Mark Wilson

Pippa Middleton is the latest celebrity to suffer an iCloud account hack

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There have been numerous cases of iCloud accounts being hacked over the years, but it's the celebrity ones that hit the headlines. Well, that and things like the Fappening. The latest celebrity account to fall victim to hackers is Pippa Middleton, sister of British royal Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.

A reported 3,000 images have been stolen from Pippa's account, and these are said to include photographs of Kate and her children. Leaked images also show photos from private parties, and shots of wedding dresses.

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Don't fall for the secret hack to add a headphone jack to the iPhone 7

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As you're probably well aware, with the launch of the iPhone 7 Apple ditched the familiar headphone jack in favour of a wireless audio option. Many people have questioned the sense in this 'courageous' decision which has led some owners to take drastic steps to allow them to use their favorite set of wired headphones.

Some have been spurred on by a YouTube video that reveals a 'secret hack' for returning the headphone jack to the iPhone 7. YouTuber TechRax has created a tutorial for uncovering the hidden jack that Apple left inside the new phone. Except, of course, it is complete nonsense.

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Snapchat rebrands as Snap Inc and announces Google Glass competitor called Spectacles

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Snapchat today makes two big announcements, the first of which is that it is no longer called Snapchat. The company is starting to branch out into products and services beyond the Snapchat app and therefore decided it is time to drop 'chat' from the name. Snap Inc is the new company name.

The second announcement is a new product called Spectacles. These are sunglasses with an integrated video camera offering a 115-degree field of view. There's no word on exactly when it will be released, but the marketing machine is already in motion, building up momentum and drumming up interest.

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Facebook massively miscalculated video viewing figures for two years

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The social networking giant has managed to attract the ire of advertisers after it revealed that it overestimated video viewing figures for two years. A flaw in the tool used to measure the number of views meant that figures relating to video viewing times were inflated by between 60 and 80 percent.

Just how long people spend watching videos is important information for advertisers, but Facebook managed to miscalculate average viewing times by ignoring views lasting under three seconds. With so much of Facebook's incoming revenue derived from advertising, and the importance the company places on video, the snafu is an embarrassing one that advertisers will take some time to forget.

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YouTube Heroes program rewards people who report videos

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Google has launched a new reward scheme that offers incentives for users to report videos that violate the site's guidelines. YouTube Heroes program also enables YouTubers to earn points for doing things like adding subtitles to a video and responding to questions in the help forums.

While the promise of rewards for helping to "create the best possible YouTube experience for everyone" is appealing, critics are not happy with the fact that users will now have an added incentive to report videos.

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Yahoo confirms 'state-sponsored' attack and theft of 500 million account details

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Yahoo users who have not changed their passwords for a while are being advised to do so. The company has confirmed that it suffered a major security breach back in 2014 and information relating to 500 million accounts was stolen.

Yahoo says that the attack was carried out by a "state-sponsored actor" but does not elaborate on who it might be. The data accessed includes "names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (the vast majority with bcrypt) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers".

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Security commentator Brian Krebs hit with the biggest DDoS attack ever

GitHub hit by biggest DDoS attack ever

Attacks on websites are a daily occurrence so to get any real attention an attack needs to be something special. Starting on Tuesday, Brian Krebs' security blog, KrebsOnSecurity.com, was hit with what is being described as "the largest DDoS the internet has ever seen".

Despite being clobbered with a colossal 665 Gbps of traffic, Krebs' site remained online thanks to the anti-DDoS efforts of security firm Akamai. It is thought that Krebs was targeted for his exposés of hackers, and the attack was delivered via a huge number of hacked IoT devices.

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The new HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle and Pro are impressive mid-range smartphones

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HTC, while not exactly a name to have the likes of Apple and Samsung quaking in their boots, has always been a brand to get rather excited about. Choosing a smartphone is clearly a highly personal affair, but in terms of build quality, features and value for money, HTC never fails to impress.

