Latest Technology News

Black Friday deals -- Amazon places its own devices up for sale

Kindle-Voyage

It's now the time of year for shopping and finding deals, and Black Friday reigns supreme in this category.  As customers line up at retail stores, they miss the fact that staying home can also net you deals at online retailers and save you from the hectic mess that is the king of shopping days.

This time around, Amazon is offering steep discounts on its own products. Those in the market for a Kindle, Fire tablet, Fire phone or the new TV stick are in luck.

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Europe votes in favor of splitting up Google and other online companies

Europe votes in favor of splitting up Google and other online companies

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have voted overwhelmingly in favor of breaking up big online companies like Google. While Google is not specifically mentioned, the MEPs aim of "unbundling search engines from other commercial services" to increase competition would clearly impact on the search giant if the resolution is approved by the European Commission.

It's all part of a bid to not help the growth of the EU's digital single market, but also to help boost competitiveness. All very reminiscent of the anti-trust lawsuits that have plagued Microsoft. The vote itself was fairly decisive. 384 voted in favor of the proposed resolution, 174 against, and 56 abstained from voting.

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UK High Court orders ISPs to block a further 53 piracy sites

Piracy

If you live in the UK it’s getting ever harder to access pirated music and movies on the web. After years of trying to defeat pirates in various ways, including suing downloaders, representatives of rights holders have found that the easiest and most effective solution is to take their complaints to the high court and ask for the infringing sites to be blocked.

The process, which started with the banning of The Pirate Bay in 2012, is now so straightforward for the likes of the Motion Picture Association and BPI (British Phonographic Industry), that whole batches of sites are getting outlawed at a time. Yesterday there were 40 copyright infringing sites blocked in the UK, today that number more than doubles to 93.

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Google can count many blessings this Thanksgiving

turkey axe slaughter thanksgiving surrender

While I keep the list short this year, it wouldn't be U.S. Thanksgiving without my writing about gratitude, and why some tech company's executives, employees, and partners should prostrate and pray "Thanks".

Let's start off with Google, which continues a great run that started with Larry Page's return as CEO in April 2011. If he's not all smiles this Turkey Day, someone should slap that man aside the head. I could tick off a hundred things for which he should give thanks. For brevity's sake, so you can get back to the big game and bigger bird, I select some things that might not come to mind.

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When iPads fall, Windows tablets rise

Apple iPad vs Windows 8

The tablet market could be slowing down after years of growth, according to industry estimates, with Apple's iPad set to be hardest hit.

Research firm IDC projects that total tablet shipments globally are set to increase by only 7.2 percent this year, compared with 52.5 percent growth in 2013.

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Black Friday deals -- get a discounted Roku device

roku-streaming-stick

We've reached that time of the year when merchants offer deals and people are hungrily shopping. If you still read a newspaper then today's edition is likely a bit heavy, laden with ads for Black Friday sales, some of which are already underway.

Roku is also getting in on the action, offering some nice discounts on its TV devices, both set-top box and stick. Bringing streaming online media to your living room, the company is offering some good deals and throwing in a bonus to go along with your purchase. And you don't need to leave home and fight angry shoppers for it.

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Got Bitcoin? This Thanksgiving, donate some to the American Red Cross

oldman

Thursday is finally here -- Happy Thanksgiving y'all! Later today, I, like many other Americans, will be eating a beautiful turkey dinner with friends and family. As is a tradition on Long Island, I drove to 711 this morning at 7 am to get a copy of our local paper, Newsday, to get all of the Black Friday circulars. While I am not planning to do any shopping today or tomorrow, I still enjoy looking through the advertisements.

While I am a huge proponent of capitalism and spending for the economy, it makes me sad to see so much commercialism on a family-focused holiday. Truth be told, one of my family members is in the hospital this week, and I have been visiting every day, but it is very sad to see the lonely sick people who have nobody visiting. While today is a day to be thankful for what you have, I hope you also take the time to reflect on what others don't have. Many of you, our readers, are very tech-oriented and probably own some Bitcoin. If you are feeling generous today, and want to help others, the American Red Cross is now accepting the virtual-currency for donations.

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What you should know about the E-Label Act

Nexus 7 electronic label FCC ID

The FCC label on radio-equipped devices sold in US has been mandatory since 1973. By now, we have gotten used to seeing it, no doubt because there is usually nothing that we can do to hide it. But, as technology evolves, its physical presence is bound to cause some serious problems (not to mention that it spoils the look of some gorgeous devices).

