Latest Technology News

Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926 hands on -- making good on earlier promises

Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926 hands on -- making good on earlier promises

Windows 10 has been something of a tease so far. There have been hints that it could be a good operating system, protestations that it will be great, but a series of preview builds that have been a little uninspiring. With the release of build 9926, it appears that Microsoft is starting to deliver on its promises. From this release we can see that Windows 10 is actually starting to take shape.

Microsoft is clearly pleased with the progress that has been made because it has simplified the process of upgrading from Windows 7 and Windows 8 -- Windows Update can be used to install the Technical Preview. It might not quite be ready for prime time just yet, but I'm cautiously optimistic even though I've been far from unimpressed with previous builds. Oh, and before you ask, there's no sign of Spartan just yet. So… what's new and what's improved? Let's take a look.

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Windows 10 is the final nail in the coffin for the Linux desktop

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For years now, we Linux fans -- yes, myself included -- have been dreaming of the fabled "Year of the Linux Desktop". What does that mean? To have Linux-based operating systems snag a bigger piece of the desktop pie, if not a majority. While a majority share of the desktop is admittedly absurd, a respectable share was always something I considered a possibility.

For some, this desire stems from a hatred of Microsoft and Windows; that is not my stance, however. No, I love both Linux-based operating systems and Windows; I just want Linux distros to get a bit more respect. A lot of work goes into Ubuntu, Fedora and others and it is sad that they are not used by more people. While the consumer hatred of Windows 8 seemed like an opportunity for Linux to grow, sadly, it did not happen. Even sadder? Windows 10 closes the door entirely. The year of the Linux desktop will never happen. Rest in peace.

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How to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 via Windows Update

How to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 via Windows Update

If you like the idea of trying out the next version of Windows before it is officially launched, Microsoft has made the Windows 10 Technical Preview available for everyone to use. There are various ways to get the preview installed on your computer, but since the release of build 9926, it is possible to upgrade your current Windows 7 or Windows 8 installation to Windows 10 using Windows Update.

This is a much simpler option than downloading the ISO image, but it is an upgrade route that almost encourages people to install the preview build on their everyday computer -- don’t forget that this is not a finished product! We've already looked at how to install Windows 10 in a virtual machine, but if you have a spare machine running Windows 7 or 8, using it as a test bed for Windows 10 just got a whole lot easier.

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Dell steps up with help in the fight against Ebola

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Thankfully the media hype over the Ebola virus has died down. It was never a serious threat thanks to the nature of the way it spreads and the lack of actual cases in the US. Africa isn't quite as lucky, as the outbreak is a bit worse. In fact, according to the CDC, cases totaled only four in the US and one in the UK, while Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were less fortunate, totaling up over 13,000.

So, it's still serious enough, and technology can be used in the fight against this disease. Dell is working in this fight to combat the deadly illness. That isn't an easy task, but every little bit can help, and the emergency personnel can certainly use any aid.

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Rdio brings new features to Favorites

music woman tablet headphones

Streaming music services are everywhere today and few people bother buying CDs because of them. While those with "golden ears" may not approve, for the vast majority the quality is just fine. Those who want more can look into Neil Young's Pono Player, but for the rest of us, Rdio will work out nicely and save you some money as well.

Now the music streaming service is announcing a slew of updates to its Favorites feature. Introduced last September, this section is now receiving a refresh that allows for much more functionality.

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Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926 is much better, but there are known problems

Windows 10 Technical Preview Build 9926 is much better, but there are known problems

Yesterday, Microsoft took a lot of people by surprise by releasing Windows 10 Technical Preview build 9926 rather earlier than expected. Here at BetaNews we've installed the latest build on various machines -- virtual and real -- having battled with downloads, and now it's time for testing.

We'll be taking a look at this latest build in more depth in future articles, but before we do, it is probably worth pointing out some of the known problems. From playing with build 9926 just briefly it's easy to see that it's a marked improvement on previous releases, but Microsoft has helpfully forewarned users of issues they might encounter.

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Adobe issues security bulletin for Flash...again

hackers-ahead

In the race to the bottom of security, Flash has remained a strong contender, competing with Java to win the competition. It's really nothing against Adobe, the company seems to try fairly hard to keep things safe. It's more that Flash is so popular that it becomes a primary target. Something Microsoft would know a thing or two about, given the success of Windows.

The company has issued its latest security bulletin. It isn't the best of news -- the report seems to encapsulate two vulnerabilities, and both are being exploited in the wild.

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Tweet translations come (back) to Twitter thanks to Microsoft Bing

Tweet translations come (back) to Twitter thanks to Microsoft Bing

After introducing the "while you were away" feature to help ensure you don’t miss out on tweets because of, you know, getting away from Twitter from time to time, there's now another feature that will help you to get more from the microblogging site. By teaming up with Bing, Twitter is now able to provide on-the-fly translations for tweets in foreign languages.

