Latest Technology News

Google Pixel 4 is officially here

Happy Google Day, dear BetaNews readers! Yes, today in New York City, the search giant unveiled a bunch of new devices at its Made by Google event. Yours truly is in attendance, getting up close and personal with all the new stuff. True, much of the information leaked to the web beforehand, but it is still exciting nonetheless. There's a new Chromebook Go laptop, Nest Mini, and even a new Nest Wifi mesh system. Let's be honest, though -- the star of the show is the newest Pixel Android phone.

As expected, Google announced the Google Pixel 4 and 4 XL. The phones are largely the same except for differences in OLED screen size -- 5.7-inch vs 6.3-inch. The smaller phones gets a 2800 mAh battery, while the XL variant has a 3700 mAh battery. They both are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and 6GB of RAM. Sadly, Wi-Fi is limited to 802.11ac and not the faster 802.11ax. There is no next-generation 5G cellular modem either.

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Pixelbook Go is a smart, competitively-priced Chromebook

Pixelbook Go Not Pink

Google's original Pixelbook launched back in 2017, and two years on the company is launching a new lighter, thinner version called the Pixelbook Go.

Weighing around two pounds and only 13mm thick, the Go offers up to 12 hours battery life, backlit keyboard and a 13.3-inch 1080p touchscreen. Top end models will feature a 4K display.

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Nest Mini comes with an upgraded Google Assistant

Amazon has been putting its voice assistant Alexa into as many devices as it can dream up, leaving Google trailing in its wake. Two years ago, the search giant announced its Amazon Echo Dot competitor, called the Home Mini, and today at its Made by Google ’19 event it debuted that device’s successor.

Nest Mini -- Google is rebranding its home hardware with the Nest name -- comes with an upgraded Google Assistant, and twice the bass. That’s not all though.

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Google's Nest Wifi mesh router and extender comes with Google Assistant built-in

I live in a house with very thick walls and floors, so as a result, my Wi-Fi coverage always used to be extremely patchy. I tried various solutions over the years, including a number of range extenders, but eventually I cracked the issue by switching to Google Wifi, a smart networking system that creates a whole home wireless network.

Today, at its Made By Google ’19 event, the search giant unveils the successor to its mesh solution -- Nest Wifi.

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Google's Stadia game streaming service launches on November 19

Google Stadia controller

At this year's Game Developers Conference in March, Google took the wraps off Stadia, a new, instant-play cloud-based gaming service.

With Stadia, games are "played" on Google’s servers, and streamed to compatible devices in the home, including smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, TVs and more. Google claims Stadia servers are capable of providing 4K, 60 frames-per-second performance.

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New privileged access solution improves security and control

Admin login

Many data breaches involve some form of compromised credentials and the problem is made worse where accounts have privileged access.

ManageEngine, the enterprise IT division of Zoho, is launching a new product called PAM360, a complete solution to prevent the exploitation of accounts with privileged access.

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IT executives struggle to manage spending effectively

Executive spend

Wasted technology spend accounts for 30 percent of all IT spending according to the latest State of Tech Spend report from Flexera.

The average IT spend is 8.2 percent of revenue, but larger businesses (with more than 10,000 employees) this rises to 9.3 percent of revenue. 56 percent of respondents expect to increase their spending

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Symantec launches new endpoint security solution for businesses

Endpoint protection

Endpoints are generally the part of any network that is most vulnerable to attack, but as the number and diversity of devices expands, defending the endpoint effectively is a major challenge.

Symantec is aiming to make life easier with the launch of Endpoint Security Complete, offering organizations a single solution for protection, detection and response, as well as new attack surface reduction and breach assessment and prevention capabilities.

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56 percent of IT security pros admit their infrastructure has gaps

Attack route

New research released by AttackIQ based on a study by the Ponemon Institute reveals some worrying trends on the level of accountability for IT security and a lack of confidence in determining the effectiveness of security technologies.

Ponemon surveyed over 570 IT and IT security practitioners in the US and finds 63 percent of survey respondents say their IT security leadership doesn't report to the board on a regular basis, and 40 percent say they don't report to the board at all.

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Updated platform improves security at the edge

Edge security

As mobile and cloud computing use increases it creates security, performance, quality and cost issues for organizations.

Akamai is launching enhancements to its Intelligent Edge Platform which will enable businesses to address security, media delivery, and web performance challenges by utilizing distributed workloads and intelligence closest to the digital touchpoint where the user interacts with data and applications.

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Microsoft enables Tamper Protection by default in Windows 10

Windows 10 desktop background

Assuming you have Windows 10 1903 (Windows 10 May 2019 Update) installed, you should find that you now have Tamper Protection enabled.

Microsoft has announced that the security feature is now generally available for Microsoft Defender ATP customers, and at the same time it has enabled the feature by default for all Windows 10 users. But just what is Tamper Protection?

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Microsoft turns to AI to clean out bad language from Xbox Live chats


Microsoft has announced that it is introducing new filters that will enable Xbox Live players to avoid language they may find offensive or unacceptable. It is hoped that the AI-powered system will help to reduce trolling and bullying.

The system will be optional and will offer three levels of language filtering, as well as the option of remaining unfiltered. It's an expansion of Microsoft's family settings, and the company says it recognizes "that while some adults use profanity without any ill intent while gaming, parents with small children likely won't find this same experience acceptable".

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Which countries are best at protecting your privacy?

Globe data

We all know that standards of privacy and surveillance vary around the world. But which places are best at protecting your privacy?

Research from security testing site Comparitech finds that no single country is consistent in protecting the privacy of its citizens, most are actively monitoring citizens, and only five could be deemed to have 'adequate safeguards'.

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Google launches USB-C Titan security key

Does your laptop have USB-A ports? Gross! Don't you know no one uses them anymore? Everyone uses USB-C now. I am, of course, being facetious -- USB-C, while great, still has a long way to go before dethroning the ubiquitous Type A. With that said, there are computers that are USB-C only, such as Apple's MacBook Pro. Owners of those computers have to get dongles to use their USB-A devices.

Tomorrow, however, Google is making it possible to ditch the dongle when using a Titan security key. You see, the search giant is launching a USB-C variant of the two-factor authentication device. Not only will it be more convenient for those with USB-C laptops, but this new model looks nicer too (it's pretty).

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What are cyber threats?

security skull

A cyber threat is basically any type of threat that is computer related in nature. To be clear, a computer could be a desktop computer, a laptop, a tablet or even a smartphone. All of these devices have particular types of threats that they can be exposed to that users need to be aware of to ensure that they can protect themselves and their confidential information. 

Given the number of different types of devices that can be exposed to cyber threats, there are a number of different types of issues that can present themselves. Each of these threats is unique in its own right and poses a different type of issue for the user, but typically they all have the same end result… the impacted system is somehow compromised and the user, or the user’s information, is placed at risk. While the list below is extensive, it is not all inclusive. There are far too many types of threats out in the wild of the Internet to list in one article. What I do hope to do is to list those that are most prevalent and give the reader a good overview of what the threat is and how it is often used to do damage to both home and corporate networks. 

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