Mark Wilson

China wants to monitor and control all live streams in real time

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China's overarching control of the internet, technology, and its people in general is nothing new. The Great Firewall of China is famous for placing huge restrictions on what citizens are able to access online, and recently the government banned the use of social media as a news source.

The latest target for the Chinese government is the increasingly popular activity of live streaming. The proposal includes a requirement for all live streamed content to be monitored around the clock.

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Twitter introduces new notification settings and a tweet quality filter

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There are many complaints levelled at Twitter, but two crop up time and time again. The first is that if you follow a lot of people, you're likely to be overwhelmed with notifications; the second is that there's just too much crap out there.

Twitter is introducing a couple of changes to address both of these problems with an update that's rolling out today. Arguably the more interesting of the two is the "quality filter setting".

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Twitter has terminated 235,000 terrorist accounts in just six months

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Twitter continues its drive to clean itself up, purging unwanted content and users from the service. Today the company announces that in the last six months it has closed down 235,000 accounts relating to extremism.

It's part of the company's plans to scrub as many accounts from existence as possible that push "violent threats and the promotion of terrorism". With the recent spate of terrorist attacks around the world, Twitter's resolve has been hardened.

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Save hundreds on Apple products and more in Best Buy's 50-hour, 50th anniversary sale

best-buy-50

Best Buy is turning 50 and what better way to celebrate than by encouraging people to throw some of their hard-earned cash in its direction? That is precisely what's happening in a 50-hour 50th anniversary sale which is including 50 Black Friday-like deals.

The company points out that the sale comes just in time for those essential 'back to school' purchases, but with a bundle of money to be saved off the likes of MacBook Pros, and iPhone 6s Plusses, there's something for everyone.

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Facebook teams up with Unity to create a gaming platform to rival Steam

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Facebook is starting to take gaming far more seriously. Not content with funneling the likes of Candy Crush through its servers, the social network is now joining forces with the company behind the Unity game engine to create its own desktop gaming platform.

The aim is to tap into not only the millions of gamers that are already on Facebook, but also to gather more from the PC-gaming community. It's a new venture that very clearly treads on the toes of Steam, and is likely to cause ripples in the gaming world.

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Google updates its open source Santa Tracker in time for Christmas

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Yeah, OK... it's only August, but we're going to start talking about Christmas. Well... Google is, anyway. As it has done for a few years now, the company is planning to run its Santa Tracker tool in December and it has a few updates to share.

The web and mobile based versions of the tool are open source, meaning that developers are free to work their Christmassy magic and come up with new and innovative ideas for kids.

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Chrome for Android is gaining a Google Now-driven New Tab page

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If you're working with bleeding edge Chrome for Android, you can experiment with an updated version of the New Tab page. Anyone with Chrome Dev or Beta installed can toggle a settings flag to bring extra content to new tabs.

The updated New Tab page features -- in addition to your most frequently visited sites and a list of recent bookmarks -- a collection of suggested news stories, similar to those found on Google Now cards.

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Microsoft Rewards replaces Bing Rewards -- collect points to get free stuff!

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Microsoft's point-collecting program Bing Rewards is being renamed Microsoft Rewards. It will work in very much the same way as before (collect points and use them to buy games, apps, movies and so on), but there are a few changes that accompany the rebranding.

As before, Microsoft Rewards will be limited to the US and India, and the program lets you earn points by shopping in the Microsoft Store and Windows Store as well as searching with Bing and simply browsing with Microsoft Edge. If you're a seasoned user, there are a few changes to note.

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Monitor emoji usage in real-time

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Emoji are used for everything from basic communication, to diversity promotion, and even as a means of learning to code. While dismissed by some as the language of the millennial or the hard-of-thinking, emoji have their place in the modern lexicon, and an Australian company has launched a tool to show how they are being used.

Ad agency The Works has created a real-time emoji tracker that reveals how the handy little icons are being used right now. The company says of the recent additions to our language, "this is not a bastardisation but the next evolution of how we communicate". So what's the most popular emoji at the moment?

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UAC vulnerability in Windows 7 and Windows 10 allows for traceless code execution

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Windows' User Account Control (UAC) feature was designed to help keep computers safe from malicious software installations, but there are already at least a couple of ways to bypass it. A new technique for circumventing UAC not only makes it possible to execute commands on a computer, but to do so without leaving a single trace.

Security researchers Matt Nelson and Matt Graeber discovered the vulnerability and developed a proof-of-concept exploit. The pair tested the exploit on Windows 7 and Windows 10, but say that the technique can be used to bypass security on any version of Windows that uses UAC.

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Microsoft is bringing Windows Holographic to all Windows 10 users

windows-holographic

Believe the hype and you're probably under the impression that virtual reality, augmented reality, or some hybrid of the two is where the future of computing lies.

Microsoft certainly thinks that AR/VR has an important role to play and today the company announced that an update to Windows 10 next year will bring Windows Holographic to everyone. The company is working with Intel to come up with the specification for mixed reality ready PCs and head mounted displays.

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Hacker group Shadow Brokers auctions off NSA malware

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The NSA has (or had...) a collection of malware in its cyber arsenal. It has been stolen by hackers. It is now available to buy.

A group of hackers going by the name of Shadow Brokers claims to have stolen a range of hacking and malware tools from Equation Group's servers -- Equation Group is itself closely linked with the NSA. The group is offering the tools for auction and will sell them to the highest bidder. If bidding reaches one million Bitcoins, however, the group says it will make the tools publicly available to all.

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LinkedIn sues 100 individuals for scraping user data from the site

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Professional social network LinkedIn is suing 100 anonymous individuals for data scraping. It is hoped that a court order will be able to reveal the identities of those responsible for using bots to harvest user data from the site.

The Microsoft-owned service takes pride in the relationship it has with its users and the security it offers their data. Its lawsuit seeks to use the data scrapers' IP addresses and then discover their true identity in order to take action against them.

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Traffic hijacking Linux flaw affects 80 percent of Android devices -- including Nougat

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Android has had something of a rough time of things lately with the discovery of the Quadrooter vulnerability and the revelation that a flaw in version 3.6 of the Linux kernel also affects Google's mobile operating system.

Security firm Lookout estimates that 80 percent of Android devices (around 1.4 billion devices) are affected. While initial reports suggested that devices up to Android 4.4 KitKat are at risk, further testing shows that the problem still exists all the way up to Android 7.0 Nougat.

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Minecraft Windows 10 Edition Beta gives the game an Oculus Rift-friendly VR makeover

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Last year, Microsoft announced that a virtual reality version of Minecraft was in the works. Today Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta gains VR support, as Microsoft works with the Oculus Rift team to produce a more immersive version of the game.

In terms of controlling the VR version of Minecraft, you have the option of using a keyboard and mouse, or sticking with your trusty Xbox One controller. There are also a host of new VR-specific options to work with.

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