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Twitter's new Trust & Safety Council is a desperate measure for desperate times

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All is not well at Twitter. Rumors about a rejigged timeline last week led to #RIPTwitter trending on the site and reassurances from Jack Dorsey did little to calm users' fears. But Twitter is failing to attract new users -- as today's earning's report shows -- and it is desperate to be seen to be listening to people, and providing tools that are valuable.

This is precisely why the micro-blogging site puts out feel-good stories about how it is tackling terrorists, shouts about beating online trolls, and goes out of its way to try to appeal to, and be useful to, people who don’t have an account yet. The move is the latest attempted to try to rejuvenate interest in the site which is failing to grow at the rate expected. It's an attempt to balance freedom of speech with control of those seen to be abusing the service.

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Why Apple doesn't sell televisions

"Apple TV" parody set (semi-original art by Scott Fulton)

At least twice over the past decade Apple has been close to announcing its own television. Not the Apple TV set top box but actual big screen TVs with, well, big screens. But both times I’ve heard about this Apple backed away at the last minute. And the reason why they did was because even an Apple television would be just another television with an Apple logo. Steve Jobs realized that TVs had become a commodity and there didn’t seem to be an obvious way to make Apple’s television special.

I’m not here to say Apple has finally found its TV design path as suggested in Walter Isaacson’s book and will be doing a big screen TV after all. In fact I’m pretty sure Apple will never sell its own TVs. But I think Cupertino has finally figured out a way to grab an important and profitable part of nearly all TVs, controlling the future of video entertainment in the process.

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Opera Software wants shareholders to accept $1.2bn buyout offer

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Opera Software, the company behind the Opera web browser for desktop and mobile devices, has received a $1.2 billion buyout offer from a consortium of Chinese Internet firms.

The company’s board is recommending shareholders to accept the deal, which is higher than Opera Software's valuation at closing time on the Oslo exchange. Rumors of a possible buyout of the company led to its stock being suspended for two days.

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Wink brings local control to your automated lights

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Home automation, the connected home, the Internet of Things, it's all phrases used to describe the same thing -- a series of devices connected to the internet and used to power tasks around a house. Turn the lights on and off, lock doors, raise blinds, sense a water leak, all of it can be done today.

One of the companies in this market is Wink, which is also one of the few hub makers that is compatible with Amazon Echo. Now Wink is beefing up it offering with what it terms "local control" of lighting.

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Microsoft announces a third ring for Windows 10 Insiders -- 'Release Preview'

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If you’re a Windows 10 Insider you currently have the choice of being in either the Fast or Slow rings. The Fast ring is used for cutting edge -- and potentially more buggy -- builds, while Slow ring releases tend to be pushed out less frequently, but are proven to be more stable.

Which ring you choose depends on how desperately you want to try out new builds -- it’s safe to say Fast ring releases aren’t really suited for use on your main PC. However, from today there’s now a third choice available to Insiders, and that’s the Release Preview ring.

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Hackers leak contact information of 20,000 FBI employees

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Hackers have leaked the contact information of 20,000 FBI employees, which follows the previous day's release of 10,000 Homeland Security employees' data.

The hackers communicating through Twitter, claimed "Well folks, it looks like @TheJusticeDept has finally realized their computer has been breached after one week".

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Five reasons why Apple's iPad Pro is ready for the enterprise

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In 2010, Apple heralded the iPad as the device to revolutionize the laptop era for consumers. Now, with the iPad Pro, the company is set to address the prosumer in the enterprise and move closer to achieving that goal. Combining power with new input devices and a platform designed for mobile, it is hoped the iPad Pro will enable businesses to be flexible in how and where they work.

But for businesses looking to become more mobile, is the iPad Pro the right option? And what has changed to make it enterprise ready?

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Apple now sells virtual reality headset for iPhones

View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for iPhone

We are now in the early days of the consumer virtual reality market. Few companies have developed headsets so far, and even fewer actually have products that folks like you and I can go out and buy. However, what you can get today is typically meant for Android devices, with iPhones getting little to no attention.

