Latest Technology News

Windows 8.x gains usage share at the expense of Windows XP

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New data which was just posted by web analytics company NetMarketShare shows us that, in August, Windows 8.x managed to gain precious usage share in the desktop operating system market. This happened mainly at the expense of the 13 year-old Windows XP, which is seeing its usage share slowly decrease as new devices, toting newer OSs, are brought into the fold.

The good news, however, comes from the rise in usage share of Windows 8.1, which is now at 7.09 percent, up from the 6.56 percent from July. Windows 8 also grew, to 6.28 percent from 5.92 percent, but this is of a lesser importance, as its successor's fate is far more important. Meanwhile, Windows XP decreased to 23.89 percent from 24.82 percent. Still, it is obvious that the oldest of the three still has a terribly long way to go before it reaches similar usage share levels (we're looking at a couple of years, at least) as Windows 8.1 touts now.

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Microsoft defies court order and refuses to hand over emails to US government


Back in July, a New York court ruled that Microsoft should provide access to emails stored at a datacenter in Ireland. The company has been quite vocal in opposing requests to hand over this information, and continues to stand its ground. Although a court order requires the emails to be handed over, Microsoft remains defiant. In a blog post entitled "Your email belongs to you, not us" (forget "all your base are belong to us"), Microsoft's Chief Privacy Officer, Brendon Lynch, reiterates the company's position.

"Microsoft is committed to delivering meaningful privacy protections that build trust with our customers, and we know how much you value the contents of your email. We believe your email belongs to you, not us, and that it should receive the same privacy protection as paper letters sent by mail -- no matter where it is stored. This is the crux of our legal challenge to a U.S. government criminal search warrant for a customer's email stored in our datacenter in Dublin, Ireland".

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Intel reveals its first 8-core desktop CPU


Despite continuing reports of its death, the desktop computer still has a place in the world, particularly amongst power users and gamers. It's these people that Intel has squarely in its sights with the new Core i7-5960X Extreme Edition processor.

Intel’s first 8-core desktop CPU features 16 computing threads which, along with support for the latest DDR4 memory, will enable some of the fastest desktop systems yet seen. Combine this with the new enhanced Intel X99 Chipset and you also have robust overclocking capabilities which will allow enthusiasts to tune their systems to extract maximum performance.

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Lenovo introduces the EMC-based VNX5150 Storage Array


Lenovo hopes to put a smile on the face of penny-pinching small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) through a new storage area network (SAN) solution based on EMC's VNX unified storage family.

The Lenovo|EMC VNX5150 Storage Array is a dual-processor SAN that offers full redundancy for all major components as well as dual paths of connectivity throughout for a price that SMBs will be able to afford.

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Here's what you can expect to see at IFA 2014


The rejuvenation of the tech scene at this time of year is heralded by one of the oldest and largest trade shows on the circuit, with Germany taking centre stage for Internationale Funkausstellung Berlin -- known simply as IFA.

At IFA 2013, ITProPortal witnessed the unveiling of the Sony Xperia Z1, realized that convertible laptops are here to stay, and learned that no-one is impressed by Samsung's Galaxy Gear. This year we're looking forward to seeing the year's developments in wearable tech. And I'm not just talking smart watches. This year we're talking infrared thermometers, Bluetooth home cinema speakers and something called the "D30 Smart Skin".

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The Fappening is more than just nude celebrity pics


Sometimes I wish the internet could just be a place to exchange wholesome information, such as cooking recipes and tips on Linux, but sadly, there is a dark side. There are deviant people lurking on the web doing all sorts of horrible things. Yesterday, a hacker leaked the private pictures and videos (nude and semi-nude) of many celebrities, and they have spread across the net. For these celebrities, who are real people, I am sure it has been a very trying time; their privacy has been destroyed and I offer my sympathies. For the many people (if they can be called that) viewing and spreading the pictures, the occasion has been dubbed "The Fappening"; a way to proclaim their...enjoyment...of the photos. At least one a celebrity has confirmed that the photos of her are legit and not fakes.

If you choose to search for, and view, these leaked photos, I am not going to judge you for eating the forbidden fruit. However, I won't even mention the victims' names to help you look. Quite frankly, my concern is not just for the celebrities, but more for the public as a whole. For those who were considered paranoid about distrusting the cloud, this justifies their concerns. While I don't think it is time for people to run away from the cloud overall, I do think people should be wary of using cloud storage services for intimate photos.

