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Microsoft will pay you $25 to use Groove

SoundMusicDolby

Steaming music is all the rage nowadays, and there is certainly no shortage of services. Quite frankly, you really can't go wrong when selecting one, as many of them are great. With that said, for an optimal experience, Apple Music is probably best for iOS and macOS users, while Google Play Music and Spotify are great for Android and Linux desktop users.

If you spend a lot of time on Windows 10, the Groove Music Pass service is an excellent choice, as is the associated Groove app. While Microsoft's service may not be the most popular, it provides great selection and quality. There are even apps for iOS and Android. Now, for a limited time, the Windows-maker will pay you $25 for using its service!

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OpenStack services monitoring: Challenges and solutions

OpenStack

If you have previously worked with cloud platforms, you will be familiar with the distributed and decoupled nature of these systems. A decoupled distributed system relies on microservices to carry out specific tasks, each one exposing its own REST (Representational State Transfer) APIs. These microservices talk to each other through a lightweight messaging layer usually in the form of a message broker such as RabbitMQ or QPID.

This is precisely how OpenStack works. Each major OpenStack component (Keystone, Glance, Cinder, Neutron, Nova, etc.) exposes a REST endpoint and the components and sub-components communicate via a message broker layer, such as RabbitMQ. The benefits of this approach are first that it allows failures to be allocated to specific components, and second that cloud infrastructure operators can scale all services in a horizontal fashion and intelligently distribute the load.

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Microsoft releases YouTube video of Panos Panay unveiling the new Surface Pro in China

Surface Pro (1)

On May 23, Microsoft did something very curious -- it announced a new product in Shanghai. No, there is nothing wrong with having a press event in China, but the time difference meant Americans would have to wake up very early to watch it, right?

No. Actually, even more odd, Microsoft chose not to live stream the event. While there was a Chinese-dubbed stream found on the web, English-speakers were left to read live-blogging instead. This is unfortunate, as Panos Panay is quite the masterful presenter -- his unveiling of products can be downright magical. Thankfully, today, the Windows-maker makes the new Surface Pro announcement video available on YouTube -- no Chinese dub.

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OnePlus 5 features Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor and front fingerprint sensor

OnePlus 3 camera LED flash logo

OnePlus is slowly releasing more information about its upcoming flagship killer, the OnePlus 5. After teasing the possible color options, the Chinese maker now reveals the processor that powers it and the location of the fingerprint sensor.

As you might expect, the OnePlus 5 will come with a Snapdragon 835, which is the latest and greatest processor from Qualcomm. This chip is also used by the Samsung Galaxy S8 and HTC U11, among other flagships.

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Windows 10 Creators Update rollout 'on track', but only 15.2 percent of US users have it

bored waiting

Microsoft officially began the Windows 10 Creators Update rollout on April 11. I cautioned about rushing to upgrade to it at the time, and then Microsoft said much the same thing shortly afterwards, recommending users didn’t install it until the upgrade was offered to them.

Six weeks since the rollout began, and still the Creators Update isn’t available to the vast majority of Windows 10 users.

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Executives are the most at risk employees when leaving the office

Risk puzzle piece

Four in ten organizations in the US and Western Europe believe C-level executives are the most at risk of cyber attacks when working outside the office.

That's according to research by iPass, whose Mobile Security Report 2017 says that coffee shops and cafes are the riskiest venues (42 percent), followed by airports (30 percent), hotels (16 percent) exhibition centers (seven percent) and airplanes (four percent).

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It's on: Xbox Game Pass sets a new stage in console wars

Xbox Game Pass

The big news out of Microsoft's video game division today is the launch of a new service called Xbox Game Pass. For a $9.99 monthly fee, players will be able to access a wide library of Xbox One titles on demand, making it less and less necessary to dole out dozens of dollars every time you want to play a new game.

This represents not only a milestone moment in the evolution of the Xbox One platform and the way people play games on it, but also for the console wars as a whole. Sony has a competing service -- similar in some ways and starkly different in others -- which means it's officially time to clear the stage for a new chapter in the perennial battle for gaming dominance.

