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Microsoft Office, Windows Details Leak

Sep 22, 2014 - 3:56 PM - by Reverend
Details about unreleased Microsoft products leak online almost daily, but most of the recent rumors have revolved around the next version of Windows. That trend continued this week, but for the first time in months, details about the next version of Office have emerged, too.

When Microsoft launched Office 365 Home Premium in January 2013, it promised subscribers would get immediate access to all the latest Office releases. Since then, the Office team has been active, filling out its presence on iOS and Android, and launching intriguing enterprise apps such as Delve. But since launching Home Premium, Microsoft has left its familiar Office products for Windows PCs relatively unchanged.

Crediting sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, the website The Verge, which has a good record for pre-release Microsoft information, published alleged screenshots of the next version of Office for PCs. The images reportedly came from a private technical preview Microsoft is running to test the new software. Microsoft has said it has nothing to share regarding the screenshots.

According to the report, the new Office, reportedly codenamed "Office 16," will maintain the "ribbon" interface but integrate several iterative enhancements. These additions will reportedly include the "Tell Me" tool already present in Office Online. Tell Me allows users to quickly ask how to complete a certain task without digging aimlessly through Office's numerous menus. If a user types, "How do I insert a photo?" or even "insert photo," for instance, Tell Me presents the instructions.

  0 Replies | 288 Views

Apple Sells 'Record' 10M iPhones Over the Weekend

Sep 22, 2014 - 3:54 PM - by Reverend
Apple on Monday announced it sold more than 10 million iPhone 6 and 6 Plus models since the coveted handsets made their debut this Friday a new three-day record for the company. This shouldn't really be a huge surprise to anyone, given the longer-than-usual lines at Apple Stores on Friday.

"Sales for iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus exceeded our expectations for the launch weekend, and we couldn't be happier," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. "We would like to thank all of our customers for making this our best launch ever, shattering all previous sell-through records by a large margin. While our team managed the manufacturing ramp better than ever before, we could have sold many more iPhones with greater supply and we are working hard to fill orders as quickly as possible."

In New York City on Friday, hundreds of eager Apple fans lined up outside of the company's flagship Fifth Avenue store to be among the first in the world to get their hands on the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The line literally wrapped around an entire city block and then some.

Cook made the rounds in Palo Alto, snapping selfies with new iPhones 6 owners.

As of Monday morning, the Apple Store website lists the iPhone 6 with a ship date of 7 to 10 business days. If you want a 6 Plus, you're going to have to wait a little longer three to four weeks, meaning if you order today you won't get it until mid- to late-October.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 285 Views

NASA says Maven spacecraft enters orbit around Mars

Sep 22, 2014 - 3:51 PM - by Reverend
NASA's Maven spacecraft has entered orbit around Mars, completing a journey that lasted nearly a year and covered 442 million miles.

NASA said late Sunday that the robotic explorer had fired its brakes and slipped into orbit, successfully completing the first part of its $671 million mission.

"This is such an incredible night," John Grunsfeld, NASA's chief for science missions, told The Associated Press.

Flight controllers will spend the next six weeks adjusting Maven's altitude and checking its science instruments. Then Maven will start probing the planet's upper atmosphere. The spacecraft will conduct its observations from orbit; it's not meant to land.

Scientists believe the Martian atmosphere holds clues as to how Earth's neighbor went from being warm and wet billions of years ago to cold and dry. That early moist world may have harbored microbial life, a tantalizing question yet to be answered.

The spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral this past November, making it the 10th U.S. mission sent to orbit the red planet. Three earlier ones failed, and until the official word came of success late Sunday night, the entire team was on edge.

"I don't have any fingernails any more, but we've made it," said Colleen Hartman, deputy director for science at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "It's incredible."

Fox News
  0 Replies | 285 Views

Google stops forcing Google+ accounts on new Gmail users

Sep 22, 2014 - 12:40 PM - by Reverend
Google has stopped pushing Google+ on new Gmail users by adding an option to opt out during the sign-up process, raising more speculation about the social network's future.

Google now offers a "no thanks" option to Google+ during the Gmail account set-up process. This is a departure from the two-and-a-half years of mandatory Google+ account creation that has lumbered Gmail users with a social media profile that they might not have wanted since January 2012.

Google has kept quiet about the move, allowing users to stumble across the change rather than announcing it publicly.

But people wishing to use other Google services with a social layer will need to create a Google+ account.

In a widely reported statement Google said: "We updated the sign-up experience in early September. Users can now create a public profile during sign-up, or later, if and when they share public content for the first time (like a restaurant review, YouTube video or Google+ post)."

Unfortunately for Google, its attempt to take on the likes of Facebook with Google+ fell flat, as the social network failed to gain the attention of internet users. Google+ was not the firm's first attempt at a social media product, and Google abandoned its Orkut social service back in July.

