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The future of wearable technology in 2015

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Like it or not, wearable technology seems to be here to stay. 2014 saw many advances for the Pebble smartwatch, Google Glass stayed in the game, though remained out of the price range for most consumers. Android Wear debuted with several brands offering differing form factors. But where does this new product line head off to in 2015?

For starters, there is Apple, which announced its offering recently, though it won't be available until next year. That one is, like anything announced by the Cupertino-based company, greatly anticipated by a certain group of people. And like other Apple products, it will also be overpriced in a market where you can buy a Pebble for $99.

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BlackBerry works with Boeing on secure, self-destructing smartphone

BlackBerry works with Boeing on secure, self-destructing smartphone

BlackBerry and Boeing are working together on a new super-secure smartphone. The announcement came at an earnings call at which BlackBerry CEO, John Chen, revealed scant details about the collaboration. What we do know is that the partnership is designed to create a secure device that can be used by US defense and homeland security workers.

Everybody's paranoid nowadays, but the defense sector is one that has a particular need for security. Boomberg reports that the phone is known as the Boeing Black, and it runs on top of BES -- a platform already known and trusted by many enterprise customers.

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Only half of companies take DDoS seriously

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DDoS attacks can have a serious effect on businesses, yet according to a new survey by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International only 50 percent of companies regard countering DDoS attacks as an essential part of their IT security.

This is despite the fact that the average cost of a DDoS attack to small and medium businesses is put at $52,000. For larger companies the average is $444,000.

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Samsung hopes you'll like some curves to your monitor, announces the 34-inch SE790C

Samsung SE790C Curved 34 inch

Curved displays look cool. There is no question about it. Frankly, anything that deviates from the norm in this space -- meaning, it is not flat -- tends to have a certain appeal to it. Is it a useful change? That depends. Personally, I'm inclined to believe that it has potential in certain scenarios, although there are some who believe that a curved display is nothing more than a gimmick. No matter where you stand on the matter, one thing is certain -- we will have to get used to them, as they are growing in numbers.

After first announcing TVs with curved displays, South Korean maker Samsung has started to offer desktop monitors with this feature, the latest of which is the 34-inch SE790C, rocking Ultra-WQHD resolution. In plan English, that means 3,440 by 1,440 pixels. Here is what else you should know about it.

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Apple set to totally dominate the wearable tech sector

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Wearables are on track to hit 168 million shipments by 2019 with the sector driven by Apple’s long-awaited entry into a segment it will eventually lead.

A new report from Berg Insight predicts that wearable technology shipments will hit 19 million in 2014, up from 5.9 million in 2013, before accelerating to 168.2 million by 2019 thanks to a compound annual growth rate of 54.7 percent.

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Detect and remove unknown malware with Ultimate Virus Sniffer

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If you run, download or otherwise access malware, then your regular antivirus software should normally detect the threat, step in and remove it for you, entirely automatically.

Brand new threats might bypass this layer of protection, though, infecting your system. Getting rid of them will then be extremely difficult, but if you’re a Windows expert, and armed with a copy of Ultimate Virus Sniffer, there just might be a chance.

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Microsoft apologizes for Halo: The Master Chief Collection snafu with a bunch of freebies

Microsoft apologizes for Halo: The Master Chief Collection snafu with a bunch of freebies

The Halo series has been a massive success for Microsoft on Xbox, and Halo: The Master Chief Collection was an eagerly anticipated launch. But when the remastered game collection hit Xbox One, it didn't take long for gamers to discover a raft of problems with multiplayer games, and a range of glitches that impacted on performance.

Now Microsoft and games studio 343 Industries have apologized for the issues in a way that the companies are hoping will be well-received -- by giving away a batch of free stuff. That's not to say that an accompanying, contemporaneous apology has been issued; instead the freebies are a thank you for gamers' "support and understanding as we worked through issues impacting" the game.

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Holiday 2014 gift guide for procrastinators

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You lazy son of a bitch. It's Sunday, Christmas is Thursday, and you still haven't started shopping for gifts? Don't worry, we've got your ass covered with a quick, down-and-dirty gift bonanza. It's an eclectic mix because we have the attention spans of mice intoxicated by coffee and Krispy Kremes.

Lucky you. Many U.S. online shops grub for dollars by offering last-minute, free one-day shipping. Ha! There are some rewards waiting until Santa attaches reindeer to the sleigh. Read fast, because some of these are deals that won't last -- and when we say this grab bag is random, we mean it.

