Latest Technology News

Hulu Plus brings a new user experience to Roku

Hulu Logo

Hulu is the big third player in the online video space, competing with Netflix and Amazon Prime. All of these services, and many more "channels" are part of the Roku ecosystem. It brings TV to the cord-cutter generation, which is a growing number of users.

Now, Roku is introducing an improved user experience to its tiny set-top boxes. "If you're a big Hulu streamer like me, you've likely noticed the new Hulu Plus experience on Roku. It’s quick to load, navigation within the channel is super snappy too -- 5x faster than the old channel! And the layout is slightly different to highlight stunning imagery from your favorite TV shows and movies", the manufacturer states.

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Are you Bing-curious? Microsoft's search engine comes to new tabs in Google Chrome

curiouswoman

Bing is a wonderful search engine. My love for it is hardly a secret, as I declared my affection earlier today. However, while Internet Explorer is getting better all the time, Chrome is still my preferred browser on Windows, Linux and OS X. Unfortunately, using Bing as the default search engine on Chrome just felt wrong. I pictured Google employees spying on my web activity and shaking their heads in disappointment at my horrible crime.

Of course, that is not really happening (I hope), but still Bing on Chrome felt out of place and third-rate in comparison to Google. Today, this changes as Bing comes to new tabs in the Chrome browser.

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Do Not Track is bolstered by EFF's Privacy Badger extension

Do Not Track is bolstered by EFF's Privacy Badger extension

Online security and privacy are hotter topics than ever. Just this weekend, Edward Snowden made an appearance at the Hope X 2014 hacker event, and called for those in attendance to help make encryption tools easier to use. Another fierce advocate of online privacy is the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), and today the group released a beta version of Privacy Badger, a beautifully named extension for Chrome and Firefox designed to stop a number of tracking techniques used online. The idea of tracking cookies is something that will be familiar to most, but tracking takes many forms, including advertising and social media. Privacy Badger aims to block this tracking.

Peter Eckersley, EFF Technology Projects Director, said: "Widgets that say 'Like this page on Facebook' or 'Tweet this' often allow those companies to see what webpages you are visiting, even if you never click the widget's button. The Privacy Badger alpha would detect that, and block those widgets outright. But now Privacy Badger's beta version has gotten smarter: it can block the tracking while still giving you the option to see and click on those buttons if you so choose".

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Ferrari beats Mercedes at the German Grand Prix -- in the battle of the F1 team websites at least

F1

Sports fans are increasingly demanding a multi-channel experience, wanting all the news and all the facts on multiple devices. Website owners can’t afford to ignore this, as creating a superior user experience to that offered by rivals can mean a competitive advantage in terms of user happiness and, ultimately, website traffic.

Mobile, cloud and web performance specialist Keynote believes that not enough sites consider online performance during high-profile sporting events, and so decided to monitor and compare the performance of 11 popular Formula One constructor team web pages -- including Caterham, Ferrari, Force India, Lotus, Marussia, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Sauber, STR and Williams -- during the German Grand Prix (19-20 July). The results make for interesting reading.

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Microsoft announces Bing Offers Card-Linked -- enter to win $100

ladycash

Google is a great search engine, but so is Bing. Many people dismiss Microsoft's offering without even trying it. This is a shame, as people do not know what they are missing. While its search-results are relevant and appropriate, there is so much more. Google is simplistic in its design, but Microsoft creates a world of color, images and discovery to bring life to the overall experience. There are benefits to both design choices and it is a personal preference, but I prefer beauty over a white page with a Google logo.

Besides all of those benefits of Bing, one of my favorites is Rewards. Essentially, Microsoft will pay you to use its search engine. Is it bribery? Sort of, I suppose. However, if you are searching anyway, why not take advantage of it? In addition to Rewards, Microsoft has Bing Offers, which lists special deals for Bing users (sort of like Groupon). Today, Microsoft announces that it is expanding Bing Offers beyond the web with a new program called Bing Offers Card-Linked -- uninspired name, but cool concept.

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Need to take control of your Android mobile's files? Tomi File Manager is just the ticket

Tomi File Manager

Ever struggled to find a particular file on your Android mobile? Wish you could exert more control over your photos and other media, or uninstall more than one app at once? You need a file manager, and not just any file manager, but Tomi File Manager 1.4.2 at that.

