Latest Technology News

Business leaders: Anticipating future tech trends is not in our job description

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Business leaders understand the importance of data analytics, and will do what it takes to make sure their company’s data needs are met. However, they don’t think they should be anticipating future trends in order to take full advantage of any upcoming opportunities.

Those are the results of a new study conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and sponsored by Microsoft Cloud. The study is entitled Transforming Business, and says that 67 percent of survey respondents (including IT leaders, HR leaders, finance and sales & marketing people), are "somewhat" or "very" confident about their department’s ability to use data.

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Mozilla welcomes privacy-boosting GDPR data protection law updates

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In a world more concerned than ever with privacy and data security, law makers are scrambling to keep up to date. With the growth of the internet, many old and inappropriate laws have been bent to fit a purpose they were not designed for. A case in point are European data protection directives which date back more than two decades.

In April this year a new law was adopted -- the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. With compliance with the law required of the 28 EU member states by 25 May 2018, a two-year countdown is now underway. GDPR is welcomed by Mozilla who is using the 24-month compliance deadline to draw attention to some of the regulation's highlights.

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Xiaomi's new Mi Drone starts at just $380

Xiaomi Mi Drone

Xiaomi is now entering the drone market, as today the company officially takes the wraps off its new Mi Drone. The device starts at just $380, making it one of the more-affordable offerings in this segment, a price which includes a 1080p camera that's built-into the Mi Drone.

Xiaomi is also making a more powerful version of Mi Drone, which packs a 4K camera, that will be available for about $460. In both cases, the camera is paired with a 104-degree wide angle lens and a three-axis gimbal for image stabilization.

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TripAdvisor and Google Play Music deliver regional playlists to Android listeners

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While there are many great streaming music services nowadays, such as Spotify and Apple Music, the best value is Google Play Music. Why do I say this? Well, it costs $9.99 monthly for an individual, but the real killer-deal is the $14.99 offer for the six-person family plan. The icing on the cake is free access to YouTube Red, delivering an ad-free video-watching experience, plus exclusive content.

Today, Google Play Music on Android is getting even better, thanks to a partnership with TripAdvisor. The popular travel-planning app can now deliver regional playlists, meaning you can hear the music popular with locals when you travel. Best of all? If you do not already subscribe to Google's streaming music service, you will be awarded two months free for just downloading the TripAdvisor Android app. This is absolutely brilliant for the upcoming summer season.

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The container market is about more than just Docker

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When containers are mentioned, Docker is probably the system that comes to mind. But in fact the container market is much bigger than that with over 100 products that use containers to amplify the benefits of agile development for their users.

Of those, 20 come from public companies and over 70 from private companies, which collectively represent $1.7 billion in venture capital funding. 88 percent of enterprises say they're shifting to a DevOps strategy, and containers are changing the nature of DevOps and transforming infrastructure.

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Microsoft is using Windows 10 to see just how far it can push customers before they break

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If you believe what comes out of Microsoft's figurative mouth, these days the company is all about listening to feedback. That's certainly the message that has been put forward with Windows 10, with the Feedback Hub app being made available to everyone with the operating system installed. Microsoft makes much of the fact that Windows 10 is installed on around 300 million computers, but the reality is that a portion of these installations relate to people who have been hoodwinked into upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8.

The latest trick (tricking users in to installing Windows 10 by clicking a button that would suggest that the offer is being declined) generated such a backlash that Microsoft has been forced into an embarrassing 'u-turn'. Annoying people with Windows 10 is far from unprecedented, and these days it seems Microsoft just likes to see how much it can get away with -- with the possibility of then saving face by 'listening to feedback' and changing tack.

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Three software testing tools you didn't know you needed

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Some software is easy to test. Downloaded a new editor? Open a few supported file types, check they’re displayed correctly, rework them, create documents from scratch: simple. System utilities are more of a challenge. Can your PC optimizer really handle a memory leak? Or an application using too many resources? And is your file unlocker really up to the job?

This kind of low-level testing is hard to carry out on your own, but there are a few specialist tools which can help, if you’re careful.

