Latest Technology News

Google showed ads on YouTube Red even though it's supposed to be ad-free


One of the perks -- arguably the main perk -- of paying for YouTube Red is that your subscription fee gives you an ad-free experience. At least that's the idea...

Google has now admitted that it was in fact running ads on its premium video service despite promising not to. This was not a change of heart or policy, however; the search giant is putting it down to an "underlying issue" which it is working to fix. In addressing the issue with user, though, it seems Google also failed to understand its own policies.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Build 16294 to the Fast ring

Windows-10 key

With the Windows 10 Fall Creators update coming next month, Microsoft is obviously working very hard to get the operating system in a good state. There have been plenty of Insiders builds, which at this point, are mostly focusing on bug fixes and stability.

Today, Microsoft pushes out Windows 10 Fall Creators Update Build 16294 to the Fast ring. While the change log lists fixes, it strangely does not list any known issues. Surface Pro 3 owners should be happy, as this build finally fixes the dreaded non-boot issue.

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Google essentially buys human beings in $1.1 billion HTC agreement


There have been rumors for a while now that Google was going to buy the struggling HTC. This seemed like a wonderful idea, as HTC makes great smartphones, which is good for the overall health of the Android market.

Today, a deal finally happens, but Google didn't buy HTC outright. Strangely, as the deal is laid out, the search giant has seemingly bought HTC employees. Yes, for $1.1 billion, the search giant has sort of purchased human beings -- plus it gets access to some intellectual property. HTC gets a much-needed big influx of cash.

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AWS will charge EC2 customers by the second

Amazon AWS

Amazon Web Services (AWS) will soon be raising its prices to better compete against its rivals Microsoft and Google in the public cloud market.

The company announced on Monday that as of October 2, it will begin charging customers by the second to use its EC2 virtual slices in its data centers. This is a big change in AWS' pricing model, as it has charged by the hour since its release in 2006.

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Microsoft helps families of earthquake victims with free Skype calls to Mexico


The horrible natural disasters keep coming, folks. Regardless of what is causing them, one thing is certain -- the victims need help. Thankfully, people and organizations seemingly have deep pockets this year when it comes to helping their fellow man. Heck, some companies have also offered complimentary products and services too.

One of the most recent tragedies is the 7.1 magnitude earthquake that rocked Mexico. If you haven't seen any footage, please know that it is bad. Like, really bad. Buildings have collapsed on people, including children, and the death toll is expected to climb very high. If you have any loved ones in the affected areas of Mexico, and you need to reach them to be sure they are safe, Microsoft has your back. It has enabled free calls using its Skype service.

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Intel's investment into AI reaches $1bn

Intel logo building

The importance of artificial intelligence has been one of the biggest trends in the technology industry in recent years, with many large companies throwing their weight behind the system.

This includes Intel, which has today revealed it has invested more than $1 billion into AI startups to date through its Intel Capital center arm.

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Android One Moto X4 smartphone coming to Google's Project Fi cellular service


Google's Project Fi is a really neat way to get affordable cellular service for your smartphone. It offers exceptional coverage by intelligently switching among the networks of Sprint, T-Mobile, and U.S. Cellular. Unfortunately, the service is limited to very few Android smartphones -- if you have an iPhone, for instance, you are totally out of luck. To make matters worse, as of late, the only in-stock compatible phones are Google's own Pixel devices -- they are fairly expensive, starting at $649.

Today, the search-giant finally introduces a new affordable offering for Project Fi -- the Android One Moto X4 smartphone by Lenovo. It runs pure Android and should get timely OS upgrades. Best of all, it costs significantly less than the Pixel or Pixel XL.

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AOC launches affordable AGON AG322QCX curved QHD gaming display with AMD FreeSync


While the benefits of a curved television screen are negligible (if not totally non-existent), having a curve on a computer monitor is seriously amazing. Since you sit closer to it, it creates a more immersive experience -- especially when gaming. Unfortunately, such displays can be rather pricey, making them impossible to achieve for many.

Thankfully, prices for quality curved monitors are dropping, and today, budget-friendly manufacturer, AOC, launches a very affordable such model. The AG322QCX, as it is called, is part of the company's "AGON" line of gaming displays. This 32-inch monitor features a 2560x1440 QHD resolution. Gamers will appreciate the integrated headset holder. Despite its low price tag, it even supports AMD FreeSync technology.

