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Last Build Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2016 09:17:33 GMT

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Google acquires Qwiklabs

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 09:17:33 GMT

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Google announced that it has acquired Qwiklabs, a hands-on learning platform for those who want to become more familiar with operating cloud environments and writing applications that run on them. Qwiklabs, which launched in 2012, has only focused on teaching skills for Amazon’s AWS platform so far. Given AWS’ dominance in the marketplace, that made perfect sense. Amazon even uses Qwiklabs as its go-to service for offering self-paced labs for developers on its platform.




Microsoft's SQL Server Next

Tue, 22 Nov 2016 09:10:47 GMT

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As The Walking Cat discovered by taking a peek into the public preview of SQL Server on Linux released last week, Microsoft seemed to be using the Microsoft Research "Drawbridge" technology to bring SQL Server to Linux. Drawbridge is an adaptation of the Library OS concept on which Microsoft Research has been working for the past several years. It's a form of virtualization specifically for application sandboxing. Drawbridge played a role in getting the Bash shell to run on Windows 10, too.




Google buys Eyefluence

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 10:29:23 GMT

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Google has snapped up Eyefluence, a startup focused on developing eye-tracking technology. As first spotted by Mattermark, Eyefluence quietly announced the purchase on Monday. On the Milpitas, CA-based firm's blog, Eyefluence thanked its partners, investors and advisors for getting the company this far on its town, but since becoming established in 2013, the firm has caught Google's eye.




Apple to Launch new MacBooks Next Week

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 09:15:21 GMT

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Apple will use next week's media event to release a new 13-inch MacBook, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and 15-inch MacBook Pro, according to Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities. Likely the headliner of the event, the 15-inch MacBook Pro will feature a Retina display, Touch ID, an OLED function row above the keyboard, and upgraded internals, according to rumors. It's not clear what upgrades the 13-inch version of the MacBook Pro will see.




Microsoft to add new SMB apps

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 08:44:08 GMT

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Microsoft looks to be set to add more new and seemingly small-business-focused applications to its Office 365 Business Premium subscription. There's a sign-up page for "business apps for Office" that I saw via MSPowerUser.com that touts a handful of apps, including MileIQ, Bookings, Invoice, Spend, Point, and Presence. The apps listed seem to be supplementary to Microsoft's existing Office app suite, and also seem to be mobile-first and cross-platform.




Firefox Users Chalk up HTTPS Encryption Milestone

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 10:38:54 GMT

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A majority of Mozilla users were served encrypted pageloads for the first time yesterday, meaning their web browsing data was secured from snoopers and hackers while in transit. The HTTPS milestone was tweeted by Josh Aas, head of the Let’s Encrypt initiative which has been working to help smaller websites switch to encrypting their web traffic.




How to Get your iPhone or iPad Ready for iOS 10

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 08:28:53 GMT

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Apple will release iOS 10 on September 13, which means that you have a few days to get your hardware ready for the big upgrade. Here's what you need to do to make sure that things go smoothly for you. Before you do anything major such as upgrading your device you need to make sure that you have a backup just in case things don't go smoothly. You can either back up your data to iCloud, or if you don't have enough space you can take the old-school road and connect your iPhone or iPad to a PC and do the backup through iTunes.




Unauthorized, Mislabeled Microsoft Support Tool Leaks

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 09:00:56 GMT

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Several mainstream tech sites this week published details of a purported new Microsoft support tool designed to fix problems with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. After some digging, Ed Bott can report that it is no such thing. His advice: Stay far away from this "Windows Self Healing Tool." If you want to be a Windows expert, one of the most important lessons to learn is skepticism. Whenever someone claims to have a magic fix-it tool or a MakeRocketShipGoFast registry tweak, you should keep it away from any system you care about until you can confirm it does what it says it does.




Chrome to block Flash for Analytics

Wed, 10 Aug 2016 11:16:33 GMT

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Google has announced its Chrome browser will begin blocking Adobe Flash Player next month, citing the lag in browsing experience as the reason. "Today, more than 90 percent of Flash on the web loads behind the scenes to support things like page analytics. This kind of Flash slows you down," Google said in a blog post. The "de-emphasising" of Flash will begin with the September Chrome 53 release and in December, Google expects Chrome 55 will default to HTML5.




