Latest Technology News

Roku Express 4K+ is impressively affordable

I'm a big believer in paying for quality, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate value. When I can save a buck, I try to do so. Do I regret buying pricey Apple TV devices for my home? No, not really; they work well and I have been satisfied overall. If I had to do it over again, however, I'd probably go with Roku devices. That company's streaming media boxes are much more affordable and largely just as capable as Apple's offerings.

And today, Roku takes its value game up a notch. You see, the Roku Express 4K+ is insanely inexpensive given its features. For a mere $39.99 you get a media box with 4K, HDR, and a rechargeable voice remote control. Yes, folks, this new Roku remote does not require changing batteries. Hell, you even get an HDMI cable in the box.

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A blue Nintendo Switch Lite is on the way

In the good ol' days of video games, we didn't really care what the console or the controllers looked like -- it was just about playing the games. Nowadays, however, the kiddies seem to love having unique colors and designs for hardware -- a way to stand out from their friends, maybe. Microsoft, for instance, absolutely litters the market with differently styled Xbox controllers.

Nintendo is not immune to this trend, and the company has long released different colors and variants of its hardware. The Nintendo Switch Lite, for instance, can be had in several colors, but later in the year, yet another color will become available -- blue. While I am usually a fan of that color, I must say Nintendo has chosen one of the ugliest shades possible. Yuck!

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Dell XPS 13 Windows 10 and Ubuntu Linux laptop gets OLED display option

Microsoft makes great software -- Windows 10 and Office 365 are both exceptional. The company's hardware, however, is more of a mixed bag. Microsoft's keyboards, mice, and webcams are often quite good, but its buggy Surface line really doesn't need to exist anymore.

For instance, the Surface Pro is unusable on a lap, while the Surface Duo has been universally panned by critics and rejected by consumers. Seriously, Microsoft, you don't need to compete against your own hardware partners. Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others are more than capable.

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Plugable updates USBC-VAMETER power meter tester with rotating screen

Do people call you a nerd? If they do, are they correct to call you that? Hey, look, there is nothing wrong with being nerdy. Hell, here at BetaNews, we are happy to be a judgement-free zone when it comes to nerdiness. If you are a weird nerd that like to tinker with computers and electronics, we fully embrace you. You are home here.

And that's why I bet you are the type of person to appreciate the second generation of a product from Plugable. Called "USBC-VAMETER," this little dongle serves one purpose -- to feed you information about the power being passed through a USB-C cable. You can use this for troubleshooting or just because it's super cool to know this info. The device can detect currents in both directions, and the second-gen model also has a rotatable screen orientation -- a huge improvement over its predecessor.

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Digital transformation projects accelerated by pandemic

digital transformation

A new report from cloud business management company Sage reveals that 52 percent of companies say they have accelerated digital transformation plans by three years or more due to the demands of lockdown.

The study of more than 1000 finance leaders across US small and mid-size businesses also shows a growing confidence that they will return to pre-pandemic revenue levels by the end of 2021.

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Microsoft launches Surface Laptop 4 with a choice of Intel and AMD processors

If you’re in the market for a new Windows 10 laptop, then Microsoft’s latest hardware release could be of interest.

The new Surface Laptop 4 comes with either a 13.5" or 15" PixelSense touchscreen display, and for the first time you can choose between Intel 11th Gen Intel Core processors or AMD Ryzen Mobile Processors with Radeon Graphics.

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Malicious bot traffic hits new highs

Devil bot

New data from Imperva Research Labs sees the highest percentage of bad bot traffic (25.6 percent) since the company began reporting traffic in 2014.

At the same time traffic from humans fell by 5.7 percent. More than 40 percent of all web traffic requests originated from a bot last year, suggesting the growing scale and widespread impact of bots in daily life.

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Enterprises under-resource cloud security despite increasing risks

Cloud data security

While spending on cloud services is high with over half of respondents to a new survey spending $10 million or more, 32 percent say they are doing less than they need to, or nothing at all, to ensure the security of their cloud resources.

The study carried out by Osterman Research for Sonrai Security finds respondents have an average of 7,750 identities with access to sensitive cloud data. Overpriviledged identities are ranked a high risk by 41 percent of respondents, just below bad actors/cybercriminals at 46 percent.

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Logitech Voice M380 Wireless Mouse with Speech Input is exclusive to China

When is a mouse not just a mouse? When it has a dedicated voice button, apparently. In collaboration with Baidu, Logitech is launching an all-new mouse which features such a button. Called "Voice M380 Wireless Mouse with Speech Input," Logitech's newest product is exclusive to China and is priced at 199 RMB -- that's equivalent to about $30 here in the USA.

It appears to have no thumb buttons, but it does have both vertical and horizontal scrolling -- a feature I adore for working with large (particularly wide) spreadsheets. Besides the off-white color seen above, it will also be available in graphite and rose.

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Businesses get better at detecting cyber intrusions

security

The latest Mandiant M-Trends report from intelligence-led security company FireEye finds that businesses are getting better at dealing with cyber intrusions.

The median dwell time -- the time between the start of a cyber intrusion and when it’s identified -- has come down from over a year in 2011 to just 24 days in 2020 and has more than halved from 2019's median dwell time of 56 days.

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Happy Identity Management Day

identity theft mask

Every dog has its day as the saying goes and it's increasingly the case that every aspect of information technology has one too -- a day that is, not a dog.

Today is Identity Management Day, created by the The National Cybersecurity Alliance and the Identity Defined Security Alliance. It's the first one so you can forgive the lack of greetings cards and themed balloons in the shops but there is plenty of industry comment.

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Microsoft adds new Windows Tools to Windows 10 for tweakers and administrators

Windows Tools icon

For power users looking to customize, personalize, optimize and control Windows 10, there are lots of tools available in the operating system. The problem is that they are spread out across multiple locations which can mean a lot of traveling back and forth.

Microsoft is changing this with the introduction of a new Windows Tools folder which brings together elements of the Control Panel, Administrative Tools and more.

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New platform helps enterprises prevent breaches on SaaS apps

SaaS

As more and more data moves outside the network perimeter into SaaS applications, this can become a blind spot for security teams trying to control access.

To address the issue DoControl is launching a fully automated SaaS data access platform, providing data access monitoring, orchestration, and remediation across major SaaS apps, including Google Drive, Box, Microsoft OneDrive, Salesforce, and others.

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New Target Temptation Engine aims to predict where attackers will strike

Crystal ball with key

Traditional cybersecurity solutions throw up lots of information, making it hard for businesses to identify the threats that they should be prioritizing.

To help security teams focus on the issues that matter most, Randori is launching a 'Target Temptation Engine' that aims to offer defenders the attacker's perspective.

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Tackling the social engineering bonanza caused by the Microsoft Exchange hack [Q&A]

Social Rngineering

In early March, Microsoft disclosed that Chinese hackers had exploited software vulnerabilities in Microsoft Exchange on-premises servers to gain access to the email accounts of thousands of Microsoft customers.

While these companies are now laser-focused on deploying patches and other security measures to remediate the vulnerabilities in their email software, Josh Douglas, VP of product management -- threat intelligence at Mimecast, believes these technical fixes will only go so far.

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