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Apple Pay now supports purchases over £30 in UK

Apple Pay UK

The latest move from Apple may soon lead to consumers leaving their wallets at home, now that a majority of cash registers in the UK will be able to accept Apple Pay mobile payments over £30.

According to the vice president of Internet Services at Apple Pay, Jennifer Bailey, more than half of the contactless payment terminals in the UK are now able to accept Apple Pay payments of any value. Previously they had been limited to £30, which is the limit for card readers when dealing with contactless card payments.

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Elgato Thunderbolt 3 Dock for MacBook Pro and Windows 10 devices arrives next month

Tb3Dock

The MacBook Pro only has USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 for connecting devices. For many, this is not a problem. After all, with wireless accessories, it is quite possible that a user might never need to connect anything by wire -- other than the charger, of course.

With that said, some users absolutely need to connect legacy devices, such as USB Type-A hard drives, mice, keyboards, and more. Heck, they may even need to connect to a monitor or Ethernet. Luckily, Thunderbolt 3 makes this a breeze, as single-cable docking solutions can bring all of the needed ports and more. Best of all, they can charge the computer too. Today, Elgato announces that its Thunderbolt 3 Dock will be available for purchase on June 6. While it looks amazing, it is certainly not an inexpensive affair.

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New digital assistant answers data-related questions

data magnifier

In our private lives we're used to getting answers quickly from digital assistants. So far though this is something that hasn't really taken off in business environments.

That could be about to change as data search specialist Knoema launches Yodatai, a bot that's designed to answer data-related questions.

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The way is clear for Wikimedia to sue the NSA for warrantless surveillance

nsa_gchq

A federal appeals court has ruled that the Wikimedia Foundation may sue the NSA for its warrantless use of the "Upstream" surveillance program. The ruling overturns an earlier one which said the foundation could not sue due to an inability to prove that Wikimedia communication was being monitored either directly or indirectly.

The ruling by the United States Court Of Appeals for The Fourth Circuit means that the foundation is now able to proceed with legal action that was previously blocked. The amount of traffic generated by Wikimedia proved key to winning the appeal.

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HP software helps turn old PCs into thin clients

HP Thin Client

As software moves towards the cloud, many companies are opting for thin client architecture on the desktop. But this involves an investment in new hardware that may strain restricted budgets.

HP has used this week's Citrix Synergy event to launch its Thin Client Conversion Suite, allowing old PCs to be turned into a thin client solution at low cost.

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Here's when and where you can buy Samsung Gear 360 (2017)

Samsung360

On the day that Samsung announced the Galaxy S8, there was another device that made an appearance too -- the newest version of the Gear 360. This isn't the company's first 360 camera, but it is its most elegant. The camera is small, modern, and even uses USB-C.

Today, Samsung unveils what you really want to know, however -- how much it will cost, plus when (starting tomorrow) and where you can get it. Not only do we finally have all of those details, but there is even a special promotion for new Samsung Galaxy S8 buyers too.

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Media players expose users to hacker attacks via subtitles

hacker dark laptop room

Security researchers from Check Point have discovered a major vulnerability in popular media players, like VLC, Kodi and Popcorn Time, which leaves users vulnerable to hacker attacks via malicious subtitles. The security firm estimates that the number of potential victims is around 200 million.

Media players give users the option to load subtitles from repositories, which can be tricked by attackers to rank their altered subtitles higher. This leads to those malicious subtitles being recommended to the user. If they are loaded, attackers can gain control over "any device running them." Check Point notes that the "potential damage the attacker can inflict is endless, ranging anywhere from stealing sensitive information, installing ransomware, mass Denial of Service attacks, and much more."

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Kaspersky launches Threat Intelligence Portal for businesses

Hidden security threat

Companies have to deal with an increasing number of cyber threats. To allow them to stay in touch with this ever evolving landscape they need up to date intelligence.

With the launch of its Threat Intelligence Portal, Kaspersky Lab is enabling security operation center operators to be able to work more efficiently while facing hundreds and thousands of threat alerts.

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