Wayne Williams

How to access Windows 8.x emoji on a desktop PC

emoji

The touch screen keyboard available on Windows 8.x tablets -- like Microsoft Surface, for example -- gives you access to a wealth of emoji you can use in chats, emails, comments and so on. As well as the usual smileys, there are hand signs, hearts, cartoon characters, vehicles, weather symbols, and many more to pick from. Just select the character set you want at the bottom of the keyboard.

If you’re not using a touch screen device, but still want to access these characters you can.

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Formula One websites do battle once more during the Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungarian F1

Last week web performance specialist Keynote monitored and compared 11 Formula One constructor team web pages during the German Grand Prix to see how they fared under pressure. The results made for interesting reading.

The Hungarian Grand Prix, staged a couple of days ago, was a classic race, packed with excitement, and topped with a surprise win by Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo. Keynote monitored the same F1 websites again to see how they did second time around, and as you might expect changing race fortunes did have a noticeable impact on site performance.

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SlimClip -- a minimal iPhone case with clip-on functionality [Review]

slimclip

When I go for runs, my iPhone always comes with me, providing music and motivation through apps like Zombies, Run! Usually I just jam the device in my pocket, but that's not always possible, or practical. There are other ways to carry your phone with you, including using armbands, but SlimClip offers an alternative option.

The plastic case has a thin flap on the back. You lift this up to slide the iPhone into the enclosure, and the flap doubles as a clip so you can attach the device to your waistband. It's a simple, but very clever idea that works well.

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Xbox One now available for pre-order in China

China red xbox

On Friday, China Telecom, the country's third biggest telecommunications company, said it would start selling the Xbox One in China from September, although no pricing details were revealed.

Today JD.com Inc, China's second largest e-commerce company (by market share), confirmed it has started to accept pre-orders for the games console.

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Seven teenage tech entrepreneurs who made millions before they turned 21

ShakeMoney

If you’re a tech entrepreneur, or want to be, the good news is there’s still plenty of money to be made if you have a great idea, and can attract the right audience and/or investors.

According to the Kauffman Foundation, the average age of first-time tech entrepreneurs is 39 but really there’s no age limit -- they can be much older, or much, much younger. In fact plenty of teens have managed to make it big with nothing more than a great idea and the willingness to pursue it.

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The technology I'm using this summer [Wayne]

ipad summer

My colleague Alan Buckingham has already detailed the different hardware he switches to when the weather warms up. He makes his changes to escape his hot office environment, but I have a rather different reason for swapping devices in the summer.

I work in a basement office. It’s a very nice basement office -- it used to be a call center in the days before I moved in -- but the temperature rarely changes throughout the year down there and the lack of windows means the different seasons have very little impact on me. I’m unaware of when it’s snowing in winter, or more importantly, when it’s gloriously sunny in summer. So on days when I know the weather is nice, I move outside, so I don’t miss the sunshine, and get a welcome (and much needed) dose of vitamin D.

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Mobile phone etiquette around the world

brazil

People in other countries handle everyday situations in different ways, and that can make life difficult for the traveler. What might be seen as a polite action or way of behaving in one country could well be insulting in another, and it's not just customs or beliefs to be aware of.

Every nation has its own idea of what constitutes proper cell phone etiquette. In countries like the USA and UK, we know it’s not polite to do things like talk loudly on your phone in a public place, or answer a call during a movie or in a business meeting -- even if not everyone obeys these unwritten guidelines. Elsewhere around the globe, there are other rules when it comes to how and when to use the phone.

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Happy first birthday, Chromecast!

Chromecast birthday

It seems hard to believe, but Google’s excellent HDMI dongle celebrates its first birthday today. As I’m in the UK, I wasn’t able to get hold of one from the start (even if I had, many of its features wouldn’t have been available to me due to location) but I own one now, and love it.

When my colleague Brian Fagioli reviewed the Chromecast shortly after launch, he called it "greatness in its infancy", meaning the potential was there, but it was limited, thanks mostly to the lack of Chromecast-compatible apps and services. But what a difference a year makes. There are now hundreds of apps on Chromecast, including HBO Go, ESPN, Songza and more, and Google says there are 6,000+ developers actively working on more than 10,000 Google Cast apps across Android, iOS and Chrome. You can browse the full list of available apps here.

