Tag Archives: Apple store

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – March 31, 2015

World Backup Day – is your data safe enough?  The essential guide to HomePlug Ethernet adapters;  19 Ways the Internet of Things Changes Everything;  Free up space on your SSD or hard drive;  Top 7 second-screen apps for Baseball;  Interactive chart helps you compare 150 3D printers;  The 10 Best Free Apps for Travel Junkies;  IBM Launches Major Internet Of Things Offensive;  $60 DIY car hacking device;  Fear the Walking Dead: watch the first trailer;  The 5 Best iPhone Games of the Month;  California biohackers create night vision eye drops;  7 PowerPoint text effects that add sizzle;  Power your devices with the sun: 11 great solar chargers;  CrystalDiskInfo (free);  Windows 10’s new browser, is now available for testing;  NSA considered ending phone surveillance program.

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World Backup Day – is your data safe enough? – 31 March is World Backup Day, a chance for us all to avoid being April Fools by making sure we have secure backups of all our most important data. On last year’s Backup Day, we provided a rundown of the most basic and important steps you can take to ensure your files can be retrieved in the event of a disaster.

19 Ways the Internet of Things Changes Everything – By 2025, the Internet of Things (IoT) will be everywhere, according to a 2014 Pew Research Center report. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a device that’s not connected to the Web in some way. The possibilities are endless with the IoT: from health trackers and cars to home audio systems and smoke alarms. Combine that with an IFTTT (If This Then That) command and you have the recipe for a truly Web-connected life. While privacy advocates have concerns about the IoT, about 83 percent of the 1,606 experts surveyed by Pew said that the trend will be beneficial in the long run.

10 kits to get you started on the Internet of Things and hardware hacking – Kits designed to help you get started on making your own gadgets without getting bogged down in technical detail.

The essential guide to HomePlug Ethernet adapters (including 7 hands-on reviews) – HomePlug Ethernet adapters that use your home’s electrical wiring are great supplements to Wi-Fi networks. We sort through all the iterations and review the top seven models.

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Free up space on your SSD or hard drive – Your hard drive or (more likely) SSD is running out of space. Here are a few tricks for clearing out the garbage.

The top 7 second-screen apps for supplementing your Major League Baseball experience – These days, apps running on a second screen—a smartphone or tablet—are becoming as integral to watching the game as cold beer and peanuts. We’ve rounded up seven of the best second-screen apps that belong on your smartphone or tablet this baseball season. Download and install one or more before Opening Day on Sunday to make sure you’re game ready when the ump yells “play ball!”

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If you don’t use anything else this season, be sure to install at least the free Lite version of MLB at Bat.

Google Drive now backs up photos, videos automatically – Many of us have photos and video spread all over the web and across devices. Depending on how you’ve got your cloud storage set up, it’s not likely you’ve got all your media in one centralized location. Today, Google is taking steps to solve that for us. In Drive, you’ll soon see a new “Google Photos” menu option, which brings all your photo and video storage to a more convenient location. This move was rumored earlier this month, though it’s not exactly what sources claimed Google may end up doing.

7 PowerPoint text effects that add sizzle to slides – Here’s one more secret to help your PowerPoint slides sell. You always need good, well-written content, engaging graphics, and chic animations. Now, add some flashy text to that mix—judiciously—to give your ideas more sizzle. Although not really classified as effects, the Text and Outline Fill provide several options such as Solid colors, Gradients, Pictures or Textures, and Patterns to get you started.

Gmail for Android gets a unified inbox view – The Official Gmail Blog just announced that, starting today, an “All Inboxes” option will show up in the Gmail for Android navigation drawer (presumably, this requires an app update). The new option will display all your incoming mail from all your accounts in a single list.

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Interactive chart helps you compare 150 3D printers before buying – 3D printers have been available to consumers for a number of years, but your options were severely limited. As the price of the technology comes down and more applications are devised, the selection of printers has exploded. There are plenty of factors that go into making a 3D printer right for your needs, and this super-neat 3D printer comparison chart can help you find the perfect one.

Project Spartan, Windows 10’s new browser, is now available for testing – We got our first look at Project Spartan at Microsoft’s Windows 10 event in January. The browser runs on a brand new rendering engine aimed at speeding up performance, while offering new, sharing-centric functionality. The most dramatic of these changes is support for inking: you’ll be able to write or type directly on a web page, and share your annotations via email, through social networks, or by clipping them directly to OneNote.

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The 10 Best Free Apps for Travel Junkies – Odds are you use no more than two travel apps to get from point A to point B, and that’s fine — surveys show you’re not alone. But consider for a moment these 10 travel apps, which can shave time and money off your next journey and help you sniff out a few hidden gems to boot. They’re all free and just one download away from making your next trip smooth sailing.

Power your devices with the sun: 11 great solar chargers – It’s spring and the sun is finally shining, so use its rays to power your smartphone or tablet. Here are 11 affordable solar chargers.

