Mark Wilson

Microsoft makes it easy to switch to Windows 10 with free PCmover Express

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Microsoft has teamed up with Laplink to try to encourage people to upgrade from Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, offering a free copy of PCmover Express to anyone who wants it. Many people took the launch of Windows 10 as an excuse to buy a new computer with it pre-installed -- but then there is the problem of accessing the files stored on the old PC.

While it is possible to manually move files to your new computer, it's not something that everyone is comfortable with. Microsoft's solution to provide people with a data transfer tool for free is one that's likely to attract some attention, so here’s what you need to do to take advantage of this time-limited offer.

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PayPal.Me lets you receive online payments through a custom URL

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PayPal has long been a quick and easy way to send and receive money online; with the launch of PayPal.Me, things just got even simpler. This is a new platform which provides PayPal customers with their own personalized URL (such as paypal.me/markwilson) as an alternative to sending out invoices. PayPal is pushing this as a way to call in your debts, but it's far more versatile than that.

The next time someone needs to send you money, you can simply direct them to your page -- or you can include the link on social networks, your website, in emails, via SMS, and so on. Any payments that are made in this way are covered by the same PayPal Buyer Protection policies as before. Anyone visiting your PayPal.Me page is able to choose the amount of money they want to send you, but you can also customize the URL you share to make a request for a specific amount.

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Money talks -- Microsoft to provide details of Windows 10 updates to enterprise users

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A lot has changed in Windows 10, including the way updates are delivered. The forced installation of Windows updates -- including drivers -- has upset many people, but Microsoft has also managed to upset users by failing to provide details about what individual updates actually do to the systems they are installed.

The horror stories combined with the lack of information coming from Microsoft has led many people to seek ways to stop the automatic installation of Windows updates or to delay them. But it is enterprise users and system administrators who are most upset by the absence of changelogs, and Microsoft has listened to feedback. The company has announced that it is backing down slightly and will provide enterprise customers with update information.

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Full steam ahead for Microsoft phones after patent infringement win

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Microsoft has been cleared of patent infringement by the US International Trade Commission. The case dates back to 2007 when InterDigital Inc claimed Microsoft infringed its patents, and there were calls for a ban on the import of handsets.

InterDigital Inc has been battling in court for eight years, initially trying to claim royalties on phones made by Nokia, now transferred to Microsoft. As well as blocking the call for an import ban, the ITC stated that Microsoft did not infringe patents relating to the way mobiles make calls. In short Microsoft is in the clear and InterDigital's rights have not been violated.

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Twitter's diversity goals are completely meaningless nonsense

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Workforce diversity is something that every company wants to be seen to be getting right. At the moment -- particularly in the world of technology -- they're failing spectacularly. As in so many walks of life, it's a world dominated by white, middleclass men, and it's a problem that gets worse the further up the hierarchy you look. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft. They all have one thing in common: a desire to be seen as the most welcoming, ethnically and sexually diverse, forward-thinking companies out there.

It's great PR, and now Twitter is trying to step up its game. News of a commitment to making the Twitter workforce more diverse sounds great, but sounding great isn’t the same as being great. I've mentioned that talk of diversity is good public relations, and that's exactly what we see here -- spiel, empty gestures, misguided proposals, and embarrassingly ham-fisted approaches. Now Twitter is taking things a step further.

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How to remove a stuck S Pen from a Samsung Galaxy Note 5

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Is it a design flaw, or just a case of a company expecting its customers to know how to do something? The problem of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 S Pen getting stuck inside the handset if inserted the wrong way has divided opinion.

But whether you think someone who has managed to get their S Pen stuck is stupid or has fallen into a trap that could have caught out anyone, there is a solution. There's no need to resort to brute force to remove your S Pen -- it is possible to get it out without breaking anything. The solution is beautiful in its simplicity.

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Facebook ramps up video piracy fighting technology

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Think of video piracy, and talk of BitTorrent probably isn’t far away. While torrented movies and TV shows account for a large proportion of pirated material, it is far from being the end of the story. Even sites as seemingly innocuous as Facebook can be part of the problem.

