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US may extend laptop ban to all international flights

no-laptops

The US is considering extending its laptop ban to all international flights to and from the country. Speaking on Fox News Sunday this weekend, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said there was a "sophisticated" terrorist threat which could see and expansion of the ban on devices larger than smartphones.

Back in March, citing a threat from terrorists "smuggling explosive devices in various consumer items," the Trump administration introduced an electronics ban on flights from a number of countries. If the ban was to be expanded, there would likely be a backlash from the increased number of people no longer able to take their laptops on flights as carry-on items.

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Nintendo is ramping up Switch production

nintendo-switch-box

The Nintendo Switch has proved to be an incredible success for the Japanese company. Sales are far better than many predicted and, according to reports, production is about to be stepped up to meet demand.

Just three months after launch, the Financial Times says that production will be increased in preparation for the holiday season, with Nintendo hoping to avoid "customer tantrums" if shoppers are unable to get their hands on what is sure to be a huge seller in the latter half of this year.

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Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others write to House of Representatives asking for reform of NSA surveillance

USA Freedom Act is blocked but NSA will stop phone data collection anyway

A letter signed by more than 30 major technology companies has been sent to the House Judiciary Committee calling for a number of key changes to be made to NSA surveillance. The letter, signed by the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Google and Mozilla, asks lawmakers to make a number of considerations when reforming Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act.

The signatories refer to themselves as "U.S.-based companies that provide consumer and business technology, products, and services around the world through the use of electronic data." Their letter is timed to coincide with debate about the reform of Section 702 which is used to justify NSA surveillance programs, and is due to expire at the end of the year. There are calls for increased transparency and controls, as well as the suggestion that surveillance should be reined in.

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OnePlus launches referral program so you can get money off a OnePlus 5 and accessories

oneplus-3t-referral-program

We know that the OnePlus 3T is being discontinued as the launch of the OnePlus 5 is just around the corner. Ahead of the launch, the company behind the "flagship killer" has unveiled a referral program that lets its customers earn points to get money off phones and accessories.

The referral program is open to "anyone who's ever bought a OnePlus smartphone past, present, or future." You just need to apply for your unique referral code, and then encourage people to use it to make their OnePlus purchases to earn you points and money off.

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Google search's Personal tab shows results from your emails, calendar and other G Suite content

google-seach-desktop-mobile

Personalized results in Google search are not exactly new, but the company has now introduced a new way to section off truly personal results. A new Personal tab (which you would be forgiven for missing as it's a little hidden out of the way) filters search results to show you only matches from your own Google content.

What this means is that you are able to easily see search results from your Gmail emails, Google Photos, Calendar and other G Suite components without having to conduct searches in each one individually. But is there cause for concern when it comes to privacy?

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British Airways cancels flights after massive global computer system failure [Updated]

british-airways-plane

A "major IT system failure" has caused serious problems for British Airways. The airline has been forced to cancel all flights from Heathrow and Gatwick airports while it works to resolve the issue.

It is not believed that the computer failure was caused by a cyberattack or hackers but this has not lessened the impact. Both of the affected airports have become "extremely congested" as a "global system outage" wreaked havoc with travellers' holiday weekend plans.

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Devuan Jessie is here -- download the systemd-shunning Debian-forked Linux distro now

Fork

One of the coolest things about open source software is the ability to fork it. What is forking? Very simply put, it is taking code and altering it so it can be taken in a different direction. This is usually done when people are dissatisfied with the current path of a project. A good example of this is LibreOffice, which is a fork of OpenOffice. As that example shows, sometimes the fork can become better and more popular than the original.

Systemd is a very polarizing topic in the Linux community, so it should come as no surprise that it would lead to a fork. You see, some Debian users disliked systemd so much that they decided to create a version of the OS without it. Devuan is that operating system, and today, the fork finally sees stable release.

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Enterprise Resource Planning from an IT perspective

Enterprise Resource Planning ERP

One of the greatest advantages of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is that it’s designed to be used throughout all departments of your company, from product planning and sales to inventory maintenance and accounting.

Combining your company’s processes into one cohesive system eliminates data silos, and reduces manual processes. ERP provides a unified platform that helps departments intercommunicate, allowing your business to run more efficiently.

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Consumers expect mobile devices to transform

smartphone hand

When Microsoft says we'll be holding much more than a mere smartphone in our palms in a few years, they weren't exaggerating. A new Gemalto survey says that by 2025, consumers expect mobile devices to become much more than what they are today.

They expect the mobile device to be their ID tool, maybe even their passport. They expect the device to autonomously control their home, they expect to use it as a payment tool, and as a banking device, as well.

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Nintendo stock soars from Switch sales, GameStop gets profit boost

Nintendo_Switch_hands_Zelda

After years of disappointing sales, uninspired product launches, and even some doomsday predictions, Nintendo has reversed course -- evidenced no more forcefully than the 8-year high that its stock price reached by the end of this week.

The company closed at 33,510 yen ($300.72) per share on Japan's Nikkei exchange. The last time Nintendo was looking at numbers like that, it was busy celebrating the way it reinvented the gaming marketplace with its motion-sensing Wii console.

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Ransomware revenue rises to $1bn

ransomware cash

A new report from Trend Micro has revealed that the use of ransomware by cyber attackers increased by 752 percent in 2016.

In the last year alone, the security software company estimates that Locky, Goldeneye and other malware designed to extort a ransom from its victims earned attackers $1 billion.

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WorldPay wants to make it easier to take your money in VR

worldpay1

We've all been there. You're testing out your new virtual reality headset, exploring fantastical worlds and immersing yourself in all kinds of 360-degree awesomeness, when you suddenly stop and think to yourself, "If only there was some way I could simulate the process of taking out my credit card and tapping it to complete a purchase."

Well, that will soon become possible if payment processing company WorldPay is successful in getting its new platform accepted by app and game developers.

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UK businesses want to increase adoption of cloud services

Cloud server IT

The adoption of cloud technologies in a company is becoming a key function of many company’s technology strategy.

Almost nine in ten (88 percent) of UK businesses have adopted cloud to some extent, the report says, adding that two thirds (67 percent) of users expect to increase the adoption of cloud services in the near future, according to a new report by the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF)

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WannaCry was most Americans’ first experience of ransomware

Ransomware

Although ransomware in some form has been around since 2005, a new survey of 5,000 US consumers reveals that for 57 percent the recent WannaCry attack was their first exposure to how it works.

The study by endpoint security company Carbon Black also shows that seven out of 10 consumers would consider leaving a business if it were hit by ransomware.

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Opera abandons iOS [Update]

crynerd

I have been enjoying the Opera desktop web browser lately. In fact, the experience has been so good, that I have been using it on Windows 10, Linux, and macOS. The browser has many great features, plenty of extensions, and it is darn fast too.

As an iPhone and iPad user, I thought maybe it was time to use Opera on mobile. After all, why not use the same app across all my devices? Unfortunately, after searching for Opera in the Apple App Store, I noticed something odd -- none of the company's iOS browsers (Opera Mini and Opera Coast) have been updated in 2017. Since we are almost halfway through the year, I decided to ask Opera what was up. Shockingly, the company told me that it no longer has a team working on iOS.

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