Latest Technology News

Vintager 2014 lets you transform digital snaps into photos of yesteryear


There’s something to be said for the way old printed photos age over time, as they turn yellow or sepia, coloring our own perception of the past. With the rise of digital, of course, all that has come to an end, with photos promising to remain as color-sharp, bright and vibrant as the day they were originally shot.

If you wonder how those photos might look in the future had they been shot on film and left to fade over time, there’s no need to wait if you’re a Windows user. Simply install Vintager 2014 and you can see how they might have looked 20, 30 or even 40 years hence.

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Alienware Alpha is the next-gen console ready to take on PS4 and Xbox One

Alienware Alpha is the next-gen console ready to take on PS4 and Xbox One

It must be coming up to Christmas; Alienware, the game-focused arm of Dell, is beginning to ship its new gaming console. The Alienware Alpha is described as the world's first PC gaming console, and it has been designed to blend the power of a gaming rig with the ease of use of a console. With prices starting at $549, gamers have the ability to customize their hardware to suit their needs. The Alpha runs Windows 8.1, and it includes either 4GB or 8GB of RAM, as well as a USB adapted Xbox 360 controller.

The price of the console is bumped up for anyone opting to increase the size of the hard drive or speed of the processor, but the aim here is to blow the Xbox One and PS4 out of the water with raw power.

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Best Windows 8 apps this week


One-hundred and eight in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows 8 in the last seven days.

Microsoft revealed its Black Friday deals earlier this week. Starting November 27 customers from the US and Canada will be able to save up to $150 on a Surface Pro 3 or a Surface 2 purchase with deals available on Microsoft's official store, Microsoft retail stores and participating stores such as Best Buy.

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HBO GO reaches the living room via Xbox One


HBO GO has been in the news lately, especially when the HBO network announced that it will be discontinuing its paid cable/satellite service restriction and turn it into a stand-alone service. It's also now making inroads into the living room -- perhaps in preparation for that big move next year. To that end, the network is moving into the Xbox One ecosystem.

Larry Hryb, better known to most folks as Major Nelson, announces the release -- "HBO GO is arriving on Xbox One in the US, bringing along every episode from every season of your favorite HBO shows. With HBO GO, subscribers can watch the latest episodes from shows like 'True Detective', 'Game of Thrones' and 'Girls', along with your favorite hits like 'Entourage' and 'The Sopranos', HBO GO on Xbox One features Kinect voice and gesture control so you can easily search the entire catalog via gestures or voice commands".

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The rising importance of big data to big business

Big data

Analysis of large volumes of information is increasingly used by businesses to gain an advantage. A new infographic produced by big data specialist Datameer looks at how it’s being used to gain a competitive edge.

Among the highlights are that the global Hadoop Market is projected to be worth $50.2 billion by the year 2020, a huge increase from the $1.5 billion it was worth in 2012.

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Android 5.0 Lollipop encryption severely impacts performance

Too slow

Encrypting your device may make it more secure, but it also makes it slower due to the added overhead. This is not much of a problem on a fast PC or laptop, as its hardware is able to cope with the extra load. It, however, is a major reason for concern on Android 5.0 Lollipop devices, such as Google's new Nexus 6. Android 5.0 Lollipop is at fault here.

Anandtech has discovered that the difference in performance can be as high as 80.7 percent, and as low as 50.5 percent, between Nexus 6 with encryption turned on and with the feature disabled. Meanwhile, those who update to Android 5.0 Lollipop on Nexus 5 will also notice a notable difference in performance, albeit not as big, even with encryption disabled.

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How the Internet of Things will change the world


The definition of the Internet of Things is "intelligent interactivity between humans and things to exchange information and knowledge for new value creation". Try saying that after a glass of wine! There’s been a lot of talk about the IoT in the business world, and with good reason. It’s chock full of potential to improve performance, reduce costs, drive innovation and create new revenue streams. Of course, we’ve now reached the point where the talk is turning into action -- technology is adapting and businesses are planning IoT strategies.

