Latest Technology News

Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.16.0, adding four new tools including Image Resizer and Window Walker

PowerToys reboot

Since Microsoft first announced PowerToys for Windows 10, there was great excitement about the return of the collection of utilities. The company has been drip-feeding us new features over the last few months, and now PowerToys v0.16.0 has landed, bringing with it no fewer than four new tools.

The most interesting new arrivals are the Image Resizer Window Shell extension which provides easy access to image resizing options from the context menu, and Window Walker which is a text-based Alt-Tab alternative.

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Apple buys Dark Sky, and that’s terrible news for Android users

When a huge tech corporation like Apple or Microsoft buys a company, it can either go very well or terribly wrong for consumers. Microsoft’s purchase of Wunderlist in 2015 was bad, as the Windows-maker ended up killing it. Apple’s purchase of SoundJam MP in 2000, however, turned into iTunes and revolutionized the music industry. As you can see, it can go either way.

Today, Apple buys popular weather app Dark Sky and it seems to be terrible news. No, the iPhone-maker isn’t killing it entirely — it will still be available on iOS for the time being. Unfortunately, Apple is shuttering both the Android and Wear OS versions, leaving users of Googles’s mobile operating systems without access to the popular app.

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Linux Mint 20 is 64-bit only, based on Ubuntu 20.04, and named 'Ulyana'

Linux Mint is great operating system. It is based on the excellent Ubuntu and features three great desktop environment options -- Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. While it is a smart choice for Linux beginners, it is also good for experts too.

Today, we learn some new details about the upcoming Linux Mint 20. While most of the newly revealed information is positive, there is one thing that is sure to upset many Linux Mint users.

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CIOs in the next ten years: Politics and personality assessments become must-have CIO tools

Over the next decade, the CIO's job will dissolve into the business and take on many of the tasks typically performed by CEOs, CFOs, and even sales departments. This will not be so much of a  technology sprawl, as more of a responsibility sprawl that can be attributed to the pervasive spread of digital transformations into every aspect of a company.

No longer will the CIO be only concerned with data backups or IP phone systems -- more and more these will become expected utilities in the same manner as the lights are expected to click on or water is expected to flow in the restroom. This new omnipresent nature of the CIO is absolutely necessary to ensure all business elements run efficiently. In essence, the CIO will become an evangelist for transformations that empower the entire process from supply chains to Salesforce and ERP integrations.

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So, what are Microservices?

Part 1: You may have heard the term Microservices before, but every time you do, you ask yourself -- What exactly is a microservice?

Let’s break down exactly what this technology is, why it’s so great for organizations to leverage and challenges they should prepare for.

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SiriusXM is free through May 15 to help with Coronavirus isolation boredom

We are weeks into people self-isolating in their homes due to the Coronavirus (COVID 19), and apparently, many are getting bored. As someone who is staying indoors to help "flatten the curve" and prevent the spread of the virus, I have to wonder if these bored people are nuts. I mean, look, we live in a world where the internet exists, and you can stream thousands upon thousands of films right in your living room. Not to mention video games, books, television, radio, board games, puzzles, and more. In 2020, I don't know how anyone can be bored, but OK, I guess some people live more exciting lives than me.

If you feel the need to have even more entertainment in your life, I have some great news. SiriusXM is free through May 15! No, this does not include satellite access for your car -- it is limited to streaming. But still, it is the same content, including the highly coveted Howard Stern Show! The company is even launching a special channel called "#StayHome Radio," which will only play feel-good tunes. Best of all, you don't even need to enter a credit card to get the access, so there is no worry about being charged when the offering ends -- there is nothing to cancel.

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Marriott International reveals details of another data breach

Marriott sign

Towards the end of 2018, Marriott International suffered a data breach of its Starwood Hotel reservation database. Now the hotel chain has revealed that it suffered a second data breach earlier this year.

The company says that at the end of February it noticed that an "unexpected amount of guest information" could have been accessed using the login credentials of two employees. It is thought that this access started in the middle of January, and up to 5.2 million customers have been affected.

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2019's top cyberattack techniques

Cyber attack

Recorded Future has been logging sandbox submissions from its platform as mapped to the MITRE ATT&CK framework over 2019 and has released a list of the most frequently referenced tactics and techniques.

The most common tactic in the results is Defense Evasion and the most common technique Security Software Discovery. Defense Evasion involves avoiding detection by, among other things, hiding in trusted processes, obfuscating malicious scripts, and disabling security software.

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Shutterstock makes over 17 million videos available on Android and iOS

If you need access to video footage while on the go, then you’ll be interested in today’s announcement from Shutterstock which sees the company make over 17 million videos available to license on both Android and iOS.

The footage is offered in SD, HD, and 4K quality and you can search, save and license whatever footage you require.

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Employees reluctant to adopt data-driven working methods

reluctance dislike

New research commissioned by analytics database Exasol finds that 63 percent of UK data decision makers experience resistance from employees in adopting data-driven methods.

Key drivers of this resistance are anxiety over job redundancy if all decisions are based on data (39 percent), a lack of understanding (39 percent), and a lack of education on the positive impact data can have (36 percent).

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Now it's easier to see just what data Facebook and Instagram are collecting about you

Facebook and Instagram icons

It's no secret that Facebook gathers staggering amounts of information about its users across its various products. This is something that many people just accept, but there is a slight discomfort in not knowing quite what is being collected.

To add a little balm to this aching fear, Facebook has announced updates to its Download Your Information tool on Facebook and Download Your Data tool on Instagram. The updates mean that while you can do little to stop Facebook from tracking you, you can at least download and see what data it is collecting about you.

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Not just the end of IT, the end of IT contractors

Yesterday, I predicted the demise of conventional IT caused by the wide adoption of SD-WAN and SASE, accelerated by the emergency demands of everyone working from home. Now that Congress has passed a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 bail-out, let’s throw-in the implications of that legislation to see what effect it is all likely to have on what used to be IT. The short version is to expect an even bigger bloodbath as IT employees at all levels are let go forever. Please understand that some version of this bloodbath was going to happen anyway. What matters right now is how we respond to it.

While my previous column was generally about turning lower-level IT nerds into Uber drivers, this one goes a little further up the food chain to include IT contractors and consultants. Yes, I’ll be using IBM as an example, not because Big Blue is anything like a bellwether anymore, but because I just know it so well.

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Excel vulnerability aids delivery of malware

Spreadsheet

Microsoft office files have long been used as a means of delivering malware payloads and researchers at Mimecast have discovered a rise in LimeRAT malware delivered using an Excel default password.

Excel files are designed to be easily encrypted, which helps attackers evade detection by common malware detection systems when a file is emailed.

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Microsoft releases out-of-band update to fix VPN bug

Angled Microsoft logo

After installing February's KB4535996 update, some Windows 10 users started to experience VPN problems. Microsoft promised to release an off-schedule update for the issue which was causing connectivity issues. Now the company has made good on that promise.

In all, there are four different updates available. You need to install the correct one according to the version of Windows 10 you are running.

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Microsoft is bringing vertical tabs to Edge so you can make better use of your widescreen monitor

Microsoft Edge vertical tabs

Websites are, on the whole, vertical experiences, whereas laptop screens and desktop monitors are, in most cases, horizontal ones. Despite the relatively limited amount of vertical space available, browsers tend to further reduce this by placing tabs, menus, toolbars and more at the top of the screen. But Microsoft is ready to try something different.

The company has announced a number of new features that are coming to the new Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge. Among these features are vertical tabs which make more efficient use of screen space.

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