Latest Technology News

Microsoft announces stupidly named Xbox One S All-Digital Edition -- a neutered game console no sane person should want

Download-only gaming for home consoles is certainly the future. It is definitely not the present, however. I can envision all next-generation game consoles being produced without any optical drive or card slot, but to do that with a current-gen system would be asinine. And so, Microsoft has done it.

Yes, the worst kept secret in the video game community is officially announced today. As the leaks suggested, Microsoft unveiled the "Xbox One S All-Digital Edition." What does "all-digital" mean? Well, apparently, the Windows-maker thought optical discs were analog, as this branding simply means the Blu-ray drive has been removed. Yeah, the name sort of makes no sense. In other words, Microsoft hopes you will be crazy enough to buy download-only games at the tail end of the Xbox One's life. You won't fall for that trickery, will you?

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Game of Thrones: 1 in 4 online viewers are watching from an account they don’t pay for

The latest -- and last -- series of the biggest TV show in the world kicked off on Sunday, and brought in some big numbers for HBO. 17.4 million viewers tuned in for the season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones, either watching live on TV or streaming the show on HBO GO or HBO Now.

Quentin Schaffer, executive vice president of corporate communications for HBO, is expecting the number to build further, saying it "could eventually surpass the viewing average last year of 33 million per episode". But while it’s all great news for HBO, piracy remains a dragon-sized problem. Straight after the first episode aired, Torrent Freak reported that over 120,000 BitTorrent users were actively sharing copies of it. That’s not HBO’s only concern however.

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Apple and Qualcomm bring their global legal fight to an end

Apple and Qualcomm have been suing each other since January 2017. The iPhone maker first sued Qualcomm for over $1 billion, contending that the chip maker was overcharging for its patent licenses, and in response Qualcomm counter-sued and tried to get iPhones banned in a number of countries, siting patent infringement.

In total, there were over 80 ongoing lawsuits in effect globally between the two tech firms, and yesterday saw the start of what was expected to be a three-week trial in a federal court in San Diego.

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Logitech Harmony Express is a revolutionary universal voice remote with integrated Amazon Alexa

Back in the day, people would have several remote controls in their living room, for things like TVs, DVD players, and stereos to name a few. It was messy and confusing, and quite frankly, caused arguments in households. Remotes were constantly misplaced, and some non-savvy family members would often get frustrated by never knowing which remote to use.

The universal remote solved that dilemma, but it caused yet another -- even though there was just one remote, there were too many buttons. Sitting down and watching TV or a DVD should be a mindless affair, where you don't need to look at the remote -- muscle memory should be able to get you through. Today, Logitech aims to revolutionize the world of media consumption with the Harmony Express -- a remote that is compact, has minimal buttons, and best of all, has Alexa built in! Logitech claims it is compatible with over 250,000 devices too.

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Huawei says US government is 'ignorant of technology'

Huawei store sign

Having faced accusations of conducting espionage on behalf of the Chinese government, Huawei has lashed out at the US government, accusing officials of being "ignorant of technology".

Huawei has been hit with numerous bans by the US, and the country has encouraged others around the world to follow its lead. But the company's chief security officer, John Suffolk, says there is no evidence that China could make use of Huawei's 5G equipment to spy on people, suggesting that US allegations were politically motivated.

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Understanding the Brazilian hacking community [Q&A]

Brazil flag keyboard

We tend to think of hacking communities as being concentrated in the Far East or the former Soviet bloc, but of course there hackers elsewhere that we don't hear so much about.

Researchers at Recorded Future have been investigating hacking communities around the world, and their latest report covers Brazil.

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Avast releases 'Aspen', its most secure browser to date

People tell us they are becoming increasingly wary of using third-party browsers such as those from Opera, Chrome and Firefox. It might come as a surprise, but many average users will opt to stick with their default OS browser, Edge, and a powerful security suite to keep themselves secure.

The question is, is this the most secure way of surfing the web in 2019? Could the connection between your computer and the internet be made more rock solid? Well, Avast certainly thinks so.

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New platform helps search and analysis of cloud-stored data

Cloud

As companies store ever larger amounts of data, the current solutions and services available to handle it become more and more costly and difficult to manage.

