Latest Technology News

Half of all Internet users are on Facebook

Could Facebook at Work put the work back into social networking?

Approximately half of the world’s online population accesses Facebook on a monthly basis, the social media giant has reported.

By the end of Q2 2015, 1.49 billion people accessed the website at least once in a month, up 13 percent from the same period last year and representing half of the estimated global online population of 3 billion, Facebook said.

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Celebrating SysAdmin Day with a System Mechanic giveaway

Red Cake

The last Friday in July marks not only the beginning of a lovely weekend, but also the day when system administrators across the globe are celebrated. July 31, 2015 is the sixteenth System Administrator Appreciation Day, and we have prepared a BetaNews giveaway to mark this special occasion.

Just like last year, we will be giving away 10 System Mechanic licenses, courtesy of iolo, the software's maker. As always, every BetaNews reader is welcome to enter the giveaway. Here is what you need to know.

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Best Windows apps this week


One-hundred and thirty-nine in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows in the past seven days.

More than 14 million devices are running Windows 10 after the first day of release. We have covered the launch of the new operating system here on Betanews extensively and if you missed it, check out our Windows 10 topic to read up on that.

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HP ProBook 455 G2: A low-cost business notebook for Ubuntu lovers [Review]

HP 455

Most of the laptops you can buy come with Windows pre-installed. Obviously the latest batch have Windows 10 on them, with more being announced daily. If you prefer Linux you can either replace Microsoft's operating system with your distro of choice, or set up a dual boot configuration.

Online retailer Ebuyer, however, offers Linux-minded consumers a third option with its range of HP ProBook notebooks that come with Ubuntu pre-installed. There are three models on offer: HP 255, HP 355, and HP 455.

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How to clean install Windows 10


Windows 10 is now officially available, and many of you want to run the new operating system on your PCs and tablets right away. And why not? There are lots of cool features to get excited about, like the new Start menu, Cortana, Action Center, multiple desktops, and Edge. And it is offered as a free upgrade, if you have a valid Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 license, which makes it even more attractive.

Obviously, those who are using Windows or Windows 8.1 can upgrade straight to Windows 10. But, the same cannot be said about Windows XP or Windows Vista users, who have to perform a clean install. That being said, a clean install is always recommended when moving to a new version of Windows, as it allows you to have an untainted experience, devoid of any issues that can crop up as a result of an upgrade. Here is how you can make a clean install of Windows 10.

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Stop Windows 10 using your internet connection to share updates to other people


A lot of things have changed in Windows 10, not least the way in which updates are delivered. Now that Windows 10 has been officially released and is gradually spreading around the globe, more and more people are starting to discover that the latest version of Microsoft's operating system is using more bandwidth than expected.

Windows 10 uses a P2P-style system called Windows Update Delivery Optimization (WUDO) which means that once your computer has downloaded an update it can be shared to not only other computers on your network, but also other people online. While it makes sense to share updates to your own computers, you might well resent giving up your bandwidth to others. Thankfully, it's easy to disable internet-wide WUDO.

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Remove 'Quick Access' from File Explorer in Windows 10

magician magic

When you go into File Explorer in Windows 10 you’ll see a selection of your most frequently accessed folders, and 20 of the most recently opened files.

This is useful if you want quick access to content you’ve been using recently, but if you don’t want all of these links cluttering up File Explorer you can hide the view, or disable it entirely.

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Silent Circle's ultra-secure Blackphone 2 joins Google's Android for Work program


The security of mobile communications is of paramount importance to many people, but it is particularly high on the list of priorities for business and enterprise customers. Silent Circle is a company that caters to those concerned with privacy and security, billing its work as the 'world's first enterprise privacy platform'.

The company's original Blackphone generated some interest, and earlier in the year we learned about the follow-up -- the Blackphone 2. Kitted out with a customized version of Android, the security-focused handset is the latest addition to Android for Work, Google's own security-focused program.

