Latest Technology News

Faith rises in the IT contractors job market

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Faith in the IT contractors job market has returned to pre-recession levels according to research by Giant Group, a cross sector employment agency.

At the beginning of 2007, 6.02 percent of the agency's contractor database expected rates to drop, but now only 5.5 percent expect a decline.

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Microsoft purges 1,500 deceptive apps from the Windows Store -- get your refund now!

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When I was a kid, generic foods were a staple in our home. Rather than have Lucky Charms or Froot Loops, my mom would buy whatever knock-off brand that Pathmark or Waldbaums was selling. An easy way to know if you are getting off-brand cereal, is that it comes in a bag rather than a box. While not as tasty, it at least provided nutrients and calories. It's not like there were rocks or sawdust in the package.

Unfortunately, the Windows Store has been full of knock-off apps that equates to buying a product and getting an empty box. You see, devious "developers" have been filling the store with phony apps that resemble legitimate ones. This means people were spending their hard-earned money on deceptive garbage, and these low-life developers have been getting paid. Today, Microsoft says enough is enough and removes 1,500 of the offending apps. If you were deceived by one of them, you can even get a refund.

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Discounts assuage consumers' privacy concerns about wearables

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Consumers are concerned about privacy issues when it comes to the increasingly connected smart world heralded by the incoming Internet of Things, where many more devices such as household gadgets and wearables are going to be online.

It's the latter that some new research (conducted by Acquity Group) focuses on, which found that the vast majority -- 80 per cent -- of consumers had privacy concerns when it comes to connected wearables.

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Zotac unveils ZBOX PI320 pico -- a tiny PC running Windows 8.1 with Bing

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Technology is almost always shrinking. The only thing that seems to keep getting physically bigger is displays (monitors). This is the reason that smartphones are now getting huge -- people like more real estate on which to work. Before the smartphone was popularized, cell phones were getting ridiculously tiny.

Home computers have been shrinking too -- laptops keep getting thinner, and desktops keep getting smaller. However, desktops still command too much of a footprint on a desk. The tiny Raspberry Pi, when paired with Linux, showed the world what could be, but Windows machines would never achieve such size, right? Wrong. Today, Zotac unveils a Windows computer that is impossibly small -- the ZBOX PI320 pico.

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Parallels Desktop 10 officially available, promises improved performance, adds new Disk Space Wizard

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Parallels IP Holdings GmbH has unveiled Parallels Desktop 10 for Mac to the general public, one week after making it exclusively available to existing users.

The app, which makes it easy to run Windows in a virtual environment in OS X, launches with the promise of drastically improved performance and better battery life, plus adds new features and promises compatibility with the forthcoming OS X 10.10 Yosemite, currently in public beta.

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Dropbox Pro gains new sharing controls and bumps storage to 1TB

Dropbox Pro gains new sharing controls and bumps storage to 1TB

Today Dropbox Pro users gain access to a raft of new features including automatically expiring shared links, password-protected sharing, and adjustable permissions. In recent times, Dropbox has moved away from being just a simple cloud storage platform into a cloud-based collaboration tool. Password-protected files sharing is the first line of security that's now available, but it has been bolstered by the ability to have the share automatically stop after a set period. This is something that is particularly useful for sensitive data, and is a helpful addition to the manual disabling of a shared link -- a set-it-and-forget-it option.

Catching up with other file collaborative tools, Dropbox Pro now also takes into account the fact that you might want to share files with others without giving them the option to edit those files. The new ability to add view-only permissions to files and folders has this covered so it is possible to share sensitive files without worrying about them being changed. For anyone using Dropbox on mobile devices, there is always the fear of losing a handset; a new remote wipe feature takes care of this.

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The top 10 security software design flaws and how to avoid them

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It's a fact that most software has bugs of some sort when it gets released. More significant are fundamental flaws in the design, yet whilst bugs generally get fixed, design flaws are often overlooked.

In an effort to address this professionals organization IEEE is bringing together leading figures from Google, HP, Twitter and Cigital to form a Center for Secure Design group with the aim of tackling serious design flaws in software.

