Latest Technology News

Microsoft to pay $26 million to settle claims of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

Microsoft building logo

Microsoft has come to an agreement with the US Justice Department and the SEC because of employee misconduct in Hungary. The company was to face a probe over violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

In agreeing to pay this money, Microsoft is neither really admitting guilt nor denying the claims made against it, and company President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith has written to all employees saying: "There is no room for compromise when it comes to ethical business practices".

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Microsoft plows $1 billion into OpenAI partnership

OpenAI and Microsoft

Microsoft is investing $1 billion in a multi-year partnership with OpenAI-- a company co-founded by Elon Musk three years ago.

The partnership will see Microsoft and OpenAI working together to build new Azure AI supercomputing technologies. Microsoft says that it will focus on building a platform to create new AI technologies and deliver on the promise of artificial general intelligence (AGI).

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Enterprises are modernizing data architectures but still have major concerns

Business database

A new study of over 300 IT executives in large enterprises by database company DataStax reveals all are modernizing their data architecture, but most are still struggling with major challenges.

The results show 99 percent of IT execs report challenges with architecture modernization and 98 percent with their corporate data architectures (data silos). Vendor lock-in (95 percent) is also a key concern among respondents.

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'Bohemian Rhapsody' by Queen hits 1 billion YouTube views

I recently watched the Freddie Mercury (R.I.P.) and Queen biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody" on HBO. The film was enjoyable, but not particularly good. It lacked depth and emotion, feeling more like a caricature of the band. Ultimately, it did a pretty good job of educating younger folks about the group, and highlighting their many great songs, so I suppose that is a good thing. While Mercury is a fascinating man, it would have been nice to have the other members of the band get more attention.

Queen's most popular song (and their best) is the film's namesake -- "Bohemian Rhapsody." The song and the band were before my time, so I first encountered the song when watching the movie "Wayne's World" as a child. I immediately recognized the brilliance of the music despite it being used as a prop in an iconic movie scene -- it also saw a resurgence on the radio at the time because of the Mike Myers movie. And now, the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen has achieved 1 billion views on YouTube. To mark the milestone, there is a new remastered version of the video (embedded below).

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New from CBS All Access -- It's 'Star Trek: Incontinence'

"Engage…the walk-in bath!"

I was half-expecting Jean Luc Picard to utter those very words to complete his iconic line from the new Star Trek: Picard trailer (non-US based viewers can check it out here). And as the preview ended, I couldn’t help but feel like I’d just watched some trippy infomercial for "Senior Adventure Travel." Those wide shots of a Picard shuffling through various landscapes -- backpack on his shoulder, look of child-like wonder on his face -- had me reaching for my bottle of Geritol.

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European Commission rules that UK dwelling EU citizens can still hold .eu domains after Brexit

Three European flags

What Brexit really means for the UK -- whenever it may end up happening -- still remains to be seen. But a new ruling by the European Commission means that even after leaving Europe, UK citizens will still be able to hold .eu top-level domains after leaving the European Union.

The ruling is a reversal of a decision taken earlier in the year that EU citizens living in the UK post-Brexit would not be able to own such domains. It comes as the Commission becomes increasingly concerned about the "uncertainties surrounding the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement", and what the implications of this could be.

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Wizz Air sends out password reset emails to millions of customers following 'technical irregularity'

Wizz Air

Hungarian airline Wizz Air has emailed millions of customers informing them that their passwords have been reset.

While the company is at pains to stress that it has not been the victim of hacking, nor is any personal information at risk, the email took many customers by surprise and raised concerns about a possible data breach.

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Scotland Yard Twitter account and website hacked

New Scotland Yard

The Twitter account of Scotland Yard has been hit by hackers, resulting in a series of strange and offensive tweets being sent to hundreds of thousands of followers. The website for the Metropolitan Police was also hacked.

Tweets sent by the hackers made references to Keemstar as well as drill artist Digga D, calling for the rapper to be freed from prison. The attack by hackers also resulted in a series of emails being sent out to journalists via the Metropolitan Police's official email address.

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Debian-based deepin 15.11 Linux distribution now available for download

deepin is the most beautiful desktop operating system on the planet, besting both macOS, and Windows. Hell, it is even prettier than all other Linux distributions too. And yes, that matters. While an operating system shouldn't impede productivity or behave obnoxiously, it should inspire the user. deepin does this.

Today, the Debian-based deepin 15.11 becomes available, and it looks like another winner. While not radically different from deepin 15.10, it has enough bug fixes and additions to make it worthwhile. For instance, even though optical discs (CD, DVD, Blu-ray, etc.) are dramatically declining in popularity (near obsolete), the deepin devs have intergrated disc-burning into the distro's file manager. More exciting, however, is cloud sync for Control Center, which will make it easier to restore settings on a fresh installation or when logging into a shared machine.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

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

Windows 10 version 1903 had some upgrade blocks lifted this week paving the way for additional upgrades but Microsoft had to add new blocks in place, one even for the company's own Surface Book 2 device.

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'Top Gun: Maverick' should be a hell of a ride…down memory lane

Do you feel it? Do you feel the need for speed?

Assuming you have a pulse and have not yet assumed room temperature, my guess is you’ve seen the new trailer for Top Gun: Maverick. And if, like me, you grew up with fond memories of the original Top Gun, your heart is still racing after hearing those familiar soundtrack beats and watching those truly stunning new aerial maneuvers scenes.

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UK office workers waste 1.8 billion hours a year because of poor technology

frustrated

Office workers across the UK are wasting 14 days per person each year -- or 1.8 billion hours a year in total -- because the technology they’re given isn't good enough.

A new study of 2,000 office workers from technology solutions company Insight shows 80 percent at some point have felt they don't have the technology they need to do their jobs properly. While 34 percent also say not being equipped with the right technology makes remote and flexible working difficult and stressful.

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Google boosts Chrome bug bounties

Google Chrome logo

Bug bounty programs have become a popular way for companies to unearth security issues in software and address them quickly. Google is no stranger to such programs, and it has just announced massive increases to the payouts made for finding vulnerabilities in Chrome.

Some rewards have doubled while others have tripled, taking the maximum compensation for reporting a security flaw in Google's web browser -- and other Chromium-based browsers -- to an impressive $30,000.

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Slack resets hundreds of thousands of passwords following data breach

Slack has just been made aware of additional information about a security breach that took place back in 2015, forcing the company to reset the passwords of around 1 percent of its users.

The company announced earlier this year that it has a daily userbase of over 10 million people, so this means that a huge number of users are affected by the incident no matter how much Slack tries to downplay it.

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Google is closing a Chrome API loophole to make Incognito Mode more secure and private

Google HQ logo

Following increasing awareness that using Incognito Mode in Chrome can be detected, and it is still possible for sites to track your online behavior when you're using it, Google has announced upcoming changes that will close a loophole.

The update is due at the end of this month and it addresses a chink in the FileSystem API. Google says the change are coming in Chrome 76, and will also make it harder for publishers to determine when people are trying to bypass paywalls.

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