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The top threats to watch for in 2016

Hidden threat

Messaging and infrastructure security specialist Cloudmark has released its Annual Global Threat Report for 2015 which reveals the biggest current threats based on its crowd sourced security platform, which analyses user behavior from more than a billion subscribers.

Top of the list is the Swizzor malware which delivers unsolicited ads, modifying browser settings without user permission. This silent threat delivers booby-trapped emails to unsuspecting users with varying subject lines. Each email contains a zip file carrying the malware payload, this uses a simple domain generation algorithm for command and control synchronization to create a large number of domains that then clash with legitimate websites and make it difficult for them to be taken down.

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More consumers now care about how businesses handle their data

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Nearly three million Brits have decided to leave a service provider that got hacked, a new research by security firm Privitar reveals. The report shows that 23 per cent of Brits have been affected by a security breach at some point, and 24 per cent of these reacted by switching providers.

The company says consumers now pay attention to how well a company handles data, when making choices. Even though data handling has become one of the key selling points for many companies, 52 per cent of consumers say it’s difficult to find any information on how companies store and use their personal information.

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LG announces Quick Cover for yet to be unveiled G5 flagship

LG G5 Quick Cover case

LG is certainly tackling the launch of its upcoming G5 flagship differently than other major players. Earlier this month, when it announced the event during which the Android smartphone will be presented, it officially referred to it as G5. The company has also revealed that it would arrive with a so-called Active Display.

But that is not all. Unlike other manufacturers which mention official accessories right after showcasing their latest flagship, LG has decided to talk about G5's Quick Cover ahead of the handset's unveiling next week.

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Dating apps -- the good the bad and the ugly

cupid broken heart

It's coming up to Valentine's Day, so inevitably the IT industry turns its thoughts towards dating apps. Two new reports show that the apps may not be living up to expectations, and that users of them could be revealing more than they intend to.

New research from app quality researcher Applause shows that consumers are more dissatisfied with dating apps than any other type.

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The problem with current 'smart' access control systems

Biometric

There’s been an explosion in products that promise to make our facilities, assets, networks and cloud resources "smarter", more secure and safe, but do they?

With control system hacks on the rise and traditional lock/entrance manufacturers like Honeywell, Assa Abloy and Stanley developing more intelligent lock systems, it’s clear that enterprises in hospitality, healthcare and government are looking for a more granular access control that increases security.

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Twitter's new Trust & Safety Council is a desperate measure for desperate times

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All is not well at Twitter. Rumors about a rejigged timeline last week led to #RIPTwitter trending on the site and reassurances from Jack Dorsey did little to calm users' fears. But Twitter is failing to attract new users -- as today's earning's report shows -- and it is desperate to be seen listening to people, and providing tools that are valuable.

This is precisely why the micro-blogging site puts out feel-good stories about how it is tackling terrorists, shouts about beating online trolls, and goes out of its way to try to appeal to, and be useful to, people who don’t have an account yet. The move is the latest attempted to try to rejuvenate interest in the site which is failing to grow at the rate expected. It's an attempt to balance freedom of speech with control of those seen to be abusing the service.

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Why Apple doesn't sell televisions

"Apple TV" parody set (semi-original art by Scott Fulton)

At least twice over the past decade Apple has been close to announcing its own television. Not the Apple TV set top box but actual big screen TVs with, well, big screens. But both times I’ve heard about this Apple backed away at the last minute. And the reason why they did was because even an Apple television would be just another television with an Apple logo. Steve Jobs realized that TVs had become a commodity and there didn’t seem to be an obvious way to make Apple’s television special.

I’m not here to say Apple has finally found its TV design path as suggested in Walter Isaacson’s book and will be doing a big screen TV after all. In fact I’m pretty sure Apple will never sell its own TVs. But I think Cupertino has finally figured out a way to grab an important and profitable part of nearly all TVs, controlling the future of video entertainment in the process.

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Opera Software wants shareholders to accept $1.2bn buyout offer

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Opera Software, the company behind the Opera web browser for desktop and mobile devices, has received a $1.2 billion buyout offer from a consortium of Chinese Internet firms.

The company’s board is recommending shareholders to accept the deal, which is higher than Opera Software's valuation at closing time on the Oslo exchange. Rumors of a possible buyout of the company led to its stock being suspended for two days.

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Wink brings local control to your automated lights

wink-hub

Home automation, the connected home, the Internet of Things, it's all phrases used to describe the same thing -- a series of devices connected to the internet and used to power tasks around a house. Turn the lights on and off, lock doors, raise blinds, sense a water leak, all of it can be done today.

One of the companies in this market is Wink, which is also one of the few hub makers that is compatible with Amazon Echo. Now Wink is beefing up it offering with what it terms "local control" of lighting.

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Microsoft announces a third ring for Windows 10 Insiders -- 'Release Preview'

Windows-10 key

If you’re a Windows 10 Insider you currently have the choice of being in either the Fast or Slow rings. The Fast ring is used for cutting edge -- and potentially more buggy -- builds, while Slow ring releases tend to be pushed out less frequently, but are proven to be more stable.

Which ring you choose depends on how desperately you want to try out new builds -- it’s safe to say Fast ring releases aren’t really suited for use on your main PC. However, from today there’s now a third choice available to Insiders, and that’s the Release Preview ring.

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Hackers leak contact information of 20,000 FBI employees

Faceless cyber criminal hacker

Hackers have leaked the contact information of 20,000 FBI employees, which follows the previous day's release of 10,000 Homeland Security employees' data.

The hackers communicating through Twitter, claimed "Well folks, it looks like @TheJusticeDept has finally realized their computer has been breached after one week".

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Five reasons why Apple's iPad Pro is ready for the enterprise

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In 2010, Apple heralded the iPad as the device to revolutionize the laptop era for consumers. Now, with the iPad Pro, the company is set to address the prosumer in the enterprise and move closer to achieving that goal. Combining power with new input devices and a platform designed for mobile, it is hoped the iPad Pro will enable businesses to be flexible in how and where they work.

But for businesses looking to become more mobile, is the iPad Pro the right option? And what has changed to make it enterprise ready?

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Apple now sells virtual reality headset for iPhones

View-Master Virtual Reality Starter Pack for iPhone

We are now in the early days of the consumer virtual reality market. Few companies have developed headsets so far, and even fewer actually have products that folks like you and I can go out and buy. However, what you can get today is typically meant for Android devices, with iPhones getting little to no attention.

Apple wants consumers to know that its iPhones are not being left out, as it is now selling a VR headset through its online store. The most-appealing thing about it is no doubt the price.

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Your PornHub video habit will help save whales in February

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This may initially generate some snickers and likely lots of tabs quickly closing, but I assure you the story is safe for work. The only nudity here is the whale in the image above. In fact this is a story about charity and of helping to save endangered species, albeit in a rather unconventional way.

It's no secret that porn drives the internet to a certain degree, and many claim it also drives innovation to some extent. True or not, it's big business that can generate massive revenues for the purveyors of the content. One of the big ones is PornHub and it is deciding to give back in the form of charitable donations to a worthwhile cause.

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LibreOffice 5.1 reorganizes user interface, reduces start-up times

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The Document Foundation has released LibreOffice 5.1 64-bit and LibreOffice 5.1 32-bit. It comes just under six months after version 5.0 debuted back in August yet unveils some major changes to the user interface as well as performance improvements.

LibreOffice 5.1 promises new and simplified application menus, faster start-up times and a number of application-specific improvements, including better slide transitions in Impress and a host of new features in Calc.

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