IT news

Should you buy or build your own software?

Beta News - 7 hours 30 min ago
The build versus buy conundrum is without doubt a big decision for any company looking to adopt a new piece of software; each route has its own merits and both will be a costly exercise so it’s very important to make the right decision. Although packaged software has now been used for decades there are still many systems developed in-house, perhaps increasingly so now that development skills are on the increase and coding is getting easier and even being taught to children in schools. In fact, IT analyst IDC recently predicted that most of 2017’s IT spending will go on… [Continue Reading]
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Acer shocks PC gaming world with incredibly thin and light Predator Triton 700 laptop

Beta News - 8 hours 44 min ago
Earlier today, Acer unveiled its new line of Windows computers. While they all look great, there was one model that damn-near knocked me off my chair. The Predator Triton 700, as it is called, is yet another gaming laptop that a manufacturer is calling thin and light. Yeah, we have heard that before -- "thin" for a gaming notebook is often still rather chunky. There it was, though -- an honest to goodness svelte portable PC. It is a mere 18.9 mm thick and 5.7 pounds. The thin aluminum body is just part of the story, however, as it also… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

Lexus SUV Being Used for Apple's Self-Driving Software Test Spotted on the Road

MacRumor News - 9 hours 4 min ago
Apple recently obtained a permit allowing the company to test its self-driving software on public roads in several Lexus SUVs, and now Bloomberg has shared details on the equipment Apple is using after one of the vehicles was spotted leaving an Apple facility.

Earlier this week, a white Lexus RX450h SUV was seen leaving an Apple building and was captured in a series of photos by an unnamed source who shared the images with Bloomberg. The vehicle is equipped with multiple sensors, cameras, and radar.

The sensors included Velodyne Lidar Inc.'s top-of-the-range 64-channel lidar, at least two radar and a series of cameras. The sensors appear to be products bought off the shelf from suppliers, rather than custom-made, according to an industry expert who saw the photos.The vehicle is distinct from the vehicles used for Apple's mapping project, which uses a series of Dodge Caravans to capture data across the United States for the purpose of improving the Apple Maps app.

Apple was first granted a DMV permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads on Friday, April 14. At the time, a DMV spokesperson said the company had registered three 2015 Lexus RX450h SUVs to be driven by six Apple employees with expertise in autonomous vehicles.


Apple's permit application and the appearance of the SUV confirm its work on a car-related project. Rumors originally suggested Apple was developing its own autonomous electric vehicle, but Apple is said to have since transitioned to building an autonomous driving system rather than a complete car.

In California, where Apple is testing its vehicles, companies that participate in the DMV's Autonomous Vehicle Testing Program must file Disengagement Reports that outline how many miles were covered with self-driving vehicles and whether any accidents occurred, so Apple won't be able to keep much of the testing on public roads a secret.

Apple's car team, led by Bob Mansfield, reportedly has until the end of the year to prove the feasibility of an Apple-designed autonomous driving system.

Related Roundup: Apple Car
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Categories: Apple Mac, Computer, IT news

Put the BI in Big Data by going data native

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:52
Customer drop-off, supply chain problems, lack of competitor awareness -- there are a plethora of critical business problems out there, but the answer is a panacea -- actionable big data. For any company struggling to understand what direction to take its business decisions, there is often a disconnect between its business intelligence (BI) and its big data. Companies are amassing more data than ever, with Gartner predicting it will continue to grow by 800 percent over the next five years -- yet 80 percent will be unstructured. Herein lies the breakdown -- companies need robust storage, processing, and analysis to… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

New Apple Watch NikeLab Now Available for Purchase

MacRumor News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:31
Nike's latest Apple Watch, the Apple Watch NikeLab, is now available for purchase from the Nike website, Nike Lab stores, and the Apple Watch pop-up shop at the Isetan department store in Tokyo.

First announced last week, the Apple Watch NikeLab pairs a Space Gray Apple Watch Series 2 aluminum case with a black and cream perforated Nike band.


