Latest Technology News

Privacy: Facebook suspends data analytics firm Crimson Hexagon

Close up of Facebook logo on a mobile phone

Facebook has severed ties with data analytics company Crimson Hexagon because of concerns about its links to the US government, Russia and Turkey.

In a move that has echoes of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook has suspended the company and blocked it from accessing user data because of fears about how that data is used. Crimson Hexagon claims to have gathered more than one trillion pieces of data about social media users, and there are concerns that this data could be used for surveillance purposes.

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How to edit tweets with Covfefe so you don't embarrass yourself on Twitter

Pointing at Twitter logo on phone

Twitter: you either love it or hate it. Even if you're a Twitter lover, there's probably plenty you dislike about it! People have complained about tweets being too short, and Twitter fixed this. People complained about not being verified, and Twitter (temporarily, at least) opened up verification to everyone. People have complained about not being about to edit tweets -- and Twitter has done nothing about it.

But that's not to say someone hasn't been working on a solution. Using a new Chrome extension, you can effectively gain the ability to edit your tweets and save yourself the embarrassment of a typo in your timeline.

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Microsoft releases several Surface Go videos on YouTube

Microsoft Surface Go

Is the Surface Go a powerful computer? No, compared to some other Windows 10 devices on the market, its specifications are rather meager. With that said, many consumers don't need a hardcore PC. In other words, for basic computer needs, such as word processing, web surfing, social media, and media consumption, the Surface Go is more than enough -- even with its $399 base configuration.

For those that crave portability over performance, the Surface Go should prove quite popular. I don't only see students embracing the low-cost tablet/laptop, but potentially, business executives too. Heck, any type of consumer may fall in love. To get the full Windows 10 experience in such a svelte and elegant package is very intriguing. Of course, Microsoft needs to convince consumers that they want/need it, and advertising is a great way to do so. With that in mind, the Windows-maker has posted ten new Surface Go videos on YouTube.

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Microsoft revenue pushes past $100bn, buoyed by Surface and cloud services

Sign in with Microsoft

Microsoft reported its Q4 earnings for the year, and the company posted extremely strong results helped in large parts by the performance of its cloud services and Surface business. The company far-exceeded analysts' predictions for this quarter, with revenue of $30.1 billion, net income of $8.8 billion and earnings per share of $1.14.

Microsoft's continued move to the cloud is paying off. Revenue in Intelligent Cloud increased by 23 percent to $9.6 billion, while Azure revenue growth rocketed by 89 percent, and Surface revenue went up by 25 percent as talk turns to the possibility of a Surface Phone.

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Google (sort of) redirects to DuckDuckGo after complaints of anti-competitive behavior from its search rival

DuckDuckGo search engine

Google may have been slammed by Europe for using Android to dominate with its search engine, but this is not the only complaint that has been leveled at the company. Privacy-focused search rival DuckDuckGo has criticized Google for sending visitors to to the Google search page.

Google owns, but DuckDuckGo believes the company has been confusing users with the redirect. Now, following publicity of the issue, Google has relented and says it is introducing a new landing page that will give visitors to the opportunity to jump to the DuckDuckGo search engine as well as other pages.

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Gmail's new 'Confidential Mode' is flawed and misleading

Google recently rolled out a big update to Gmail, introducing a number of welcome new features.

One the big new additions is 'Confidential Mode' which you can enable from the compose window. This is designed to restrict how the emails you send can be viewed and shared, and you can also set an expiration date for messages. If you have the need to send and receive emails of a sensitive nature, then you might think this is the prefect solution. There’s just one problem -- messages sent using it aren’t confidential.

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Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter team up on open source Data Transfer Project to ease your data moving woes

Four giants of the technology world have joined forces in an attempt to make it easier for people to move data between services. The collaboration between Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Twitter takes the form of the open source Data Transfer Project, the aim of which is to make it possible to "transfer data directly from one service to another, without needing to download and re-upload it".

The four companies joining announced the data portability platform which currently makes use of public APIs to offer support for photos, mail, contacts, calendars and tasks from the founders as well as other companies who are encouraged to get involved.

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Microsoft PowerShell Core for Linux now available as a Snap

Microsoft is a major proponent of both Linux and open source these days. This is a shock to many old-school computer users, but for those following the "new Microsoft" under Satya Nadella's leadership, it really isn't surprising. Hell, the company now owns GitHub!  The CEO keeps an open mind and is very focused on the cloud and services. While Windows still matters to the company, it is far from the main focus.

