Alan Buckingham

Pebble gets more Android Wear-like with latest update to smartwatch

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Pebble was not the first smartwatch to market, but it did set the trend for today's fad in wearable technology. Now Google has joined the game and Apple has big plans to enter the arena. But for now, Pebble remains the dominant force and the company wishes to maintain its hold.

What more can Pebble do to retain its position? How about adopting Android Wear? That's exactly what the smartwatch maker is doing, announcing that "Our Android Wear compatibility goes from Beta to public release, giving Pebble the power to reply and act on notifications right from your wrist".

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Microsoft updates photo sharing app Xim for all mobile platforms

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When it comes to sharing photos services like Instagram and Flickr spring to mind, but there are countless others buried beneath the waves of information and programs available these days. Many fly under the radar, and some of those may be better than the big name alternative you're using.

All of that is not say that Microsoft's Xim is better -- that's simply a matter of personal taste. What I am saying is that you've likely never heard of it. The app has one simple mission -- "share your photos, not your phone". It goes a bit further, promising that the recipients of your shares don't need to have the app to view your images.

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Sling TV and others join forces with Amazon to come to Fire TV

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Sling TV has just come out of private testing and no longer requires an invitation -- anyone can now use it. The next step is, logically, getting set-top box makers on board. One of those would be retail giant Amazon which produces the Fire TV. It's a growing platform with more options being added seemingly daily.

Now Amazon can count Sling TV among it growing list of entertainment choices. In fact, the retail giant claims its offerings have gone up markedly since the device launched in 2014.

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Hacker finds vulnerability in Facebook, can delete your photo albums

Facebook drops Microsoft's Bing in favor of its own search tool

Like it or not, Facebook has become almost ubiquitous in today's world. Most people you know, both young and old, are on there. Worse, some folks keep memories of their lives stored on the service, including precious photos that, in some cases, may not be backed up in any way. It feels safe, after all, Facebook wouldn't lose them, right? Not so fast.

This is less about Facebook losing them, I'm sure it has backups, but more about a third-party taking them away. That sounds scary, but a security researcher has proven it's possible. Laxman Muthiyah posted his findings along with details of how the exploit works.

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Watch the 2015 Cricket World Cup on Roku, India and others compete for the title

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Sports fans can rejoice, providing they prefer Cricket at least. The event may seem foreign to US viewers, but to much of the world it is a big deal, and the world cup is something special. If you are looking to catch all of the action then Roku has your back covered.

The tournament kicks off on February 13th and runs through most of March. The event is being held in Australia and New Zealand, but teams from around the world will compete. Things start with Sri Lanka pitted against New Zealand, a match that takes place at 5pm ET on opening day.

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Do you love Amazon? There's a Valentine's Day sale going on

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Amazon, originally known as a book seller, has become an all-around retail super store with a growing list of its own electronics. Sales are not infrequent as the company tries to push its devices, in many cases selling them at a loss with plans to make up the money once the customer is ensconced in the ecosystem. It's a plan that seems to pay off.

Now, if you're looking for that special gift for Valentine's Day, which fast approaches, Amazon is holding yet another of these sales. Discounts are available on many of the products produced by the company.

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Calm down -- Samsung refutes claims that its Smart TVs are spying on you

business man spying

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind for Samsung. Allegations have been flying about the Korean company's Smart TVs spying on users and logging information for the company. It's safe to say that people are a bit paranoid over being spied on these days; Edward Snowden had far-reaching implications. But, while a degree of paranoia isn't necessarily a bad thing, it also isn't good to have an overdose.

Samsung is now answering to those charges and its claims are much different than the accusations. While it's still difficult for most customers to actually realize what is happening, it isn't all that hard to explain.

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Nest introduces Home Report, find out where you stand in each category

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Nest, the thermostat maker that everyone seems to love, has been busy innovating with the Internet of Things lately, allowing users even more control over the devices in their homes. But the company hasn't forgotten its roots -- it's still about being a thermostat that aims to save energy and money.

Now the company is touting a new report to get customers up to speed with where they stand with the whole "savings" part of things and more. This new report incorporates more of what Nest does -- not just the energy savings, but information on the smoke detectors the company produces, as well as the integration with other devices.

