BetaNews Staff

Home tech gifts: Which products are topping consumer wish lists?

Our ongoing obsession with electronics shows no sign of cooling off, but consumers are showing an increased interest in connected devices, according to CES trends, market research from Parks Associates, and Amazon Wish List rankings. While gaming and mobile devices continue to be favorite gift items, many consumers are just beginning to embrace the idea of a smart home. As they do, smart and connected products are seeing a rise in popularity. Some consumers shop independently for smart products, while others seek to purchase easy-bundled solutions from home security companies and ISPs.

As consumers are creating wish lists for housewarming presents, wedding gifts, and holiday surprises, here are some items that are emerging as trends this season. 

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A guide for mastering endpoint management

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) has emerged over the last couple of years as a new approach to help IT teams better manage a growing number of devices in an increasingly distributed work environment, by uniting traditional endpoint management and mobile device management (MDM). Yet successfully integrating the two commonly disparate approaches is easier said than done. In fact, many teams find themselves overwhelmed by the thought of figuring out where to even begin marrying both approaches, resulting in continued separate workflows and lingering inefficiencies.

For the modern enterprise looking to maintain both its security posture and digital relevancy, however, the impact of resisting UEM extends well beyond a missed opportunity for IT workflow optimization. By not deploying an effective UEM strategy, an organization is missing a critical step to comprehensively and uniformly securing its entire IT environment -- which includes an ever-growing web of network connected devices, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, as well as printers, projectors, BYOD devices, gateways and Internet of Things devices -- all of which are essential to employees’ daily work and, ultimately, business continuity and growth. For organizations looking to unite endpoint management and MDM workflows to optimize efficiency, security and digital enablement UEM has to offer, here are some key tips to keep in mind.

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9th anniversary of Bitcoin: Is the war between cryptocurrencies and governments over?

Bitcoin more acceptable

The global real estate market is worth $217 trillion, and one-third of income-generating real estate transactions are cross-border. But cross-border real estate transactions are notoriously complicated and rife with delays and impediments inherent to antiquated property rights registrations systems. However, an American’s purchase of $60,000 apartment in Kiev may change everything.

In September, TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington remotely purchased a $60,000 apartment in Kiev in a deal that will change real estate forever.

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Dashlane 5 and 1Password 7 support Face ID -- which password manager will you choose?

Using more than one password is somewhat essential. Remembering all your passwords is a lot trickier. Remembering them and keeping them safe is even tougher.

There are plenty of password managers out there, but which one do you choose? We’re big fans of 1Password, primarily due to the seamless cross-device synchronization.

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Speeding up product development with Infopresence

True product innovation has long heralded not just greater growth for companies, but for nations and individual careers as well. (Apple is a great example of this.) Now take it a step further: the ability to repeat a successful product innovation model confers an even more important benefit: lasting competitive advantage. (Again you can look to Apple and its concerted efforts to continue innovation in the absence of Steve Jobs.) Yet we see successful innovation within large companies trending consistently downward, and according to the Journal of Product Innovation & Management, up to 49 percent of innovations now fail.

So what can companies do to bottle innovation?

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How self-driving cars will forever change California's cities

With more than 46,500 miles of interconnected highways and minimally viable public transit in most parts of the state, California is undoubtedly a driving state. This is best evidenced in Southern California, where the freeway system’s notorious traffic and intricacy in design is a daily conversation piece.

A novel concept at the time, California freeways expounded upon the rudimentary expressways that existed in New York, Detroit, and Chicago. What had once been an impromptu system of roads were revamped into streamlined boulevards. Highways were widened and streets were extended. Arteries like the Ramona Boulevard freeway and Hwy 101 linked metropoles to remote locales. Californian’s urban and suburban identity was radically transformed and never looked back.

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3 tips to guide your digital transformation efforts

digital transformation

A quick look at current rankings of the top Fortune 500 companies reveals a key finding -- most of today’s best performing companies have had to start from scratch when it came to digital transformation.