The Windows-maker releases plenty of software for Linux, such as the very popular Skype. For many, PowerShell Core has proven to be a useful tool, and today, Microsoft makes it available as a Snap. If you aren't familiar, a Snap is essentially a packaged version of a program that can be easily installed on many Linux distributions. Many see it as the future of Linux, as it has the potential to reduce fragmentation.

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Linux Mint developers planning big Cinnamon 4.0 improvements

Linux Mint is one of the most popular Linux-based desktop operating systems for a reason -- it’s really good. By leveraging the excellent Ubuntu for its base, and offering a top-notch user experience, success is pretty much a guarantee.

While the distribution primarily focuses on two desktop environments -- Mate and Cinnamon -- the latter is really the star of the show. Cinnamon is great because it uses a classic WIMP interface that users love, while also feeling modern. With Cinnamon 3.8, the Linux Mint Team focused on improving the DE's performance, and today, the team shares that it is continuing that mission with the upcoming 4.0. In particular, the team is focusing on Vsync.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Two-hundred-and-ninety-two 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.

A new online tool was released today to download Microsoft Store applications without having to use the Store app or even using a Windows 10 device. Check out Wayne's review.

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Who cares what Trump thinks about Europe's record fine for Google?

Trump balloon

It's just days since the Europe hit Google with a record fine for what it described as "very serious illegal behavior" in an antitrust case about the company's abuse of Android to dominate the competition.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people have an opinion not only about the way Google has acted, but also of the European commission's ruling itself. Among those with an opinion to share is none other than Donald Trump who used the fine as a way to paint the US as a victim at the hands of Europe.

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Wemo Mini Smart Plug now compatible with Apple HomeKit -- no bridge needed!

This probably won't surprise you, but I am a huge "smart home" proponent. I have a couple of Echo Dot voice assistants, a Nest smart thermostat, several Wi-Fi security cameras, and I am even in the process of testing a smart sprinkler from Rachio.

One of my favorite smart home devices, however, are my Wemo Mini Smart Plugs. If you aren't familiar, these are devices that plug into a power outlet. You then plug something into the Wemo. For instance, mine are connected to lamps, so using my phone or tablet, I can easily turn on/off the lights using the Wemo app -- even remotely. Thanks to Alexa support, I can control my lighting by voice too! I can say "Alexa, turn on the living room lamp,"  and like magic, it does!

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Sony unveils Limited Edition Marvel's Spider-Man PS4 Pro Bundle

Back in May, Sony launched a drop-dead gorgeous special edition PlayStation 4. Called "Days of Play," it featured a beautiful blue body, which was emblazoned with gold PlayStation button labels. I was quite smitten with the design, but there was one huge problem -- it wasn't a PS4 Pro. In other words, the special design was wasted on a console that wasn't Sony's most powerful.

Today, Sony unveils a new limited edition console that puts the aforementioned "Days of Play" variant to shame. And yes, this time it is a PS4 Pro! The "Limited Edition Marvel's Spider-Man PS4 Pro Bundle," as it is called, features a PS4 Pro with a red body and massive white Spider-Man logo on the top. The "Amazing Red" color, which Sony is calling it, is also on the DualShock 4 wireless controller. Rounding out the bundle is the "Marvel’s Spider-Man" video game disc.

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Save $150 on the Enclave Cinehome HD 5.1 Wire Free Home Theater System

We live in an age where TVs offer amazing picture quality -- 4K HDR really makes the picture pop. But it’s no good having a fantastic image on screen, if the accompanying sound quality is rather lacking.

Enclave Audio's Cinehome HD 5.1 Wire Free Home Theater System is an easy-to-setup HD 5.1 digital surround system that delivers 24-bit HD quality audio without the need of speaker wires.

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SUSE launches new enterprise Linux to help the move to software-defined infrastructure

SUSE Linux

Businesses are increasingly running a mix of traditional and software-defined architectures and the launch of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 is aimed at bridging the gap between the two.

It's a modular operating system that helps make traditional IT infrastructure more efficient and provides an engaging platform for developers. It also aids in integrating cloud-based platforms into enterprise systems, merging containerized development with traditional development, and combining legacy applications with microservices.

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