Brian Fagioli

Microsoft joins 'It's On Us' movement to fight sexual violence and rape with Bing

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Regardless of sex or gender, all people deserve respect and to be treated with decency. Whether a man sexually assaults a woman or a woman assaults a man, it is not only wrong, but deplorable and disgusting.

Sexual violence and rape is an epidemic, and it is time for the world to take a stand. Sexual assault cannot be tolerated and victims must be empowered to report it and not be ashamed. According to Microsoft, "1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men are sexually assaulted in college". Today, the company is doing its part to help, by making it easer to get support and report the assault with Bing.

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Pope Francis partners with Google for Scholas education platform

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Regardless of your opinions on religion or beliefs, you cannot deny that the Pope is a powerful man who can enact change. In other words, even though he is a mortal man like the rest of us, when he speaks, people listen.

Pope Francis has been revered by the world's poor, as he has largely shunned riches, in exchange for a more modest lifestyle. Now, the Pope is working with Google services to communicate with young people and bring them together for educational purposes. You see, Pope Francis is in charge of a new learning platform, called Scholas.

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UAG announces military-grade case for Microsoft's Surface Pro 3

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The Surface Pro 3 is, for me, hands-down the most significant device released in 2014. It is designed for both productivity and entertainment and delivers on both. Unfortunately, the tablet can be rather expensive which makes me a bit nervous handling it. Don't get me wrong, it is not fragile, I just cherish it and do not want to break it.

Luckily, a new case is coming on the scene, which should protect the Surface Pro 3 from accidental drops. Urban Armor Gear, a company that makes hardcore, yet affordable, cases for smartphones and tablets announces military-grade Surface Pro 3 protection.

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These are officially the 4 best cat videos on the entire Internet

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While I love all animals, I probably love cats and dogs the most. Growing up, my family always had cats, so they have a special place in my heart. Seriously, what on earth is better than cuddling with a kitten or playing with a ball of string?

For whatever reason, cat videos have become very popular on the Internet. Whether nerds truly love cats, or it is enjoyed ironically, the videos are clearly here to stay. Amazingly, Friskies cat food has an annual awards show to find the best cat videos, called "The Friskies". Here are the 4 best, according to public voting.

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Google to fund videos from top YouTube creators

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Television and movies are so last generation. Nowadays, all the cool kids are crowded around their laptops and tablets watching online videos of cats and other nonsense. However, believe it or not, not all online content is frivolous. There's quite a bit of quality videos on YouTube, and I have a select group of content creators to which I subscribe. Who, you ask? Chris Pirillo, iJustine and Barnacules Nerdgasm to name a few.

Unfortunately, content creation is a huge job and even short videos can take a long time to create. While creators can get paid from advertisements, it probably is not enough to live on. Luckily, Google is going to step in and fund some of the content of its top creators.

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Simple Secure -- open source security organization backed by Google and Dropbox

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Strong security is necessary nowadays. However, some solutions can be overwhelming to many users, so they are often not implemented or simply misunderstood. In other words, regardless of how strong a security implementation is, if users do not understand how it works or how to use it, it may be worthless.

Today, Dropbox, Google and the Open Technology Fund come together for a new organization called Simple Secure. This organization is designed to spread knowledge of open source security tools and empower people to use them properly.

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Amazon announces new Kindle Voyage, Fire tablets, Fire Keyboard and Fire OS 4 'Sangria'

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Amazon is an innovative company that makes some great products and provides wonderful services. As a Prime member, I shop there very often to take advantage of the free two-day shipping. My family uses the Fire TV almost daily to watch movies and play games and I do all of my reading on the Kindle Paperwhite. Hell, the Fire line of tablets are very enjoyable too. The only arguable misstep is the Fire phone, which many reviewers panned, but I actually liked.

Today, Amazon surprises the tech world with a lot of new devices; three new Fire tablets (including one for kids), two new Kindle e-readers and a new version of its Android fork, Fire OS. Are you excited?

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FAVI announces the Pico+ Smart Projector -- an All-in-One Android Projector PC

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Android is a very robust operating system that finds itself in many places. Other than phones and tablets, it also runs on laptops, desktops and cameras to name a few. The secret to this diversity is that Google's mobile OS is powered by the open-source Linux kernel.

Today, Android is shoe-horned into yet another form; a projector. Yes, a company named FAVI announces the Pico+ Smart Projector, which is an All-in-One Android Projector PC. Is it cool, or just plain weird?

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Logitech announces the G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Keyboard

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Keyboards are an awfully personal thing, just like picking an underwear type. Some men wear boxers, some wear briefs and I am pretty sure a few BetaNews writers do not wear any at all. Believe it or not, much like underwear, there are many types of keyboards too.