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Forget that invitation, Sling TV comes to the masses as cord-cutters rejoice

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Cutting the cord, the phrase commonly used to describe those who get rid of cable and satellite service for their entertainment, has become part of the modern lexicon. Now Sling, the box maker that enables TV sharing, has its own version of internet TV. This one is designed to compete with the likes of Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix, but is a bit pricier than its rivals.

Sling TV was already announced, but until now it required an invitation. The floodgates are now open as that restriction gets lifted. As of now, anyone can sign up for an account, getting access to a wealth of TV shows. These include channels such as ESPN, HGTV, Food Network and more. The first is the most intriguing -- the possibility of watching live sports without the need to use sketchy services like Wiziwig.

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UFOs meet the DMCA via an unlikely source -- Ancestry.com

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The DMCA has been the subject of controversy since it was passed, being used and, in many cases, misused to try and take down content. Now we encounter what may just be the strangest example of misuse. Alien visitors, or at least the investigation of their possible existence, have run up against genealogy website Ancestry.com. Talk about strange encounters!

The behemoth of the genealogy industry is strong-arming The Black Vault to take down records that are in the public domain. On the surface this may seem like a laughable claim, but the company is actually serious about it.

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Kickass Torrents is the latest victim of a domain name seizure

Music pirate

2015 is still relatively young, but we've already witnessed plenty of action. Torrent sites like The Pirate Bay and EZTV have been taken down, only to resurface. EZTV made a very quick reappearance, while The Pirate Bay took a bit longer to recover, though its comeback always seemed inevitable. Today we can add another site to this list -- Kickass Torrents has had its domain seized.

Being one of the most popular torrent sites on the web, it was always a major target. It most recently resided in Somalia -- pirate jokes aside, this seemed like a safe haven. Apparently it has become even less safe than it is for the ships that sail by the African nation.

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Google Maps finds its way to a 10th birthday celebration

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Google Maps has become the standard for many smartphone users as stand-alone GPS devices get replaced. That doesn't mean it's the best, but it is certainly at or near the top of the list. Apple found out just how difficult this type of program can be to pull off, then invited the search giant back to its mobile platform.

Now the mapping program is celebrating its 10th birthday -- they grow up so fast. "If you hopped in your DeLorean for a trip back to before 2005, you’d remember the days when we were all dependent on paper maps, print-outs, post-its and sometimes even a compass for directions! Getting from point A to B is something we do all day, every day—from finding the fastest way to get to work, to dropping the kids off on a carpool route, to meeting friends for drinks at a new spot—so it should be as easy as possible", the Maps team states.

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Anthem Health Care is latest hacking victim, millions of users could be compromised

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It's another year and time for a new set of companies to be compromised. In 2014 we witnessed high-profile attacks on victims such as Home Depot and Target, but 2015 is shaping up to be no better, given the recent news regarding Anthem, a major health care provider in the US. The potential implications of this one are still mostly unknown.

However, reports are surfacing that perhaps millions of users have been compromised. Data such as names and social security numbers have been lost. The company isn't yet citing numbers, but does admit that all of its branches were affected. According to security researcher Brian Krebs that could mean a catastrophe.

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Pebble hits the magic one million user mark

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The Pebble watch has come a long way, from Kickstarter darling to success in the market. It's becoming a crowded playing field, though Pebble has the name recognition to compete. That's why it's become the success it now is, with new and innovative versions and colors.

Now the smartwatch maker announces numbers. It seems the company has hit the magical one million mark in terms of users. That's a lot of wrists that now have the device strapped on (I'm one of them).

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Microsoft Internet Explorer security flaw could put users at risk

Hacker detection

In terms of market share, Internet Explorer remains the top web browser thanks to being the default on Windows and average users not knowing any better. Those with a lean towards technology frequently use alternatives like Chrome and Firefox. This was a major problem in the days of IE 6, but Microsoft has improved its offering with each iteration.

But no software is perfect and security holes are found on a regular basis. This time it seems Microsoft's browser has a major one. The flaw that has been discovered can be used to exploit users via phishing attacks and malicious code insertion.

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