Latest Technology News

Facebook embraces algorithms and eschews human headlines in trending topics


Facebook's Trending Topics feature has faced a good deal of criticism in recent months, including claims that it showed a liberal bias. A little while back the company announced that it was to change how the feature works, and now there is a further change which sees human headline writers being defenestrated, and algorithms ushered in the front door.

What this means is that the Trending Topics list will no longer feature an explanation or description next to it, only the topic heading or hashtag will be displayed. Facebook will no doubt hope that this will help to eliminate future complaints of human intervention into the topics that are pushed on the social network.

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Opera sync servers hacked, usernames and passwords at risk


Opera Software is advising all users of the sync feature of its Opera browser to change their passwords following a security breach. Details are a little scant at the moment, but the company says that servers were breached earlier in the week and user data may have been compromised.

Opera Sync is used to synchronize user data between different computers but it is apparently used by under "0.5% of the total Opera user base". However, with a user base of 350 million this means that upwards of 1.7 million people could be affected.

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Microsoft combats hate speech based on gender, disability, religion, age, and more


The internet and web together are two of mankind's greatest inventions. Not only do they put an infinite amount of information at people's fingertips, but they connect the globe too. We may take it for granted, but being able to video chat with someone on the other side of the planet, for example, is downright amazing.

While the internet has the ability to bring out the best in humanity, it also shines a light on some of its worst, sadly. In other words, there is a lot of hate on the web, and it can be downright ugly -- just look at YouTube comments! Heck, some presidential campaigns are even based on hate, but I digress. Today, Microsoft announces that it is increasing its efforts to combat hate speech that is hosted on its own services.

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Ubuntu Linux 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) Beta 1 now available for download (don't talk back)


Linux celebrated a 25th birthday yesterday -- a spectacular open source milestone. For some folks, rather than eat cake, they reflected on how the kernel impacted their lives. For many, Ubuntu would be a big part of the picture -- the desktop OS is wildly popular in the Linux community.

Today, the first beta of Ubuntu Linux 16.10 sees release. Once again, a silly animal name is assigned, this time being the letter "Y" for the horned mammal, "Yakkety Yak". This is obviously a play on the classic song "Yakety Yak" by The Coasters. Please be sure not to "talk back" while testing this beta operating system!

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DarkAudacity gives Audacity’s classic audio editor a UI update


DarkAudacity, a mildly redesigned branch of the classic open-source audio editor Audacity, has been released for Windows.

The package has no big technical changes or enhancements, and instead focuses on revamping the interface to simplify operations and give it a more modern look.

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Information Commissioner to investigate data sharing between WhatsApp and Facebook


WhatsApp's plans to share user data with Facebook are to be investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) in the UK. The change in privacy policy goes against a previous public commitment not to share data in this way.

The ICO has the power to regulate how companies make use of data belonging to people located in the UK, even if the companies themselves are located elsewhere. A key concern is whether there will be compliance with data protection laws.

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NBC comes to Sling TV, sort of


Sling TV has received a lot of publicity lately. Getting your television fix over the internet is no longer a new thing thanks to services like YouTube and Hulu, but Sling takes things to another level, delivering live TV that mimics cable and satellite and features channels like CNN and ESPN to name just two.

Now NBC is finally arriving, even though you could already get MSNBC and NBC Sports. However, there's a bit of catch with this addition.

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GoDaddy users hit by clever phishing scam


Phishing attacks continue to get cleverer as the people behind them refine their social engineering techniques. The latest attack uncovered by Comodo Labs targets users of the popular GoDaddy web hosting service.

The scam sends out email from what appears to be Within the body of the phishing email, the user is notified that their email account storage has been maxed out and that incoming emails are being rejected.

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OpenStreetView is a crowd-sourced Google Street View


OpenStreetMap has launched OpenStreetView, an open-source alternative to Google Street View.

The service offers free Android and iOS apps to record images while you’re driving. Upload the results to the OpenStreetView servers and they’ll be shared with the world.

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Serious security vulnerability that left iPhones open to hackers is patched in iOS 9.3.5

iPhone 6

Security researchers have unearthed three serious security flaws in iOS that made it possible to install spyware and other malware on iPhones. Software exploiting the vulnerabilities (described as "one of the most sophisticated pieces of cyberespionage software we've ever seen") can be installed with a single click, opening up victims' devices to full-scale surveillance.

The security holes have already been abused by NSO Group -- linked with selling hacking and surveillance software to governments -- but Apple has now issued a fix in the form of iOS 9.3.5. The update fixed two kernel vulnerabilities and one in WebKit, all discovered by Citizen Lab and Lookout.

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Best Windows apps this week


One-hundred and ninety-five in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 8.x and Windows 10 in the past seven days.

Plenty of updates were released this week, but many companies -- including Microsoft -- publish release notes only sporadically if at all.

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Dropbox tells some users to change their passwords following 2012 security incident

Dropbox Google LG Nexus 5 Android app MacBook Apple headphones table

Dropbox users around the world are being told to change their account passwords. Anyone who has been using the cloud storage service since before the middle of 2012 and has not changed their password may have had some of their account details 'obtained' in an incident in 2012.

Dropbox says that email addresses plus hashed and salted passwords were grabbed four years ago. The company stresses that there are no indications that accounts have been improperly accessed and the security measures are being taken on a preventative basis.

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Responding to the changing threat landscape facing enterprises [Q&A]

Tightrope sharks threat

Not so many years ago corporate IT security involved installing a firewall and antivirus solution. But the threat landscape has now become much more complicated and is changing faster than ever.

Companies need to be aware of these changes and make sure their security arrangements can keep up. We spoke to Shai Gabay, the chief innovation officer of security operations and advanced threat detection specialist CYBERBIT, to find out more about the risks and solutions.

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WhatsApp's new privacy policy reveals it will share data with Facebook for targeted user ads

Messaging service smartphone WhatsApp

The ever-popular messaging tool WhatsApp is to start sharing more user data with its parent company Facebook. The updated privacy policy means that WhatsApp will now share users' phone numbers with Facebook to "offer better friend suggestions and show you more relevant ads".

The updated policy also communicates the fact that end-to-end encryption has rolled out, but it is the privacy side of things that will be of greater interest to many people.

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Microsoft's Xbox Onesie is real, and you can win one here

Xbox unveils its latest design… and it’s not what you might

When images of the Xbox onesie from Australia hit the web, people went wild. Yeah, it is a silly product, but many fans of Microsoft's gaming consoles expressed desire on social media and web forums. Heck, you can have your gamertag embroidered on it -- how cool is that?

Believe it or not, the article of clothing isn't a hoax, but a real product. While Microsoft isn't selling them to the public, the company will be giving some away. Want to win one? You've come to the right place. Keep on reading for details.

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