Latest Technology News

Google is able to track your offline purchases thanks to a secret deal with Mastercard

Mastercard and Google

It's no secret that Google -- and other companies -- track your online purchases; it's one of the reasons you see the ads you do, for instance. But a secret deal between Google and Mastercard means that it is also possible for the internet giant to track your offline purchases.

Google offers a service called Store Sales Measurement that makes it possible for advertisers to determine whether their online ads results in offline sales. A report from Bloomberg reveals that this was all made possible because of the deal between Google and Mastercard in the US-- one that raises serious privacy questions.

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Apple offers free logic board repairs after defects are found in some iPhone 8 handsets

iPhone 8 fingerprint

Although it has been revealed that the iPhone 6 is Apple's most problematic handset, the company has just announced a replacement program for iPhone 8 owners after discovering a logic board issue with "a very small percentage of [...] devices".

Apple says that the problem can result in unexpected restarts, freezes and an inability to turn on a phone. Affected devices were sold between late 2017 and early 2018, and anyone who has one can take advantage of a free repair.

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Google's Two Pixel Problems

Like unwanted mushrooms popping up after rain, Pixel 3/XL rumors are everywhere. Google gets gravy from all the free fan- and blog-post hype. Am I imagining, or is there even more buzz than for the next iPhone(s), which presumably comes soon (Apple sent out invites yesterday for a September 12 product event).

Buzz is the measure of interest—and while iPhone has commanding market share, Pixel's mindshare is formidable. Someone tell me: Is Google's new device really going to be that good? The leaked photos aren't that inspiring with respect to design (little is different). Or perhaps expectations about iPhone X (and its companions) are low—and maybe for good reason.

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Spend Labor Day Weekend installing Linux Mint Debian Edition (LMDE) 3 'Cindy'

Linux Mint Debian Edition isn’t a very popular operating system. As you can imagine, the normal Linux Mint variant — which is based on Ubuntu — is used by far more people. It’s not hard to see why this is — the Linux Mint developers don’t really consider LMDE to be anything more than an experiment. You see, it serves as a contingency plan just in case Ubuntu development ever ceases.

With all of that said, there’s no reason why users shouldn’t give Linux Mint Debian Edition a try. Today, just in time for Labor Day Weekend, LMDE 3 “Cindy” finally sees release. With many people enjoying a long holiday weekend, it is the perfect opportunity to install the rolling release distro and play around with it!

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 October 2018 Update Build 17751... and the watermark has gone!

Earlier today, Microsoft confirmed what most people already knew -- that Windows 10 Redstone 5 would be called the October 2018 Update.

That means that the OS update will start rolling out to users at some point in October, and as we’re only at the end of August now, Microsoft still has some time to spend on polishing the update and hopefully removing as many bugs as possible.

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Kai-Fu Lee's new book says Artificial Intelligence will be Google vs China and will kill half the world's jobs

Kai-Fu Lee was born in Taiwan but grew up in Tennessee, which is nothing -- nothing -- like Taiwan or China. His PhD is from Carnegie-Mellon and for the first half of his career Lee was "that voice recognition guy" first at Apple, then Microsoft, then Google. Lee took Google to China the first time (a new Google China effort is starting just now). Today Lee is an Artificial Intelligence expert who runs a $1 billion venture fund with offices in Taipei and Beijing and, according to Anina (the pretty girl in the picture with me on my site who has lived in Beijing for most of the last decade) he’s "an absolute technology rock star -- everyone in China knows Kai-Fu Lee."

Lee is also a prolific author and in his latest book, coming out in September, he wants to explain to the world how Artificial Intelligence will be dominated by Silicon Valley (mainly Google) and China, with China having somewhat of an edge, how half of all jobs in the world are going to disappear because of AI, but how that only sounds like a bad thing. Well maybe it is a bad thing but there’s no way around it and things could all turn out better in the end. Maybe.

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Microsoft confirms the upcoming Windows 10 Redstone 5 release will be called the October 2018 Update

Speaking at the IFA 2018 keynote in Berlin, Roanne Sones, corporate vice president, Microsoft, has confirmed what most of us already knew -- the next big feature update of Windows 10, codenamed Redstone 5, will be the Windows 10 October 2018 Update. Don't all yawn at once.