Microsoft: Two Windows 10 feature updates coming in 2017

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 08:28:45 GMT

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In a recent TechNet article itemizing new IT pro features for the Anniversary Update (codenamed "Redstone 1"), Microsoft officials included this line: "Windows 10, version 1607 is our third Windows 10 feature update released. Based on feedback from organizations moving to Windows 10, this will be our last feature update for 2016, with two additional feature updates expected in 2017."




Amazon Silk Browser Ignored SSL Searches

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:49:27 GMT

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Amazon's Silk internet browser contained a serious bug which not only ignored SSL security standards in Google searches but prevented redirection to the secure version of the search engine. The Google Chrome-based Silk browser, loaded with Amazon Kindle tablets, was set up without Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) technology -- which encrypts communication between servers and web browsers -- and also prevented automatic redirections to Google's SSL version of the tech giant's search engine.




Google Maps Updated

Tue, 26 Jul 2016 08:43:49 GMT

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Today Google released updates for desktop, Android, and iOS that are designed to improve the visual experience. After updating Google Maps on the Huawei P9, Matthew Miller immediately saw the improvements with the orange shading of "areas of interest" throughout downtown Seattle. Google uses these new shaded areas to show users where there are a number of activities and events, perfect as visitors explore Seattle, and other areas around the world, this summer.




Microsoft updates its bot platforms

Mon, 11 Jul 2016 10:13:59 GMT

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Microsoft originally announced the Skype Bot Platform in March at the company's Build developer conference. As of July 8, Microsoft officials said 30,000 developers are building building bots for its platforms. As part of the updates to the Skype Bot Platform, Microsoft added groups support so that bots can now be part of group conversations. Skype Bots now also can take advantage of visual image cards, carousel cards, and receipt cards. The team also is working on single sign-in directly on cards, resulting in users having to authorize their credentials one time only.




US-EU data-sharing pact set to take effect

Mon, 11 Jul 2016 09:45:40 GMT

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Members of the European Union (EU) on Friday approved the final version of the Privacy Shield, a pact between the EU and the US that sets the terms for trans-Atlantic transfers of personal data. The EU Commission will formally adopt the agreement on Tuesday.




Adobe pushes new open standard

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 10:02:24 GMT

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Adobe says it processes more than six billion digital and electronic signature transactions each year through Adobe Sign and Adobe Document Cloud. So it's no surprise that the creative software giant is backing a consortium of tech providers in a push to bring about industry-wide open standards for the way documents are signed on the internet.




Facebook rolls out Slideshow movie-maker

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:35:46 GMT

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Most people can’t shoot compelling videos, and static photos are boring. That’s why the tech giants are all pushing their own versions of automatic movie makers based on your media. This month, Apple announced its version called Memories coming to iOS 10 Photos, Google Photos already has its Movies Assistant and today Facebook is rolling out Slideshow to all iOS users around the world.




Google Earth and Maps get sharper satellite imagery

Tue, 28 Jun 2016 09:33:26 GMT

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Several years ago, Google engineers figured out a way to stitch together satellite imagery to remove clouds, giving Google Earth and Google Maps users a better and more comprehensive view of the ground below. Today, the company has repeated the process, but this time with newer, crisper imagery from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey’s (USGS) Landsat 8 satellite.




Microsoft tweaks activation rules

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 09:50:38 GMT

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Microsoft this week announced a seemingly minor change to its activation rules for Windows 10, effective with the Anniversary Update coming this summer. The announcement was buried in the release notes for build 14371 of Windows 10, released a few days ago. Those notes were published in the Feedback Hub, which is available only to registered members of the Windows Insider Program running a Windows 10 preview edition.




Google rolls out AMP for iOS

Mon, 30 May 2016 11:19:23 GMT

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Google is finally bringing its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to the Google app for iOS, it announced Friday.

AMP, which has been in the works since October, rests on a diverse architecture that taps into Javascript, HTML and open source technologies. It delivers mobile-optimized content with minimal data requirements on mobile networks, and it should help Google compete with Facebook's Instant Articles.




Microsoft: Privacy Shield is good

Tue, 12 Apr 2016 13:05:48 GMT

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The new EU-US Safe Harbor agreement, Privacy Shield, is a step in the right direction for transatlantic transfers of personal data, but it's not enough by itself, according to Microsoft. The firm's EU government affairs VP John Frank is upbeat about the yet to be finalized agreement, a draft of which was published by the US in February, following President Obama's signing of the Judicial Redress Act.




