Latest Technology News

Microsoft Surface Pro 3 is available in more markets

Surface Pro 3

One of the key ways to get people to buy a product is to actually make it possible for them to buy it. It sounds obvious, I know, but even a company as big as Microsoft has been having trouble fathoming this simple idea. Every Surface model has launched in a limited number of markets, taking its sweet time to hit new ones. Surface Pro 3 is no exception, but at least the delay is much shorter in its case.

Starting today, a little over two months after Surface Pro 3 went on sale in Canada, Japan and US, the Windows 8.1 device is available in 25 additional markets. What's more, also today, the much-anticipated Surface Pro 3 Docking Station is available to pre-order in all markets.

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HP recalls 6 million laptop power cords over safety risks -- is yours affected?

Laptop problem fire

HP has recalled over six million LS-15 AC power cords in the US and Canada over potential fire and burn risks.

HP and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said there have been several claims for minor burns and property damage following 29 reports of the power cords overheating and melting.

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Are weak iPad sales just a 'speed bump' as Tim Cook says?

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In usual fashion, Apple has been the talk of the tech world over the summer, and for good reason. As well as being one of the premier companies in the world, it recently signed a landmark partnership with old enemy IBM and is set to launch a brand new batch of iPhones in a fortnight.

However, the Cupertino-based firm has also come in for a lot of criticism, especially where the iPad is concerned.

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Samsung's Gear S smartwatch is not useless without a smartphone

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One of the biggest weaknesses that a typical smartwatch has is that it relies on a smartphone to do most things it advertises. Answering a phone call? It has to be paired to a smartphone. Seeing Facebook notifications? It has to be paired to a smartphone. Reading your email? It has to be paired to a smartphone. The list goes on and on and on. You might just as well pick up your smartphone and do all those things; it just works.

Samsung has decided to do something about it, as, today, the South Korean maker unveils a smartwatch that does not have a smartphone addiction. That's because the new Gear S has its own cellular connection, which allows things like social notifications to be displayed without being paired to a smartphone. It's grown up. Who knows, it might even decide to move out of the smartphone's shadow one day and create its own path. It's got what it takes.

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Internet of Things-specific job titles becoming more common -- here’s why

Jobs Job

As the Internet of Things continues to cement its place in the headlines with seemingly every tech business looking to lead the discussion (and the innovation), it’s becoming more common, too, that companies are creating roles dedicated to IoT. Microsoft, Cisco and Samsung are just a few examples of businesses that have appointed IoT leaders.

Heads of IoT are tasked with quite a hefty assignment -- believe me, I would know. This role aims to address customers’ technological needs as they digitalize their operations, and to help them develop their own long-term IoT strategies. With an estimated 50 billion data devices being connected by 2020, it’s worthwhile to have someone dedicated specifically to leading this charge.

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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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