Lately, mechanical keyboards have been all the rage with gamers and typists alike. It is not hard to understand, as these types of keyboards offer great performance and feedback. Today, Logitech announces a new model called the G910 Orion Spark RGB Mechanical Keyboard. The company calls it "the most advanced mechanical gaming keyboard in the world", but is such a claim true?

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Dropbox users, beware -- iOS 8 breaks automatic backup of photos and videos [UPDATED, FIXED]

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Generally, I am a rather mellow guy, but there is one thing that makes me stressed and paranoid -- photo backups. Yes, I am one of those guys that spends more time taking pictures of his life than actually living it. While I enjoy taking the photos, I also take great pride in my organizing and backing up of these precious family memories.

While I do not trust the cloud to be my sole source of backup, I use it for redundancy purposes. If a hard drive fails or is ruined in a fire or flood, I can be sure that my memories are retrievable. Dropbox is a great option for backups, but if you are an iOS user, you must be cautious. You see, if you upgrade to iOS 8 tomorrow, you will be hit by a nasty bug, which breaks the Dropbox automatic backup of photos and videos. This could be disastrous from a backup perspective.

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Microsoft announces new line of accessories for Windows, Android, iOS, and Xbox One

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Regardless of your opinion of Microsoft or its venerable Windows operating system, there is one thing that is undeniable; the company makes great hardware. If the world is ever destroyed by a comet or nuclear war, probably the only thing left remaining will be Microsoft mice (they are that tough).

Today, Microsoft announces some brand new accessories designed to improve the lives of consumers. However, the focus is not only on interfacing with its own products like Windows and Xbox One. No, Apple's iOS and Google's Android are invited to the party too.

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VESA announces DisplayPort 1.3 standard -- enables 5K resolution

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My first-ever monitor was a 13-inch Packard Bell CRT; it came bundled with the desktop. At the time, it was rather impressive, but by today's standards, it is trash. However, I had that monitor for close to 10 years before upgrading to a flat-screen LCD. When LCD monitors became affordable, the resolution was secondary thought; the fact that it was thin and light made it a must-have. As time marched on however, resolution became a runaway train that moved the market.

While I am perfectly content with 1080p, 4K resolution is ready to become the new normal. Before you invest in that upgrade however, you may want to check out this news from VESA regarding DisplayPort 1.3. You see, this new standard has the ability to do 5K video; is 4K resolution already yesterday's news?

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Linux Mint 17.1 gets yet another female codename -- is it sexist or endearing?

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For some reason, people tend to name inanimate objects after women. Whether it's something like a gun, car or guitar, some kind of feminine moniker may be attached. Sure, it is arguably sexist, but I would argue it isn't, since a negative connotation is not attached. People love cars, guns and guitars; the name is a term of endearment.

While I love guns and cars as much as the next guy, I also love technology. One of my favorite hobbies is tinkering with Linux and Mint is a distribution I use often. This distro is usually named after women, such as Lisa, Olivia, and Nadia to name a few. Today, the Linux Mint team announces the newest codename.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 is a worldwide success -- strong sales cause limited supply

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When Microsoft introduced the first Surface Pro to the world, the reception was tepid at best. This is understandable, as it was expensive, had a small screen and ran a much maligned operating system in Windows 8. In a short time however, Microsoft transformed the negative perceptions with a new CEO, Windows 8.1 and eventually, the much improved Surface Pro 3. Yes, the 3rd iteration was the game-changer that the world was waiting for.

Unfortunately, the Surface Pro 3 was initially only available in the USA, Canada and Japan; it only expanded to countries like Australia, Germany and China on August 28th. Apparently, people across the globe like what they see, as sales are strong and Microsoft's hybrid computer is in short supply. I guess Apple is not alone in its success.

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Sorry Android users, Apple does it again -- iPhone 6 and 6 Plus set new preorder record

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Believe it or not, I am relatively platform agnostic. I've never understood the need to pick a side. On the desktop front, I use Windows 8.1, OS X Mavericks and Fedora 20. My bedtime tablet is an iPad Air, my work tablet is a Surface Pro 3 and Android is typically my phone of choice. Unfortunately, many Android and Windows users seem to strongly dislike Apple, which I have never totally understood. How do you hate a successful, forward-thinking company that makes products people like? Even if you do not prefer its products, anger and hatred seem excessive.

Android has been dominating in smartphone marketshare, and many users of Google's platform have been salivating as they daydream about the iPhone losing relevance. Guess what? It isn't happening. Pundits have discussed whether the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus would be a success and today, we're one step closer to the answer. You see, Apple works its magic again, as the new iPhones set an overnight preorder record.

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