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Europe still has concerns about privacy in Windows 10

Windows 10 finger

Privacy fears abound with Windows 10, with individuals and privacy groups continually questioning the company's motives in gathering user data. The threat of a court case in Switzerland resulted in Microsoft making changes to Windows -- in addition to the privacy changes it had already made.

But for European privacy watchdogs, the latest batch of changes are still not enough. The Article 29 Working Party voices concern about the settings that are in place by default, the lack of control users are given over data collection, and a general lack of transparency.

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WhatsApp updates statuses with Snapchat-inspired functionality

WhatsApp Status large

Messaging apps are not just about chatting these days. Every player that counts wants to bring something extra to the table to keep users hooked and attract new ones in the process. WhatsApp is no different, as it is now rolling out an updated status feature that lets users share more than just basic messages.

"We are excited to announce that, coinciding with WhatsApp's eight birthday on February 24, we are reinventing the status feature", says WhatsApp CEO Jan Koum. The update gives users the option to also share photos and videos.

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Popular Indian retailer Flipkart chooses Microsoft Azure as exclusive cloud platform

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For Indian shoppers, Flipkart is a very well known online retailer. For smartphone buyers in particular, the internet shop is a great place to get quality Android devices at affordable prices.

Today, Flipkart announces something that should improve its shopping experience; the Indian retailer has selected Microsoft Azure for its cloud platform. While this won't be particularly visible to shoppers, Microsoft's platform should be a behind-the-scenes win for the overall customer experience.

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You almost certainly need an SD card for your Nintendo Switch

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If you've ordered yourself a Nintendo Switch you had better prepare to crack open your wallet and splash out on an SD card. Nintendo has shared details of the size of the console's digital games, and at least one of them simply won’t fit on the internal storage.

The company reveals that Dragon Quest Heroes I·II weighs in at a sizeable 32 GB -- exactly the same size as the Switch's built in storage, which is already home to the required system files. Other games are big enough to mean that even if you're not interested in Dragon Quest Heroes I·II, an SD card is going to be pretty much essential.

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Consolidation in the unified communication industry will continue post Atlassian-Trello deal

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Last month, Atlassian announced its $425 million acquisition of task management provider Trello, a move that signals increased consolidation in the unified communications and collaboration industry. As enterprise software providers continue buying asynchronous collaboration tools, we’ll see software giants like Atlassian expanding their portfolios to meet the needs of the evolving workforce.

Consolidation is actually a trend that’s here to stay in the collaboration space. Let's discuss the basics of this acquisition, what it means for the industry, the future of team-based communication and more:

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Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the US

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Kim Dotcom, the larger-than-life character behind file-sharing services Megaupload and Mega, can be extradited from New Zealand to the US. The German national has taken up permanent residency in New Zealand and has been fighting calls for him to face the US legal system.

The judgement came as part of an appeal to a previous ruling which was heard back in September. While the judge today, on the face of things, has ruled against Dotcom, the court case could yet go in favor of him due to various technicalities.

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New certification to verify cyber threat detection skills

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Cyber security is an increasingly essential skill set, but it can be hard for businesses to verify that they're employing people with the right abilities.

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is launching a new, vendor-neutral certification. CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst (CSA+) is the first of its kind to bring behavioral analytics to the forefront of assessing cyber threats.

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Google and Microsoft agree to demote search results for pirated movies, music and streaming sport

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Users of Google and Bing will find it more difficult to track down illegal content via the search engines after Google and Microsoft signed up to a voluntary code of practice. The deal means that pirate search results will be demoted in results in the UK, making it less likely that searchers will click on them.

The two technology companies have been in talks with the entertainment industry to find a way to stem the flow of illegal content that's available online. As well as protecting the rights of copyright holders, it is hoped that the new arrangement will help to protect users, as websites that deal in pirated material often pose a security risk.

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IBM and Visa want your IoT devices to double as point of sale terminals

Money devices Internet connected IoT

IBM and Visa want every Internet-connected device you own to be its own point of sale. The two companies announced the industry’s first collaboration to achieve this, through IBM’s Watson for IoT platform and Visa’s token technology.

Visa is currently powering 60 percent of the entire world’s payments and IBM’s Watson really needs no particular introduction.

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Sysinternals updates Autoruns, Process Explorer, Process Monitor, more

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Following yesterday’s Sysmon 6 release, Microsoft Sysinternals has announced new releases of Autoruns, Process Explorer, Process Monitor, AccessChk, LiveKD and BgInfo.

Autoruns now lists print monitors, the DLLs responsible for sending data from the Windows print spooler to the kernel mode print driver. We tried this on a Windows 10 laptop and found 10 installed monitors, mostly relating to PDF and other virtual printers.

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Detect and block Mac ransomware with Little Flocker

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Windows ransomware may make all the headlines, but other platforms are vulnerable too. The first Mac ransomware was uncovered last year, and it’s only a matter of time before the next one strikes.

Little Flocker ($19.95) protects your Mac with a firewall-like file system monitor, enabling you to decide which apps have access to confidential files and system resources.

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Google publishes details of Windows bug after Microsoft misses 90-day Project Zero disclosure deadline

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Google's Project Zero has proved controversial on several occasions already, with the search giant publicly revealing details of software bugs when companies fail to fix them. Now the project has unearthed a bug in Windows, and as Microsoft failed to patch it within 90 days of being notified, details of the flaw have been made available for everyone to see -- and exploit.

A problem with the Windows Graphics Component GDI library (gdi32.dll) means that a hacker could use EMF metafiles to access memory and wreak all sorts of havoc. While Microsoft has issued Security Bulletin MS16-074, Google's Mateusz Jurczyk says it failed to properly address the problem -- hence the public outing of the bug.

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Google to drop 30-second unskippable ads from YouTube

YouTube

Ads -- be they on TV, on the web or in apps -- can be deeply annoying, hence the prevalence of ad-blocking software. But there are some ads that you can't always avoid, such as those tacked onto the beginning of YouTube videos; not all ad-blocking software is made equal, after all.

If this is a bugbear of yours, there's good news on the horizon. While YouTube is not ditching ads altogether, the 30-second monstrosities which cannot be skipped are being dropped.

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Fintech players need to build bridges, not walls

Fintech

At a time where in certain parts of the world there is a desire to build walls, brick by brick, to keep people out, it’s ironic that elsewhere -- not least in the global fintech space -- the mantra is all about sharing, partnering, competitive innovation and freedom of movement within a well-governed environment.

That said, a number of the early digital advisory (or "robo") propositions have -- surprisingly -- been slow to recognize this sentiment, instead aiming to recreate a faster version of the conventional advice (or investment) experience -- "faster horses" syndrome. Hardly the stuff to make the big incumbents shake in their boots or lose any sleep.

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IT departments dealing with 'unrealistic expectations' in project assignments

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Just half of IT departments managed to complete all of the projects that they were assigned during last year, a new report by MuleSoft claims.

Based on a survey of 951 IT decision makers, MuleSoft’s Connectivity Benchmark Report 2017 says there is a widening IT delivery gap that is to blame for these results.

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