Wayne Williams

Google announces a new ASUS-built OnHub Wi-Fi router with Wave Control


When Google announced its first OnHub wireless router, my colleague Brian Fagioli had one question -- why? The answer, according to Joe Wilcox’s excellent review, is it gives great Wi-Fi and is, in a word, "fantastic". High praise indeed.

The TP-LINK-built OnHub was always intended to be the first in a series of easy to use wireless routers from Google, and today the second device arrives, this time coming from ASUS.

Continue reading

Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book go on sale today -- will you buy one?


Surface Pro 4, the latest generation of Microsoft’s popular Windows slate, and Surface Book, the company’s brand new high-end laptop, both go on sale today -- provided you live in the US or Canada. If you live elsewhere you’ll have to wait until November.

Pre-orders have reportedly been brisk, with both devices going in and out of stock. Microsoft says the initial reaction to Surface Book and early pre-order activity has exceeded its expectations, so it’s likely to have limited quantities in store today.

Continue reading

How to fix Windows 10's worst problems -- Part 2


Let’s be honest here, Windows 10 was released a little prematurely. There are inconsistencies throughout, Microsoft Edge is an unfinished mess, and then there are the bugs…

Microsoft has been issuing updates on a fairly regular basis to try and fix various problems with the operating system, but we know from the enduring popularity of troubleshooting articles we’ve published previously, that there are plenty of Windows 10 users who are still having problems with the new OS. With that in mind, here are some more solutions to common problems.

Continue reading

Giveaway: Get 6 months of ransomware protection for free with Bitdefender Internet Security 2016

Bitdefender Internet Security 2016

Bitdefender Internet Security 2016 was only released recently but it’s already received multiple awards, such as Product of the Year (AV-Comparatives), Editor’s Choice (PC Magazine), and Best Protection for four years straight (AV-Test).

The software usually retails for $51.97, but why pay when you can get it for free?

Continue reading

How business process outsourcing is evolving to a tech-enabled model driven by robotics [Q&A]


Service-based businesses, like those in healthcare, insurance, commercial real estate and financial services, among others, need to focus on growth and delivering quality customer service. However, back-end financial processes -- from billing and collections to vendor selection and accounting -- are also critical to business health. Firms face challenges in handling these tasks in an efficient, profitable manner. Too often, firms drain internal resources handling activity that doesn’t generate revenue (and in which they don’t specialize). The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) market combines domain expertise in various fields with the resources and technology capabilities to assess and improve processes.

Xchanging is a business technology and services provider which focuses on delivering technology-enabled process services across finance and accounting, CRM and customer administration, and analytics. I spoke with Sean Allen, Xchanging's Vice President for Business Process Services, about how the BPO market is changing, and the new technology-based elements that are beginning to be incorporated.

Continue reading

Great Scott! Microsoft celebrates Back to the Future day with a cool hidden Easter egg

Marty and Doc

Today, as you’ll no doubt be aware, is the day that Marty McFly travels to in Back to the Future II. We might not have proper (fully working) hover boards, flying cars or pizza hydrators in this version of 2015, but we do have a lot of technology that would have seemed very futuristic to someone visiting from the 1980s.

Microsoft believes that the future is precisely on schedule and is celebrating Back to the Future day with a cool Easter egg on its website. Here’s how to find it.

Continue reading

Privacy and usability problems with the iPhone 6s? You’re using it wrong

face-palm-head-in-hands-embarassed cropped

Over the past couple of days I’ve read two interesting iPhone 6s stories from my colleagues. Brian Fagioli says Apple’s Live Photos has a big privacy issue, while Joe Wilcox says the way the Nexus 6P’s fingerprint scanner works is superior to that of the Touch ID scanner on the iPhone 6s.

With respect to both writers, they are wrong. The problems they refer to with the iPhone 6s aren’t problems of Apple’s making, they are user errors, pure and simple.

Continue reading

Predictive Analytics and Customer Intelligence: The benefits and challenges facing organizations today [Q&A]


The level of accuracy in predictive analytics relies heavily on the quality of data. However, it is often overlooked that the quality of data relies on an organization’s ability to seamlessly integrate with the various systems that collect unique customer data, as well as the ability to analyze the data in context. Predictive analytics can come up short if the data remains in silos across the organization (the web team sees website analytics, loyalty teams see membership levels, marketing team sees email conversions, etc.).

I spoke to Dominik Dahlem, Senior Data Scientist at Boxever -- a customer intelligence and predictive marketing company for airlines and travel retailers -- about the past, present, and future of predictive analytics.

Continue reading

Microsoft releases ISOs of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565


Microsoft pushed out Build 10565 to Windows Insiders on the Fast ring three days ago. This preview includes Skype integration, Microsoft Edge improvements, Cortana enhancements, some new icons, and support for nested virtualization. It also introduces a change to the way the activation process works -- you can now activate Windows 10 using a Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1 product key.

New Fast ring preview builds can usually only be obtained through Windows Update, but Microsoft has today taken the unusual step of making Build 10565 available to download as an ISO to allow Windows Insiders to try out the new activation paths.

Continue reading

iPhone 6s users can now share Live Photos as animated GIFs


Live Photos is one of the big new features available in Apple’s latest iPhones. As a quick refresher, these are a cross between a photo and a video -- 1.5 seconds of footage is recorded before and after the shot is taken, and when you press down hard on a Live Photo, using 3D Touch, it plays.

There is one big problem with Live Photos though, and that’s while you and other iOS 9 and Mac OS X El Capitan users can enjoy them in all their animated glory, share one with users on other platforms -- Windows or Android, for example -- and all the recipient will see is the standard still image. Where's the fun in that? Thankfully, Live Photos can now be shared as animated GIFs. Here’s how.

Continue reading

USB Killer can fry any computer in seconds -- watch it in action

USB Killer

Just as sharing floppy disks in the 1990s carried the risk of infecting your PC with a virus, so sharing USB flash drives carries the same risk today. Fortunately you can easily protect against that kind of threat by disabling autorun and also installing a decent anti-virus program.

However, a Russian security expert has created a new, far more dangerous USB stick, which doesn’t carry a virus, but rather a deadly charge of power which can fry any device with a USB port in a matter of seconds.

Continue reading

iPhone 6s: Touching the future [Review]

iPhone 6s front

I could have reviewed Apple’s new iPhone as soon as it came out, but I preferred to wait until I’d spent a decent amount of time with the device. My initial thoughts weren’t all that favorable, thanks to a bug that affected the mobile data feature, but Apple thankfully corrected this problem fairly swiftly and that’s the only major fault I’ve encountered to date.

Apple says with the iPhone 6s, "the only thing that's changed is everything", but that’s a bit of an exaggeration seeing as the phone looks pretty much identical to its predecessor, and sports the same 4.7-inch 750x1,334 screen (326 ppi).

Continue reading

Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 10565 arrives on the Fast ring, includes Skype integration, Edge improvements

Windows 10

If you’re a Windows Insider on the Fast ring, Microsoft has a new Windows 10 preview build for you to try. Build 10565 has quite a lot of changes and new features, including integrated Skype messaging, calling and video, tab preview in Microsoft Edge, some new icons, and Cortana enhancements.

There are also improved context menus on Start, more vibrant title bars, and the ability to sync favorites and reading list items in Edge. A lot of annoying problems have been fixed in this build too.

Continue reading

How to find out if your iPhone 6s has a 'good' or a 'bad' chip

Apple iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

As you may have read, there are two different versions of the A9 processor powering Apple’s new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. One chip is made by Samsung (fractionally smaller), and the other by TSMC.

Apple says there’s no real difference between the processors (it used two different manufacturers to avoid supply issues), but it’s reported that devices with the TSMC processor run cooler and can give users up to 2 hours of additional battery life. There’s no way of knowing which processor your iPhone has simply by looking at it, but there is a simple trick you can use to find out what’s inside.

Continue reading

Panic over: iOS adblockers fail to trigger the 'adblockolypse'


For a company that doesn’t rely on advertising to make its money, Apple was never going to lose anything by allowing adblockers into the App Store unlike, say, Google.

Still, the recent move has certainly proved divisive. On one hand, websites that rely on advertising to survive have been bracing themselves for a loss of revenue, while many iPhone users have welcomed the change. Web pages reportedly load quicker in Safari without adverts, and if you’re on a capped mobile data plan you’ll benefit from the savings created by not downloading ads. The big question was always whether the move would impact advertisers in any meaningful way, and the early indications are that it has certainly made a difference, although it’s far from the "adblockolypse" many predicted.

Continue reading

Wayne's Latest Tweets

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