Latest Technology News

Debian-based deepin Linux 15.6 now available

deepin Linux is controversial because its developers are in China. You see, some people are suspicious of a Linux distribution that comes from that country. If you feel that way, that's your business. But you know what? I am personally sick and tired of such xenophobia these days. Let's not forget, many goods come from China -- including personal computers and associated components. Not to mention, the OS is largely open source.

Controversy aside, deepin is a great operating system for both Linux beginners and experts alike. Not only is it stable thanks to its Debian base, but it has a very polished and focused user experience. Today, version 15.6 becomes available, and it is loaded with improvements.

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Researchers develop SafeSpec to overcome vulnerabilities like Spectre and Meltdown

Spectre and Meltdown 3D renders

Computer scientists from the University of California, the College of William and Mary, and Binghamton University have published a paper detailing a new "design principle" that avoids speculative execution vulnerabilities.

Researchers says that the SafeSpec model supports "speculation in a way that is immune to the sidechannel leakage necessary for attacks such as Meltdown and Spectre". Importantly, the design also avoids the problems associated with other Meltdown/Spectre fixes.

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Kaspersky: Chinese hackers LuckyMouse hit national data center

Chinese flag with Matrix code

Kaspersky Lab has published a report in which it reveals that a Chinese hacking group has attacked the national data center of an unnamed Central Asian country.

The cyberattacks are said to have been carried out by a group known as LuckyMouse -- but also goes by the names Iron Tiger, Threat Group-3390, EmissaryPanda and APT27. The attacks started in 2017, and Kaspersky says that malicious scrips were injected into official website to conduct country-level waterholing campaign.

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Google releases VR180 Creator for Linux and Mac only -- sucks for you, Windows users!

When you are a Linux desktop user, it can be very frustrating when popular programs are not available for your platform. The same can be said for macOS, but to a lesser extent -- at least it has access to things like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop. Like it or not, Windows often gets premium programs as an exclusive. It's not hard to see why -- on the desktop, Microsoft's operating system reigns supreme from a marketshare perspective. Developers will simply follow the money, and who can blame them?

The world is changing, however, and Microsoft's stranglehold on the software community is loosening. Consumers don't really need Windows anymore. Sure, 10 or 20 years ago it would be almost unthinkable for a typical home user to run an alternative operating system, but these days it’s totally doable. Highlighting this, today, Google releases a really cool program called "VR180 Creator." Interestingly, it is not available for Windows -- the search giant made it a Mac and Linux exclusive. Oh my.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Two-hundred-and-eighty-seven 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.

As always, if I've 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.

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Google's latest diversity report shows little has changed at the company

Broken Google logo

Google has published the latest edition of its diversity report in which the company highlights the makeup of its workforce in the name of transparency.

Despite Google's seemingly endless claims that it wants to do more to improve diversity, the report shows that little has changed over the last year. Women still account for less than a third of the workforce, and the company has a high attrition rate for black employees.

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World Cup: access the hidden mini games in Facebook Messenger

World Cup games on Facebook Messenger

The World Cup is now officially under way in Russia to the delight of sports fans around the globe. If you just can't get enough football, Facebook Messenger can help to satiate you between matches with a series of mini games you can play with your friends.

Games in Facebook Messenger have been with us for some time, and the social network has used the World Cup as a reason to update the selection. In addition, there are also new camera filters in the app -- here's how you access them and the games.

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Microsoft wants you to know Windows 10 is faster and more reliable than ever

Windows 10 has long had a reputation for being a rather problematic operating system. Part of this is down to early versions famously spying on users, and Microsoft shoving it onto systems against the owners' wishes didn’t help either.

Rolling out major feature updates twice a year has led to numerous complaints and problems as well, with one of our most searched-for articles here being how to rollback an update.

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Microsoft using AI and Machine Learning to manage the Windows 10 April 2018 Update rollout

AI

As recently noted by AdDuplex, the Windows 10 1803 rollout is progressing much more smoothly than all previous feature updates. AdDuplex’s figures suggest over 50 percent of Windows 10 users have already been offered the update, while Microsoft’s own numbers say 250 million machines have it. With close to 700 million Windows 10 systems, that’s just over 35 percent.

It’s certainly been a huge improvement over the famously slow and problematic Creators Update last year, and part of the reason this rollout has been so successful is down to Microsoft’s use of AI and Machine Learning.

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Google releases open source 'GIF for CLI' terminal tool on GitHub

Tomorrow is the GIF's 31st anniversary -- exciting, right? Those animated images have truly changed the world. All kidding aside, it is pretty amazing that the file format came to be way back in 1987!

To celebrate tomorrow's milestone, Google releases a new open source tool today. Called "GIF for CLI," it can convert a Graphics Interchange Format image into ASCII art for terminal. You can see such an example in the image above.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17692

With the Windows April 2018 Update now available to all, it’s full steam ahead for Microsoft on the next big feature update, codenamed Redstone 5.

New builds are arriving on a weekly basis, and today sees the rollout of Build 17692 for Insiders on the Fast and Skip Ahead rings.

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Google revamps Ad Settings and 'Why this ad?' so you can see and control how ads are personalized

Google Ad Settings

Google has given its Ad Settings page an overhaul in the name of transparency. The page gives people the chance to not only see how Google uses the data it has gathered about them to personalize the ads they see, but also exercise a degree of control over these personalized ads.

The page makes it possible to disable ad targeting, so you will see rather more generic ads if tailored advertising concerns you. The company has also updated its "Why this ad?" feature, so you will be able to determine why you are seeing certain Google-supplied ads on the sites you visit.

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Samsung unveils Chromebook Plus (V2), coming to Best Buy June 24

When people say Chromebooks are glorified web browsers, do not listen to them. Haters are going to hate, but the truth is, laptops running Google's Linux-based Chrome OS are highly capable. In fact, the vast majority of home users would be perfectly fine forgoing Windows and choosing a Chromebook instead. Heck, even many businesses would find Chrome OS to be a delight.

Today, Samsung announces its latest such laptop -- the premium, yet affordable, Chromebook Plus (V2). This is a refresh of the first-gen "Plus" model. It can run Android apps and doubles as a convertible tablet, making it very versatile. Best of all, you won't have to wait long to get it -- it will go on sale very soon.

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Most organizations are not fully embracing DevOps

DevOps

Although many businesses have begun moving to DevOps-style processes, eight out of 10 respondents to a new survey say they still have separate teams for managing infrastructure/operations and development.

The study by managed cloud specialist 2nd Watch of more than 1,000 IT professionals indicates that a majority of companies have yet to fully commit to the DevOps process.

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The Firefox-powered Cliqz web browser puts your security first

People are worried about their personal security. Who do you trust? Facebook recently admitted it tracks just about everything you do whilst using its network, whereas one of the biggest technology companies in the UK, Dixons Carphone, announced a huge data loss.

You have to ask yourself, if a technology company can’t safeguard your data, who can you trust? On top, do you trust your web browser? What’s it storing, what information does it pass to the manufacturer and to the website you are browsing?

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