Mark Wilson

Apple's Tim Cook is gay -- the fact it needs to be announced shows what’s wrong in tech

Apple's Tim Cook is gay -- the fact it needs to be announced shows what’s wrong in tech

The sexuality of people in the public often comes in for scrutiny. Whether we're talking about Michael Stipe coming out at the same time as REM released Monster, Morrissey using Autobiography to give a beautifully tender glimpse into the loves of his life, Ellen DeGeneres revealing her sexual preferences to Oprah Winfrey, or any one of countless other celebrities who chooses to make their sexuality public, where those in the limelight fit onto the sexual spectrum has long been -- and will undoubtedly continue to be -- of endless interest to people.

Writing in Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO Tim Cook, entirely unprompted, has said that he is gay. For many people this will come as no surprise, for most it will be of no consequence, some will take exception to it. But what's interesting is that, in 2014, a man (or woman, for that matter) proclaiming their sexuality, is news. Tim Cook is currently the top trending topic on Twitter.

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Microsoft gives developers new opportunities with Apps for Outlook.com

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At the Inbox Love event in Mountain View, CA, Microsoft revealed the latest way for developers to bring extra functionality to the user. Starting next year, Outlook.com will support third-party apps, known -- uninspiringly -- as Apps for Outlook.com. Just a couple of days ago, Microsoft launched new APIs and SDKs to give developers new options for working with Office 365, and the latest announcement caters for development in the cloud.

Although Apps for Outlook.com will not officially launch until next year, Microsoft is giving developers the chance to start creating apps for the Outlook Web App. Those with a penchant for coding are invited to come up with new, exciting, and productivity-enhancing ways for users to interact with Outlook.com.

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Bye bye, Moto: Lenovo takes Motorola Mobility from Google's hands

Bye bye, Moto: Lenovo takes Motorola Mobility from Google's hands

Way back in January, Google announced plans to sell Motorola to Lenovo for $2.91 billion. Today that deal has completed. The acquisition sees control of Moto X, Moto G, Moto E and the DROID product ranges moving out of Google's hands as Motorola operates as a wholly-owned subsidiary under Lenovo. Google's CEO is happy with the outcome: "Motorola is in great hands with Lenovo, a company that's all-in on making great devices".

Lenovo takes a total of 3,500 employees under its wing, and becomes the third largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. Practically speaking, at least in the immediate future, little should change. Motorola will remain headquartered in Chicago, and Rick Osterloh will stay on as COO.

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Samaritans Radar puts Twitter users on suicide watch

Samaritans Radar puts Twitter users on suicide watch

We all go through difficult times, and it can often be hard to cope with what life throws at us. Whether you're going through a particularly tricky patch and feeling low, or you're struggling with depression, it can be helpful to know that there are people you can talk to. But reaching out to people can be hard and it often falls to friends to notice signs of someone in trouble so they can be there when required.

Everyone would like to think they would notice when a friend starts to post worrying messages online, but the sheer volume of content we all consume each day means that it is easy to miss something important. Suicide prevention charity, Samaritans, has launched a new online venture, Samaritans Radar, which monitors the Twitter feeds of those who sign up, looking out for "potentially worrying tweets".

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Feedly kills URL shortener to improve speed, security, and privacy

Feedly kills URL shortener to improve speed, security, and privacy

Back in January feedly -- the RSS reader that tried to fill the gap left by the death of Google Reader -- introduced a URL shortener. At the time it was billed as a "captur[ing] analytics about how people are engaging with the content you are sharing". Ten months later, the news service realized that this could be seen as being overly intrusive and has killed the tool.

The original blog post that heralded the launch of feedly.com/e has been updated to reflect the fact that the shortener is no more. "With hindsight this was a bad idea. We focused too much on feedly's growth versus doing what is right for users and for the Web. Sorry".

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Microsoft unveils new Office 365 APIs and SDKs for iOS and Android

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As if giving Office 365 subscribers unlimited OneDrive storage was not enough, Microsoft today has some more news relating to its office suite. Previously only available as previews, a batch of new Office 365 APIs open up new opportunities for developers to tap into Office with their own apps. With APIs available for mail, files, calendar and contacts, there's lots of potential for the future.

One of the first big names to take advantages of the new APIs is IFTTT, the online automation service. The new APIs mean that it is possible for IFTTT to react to things that happen in Office applications -- so it is possible to set up an alert when an email matching certain criteria arrives. There are also updates to the Android and iOS SDKs for developers to work with.

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Microsoft is the tenth most profitable company in the world

Microsoft is the tenth most profitable company in the world

Just a few days ago Microsoft released its financial data for Q1 2015 (yeah, the timescale is weird) and we learned a little about where the company's money is coming from. According to data compiled by FactSet and published by USA Today Microsoft is in fact the tenth most profitable company in the world.

The list has been put together by taking into account companies' "net income before discontinued operations and extraordinary items for their latest fiscal year", and it finds Microsoft in interesting company. Sandwiched between oil giant BP and banking behemoth Wells Fargo & Company, Microsoft just managed to sneak into the top ten with $86.8 billion in revenue.

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Beat that Google! Office 365 subscribers get unlimited OneDrive storage

Beat that Google! Office 365 subscribers get unlimited OneDrive storage

Microsoft just stoked the fires of the cloud storage wars once again. There have been various updates to OneDrive in recent months. Microsoft lifted the 2GB file size limit all the way up to 10GB, and we showed you how to up your free storage to 15GB. But if you’re an Office 365 subscriber, things just kicked off -- storage limitations are a thing of the past.

