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Joe Wilcox

The problem with iPhone

by Joe Wilcox

Latest Technology News

Game Mode in Windows 10 Creators Update will boost gaming performance and quality

Windows 10 finger

Now that Windows 10 build 15007 is available for Windows Insiders on the Fast Ring, we're really starting to get a proper look at where Microsoft is going with the impending Creators Update release. We've already seen how the company is pushing 3D and augmented reality, but it has not forgotten about gamers.

Proclaiming that "2017 is going to be a monumental year for gaming at Microsoft", the Windows maker has taken the wraps off Game Mode. The promise that this special mode will increase the performance of PC games is something that will be welcomed by gamers the world over. But there's more to look forward to as well.

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Microsoft waves an 'early goodbye' to Windows 7, pushes Windows 10 upgrades

Scared PC user

Although Microsoft claims that Windows 10 is now more popular that Windows 7, analyst firm NetMarkShare’s monthly usage figures paint a very different picture. In December, for example, Windows 10 hit 24.36 percent globally, but it's dwarfed by Windows 7's 48.34 percent share.

It’s clear that Windows 7 is going to remain the number one desktop operating system for some time to come -- globally at least -- but Microsoft is desperate for those users to switch to Windows 10 and warns that Windows 7 support is coming to an end, and that the OS has outdated security and can’t keep up with today’s security needs.

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Steam Cleaner wipes junk files from Steam, Origin, UPlay, GoG

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Steam Cleaner is a portable tool for removing junk game files left behind by Steam, Origin, Uplay and GoG.

The program is as simple as this kind of application can be. It’s a single executable, no installation required, no settings to think about, not even a "Scan" button -- just launch it and within a second or two you’ll see a list of any game leftovers. The developer says Steam Cleaner can clear up "gigabytes" of data in a few seconds. It found more than 100MB of junk on our tiny Steam setup, so this could be plausible.

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The list of most common passwords of 2016 includes a few surprises

password-sticky-note

Security breaches and data leaks are, obviously, a major concern, but they do have something of a silver lining. Leaks of passwords may open up the risk of individual accounts being targeted, but they also serve as a fascinating insight into the level of security people use for online services.

We all know someone who insists on using 'password' as their password, or something equally insecure such as '123456'. Keeper Security has published a list of the most common passwords used in 2016, and these old favorites remain firmly placed in the top 10. But there are a few surprises along the way, such as the weird popularity of '18atcskd2w'.

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Hide files in images with BMP Wrap

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BMP Wrap is a free tool which can temporarily convert any file into a valid BMP image, and restore the original file later.

This is a familiar idea, but BMP Wrap does have one or two features that make it stand out. In particular, as a single 20KB executable, it’s probably the smallest steganography application we’ve ever seen.

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UK companies take too long to react to Internet disruptions

reaction time management smartphone clock

Internet disruptions, in their biggest part, are taking place outside a company’s network, a new report by Dyn claims. The report also says having poor visibility beyond "company walls" makes it harder for those companies to react on time.

More than half (57 percent) of all Internet disruptions UK companies faced in the last year happened outside company networks. These companies need double the time to react compared to companies in the US.

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Giveaway: Win a Linux-friendly Raspberry Pi 3 and Eleduino Aluminum Case with Heatsinks!

RaspberryPi_Case

If you have never owned a Raspberry Pi, you do not know what you are missing. While it is designed for tinkering and learning coding, it can be used for so much more. It can run Linux distributions and even a special version of Windows 10. If you install Kodi, it can become a powerful media box too.

If you have been wanting one, I have good news. We here at BetaNews are giving away the best version -- the Raspberry Pi 3. We aren't stopping there, however, as we are also including a very nice aluminum case -- including heatsinks for overclocking. It is the exact Raspberry Pi 3 and case as seen in the video above. In other words, the case has already been installed by yours truly. Want to enter to win? There are multiple ways to enter. Just click the link below!