New ARM-powered chip aims for battery life measured in decades – Atmel, the San Jose-based microcontroller maker, today released samples of a new type of ultra-low power, ARM based microcontroller that could radically extend the battery life of small low-power intelligent devices. The new SAM L21 32-bit ARM family of microcontroller (MCUs) consume less than 35 microamps of power per megahertz of processing speed while active, and less than 200 nanoamps of power overall when in deep sleep mode—with varying states in between. The chip is so low power that it can be powered off energy capture from the body, as Andreas Eieland, Atmel’s Director of Product Marketing for low-power products, demonstrated at CES earlier this year.

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Apple Stores now accept non-Apple device trade-ins – Trading in an Android phone for credit towards an iPhone is now a reality. If you walk into an Apple Store and hand them an Android, Windows, or BlackBerry phone, there’s a good chance they’ll offer you some sort of trade-in credit towards an iPhone. In conjunction with Brightstar, who runs their iOS trade-in program already, Apple stores now take non-Apple smartphones for Apple Store credit. The new program starts today in the US, UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, and France.

Security:

$60 DIY car hacking device is an inexpensive and easy way to hack cars – At the Black Hat Asia security conference, former Tesla intern and embedded systems developer Eric Evenchick released open source Python-based CANard software and CANtact hardware designs that will allow anyone to hack their connected cars.

Macro-based malware strikes again: How to keep your networks safe – Bad guys have regained interest in macro-based malware, reports Microsoft and Trend Micro. Learn why vigilance is key to combatting it.

Malwarebytes: Adult site Xtube compromised, serving exploits – Our systems have detected infections coming from popular adult site Xtube. This attack does not use malicious ads (malvertising) to compromise users. Instead, it injects a malicious snippet of code directly into Xtube itself.

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Pointing up   Tip – if you’re not yet running Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit Free, check it out here.

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Here’s a shot of it running in my system tray.

GitHub Continues To Face Evolving DDoS Attack – Online code repository GitHub continues to face a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack on Monday, which the company reported is the largest attack in GitHub.com’s history. The attack began on Thursday and still continues, according to GitHub’s status page and Twitter accounts, though the company says now that all its systems are reporting at 100%. However, the attackers continue to evolve their methodology as the barrage continues, requiring GitHub to remain on “high alert,” it says.

Company News:

Google likely to prevail against Mississippi Attorney General’s enormous subpoena, court says – A federal court in Mississippi is convinced so far that Google will prevail against the state’s attorney general in a lawsuit over an allegedly burdensome and over-broad subpoena. Google filed the suit a week after The Verge published a report tying Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood to a secret Hollywood campaign to fight Google, pinning blame on it for piracy. Hood had handed Google a 79-page-long subpoena requesting a wealth of information and interviews, which Google is now fighting back against on grounds that it violates its First and Fourth Amendment rights.

IBM Launches Major Internet Of Things Offensive – The intent of the new initiative is to put IBM at the forefront of the Internet of Things and provide a common platform on top of which customers can build useful applications to take advantage of all that data. IBM suggests that partnerships like the one with The Weather Company and the one announced last year with Twitter are the cornerstones of a strategy to put them on the cutting edge of a burgeoning technology. They are not alone in this endeavor, however. GE has its own Internet of Things platform aimed at the industrial internet, called Predix. The two giants are battling it out for the hearts and minds of developers.

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Amazon takes its delivery drone testing to Canada – Amazon is dreaming of a world where its drones deliver products, and the FAA is publicly cringing at the prospect. The FAA did get around to granting Amazon an element of permission for testing its drones, but it was a matter of too little too late. Amazon isn’t waiting for the FAA to speed things up, and has instead simply crossed the border into Canada, where it is testing its delivery drones without the harsh restrictions imposed by the US government. The Guardian reports that Amazon is now working in British Columbia on its Prime Delivery Drones, where a variety of software engineers, roboticists, aeronautics experts, and more compose the team. The exact location of the testing site is being kept a close secret, and it follows the snail-slow approach to drone technology that US government is taking.

The Senate wants to know if the White House protected Google from the FTC – The fallout from a leaked trove of FTC documents on Google continues. A Senate panel says it has some questions for the FTC and White House after the documents revealed how Google used its power to strong-arm other companies, yet still made its way out of an anti-trust investigation relatively unscathed. Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee — chairman of the Senate Judiciary’s Antitrust Subcommittee — says his office will examine both how the documents were released and whether the White House had an inappropriate role in the investigation, the National Journal reports.

Games and Entertainment:

The 5 Best iPhone Games of the Month – Every week, TIME rounds up our favorite iPhone games of the past few days. Here are the best of the best for March, from mind-straining puzzle games to mad-dash runners.

Spotify-Backed PlayStation Music Launches on PS3, PS4 – Sony’s PlayStation Music platform—the Music Unlimited replacement unveiled in January—launched today on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. With exclusive partner Spotify, PlayStation Music offers more than 30 million songs and 1.5 billion playlists, making it easy for console owners to soundtrack their gaming sessions. Using the Spotify Connect feature on the official Android and iOS music app, users can select a playlist (including special gaming catalogues), skip songs, adjust the volume, and more via a smartphone or tablet, without interrupting the immersive game experience.