Starting today, Office 365 Home, Personal and University plan subscribers have unlimited OneDrive storage. Store as much as you like in the cloud for free. Well, free if you ignore the subscription you've paid, or continue to pay each month. The roll out to the consumer level subscriptions starts today, but you'll need to take action if you're interested.

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The Document Foundation aims to push LibreOffice adoption in the workplace

Document Foundation aims to push LibreOffice adoption in the workplace

Who doesn't like free stuff? Not many people, but there are various definitions of free. Free as in beer, free as in speech, and so on. The open source software movement combines these two ideas, and many more, by making software freely available to anyone who wants to use it, and also affording them the right to tinker with the code and change it in whatever way they want. It's one of the foundations of Linux, and it's a philosophy that -- in increasingly cash-strapped times -- is gaining momentum.

The Document Foundation, creator of the LibreOffice variant of the free OpenOffice suite, today announces that it is joining the Open Source Business Alliance. The aim is to help with the deployment of the free office suite on larger scales within companies and organizations.

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Hungary proposes taxing internet usage -- will other countries follow suit?

Hungary proposes taxing internet usage -- will other countries follow suit?

You might think that you've already paid enough to get online. You bought your computer (or phone, tablet, whatever...), you pay line rental to your phone provider, you pay your monthly broadband charges, you pay the bill for electricity all of this requires. How does the idea of an extra charge on top of this sound? No? That's the general feeling in Hungary where an "internet tax" has been proposed by Viktor Orban's right wing government.

The Prime Minister proposes taxing internet usage in a similar way to mobile phone companies -- by tracking traffic levels. How much could this end up costing? Well, it could very quickly add up. The draft law suggests a fee of 150 forints (around $0.60) per gigabyte. To put that in perspective, it would cost more than $2 to download the Windows 10 Technical Preview, and around the same amount to upgrade to the latest build 9860.

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How to make Windows 10's Search and Task View buttons die, die, die!

How make Windows 10's Search and Task View buttons die, die, die!

There's a lot to like about Windows 10, particularly if you're already a fan of Windows 8.x -- there isn’t all that much that's new at this stage. It's not all good news however, and there's also quite a lot to dislike. One thing that has cropped up time and time again in user feedback is the fact that the Search and Task View buttons that appear in the taskbar cannot be removed.

At least, there is no built in option to remove them. Where there's a will, there's a way and some enterprising users of the Technical Preview have found ways to banish the buttons that are seen by many as being pointless.

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Twitter: Your Twitpic photos and videos are safe... for the time being

Twitter: Your Twitpic photos and videos are safe... for the time being

After flip-flopping between closing, then not closing, and finally closing, Twitpic has now shut up shop. But that's not quite the end of the story. There had been rumors flying round that Twitter was going to buy the image and video hosting service, but that ultimately amounted to nothing. The latest twist in the story is that Twitpic and Twitter have come to an arrangement that means content that has already been uploaded is safe. For now, at least.

In a statement on the Twitpic blog, founder Noah Everett explains that a deal has been struck with Twitter. What this amounts to is Twitpic handing over the domain and content archive to Twitter. This will keep "the photos and links alive for the time being".

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Streaming music service Deezer buys Stitcher and branches out into talk radio

Streaming music service Deezer buys Stitch and branches out into talk radio

The world of streaming music is dominated by just a few names. Deezer is a relatively new entrant to the US market, and it is now stretching its wings by purchasing Stitcher, the radio and podcasting service. Deezer currently has roughly 16 million users scattered across 180 countries, and this represents great growth potential for Stitcher.

The seven-year-old internet radio service carries content from 40 countries, giving it a catalog of more than 35,000 shows. Diversifying in this way could be Deezer's ticket to success in a somewhat crowded market, where a unique selling point is needed to stand out from the likes of Spotify.

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Facebook teams up with Yahoo to create safe email standard

Facebook teams up with Yahoo to create new, safe email standard

A new email standard called RRVS (Require-Recipient-Valid-Since) has been unveiled by Facebook. The new standard comes through the social network working in conjunction with Yahoo, and is designed to protect users against potential account hijacking.

It's now over a year since Yahoo decided that the time had come to start recycling email addresses that had lain dormant and unused. Concerns were voiced that little used email addresses could end up falling into the wrong hands and be used for nefarious purposes. With email addresses used for much more than just email communication -- often doubling up as login credentials -- the need for security in this area is apparent.

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Surface generated almost $1 billion revenue for Microsoft last quarter

Surface generated almost $1 billion revenue for Microsoft last quarter

Anyone who was under the impression that Surface was a failure for Microsoft need look no further than the latest earnings release for proof that they're wrong. In the quarter ending September 30, Microsoft pulled in $23.20 billion in revenue, and $908 million of this came from the Surface division.

All told, FY15 Q1 represents record first quarter revenue for Microsoft, and it can be at least partly attributed to the influence of Satya Nadella, as well as the restructuring surrounding Nokia Devices and Services. There was a strong performance in the Devices and Consumer divisions, with revenue increasing 47% to $10.96 billion, while commercial revenue rose 10% to $12.28 billion.

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