Latest Technology News

How to access Windows 8.x emoji on a desktop PC

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The touch screen keyboard available on Windows 8.x tablets -- like Microsoft Surface, for example -- gives you access to a wealth of emoji you can use in chats, emails, comments and so on. As well as the usual smileys, there are hand signs, hearts, cartoon characters, vehicles, weather symbols, and many more to pick from. Just select the character set you want at the bottom of the keyboard.

If you’re not using a touch screen device, but still want to access these characters you can.

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BitTorrent releases Bleep for Windows, a closed Alpha chat client

chat instant messaging

Recent revelations, courtesy of Edward Snowden, have given insight into just how much citizens need to worry about NSA activity, and it was an alarmingly large amount. BitTorrent has been working to mitigate these issues, at least as best as possible, with a Sync app that stores no data that can be accessed, and now a new chat app that will do the same.

The service debuts in private Alpha today, allowing testers to jump on board and get a taste of what it's like to use what is claimed to be a "serverless" version of chat.

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Logitech reveals the world's fastest gaming mouse -- G402 Hyperion Fury

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PC gaming is a really awesome pastime. While some people prefer console gaming, it is strictly a matter of preference. I like both, but I particularly like the gamification of PC gaming hardware. In other words, the actual building of the gaming PC and buying of cool peripherals can be as fun as the games themselves. Hell, it can sometimes be more fun.

One of the most fun peripherals to buy for a gaming PC is the mouse. Unfortunately, far too much emphasis has been put on appearance lately, instead of performance. Don't get me wrong, a gaming mouse should look cool and sexy, but only as a secondary focus. Today, Logitech announces a mouse that meets the needs of performance and appearance-driven consumers, with the G402 Hyperion Fury. The company claims that it is the world's fastest gaming mouse. Is it faster than Speedy Gonzales?

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Why I'm still right about the BlackBerry Passport (and other things)

Right

What a firestorm! I sort of knew going in that my previous entry, "Do NOT buy a BlackBerry Passport until you read this", would evoke a heated response from the BB faithful. However, I never imagined there were still so many dedicated BlackBerry fans out there. Over 200 (mostly scathing) comments later, and I can feel the rage (the "Zionist" quips, in particular, were hilarious).

Another pundit might try to backtrack in light of such unrelenting animosity. But not me! The potent combination of unbridled hubris and geographic isolation have emboldened me to double-down on my original assertions. So, instead of dancing around the issues, I’m tackling a few of the major objections head-on to show you why I’m right (and you’re all wrong) about the BlackBerry Passport.

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Jitterbit connects SAP to the cloud

Enterprise cloud

SAP is the world's most popular ERP (enterprise resource planning) system, but a recent survey by HCL Technologies shows that integration with their existing solutions was the biggest obstacle to 45 percent of SAP users when implementing cloud technologies.

Integration company Jitterbit has announced a new SAP Connector that lets businesses integrate their existing processes with SAP whether they're on-site or in the cloud. Certified by SAP and running on Jitterbit's Harmony cloud platform it offers faster integration and is compatible with SAP's latest HANA in memory appliance.

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Smartphone market sees stiffer competition

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The competition is heating up in the smartphone space, as, in Q3 2014, a dozen vendors have what it takes to shake up the top five smartphone makers list, according to a new report from research firm IDC. Judging by the standing from Q2 2014, the likely players in danger of losing their spots are Huawei, Lenovo and LG.

Samsung and Apple continue to be in a position of strength, with the two being responsible for 25.2 percent (74.3 million) and 11.9 percent (35.1 million), respectively, of the 295.3 million smartphones shipped in the quarter that ended June 30. That said, both lost market share compared to Q2 2013, when they claimed 32.3 percent and 13 percent, respectively, thanks to shipments of 77.3 million and 31.2 million units, respectively.

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SUPERAntiSpyware 6 reveals new System Investigator

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Support.com has updated its popular malware hunter SUPERAntiSpyware to version 6.0.

The major new feature is System Investigator, a tool which highlights files of interest in the most common infection points: startup programs, browser extensions, installed applications, Windows services, drivers, temporary and system folders, scheduled tasks, and more.

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Internet of Things devices open up new avenues for hackers

Attack route

We're constantly being told that the internet of things is set to revolutionize the world we live in. Gartner has predicted that it will have around 26 billion units by 2020, but with this rapid growth comes added risk.

A new study from HP shows that 70 percent of the most commonly used internet of things (IoT) devices contain vulnerabilities, these include password security, encryption and personal data issues.