Of the top 10, only one -- Apple -- started as a technology company. The other highest performers, Walmart, Berkshire Hathaway and Exxon Mobil, all had to strategize to become digital after their company was well on its way to success. Being digital today isn’t about having a website -- it involves redesigning the experience based on the way we work, live and interact. A recent report by Forrester suggests that companies have underestimated just how difficult it is to pivot to mobile-led digital transformation. But, as the world around us becomes more and more connected, digital transformation is within reach -- and in our always-on society, it all starts with a "mobile first" mindset.

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The new Skype for Desktop 8 is here (whether you like it or not)

Keeping in touch with other users is essential for your business. We use Skype to keep in touch with contacts all over the world, from freelancers writers, through to key contacts.

With this in mind, all we want is a relatively simple tool that enables us to perform our business without distractions.

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Facebook Workplace Chat gets a desktop app

Facebook Workplace Chat desktop

Facebook has expanded its Workplace enterprise suite with the launch of a real-time desktop comms offering called Workplace Chat.

Even though it is called Workplace Chat, the PC app offers much more than just text-based communication. It also offers video chat with a co-worker or a group, screen sharing and file sharing.

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Best practices for Microsoft Azure Active Directory

Microsoft Azure

Transitioning business IT from a primarily hardware based infrastructure to a high-performing cloud environment is compelling for most enterprises. Cloud computing has the power to streamline organizational processes and offers a reliable solution for data storage, access, management, business continuity, and analysis. IT teams stand to benefit from implementing a cost effective and scalable solution that is, in principle, simpler to manage than a traditional data center comprised of disparate hardware components. There are important challenges to consider when adopting cloud, such as vendor lock-in, security management, and redefining the organization’s culture.

Microsoft Azure has been adopted by the vast majority of IT teams globally. The cloud based platform allows IT managers to build, test, deploy and oversee applications on a global network of Microsoft data centers. The scalable as-a-service solution has proved extremely popular: by the year 2020, Gartner believes that 90 percent of organizations will adopt hybrid infrastructure management and that Azure, along with its larger counterpart Amazon Web Services, will dominate this market. However, while the pace of cloud adoption shows no sign of abating, migrating to, and managing data within a cloud environment comes with a set of unique challenges around accessibility, data protection and security. So how should organizations set about putting in place an effective Azure Active Directory?

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Nvidia releases GPU Cloud container registry

Nvidia headquarters

Nvidia has marked a new step forward in AI development with the release of its Nvidia GPU Cloud container (NGC).

The NGC helps developers make their first steps into developing deep learning by allowing free access to a "comprehensive, easy-to-use, fully optimized deep learning software stack."

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Paragon releases Hard Disk Manager 16 Basic, for free

Everyone will tell you that you really need to backup your data. It’s simply the easiest way to quickly recover your computer if you suffer from malware or even a ransomware attack.

Backing up your data also makes sense for testing new software. Make a system backup, test as required, then simply revert back to the previous state by restoring the backup.

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Dating apps have major security vulnerabilities that could expose users' private information


Singles looking for love using mobile dating apps could be putting their device security at risk, experts have warned.

An investigation into many of the world's most popular dating apps by Kaspersky Labs has found that many services are not providing sufficient levels of data protection, with hackers able to potentially identify users and steal personal information.

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Your security approach needs to change: A modest proposal

Data breaches have become commonplace these days, and it doesn't appear there will be any slowing down. Companies keep making headlines because either their data is ransomed, or it's been discovered that their data storage isn't properly locked down. Big, global brands are suffering at the hands of these attacks, and we are starting to see some common patterns emerge that might help us identify a new, different approach to cloud security.

One has to wonder if anyone is learning anything in the midst of all this hacking. How much high profile content must be leaked, and how many credit card numbers have to be exposed before someone says, "All the effort we're putting into security and compliance can be dismantled with a single, unnoticed misconfiguration. How can we avoid that?"

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Amazon announces Business Prime Shipping service

Amazon Business users will soon be able to take advantage of free two-day shipping in a similar way to how Prime customers do to order a wide range of products right to their office.

In 2015, the online retailer launched its B2B marketplace, Amazon Business, that included a number of business-specific perks such as purchasing analytics, bulk pricing and free-two day shipping on orders over $49.

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