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Fear the Walking Dead: watch the first trailer – If you watched The Walking Dead’s season 5 finale last night (fret not, there are no spoilers here), you were among the first round of people to see the series sequel’s very first trailer. It aired halfway through the episode, and during its brief time lent a glimpse into the zombie virus’s origins…and in doing so, it suggested that we might finally learn more about how the outbreak took place. The sequel, as we’ve previously noted, is called Fear the Walking Dead, and it’ll be making its debut this summer, bringing us closer to having year-round Walking Dead entertainment.

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Jay-Z’s Tidal streaming service relaunching with ‘new direction’ – After a dust-up that saw minority shareholders attempt to block Jay-Z’s acquisition of Aspiro, things are moving forward. In the bid, Jay-Z acquired hi-definition streaming service Tidal, which seems to be the real goal in acquiring Aspiro. Today, Tidal is being relaunched, and is allegedly going to start challenging others like Spotify or iTunes for new releases from big-name artists. If successful, expect the new Beyonce album to hit Tidal unannounced instead of iTunes.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Doctors kill golden staph using a 1,000-year-old remedy – The key to killing methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — also known as MRSA or golden staph — may not be new-fangled treatments after all, but a treatment for an infected eyelash follicle found in a 1,000-year-old book. The MRSA “superbug” is notoriously difficult to treat. Over the years, it developed resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, which include common treatments like penicillin and its derivatives, cephalosporins, monobactams and carbapenems. It’s also a particular problem in hospitals and nursing homes, where a high percentage of the population of which have open wounds and weakened immune systems.

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Two federal agents have been charged with stealing money from the Silk Road – Two Federal agents are facing charges of stealing money from the Silk Road, an online drug marketplace that was taken down by federal warrant more than a year ago. According to a newly unsealed affidavit, DEA Agent Carl Mark Force was actively selling Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht information about the government’s investigaton, at one point receiving $100,000 in bitcoin in exchange for a name that Mt Gox founder Mark Karpeles had given investigators as DPR’s true identity. (Karpeles maintains that he never knew DPR’s identity.) Force also used the DEA’s legal powers to freeze a bitcoin account on a service called CoinMKT and direct nearly $300,000 into his own account.

Destroy your tablet with a Selfie Stick attachment – If the normal Selfie Stick wasn’t enough to get you pumped up about taking a picture of yourself near a crash site, the Tablet Attachment must be. This device attaches to a standard selfie stick monopod pole and gives you room to grip your tablet. You can hook on to an iPad and hold it aloft, taking a front-facing selfie photo from all sorts of different angles. Have we reached Peak Selfie Stick? Between this and that New York Post cover – yes, yes we have.

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Watch this drone shepherd round up its flock on an Irish farm – Although CNET predicts that farming will be the No. 1 industry transformed by drones in the coming years, I think that’s talking about evaluating crop health and the like, not finding border collie replacements. But a new video shows that “drone shepherding” is certainly possible.

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Video Shows Border Patrol Agent Firing Taser Into Car Before It Explodes, Burning Driver Alive – Video of the incident, which occurred in March 2012 in Pine Valley, California, was just made public as part of a lawsuit filed against the federal government by the family of the 25-year-old victim, Alex Martin, who was killed in the incident. The footage, caught by a dashboard camera in the officers’ car and presented as evidence in the lawsuit, shows the plain clothes officers running up to Martin’s car after pulling it over, flashing a light into the vehicle, and trying to force open the door, before breaking through the window and firing the Taser — which immediately sets off an explosion. The video then shows the officers moving away from the fire without attempting to help Martin, as he burns to death. In the video, the officers don’t appear to identify themselves to Martin when they approach the car — nor do they attempt to extinguish the fire. “All three of those cars had large fire extinguishers in them and standard equipment,” Iredale said. “Not one of these agents ever even tried to spray any of the fire extinguisher solution on that car.”

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California biohackers create night vision eye drops – You can read the full report, but basically the experiment was a fascinating success. After applying the drops, scientists were able to clearly and instantly recognize people over 160 feet away in pitch blackness standing in the woods. Their eyes absorbed so much more light they even had to wear sunglasses indoors despite the risk of looking like incognito celebrities. The effects weren’t permanent, though. 50 microliters of the solution wore off after a few hours, and the scientists plan to do plenty more research on the long-term effects of Ce6 before considering the future of night vision in a bottle.

Something to think about:

We’re keeping a list. 

We’re checking it twice. 

We’re gonna find out who’s naughty or nice. 

1984 is comin’ to town…

A Christmas Card fromBarak Obama (U.S.), David Cameron (U.K.), Stephen Harper (Canada), Tony Abbott (Australia), John Key (New Zealand).

Today’s Free Downloads:

CrystalDiskInfo – CrystalDiskInfo is a HDD health monitoring utility. It displays basic HDD information, monitors S.M.A.R.T. values and disk temperature.

Features:

Show S.M.A.R.T Information

Show HDD Information

Change dialog design

Internationalization (i18n)

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Unreal Commander – Unreal Commander is a freeware file manager for Windows.

Features:

Two-panel interface

UNICODE support

Extended search of files

Multi-rename tool

Synchronization of directories

Support of archives ZIP, RAR, ACE, CAB, JAR, TAR, LHA, GZ, TGZ, ARJ

Built-in FTP client

Thumbnail mode

Folder tabs

Support of WLX/WCX/WDX plugins

Build-in viewer and quick view function

Network support

Drag and Drop Support

History and Hotlist functions

Copy/move/delete files background mode support

Deleting files with WIPE

Background pictures support

Visual styles: color categories of files, fonts for all interface elements

and more.

