Latest Technology News

Vatican Library’s digital archives now available online

vatican

The Vatican Apostolic Library has announced that more than 4,000 ancient manuscripts will now be available online as part of a digital archive.

Global IT service provider NTT DATA has developed the service, which displays high definition digital reproductions of the texts at the library's website.

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Here's what's new in Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9860

Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9860

Development of Windows has been criticized in the past for being slow. With the Technical Preview of Windows 10, it's just not possible to level the same complaint at Microsoft. It's only a couple of weeks since we got our grubby little hands on the embryonic build 9841 and tens of thousands of users have provided feedback. Now it's upgrade time. Build 9860 has been pushed out -- through Windows Update, no less... none of this messy ISO malarkey this time around -- so it's time to take a look at the work Microsoft has done.

When build 9841 was released, there was disappointment from many quarters -- including here -- at just how little had changed since Windows 8.1. Jumping up 19 build numbers might not seem like much, but there are now a couple of features that were talked about at the launch of the Technical Preview that were not available in the first release -- but still no Cortana.

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Why the iPhone 6's Apple Pay is all about owning your identity

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Apple's 'Apple Pay' function, tying Touch ID with mobile payments, was perhaps the most important announcement to come from the 9/9 event, and one that signifies the company's first legitimate claim to consumer identity.

This pits Apple not just against payment providers such as PayPal, but against companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon as an identity provider. Combining Apple Pay with Passbook effectively digitises a user's entire wallet, and with that their identity as a consumer. It's essentially putting your 'identity' into one 'pocketable' device.

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RapidWeaver 6.0 adds five new themes, debuts Addons Manager, Markdown tool

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UK developer Realmac Software has unveiled RapidWeaver 6.0, a major new version of its acclaimed web design tool for Macs.

Version 6, which now requires OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) or later to run, throws in a new Addons Manager, bundles five new themes and promises vastly improved performance thanks to full 64-bit support and a revamped publishing engine.

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Step inside Dr. Jane Goodall's shoes via Google Street View

monkey

Not everyone can be a 'Dr. Jane Goodall' and spend years in Tanzania studying chimpanzees, but now you can be a little closer to the experience thanks to Google Maps Street View.

The Google Maps team worked with the Jane Goodall Institute and the Gombe National Park to record the location with their backpack cameras (called the Trekker). The Trekker can record 360 degrees, and captured the paths through the park, the chimpanzees swinging through the trees, and features Jane's favorite location -- 'The Peak'.

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Google Play Music All Access gets even better with Songza integration

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I love me some music, and I love me some Google Play Music All Access. For real though, I use the search-giant's music service for multiple hours every day. Whether it is on my desktop, smartphone or tablet, I consume many songs with the service. Sure, other services like Beats Music and Spotify are good too, but All Access couples its large selection with an unrivaled visual style that makes the entire experience awesome. Heck, starting today, Android app begins using the super-sexy material design.

Unfortunately, with all streaming music services, media discovery can be tricky, as I often find myself listening to the same songs over and over again. While Google's genre-based and curated stations are a good way to discover, even that can be limiting. Today, Google turns it up to 11 and finally integrates features from its Songza acquisition into All Access. The result? Better discovery, plus music that matches a mood or task.

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Google takes Firebase under its wing in latest cloud acquisition

Google takes Firebase under its wing in last cloud acquisition

Firebase, a company helping developers to produce apps and services that store and sync data in realtime, is the latest Google acquisition. With a user base of 110,000 developers three-year-old Firebase announced that it is joining Google and plans to continue the work it already does, but pointing out it will be possible to "do much more, much faster" with Google's resources and backing.

With Firebase's focus on the cloud and mobile, it is little surprise that Google's own announcement about the acquisition came on the Google Cloud Platform Blog. The two companies appear to be a good match, with Firebase's aim to "continue to be platform agnostic and provide clients for iOS, Android, the web, and more" being very much in keeping with Google's own ethos.

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Download Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9860 now!

Download Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9860 now!

Windows 10 Technical Preview has just been updated. We've been working with build 9841 for a little while, and now it's time for an upgrade.