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Millennials realize social media mistakes could damage their career

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That half-naked butt-selfies millennials sometimes take on top of their washing machine in the bathroom are coming back to haunt them, as they start looking for their first (or new) job, a new survey says.

The survey by cyber-security firm Norton and recruitment firm Reed says UK millennials (18 - 34 year-olds) are now concerned how their social media activity might interfere, and damage, their professional careers.

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Microsoft to tweak its sneaky Windows 10 popup, but it's far from a u-turn

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Windows 10 has been described as being like malware by a lot of people due to the way Microsoft forces it on to users’ computers without express permission. The software giant has engaged in all manner of sneaky and underhand tricks to fool users into agreeing to an upgrade they don’t want.

The latest, and possibly evillest move (to date) involves making closing an unwanted upgrade popup -- by clicking the x in the top right corner -- the same as agreeing to the upgrade.

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Ransomwhat? 43 percent don't know what ransomware is

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A new report shows that 43 percent of consumers in the US and Canada don't know what ransomware is. A similar number (44 percent) say they don’t know what data or information could be stolen in a ransomware attack.

The study by Kaspersky Lab surveyed 4,000 US and 1,000 Canadian consumers aged over 16 and found that only 16 percent mentioned ransomware as a cyber threat they were worried about, compared to their concerns about viruses, spyware and Trojans.

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People want safer alternatives to passwords and they want them now

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As the recent leak of LinkedIn data shows, passwords are an increasingly vulnerable and flawed way of securing systems.

A new survey from identity management specialist Gigya reveals that consumers are beginning to recognize this and that 52 percent would choose anything but a traditional username and password account registration when given the option.

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Microsoft to ditch hundreds more workers in smartphone streamlining measures

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After the sale of its feature phone business last week, Microsoft is making further structuring changes. Announcing the "additional step of streamlining our smartphone hardware business" Terry Myerson says that up to 1,850 jobs could be impacted, with the vast majority of these (1,350) being in Finland.

He also says that the company will continue "develop great new devices", no doubt fueling rumors of the highly-anticipated Surface Phone. Microsoft recognizes that its success with phones have been "limited", and Myerson's memo to employees reiterates the company’s commitment to the Windows platform, and Windows 10 in particular.

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Apple re-hires security expert of PGP, Blackphone and Silent Circle fame

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Following the company's very public stand-off with the FBI over the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, Apple is demonstrating that it has a great interest in security by re-hiring encryption expert Jon Callas.

Best known for founding security-focused firms PGP Corp and Silent Circle -- the company behind the ultra-secure, privacy-centric Blackphone -- Callas has worked for Apple on two previous occasions.

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How much does a DDoS attack cost?

GitHub hit by biggest DDoS attack ever

Security researchers have discovered that DDoS attacks are now available to purchase on the Internet for as little as $5 an hour.

The researchers, who work for the security firm Imperva, were able to find distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) for as low as $5 an hour on the online professional services marketplace Fiverr. A year ago these same services cost $38 an hour and could only be found on the dark web.

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The problem with analytics

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There is a difference between knowledge and understanding. Knowledge typically comes down to knowing facts while understanding is the application of knowledge to the mastery of systems. You can know a lot while understanding very little. Just as an example, IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence system that defeated the TV Jeopardy champs a few years ago knew all there was to know about Jeopardy questions but didn’t really understand anything. Ask Watson to apply to removing your appendix its knowledge of hundreds of medical questions and you’d be disappointed and probably dead. That’s the problem with most analytics, which is why it can be a hard sell.

The answer to this problem, we’re told, is not just machine learning but Deep Machine Learning, the difference between the two being that plain old machine learning is a statistical process that could be (and used to be) replicated by hand, while the deeper variety looks several generations deep in a longitudinal analysis that quickly grows too big for mere mortals to comprehend. Deep machine learning will, theoretically, find all the interconnections and dependencies that until now we’ve had to rely on domain experts to provide, yet even then it can only happen if you happen to be gathering the right data.

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