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Windows 10 Raises Some Hackles
August 7, 2015
"Tablet view is showing saved porn images," wrote Reddit user "FalloutBos." "Woke up to wife asking why I set it to rotate all my porn images right on the desktop view. I have no idea [how] to shut that feature off and that computer is staying shut down until I do." That incident raised howls of laughter, but it points to one of the problems early users of Microsoft's new OS have reported.
Bring On the New Apple TV - Streaming Service or Not
August 5, 2015
I've been waiting for a new Apple TV from Apple for years, and I've been disappointed each time a major Apple event came and went without one. Plus, I've been waiting for Apple to come along and disrupt the cable/satellite TV bundling status quo with some sort of a la carte streaming service, also to no avail. Now I don't think that second wish matters much at all.
AT&T to DirecTV Customers: Let's Stick Together
August 3, 2015
AT&T on Monday announced its first-ever nationwide package of TV and wireless services. The new bundle, which is being offered for US$200 per month, will be available beginning Aug. 10. It will include HD and DVR service for up to four TV receivers, along with unlimited talk and text for four wireless lines. Subscribers to the plan will get 10 GB of shareable wireless data.
Mozilla Gripes at Microsoft for Giving Edge an Edge
July 31, 2015
Mozilla CEO Chris Beard has published an open letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, calling on him to offer Windows 10 users an easier way to set their browser preferences. Beard characterized the lack of choice in the Windows 10 experience as "very disturbing." It appears to have been designed to force users into an experience Microsoft wants them to have instead of one they want, he charged.
Hackers Make Smart Rifle Go Rogue
July 31, 2015
Security researchers Runa Sandvik and Michael Auger have hacked a TrackingPoint smart rifle that was designed to deliver sharpshooter results, even for novices. They demonstrated their feat for Wired and will present their findings at the week-long Black Hat 2015 security conference in Las Vegas, which begins Saturday. The two purchased a pair of $13,000 rifles and spent a year working on them.
Facebook Pumps Up Internet.org
July 29, 2015
Facebook on Monday announced it was scaling up Internet.org, creating a partner portal that makes it easier for mobile operators to offer its free basic services in new countries. Those basic services are bringing new users onto mobile networks more than 50 percent faster, and more than half of them pay for data and Internet access within 30 days of signing up, Facebook said.
What To Do if Your Car Tries to Kill You
July 27, 2015
The scary news last week was that a couple of guys demonstrated they could hack into a Jeep and take control of it. Later, more details came out that suggested you might want to avoid Chrysler cars altogether. The industry appears to be waiting for the first major catastrophic accident before putting resources into fixing this problem at the proper level.
Apple Leaves Nest Thermostat Out in the Cold
July 24, 2015
Apple reportedly has pulled the Nest smart thermostat from both its online and brick-and-mortar stores, possibly paving the way for its own line of smart home appliances. The thermostat disappeared from Apple's product offerings earlier this month. Apple's stores now are selling the Ecobee 3, a thermostat that works with Apple's HomeKit, an Internet of Things platform that's part of iOS.
Twitch Yanks Player Controls From Flash
July 24, 2015
Game-streaming service Twitch on Thursday joined Apple and other tech companies in swearing off its dependence on Adobe's Flash. The move away from Flash will happen in stages, but Twitch has promised its community that the gradual rollout will advance at a steady pace. Twitch began the transition to the more secure HTML5 and JavaScript by hybridizing its streaming video player.
The Great and Tragic Lives of OTT Video Service Providers
July 23, 2015
Being on the cutting edge is exciting... so long as you are not the one getting cut. The global expansion of over-the-top video services has been rapid and extensive, but not always successful. Besides Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, three of the top OTT video players in the world, many new service providers have entered the market, particularly over the past six to nine months.
A New Challenger Pounds the Street Fighter V Pavement
July 21, 2015
Capcom has introduced a new character for its upcoming Street Fighter V, as it continued a reveal that promises a more connected, less confusing experience for players of the next installment in the decades-old series. Whether in a dark alley or a sunny park, any encounter with Necalli would trigger the run-and-hide side of the fight or flight response.
Leverage Big Data to Get Rid of Network Attackers
July 21, 2015
Up to 30 percent of their firms' security incidents this year should have been detected by perimeter security measures -- but weren't -- said 55 percent of respondents to a SANS Institute survey. The truth is that today's attackers have become skilled at bypassing conventional defenses, which no longer can be counted on to protect enterprise networks on their own.
