Google turns creepy, predictive search tech up to 11 in Chrome OS beta

Launcher 2.0 to be released within days

Google’s Chromebooks are about to undergo an overhaul that puts the Chocolate Factory’s creepy, predictive search tech – Google Now – at the heart of the firm’s OS.…


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Microsoft's Windows 10 build list snowballs for Lumia mobes

WARNING: Coders are still stitching together partition stitching code

Microsoft has tentatively opened up its Windows 10 Technical Preview to more phones, after its initial list back in February had been extremely limited.…


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Want a full-blown IDE for Node.js? You'll need a Windows machine…

New tools for Visual Studio tackle server-side JavaScript

Microsoft has doubled down on its support for the Node.js server-side JavaScript framework with a new set of tools that turn Visual Studio into a full-fledged Node.js IDE.…


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Virgin Media takes its time on website crypto upgrade

Mozilla and Chrome wave red flags at ISP

Virgin Media has failed to upgrade weak encryption software that it uses for sensitive parts of the telco’s website, despite complaints from customers who claim to have repeatedly flagged up security concerns to the firm.…


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Outsourcery still losing as much as it turns over

Another round of funding coming to a cloud biz near you

Former Dragons’ Den rude boy and Outsourcery co-founder Piers Linney is likely to be forced to pitch his business to investors again for a fresh round of funding, after closing off a tough, cash-zapping year.…


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Police ICT Company finally lurches off the ground

Fill your boots guys as it could be scrapped after the election

After a four-year gestation period, the body intended to help UK coppers better splash their £1bn a year in tech spend – the Police ICT Company – has finally got off the ground.…


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Sony’s New Spotify-Powered Music Service Goes Live For PlayStation

Spotify_20150326154412 If you’re a PlayStation owner who is also a Spotify addict, then there’s good news for you today since Sony and the music streaming service have teamed up to let you listen to your tunes while you game. Read More

Halo 5 release date confirmed – check out these new trailers

Halo 5 release date confirmed - check out these new trailers

You’ve got just a few more months to wait, Halo fans: Master Chief’s first appearance on Xbox One will take place October 27, Microsoft has announced, and there are a couple of new trailers to whet your appetite.

YouTube : www.youtube.com/watch?v=tHQiYPiNVEE

Here’s the first of them. Apparently Agent Locke isn’t best pleased and it looks like something fairly apocalyptic has happened. The release date is shown briefly at the end.

YouTube : www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rd8FWUCCZk

The second one gives us a similar scenario with the roles reversed. This time Master Chief is throwing out the threats in a scene reduced to rubble – how did we get here? Who shoots first? Just, erm, seven months, until we find out.




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Opinion: With PlayStation Music, Sony shows it's not afraid to ditch bad ideas

Opinion: With PlayStation Music, Sony shows it's not afraid to ditch bad ideas

Something was always amiss about Music Unlimited. Whether it was its overpriced pass or its ties to the music publishing house for which it represented, it just felt like a rip-off.

Sony’s decision to include it in the PS4 wasn’t by any means surprising (it already starred as the proprietary music player on the PS3), but nothing felt more discouraging about the new piece of plastic than its dependence on a system that clearly wasn’t working.

I wasn’t alone in thinking that, either. Despite its presence on over 20 million PS4s around the world, The Wall Street Journal reported there were only about 100,000 subscribers to the music system.

So what did Sony do when it found out that only .005% of its overall user base was paying for the unpopular service? It did something unpredictable. It got rid of it for something better.

PlayStation Music

Even ‘Unlimited’ has to end sometime, right?

Starting today, Sony is officially launching a new service for PlayStation owners called PlayStation Music and it’s run, developed and is generally made better by the team at Spotify.

I got a chance to check it out at a press event at Spotify’s office in downtown San Francisco and while I had plenty of other comments, the one sentence that kept coming out of my mouth over and over was, “Wow, this is really intuitive.”

During my demo I was given the chance to control the music from a phone (a Sony Xperia Z3, though I’m told any phone with Spotify and Bluetooth should do the trick), and when the phone was out of reach, I used a controller to seamlessly switch between gameplay and the new PlayStation Music app to pick out tunes.

Pressing the jewel on the controller brought up a new-and-improved menu that had a small array of playback and volume options which made it simple to control the music without going back to the dashboard. Everything seemed smart and clean and, well, intuitive.

But PlayStation Music is more than just a better audio streaming solution for fans of the PS4.

PlayStation Music represents the idea that nothing is permanent on a Sony system. It’s almost like a message from Sony HQ that reads, “Anything that doesn’t work right or doesn’t live up to Sony’s promise of ‘Greatness Awaits’ can and will be replaced with something that does.”

A single step

PlayStation Music is a good first step in correcting a few lingering issues with the platform, Sony. But there’s still work to be done.

There’s a portable system that’s floundering almost everywhere except Japan. There are still features on the PS4 controller that don’t do anything new or creative. I don’t mean to pick on a company that’s released not one, but two uniquely innovative products in two months (aside from PlayStation Music, Sony also launched PlayStation Vue in three US cities), but if the winds of change are blowing it’s time to air out all its dirty laundry.