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Has the pace of Windows 10 upgrades stalled completely? Clues from Microsoft suggest it has

flatline Windows

When Windows 10 was still (officially) free, and Microsoft was forcing it onto systems against user wishes, the operating system’s market share growth was impressive. In no time at all it shot past Windows XP and Windows 8.x.

But since then, the new OS has plateaued. NetMarketShare’s usage share figures show that Windows 10 grew by a mere 5 percent from July 2016 to July 2017, and in August it posted an increase of just 0.36 percentage points. Microsoft, for its part, claimed back in December that Windows 10 was more popular than Windows 7, but of course it isn’t. Not even close.

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How to make a chatbot

chat bot

In the modern day and age, customers expect nothing less than a light speed response to their queries. How is that possible, you might ask? One word: chatbots.

In B2C services the workforce needed to handle communications is hard to manage. Sometimes you need less, sometimes you need more, and sometimes you just get swarmed. For a startup, an issue like this is hard to micromanage. On the other hand, the price for failing to do so can be heavy. Luckily, B2C online conversations are similar enough, meaning that developers can pre-program a response for any type of conversation within their scope. This is the baseline that opens up great opportunities for automation via chatbots.

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The practical guide to fighting ransomware


Close your eyes for a second. Imagine you are in charge of an IT security team in an enterprise, where the headcount is measured in the thousands. Or, you’re the single security engineer in a startup that just hired its 100th employee.

Either way, you haven’t had it easy these last few months. WannaCry and Petya/NonPetya ransomware attacks caused you to spend hours on the phone and in meetings with your superiors, answering countless questions on the security of your infrastructure.

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Microsoft reduces the number of problems Windows 10 users have with the Creators Update… by not giving it to them

thumbs up and down

According to Microsoft, Windows 10 Creators Update is the best version of Windows 10 ever. But it should be, shouldn’t it? Windows 10 is evolving with each new feature update, so it makes sense that the latest update should also be the greatest. Microsoft isn’t reinventing the wheel with each new iteration, it’s simply polishing it.

In a new blog post, John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, reveals the ways that the Creators Update improves fundamentals such as battery life, performance, reliability, and security. It’s a piece of positive spin, although the timing of its release is interesting, given that its successor, the Fall Creators Update, is only weeks away from being launched.

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GNOME partners with Purism on Librem 5 Linux-based privacy-focused smartphone


The Librem 5 smartphone by Purism has a long and difficult road ahead of it. Competing against the likes of Apple and Google on the mobile market has proven to be a death sentence for many platforms -- including Microsoft with its failed Windows 10 Mobile. With that said, I am rooting for Purism and its Pure OS, as the world would benefit from a device that uses Linux and focuses on both privacy and security. Such an alternative to iPhone and Android would be a breath of fresh air.

Luckily, Purism has found itself a new partner on this project -- one of the most important organizations in the Linux community -- The GNOME Foundation. Yes, the maker of the absolute best desktop environment is offering to assist with the Librem 5 -- if it is successfully crowdfunded, that is. To date, it is only about 33-percent funded, although there is still more than a month to go.

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Stack Overflow introduces salary calculator for developers

money signs

Stack Overflow has introduced a salary calculator to help developers get a better idea of how much money they should earn. The tool takes into account important information such as job location, years of experience and technologies used to reveal what it considers to be typical salaries.

Stack Overflow says that the results are based on the data collected in its yearly developer survey. The salary calculator currently supports five markets -- Canada, France, Germany, US and UK -- and seven major cities -- Toronto, Paris, Berlin, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and London.

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Theresa May wants tech firms to remove 'extremist content' faster… but it's not quite that simple


UK prime minister Theresa May has called on the likes of Microsoft, Google, Twitter and Facebook to act faster to remove terrorism-related and extremist content. At the moment, it takes an average of 36 hours to remove content shared by the likes of Isis, and May wants this slashed to just two hours.

But even this is not enough for the government. It wants technologies to be developed -- or refined -- that will identify this sort of content and prevent it from getting online in the first place. Facebook agrees -- its love of AI is well-known -- but the solution to online extremism is not as simple as saying "technology firms need to do more."

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