BetaNews Staff

Google Trips will help plan your travel with the minimum of hassle

We’re not sure about you, but just planning your next vacation seems to take as long as the vacation itself. You want to make sure you visit the best places, eat at recommended restaurants and make the most of the destination.

It’s hard to find a comprehensive app which contains everything you might need to plan your route, timeline and distances from your hotel. If you’re on a tight schedule, say a weekend away in a new city, it’s really hard to get this route wrong and walk long distances to get to your destination.

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5G is coming: Here's how carriers can prepare

5g smartphone

Technology’s rapid advance continues, requiring companies to adjust quickly to keep pace. And with the arrival of 5G, businesses can anticipate even more rapid change beginning this year. In fact, it’s predicted that by 2025, 5G will make up 99 percent of all broadband carriers and have over 2.6 billion subscribers -- or one-in-five mobile connections worldwide.

If these numbers sound overwhelming, you’re not alone. Carriers around the globe need to prepare themselves for 5G to transform the way they service customers. But thankfully, with these three easy tips, any carrier can get ahead of the game and be ready for 5G to take the industry by storm.

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Five things you're doing that are compromising your online safety

Just as we work to improve our physical health and well-being, it’s also vitally important to improve our cyber health and keep ourselves safe from online danger.

Here, on Safer Internet Day, are five easy fixes to keep yourself cyber safe this year:

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Do you still partition your drive? Paragon Partition Manager 16 Free makes partitioning a breeze

It’s a valid question. In 2018, how many people buy a brand new drive and then partition it, splitting the drive into smaller chunks?

There’s a reason why this is beneficial. You could store your photos on a single partition and then simply backup the entire partition. Assigning a drive letter to each partition can improve productivity. If you know all your work is on your "V:" drive, then it simply makes it easier to locate the drive and find your files.

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Is it time to consider Emsisoft Anti-Malware 2018?

There’s so much negative press about 'mature' security software from the likes of Kaspersky, maybe it’s time to consider an alternative? And it’s not limited to Kaspersky. Brands such as Norton have been questioned recently by allowing Russian authorities to examine source code for potential backdoors.

In our experience, people avoid change and often only seek an alternative when their system (somewhat ironically) is compromised. Little do people know that they are actually fewer daily threats than they realize, unless you spend the day downloading dodgy software or looking at rogue websites, your everyday computing experience will be trouble-free.

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Why blockchain is the real star of the cryptocurrency boom

Bitcoin remains one of the hottest financial topics of the last several years. The digital currency grew from less than $1,000 per coin at the start of 2017, to nearly $20,000 by the end of the year.

The buzz around Bitcoin continues to grow despite high volatility -- including a 50 percent drop between December and January -- and condemnation from figures like Warren Buffet who call it a "fraud." But how is it being used? And most important, what value does it really hold as an investment?

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Become your own landscape designer by using Garden Planner

If you have a large garden in need of a re-design, this can end up costing far more than you realize. Factor in a landscape designer, hiring a horticulturist and builders to lay paving flags, the costs soon add up.

You might be tempted to tackle this yourself. Problem is, you still need to hire a designer to interpret your ideas and, frankly, this might not save you much money at all.

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How cybercriminals are attacking machine learning

Machine learning (ML) is getting a lot of attention these days. Search engines that autocomplete, sophisticated Uber transportation scheduling and recommendations from social sites and online storefronts are just a few of the daily events that ML technologies make possible.

Cybersecurity is another area where ML is having a big impact and providing many benefits. For instance, ML can help security analysts shorten response times and dramatically improve accuracy when deciding if a security alert is an actual threat or just a benign anomaly. Many view ML as the primary answer to help save organizations from the severe shortage of skilled security professionals, and the best tool to protect companies from future data breaches.

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Add an additional layer of security with Acronis Ransomware Protection Free

Many of us rely on free basic security, thinking that it offers comprehensive protection against the latest threats. Indeed, many free security tools do not include real-time protection, only running on demand.