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There is simply no reason for anyone to care about the iPhone 6

There is simply no reason for anyone to care about the iPhone 6

Let's cut to the chase. No, they shouldn't. The iPhone used to be exciting and interesting. It used to be aspirational and high-end. Now the world and his dog has an Apple handset and it's turned from something special into a poor substitute for one of the countless alternatives. This is not to say that the popularity of the device in itself makes it less appealing, but it certainly seems to have made Apple lazy. Innovation has gone out of the window. We've had the same design for the handset for what seems like an eternity. It looks as though there might be something of a change in style this time around, but is this really enough to make the iPhone exciting -- or even interesting -- once again?

By far the biggest problem with the iPhone is the lack of choice. While Android users (and even Windows Phone fans) have a huge number of handsets to choose from, the same cannot be said of those sucking on Apple's teat. Things did improve slightly when the 2013 iPhones were released, but you're still stuck, essentially, with two phones to choose from -- the really expensive over-hyped one, or the pale imitation wannabe version. Some choice. To be clear… I've been an iPhone owner. It's a functional phone, but Christ it's dull.

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Almost 70 percent of IT professionals suffer weekly phishing attacks

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A new survey sponsored by HP's TippingPoint network security arm looks at the main information security concerns of modern enterprises.

It reveals that 69 percent of IT professionals have to deal with phishing attacks at least once a week, with customer and financial data the main targets. The survey also finds that seven out of 10 attacks originating from inside the network come from a malware infected machine.

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China focuses on Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player in its beef with Microsoft

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There has been more (big) trouble for Microsoft over in China, as the software giant is now facing scrutiny of its web browser (Internet Explorer) and Windows Media Player.

This is part of a Chinese antitrust investigation against Redmond, which apparently kicked off when Microsoft's offices in China were swooped on by officials from the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) at the end of July.

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HDD Guardian tests and monitors your hard drive health

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SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) is a monitoring system which reports on various reliability indicators, and sometimes highlights imminent hardware failure of HDDs and SSDs.

These predictions can sometimes be questionable, but SMART still has plenty to offer, and the open source HDD Guardian (also available in a portable edition) provides a simple and straightforward way to find out more.

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Archos announces its first Windows Phone

Archos 40 Cesium Smartphone Windows Phone

Windows Phone is enjoying the support of more smartphone manufacturers than ever. In fact, at Build 2014, Microsoft revealed its tiled operating system had 15 vendors committed to the platform (theoretically speaking). A few more joined the list since, with Archos being the latest to unveil its first Windows Phone.

The French electronics company is readying the poorly-named 40 Cesium Smartphone for a September launch. The device tagets low-end smartphone buyers, as the Windows Phone will hit stores with a price tag of just £79.

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UK kids spend over £10 per week on tech

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British children are more likely to be spending their money on technology than on comics and chocolate according to new research by the Halifax bank.

Three-quarters of 8 to 15 year olds have a mobile phone, 65 percent own an MP3 player and 87 percent a games console. Hardly surprising then that they say they spend most of their cash on games and downloads.

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Google makes it easier to see who's online in Hangouts for Gmail

Google makes it easier to see who's online in Hangouts for Gmail

The point of any chat system is to make it easier to communicate with others. This is something that Google Hangouts has singularly failed at, for one reason. Rather than making it obvious which of your contacts are online, it has -- up until now -- displayed a chronological list of the conversations you have held with people. This is about to change. Rolling out over the next few days, is an update which will see your online contact move to the top of your chat buddy list.

This might seem like a small change, but it's one that has been requested for some time now. Google seemingly thought that the tried and true way of ordering contacts was due for a shakeup -- now we know that the experiment didn’t really pay off. There's another new feature to play with as well. Just as Chrome -- and other browsers -- make it possible to pin frequently used tabs so they are always available, now Hangouts users will be given the opportunity to pin contacts to the top of their buddy list.

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HTC unveils its first 64-bit Android smartphone

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Apple started the 64-bit smartphone craze in September 2013 with iPhone 5s. It was the first 64-bit device of its kind to reach store shelves and, even now, it continues to be unrivaled in this regard by competing flagships. That's because other vendors could only use 32-bit high-end processors from major chip makers like Qualcomm and Nvidia.

While that has yet to change, other 64-bit smartphones, targeting a less demanding crowd, are on their way as, today, Taiwanese maker HTC announces its first 64-bit smartphone, touted to bring "super-fast LTE connectivity at an affordable price point". It's called Desire 510.

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