Mihăiță Bamburic

Microsoft to keep free tag on Windows 10 Mobile upgrades after July 29


Windows 10 is currently available as a free upgrade if you are coming from Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, but this offer will not last for long. Just like everyone else, you will have to pay to get Microsoft's latest operating system after July 29. Question is, how does the free upgrade deadline impact Windows 10 Mobile?

While Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile did not launch at the same time, Microsoft positions the two operating systems as sister products. They have a shared core, many features in common, similar UI components, and even the build numbers are now the same as you probably know if you follow Windows Insider builds. So, understandably, there is some confusion over whether would-be Windows 10 Mobile users will have to pay for an upgrade after the Windows 10 deadline passes.

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Apple releases iOS 10, macOS Sierra public betas

macOS Sierra iOS 10 public betas MacBook Pro iPhone 6s

Apple's latest operating systems are coming this fall, but for enthusiasts who are interested in trying out iOS 10 and macOS Sierra before the big launch the company today releases the first public betas.

The first iOS 10 and macOS Sierra public betas arrive after Apple already released two builds for members of its developer program, so they should be more stable as a result. Here is what you should know.

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Samsung's super fast UFS cards are here to replace microSDs

Samsung UFS cards 32GB 64GB 128GB 256GB

While microSD cards have seen some notable developments in recent years, in both size and performance, there is no escaping the fact that the underlying technology cannot keep up with the times. They remain popular with both consumers and vendors though, but that's mostly because there has been nothing out there that could successfully replace the ubiquitous microSD.

But with the introduction of UFS cards that may soon change. Samsung today unveils the first in the world, promising a major boost in performance thanks to read and write speeds which can rival those of SSDs. The good old microSD should get ready to meet its maker.

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New macOS malware gives hackers complete access to your files

security device work office Mac unsecured

For security reasons, out of the box macOS is configured to only allow software from the App Store and identified developers to be installed. However, there are times when users may also want to run apps from other sources, in which case it is possible to enable a no holds barred setting. But, along with the extra freedom, it also exponentially increases the risk of running into malware.

You may be inclined to believe that you can stay safe by sticking to known download websites, but that is not always the case. Bitdefender has uncovered a new Mac malware, called Backdoor.Mac.Eleanor, that poses as a document converter on what the security company calls "reputable sites". When installed, it gives hackers complete access to your Mac.

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Apple enables iPhone users to become organ donors

Apple iOS 10 iPhone organ donor

Apple has announced that iPhone users will soon have the option to sign up as an organ, eye and tissue donor straight from their smartphone. With the public debut of iOS 10 this fall interested users will be able to register in the National Donate Life Registry using the new Health app.

The Health app will feature a "simple sign up process" for iPhone users who want to become nationally-registered donors. "It [...] takes just a few seconds and could help save up to eight lives", says Apple chief operating officer Jeff Williams.

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Android malware HummingBad generates $300,000 in monthly revenue

Hacker money laptop

When we discuss mobile malware we usually look at the technological aspects, specifically how it's designed, how it spreads, what devices it targets, how it affects them after infection, and how it can removed. What we rarely get to talk about is the financial side of things, which in the case of certain types of malware is the primary interest of their creators.

Check Point has published a report on the HummingBad malware campaign, finding that it generates $300,000 a month in fraudulent revenue with a pool of 85 million infected Android devices across the globe at its disposal. In a year attackers are looking at about $3.6 million in revenue, assuming the number of devices does not expand considerably.

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Dell waves goodbye to Android tablets, will focus on hybrid devices

waving dog goodbye

While tablet sales still generate considerable revenue, the market as a whole is in decline. Industry analysts like IDC place the drop in shipments for last year in the double digits, and things do not seem to be getting better in 2016 either. This is a worrisome trend for vendors, as there is apparently nothing that can stop the bleeding. That is if we do not count hybrid devices, which seem to be catching on based on the growing sales of the Apple iPad Pro and Microsoft Surface lines.

Dell has put two and two together, announcing that it is discontinuing its Android-powered Venue tablet line The company is not getting out of the slate market altogether, as it says that the focus from now on is on two-in-one, or hybrid, devices.

