BetaNews Staff

Audials One 2021 records audio and video streams faster than ever before

The updated Audials One 2021 not only enables you to watch movies and shows from a range of streaming video providers and listen to streaming music services, but also to record content from these streams so you can keep audio and video forever for offline viewing and listening. With this latest update, speed is the order of the day, but there have also been a number of important new features added.

On the audio front, Audials One 2021 lets you listen to a wide range of online radio stations, as well as streaming music from the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Tidal. Importantly, it is also possible to record individual tracks, entire shows, or anything that is played through your soundcard.

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Hybrid cloud application delivery in financial services

Cloud dollars

The financial services sector is experiencing significant commercial disruption coupled with rapid innovation as established institutions strive to become more agile and meet evolving customer demand. As a result, financial services organizations are undergoing rapid digital transformation to meet changing customer needs and preferences, and to compete with a new generation of digital-native competitors. Hybrid cloud environments play a key role in this strategy, allowing greater speed, flexibility, and visibility over application delivery than on-premises data centers while also reducing costs.

But the move to hybrid cloud introduces new challenges as well. So, as financial services organizations plot their strategy for transformation, firms must make critical technical decisions about the clouds and form factors best suited to host their hybrid environment. They also need to consider how they will secure web applications against evolving threats such as ransomware, data theft, and DDoS attacks through measures such as DDoS protection and using a Zero Trust model. At the same time, they must also maintain regulatory compliance, governance, and auditability across complex, fast-evolving infrastructures.

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Not all workloads are created equal

disaster plan

Choosing a Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) provider can be an overwhelming task, especially if your organization is using DRaaS as a first step into cloud services. There are many solutions to choose from including large providers like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft, and also smaller or more focused providers.

The decision to work with a cloud provider for DRaaS can be clearly defined by classifying your requirements and confirming that the provider that you choose completely meets those requirements. Large cloud service providers, or "hyperscalers," may seem like the best choice for your cloud needs. However, choosing a provider based solely on the size of the organization is not always the best criteria. Hyperscalers do provide certain advantages, but keep in mind that there are also benefits to choosing smaller cloud providers that will offer individual attention and deliver more customized services. Doing your due diligence while investigating all of your options can benefit you in the following ways.

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How unified XDR platforms enhance security protection for the enterprise

Credential theft and forgery are among the leading stealthy cyber threats. The 2014 eBay breach that exposed the personal details of 145 million users is one of the high-profile cases of such surreptitious cyber-attacks. Bad actors obtained the usernames and passwords of legitimate users to steal information and compromise the organization’s database.

What makes credential theft and forgery more serious than most other cyberattacks is that the illicit access to systems or databases usually remains unnoticed for a long time. A successful attack is difficult to detect and resolve. In the case of the 2014 eBay incident, the hackers managed to maintain complete access to the user database for 229 days.

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O&O Defrag 24 completely automates optimizing your hard drive

O&O Software has released the latest version of its hard drive optimization tool, O&O Defrag 24 Professional Edition. One of the key new additions to this version of the software is a unique "Install & That's All" feature.

This new feature aims to bring drive optimization to everyone, without the need for complex or time-consuming configuration. The idea is that you need simply install the software and it will immediately ensure that your drives are optimized at all times -- you may never have to open up the program! Of course, if you like the idea of manually tinkering with things, you can still do so.

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Microsoft launches public preview of Defender Application Guard for Office

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular pieces of software in the world, and the fact that it is so widely used means that it is often targeted for malicious reasons. Just as viruses tend to target Windows rather than macOS or Linux simply because of the sheer number of people using the operating systems, so Office's popularity means that it can often be attacked by malicious files as well.

But Microsoft has a way to offer protection. In addition to the Windows Defender anti-malware tool that is built into Windows, the company has now just released a public preview of Microsoft Defender Application Guard for Office.

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Making the case for Trust in Zero Trust

Trust card

As WFH continues and bad actors and cyberthreats thrive, it is more critical than ever before for organizations to have a robust cybersecurity strategy in place. The best way to get started? Leverage Zero Trust.

The chief concern security teams have is keeping threats and attacks out of their organizations. This is why CISOs make significant investments in security controls that protect important vectors like the network, data center, cloud, email and endpoint. This defense-in-depth approach is essential to detect and block threats, but they need to be bolstered with Zero Trust capabilities. Why? Simply put, because attacks and breaches continue to occur. In fact, we know that 64 percent of CISOs believe their organization is more likely to experience a data breach due to COVID-19, and an additional 30 percent of CISOs have seen more attacks on their IT systems as a direct result of COVID-19.

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These 5 trends in employee payments show the advance of American businesses

Businesses must constantly adjust to innovation. This year, American companies have incorporated new digital currency trends like never before. From cryptocurrency to AI, these offerings have revolutionized how employee payments operate.

