Latest Technology News

Got home repairs? DIY is free this month on Sling TV

DIY

When things go wrong in your home, and they seem to do so at an alarming rate sometimes, then you can hire a repairman and suffer the charges for labor, or you can learn to fix it yourself for the cost of parts and your own sweat.

The question is, how do you learn these things? Well, the obvious answer is the internet, but that isn't always as hands-on as you may need. It helps to really see things being done, as opposed to following what amounts to a user manual.

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Windows 10 growth slows as OS X makes market share gains

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The growth of Windows 10 continues, albeit slowly, the latest figures from NetMarketShare show. The statistics for April reveal that, at long last, Windows 7 is no longer installed on the majority of computers, slipping to a 48.79 percent market share. Windows 10 saw slight growth to 14.35 percent (up from 14.15 percent), and Windows XP dropped below 9.66 percent.

Usage of Windows 8.x stayed largely stable (12.11 percent compared to 12.01 percent in March), but the balance between Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 (9.16 percent down from 9.56 percent) shifted slightly, with the older version seeing slight growth (2.95 percent, up from 2.45 percent). OS X's market share increased slightly, and Linux dropped a little.

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Fitbit's Aria internet-connected scale can be hacked

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These days more and more items around our homes are connected to the internet. In theory, this sounds like a great idea, and it can be -- providing it is implemented correctly, meaning in a secure way. In practice, however, that isn't always the case. We've seen endless stories of what can go wrong, even Barbie dolls turned bad.

Scales are probably one of the last things you'd expect to be connected. Actually, though, that innovation came several years ago with a scale that tweeted your weight -- a great way of shaming you into continuing that diet and exercise program.

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Searching for a nanotech self-organizing principle

elevator

One of the frustrations of nanotechnology is that we generally can’t make nano materials in large quantities or at low cost, much less both. For the last five years a friend of mine has been telling me this story, explaining that there’s a secret manufacturing method and that he’s seen it. I’m beginning to think the guy is right. We may finally be on the threshold of the real nanotech revolution.

Say you want to build a space elevator, which is probably the easiest way to hoist payloads into orbit. Easy yet also impossible, because no material can be manufactured that is strong enough to make an elevator cable to space. The weight of the cable alone would cause too much tensile stress: it couldn’t carry itself, much less a commercially-viable payload, too. Some exotic new material is required, one with a strength-to-weight ratio beyond any present material, even spider silk. So we talk about space elevators, we have conferences about space elevators, we draw picture after picture of space elevators, yet we can’t make one. Or couldn’t… until now.

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SanDisk unveils 2.5-inch SATA Z410 SSD

z410

Solid state drives are quite mature and ubiquitous nowadays -- the technology is no longer cutting edge. While some computers still ship with slow mechanical hard disk drives, SSDs are now largely the default option.

SATA based drives are slow compared to newer NVMe PCIe variants, but still more than fast enough for most consumers. These 2.5-inch SATA drives are often less expensive too, making them a wise option for OEMs looking to build low or medium-cost laptops. Now, SanDisk announces the Z410 -- a drop-in solution for manufacturers, featuring a capacity of up to 480GB.

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Adopt a dog or cat, get a free Logi Circle Home Security Camera

puppycage

The month of May is National Pet Month. As an animal lover, it is very important to me. It breaks my heart to think of unloved cats and dogs in shelters. Whenever that ASPCA commercial comes on TV -- the one with the Sarah McLachlan music -- I have to change the channel; it can literally make me cry.

If you are thinking of getting a pet, I urge you to go to a shelter, as it can save the animal's life. Logitech is upping the ante, however, as it is giving away free Logi Circle Home Security Cameras to those that adopt either a cat or dog from two specific places in May. Does a free home surveillance camera make you more likely to adopt a pet?

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Facebook hit with lawsuit over new stock option that gives Zuckerberg a license to print money

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When Facebook announced its first quarter results this week, it also announced that it created a new class of stock. The non-voting Class C stock proposed would enable Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan to more easily fund their philanthropic ventures, whilst keeping Zuckerberg himself firmly in control of Facebook.

In response to this, a lawsuit has been raised that says the proposed deal is unfair. The shareholders raising the class action lawsuit said the deal would grant Zuckerberg even more control and that the board committee didn’t do enough "to obtain anything of meaningful value" in return. The lawsuit accuses him of wanting "to retain this power, while selling off large amounts of his stockholdings, and reaping billions of dollars in proceeds".

