Latest Technology News

Microsoft adds real-time captions and subtitles to Skype -- PowerPoint to follow

Skype subtitles

We're all pretty used to subtitles for movies and TV shows -- even if we don't need them, they can prove useful -- and Microsoft has now added this feature to Skype.

Ostensibly an accessibility feature (and launched on United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities), the new option means that Skype will be able to use voice recognition to show you the text of what is being said in a voice call. Microsoft will also bring the same feature to PowerPoint next year.

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How I infected my phone with a virus

Virus alert on Android phone

Smartphones are still shrouded by various myths. Reports say that long telephone conversations may cause tumors, your signal may weaken if you move too quickly, and strong signals from base stations could kill people. Whether or not these things are true remains a mystery, but one thing that we do know is real is the threat of mobile malware.

Malicious programs are able to steal funds from your bank account, extract personal information, lock your phone screen, and render a smartphone useless, among other things. According to Statista, as of March 2018, "the total number of Android malware detections amounted to over 26.6 million programs." All of this got me wondering about how easy it is to infect the phone with a virus, so I decided to try it out and document my journey.

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Happy Holidays Giveaway: Win an Honor 7X or Honor View10 Android smartphone!

We are finally in the month of December, meaning many people are doing holiday shopping. While you can give your friends and family things like socks and underwear, let's be honest -- most folks want technology! A gift card is another option, but they are very impersonal and will not create a magical memory.

If you really want to impress a loved one, you can't go wrong with a smartphone. Understandably, not everyone can afford to give a quality Android phone as a gift, so we here at BetaNews are giving two away! Yes, two winners will be selected to get either an Honor 7X or Honor View10. The first selected winner will get the latter, and the second will get the former. Colors will be at random.

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Google Play 'Best of 2018' revealed: YouTube TV, PUBG, Black Panther, PAW Patrol, and more

As 2018 comes to a close, many people start reflecting on the year. While there were many bad things occurring, such as the California wildfires and the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, it is important to remember many good things happen too -- they just don't often make the news. Hell, I am sure no person had a perfect 2018 -- everyone encounters peaks and valleys -- so hopefully you had more of the former than the latter.

Media is a great way to distract us from the daily pitfalls of life. Things such as apps, games, music, and movies can help us to forget our troubles. The Google Play Store offers all these things and more, and today, Google reveals the best of 2018.

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5 sure-fire ways to kill your company's innovation

Innovation is difficult to come by. It is a fleeting concept that eludes most companies. In fact, the odds of a new product idea reaching full commercialization are less than 4 percent. And that is the best case.

But, there are 5 sure-fire ways you can make certain innovation never sees the light of day at your company:

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Enterprises struggle to fill the cloud skills gap

Cloud skills gap

According to a new study 94 percent of respondents find it at least 'somewhat difficult' to recruit candidates with the right technology and business skills for driving digital innovation.

The report from AIOps platform company OpsRamp shows that over 60 percent of IT professionals say that a majority of their applications are either built or run using hybrid cloud architectures.

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The future of analytics: 6 predictions

crystal ball

Analytics have become an important part of the decision-making process for many companies in the past few decades, particularly with corporations using data assets as a core competency and point of origin.

My work in the past few decades in the data and analysis field have brought forward six predicted trends to watch for in the near future:

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Don't be a data dinosaur

In today’s pressurized environment, decisions not only have to be right, but they also have to be made quickly. But with so much information coming from numerous different sources, it can be hard to pinpoint the important data.

Since its launch in 1985, Excel has undoubtedly transformed the way businesses operate. However, over 30 years later it has not evolved to meet the speeds and efficiencies of other, more automated, solutions. Recording, analyzing, categorizing and reporting thousands of changing data points back to stakeholders is far more complex than plugging numbers into a table. Consequently, the cutting-edge technologies of yesterday are now seen by many employees as archaic and prehistoric when compared with today’s instant digital information experiences they have come to expect in their personal lives.

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10 quick observations about Google Pixel Slate

Pixel Slate arrived at the Wilcox household on Nov. 28, 2018, from Google Store, with the order correctly fulfilled. Initial out-of-the-box reaction: "Oh". Underwhelmed. Nearly five days later: "Wow". The Chrome OS tablet is understated in all the ways that matter. My brain just needed a wee bit of time to appreciate the many nuances, rather than one obvious thing flipping the "ah-ha" switch.

