Latest Technology News

Context Menu Manager for Windows


Double or right-click a file in Explorer and it’s not always obvious what's going to happen. You might find context menu entries for all kinds of long-forgotten applications, and Windows provides no obvious way to clean up.

Context Menu Manager is a free (well, ad-sponsored) portable program to help you browse your current file associations, view their context menus, clean up broken entries, and maybe add a few new right-click options to get your system working better.

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Microsoft gets its Groove back -- rebrands Xbox Music


As one of the few (at least it feels that way) people who subscribes to Xbox Music, I have a real love/hate relationship with the service. On Windows 8.1 and 10, it is absolutely glorious. Finding music is easy and it integrates very well with the operating system. On iOS and Android? Not so much. On Google's operating system in particular, the songs skip, making a satisfying listening experience impossible. There is no iPad-optimized version at all. Sigh.

Today, Microsoft is rebranding Xbox Music to Groove (not to be confused with Microsoft Office Groove). While I find the name to be an improvement, many Xbox fans will likely dislike the new name. Hell, I don't care what it is called, as long as it works well. One thing is for sure, a new name will not solve the usability woes. However, I am hopeful that a new brand means a renewed interest in developing the service for the better.

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Apple wants to control the look of third-party accessory packaging


Any company wanting to sell its accessories in Apple stores may as well fire some of its designers. Continuing its image-control efforts, Apple is to phase out accessories that are supplied in ugly, non-conforming boxes. Only those accessories that are packaged in boxes co-designed with Apple will be guaranteed shelf space in a store.

Many manufacturers already go to some lengths to mimic the look of official iPhone and iPad packaging, but it won't be long before this is compulsory. A memo sent to retail store staff reveals that accessories from the likes of Incase, Logitech, and Mophie will soon feature the cookie-cutter look that has become synonymous with Apple packaging.

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Social network Facegloria bans swearing, gay content, and sin


Need a social network to connect with friends and likeminded individuals? Take your pick; there are dozens to choose from. Facebook remains by far the most popular and, as it is used by real people, it is filled with everything that makes up life -- the good and the bad. In response, a group of Evangelical Christians in Brazil set up Facegloria with the aim of becoming "morally and technically better than Facebook".

Actually the real aim of the site is to promote Christianity -- to the extent that rather than a Like button, there is an Amen button. Think "godbook", if you will. Of course there are restrictions -- religion isn’t meant to be fun, you know. On the list of banned content is violence and pornography, swearing (there are literally hundreds of banned words), anything that violates "biblical principles", and depicting or referring to homosexual activity.

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Samsung launches 2TB 850 PRO and EVO SSDs


Solid state drives are the bee's knees as far as I am concerned -- the best upgrade any PC user can make. Even as prices come down, however, there is still a big issue -- limited capacities. Understandably, a user might be hesitant to replace a 1 or 2TB hard drive with a much smaller SSD.

Well, today this changes. Samsung -- a very reputable company -- launches the massive 2TB 850 PRO and EVO SSDs. While this is certainly reason for celebration (and drooling), the price tags may shock consumers.

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Amazon announces Prime Day, claims more sales than Black Friday


Think you got some good deals and a lot to choose from on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Amazon now wishes to top that with an even better event -- Prime Day. The retailer is looking to roll out deals to its most valued customers, those who subscribe to Prime for the good deals, free shipping, and more.

The deal is in celebration of Amazon's 20th birthday, which occurs next week. The sales will be available to customers in the US, UK, Spain, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, Canada and Austria.

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Report suggests Samsung is more reputable than Google, Microsoft and Apple


A company's reputation can make or break it. No matter how good the product, a poor perception of the brand can negatively impact it. Sony, for example, is still recovering from its numerous blunders, such as installing rootkits on Windows machines and having its PlayStation network hacked. The company was not particularly open about both situations at first, leading many people -- myself included -- to be hesitant to trust it.

Samsung, however, seems to be the darling of the tech sector lately. Its smartphones and tablets are wildly popular, despite pundits constantly looking for it to fail. Guess what? According to a new study, the company is more reputable than Google, Microsoft and Apple. The study looked at "social responsibility, innovation, product and services excellence, and creating a great workplace environment".