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In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Data and Goliath, book review: A handbook for the information age – Modern lives leave a digital trail, and most people are unaware of just who is auditing it. Security expert Bruce Schneier examines how governments, corporations, individuals and society as a whole can deliver a better balance between security and privacy.

Governor ups license plate data retention to 60 days from seven: “Major step forward for personal freedom and liberty” thwarted by governor – Despite near-unanimous support in both houses of the Virginia state legislature, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) recently amended a significant license plate reader data retention bill, sending it back to state lawmakers. Had the bill passed, it would have imposed a limit of just seven days on keeping such data absent an ongoing criminal investigation.

As put forward by the governor last Friday, the new amendments crucially change that retention period from seven days to 60 days, and modify language that was designed to be a hedge against future surveillance technologies to be restricted to license plate readers specifically.

The Washington Post quoted Brian Moran, the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security, as saying on Friday that he had “been informed by numerous law enforcement agencies that license plate readers result in salient and compelling information. The governor’s amendment…represents a significant compromise by law enforcement. The governor believes 60 days is a more appropriate period of time and reaches a compromise with the legislature that’s reasonable.”

Intercept Reporter Files Suit Against Ferguson Police – An Intercept reporter is suing the St. Louis County Police Department after he was shot with rubber bullets and arrested while reporting on protests in the suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, over the shooting of unarmed teenager Michael Brown last August.

The Intercept’s Ryan Devereaux is joined in the civil rights suit, filed today in federal court in the Eastern District of Missouri, by three German journalists who were also arrested. They allege that the police department, St. Louis County, and 20 unidentified officers violated their First Amendment rights of freedom of press and freedom of speech, used excessive force against them, and arrested them without probable cause. (The complaint is embedded below.)

NSA considered ending phone surveillance program — report – The National Security Agency reportedly contemplated curtailing its program to collect the phone records of America citizens even before whistleblower Edward Snowden spilled the beans.

The NSA, which has been intensely criticized for its program of vacuuming up the phone call records of US citizens, has publicly defended the practice as a necessary measure to combat terrorism. But months before the surveillance came to light in 2013 with the release of documents leaked by Snowden, a proposal to end the program was being discussed among top managers of the agency, current and former intelligence officials told the Associated Press.

NSA insiders who called for the program to be killed cited several factors, according to the AP’s sources. The cost of capturing and storing records from every domestic landline was growing higher. The system wasn’t grabbing the records of mobile phone calls. The program was not integral to discovering terrorist plots. And critics inside the agency were concerned about the reaction should the program ever become public knowledge.

The effort to halt the program never got beyond the discussion stage.

EFF questions US government’s software flaw disclosure policy – It’s not clear if the U.S. government is living up to its promise to disclose serious software flaws to technology companies, a policy it put in place five years ago, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The digital watchdog said on Monday it received a handful of heavily redacted documents from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which it sued last July after it and the National Security Agency moved too slowly on a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

Last year, the EFF sought documents related to the U.S. government’s efforts to beef up its Vulnerability Equities Process (VEP), a framework for notifying companies about zero-day vulnerabilities.

Those type of software flaws are considered the most dangerous since attackers are actively using the flaws to compromise computers, and there are no patches ready.

But there has been concern that the U.S. government may hold onto that kind of information for too long, putting at risk organizations that it is supposed to protect from foreign adversaries who may discover the vulnerabilities on their own.

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Filed under Free Software Downloads, Internet Security Alerts, Latest Tech News

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 28, 2014

Use Google Maps and GPS offline on your Android device;  Dashboard tech the worst part of car ownership says Consumer Reports;  Keep your tiny goblins safe on Halloween with these apps;  4 Products That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Utility Bills;  How to recover deleted photos from a memory card;  Stay connected without a connection?  How to score the $3 Camera+ iPhone app for free;  Amazon takes on Chromecast with new $39 Fire TV Stick;  10 steps to erase your digital footprint;  Unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365;  Here is how to get an Xbox One for $332.50;  Solid Concepts Announces Another 3D-Printed Metal Gun;  The Rise of Mobile Ransomware;  Credit card fraud can be stopped. Here’s how;  Glary Utilities (free);  Here’s what happens to your body when you die;  IceCream Slideshow Maker (free);  Panty raid: MLB, Homeland Security, and the great undercover underwear sting;  US Senate calls Whisper in for serious questioning.

Dashboard tech the worst part of car ownership says Consumer Reports – Complex, confusing, and frustrating car dashboards are now the most disappointing part of car ownership, a new survey suggests, with wonky infotainment coming in for renewed criticism from owners. Navigation, multimedia, and social networking features are spreading across many new vehicles, but lackluster user experiences – especially in brand new systems – are not only driving owners crazy but having a meaningful impact on their overall ratings.

Use Google Maps and GPS offline on your Android device – Maybe your carrier has tight data caps. Or perhaps you’ll be driving (or hiking) in an area with no coverage. Either way, you’ll want maps and GPS that aren’t dependent upon immediate Internet access.

