Latest Technology News

84 percent of people support eliminating passwords

Password tweezers

Spare a moment to consider the plight of the humble password. It has become an essential component of modern life, but it would be wrong to say we've grown to know and love it.

In fact a survey by mobile authentication specialist LaunchKey shows that 84 percent of respondents would like to do away with passwords altogether and 76 percent believe their information would be more secure with an alternative form of authentication.

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Virginia shooting shows the power of social media, and the danger of autoplay videos

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Social media is an incredibly powerful tool. It's not without good reason that ad campaigns start on Twitter and Facebook in the hope of going viral. As with any medium, social media is full of positive and negative content. Content you're interested in seeing, and stuff you really aren't.

But the difference with the likes of Facebook and Twitter is that you're not always in control of what you see. The horrific shooting live on TV in Virginia highlights this perfectly. As with any tragedy or big news story, many were quick to take to social networks to share information and thoughts. They also shared video footage of the killings which automatically played in people's timelines.

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How do you know if the cloud is right for your business? [Q&A]

cloud

The rapid growth in cloud adoption might suggest that every workload businesses currently have on-premise is destined for some sort of cloud-based service. The reality is that, other than for small companies, that's probably not the case.

Entrusting key applications to a third party requires intelligent planning in many areas such as management, portability, security and support requirements. What can IT organizations do to reduce risks, tame the complexity and increase their potential for success? We spoke to Jerry McLeod, vice president of business development at hybrid cloud management provider HotLink to find out.

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Insert special characters into any document with WinCompose

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Numbers, letters, basic symbols and punctuation -- your keyboard covers all the typing basics. But what if you need to enter accented characters, math symbols, superscripts, or anything else a little less standard?

WinCompose is an open source tool for Windows which can insert special characters and symbols into just about any document or application.

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Turn your smartphone's camera into a 3D scanner with Microsoft's Mobile Fusion app

Microsoft MobileFusion

Microsoft has been really busy lately, and now it has shown one of the things it has been working on -- a 3D scanner inside a regular smartphone.

The app, called MobileFusion, turns your average smartphone camera into a high-tech 3D scanner, allowing you to scan objects and turn them into 3D models for viewing, sharing and 3D printing, right in front of your very eyes.

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Translate website text by pointing at it with TransOver

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If you need to translate website text then there are plenty of services and apps available, most of which have piled on the features as they try to stand out from the crowd. But while that sounds great in theory, in practice it can mean wasting time navigating a bulky interface to get what you need.

TransOver is a Chrome extension with more of a back-to-basics approach. There’s no copying URLs, no opening new tabs or panes -- you’re able to translate text by selecting, clicking or just pointing at it.
Just hover your mouse over a word, for instance, and by default a tooltip appears with appropriate definitions.

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Facebook is now working on its own digital assistant called M

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Sounding like a character from a James Bond movie, M is Facebook's personal digital assistant. Ready to compete with the likes of Cortana, M will live inside Facebook Messenger and take artificial intelligence a step further. Rather than just helping you to find information or create calendar entries, M will actually perform tasks on your behalf.

Once up and running, M will be able to book restaurants for you, purchase shopping, and more. It will also be possible to use the service to ask for advice -- such as looking for somewhere to visit nearby, or gift suggestions -- and Facebook says the AI behind M is "trained and supervised by people".

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Apple: iPhones thriving in China

Apple

Even though China’s smartphone market is saturated, and now relies only on people replacing their devices instead of buying their first one, Apple still bets a lot on that market.

In its third quarter earnings the iPhone business grew by more than half, to $31bn (£19.64bn) on 47.5 million shipments. According to a report by the IB Times, sales in China more than doubled to $13bn (£8.24bn), over a quarter of Apple’s revenue. The company did not say exactly how many iPhones it sold in China last quarter, but it was an 87 percent increase on a year earlier.

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Amazon Underground offers a way to get over $10,000 worth of Android apps and games entirely free

Amazon Underground

Why pay for something when you can get it for free? Provided free, really is free of course (so many "free" things these days come with hidden costs). If you’re an Android user you’ll want to sit up and pay attention to a new app from Amazon which provides a way to get your hands on all of the apps and games that are actually available for free throughout the Amazon Appstore.

Better still, while the apps and games offered might include in-app purchases in other stores, in Amazon Underground, everything is entirely free. Find an app you like and you'll pay nothing for it, ever.

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Many workers are not familiar with the cloud, VoIP, fiber broadband

Why Confused Question Mark Woman Wall

A pretty staggering amount of folks in the UK still don’t have a clue what some basic technology terms mean, such as the cloud, according to a new survey.

This research comes from telecoms outfit Daisy Group, which questioned British employees to find out how clued up they were on the subject of connectivity, and also subsequently surveyed some 1100 SME owners and managers in the UK.

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Don't blame Samsung; it's your own stupid fault if you break your Galaxy Note 5

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Samsung is undoubtedly pleased that its new Galaxy Note 5 is in the headline, but the company would almost certainly prefer that it was for different reasons than it breaking. Not that there is a problem with the Note 5 -- despite countless websites and blogs claiming that Samsung has released a handset with a design flaw -- but if you insert the S Pen the wrong way round, you could well break it.

Of course, when one makes a mistake -- like shoving a stylus backwards into its housing -- it's easy to try to blame someone else. Samsung's response to the situation has been advising people to "follow the instructions in the user guide", which is entirely reasonable. How much hand-holding is really required? Do knife manufacturers need to tell you not to hold onto the pointy end?

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Security education saves companies millions of dollars a year

phishing

Successful phishing attacks can lead to costs from loss of employee productivity and credential compromise, among other factors, which together may cost an average sized company $3.77 million per year.

New research released by Wombat Security Technologies and the Ponemon Institute finds that the phishing email click rate improved an average of 64 percent following security training.

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Windows 10 now on 75 million devices according to Microsoft

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It's been a wild month for Microsoft, given the roll out of the operating system many had been waiting for. For those who were perturbed with Windows 8 and those who skipped it all together, Windows 10 is a definite step up. It's a bit of a hybrid and it came out quickly -- much faster than past versions.

Now after much rather useless speculation, we have numbers that are actually attributed to Microsoft. The information comes via Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Marketing for Windows and Devices, who shared the facts on his Twitter account.

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One percent of employees account for 75 percent of cloud risk

Cloud risk

Cloud security specialist CloudLock has released a new report looking at the risks of user behavior to businesses using cloud systems.

It reaches the startling conclusion that just one percent of users account for 75 percent of the security risk. The top one percent of users are responsible for 57 percent of file ownership, 81 percent of files shared, 73 percent of excessively exposed files and 62 percent of app installations.

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Most developers don't build mobile apps

developer laptop

Even though the world is increasingly mobile, more than half of developers have never built a mobile app, a new survey, called Telerik State of Mobile Development, shows.

Telerik, the company who conducted the survey, asked 3,000 IT professionals about mobile development. Among the biggest issues developers have with building mobile apps is the fact that a lot of them are still new to mobile development or have never built a mobile app (57 percent), while others develop just one functional mobile app a year (47 percent).

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