Microsoft's Cortana virtual assistant is getting a facelift on iOS and Android aimed at making it more useful for users, and also bringing a bit of brightness to what's currently a rather dour interface.
The app's biggest change is the launch of a button that lets users quickly choose between a suite of common actions, like viewing their calendar at a glance, checking reminders, or getting a weather forecast. The app itself looks friendlier, with a purple gradient background replacing a stark black, white, and blue color scheme.
That’s it. We’re done. Dead Rising 4 released this week, and that’s (as far as I can remember) the last big tentpole of 2016. Time for everyone to pick out their Game of the Year lists and settle in for a nice winter’s nap—and maybe a chance to catch up on your backlog, finally.
There’s still news though, mostly of the “Prepare for 2017” variety. This week Battlefield 1 adds a Grenade Crossbow, Fallout gets the pinball treatment, someone builds an Atari 2600 in Minecraft, and Sean Bean finds out he died in the Civilization VI trailer. Apparently nobody told him.
Update 12/09/16: T-Mobile has informed some beta registrants of a vulnerability on the sign-up site that exposed their personal information to other users.
T-Mobile is no stranger to shaking up the mobile world, having previously unveiled unlimited video streaming, streamlined data plans and hassle-free device upgrades. Now it has a new Un-carrier trick up its sleeve: a single number for all your devices and multiple numbers on a single device.
Called Digits, the program lets you share your T-Mobile number with any Internet-connected device, including smartwatches, computers, and tablets. As the company explains in its press release, “Just log in and, bam, your call history, messages, and even voicemail are all there. And it’s always your same number, so when you call or text from another device, it shows up as you.”
President Barack Obama has ordered U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct a full review of the cyberattacks that allegedly tried to disrupt this year's election, as his successor Donald Trump casts doubt over Russia's possible involvement.
Obama's homeland security advisor Lisa Monaco first mentioned the need for the review while speaking to reporters on Friday morning, according to Politico.
"We may be crossed into a new threshold, and it is incumbent upon us to take stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what this means, and to impart those lessons learned," Monaco reportedly said.
Update, 12/9/16: AirDroid says an update is coming soon to fix the security hole. This article was updated to reflect this.
Popular remote management utility AirDroid has attracted tens of millions of users with the lure of sharing the messages and files on their phones with their PCs, but a severe vulnerability had users scared to use the latest version. Now the company says a fix is on the way.
Earlier this month, mobile security firm Zimperium published a report detailing several major vulnerabilities that threaten to hijack your device. The security issue—which existed in previous and current versions of the app, according to Zimperium—is related to “insecure communication channels” that “send the same data used to authenticate the device to their statistics server.” That means someone on the same network could use a simple man-in-the-middle attack to intercept the user’s email address and password associated with AirDroid. Furthermore, the hacker could then download malicious updates to the app that in turn give them full control over the device.
Black Friday and Cyber Monday may have come and gone. But that hasn’t stopped Microsoft from publishing some fairly amazing deals over the next 12 days, half of which you’ll need to visit a brick-and-mortar Microsoft store to score.
Since the deals kick off on December 5, you have until Monday to plan your purchases. And you will need to plan them, too: The 12 Days of Deals unlock each day and are only good “while supplies last.” Naturally, you’ll have to line up at a physical Microsoft Store if you want to score a “doorbuster.”
Some of the deals are well worth the trouble. Microsoft will offer up to $1,000 off on select PCs on two separate days, for example, and there are a number of half-off deals on Xbox One games, too. Another intriguing deal is a $49 Windows tablet on Friday, December 9. Microsoft’s best deals, however, are shrouded in mystery: The company isn’t revealing which tablet will be $49, or what PCs it will be discounting by $1,000.
The days are numbered for the last remaining Galaxy Note7 holdouts. In an effort to safeguard any devices that are still in circulation, Samsung announced it will be pushing out a software update that will prevent charging, effectively bricking the beleaguered handset.
In a press release, Samsung said that while it has had “overwhelming participation” in the Note7 U.S. recall program, some 7 percent of devices remain in customers’ hands. Starting Dec. 19 and rolling out over the following 30 days, the company will be working with carriers to ensure any outstanding devices are rendered inoperable and returned, though it remains to be seen how cooperative they will be.
The number of ransomware attacks targeting companies increased threefold from January to September, affecting one in every five businesses worldwide.
According to a new report from security company Kaspersky Lab, the rate of ransomware attacks against businesses increased from one every two minutes to one every 40 seconds during that period. For consumers it was even worse, with the rate reaching one attack every 10 seconds in September.
During the third quarter of the year, there were 32,091 new ransomware variations detected by Kaspersky Lab compared to only 2,900 during the first quarter. Overall, 62 new ransomware families appeared this year, the company said.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is considering making it mandatory for airlines to inform passengers before purchasing tickets if they will allow voice calls using mobile wireless devices on board their aircraft, thus hoping to placate customers who could object to having co-passengers talking away on their phones in an enclosed space.
An alternative measure would be to ban all voice calls on domestic and international flights to or from the U.S., the DOT said in a proposal for which it has asked for comments within 60 days of publication of the notice on the Federal Register.