4 Products That Will Save You Hundreds On Your Utility Bills – If you’re looking to save money every month, your family’s home electric bill is a good place to start. Smart, green tech updates will save a lot of electricity — and money — over the course of a year. Even small changes add up quickly. From home heating to lighting, I’ve compiled a list of four simple tech upgrades for your home that will save you a combined $225 per year on your utility bills. Most can be installed yourself with a little bit of handyman knowhow. And, once they’re installed, these devices are smart enough to take care of racking up the savings.

Keep your tiny goblins safe on Halloween with these apps – Create a digital Halloween safety kit that will keep you in the loop of where everyone is and add some light to your haunted path through the neighborhood.

How to recover deleted photos from a memory card – Just deleted an important batch of images from your memory card? Never fear, here’s how to undelete them for Mac and PC users.

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Stay connected without a connection? – Meet the tools that let you transfer files and send messages on your smartphone without the Internet.

How to score the $3 Camera+ iPhone app for free – iPhone users looking for a more versatile and powerful camera app than Apple’s default one can now grab a good one for free. Camera+ normally sells for $3 in Apple’s App Store. For a limited time, though, Apple is offering the app for free through its Apple Store app, as spotted by the folks at RazorianFly on Monday. Camera+ provides a variety of controls beyond the basic ones outfitted into the built-in Camera app.

SUSE Linux Enterprise 12: new features and extensions – SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 is available today. And with it SLES 12 brings several significant new features and extensions to the desktop and to the datacenter.

Amazon takes on Chromecast with new $39 Fire TV Stick – Amazon is finally taking on the Chromecast. This morning it’s introducing the Fire TV Stick, a streaming device that exists entirely in a small dongle that plugs into a TV’s HDMI port. It can play games and is able to stream from the major services that you’d expect: Watch ESPN, YouTube, Hulu Plus, Pandora, and, of course, Prime Instant Video. The Stick goes on sale for $39 beginning November 19th and is currently available for preorder. Prime subscribers can get it for $19 for the next two days.

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Microsoft targets Dropbox and Google with unlimited OneDrive storage for Office 365 – Microsoft is removing its OneDrive storage limits for Office 365 subscribers. If you’re an Office 365 Home, Personal, or University subscriber then OneDrive storage will be unlimited in the coming months as Microsoft rolls out its changes to every account. OneDrive for Business customers will also get unlimited storage as part of Microsoft’s Office 365 roadmap. While Microsoft’s unlimited OneDrive storage is rolling out to all Office 365 accounts in the coming months, you can opt-in to be upgraded early over at Microsoft’s OneDrive preview site.

Microsoft offering unlimited cloud storage — and a free copy of Office — for $7 a month – Technically, they’re offering unlimited free OneDrive space to Office 365 users. That’s where the $7 per month comes in — it’s the base rate for a 365 Personal subscription when you pay annually. So not only is their no ceiling on how many gigs of data you can store in the cloud, you also get access to the entire Office suite — Word, Excel, OneNote, Powerpoint, Publisher, and even Access and Outlook — on both your main computer and your tablet.

License+ from Automatic could actually make teens better drivers – If you’re a parent of a teen, driving can be a scary proposition. Not only is your child operating a massive machine capable of high velocity, but they’re inexperienced. You can teach them all you like, but sometimes it’s helpful to have some actual data to back up your passenger seat cringing. with an update to Automatic called License+, you can get that info. You also get a little peace of mind that your teen is driving safely even when you’re not there.

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Smiley faces take on whole new meanings as Bing adds emoji search – Bing now supports searches with emoji, meaning you can insert or paste a range of emoji icons like hearts, smiley faces, food graphics, or any combination thereof, for some interesting, though not always useful, results. It’s a novelty feature, yes, but still fun. And one that could help Bing draw at least some attention away from Google. Google at the moment does not give results for emoji searches, though its auto-complete technology does recognize them. Yahoo, meanwhile, does support emoji searches.

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Free and cheap ways to learn about network administration – Though you might have the Network+ or CCNA cert, for instance, have you actually configured or played around with a network? Even if you already have held a network technician or administrator position, you might not have experience with all aspects of networking yet. Fortunately there are ways to get hands-on network administration experience, even at home — and most don’t cost anything.

One week later, Google algorithm change hits streaming, torrent sites hard – Video streaming and torrent sites have dropped precipitously in Google rankings after the company altered its algorithm last Monday, according to reports from Searchmetrics. One of Project Free TV’s main operating domains, free-tv-video-online.me, fell 96 percent in Searchmetric’s rankings, one of the biggest drops alongside torrentz.eu and thepiratebay.se.

The end of an era: Windows 7 consumer PCs halt production this Friday – It’s the end of an era, as OEMs will soon end production of PCs with Windows 7 Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate pre-installed.

Security:

10 steps to erase your digital footprint – Summary: How do you vanish online? Follow these 10 steps to get started.

Zero-day in Samsung ‘Find My Mobile’ service allows attacker to remotely lock phone – NIST warned that if an attacker exploits the zero-day vulnerability in Samsung’s ‘Find My Mobile’ service, then the hacker can remotely lock, unlock and ring the phone.

