Latest Technology News

Mageia 7 Beta 1 Linux distribution now available for download

It's been damn-near a year and a half since the last major release of Mageia -- version 6. With that said, Mageia 6.1 was released in October of this year, however. This can feel like an eternity for Linux users, when some distributions see major updates once or twice a year. Of course, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, dear Mageia users. After all, as the saying goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." Mageia 6.1 is great.

If you are chomping at the bit for a new major Mageia release, I have good news for you -- the first beta of Mageia 7 is finally here.

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Microsoft says it is time for government regulation of facial recognition

Facial recognition

Facial recognition is becoming more widely used in both general computing and in the wider world. Smartphones and computers can be unlocked with your face, but the technology is also used for security and policing purposes.

While most uses are legitimate and helpful, there is scope for abuse. Microsoft thinks it is time for regulation to help avoid this. The company is calling on government around the world to introduce new laws, but also on the technology industry to introduce safeguards to protect against abuse and bias.

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You may be happy about Microsoft's adoption of Chromium, but Mozilla thinks it is bad for competition

Microsoft glass building logo

After the rumors, confirmation came from Microsoft that it plans to move its Edge browser from the EdgeHTML engine to Chromium. Reaction from users has been largely positive, but it's not the same story across the technology industry as a whole.

While Google is understandably happy about the change, the CEO of Mozilla, Chris Beard, says it is bad for competition and will help to make Google even more powerful.

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How deception can provide an edge in fighting cyberattacks [Q&A]

Deception man woman

Businesses are starting to recognize that it may be impossible to keep attackers completely out of their networks, so they are starting to look for ways of fighting them more efficiently.

One of the ways of doing this is to use decoys to lure attackers and allow the threat to be dealt with before it affects live systems. We spoke to Carolyn Crandall, chief deception officer at Attivo Networks to find out more about how this deception technology works and what it can do.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Three-hundred-and-twelve 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 be working on Windows Lite to better compete with Google Chromebooks in Education. Also, cumulative update KB4469342 is out for Windows 10 version 1809; it fixes long-standing issues with mapped network drives and default program associations.

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Google Translate aims to reduce gender bias

Gender and sex are two different things -- the latter is biological, while the former is a social construction. For much of humanity, the two have been linked, but in recent years, some of our minds have evolved to think outside this box. Sure, there are still ignorant people that feel gender and their stereotypical roles should be cemented into society, but the truth is, women are doing jobs that men have historically done, and vice versa. And doing them well, I must add. For instance, a woman can be a soldier, while a man can be a nurse -- it is wonderful.

Unfortunately, major languages were formed during the ages of gender ignorance, causing some words to unnecessarily have masculine and feminine versions. For instance, in English, a man is a hero while a woman is a heroine. This is problematic with translation services, as gender bias in machine learning can influence the end results. Google is not satisfied with that, so today, it announces its Translate service will be offering multiple translation results when they can vary by gender. The user can then select the appropriate one.

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Microsoft confirms plans to use open source Chromium to develop Edge

Microsoft Edge

Just a couple of days ago, news crept out about Microsoft's project Anaheim -- a Chromium-based web browser said to be a replacement for Microsoft Edge. This understandably generated a great deal of interest... So much, in fact, that Microsoft has been compelled to speak out and confirm what its plans are.

Microsoft says that it is not building a replacement for Edge, but confirms that it will be embracing Chromium in the development of the browser. It is part of the company's increasing involvement in the open source community, and is driven by a desire to improve web compatibility and reduce fragmentation

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Google to kill off Allo as the company streamlines messaging in its own unique way

Google logo

There has been a great deal of speculation recently about what Google's plans are for dealing with its plethora of messaging tools. There had been suggestions that Hangouts could be for the chop, but now Google has spoken out to say that this is not -- quite -- the case, and in fact it is Allo that will be shuttered.

The closure of Allo will come just two-and-a-half years since it first appeared. Google says that it has learned a lot from releasing Allo, and plans to bring the best of its features to the Messages app. In a blog post, Google also talks about the other messaging apps and services it offers, including Hangouts and Duo.

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96 percent of employees struggle to locate files

File not found

According to a new report, 96 percent of all employees face some sort of difficulty when looking for the most recent version of a document or file.

The study from information management company M-Files also reveals that 83 percent of staff worldwide are forced to recreate documents that already exist but can't be found.

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Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 19.1 'Tessa' Beta now available with Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce

Windows 10 is getting worse every day. I used to call it a dumpster fire, but now I think it has devolved into an overturned "Porta-Potty" following all-day tailgating at an NFL stadium. Just recently, we learned that Microsoft is causing blue screens of death on its own Surface Book 2 hardware due to a bad update. Problematic updates are just par for the course for Windows 10 these days -- a crap (pun intended) shoot.

If you are tired of living in constant fear that your computer will break due to a faulty Windows update, it is time to finally evolve and switch to a Linux-based operating system. There are countless great choices from which to choose, but for many, Linux Mint is computing nirvana. It is stable, fast, and looks great. Regardless of which desktop environment you choose -- Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce -- you will be treated to a great user experience. Today, the upcoming Linux Mint 19.1 (named "Tessa") achieves Beta status.

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Oaxis Timepiece -- smart style meets smart tech

Oaxis Timepiece

For many people wearing a watch is as much about how it looks as how it works. In these days of smart devices that often requires a trade off between style and function.

Do you leave your good-looking watch at home while you wear your smart watch, or do you look a bit needy by putting a wearable fitness tracker or similar on your other wrist? With the Oaxis Timepiece you no longer have to make the choice.

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69 percent of employees use work devices for personal tasks

Facebook in work meeting

New research released by security awareness and email protection company Mimecast finds that more than two-thirds of employees admit to personal use of work devices during office hours.

Mimecast surveyed more than 1,000 people who use company-issued devices (such as mobile phones, desktop computers or laptops) in the workplace, in order to understand their behavior, but also their awareness of basic threats plaguing organizations.

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Windows Lite, anyone? Microsoft said to be working on yet another cut-down version of Windows

Microsoft mission

Microsoft has already had a stab at a cut-down version of its famous operating system in the form of Windows RT and Windows 10 S... and it seems that the company is looking to have a third try. References have been spotted in the code of Windows 10 to "PRODUCT_LITE" -- apparently a reference to a new version of its OS called either Windows Lite, or just Lite.

While Microsoft has not confirmed anything or made any official announcements, there are numerous references to Lite in recent Insider builds of Windows, as well as in the SDK for the OS. With help from well-placed insiders, it has been possible to piece together some information about Windows Lite.

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Symantec launches neural network device to protect critical infrastructure

Symantec ICSP Neural

Operational technology is critical in areas like energy, oil and gas, manufacturing, and transportation, but it's often be based on legacy systems which can be difficult to keep secure, with updates often needing to be carried out using USB devices.

The threat of attacks is very real though and the consequences especially disastrous, yet many control systems are running outdated software, leaving them vulnerable to attack.

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Latest malware tries to avoid detection and maintain persistence

Malware magnifier

Malware is constantly evolving in an attempt to steal data or make money for the people behind it. A new report by Malwarebytes Labs reveals the latest shift towards attacks that can avoid detection but also stay on a system to be reactivated later.

Using fileless malware is just one example among many attack methodologies currently evading traditional security defenses and maintaining persistence.

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