Latest Technology News

Windows 7 gains significant usage share ahead of Windows 10 launch

Windows runners

Windows 8.x enjoyed a good month in May. The tiled operating system finally overtook Windows XP for the first time in six months -- its gains coming mostly at the expense of Windows 7. But it was all change again in June according to the latest usage stats from web analytics firm NetMarketShare.

The latest figures show Windows 8.x losing share -- or business as usual you might say -- going from 16.63 percent to 16.02 percent. That’s a drop of 0.61 percentage points. Windows 8.1 actually gained 0.24 percentage points, but Windows 8 lost 0.85 percentage points. Still it remains comfortably ahead of XP now, so there's that consolation prize.

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Washington Post implements encryption to protect site visitors

washington_post_magnifying_glass

Heightened awareness about online security means that more and more websites are using encryption to boost privacy and security. A few weeks after Wikimedia announced it was using HTTPS to encrypt traffic to its site, The Washington Post has followed suit.

It's a move designed to stop snooping on readers' browsing habits. The news outlet explains that it will make it "more difficult for hackers, government agencies and others to track the reading habits". For those concerned about privacy, this will come a good news, but there's a catch; encryption does not apply to the entire site.

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The organizations we least trust with our data

Broken trust

US consumers are most concerned about the ability of retailers and government departments to protect their data according to a new survey.

The Security Insights survey from Unisys shows that 44 percent of American respondents are worried that their personal data held by retailers is likely to be breached in the next year, as many consumers seem to be losing trust in retail data security owing to recent high profile breaches.

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Microsoft details 4G LTE Surface 3 availability

Surface 3

While the Wi-Fi version of Surface 3 has been available to consumers and businesses for nearly two months now, the same cannot be said about the 4G LTE counterpart. It only went on sale two weeks ago, and only in Japan, and is not yet available in any other markets where the slate is offered.

This is about to change as Microsoft today announces that this week the 4G LTE version of Surface 3 will also be available to prospective business customers in Germany and UK. Consumers will have to wait a bit longer, however.

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VPNs might leak your user information

Virtual Private Network VPN

If you thought that you can avoid all that mass surveillance by using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), think again. A study shows that even the VPNs leak user information.

Of course it does make it hard for law enforcement agencies to monitor people, but it does not prevent them from accessing the required information. VPNs are currently used by approximately 20 percent of the European internet users.

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How to jailbreak iOS 8.4

Jail cell keys jailbreak

With previous versions of iOS we have had to wait a while for a jailbreak to finally come out, but for iOS 8.4 one is already available. The TaiG team has moved extremely quickly to update its tool, releasing an updated version that supports iOS 8.4 shortly after Apple made it available to the public yesterday.

Apple has packed dozens of security fixes in the new version of the mobile operating system, but the TaiG team announced on Twitter that the exploit it uses to jailbreak iOS has not been patched.

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Twitter says Apple Music is more hit than miss, but there's a lot to hate

woman listening to music on tablet

Apple Music launched yesterday and Oxford University's TheySay sentiment analysis company monitored Twitter to work out the overall feeling towards the new service. When the firm monitored the sentiment towards Apple’s WWDC keynote three weeks ago, the announcement of Apple Music received an overall 85 percent approval rating from tweeters, but now that it’s here, the actual service is proving far less popular.

Dr Karo Moilanen, Oxford University professor and co-founder of TheySay, observed: "Compared to the sky-high positive sentiment ratings that Apple products and announcements typically reach on Twitter, this time Apple Music invoked a healthy dose of strong negative sentiment (ca. 24 percent) amongst tweeters".

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Google puts lipstick on Gmail -- adds new themes and emojis

lipstickman

I am definitely a Gmail power user. Not only do I use it for much of my personal email, but business communications too. Does it bother me that the search giant scans the contents of my messages for advertising? Yes, a bit, but I realize there is no such thing as a free lunch.

