In August of this year, the USB 3.1 specification was completed. This was very exciting news for USB fans. Yes, there are fans of the connector. After all, USB can connect everything from mice and keyboards to hard drives and card readers. Quite frankly, how can you not be a fan of it? Today, the USB consortium announces a new connector -- type C.
"The new USB Type-C connector, built initially on existing USB 3.1 and USB 2.0 technologies, is being developed to help enable thinner and sleeker product designs, enhance usability and provide a growth path for performance enhancements for future versions of USB. This supplement to the USB 3.1 specification is anticipated to be completed by the middle of next year", says the consortium.
Microsoft's business communications app Lync, formerly known by the catchy name of Microsoft Office Communicator, has become a go-to instant messaging service for a number of businesses. It works with contacts from Outlook and uses Microsoft Exchange Server, to help bring people together, regardless of where they are.
Now a new update to the Lync app is being pushed out, and this one is exclusively for Windows 8.1. "Based on your feedback, we made a number of improvements in this update that we think you’ll like", the Lync team announces.
Last month, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were launched within a week of each other. As gamers around the globe snatch up the consoles at a furious pace, real-life productivity for gamers is probably at a record low. Surely, parents and wives everywhere are urging their children and husbands to get fresh air, do their homework and get a job.
Sadly, these pleas are falling on deaf-ears, as the gamers are entranced in their next-generation video-games; especially owners of Microsoft's console. "We are seeing incredible usage from our engaged fans who have purchased Xbox One with more than 50 million hours spent on Xbox One games and entertainment,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of Strategy and Marketing, Xbox.
It's fairly safe to assume that there are few people left who don't have a high-definition TV, and those who do not are the ones who aren't interested in modern set-top boxes like Google TV and Roku. Unlike the early days of Plasma and LCD, now the content is there to support the TV and prices have dropped to reasonable levels.
Now PlayOn, and its PlayLater DVR service, are joining the HD revolution. "PlayOn users can now stream up to 720p HD resolution content from many of PlayOn’s 60-plus channels, including Netflix, Hulu, HBO GO and ABC, to their TVs with only a broadband-enabled PC, PlayOn software and a DLNA-compatible device. Also, PlayLater users can record movies and shows in HD and watch them on mobile devices, whenever and wherever, with no Internet connection needed", the company announces.
The consumerization of information technology (IT) takes many forms, but the three technologies that employees have become comfortable with in their role as consumer and now wish to leverage in their role as employee are mobile devices, cloud services (for example, file storage), and social networks. All three technologies raise security and compliance concerns for enterprises because of the difficulties surrounding control of their use. The loss of control experienced by IT teams regarding enforcing IT and security policy is a result of employees’ ability to use these technologies to create shadow IT operations on their own.
While each of these three technologies is having a far-reaching impact on enterprises today, the use of mobile devices is most impactful because it allows employees to more easily access both cloud services and social networks. Securing the use of mobile devices is therefore an absolutely critical requirement for businesses today. Actually securing a device that might be owned by an employee and will therefore be unmanageable is, however, a tall order. A better strategy is to assume the device is in fact untrustworthy and to decide that trust is better established at the application level. Secure mobile apps can be built that are isolated from the rest of the device.
Remote access tool TeamViewer has left beta and been officially upgraded to version 9 with a host of time-saving tweaks and tools.
The new release makes it much easier to start work. A Wake-on-LAN feature allows you to wake up computers remotely; desktop shortcuts for any computer can get you connected with a double-click; and you can carry out simple file transfers without having to first establish a connection.
The iPad wasn't the first tablet on the market, but it was certainly the first to capture the public's attention in a big way. And now, we live in a world where predictions tell us nearly weekly that the reign of the desktop PC is coming to an end.
That may or may not be true, but the fact remains: the tablet is here to stay, and it’s one of the fastest-selling electronic devices in recent history. While the newly unveiled iPad Air and iPad mini Retina are bringing people in droves to local Apple stores, Google continues to impress with its Android-powered Nexus tablets, and Windows-based tablet computers like the Surface 2 are gaining traction in an increasingly crowded market.