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Outlinely Express is a powerful free outliner for Mac

Outlinely.200.175

Glam Software has released Outlinely Express 2.0, a free version of its popular Mac outliner, Outlinely.

The new edition has all the same outlining features as its commercial cousin, with no annoying restrictions or limitations.

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Apple: You're saying it wrong -- iPhones is not a word!

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Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller has taken to Twitter to set the record straight about the nomenclature of the company's product names. Specifically, he takes umbrage with just sticking an 's' onto the end of product names to pluralize them.

Yep -- iPhones is, apparently, not a word. Someone might need to speak with Tim Cook to get him on the same page though, as he doesn't seem to have seen the memo.

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Twitter's unfair token system gives it far too much control over rival apps

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In recent days you probably heard about the demise, and subsequent resurrection, of the Twitter client Fenix. Earlier this week, the app became a victim of its own success, succumbing to what it described as "the infamous Twitter tokens limitation". It's now back in the Google Play Store having carved out some sort of deal with Twitter, but the debacle highlights an important issue.

If you want to create a Twitter client -- and why wouldn’t you? -- you'll need access to the Twitter API. This is not something Twitter wants, or permits, to just be a free-for-all, and it limits developers' use of the API through a token system. Simply put, one token equals one user, and Twitter decides how many tokens each developer has, in turn dictating the maximum number of users any rival Twitter client may have. Anyone spot a problem?

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A company reborn: Intel ditches Atom chips to focus on the cloud, the Internet of Things and 5G

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Big changes are afoot at Intel. A spokeswoman has confirmed that the company is scrapping its Sofia and Broxton mobile Atom chips, and will instead shift focus to more profitable ventures. Having invested billions of dollars in Atom for smartphones and tablets Intel is now switching its attention to the world of connected devices.

Giving Atom chips the chop comes just after the company announced 12,000 job cuts and effectively walked away from the PC market. In moving away from mobile devices as well, Intel is undergoing a rebirth. It is looking to focus on key areas of growth, particularly the cloud and IoT as well as 5G, memory, and data center products.

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Qbot malware resurfaces with renewed powers ready to steal your banking credentials

steal_data_malware

Qbot -- also known as Qakbot -- is a form of malware that's been around for a number of years, but security researchers at Cisco Talos have noted that it has returned with a vengeance. Once installed the malware steals sensitive data stored in files and cookies, and also monitors live web sessions to grab login credentials.

Detection and immunization is made difficult thanks to the fact that Qbot uses random strings, code blocks, file names and encryption keys to slip under the radar, although it can still be detected by its behavior. Cisco Talos analyzed no fewer than 618 examples of the malware; Qbot was found to feature its own auto-update function and it appears that developers have been hard at work on it.

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Microsoft looking into storing data using DNA

DNA

Now that users are generating more data than ever before, Microsoft has begun to explore the idea of using DNA molecules to store data.

To begin investigating the possibility of accomplishing such a complex task, the company will be purchasing 10 million strands of long oligonucleotides -- or lab made DNA molecules -- from a startup in San Francisco called Twist Bioscience.

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What is the most popular Windows Phone?

Most popular

The Windows Phone landscape has evolved at a slow pace in the past three years, and the list of the ten most popular smartphones running the tiled operating system is proof of that. Since July 2013 Lumia 520 has held the top spot in the charts, taking Lumia 920's crown just a few months after being introduced. But, fast forward to today and we finally have a new king.

Before you get too excited and think that we finally have some major changes at the top you should know that Windows Phones appeal mainly to folks who shop in the low-end segment of the market. As such, the smartphone that follows Lumia 520 at the top of the pack is also an entry-level handset.

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Lack of data is a roadblock to account-based marketing

marketing compass

The idea of account-based marketing (ABM), treating B2B customers as individual marketing targets, has been around for a while. Technology has made it more practical approach in recent years, but a new survey reveals there are still factors holding back its use.

Business insights specialist Avention has carried out a survey of 100 B2B sales and marketing practitioners about their use of ABM techniques and strategies. While more than 90 percent of those surveyed believe ABM is relevant to their businesses, respondents say that their number one roadblock to starting an ABM program is lack of access to the right data and the ability to use it.

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