According to Nike, the Apple Watch NikeLab is limited edition and designed to be the "ultimate style companion" for runners. Like the existing Apple Watch Nike+, the Apple Watch NikeLab features a Nike watch face and integration with the Nike+ Run Club app.

Apple Watch NikeLab has the same pricing as an aluminum Apple Watch Sport at $369 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm model. The new watch is available exclusively from Nike and the Isetan department store, marking the first Apple Watch that is not available in Apple retail stores and from the Apple website.

Apple and Nike first teamed up in September of 2016 for the Nike+ Apple Watch that launched alongside Apple's own set of Series 2 Apple Watch devices. Apple offers two Apple Watch Nike+ models in Silver and Space Gray aluminum along with standalone Apple Watch Nike+ bands.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Categories: Apple Mac, Computer, IT news

Apple Increases App Store Pricing in Mexico, Denmark, and Countries That Use the Euro

MacRumor News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 20:15
Apple today sent out an email to developers announcing App Store pricing increases in Denmark, Mexico, and all territories that use the Euro currency. The new pricing changes will go into effect before the end of next week, with Apple citing changes in foreign exchange rates as the reason behind the price hike.Due to foreign exchange rate changes, prices for apps and in-app purchases (excluding auto-renewable subscriptions) will increase in Denmark, Mexico, and all territories that use the Euro currency in the next 7 days. Auto-renewable subscription prices will not be affected. You can change the price of your subscription at any time in iTunes Connect with the option to preserve prices for existing subscribers.French site iPhoneAddict has shared a chart listing the new pricing tiers in Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, and Slovakia. In those countries, app pricing will now start at 1.09 euros, up from 0.99 euros. Similar pricing increases will be seen in the other affected countries.


Along with the App Store price change, Apple has announced that a value added tax (VAT) rate of five percent will go into effect for customers in Taiwan starting on May 1, 2017. Apps and in-app purchases will be affected.On May 1, 2017, a value added tax (VAT) rate of 5% will go into effect for customers in Taiwan buying apps and in-app purchases. We will administer the collection of taxes from customers and the remittance of taxes to the appropriate tax authority in Taiwan. Your proceeds will be reduced accordingly, and will be calculated based on the tax exclusive price.Apple's App Store price hike in Denmark, Mexico, and countries that use the Euro comes just a few days after Apple announced a significant decrease in its affiliate program commission rate. Sites linking to the App Store used to receive a 7 percent cut when someone purchased an app, but that number will drop to 2.5 percent next week, impacting many websites that rely on App Store commissions.

Tag: App Store
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Categories: Apple Mac, Computer, IT news

Get 'Computer Security Handbook (6th Edition)' ebook ($130 value) FREE for a limited time

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 19:59
Computer security touches every part of our daily lives, from our computers and connected devices, to the wireless signals around us, and breaches often have real and immediate financial, privacy, and safety consequences. Written for professionals and college students (but accessible to all), the Computer Security Handbook from Wiley provides comprehensive best guidance about how to minimize hacking, fraud, human error, the effects of natural disasters, and more. It usually retails for $130, but BetaNews readers can get it entirely for free. The ebook, contains advice from top professionals working in the real world about how to minimize the possibility… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

How to optimize your app for the App Store and Google Play

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 19:55
The app-economy competition is fierce. Facebook owns four out of the five most downloaded apps worldwide, but startups are still leaping into the fight to claim new and old markets. For these startups, Facebook is often the least of their worries as, according to research from Gartner, we only actually use between six and ten apps on average and end up neglecting or deleting the rest. It’s tough for app developers to break through the noise, let alone get into that top ten. So what does this mean for startups trying to break into the space? You have to put… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

New report shows the number of requests for user data Facebook receives from global governments

