Latest Technology News

Huawei MateBook X Pro laptop finally available in USA at insanely low price

For Apple fans, buying an elegant laptop is a very simple affair. After all, the company's entire line of MacBooks are well-designed and gorgeous. For Windows users, unfortunately, this is a much more difficult task. Many notebooks running Microsoft's operating system are low quality in more ways than one -- deficient display, plastic chassis, and horrific trackpad to name a few. That's not to say all Windows laptops are bad -- the great ones are just fairly rare.

Today, one of the most exciting Windows 10 laptops finally makes its way to the USA. The ultra-premium Huawei MateBook X Pro can be purchased immediately in either Space Gray or Mystic Silver colors, and despite its beautiful design and impressive specifications, it is priced very aggressively. Seriously, folks, you will be shocked by the affordability.

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Cloud computing may finally end the productivity paradox

One of the darkest secrets of Information Technology (IT) is called the Productivity Paradox. Google it and you’ll learn that for at least 40 years and study after study it has been the case that spending money on IT -- any money -- doesn’t increase organizational productivity. We don’t talk about this much as an industry because it’s the negative side of IT. Instead we speak in terms of Return on Investment (ROI), or Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). But there is finally some good news: Cloud computing actually increases productivity and we can prove it.

The Productivity Paradox doesn’t claim that IT is useless, by the way, just that we tend to spend more money on it than we get back in benefits from those expenditures. IT still enabled everything from precision engineering to desktop publishing to doctoring movie star photos, but did so at a considerable cost. Follow the history of any organization more than 50-60 years old and you’ll see that they acquired along the way whole divisions devoted not to manufacturing or sales but just to schlepping bits and keeping them safe. Yes, IT reduced the need for secretaries, telephone operators, and travel agents, but it more than replaced those with geeks generally making higher wages.

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Microsoft unveils SharePoint spaces to help anyone create mixed reality experiences

Microsoft SharePoint spaces

At its SharePoint Virtual Summit, Microsoft today unveiled SharePoint spaces, a way to bring SharePoint into virtual reality and mixed reality environments.

Microsoft says that SharePoint spaces adds a third dimension to company intranets, and allows people to engage and interact with documents, data, and video in new and more immersive ways. The company envisions the technology being used by businesses to create interactive welcome environments for new employees, interactive product databases, training experiences, and much more.

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Watch Mark Zuckerberg's testimony to the EU in a livestream

Facebook on three smartphones

Having previously refused to answer questions in the UK, last week Mark Zuckerberg agreed to appear in front of the EU parliament to speak about Facebook's use of data.

The Facebook chief is due to appear in front of MEPs tomorrow, Tuesday, and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has announced that the appearance will be livestreamed. So, if you fancy tuning in to see what Zuckerberg has to say and how he is able to "clarify issues related to the use of personal data", you will be able to do just that.

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Banks struggle to defend against internal attacks

safe

A new study from vulnerability assessment specialist Positive Technologies shows that banks have built up strong defenses against external attacks but still struggle with internal threats.

Whether they use social engineering, vulnerabilities in web applications, or the help of insiders, as soon as attackers access the internal network of a bank, they often find that it's secured no better than companies in other industries.

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New service offers enterprises fast, easy real-time streaming

Streaming

Apache Kafka has has become increasingly popular as a data streaming platform but it can be hard for businesses to take full advantage of it without the right skills.

Now though Open Source-as-a-Service company Instaclustr is launching a new Kafka-as-a-Service solution to allow enterprises to manage high volume data streams in real-time.

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Apple removes apps using the CallKit framework because of Chinese regulations

App Store icon on iPhone X

Apple has bowed to pressure from China and started to remove apps from the App Store that use the CallKit framework.

There are strict cybersecurity laws in place in China which has already see VPN tools banned and led to a brief suspension of the popular WeChat app. While no specific reason has been given for the crackdown on the CallKit framework, it is suspected to be related to VoIP functionality.

