Latest Technology News

MacBook Pro (2016) becomes high-end desktop with LG UltraFine 5K and 4K Thunderbolt 3 displays


Today was Apple's big October event, and I came away impressed. The new MacBook Pro is both drop-dead gorgeous and super-powerful. The Touch Bar is revolutionary, bringing touch functionality to an operating system that isn't designed for a touch screen.

Unfortunately, the prices for the New MacBook Pro models are quite high, starting at $1,800 for one with the Touch Bar (a neutered non-Touch Bar model can be had for $1,500). If you are going to invest in such a pricey laptop, you will probably want it to double as a desktop too. Luckily, LG has two new Thunderbolt 3 monitors (one is 27-inch 5K, the other is 21.5-inch 4K) that will make it so. Dubbed "UltraFine", they double as single-cable docking stations. In other words, when paired with the MacBook Pro (or non-Pro MacBook), you will have a very rewarding macOS experience.

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Could Apple make Mac laptop buying any more confusing?


The Mac laptop line, following today's new announcements, looks lots less like Apple and more like Compaq—where Tim Cook worked much earlier in his career, incidentally, long before the original IBM PC clone-maker's demise. Confusing. Complicated. These are apt descriptions that might just send the ghost of Steve Jobs skyward on either—take your pick—Halloween or Day of the Dead.

Among Apple cofounder's first tasks when returning to the chief executive's chair in 1997: Simplifying product families. Jobs cut the deadweight, surprising many people by killing off Newton, for example. Complex product lines define Apple under successor Cook, by contrast.

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What you need to know about platform as a service

PaaS platform as a service

The cloud computing landscape is incredibly diverse with a broad range of vendors each offering their own unique features. One of the best ways to ways to get to grips with this is to break it down into the most prominent cloud models: software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS).

In this post we’ll examine the latter and how modern businesses are using it to gain a competitive advantage.

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Apple unveils new TV App for Apple TV, iPhone and iPad


We were expecting Apple to release a new app for Apple TV at its "Hello Again" event, and that was the first thing that the tech giant showed off.

Called simply TV, the new app lets you discover and watch TV shows and movies from multiple apps on Apple TV, iPhone and iPad. There’s also a new Siri feature for Apple TV that lets viewers quickly tune in to live news and sporting events.

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Apple's MacBook Pro with Touch Bar is 'absolutely incredible'


The star of Apple's event today was always going to be the new MacBook Pro. Other announcements may have been made, but they faded into insignificance compared to the latest addition to Apple's notebook range. This time around we see a 13- or 15-inch device with an all-aluminum design. In Tim Cook's words, it is "absolutely incredible".

Both models are available in Silver and Space Gray, and it's the thinnest and lightest MacBook Pro ever made. Things have shrunk, things have grown. The new MacBook Pro is thinner and lighter than ever, but the trackpad is now twice as large -- it is huge. But the real show-stealer is Touch Bar.

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Jaybird X3 Wireless Sport Headphones are sweat-proof alternatives to Apple AirPods


Yesterday, some of the world was thrust into sadness by the delay of Apple's AirPods. The revolutionary wireless earbuds from the iPhone-maker look incredible, but they apparently need a bit more time to bake in the oven.

If you can't wait for AirPods, however, and you need some solid wireless earbuds now, the Jaybird X3 Wireless Sport Headphones (with integrated microphone) may meet your needs. While they will not pair as elegantly as Apple's offering, they should work wonderfully when listening to music while both relaxing at home or exercising. You see, the Jaybird X3 is actually "sweat-proof", meaning if you tend to get very wet when active, these could be the wireless headphones of your sweaty dreams.

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Twitter shuts down Vine


Twitter today announced that it was doing everything it could to bring in some profit, and this was swiftly followed by the announcement that the company is to close down Vine.

Vines that have already been created will live on via the website, but the mobile apps will be shuttered, and no more Vines can be created. The precise date of the closure has not been revealed, but it is some time in the coming months.