Apple re-releases iOS 9.3

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 13:30:53 GMT

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Apple has released a new version of iOS 9.3 just for the older iPhones and iPads that became locked due a flawed activation procedure in the setup. The new version, which is still called iOS 9.3, addresses the so-called "activation bug" that left some older devices unable to proceed beyond the step to confirm the Apple ID and password linked to a device, if the user had forgotten the password.




Oracle to Google: Pay us $9.3bn for using Java in Android

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 13:12:46 GMT

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Oracle thinks it is due $9.3bn in damages from Google, mostly from profits the search company is claimed to have made from using Java in Android. The tech giants are scheduled to duel again in May at a federal district court in San Francisco to settle a long-running feud over whether or not Google was covered by "fair use" when it copied 37 Java application programming interfaces to build Android, now the most widely-used mobile OS in the world.




Microsoft quietly drops bitcoin support

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 12:33:04 GMT

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Microsoft has quietly stopped supporting bitcoin payments just over one year after it added support for the crypto currency within the Windows Store. Software encyclopedia Softpedia first noticed the change, which is confirmed in an FAQ note for customers: "You can no longer redeem Bitcoin into your Microsoft account. Existing balances in your account will still be available for purchases from Microsoft Store, but can’t be refunded."




Opera adds a built-in ad blocker

Thu, 10 Mar 2016 08:41:16 GMT

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There has been a lot of talk about mobile ad blocking lately, but on the desktop, this is an old phenomenon. Until now, however, desktop ad blocking was all about plugins. But Opera is about to change this and the latest developer release of the company’s desktop browser now includes a built-in ad blocker.




Google joins the Open Compute Project

Thu, 10 Mar 2016 08:37:09 GMT

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Google today announced that it is joining the Open Compute Project (OCP), a five-year-old project founded by Facebook and a number of other companies that aims to drive IT infrastructure development forward through open source hardware. For Facebook, for example, this has meant open sourcing how it builds some of its servers and other data center hardware.




Adobe Launches Animate CC and Improved Muse

Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10:58:29 GMT

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Adobe today officially launched Animate CC, the latest version of its animation tool for the web. Animate CC was previously known as Flash Professional, but the importance of Flash has (thankfully) declined over the last few years and the company decided it was time to rename the product to better represent what it is actually being used for. Animate CC, as well as an update to the Muse CC web design tool, is now available to all Creative Cloud subscribers.




Google reportedly paid Apple $1B

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 09:59:39 GMT

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How important is it to Google to be the first place iPhone users go to for search results? Important enough that the Web giant reportedly pays its biggest rival in mobile big bucks for the privilege. The search giant paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to keep its search bar on iOS devices, according to a Bloomberg examination of a court transcript from Oracle's long-running copyright lawsuit against Google. The payout was part of a revenue-sharing agreement between the two companies that gives Apple a percentage of the revenue Google generates through Apple devices, an attorney for Oracle said during a hearing last week in federal court.




Return of the 4-inch iPhone?

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 09:53:25 GMT

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The Cupertino, California, electronics giant might be working on such a phone for a March unveiling, according to a report Friday from tech blog 9to5Mac, which has built a reputation for reliably breaking Apple news. The model could be called the iPhone 5SE.




Firefox ban on SHA-1 dropped

Fri, 08 Jan 2016 09:18:25 GMT

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Mozilla has temporarily reinstated support for a vulnerable cryptographic algorithm after some Firefox users were unable to access encrypted HTTPS websites. The browser maker blamed the unintended consequence of deprecating support for SHA-1 certificates on man-in-the-middle devices, such as security scanners and anti-virus products.




Microsoft is pulling the plug on IE 8, 9, and 10

Fri, 08 Jan 2016 09:07:51 GMT

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Microsoft is ending support for Internet Explorer 8, 9, and 10 next week on January 12th, releasing a final patch encouraging users to upgrade to one of the company's more recent browsers. The end of support means that these older versions of Internet Explorer will no longer receive security updates or technical support, making anyone who uses them much more vulnerable to hackers. A recently-announced patch will deliver the last few bug fixes, as well as an "End of Life" notification telling users to upgrade to IE 11 or Microsoft Edge — the company's successor to Internet Explorer, built for Windows 10.