Latest Technology News

Facebook to share Russian election-era ads with Congress -- but won't make them public


Facebook is to provide Congress with 3,000 advertisements taken out by Russians in the run-up to the 2016 US election. The social media giant says that it is "actively working" with the government in its investigation into Russian interference into the election.

Earlier in the month it was revealed that a group operating out of Russia had taken out $100,000 worth of advertising with a "focus on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum." But while Facebook is willing to share the ads with Congress, they are not going to be made public.

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Toshiba sells chip unit to Bain Capital for $18bn

Toshiba logo

Toshiba has finally confirmed it will be selling its troubled chip unit to Bain Capital in a deal worth $18 billion.

As revealed by Reuters, the deal, the equivalent to two trillion yen, brings an end to a prolonged bidding process which has lasted around eight months, and seen Toshiba flirt with a number of major organizations as it looked to offload its memory chip division.

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Two billion data records were stolen or lost in 2017 so far

open digital lock

Almost two billion data records were either lost or stolen in the first half of this year, according to a new report by Gemalto.

The company found that 1.9 billion records were lost or stolen during the first half of 2017 -- more than in the whole of last year, and equivalent to 10,439,560 records per day -- or roughly 3,000 whilst you read these few sentences.

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Motorola Solutions reveals its vision for smart policing

Motorola police top

With many major cities facing a growing number of security threats, both physical and digital, the need for police forces to be smarter and more connected is greater than ever.

Many of the UK’s top forces have been working with Motorola Solutions, which provides a range of devices and services to officers on the beat as well as their command centres.

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OnePlus will update core apps through Google Play

oneplus 5

A few years ago, the only way you could get updates for core apps on your Android device was through operating system updates. Then, manufacturers realized that it would be much easier -- for everyone involved -- to have new versions distributed through Google Play or their own app store.

OnePlus has reached the same conclusion, and today it announces that updates for Community, Gallery, Launcher and Weather will be rolled out through Google Play, in what is referred to as "Individual Application Update."

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Adblock Plus releases cryptocurrency miner hijack protection filter


Cryptocurrencies have been in the news a lot recently as the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum bounces up and down. But cryptocurrency miners have also been in the headlines after it was discovered that the Pirate Bay had secretly embedded a miner in its code, and then that the SafeBrowse extension for Chrome was also mining in the background.

To help protect users who do not want their computers to be used for such things without their permission and who don't want to give up CPU cycles to generate profit for others, Adblock Plus has released a filter that will block hijacks by cryptocurrency miners. It works with Chrome, Safari, Firefox and Android.

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OWC releases USB-C Travel Dock for MacBook and Windows 10 laptops

OWC USB-C Travel Dock Photo - in backpack

I recently reviewed the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock for Apple MacBook Pro and came away very impressed. This device essentially converts your Apple laptop into a desktop with great results. The problem? It needs to be plugged into a wall for power, and it is not intended to be taken on the go.

Today, OWC announces a product that is meant to be taken with you in your laptop bag. Called "USB-C Travel Dock," it features many of the ports you may need, such as HDMI, USB Type-A, and an SD card reader. It even has a USB-C port for power pass-through, so if you only have one such port, you can charge your laptop while using it too. Best of all, it is quite affordable.

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Cloud migration is more difficult than cloud adoption

cloud migrate

Adopting the cloud is one thing, but migrating to it is a much harder task according to a new report.

The study by cloud company Virtustream and research firm Forrester reveals that moving to the cloud is often an application-by-application process, and only 32 percent of those surveyed rely on a single cloud vendor for migration, signaling a preference for multi-cloud.

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Security researchers warn that GO Keyboard is spying on millions of Android users

mobile spying

Security researchers from Adguard have issued a warning that the popular GO Keyboard app is spying on users. Produced by Chinese developers GOMO Dev Team, GO Keyboard was found to be transmitting personal information about users back to remote servers, as well as "using a prohibited technique to download dangerous executable code."

Adguard made the discovery while conducting research into the traffic consumption and unwanted behavior of various Android keyboards. The AdGuard for Android app makes it possible to see exactly what traffic an app is generating, and it showed that GO Keyboard was making worrying connections, making use of trackers, and sharing personal information.

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Bose releases QC35 II noise-cancelling Bluetooth headphones with dedicated Google Assistant button


Virtual assistants are changing the way people organize their lives. With the help of Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana, or Siri, you can easily access information in a more natural way. Using your voice, you can set reminders, alarms, and more. It really is like having a human assistant by your side helping you manage your life.

Today, Google and Bose announce a new set of headphones that take the virtual assistant out of your phone and put it in your ears. You see, the Bose QC35 II wireless Bluetooth headphones have a dedicated Google Assistant button, meaning you can summon it by pressing on the ear cup -- your phone can remain in your pocket. The headphones are compatible with both Android and iPhone.

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Cyber Monday is the new Black Friday

Cyber Monday

New research shows that as we move towards the holiday season, shoppers are more excited about the prospect of Cyber Monday than that of Black Friday.

A study by retail analytics company Euclid finds that Cyber Monday leads the way in consumer excitement (72 percent) followed by Black Friday and the day after Christmas (62 percent and 55 percent, respectively).

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New tool offers developers cross-platform cloud access

Cloud developer tablet

As businesses turn to the cloud they often find themselves adopting multiple different platforms to solve specific problems.

This creates a problem for developers who need to deal with multiple tools and systems. Developer services start-up Manifold is aiming to ease this issue with the launch of a new cross-platform tool.

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WhatsApp refused to add a backdoor for the UK government


The UK government has made no secret of its dislike of encrypted messaging tools, and it has made frequent reference to the problems WhatsApp causes it with regard to investigations into terrorism. Calls have been made by the government to force companies to allow access to encrypted content when asked.

In the wake of Theresa May's "more needs to be done about extremist content" speech, it has emerged that WhatsApp refused to add a backdoor that would allow the government and law enforcement agencies to access private conversations.

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PC prices in the UK rise by 30 percent on account of Brexit

Arrow and money staircase increase rise cash

PC prices in UK have increased by 30 percent since the Brexit announcement this year, according to distributor data.

Channel analyst Context has revealed that the average sale prices for computers including desktops, notebooks and workstations reached £480 in July and August, which is up by a third when compared to the same time last year.

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Microsoft joins the Coalition for Better Ads


Microsoft has become the latest member of the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA). The group works with technology companies and trade organizations to help develop an ad ecosystem that works for advertisers without compromising the experience of internet users.

In taking up membership of the CBA, Microsoft is joining Google who has already worked with the organization to develop a selective ad blocker for Chrome due for release next year. Microsoft is also looking to introduce ad blocking into Edge, but the blocker would only discriminate against ads deemed unacceptable by the CBA.

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