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Laptops to slim down with LG's thinner, lighter LCD panels


With portability in mind, laptop owners generally have two key concerns -- weight and battery life. Today LG announces a new range of thin and light LCD panels that will help to reduce the weight and size of laptops of the future.

The Advanced In-Cell Touch (AIT) panels are slimmer than traditional touch screens as they feature embedded touch sensors rather than a separate panel placed on top of the display. The panels will go into mass production in the second half of this year, bringing technology previously used by LG in smartphone screens to larger devices.

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New cloud solution makes video management easier for developers

Cloudinary screen grab

Thanks to the wide availability of fast connections, online video is no longer confined to the likes of YouTube but crops up on all kinds of websites.

This presents a challenge for the developers who need to maintain those sites but a new solution from online image management specialist Cloudinary is set to make life easier.

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First Windows 10 RTM candidate is build 10176


With just over three weeks until the launch of Windows 10, preview builds are still popping out left, right, and center -- some more official than others. Microsoft is beavering away on the final build which will start to roll out on 29 July, and it seems that the RTM version could be signed off as early as this week.

Build tracking site BuildFeed shows that Windows 10 Build 10176 from the th1 branch (a reference to threshold, Windows 10's codename) is now being tested as a release candidate. With a full build string of 10.0.10176.16384.th1.150705-0552, the appearance of this version ties in neatly with a rumor that RTM might be reached this week -- perhaps as early as Thursday.

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Hacking Team hacked as tables turn on notorious surveillance company


Italian security and surveillance firm Hacking Team appears to have itself fallen victim to a security breach. Hacking Team produces software which is used by governments around the world as part of their surveillance programs. The company has been criticized for facilitating invasions of privacy, and, over the weekend, its Twitter feed was taken over, resulting in its name and profile picture being changed to read Hacked Team.

But this is far from being the end of the story. Whoever is responsible for the security breach also released a torrent file that provides access to 400GB of company data. Included in the cache are emails, source code, and confidential documents. The files reveal who the company has been dealing with including a number of countries known for their oppressive regimes.

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Google launches Android One in Pakistan

QMobile A1 Android One Pakistan

The Android One program targets consumers in emerging markets who are looking for smartphones with an untainted Android experience, devoid of the typical bloatware and customizations that they can expect from major vendors like Samsung. At the same time, Android One is also about offering that vanilla Android experience in an affordable package, so that more consumers can afford to make the switch to smartphones.

Android One launched in India in September of 2014, and has since expanded to include other Asian countries. The latest market to join the program is Pakistan, where QMobile's A1 is now available.

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Windows 10 build 10163 screenshots leak online

Windows 10 build 10163 Start menu leaked screenshots

With Windows 10 set to debut at the end of the month, Microsoft is busy making the final tweaks to its new operating system before it gets into consumers' hands. Just last week Insiders received three new builds, seemingly close to the finished product. Behind closed doors, Microsoft is actively working on fine-tuning the experience further.

We got word of Windows 10 build 10163 late last week, when its release notes leaked online. There are lots of bug fixes and known issues listed, as one might expect from a non-final release, and no new major features. And now we have some leaked screenshots to go along with the release notes.

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Vodafone Smart ultra 6 review


Not so very long ago each new mobile phone that launched would be smaller than its predecessor whilst packing in more features. In recent years though we’ve come full circle and phones have started to get bigger again, offering more screen real estate for apps and improved image quality for multimedia use.

Bigger doesn’t necessarily mean more expensive though and the Smart ultra 6 from Vodafone appears to offer a lot of phone -- both physically and technically -- for just £125 on pay-as-you-go. Let’s see how well it delivers.

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Google discounts Nexus 6

Nexus 6 and Cat

Google has decided to significantly reduce the price of its Nexus 6 models in the UK. The devices are now available on Google Store for as low as £399.

The 32GB model of the Motorola-made handset comes in at that price, while the 64GB version is down to £479. The devices' initial prices were £479 and £549 respectively.

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