Latest Technology News

Apple letter all but confirms plans for self-driving cars and commitment to privacy

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We've known (or at least believed) for some time that Apple has been working on some form of automated vehicle, but the company has remained tight-lipped about what it is up to. Now, however, a letter to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the strongest official hint that Apple is working on something.

The letter -- written by Apple's Director of Product Integrity, Steve Kenner, back in November -- has just come to light, in it Apple praises NHTSA's policies on automated vehicles, and stresses the importance of machine learning, data sharing, and user privacy in ensuring the development and safety of such technologies.

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SpeedCrunch is a simple but powerful scientific calculator

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SpeedCrunch is a keyboard-based scientific calculator which is easy to use, yet still has the power that advanced users need.

The program is both open-source and portable, which means no real setup hassles. Just unzip the download and run speedcrunch.exe to begin.

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Apple explains the battery problem leading to iPhone 6s shutdowns

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It is a couple of weeks since Apple announced a battery replacement program for iPhone 6s handsets suffering with random shutdown issue. At the time, the company gave nothing away about what the root cause of the problem was, but now it has opened up.

In a posting on its Chinese website, Apple confirms that the shutdown problems were indeed related to a battery problem. Specifically, the company explains that it was "a battery component that was exposed to controlled ambient air longer than it should have been".

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Despite losing the general election, the Pirate Party could still form Iceland's government

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Back in October there was a mixture of great excitement and huge worry that the controversial Pirate Party could end up winning the general election in Iceland. That didn't happen, but with no clear winner there was an attempt to create a five-way coalition that ultimately failed after weeks of talks, paving the way for the radical party made up of poets, hackers and online freedom activists.

The Pirate Party -- which says it would offer exile to Edward Snowden and also embrace Bitcoin -- could still end up in power after being invited to form part of the government by Iceland's president. But even if the controversial, anti-establishment party does end up wielding power, it's unlikely that its more radical policies would come to fruition.

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Many CEOs believe technology will make people 'largely irrelevant'

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Although artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and other emerging technologies may reshape the world as we know it, a new global study has revealed that the majority of CEOs now value technology over people when it comes to the future of their businesses.

The study was conducted by the Los Angeles-based management consultant firm Korn Ferry that interviewed 800 business leaders across a variety of multi-million and multi-billion dollar global organizations. The firm says that 44 percent of the CEOs surveyed agreed that robotics, automation and AI would reshape the future of many work places by making people "largely irrelevant".

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Microsoft shares its '12 Days of Deals' for 2016 Holiday Shopping -- here's which days are best

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Well folks, December is here, and before you know it, Christmas and other holidays will be upon us. You know what that means -- shopping. For some ultra-responsible people, their holiday shopping is already done. For many other people, however, there are still many gifts to buy.

Technology-related gifts are always popular, and this year Microsoft is rolling out some great deals. In fact, unlike Black Friday which only lasts one day, the Windows-maker is offering a mind-boggling "12 Days of Deals". Many of the deals are available both online or at Microsoft's retail stores, but the ones labeled "In-Store Doorbuster Deal" are only available in the latter. While you can see all of the deals below, lets dive in and see which are the best.

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Facebook offers a $20 million sweetener to improve Silicon Valley communities

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Mark Zuckerberg is well known for his philanthropic ventures -- he hardly keeps them quiet, after all. Now Facebook as a whole is getting in on the action, offering up a $20 million contribution to help improve the communities around Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

It could be argued that the financial offering is not entirely selfless, but this will probably be of little concern to those who stand to benefit from a number of projects that will focus on building affordable housing, STEM training in the area, and legal support for those in need.

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The state of SharePoint and Office 365 development

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SharePoint is the most widely used hub for modern businesses, while Office 365 is increasingly the first choice for cloud productivity. With these two platforms forming the bedrock of many companies' IT environments, business leaders need to understand how the platforms are changing and the needs of the employees who work with them.

SharePoint customization specialist Rencore has surveyed over 1,200 SharePoint and Office 365 developers and other professionals to get a picture of how the community is evolving.

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Social engineering attacks are a real threat to most organizations

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Social engineering, as a method of cyber-security attacks, is very popular and quite widespread, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Agari. It had polled 200 professionals from healthcare, government, financial services and education sectors.

Six in ten (60 percent) of security leaders say their organization either was, or "may have been" a victim of at least one targeted social engineering attack, on the last year alone. Two thirds of those attacks (65 percent) led to employees’ credentials getting compromised.

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99 percent of fake Apple chargers are unsafe

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When the time comes to buy a charger for your Apple device, you better make sure that what you are getting is the real deal. Why? A new report from UK's Chartered Trading Standards Institute says that the vast majority of counterfeit chargers for Apple products are not safe to use.

CTSI purchased 400 fake chargers from suppliers across the globe and discovered that 397 of them -- or 99.25 percent -- fail to meet what it considers a "basic safety test". In other words, if you use one to top the battery on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, MacBook or other Apple product you risk damaging the device -- or worse.

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Defeat ransomware with Avast's free decryptors

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Ransomware is probably the most malicious form of malware, and if you’ve been hit by it, the effects can be devastating.

You have two choices -- either pay the ransom in the hope your files will be released (not a given by any means), or try to find a way around the problem. If you have a backup of your personal files then you can simply wipe your system, and start over. If you don’t then, a ransomware decryption tool might save the day.

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How to stop Facebook eating through your mobile data allowance

If you have an unlimited mobile data plan -- or a very generous one at least -- then you don’t have to worry about apps going crazy, and gobbling up data when you’re out and about.

If, however, you’re on a more limited plan, you probably want to save data where you can. Facebook is one of the worst apps for consuming data rather unnecessarily, but you can rein it in.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

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Two-hundred-and-seven in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on Windows Store in the past seven days.

As always, if I missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email instead.

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Facebook is monitoring Roku and Apple TV streams to deliver targeted advertising

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Internet users are accustomed to the idea of targeted advertising. Both Google and Facebook take into account the things you look for online, the things you look at, the people you are connected to, and so on, and use this information to pelt you with ads they think you will respond to.

Having been forced to stop using data gathered from WhatsApp to deliver targeted ads to social network users, you might think that Facebook would consider toning down its ad personalization. But you would be wrong. For the last few weeks, Facebook has been testing the delivery of targeted ads to Roku and Apple TV based on what people are watching.

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Amazon unveils artificial intelligence platform

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During its re:Invent developer event in Las Vegas, Amazon announced its new Amazon AI platform which will make many the company's machine learning tools available to developers to use in their apps and websites.

Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, explains that the company has a great deal of background in machine learning, saying: "We do a lot of AI in our company. We have thousands of people dedicated to AI in our business". Amazon has decided to release three tools that take advantage of its AI to developers with the launch of its new platform.

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