EFF Launches Write-to-Congress Tool
July 17, 2015
Email has made communicating with elected officials easy, but a new tool from the Electronic Frontier Foundation is going to make it easier yet. Democracy.io allows you to send an electronic missive to your U.S. representative and senators with a minimum of clicks. Typically, you'd have to go to your legislators' websites separately to make your views known.
Google May Goose Mobile Device Impulse Buys
July 15, 2015
Google on Wednesday announced that it is giving tablet and smartphone users more purchase options in an effort to respond to shoppers' "micro moments." Mobile devices influenced about 28 percent of in-store sales in the U.S. last year, noted Jonathan Alferness, vice president of product management for Google Shopping. However, "it's way too hard to buy things on your phone," he added.
Social Networks Funneling More News
July 15, 2015
News consumption on Facebook and Twitter has increased significantly in the last two years, according to a report from the Pew Research Center and the Knight Foundation. Sixty-three percent of Twitter and Facebook members surveyed said they got news from those social networks. For Twitter, that's an 11 point increase from 2013, when 52 percent of its members said they got news there.
Flash Furor Grows Despite Adobe's Latest Fix
July 15, 2015
Three new vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash Player have been reported over the past two weeks, triggering a storm of protest and leading Mozilla and Google to ban the plug-in from their Firefox and Chrome browsers. "It is time for Adobe to announce the end-of-life date for Flash and to ask the browsers to set killbits on the same day," Facebook CSO Alex Stamos tweeted Sunday.
Waiting for the Internet of Things
July 14, 2015
Despite all the attention being given to the extraordinary opportunities promised by the Internet of Things, many software and technology vendors are still waiting for demand to match the predictions. Security concerns are the most common inhibitor to IoT initiatives, industry surveys suggest, but a number of other factors likely are getting in the way of IoT deployments as well.
Haters Force Leadership Change at Reddit
July 13, 2015
The haters have won at Reddit, forcing the ouster of interim CEO Ellen Pao and her replacement by cofounder Steve Huffman. Board member Sam Altman, who led a $50 million investment round in the firm, on Saturday announced Pao's resignation and Huffman's appointment, lashing out at the campaign against Pao. It was "sickening" to see some of the things Redditors wrote about Pao, he said.
Tech Tools to Make Your Next Move Less Painful
July 13, 2015
My wife and I just completed a move from California to Oregon, and it was far less painful than it could have been, thanks to technology. It used to be incredibly painful to move. While a lot of the pain is still there, technology has advanced a lot since we last moved -- about 18 years ago -- and at least some parts of the process now are far easier.
Microsoft's New Groove
July 12, 2015
Microsoft's Music app, formerly known as "Xbox Music," will sport a makeover when it arrives rebranded in Windows 10 as "Groove," the company announced earlier this week. Groove's dancing partner will be the all-new Movies & TV app. "Groove Music Pass" will replace "Xbox Music Pass" as the name of the $10-a-month premium streaming service. The apps will be a go on July 29.
Facebook Gives News Feed a Tune-Up
July 10, 2015
Facebook on Thursday slammed the hood, wiped its hands, and introduced the latest set of upgrades to its News Feed engine. The all-new 2015 Facebook News Feed gives users more control over the content they see when they cruise the world's largest social network. The new tools allow users to set their top friends, and content from those accounts will be given preference over others.
Raging Redditors Roar for Pao's Resignation
July 7, 2015
More than 208,000 people have signed a Change.org petition calling on Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao to step down. Many Redditers fear Pao will run Reddit into the ground, the petition claims, noting that alternative sites have sprung up in recent months and received vast amounts of traffic. The immediate cause of the unrest was last week's dismissal of Victoria Taylor, Reddit's director of talent.
Is Isolating the Internet Key to Bulletproof Security?
July 7, 2015
With so many cybersecurity pros drowning in an ever-rising tide of hack attacks on their computer systems, an emerging approach to defending those systems may be the life preserver they've been looking for. The approach doesn't involve beefing up perimeter defenses, carefully scrutinizing network traffic, or applying analytics to employee behavior.
The Art of E-Commerce Site Search
July 6, 2015
Providing an effortless shopping experience is a key driver to the success of any e-commerce business. E-commerce search is a big factor in this experience and when done right can provide a significant competitive advantage. An effective on-site search experience leads to higher sales and increased customer loyalty. A substandard search experience can lead to the permanent loss of a customer.

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