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Tor network could be attacked and knocked offline this week

Tor network could be attacked and knocked offline this week

Roger Dingledine, leader of the Tor Project, has warned it could be the subject of an attack this week. In a blog post, he cautioned users that the project had learned that directory authorities might be seized in an attempt to incapacitate the network. Dingledine does not hint at who might be responsible for a future attack, but reassured users that anonymity would be maintained.

Directory authorities are used by Tor clients to help route traffic through the network, ensuring that users remains anonymous at each stage. An attack on directory authorities would probably have little effect to start with, but there is potential to take down the network if enough servers were targeted.

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Reddit (sort of) launches its own nebulous cryptocurrency, Reddit Notes

Reddit (sort of) launches its own nebulous cryptocurrency, Reddit Notes

We've already heard that 2015 is supposed to be the year of cryptocurrency, and Microsoft recently announced that Bitcoin is an acceptable form of payment. Now Reddit is getting in on the virtual currency action. Kind of. Well, perhaps. The details are vague at the moment, but the intriguingly-named Reddit Notes have been announced.

It comes just a few months after Reddit managed to secure $50 million in funding, and at the time "the investors in this round have proposed to give 10% of their shares back to the community". The birth of Reddit Notes is the start of this payback, but it's not yet clear who will receive them or what they will be used for.

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Clean up your inbox with Automatic Outlook Duplicate Remover

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Outlook provides various ways to manage the size of your mailbox (see Mailbox Cleanup in Outlook 2013), but nothing to help you deal with the duplicates that could be cluttering your system.

Automatic Outlook Duplicate Remover is a free tool which does exactly what you'd expect, finding and removing duplicates from your Outlook email folders, contacts, calendar, notes and tasks.

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You likely won't catch Ebola, but you can help find a cure

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Ebola has created quite the stir in 2014, for both the right and wrong reasons. There's no doubting it's a serious disease that needs to be wiped out, but panic over catching it has greatly outpaced the actual spread, which is rather slow and involves the transmission of bodily fluids. The CDC outlines basic guidelines to keep you safe. Despite the worry of the public at large, you simply aren't likely to get infected.

However, that doesn't mean everything is coming up roses. As I said, it's something we need to eradicate like Polio and Smallpox. The US government has thrown financial support behind the initiative in an effort to both help, as well as allay fears and prevent widespread panic over this outbreak.

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Microsoft offering 'Super Saturday' in-store deals -- tomorrow only!

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Holy cow, where did the time go!? Tomorrow is December 20th, and Christmas is almost here. If you are like me, you have not finished your shopping yet; yes, it is time to start panicking. Sure, I can run down to Bath and Body Works and buy some lotions for gifts, or go to Target and buy a foot-bath or two, but let's be honest -- those aren't the most thoughtful. In my experience, body lotions, foot-baths, Chia Pets, etc., often get tucked-away into a closet to be regifted at a later date.

Today however, Microsoft is here to help, announcing some special in-store deals for last minute shoppers -- gifts people might actually want. These deals will only be live tomorrow, so be prepared.

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Is fashion behind the rise of wearable technology?

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"Today, your task is to create a piece of wearable technology," Lord Sugar told the candidates at the start of a recent episode of BBC1’s The Apprentice. Unfortunately, the boys’ team went on to create a grey jumper with a small inbuilt camera and novelty Christmas lights. Meanwhile, the girls’ team devised a jacket with solar panels on the shoulders and a few lights on the lapels.

Not products that are going to grace the catwalk at London Fashion Week any time soon. Yet, for all their painful sound bites and poor decisions, the candidates were right to some extent in thinking that making wearable technology look fashionable is key. As it happens, the wearable technology sector is increasingly relying on the fashion industry to drive it forward, but is it enough for wearables to be wholeheartedly adopted by mainstream consumers? Let’s look at a few examples.

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Microsoft rolls out Lumia Denim -- most users will get it in 2015

Nokia Microsoft Lumia Denim

Microsoft is keeping its promise of delivering Lumia Denim in the last quarter of 2014, as the firmware update is rolling out now. However, most devices which are slated to get it will only receive it starting early next year.

"The Lumia Denim update has started rolling out to a limited number of devices in selected markets, and will continue arriving in waves by device", says Microsoft's Adam Frasier. "A wider rollout of Lumia Denim to all Lumia smartphones running Windows Phone 8.1 is expected to begin in early January, following partner testing and approvals". I wouldn't be surprised if the roll-out ends very late in Q1 2015.

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