There’s a lot more Sony needs to do with the PS4 to give its users the best console on the market (a few more console-exclusive games wouldn’t hurt) but, ultimately, PlayStation Music was a good place to start.




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Updated: Best Browsers 2015: the top five candidates for your PC

Updated: Best Browsers 2015: the top five candidates for your PC

Introduction, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome

There was once a time when the world of web browsing was ruled by Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Those days are fast becoming ancient history thanks to the veritable smorgasboard of browsers out there catering to everyone’s habits

On the whole browsers are completely free and offer a similar experience in that they find web pages and deliver them as quickly as possible. In addition to the regular suspects of Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer and Opera there are plenty of new browsers ready to bring new perspective including Torch, Tor, Web Freer and various others.

To find you the best browsing experience we’ve gone through the list with a fine tooth comb and picked out what we think are the five best free browsers for Windows PC users in the world right now.

Mozilla Firefox

Constant updates, add-ons and high performance across all platforms, especially Windows PCs, makes Mozilla Firefox one of the most popular web browsers on the planet. Its intuitive interface lends itself to beginners whereas the high level of customisation makes sure that advanced users are kept on their toes.

Mozilla Firefox

Tabbed browsing is at its heart and the add-ons is where Firefox really comes into its own by offering all kinds of ways to tinker with the browsing experience. Security is kept at an exceedingly high level thanks to the slew of updates that are always being worked on and a speed test last year showed that it is only second to Internet Explorer for speed.

Windows versions going all the way back to 95 can still use versions of Firefox yet the latest stable version (35.0.1 at the time of writing) are only available for XP Service Pack 2, Server 2003 SP1 or later versions. As for the future, stable builds are on the way all the time and for HTML5 it is just bested by Google Chrome and Opera, thus making its features exceedingly hard for any other browser to beat.

Google Chrome

Battling it out at the top of the browsing ranks is Google Chrome and for users plugged into the Google ecosystem it’s quite simply a joy to behold.

Google Chrome

It offers a cross-platform browsing experience that is second-to-none in terms of syncing information but to the run-of-the-mill Windows PC user it won’t matter that this option is available. Like Firefox, Chrome comes with a wide array of apps and add-ons from the Chrome Store that add a considerable amount to the browsing experience and one area that it does even better than Firefox is the HTML5 loading speed that is at a higher level than any other Windows browser.

Chrome only runs on Windows XP SP2 or later and with support for XP disappearing in April 2015 it will be one of those browsers of of reach of those running older versions of the world’s most popular OS.

In all honesty it’s very hard to choose between Firefox and Chrome as they’re both similar in what they offer to the end user so pick whichever you like the look of.

Internet Explorer, Opera, Torch

Internet Explorer

Blink and you might miss Microsoft’s age-old browser as it’ll soon be superseded by Spartan in Windows 10 but for now Internet Explorer is the place to go for those wanting Microsoft’s own browsing experience.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s web browser has changed with the times and embraced a tabbed browsing look that is similar to all the other browsers around and the newest version, in looks especially, takes it cues from the live tiles that are a major feature of Windows. There are less add-ons available for IE when compared to those on offer for Firefox and Chrome with most for IE limited to widgets that make it easier to reach certain sites or services. It’s also far behind Firefox, Chrome and Opera where HTML5 loading speed is concerned.

Where it does have a significant leg up is the sheer number of versions that exist and thus gives a chance for all users of Windows to still have access to what is one of the top browsers around.

Opera

One of the newest browsers on the top table is Opera with a speedy experience and various little extras that make it a credible rival to the big three Windows PC browsers. Yet again you’ll notice the tabbed browsing experience that feel rather squared compared with Firefox and Chrome, and closer to IE in terms of looks. Although the similarities to IE end there.

Opera Browser

Its extra features make it stand out and none more so than the Turbo mode. Opera’s shot of NOS speeds up page loading times by compressing pages by up to 80 per cent and it is a god send for anyone with a sluggish connection. Although we’re not sure whether Opera’s claim that it will make a dial-up connection resemble a broadband line, it certainly does make it a lot quicker to get on to certain pages.

Speed dial is another added extra that enables you to add your favourite sites as large icons to the start screen, however, most other browsers now have a similar version of this available and the same can be said for the add-ons that are also elsewhere.

Torch

Sick of having to download apps or an add-on everything you do anything online? Torch is a Chrome-based browser that comes with a range of nifty tools already built-in to prevent you having to continually find add-ons.

Torch Browser

Torch looks exactly the same as Chrome interface-wise, although that’s where the comparison ends as there’s so much more you can do from the get-go including the ability to download torrents and grab media straight from pages. There’s also dedicated tabs for music, which clicks in to YouTube to deliver a polished Spotify-esque experience, and games are laid out as app tiles and can be played from right inside the browser.

In addition there are custom home and search page backdrops that come with the time in the top left corner and options for all manner of different wallpapers that can be accessed by selecting the menu in the top right corner.

It displays the same lightning quick HTML5 speeds as Google Chrome and Torch is an excellent alternative for anyone looking to a browser that breaks away from the norm.




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