Latest Technology News

Net Neutrality is over: Here are three things to know and do

net-neutrality-graffiti

On December 14, 2017 the United States Federal Communications voted to end Net Neutrality. In other words, they are reversing a 2015 FCC vote to classify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as "common carriers" rather than "information providers" according to Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

As common carriers, ISPs must provide equal access to all consumers and all businesses on all devices. They cannot throttle traffic, or block certain web sites, or charge more for consumers to access specific URLs such as www.amazon.com, www.netflix.com, or www.washingtonpost.com.

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Get 'React -- Tools & Resources' ($29 value) FREE for a limited time

React -- Tools & Resources is a collection of in-depth guides to some of the tools and resources most used with React, such as Jest and React Router, a look at Preact, and much more.

It usually retails for $29, but BetaNews readers can get it entirely free for a limited time.

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New API sheds light on the dark web

Dark web hacker

Gaining threat intelligence from the dark web can be a difficult task for security providers due to its unstructured nature.

Similarly, when data breaches occur, companies often face the problem of knowing exactly which data has been exposed on underground marketplaces.

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Wine 3.0 is here to run Windows software on your Linux box

When people make the switch from Windows to Linux, they often experiment with Wine. If you aren’t familiar, it is a compatibility layer that can sometimes get Windows software to run on Linux and BSD. I say "sometimes" because it isn’t a flawless experience. In fact, it can be quite frustrating to use. I suggest using native Linux software as an alternative, but understandably, that isn’t always possible.

If you depend on Wine, or want to start trying it out, I am happy to say that version 3.0 is finally available. It is quite the significant update too, as it features over 6,000 changes!

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

fitbit

Two-hundred-and-sixty-six in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Windows Store in the past seven days.

Microsoft plans to move Font management to the Settings application in the next feature update of Windows 10 (out March/April 2018). Users may download fonts from the Store.

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Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac gets major update with real-time collaborative editing, cloud saving

macbook_highsierra_hero_desktop

Since you can get Office on both Windows PCs and Macs, you may be lead to believe that the user experience is similar between the two suites. After all, they share the same name and major programs, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint. But, when you look past the similarities, you will find that there are quite a few differences between the two.

Microsoft has been working on closing the gap, with the latest update for Office for Mac 2016 adding quite some powerful features. Among the highlights are real-time collaborative editing and the option to save your work directly to the cloud.

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Hackers gear up to target Winter Olympics

Olympic skiing

With the 24th Winter Olympics due to start in Pyeongchang, South Korea in a few weeks, athletes are not the only ones preparing for the event.

A report from security analytics platform Cybereason shows that hackers and cyber criminals are gearing up too, the scale and cost of the event making it a prime target.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Preview Build 17074.1002 with AMD boot fix related to Spectre and Meltdown

A week ago, Microsoft released a new Preview Build of Windows 10 -- 17074. It was chock-full of new features and fixes, making it a wise upgrade for anyone in the Insiders program.

Sadly, it was discovered that Build 17074 had a huge bug -- it made some AMD systems unbootable. Yikes! Apparently, this was related to fixes for Spectre and Meltdown. True, this is pre-release software, so bugs should be expected, but losing the ability to boot can really ruin a user's day. Today, that bug is fixed, as Microsoft pushes out Build 17074.1002. It also fixes an issue where some computers would hang.

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Huawei will preload Android Messages on its Android smartphones

Huawei

After you've used a messaging app, it's hard to go back to SMS. You can't share files, get read receipts, group chats or share emoji. It's archaic, but the good news is that there is an alternative.

It's called Rich Communication Services and it offers many of the features that we have come to love on messaging apps. Google is one of the biggest adopters, offering support for RCS in its Android Messages app. And, today, it announces that Huawei, one of the largest Android vendors, will integrate it in its Android smartphones.

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Slack now available as a Snap for Linux

At the end of last year, the Linux desktop scored a huge win when Spotify became available as a Snap. If you aren't familiar with Snaps, please know that they are essentially software packages designed to run as a container on any Linux distro. Not only does it make installing software packages easier for users, but it makes things simpler for developers too. Ultimately, Snaps have the potential to solve the big fragmentation problem in the Linux desktop community.

Today, yet another wildly popular program gets the Snap treatment, and quite frankly, it is arguably more significant than Spotify. What is it? Slack! Yes, Canonical announces that the ubiquitous communication app can be installed as a Snap. True, Slack was already available on the Linux desktop, but this makes installing it and keeping it updated much easier.

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New platform integrates Windows file servers with the cloud

Cloud server

Although businesses are keen to move to the cloud and IaaS solutions, most still have files stored on in-house servers.

Enterprise file sharing and sync platform FileCloud is launching a new product called ServerSync that integrates Microsoft Windows file servers with any IaaS cloud.

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How behavioral analytics help to fight insider threats

In the increasingly complex threat landscape faced by businesses, insiders continue to be a problem, accounting for around half of data breaches, according to a recent Forrester report.

One way that companies are combating this threat is with the use of User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA). This detects abnormal behavior, adds contextual information to confirm the behavior is abnormal, and then prioritizes the riskiest insiders for analysts to investigate.

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New AI platform helps companies with GDPR compliance

GDPR touchscreen

At the heart of the forthcoming GDPR legislation is the protection of personal data. For businesses this means being able to identify data that’s covered, including where it’s held and how it’s processed.

California-based Algorithmic IT Operations (AIOps) specialist Loom Systems is launching a new platform and virtual IT data analyst that helps users maintain GDPR compliance with just a click of a button.

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Intel: Meltdown and Spectre bugs also affect Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake systems

Intel processor

In an update following the Meltdown and Spectre revelations, Intel has admitted that the problems also affect newer chips. The company had previously focused its attention -- and that of users -- on Broadwell and Haswell chips, but now company vice president Navin Shenoy has conceded that Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Skylake and Kaby Lake-based platforms are susceptible.

In rather more positive news, Shenoy also says that good progress has been made in identifying the root cause of the problem. Furthermore, beta microcode should be made available to vendors next week.

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Tim Cook: iPhone users will soon be able opt out of performance reduction

Plugging in an iPhone 6S

Many iPhone owners were disappointed to learn that Apple had been purposefully slowing their handsets, with many people believing it confirmed rumors that Apple slowed older iPhones to encourage upgrades.

Facing a backlash, the company explained that the forced performance degradation was an attempt to maximize battery life, and it then announced a cheaper battery replacement program. Now Tim Cook has said that a future iOS update will make iPhone throttling optional.

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