Latest Technology News

Amazon subsidizing unlocked smartphones with ads -- a big win for Prime members

Prime Exclusive BLU R1 HD w_offer_ad

When Amazon launched its Kindle 'with offers', some folks likely groaned at the prospect of getting a discount on the device in exchange for advertisements. Me? I loved it. Seeing advertisements doesn't bother me, and I find a lower cost for the hardware to be a reasonable trade-off.

Today, Amazon announces that it is expanding the program beyond its own hardware. Prime members exclusively can now buy unlocked Android phones with ads on the lock screen. If you are OK with this, you can score some extreme discounts -- up to 50 percent off! Initially, there are just two devices being offered, the Moto G (2016) and BLU R1 HD.

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IT pros training CEOs to spot phishing attacks

Phishing

Out of 300 IT professionals attending the Infosecurity Europe conference, almost half (49 percent) believe their CEO has fallen victim to a targeted phishing attack.

The results have been published in a new paper by unified security management and crowd-sourced threat intelligence company, AlienVault.

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Facebook tweaks its newsfeed, yet again, so you'll see more posts from people you actually know

facebook_mac

When it's not messing around with privacy settings and manipulating trending topics, there's nothing Facebook seems to like more than to tinker with timelines. Today the social network announces the latest changes to your newsfeed -- now you should see more posts from your friends and family.

The problem we currently face, Facebook says, is that there is "far too much information for any one person to consume". This is where algorithms come into play, meddling with timelines and newsfeeds in ways that never please everyone. The latest change promises that content from "the friends you care about" will appear "higher up in your News Feed".

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72 percent of companies plan to ditch passwords by 2025

Password

Security professionals increasingly believe that usernames and passwords provide insufficient security, and 72 percent think they will be phased out within nine years.

This is among the findings from mobile identity company TeleSign which also shows that security professionals are increasingly turning to effective, easy to implement technologies such as behavioral biometrics and two-factor authentication to secure user accounts.

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Public Wi-Fi is unsecure

Public wi-fi

People are aware of the risks that come with using Wi-Fi, but generally believe public hotspots, like those on airports, are secure. Those are the results published in Norton’s latest Wi-Fi Risk Report 2016, which said 64 percent of UK’s adults assume public Wi-Fi is safe enough to use.

However, Norton says this couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Windows 10 is now on 350 million devices

Windows 10 girl

Just under two months ago, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 was on 300 million devices. That’s a sizeable number, achieved in around nine months.

Today, in officially announcing the launch date of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft says the number of devices running the OS has jumped to over 350 million.

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Transform pictures into LEGO mosaics with Legoaizer

Legoaizer.200.175

Legoaizer is a mosaic builder with a twist. Point the program at a JPG and instead of just pixelating it, Legoaizer creates the mosaic from LEGO bricks. Getting started is easy: open a picture, click "Create Mosaic", and within a few seconds the LEGO-ized version appears.

Spin your mouse wheel over the picture to zoom in and see the individual bricks, then save the image as a JPG, BMP or PNG file.

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Microsoft's back to school deal helps students save $300 on Surface and Xbox One bundle

Surface Pro 4

Microsoft today introduces a pretty sweet back to school deal, giving students the option to save $300 with the purchase of a Surface device and an Xbox One console. Part of the bundle are three free extras, one of which is a wireless controller.

The promo is valid for all configurations of the Surface Book and Surface Pro 4, and starts at just $878. For the money, students get the base Surface Pro 4 and a 500GB Xbox One game bundle. The two devices are normally available to students for $809.10 and $279, respectively, when purchased separately.

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VLC 2.0 app now publicly available for Windows 10 devices

VLC 2.0.0 Windows 10 dark mode

VideoLAN today releases the first public beta build of VLC for Windows 10. Now a universal app, it comes with the same core feature set as the Android and iOS apps but also a few platform-specific extras. VLC 2.0.0 is compatible with all the common Windows 10 devices, including smartphones.

The main features that VLC 2.0.0 brings to the table are the vast audio and video format support, the ability to view and download subtitles and synchronize audio and video, and a network sharing browser. Additionally for Windows 10 users, it also plays well with key features like Cortana and Continuum.

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Microsoft confirms Windows 10 Anniversary Update is coming August 2 -- here's what’s new

Win 10 anniversary update

Yesterday, Microsoft accidentally leaked the news that the eagerly awaited Windows 10 Anniversary Update is now set to arrive on August 2, and today the software giant confirms the news, along with details of what to expect from the update.

If you’re a Windows Insider, or have been following news of the various Insider Preview builds, you’ll know there’s a lot of new features and improvements in the update.

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Google's creepy My Activity page reveals the terrifying amount of data collected about you

personal-files-filing-cabinet

That Google gathers data about you is not news. If you use Google products, it's something you've decided to put up with -- either that, or you live in blissful ignorance of. Whether you're using Gmail and YouTube online, Google keyboard on your Android smartphone, Chrome across platforms, or whatever, being a Google user means handing over an awful lot of personal information.

But just how much does Google know about you? If you use the voice-activated "OK, Google" feature of your phone, there are probably lots of recordings of you stored online; what about everything else? Google has now launched My Activity, a portal which reveals everything the company knows about you. Every search you’ve made, the apps you've used, the videos you've watched, and everything in between.

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Use of encryption in enterprises is at all time high

Data Encryption

The use of encryption in global organizations is now at an all-time high, with 41 percent using it extensively today -- a seven percent rise over last year.

This is among the findings of a Global Encryption report from Thales e-Security and the Ponemon Institute which shows that businesses are taking action to guard their sensitive data.

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Ad personalization from Google -- giving power to the people, or a privacy nightmare?

personalizegoogleads

Online ads aren’t going away anytime soon, and that'll keep the likes of Adblock Plus in business for the foreseeable future. But if you choose not to use an ad blocker and are therefore going to be bombarded with ads, they might as well be ads that are relevant to you, right?

Google is rolling out a new feature that enables users to choose the topics they are interested in so the ads they see will be more appropriate to them. But as well as improving the ad experience for users, the new scheme means that advertisers are handed even more information about people that can be exploited for financial gain. It also enables Google to use information it gathers about users to tailor ads.

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75 percent of IT pros lack visibility into their hybrid clouds

Cloud visibility

A majority of organizations lack visibility into their cloud infrastructure, file shares, user activity and mobile devices, according to a new survey.

The study from cloud governance specialist Netwrix reveals that almost 65 percent of organizations do not have complete visibility into user, IT and third-party activity in their IT infrastructure. In addition 75 percent of respondents have partial or no visibility into their cloud and hybrid IT environments.

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Workers find meetings productive

Team meeting

You’ve probably heard it a million times, how meetings are actually a waste of time and do little good. You’ve also heard how people usually browse social media and look at the ceiling during these meetings, and that it would be more productive watching paint dry.

Turns out, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Unified communications solutions company ShoreTel conducted a research into what the current workforce thinks about meetings, and the overall opinion is vastly positive.

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