Wayne Williams

Best iOS apps this week


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


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

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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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CCleaner for Android now available

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It’s been well over a year since Piriform first announced plans to bring CCleaner to Android. At the time the company suggested the release would be "soon" but it took until April this year for the first Beta version to be made available.

Tens of thousands of users signed up to test the app, and Piriform has added some additional features along the way. Today, the company finally announces the full version is now available on Google Play, and as you’d expect from Piriform, it's totally free and without ads.

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Microsoft patches Windows 8.x but leaves Windows 7 vulnerable, according to researchers

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Around 50 percent of PC users are on Windows 7, while just 12 percent are running Windows 8.x, yet Microsoft is leaving the more popular OS vulnerable to zero day attacks by choosing to only patch the newest Windows version. That’s the findings of two security researchers who built a tool to compare 900 libraries in Windows 8 with their Windows 7 counterparts.

"If Microsoft added a safe function in Windows 8, why does it not exist in Windows 7? The answer is simple, it’s money -- Microsoft does not want to waste development time on older operating systems. They want people to move to higher operating systems," security researcher Moti Joseph claimed in a presentation at the Troopers14 conference in Heidelberg, Germany.

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Watch Sony's PlayStation 4 E3 2014 press conference here


If you’re a fan of the Xbox One, you’ll be able to see what Microsoft has planned for its console later in the year by tuning into the tech giant’s E3 media briefing later on today. That kicks off at 9:30am PDT/5.30pm BST.

If, however, you’re more excited by Sony’s PlayStation 4, you’ll be pleased to know you can watch that press conference instead. Or, if you’re just a fan of games, irrespective of platform, you can tune into both.

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Kloqe -- a stylish all-aluminum case for iPhone [Review]

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If you’d have asked me a week ago if I wanted a new case for my iPhone 5s, I’d have said no. I already own two cases -- an official Apple one in black, and a photo case with a picture of my daughter on. Both serve my needs perfectly. Another case? No thanks, no need.

A week later, and my view has changed completely. I have a third case, a Kloqe, and it’s the only one I’m likely to ever want or use. Kloqe is an all-aluminum affair that doesn’t interfere with phone reception, and comes in the same range of colors as the iPhone -- black, white, gray and champagne/gold. You can choose the one that matches your phone or go for something different.

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Watch Microsoft’s Xbox One E3 2014 press conference here


This year’s E3 is about to start, and all the big gaming companies are set to show what we can expect to see from them in the coming year.

Microsoft will be hoping to use this year’s gaming event to get people excited about Xbox One which, so far, has been roundly trounced by its big rival, Sony’s PlayStation 4. Microsoft recently announced it would be selling its console without the Kinect, in a bid to lower prices, and hopefully improve sales.

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Best iOS apps this week


Twenty-second in a series. It was Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) this week and as expected the company took the wraps off OS X 10.10 ('Yosemite') and iOS 8.

New features in the next iteration of the mobile OS include interactive notifications, HealthKit, Family Sharing, improved chatting, a better keyboard, and iCloud Drive. It will be released sometime in the fall.

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Surface Pro 3 is the tablet that can replace your laptop -- if you ignore the small print

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There’s no question that Surface Pro 3 is a nice piece of kit. My colleague Brian Fagioli loves his, and says it at last puts Microsoft ahead of the competition. It’s expensive though, and a lot of people will struggle to justify the cost.

With previous iterations, Microsoft pitched its slate against the iPad, but with this latest version the tech giant has decided to take a different tack -- positioning it instead as a laptop replacement.

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China brands Windows 8 a threat to its national security


It’s fair to say China isn’t a fan of Windows 8. A few weeks ago, the tiled OS was banned from Chinese government computers, as part of a notice on the use of energy-saving products (if this sounds a bit vague, that’s because the reason given is).

Then, if that wasn’t bad enough news for Microsoft, a state-backed news report broadcast on China's CCTV has really put the boot in, branding the operating system a threat to China's cybersecurity, and suggesting it is being used to spy on Chinese citizens.

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Google releases Street View imagery of all 12 World Cup stadiums -- and beyond


The world's biggest football tournament (or soccer, for Americans) is just a week away. This time around the World Cup takes place in Brazil, and unless you live there, or are a massive fan, the chances are you won’t be making the trek to watch the games live.

Fortunately, you’ll be able to watch as much of the event as you like on TV or over the web, and in advance of events kicking off, Google Maps has made it possible to explore all 12 stadiums in Street View.

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Microsoft reveals impressive user numbers for everything (except Windows 8.x)

Businessman Growth Increase Bars Bar

Today, during a keynote address at Computex in Taipei, Tony Prophet, corporate vice president of Windows Marketing, discussed recent Windows developments including Windows with Bing, relaxed certification requirements, Windows 8.1 Update, Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows universal apps.

He also talked about the value of Microsoft cloud services across devices, and revealed some hugely impressive numbers relating to everything from Office 365, One Drive and Skype to Xbox Live and Bing.

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XP users feel no great rush to upgrade


If Microsoft expected XP users to desert the aging OS once support officially came to an end, the tech giant will no doubt have been sorely disappointed. Although XP’s market share has fallen in the two months since it reached end of life, the 13 year old operating system remains hugely popular.

According to Net Applications, from March to May, XP lost just 2.42 percent market share, and is still to be found on over a quarter of all Windows systems. Windows 7 gained 1.29 percent in the same time period, to break the 50 percent barrier, and Windows 8.x increased its share by 1.34 percent for a not so grand total of 12.64 percent. Statista has put together a little graph showing how little end of support has changed XP’s popularity.

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Symantec's cloud storage experiment fails completely -- Norton Zone set to close


While there’s certainly no shortage of cloud storage solutions to choose from, Norton Zone’s appeal -- on paper at least -- is the security it offers users. Content is encrypted when uploaded and stored in Symantec’s own secure data center, and the service automatically scans files for malware before they can be downloaded. As is fairly typical, you get 5GB of storage for free.

Or rather you did. Symantec has made the decision to discontinue Norton Zone and wind down support of the service over the next 30 to 60 days.

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