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 19:14
Today Facebook publishes its Global Government Requests Report, revealing just how many data requests the social network has received from governments around the world. This time around, the report covers the second half of 2016, and it shows a mixed-bag of figures. While the number of items that had to be restricted due to contravention of local laws dropped, the number of government data requests increased by 9 percent compared to the previous six months. Facebook is well-aware that it faces scrutiny and criticism for its willingness to comply with data requests, and the company tries to allay fears by… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

Apple Seeds Fifth Beta of iOS 10.3.2 to Developers

MacRumor News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 19:00
Apple today seeded the fifth beta of an upcoming iOS 10.3.2 update to developers, just a few days after seeding the fourth iOS 10.3.2 beta and a little over a month after introducing iOS 10.3, which included features like a new Find My AirPods feature and Apple File System. Apple also released a minor iOS 10.3.1 update in early April, which focused on security improvements.

Registered developers can download the fifth iOS 10.3.2 beta from the Apple Developer Center or over-the-air with the proper configuration profile installed.


Apple doesn't provide detailed release notes for its beta updates, so we don't yet know what features, improvements, or bug fixes might be coming in iOS 10.3.2, aside from some fixes for SiriKit car commands that were outlined in the release notes for the first beta.

As a minor 10.x.x update, we can expect iOS 10.3.2 to offer bug fixes and performance improvements rather than outward-facing features. No notable changes were found in the first four betas, but if anything new is found in the fifth iOS 10.3.2 beta, we'll update this post.

Update: iOS 10.3.2 beta 5 has also been released for public beta testers.

Related Roundup: iOS 10
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Categories: Apple Mac, Computer, IT news

Razer unveils Lancehead gaming mice

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 18:49
PC gamers have many decisions to make when buying peripherals. Price and brands aside, there are various technologies and style choices. For instance, if you buy a mechanical keyboard, what types of switches should you get? The toughest decision is probably when selecting a mouse -- do you want wired or wireless? While a cordless variant may look nicer, a wired mouse doesn't need a battery and can have less lag. Today, Razer announces a new product that might make choosing a mouse even tougher. The Lancehead wireless gaming mouse is chock full of cool features, including a super-high 16,000 DPI… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

WeWork launches store for services and software

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 18:00
WeWork wants to make sure you never leave it, and it's trying to keep you as a customer by releasing its own tools store. Called Services Store, the new offering gives users simple access to a wide variety of tools and apps, and sometimes even exclusives. Once logged in, users can search, purchase and download a wide variety of enterprise apps. They can also leave reviews for different products, to help others find the perfect app for their business. The platform was built by WeWork, in cooperation with quite a few partners: Salesforce, Lyft, Upwork, Zendesk, Xero, Slack, Amazon Web Services,… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

Thinkware X550 dash cam review

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 17:56
It's always a good idea to use a dash cam when you get behind the wheel. In case you have a close call or get into an accident, you'll have a video that you can show to the authorities or your insurance company. But there's also an entertaining side to it as well, which is just as important to some folks, as you can also record a spirited drive on a fun road or some interesting things that you stumble upon on your daily commute. Pretty much all dash cams let you do those things, but some do it better than… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

Huawei Continues to Catch Apple, But Still Fighting to Gain Popularity in United States

MacRumor News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 17:35
Huawei, the world's third-largest smartphone maker, continued to gain on Apple in the first three months of the year, with an impressive 21.7 percent growth, according to market research firm IDC.


Huawei shipped an estimated 34.2 million smartphones worldwide in the first quarter, capturing 9.8 percent market share, based on data from IDC's Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker. That's up from an estimated 28.1 million smartphones it shipped in the year-ago quarter.

By comparison, Apple shipped an estimated 51.6 million iPhones in the quarter for 14.9 percent market share. Apple essentially saw no smartphone growth in the quarter as the market remains highly saturated, and due to seasonality factors as consumers anticipate a widely rumored trio of new iPhone models.


Huawei has previously outlined its ambitions to dethrone Samsung as the world's largest smartphone maker within the next four years, a tall task that would require leapfrogging Apple in the process.

