Latest Technology News

Compress and decompress EXE’s with Free UPX

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UPX is a popular open source tool which can pack Windows EXE and other executable formats to reduce their size.

The process typically compresses files more than zipping, but otherwise has no apparent effect on the file. Run a packed EXE and it quickly decompresses and launches the original image, with no sign that anything unusual has happened.

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The iPhone 7 has worse battery life than HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5

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Consumer group Which? has conducted a series of battery life tests on the latest smartphones, and the news is not good for the iPhone 7. Pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and LG G5, Apple's latest handset came in last place... and by some distance.

In terms of call time, the Samsung Galaxy S7 lasted for more than twice as long as the iPhone 7, while the HTC 10 had two and a half times the longevity. Things were not quite as bad for the iPhone 7 in internet usage tests... but it was still found bringing up the rear.

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Google Maps gains a bunch of voice commands for hands-free navigation

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Google Maps on an Android phone is a great way to get from A to B without getting lost, but if you need to check details of your route or want to make a change to settings, you'll need to pull over to do so. Or at least that used to be the case. Google has just added a load of voice commands to the app.

Of course, having to pull over is an inconvenience, and trying to fiddle with your phone while driving is dangerous. With this in mind, the addition of a series of voice commands triggered by saying 'OK Google', is not entirely surprising, but it is also very welcome.

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Best Windows apps this week

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Two-hundred in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on Windows Store in the past seven days.

No app of the week this time but the new Microsoft Edge extension Turn off the Lights almost made it.

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UK IT contractor rates up nearly 10 percent

Arrow and money staircase increase rise cash

In the last 12 months, the average IT contractor day rates have jumped 9.11 percent, and have hit £431, according to a new report by Experis. The Tech Cities Job Watch Survey says the UK’s Gig economy is picking up pace, with an almost double year-on-year growth in permanent salaries, up by 4.61 percent.

The "freelance dream", which includes higher pay and flexible hours is becoming a reality for a larger number of people, as now 15 percent of the UK workforce works solo. There is now more demand for solo workers, than there is for permanent workers -- 2.23 percent against 1.95 percent.

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How to find all of Google's hidden games

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Easter eggs -- secret extras hidden in software and on websites -- are not quite as prevalent as they used to be, but there are still plenty to be found out there. Google is one company that continues to hide little gems in its products, and many of them are games.

From Google Search and Android, to Maps and Google Earth, there are numerous little pick-up-and-play games that are perfect for killing a few minutes at work. So, grab yourself a coffee, have your fingers poised over Alt-Tab in case the boss appears, and get ready to play!

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Sony PlayStation VR official unboxing video

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Virtual reality is sure to be wildly popular -- eventually. Currently, it is a bit too expensive. Not to mention, there is still a lot of uncertainty about which platform to purchase. On the PC, VR content is not always cross-compatible, making a decision between, say, the HTC Vive or Oculus Rift difficult.

For now, a console-based virtual reality solution could make more sense. Sony's PlayStation VR will hit stores next month, and many PS4 owners are chomping at the bit to get it. Today, Sony releases an official unboxing video for the device.

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SCOSCHE unveils rugged BoomBottle H20+ waterproof Bluetooth speaker for active lifestyles

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There are so many Bluetooth speakers on the market nowadays, that consumers have their work cut out for them when shopping. Not only do you have to choose a brand, but features and quality too. It can be very confusing.

Today, SCOSCHE unveils a speaker that should meet the needs of many. The BoomBottle H20+ is IP67 waterproof rated, meaning you can take it in a pool -- it even floats! Mountain-bikers and other bicyclists should appreciate the cylindrical design, as it can fit in most water bottle mounts/cages. While it is obviously designed for those with active lifestyles, it can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a solidly built wireless speaker.

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Microsoft's Project Springfield helps developers test their software

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Microsoft has just announced that it will be releasing the first preview of its new cloud-based tool called Project Springfield. It has been designed to aid developers in spotting "million dollar bugs" in their Windows applications before launch.

The reason the company is making Project Springfield available to Windows developers is to save them from the "costly effort" of having to release patches to fix broken software after it has already been made public.

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Apple is smart to enlist hackers and iPhone 7 jailbreakers to secure iOS and macOS

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Apple has historically been very guarded and secretive. While this is still true today, the company has definitely become more open after Steve Job's death. Quite frankly, the fact that there are now public betas for both iOS and macOS is mind-blowing for the Apple faithful. Last month, the company even launched its first bug bounty program! Why did Apple soften its guarded position? It had to. As the technology market advances, and security becomes a bigger focus, it is not possible to catch all bugs and vulnerabilities in house.

While the bug bounty and public betas were very wise moves, the company is apparently taking things a step further. According to Forbes, Apple is enlisting iPhone jailbreakers and other hackers (such as Luca Todesco, Nicholas Allegra and Patrick Wardle) to bolster the security of its products using the aforementioned bug bounty program. In fact, it is rumored to be happening at a secret meeting. If true, is the company smart to trust these people?

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Many European businesses can't handle cyber attacks

Exclusive: Widespread security flaw affects hundreds of UK news sites

A quarter of European companies are completely unprepared for the event of a cyberattack and would be extremely exposed if it happened, a new report by global law firm DLA Piper claims.

The paper also says that almost half of all companies (44 percent) view cyberattacks as a significant risk to their business, which means that a significant portion is aware of the problem yet does nothing. Among companies in Western Europe the number rises to almost a third (31 percent). The Benelux region is by far the worst, with 75 percent of companies being exposed.

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FBI Director Comey reports more attempts to access US voter databases

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Back in August we learned of access to US voter registration databases in the states of Arizona and Illinois. After an extensive investigation it was widely believed the attempts had come from Russia, which has a history of attempting to influence votes in foreign nations.

Now Director Comey has once again appeared before congress to give some more bad news. "There have been a variety of scanning activities, which is a preamble for potential intrusion activities, as well as some attempted intrusions at voter registration databases beyond those we knew about in July and August", Comey states.

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What does a bug researcher look like?

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What kind of people spend their time looking for software bugs? Crowdsourced testing company Bugcrowd has released a report looking at how its community is made up that might give you a clue.

Bugcrowd researchers come from all over the world, as of September 1, 2016, the United States (29 percent) and India (28 percent) had the most sign-ups, followed by the United Kingdom on six percent.

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Microsoft kills Yammer Enterprise

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Microsoft has provided more details as to how it will be integrating Office 365 Groups into its enterprise-focused social network Yammer. On January 1, 2017, the Yammer Enterprise service tier will be discontinued, but the social network will remain available and will be integrated with Office 365 services in a number of ways.

Within Yammer itself, it will be possible for users to create Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents through Office Online. Users will also be able to move their work from Yammer to a shared OneNote notebook or to the Microsoft Planner Project Management tool.

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OnePlus 3 Android 7.0 Nougat update is in the works

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Now that Android 7.0 is officially available, OnePlus 3 users are starting to wonder when their "flagship killer" will receive a software update to Nougat. The smartphone has received frequent updates since its launch in June, but the latest version of OxygenOS that you can get today has yet to make the move from Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

OnePlus is committed to improving the software for its third flagship, as evidenced by the numerous updates released so far and the introduction of a community build, and, as such, it should not come as a surprise to hear that it is "actively working" on bringing Nougat to OnePlus 3.

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