Wayne Williams

The majority of smartphone users have something to hide from their partners

woman texting secretly

Software company IObit commissioned a survey into the personal content stored on smartphones, and found a lot of users have something on their devices they would rather others -- and in particular their partners -- didn’t see.

The survey, which was conducted among 5,000 international smartphone users, revealed some fascinating details, including that 81 percent of people feel SMS messages on their smartphones should be private, and a third of respondents want to actually conceal part of their SMS logs -- especially from their significant others. Of course, it’s not just text messages that users want to hide.

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Will Google Glass ever appeal to a mainstream audience? [Poll]

BearGlass

Google Glass is available to purchase in both the US and UK now, although the high asking price ($1,500/£1,000) will certainly put off many potential buyers, as will the news that if Google decides to make a change to the specs’ specs in the future (as it did this week, doubling the memory to improve performance), existing users will have to pay full price to get their hands on the latest model.

But price and lack of future proofing may not be the wearable’s biggest problems. A friend of mine who tried Glass out said the device made him feel like a futuristic cyborg, but look like a massive geek. And that could be a huge stumbling block. In June, mobile App Performance Management (mAPM) firm Crittercism commissioned an online Harris Poll survey among over 2,000 US adults aged 18+ and found that of those who were interested in wearable technology twice as many (54 percent) said they would opt for a smartwatch rather than computing glasses (26 percent).

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Best iOS apps this week -- Ministry of Silly Walks edition

Ministry_of_Silly_Walks

Twenty-fourth in a series. Apple refreshed its aging iPod touch lineup this week, introducing a new 16GB model with an iSight camera, and lowered the price of the existing models. If you’ve been tempted to pick up an iPod touch, but were put off by the price, now is the time to go for it.

The App Store saw some excellent releases this week, including a free app which lets you store unlimited photos and videos in the cloud, a Ministry of Silly Walks game voiced by John Cleese, a travel app that covers everything from planning to booking, an origami based puzzle game, and a slot machine that lets you put pictures of friends and family on the reels. And that’s just for starters!

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Apple introduces a new 16GB iPod touch with iSight camera

iPodtouch16GB

Last week Apple quietly introduced a new entry-level iMac. This week it’s added a new entry-level iPod touch to the Apple Store, and slashed the price of existing models.

The new iPod touch comes with 16GB of storage, a 5-megapixel, 1080p rear iSight camera and color-matched wrist strap loop. It’s priced at $199. The price of the 32 and 64GB models have been slashed to $249 and $299 from $299 and $399 respectively.

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Google revs up Android Auto, its Apple CarPlay rival

Android Auto

As expected, one of the big new announcements at Google’s I/O conference was Android Auto which takes Google’s mobile operating system into vehicles.

Android Auto runs on your smartphone but the apps and features are mirrored and can be controlled through a touchscreen in the vehicle. The car-specific interface is a simplified version of the forthcoming (and unnamed) Android L release, with larger less distracting 'touch targets'.

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Watch the Google I/O 2014 keynote here

IO

It's a big day for Google as the search giant's annual developer conference kicks off with what promises to be a very exciting keynote.

So what can we expect Google to unveil later today? Well it’s a good bet we’ll be treated to news of Android 5.0 Lollipop (or some other sweet beginning with L -- Liquorice, Lemon Meringue Pie, Lion Bar, or Lifesavers are possibilities too). Hardware that might be announced include a new Nexus 10, the Nexus 8, Google Android Wear watches, Google Project Tango tablets, the modular Project Ara smartphone, the Google Auto Link in-car system, and a set top box to rival Apple TV.

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Time’s up! CryptoLocker ransomware is back in business

Despair

CryptoLocker recently had something of a setback when law enforcement agencies managed to seize control of servers running it and the GameOver Zeus botnet. Britain's National Crime Agency (NCA) declared this would give computer users a unique two week opportunity to secure their systems, which seemed a rather precise claim.

It turns out that prediction wasn’t too far off the mark. Three weeks after that warning, and CryptoLocker is indeed making its return, this time as a standalone threat. The new strain does not rely on 2048-bit RSA encryption nor need a Command and Control server to work.

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Google Glass can help you survive the zombie apocalypse

Return of the Living Dead 4: Necropolis Zombie

Still trying to justify the cost of Google Glass to yourself, or your significant other? The ability to use it to evade zombies and get fit in the process might not be enough to tip the balance, but it’s certainly another tick in the 'for' column.

