Latest Technology News

Walgreens is the first company to integrate a loyalty program with Android Pay

WalgreensAndroidPay

Walgreens is my drugstore of choice for many reasons. Most importantly, I can refill my prescriptions using my smartphone's camera, thanks to the company's wonderful app -- a huge time saver. Then, when at the store, I can pay with either Apple Pay or Android Pay, which is very futuristic and convenient. Also important to me is the rewards program -- my family saves a lot of money with it. CVS is a nightmare comparatively, but I digress.

Today, Walgreens announces that is the first company to integrate a loyalty program with Android Pay. This is very convenient, as it means there is one less card for the customer to carry and pull out at the register (or enter their phone number). Using their Android phone, they can tap once to both pay and earn points. Nice!

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New tool helps developers streamline release management

GitHub Issue Board

As the importance of software to almost all businesses has grown, so the competition to bring new releases to market and ensure they're error free is fierce.

Open source code collaboration specialist GitLab is addressing this issue with a new tool that enables developer teams to improve the software release management process, providing real-time visibility of project issues across an organization.

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Microsoft buys Genee to bolster Office 365 intelligence

artificial intelligence

If you are running a business (regardless of size), a certain tool can help you to achieve success -- Microsoft Office. True, there are free solutions, such as LibreOffice, but they simply don't compare. When you use Office with Microsoft's other solutions, such as SharePoint, everything just works together in a brilliant way. Office 365 in particular is such a great value for both home and business.

Today, Microsoft announces it is acquiring a company called 'Genee'. This is an acquisition which will make Office 365 even better. How? With a major focus on intelligence, it can help employees to work smarter, not harder.

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Privacy-flouting, Apple-only social app Lifestage is Facebook's desperate attempt to stay relevant to teens

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Facebook has become so ubiquitous that even your mum is using it. This is just one of the many reasons the social networking giant has lost any vestiges of coolness, but the company is keen to try to claw some back.

The latest attempt to get down with the kids is a new social app called Lifestage. Aimed at 'high schoolers' the app is available for iPhone and iPad and for those with a profile it "makes it easy and fun to share a visual profile of who you are with your school network". It looks and sounds godawful, and comes across as a privacy nightmare.

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US internet speeds lag behind the rest of the world

Speed

The United States Has a Speed Problem! If you’ve spent any time checking your email or surfing the internet while traveling in other countries, you probably noticed the internet was faster. When it comes to internet connection speeds, the United States doesn’t even crack the top twenty.

The fastest internet in the world is found in South Korea, where the average connection speed is 26.7 Megabits per second (Mb/s). Countries like Romania, Thailand, and Bulgaria all offer faster speeds than the United States. Incredible as it seems, if you rely on the internet for your work, you may be able to get more done on that beach vacation in Thailand than in your office at home.

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OpenOffice gets an unofficial iPad port

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He’s already ported OpenOffice to Android, and now Akikazu Yoshikawa has announced the release of Office 700, "the world’s first port of OpenOffice for iOS".

The package includes all the key functions: text editing, spreadsheets, presentation, drawing and just about everything apart from databases.

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Hackers play the fame game to boost business

Hacker money laptop

Hacking by its very nature tends to be an activity that takes place in the shadows. However, analysts at security awareness specialist Digital Shadows have identified a growing trend of some hackers actively seeking the limelight to promote their businesses.

Just as in the legitimate commercial world, reputation is important and players without one are less likely to be trusted. In order to boost their profiles therefore some cyber criminals have been using publicity to add to their credibility.

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Samsung is planning an Apple-style refurbished phone program

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If you want to get your hands on cheaper Apple products, you can opt for the secondhand market on eBay, or you could go for an official refurbished device from the company itself. Not wanting to miss out on a trick, Samsung looks set to launch its own refurbished smartphone program.

Citing "a person with direct knowledge of the matter", Reuters says the program could launch as early as next year. With Samsung hardware selling for something of a premium -- particularly flagships like the Galaxy Note7 -- consumers are as keen to seek out a saving as Samsung is to ensure ongoing profit in an ever-competitive market.

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How to instantly fill web forms with dummy data

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Filling web forms is dull. It’s bad enough when you have to fill a page of boxes just to sign up for something. It’s much worse if you’re testing a website and have to do it over, and over, and over again.

Fake Data is a very simple Chrome extension which can automatically fill those annoying text boxes with dummy data.

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The glue that binds smart cities together

The-Glue-that-Holds-Connected-Cities-Together

The visage of our 'smart' or 'connected' destiny is often presented to us in broad strokes: self-driving vehicles, connected homes, logistics, wearables -- the list continues on with each piece of evolving and maturing technology.

Smart cities have a bright future, and the application possibilities seem expansive, but often lost in the conversation is the technology that actually enables the connected world. Within a smart city -- or even at a micro level -- within one specific industry deploying smart technology, are a wide range of considerations:

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My Family Tree 6 improves GEDCOM support, date handling

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The free genealogy tool My Family Tree has hit version 6.0 with a host of small but welcome enhancements. Smarter GEDCOM handling includes a new import log to help diagnose any problems, and options to choose who to export when you’re saving a file.

Dates may now be input and displayed in multiple calendar formats: Gregorian, Julian, Hebrew, French Republican, lunar Hijri (Islamic), and solar Hijiri (Persian).

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Restore access to your PC with Trend Micro Ransomware Screen Unlocker

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With so much attention focused on the file encrypting-type ransomware it's easy to forget the simpler variety, which pops up when your PC boots and won’t allow access to your system until you pay up.

Even these basic infections can sometimes be tricky to remove, but Trend Micro offers a couple of tools which may be able to help.

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Mass surveillance by UK government is acceptable but there are privacy concerns, says review

vintage-detective

A review into mass surveillance and bulk data collection by the UK government has concluded that there is a strong case for allowing such activity. The privacy-invading activities of MI5, MI6 and GCHQ were the subject of a report by independent reviewer David Anderson QC, and the findings have been welcome by prime minister Theresa May.

The report is likely to concern privacy advocates, particularly when Anderson goes on to say that he agrees 'in principle' that there could be cases for hacking phones and computers. It gives heavyweight backing to the controversial Investigatory Powers bill (snooper's charter).

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Changes to Microsoft Family make it possible to block Chrome and Firefox in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

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Windows 10 Anniversary Update introduced a number of changes to the operating system, and Microsoft has started to email users about changes to Microsoft family settings. As the name implies, this is about keeping things family-safe, family-friendly, but one of the changes is unlikely to go down well with rivals.

While new Microsoft family options make it easier to place limits on what children are able to do with a computer, a controversial option forces the use of Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge. Microsoft has made it possible to block the use of Chrome, Firefox and other rival browsers.

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Slightly confusingly, Apple stores are now just called Apple

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Apple's latest branding move messes with syntax and established convention as it changes the way it refers to its physical stores. While Apple Store, Fifth Avenue made perfect sense to just about anyone with common sense, Apple has now decided that Apple Fifth Avenue is better.

The change to retail labelling is a little, well, odd frankly, but it's sure to gain Apple some more of the attention it so craves. After all, Apple World Trade Center sounds rather more grand than Apple Store, World Trade Center doesn't it?

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