Alan Buckingham

AVG partners with ZTE to bring security to mobile devices

ZTE logo

Mobile security is starting to get attention, but still doesn't garner the same amount as the computer does. That doesn't mean it shouldn't be a concern, only that the average user isn't looking at it that way. However, we're starting to see that landscape slowly changing, with phones coming with built-in security software.

The latest will be devices from Chinese manufacturer ZTE, as the company has partnered with security firm AVG, which has long offered mobile apps to protect consumers.

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Looking to develop for Windows 10? Microsoft has a guide for you

Windows 10

Windows 10 looms ever closer and there seems to be some noticeable excitement. Perhaps that is simply because of what it isn't -- Windows 8x. But, for any ecosystem to succeed it has to have developers willing to create for it. That's been the lifeblood of Windows, as it is for Android and iOS.

Now Microsoft is offering to help get you started. A new course is being offered in Vitual Academy and it's titled "A Developer's Guide to Windows 10".

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Pebble Time app now reaches iPhone users

Pebble Time on wrist

Pebble Time, the latest watch from the manufacturer, is beginning to slowly roll out, rewarding Kickstarter backers first. For those already sporting the wristwear, and who happen to be iPhone customers, Pebble has now released the official app to the iTunes store.

This will allow customers to begin setting up rewards, grabbing new watchfaces and getting apps for their new watch. Users can even manage software updates for the watch, contact support and drag to reorder the apps, a process that will sync to the watch.

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Amazon Fire TV rises to the top of US set-top box market

amazon-fire-tv

Last year Amazon rolled out its competitor in the set-top box market, the Fire TV. The box seemed to be a hit, and the price point was right to compete, at $99. That places it squarely in the crosshairs of Roku and Apple. But how is it fairing in this tight market?

According to a recent report the answer is "quite well". According to Strategy Analytics, the retail giant is pulling in a whopping 30 percent of the current streaming media device market. In fact, the top four makers account for 90 percent of the total market.

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New ransomware says you've been watching porn on your Android device

mobile security

Ransomware has become big business these days, with high-profile cases affecting computer users. Up until now though, mobile users have remained relatively safe from that particular form of infestation and only had the "garden variety" version of malware to contend with. That landscape is changing rapidly, it seems.

Security researchers at AVG have uncovered what they dub "Porn Droid". The infected device is locked by the "FBI" and the user gets a message demanding money in exchange for restoring the phone or tablet. To make the message particularly scary, it claims the offense is for child pornography.

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Google Maps goes underwater for World Oceans Day

google-maps-oceans

As a wise man once wrote, "I'd like to be under the sea". Now you can go there virtually, thanks to advances in technology. No, you won't be diving to the depths of the Marianas Trench, but you can get a feel for what is beneath those waves that both fascinate and terrify us.

June 8th is World Oceans Day, dedicated to protecting what we have -- the coral reefs and the life that thrives out of our sight. Google has been sending its Street View team undersea in recent times and now does so again in honor of the upcoming day.

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NFL and Yahoo plan to live stream a game free of charge

NFL

Football season is coming, despite that it isn't even officially summer yet. The draft is behind us and OTAs are underway. Training camp is just around the corner in July. But one thing has lacked with the National Football League, and that's live streaming games. Thanks to a deal with DirecTV, the league has been locked up while other sports like MLB have thrived in this market. Things are changing though, but the wheels turn slowly.

The NFL has inked a deal with Yahoo -- yes, the also-ran search competitor -- to live stream a game for free, It's a start and we'll see where things go from here. In the meantime write down the date October 25th. That's the day the Buffalo Bills take on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sound like a boring game? It isn't, because it will test this new plan.

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Hacker groups aiding ISIS in takedown of news media sites

Hackers

For a while now we've witnessed the brutality of Islamic State, but less in the news is the cyber terrorism carried out by it. However that's a big part of the arsenal for this group and media outlets have been a primary target in the war. Recently the site and social media of a French TV station was taken down and defaced with messages from the group.

Following the attack on TV5Monde, media groups within France held an emergency meeting. This came after all of the network went black for more than three hours in April.

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UK and Canadian customers can now customize their Roku home screen

roku-3

Roku continues to grow its set-top box market and improve its offerings. So it's no surprise that yet another feature is beginning to roll out, this one for customers in both the UK and Canada. If you're tired of that purple background screen then you're in luck, with the option for new custom themes.

Customers will now find a "themes" category in the Channel Store and you'll be on your way. At the moment there are ten home screens to choose from, but Roku promises that more will be on the way soon.

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Android Wear support for Spotify arrives

spotify-android-wear-left-and-right-updated

It's a big week for Google, as the company holds its I/O event. We've seen the next version of Android, for the moment simply known as M, and users can install a preview version of it now. There was Brillo, which aims to take Android into the growing Internet of Things market and many other announcements.

As for Android Wear, Google's foray into smartwatches, there are improvements coming there as well. Spotify is also announcing support for the wristwear.

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HBO NOW to launch on Google Play this summer

game-of-thrones

It's getting hard to keep track of HBO these days. The cable channel has been around for years, existing only through cable and satellite providers. Then came HBO GO and then HBO NOW which was exclusive to Apple TV, though not for very long. More recently the channel itself came to Sling TV, meaning no subscription to a TV provider was required, though $15 per month was.

Now other customers will be getting the opportunity to get Game of Thrones and all of the other content. Sundar Pichai announced the big news today during the Google I/O event which has just kicked off.

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Pebble Time pre-orders set to begin next month

Pebble Time on wrist

Pebble has proven to be a darling of Kickstarter, launching its first smartwatch there and more recently launching its latest model in the same fashion. It's known as Pebble Time and if you got in on the Kickstarter then shipments have already begun. If you didn't, then you'll have to wait a bit, but not terribly long.

Beginning June 22nd, less than a month away, you'll be able to place your pre-order. Shipping dates were not announced, but the sooner you order the sooner you're likely to get it.

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Lenovo Cast brings another streaming device to home media

Lenovo Cast 5

If you haven't been following the news today, Lenovo is currently holding its Tech World show. We have seen new laptops in various price ranges. But a hot item these days for the home theater is sticks, as opposed to set-top boxes. We've seen them from Google, Roku and Amazon, but all three had some experience in the market. Now Lenovo is jumping in feet first with its own offering.

The Chinese hardware maker has announced Lenovo Cast to allow customers to share the videos from their phones and tablets, but do so on the big screen -- obviously more comfortable than having folks gather round that hand-held device.

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Twitter releases Periscope for Android

periscope-android

Periscope from Twitter seems to get mixed reviews from users and the tech community. However, it isn't going away, at least as far as we know. The video sharing app received a lot of attention, which really is what Twitter wants from any improvement or new apps.

Periscope isn't new, but the app for Android is. It boasts the ability to replay your live broadcast to your followers, it can be private if you only want certain followers to see it, you can also share these broadcasts via Twitter, manage notifications and Hearts, which tracks how many viewers like your broadcast.

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Logitech begins adding older remotes to roster of home control devices

holidays-mobile

There is perhaps no better purveyor of the universal remote than Logitech, which owns the Harmony brand. It's not necromancy, just solid engineering and hardware and software that just works. Perhaps that is why it has remained popular and Logitech has continued to improve things since taking over.

Now the company is stepping back a bit, but doing so in a good way, as it brings more home control to some of the older models via the Harmony Hub.

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