Latest Technology News

After all the fuss about Facebook reactions, hardly anyone is using them

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It is as though people have been asking for something more than the Like button on Facebook since the concept was first born. After years of asking, Facebook delivered. Facebook Reactions arrived at the end of February to much excitement.

But the excitement was short-lived, it seems. Two months after launch a study has found that hardly anyone is making use of the five new options (Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry). Analysis by Quintly reveals that Reactions account for a mere 3 percent of interactions, and the findings make for interesting reading.

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Marshmallow now runs on 7.5 percent of Android devices

marshmallow

In just two months, Marshmallow has more than doubled its usage share in the Android market, thanks to the introduction of new devices and the availability of more software updates for older but popular handsets.

According to Google's latest figures, which are based on data collected during the seven days ending March 7, 7.5 percent of Android devices now run Marshmallow. When I last covered the distribution numbers in March, its usage share was at just 2.3 percent and it looked like its rise towards the top would be a very slow one.

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Windows 10 ruins a pro-gaming stream with a badly-timed update

Win10 update

Last week a Windows 10 forced upgrade did its best to ruin a weather forecast on live television, and this week the new operating system started an update right in the middle of a gaming session being streamed live on Twitch.

During the stream of Counter Strike: Global Offensive, full-time pro-gamer Erik "fl0m" Flom was rudely interrupted as Windows 10 decided that mid-game -- in front of 130,000 or so followers -- would be the best time to start an update.

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Messaging apps provide a false sense of security

Smartphone lock unlocked key

In the last couple of weeks we have seen consumer messaging giants WhatsApp and Viber retrospectively add end-to-end encryption technology to their communications platforms. The notion of providing users with improved security is certainly to be applauded, and seeing messaging apps adopt encryption as a necessity as opposed to simply a nice-to-have feature, is long overdue.

However, the manner in which providers are increasingly introducing encryption technology within apps as an afterthought is potentially providing a false sense of security to the billions of people that use them on a daily basis.

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Wearables are likely source for security breach

wearable

The Internet of Things (IoT) opens up a sea of new opportunities for revenue and growth, but it is also a security challenge, IT pros have said.

If the new Spiceworks IoT report is to be believed, 85 percent of IT professionals in the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa) believe IoT will create new security and privacy issues in the workplace.

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ThinCharge is an excellent, lightweight battery case for iPhone 6/6s [Review]

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I love my iPhone 6s, but the battery life often isn’t as good as I would like. On most days I can make it through to the late evening before the device requires charging, but occasionally it needs a bit of a boost before then. The Low Power mode built into iOS 9 comes in handy, but like most people I’d rather just have longer battery life.

While carrying around a power pack saves the day when I’m out and about and away from a charging point, it’s a bit of pain having to lug it around. This is where ThinCharge comes in handy -- it’s a battery pack built into a thin case.

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Kohl’s combines charge card and Yes2You Rewards into a single Apple Pay experience

Apple pay

One of my favorite places to shop is Kohl's. Now, I have many reasons, but primarily, I like its selection of affordable "Big and Tall" clothing. Yes, I'm a fat guy. Most of my wardrobe is bought there, including, quite often, my sneakers too. Heck, they even sell wonderful home goods, such as towels, coffee makers, and picture frames to name a few. It is a great "one-stop-shop".

An annoying thing about the Kohl's shopping experience, however, is carrying two cards for the retailer. You see, the company offers a charge card --  which is often required for the discounts -- plus a loyalty card for building rewards. I've often wondered why they do not just combine them. Starting today, thanks to Apple Pay, you can leave both cards at home, and get the benefits with just your iPhone.

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Having a 5-incher means you spend more time in apps

Happy mobile user

It seems that size really does matter -- at least when it comes to the size of the screen on your smartphone. New research shows that people spend more time in apps if they have a larger screen.

The study from mobile engagement platform Localytics shows that 5-inch devices show 23 percent more app engagement than smaller screens. They also show 3.53 percent higher average session length than 4-inch screens.

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Just 30 percent of UK companies experienced a security breach in 2015

Security breach

Almost a half (43 percent) of UK companies did not experience a security breach in 2015, a new report suggests. Released by IT management software provider SolarWinds, it includes answers from 109 IT practitioners and managers from small, medium-sized and large UK companies.

According to them, just 30 percent suffered a breach last year. Quite surprising.

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New platform uses machine learning to streamline mobile development

Phone gears

Businesses are under increasing pressure to create mobile apps, but often lack the resources to do so effectively. Workplace mobility specialist PowWow Mobile is launching a new platform that lets users build apps faster and with less code.

SmartUX Studio is designed to easily transform functional web-based or Windows business applications into intuitive, modern mobile app experiences.

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Passcape ISO Burner adds FAT32 support for >32GB USB sticks

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Passcape Software has shipped Passcape ISO Burner 2.1 with a new option to format high capacity (>32GB) USB sticks to FAT32.

Windows can’t do this, but the developer explains "the program now uses its own code to format some USB sticks".

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The ransomware problem just keeps getting worse and worse

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If it feels as though you've heard an awful lot about ransomware recently, that's because you have. It's a problem that just seems to be getting worse, and ESG -- the security outfit behind anti-malware program SpyHunter -- has released figures that shows April was the worst month ever recorded for ransomware in the US.

The rate of infection rocketed last month, with the numbers more than doubling when compared to March. While there have been a few high-profile cases of large businesses getting hit with ransomware, increasing numbers of ordinary people are also falling victim.

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LastAudit is a free PC security scanner

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LastAudit is a free Windows security and vulnerability scanner, IT audit and forensic tool.

The program aims to detect and list configuration issues, weak permissions, browsing history, sensitive metadata, previous wifi connections, network resources, and Active Directory OUs, users, servers, shares and services.

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Hackers now targeting victims with country and culture-specific malware

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Hackers are targeting specific countries with their malware now, new research from security firm Sophos shows.

The security firm analyzed millions of devices worldwide and has come up with the conclusion that it seems to be more lucrative if the malware is specifically designed to target certain cultures or countries.

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Security needs monitoring to function

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IT trends often come and go, some dominating the hype cycle for years, others exiting the mainstream with more of a whimper. Security is having a moment right now in which it is dominating the market in terms of press, thought leadership and excitement. But, in this case, it’s no trend, it’s reality.

As long as there have been networks, there have been concerns over security. That is true now more than ever, as networks have grown larger, more complex, and crucially, more critical to business function.

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