Latest Technology News

I canceled Amazon Prime and you should too

Sometimes a deal looks great on paper, but in reality, it isn't. For instance, I have a Costco membership. If you aren't familiar, it is a "club" style store when you pay an annual fee in exchange for good deals on bulk items. For the most part, a Costco membership is well worth it -- I recommend it -- but you have to be careful. Case in point, I have bought perishable items in bulk, but then had some of them expire before I've had the chance to use them fully. I mean, a giant tub of discounted Country Crock looks like a good value, but if you throw half of it away, then it really isn't.

This brings me to Amazon Prime. It is a subscription I've had for years, because I thought it was a great deal. For some people it is. You get access to lots of streaming music, TV shows, and movies. Not to mention, you get "free" 2-day shipping on many items (next day or same day in some cities). Hell, you even get discounts at Whole Foods! If you use all of those things, then hey, it might be worth it for you. Unfortunately, I found the $129 simply too high and canceled it this week.

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Trump says Tim Cook makes a 'compelling' argument against Apple paying tariffs

Black iPhone

At a weekend meeting with Donald Trump, Tim Cook made a "compelling" argument for Apple to be exempt from tariffs.

Cook is said to have argued if Apple was forced to pay tariffs, it made it difficult to compete with other companies, such as Samsung. Trump acknowledged that it was "tough" for Apple to be paying tariffs on its China-made products when Samsung was not subject to them, but made no indication that exemption for Apple was on the cards.

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Setting a path for digital transformation

At Homerton University Hospital, in the London Borough of Hackney, East London, we are incredibly ambitious in our digital transformation goals. In the coming year, we hope to go fully digital or 'paperless' to improve the quality of care we deliver to our patients and, of course, to meet imperatives for finding additional funds under our Local Digital Roadmap (LDR) and Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) covering the North-East London area.

It is now a given that the NHS must find significant efficiencies if we are to continue to deliver care to meet the demand. At Homerton, we need to save £1.5m from the Outpatient Department alone. So, when we talk about transformation, let’s be clear it’s not for transformation’s sake! 

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Minecraft is getting better graphics thanks to real-time ray tracing by Nvidia

Minecraft RTX

Microsoft may have canceled the Super Duper Graphics Pack update for Minecraft, but the blocky game is still due for a graphical improvement... for some people, at least.

At Gamescon in Germany today, Nvidia and Microsoft announced that a real-time ray tracing technique called path tracing will be coming to the Windows 10 version of Minecraft -- but only for systems with NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs. The graphic improvements will give Minecrafters better lighting, colors and shadows, and will be delivered by a free update to the game.

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Microsoft is working to fix error 0x80073701 in Windows 10

Windows 10 boxes

Microsoft is investigating a problem that has struck many users installing KB4512508 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 1903.

People whose systems are affected by the problem complain that updates do not install, and Error 0x80073701 is displayed. The issue affects both Windows 10 and Windows Server 1903.

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Microsoft releases action-packed Windows 10 20H1 Build 18963

Microsoft is busy rolling out new Windows 10 20H1 builds on a weekly basis. Build 18956, released nine days ago, introduced some network and notification improvements.

Today’s new flight, Build 18963, brings updates to Task Manager, Virtual Desktops, Optional Features in Settings, Notepad, account profiles, and Windows Search.

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Google no longer lets you turn off status lights on Nest cameras

Nest Camera

Google is rolling out updates to its Nest Cam, Dropcam and Nest Hello cameras that removes the option to disable status indicator lights.

Citing privacy, Google says that users should "always see a clear visual indicator when your Nest cameras are on and sending video and audio". The company might be introducing the change in the name of privacy, but owners of the devices are far from happy about it.

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Microsoft Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 hit with CPU throttling issues

Microsoft Surface Book 2

Microsoft is trying to fix a mysterious issue with Surface Pro 6 and Surface Book 2 devices which is causing CPU speeds to be throttled to a painfully slow 400 MHz.

At the moment it is not clear what is causing the problem, but it appears to be related to an Intel CPU flag -- BD PROCHOT which throttles processor speeds in a bid to reduce temperature.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Three-hundred-and-forty-eight in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Microsoft Store in the past seven days.

As always, if I've missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email.

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Privacy: Apple now treats WebKit tracking circumvention as a security issue

Apple logo in squares

Apple has updated its WebKit policy, increasing the company's focus on privacy. The new WebKit Tracking Prevention Policy now states that any circumvention of its anti-tracking feature is treated in the same way, and as seriously, as security issues.

The aim is to prevent web tracking completely because "these practices are harmful to users because they infringe on a user's privacy without giving users the ability to identify, understand, consent to, or control them". Apple says it wants "to see a healthy web ecosystem, with privacy by design".

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SK hynix launches 'Gold S31' SATA SSD

SK hynix is a huge name in the technology market, providing memory to many big companies, such as Apple. With that said, the average home consumer probably won't know the name. That is to be expected, as the company hasn't really tried to advertise its brand to consumers.

Today, this changes, as SK hynix launches a solid state drive for the consumer market in the USA. Called "Gold S31," it is a 2.5-inch SATA variant -- perfect for those wanting to upgrade an older mechanical hard drive. Best of all, it is very affordable. The company plans to release a PCIe model in the future.

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Deception technology speeds up detection of attacks

Deception man woman

Users of deception technology report a 12X improvement in the average number of days it takes to detect attackers operating within an enterprise network.

New research for Attivo Networks carried out by Enterprise Management Associates suggests attacker dwell times can be as low as 5.5 days with deception in use compared to an average of 78 to 100 days for those not using the technology.

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Over 3,800 data breaches reported in the first half of 2019

Data breach

2019 is on track to be another 'worst on record' year for data breaches according to a new report from Risk Based Security which finds the number of reported breaches has gone up by 54 percent and the number of exposed records by 52 percent compared to the first six months of 2018.

It shows 3,813 breaches have been reported in the first six months of 2019, exposing more than 4.1 billion records. Eight breaches alone have exposed over 3.2 billion records, 78.6 percent of the total, between them.

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Logitech launches G815 LIGHTSYNC and G915 LIGHTSPEED low-profile mechanical gaming keyboards

While mechanical keyboards are undeniably great for gaming, they aren't necessarily the best for typing. Sure, some folks are fine to type on a traditional mechanical keyboard, but others -- like me -- prefer chiclet style keyboards, such as Apple's excellent wired and wireless variants. Why? Well, key travel and height are big issues -- I type fairly fast, and my fingers can keep up better with less effort. For some people, big clunky keys lead to typos, and even worse, joint pain.

Low-profile mechanical keyboards are a great way to merge both keyboard styles, giving you the benefits of mechanical switches but with shorter keys/switches. Today, Logitech unveils two such low-profile keyboards -- the wired G815 LIGHTSYNC and wireless G915 LIGHTSPEED. Both models feature LIGHTSYNC RGB lighting, actually -- yes, even the wireless G915. While it will cause battery life to take a hit on that model, Logitech promises 12 days of usage between charges with RGB lighting enabled -- more than acceptable. They are both super-thin and feature aluminum bodies.

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Executives believe AI will help businesses cope with changing environments

Artificial intelligence

A new study by management consultancy AT Kearney reveals that confidence is growing among C-suite executives that technology will help businesses navigate a complex and rapidly changing environment.

In an age of increasing automation and artificial intelligence (AI), leaders recognize the differentiating role of non-technical and interpersonal skills such as creativity and leadership -- skills that are not only difficult to find but also expected to become even more important. 42 percent for example say that creativity and innovation skills are hard to find.

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