Latest Technology News

Once a fantasy from a galaxy far, far away, holograms are finally nearing reality

Leia

The original Star Wars movies are packed with iconic scenes and futuristic technology, such as the moment when R2-D2 projects a hologram recording of Princess Leia into thin air for Obi-Wan Kenobi. Forget FaceTime and Skype, this is how we should be communicating with each other in the 21st century.

A little over three decades after Star Wars first hit the cinemas, hologram technology is slowly beginning to edge its way from the realms of science fiction and into science fact and it may not be long until we're able to project holograms straight from our mobile phones.

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Smartsheet improves access for mobile users

businessman on tablet

The spreadsheet carved out its place as an essential business tool right from the earliest days of personal computing. It's often cited as the application which made businesses adopt the PC in the first place. Most businesses are still heavily reliant on them but in an increasingly mobile world a spreadsheet isn’t the easiest thing to access on the move.

With the release of its latest software project management specialist Smartsheet offers iOS users the ability to easily view and update projects with massive grids of data from their iOS devices. It's also updated Smartsheet for Android, which now features an interactive Gantt chart and the ability to attach files from Google Drive or Dropbox from any Android device, including the new Amazon Fire Phone.

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Tour the wild expanses of Iceland with Google Maps

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Iceland is an island that lays in the middle of the Atlantic between Norway and Greenland, thought to have first been populated by Celtic monks. It's also a stark landscape, dotted with volcanoes and geysers, that give it a certain beauty and savagery.

If it happens to be on your bucket list of places to see, and the trip isn't in your budget at the moment, fear not -- Google Maps can give you a glimpse of the country. The search giant has unveiled its latest use of Street View, and this one treks across Iceland.

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How schools can use eLearning tech to keep up with Generation Z

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It's well known that the Millennial Generation or the so called Generation Y who were born after 1982 are having a profound effect on business and government as they become workers and citizens.

But, what's also becoming apparent is how the children of the Millennials who have never lived without digital technology are going to shake up how our educational systems use technology for teaching and learning. These digital natives, often described as Generation Z, are entering schools and colleges with a digital outlook and set of behaviors that educational institutions need to respond to and harness.

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Google sets its sights on kids with child-friendly versions of YouTube and Gmail

Google sets its sights on kids with child-friendly versions of YouTube and Gmail

There are many parts of the internet that are blocked to children under the age of 13. Facebook, for instance, implements an age restriction and Google is another online firm that prevents younger web users from setting up accounts. But all this could be set to change. First reported by The Information, Google has plans to open up its service to a younger audience. This does not mean that youngsters will be free to sign up for an account and browse through the contents of YouTube without restrictions. Parents will be able to sign their children up for an account and retain control over what they are able to do online.

One of the primary concerns many people have about Google -- regardless of their age -- is privacy. Google has a proven track record in delivery tailored content and advertisements to its users, and this is something that is at odds with laws around the world when it comes to children. The news coincides with UK plans to experiment with age ratings for online videos, and privacy and child protection groups are already voicing their concerns. Of course, there is nothing to stop someone of any age signing up for a Google account; it's easy to stretch the truth with dates of birth online. But Google specifically targeting children with its services is unchartered water.

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Microsoft detects fall in fake antivirus traffic

fake genuine

Rogue security programs that try to trick the user into paying to remove a false virus detection have been around for a while, the earliest dating back to 2007. The software is clever, using different names and brands to cover its tracks, and clearly their perpetrators make money.

Now though researchers at Microsoft's Malware Protection Center are reporting a downward trend in the traffic generated by some of the most popular rogues over the past 12 months.

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How to avoid a big data nightmare

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Big data is no longer just the domain of big companies. As the perception of big data moves from futuristic hype to real-world opportunity, the promise of improved decision making, increased operational efficiency and new revenue streams has more organizations actively engaging in data analysis projects than ever before. That no longer only means more enterprise organizations, either. Midmarket companies are jumping on the big data bandwagon in a major way.

In fact, a recent survey by Competitive Edge Research Reports indicates that an astounding 96 percent of midmarket organizations are either already in flight with a big data initiative, or plan to start one in the next year. That's a whole lot of companies whose big data projects are either going to sink or swim in the very near future.

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Clean up after over 30 antivirus tools with Antivirus Remover

Antivirus Remover

Antivirus software installations are often complex, involving many low-level alterations to your PC and its settings. Sometimes they don’t work as they should -- or the regular uninstaller fails to remove them completely -- and this can leave you with all kinds of frustrating problems and system instabilities.