The Rise of Mobile Ransomware – If Man on Fire or Taken has taught us anything, it’s that one of the greatest fear for parents is learning that a criminal kidnapped their child. These days, however, children aren’t the only ones who can be held for ransom as more malware is encrypting user data for payment. The newly released F-Secure’s Threat Report H1 2014 stated that the number of ransomware threats, which remotely locks computers or mobile devices, is increasing on Android phones.

Facebook and Yahoo team up to block account hijackings via recycled accounts – Facebook and Yahoo have figured out how to undo the mess Yahoo made when it decided to recycle old email addresses.

Credit card fraud can be stopped. Here’s how – After $4,000 of fraudulent charges from Brazil on my AMEX, I’m chasing down all my auto-payment accounts and frequently used commerce sites. Again.

US Senate calls Whisper in for serious questioning on user tracking – Following serious allegations brought up by the Guardian, the US Senate has a few privacy-related questions it would like to ask the people in charge over at Whisper, the self-proclaimed “safest place on the internet”.

Company News:

Tim Cook says that Apple Pay is already the leader in contactless payments – It’s only been a week since Apple Pay made its debut, but apparently the launch has been successful thus far. Speaking at the WSJD Live event, hosted by The Wall Street Journal, Cook said that Apple is already the leader in “contactless” payments, “more than the total of all the other guys.” Within 72 hours, Apple apparently activated one million cards, and we presume it’s only gone up significantly since then. Customer response, has been positive, as well.

ARM Intros New Trio of Mali GPUs – ARM on Monday introduced three new Mali graphics processors for mobile devices and a pair of additional GPU instruction sets designed for video processing and displays. The Mali-T820, Mali-T830, and Mali-T860 succeed Mali T700-class GPUs licensed by ARM to makers System-on-a-Chip (SoC) products for mobile devices such as Samsung, MediaTek, Broadcom, Realtek, and LG.

Twitter doesn’t have explosive growth, and investors aren’t happy – Twitter reported its third quarter earnings today, and despite robust performance, the company’s stock continues to struggle. Twitter’s booked $361 million in revenue over the last three months, more than double what it did for the same period in 2013. It also hit its marks on profit — $7 million, which is exactly what investors were expecting. But the stock is down more than 10 percent in after-hours trading, as investors flee a stock that hasn’t shown the upside they were looking for in a young, high-flying social network.

Amazon snaps up Rooftop Media to boost online entertainment services – The online retail giant is purchasing Rooftop Media in order to promote the firm’s plans to step outside of e-commerce and tap into other revenue streams. Amazon has already dabbled in the mobile sphere — bringing out the disappointing Fire Phone, as well as e-readers, and is well-known for Amazon Web Services (AWS). However, the Seattle, Wash.-based company also wishes to provide media and entertainment content, and has already begun doing so through Amazon instant video and the Amazon App store.

Games and Entertainment:

Microsoft starts the holiday sales early with $50 off Xbox One – The Kinect-less Xbox One is getting even cheaper from this Sunday as Microsoft starts up its Season of Xbox discounts for the holidays. A new $349 price ($50 less than the current $399) will kick in from the 2nd of November through to the end of the year for several console bundles, including the Special Edition Sunset Overdrive white console. This will be across most major US retailers and there’ll be similar deals for the rest of the world, though Microsoft hasn’t yet detailed them in full.

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Here is how to get an Xbox One for $332.50 from the Microsoft store – Earlier today, Microsoft announced that they would be cutting the price of the Xbox One to $350 but if you want to get it even cheaper, here is how you can save a further 5% at the Microsoft Store.

PlayStation 4 upcoming Share Play feature explained – Excited for the big two-point-oh update for your PlayStation 4? Looking forward to changing your console’s home screen themes? The awaited major update for the console will be landing on eager users’ hands, or rather on their devices, starting October 28 but the update isn’t just about themes, of course. Lest you forget, there are also other interesting additions that await you, like the totally new Share Play feature. And to make sure that you don’t forget indeed, Sony has published a video and a blog post detailing what Share Play really is.

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Alienware’s new graphics amplifier and laptop make portable high-end gaming possible – The dream for many PC gamers has always been to have a portable machine that can also handle the latest graphics-intensive releases, and Alienware has come up with a solution that moves that dream closer to reality with the Alienware Graphics Amplifier. Released alongside the Alienware 13 — the company’s newest gaming laptop — the near-8-pound, $299 box is meant to live on your desk, ready to be plugged into any time you feel the need for that extra GPU boost that a laptop just can’t provide.

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27 Streaming Horror Movies for a Truly Creepy Halloween – Click through our slideshow for 27 insanely frighteningly films that are only a few taps and clicks away. We’ve provided a trailer preview as well as links to where the entire film can be found online (legitimately). We’ve noted where the films that can be streamed for free via monthly subscription services, but in most cases they can be digitally “rented” for under $4.

