Latest Technology News

Set your wallpaper to a single shade with LoneColor

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Family photos, landscapes, animals, celebs, even live video: there’s no shortage of wallpaper options, or programs to help you change from one image to another.

While this seems like a good idea at first, there are potential problems. Really detailed images can be a distraction -- especially when they’re changing all the time -- and can make it harder to read icon captions.

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Best Windows apps this week

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One-hundred and twenty eight in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows in the past seven days.

Microsoft kicked off this year's BUILD conference with a bang as it revealed new information about its upcoming operating system Windows 10, the application ecosystem and other core company products. Check out our coverage on Microsoft Edge, the Continuum feature, Windows Store changes and information about the new build that just landed.

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Mozilla strong-arming websites to drop HTTP

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Mozilla plans to phase out HTTP support in Firefox, in a push to make browsing more secure. The organization wants websites to go all-in with HTTPS, revealing that it will leverage access to some of its browser's features and make proposals to The World Wide Web Consortium to get the ball rolling.

Mozilla's move may be seen as a way to strong-arm lots of website administrators into supporting HTTPS, as, after all, Firefox is the third most-popular browser today, with a desktop usage share of 11.7 percent. The protocol requires the purchase of a certificate, increasing website running costs, which can become a problem for smaller businesses.

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Windows 10 will launch this summer -- but for PCs only

Surprise

When Microsoft announced it was planning a summer release for Windows 10, there were some raised eyebrows. When AMD suggested the new OS would launch in July, there were a lot more raised eyebrows. Windows 10 is coming on nicely, but there’s still a lot of work to do to get everything done and dusted in time.

It turns out Microsoft agrees. While Windows 10 will be released in the summer (not "July", just "summer"), it will only be available for desktop PCs, at first.

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Antivirus tool stripped of awards after cheating

Antivirus tool stripped of awards after cheating

Antivirus software produced by Qihoo 360 has been stripped of awards by three leading security testers after it was found to have cheated. AV‐Comparatives, AV‐TEST and Virus Bulletin discovered that Chinese company Qihoo 360 submitted one version of its software for testing, but then released a different one.

The publicly released version of the software had a key virus detection engine disabled, resulting in a lower level of protection for users. As a result of the findings, the security testing bodies are not only revoking any awards given to the software this year, but also calling for greater transparency so consumers know what they are getting.

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After disrupting electric cars, Tesla announces Powerwall and Powerpack batteries for home and businesses

Tesla Powerwall

Today electric carmaker Tesla Motors debuts into a new product category -- the second after cars -- called Tesla Energy. The company shows off new batteries designed to power homes, businesses, and even public utilities. The batteries called Powerwall will store solar energy and serve as a backup system during power outage. The batteries will be available for sale in US this Summer. It will eventually launch at other places as well.

At an event in Los Angeles, Tesla Motors Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk says that Tesla Energy holds the power to change the entire energy infrastructure in the world. "This is within the power of humanity to do," he says. "We have done things like this before. It is not impossible... In a lot of ways it's taking derivative technology from the car".

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Shhh! Anonymous messaging app Secret shuts down

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The new trend on mobile is anonymous messaging apps capable of hiding all personal information, while allowing thousands of people to converse on one platform.

It looks like not all of the apps are making a killing. Co-founder of Secret, David Byttow announced he would be closing the application and deleting all the content in the coming weeks, following the steady rise of apps like Whisper and Yik Yak, which appeal to the same demographic as Secret.

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Microsoft reveals Code editor for Windows, Mac, Linux

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Microsoft has announced the first public preview of Visual Studio Code, a free cross-platform developer’s editor for Windows, Mac and Linux.

