Latest Technology News

Ubuntu Linux 16.10 'Yakkety Yak' Beta 2 open source OS now available for download

Yak

Next month, one of the most important desktop operating systems will get a major update. No, I am not talking about Windows or macOS; I am referring to Ubuntu. True, from a market share perspective Linux-based desktop operating systems are rather insignificant, but for those in the know, Canonical's open source OS is quite brilliant. Its fans and users are very loyal and passionate.

Today, the final beta of the upcoming Ubuntu Linux 16.10 becomes available. While this version -- dubbed 'Yakkety Yak' -- will not reinvent the wheel, it should offer enough to delight existing users of the open source operating system. Hey, if it's not broke, why fix it, right? That is a lesson Microsoft learned the hard way with Windows 8, but I digress.

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Could Disney buy Twitter?

Disney

Last week it came to light that Salesforce was considering a takeover of Twitter. Now it appears though that Walt Disney is also interested in placing a bid on the social network which could be used to help deliver its content to even more consumers.

So far it seems that Disney is interested in Twitter's ability to distribute video streaming to a large global audience. If the deal were to go through, it would give the company a new channel to distribute its content, as well as content from both ABC and ESPN which it owns. Now that consumers are watching less television, Twitter could be the perfect means for Disney to provide sports, news and entertainment to its customers.

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Apple gets a new London home in Battersea Power Station

battersea-power-station

Apple is setting up its new London headquarters in one of the most iconic buildings of the capital's skyline. Battersea Power Station will soon be home to 1,400 Apple staff, who will occupy 40 percent of the building.

Sitting next to the River Thames, the former power station has been unused for a number of years, but is set to enjoy a new lease of life as part of a redevelopment project in the area.

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Swim.com app transforms Apple Watch 2 into an advanced swim workout tracker

Swim.com Apple Watch 5

It was clear at the launch of the new Apple Watch that the company was focusing very much on the health aspect of its popular wearable, and by making the new iteration waterproof it could, for the first time, appeal to swimmers as much as runners.

Apple Watch Series 2’s basic swim functionality may be enough for some users, but if you take your swimming seriously, there’s a new Swim.com app designed with you in mind.

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Wink releases version 2 of its home automation hub

wink-hub-2

About a year ago, Wink released its first home automation hub and it came out of the box with a great deal of compatibility, working with a good many of the products already on the market, along with Amazon Echo for voice control of the home.

Since then the list of supported products has grown and Wink has added many new ones, but it seemed increasingly clear that the hub could eventually get overwhelmed. So now the company is introducing a new model known simply as Wink Hub 2.

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Enterprises' favorite cloud solution is IaaS

Cloud computing

Just over half of enterprises (51 percent), which decide to deploy a cloud solution, opt for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), over Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Software-as-a-Service (Saas).

This is according to a new report by Intel DCM, based on a survey of 204 US-based IT managers, directors, software engineers and DevOps responsible for overseeing their enterprise cloud strategy. The report also states that DevOps teams spend most of their time monitoring complex environments in their organization.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14936 for PC and Mobile arrives on the Fast ring

Windows-10 key

The Ignite conference in Atlanta might be keeping many Microsoft employees busy, but it hasn’t stopped developers working on the next big update of Windows 10.

A week after Build 14931 arrived on the Fast ring, Windows Insiders are today being treated to another new update -- Build 14936 for PC and Mobile.

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Germany bans Facebook from collecting WhatsApp users' data

WhatsApp

Germany has decided to ban WhatsApp and Facebook from sharing user data with one another as consumers did not agree to the data sharing deal between the two companies.

Last month, it was announced that WhatsApp would begin sharing the data it collected from its users to Facebook. The social network would then use that data to help it better serve ads and generate more information from the people using the popular messaging app.

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IP shielding enables secure voice and video conferencing

video conference

There's a great deal of emphasis on securing data and email, but essential business communication via voice and video tends to get ignored. Yet these communications are vulnerable, partly because devices constantly release metadata, telling the network where and how to route communications.

To address this, Privacy-as-a-Service platform specialist Dispel is launching a secure voice and video conferencing service, a single application designed to provide enterprises and individuals with impenetrable private communications on their smartphones and mobile devices.

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Linux Mint unveils 'Mintbox Mini Pro' -- a diminutive desktop powered by AMD

MintBoxPro

If you are a fan of Linux-based desktop operating systems, you probably have done this before -- buy a Windows PC and replace the pre-installed OS with your favorite distro. While this can be a fine practice, there are some problems with it. Of course, you may experience issues with drivers -- especially Wi-Fi cards. Even worse, if you ever need support, the manufacturer might turn you away when it finds out you loaded Ubuntu, Fedora, or something else.

A smart alternative is to buy a computer from a company that cares about Linux, such as System76. That company sells beautiful laptops and desktops running Ubuntu. But what if you prefer Linux Mint? The Mint team has previously partnered with manufacturers to produce desktops running its distro. Today, the all-new Mintbox Mini Pro goes on sale.

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Cellebrite cagily claims it can hack into just about any phone including iPhone 7 and Nougat handsets

hacked-phone

Israeli security firm Cellebrite -- the company said to have helped the FBI access the San Bernadino iPhone -- says that it has the power to break into, and extract data from, just about any phone out there. Speaking with the BBC, the company demonstrated how it can crack the password on a smartphone to access its data.

It said that it was able to extract data from the very latest handsets including Android 7 devices and the iPhone 7. Cellebrite says it works with law enforcement agencies around the world too, and stopped short of saying it refused to work with oppressive regimes. The interview raises some interesting questions.

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Does your personality make you more likely to get hacked?

Notebook brain

LogMeIn the company behind the LastPass password manager has released the results of a survey looking at consumer psychology, behavior and attitudes when it comes to managing personal passwords.

Among the findings are that 61 percent of respondents use the same or similar passwords across accounts, and 55 percent of them do it even though they understand the risk. Also more than a third (39 percent) create more secure passwords for their personal accounts than their work accounts.

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BlackBerry ends smartphone development

The end

BlackBerry used to be an incredibly successful smartphone maker, but the iPhone and Android changed that. Now, the company formerly known as RIM cannot even manage to sell a measly one million units in a quarter, let alone compete against players like Apple and Samsung.

So, with a market share hovering around the 0.1 percent mark, BlackBerry has decided to take a big step back, announcing that it will stop developing its own smartphones. Instead, BlackBerry will focus on a more lucrative market -- enterprise software services.

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Board members say they need cyber security experts

executive lawyer boardroom

Three out of five board members believe that they need to have cyber security experts on their boards, yet only one in six claim to have substantial expertise in understanding the implications of cyber security.

These are among the findings of a report from risk analytics specialist Bay Dynamics which looks at why boards of directors are making cyber security a top priority and the challenges they face in reducing risk.

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Amazon launches all-new Fire TV Stick with faster hardware and Alexa Voice Remote

Amazon Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

There are a lot of media streaming products to choose from, but my personal favorite is Amazon’s Fire TV Stick. It’s compact, powerful and gives you access to Amazon’s full range of on-demand video content, as well as apps and games.

Today, the retail giant announces a new version of Fire TV Stick that’s faster and adds Alexa voice control to the remote. No more browsing long lists of TV shows and movies, now you can simply ask Alexa to play anything you're interested in, launch apps, and more.

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