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Windows 10 Mobile will soon support Xiaomi smartphones

Xiaomi Mi4 running Windows 10 Mobile 10240

All the news surrounding Windows 10 is focused primarily on desktop and tablet, with little mention of Windows 10 Mobile from any Microsoft executives.

Vice president of Operating Systems Joe Belfiore has finally updated us on Windows 10 Mobile, stating that the Insider program allowing Mi 4 owners to flash the operating system will be open to anyone.

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ScreenOut is an always-on-top Chrome video viewer


You’re browsing with Chrome, and have found a great video. Ideally you’d watch it all, uninterrupted, but there’s other work to do, and so you have to resize all your various windows to fit.

ScreenOut is a Chrome extension which gives you another option. Click an address bar button and the video opens in a floating, always-on-top pane. Then you can switch to some other application while still watching the clip.

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Angry Birds 2 launches for mobile gamers

angry birds

Today marked a major milestone for mobile gaming studio Rovio. The Finland-based company is releasing it's latest version of the Angry Birds, this one aptly named Angry Birds 2. It follows up on the success of many predecessors, from the original to Space, Star Wars and more.

Like all previous versions, it's the tried and true "birds versus pigs" formula. There are a few strange things about it. For one, early levels are intent on telling you where to aim. For another, some levels force you to choose a different bird, You have no choice -- you can't fire until you've done it.

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Windows 10 is already a success -- 14 million computers after 24 hours


Windows 8 was a disaster. While I learned to love it, I'll concede that the majority of consumers apparently disliked it. For Microsoft to wash the bitter Windows 8 taste out of consumers' mouths, it would need to deliver an amazing new operating system. Can Windows 10 be the success that Microsoft needs it to be?

Yes. In fact, it already is. After a mere 24 hours of being publicly available, there are already 14 million computers running the operating system. While this number includes the computers from the Windows Insider program, it is impressive nonetheless. Keep in mind, this number is going to explode as time marches on. The first 24 hours of Windows 10 has been magical, and Microsoft is sharing the details.

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Google Translate triples the languages it understands


Do you speak a foreign language? If not then Google Translate becomes your friend while travelling and today it's getting a bit better. Actually a lot better, going from seven languages to 27, which triples the amount it could handle -- okay that math is slightly off, but it's close enough.

Google announces the update to the app, which can be pointed at a foreign language and read the words in your native tongue. That's pretty essential for traveling. While it's good to know the language in any nation you're visiting, it's not always possible.

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Mozilla whines about Windows 10 -- writes misguided open letter to Microsoft CEO


When it comes to web browsers, I use many. Firefox is my go-to most of the time, but I also like Google Chrome and Microsoft's newly-released Edge. Mozilla's browser is extremely important to me, as I feel the world needs a truly open-source web browser. With that said, Firefox has been lagging behind lately and disappointing its core. The company only recently started developing a 64 bit Windows variant again -- it is insane that development stalled no matter what argument it gives. Worst of all, Mozilla started bundling the Pocket service in the browser. The service isn't bad, but it shouldn't be bundled.

Today, Mozilla chooses to whine about browser choice in Windows 10. Chris Beard, Mozilla CEO, pens an open letter to Satya Nadella (in full below), in which he argues that Windows 10 takes away a user's choice by "design". While I can understand his point, it is misguided and he comes off as petty and desperate. Do you agree?

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Joe Belfiore talks Continuum in Windows 10 Twitter Q&A


In an impromptu Q&A on Twitter, Microsoft's Joe Belfiore has revealed more about how Continuum will work on Windows 10 for Phones. He started off by saying that it is a very high-end feature and will require new hardware as it uses dual screens.

Continuum is part of Microsoft's drive to make a uniform experience for Windows 10 users across a range of different devices -- from desktops and laptops, to tablets and smartphones. Belfiore shared pictures of a Xiaomi Mi4 showing how Continuum allows windows to be moved from a desktop to mobile display, giving a tantalizing glimpse of what's to come.

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