Forrester Consulting say: "We are at the tipping point for broader IoT adoption with 53 percent of organizations planning to implement an IoT solution in the next 24 months. Organizations in Asia Pacific and Latin America are more aggressive with 69 and 60 percent respectively, planning to implement over the same time period".

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Samsung U28D590D: An affordable UHD 4K 28-inch monitor [Review]


4K displays are becoming much more common, giving buyers a far greater range of choices. The Samsung Series 5 UHD LED Monitor (U28D590D) does a good job of balancing quality with affordability -- just £419.99 from including VAT and delivery -- and takes seconds to setup.

The 28-inch LED edge-lit screen offers a native resolution of 3840×2160 pixels, and the monitor sports a black plastic casing with a glossy bezel and an aluminum T-shape stand. Putting it together is just a matter of screwing the neck to the stand (using two pre-installed screws) and then sliding the screen into the neck.

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Cloud-based software is a major revenue source for service providers

cloud money dollars

Communication service providers (CSPs) have spent the last few years investing heavily in cloud software provision to expand their business.

A new report by Israel-based Allot Communications shows that this is paying off as software as a service is now a major revenue source for CSPs.

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Obama's immigration moves not enough for Silicon Valley


While Republicans are seething over President Barack Obama’s executive orders on immigration, Silicon Valley headhunters and executives seem to think his plan doesn’t go far enough.

The tech sector is one of the less talked about victims of a broken immigration system: one where the United States trains and then loses some of the brightest prospects in tech. Making matters worse, those trying to stay in the country legally face long wait times as backlogs in processing for green cards get ever longer.

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Create stylish animated presentations with Notzy


Let’s be realistic: presentation software can be dull. Very, very dull. Boring templates, gradient fills with text boxes, images if you’re lucky, step from one page to the next, maybe export as PPT/PPTX.

We didn’t expect much from the free presentation builder Notzy, then -- but the program turned out to be a real surprise.

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Microsoft agrees a $30m deal with Real Madrid


Microsoft has agreed a four-year deal with Real Madrid rumored to be worth $30 million that will see the technology giant revolutionize Europe’s most successful club with a "digital transformation".

The new partnership sees Microsoft become the team’s strategic technology partner that involves building a digital platform to boost fan interaction across all devices and various other projects in the coming months.

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Diagnose process hangs with WhatIsHang


Windows programs can crash sometimes: it’s just a fact of life. Annoying, too, although at least you'll typically see an error message with some kind of clue about the cause.

When a program locks up, it’s a different story. There's no error dialog, no system-level sign of trouble. If you don't have the application window open then you may not notice it’s stopped working at all.

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Twitter now lets you share public tweets via Direct Message

First Twitter makes all tweets searchable, now they can be shared via DM

You're probably well aware that Twitter features a search option at the top of the page which you can use to track down individuals or topics. Less well-known is the dedicated search page which is the Twitter version of Google (complete with advanced search parameters), albeit one that is -- obviously -- limited to searching within the confines of Twitter itself.

A couple of days ago, this search engine became slightly more useful when Twitter announced that it was indexing every single tweet that has been sent since 2006. Creating a somewhat Shakespearean internet-within-the-internet, Twitter is a valuable resource not only for information but also social commentary. Another update today makes it possible to share any interesting tweets you discover via direct message in addition to the recently added URL sharing option.

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Google Contributor lets you pay to hide adverts on websites

Google Contributor lets you pay to hide adverts on websites

Online ads have been seen as the scourge of the web since they were first dreamed up. There are various ways you can avoid them, but they exist for a reason -- to generate revenue. Google may have come up with a solution that keeps everyone happy, website owners and visitors alike. Google Contributor is described as "an experiment in additional ways to fund the web" and it makes it possible to kill ads without killing revenue.

It's invite only at the moment, but once Google Contributor is properly up and running, web users will be invited to make a monthly "contribution". This will enable them to browse participating sites without being bothered by ads; instead you'll see a thank you message or just empty space.

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