Mark Wilson

Will Microsoft Edge's security boost shake off the shackles of IE's terrible reputation?

Will Microsoft Edge's security boost shake off the shackles of IE's terrible reputation?

Project Spartan is no more, now it's all about Microsoft Edge. It's only been a few months since the successor to Internet Explorer was revealed and it will be the default browser when Windows 10 sees the light of day later this summer -- but has enough been done to shake off the poor reputation that Internet Explorer has earned itself over the years?

There's no getting away from the fact that Microsoft Edge has an uphill battle on its hands if it is to avoid being tarred with the same brush as the millstone around Microsoft's neck -- Internet Explorer. Microsoft is pinning a lot of hopes on upping the security feature set, but is this a case of too little too late? Is Microsoft Edge doomed before it even gets off the ground?

Continue reading

Samsung pushes the Internet of Things with open ARTIK platform

Samsung pushes the Internet of Things with open ARTIK platform

Every company worth its salt is keen to get aboard the Internet of Things bandwagon, and Samsung is no different. Today the company announces its ARTIK platform which it hopes will accelerate the development of IoT apps and hardware for both consumers and the enterprise.

This is more than just a platform announcement, however; Samsung has produced three modules with a variety of integrated features ready to power the next generation of connected devices. The modules are backed up with embedded hardware security and can be tailored to a range of tasks.

Continue reading

Microsoft invests in cables to cope with increasing cloud capacity

Microsoft invests in cables to cope with increasing cloud capacity

Microsoft's focus on the cloud means that the company and its users are more data-hungry than ever before. To help cope with a seemingly insatiable appetite for bandwidth, the company is investing in undersea cables to improve connectivity and bandwidth across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

With an increased push towards services like Azure and OneDrive, Microsoft's infrastructure needed to grow. The company has spent the last nine months forming fiber partnerships to improve intercontinental data connectivity and now new cable deals see North American datacenters connecting Ireland and the UK at greater speeds.

Continue reading

Apple goes green and aims for 100 percent renewable energy usage

Apple goes green and aims for 100 percent renewable energy usage

Apple is not just a company concerned with boosting its profits, it's also interested in image and -- as its latest pledge shows -- the environment. Today Apple announces that it is setting its sights high when it comes to reducing the environmental impact of its operations. The ultimate goal is to switch worldwide operations to 100 percent renewable energy sources.

The company is teaming up with World Wildlife Fund to protect areas of responsibly managed woodland, and is also investing in renewable energy projects in China. Investments are also being made in solar energy projects that will produce more than enough electricity to power Apple's entire collection of Chinese offices and stores.

Continue reading

A third of people would rather lose a finger than their internet connection

A third of people would rather lose a finger than their internet connection

Losing a finger is something that you might more readily associate with horrific industrial injuries, or the result of failing to pay back a gangland loan shark. In the UK, however, broadband access is now seen as such a vital service that people would rather lose a digit than lose their high speed internet connection.

An incredible one in three people would be willing to live without a phalanx rather than coping without a broadband connection. Being online is now seen as a lifeline and losing that connection can lead to feelings of social isolation.

Continue reading

Terminator Genisys: Revolution is the first Android app you can pre-register for

Terminator Genisys: Revolution is the first Android app you can pre-register for

To be first in line to download a new app, you need to be quick off the mark. You might hear about a game or app weeks ahead of launch, and it's all too easy to miss the launch date. You might be wondering why it has taken Google so long to do something about it.

For Android users this is now a thing of the past thanks to the introduction of pre-registration. The first title in Google Play to offer this is Terminator Genisys: Revolution. You can now register your interest in the game and you'll be notified when it is released and is ready for download.

Continue reading

Anonymous Tor Cloud project closes down

Anonymous Tor Cloud project closes down

The Tor browser is used by many to stay anonymous online -- and it's something that has been embraced by the likes of WikiLeaks as a way to safely gather information whilst hopefully avoiding the surveillance of the NSA. One lesser known project from the same stables is the Tor Cloud service, and Tor has announced that it is closing down.

Based on the Amazon EC2 cloud computing platform, Tor Cloud provided a way to share computing resources and allow faster uncensored access to the internet. However, the project is plagued with "at least one major bug ... that makes it completely dysfunctional" and after failing to find anyone to undertake the work, the decision was taken to shutter Tor Cloud. This does not mean that Tor itself is dead -- far from it -- and developers are being encouraged to create their own forked versions of Tor Cloud.