Most businesses by now will have heard of the Google Cloud Platform which lets developers run applications on Google's servers. The company today announces general availability of its Google Compute Engine offering scalable, secure virtual machines running Linux.
In its preview phase Compute Engine supported only Debian and Centos running with a customized Google kernel. It now supports any out of the box Linux distro so that developers can work with a familiar environment but also support software that needs a specific kernel or file system.
NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has once again joined forces with Microsoft to power its popular Santa tracker this holiday season. The organization made a switch in 2012 from its previous partner, Google, to Microsoft and this time the two have big plans for improved features.
Microsoft claims this is the most immersive site yet. That's likely correct, given all of the 2013 additions. Visitors can take a virtual tour of Santa's North Pole village that comes with a 3D Claymation-style look that Microsoft says was "inspired by NORAD Tracks Santa’s long history and the Claymation style classic holiday movies".
It seems like we’re forever posting stories about the decline of the PC, and here’s another one. This time, IDC is delivering the bad news, and make no mistake, it is bad news. Catastrophic news in fact, because IDC says worldwide PC shipments are experiencing the "most severe yearly contraction on record".
Shipments were expected to fall by 9.7 percent in 2013, but IDC has revised that estimate to a worse 10.1 percent. Next year the outlook isn't expected to be quite as bad, but things are still going to be very bleak, even in emerging markets, the traditional primary growth area for the PC.
Tiny, yet powerful audio editor Wavosaur has been updated to version 22.214.171.124.
This release introduces a native 64-bit edition, which allows the program to access all your RAM, and load 64-bit VST plugins. A bug fix with the 126.96.36.199 VST host means Izotope and similar plugins should now work properly.
Increased use of mobile devices by consumers means that companies face challenges in terms of making their services and data available on a range of different gadgets. To give customers a properly interactive experience you need more than just a website. The key to doing this is APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) which allow connections to be established between your data and your customer's devices.
But developing APIs can be a complex and costly process. In order to streamline this StrikeIron has announced the public launch of its new hosted API management tool in the form of IronCloud.
Facebook was never really meant to be about news. It is a social network that's about keeping in touch with people. But companies quickly cottoned onto the site as a valuable tool for reaching out to customers, delivering information about product launches, app updates and other news. Despite the fact that Facebook users are invited to update their "status", anything that is posted appears in the "News Feed" of others. Now Facebook is trying to make your News Feed more about news.
There have been endless complaints about the order in which posts are displayed in the News Feed, and the presence of ads, but this latest update has been brought in to help further separate the wheat from the chaff. Having conducted a survey, Facebook has come to the conclusion that its users are more interested in seeing high quality content than countless images of cats and bastardized Keep Calm posters.
If you’d like to preserve your online privacy then it can be a good idea to clear your Firefox cookies, but there’s usually a price to pay. Even if you’re careful, the chances are you’ll delete genuinely useful cookies, and be forced to manually log in when you revisit some of your favorite sites.
Install the Firefox add-on Biscuit, though, and cookie management becomes much easier. It allows you to mark particular items for preservation, which means you’re then able to delete just the unwanted cookies while keeping everything else.
Apple is a company that, generally speaking, likes to keep itself to itself -- but that's not to say it doesn't like to keep its finger on the pulse and learn about what others are talking about. This is demonstrated perfectly by the company's latest purchase. This time around Apple has invested a reported $200 million in Topsy Labs, a social media analytics firm that specializes in monitoring trends on Twitter.
Topsy has access to every single tweet sent since Twitter inception back in 2006, making it the most extensive database of the micro-blogging service. The information available through Topsy is the sort of data that would prove immensely useful to advertisers, but at this stage it is not clear just how Apple intends to use the information. Topsy Labs' tool can be used to monitor trends on Twitter, check the topics that are being discussed, as well as determining the success and impact of online campaigns.