With the rise of ransomware, it’s proving to be an easy way to obtain a quick release fee from individuals. No-one wants to lose their data and, if you work from home, you cannot afford to spend time trying to recover your data or paying for a professional to fix your PC. Many will pay the ransom to secure their encrypted data.

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How secure are your documents?

Does your business or department still work with paper documents? In the information age, this practice has become profoundly anachronistic and usually a sign of business practices being left in the dust by the wheel of progress. Some companies do it because they’re afraid that making a change will disrupt the flow of business, others don’t want to retrain everyone and a few tell themselves that physical documents are more secure than an online document management system. If your reason is that last one, you could be falling for one of the most common security mistakes in the business world.

Among network and security professionals, the idea that avoiding well-traveled security methods and tools leads to a more secure system is a well-known logical fallacy called "Security through Obscurity." While paper documents and locked filing cabinets used to be the mainstream way, now holding out against digitization not only makes you an anachronism, it could be putting your private information at unnecessary risk.

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Ransomware happens -- get over it and be prepared

In its recent State of the Channel Ransomware Report, data protection firm Datto found that SMBs ponied up some $301 million to digital hostage takers over the course of the past year. According to the survey that claims to have spoken to some 1,700 MSPs, representing over 100,000 clients, 21 percent stated that their clients suffered six or more attacks last year.

Simply put, roughly one in five organizations were victims of ransomware. However more disturbing was that 99 percent of MSPs told researchers that they expect to see the rise in ransomware attacks continue to grow over the next two years.

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Tablet Hotels 2.0 is our new go-to app for booking a hotel

There are so many options out there for finding and booking a discounted hotel. Indeed, there are websites which will attempt to collate various booking options to pull together the best deals in a single location.

Although it’s great to obtain a discount from your hotel (and let’s face it here, if you call the hotel direct, you’ll often be able to negotiate your own deal), we want a website which pulls together feedback from people who have stayed in the hotel, take this feedback seriously, providing a good deal on the back of this.
Tablet Hotels has recently become our go-to booking site of choice having had had a very pleasant experience booking a hotel in Williamsburg, New York. At the last minute, we had to push back our flight due to bad weather in Texas, but Tablet took these circumstances into account and negotiated with the hotel to rearrange our last minute plans to accommodate. No cancellation or changes fees, at all. When we arrived at the hotel, we found Tablet had added its Plus feature automatically to our booking so were offered a room upgrade, free gifts and a (very) late checkout option.

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Three game-changers in the Automotive industry in 2018

New data-driven services, strong light-weight materials and a rapidly built out infrastructure for EVs (Electric Vehicles) are trends impacting the automotive industry throughout 2018.

Stefan Issing, the Global Industry Director for Automotive at IFS, presents his industry predictions for the year ahead.

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Net Neutrality is over: Here are three things to know and do


On December 14, 2017 the United States Federal Communications voted to end Net Neutrality. In other words, they are reversing a 2015 FCC vote to classify Internet Service Providers (ISPs) as "common carriers" rather than "information providers" according to Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

As common carriers, ISPs must provide equal access to all consumers and all businesses on all devices. They cannot throttle traffic, or block certain web sites, or charge more for consumers to access specific URLs such as,, or

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Top enterprise security predictions for 2018

2017 delivered a good deal of excitement (as well as massive, massive headaches) in IT security. WannaCry attacked more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries only to be followed by Petya a month later. And the pain extended beyond the enterprise when consumers bore the brunt of one of the most devastating hacks to hit the U.S.: the Equifax breach. The Equifax hack reportedly affected 145.5 million U.S. consumers -- or approximately 44 percent of the U.S. population -- leaving people vulnerable to financial fraud for potentially the rest of their lives.

These were just some of the year’s lowlights, all of which point to a future where nearly every organization is reliant on successful cybersecurity. It can literally mean the difference between a company’s survival and extension. As such, 2018 should be all about advancing enterprise security initiatives, and below are my top predictions to ensure the integrity of systems across the globe.

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