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Genealogy website FamilyTreeNow knows far too much about you -- remove your details to protect your privacy

family-tree

There was a craze that started a few years back for tracing one's family tree. Rather than fizzling out, the interest in genealogy continued, and there are still many websites out there that will help you to research your family history and build up a picture of the past.

While genealogists of the past may have scoured public records and libraries for information about their family, these days people want things handed to them on a plate. One website is taking full advantage of this -- as well as the fact that the internet can act as a huge database of personal information -- and there's a high chance it has vast amounts of data about you that can be accessed by anyone. The site is FamilyTreeNow.com, and we'll show you what you need to do to protect your privacy and security.

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BBC wants to tackle fake news with Reality Check team

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Fake news has become a serious problem recently, with Facebook blamed for helping the spread of stories that are factually incorrect. The social network has already announced that it wants to take steps to tackle the problem, and now the BBC is joining the fight.

The BBC already has a series known as Reality Check, and the plan is to expand this into a permanent feature that will be used to fact-check stories that appear on Facebook and other social media.

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FBI-helping phone-cracking firm Cellebrite hit by 900GB hack

green-light-hacker

Cellebrite -- the Israeli security company famed for helping the FBI crack the iPhone at center of the San Bernardino case -- has been hit by hackers. The attack resulted in the theft of 900GB of data.

While the website Motherboard -- which was handed a copy of the data -- reports that "the cache includes customer information, databases, and a vast amount of technical data regarding Cellebrite's products", the company has downplayed the incident.

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Google releases 'Draco' 3D graphics open source compression library on GitHub

opensource

Google is a significant contributor to the open source community. This is notable, as the company is wildly successful and its products are used by many. It incorporates open source code in its offerings, and then contributes back too. The search giant's visibility lends credibility to open source ideology.

Today, Google announces yet another open source project. Called "Draco," it is a compression library designed for 3D graphics. The project can dramatically reduce the size of 3D graphic files without significant visual impact to the person viewing.

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Windows 10 Creators Update Build 15002 ISO images available now

Happy PC user

If you’re thinking of joining the Windows 10 Insider program, or you just want to do a clean install with an up to date version of Windows 10, the good news is Microsoft has released a new ISO image.

The image, for Build 15002, is available to all, and you can download it now. Build 15002 comes packed full of great new additions, including the ability to pause updates, new features for Edge, Cortana, Windows Ink and Windows Defender, smoother windows resizing, and more. If things go wrong you might even get to experience the new Green Screen of Death! (Hopefully not, but if you do then at least it will be a different color to curse at).

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Apple sued over iOS app distribution 'monopoly'

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It is no secret that iOS is a tightly controlled ecosystem. There is not a whole lot that users can do to customize their iPhones, and there are not that many options for developers wanting to sell their apps outside of the App Store. In fact, if you do not want to reach a very small audience, who likes to jailbreak their devices, your one and only bet is the App Store.

A number of customers believe that that is a problem so serious that they sued Apple over its perceived iOS app distribution monopoly. A complaint was filed all the way back in 2011, but only now did a court allow the lawsuit to go forward.

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How to protect yourself from the WhatsApp 'backdoor'

WhatsApp

Earlier today we reported about a security problem in WhatsApp that means it is possible for messages to be intercepted and read by others. The so-called 'backdoor' takes advantage of the fact that WhatsApp's implementation of end-to-end encryption makes it possible to resend encrypted messages using different security keys, allowing for third parties to read them.

What is concerning many people is the fact that (by default, at least) WhatsApp does not alert users when a message is resent using a different key -- which would be a warning of something going on. Here's what you need to do to ensure you are told when the key changes.

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Marketers divided on the importance of analytics

marketing compass

Technology means that marketers are able to collect more information on customers and their purchasing habits than ever before.

But a new study shows that there's a divide on how important using that information is going to be. The survey by marketing software company Marketo reveals that while 57 percent of all respondents in the US believe predictive analytics will be the primary technology they use to engage with their customers, only 11 percent of international marketers think the same.

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