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Syncwire rugged microUSB cable review

Syncwire microUSB rugged cable

USB cables may look durable, but it does not take much to bend a connector or damage the rubber jacket. These things happen, as you may have learned by now, and when they do they can easily ruin your day. Unless you have a spare, which is not always the case, you may be unable to charge your smartphone or power an important device.

Enter rugged USB cables. With tougher connectors and a more durable jacket, they can withstand a great deal of abuse -- even from curious pets. I've been testing Syncwire's "durable" microUSB offering for the past couple of weeks, and here are my impressions.

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What you need to know about two factor authentication

Two factor authentication

Picture this: you open your laptop to begin checking online sales for your business. You log in with your email address, only to receive an uncharacteristic error message: "Your Password is Invalid". You type in the password again. "Your Password is Invalid". You try again. "Your account has been temporarily locked. Please contact support".

You quickly grab the phone and begin to dial. As you wait on hold, you decide to check your business’ website and are stunned to see a "Web Page Not Found" error. A technical support specialist answers your call and begins to explain that the website and linked email account have been hacked.

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Create stylish coding snapshots with Marmoset

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You’re building a website, presentation, maybe a CV listing your many coding skills, and would like some kind of graphic to illustrate that section. But what should it be?

Forget the usual clipart, install the Chrome app Marmoset instead, and it’ll help you create a stylish presentation-ready code snapshot in seconds.

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Email is still king despite the threats it poses

Email magic

Email is often cited as the technology that made the internet essential for businesses. You would have thought by now that something else would have come along to replace it in our affections, but the popularity of email shows no sign of waning.

A new infographic from email authentication company ValiMail shows that 98.5 percent of people check their email daily and spend as much as six hours doing so.

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What's the point of Twitter? Twitter explains...

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Twitter is worried. It's worried that while it is a well-recognized brand, a disturbingly large number of people have no idea what Twitter is actually for. What is the point? Getting slightly meta, the company today explains its raison d'être and tries to clear up some common misconceptions.

'What misconceptions are there about Twitter?', you may well ask. That it is a social network. (It ain't.) That you have to use it every day. (Seriously?) As Twitter says, 'We realized we had some explaining and clarifying to do!'

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Dashlane streamlines password management for BYOD

Password threat

Weak passwords can put business data at risk, but if employees are using their own devices, poor security practices from their home life can spill over into the workplace.

Password manager app Dashlane has a solution to this issue in the form of a new Spaces feature for its Business version, which allows employees to manage both their business and personal passwords on mobile devices.

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There's only a few days left to get Windows 10 for free -- this is why you should upgrade

Thumbs up

I’ve been very critical of the sneaky tricks Microsoft has been pulling to try to get users to upgrade to Windows 10. In my opinion, all that’s done is annoy a lot of customers, and tarnish the name of what is actually a very good operating system.

If you haven’t yet upgraded to Windows 10, and you’re on Windows 7 or 8.1, don’t let Microsoft’s stupid tactics turn you away from the new OS. There’s only a few days remaining to get Windows 10 for free, and you really should seize the opportunity -- even if you intend to stick with your current OS for a while longer. These are the reasons why I think you should upgrade:

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US government could save billions by modernizing its technology

Piggy Bank table cash coins

The US government could save $5.8 billion in technology cost, and at the same time modernize and improve the efficiency of its systems. This is according to the Information Services Group, a technology insights, market intelligence and advisory services company.

Today, at the headquarters of the General Services Administration, it released a report, together with the Commission on IT Cost, Opportunity, Strategy and Transparency (IT COST).

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Verizon acquires Yahoo for $4.83 billion

yahoo-logo-mobile

After speculation and rumors, the deal has been done. Verizon has stumped up $4.83 billion in cash for Yahoo's operating business, including search, advertising and content.

The acquisition adds an extra one billion monthly active users to Verizon's customer base, and the deal comes just over a year after the company acquired AOL. Verizon's CEO says the company is in a 'highly competitive position' and the deal will 'help accelerate our revenue stream in digital advertising'.

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Launch programs, websites, or type text with Clavier+

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Clavier+ is a simple macro manager which enables launching programs, opening websites or inserting text with your chosen hotkey. The program has been around for years, but still works well on even the very latest PCs.

Installation is quick and easy, no real surprise as the entire program folder used only 1.24MB of our hard drive (and 1.13MB of that was the uninstaller).

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Ford adds SYNC 3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to its entire 2017 range

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All of Ford's 2017 SUVs, light trucks, cars and electric vehicles will be kitted out with SYNC 3. The addition of Ford's voice-activated communications and entertainment system means that every single vehicle from its 2017 lineup will feature support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto -- in the US, at least.

SYNC 3 allows for the use of iPhones and Android smartphones to get directions, make calls, listen to music and make use of third party apps while driving. Ford promises that a "platform-focused approach to SYNC 3 means a fast rollout across all vehicles".

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One in ten UK computer science graduates don't have a job

Sad girl Windows 10 laptop

According to the latest figures compiled by the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), computer science graduates are still at the top of the UK’s higher education unemployment rankings.

During the academic year of 2014/2015, 10 percent of computer science graduates were unable to find a job six months after graduation. This figure is even higher than the 7.7 percent for students, who studied Mass Communications and documentation, Physical sciences, or Engineering and technology, that had difficulty finding work after graduation.

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Take full control of your default browser with Browser Chooser

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Set up a new PC and one of the first things you’ll do is install and choose a default browser, which then handles all your website-viewing needs. This mostly works fine, but you might want to open some links in different browsers: intranet in IE, YouTube in Chrome to use an extension you’ve found, your bank in a secure browser, whatever it might be.

Browser Chooser 2 is an open-source tool which helps you control the browser that’s launched in any given situation.

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Forget the beta... Prisma arrives on Android

prisma-android

Like Pokémon Go, Prisma has taken the app world by storm in recent weeks. Previously only available for iOS users, the photo app that creates works of art from your snaps has finally made its way to Android.

Just a few days ago there was talk of a beta program that keen users could take part in, but now we've jumped straight to the full release. If you're (somehow) unfamiliar with the app, it uses machine learning to transform your photos into the style of any one of a number of famous artists and styles.

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Prior to Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft slashes Surface Pro 4 and Xbox One prices

SlashPricesSales

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is on the horizon, and many fans of Microsoft's desktop operating system are excited. It's not hard to see why -- this is the best version of Windows ever, and it's about to get better at no extra charge.

Prior to the much-anticipated update, however, Microsoft is slashing prices on two of its most popular Windows 10 devices -- the Surface Pro 4 and Xbox One. While not all models are getting the discount, budget hunters should be excited.

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