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Samsung launches unlocked Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge in US

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge and non-edge

Samsung introduced unlocked versions of its Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge flagships right from the start in major markets across the globe. That's because there are large contingents of potential buyers in markets like Europe who prefer to buy their smartphone off-contract, and use it with whatever carrier and plan they choose. In US, however, consumers have only been officially treated to carrier-branded models.

However, that finally changes today, as Samsung is now introducing unlocked versions of Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge in US. The company says that they will work "on most US GSM and CDMA networks", which is good news for those who may want to change carriers.

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Microsoft bringing 1TB Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book to more markets


Microsoft is expanding the availability of the top-tier Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book models, as today it introduces the 1TB versions of its hybrid devices in eight more markets. The software giant introduced Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book last year, in October, but did not bring all the storage configurations outside of US and Canada.

The new 10 markets where the 1TB Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book are now available are Australia, Austria, China, France, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Microsoft says that interested buyers will be able to purchase these models from its online store but also authorized resellers and retail partners.

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Microsoft's back to school deal helps students save $300 on Surface and Xbox One bundle

Surface Pro 4

Microsoft today introduces a pretty sweet back to school deal, giving students the option to save $300 with the purchase of a Surface device and an Xbox One console. Part of the bundle are three free extras, one of which is a wireless controller.

The promo is valid for all configurations of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, and starts at just $878. For the money, students get the base Surface Pro 4 and a 500GB Xbox One game bundle. The two devices are normally available to students for $809.10 and $279, respectively, when purchased separately.

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VLC 2.0 app now publicly available for Windows 10 devices

VLC 2.0.0 Windows 10 dark mode

VideoLAN today releases the first public beta build of VLC for Windows 10. Now a universal app, it comes with the same core feature set as the Android and iOS apps but also a few platform-specific extras. VLC 2.0.0 is compatible with all the common Windows 10 devices, including smartphones.

The main features that VLC 2.0.0 brings to the table are the vast audio and video format support, the ability to view and download subtitles and synchronize audio and video, and a network sharing browser. Additionally for Windows 10 users, it also plays well with key features like Cortana and Continuum.

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Happy fifth birthday, Google+: It's like you were never here

Sad man birthday

I tend to look back fondly at the technology that has left a mark on me throughout the years. Memorable trips down memory lane involve things that have been a part of my digital lifestyle for many, many years. Google+ is one of them. As a longtime member, I should be reminiscing now as today the social network turns five. But, for some reason, the only thing that I can think about is knowing from the get go that it would never be the next big thing. It looks like I was onto something.

Google+ is one of the largest social networks, but if you are an active user like me you are probably wondering what all those other members are up to because few of them seem to share new things these days. As time goes by, it feels like Google+ is shrinking to a small crowd of enthusiasts. Few people seem to care about it lately, and I am slowly joining the ranks of those who can't be bothered anymore.

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Report of Google making its own smartphone is rubbish

Boy laughing bed tablet laptop

Google is rumored to be working on a smartphone of its own that would help it "tighten its grip on mobile software and see it compete directly with the iPhone", according to a report from The Telegraph. The information comes from the usual "sources familiar with the discussions", who are all too often making the news because some fellow writers have no filters whatsoever.

To folks completely unfamiliar with the mobile space this report would make sense. It has all the right ingredients for that, but fortunately using just a small dose of common sense one can immediately call this report for what it is -- rubbish. Here's why.

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What is the most popular Surface tablet?


While we know how much revenue the Surface line generates, as Microsoft posts these figures in quarterly earnings reports, the same cannot be said about unit sales. The software giant prefers to keep these numbers under wraps, leaving us in the dark with regards to which one of its Windows-powered tablets is most popular.

However, a new report by cross-promotion network AdDuplex shares some light on the matter, giving us a usage share breakdown for the six most popular Surface devices, including the most expensive and controversial of the bunch, the Surface Book.

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Google's free Android Basics Nanodegree helps you learn how to code

developer laptop

Google wants more people to make Android apps, so it has teamed up with Udacity to create a new program aimed at aspiring developers. Called Android Basics Nanodegree, it offers a series of courses and services that will teach students, with little to no coding experience, how to make their first Android app.

"The courses walk you through step-by-step on how to build an order form for a coffee shop, an app to track pets in a shelter, an app that teaches vocabulary words from the Native American Miwok tribe, and an app on recent earthquakes in the world. At the end of the course, you will have an entire portfolio of apps to share with your friends and family", says Google.

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