Latest Technology News

Microsoft shares its '12 Days of Deals' for 2016 Holiday Shopping -- here's which days are best

christmas shopping

Well folks, December is here, and before you know it, Christmas and other holidays will be upon us. You know what that means -- shopping. For some ultra-responsible people, their holiday shopping is already done. For many other people, however, there are still many gifts to buy.

Technology-related gifts are always popular, and this year Microsoft is rolling out some great deals. In fact, unlike Black Friday which only lasts one day, the Windows-maker is offering a mind-boggling "12 Days of Deals". Many of the deals are available both online or at Microsoft's retail stores, but the ones labeled "In-Store Doorbuster Deal" are only available in the latter. While you can see all of the deals below, lets dive in and see which are the best.

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Facebook offers a $20 million sweetener to improve Silicon Valley communities


Mark Zuckerberg is well known for his philanthropic ventures -- he hardly keeps them quiet, after all. Now Facebook as a whole is getting in on the action, offering up a $20 million contribution to help improve the communities around Silicon Valley and the Bay Area.

It could be argued that the financial offering is not entirely selfless, but this will probably be of little concern to those who stand to benefit from a number of projects that will focus on building affordable housing, STEM training in the area, and legal support for those in need.

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The state of SharePoint and Office 365 development

Office 365

SharePoint is the most widely used hub for modern businesses, while Office 365 is increasingly the first choice for cloud productivity. With these two platforms forming the bedrock of many companies' IT environments, business leaders need to understand how the platforms are changing and the needs of the employees who work with them.

SharePoint customization specialist Rencore has surveyed over 1,200 SharePoint and Office 365 developers and other professionals to get a picture of how the community is evolving.

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Social engineering attacks are a real threat to most organizations

Security attack keyboard

Social engineering, as a method of cyber-security attacks, is very popular and quite widespread, according to a new report by cybersecurity firm Agari. It had polled 200 professionals from healthcare, government, financial services and education sectors.

Six in ten (60 percent) of security leaders say their organization either was, or "may have been" a victim of at least one targeted social engineering attack, on the last year alone. Two thirds of those attacks (65 percent) led to employees’ credentials getting compromised.

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99 percent of fake Apple chargers are unsafe

iPhone Lightning cable charging Apple

When the time comes to buy a charger for your Apple device, you better make sure that what you are getting is the real deal. Why? A new report from UK's Chartered Trading Standards Institute says that the vast majority of counterfeit chargers for Apple products are not safe to use.

CTSI purchased 400 fake chargers from suppliers across the globe and discovered that 397 of them -- or 99.25 percent -- fail to meet what it considers a "basic safety test". In other words, if you use one to top the battery on your iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, MacBook or other Apple product you risk damaging the device -- or worse.

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Defeat ransomware with Avast's free decryptors


Ransomware is probably the most malicious form of malware, and if you’ve been hit by it, the effects can be devastating.

You have two choices -- either pay the ransom in the hope your files will be released (not a given by any means), or try to find a way around the problem. If you have a backup of your personal files then you can simply wipe your system, and start over. If you don’t then, a ransomware decryption tool might save the day.

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How to stop Facebook eating through your mobile data allowance

If you have an unlimited mobile data plan -- or a very generous one at least -- then you don’t have to worry about apps going crazy, and gobbling up data when you’re out and about.

If, however, you’re on a more limited plan, you probably want to save data where you can. Facebook is one of the worst apps for consuming data rather unnecessarily, but you can rein it in.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week


Two-hundred-and-seven 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.

As always, if I missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email instead.

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Facebook is monitoring Roku and Apple TV streams to deliver targeted advertising


Internet users are accustomed to the idea of targeted advertising. Both Google and Facebook take into account the things you look for online, the things you look at, the people you are connected to, and so on, and use this information to pelt you with ads they think you will respond to.

Having been forced to stop using data gathered from WhatsApp to deliver targeted ads to social network users, you might think that Facebook would consider toning down its ad personalization. But you would be wrong. For the last few weeks, Facebook has been testing the delivery of targeted ads to Roku and Apple TV based on what people are watching.

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Amazon unveils artificial intelligence platform

amazon a

During its re:Invent developer event in Las Vegas, Amazon announced its new Amazon AI platform which will make many the company's machine learning tools available to developers to use in their apps and websites.

Andy Jassy, the CEO of Amazon Web Services, explains that the company has a great deal of background in machine learning, saying: "We do a lot of AI in our company. We have thousands of people dedicated to AI in our business". Amazon has decided to release three tools that take advantage of its AI to developers with the launch of its new platform.

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Google's biggest apps, games, TV shows, books and songs of 2016


As the year draws to a close, it's traditional to look back and pick out some highlights. This is precisely what Google has done, drawing up a list of the 'Best of 2016' from Google Play.

Covering books, TV shows, movies, streaming songs, apps and games, there are lots of big names listed in the rundown of what has been trending throughout the year around the globe. The likes of Pokémon GO make an unsurprising appearance, as do Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, Justin Bieber, Deadpool, and The Girl on the Train -- but did your favorite make the list?

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Which programming language should you learn?

developer laptop

Students of all ages have always been encouraged (and even required) to learn multiple languages. But these days it’s not French or Latin that has the big impact. Forget accents and umlauts, many of the best and brightest students, business leaders and employers are taking the time to learn about tags, brackets, and commands -- that is, they are learning programming languages.

Today, 21st century business is founded on software and there is scarcely a brand on the planet that isn’t looking into how it can be transformed through data. To put it simply, the quality and performance of your software -- be it a web application, e-commerce platform or mobile app -- must be spot on or your customers will look elsewhere.

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HP unveils rugged 'ProBook x360 11 Education Edition' Windows 10 convertible laptop


This may be a bit of a generalization, but children are not the most responsible people. Since they don't yet really understand the value of a dollar, they may not appreciate or care for belongings as well as they should. This can be especially true when things are given to them for use at school, such as textbooks, musical instruments, or computers.

HP apparently understands how destructive some kids can be, as the company has created a rugged (MIL-STD 810G) education-focused convertible laptop. The all-new 11.6-inch touch-screen (1366 x 768) ProBook x360 11 Education Edition runs Windows 10, and is designed to take a beating.

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Plex Media Player is now free to all users


Non-Plex Pass holders rejoice -- Plex has made its desktop-friendly media player app for Windows and Mac completely free with the release of Plex Media Player 1.2.

Version 1.2 also introduces a major new feature -- when the app is run in windowed mode, it defaults to the web interface, allowing users to manage their server(s) remotely.

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Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 14977 arrives on the Fast ring -- but it's for Mobile only

Windows-10 key

It’s been a while since we had a new Windows 10 Insider build -- Thanksgiving got in the way of Microsoft’s usual weekly schedule.

Today, the software giant releases Build 14977 to the fast ring, but it’s for Mobile only. The PC build has a blocking bug that results in broken apps on an upgrade, so we’ll have until next week for a new build for that platform.

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