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Lumsing E-DR15 car charger: Splitting one cigarette lighter socket into three [Review]


A few years ago, the very concept of a three port extender for your car's cigarette lighter socket would have caused some raised eyebrows. Even if you were in a car packed full of chainsmokers, three lighter sockets would be deemed excessive.

Of course, these days, the lighter socket is less for lighting cigarettes and more for powering devices, so Lumsing's power splitter serves a clear purpose.

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WinLogOnView lists user logons for your PC


If your PC has several user accounts then you might occasionally like to know when they're being accessed, perhaps to confirm that your children are only using the computer at particular times.

You could install some heavy duty system monitoring package, or maybe enable a few Family Safety restrictions for that account. But NirSoft's WinLogOnView is a much simpler option which could provide everything you need in a tiny, portable package.

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Voralent’s Antelope compresses JPGs and PNGs with a click


Earlier this year we looked at Voralent’s JPGMini and PNGMini, easy-to-use tools which reduced JPG and PNG file sizes without affecting image quality.

The developer has now released a replacement, Antelope, which handles JPG and PNG files, and supports both lossless and lossy compression.

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I am not kind to Apple


A day after I posted "Apple's march of the lemmings", 9to5Mac published Mark Gurman's gripping inside look into Apple's PR strategy. The story, "Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple's Mastery of the Media", is fine example of the kind of news reporting too often missing on the web today. His multi-section report is well-organized, believably-sourced (even where anonymously), and accurate -- to which I can attest based on my experience dealing with Apple as a journalist. Gurman also validates many of my ongoing complaints about how bloggers and journalists report about the company.

As expressed three-and-a-half years ago, "I am not anti-Apple". But I am against the unquestioning pro-Apple caucus the news media has become. As stated on my birthday in 2011: "My problem isn't Apple, but all the news and misinformation about the company. You can chock up any tone in my Apple posts to them. Someone has to counterbalance this crap".

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Samsung teams with Nike for new Nike+ running app on smartwatches


Sadly the summer is winding down, with Labor Day weekend having arrived. But that means the best time of the year for runners is now on the horizon, with cooler autumn weather. To get you ready for this time of year, Samsung has struck up a deal with Nike.

This deal brings together one of the top phone makers and a famous running shoe manufacturer. The two are teaming up for a new Nike+ app that will be coming to the Samsung smartwatch platform.

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Lumsing PBJ-6200 Power Bank: A stylish phone charging solution [Review]


I charge my iPhone 5s every night -- it's pretty much a standard routine. Although people moan about the iPhone's battery life, I have no complaints. In fact my old Samsung Galaxy S III needed charging more regularly. But every so often a little extra battery boost is required, which is fine if I'm at home, but less convenient when I'm out and about (and I have no interest in being a wall hugger). This is where an external battery pack can come in handy.

Lumsing's PBJ-6200 Power Bank has already proven to be a life saver in the couple of weeks I've had it. The device is roughly the same dimensions as my phone -- 4.88x 2.64 x 0.51 inches (124 x 67 x13 mm) -- and has a 6,000mAh capacity, which is enough to charge my iPhone about three times (a Galaxy S4 twice, or an iPad mini once).

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Mozilla loses more user info, this time data of 97,000 customers goes out through Bugzilla

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It's been a bad month for Mozilla, as the company seems to be shedding user data left and right. The problems are apparently not over as new information has come to light regarding the loss of another 97,000 emails and passwords that were left exposed.

The latest issue comes via Bugzilla, and the organization has reset all user passwords in an attempt to alleviate the issues. However, that didn't stop customer data from being exposed for about three months.

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IBM: Watson, go help those nice scientists with their research

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IBM's Watson supercomputer is set to tackle scientific research head-on after being re-programmed to analyze big data in the cloud.

Currently, the testing of scientific hypotheses and theories often takes days or months of arduous work, but with Watson's Discovery Advisor program, this can now be carried out at a significantly faster rate.

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Facebook could make explicit content more difficult to view

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Facebook's own safety advisers are calling for new controls to be put in place that prevent gruesome images appearing on the social network after harrowing images appeared on one page in particular.

The new move is being proposed by Stephen Balkam, chief executive of the US Family Online Institute (Fosi), at the next meeting of Facebook's Safety Advisory Board after images of severed heads appeared on the social network courtesy of the Islamic State (IS).

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