Latest Technology News

Go exploring with the new update to Google Maps

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Summer is the vacation season for many people, and that means maps and travel apps become a priority. After all, when you're in an unfamiliar location, you're fending for yourself finding virtually anything, from museums to restaurants and everything else.

Now Google Maps is adding a new Explore feature that will attempt to assist lost travelers. A new "Explore" button will be located at the bottom right of the maps screen, and tapping on it will open a new world of information.

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Virtual smart card solution offers improved security at an affordable price

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Traditional authentication methods like passwords are vulnerable to data breaches as well as being difficult to remember and manage. But although tokens and physical smart cards provide better protection they're expensive to implement and maintain.

Security company Wave Systems Corp has a new virtual smart card solution that emulates the functionality of physical smart cards or tokens, but offers greater convenience to users, lower total cost of ownership, and a reduced risk of unauthorized use.

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Honesty is the best policy when it comes to security

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It has never been harder for businesses to build and preserve a relationship of trust with their customers. The rise of increasingly sophisticated, and targeted, cyber-attacks means there are more threats to watch out for than ever before. But letting just one slip through the net could spell disaster and damage even the strongest of partnerships, beyond repair. Just ask any major organization that has lost confidential customer data through a security breach.

When online retailer eBay reported that its network had been compromised earlier this year, it's no wonder that its message to customers was "the trust and security of eBay members is our top priority". The need to maintain trust in the face of a successful hack is critical.

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The tracks of my bargains – sacrificing privacy for a good deal

retail store shop camera surveillance

The increased popularity of smartphones means that, unless we specifically opt not to, most of us leave a record of our location wherever we go.

This information is of course valuable to marketers and a new study by customer engagement specialists PunchTab reveals that consumers are concerned about how location data is used.

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Microsoft anti-malware support for Windows XP is counting down...

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Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP on April 8, which means the aging operating system no longer receives security updates and non-security hotfixes, potentially putting die-hard users at serious risk.

Although XP is no longer eligible to receive security updates, Microsoft is, however, still providing users with updates to its anti-malware signatures and engine, and will continue to do so until July 14, 2015.

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Enterprise app stores can transform IT into rock stars

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You know the mood in the corporate world is optimistic when enterprises shift their focus from "down to the bone" cost-cutting measures to enhancing operational efficiency and innovative projects. 46 percent of CIOs reported increases in IT budgets in the last year to fund projects designed to improve the effectiveness of their operations, according to a recent Harvey Nash survey. This is indeed good news.

Technology-led as we are today, innovation in the enterprise is to a large extent being driven by software applications -- look at the consumerization of IT, virtualization and cloud trends. To better connect employees to the world of business applications, organizations are setting up enterprise app stores, giving employees iTunes-esque access in the corporate environment.

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UK government turns its back on Microsoft Office

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The UK government has formally announced that all government departments are to use the open document format [ODF] for documents immediately in a move that is part of the government’s total savings target of £1.2 billion.

A press release stated that the ODF standard is being used for sharing and collaborating on government documents whereas PDF/A or HTML is becoming the standard for viewing government documents.

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Microsoft's Windows Phone 8.1 lockscreen app close to launch

Windows Phone 8.1 Lockscreen

The option to change the Windows Phone 8.1 lockscreen is a new feature Microsoft showcased in early-April, at the unveiling of its new operating system, but that is not yet ready for prime time. As you may recall, Windows Phone head Joe Belfiore has said that it will be available later down the road through a dedicated app.

But, how close are we to its release? Well, Belfiore says that the development of the lockscreen app is in its final stages, with the software giant and prolific Windows Phone developer Rudy Huyn (who also works on the lockscreen app, as announced at Build 2014) now focusing on "loose ends".

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Google is working 9 to 5 -- brings Street View to Dollywood

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Dolly Parton is a living legend. Even if you do not love country music, you probably love one of her songs. Hell, she wrote one of the most famous, "I Will Always Love You", which the late Whitney Houston popularized. My personal favorites are "Jolene" and of course, "9 to 5".

