Latest Technology News

iPhone 6: Lovely, but not groundbreaking [Review]


The new iPhone, as every smartphone fan knows by now, is not in fact one phone, but two. And unlike last time Apple launched two handsets at once, this time you don't have to choose between a cut down version (the iPhone 5c) or a full-fat version (the iPhone 5s).

This time, while there are some differences between the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 6 Plus, apart from screen size they are subtle ones, and your choice is primarily about size -- do you want a 4.7-inch screen or a 5.5-inch one? This review is of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, kindly provided by Three -- our review of the iPhone 6 Plus will follow.

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Migrating from Windows Server 2003: 12 best practices straight from the trenches

group young business it network server room solving help support

Most of us have hopefully managed to get off the sinking ship that was Windows XP. As much of a recent memory as that has become, a new end of life is rearing its head, and it's approaching fervently for those who haven't started planning for it. Microsoft's Windows Server 2003, a solid server operating system that's now about eleven and a half years old, is heading for complete extinction in just under 300 days. Microsoft has a fashionable countdown timer already ticking.

Seeing as we just finished our second server migration in a single week (a personal record so far), sharing some of the finer aspects of how we are streamlining these transitions seems like a timely fit. This braindump of sorts is a collection of best practices that we are routinely following for our own customers, and they seem to be serving us well so far.

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Apple: Most OS X users shouldn't worry about Shellshock

Satisfied Happy Businessman Relaxing Office

Apple has admitted that most OS X users have nothing to be concerned about when it comes to the bug that has been dubbed "worse than Heartbleed".

In a statement the firm admitted that it is already working on a software update for advanced UNIX users that repairs the major exploit that can be used by hackers to gain access to connected devices by inserting malicious code into the "Bash" command shell in OS X and Linux.

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The enemy in HR

Finger Pointing

Right now, depending who you speak with, there is either a shortage or a glut of IT professionals in the USA. Those who maintain there is a shortage tend to say it can only be eliminated by immigration reform allowing more H1-B visas and green cards. Those who see a glut point to high IT unemployment figures and what looks like pervasive age discrimination. If both views are possible -- and I am beginning to see how they could be -- we can start by blaming the Human Resources (HR) departments at big and even medium-sized companies.

HR does the hiring and firing or at least handles the paperwork for hiring and firing. HR hires headhunters to find IT talent or advertises and finds that talent itself. If you are an IT professional in a company of almost any size that has an HR department, go down there sometime and ask about their professional qualifications. What made them qualified to hire you?

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CallTower Cloud-Hosted Lync: PSTN-enabled VoIP UC without the mess [review]

man in cloud

A few weeks back, I finally had a really good chance at stress testing our company's still-fresh hosted Lync solution from CallTower. Merging calls. Transferring calls. Starting ad-hoc conference calls with clients. All the while IM'ing my internal staff and fellow clients, and checking voicemails that were coming through as MP3s in my email along with associated text transcriptions.

If you think I was sitting at the comfort of my desk with the power of a desk phone at my side, you guessed wrong. I was nearly 900 miles away from our home base in Park Ridge, out in the beautiful city of Stamford, CT helping clean up a messy VoIP rollout for a customer who needed some dire help.

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Lightworks 12 brings new content manager, color correction


EditShare has announced the release of Lightworks 12, its powerful non-linear video editor for Windows, Linux, and -- at last -- Mac.

The hugely extended Content Manager is a highlight. Everything is immediately accessible, there’s easier searching and filtering to help you find what you need, you can even drag and drop files directly into open bins as required.

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Windows 9 download link leaks ahead of Technical Preview launch

Windows 9 download link leaks ahead of Technical Preview launch

This week we should finally be able to get our hands on Windows 9 code direct from Microsoft. There are only a couple of days to go until the Technical Preview is officially unveiled at an event in San Francisco, and excitement has been mounting. Slightly ahead of schedule, a page has appeared on the Microsoft website that includes a download link to the 32- and 64-bit versions of the Windows Technical Preview for Enterprise. Intriguingly, the page refers to a version of Windows named Windows TH, but it's not clear that this is actually the name that will be used.