The Slate will finally complete my move away from Apple products, started in late July. The Chrome OS slab is set to replace iPad 10.5 and possibly could displace my beloved Pixelbook, as well. We shall see about the latter. The delayed "Wow" response means something. That said, Google's tablet, like first-generation Chromebook Pixel, feels too much proof of concept: The hardware's potential awaits future software, and supporting services, refinements. As such, based solely on a few days use, I don't see the device as being right for everyone, or even most anyone. However, Google geeks will find something truly exotic to get excited about. Android and Chrome OS enthusiasts, rejoice! Linux lovers, too!

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Amazon launches hardware compatibility checker to help PC upgraders

Installing memory in a PC

If you want a custom PC, there's a lot of fun to be had building your own rig -- or even just upgrading your off-the-shelf PC. But while you can save money as you create your perfect computer, there is the headache of ensuring that all of the components you buy are compatible with your system.

While hardware compatibility is not quite the problem it was in years gone by, it can still be an issue. Help is at hand, however, albeit from an unlikely source. Amazon has launched a compatibility checking tool that will help you to buy the right components. It is an extension of its Part Finder tools which launched earlier in the year.

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Google may pull the plug on Hangouts in 2020

Google Hangouts on iPhone

Google is no stranger to killing off services, and it seems that one of its next victims could be Hangouts.

Having split the chat tool into corporate-focused Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, sources familiar with Google's plans say that the company is due to shut down the consumer version of Hangouts in 2020. The writing has been on the wall for a little while, but now the clock really is ticking...

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Windows 10 fails to overtake Windows 7's usage share -- but it's very close

NetMarketShare reports on the state of the desktop operating system market on the first day of each month. In October, Windows 10 had edged closer to Windows 7, and I predicted that NetMarketShare would finally see Windows 10 emerge victorious in November.

It didn’t.

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Rest in peace, Fedora Linux 27

Fedora may be the best overall desktop Linux operating system, but it lacks Ubuntu in one major area -- support. You see, Canonical's distribution has "Long Term Support" versions, some of which now have an insane 10 years of support. Fedora, by comparison, only offers support for one month following two subsequent major releases. This can vary based on delays, but it will probably average a bit more than a year.

For instance, Fedora 27 was released November 14, 2017, and Fedora 29 was released on October 30, 2018. This means as of today, November 30, Fedora 27 has reached end of life mere weeks after its one-year anniversary.

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Worth waiting for, I get satisfaction from Google Store

Part 3 of three. My six-week saga, where Google Store sent the wrong Pixel phones, is nearly over. I would like to thank the Advanced Support Technician team member who worked with me to end the drama and restore my (previous) confidence purchasing gadgets from the retailer. The generous solution minimizes any further complications and leaves me with a usable phone—with "Preferred Care" that I paid for correctly attached. Sometimes satisfaction is a process, rather than immediacy.

To recap: The 128GB Clearly White Pixel 3 ordered on launch day arrived on Oct. 17, 2018 as a 128GB Just Black Pixel 3 XL. Uh-oh. I agreed to keep the larger phone, following the online operation's difficulty generating a return authorization. Then, on November 2, I dropped the device and shattered the screen. But Assurant couldn't honor the insurance claim because of the shipping error; the phone covered wasn't the one possessed. Frustrated, days later, I bought an iPhone Max XS from Apple Store but returned it two-and-a-half hours later. My Pixel preference was so great that on Black Friday I purchased another XL with expectation of taking a loss on the first. But when the new one arrived, November 26, the IMEI on the order didn't match the phone. Meaning: In the event of defect, or need for repair, once again there would be trouble. Are you confused yet?

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ET Live comes to Roku for free

If you are a fan of consuming media, Roku devices are some of the best values out there. Not only do these affordable little boxes have access to many paid music and video services, but many free ones as well. In other words, even if you don't have any paid subscriptions, there are many free "channels" that offer quality entertainment -- no credit card needed.

Today, Roku gains yet another free option -- ET Live. For those that enjoy celebrity and showbiz news, Entertainment Tonight is a great way to get your fix. Look, there's no need to be embarrassed -- we all love some entertainment gossip every once in a while!

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