Microsoft just released the second major iteration of its Blink Windows Phone 8 app which now introduces GIF (the pronunciation is still open for debate) support, new features and improved functionality.
The app, which is built by Microsoft Research (the software giant's research arm), allows users to take advantage of its burst shot feature to combine multiple pictures (the number is user-selectable) into a GIF image. The GIF can be viewed directly after creating it and can be shared via email and three social networks -- Facebook, Microsoft's Socl and Twitter. (It's time to test this with the help of your pet and post the results, for posterity's sake of course.)
Symantec has updated its suite of Windows security products with the release of Norton Antivirus 2013 v20.4, Norton Internet Security 2013 v20.4 and Norton 360 2013 v20.4. Version 20.4 is primarily a bug-fix release, with some notable fixes, but also tweaks the user interface.
One visible change for users who also have Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free installed as additional protection is a fix that prevents Norton from blocking or flagging up MBAM as incompatible.
Smartphone batteries are like vampires -- they have an unquenchable thirst for blood (ok, electricity). It is very hard to make it through the day on a single charge. This is especially true in a metropolis like New York City, where people are constantly on the go -- and constantly on their smartphones. A dead cell phone is not just an inconvenience for New Yorkers; it is a social and professional death.
AT&T and Goal Zero (a renewable and reliable solar power company) are aiming to solve this problem. Starting today, they will be deploying solar-powered charging stations in 17 locations throughout all five boroughs -- Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx, and Staten Island. They will only remain there for 90 days, but that's fine as this is the time when the weather gets warmer and people spend more time outdoors. Each charging station will have 6 USB connections and will offer enough power to even charge an iPad.
Although Ubuntu for phones looks great, it’s going to be very tricky for Canonical to get any real foothold in a mobile market utterly dominated by iOS and Android devices. Even coming close to competing with BlackBerry and Windows Phone seems like a pipe dream at this point.
To help realize its ambitions, Canonical has put together a Carrier Advisory Group (CAG) to guide and shape the Ubuntu operating system for mobile devices.
Today, US mobile operator T-Mobile announces that, this summer, the Xperia Z will finally join its smartphone portfolio. Sony's Android flagship was unveiled little over five months ago during CES 2013. Fast is definitely not the word to describe its US arrival.
T-Mobile also reveals that, in the US, the Xperia Z will be available exclusively through its online and brick and mortar stores. The smartphone, which meets the IP55 and IP57 standards for dust and water-proofing, respectively, will be offered alongside the carrier's Simple Choice plans.
A new report from Symantec shows that many small and medium businesses (SMBs) feel that good IT systems can give them a competitive advantage. It seems that confidence in IT can boost business success.
Using results from a survey of almost 2,500 companies the report has established an SMB IT Confidence Index designed to measure how confidently enterprises approach computing and divide them into three tiers. Top tier companies are far more likely to use IT as a strategic business enabler (SBE). These more technically confident SMBs are prone to invest heavily in computing infrastructure and are more inclined to invest in new initiatives like mobile devices and the cloud.
When a Windows application is misbehaving then it can be useful to check its Registry settings, and these are often very easy to understand. When you see that 7-Zip has PATH value set to C:\Program Files\7-Zip, for instance, it’s not difficult to figure out what this means. And if you find Paint.NET’s CheckForUpdates value is now zero then, again, you won’t need a degree in Computer Science to understand the consequences.
Binary values can be rather more cryptic, though. Browse to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Migration, for instance, and you’ll see a REG_BINARY value “IE Installed Date”, which on our test PC was 86cde7a6cf66ce01. Uh, right. If you want to decode that, you’ll need help from a tool like Data Converter.
Almost four months after Samsung unveiled the 8-inch device, late-yesterday, AT&T announced that the Galaxy Note 8.0 will finally be available this Friday through its online and brick and mortar stores. At the US mobile operator, the tablet runs for $399.99 on a two-year agreement.
On a two-year contract, for the same $399.99, AT&T subscribers can also get an ASUS VivoTab RT (which runs Windows RT) or a Galaxy Tab 2 10.1. Similarly, the 16 GB Apple iPad Mini with cellular connectivity runs for $359.99, which is $40 less than what the carrier charges for the Galaxy Note 8.0.
In the continuing race to the bottom between Oracle Java and Adobe Flash, the Java maker moves ahead...or is it behind? Today the company rolls out a series of patches for 40 different flaws. A pre-release announcement tells of the fix, but does not provide much in the way of information about the content of its patch updates before the fixes are posted.
"This Critical Patch Update is a collection of patches for multiple security vulnerabilities in Oracle Java SE", according to Oracle. "This Critical Patch Update contains 40 new security vulnerability fixes. Due to the threat posed by a successful attack, Oracle strongly recommends that customers apply Critical Patch Update fixes as soon as possible".
Microsoft just announced that, between June 17 and August 31, schools and universities will be able to take advantage of special pricing when purchasing Surface RTs. During that period, the tablet runs for $199.99, $299.01 lower than the $499 the software giant normally asks in its online and brick and mortar stores for the Windows RT-based device.
The special offer only applies to the 32 GB Surface RT and not to the 64 GB model. Eligible buyers will also be able to purchase bundles, which add a Touch Cover (available in Black, Cyan, Magenta, Red and White trims) or Type Cover, for $249 or $289 each, respectively, and three accessories -- VGA and HD Digital AV adapters and power supplies (all run for $39.99).
Security specialist Kaspersky is warning of the increased vulnerability of Mac systems to malware. It points out that there are now more than 63 million OS X users in the world and that since 2010 the number of antivirus signatures for Macs has increased more than six times.
The top five threats include becoming part of a zombie network via a compromised WordPress site, fake antivirus products like MacDefender and MacGuard, exploitation of software vulnerabilities, targeted attacks and network infections.
Microsoft has announced the final release of version 4.0 of the Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (better known as EMET, fortunately), a powerful tool which can help to block exploits malware will commonly use to infect your PC.
The most immediately obvious change is a new focus on ease of use. EMET still isn’t for PC novices, but a new Configuration Wizard does help to get the program set up quickly, while an extended interface gives speedy access to the program’s various features.
Results of independent tests by AV-Comparatives looking at the real world protection offered by leading packages show that competition is as fierce as ever.
The tests use 569 real-world malicious URLs. 138 of these are blocked by a Windows 7 system with all its patches up to date, leaving 431 to be intercepted by security software. The tests use MS Security Essentials as a baseline providing a 95.4 percent level of protection. You can see the full results on an interactive chart but it’ll come as no surprise that it's all pretty close.
Popular cloud backup and storage tool Dropbox 2.2.4 FINAL has been released for Windows, Mac and Linux. The app, also available on iOS and Android, allows users to backup, sync and share data across a wide variety of devices via a central Dropbox folder.
Version 2.2 comes with a new notifications badge, a refactored core sync engine, improved memory usage, start-up performance improvements and Finder icon overlay enhancements.
Network products maker TP-LINK has released the results of a survey into the importance of the internet amongst UK consumers. It shows that reliable access to the internet is now among the highest priorities of many people.
Amongst men 42 percent rank sex and internet access as more important than shelter and food. Though this may well tell us more about British men than it does about the web. More interesting is that 51 percent of respondents say that thanks to internet access they've strengthened their friendships and a quarter say that it gives them an enhanced sense of belonging. However, only seven percent say that the web has brought a positive change to their love lives -- so much for all those online dating sites then.