  0 Replies | 318 Views

Home Depot: 56 million cards exposed in breach

Sep 18, 2014 - 11:57 PM - by Reverend
Home Depot confirmed Thursday that hackers exposed 56 million credit and debit cards during its months-long security breach.

The company also said it had eliminated the malware behind the attack from its payment systems.

Card readers that encountered the malware, which Home Depot said was a custom strain its security team had never seen before, were removed from service. The company is also beefing up its payment data encryption capabilities and other security measures.

Cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs first discovered affected card numbers for sale on Sept. 2, the same day Home Depot says it began its investigation. The company later confirmed that hackers broke into its payment system possibly as far back as April.

"We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and anxiety this has caused, and want to reassure them that they will not be liable for fraudulent charges," said CEO Frank Blake in a statement.

The company is offering identity protection services to any customer that has used a card in its stores since April.

The Home Depot hack is far from the biggest in history -- a distinction that belongs to Adobe -- but it did outrank the 40 million cards exposed in Target's holiday season breach last year.

  0 Replies | 1,189 Views

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Arrives Oct. 17, Pre-Orders Start Friday

Sep 18, 2014 - 11:55 PM - by Reverend
The iPhone 6 Plus may be taking all the attention on the phablet front, but if you're more of an Android fan, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 will be available in the U.S. on Oct. 17 with pre-orders starting Friday, the same day Apple's new iPhones hit store shelves.

Unveiled earlier this month at the IFA trade show in Berlin, the Note 4 features a 5.7-inch 2,560-by-1,440 Quad HD Super AMOLED display, advanced technology for the front and rear cameras, battery improvements, and S Pen enhancements.

"Samsung created the large screen smartphone category with the Galaxy Note and are on our fourth generation, a category others are just entering," Samsung Telecommunications America President and CEO Gregory Lee said in a statement, obviously alluding to Apple. "The Galaxy Note 4 delivers a refined Note experience, and the latest technology that consumers want in their smartphone."

Other features include a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with Optical Image Stabilizer technology; a 3.7-megapixel front-facing shooter; Adaptive Fast Charging, which can give the phone 50 percent battery life in 30 minutes, and Ultra Power Saving Mode offering up to 24 hours of standby time on just 10 percent battery.

The Note 4 also has a metal frame, which should make it more durable than its plastic-bodied predecessor. It comes in black and white and will be available from the four major U.S. carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verzion plus U.S. Cellular. You'll also be able to find it at major retailers like Best Buy, Amazon, Costco, RadioShack, Sam's Club, Target, and Walmart.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 1,191 Views

Amazon releases family-friendly, low-budget tablets

Sep 18, 2014 - 10:07 AM - by Reverend
Amazon announced its new tablet lineup Wednesday, catering to a wide range of users from the budget-conscious to tech-savvy children.

The line includes a refresh of its Kindle Fire HDX 8.9 and Fire HD 7, as well as a colorful $99 Kindle Fire HD 6, a high-end e-reader called the Kindle Voyage. The Fire HD 7 and 6 models are also available in Kids Editions, which include a chunky case, a 2-year warranty, and a free year of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, a subscription service focusing on kid-friendly content such as apps, games, and videos.

Amazon is adding more variety to its line, creating a situation akin to Samsung's shotgun approach: make a bunch of tablets to fit every level of consumer and hope something sticks. Additionally, Amazon's banking on what's worked best for it, catering to parents who want a cheap tablet for their kids.

"Fire HD Kids Edition is a real tablet, not a toy," Peter Larsen, an Amazon vice president of devices, said in a press release. "Kids break things, so we added a 2-year, no-questions-asked, worry-free guarantee."

The e-commerce site has consistently catered to parents since it launched it tablet line. Offering a cheap but good-quality alternative to the iPad, Amazon's Fire tablets appealed to parents. The company also encouraged kids through Kindle FreeTime, a mode that allows for parental control settings on content and in-app purchases.

The colorful Kids Editions tablets take things a step further, as Amazon is specifically marketing the device for families. This certainly isn't a new idea. As mobile devices became more popular, so did kid-friendly devices, like the LeapFrog learning tablets, which cater to very young children, or Samsung's Kids edition for its Galaxy Tab 3.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 1,337 Views

Apple's iOS 8 HealthKit launch derailed by bug

Sep 18, 2014 - 10:05 AM - by Reverend
The new health- and fitness-tracking platform has been stalled by a software bug. HealthKit was supposed to be a key component of the iOS 8 mobile software update Apple released Wednesday.

Third-party apps built to work with the platform have been pulled temporarily from Apple's App Store as a result.

"We're working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month," an Apple (AAPL, Tech30) spokeswoman said.

HealthKit works with Apple's new Health app along with third-party apps like WebMD and MyFitnessPal. It lets users monitor things like heart rate, sleep, weight and blood pressure, and you can also choose to share the information with your doctor.

  0 Replies | 1,314 Views

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