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LibreOffice 4.3 arrives, promises more intuitive spreadsheet handling, adds 3D modelling to Impress

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The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 4.3 FINAL  for Windows, Mac and Linux. The new release sees some notable user-interface tweaks, performance enhancements and a number of new and tweaked features.

TDF is particularly keen to highlight four major new features: improved document interoperability, comment management, more intuitive spreadsheet handling in Calc, and support for animated 3D models in Impress.

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Microsoft announces Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, Cortana coming to new markets

Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1

Today, Microsoft announces the first major update for Windows Phone 8.1, called Update 1. It introduces new features and improvements over the version which the software giant unveiled earlier this year at Build 2014, and makes way for Cortana to arrive in new markets.

In Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1, Microsoft adds Live Folders, allowing users to group live tiles on the Start screen. Like the name suggests, it is able to display updating information on its tile, coming from the items it contains. A live folder can be created by dragging a live tile on top of another.

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Cleaning up after viruses -- which antivirus solutions are best?

Virus detection

In an ideal world there wouldn't be any viruses at all but, since there are, the next best scenario is to have an antivirus program to protect you. But what happens once it's too late? If you get a virus infection how good are antivirus and clean up tools at repairing your system?

Independent testing organization AV-TEST set out to resolve this question with a comprehensive 10-month test using 17 different software packages.

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Microsoft’s Sharks Cove is a Raspberry Pi-style mini-PC with Windows 8.1

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Microsoft is entering the development board market made famous by Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

The firm is collaborating with Intel and hardware manufacturer CircuitCo to develop the $300 board, called Sharks Cove. Available now for pre-order, the project is described as a "development board that you can use to develop hardware and drivers for Windows and Android".

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In Europe, Apple and Samsung are losing ground to 'home-grown' mobile makers

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A few years ago it would have been unthinkable, but whispers that Apple and Samsung are losing their stranglehold on the market are growing louder.

It all stems from the fact that customers are becoming increasingly frustrated at the mobile market mono-culture. In the West especially, we've developed a sort of smartphone East Anglia: hedgeless, featureless and planted as far as the eye can see. This is the Samsung strimmer, the Apple Inc. lawnmower, cutting all other competition out of the market.

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Google is reading your email to track hotel visits -- helps you have fun away from home

bellhop

Traveling and staying in hotels can be quite the adventure -- both good and bad. Of course, the quality of the lodging can determine the overall experience. If you check in and find a dead hooker under the bed, or stains all over the rug, you are going to have a bad time. Conversely, staying in a quality hotel can be quite the luxurious experience. Frankly, I have been on vacations where staying in the big comfy bed all day and watching movies was the highlight. Let's not forget room service -- eating fried mozzarella sticks and dripping marinara sauce everywhere? Who cares, its a hotel! The maid will clean it, right?

Unfortunately, leaving the hotel and looking for something to do in the vicinity can be an ordeal. I mean, going to a restaurant or attraction sight unseen could prove to be hit or miss. Choose the wrong restaurant and you will be stuck on the toilet for the rest of your vacation -- yuck! Today, Google announces that it wants to help users have a good time while on vacation. While that sounds great, the search giant is doing it in a creepy way -- by reading your emails!

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Cooler Master V1200 Platinum -- a shockingly great power supply unit [Review]

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Self-proclaimed tech nerds around the world are turning their backs on system-building. This is tragic, as this art is part of the foundation of the tech nerd lifestyle. It is hard to argue with these perceived traitors -- an off-the-shelf tablet such as an iPad can do very much. In other words, why spend the time and money building a PC? The same can be said for much in life. I mean, why cook when you can get take out? Why mow your lawn when you can pay someone to do it? The answer is simple -- fun and self satisfaction. Yes, building a computer is a rewarding experience and everyone should at least attempt it.

System-building is something I am still a fan of and I know I am not alone -- you guys are out there. Amazing components are constantly being released -- motherboards, processors and even power supplies. A power supply is the unsung hero of any system build. It literally powers the computer! It is sad how often people choose cheap PSUs for their builds and instead focus on the "fun" stuff, like RAM and processors. I have always cautioned against cheap power supplies. When I say "cheap", please do not misunderstand -- I am referring to poor quality and not low price. If you can get high quality for a low price, awesome. However, if you've never heard of the manufacturer, it is probably a good Idea to pass. Recently, I saw a new PSU from world-renowned manufacturer Cooler Master that got my motor running -- the V1200 Platinum. Once I wiped the drool from my chin, I obtained one to review.

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