However, in mid-July, a new bill, called the E-Label Act, was introduced to give companies that operate in US the option to feature an electronic FCC label on their radio-equipped products. And, after passing through Senate and Congress, President Obama just signed it. Here is what you should know about it.

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It's time for enterprises to get crazy with communication

call_centre_header

It’s been a long time coming. Fifteen years after VoIP proved its cost benefits, ten years after 'telephony' reinvented itself as unified communications and five years since the whole lot became 'just another app', we’re finally witnessing the consumerization and democratization of enterprise-class, personal communications and messaging by going ‘over-the-top’.

In the telecoms world, the OTT (over-the-top) acronym is well understood, if not a little overused. Traditional telecom providers have been forced into developing innovative services that move above their traditional infrastructure markets of lines and minutes, in order to compete with the innovative OTT services provided by the likes of Google, Facebook and Skype that capture the user so effectively and give them an experience they just can’t do without.

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PowerArchiver 2015 adds new Explorer preview extension, tweaks user interface

powerarchiver-icon

ConeXware has unveiled a huge update to its Windows archiving software in the form of PowerArchiver 2015 v15.0. The paid-for tool offers support for a wide range of archiving formats presented in a user-friendly interface.

Version 15 focuses on delivering a large number of shell extension updates -- including new PowerArchiver Mini tool -- as well as interface changes, support for new formats, new skinning system and improvements to various supplementary apps.

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Xshell is a one-stop SSH, SFTP terminal emulator

Xshell200-175

Most internet resources are accessed through a web interface, which means they’re normally very easy to use. You might have menus, text prompts, graphics, maybe wizards to walk you through whatever you’re trying to achieve.

For more low-level control, though -- micro-managing your own web space, maybe setting up a remote server -- you might still need a terminal emulator like the free-for-personal-use Xshell 5.

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Exclusive: Get AMC Security Premium FREE for 6 months

AMC mobile

IObit has an excellent free Android app called AMC Security - Clean & Booster which comes packed with features designed to improve your phone or tablet’s security and boost performance. You can run an all-in-one scan, or access individual features including Antivirus, Privacy Locker, Security Zone, App Manager and Game Speeder. There’s a bunch of additional tools available too, such as Task Killer, Privacy Advisor, Call/SMS Blocker, Battery Saver, Anti-Theft and Cloud backup.

While the free version is very good, there’s a paid edition called AMC Premium available as an in-app purchase which offers some powerful additional features. AMC Premium currently retails for $9.99 a year (although a 7-day trial is available) but BetaNews readers can try it absolutely free for six months.

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PlayStation games can run on Android Wear smartwatches

PSone Android wear

With the latest smartwatches boasting a significant amount of processing power, it was only a matter of time before fans of classic video games starting emulating older titles to run on them.

Now, one particular retro enthusiast has managed to run PlayStation One games on their Android Wear device.

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Does a deleted Microsoft blog post show it's about to buy mobile email firm Acompli?

Does a deleted Microsoft blog post show it's about to buy mobile email firm Acompli?

Web pages can be interesting, transient things; they can be there one minute and gone the next. But while a web page may vanish, that does not mean that all traces of it vanish from the internet. Earlier today an intriguing-looking article popped up in my news reader -- there are many benefits to sticking with RSS feeds: a post on the Microsoft blog with the title "blank post please delete".

Authored by Rajesh Jha, my RSS reader (InoReader) showed that the post's content was very similar to the title -- blank post, please delete. Just a comma added. Interest piqued, I clicked the link to see if there was any more to see. "We're sorry, but we can't find the page you're looking for" announced Chrome. But the URL is curious.

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Now Twitter is going to start monitoring which mobile apps you download

Now Twitter is going to start monitoring which mobile apps you download

Hate 'em, loathe 'em or abhor 'em, it's hard to avoid ads. You know that you're a consumer. Companies exist because you consume, and you are encouraged to consume more and more. To help lead you to consume, you need to be subjected to advertising -- it's all part of the money-go-round of using the web.

Tailored ads are more likely to bring in cash, and social networks are in the business of gathering information about their users with a view to delivering the most laser-focused targeted advertising possible. The latest venture by Twitter involves keeping tabs on the apps you install on your iOS or Android phone or tablet.

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