"We want to grow into top two market share, and, in the future, top one by 2021," Huawei's consumer head Richard Yu said in February.

Huawei's biggest problem is that it still lacks considerable brand awareness in the western world. In the United States, it does not even crack the list of the top ten most popular smartphone brands, largely because it lacks agreements with the country's biggest carriers Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint.

American customers have to resort to retailers such as Best Buy or Walmart, or Huawei's direct sales website, to purchase one of their unlocked devices, reducing the brand's visibility in the country.

Huawei has yet to reveal any larger plans for the United States, but in Canada, the company will begin selling its flagship P10 and P10 Plus smartphones through nationwide carriers Rogers and Bell starting in early June. Huawei has also been pushing its brand in Canada during the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

If Huawei can find success in Canada, then perhaps it will consider tackling the much larger U.S. market next.

Tags: IDC, Huawei
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Categories: Apple Mac, Computer, IT news

Apple Again in Talks for Peer-to-Peer Mobile Payments, May Launch Its Own Visa Debit Cards

MacRumor News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 16:50
Apple is once again rumored to launch its own Venmo-like service, allowing iPhone users to pay friends and family members also on Apple's ecosystem. Sources speaking with Recode mentioned that Apple intends to announce the service -- which could have a name like "Apple Cash" -- later this year, potentially at its fall iPhone event.

Sources conflict on whether or not an announcement and release date have yet to be set, however, with another person familiar with Apple's plans suggesting that the company's Venmo-like service is still very early in development. Today's news of a potential ramp up of an in-house, peer-to-peer payments service from Apple comes over a year after the company was first rumored to be discussing such a service with a collection of U.S. banks.

Apple’s on-again, off-again flirtation with building its own money-transfer service appears to be back on.

The company has recently held discussions with payments industry partners about introducing its own Venmo competitor, according to multiple sources familiar with the talks. The service would allow iPhone owners to send money digitally to other iPhone owners, these people said. The unnamed Apple payments service would include a major partnership with Visa, according to the sources, allowing users to obtain digital pre-paid cards that would run on Visa's debit network but be tied directly into Apple's peer-to-peer service, and could also be added into Apple Pay. In this way, users could get paid through so-called "Apple Cash" from a friend, and use the Visa card and Apple Pay to spend the money at a retail location or online, "without having to wait for it to clear to their bank account."

The peer-to-peer platform is being looked at as a way to boost Apple Pay adoption and usage, which Apple itself has admitted to be slow over its first two years, but which the company believes to be on the path to replace cash and cards. Apple is expected to not charge users of the new payments service, so the company's only profits from the platform would come from those who opt-in to use the Apple/Visa debit card, which some banks are concerned about.
The potential of Apple getting its own debit card, however, is not sitting well with some bank executives, sources told Recode. Some plan to raise their concerns with Visa next week during an annual summit that the credit card company is hosting for its bank partners.

“Banks spent heavily in insuring their cards were top of wallet when they all built and rolled out Apple Pay,” said Cherian Abraham, a digital payments executive at Experian. “So it’s justifiable to be concerned that Apple will have its own card and could potentially be top of wallet. If you are top of wallet, you are top of mind.” There remain many questions in regards to Apple and Visa's potential partnership, including whether or not concerns from banks would scare Visa away, or if Apple would launch an enticing enough rewards program to convince people to ditch their current credit or debit card for the new one. To gain the most traction, sources believe that Apple could be targeting teens and young adults with the new service, because the pre-paid card would make it easy to spend the money sent to them from friends and parents through "Apple Cash."