What does really bother me, however, is how archaic Gmail looks nowadays. The appearance is boring and drab. To make matters worse, I know Google is capable of a beautiful redesign -- it is frustrating that the company just doesn't. Today, Gmail gets a little lipstick by way of new hi-res themes and new emojis.

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DNS Jumper 2.0 brings turbo DNS testing

DNSJumper200-175

Sordum has released DNS Jumper 2.0, an update of its freeware DNS changer for Windows.

New startup options mean you can have the program load along with Windows, test for the fastest DNS server and apply it automatically, no more manual interventions required.

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Microsoft issues a surprise new Windows 10 release -- build 10159

windows_10_10159

Hey... wait a minute. Didn't we just get a new build of Windows 10 yesterday? Yes, of course we did. Less than 24 hours ago, Microsoft released build 10158 and today there is something of a surprise announcement for Windows Insiders who are signed up to the Fast Ring: another new preview version in the form of build 10159.

Microsoft has been criticized for the speed at which preview builds have been trickling out, and it seems that the company is listening to feedback. You'll notice that there is only a single digit build increase, but Gabe Aul reveals that this doesn't mean there's nothing to see. As well as more than 300 bug fixes, there is also "one very interesting change".

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Medium.com ditches passwords to increase security

123456_password_sticky_note

Remembering all of the passwords required to gain access to all of your online accounts is a pain. You could opt to use a password manager, or you might decide to use the same password for everything. But Blogging platform Medium.com has another option -- just don't use one!

The site has been anti-password for some time; users log into their accounts using an existing Twitter or Facebook account. For people who are not social network users, however, there's a new option. Working in a similar way to the 'I've forgotten my password' system used by many sites, Medium allows users to log in using nothing but their email address -- and says the system is more secure than regular passwords.

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Samsung technology will double battery life

Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge unboxing and hands-on videos

Samsung's flagship devices already have great battery life, hitting well over 10 hours of usage without a problem, but the company wants to double the numbers with a new technology being worked on in-house.

The prototype adds a graphene layer on top of silicon anodes, adding 1.8 to 1.5 times greater density to the battery. In early tests with large scale batteries, Samsung is noting double the amount of life.

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Apple releases iOS 8.4, OS X 10.10.4 Yosemite -- here's what's new

Apple pushes iOS 8.1.1 update to speed up older iPhones and iPads

Just as expected, Apple today released iOS 8.4, officially launching its Apple Music streaming service and the Beats 1 radio station. Also new for today is an update for OS X 10.10 Yosemite, which comes with a significant number of bug fixes and improvements in tow.

Apple Music and Beats 1 are introduced through the redesigned Music app. Upon launch, it promotes the company's new streaming service, inviting users to a free, three-month trial. There is a new icon as well as a new user interface -- if you want to keep listening to your existing music collection, you can do so as easily as before. The new Music app is not all that is new in iOS 8.4, as the new release also features a number of bug fixes and improvements targeting iBooks and other parts of the operating system.

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Apple DID conspire to inflate ebook prices, must pay $450 million

3d_apple_logo

On the same day that Apple Music launched, Apple received some bad news from the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 2 to 1 vote, judges ruled that the company did conspire with publishers to inflate the prices of ebooks sold through iBookstore, agreeing with a 2013 ruling.

The judges found that Apple had violated federal antitrust law in coming to arrangements with five publishers, resulting in book prices jumping from $9.99 to between $12.99 and $14.99. Two years ago US District Judge Denise Cote said that Apple was "central" to a price-fixing conspiracy. The ruling having been upheld today, Apple will now have to pay $450 million.

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Rdio shoots to thrill as AC/DC rocks onto the service

rdio-acdc

Many may argue that they don't make bands like AC/DC anymore, and perhaps they'd be right. The Australian group shaped the youths of many of us with their hard sound and clever lyrics. Nobody will forget original singer Bon Scott or replacement Brian Johnson who raised the band from its ashes after the tragedy of Scott's death.

But now you can hop onto the Highway to Hell and take a ride using Rdio, the music streaming service that aims to compete in this market with many formidable rivals. The music site has announced the whole epic catalog is available to its users.

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