Security vendors often have stand-alone tools to properly remove and clean up after their products. A quick web search should point you in the right direction, but if you’re regularly cleaning up other people’s PCs then the free Antivirus Remover could save you a little time.

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Twitter accepts removal requests for images of deceased, tinkers with timelines (again)

Twitter accepts removal requests for images of deceased, tinkers with timelines (again)

In the wake of the death of Robin Williams, Twitter announces that it will now accept image removal requests from relatives of deceased individuals.  Williams' daughter Zelda was forced to leave Twitter having been inundated with a barrage of mocked up images of her deceased father.

In the aftermath of the actor's suicide, Twitter explained that it would improve its policies. The result is an update to the way in which death is handled on Twitter. The families of deceased people  have been able to request the deactivation of an account, but now new rights have been introduced.

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FileCruiser delivers private cloud storage for business

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The move towards BYOD in business is bringing a number of new challenges. Not least of these is how to safely and easily share data across a number of devices.

Public clouds provide a tempting option but there are risks in terms of security and control. Now storage company PROMISE Technology is addressing these concerns with a new product called FileCruiser which allows enterprises to build an on-premise cloud. This means admins can manage the entire system, including hardware and software configuration, eliminating the security concerns of storing confidential data on public services.

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Would you use a tablet to make a phone call?

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Phablets -- super-sized phones -- serve a useful purpose. They allow consumers to carry just the one device that can be used as a smartphone and act as a tablet. However, while phablets are growing in popularity worldwide, in Asia tablets with cellular voice capabilities are gaining traction.

According to IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, in Q2 2014 nearly 25 percent (around 3.5 million units) of all the tablets shipped in the Asia/Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) region had cellular voice capabilities, allowing users to make calls by holding a tablet up to their faces. And we’re talking devices with screen sizes of 7 inches and up.

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BlackBerry creates new Technology Solutions unit for key assets

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Blackberry has announced that it has a created a new unit to group together its most important assets. The new division will include the firm's cryptographic applications, its QNX embedded software and Project Ion platform for connecting devices.

The project has been dubbed the Blackberry Technology Solutions unit and will be led by Sandeep Chennakeshu, who was previously chief technology officer at Sony-Ericsson and president of Ericsson Mobile Platforms.

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Big Ass Fans hooks up with Google's Nest for some big ass savings

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Air conditioning is one of the greatest inventions of all mankind. As a fat guy, I love keeping my house like an igloo. However, as great as being cool is, conditioned air takes some of the fun out of summer. As someone who grew up without air conditioning, I learned to appreciate having an open window and enjoying the sounds and smells of the season. Crickets chirping, thunder in the distance, and the smell of fresh-cut grass are lost when you shut the windows and turn on the artificial cool air.

While I am too far gone to ever return to life without an air conditioner, I am still quite conscious of the extremely high electric bill that it causes. Today, Big Ass Fans, a fan manufacturer, announces that one of its fans, the Haiku with SenseME, can now work with the Nest thermostat to lower bills. If this fan can give me big ass savings, I'm all for it!

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Bye bye, Ballmer -- Steve bows out from the board at Microsoft

Bye bye, Ballmer -- Steve bows out from the board at Microsoft

Having left his post as CEO of Microsoft six months ago, Steve Ballmer today further cut his ties with the company. In a letter to Satya Nadella, he explains that it would be "impractical" to continue to serve on the board of directors. The decision comes after the purchase of the LA Clippers, and Ballmer's letter makes reference to "the start of the NBA season" meaning that his "departure from the board is effective immediately". But Steve is not cutting the umbilical cord entirely; he remains a shareholder and wants to keep his hand in to some extent.

The heart-warmingly friendly letter praises Nadella's drive and vision at the top of Microsoft, and it's clear that Ballmer is still deeply passionate about the company he leaves behind:

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Finally! Microsoft optimizes OneNote for Android tablets

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Microsoft produces some amazing things; the Surface Pro 3 is revolutionary and Office is a staple in productivity around the world. However, there is one service that the company provides that does not get the attention it deserves -- OneNote. Yes, the software that many have installed, but few use, is actually very good. It is a wonderful way to take notes and organize your thoughts. Best of all, it is cross-platform and has a web-based version, so it can be accessed on Android, iOS, Windows, OS X, Chromebooks and Linux.

Sadly, Microsoft did not make an Android version optimized for tablets. This was tragic, as many people use Google-powered tablets as their daily organizers. Today however, this changes as Microsoft releases a tablet-optimized Android version of OneNote. What took so long?

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