Well, it seems like Google is working much harder than a 9 to 5 work day lately, especially when it comes to Street View. The search giant is constantly making a brouhaha over the latest place to which Street View has arrived. Today, it is revealed that Dollywood, the Dolly Parton co-owned theme park, is scoring the Google service.

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Windows Phone users score Uber app

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It's generally never a good idea to hitchhike. Any time a guy sticks out his thumb, or a girl sticks out her leg, it could be the beginning of their troubles. Quite frankly, getting a ride from a stranger seems like the start of a horror movie.

The latest rage in getting a ride, is Uber. If you aren't familiar, it is an app that connects someone with a car and someone who needs a ride -- for a fee. However, the company partners with reputable car services that do background checks on drivers. In other words, as opposed to hitchhiking, it should be a safe experience. Today, Uber announces that the app comes to Windows Phone.

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Get an 8 port USB hub with the new PowerFlow Octofire

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It seems that we all have way too many USB devices these days -- thumb drives, external hard drives, charging needs for phones and tablets. No computer has enough ports for the needs of a family, and many customers require help via a hub that can support all of those items.

"Most multi-gadget chargers have up to 4 ports that may only do one amp per port which is not optimal charging capacity. That’s why I was blown away when I first saw the Octofire with double the amount of ports and power", says Chris Johnson, Founder of BiteMyApple, the company that produces the product. "This monster charger is perfect for households or businesses that own many devices, and need a single power solution".

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Want to launch your own DDoS attacks on a website? $200 will get you everything you need

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Cybercriminals don’t have to make their own malware these days, they can simply purchase ready-made kits. They don’t need to take out a bank loan to do so either -- malware is more affordable than you might think.

Trustwave’s security researchers did a little digging and found that depending on the type, malware can cost as little as two hundred dollars on the black market, and the tools on offer are pretty sophisticated too. Got your wallet ready? Here’s a price list of just some of the currently available malware:

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I cut cable's cord again and mean it this time

TV cat Netflix

Overnight, AT&T U-verse went dark in the Wilcox household. We're cord cutters once more. A year ago, we let the service go for about two weeks but returned after Cox Internet failed to deliver constant connection. When going back to AT&T for just the Net, the company made an offer I couldn't refuse: Hundreds of channels, HD, DVR, and Internet for $99 a month. Cost would be $69 without the television service.

But with Game of Thrones and Walking Dead behind, and the 12-month contract expired (yesterday), streaming is once again high on the thrifty list. I made several phone calls looking for an AT&T deal that would keep us customers, but no offer matched Cox, which guarantees pricing for a year without locking me into any commitment. We set up service about 10 days ago, hoping the Internet would stop yo-yoing around.

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Seagate Central comes to Roku -- pirates rejoice!

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In the olden days, people used to collect CDs, DVDs and Blu-Rays (some still do). Buying physical media loaded with content was commonplace. However, the spread of legal streaming caused many to abandon their collecting and instead opt for services like Netflix, Hulu and Beats Music to name a few. Devices such as Fire TV and Roku have made the process far easier.

Of course, some people still download media illegally rather than pay for a subscription or rental. These people fill large hard drives with files from The Pirate Bay and other nefarious sites. Some pirates also like the convenience of streaming to their living room, though. Today, Seagate announces an option that may appease both pirates and honest home users alike -- a channel for Roku.

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Amazon unveils massive database expansion for Prime Music service

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Just a few weeks ago, Amazon added one more perk to its Prime service, gifting customers with a music streaming service. The launch was a bit clumsy, as many of the songs and artists searched for were not available. However, as I wrote at the time, I expected that to improve.

Today the first leap forward takes place. The retailer is adding hundreds of thousands of new songs to the service, and also promising hundreds of new playlists.

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