Latest Technology News

Firefox for iOS public preview available now -- in New Zealand only


Firefox is a wonderful browser that can be found on multiple operating systems, such as Windows, OS X, Android, Ubuntu and more. One place it is absent, however, is iOS. In other words, it is not available on the wildly popular iPhone and iPad. This is tragic, but not without reason. Mozilla pledged to avoid iOS, as Apple prevents the use of alternative engines, such as Gecko. The company has since reversed course, however.

Today, Mozilla announces that a public preview of Firefox for iOS is now available. Excited? You probably shouldn't be. Why? It is a New Zealand exclusive for now. I can understand wanting to restrict the preview, but making it an exclusive to that country only just seems very random. Right?

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At long last Google improves Chrome's memory and battery usage


Chrome has long been maligned as a huge drain on system resources. Open more than a few tabs and you'll notice that memory usage skyrockets, and performance can slow to a crawl. Run Chrome on a laptop that's not connected to mains power, and you've probably seen the battery meter plummet whenever you use the browser.

Now -- at long, long last -- Google is doing something about it. The latest version of Chrome boasts a number of improvements designed to reduce the browser's footprint, including a new intelligent tab restoration system that keeps the least viewed tabs suspended in the background until needed. Chrome 45 is also far more aggressive at actively cleaning up memory.

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Amazon Prime customers can watch videos offline


The battle for online streaming supremacy is heating up, after Amazon announced that Prime subscribers can now download videos for offline viewing.

The move stands in stark contrast to the position taken by rival content provider Netflix, which has consistently stated that offline content is not on its agenda.

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Google provides help with more health conditions than ever before


Turning to the internet for medical advice is something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it provides access to a wealth of information previously only available to medical students, making it easy to look up symptoms and see what they might mean. On the other, hypochondriacs can very easy self-diagnose every condition under the sun.

But there's no denying that it can certainly be helpful to be able to find out a little more about different conditions from the comfort of your phone or computer. Today Google announces a swathe of updates that it hopes will help people to be better informed in terms of understanding symptoms and treatments, and conveying what they are experiencing to a doctor.

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Snowden: Hilary Clinton's personal email server likely exposed sensitive national intelligence


If anyone else at the State Department made use of a personal email server to discuss sensitive information, they would have been fired and prosecuted, says Edward Snowden in a scathing attack on Hilary Clinton.

The former NSA worker hit out at the Democratic presidential candidate in an interview with Al Jazeera. He said that Clinton was probably aware that using a personal email address had exposed sensitive national intelligence, describing it as 'a problem'.

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Motorola defends its decision not to make the Moto 360 screen entirely round


The traditional shape of a watch face is round. There are variations, of course -- square, rectangular, and so on -- but for the most part, round is a safe bet. With the Moto 360, however, Motorola raised a few eyebrows when its screen was launched with a design that has become known as the 'flat tire' look.

Yesterday, the company unveiled the new version of the Moto 360 and the same flat tire, non-round screen is present. What gives? Despite disappointment, and even ridicule from users, Motorola remains adamant that it made the right choice, standing by its decision to keep the flat tire in the second generation of the smartwatch. So, is it ugly, or does it make sense?

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Logitech unveils new Bluetooth mouse and keyboard for multiple operating systems


The wireless mouse and keyboard is not a new concept, it's been around for quite a while. Bluetooth connectivity came along a bit later, though it still isn't cutting-edge anymore. Now we work from multiple devices from PCs to laptops to tablets, even phones and these thing have become necessary.

Now Logitech is unveiling its latest Bluetooth keyboard, the Logitech K380, and mouse, the M535. Neither is dependent on the other, it isn't a set. Both have a compact design that's easy to pack up and travel with.

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Barnes and Noble announces Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK


Paper books are archaic -- e-readers and tablets are the proper way to read nowadays. They are more convenient for traveling, helpful for nighttime reading, and most importantly, don't take up room. Both public and in-home libraries are a waste of space.

Today, Barnes and Noble announces its newest tablet-based reader, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 NOOK. Unlike Amazon's Kindle Fire Android tablets which are designed in-house and don't have access to Google Play, B&N partners with Samsung for the hardware while giving access to Google's app store. In other words, it is a proper Android tablet with a B&N experience baked in. I like it.

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Using freelance talent to plug the developer skills gap

Cloud developer tablet

There is a growing skills gap in the apps economy. As businesses become increasingly software-driven, this gap becomes more obvious than ever, and hiring managers are faced with a constant struggle to find the skilled developers they need.

Yet a new survey by freelance work marketplace Upwork suggests that there are developers around the world who have time available and are actively seeking work to fill it.

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The importance of education in combating phishing attacks [Q&A]

Phishing magnified

It's usually the case that the weakest link in any security system is the human element. That's particularly true when it comes to phishing attacks. Hackers have become more creative in the social engineering methods they use to gain access to sensitive information.

A new service called LUCY, aims to educate people and identify vulnerable endpoints by allowing businesses or individuals to simulate phishing attacks. We spoke to LUCY founder Oliver Muenchow to find out more about this approach.

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Apply Magic Sauce uses Facebook likes to determine your personality


We all know that Facebook has a lot of information about us, but what exactly can it learn from all that data?

Aside from the most obvious -- the things you give it, such as gender, date of birth, place of living, education, work, your favorite sports clubs, music and movies -- it can also conclude a lot of things on its own.

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ASUS VivoStick is a $129 miniature Windows 10 PC rivaling Intel's Compute Stick

Black ASUS VivoStick

ASUS is following in Intel's footsteps by unveiling a miniature Windows 10 PC, that is not much larger than a USB flash drive. Unveiled at IFA 2015, VivoStick is designed to be connected to an HDMI-enabled monitor, quickly turning it into a fully-fledged PC.

VivoStick is not all that different to Compute Stick in this regard, but the former is a better option in terms of hardware specifications and price, being advertised to cost just $129 when it goes on sale.

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Boost your trivia knowledge with Google's 'fun fact' Easter egg


Google has lots of tricks up its sleeve -- it's much more than just a search engine -- and now there's something new to try out. Hot on the heels of the unveiling of its new logo, the company has quietly launched a new "fun fact" feature for its search tool.

The next time you have a few minutes to kill, or you just like the idea of learning something new, type "fun fact" into the search box. Google will furnish you with a random fact -- from the price of a lifetime airline pass, to where golf was first played in the US. The only danger is that it could quickly turn into a real productivity vacuum!

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Toshiba announces trio of convertible Windows 10 PCs including a Surface Pro wannabe


Today Toshiba unveiled three new devices designed to take advantage of Windows 10: the Satellite Radius 12, the Toshiba Satellite Radius 14, and the Toshiba Satellite Click 10. The largest of the devices -- the Satellite Radius 14 -- is a 14-inch laptop with a 360-degree rotating screen which offers a total of five operating modes.

The mid-sized Satellite Radius 12 features a smaller 12.5-inch screen, and the rotating screen allows for multi-position use. Rounding off the trio is the Satellite Click 10, arguably the most interesting of the bunch, which boasts 14 hours of battery life. The detachable keyboard makes this a Surface competitor and gives the choice of working in laptop or tablet mode.

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Google will relegate mobile sites that serve large ads

Thumbs down

Google has announced that it will downgrade websites that use interstitial advertisements in its mobile search results.

Although desktop searches will not be affected, Google’s new initiative is a response to claims that mobile users are often being subjected to an unsatisfying search experience.

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