BetaNews Staff

Google Glass: The pinnacle of wearable technology? [Review]

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Begin a sentence with the phrase "most anticipated gadget ever" and tradition dictates the words "Google" and "Glass" must follow shortly after.

Unceremoniously launched into public consciousness from a plane hovering over Google I/O, Google Glass has been one of the hottest topics in tech since 2012. Two years on and the smart specs are still the gadget every technical guru desires; to some it's "an overwrought headband", to others it's the wearable future of modern technology.

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Big data is transforming every industry, from health and education, to farming and energy

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Big data is already making a big impact all over the world. Large corporations, world organizations, and governments have hopped aboard the big data bandwagon, hoping to utilize new sources of data to improve operations and increase productivity among many other reasons.

It's easy to see from the latest technology news how such massive organizations can benefit from big data considering their available resources and history of using the technology. Finding ways big data is impacting life outside of large, urban areas may seem a little more difficult.

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Microsoft’s Sharks Cove is a Raspberry Pi-style mini-PC with Windows 8.1

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Microsoft is entering the development board market made famous by Raspberry Pi and Arduino.

The firm is collaborating with Intel and hardware manufacturer CircuitCo to develop the $300 board, called Sharks Cove. Available now for pre-order, the project is described as a "development board that you can use to develop hardware and drivers for Windows and Android".

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In Europe, Apple and Samsung are losing ground to 'home-grown' mobile makers

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A few years ago it would have been unthinkable, but whispers that Apple and Samsung are losing their stranglehold on the market are growing louder.

It all stems from the fact that customers are becoming increasingly frustrated at the mobile market mono-culture. In the West especially, we've developed a sort of smartphone East Anglia: hedgeless, featureless and planted as far as the eye can see. This is the Samsung strimmer, the Apple Inc. lawnmower, cutting all other competition out of the market.

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Rival smartphone makers are no longer afraid of Apple

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There was a time when Apple was the undisputed king of mobile. Since the release of the first iPhone in a barnstorming speech by Steve Jobs, the company went from strength to strength, dropping better models every year, and absolutely dominating the high-end mobile market.

Apple sold out of the launch shipments of the brand-new iPhone 5s in under two days, and sales of the iPhone have maintained Apple's profits despite a recent drop in iPad sales. But since Steve Jobs' death, Apple's competitors have been getting bolder. With the launch of the upcoming iPhone 6 coming in September, a number of high profile rivals have been snapping at Apple's heels with aggressive marketing, attack ads and a general lack of respect for the venerable giant of mobile technology. Here are a couple of hints that Apple's competitors are sensing a weakening of the giant.

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No BYOD policy? Now is the time to prioritize user-oriented IT

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Halfway through 2014 and the use of personal devices in the workplace is very much common practice across most workforces in the US and UK. However, whilst many people are still talking about the effect the "bring your own device" policies (BYOD) are having on staff productivity, the cost-saving discussions have remained on the side-lines.

According to recent research, having the latest consumer device to use in the boardroom or replacing a notepad for a tablet is proving to be so popular with employees that 39 percent not only purchase their own device for work purposes but also spend more of their own money on devices than on tea and coffee.

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Tech startups working to protect your privacy

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Addressing the Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference over the weekend of 18 July, Edward Snowden entreated hackers, engineers and activists to fight surveillance by building a new generation of privacy tools for everyone to use. In fact, privacy startups are already hard at work building tools to help web users protect their privacy in areas such as analytics, encryption and search.

However, there is still much work to do to put these tools into the hands of the ordinary web user.

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Russia offers a $112,000 bounty to anyone who can crack Tor

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Russia's government has issued a 4 million rubles (about $112,000) bounty to anyone who cracks the Tor anonymity network's encryption protocols.

Tor, which began as a secret project from the US Naval Research Laboratory, works by piling up layers of encryption over data, nested like the layers of an onion, which gave the network its original name, The Onion Router (TOR).

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The trick to making a great 'mobile first' app

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There are now more than one million apps in the Apple app store but a study by Deloitte's showed that 80 percent of apps get less than 1,000 downloads each. If we assume (very, very conservatively) that those apps cost an average of $10,000 to develop -- that is at least $8 billion being wasted making apps no one uses.

In reality, the cost is often over $100,000, which makes the wastage around $80 billion. That is a lot of marketing and development dollars being spent that could have been better used on something else.

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BlackBerry: Apple and IBM partnership is like 'two elephants dancing'

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BlackBerry isn’t losing any sleep over the recent enterprise tie-up between IBM and Apple as their CEO John Chen compared it to a couple of large mammals taking to the dance floor.

Chen, talking to the Financial Times, likened the partnership to when "two elephants start dancing" and thinks that the firm he is slowly rebuilding has enough in the bag to compete with anyone that challenges it in the enterprise market.

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How network convergence can improve the mobile experience

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Network convergence has been defined as the integration of voice, video and data in a single network. This convergence allowed enterprises to deliver more, and even better services, at a much lower cost to customers. While network convergence has evolved over the years to include teleconferencing, streaming media, and HD video, the latest addition to network convergence is mobility and this includes smartphones, tablets, laptops or any other wireless capable device.

For an enterprise to leverage the advantages of mobility, such as increased employee satisfaction, improved productivity and overall agility, the network should be capable of providing a hassle-free and seamless user experience. Here are a few key things that network admins need to keep in mind when deciding to bring mobility into the enterprise mix.

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Information retrieval requests put a major strain on IT departments

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Time consuming data retrieval requests are putting a big strain on IT teams, at least according to a new piece of research.

Iron Mountain (a storage and data management outfit) conducted the study, and spoke to a number of senior IT bods across Europe (including the UK) to get their opinions on exactly what weight big data was putting on their shoulders these days.

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Top 10 cyber security tips

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High profile hacking incidents continue to make headlines around the world. The Target data breach that compromised 40 million customer accounts is still reverberating around the retail universe, and earlier this month a hacker organization targeted CNET, the popular technology and consumer electronics site. The group claims it obtained over a million usernames, passwords and email addresses.

If you run a business and have valuable customer data to protect or even if you just enjoy visiting sites online and shopping at ecommerce hubs and want to keep your personal information safe, you may worry about hacker attacks. But there are steps you can take to reduce the risk. Here are 10 ways to keep your personal or business information safer.

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Data is like currency and should be treated as such

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Cyber security woes continue to burden the minds of organizations of all sizes. This has been further exemplified by the announcement from C5 Capital to launch the first cyber security-focused venture capital fund in Europe, as concerns about leaks and digital technology securities grow.

The London-based firm is looking to raise $125 million  to invest in security and data companies Europe, and highlights that the cyber security threat has certainly become a boardroom issue. Even previously well protected and "secure" industries such as the public sector have realized that they must take extra steps in order to secure their data.

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Mobile ad success helps Facebook deliver stunning Q2 results

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Facebook has smashed all estimates in its earnings and revenue report this week, largely thanks to its robust mobile ad business.

The results slapped down any niggling doubts among critics about the social network's ability to transform itself from a simple communication website to a money-making juggernaut.

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