In the wake of the Fappening, online porn and nudity has been thrust into the public consciousness once again. But porn is about much more than titillating celebrity photos -- even if research shows that we're finding it easier to waste our time online when we should be getting on with work. Revenge porn is on the rise, and steps are being taken to try to thwart its progress. As the Fappening showed us, taking saucy pictures of oneself or partner is far from uncommon. This is fun and exciting in the middle of a relationship, but if that relationship should break down, there's no knowing what could happen to those pictures and videos.
Disgruntled partners may decide to get revenge on their former lovers by sharing those intimate photos and movies online, or it may be obtained by a third party and used as a tool for bribery. Many US states have outlawed the practice, and now the UK is following suit.
Microsoft is encouraging people who have downloaded the Windows 10 Technical Preview to provide feedback on the embryonic operating system. The Start menu is something that users have been begging for, and changes to the Command Prompt have been a very long time coming, but just what do testers think of Windows 10 so far? There's still quite some time to go until Windows 10 is released giving Microsoft lots of opportunity to respond to user feedback. This is what Microsoft is all about these days after all.
With help from one of the readers of his Supersite for Windows, Paul Thurrott has pulled together a list of the top ten requests that have been received so far. The methodology may not be entirely scientific, but it does give an interesting insight into how Windows 10 has been received and what people would like to see changed.
There must be something in the air at the moment -- everyone seems to be splitting up. eBay and PayPal decided that it would be better to go it alone, and then HP announced it would be splitting into consumer and enterprise companies. Symantec now reveals that it plans to divide into two independent companies, one focusing on security, and the other on storage.
President and CEO, Michael A. Brown, says that the two markets face their own sets of unique challenges and by splitting in two, each business will have the flexibility needed to respond accordingly.
In a post on the Surface blog, Microsoft has moved to assure businesses that the Surface line is here to stay. We've already heard that the Surface Pro 3 is a success -- although there are no figures to back up this claim -- but Microsoft's failure to launch a third generation RT-based version of the Surface, as well as the disappearance of the long-rumored Surface Mini, raised fears that the line of tablets may not be long for this world. Microsoft is keen to allay these concerns, pointing out not only that Surface is here to stay, but also that it is particularly suitable for businesses.
The post points out that the Surface Pro 3 is a device that's "great for getting things done". There's almost an air of desperation to the blog post in which Microsoft extols the virtue Surface and confirms its commitment to the brand. The selling point is still that the device is a laptop and tablet in one, and post author Brian Hall, General Manager for Surface, is quick to mention a number of big names who have adopted Surface Pro 3.
Over the last couple of decades the internet has revolutionized how we work, how we shop, how we communicate, and how we consume media. In most regards it has made life quicker and easier, but it has also brought challenges and side-effects. Technology may have made many tasks simpler, but it has also increased distractions and shepherded in more ways to procrastinate. You've probably noticed that while you can get many things done faster than ever, you spend a great deal of time doing nothing of worth.
In fact, rather than saving money, the widespread adoption of technology could be costing business dearly. Research shows that nearly two-thirds of employees spend work hours browsing sites unrelated to work -- a surprising 3 percent of them spending more than 10 hours a week actively avoiding work online. All of these wasted man hours add up, resulting in an average cost of almost $3,000 for employee each year.
Continuing its run at the top of the charts, Apple is revealed as the most valuable brand in the world. With a massive 21 percent increase over the last 12 months, Apple is now valued at just under $119 billion -- almost double that of Microsoft which finds itself in fifth place with a value of just over $61 billion.
The top 100 rankings have been published by Interbrand, and a number of familiar names from the world of tech are to be found in the top 20. Google's value jumped by 15 percent from last year to $107 billion, and the search giant remains in second position.
It has been said that we are living in a post-NSA world. What this really amounts to is that we are now slightly more aware of the level of snooping that has been going on in the background for many years. There has been widespread outrage at the revelations made by Edward Snowden, and there have been similar concerns raised outside of the US. In the UK, the FBI-like National Crime Agency, wants greater powers to monitor emails and phone calls -- and it wants the public to agree to this.
Director General of the NCA, Keith Bristow, spoke with the Guardian and said that the biggest threats to public safety are to be found online. He said that more powers to monitor online data is needed, and suggested that public resistance to this was down to the fact that he had thus far failed to properly explain why such powers are needed.
There are few companies who fail to find themselves under the privacy microscope at some point, but Microsoft is one that is the center of attention more than many. Whilst taking steps to allay fear about a keylogger in Windows 10, the company has signed the Student Privacy Pledge, joining big names from the world of education such as Follett, Learnmetrics, and Knovation. The pledge means that Microsoft will use personal information about students to help better tailor learning packages, but it won't be used for advertising, or sold to third parties.
