Latest Technology News

SafeBrowse Chrome extension found to be secretly mining for cryptocurrency

bitcoin-mining

Recently it was discovered that the Pirate Bay had embedded a JavaScript cryptocurrency miner into the footer of its homepage, and now a popular Chrome extension has been found engaging in similar activity.

The SafeBrowse extension purports to block popup ads and skip ad pages that appear before downloads, but in fact it was secretly running a Coin Hive mining tool in the background. With over 140,000 users, SafeBrowse -- which has now been removed from the Chrome Web Store -- was quietly making an income for its developers through clandestine use of CPU time.

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Retail SMBs are vulnerable to security hacks

hacker attack

Small retailers face a host of challenges on a daily basis -- from staying digitally relevant while maintaining a "human touch," to retaining a loyal customer base as they grow and expand. Unfortunately, information security often slips under the radar. This is troubling as the 2016 Trustwave Global Security Report found the retail industry accounted for the highest number of data breach incidents globally. What’s more, Shred-it’s 2017 Security Tracker shows that one-third of US small businesses (SMBs) that suffer a data breach, need up to three years to recover.

The fact is, data breaches are an unavoidable reality for all SMBs, whether it is the result of malicious theft or insider error. Therefore, it is critical for small businesses -- who rely on word-of-mouth and reputation -- to invest in data protection. Neglecting to do so could result in multiple years of lost business.

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iOS 11 could let you secretly record Snapchat snaps

snapchat-logo-mobile-iphone

If you're a Snapchat user, you'll know that it's possible to save someone's snaps forever by grabbing a screenshot of it. The problem is, this goes against the idea of Snapchat which is supposed to be about temporary, transient posts; that said, it's not against the rules.

One of the new features of iOS 11 is a screen recording tool that makes it possible to save a video of what's going on on-screen. This can be used to make a recording of snaps, and it seems that a warning notification is not always sent out to the other party.

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Warning: Toggles in the iOS 11 Control Center don't let you turn off Bluetooth or Wi-Fi

ios-11-control-center

The aesthetics of the new Control Center in iOS 11 has been the source of amusement, debate and disgust in varying measures. But putting the look to one side for a moment, people upgrading to iOS 11 have been disappointed to discover that the toggles for Bluetooth and Wi-Fi in the Control Center don't actually turn off Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

For reasons best known to Apple, the toggles disconnect from wireless networks and Bluetooth devices, but the two radios will remain enabled. While the change of functionality is covered in Apple's support documentation, it's not something that is obvious to users. It's hugely unintuitive, drains battery life and, according to security researchers, could leave iOS devices open to attack.

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Design and virtually furnish a room using IKEA Place

ikea-200x175

Do you wince when your partner suggests you head to IKEA on a Sunday morning? Everyone seems to have decided that IKEA is their goto store for furnishing a room and it can be bedlam at a weekend. And that’s if you can get into the car park.

Luckily Apple has made the task a lot easier by adding augmented reality to iOS 11. Simply put, the new feature enables a person to move around objects within a virtual environment.

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

youtube-logos-mobile

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

ShakeMoney

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

Mexico_Pray

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

moto_x4_project_fi

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

AG322_ftl2_m

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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