Latest Technology News

Apple refreshes 15-inch MacBook Pro, introduces cheaper 5K iMac

May 2015 base 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display

Apple has refreshed the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, beefing up its top-of-the-line laptop with a Force Touch trackpad, faster internal storage and dedicated graphics, and, of course, better battery life. Also new is a 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display configuration which kicks off at $1,999, $300 cheaper than the original model.

But these are not the only changes that Apple has announced. The original 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display now starts off at $200 less than before -- prior to this price-cut, it had been available from $2,499. Let us take a detailed look at what the new 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display brings to the table.

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DataStax launches database platform designed for mixed workloads

database

Enterprises currently have a greater volume and variety of data available to them than ever before, but this leads to increased pressure to exploit that data effectively to make timely business decisions.

Apache Cassandra database specialist DataStax is today launching DataStax Enterprise 4.7 which offers integrated enterprise search, analytics, security, in-memory computing, and database management and monitoring, making it ideal for mixed workload environments.

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Ban on YouTube's controversial anti-Islam film finally lifted

muslims

In 2012 a controversial video went viral on YouTube that angered Muslims across the Middle East, sparking riots and leading to several deaths. The Innocence of Muslims is a 74 minute piece of junk (that I watched), which shows the prophet Muhammad as a fool, a fraud, insane, and a sexual deviant. Unsurprisingly it was blocked in numerous countries, including Libya, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Russia. Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, even went so far as to ban YouTube entirely.

Despite mounting pressure, including from the White House, Google refused to remove the film from YouTube, because it didn’t violate its policies. However, The Innocence of Muslims fell victim to a specious copyright claim, and ended up being removed anyway.

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Is someone stealing your Wi-Fi?

espionage hacker thief black hat

Wi-Fi access is growing all the time and that’s hardly surprising considering the amount of time we spend online and the need for employees to be increasingly mobile. The number of public hotspots are on the up, but that’s not the only way to get online.

Unauthorized access to your personal Wi-Fi can occur if the right precautions are not taken. One of the first things to do is to check the list of connected devices using your network. There are dedicated software packages that will help you do this, or alternatively, you can usually access your router’s settings by entering your IP address into your web browser search bar.

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Microsoft's VC3 security is encryption for the cloud

Microsoft's VC3 security is encryption for the cloud

The inexorable move towards the cloud continues apace, and something that remains a key concern is security. Microsoft thinks it may have come up with a solution in the form of Verifiable Confidential Cloud Computing, or VC3, which has been designed to keep cloud data encrypted and secure even when the data is being used to perform calculations.

Described as a "lockbox in the cloud", VC3 keeps data protected by using secure, managed hardware to perform any necessary decryption. Encrypted data is transferred to VC3-managed cloud hardware where it is then decrypted, used in calculations, and then re-encrypted.

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LG expands G4 lineup -- announces G4 Stylus and G4c

LG G4 Stylus and G4c together

LG's G4 lineup is growing, as the South Korean maker just announced G4 Stylus and G4c. The two new smartphones look similar to their flagship sibling, G4, but sport much more modest hardware.

G4 Stylus is the proper phablet in the lineup, while G4c is the compact offering -- if it can be called that, given that its display is as big as some of G4's rivals. Both smartphones can be considered mid-range offerings.

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View hundreds of retro graphics formats with RECOIL

RECOIL200-175

Viewing images is easy these days. No matter which platform you’re on, or what application you’re running, just about everyone uses the same standard formats, and these can typically be displayed on your device’s native viewer, with no need to install anything else.

In the early days of computing, 30+ years ago, it was different. There was no JPG, no PNG, so companies like Atari and Commodore had their own graphic formats. Even these weren’t fixed, with new variations all the time, which makes it very difficult if you’d like to view any of them on a modern computer.

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How to turn iPad into a Mac or PC second screen

iPad second screen Mac or PC app

A newly released app enables iPad owners to use their tablet as a second monitor for their desktop PC.

Duet Display uses the iPad’s charging cord to connect to your PC and is now compatible with both Mac and Windows devices.

