Alan Buckingham

Dell steps up with help in the fight against Ebola

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Thankfully the media hype over the Ebola virus has died down. It was never a serious threat thanks to the nature of the way it spreads and the lack of actual cases in the US. Africa isn't quite as lucky, as the outbreak is a bit worse. In fact, according to the CDC, cases totaled only four in the US and one in the UK, while Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were less fortunate, totaling up over 13,000.

So, it's still serious enough, and technology can be used in the fight against this disease. Dell is working in this fight to combat the deadly illness. That isn't an easy task, but every little bit can help, and the emergency personnel can certainly use any aid.

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Rdio brings new features to Favorites

music woman tablet headphones

Streaming music services are everywhere today and few people bother buying CDs because of them. While those with "golden ears" may not approve, for the vast majority the quality is just fine. Those who want more can look into Neil Young's Pono Player, but for the rest of us, Rdio will work out nicely and save you some money as well.

Now the music streaming service is announcing a slew of updates to its Favorites feature. Introduced last September, this section is now receiving a refresh that allows for much more functionality.

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Adobe issues security bulletin for Flash...again

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In the race to the bottom of security, Flash has remained a strong contender, competing with Java to win the competition. It's really nothing against Adobe, the company seems to try fairly hard to keep things safe. It's more that Flash is so popular that it becomes a primary target. Something Microsoft would know a thing or two about, given the success of Windows.

The company has issued its latest security bulletin. It isn't the best of news -- the report seems to encapsulate two vulnerabilities, and both are being exploited in the wild.

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Pebble puts smartwatches to emergency work with first-responders

pebble

The words "first responders" came to the forefront in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it really just describes the medical, fire and police people who rush to the scene of any problem, hoping to save lives and property. These men and women need every advantage they can get, and modern technology continues to aid them in their work.

You may think of the smartwatch as something that displays the time and messages for you, but it can be a lot more in some cases. Pebble, the former darling of Kickstarter, is now helping these folks out by bringing the CommandWear app to its platform.

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Watch the entire Xbox on Windows 10 presentation [video]

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Just yesterday Microsoft held its big Windows 10 event -- you likely may have seen something in the news about it. Sort of hard to miss. There was much more to the show than just a new operating system. Surprises included HoloLens and more. One thing that featured prominently was the company's gaming console.

Yes, Xbox will be a part of Windows 10, and a big one if Phil Spencer is to be believed. The head of this wing of Microsoft did an extensive presentation during the event. According to Spencer, games are about being social, and that is one of the things the company tried to work into this. He also talks about gaming as a personal experience.

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Plex finally arrives on Sony PlayStation, PS3 and PS4 both included

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If you want to share media around your home then there is perhaps no easier way than Plex. The media server software is free and the setup is simple. Better yet, the end-user apps are available for almost any platform imaginable. You can even access your files on the go, though that requires a minor subscription fee.

With all of that said, it may seem shocking that the devices lacking this simple solution were those from Sony -- the PS3 and PS4. Plex has now rectified this apparent oversight, announcing its wares are now available.

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WWE network now available on Roku in the UK and Ireland

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Wrestling fan? Many folks are, which is what has made the WWE such a lucrative business. The organization recently launched its own network -- subscription-based, of course. After all, it's about making money in exchange for sport...ah....entertainment. Now the network is expanding, moving to set-top boxes.

Roku, perhaps the top name in this category, is announcing that the WWE has arrived on its boxes in the UK and Ireland. While we aren't sure how popular the "sport" is there, it's certainly set to get some viewers.

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Poetic Justice -- DDoS service operated by Lizard Squad gets hacked, user data leaked

Hacker detection

The past few weeks have not been kind to hacking group Lizard Squad. They've managed to raise the ire of the last possible group of folks you'd wish to anger -- Anonymous. The organization is also experiencing arrests of its members, thanks to poor procedures put in place for identity protection. But the latest blow may come as poetic justice to many people.

The loosely-knit hacker communicative has been trying to sell its wares online -- namely DDoS for hire services. Unfortunately for it, and rather fortunately for the rest of us, the offering has been hacked. According to multiple reports LizardStresser.su was compromised.

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US government -- 'Do as we say, not as we do' when it comes to hacking

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While the news of the recent Sony hack has died down, it certainly isn't forgotten. The simple fact remains that we still have no clear answer on who was responsible. The US government blamed North Korea and initiated sanctions on the nation, though no real evidence was put forth to support this alleged misdeed, leaving the move to reek of political motivation.

The simple fact that the hackers originally asked for money, as if it were a hostage situation, seems to point away from state-sponsored wrongdoing, but we simply don't know the real truth, and perhaps never will. All we really know is there's a lack of evidence for this case. We'd be safe in speculating a jury would be unlikely to convict the country.

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Spotify for Windows Phone gets an updated look

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For a while Windows Phone users complained about the lack of apps, one of which was Spotify. The music service is now there and things are improving in general for the platform. Now Spotify has a major new update for Microsoft's mobile devices, bringing it more in line with versions on competing handsets.

The big feature is the addition of Your Music. This option allows customers to better organize and browse their tunes, as well as create playlists and view cover art. If you find something to your liking, you can simply hit "save" and move on -- it will be there for you in the future.

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EZTV packs its bags and moves to a new domain

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Torrent sites have been on the run lately, with raids and all manner of filtering by governments that are trying to control the internet. It doesn't work, as the folks who want access bad enough know the ways around these things. Two of the latest victims were The Pirate Bay and EZTV. The former remains dead, though signs of a comeback are present. The latter wasn't down for long following the raid.

EZTV made a quick comeback, but problems have continued for the service, as Italian authorities closed in on its .IT domain. This has forced the organization to pack up shop and make a move to a new country where things will, hopefully, be calmer.

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Frequent flyer miles no longer safe as American and United airlines get hacked

american airlines airplane

Those who travel regularly count on the frequent flyer miles that almost all airlines offer. Customers use these to build up for free trips or upgrades to a better class seating section. But what happens when these miles get swiped away from you? American and United airlines are finding out.

Both flight providers have experienced theft of these miles, carried out by hackers that got hold of access from customer account information. The miles were used to book free trips and upgrades.

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13 new shows arrive on Amazon Prime -- couch potatoes beware

Neko Cat and TV

If you're fond of watching TV, and most folks are, then you likely have some accounts with online services to supplement your viewing options. Several good choices exist, one of which is provided by online retail giant Amazon. Prime includes video streaming that competes with rival Netflix and now it's beefing up the original content available from this service.

13 new shows are debuting on the service, though they are pilots only. Amazon prefers to let the viewers decide what becomes a series and what gets shelved. So, your viewing and comments help here.

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Top Gear meets Lego in trailer for new season

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Jeremy, James and Richard are coming back for a 22nd season. Oh, that guy in the white suit and helmet will be there too, but "all we know is he's called The Stig". There will likely be some fast and expensive cars involved, and certainly there will be entertainment. But how do you advertise a show that really needs no introduction?

The answer to that question seems to be a merger with the Lego empire. You know -- those toys that adults also like to play with. You'll find all of the characters in the new trailer, or pieces of them anyway.

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Stanford University moves to Office 365 and Exchange

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Stanford University is known for turning out some of the big names in the tech business. It's where two guys thought up the idea for a little search engine called Google. However, that doesn't tie the school to the service and Stanford is proving that with its move to a Microsoft platform.

It's certainly not the first educational institute (or business) to adopt Office 365 and Exchange. This latest move is slated to take place in the summer of 2015, though the work has already begun.

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