Apple wants consumers to know that its iPhones are not being left out, as it is now selling a VR headset through its online store. The most-appealing thing about it is no doubt the price.

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Your PornHub video habit will help save whales in February

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This may initially generate some snickers and likely lots of tabs quickly closing, but I assure you the story is safe for work. The only nudity here is the whale in the image above. In fact this is a story about charity and of helping to save endangered species, albeit in a rather unconventional way.

It's no secret that porn drives the internet to a certain degree, and many claim it also drives innovation to some extent. True or not, it's big business that can generate massive revenues for the purveyors of the content. One of the big ones is PornHub and it is deciding to give back in the form of charitable donations to a worthwhile cause.

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LibreOffice 5.1 reorganizes user interface, reduces start-up times

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The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 5.1 64-bit and LibreOffice 5.1 32-bit. It comes just under six months after version 5.0 debuted back in August yet unveils some major changes to the user interface as well as performance improvements.

LibreOffice 5.1 promises new and simplified application menus, faster start-up times and a number of application-specific improvements, including better slide transitions in Impress and a host of new features in Calc.

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Apple open sources Swift's Benchmarking Suite

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Following the release of the Swift programming language as open source back in early December 2015, Apple has followed up by releasing the code for its Benchmarking Suite on GitHub.

By releasing the Benchmarking Suite as open source, Apple is trying to assist developers to create faster, more efficient code. It will allow programmers to find areas where their code is running slowly, so that they can find a faster way of coding their applications before they are committed. Specifically, the suite consists of tools, benchmark libraries and utilities.

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Poor app security can lose businesses money

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The app market is booming, with revenues expected to top $140 billion this year, but lack of investment in security could be putting these revenues at risk.

A new study by Bluebox Security has examined three popular mobile apps -- Hulu, Tinder and the Kylie Jenner Official App -- all examples of apps that lack self-defense capabilities to protect against tampering, resigning and redistribution. It shows that attackers can easily defraud enterprises of app revenue by disabling advertising, accessing premium features for free, and bypassing subscription payments.

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How can IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) improve information security?

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The ITIL change management process is one of the very important processes that helps increase security for IT applications and infrastructure. For example, in healthcare and hospital environments, maintaining an eHealthRecord (eHR) application is an enormous IT task. Cerner, Epic, Allscripts, MEDITECH, Siemens and McKesson are the major vendors and cost many millions to purchase. It often requires millions more in resources to implement and maintain.

The ongoing task of maintaining a hospital eHealthRecord is a giant burden on IT. There are also many possible security issues, given that HIPAA compliance is required for any hospital or healthcare environment. According to industry research, some hospitals have a backlog of over 1000 eHealthRecord Requests for Change (RFC), and many are related to security.

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The role of mobile services in the evolution of IoT

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Along with Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT) has been one of the most heavily hyped broad technology trends because it will touch just about every sector of society and commerce. As it happens, these two great trends will overlap and reinforce each other, while sharing some of the same constraints and concerns as they develop their full potential over the coming five to ten years.

Analyst group Gartner has identified a clear life cycle for such major technology trends, beginning with a discovery that triggers early innovation, which then generates hype followed by an inevitable period of disillusionment when the initial over-stoked expectations are not met. Some technologies die in this trough, but others emerge at the other side into Gartner’s "slope of enlightenment", where they gain adoption before reaching a plateau of maturity occupied now by the ICT sector as a whole.

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Canonical releases Snappy Ubuntu Core Linux image for x86-based Intel NUC DE3815TY

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The Raspberry Pi is a game-changing computer. While it was primarily designed as a low-cost base on which students could learn to code, it has proven to be much more. Some consumers buy it for HTPC purposes, but more importantly, developers embrace the little computer for other projects, such as IoT.

Unfortunately for some developers, the ARM architecture and rather anemic performance make the Raspberry Pi a poor choice. While some consider ARM to be the future, I'm not so sure -- x86 has been surprisingly adaptable. Today, Canonical releases an Ubuntu Core image for the x86-based Intel NUC DE3815TY. Priced around $150, this NUC is more expensive than the Pi, but it is much more powerful too; a better choice for developers needing an x86 platform.

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