Latest Technology News

Google finally gets around to revamping Contacts, but not without complicating things in the process

Google Contacts preivew 4.5

Compared to other Google products, Contacts feels like an afterthought. Since its introduction, it has received little attention, as the search giant focused on its more prominent and more promising services. Do you remember the last time an update was announced? I sure don't. It's still as ugly, awkward to use and slow as you've always remembered it to be.

But not for long. Google has announced that Contacts will finally get its much-needed revamp, showcasing the improvements via a preview that's available now. The new Contacts features some pretty big changes, starting with a look that feels modern enough for a Google product unveiled in 2015.

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Don't let your gadgets ruin a good night's sleep

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Blue wavelength light emitted by the screens of computers and gadgets is known to suppress the body’s production of melatonin, the hormone which regulates sleep.

Use of gadgets therefore can prevent you from getting a good night's sleep. Mobile accessory company Fabre Technik has come up with some tips to help you make use of your gadgets but still get some decent shut-eye.

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Save big with this Motorola Moto X deal

2014 Moto X deal Tracks Air by Sol Republic x

The second generation Moto X is among the best Android smartphones on the market today. It is also one of the more affordable flagships, costing just $499.99 off-contract. However, it can be had for less by taking advantage of this deal that Motorola has running in its online store.

Here's the gist: if you want to buy an off-contract second-generation Moto X also throw in an expensive pair of Tracks Air by Sol Republic x headphones in the cart, priced just shy of $200. The total cost? Well, it's just $449.94.

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Employee file transfer and email habits put corporate data at risk

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Employees are putting business data at risk with their email and file sharing habits. This is among the findings of the latest survey by email encryption specialist DataMotion.

Although companies are increasingly putting security and compliance policies in place nearly 44 percent of respondents admitted that these are only moderately enforced at best.

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Areca Backup is a very flexible backup tool

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What do you need from a backup program? Set up in seconds, maybe? Complete system backups, full disaster recovery, maybe integration with all your favorite cloud storage providers?

Bad news: Areca Backup doesn’t provide any of that. But if you’re an experienced user who wants a more configurable way to run file-based backups then the program could still be worth a try.

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NVIDIA announces all-new Shield -- a 4K Android TV game console for $199

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Xbox One? PlayStation 4? Yesterday's news. Today, NVIDIA disrupts the console market with the all-new Shield gaming console. While not a gaming console in the traditional sense, it is instead a 4K Android TV media box with extreme graphics performance.

How has NVIDIA pulled off such a thing? By utilizing its new Tegra X1 chip, it can outperform all other TV media boxes. Guess what? It is 35 times more powerful than an Apple TV! Can it really compete with Microsoft and Sony? At $199, absolutely.

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Hulu gains new Disney Junior kids shows in its lineup

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If you're looking to cut the cord you have an increasing number of choices including Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. There are less known options as well, of course, but the big three will give you most of what you want, including original content from each and Hulu's TV shows the day after they air on broadcast networks.

Now the service is expanding once again, this time adding to its children's content. The new shows are being provided by Disney Junior and include the popular Doc McStuffins, Handy Manny and Bunnytown. These join a lineup already stuffed with classics such as Sesame Street and many others.

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Watch the NVIDIA GDC 2015 announcement here live -- Gamers, grab the popcorn!

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If you are a game developer, the Game Developers Conference is where you want to be. Why? It is a gathering of some of the world's best developers; you are lucky to call these people peers. The event is more monumental for gaming fans, however, as there will be countless amazing announcements coming from it.

Unfortunately, not everyone can make the trip to San Francisco this year. Don't get down on yourself bro; who needs to travel to California, when you can see the most important announcement from GDC live from your home? That's right folks, NVIDIA will be making a big announcement and BetaNews is getting you a front row seat. Grab some popcorn, relax and watch the stream.

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System76 unveils diminutive Broadwell-powered Meerkat Ubuntu Linux desktop

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Buying a Linux-based PC usually means purchasing a Windows machine and replacing the OS with your favorite distro. While there is nothing terribly wrong with this practice, you are arguably paying for a Windows license that you will never use. In other words, the manufacturer is including the Windows fee into the overall cost. Not to mention, many Linux fans do not like Microsoft, and would prefer to not support the company. I am a Linux fan, but I like Microsoft products too.

Luckily, there are some manufacturers that make pure Linux-based computers, with one of the most popular being System76. This company manufacturers computers exclusively with Ubuntu. Today, the company teases a new small form factor PC -- reminiscent of Intel's NUC -- called Meerkat.

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What the FREAK? Huge SSL security flaw stems from US government backdoor

What the FREAK? Huge SSL security flaw stems US government backdoor

Seven hours is all it takes to crack the encryption that is in place on some supposedly secure websites. Security experts blame the US government's ban on the use of strong encryption back in the 1990s for a vulnerability that has just come to light. Named FREAK (Factoring attack on RSA-EXPORT Keys), the flaw exists on high-profile websites including, ironically, NSA.gov.

Restrictions that limited security to just 512-bit encryptions were lifted in the late 90s, but not before it was baked into software that is still in use today. The ban on the shipping of software with stronger encryption apparently backfired as it found its way back into the States. Security experts say the problem is serious, and the vulnerability is relatively easy to exploit.

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Qualcomm challenges Apple's fingerprint sensor tech with new Touch ID rival

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Fresh from a few big mobile announcements at MWC, Qualcomm has announced a new fingerprint sensor technology to compete with Apple’s Touch ID.

Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Sense ID is a new technology using ultrasonic waves to create a 3D fingerprint of the user, offering more depth than Touch ID, which uses an area-type capacitive 2D fingerprint.

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7 ways to maximize your Android and Apple contacts

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I’m sure you all know that your smartphone contacts app has long been essential for storing contact information, but while storage is its typical use, Android and Apple devices contacts are not limited to that function.

There are several nifty tricks you can use to lever the full potential of your contacts list. Here are seven of the best.

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iPhone 6 and Surface Pro 3 win at MWC 2015 Global Mobile Awards

iPhone 6 and Surface Pro 3 win at MWC2015 Global Mobile Awards

MWC 2015 has seen all manner of exciting smartphones, tablets, wearables and other goodies, but the event is not solely about brand new products. It's also a chance to look back on the past year and reflect on the highlights. Today Microsoft and Apple were among the companies picking up gongs for their products.

Both were to be found in the prestigious Best Mobile Handsets and Devices section. Apple's iPhone 6 shared the best smartphone award with the LG G3, and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 picked up the prize for best mobile tablet. Plenty of other awards were handed out in recognition of innovative technology products.

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Will the Galaxy S6 help Samsung challenge Apple once more?

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On the surface, Samsung’s position as the world’s second largest smartphone vendor seems formidable. The firm’s mobile division posted profits of £1.1 billion for the fourth quarter of last year and its most recently released flagship phone, the S5, has sold more than 12 million units worldwide since its launch.

However, all is not well with the South Korean technology giant.

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Essential NetTools: 15+ networking tools in one free suite

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Troubleshooting network problems can be a nightmare, even for Windows experts, but equipping yourself with the right software can make all the difference.

As we wrote last month, NetCrunch Tools is a useful collection of common network management tools, an easier way to access old standards like Ping and Traceroute.

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