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Microsoft anti-malware support for Windows XP is counting down...

skull

Microsoft stopped supporting Windows XP on April 8, which means the aging operating system no longer receives security updates and non-security hotfixes, potentially putting die-hard users at serious risk.

Although XP is no longer eligible to receive security updates, Microsoft is, however, still providing users with updates to its anti-malware signatures and engine, and will continue to do so until July 14, 2015.

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Want to launch your own DDoS attacks on a website? $200 will get you everything you need

malware kits

Cybercriminals don’t have to make their own malware these days, they can simply purchase ready-made kits. They don’t need to take out a bank loan to do so either -- malware is more affordable than you might think.

Trustwave’s security researchers did a little digging and found that depending on the type, malware can cost as little as two hundred dollars on the black market, and the tools on offer are pretty sophisticated too. Got your wallet ready? Here’s a price list of just some of the currently available malware:

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Internet Explorer vulnerabilities have increased more than 100 percent since 2013

Patched IE

Bromium Labs today issued its "Endpoint Exploitation Trends" report that shows Internet Explorer set a record high for reported vulnerabilities in the first half of 2014, and also leads in publicly reported exploits.

According to Bromium, "Internet Explorer took the cap for historic high number of security patches in over a decade, and that feat was accomplished in the first six months of 2014!" It's not all bad news for users of Internet Explorer though. While the browser was easily the most exploited tool, Microsoft has been reacting much quicker to plug vulnerabilities. The company took more than 90 days to release its first patch for IE9, yet IE11’s first critical patch emerged just five days after the new browser was generally available.

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Microsoft confirms it was working on Surface Mini

5 reasons to choose Surface 2 over iPad Air

It stopped short of actually naming the device, however Microsoft has admitted it was planning to add a second new Surface to its line-up.

Although leaks and rumors are usually best viewed with a heavy dose of skepticism, when they are as insistent as the talk regarding Surface Mini was, it’s safe to assume there’s at least some fire under all that smoke. We were fully expecting to see a seven inch version of the tech giant’s slate rolled out alongside Surface Pro 3, but there was no sign at all of it at the New York launch event two months ago. So what happened?

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Help fund a solar-powered Raspberry Pi school

RaspberryPi

The Raspberry Pi Foundation’s Eben Upton was inspired to create his bare-bones credit-card sized computer after noticing a decline in the number of children learning to code. He wanted to create a cheap computer designed to be programmed, much like the BBC Micro, which was hugely popular in UK schools back in the 1980s.

Although the Raspberry Pi has since found a massive audience outside of schools, it’s still an educational tool at heart, and its low cost and energy efficiency make it ideal for introducing computers into rural schools in developing nations.

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New Windows 9 screenshots show Start menu and windowed apps

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Windows 9 hasn’t been officially announced yet (we don’t even know if that will be its name) but already we’re starting to see screenshots purportedly showing off the feature that is set to get most, if not all of the attention -- the restored Start menu.

Myce.com managed to get hold of two new screenshots -- one showing off the new menu, and the other providing an example of windowed apps. They were taken from build 9795, which was compiled on July 13 (the calendar says both shots were taken a day later).

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Ferrari beats Mercedes at the German Grand Prix -- in the battle of the F1 team websites at least

F1

Sports fans are increasingly demanding a multi-channel experience, wanting all the news and all the facts on multiple devices. Website owners can’t afford to ignore this, as creating a superior user experience to that offered by rivals can mean a competitive advantage in terms of user happiness and, ultimately, website traffic.

Mobile, cloud and web performance specialist Keynote believes that not enough sites consider online performance during high-profile sporting events, and so decided to monitor and compare the performance of 11 popular Formula One constructor team web pages -- including Caterham, Ferrari, Force India, Lotus, Marussia, McLaren, Mercedes, Red Bull, Sauber, STR and Williams -- during the German Grand Prix (19-20 July). The results make for interesting reading.

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