The name is no surprise given that it was expected to begin its rollout in October, and its predecessor was the April 2018 Update released in April.

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Developers must give their apps a privacy policy or Apple will kick them out of the App Store

Metallic Apple logo

Apple has announced that all apps submitted to the App Store must have a privacy policy, including those apps which are undergoing beta testing.

The change is due to come into force on October 3, and after this date any app lacking a privacy policy that lets users know how their data is being used faces ejection from the App Store.

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Microsoft to scrap install limits for Office 365 Home and Office 365 Personal

Office 365

Starting in October, anyone with an Office 365 Home or Office 365 Personal subscription will be able to install Office on as many devices as they like -- at no extra cost.

This represents a massive change from current position where Home users can install the software on 10 devices, and the Personal limit of one computer and one tablet. The change does not mean, however, that you'll be able to share your copy of Office with everyone you know; Microsoft is limiting the number of people that can be signed into accounts at the same time.

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Leaked! Photos show iPhone XS and Apple Watch 4 ahead of September launch

Leaked iPhone XS

Apple has confirmed that it is to hold an event (with the tag line "gather round") on September 12 at the Steve Jobs Theater, but this news has been rather overshadowed by a leak which shows off the yet-to-be-announced iPhone XS and the Apple Watch 4 that are likely to be revealed there.

One leaked photo shows off two phones, believed to be the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Plus (5.8-inch and 6.5-inch handsets respectively). Another leak shows the Apple Watch Series 4 complete with a larger, near-bezel-free display.

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NETGEAR announces XR700 Nighthawk Pro Gaming 802.11ad AD7200 10G Wi-Fi Router

Nowadays, to get a quality wireless router, you do not need to spend a lot of money. There are several models from brands such as TP-Link which offer great specs and features for under $100. If money isn't an issue, however, there are certainly superior routers on the market for much higher prices. NETGEAR, for instance, sells some drool-worthy models under its Nighthawk branding that can be expensive.

Speaking of NETGEAR, that company has a new gaming-focused router which is sure to excite some consumers. The "XR700 Nighthawk Pro," as it is called, is tuned for gaming and features some top specs such as 802.11ad and a 10G Ethernet port. Overkill for most consumers? Totally, but gamers utilizing a wireless connection may be willing to pay the higher price for a potential edge.

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Best Windows 10 apps this week

Two-hundred-and-ninety-eight 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.

The Your Phone app which Microsoft released by accident to all Windows 10 users before it pulled it again is now again available for Release Preview Insiders.

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NordVPN finally launches a dedicated Linux app -- here's how to install and use it

A VPN is pretty much essential these days if you want to protect your privacy and beat annoying geographic restrictions put in place by websites and services. There are plenty to choose from, including some very good -- but usually limited -- free options.

NordVPN is one of the best paid VPNs, with apps for all of the major platforms. The one platform it hasn’t directly supported up until now is Linux, but that changes today.

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Botnet distribution of remote access Trojans doubles

Trojan horse

Since the beginning of 2017, the number of remote access Trojan (RAT) files found among the malware distributed by botnets has almost doubled, according to a new report.

The botnet activity report from Kaspersky Lab analyzed more than 150 malware families and their modifications circulating through 60,000 botnets around the world.

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Ultimate Ears unveils BOOM 3 and MEGABOOM 3 Bluetooth speakers

When it comes to Bluetooth speakers, the market is absolutely saturated with them -- some great, many terrible. Quite frankly, it can be a daunting task for consumers to pick one that best meets their needs. My advice? Stick with Ultimate Ears and you will be fine. The company offers many models from which to choose -- with various price points and differing specifications. None of its Bluetooth speakers are bad -- they are all exceptional.

Today, Ultimate Ears unveils its latest and greatest Bluetooth speakers -- the BOOM 3 and MEGABOOM 3. These third generation speakers retain the same glorious 360 degree sound as previous generation, but this time, sound quality is improved even further. The MEGABOOM 3 has up to 20 hours of battery life, while the non-MEGA model offers a still-impessive 15 hours. Not to mention, believe it or not, these rugged speakers are even more durable than before.

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