Latest Technology News

Sony announces Xperia Z3+: Just another flagship

Waterproof credentials of Sony Xperia Z3+ shown in Copper Gold

While the likes of HTC, LG and Samsung all have new flagship smartphones for 2015, Sony is still trying to sway consumers with last year's Xperia Z3. While it is not exactly dated, it is showing its age in a time when the competition is rocking newer and more impressive hardware, as well as more attractive designs.

So how is Sony answering? The Japanese maker has decided that the flagship it needs to compete against rivals like G4 and Galaxy S6 is actually a rebranded version of the Japan-only Z4 that it unveiled in mid-April. Sony is either crazy or dropping out of the race.

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Berkeley robot BRETT uses 'deep learning' to complete tasks on its own

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Humans understand feedback and they seek improvement over numerous trials and errors. Robots, on the other hand, don’t. Robots only understand what’s hardcoded in their algorithms, essentially making them useless without getting direct input from humans. But recent advances are offering a major shift to that.

Meet BRETT, or Berkeley Robot for the Elimination of Tedious Tasks, which is capable of figuring many of the things out on its own without any assistance from a human. The robot is able to learn motor tasks through trial and error using a process which is quite similar to how we humans learn.

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Daimler and Qualcomm to introduce wireless charging in cars

Interior of Mercedes-Benz SL500 roadster

Car maker Daimler has announced that it’s partnering up with mobile tech company Qualcomm to bring wireless charging to mobile phones in cars, as well wireless charging to the vehicles themselves.

The move comes in time of increased pressure towards carmakers to downsize their engines due to tightening emission rules, Reuters writes in a report.

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Convert archives between formats with ArcConvert

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If you’re an experienced computer user then you probably don’t spend much time thinking about archive formats. You’ve just installed something like 7-Zip and are ready to extract whatever you find.

Not everyone is as well equipped, though, so if you’re sharing something like a .gz with others then it might be wise to convert it to a more basic .zip, first.

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Inateck KT9001 PCIe USB 3.0 and wireless card [Review]

Inateck KT9001

In a world increasingly dominated by mobile devices it's easy to forget that many people, particularly in business environments, are still using desktop PCs.

Desktops of course tend not to come with built-in Wi-Fi which means adding a PCIe card or a USB wireless adaptor. With the KT9001, what Inateck has produced is a PCIe card that's a clever mash up of wireless adaptor and three port USB 3.0 hub.

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Samsung announces Iron Man-themed Galaxy S6 edge

Samsung Galaxy S6 edge Iron Man-themed limited edition

Samsung has teamed up with Marvel to release an Iron Man-themed version of its Galaxy S6 edge Android flagship smartphone. The handset is introduced in celebration of the Avengers: Age of Ultron blockbuster, and hits store shelves starting tomorrow as a limited edition.

As you might expect, where the Iron Man-themed Galaxy S6 edge differs from its standard counterpart is in the looks department. But there are also differences when it comes to packaging, with the former being shipped in an Iron Man-themed box with extra -- cool -- accessories.

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Google Play hosts over 30 malicious Minecraft apps

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Malware is still a worry on the Google Play store, even though the rate of malware is dropping to its lowest levels since the inception of the store in 2008.

One of the easiest ways to push malicious apps is by masquerading them under popular names, in this case Minecraft. Guides, tutorials, tricks and other apps would offer help, but quickly turn into a user’s worst nightmare with malware and adware spam.

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Google Doodle salutes Sally Ride -- first LGBT astronaut and American woman in space

sallyride

When celebrating people's accomplishments, I try to look beyond their gender. With that said, when it comes to overcoming gender discrimination, the fact that they are man or woman is valid to the discussion. Sally Ride was not the first person into space, but she was the first-ever American woman to do so. This is an important accomplishment, as women in America were long held back by an oppressive society. Remember, women could not vote in the USA until 1920. Yes that is 1920 and not 1820!