Here are the top five trends in employee payments.

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Microsoft launches Expressive Pixels app to help you create animations

Microsoft has launched a new open source app for Windows 10 which has been designed to help users create and share animated content. The company says that the primary target for these animations is small, third-party LED panels but Microsoft Expressive Pixels can also be used to turn creations into animated GIFs which can be used in a variety of ways online.

While animations can be as simple or as complex as you like, the tools you're presented with in the app serve to make the entire creation process as easy as possible. It does not really matter if you have never used an animation tool previously, as Microsoft Expressive Pixels works very much like a standard image editing tool, albeit it one that lets you easily build up a series of frames into a looping  animation.

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The many privacy concerns surrounding contact tracing efforts for COVID-19

Contact tracing is being touted as the best way to keep the novel coronavirus under control and avoid yet another country-wide shutdown, at least until a vaccine can be developed. The process has many benefits and was seen as integral to the success in staunching the spread of COVID-19 in a few different cities in Asia. However, there are quite a few hurdles to overcome in the process of implementing successful contact tracing efforts in the United States.

For starters, manual contact tracing requires a large workforce as well as time and money. Apps, on the other hand, can be implemented quickly and for a relatively low cost.This option seems simple and unproblematic enough at first glance but, upon further inspection, poses a threat to the privacy of any and all users. Despite their promise of aiding in the eradication of COVID-19, If left unregulated, contact tracing apps put your personal information at risk and open up potential abuses of that information for decades to come.

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Why is the UK government prone to IT disasters?

Back in March, at the height of the nationally imposed lockdown, Health Secretary Matt Hancock promised a solution in the form of a coronavirus tracing app that would see us all out of lockdown safely. Although the much-touted NHSX app was said to be at the heart of the strategy to contain the spread of Covid-19, months later, it was ditched due to security concerns, forcing the Government to change tack to work with tech giants Apple and Google on a new app, shifting its strategy to work with human tracers instead.

With measures easing and life now the most 'normal' it has been for quite some time, the newest iteration of the app is still yet to be released. It is clear that even in the midst of an international health crisis, the public sector has defaulted to looking only to big vendors to provide technical solutions -- and to its own detriment.

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How a cloud-based infrastructure can accelerate IT Initiatives

Cloud access

There’s no doubt about it, we are living in a cloud enhanced world. No matter what is happening in life, whether it’s uploading pictures of the family, keeping track of friends on social media, or working remotely, the fact remains that the cloud is a part of our everyday lives in one way or another.

So why are organizations so hesitant to adopt a cloud infrastructure? From speaking with customers, the reason extends across infrastructure, business as well as, let’s face it, an overall new way of thinking about what is the best way to mitigate risk.

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Disaster recovery vs. business continuity

disaster plan

IT professionals thinking about disaster recovery configurations for critical SQL Server deployments in Windows environments naturally think in terms of remote sites and recoverability. If the primary datacenter goes offline in a disaster, the organization needs to be able to fail over to a separate datacenter somewhere unaffected by the same disaster.

But disaster recovery and business continuity -- your ability to rapidly resume critical business functions during emergency events -- are not the same. Planning for business continuity is a much more holistic endeavor, and while disaster recovery is an important part of that plan, it is just that: part of the plan. Before you can effectively figure for disaster recovery, there needs to be agreement among your organization’s key stakeholders about which elements of your IT infrastructure are truly mission-critical. Once that’s been agreed upon -- and that’s not always an easy -- you’re in a position to implement a disaster recovery plan that will truly reflect the business continuity goals of the organization.

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Sony's latest free app lets you use your digital camera as a webcam

Sony has released a new app which makes it possible to use your regular digital camera as a webcam. The app is called Image Edge Webcam and it is only available for Windows 10 -- it's not clear if Sony intends to release a macOS or Linux version as well.

Sony is not the first company to have released software that transforms digital cameras into webcams recently. It is thought that the move is likely a response to the number of people currently working from home, and the shortage of webcams that this has led to.

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Microsoft Inspire key takeaways

Microsoft wrapped its annual Microsoft Inspire 2020 partner conference in July. This is one of the first events of the "big tech" conference season and a good precursor to what trends we can expect to see in 2021. For the first time ever, the global event was 100 percent virtual and available to all attendees at no cost. While Microsoft offered less "net-new" vision at this year’s conference, it strongly reinforced the company’s existing reputation as the dominant technology platform for enabling business results for technology intensive companies globally.

Microsoft spends millions on market research and R&D and based on past events we have found that there is a lot to learn at these events that can add value to technology strategies and plans. Here are four key takeaways from Microsoft Inspire 2020 that capture what Microsoft is up to, the direction the company is taking and often a good indicator of the market over the next 12 months.

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