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: recode.net
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Categories: Apple Mac, Computer, IT news

34 percent of US government agencies have had data breaches in the last year

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 16:07
According to a new report from systems security specialist Thales e-Security and 451 Research, US federal agencies are facing threats caused by legacy systems, spending and staffing issues. 65 percent have experienced a data breach at some stage in the past with 34 percent having one in the last year. Almost all agencies (96 percent) consider themselves 'vulnerable', with half (48 percent) stating they are 'very' or 'extremely' vulnerable. This number is higher than any other US sector polled for the 2017 Data Threat Report. Pressures to adopt advanced technologies (cloud, Big Data, IoT, and containers) are only making the… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

Mixtile Hub Smart Home Bridge Won't Support HomeKit After All

MacRumor News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:56
At CES 2017 earlier this year, Chinese company Focalcrest debuted the Mixtile Hub, a supposedly MFi-certified smart home bridge that promised to bring HomeKit connectivity to various connected home products that would not otherwise be able to interface with Apple's smart home platform.


Specifically, Focalcrest said the Mixtile Hub would be able to interface with Z-Wave and ZigBee devices and sensors, as well as connect to various smart home devices through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

As it turns out, however, the Mixtile Hub won't support HomeKit after all. At some point between CES and now, Focalcrest removed any mention of HomeKit from its press release—see the original for comparison—and the company now plans to launch the Mixtile Hub with Amazon Alexa support only.

In a recent email to MacRumors forum member Macwick, shared with us, Focalcrest vaguely said it believes Apple "doesn't permit bridge products to compatible with different brand devices," which isn't entirely true.In the past few months, we kept to contact Apple for approval the HomeKit related designs. But this stage really takes a bit long and till now we still don't get a positive reply from Apple.

From our communication with Apple, we feel that they don't permit bridge products to compatible with different brand devices upon some uncertain reasons, as you know, our Mixtile Hub is a bridge product too.The Philips Hue bridge does support both HomeKit and ZigBee, but that's just for one product, whereas the Mixtile Hub would have essentially made any Z-Wave or ZigBee product compatible with HomeKit. It wouldn't be surprising if Apple refused to certify the Mixtile Hub due to security concerns.

While it's unsurprising that Apple isn't backing the Mixtile Hub, it's disappointing that Focalcrest so prominently advertised HomeKit support prior to receiving certification for the product. Focalcrest admitted that it's uncertain if its "redefined" Mixtile Hub will still be attractive to homeowners.

Tag: HomeKit
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Categories: Apple Mac, Computer, IT news

New approach protects IoT devices via a secure network

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:49
Up to now the security model for protecting IoT devices has been similar to that used for PCs, relying on patches which need to be installed by the user. Now though internet security and performance company Cloudflare is launching a new service called Orbit which streamlines patching and adds an additional layer of security thanks to the use of a secure global network. Using Orbit, IoT manufacturers can restrict their devices so they only connect to the internet through Cloudflare's network. Then, if there is a security vulnerability, the IoT manufacturer can perform a 'virtual patch,' across all of their… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

Most businesses will migrate to Windows 10 by the end of 2017

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:46
Businesses will move to Windows 10 faster than they have moved to previous operating systems, according to a new report by Gartner. Surveying businesses everywhere, Gartner believes 85 percent of businesses will have migrated to Windows 10 before the year ends. First of all, Gartner’s research director Ranjit Atwal says the time to evaluate and deploy Windows 10 has come down, from 23 months to 21 months. Large businesses that are yet to start the migration, are delaying because of legacy applications. "Large businesses are either already engaged in Windows 10 upgrades or have delayed upgrading until 2018," Atwal says. "This… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

Chuwi LapBook 12.3 costs $349, launches in May

Beta News - Thu, 04/27/2017 - 15:33
I walked away impressed after reviewing the Chuwi LapBook 14.1. There's something charming about a laptop that gets the basics right at an affordable price point. The new LapBook 12.3 is shaping up to be even more impressive, featuring more attractive hardware at a still-competitive price. The LapBook 12.3 is designed for consumers in the market for a more portable laptop, featuring a 12.3-inch display with a 3:2 aspect ratio and a resolution of 2,736 by 1,824. That's pretty impressive for a budget offering, considering that there are premium laptops that ship with lesser screens. The processor is an Intel Apollo Lake N3450, coupled… [Continue Reading]
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