In 1983, Sally Ride went into space, showing America that not only could a woman be an astronaut, but a woman could be anything. Women going from not being able to vote, to traveling to space in 63 years is rather impressive. While 63 years may seem like a long time, in the grand scheme, it is hardly any time at all. Today, Google celebrates the deceased Ms. Ride with five Doodles.

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SanDisk announces Z400s SSD -- can this low-cost OEM drive finally kill the HDD?

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If you are still running your operating system from a mechanical hard disk drive, you do not know what you are missing. Solid state drives have dropped dramatically in cost, while improving greatly in reliability; it is a shame that all computer users aren't using them. Unfortunately, even if the average user wanted to upgrade to a SSD, the process is probably too difficult -- both the physical aspect and copying data.

The best way to get users onto solid state drives is to have manufacturers stop making computers with HDD. This is easier said that done, however, as profit margins on these machines are often razor-thin. It can be impossible for OEMs to offer SSDs on low cost systems. Today, however, SanDisk announces the Z400s SSD. The company promises low costs for OEMs, which should translate to SSDs in lower-cost laptops. Can this finally displace the HDD?

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Gender equality remains a Silicon Valley sore spot

Divinia Knowles and Kimberly Hurd on stage at Google Campus, London

For those of you who are not in the know (and you really should be) Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire and bring together like minded entrepreneurs and provide a space to network in. Last night, the inspiring President and CFO of Mind Candy, Divinia Knowles, took to the stage at Google Campus, London for a fireside chat with Zomato UK CEO, Kimberly Hurd.

Divinia is one of the driving forces behind Mind Candy and along with Michael Acton Smith, guided the company from a small startup to one of the most successful tech companies, responsible for the behemoth that is Moshi Monsters. Moshi Monsters is a phenomenally successful website for 6-14 year olds with over 80 million users registered in over 150 territories worldwide. The website was so successful that a movie and mobile games have all since been released. Interestingly, Divinia hinted at the potential to move the brand onto new platforms such as Smart TV and, once they have matured, both VR and the Apple Watch Platform, so watch this space!

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ProtectWise streamlines data breach analysis

security magnifying glass

It often takes time for data breaches to be uncovered and that can present problems when it comes to analysing them and tracing their cause.

Denver-based startup ProtectWise has an answer in the form of its new technology that can record all network activity and store it in the cloud for analysis and playback at a later date.

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Microsoft plans to purchase leading to-do service Wunderlist

Microsoft sign in California Silicon Valley

Microsoft is planning to acquire German application developer 6wunderkinder, the team behind Wunderlist, for around $250 million (£161 million).

It is another move by Microsoft for a small development studio, following the acquisition of New York-based calendar developers Sunrise and email startup Acompli.

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Leaked document shows Europe would fight UK plans to block porn

Leaked document shows Europe would fight UK plans to block porn

Before the UK elections earlier in the month, David Cameron spoke about his desire to clean up the internet. Pulling -- as he is wont to do -- on parental heartstrings, he suggested that access to porn on computers and mobiles should be blocked by default unless users specifically requested access to it. This opt-in system was mentioned again in the run-up to the election as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Sajid Javid assured peopled that the party "will age restrict online porn".

But it's not quite that simple. There is the small problem of Europe. A leaked EU Council document shows that plans are afoot to stop Cameron's plans in its tracks -- and with the UK on the verge of trying to debate a better deal for itself within Europe, the Prime Minister is not in a particularly strong position for negotiating on the issue.

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Reor is a quirky desktop calculator

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Launch Windows desktop calculator Reor for the first time and it’s tempting to think: is that it? The tiny interface really is stripped back, with little more than a numeric keypad, four operators and an equals button.

But wait. There’s more. And clicking on the Menu button reveals all.

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Pebble Time starts shipping this week

Pebble Time on wrist

The Pebble Time first batch of units will be shipping to customers starting May 27. Manufacturing started earlier this month, following a small delay to the smartwatch.

Pebble plans to send out a backer invitation allowing them to add shipping address and other final details. Some international customers will still have a few months wait on their hands, depending on how fast Pebble can get the 70,000 units delivered.

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