Latest Technology News

Encrypted messaging service WhatsApp criticized as 'a secret place to hide' for terrorists


WhatsApp has been criticized for failing to help police following the revelation that Khalid Masood used the encrypted messaging service shortly before running down numerous people and stabbing a policeman to death in London last week.

The UK home secretary Amber Rudd spoke out over the weekend, saying that police and other agencies should be granted access to encrypted messages with a view to countering future terrorist attacks. Later this week, Rudd is due to meet with technology leaders to talk about how the government should be able to access messages protected by end-to-end encryption -- something already dropped from the controversial snooper's charter.

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Find a perfect parking space in seconds with JustPark


JustPark is a smart app which helps you find your perfect parking space from more than 200,000 in more than 1,000 cities worldwide.

Give the app a location and it’ll display available spaces on a map, along with its cost (the company says it’s up to 70 percent cheaper than street parking) and the time it’ll take to walk to your destination.

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Building an Alexa Skill without using the SDK

amazon echo

Amazon has written a "Hello World" example for building an Alexa Skill. At first glance, it looks like just what you need to get into Alexa Skills development because it's short and clear. But take a second look and you'll notice it requires an external dependency.

It brings in the alexa-sdk npm package. I'll show that not only don't you need the alexa-sdk to teach Alexa a Skill but you might actually be better off without it.

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Trim, crop and convert movies with HD Video Converter Factory


HD Video Converter Factory is the free edition of a commercial product for editing and converting videos from one format to another.

The program has a few "please upgrade" nag screens and some restrictions (720p resolution limit, some export formats aren’t available), but there are no time limits or watermarks and it’s all very usable.

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Google introduces 'Free App of the Week' to Play Store


The best price tag to find on anything is one that reads "Free", and Google has introduced a new section to the Play Store with this in mind. The new "Free App of the Week" section does very much what you would expect -- slashes the price of a paid-for app to zero. Great news for Android users!

It's an idea that Apple has experienced great success with, and it's a quick and easy way for Google to increase engagement in its app store. The first free app is Cartoon Network's Card Wars --Adventure Time which normally retails for $2.99.

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ADATA unveils elegant UV310 USB flash drive


In 2017, USB flash drives are hardly exciting products. In fact, thanks to cloud storage, these little storage drives are largely obsolete. With that said, there are still uses, such as installing an operating system, for example. In other words, if you want to install Windows 10 or Ubuntu, USB flash drives are far superior to optical disks. There are other times a flash drive can come in handy too.

If you are going to buy a flash drive, you might as well target a quality product. Today, ADATA announces an absolutely gorgeous metallic storage device. Called "UV310," it is available in three capacities -- 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.

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T-Mobile to roll out network-level scam call protection features: Scam ID and Scam Block


Spam in your inbox and via SMS is one thing, but fairly easy to ignore. Spam phone calls, on the other hand, are not only annoying, but are frequently used to try to scam people out of money. T-Mobile is about to roll out a solution.

As part of an upgrade to its network, the carrier is introducing Scam ID and Scam Block which will be used to alert customer to potential scam calls, and to block known malicious callers. As these features are being rolled out on a network level, it should be available to all T-Mobile customers starting next month.

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Samsung is finally ready to remotely kill the Galaxy Note7


Samsung would almost certainly prefer people to be concentrating on the upcoming Galaxy S8 and virtual assistant Bixby, but the disastrous Galaxy Note7 is still etched in memories. After the phones kept catching fire due to a battery problem, the Korean company started to push out OTA updates to cripple them slightly.

But this and even a ban on taking the handsets on flights, was not enough to discourage everyone from using their Note7. Now, in a bid to complete kill of the troublesome phone, Samsung is pushing out another update that completely disables charging.

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ADATA unveils rugged XPG SD700X 1TB external USB 3.1 3D NAND SSD


While many people run an operating system from a solid state drive nowadays, external storage drives are largely still mechanical. It is not a mystery as to why this is -- the cost per gigabyte is much less. Unfortunately, USB hard disk drives have the same weaknesses as internal variants -- they are slow and prone to mechanical failure. If you can afford it (and don't mind the smaller capacity), a portable SSD is a much better experience.

ADATA has a new USB 3.1 (gen 1) SSD that is downright gorgeous. The 3D NAND XPG SD700X external drive is extremely rugged and features capacities up to 1TB. Most importantly, it is much faster (440/430MB/s read/write) than a mechanical HDD. Such a drive is not only beneficial for Windows, Mac, and Linux, but for faster game loading on consoles too, such as PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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A pioneer's guide to Alexa

echo amazon

Have you seen Star Trek? If you haven’t, you should. One of the pieces of future tech that is quietly on display throughout the show is the ability to talk to the computer. Whether it’s asking the computer where someone is or ordering a cup of earl grey tea, the computer has no problem understanding the questions it is asked, and who’s asking them.

Amazon’s Alexa products claim that they are this shining vision of the future! Not only that, you can write your own apps for the platform. Amazing! Right? Well, we’re not quite there yet. So, what are the challenges and limitations? Is there anything we can do to hack our way through the tough parts? Can we achieve our dreams even if we emerge a bit bloody and beaten? Let's find out.

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Three-quarters of organizations not confident in dealing with SSL-based attacks


Despite 39 percent of businesses suffering an SSL-based attack in 2016, only 25 percent feel confident in their ability to deal with one according to a new study.

The report from cyber security company Radware shows that cyber attacks are becoming the norm, with 98 percent of organizations experiencing some form of attack in 2016.

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Moto G5 Plus starts at $184.99 on Amazon

Moto G5 Plus Lunar Gray

There is much to like about the new Moto G5 Plus. It's got a nice screen, fast processor, fingerprint sensor, large battery and an interesting design too. It also runs Android Nougat and it comes with Google Assistant out of the box. But all this comes at a price, which may seem a bit too high for some.

The base model, which comes with 32GB of storage and 2GB of RAM, costs $229.99 in US, while the high-end version, which features 64GB and 4GB of RAM, can be had for $299.99. It is not exactly cheap, if you want the latter model, but you can get it at a nice discount on Amazon.

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Citizen AID app helps saves lives during a terror attack


Citizen AID is a free UK-developed iOS, Android and Windows app which gives advice on the best immediate response to a bomb blast or armed attack.

It’s essentially an ebook with simple step-by-step guidance on how to deal with different situations. Some of this seems very obvious. If there’s an ongoing attack, for instance, you’re advised to run, hide if that’s not possible, tell the emergency services and only treat the injured once you know you’re safe.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week


Two-hundred-and-twenty-four 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.

Microsoft seems to have found the Windows 10 Creators Update RTM build. It is build 15063 according to the leaked Update Assistant.

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OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3 get Google Assistant


Google Assistant made its debut on the Pixel and Pixel XL last year, and after a period of exclusivity the search giant started to bring the voice assistant to other Android smartphones. The new LG G6 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 line have it, and, now, so do two other popular flagships.

OnePlus has announced on Twitter that the successor to Google Now is finally available on its OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 3. Both smartphones run Android Nougat, which is required for Google Assistant.

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