Continue reading

Flickr 4.0 update brings new upload tool and image recognition magic

flickr

It has been a while since Flickr (remember that site?) received an update, but today this changes. Flickr 4.0 is rolling out, and it's a massive update. Headlined by Flickr Camera Roll and Uploadr, the update can be enjoyed not only by Android and iOS users, but also those who stick to the website.

There's a tool that makes it easier to get photos up online but, more importantly, tools that make it easier to browse and edit them. Flickr Camera Roll is mouse and touch-friendly browser, there's a greater focus on sharing, and there's a dusting of magic. Magic View is Flickr's new killer feature that can automatically organize your photo collection for you.

Continue reading

Yes, the NSA did act illegally

nsa_gchq

It has been hard to avoid talk of the NSA over the past year or so -- Edward Snowden's revelations blew the lid off convert surveillance that has been carried out by the US government. It has been a hugely divisive issue, many heralding Snowden as a hero, others as a traitor and has led people to question whether everyday software might include secret backdoors.

Included in the NSA's activities was the mass collection of metadata about phone calls made and receive by American citizens. Today the US court of appeals ruled that this data collection is illegal. With other countries adopting NSA-style surveillance tactics, the ruling opens up the possibility that the NSA could face further legal proceedings and probes.

Continue reading

Android M to be revealed May 28 at Google I/O?

Android M to be revealed May 28 at Google I/O?

Countless Android users are still waiting for Lollipop to roll out to their handsets, but already there is talk of the successor -- Android M. Coming up at the end of this month, Google I/O is a developer conference hosted by the search giant in San Francisco and today the full schedule for the event appeared online.

An event on May 28 with the title Android for Work update is of particular interest as there is a strong hint that details of Android M will be revealed. Although it seems that Google may have let something slip a little early -- the session that refers to the next version of Android has since vanished from the schedule, but the description is interesting nonetheless.

Continue reading

Europe moves to end geo-blocking online content

Europe moves to end geo-blocking online content

While the internet is supposed to be an open-access resource, there is a great deal of content which can only be accessed in certain parts of the world. To comply with licensing rules, broadcasters in particular will often restrict access to their services to specific countries, but in Europe there are plans to bring such geo-blocking to an end.

Described as "a discriminatory practice used for commercial reasons" geo-blocking is derided by the European Commission as little more than a money-making venture. The aim is to create what has been dubbed a Digital Single Market, breaking down barriers and simplifying regulation.

Continue reading

Oculus Rift starts shipping Q1 2016

Oculus Rift starts shipping Q1 2016

There's now less than a year until people will be able to get their hands on Facebook's virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift. Writing on Twitter, Oculus VR's vice president of product Nate Mitchell confirmed that the device will begin shipping in the first quarter of 2016.

The announcement was echoed on the official Oculus Twitter feed as well as in an official blog post. While the launch is slightly later than many people had hoped -- initial plans had the release pegged for some time in the latter half of 2015 -- it brings to an end months of guessing.

Continue reading

France gains sweeping NSA-style surveillance powers

France gains sweeping NSA-style surveillance powers

The French government has voted in favor of greater powers of surveillance, giving it intelligence-gathering capabilities on a par with the NSA. The move came in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack which led to the deaths of 12 people and prompted the Je Suis Charlie support campaign.

The new laws allow for NSA-style mass collection of metadata online as well as setting up the National Commission for Control of Intelligence Techniques (CNCTR) to oversee data collection. It has been criticized by some as being the French equivalent of the Patriot Act and the ruling Socialist Party is accused of prying too far into the private lives of normal people in the name of counter-terrorism.

Continue reading

Microsoft cannot trademark Skype in Europe

skype_logo

It's a name that is, for many people, synonymous with voice and video chats: Skype. But in Europe, Microsoft has just been told that the name of its communication tool cannot be trademarked because it is too similar to that of broadcaster Sky.

Microsoft has previously been forced to rename its cloud storage service SkyDrive to OneDrive, but at the moment there is no suggestion that Skype will have to be renamed. The company has indicated that it intends to appeal against the ruling.

Continue reading

PlayStation Now subscriptions come to PS3 -- Vita to follow

PlayStation 4 users suffer Blue Light of Death -- Sony may have a fix

Sony is bringing its PlayStation Now game streaming feature to PS3 users. It's something that has been available to gamers with a PlayStation 4 since the beginning of the year, but from May 12, it's something that owners of older consoles will be able to take advantage of.

PlayStation Now allows for the streaming of more than 100 PS3 games, and a 7-day free trial is available for anyone who wants to test the waters. With cloud-based game saves it's possible to start a game on one device, and finish it on another, and Sony says there's more to come.

Continue reading

Mark's Latest Tweets

© 1998-2015 BetaNews, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy.