Wayne Williams

Even propped up by Firefox, Yahoo search manages to lose market share

Yahoo_Sunnyvale_daytime

Three months ago Mozilla made the surprising decision to make Yahoo the default search provider in the US version of Firefox, replacing Google, its long standing search partner. The switch had immediate benefits for Yahoo which saw sizable usage gains in the US, going from 8.6 percent share in November 2014 to 10.4 percent in December.

However, anyone who thought this would be the start of a search renaissance for Yahoo is going to be disappointed to hear that in February Marissa Mayer’s firm went into reverse and lost share.

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Watch Microsoft's Mobile World Congress 2015 press conference here live

Does a deleted Microsoft blog post show it's about to buy mobile email firm Acompli?

As you’ll already know, the 2015 Mobile World Congress (MWC) is going on right now, and most of the big players are announcing and launching new handsets. Samsung and HTC have announced new versions of popular phones, and Microsoft (in the form of Stephen Elop, Julia White and Neil Broadley) is set to take to the stage imminently.

Thanks to a premature news posting on Sunday we already know some of what to expect. A headline that made its way into feeds tells us the tech giant will be revealing the Lumia 640 and 640 XL, devices which, the company says, will keep "you prepared for anything".

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Windows 8.x still nowhere near as popular as Windows XP

New Windows shrug

It’s fair to say, Windows 8.x has enjoyed something of a rollercoaster ride when it comes to usage share. While it’s never been a popular operating system (quite the opposite in fact), share has gone up and down, with gains one month being wiped out by losses the following month.

NetMarketShare’s monthly usage share figures provide a decent guide as to how Microsoft’s tiled OS is doing, and it’s usually pretty interesting, although February was a fairly unexciting month.

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Happy 3rd birthday Raspberry Pi!

3rd birthday

Raspberry Pi celebrates its third birthday today. Well actually it doesn’t, as the super-affordable ARM GNU/Linux computer was launched on February 29 2012, in what was (obviously) a leap year, but it’s close enough.

In that time the Raspberry Pi has achieved staggering success. Two months ago it was revealed total sales had surpassed 5 million (and the Raspberry Pi Foundation says another half a million have been sold in this month alone), with new and updated models launched in the past year.

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Xbox One selling badly in China

China red xbox

It was big news last year when Microsoft announced that it would officially start selling the Xbox One in China. The original September launch date came and went ("Despite strong and steady progress, we are going to need a bit more time to deliver the best experiences possible for our fans in China"), but eventually the next gen console made it on sale.

Although China gave the green-light for the sale of 5 million Xbox units, actual sales have been way, way below that. Launch numbers (including pre-orders) were just 100,000 units, and the company responsible for Xbox One sales in China has posted huge losses.

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One in three of the world's population now owns a smartphone

smartphones

Although smartphones are commonplace in the developed world, there are still plenty of people who don’t yet own one, and they are still far rarer in developing nations.

However, smartphone growth is on the up, and according to the latest findings from Strategy Analytics’ WSS (Smartphones) research service, the number of global smartphone users reached 2 billion in 2014.

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Google will allow sexual content on Blogger after all

threesome

Three days ago Google announced that any Blogger blog found to contain nudity or explicit content would be converted into a private blog that only the owner could see.

Unsurprisingly, this move wasn't well received by the Blogger community, and today Google has backtracked.

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Yet more aggressive Android adware found on Google Play

mobile malware

Google Play is supposed to be the safe place to download Android apps from, but that’s increasingly not the case. Three weeks ago security firm Avast detailed how it had found three popular Android apps riddled with Adware in Google’s store.

Today Bitdefender reports that it has found ten Google Play apps that are packed with aggressive adware that can do all sorts of nasty things.

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You can now download Windows 7 ISOs directly from Microsoft -- here's how

Windows 7-Start-Button

Can’t find your Windows 7 disc but need it to do a fresh install or run a copy of Windows in a virtualized environment? The obvious solution is to download a copy of the operating system in ISO format.

Oddly though, Microsoft has avoided offering Windows 7 ISOs for download -- the only solution previously was to grab a copy from Digital River, Microsoft’s official content delivery partner for Windows 7. That’s all changed now though, as a new Microsoft Software Recovery center lets you download Windows 7 directly from the software giant itself.

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Seagate Wireless: Portable mobile storage that can stream media to up to three devices at once [Review]

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Unless you and your family are into just the one tech manufacturer -- Apple say -- the chances are you will have various devices running different operating systems. In my home, for example, there are three Windows PCs, two Android phones, two Android tablets, an iPad and an iPhone. All of which have media -- photos, videos, music -- stored on them.

There are various ways to make all of this content accessible across the different devices, but Seagate Wireless from Ebuyer is a simple, yet powerful solution. It’s a portable, battery powered 500GB drive with a built-in wireless network that can stream content to up to three smartphones, tablets and laptops simultaneously.

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Dropbox users can get 100GB free bonus storage on OneDrive -- here's how

dropbox 100GB

Earlier today my colleague Mihaita Bamburic explained how to get 100 GB of free OneDrive storage courtesy of Bing Rewards. It’s a great offer, available worldwide, and all you have to do is click a single link to claim your bonus storage.

Of course you can never have too much cloud storage, and the great news is Microsoft is giving away another 100 GB free, this time to Dropbox users (sign up for a free account if you don’t already have one). Make use of both free offers and boom, that’s 200 GB of free additional storage claimed in under five minutes.

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Happy birthday Photoshop -- 25 years old today!

25 years

These days there are a lot of image editors to choose from, and they run on computers, the web, smartphones and tablets. Whatever your price range you’ll find one to suit. For me, however, there’s really only one photo editor, and that’s Photoshop. I’ve been relying on it for work and home image editing for a good 15 years (probably longer) and while I’ve used other rival packages, I always end up returning to Adobe’s powerful suite.

As an example, for the past few weeks I’ve been scanning in hundreds of old photos, slides and negatives. Removing dust, scratches and other flaws and rebuilding missing areas in all those has only been manageable thanks to brilliant time-saving Photoshop innovations like layers, the healing brush and content aware fill. Photoshop is, without question, my favorite program -- bar none.

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Don't go to RedTube without protection -- the adult site could give you a nasty infection [updated]

redtube condom

Yesterday I reported how Jamie Oliver’s website was serving up malware to unsuspecting visitors. It was a problem that was quickly fixed, but a worrying one seeing as the website has over 10 million visitors a month.

Now today, Malwarebytes -- which first discovered the Jamie Oliver exploit -- reports another compromised site that’s even more popular. Adult website RedTube.com sees over 300 million visits a month (some shorter than others), and currently has a malicious iframe in its source code.

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40 percent more PlayStation 4s in use than Xbox Ones by 2019

PS4

Over the holiday buying season, Microsoft managed to sell more Xbox One consoles in the US and UK than Sony sold PlayStation 4s, but globally Sony's console retains a healthy lead. Both companies like to lump together the current and previous generations of console, which makes comparing the Xbox One and PS4's sales tricky, but provides us with a general overview. During the holiday season, Microsoft sold 6.6 million Xbox consoles (360 and One) worldwide, while Sony sold 7.5 million PlayStations (PS4 and PS3). In 2014, Sony was the clear leader, having sold 18.8 million PlayStations, while Microsoft managed just 12.1 million Xboxes.

Obviously there’s still a long way to go, and a lot to play for in the latest round of the console wars and anything could happen in the next four or five years. Windows 10 could give the Xbox One a huge boost, and a run of great Xbox exclusive games could make a big difference too. However, the latest forecast from Strategy Analytics doesn’t see things improving for Microsoft in the coming years -- quite the opposite in fact.

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Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver serves up an unpleasant malware surprise

JamieOliver2

Most web-based threats come from malicious adverts placed on websites (aka malvertising), but Malwarebytes has discovered a well hidden malicious injection on the official website of Jamie Oliver which redirects unsuspecting visitors to an exploit kit.

The compromised site -- www.jamieoliver.com -- is currently ranked 519 in the UK (5,280 in the world), according to Alexa, with around 10 million visitors a month, which makes it a valuable target for hackers.

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