Digital transformation is changing everything about information technology, and even the business itself. As IT morphs from a back-office function, to a knowledge-worker enabler, to an all-encompassing, integrated part of every employee and most things in a company, the traditional IT staff’s role is changing rapidly.
Rather than functioning as a “keep-the-lights-on” department, successful IT teams are becoming core to business and technology strategy. They are helping their companies build a digital strategy—including internal IT capabilities, such as next-generation collaborative mobile environments; digital marketing strategies, such as the company’s online presence; and digital business strategies, or the integration of technology into products the company sells. That’s not an easy transition, particularly as most companies are having trouble finding people with the skillsets they need to execute on the new business-technology functions.
Let’s face it. Today, your business and your people need the right technology to succeed. But acquiring and maintaining powerful wireless devices with flexible service plans comes at a significant cost, and the demands of your workforce never stop changing. So how can you keep up with what they need and keep costs under control?
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Samsung foldable phone rumors might be forming a bit more solidity. As originally reported by the South Korea-based Electronic Times and spotted by Android Headlines, the company is developing a pair of foldable dual-screen phones for possible release next year. The company seems eager to move beyond traditional handset designs—and perhaps away from products associated with exploding batteries.
Like the curved Galaxy Round and the original Note 4 Edge, Samsung apparently won’t be mass-producing these phones at the start. Rather, the company will release limited editions to gauge interest before making a bigger commitment.
When Super Mario Run debuts on iOS next Thursday, players hoping to while away their subway commute with Nintendo’s runner game will be in for a shock. Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto—the creator of the Mario series—recently told Mashable that the game will require a persistent Internet connection to play.
To hear Miyamoto tell it, this is all about reducing the risk of piracy and protecting Nintendo’s intellectual property. “We want to make sure that we’re able to offer...Super Mario Run...in a way that the software is secure, and that they’re able to play it in a stable environment,” Miyamoto told the website.
Botnets made up of hacked home routers were used to launch distributed denial-of-service attacks against the five largest financial organizations in Russia.
The attacks occurred on Monday, Dec. 5, and were detected and mitigated by Rostelecom, Russia's state-owned telecommunications company. The attacks peaked at 3.2 million packets per second (Mpps) and the longest attack lasted for over two hours, Rostelecom reported Friday.
The company did not provide a bandwidth measurement for the attacks, but 3.2Mpps is not that much. DDoS mitigation providers regularly see attacks that exceed 100 Mpps and a very large September attack against the website of cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs peaked at 665Gbps and 143Mpps.
Hulu is finally getting its act together and offering multiple user profiles for a single account. This feature is an absolute must for streaming services, whether it’s for TV shows on Netflix or music tastes on Spotify. Now,
Hulu subscribers can create up to six profiles per account. The feature is available only via the Web at first and will roll out to the various Hulu apps in the coming weeks.
Hulu’s profiles will function similarly to those of other services, with a separate name, viewing history, recommendations, and watch list for each. That way mom’s obsession with Homeland can be kept separate from Junior’s love of Curious George.
The highly rated Chromebook C202 from ASUS features a 180-degree hinge, a spill-resistant keyboard, and a reinforced rubber wrapped frame that meets the daily rigors and intense usage that can happen in and outside the home or classroom. The ASUS Chromebook C202 uses a 360 degree WIFI antenna featuring latest generation 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi which provides strong reception to minimize poor signal connection while you are on-the-go. With a built-in HDMI, USB ports, and a SD card reader, ASUS Chromebook C202 makes data transferring and sharing easy and fast. This model features an Intel Celeron N3060 Processor, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, Storage, 16GB Flash Storage, 11.6-inch HD 1366x768 Anti-Glare Display, and up to 10 hours of battery life on a charge. All for the currently discounted price of just $179. See the discounted ASUS Chromebook on Amazon.
We’ve talked before about how to keep the desktop clean. But for desktop addicts it’s not so simple, is it? The desktop is a convenient place to quickly store files that you download or want to have readily available. At least at first. Over time, the files build up and before you know it the desktop is a mess again, the exact opposite of efficient.
A good webcam is essential if you plan to spend a lot of time video chatting with family, friends, and co-workers. While these devices have come a long way from the cheap plastic and grainy images of yore, just a handful of standalone webcams exists these days. Models that deliver on their promises of impressive resolutions, durable designs, and the ability to record high-definition video are even rarer.
We’ve looked at seven prominent HD models, from economical to the higher end of consumer grade. To help you find the best one for you, we’ve also outlined the key features to keep in mind when evaluating webcams. Whether you want to upload videos to your blog or hold business video calls with remote colleagues, we’ll help you find the right one for your needs.
I have an Amazon Echo and a Logitech Harmony Remote in my bedroom, but my goal is to eliminate as many remotes as possible so I can control the TV, cable box, Amazon Fire TV, and other gadgets in my house as quickly and efficiently as possible. I want to be able to do things like dim the lights, turn on the TV, and tune to my favorite program in a single step, without needing to reach for a switch or fumble with multiple remotes.
It’s against that backdrop—and a desire to simplify my life—that I anxiously broke out Singlecue gesture-control device from the box and plugged it in. I was hoping that Singlecue’s promise to enable me to control my home’s smart devices with a wave of my hand would further my mission to eliminate remotes altogether. It didn’t.