multi-stage attacks, and great lengths are taken to hide each stage. The framework was designed to facilitate long-term surveillance, and the concealment techniques used make Regin difficult to fully understand.

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Apple and Microsoft both appear in TIME's best inventions of 2014

Apple and Microsoft both have entries in TIME's best inventions of 2014

It's the time of year -- no pun intended -- when websites and magazines start to reflect over the year that has passed. As we reach the closing stages of 2014, TIME has taken a look back at the preceding months and picked out its highlights from the world of innovation in its annual collection of "the best inventions making the world better, smarter and—in some cases—a little more fun".

There may not be quite the same importance placed on TIME's favorite inventions as its annual person of the year award, but it makes for interesting reading nonetheless. With a print circulation running into millions, it's a publication that holds some influence across swathes of America. Apple and Microsoft make appearances in the list, but there are a few surprise inclusions from the world of tech as well.

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Frank Lantz -- Director of Logitech's 'Together We Game' project [Q&A]

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Video games are currently a wildly popular entertainment medium for all ages, but earlier perceptions were that they are only for children. You see, in the early days of video games, they were viewed as somewhat of a toy; appropriate for young people. Guess what happened? Those children and teens grew up, but they did not grow out of playing the games. More importantly, some of them grew up to become game developers.

Sadly, not all of us could become developers -- the world needed boring and mindless jobs to be filled too. With that said, earlier this year, Logitech launched 'Together We Game' -- a crowdsourced video game project, where anyone on the internet can contribute and vote on ideas for the development of a tower defense video game. In other words, for those of us that never got to make our own game, Logitech is empowering us to get involved with one. BetaNews recently had the opportunity to ask Frank Lantz, director of the project, some questions.

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UnityPDF [Review]

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UnityPDF would like to be the tool of choice for batch PDF processing. It can split or merge files, extract all or selected pages, divide one file into several, rotate every page in a file, insert pages from one file into another, password-protect or set permissions for your PDFs, even display or clean metadata.

That’s a solid set of features, and we were interested to see that UnityPDF had once been a commercial product, if only briefly (it’s now free for any use). Time for a closer look.

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Gamer alert -- you can now play Tetris on your Roku

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Most people don't think of a set-top box as a gaming device, but that concept has been changing recently. Amazon's Fire TV and  Google's new Nexus Player are both enabled with capability that has the gamer in mind. Now Roku is stepping up as well.

The company announces that the classic game of Tetris is now available to its customers. "Casual gaming is a great feature available on Roku players and is perfect for a little friendly competition on family game nights. The addition of the Tetris game to the Roku Channel Store provides another great option for a fun, engaging game to keep your whole family entertained".

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Take full control of Windows updates with ABC-Update

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It’s important to keep Windows up-to-date, and the easiest way to make that happen is to let the operating system handle everything. Set Windows Update to "automatic" and get on with something else.

But if you need more control, some way to install only your chosen updates, at a time that’s convenient for you, then it might be worth looking at ABC-Update.

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Businesses are failing to take security seriously enough

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Companies are still failing to properly protect themselves from potential attacks and hackers, with security not being given enough weight of consideration -- and indeed, many firms haven’t even covered the fundamentals of keeping intruders out of their networks and data.

This is according to Neira Jones, a security expert who chairs the Global Advisory Board for the Centre for Strategic Cybercrime & Security Science, who criticized businesses for failing to "fix the basics" of protecting data, and lacking sufficient "cyber-security awareness programs".

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