AMD’s flagship Radeon R9 290X graphics card prices cut to an insanely compelling $300 – Prices for AMD’s Radeon R9 290X graphics card plummet even further in the wake of the Nvidia GTX 980’s release–and yes, the dirt-cheap cards are eligible for AMD’s offer of three free games of your choice.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Drone nearly hits plane, may have been on purpose – Over the weekend, it was revealed that a drone had a near collision with an passenger aircraft in the UK. A 74-seat ATR 72 was flying over county Essex in route to London Southend Airport when it had the near collision with a quad-copter drone, which was flying at roughly 1,500 feet and came uncomfortably close to the right wing of the craft. According to the report, this was no accident, either.Whoever flew the drone seems to have been aiming for the plane.

Peeping teen in shower: I was checking if phone was waterproof – A UK teen found guilty of filming a woman in a shower insisted that he was merely a fascinated cell phone tester.

Flight cancelled when “Al-Quida” Wi-Fi network became available – A Los Angeles International Airport flight bound for London was cancelled Sunday when a passenger’s phone picked up the Wi-Fi signal “al-Quida Free Terror Nettwork” (sic) that was emanating from a fellow flier’s hotspot minutes before the United Airlines flight was set to liftoff. After a concerned passenger notified a flight attendant of the network at about 9:30pm, the plane taxied to a remote section of the Los Angeles airport and was held there for three hours. The plane was searched as passengers of Flight 136 were ordered to power off electronic devices, local media said.

Solid Concepts Announces Another 3D-Printed Metal Gun – Solid Concepts, a company that specializes in 3D printing in metal and now owned by Stratasys, as announced their second 3D-printed metal gun, the Reason. Their first gun, the 1911, as well as this one were made by sintering – melting – metal powder with a laser. However, from the detail on the barrel and handle it’s clear the company has improved the technology immensely over the year.

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We didn’t expect Kim Kardashian to love BlackBerry so much – Of all the people who could be the savior of BlackBerry, Kim Kardashian probably wouldn’t have been our first guess, but it turns out the reality TV star turned mobile app kingpin could end up single-handedly propping up the second hand market. The controversial star was expected to discuss social saturation and the surprise hit game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood at the Code/Mobile 2014 conference, but she took an interesting detour via ailing BlackBerry and her ongoing collection of devices.

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Here’s what happens to your body when you die – The good folks who produce the American Chemical Society’s “Reactions” series have created short YouTube videos about a variety of important topics like why bacon smells so good, how pot gets us high and how fireworks work. This week — being that it’s the week in which we celebrate ghouls, zombies, vampires and other deadish things — they’ve turned their science eyes toward a really big question: What happens when you die?

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Panty raid: MLB, Homeland Security, and the great undercover underwear sting – On Tuesday, undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security entered a tiny boutique lingerie store in Kansas City called Birdies. The shop was selling cotton panties that bore the phrase “Take the Crown” and an artistic rendering of the Royals logo designed by one of its co-owners, Peregrine Honig.

Something to think about:

“The arts must be considered an essential element of education… They are tools for living life reflectively, joyfully and with the ability to shape the future.”

–      Shirley Trusty Corey

Today’s Free Downloads:

Glary Utilities – Glary Utilities is a smart and reliable application that offers numerous powerful and easy-to-use system tools and utilities to fix, speed up, maintain and protect your PC.

It allows you to clean common system junk files, as well as invalid registry entries and Internet traces. You can manage and delete browser add-ons, analyze disk space usage and find duplicate files.

You can also view and manage installed shell extensions, encrypt your files from unauthorized access and use, split large files into smaller manageable files and then rejoin them.

Furthermore, Glary Utilities includes the options to optimize memory, find, fix, or remove broken Windows shortcuts, manage the programs that start at Windows startup and uninstall software. Other features include secure file deletion, an Empty Folder finder and more.

All Glary Utilities tools can be accessed through an eye-pleasing and totally simplistic interface.

Features:

Disk Cleaner – Removes junk data from your disks and recovers disk space

Registry Cleaner – Scans and cleans up your registry to improve your system’s performance.

Shortcuts Fixer – Corrects the errors in your startmenu & desktop shortcuts

Uninstall Manager – Uninstalls programs completely that you don’t need any more

Startup Manager – Manages programs which run automatically on startup

Memory Optimizer – Monitors and optimizes free memory in the background

Context Menu Manager – Manages the context-menu entries for files, folders…

Tracks Eraser – Erases all the traces,evidences,cookies,internet history and more

File Shredder – Erases files permanently so that no one can recover them

Internet Explorer Assistant – Manages Internet Explorer Add-ons and restores hijacked settings

File Encrypter and Decrypter – Protects your files from unauthorized access and use.

Disk Analysis – Shows you the disk space usage of your files and folders

Duplicate Files Finder – Searches for space-wasting and error producing duplicate files

Empty Folders Finder – Finds and removes empty folders in your windows

File Splitter and Joiner – Splits large files into smaller manageable files, and then rejoin them.

Process Manager – Monitors programs that run on your PC and stop spyware and Trojans.

Windows Standard Tools – Provides direct access to the useful windows default functions.

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IceCream Slideshow Maker – Meet IceCream Slideshow Maker, a free software that you can use to create beautiful slideshows from your favorite photos. Breathe life into them by adding fancy transition effects and background audio. You don’t need to be tech savvy to create a multimedia slideshow with music in a few minutes: just add photos, configure slides transitions and durations, add a suitable mp3 file, preview the project and simply press the “Create” button to enjoy the end result!

