Latest Technology News

Toshiba Chromebook 2 (CB35-C3300) 2015 Edition first impressions [Review]


Chromebooks are wonderful computers for light and medium computing. While Windows and OS X are superior for heavy lifting -- especially with legacy software -- Chrome OS is a dream for web surfing, email and writing. If either you or someone you know lives in the web browser, laptops running Google's Linux-based operating system could be perfect. By design, they are virtually malware free, and OS updates are a breeze.

Finding the perfect Chromebook is difficult, as everyone's needs may be different, but I only suggest models with at least 4GB of RAM regardless. I also demand a quality keyboard and display, and I think all consumers deserve this too. Toshiba's new Chromebook 2 (2015) meets all of my needs, while also being affordable. In other words, it will probably be a winner for you too. Here are my first impressions.

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Leaked Windows 10 Build 10558 has new features that you might actually be interested in


It seems like it has been a while since there was a new build of Windows 10 -- official or leaked -- but Wzor has come up with the goods once again. This time around we are treated to a leak of Windows 10 Build 10558 and Microsoft has added new goodies and changed a few things, making this one of the most interesting Windows 10 builds in ages.

There are some cosmetic changes here and there, but the addition of new apps -- such as Microsoft Phone -- shows that progress is being made as we move towards Threshold 2. As well as updates to the operating system itself, there are also important changes to Microsoft Edge.

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Amazon Fire TV is hot [first-impressions review]

Fire TV

Streaming set-top boxes are no longer about media consumption. The newest entrants—from Amazon, Apple, and Google—fit into a larger lexicon of connected digital lifestyles. Think intelligent television for the information-obsessed and for visual voyeurs demanding the highest-quality video that is commercially available.

On Oct. 1, 2015, I started testing the new Amazon Fire TV, which goes on sale October 5th. I will later review the newer Google Chromecast but unlikely Apple's device (because a review unit isn't available and I wouldn't buy one for personal use). There is nothing radically new about Fire TV. It's more of the same only much better. Key benefit for some: 4K Ultra HD video support. Benefit for all: Enhanced voice-interaction capabilities that include Amazon's Alexa digital assistant. Then there are iterative enhancements that improve overall benefits.

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Teardowns show iPhone 6s is more waterproof -- and get iFixit app pulled from the App Store


For the curious-minded, iFixit is an essential resource. The hardware teardowns on the site have become legendary, revealing the innards of the latest and greatest phones and tablets better than anyone else. Two recent iFixit teardowns have had interesting results.

Following the release of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, analysis of the internals suggested that the handsets would be more waterproof than previous models -- not something Apple has shouted about. But the outcome of the Apple TV and Siri Remote teardowns were rather less pleasing for the site: they resulted in the iFixit app being pulled from the App Store. By Apple.

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ShareX 10.3.0 now available on Steam


Powerful open-source screenshot tool ShareX has been updated to 10.3 with new scrolling support, enabling the capture of full web pages or anything else larger than your screen.

The technique works much like many similar tools: select the "Scrolling capture" type, choose the window and wait as ShareX grabs it for you.

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Microsoft buys game physics company Havok from Intel


Microsoft seems to be placing increased importance on gaming. The latest in its list of acquisitions is game physics company Havoc which has been bought from Intel for an undisclosed fee. Used in titles such as Assassins Creed, Call of Duty, and Halo, Havoc's physics and AI solutions will be an important weapon in Microsoft's gaming arsenal alongside DirectX 12.

Announcing the acquisition, Microsoft says it will "work with developers to create great gaming experiences, and continue to license Havok's development tools to partners".

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Future laptops could optimize battery life by learning your usage patterns


There's one thing that everybody looks for in a mobile device -- long battery life. There are constant promises of technological breakthroughs that are just around the corner, but rather than waiting for these to come to fruition, Microsoft researchers have decided to come up with a different solution.