Immersive fitness app Zombies, Run! has been adapted to work with Google’s wearable. If you’re not familiar with it, the app essentially turns a real-world jog into a journey through the zombie apocalypse. On Android and iOS it’s pretty much an audio-only affair, but the Glass Edition changes that.

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Microsoft launches its first Android smartphone -- the Nokia X2

X2

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC) back in February, Nokia surprised people with a new Android-powered smartphone series. The Nokia X line consists of the X, X+ and XL, with the devices designed to fit somewhere between Nokia's low-end Ashas and high-end Windows Phones. There was speculation that once Microsoft had taken over the Finnish manufacturer's mobile business that this new line would be killed off -- keeping the focus solely on Windows Phone devices -- but that turns out not to be the case.

Today Microsoft announces the Nokia X2, which the tech giant introduces "as the newest addition to the expanding Nokia X family of affordable smartphones designed to introduce the 'next billion' people to the mobile Internet and cloud services". Like the Nokia X, the new device gives users access to both Android apps and popular Microsoft services, like Skype, Outlook.com, and OneDrive.

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One in five businesses are still using Windows XP despite the risks

XP PC

Microsoft ended support for XP two months ago, yet consumers are still proving resistant to change, and many businesses are similarly reluctant to upgrade to a newer version of Windows.

According to security firm Bitdefender, which conducted a three-month global study into the operating system use of small and medium businesses, nearly 19 percent of firms, or almost one in five, are sticking with the aging XP despite security concerns.

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Apple introduces a new entry-level iMac

imac

If you’re in the market for a new Apple computer, but can’t afford a top of the line model, you’ll be pleased to know Apple has today rolled out a new entry-level iMac.

The new system is available now and comes with a 21.5 inch screen, 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of memory, a 500GB hard drive and Intel HD Graphics 5000.

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Avast's new Android app removes ransomware from infected phones and tablets

avast money

Of all the malware threats out there, ransomware is arguably the nastiest. It locks your computer, encrypts your files, and then demands payment to free your data. You can remove it easily enough, but doing so won’t get you your files back. And unfortunately ransomware is beginning to make its way on to Android devices.

Avast has just released a Ransomware Removal app which will eliminate this type of threat from infected Android phones and tablets. It scans your device, tells you if you’re infected and if you are it will remove the malware and (according to Avast) decrypt your hijacked files.

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Best iOS apps this week

Epic

Twenty-third in a series. It will come as absolutely no surprise to anyone that with the World Cup now underway loads of new and improved football/soccer offerings have arrived in the App Store. There are games, so you can practice your (virtual) skills, and apps that let you follow the matches and your team's progress through the tournament. The official FIFA World Cup app is one of the better choices.

Away from football, the App Store saw the release of two long awaited new games -- Angry Birds Epic, a new RPG featuring Rovio's famous characters, and Broken Age, a graphic adventure from legendary game designer Tim Schafer. There's also an app that lets you transform iOS devices into audio speakers, a hotel guide, and a speed reading app, to mention just some of the latest releases.

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Samsung Galaxy Premiere 2014 -- Watch the event here LIVE

main-Samsung-Galaxy-Premiere-2014-Invitation1

Samsung is holding an event at the Theater, Madison Square Garden in New York City later today to (presumably) launch the Galaxy Tab S, and maybe additional devices. The tag line for the event is "Tab into Color".

Our own Brian Fagioli will be there, and will be reporting on all of the announcements made by the South Korean firm, but you can also be part of the event as Samsung will be live streaming proceedings.

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The Internot: Billions of people choose not to go online

Not connected

Google, Facebook and other tech giants are investing in ways to bring Internet access to those far flung parts of the world which are still offline. Creative methods include using balloons, satellites, drones and lasers. Despite this concerted effort, an estimated 4 billion people still don't have access to the Internet.

The Internet Society (ISOC), a global not-for-profit organization founded in 1992, has published its inaugural Global Internet Report in which it charts the spread of the Internet, highlights trends, and illustrates the principles that, it says, "will continue to sustain the growth of the Internet". Importantly it identifies two distinct groups of non-Internet users and reveals the barriers that must be overcome in order for them to gain access.

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