The social network is not really used as a way to share the latest blockbuster movies, but it is home to a lot of 'recycled' content, the rights for which are not necessarily owned by the uploader. Responding to growing complaints from video publishers, Facebook is ramping up its fight against piracy, boosting the existing Audible Magic audio fingerprinting tool, introducing a video fingerprinting utility, and ensuring that repeat offenders are kept off the site.

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Chrome embraces HTML5 and tells Flash ads to eff off

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The writing has been on the wall for Flash for some time now. A web technology loathed for countless reasons -- not least the security issues -- the death knell is now tolling loudly as HTML5 is more widely embraced.

Back in June, Google announced that Chrome would pause Flash ads in its browser by default, helping to eliminate a major online annoyance. Now the company has outlined when this will happen -- and there are only a few days to wait.

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Facebook celebrates one billion users online in a single day

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The aim of Mark Zuckerberg, through Facebook, has been to connect the world. On Monday this week, the social network saw one billion people logging on to send messages, post photos, write status updates, and generally be social. One billion people in a single day.

Or to put it another way -- as Zuckerberg does -- "1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family". There aren’t many companies or services that can claim to have such a wide reach, so the palpable pride is entirely understandable.

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'Hey Siri, give us a hint' -- what does Apple's 9 September event have in store for us?

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Apple has sent out media invites to an event on 9 September. Widely expected to see the launch of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, the event takes place at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco at 10 am PDT.

The invitation itself gives little away, but it does include artwork that will undoubtedly feature on the big day, as well as the intriguing tagline 'Hey Siri, Give Us a Hint'. So does Siri have the answers? Tell us about the new iPhone!

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Google hits back at latest round of antitrust accusations

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Antitrust claims against Google are nothing new, and the company stands accused of abusing its position and favouring its own products in search results in Europe. Today, Google's General Counsel Kent Walker responded to the European Commission's claims, saying they are "unfounded".

Google has filed an official response to the Commission, but a public blog post gives an accessible insight into the company's mindset. The EU is unhappy with the way Google displayed shopping links in search results, saying its own services are given undue prominence. Google says that far from being anti-competitive, the way it displays search results is beneficial to its users.

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Windows 10 users won't see Chrome notifications in the Action Center any time soon

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If you were hoping to see Chrome notifications integrated into Windows 10, prepare to be disappointed: it's not going to happen. While the Action Center might seem the natural home for Google's web browser to display messages, developers have a different opinion.

In short, Chrome's notifications are staying as they are. Despite a campaign for Action Center support, the request has been labeled Won'tFix and there's no sign that this will change for some years to come. Chrome and Windows 10 have already clashed heads once, but this time Google seems unlikely to back down.

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Critical PayPal XSS vulnerability left accounts open to attack

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PayPal has patched a security vulnerability which could have been used by hackers to steal users' login details, as well as to access unencrypted credit card information. A cross site scripting bug was discovered by Egyptian 'vulnerabilities hunter' Ebrahim Hegazy -- ironically on PayPal's Secure Payments subdomain.

Hegazy found the Stored XSS Vulnerability on https://Securepayments.Paypal.com back in the middle of June, and was able to demonstrate how it could be exploited. More than two months later, PayPal has addressed the issue and plugged the security hole.

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LG Rolly Keyboard is a folding keyboard for your tablet or smartphone

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However much on-screen keyboards improve, they're no replacement for a good, old-fashioned keyboard. Traveling with a tablet, it might not be convenient to lug about a full-sized wireless keyboard but LG thinks its Rolly Keyboard could be the answer.

As the name suggests, this is a portable keyboard that 'rolls' up for easier transportation -- well, it rolls up into a square stick rather than a round roll, but you get the idea. Also known as the KBB-700, the Rolly Keyboard features almost full-sized keys, and can be paired with two devices via Bluetooth.

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Virginia shooting shows the power of social media, and the danger of autoplay videos

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Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. It's not without good reason that ad campaigns start on Twitter and Facebook in the hope of going viral. As with any medium, social media is full of positive and negative content. Content you're interested in seeing, and stuff you really aren't.

But the difference with the likes of Facebook and Twitter is that you're not always in control of what you see. The horrific shooting live on TV in Virginia highlights this perfectly. As with any tragedy or big news story, many were quick to take to social networks to share information and thoughts. They also shared video footage of the killings which automatically played in people's timelines.

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