As you’d expect with this kind of tool, there’s syntax highlighting, autocompletion, bracket matching and similar support for a lot of languages: C++, jade, PHP, Python, XML, Batch, F#, DockerFile, Coffee Script, Java, HandleBars, R, Objective-C, PowerShell, Luna, Visual Basic, Markdown, JavaScript, JSON, HTML, CSS, LESS, SASS, C# and TypeScript, with more to come,

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Microsoft releases Band SDK to developers

Microsoft Band SDK released to developers

In the world of wearables, Microsoft Band may not hold the same gravitas as Apple Watch or the various Android Wear devices, but the company is still trying to get more developers on board -- today launching the Microsoft Band SDK, following on from February's preview release.

With support for Windows Phone, Android, iOS, and full-blown Windows, Microsoft is clearly keen to appeal to as many developers as possible. This full SDK release offers access to all of Band's sensors -- as part of a push to get more third-party apps on the device.

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Euro currency crisis raises Chromebook's sales appeal

Toshiba Chromebook 2 Ports

What if you manufactured a low-cost, underpowered laptop -- and the configuration suddenly turned into a massive marketing advantage? That may well be the opportunity ahead for Google and its Chromebook OEM partners; if they seize the opportunity.

As we reported Wednesday, Gartner predicts that currency devaluation will compel major computer manufacturers to raise prices by as much as 10 percent, particularly across Europe and in Japan. Higher prices mean more customers will do with leaner configurations, and choose sub-$500 systems. Meanwhile, PC makers will give purchasers less for more money, cutting back features to preserve margins while shifting sales priorities to markets where currencies are more buoyant. What is Chromebook already? A lean, low-cost PC in that price category but better optimized for hardware.

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Shazam and TuneIn Radio gain 'OK Google' Android music identification and playback

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The older I get, the less aware I am of the current popular musicians. If I hear a pleasing song while I am at the store or chilling at Starbucks, it would be awkward to ask one of the younger and hipper people to identify it for me -- that is about as uncool as one can get. Luckily, thanks to technology, I can use my smartphone to discover name of both the song an artist.

Today, both Shazam and TuneIn announce a partnership with Google to integrate their app functionality into the Google app on Android. What does this mean? You can call upon Google with the familiar "OK Google" followed by "Shazam This Song". The Shazam app will then attempt to identify a song using your devices microphone. You can use similar functionality to play music with TuneIn Radio.

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Android Wear: How to set up your smartwatch

Moto 360 Watch Face

So you’re thinking about getting yourself an Android Wear smartwatch, but you're not sure if it’s too complicated to set up?

The truth is it’s a very simple device and setting up is no different than, say, setting up an app on your smartphone.

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Google's open source addressing system could replace longitude and latitude

Google's open source addressing system could replace longitude and latitude

Google often decides to go about things in its own way, and is frequently found approaching common problems from a unique angle. The latest candidate to receive the Google treatment is the humble address. Not web addresses or email addresses, but regular postal addresses. So what's the deal?

While street names and numbers usually get you to where you want to go, that's not always the case. You could opt to use longitude and latitude instead, but what sane person wants to do that? This is the very question Google asked before it came up with Open Location Code, an open source addressing system the company hopes developers will latch onto.

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LG G4 vs Samsung Galaxy S6: Which flagship has the better camera?

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Samsung’s Galaxy S6 is a great device, no doubt about it. It has all the elements needed for a great smartphone: a large, high quality display, powerful processor, a great operating system with countless features, and two amazing cameras.

However, the competition out there is merciless. Apple has hit the South Korean giants hard with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models, and now the LG G4 seems to be out for blood, as well.

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Ever wondered how old you look? New tool from Microsoft will hurt your feelings

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Microsoft has created a new website which makes use of its recently released Face detection APIs to guess a user’s age based purely on a photo they submit.

The creators expected around 50 people to be interested in trying out the project, but the site has gone viral, racking up over 35,000 users as of yesterday, and likely hundreds of thousands more today. People want to know how they are perceived by others and a site that promises to predict their age based on an uploaded photo was bound to be a hit. It’s a shame then, that a random number generator could probably produce more accurate results.

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