This is not an entirely new feature; Twitter has brought a translation to the web and mobile version of its service before, but it disappeared. Now the feature is back. It works in the iOS and Android apps as well as in Tweetdeck and on the Twitter website.

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How to install Windows 10 January Build (9926) on Oracle VirtualBox

win 10 9926

Microsoft has just released the latest build of Windows 10. New features and changes include a more polished Start menu, Cortana on the desktop, new Settings, Photos, Maps and Xbox apps, and the ability to connect to wireless audio and video. As with the previous builds, this is a very early version of the OS, so you wouldn’t be advised to run it as your main operating system, and while you could set it to dual boot, running it in a virtualized environment is probably a more sensible idea.

The process is very simple -- all you need is a copy of Oracle VM VirtualBox and a Windows 10 Technical Preview ISO. Microsoft updated the latter earlier today.

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Xbox app now available in Windows 10 build 9926 -- Gamers, download now!

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The technology world is still recovering from the epic Windows 10 event. Yes, Microsoft not only hit a home run, but a grand slam with its announcement. The excitement usually reserved for the likes of Google and Apple nowadays, was thrust upon Microsoft; deservingly so. New operating system, Office, HoloLens, Surface Hub -- holy cow, it was one great thing after another.

With that said, gamers were far more excited about the announced Xbox app for Windows. Yes, you can do the things that you'd expect, such as manage your profile and view activity feeds, but there are even more exciting features too.

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Bill and Melinda Gates' annual letter says smartphones and mobile banking are key to the future

Bill and Melinda Gates' annual letter cites smartphones and mobile banking are key to the future

Bill Gates is more readily associated with philanthropy than technology these days, but that’s not to say he doesn’t still have more than a passing interest in the world of tech. In their annual letter, Bill and Melinda Gates look 15 years into the future, envisioning a world in which the life in poor countries has improved dramatically.

Technological advancements are key to this vision, and the Gates refer to the importance of mobile banking, cheaper tablets and smartphones, as well as improvements to crops and vaccines. It's 15 years since the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation was created, and the couple are making a bet that "the lives of people in poor countries will improve faster in the next 15 years than at any other time in history".

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Windows 10 Build 9926 out NOW -- New features include Cortana, Xbox app, improved Start menu and more

Win10 Start

Talk about unexpected. After showing off Windows 10 on Wednesday, Microsoft disappointed a legion of dedicated testers by announcing the next build wouldn’t be available until next week.

Turns out that’s not the case at all -- it’s available to download, and start using right now. The "January Build" as it’s being called (Build 9926 for those who like version numbers), is being pushed out to Windows Insiders on both the "Fast" and "Slow" rings, and is also available in ISO form. While not everything demoed at the Windows 10 briefing is available in the new build, it does come with Cortana on the desktop, a more polished Start menu, a new Settings app, and the ability to connect to wireless audio and video. There’s also new Photos and Maps apps, a new Xbox app, and Windows Store Beta.

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Inside 'Easy Disk Drive Repair' malware with VB Decompiler

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If you regularly download brand new programs from unknown developers then there’s an above-average chance you’ll find some malware. Antivirus software won’t necessarily pick up on the very latest threats, and so you’ll need further tools and strategies to identify potential dangers.

We recently wrote about "Easy Disk Drive Repair", and explained how we realised this promising-looking program was actually a trojan which turned off UAC and modified browser files. We used fairly simple and straightforward techniques, but if you want to get really technical, there’s a way to find out much more about how the program works.

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Pebble puts smartwatches to emergency work with first-responders

pebble

The words "first responders" came to the forefront in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it really just describes the medical, fire and police people who rush to the scene of any problem, hoping to save lives and property. These men and women need every advantage they can get, and modern technology continues to aid them in their work.

You may think of the smartwatch as something that displays the time and messages for you, but it can be a lot more in some cases. Pebble, the former darling of Kickstarter, is now helping these folks out by bringing the CommandWear app to its platform.

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Drones for Good -- transporting transplant organs, detecting landmines, and wiping out fog

Drones for Good -- transporting transplant organs, detecting landmines and wiping out fog

The humble drone has something of a poor reputation. If it's not seen as a tool for surveillance, then it's a silly toy for those with too much time on their hands to strap a GoPro to and record aerial footage. More recently Amazon has trialled fast deliveries by drone, but a new competition aims to show the incredible things than can be achieved with the unmanned devices.

Drones for Good is an international competition which offers a prize of $1 million for the best and most innovative use of drones. The competition was announced at the Government Summit 2014, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, and has attracted interest from around the world, with entrants from dozens of countries. The list of semi-finalists includes some incredible ideas for how drones could be used to make the world a better place.

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