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Microsoft acquires AI startup Semantic Machines to help boost Cortana

Microsoft logo on curved building

Microsoft has announced plans to acquire Semantic Machines, a startup based in Berkley, California, that specializes in conversational artificial intelligence.

The acquisition makes a great deal of sense because of Microsoft's desire to push Cortana forward, and the general increased interest in voice-powered digital assistants and chatbots -- and products such as Google Duplex. The Semantic Machines team includes members who have worked on Siri and with speech-recognition firm Nuance.

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Tennibot is a really cool Ubuntu Linux-powered tennis ball collecting robot

Linux isn't just a hobby --  the kernel largely powers the web, for instance. Not only is Linux on many web servers, but it is also found on the most popular consumer operating system in the world -- Android. Why is this? Well, the open source kernel scales very well, making it ideal for many projects. True, Linux's share of the desktop is still minuscule, but sometimes slow and steady wins the race -- watch out, Windows!

A good example of Linux's scalability is a new robot powered by Linux which was recently featured on the official Ubuntu Blog. Called "Tennibot," the Ubuntu-powered bot seeks out and collects tennis balls. Not only does it offer convenience, but it can save the buyer a lot of money too -- potentially thousands of dollars per year as this calculator shows. So yeah, a not world-changing product, but still very neat nonetheless. In fact, it highlights that Linux isn't just behind boring nerdy stuff, but fun things too.

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Google quietly relegates 'Don't be evil' from its Code of Conduct

For a long time, the words "don't be evil" were associated with Google. While not an official motto as such, the words were heavily ingrained in the company.

Google's method of operating has caused many people over the years to question the phrase, and when the company was re-organized under Alphabet the motto became "do the right thing". Nonetheless, in the Google Code of Conduct which is given to employees, "don't be evil" remained -- until just a few weeks ago when it was quietly relegated.

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FCC investigates LocationSmart website for leaking location data for users of major US mobile carriers

Cell phone locations

LocationSmart, a company based in Southern California, is under investigation by the FCC after it was discovered that its website made it possible for just about anyone to access location data for the majority of US cell phones.

Security expert Brian Krebs reported that a bug on the LocationSmart website made it possible for anyone to check on the location of any AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or Verizon phone in the US. Even more worryingly, the data is said to be accurate to a few hundred yards.

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Fortnite for Android is coming very soon

Fortnite

The phenomenon that is Fortnite will be making its way to Android, Epic Games has revealed.

An Android version of the game is something that mobile gamers have been begging for for some time now, and it seems it will not be long until these pleas are answered. While an exact release date has not been revealed, Fortnite for Android will be happening in the next few months.

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Workplace Augmented Reality: When will we see more enterprise adoption of AR?

First, let’s clarify the difference between Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Virtual Reality (VR) blocks out the real world and immerses the user in a digital experience. Augmented Reality (AR) adds a layer of interactive digital elements on top of the real world. Or in simpler terms, AR can be defined as a technology which overlays a computer-generated image on a user’s view of the real world. The question is: when will we begin to see more Enterprise adoption of AR?

Companies are eager to jump on the AR bandwagon but are still unclear how to best use AR to drive sales around their product, improve efficiencies for their operations. Additional unknowns include how much it will cost to enhance the B2C/B2B experience and when companies could expect to see a return on their investment.

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PayPal buys Swedish fintech company iZettle

Hand holding a PayPal logo

PayPal has announced that it is to buy the mobile payment company iZettle. The announcement came as something of a surprise, as less than two weeks ago iZettle had said that it planned to go public.

iZettle is a Swedish fintech company whose mobile card readers have proved popular with small businesses, as has its ecommerce platform. The $2.2 billion purchase is PayPal's biggest acquisition to date.

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Chrome will stop highlighting HTTPS sites as secure

HTTPS

Later this year, Chrome will adopt a new approach to indicating site security. Starting in September, the browser will no longer use a security indicator to highlight the fact that you're visiting an HTTPS page.

Instead, Google will simply issue a warning when a website is not secure. As the company puts it, "users should expect that the web is safe by default, and they’ll be warned when there’s an issue". The change is coming in Chrome 69.

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