Latest Technology News

The Core i3 and i7 Surface Pro 3 models went on sale today -- did you buy one?

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Very rarely in the technology world, do we get to experience a truly game-changing product. Sure enough though, the world was treated to just that in 2014 with the Surface Pro 3. Don't get me wrong, the previous iterations of the Surface Pro were good and fundamentally the same, but the 3rd finally achieved the original vision. You see, the iPad was revolutionary, but forced the user to think of devices as home computing vs. mobile. In other words, the user had to compromise and give up productivity for portability and convenience. The Surface Pro 3 literally rewires one's brain to no longer think of computing as dichotomy -- you can have your cake (tablet) and eat it too (laptop).

Recently, I wanted to achieve root access on an Android tablet. Of course, the process required Windows. So what did I do? I connected the Android tablet to the Surface Pro 3 with USB and accomplished my goal. I came away from that experience feeling like the Android tablet was a toy. To use a car analogy, with the USB cable between them, it was like the Surface Pro 3 was a Ford F150 and it was jump starting a Fiat. Well today, the F150 -- I mean, Surface Pro 3, gains two more models in addition to the existing Core i5. Yes, the less expensive i3 and more powerful i7 have arrived!

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AOMEI OneKey Recovery allows you to recreate your PC’s recovery partition

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AOMEI Technology has shipped AOMEI OneKey Recovery, a brand new tool that allows Windows users to create a custom recovery partition on their PC. The tool is primarily designed for use on a system whose on recovery partition has been lost, but should work with any PC.

The app creates the recovery partition from the user’s current setup, which means all existing programs and settings will be preserved.

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Turn a Raspberry Pi into your own personal cloud

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Tonido lets you transform a PC (spare, or otherwise) into a web server so you can securely access your files from anywhere, share content with friends, and stream music over the internet. You can expand the software’s functionality by installing plug-ins and there are free apps available for iPhone, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone.

The company has also just introduced Tonido Personal Cloud Server for Raspberry Pi, so you can now turn your credit card sized device into a personal cloud, and remotely access all the files held on any storage connected to it.

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Microsoft's EMET 5.0 blocks vulnerable plugins

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Microsoft has unveiled Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit 5.0 (EMET), a free security tool which uses a variety of techniques to block common software exploits.

The update adds a new mitigation, Attack Surface Reduction (ASR), which prevents an application from running specific modules or plug-ins.

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Creative announces T3250 Wireless Bluetooth 2.1 Speakers

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Creative is a company that is very hit or miss. Over the years, I have enjoyed many of its products -- mostly sound cards. However, while much of the company's hardware is solid, software and drivers have been dreadful. In fact, driver support and performance in Windows Vista and 7 were so bad, that many users decided to boycott the company altogether. If a card actually worked, it was often subject to random cracks, pops and screeches -- painful for ears. I spent many nights in Creative's forums witnessing the atrocities of both its drivers and poor customer support.

With all of that said, I am not one to hold grudges and never want to see a company falter. Yes, I am willing to start looking at Creative products again after a long hiatus since my X-Fi Elite Pro woes from years ago. Today, the company announces some inexpensive speakers that appear to be a good value -- the T3250 Wireless Bluetooth 2.1 Speakers.

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Top 10 Facebook scams to avoid

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With Facebook's popularity rocketing, the social network became a target for scammers and malware peddlers, and social engineering attacks have only increased massively since it became a phenomenon.

So it's always handy to be aware of what current major scams are doing the rounds, so there's no danger of you being tempted into clicking and ending up with something nasty on your machine.

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Doctor Who month comes to Hulu

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Long-running TV show Doctor Who, which is produced by the BBC, will be coming back for yet another season on August 23rd. However, fans who can't wait can catch up through Hulu, which has debuted what it terms "Doctor Who Month".

The streaming service is hosting two exclusive specials, as well as a pair of classic episodes that had previously been lost for 30 years. Those episodes were recently recovered and can now be viewed via Hulu.

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Best Windows 8 apps this week

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Ninety-second in a series. Windows Store saw some great releases this week, including three Runtastic fitness applications and the official NFL preseason application.

Several core applications such as the Xbox Video application have received updates this week. The app features a full redesign which, according to Microsoft, should make it easier for users to find and play contents using it.

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Microsoft unveils Word, Excel and PowerPoint for iPad 1.1, adds user-requested features

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Microsoft has unveiled the first major update to its stable of iPad Office apps with the release of Word for iPad 1.1, Excel for iPad 1.1 and PowerPoint for iPad 1.1.

All three apps gain exclusive new features, but all gain the ability to export documents to PDF, improved picture editing tools and support for third-party fonts.

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Auslogics reveals BoostSpeed 7

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Auslogics has unveiled BoostSpeed 7, a major update for its PC cleanup, maintenance and optimization suite.

The Live Speedup module gains a Disk Priority Manager to optimize applications in real-time. Your hard drive is now monitored to reduce file fragmentation, while disk and Registry cleanups can be scheduled to run automatically.

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Windows Phone 8.1 available for AT&T Nokia Lumia 925, Lumia 520

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Months after its unveiling in early-April at Build 2014, Windows Phone 8.1 is finally rolling out to compatible smartphones. Among the latest Windows Phone 8 devices to receive the coveted software upgrade are the AT&T variants of Nokia Lumia 925 and Lumia 520, the latter of which being a branded version of the most popular Windows Phone to date.

AT&T customers using Lumia 925 and Lumia 520 can apply the software upgrade right away, suggests the US mobile operator, by heading to the Settings menu, opening the phone update submenu and tapping on the check for updates button, the last of which will reveal the option to kick off the install.

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Qi standard to enable wireless charging at a longer distance

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Despite being called wireless charging, the technology we love today still has a long way to go before it can allow us to top up our devices' batteries at a considerable distance from the charger. But, Wireless Power Consortium signals that the Qi standard may be able to (one day) outgrow this limitation.

Right now, devices compatible with the current version (1.1) of the Qi standard can be charged only at a very short distance away from the charger. Based on my experience, you can barely pick up your device without having the connection drop. The new version (1.2) of the standard, however, increases the charging distance to 45 mm, which is no small feat.

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Refresh app helps build stronger sales relationships

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The sales process is all about making effective connections with customers and potential customers, so any tool that can help with that process will make meetings run more smoothly and profitably.

A new web app and iOS app from Refresh is aimed at giving sales staff deeper insight into their contacts. The app syncs to the sales person’s calendar to provide instant information on the people they’re meeting.

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Internet Explorer 11 is much more usable in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1

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While it can never be faulted for being slow, Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone 8.1 still has some catching up to do with rival browsers from competing platforms, mostly regarding the way it displays some websites. My biggest gripe is that it quite often shows the desktop-optimized versions, when it should load the mobile-friendly versions instead (not the dated ones, mind you, like it does so frequently now).

Fortunately, those problems appear to be fixed in the version of Internet Explorer 11 found in Windows Phone 8.1 Update 1. "Based on your feedback, we pursued a web experience for IE users consistent with what is available on iOS and Android devices -- even where this meant we would be adding non-standard web platform features", says Microsoft. "We believe that this is a more pragmatic approach to running today's less-standardized mobile web".

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Enterprise mobile spending expected to grow more than 50 percent

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There has been rapid growth in the number of mobile devices attached to corporate systems in recent years and this shows no signs of slowing down.

A new survey sponsored by Oracle shows that not only are enterprises more committed to mobility, but that the rate of development, deployment and spending for support of mobile applications and devices is set to increase dramatically.

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