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Which programming language should you learn?

developer laptop

Students of all ages have always been encouraged (and even required) to learn multiple languages. But these days it’s not French or Latin that has the big impact. Forget accents and umlauts, many of the best and brightest students, business leaders and employers are taking the time to learn about tags, brackets, and commands -- that is, they are learning programming languages.

Today, 21st century business is founded on software and there is scarcely a brand on the planet that isn’t looking into how it can be transformed through data. To put it simply, the quality and performance of your software -- be it a web application, e-commerce platform or mobile app -- must be spot on or your customers will look elsewhere.

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HP unveils rugged 'ProBook x360 11 Education Edition' Windows 10 convertible laptop


This may be a bit of a generalization, but children are not the most responsible people. Since they don't yet really understand the value of a dollar, they may not appreciate or care for belongings as well as they should. This can be especially true when things are given to them for use at school, such as textbooks, musical instruments, or computers.

HP apparently understands how destructive some kids can be, as the company has created a rugged (MIL-STD 810G) education-focused convertible laptop. The all-new 11.6-inch touch-screen (1366 x 768) ProBook x360 11 Education Edition runs Windows 10, and is designed to take a beating.

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Plex Media Player is now free to all users


Non-Plex Pass holders rejoice -- Plex has made its desktop-friendly media player app for Windows and Mac completely free with the release of Plex Media Player 1.2.

Version 1.2 also introduces a major new feature -- when the app is run in windowed mode, it defaults to the web interface, allowing users to manage their server(s) remotely.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14977 arrives on the Fast ring -- but it's for Mobile only

Windows-10 key

It’s been a while since we had a new Windows 10 Insider build -- Thanksgiving got in the way of Microsoft’s usual weekly schedule.

Today, the software giant releases Build 14977 to the fast ring, but it’s for Mobile only. The PC build has a blocking bug that results in broken apps on an upgrade, so we’ll have until next week for a new build for that platform.

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Mirai malware spreads to routers in new countries


According to security firm Flashpoint, the latest strain of the Mirai malware responsible for infecting Deutsche Telekom routers has spread to devices in at least 10 countries other than Germany.

The firm has discovered that the new strain of Mirai has infected routers in places like the UK, Brazil, Iran and Thailand. It is still unknown how many devices have been infected in total, but Flashpoint estimates that five million devices could be vulnerable to the malware.

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HBO and Cinemax arrive for Amazon Prime customers


Waiting for the new season of Game of Thrones? Perhaps you like some other show that airs on a premium network such as HBO or Cinemax. There's no shortage of exclusives -- regardless of your tastes you're bound to find something that suits you.

Well, if you are an Amazon Prime subscriber then the wait is over. Both HBO and Cinemax are arriving on the premium subscription service.

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Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' BETA Ubuntu-based operating system now available for download


Feeling fatigued by Windows 10 and its constant updates and privacy concerns? Can't afford one of those beautiful new MacBook Pro laptops? Don't forget, Linux-based desktop operating systems are just a free download away, folks!

If you do decide to jump on the open source bandwagon, a good place to start is Linux Mint. Both the Mate and Cinnamon desktop environments should prove familiar to Windows converts, and since it is based on Ubuntu, there are a ton of compatible packages. Today, the first beta of Linux Mint 18.1 'Serena' becomes available for download.

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A Christmas gift from SwiftKey -- free themes for iOS and Android


It's December and the season of giving and -- of course -- receiving is just around the corner. You may have written your Christmas wishlist, dropped subtle hints about what you wanted, and you're now just waiting for your desires to be fulfilled. While it's unlikely that keyboard themes and skins featured highly, SwiftKey today announced that all of its themes are now available for free.

If you've harbored a secret desire to sex up your phone's keyboard but simply couldn't justify splashing any cash on something so frivolous and, ultimately, pointless, now's your chance to skin away to your heart's content. Free SwiftKey themes for everyone!

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Ransomware attacks to decrease in 2017


Ransomware is expected to deflate a bit next year, but hackers won’t be resting on their laurels, that’s for sure. Instead, they might just move to dronejacking, for a "variety of criminal or hacktivist purposes".

This is according to McAfee Labs, whose new report, the McAfee Labs 2017 Threats Predictions Report, identifies 14 cyber-security trends to watch in 2017.

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Parallels Toolbox 1.3 packs dozens of tools for macOS power users

Parallels Toolbox 1.3

Parallels today releases a new version of its Toolbox app for macOS, adding five new tools that give users more control over their privacy and make it easier to use their Mac devices, bringing the total number of available utilities to 25.

The main addition in Parallels 1.3 is the ability to block all apps at once from accessing the camera. Parallels introduced this feature for folks who like to put tape over their Mac's webcam to protect their privacy. It is a more convenient solution to a problem some people seem to have, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg.

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How to reliably disable Windows 10 updates

Happy PC user

Windows 10’s mandatory updates are designed to keep your system safe and always up to date. You do have limited control over the update process, but not as much as in Windows 7, for example.

You can stop updates in Windows 10, but it requires you to disable the Windows Update service in the Services manager, and most people won’t know how to do that. Thankfully there is an easier solution.

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Dimensions 2 Folders organizes images by height, width, more


If you’re working on a document or design template then you’ll often need images of a specific resolution or aspect ratio, but finding matching pictures on your own system might take a little work.

One option is to add a few extra columns to Explorer. Go to the Pictures folder, right-click a column header, select More and add items like "Dimensions" (1920×1080) or Horizontal/ Vertical Resolution (xxx dpi). Click the Dimensions column header to group the images by width, and that should help you find whatever you need.

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Half of IT professionals more concerned about internal threats than external ones

Hidden threat

Hackers and cyber criminals are often seen as the biggest threat to company IT systems, but a report from behavioral firewall company Preempt shows that insiders, including careless or naive employees, are now viewed as an equally important problem.

The survey carried out for Preempt by Dimensional Research finds that 49 percent of IT security professionals surveyed are more concerned about internal threats than external threats.

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WD introduces a range of affordable storage devices designed for Raspberry Pi

WD Labs Raspberry PiDrive Foundation

The Raspberry Pi has been an incredible success. Originally aimed at teaching kids to code, it has found an appreciative audience outside of the education system.

You can do lots with a Pi, but some projects require more storage than you might have on your SD/microSD card. WD has introduced a new series of storage devices designed specifically for use with the Raspberry Pi, which combine microSD card and USB drive functionality with operating system installation software.

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Google's Santa Tracker counts down to Christmas


As it does every year, Google has just launched its Santa Tracker in the run-up to Christmas. Despite the name, this is about much more than watching Santa make his journey around the globe -- there's a bunch of fun and games to be enjoyed too.

As well as the online version of Santa Tracker, there's also an Android app, and even an app for Android Wear smartwatches. As we make our way through December, the Santa Tracker serves as an advent calendar, with a new treat revealed each day.

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