Before you get too excited about grabbing the latest Windows bits, it seems that the page is just a placeholder for now. The download button currently links to a non-updated version of the TechNet Evaluation Center, but a link to the download page that will be used was live briefly. It revealed that the US version of the Technical Preview weighs in at 3.16 GB and 4.10 GB. We've already got a pretty good idea of what to expect from the preview as there have been numerous build and screenshot leaks over recent weeks.

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Acronis True Image 2015 brings new interface, faster online backups


Acronis International has unveiled Acronis True Image 2015, a significant update for its popular PC (and Mac) backup tool.

An entirely new interface makes it easier than ever to run basic backups. Choose your source – which can now be "Entire PC" -- and destination, and it’s ready to go immediately.

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IObit Uninstaller 4 fully removes Windows 8 apps


IObit has announced the release of IObit Uninstaller 4, an interesting extension of its freeware program uninstaller.

The program now has the ability to completely remove Windows 8 apps. A "batch uninstall" option ditches as many as you like in a single operation, and the "Powerful Scan" tool ensures there's no hard drive or Registry junk left behind.

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IBM and Bancroft team up for a specialized cloud-based education program


IBM has announced a partnership with Bancroft, a provider of specialized services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, which will supply a cloud-based educational program.

The collaboration will enable staff and students to access more than 300 educational and clinical applications securely via an iPad.

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Terminals: A remote desktop client for (almost) anyone


Windows remote desktop, VNC, telnet, SSH -- there are many ways to access a remote computer, and using them all can require a whole library of networking tools.

Fortunately, there are alternatives. The open source Terminals not only handles a lengthy list of protocols -- RDP, VNC, ISA, SSH, Telnet, RAS, HTTP, HTTPS -- but a tabbed interface means you’re able to open and manage multiple connections simultaneously.

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How to protect yourself from the Shellshock Bash bug


A worrying new security vulnerability has muscled its way onto the Internet, and world-leading security experts are saying it's even worse than this year's Heartbleed fiasco. Called "Bash" or "Shellshock", the security flaw is inherent to a computer's shell. This is the user interface that accesses operating systems like Command Prompt, and means that many Linux, UNIX, and some BSD systems (including Apple's OS X) are vulnerable. Worryingly, the ubiquitous nature of the bug means that a large percentage of software is engaged in constant interaction with the shell. Consequently the bug can infiltrate software in a number of different ways.

So what can you do to protect yourself against this frightening new bug, and how can you avoid Shellshock? Well, the answer is basically the same as it's always been. There's no special tool or patch that'll keep you protected from Shellshock. It's just pure, common-sense cyber security.

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European airlines to allow the use of phones during flights

European airlines to allow the use of phones during flights

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has decided that mobile phones are completely safe to use in-flight, including during take-off and landing. Previous rules required passengers to either switch off phones, or flip them into airplane mode. The EASA's latest decision does not mean that there is an automatic right of mobile use afforded to fliers, but airlines now have the option to permit handset use on their flights. So if you've splashed out on an iPhone 6, bendy or otherwise, you can show it off to your fellow fliers.

While airplane mode blocks the ability to send and receive calls and messages, many passengers have found that they are asked to switch off entirely and refrain from using their handset in any way. The new ruling will arm passengers with more ammunition if they want to argue their case, but it's likely that many European flights will quickly bow to popular demand and permit the use of phones.

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Thom Yorke of Radiohead releases new album as BitTorrent Bundle


As someone who was in high school during the 90s, alternative rock was a very important part of my life. Bands such as Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins made big impacts, but Radiohead was the true soundtrack to many of our lives. Whether you were depressed, or just wanted to emote, their music was sure to help, as it conjured emotions from the soul.

The frontman of Radiohead, Thom Yorke, released his debut solo album, The Eraser, in 2006, and it was just as magical as his prior group efforts. Since then, fans have been eagerly awaiting a new album from the artist. Today, BitTorrent announces that his new album is being released digitally as an exclusive paid torrent "Bundle".

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Best Windows 8 apps this week


One-Hundredth in a series.  Welcome to this week's selection of the best apps and games that were published to Microsoft's Windows Store.

This week saw some strong releases, mostly games though, such as the excellent strategy game Cloud Raiders, the car game Asphalt Overdrive or the football game Fifa 15: UT.

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