Latest Technology News

Time to have a cloud clear out as Google Drive bonus storage expires


Google is just one of many companies to offer free cloud storage, and over the years the amount of space given away has crept up. There have also been plenty of opportunities to boost cloud storage for free -- if you've bought a Chromebook, you'll have been given a bunch of extra space, and there have been various other special offers out there.

You may well have received a mysterious email from Google in the last day or so, warning you that you are about to lose 10GB of space. The email rather unhelpfully refers to an "Unknown promotion". What's it all about, and what do you need to do?

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Best Windows apps this week


One-hundred and forty-four in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows 8.x/10 in the past seven days.

Application of the week is the excellent Lara Croft Go game. If you prefer "real" apps, you may want to take a closer look at Duolingo, a language learning application which was finally released for Windows.

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Sony reveals prices for Xperia Z5 family, and they're a bit insane

secrets shock surprise man woman

Sony has captured the attention of smartphone fans worldwide with its new Xperia Z5 Premium flagship, the first smartphone with a 4K display. Since the company is not doing exactly well in terms of sales, offering this very intriguing device at a price that undercuts its main rivals looks like a great opportunity to attract more new customers and gain some market share. It would be the logical thing to do.

Sony, however, went with a different strategy, which is to sell Xperia Z5 Premium and its less-premium sibling, Xperia Z5, at some pretty insane prices. The only device that is more reasonably priced is Xperia Z5 Compact, but even so it still seems to cost too much. And it is likely not to be as relevant to consumers given the smaller screen it packs -- a larger screen is an important feature to those who shop in the high-end segment, after all.

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Baby monitors are not secure enough for the IoT era

Baby monitor camera

Many popular baby monitors with online access lack even the most basic security features, according to a report by IT security firm Rapid7.

Researchers revealed that it would extremely simple for hackers to use the devices as spy cameras or to launch attacks on other Internet-connected devices in the home.

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Master Windows 10 with these new 'How To' videos from Microsoft

Help Windows 10

We’ve covered a lot of what you can do with Windows 10 (and also explained how to overcome many of the operating system’s major problems), but if you want more guidance and handy tips and tricks, Microsoft has just released a collection of short How to videos for its new OS.

The guides cover everything from using Cortana and Windows Hello, to linking your Xbox to your Windows 10 PC. There are also videos explaining how to use Microsoft Edge, the Windows Store, OneDrive, and Surface Hub Touchback. And if you want tips to boost your productivity, and do more with the Start menu, there are videos covering those areas as well.

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Spotify publishes new, clearer privacy policy following complaints


It's only a couple of weeks since Spotify last updated its privacy policy, but the wording was such that many users were upset at the access the company appeared to be asking for. The backlash was so bad that the company was forced to apologize and now it has gone a step further and published a new, reworded version of its policy.

Spotify again admits that the previous version of the privacy policy led to some "understandable confusion", before launching into plain English remodeling of the document. With a new policy that is now more intelligible, the company will no doubt be hoping to claw back those users who were driven away.

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Skype 6.0 for Android, iOS unveils intuitive new features and design


Microsoft has rolled out a major refresh of its Skype mobile apps with the release of Skype for iPhone 6.0, Skype for iPad 6.0 and Skype for Android 6.0.

All three apps come with a redesign aimed at making them easier to use as well as improved search tools. iPad users also gain all iPhone features, while Android users also benefit from some platform-specific improvements.

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Start10 brings the Windows 7 Start menu back to Windows 10


Windows 10 may have restored the Start menu, but its Windows 8-style redesign isn’t to everyone’s taste.

If you’re not happy with the new look then Stardock’s Start10 gives you some stylish and configurable alternatives.

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How to disable OK Google voice search on Android

halloweendroid Google Nexus 5

Google voice search is a powerful feature of the Android-powered smartphone. By simply talking to your phone, you can do internet searches, call contacts, take photos, set an alarm, create a calendar event, make a note, the list goes on.

However, not everyone wants to use the voice-controlled feature for various reasons. Some don’t like the idea of their smartphone listening to them, while others don’t speak English that well and don’t see the benefits of keeping the feature turned on.

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Firefox for iOS public preview available now -- in New Zealand only


Firefox is a wonderful browser that can be found on multiple operating systems, such as Windows, OS X, Android, Ubuntu and more. One place it is absent, however, is iOS. In other words, it is not available on the wildly popular iPhone and iPad. This is tragic, but not without reason. Mozilla pledged to avoid iOS, as Apple prevents the use of alternative engines, such as Gecko. The company has since reversed course, however.

Today, Mozilla announces that a public preview of Firefox for iOS is now available. Excited? You probably shouldn't be. Why? It is a New Zealand exclusive for now. I can understand wanting to restrict the preview, but making it an exclusive to that country only just seems very random. Right?

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At long last Google improves Chrome's memory and battery usage


Chrome has long been maligned as a huge drain on system resources. Open more than a few tabs and you'll notice that memory usage skyrockets, and performance can slow to a crawl. Run Chrome on a laptop that's not connected to mains power, and you've probably seen the battery meter plummet whenever you use the browser.

Now -- at long, long last -- Google is doing something about it. The latest version of Chrome boasts a number of improvements designed to reduce the browser's footprint, including a new intelligent tab restoration system that keeps the least viewed tabs suspended in the background until needed. Chrome 45 is also far more aggressive at actively cleaning up memory.

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Amazon Prime customers can watch videos offline


The battle for online streaming supremacy is heating up, after Amazon announced that Prime subscribers can now download videos for offline viewing.

The move stands in stark contrast to the position taken by rival content provider Netflix, which has consistently stated that offline content is not on its agenda.

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Google provides help with more health conditions than ever before


Turning to the internet for medical advice is something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides access to a wealth of information previously only available to medical students, making it easy to look up symptoms and see what they might mean. On the other, hypochondriacs can very easy self-diagnose every condition under the sun.

But there's no denying that it can certainly be helpful to be able to find out a little more about different conditions from the comfort of your phone or computer. Today Google announces a swathe of updates that it hopes will help people to be better informed in terms of understanding symptoms and treatments, and conveying what they are experiencing to a doctor.

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Snowden: Hilary Clinton's personal email server likely exposed sensitive national intelligence


If anyone else at the State Department made use of a personal email server to discuss sensitive information, they would have been fired and prosecuted, says Edward Snowden in a scathing attack on Hilary Clinton.

The former NSA worker hit out at the Democratic presidential candidate in an interview with Al Jazeera. He said that Clinton was probably aware that using a personal email address had exposed sensitive national intelligence, describing it as 'a problem'.

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Motorola defends its decision not to make the Moto 360 screen entirely round


The traditional shape of a watch face is round. There are variations, of course -- square, rectangular, and so on -- but for the most part, round is a safe bet. With the Moto 360, however, Motorola raised a few eyebrows when its screen was launched with a design that has become known as the 'flat tire' look.

Yesterday, the company unveiled the new version of the Moto 360 and the same flat tire, non-round screen is present. What gives? Despite disappointment, and even ridicule from users, Motorola remains adamant that it made the right choice, standing by its decision to keep the flat tire in the second generation of the smartwatch. So, is it ugly, or does it make sense?

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