Instead of using a new battery type, Microsoft Research workers have devised a system that using currently available battery technology in conjunction with smarter software. Known as Software Defined Batteries, the system uses multiple batteries, and management software is used to pick the most suitable power source depending on the task that is being performed.

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Roku goes to Mexico, brings streaming players for everyone


Looking for a set-top box? There's no shortage of choices with Fire TV, Apple and Roku. The latter is probably the most popular solution, though new offerings from competitors aim to change that. But the device has been a bit isolated, not being offered everywhere.

That is slowly changing as Roku is now available to our friends south of the border. Yes, the tiny device is arriving in Mexico now.

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KaOS 2015.10 KDE-focused Linux distro available now


While I am a GNOME fan, I recognize how wonderful KDE is too. If you prefer a traditional desktop user interface, KDE is a smart choice. Not only is it it easy to use for beginners, but it offers a ton of customization options for advanced users too.

There are quite a few KDE-based Linux distros, such as Kubuntu, Linux Mint KDE, and Netrunner, but the lesser known KaOS offers a more pure experience. This distro has a goal of remaining lean, while being fairly bleeding edge regarding KDE packages -- it is a great showcase for the desktop environment. Today, version 2015.10 sees release, and you can download it now.

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Intel helped Microsoft make Windows 10 great -- here's how


"Wintel", meaning Windows and Intel, is probably the most significant combo in the advancement of the personal computer. If it wasn't for the contributions of Microsoft and Intel, especially when combined, the entire computing landscape would be very different.

Today, Intel releases some information, including an infographic, about its contributions to Windows 10 -- Microsoft's latest, and some would say greatest, operating system. Yes, Intel helped to make Windows 10 better.

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How to build trust in the mobile marketplace

mobile marketing

Whether browsing through Amazon on a tablet or flicking through the latest offers on our mobile phones, we’ve grown accustomed to the digital shopping experience. However, it’s one thing to do your weekly shop from an iPad, and quite another to book a holiday abroad.

For businesses, mobile devices certainly present a far more accessible means for consumers to research their next purchase and reach out with any queries, but unfortunately the vast majority simply aren’t about to carry out large transactions on the same device.

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eBay, Tencent, and Daum Kakao join forces to bid for South Korean Internet bank license

Banking login

eBay and Tencent Holdings joined Daum Kakao in its bid to become South Korea’s first Internet bank. The bid is for one of two licenses to build Internet banks, which the government will commission later this year.

Korea Investment Holdings will take a majority share of the Internet bank, should it be licensed by the South Korean government. Daum Kakao will take a 10 percent share, and both Tencent Holdings and eBay will take a four percent share, the maximum allowed for a non-Korean, non-financial company.

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Rock Jaw Alfa Genus V2 -- quality earphones at an affordable price [Review]

Rock Jaw Alfa

When you buy earphones you usually have to choose between audio quality and how much you want to spend. British company Rock Jaw Audio, however, is on a mission to provide a strong listening experience at an affordable price.

There's a definite grey theme here, supplied in an attractive grey box, the earpieces themselves are aluminium with a smart grey finish, they come with a selection of rubber ear tips so you can get a good fit. There's also a clip for the cable and a soft carrying pouch. They have an in-line microphone for making phone calls and the earpieces have 8mm dynamic drivers. The jack plug is gold-plated, it's a 90 degree design though so may be awkward connecting to some devices. They have a 1.2 metre long cord, which is fine for listening to a smartphone in your pocket but a bit limiting for other situations.

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Shifu banking Trojan arrives in the UK


IBM security researchers have identified a malicious banking Trojan "in the wild" in the UK.

The so-called "Shifu" malware strain had previously only been witnessed in the Japanese financial sector, but appears to now have international targets in its sights.

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Is your Android device secure? Ask OPSWAT Gears


Back in February we checked out OPSWAT Gears, an interesting free tool for checking the security of PCs and Macs.

We had some reservations, but the package did a good job of identifying security issues on our test PCs, and a new Gears Android app brings some of the same features to your mobile devices.

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