Latest Technology News

Windows Phone already sucks, but Microsoft is making it even worse by killing notifications

Windows Phone can be chalked up as yet another failure for Microsoft. Consumers hated it, and as a result, developers avoided it. It joins other disastrous Microsoft projects like Windows RT, Kin, and Zune in the graveyard.

If you are still clinging to a device running Windows Phone 7.5 or 8.0, I feel sorry for you. Your phone is already terrible, but on February 20, it will get even worse. You see, Microsoft is killing push notification services.

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Windows 10 on ARM: Here's what you'll be missing

Windows10-Qualcomm-Snapdragon-1024x576

Windows 10 on ARM is a very interesting proposition for road warriors. You get the benefits of a full-featured operating system in a package that rivals the battery life and connectivity options of a mobile device. What's not to like?

While on paper it may sound like it offers the best of both worlds, Windows 10 on ARM is not perfect -- at least not yet -- as Microsoft's own documentation raises some serious questions surrounding its usability and compatibility.

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iPhone beaten in performance race by 1970's Apple II and other even older computers (and a mechanical calculator)

It’s a fact that today’s mobile phones boast way more computing power than the systems used by NASA to put a man on the moon in the 1960s.

The iPhone 6, released in 2014, is 32,600 times quicker than the speediest Apollo-era computers and capable of performing instructions a whopping 120,000,000 times faster. So in a race against seven computers from the past 75 years, you’d imagine the iPhone 6 would wipe the floor with an Apple II from 1977, a 1990s PC running Windows 98, and a £12.99 BBC Micro:Bit, right? Wrong.

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Europe threatens Facebook with fines for tracking users and non-users online

Facebook on mobile and laptop

Just last week Facebook was hit with the news that its privacy settings -- as well as the way the company uses personal data -- are illegal in Germany. Now the social network has been threatened with fines for tracking people through third-party websites.

The tracking affects even people who do not have a Facebook account, and this is something that a Belgian court took exception to. Belgium's privacy watchdog also told Facebook to delete data that had been illegally collected about Belgian citizens.

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Prediction #7 -- 2018 will see the first Alexa virus

There’s a new Marvel superhero series on Fox called The Gifted that this week inspired my son Fallon, age 11, to predict the first Alexa virus, coming soon to an Amazon Echo, Echo Dot or Echo Show cloud device near you. Or maybe it will be a Google Home virus. Fallon’s point is that such a contagion is coming and there probably isn’t much any of us -- including both Amazon and Google -- can do to stop it.

The Gifted has characters from Marvel’s X-Men universe. They are the usual mutants but the novel twist in this series is that some of these particular mutants are able to combine their powers with terrible effect. They just hold hands, get angry, and it is mayhem squared.

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Freely accessible Wikipedia Zero is no more

Wikipedia on iPhone

The Wikimedia Foundation is to kill off Wikipedia Zero this year. The zero-rated version of the online encyclopaedia was launched six years ago with the aim of providing free access to mobile users in numerous countries, but there has been a significant drop in demand.

The foundation has partnered with dozens of mobile operators around the world to provide free access to Wikipedia. Among the reasons for shutting down the program is "low awareness of Wikipedia outside of North America and Europe."

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Microsoft Edge vulnerability exposed as Microsoft misses Google's Project Zero disclosure deadline

Microsoft Edge

Google has revealed details of a security vulnerability in Microsoft Edge before a patch has been produced. Through Project Zero, Google notified Microsoft about a bug in the browser's Arbitrary Code Guard (ACG) feature back in November, giving the company the usual 90-day disclosure deadline.

Google went further, granting Microsoft a further grace period of two weeks on request, but the vulnerability remains unfixed in Windows 10. As such, details of the "ACG bypass using UnmapViewOfFile" bug have now been made public.

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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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