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Starbucks and Spotify join forces

sbux

When it comes to coffee, I am pretty open-minded, brewing many different brands with my Keurig. Hell, the use of that single-cup brewer is sacrilege to many aficionados, but I enjoy it. Away from home, however, I drink Dunkin' Donuts, 7 Eleven and, of course, Starbucks. While the Seattle-based Starbucks is not my favorite coffee, I go there more often than the other two. Why? The ambiance. I enjoy being in the coffee shop, as it is trendy and they play interesting music. Oh, and free Wi-Fi!

Apparently, I am not alone in enjoying the music that is played in Starbucks, as the company is joining forces with my favorite streaming music service, Spotify. While this partnership seems odd on the surface, it actually makes a lot of sense.

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Microsoft Solitaire turns 25 -- what are your fondest memories of the game?

25sol

Back in the 90's, I got my first computer. I was not alone in this regard; at the time, Windows-based computers exploded in popularity thanks to the Internet. These machines were hardly inexpensive, often costing several thousand dollars. This was at a time when a thousand dollars was much more valuable than today.

The funny thing is, beyond using AOL to talk to strangers, we home users did not know what the heck to do with these expensive machines. Before you bought it, you would envision all of the magical things you will do, but ultimately, it was often used for one thing -- solitaire. Yes, many consumers justified their purchases by playing Microsoft Solitaire for hours on end. Hell, even in the corporate world, employees would play the game instead of getting work done; it was gloriously unproductive. Today, the game turns 25.

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X-T10 joins Fujifilm's crowded digital camera family

Fujifilm X-T10

Fujifilm's line of cameras increasingly looks like choices among toothpastes. Do you want fluoride or gingivitis protection? Oh, this one whitens teeth, cures bad breath, and eliminates body odor. Decisions, decisions. That's kind of my reaction to today's debut of the X-T10 digital camera, which shouldn't be confused with Fujifilm's X10, X100T, or X-T1. Dyslectics and the visually impaired, beware!

As a X100T owner, I'm a Fuji fan. So, please, don't take my criticism wrongly. It's just this lineup is quite crowded. The company's product website lists -- count `em -- 18 different X-Series models. Sure, some aren't current and not all can be confused. But many of them are close enough in actual benefits to perplex potential buyers.

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Microsoft will keep your emails in check automatically

Microsoft will keep your emails in check automatically

Towards the end of last year, Microsoft launched Clutter. It's a tool designed to make it easier to focus on the email that matter by moving the less important ones into a separate folder. It works in a similar way to decluttering tools offered by Yahoo and Gmail, and now it's being rolled out to everyone.

Starting in June, there will be no need to manually activate the feature as it will be enabled by default. If you're not keen on having your emails tinkered with, you can disable it, but Microsoft explains that the aim is to save you time by reducing the amount of chaff you have to sort through to get to the wheaty content that matters.

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EncFSMP: a real cross-platform encryption tool

EncFSMP200-175

Encrypting your most confidential files can be very easy, at least with the right application. Create a container; choose a password; drag, drop, done.

Sharing those containers is often more difficult, especially if the recipient needs to install a copy of your original encryption tool, and it’s not available for their platform.

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Google slashes prices to attract the enterprise to its Cloud Platform

cutmoney

They say the key to a man's heart is his stomach, and for me, that is probably true -- feel free to put fat jokes in the comments. But what is the key to a company's heart? Money. Yes, cost savings is an easy way to make a company take notice in your solution.

Today, Google is aiming to attract the enterprise to its Cloud Platform using this practice. You see, the search giant is dramatically slashing prices, and quite frankly, businesses should take notice.

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Twitch gaming video arrives on Roku set-top boxes and TVs

Twitch-Games

Video games and set-top boxes. They don't seem to go together, but these days they do. You can play games on many of them, though they won't be confused with an Xbox One or PS4. But today video games aren't just about playing, it's become a spectator sport as well. Much of that is due to the Twitch service which allows people to post videos and watch others.

Now the Twitch channel has arrived on Roku, one of the most popular set-top boxes on the market. The manufacturer is adding the channel now, allowing customers to begin streaming the videos that seem so popular in today's culture.

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