Tomi File Manager packs in lots of useful features, works with both internal and external storage and is far more than a simple tool for viewing files -- plus, it’s free.

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Paragon Rescue Kit adds virtual disk support

Paragon Rescue Kit

Paragon Technologies has released Paragon Rescue Kit 14, its free-for-personal-use disaster recovery environment.

The program creates bootable recovery media based on Windows PE, or, new to this version, SuSE 12.3. The second adds support for migrating a Windows system to a different hardware platform, including 64-bit setups using UEFI.

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79 percent of companies have blamed network problems on the wrong IT group

Finger Pointing

With today's increasingly complex network environments it's often hard to pinpoint the exact cause of problems. According to a new survey by network specialist Emulex this often leads to incorrect reporting to management.

The study of 547 US and European-based network and security operations professionals found that 45 percent of IT staff monitor network and application performance manually, instead of implementing network monitoring tools.

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Lenovo continues to dominate Chinese and Indian PC markets

globe

We're constantly being told that the PC market is in terminal decline, but sales figures from different parts of the world continue to defy the predictions.

The latest figures from market intelligence provider IDC for the Asia/Pacific region show a two percent rise over last quarter and a total market for the second quarter of 2014 at 24.3 million units, slightly up on predictions.

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Libratone network speakers now boast Spotify Connect

spotify-libratone

Still procrastinating about installing a whole house audio system? The choices continue to grow, and one of the best known is Libratone, a Scandinavian company that brings a unique design to its networked speakers.

Now the manufacturer has paired with music streaming service Spotify, bringing the Connect functionality to the platform. This service provides customers with streaming options to speakers all around your home -- provided they are connected to your Wi-Fi network.

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QuickPivot provides real-time customer intelligence

Web Marketing

The holy grail of marketing is to be able to understand what your customers want and then to adapt your communications accordingly to make them more effective.

Achieving this of course isn't easy so companies are always on the lookout for ways to learn more about their customers. Boston-Based QuickPivot (formerly called Extraprise) is launching a new marketing platform to allow marketers in any industry to derive customer insight, listen to brand interactions and then adapt campaigns with highly optimized messages and offers.

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Microsoft looking to end bugs in software by monitoring developers

eye tracking

Modern programs are so complex that bugs are pretty much unavoidable, but Microsoft is looking at ways of reducing coding errors as much as possible, including trialling an experimental approach that involves monitoring developers as they work.

The idea is to track eye movements and other mental and physical characteristics of the developers, in order to spot when their alertness levels drop or they are struggling with a task -- which is when errors are most likely to creep into their work.

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Which entertainment device do you want in your living room? [Poll]

watching tv

Home entertainment has been in the news a lot lately. This past week Microsoft, which positioned its new Xbox One as an entertainment device just as much as it is a games console, announced it would be killing off its own entertainment studio. While that takes original content off the table, there are many choices still available, giving Xbox One owners plenty to watch.

With Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Roku, Chromecast, Apple TV, and the recently announced Android TV, viewing choices abound. What would once have been thought of as a computer, now resides in an entertainment center, sometimes in very small form factors -- Chromecast is nothing more than an HDMI stick that resembles a thumb drive. Roku, Google TV, Apple TV and Amazon Fire TV are incredibly small boxes.

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Tweetium arrives on Windows Phone

Twitter introduces custom timelines

The official Twitter app may be good enough for casual Windows Phone use, but only a third-party client has all the right features for the social network's power users. While there already are a couple of good picks available in Store, the arrival of Tweetium, best known as one of the most fully-featured Twitter clients for Windows 8.x, just beefed-up the selection.

The developer, B-side Software, has released Tweetium as a beta. It is meant to be tested just by "select" existing "customers", according to its Store description, but we can still take a look.

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PlayStation 4 outsells Xbox One for sixth consecutive month in the US

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Microsoft might have seen sales of the Xbox One more than double in June, but the games console is still being outsold by Sony’s PS4, according to industry-tracking firm NPD Group.

While the uncoupling of the Kinect and introduction of a $399 base model has caused a clear sales spike it will likely be some time before we see whether that's enough to help the Xbox One catch up to its rival.

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