Today, Microsoft releases build 9860 to people signed up to the Windows Insider Program, and there are a number of key additions. There's the Action Center to handle notifications, new animations, and improved multi-monitor handling.

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Is the iPad mini losing its appeal?

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When Apple announced its new iPads last week it was, unsurprisingly, iPad Air 2 that got the most focus. It’s Apple’s flagship (and most expensive) tablet after all, and received the greatest improvements.

The iPad mini 3 had little new to offer, and so was presented almost as an afterthought. Rather curiously, Apple is now selling three generations of the mini at varying price points, but new sales data suggests the smaller tablet is falling out of favor with consumers.

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Toshiba unveils the Satellite Radius 11 Convertible -- form and function at a low price

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Toshiba has been making laptops for what seems like forever, and for many consumers, the machines have been synonymous with quality and value. The company produces computers for both bargain hunters and enthusiasts alike.

Today, the company announces a laptop that targets both laptop and tablet shoppers with the all-new Satellite Radius 11 Convertible, running Windows 8.1. It is extremely versatile and should appeal to consumers looking for value.

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Log into Gmail with a USB drive -- Google adds support for Security Key

Log into Gmail with a USB drive -- Google adds support for Security Key

Two factor authentication (or two step verification, if you prefer) is very a la mode at the moment. Actually, it has been pushed by companies for some time, but a number of high profile security problems recently has brought it back to public attention again.

Enabling the security feature usually means entering a password as normal, in addition to a passcode sent to a mobile device. Today, Google makes things a little easier for, in its own words, "particularly security-sensitive individuals" by introducing support for Security Key.

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Microsoft's Satya Nadella: 'We've always had freemium. Sometimes our freemium was called piracy'

Satya Nadella, Microsoft. 2014-01

Microsoft is committed to the cloud. CEO Satya Nadella is starting to hit his stride and his vision is coming into focus. The new leader seems to see the future in OneDrive and he isn't shy about explaining his reasoning.

In a lengthy interview with CNBC's Jon Fortt, Nadella tackled the concepts and ideas he has for the company. In discussing OneDrive, the CEO made it clear that the product would remain free to everyone. The model involves monetizing for those who need more than what is offered for the price of zero.

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Nokia's HERE beta availability extends beyond Samsung Galaxy smartphones

HERE Android Hand

HERE's upcoming availability for Samsung Galaxy smartphones was announced in late-August, and, at first, it appeared to be an exclusive launch. But, shortly after, Nokia's arm revealed that the app would actually be made available for every compatible Android smartphone "later this year".

HERE launched in beta for Samsung Galaxy smartphones only two weeks ago. For a first public release, the amount of features available is rather impressive, even for someone like me who is used to the fully-featured HERE suite on Windows Phone. And, now, everyone with an Android smartphone running any of the three Jelly Bean iterations or newer can also test what HERE has to offer (as long as the device has 1 GB of RAM or more), as the app's availability is extending beyond Galaxy smartphones.

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New platform speeds up development of multi-platform enterprise apps

Mobile device apps

Mobile apps are becoming increasingly important to business as more consumers want to shop and interact online and more employees want to take advantage of BYOD and working away from the office.

Developing an app for multiple platforms, however, can prove costly and time consuming. Now though app platform as a service specialist Mendix is launching a new version of its Mendix App Platform that will allow enterprises to deliver apps faster and more cheaply.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook writes to employees after Q4 2014 earnings call

Apple CEO Tim Cook writes to employees after Q4 2014 earnings call

Still in buoyant mood after the launch of the iPhone 6, Apple Watch, and iPad Air 2 -- even the Mac mini -- Apple gave its Q4 2014 earnings call yesterday. CEO Tim Cook announced that the company generated $42.1 billion in revenue in the quarter and a net profit of $8.5 billion, up from $37.5 billion and $7.5 billion for the same period last year. Referring to the "biggest iPhone launch ever", Cook explained that Apple is due to enter the holiday season with its "strongest product lineup ever".

He explained that 60 percent of the quarter's revenue came from international sales, and sales have gone up in just about every area of the company with the exception of iPad and iPod sales. The iPhone remains the biggest seller (some 39.272 million units, up 16.2 percent), and Mac sales are also strong (5.52 million units, up 20.7 percent).

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