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Cloud sandboxing for DevOps: What you need to know


Sandboxes provide environments for developers and testers to reproduce even the most complex infrastructures, from data centers to public and hybrid clouds.

Sandboxes allow ITOps and dev/test teams to create personalized replicas of production environments with self-service, on-demand environments that can quickly allow even the most complex environments to be created, modeled, orchestrated and deployed -- from physical patch panels to distributed applications. This can rapidly speed up release cycles while drastically lowering cost and reducing risk.

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Have anxiety over the 2016 US election? Spotify will make you laugh or cry


While 2016 is the actual election year, it sort of feels as though it began soon after the previous inauguration back in January 2013. For many people, it hasn't been a fun ride, but there has certainly been some entertainment along the path to November 8th.

We're into the final fortnight of this whole circus and it's perhaps time to put it in perspective. What better way than with music? It has a way of defining lives -- songs invoke certain memories, and awaken past events.

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SoftPerfect File Access Monitor now freeware


The comprehensive hard drive activity tracker SoftPerfect File Access Monitor is now freeware. The program enables logging and filtering all the file system activity on a PC, including file creations, reads, writes and deletions.

Setup requires installing a service on your system. This isn’t as convenient as portable products, but does deliver more reliable results, and allows logging more of what’s happening as Windows boots.

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Twitter shareholder letter: 'meaningful' safety update, machine learning, timeline changes, and redundancies


Twitter's troll and harassment problem is well-documented, and the social media site has faced mounting criticism over its apparent inability to keep users in check. In a letter to shareholders, Twitter today announced that it will be making "meaningful updates" to its safety policy -- but it doesn’t say what they might be.

The letter says that Twitter wants to "drive value" across three key areas: audience, content, and revenue. For the audience side of things, this means timeline tinkering and contextualizing content. For content, it means partnerships, streaming video and syndication. To make the most of revenue, some fat must be trimmed, and this means internal restructuring and job losses.

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Smartphone shipments rise despite Samsung Galaxy Note7 recall

Smartphone closeup

Smartphone shipments have increased in the third quarter of the year, even when Samsung's recalled Galaxy Note7 flagship is taken out of the equation. How much they rose depends on which analyst company you choose to believe. IDC is the most conservative, announcing a growth of one percent bump year-over-year, while Canalys is more optimistic, claiming a six percent bump.

Both Canalys and IDC exclude the Galaxy Note7 because Samsung stopped sales of its latest flagship and wants every unit it shipped to be returned by its customers. The smartphone performed well in the short time it was available, which is why the two companies specifically mention it in their reports -- though it did not dramatically affect Samsung's status as a market leader.

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Facebook adds augmented reality Halloween masks to Live video plus spooky reactions


Out on the streets people may be keeping an eye open for killer clowns, but on Facebook this Halloween things are also taking a frightening turn. The social network is using this spooky time of year to introduce augmented reality masks to Live video -- with a Halloween twist, of course.

At the same time, Facebook is also adding "limited-edition" Halloween reactions. These transform the now familiar Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry reactions in something rather more ghoulish.

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How to watch Apple's 'Hello Again' Mac launch live on any device including Windows, Linux and Android

Hello Again

In just a few hours, Apple will be taking the wraps off its latest MacBook Pro. We’ve already seen a leaked photo of the new device, with OLED Magic Toolbar, but Apple will have more to show us than just that. Rumors suggest the tech giant will be updating the MacBook Air and iMac too, debuting an external 5K display, and announcing an Apple TV app called "The Watch List" that will recommend shows users may like.

The event is scheduled to start at 10am PDT/1pm EDT/6pm BST, and as always it will be streamed live so you can tune in at home or (maybe) work.

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DevOps is driving the move to cloud-first businesses


New research from cloud business management specialist ServiceNow indicates that enterprise cloud services have reached a tipping point, with 52 percent of respondents saying they would select cloud as the platform of choice for new business applications.

In addition 85 percent say they now are headed towards a cloud-first footing, with almost nine out of 10 saying they will complete the shift within two years.

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