Anthony Salcito, Microsoft's Vice President for Worldwide Education, announced the move at the Future of Privacy Forum (FPF) and the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) launched the pledge to help protect students.
As we all know, Windows 10 Technical Preview is out there and ready for anyone with the time and inclination to try out. Much has been made of the return of the Start menu as well as the new features such as virtual desktops, but over the last couple of days the rumor grapevine has been working overtime.
The big news is that Windows 10 includes a keylogger so that Microsoft can spy on your every action, tracking your every keystroke as you enter usernames, passwords, and bank details. Well, that's not strictly true... despite what some sites would have you believe. So, what then? Windows 10 doesn't include a keylogger? It's not quite that simple.
The "right to be forgotten" is something that was expected to take Europe by storm. A court ruling gave people the right to get in touch with search engines like Google and Bing to ask that results relating to them be removed -- assuming they are "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant". One of the services that popped up after the ruling was Forget.me, making it simple to submit removal requests.
Three months down the line, we have access to the first set of figures relating to requests, and they show that social networks are the most affected type of website.
Microsoft is introducing new, cheaper Office 365 subscriptions to businesses in a bid to encourage small businesses into using its office suite. The cost of an Office 365 Personal subscription remains at $6.99 but small to medium-sized businesses -- those with fewer than 300 employees -- are now able to snap up a subscription for just $5 per user per month (which doesn’t match the $1 offer from GoDaddy).
Before you get too excited about this, there is something of a catch. Firstly, there is a commitment to subscribe for a year, and the cheapest package, Office 365 Business Essentials, does not allow for Office's apps -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and so on -- to be installed. Opt for the cheap subscription and you're stuck with Office Online.
HP is on the verge of splitting into two companies. Consumer HP (or plain HP Inc) will focus on personal computers and printers, while the focus of Enterprise HP (or Hewlett-Packard Enterprise) will be corporate services and hardware. It's a move that has been talked about for some time now, and it comes just days after eBay Inc revealed that it plans to separate its eBay and PayPal businesses. HP and its investors will be pinning their hopes on the companies performing better as separate entities than as a whole. Similar splits have proved successful as it allows for a more efficient management of resources and a better concentration of efforts.
As part of the split, current CEO Meg Whitman will become chairman of HP Inc, as well as CEO of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. HP Inc will gain Dion Weisler as its CEO, while director Patricia Russo will step into the role of chairman of Hewlett-Packard Enterprise. Whitman has been widely credited with turning around the fortunes of HP, so all eyes will be on her to see if this latest move proves fruitful.
It's only a matter of days since Microsoft officially revealed the Windows 10 Technical Preview. This was a revelation with a lot riding on it but it was really something of a tease -- Microsoft didn’t give too much away. We rushed to grab the download, and Wayne showed how to get it up and running in VirtualBox (interestingly, I had to opt for VMware Player, as VirtualBox refused to install the 64-bit version of Windows 10 on my Surface Pro. It ran away from the ISO as though it was infected with ebola). I've had a few days to play about with this release -- I've stuck with a virtual machine for now rather than going all-in with dual-boot -- and I've already had a chance to write a little about the Start menu and the command prompt, but now it's time to delve a little deeper and see what else there is to discover.
Spoiler alert: despite the headline, and indeed my reputation, I don’t hate Windows 10. It just about goes without saying that I'm not head-over-heels in love with it, and there's a great deal I dislike about it, but it does feel... well, just 'nice' really. It's comfortable, familiar, and feels a bit snappier than Windows 8 -- even when running in a virtual machine.
While Windows 8 tried to switch the focus to touch input, Windows 10 Technical Preview finds Microsoft seeing sense and realizing that most people still labor away with a mouse and keyboard. Diehard keyboard fans are always keen to learn the latest shortcuts, and the same will be true of Windows 10. We've already seen how Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V can be used to copy and paste at the Command Prompt, but there are a few other new shortcuts to learn. These are largely limited to the new features of Windows 10, and as these are slightly thin on the ground, it's little wonder that there aren’t all that many new keyboard shortcuts to add to your repertoire.
In a post on the Windows blog, Microsoft's Senior Marketing Communications Manager and Chief Windows blogger, Brandon LeBlanc reveals a small number of new shortcuts. While there are -- at this stage at least, very few new keyboard shortcuts, many of them are repurposed from previous versions of Windows anyway, while some are reinstated having been lost in Windows 8.
Facebook gets bashed about privacy concerns, its real name policy, and the proliferation of ads that litter the social network. It's easy to complain about who has access to your photos and status updates, but how would you feel about handing over your private health details to Zuckerberg's baby?
In a move that will strike fear into users of the social network, Facebook is apparently considering branching out into healthcare by providing what are being described as "support communities". The news comes from Reuters which quotes three sources who requested anonymity.