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Belkin Wemo smart home devices will soon be compatible with Apple HomeKit and Siri

Wemo_Bridge_Hero

Belkin's Wemo smart home devices are absolutely brilliant. Not only does the company offer power outlet and light switch adapters, but it recently introduced a dimmer switch too. The Wemo products are also compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home, making them easy to control by voice.

Unfortunately, Wemo devices are not compatible with Apple HomeKit or Siri. There is good news, however -- Belkin is adding support. Starting this fall, consumers can buy a new product called "Wemo Bridge," which will enable HomeKit support for existing Wemo devices. It simply plugs into an Ethernet port on your router, thereby enabling support for Apple's smart home platform.

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UK businesses less prepared for GDPR than European counterparts

Data protection

The new GDPR legislation is now just a year away from coming in to force, but new research claims that British businesses are not nearly as prepared as expected.

A study by Blancco Technology Group reveals that the UK is significantly less prepared than its European counterparts, with companies lagging behind the rest of the continent.

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XData ransomware starts wreaking havoc

Ransomware

The dust hasn’t even settled around WannaCry, another ransomware appears. This one was detected by ESET and identified as Win32/Filecoder.AESNI.C.

Security researchers dubbed it XData ransomware. It appears mostly in Ukraine (96 percent of cases). The outbreak seems to have started on May 17, reaching its peak on May 19.

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Most UK businesses feel vulnerable to cyber threats, despite increased security spending

Hidden threat

According to Thales' new report almost two thirds (63 percent) of businesses in the UK increased their cyber security spending this year, which is a jump from last year's 54 percent.

However, despite this, 43 percent were breached last year (Thales fails to mention the percentage difference compared to a year earlier, though). More than four fifths (84 percent) still feel vulnerable to threats, with 20 percent feeling "very" or "extremely" vulnerable.

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Amazon's physical retail presence grows in Seattle, New York

Amazon fresh

As Amazon runs out of ways to expand its mountain-sized market share in the online retail space, its attempts to grow its presence in the real world are continuing to materialize, with new plans being firmed up on both coasts of the United States.

Today, it officially launched AmazonFresh Pickup, a physical location where customers can pick up groceries ordered online, in its corporate home town of Seattle. It also cut the ribbon on its new retail book store in New York City.

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IoT data threats and other issues global companies face as GDPR nears

Internet of things

While the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) won’t take full effect until May 25 2018, multi-national companies do need to take thoughtful action now to be certain their E.U.-based operations will be fully compliant when the time comes.

With WannaCry, the world’s largest ransomware attack fresh in their minds, most global businesses are hyper-focused on data security in formulating responses to GDPR. However, many are less well organized in their approach to the data privacy issues related to the new regulation. The lack of a well-formulated approach should give global companies pause though, particularly because the definition of data privacy under GDPR is especially broad, and because harnessing IoT data can be very challenging.

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T-Mobile disrupts the mobile space again with 'Digits' service

Digits

Continuing its brand-defining efforts to push boundaries, T-Mobile today announced that its "Digits" service, which lets customers use their mobile number to send and receive calls and texts from virtually any device, will officially launch to its entire subscriber base on May 31.

The third-place U.S. carrier emphasizes that this move is more than just being able to manage your texts wherever you are, or making a call in a pinch when your phone dies. It is instead a brand new method of how T-Mobile views the implementation of phone numbers forever moving forward.

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Detect, block and even undo ransomware damage with AppCheck

AppCheck.200.175

AppCheck Anti-Ransomware is a free-for-personal-use Windows application which aims to detect ransomware-type behavior and blocks any threat it finds.

The program includes an unusual file protection component which automatically backs up at-risk files before they can be encrypted, enabling AppCheck to undo most damage. These backups are held in a special driver-protected "RansomShelter", ensuring they can’t be encrypted as well.

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Get 'Sexy Web Design' ebook ($29 value) FREE for a limited time

Sexy Web

Sexy Web Design is an easy-to-follow guide that reveals the secrets of how to build your own breath-taking web interfaces from scratch.

You'll be guided through the entire process of creating a gorgeous, usable website by applying the timeless principles of user-centered design. Even if you're short on design skills, with this book you'll be creating your own stunning websites in no time at all.

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Get 'Rails: Novice to Ninja' ebook ($30 value) FREE for a limited time

Rails

Rails: Novice to Ninja is an easy-to-follow, practical, and fun guide to Ruby on Rails.

Aimed at beginners, this ebook covers everything you need to get up and running, from installing Ruby, Rails and SQLite, to building and deploying a fully-featured web application. The third edition of this book has been fully updated to cover Rails 5, the latest version of the framework.

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X-Doria releases Action Band for Apple Watch

XDoriaAppleWatch3

I really enjoy my Apple Watch, but understandably, not everyone shares my enthusiasm. Heck, my colleague Joe Wilcox felt enslaved by his! For fans of the smartwatch, however, it isn't just a device, but a fashion statement too. It can be fun to swap bands to match an outfit, for instance. I own a casual nylon band for everyday use, and a more professional-looking leather variant for special occasions.

Today, popular case-manufacturer X-Doria releases a new band series for Apple Watch. Called "Action Band," it comes in three colors and can be had in both 38mm and 42mm sizes.

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Microsoft buys cybersecurity startup Hexadite

microsoft-cloud

Microsoft is rumored to have acquired Israeli cybersecurity startup Hexadite in a deal worth around $100 million.

The startup was founded in 2014 and its primary focus is identifying cyberattacks through the use of artificial intelligence (AI). By connecting a number of cybersecurity detection systems that are already in place, Hexadite then uses AI to analyze threats automatically as they present themselves.

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83 percent of security staff waste time fixing other IT problems

desktop support

A new survey of security professionals reveals that 83 percent say colleagues in other departments turn to them to fix personal computer problems.

The study by security management company FireMon shows a further 80 percent say this is taking up more than an hour of their working week, which in a year could equate to more than $88,000.

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Microsoft renames Beam live-streaming platform to 'Mixer' and adds new features

mixer3

Live-streaming of video is continually gaining in popularity, but it isn't just for gaming. While platforms like the Amazon-owned Twitch were designed for video games, they have evolved to the streaming of almost anything. Popular YouTuber Barnacules has a daily Twitch show where he drinks coffee with fans, for instance. With that said, gaming is definitely still the bread and butter.

In an effort to compete with Twitch, Microsoft bought the Beam platform in August 2016. Today, the Windows-maker announces that it is giving the platform a rebrand -- it is now called "Mixer." It is not merely a name-change, however, as Microsoft is also adding some new features. Not to mention, Mixer will get a dedicated page on the Xbox One Dashboard.

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Intelligent bot software can automate up to 80 percent of business processes

robot worker

Bots are increasingly being used in the automation of business processes, but up to now their capabilities using rule-based Robotic Process Automation (RPA) have tended to be somewhat limited.

But now Automation Anywhere is launching what it calls IQ Bots, software bots capable of studying, learning and mimicking human behavior for intelligent process automation.

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