Latest Technology News

Giveaway: Win a limited edition Air Jordan III Xbox One X from Microsoft

If you have a new 4K TV, one of the best complementary devices you can buy is the Xbox One X. Not only can it play UHD streaming content, but it supports 4K Blu-ray too -- something the PlayStation 4 lacks. Best of all, Microsoft's newest console variant can handle 4K gaming -- yet another thing Sony's gaming machine fails to do.

Anyone with $500 can score an Xbox One X -- that's a basic move. If you really want to be the envy of your friends, a limited edition version of the console is what you want. Microsoft is currently running a giveaway for some extremely limited Xbox One Machines. You see, to celebrate the Air Jordan 3 sneaker (for whatever reason) the Windows-maker is giving away three unique consoles. There are three styles, but only one of each is being produced. In other words, these Air Jordan Xbox One X consoles are about as rare as they come.

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Twitter kills its Mac app, and that's a good thing

In 2016, I bought my very first Mac -- a beautiful MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. Since then, the laptop and I have been inseparable. The computer comes with me when I go to, say, a coffee shop, but it also serves as my desktop when I am home by connecting to a large monitor, keyboard, and mouse. In other words, I love the computer, but also, I really admire macOS.

When I first began using the Mac, I downloaded a bunch of software I thought I would enjoy. As a big Twitter user, I obviously installed the official app for that social network. You know what? It sucked. I tried to make it work, but ultimately, using a web browser was just a much better experience. On any desktop operating system, users are wise to use a browser. Let's be honest -- Twitter apps are best saved for smartphones and tablets. Twitter the company apparently agrees, as today, it officially kills the Mac app.

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Cyber security in (big) numbers

Bricata security graphic header

We hear a lot about cyber attacks and the latest threats, but it can sometimes be hard to comprehend the scale of the problem.

Network security company Bricata has produced an infographic that sets out some of the statistics to put things into context.

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Cisco launches cloud-based endpoint protection for MSSPs

Endpoint protection

According to Networking specialist Cisco, almost half of SMBs and enterprises in the US are outsourcing at least some of their security to managed security service providers (MSSPs) in order to counter the latest advanced threats.

The company is targeting this market by launching a set of new endpoint security solutions aimed specifically at MSSPs. These include three powerful cloud-based tools.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

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

As always, if I missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email.

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White House joins UK government in blaming Russia for NotPetya

White House on Russian flag

The US government has joined the government of the UK in pointing the finger of blame at Russia for the NotPetya cyberattacks. The ransomware/destructoware hit computers around the world last June.

After speculation that the attack was a state-sponsored one carried out by Russia, this position has now been confirmed as the White House accused the nation of the "reckless and indiscriminate." At the same time, the UK's National Cyber Security Centre said that the Russian military was "almost certainly" responsible for the attack.

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Samsung Notebook 9 Pen, Notebook 9 (2018), and Notebook 7 Spin (2018) will hit stores on February 18

Samsung makes excellent products -- it cannot be denied. While the company is probably best known for its wildly popular Android smartphones, the Galaxy-maker is much more than that. You can pretty much outfit your entire home with Samsung appliances and electronics -- televisions, Blu-ray players, refrigerators, washing machines, and more.

Where Samsung doesn't shine as brightly is with computers. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying the company makes bad Windows 10 laptops and Chromebooks -- quite the contrary -- but consumers are probably more likely to think of companies like Dell, Lenovo, and Acer for this market. Samsung has seemingly been trying to change this, however, as it has been pumping out some beautiful machines. Today, the company announces that its anticipated trio of Windows 10 laptops -- the Notebook 9 Pen, the Notebook 9 (2018), and Notebook 7 Spin (2018) -- will finally hit stores on February 18.

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Windows 10 compatibility issues forcing US Air Force to scrap a significant number of computers

The US Department of Defense has decreed that the Air Force must complete its migration to Windows 10 by March 31 2018.

Failure to do so will result in any systems not running Microsoft’s latest operating system being denied access to the Air Force Network. However, because Windows 10 is not compatible with many of the Air Force’s existing systems, a significant number of computers will need to be replaced in order to hit the deadline.

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Remote monitoring software O&O Syspectr is now free of charge

Nearly every company deploys network monitoring tools which enable the IT team to keep a constant eye on remote servers. Downtime costs money.

Of course, network monitoring isn’t limited to remote servers. It can be used to manage your local network and that’s why a tool such as O&O Software’s O&O Syspectr can come in handy. You can use this tool to remotely manage PCs on your network, automatically deploy software updates, check drives for potential issues, remotely shut down and check for unauthorized access.

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Growth in Android ransomware slows, but it's getting sneakier

Mobile ransomware

While Android ransomware is still growing, it's doing so at a slower rate than at its peak in 2016. However, it is using sneaky new techniques to trick users.

New findings from researchers at ESET reveal techniques like the misuse of Android's Accessibility services being used to infect devices. The most popular attack technique though remains screen-locking followed by a ransom demand. The most frequently detected variant being the Android/Locker family.

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Samsung pauses Oreo update for Galaxy S8 and S8+ due to restart issues

Samsung Galaxy S8

It's only a week since Samsung started to roll out Android 8.0 Oreo to the Galaxy S8 and S8+, and now the company has paused the update.

A "limited number" of handsets receiving the update have been experiencing reboot problems after installing Oreo. While Samsung investigates the matter, the rollout has been paused and a new version of the update is being worked on.

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2017 breaks record for new vulnerabilities

Risk dial

More than 20,000 new vulnerabilities were cataloged in 2017 according to breach analysis specialist Risk Based Security.

The figures from the company's own VulnDB eclipsed the total covered by MITRE's Common Vulnerability Enumeration (CVE) and the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) by more than 7,900.

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Contractors pose cyber risk to government agencies

Capito building

While US government agencies are continuing to improve their security performance over time, the contractors they employ are failing to meet the same standards according to a new report.

The study by security rankings specialist BitSight sampled over 1,200 federal contractors and finds that the security rating for federal agencies was 15 or more points higher than the mean of any contractor sector.

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Logitech announces MK540 Advanced Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo

Nowadays, much is made of mechanical keyboards. While I swear by them, understandably, not everyone likes that style. Some people prefer a nice soft membrane typing experience. Neither preference is wrong -- it comes down to the individual. For an office setting where many people work in earshot of each other, however, membrane can be preferable as it is typically a quieter experience. Even non-clicky mechanical switch types can be audible.

Today, Logitech unveils a new keyboard and mouse combo that should appeal to membrane lovers. Designed for both home and office, the MK540 Advanced Wireless Keyboard and Mouse Combo, as it is called, is affordable, well-designed, and offers insane battery life. If you are left-handed, you will appreciate the ambidextrous design of the mouse too.

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If you're concerned about privacy, you might want to skip Facebook's VPN -- Onavo Protect

Facebook icon on iPhone 8

Facebook and privacy are not words that really belong in the same sentence, so the idea that the social network is offering a VPN tool might well raise your suspicions. Back in 2013, Facebook acquired Onavo, the company behind the VPN tool Protect.

Recently, users of the Facebook iOS app noticed a link to something labelled Protect within settings. While this appears to be a built-in setting, it is in fact just a link to the Onavo Protect VPN app -- and the idea of a Facebook-owned VPN tool being promoted from within the Facebook app has people concerned. Take a look at the app description, and you may well understand why.

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