Surprise your family and friends with a high quality video slideshow about your vacation or any special event.

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In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:

Canada, At War For 13 Years, Shocked That A Terrorist Attacked Its Soldiers – In Quebec on Monday, two Canadian soldiers were hit by a car driven by Martin Couture-Rouleau, a 25-year-old Canadian who, as The Globe and Mail reported, “converted to Islam recently and called himself Ahmad Rouleau.” One of the soldiers died, as did Couture-Rouleau when he was shot by police upon apprehension after allegedly brandishing a large knife. Police speculated that the incident was deliberate, alleging the driver waited for two hours before hitting the soldiers, one of whom was wearing a uniform. The incident took place in the parking lot of a shopping mall 30 miles southeast of Montreal, “a few kilometres from the Collège militaire royal de Saint-Jean, the military academy operated by the Department of National Defence.”

The right-wing Canadian government wasted no time in seizing on the incident to promote its fear-mongering agenda over terrorism, which includes pending legislation to vest its intelligence agency, CSIS, with more spying and secrecy powers in the name of fighting ISIS. A government spokesperson asserted “clear indications” that the driver “had become radicalized.”

In a “clearly prearranged exchange,” a conservative MP, during parliamentary question time, asked Prime Minister Stephen Harper (pictured above) whether this was considered a “terrorist attack”; in reply, the prime minister gravely opined that the incident was “obviously extremely troubling.” Canada’s Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney pronounced the incident “clearly linked to terrorist ideology,” while newspapers predictably followed suit, calling it a “suspected terrorist attack” and “homegrown terrorism.” CSIS spokesperson Tahera Mufti said “the event was the violent expression of an extremist ideology promoted by terrorist groups with global followings” and added: “That something like this would happen in a peaceable Canadian community like Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu shows the long reach of these ideologies.”

The FBI thinks it has found Glenn Greenwald’s second leaker – As Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept continues to publish secret government documents, some of which go beyond the initial NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, speculation has grown concerning a second leaker smuggling classified documents to the publication. After a recent law enforcement raid, that speculation seems to be confirmed. Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff reports that the FBI has identified a contractor who may be responsible for leaking documents about abuses in the government’s terrorist tracking system, as detailed in this Intercept report. According to Isikoff, the suspect’s home has been searched and federal prosecutors in northern Virginia have opened a criminal investigation into the matter.

The initial leaks revealed that more than half of the people identified in the FBI’s terrorist tracking database had no clear affiliation with a terrorist group, suggesting real problems for the database as a law enforcement tool. As a result, many have viewed the source as whistleblower acting in the public interest.

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Cruise Ships Leading the Way in Technology Revolution

Guest writer Ben Johnson (no, not Ben Johnson – Shakespeare’s contemporary), but UK based regular contributor Ben Johnson, takes a look at how Cruise lines have managed to not only meet the technology needs of their guests, but have taken the lead in technology adoption.

imageQuite often large companies don’t always embrace technological advances, happy with the status-quo these innovations are simply ignored or put on hold until several business case studies later. One industry bucking this trend is the cruise industry, due to the ultra-competitive nature of the industry cruise liners are constantly trying to “out do” one another.

While the destinations visited will continue to be the biggest draw, many cruise goers simply don’t want to leave behind their technology filled life’s behind, after all technology really does make life easier as the examples below demonstrate:

  • No longer do you have to worry about missing the latest 3D movie release, cruise ship operators including Royal Caribbean Cruises have updated their onboard cinemas to include the latest 3D experience.
  • The most technology filled gyms in the world can be found be found onboard cruise ships. Carnival Cruises makes working out a joy with its floor to ceiling windows facing the sea creating an atmosphere of tranquility.
  • Apple lovers and technology buffs in general will love Celebrity Cruises who now offer computer classes as well as the chance to buy the latest products from the onboard Apple store.
  • Royal Caribbean recently installed solar panels to its Allure of the Seas cruise ship, which will help create a whopping 111,108kWh annually for the ships shopping area.
  • Once again Royal Caribbean is leading the way in technology innovation this time in the shape of facial recognition. When you check in to the Oasis of the Seas, a crew member shoots a photo, which is sent to the ship and linked with passenger’s room key. That picture is not only used for security purposes but when the onboard photographer takes your photo this is then automatically assigned to you.
  • Onboard the Royal Caribbean you will never have to wait in a queue to get your food, shape recognition cameras are used to analyze foot traffic and this information is sent in real-time to the 300 interactive boards dotted around the ship.
  • The world’s largest cruise ship is Royal Caribbean International’s, Allure of the Seas, a gigantic 1,187ft capable of carrying over 6,000 passengers. The size of the ship can be daunting for many especially for those with children, to put parents mind at ease Royal Caribbean have recently developed an application which can track kids as well as plan onboard activities.

The cruise industry is innovating at a phenomenal rate, what innovation would you like to see next within the tourism industry?

Biography:

Guest writer Ben Johnson is a freelance travel writer and cruise enthusiast. While specializing in luxury cruises and maritime law, Ben’s knowledge covers a wider spectrum of consumer tourism.

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