To address these challenges, Boston-based CHAOSSEARCH is launching a new platform that delivers rapid search and analytics through a managed service, based on simple, elastic storage.

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Government websites top the charts for online trust

Trust card

The Internet Society's Online Trust Alliance (OTA), which identifies and promotes online security and privacy best practices, announced today the results of its latest Online Trust Audit and Honor Roll.

The Audit finds that 70 percent of analyzed websites qualified for the Honor Roll, the highest proportion ever, and up from 52 percent in 2017, driven primarily by improvements in email authentication and session encryption.

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Energy industry vulnerable to attacks on outdated systems

Cooling towers

Critical infrastructure sites and energy distribution facilities are increasingly being targeted by cybercriminals. But many of the systems in use today were installed and built before 24/7 internet connections.

A new report from Finnish cybersecurity company F-Secure highlights the fact that cybersecurity was not a realistic threat when these systems were manufactured, and legacy protocols and systems never had the built-in security controls that we take for granted today. Connecting these systems to the internet has opened them up to attacks from myriad angles.

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UK recommends that Facebook and other social media sites disable 'like' option and data collection for minors

Facebook reactions and teenagers

UK watchdog the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has put forward new proposals it believes will help to improve the safety of children online. Among the recommendations is the suggestion that Facebook and other social media sites should disable "like" functionality for minors.

The ICO's "Age Appropriate Design" consultation document is a code of practice for online services, and includes proposals such as minimum age checks and an increase in privacy settings for minors. Another suggestion in the 16-point set of proposals is that social media firms limit the collection of personal data about under-18s.

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Hulu buys back AT&T's 9.5 percent stake

Hulu mobile icon

Hulu has bought back the minority share AT&T held in the streaming video firm. The two companies have come to an arrangement which sees Hulu purchasing AT&T's minority stake for $1.43 billion.

Buying the 9.5 percent stake at this price values Hulu at $15 billion. The deal gives even greater control to Walt Disney Co, which holds a 60 percent stake in Hulu as part of a joint venture.

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Urban Armor Gear launches Plasma Series cases for Huawei P30 and P30 Pro

My everyday smartphone is an iPhone 8 Plus. It's a phenomenal device -- it has a big display, insanely long battery life, a great camera, wireless charging, and Touch ID -- not Apple's finicky face unlock nonsense found on its newer phones. Best of all, it uses the very secure iOS operating system. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate Android -- quite the opposite. What I don't like, however, is not getting timely OS updates. That is what ultimately drove me from Google's mobile operating system to Apple's.

There is one new Android smartphone that is so exceptional, however, that I am tempted to leave iOS for it. That phone is the Huawei P30 Pro. This device is drop-dead gorgeous and full of top specifications. While Apple is largely known as the king of cameras, the P30 Pro's photo capabilities are supposedly on another level. If I was to buy the P30 Pro (or even the non-Pro P30), I would want to protect my investment with a rugged case. Thankfully, well-respected case-maker Urban Armor Gear has launched its popular Plasma Series case for both the Huawei P30 and P30 Pro!

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Forget Easter eggs, Facebook Messenger now officially has a dark mode

Facebook Messenger dark mode

Following the popular trend, Facebook has now officially rolled out the much-requested dark mode option to Facebook Messenger on both iOS and Android.

The feature was available as a secret Easter egg from the start of last month, but now it is being rolled out on a global basis for everyone to enjoy. Dark mode can now be accessed as a regular setting without the need to jump through any special hoops.

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Mozilla criticizes Apple's iPhone privacy claims, launches online petition

Apple is one of the most privacy-focused tech companies. It has consistently protected its users, going so far as to defy the US Government by refusing to unlock an iPhone for the FBI. Conversely, Google makes a lot of its money from advertising and tracking users, while Microsoft has extreme telemetry in Windows 10.

And that's why it is so surprising that Mozilla -- another privacy-focused organization -- is criticizing Apple. You see, the Firefox-maker is calling out Apple for allowing advertisers to track iPhone users. Mozilla is going so far as to launch a petition, hoping to get Apple to change an important iPhone default setting.

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