The newly announced HTC Desire 10 Lifestyle and HTC Desire 10 Pro both sit firmly in the mid-range for the company, and unashamedly ape the look of iPhones of yore. Despite the naming convention, both of the phones seem to be targeted at the millennial market, with a great deal of attention placed on selfies and music. Clearly the Pro model packs the most into the case, but do the handsets continue the HTC tradition of delivering more than you would expect?

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Google and Apple show that tech companies' blase attitude to tax cannot continue

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Technology firms, like bankers, are starting to earn a bad name for themselves. The practice of funneling profits from different branches of a company through countries that have favorable rates of tax is nothing new -- far from it -- but it's becoming far more prevalent. Apple was recently asked to pay back $14.5 billion in unpaid tax in Europe, and this is not an isolated incident.

Small businesses understandably feel that they are getting a raw deal when the big players have the clout and resources to play the system to their advantage. But it doesn't always work out. In addition to the $14.5 billion in Ireland, Apple has just paid back $118 million in Japan for 'under-reporting income' and Google is also facing investigation in Indonesia over possible unpaid taxes.

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Google redesigns Gmail for Android and the web

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Gmail was designed to be a cross-platform email tool, but even Google recognizes the fact that it is far from perfect. With this in mind, Gmail -- and Inbox by Google -- are undergoing a redesign to improve things.

With the redesign, Google says that it is focusing on adjusting the formatting and general look so that it better suits the device emails are being viewed on. You may well have thought that this should have been the case from the beginning, but it seems that an update is in order.

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Microsoft re-runs Google tests and shows that Chrome has worse battery life than Edge

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The bitch-fest that has been rumbling on between Microsoft and Google is showing no signs of abating. We’re all used to the concept of companies engaging in games of one-upmanship, and this has certainly been the case when these two stalwarts have been slugging it out with their respective web browsers.

The most recent battles have been fought over which browser is the most battery efficient. It’s only very recently that Google claimed that Chrome trounced Edge in battery tests -- Microsoft disagrees. The company has re-run Google’s tests and says that it produced very different results. Rather than showing that Chrome offers the best performance when it comes to playing video, this second batch of tests shows -- unsurprisingly -- that Edge is the best by quite some distance.

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Adblock Plus introduces new platform to increase Acceptable Ads’ transparency

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It has been difficult to ignore the issue of online ads recently. Facebook’s approach to ads has been in the news in particular, but the battle between advertisers and ad blockers is one that has rumbled on for some time -- and looks set to continue to do so. At the forefront of ad blocking is Adblock Plus, and the company has just announced a new ad platform that aims to deliver ads that will not irritate internet users too much.

Acceptable Ads is an idea that has been bounced around for a while now, but today it has been relaunched as a completely new platform -- the Acceptable Ads Platform, funnily enough. It has two primary directives: to increase the transparency of Acceptable Ads, and to provide website creators with easy access to a database of pre-whitelisted ads that they can use to monetize their sites.

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Broadband customers need accurate speed comparison sites

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There are calls for ISPs to provide more accurate broadband speed information to customers to allow them to make better comparisons between companies. The current method of providing theoretical maximum figures is just not acceptable, says the UK's Local Government Association.

The LGA points out that ISPs' current provision of estimated speeds are not necessarily a true reflection of the reality. Just as consumers can use price comparison sites to check out the best deals for electricity and other utilities, so the LGA believes a similar service should be available to allow for more accurate speed comparison.

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In less than a week Twitter will allow longer tweets

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Twitter 140-character tweet limit has been one of its defining features for a number of years now. Originally introduced because of the limitation of SMS, the restriction has frustrated many users who find it too much of a constraint.

On 19 September it all changes. Unlike what it has done with Direct Messages, Twitter is not dramatically increasing the maximum length of a tweet, but it is changing what counts towards that limit. Images and other attachments, for example, no longer use up characters, leaving more for messages.

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Google brings Cardboard Camera to iOS for virtual reality fun

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Google's dream of bringing virtual reality to the masses just took another big leap forward. The popular Cardboard Camera app is now available for iOS, giving iPhone users the chance to capture and share VR photos.

For many people Google Cardboard has been all about finding a cheap way to enjoy virtual reality experiences that other people have created. Cardboard Camera gives you the chance to create your own.

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