Tech News

Best Solar Chargers of 2018

Even the highest-capacity power banks eventually run out of charge, and then you’re stuck until you next reach mains power. Unless, you buy a solar charger. Harnessing their power from the sun’s rays, solar chargers are a useful backup to plugging into a power point. While we haven’t quite reached a level of solar to electric conversion efficiency that can let us wave goodbye to using power mains altogether, these nifty solar chargers should get you through those dreaded “critical battery…

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This Android malware wants to steal your Facebook login and bombard you with ads

GhostTeam malware was hidden within 53 apps in the Google Play store. Image: iStock Malware which aims to steal Facebook login credentials while also aggressively displaying pop-up adverts has been uncovered targeting Android users via the Google Play store – and may have been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of unwitting victims. Dubbed GhostTeam after strings in the code by the analysts at security company Trend Micro which uncovered it, the malware was first published in April 2017 and has…

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I let a machine critique my novel

After letting my novel mature/fester over the Christmas break, I started the new year by putting it on a dramatic weight-loss plan. Reading the first draft in the cold light of January, there are clearly rolls of flab to be burnt away and replaced with lean, muscular prose before it’s ready to be exposed to the public. The metaphors might need toning down too. It’s part fun, part painful. Does it really matter what that fancy hotel looks like? Nope…

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Hawaiki subsea cable reaches halfway point

TE SubCom’s Responder ship (Image: Corinne Reichert/ZDNet) The $350 million Hawaiki Transpacific Submarine Cable System has now reached the halfway point of its rollout across the Pacific Ocean, with the 15,000km subsea cable to connect Australia and New Zealand to Hawaii and the West Coast of the United States. More than half of the 15,000km submarine cable system has now been laid, with TE SubCom’s cable-laying vessel, the Responder, now berthed in Auckland ahead of connecting New Zealand to the…

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Apple promises next iOS update will address iPhone battery woes

After it was confirmed that Apple had been secretly slowing down the performance on its iPhones with aging batteries, its user base was not happy. The resulting series of class-action lawsuits has provoked CEO Tim Cook to address the concern in a recent interview with ABC News. Cook’s promise is that the next iOS 11 update – expected to arrive next month – will give users the ability to disable this throttling feature at will, thus keeping their iPhones performing…

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Best Smart Lights for Apple Home

When it first launched, Apple’s HomeKit was a famously closed-off ecosystem, thanks in part to a rigid certification process that required companies (at least partly for security reasons) to include an Apple-designed authentication chip in every piece of hardware that worked on the platform. Luckily Apple has since softened its requirements, without in principle weakening security, with the introduction of software-based authentication. This has opened the door to a whole host of new HomeKit-enabled products – even allowing manufacturers to retroactively add…

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Google’s Project Fi gains “unlimited” data plan with Bill Protection

Google’s Project Fi service is designed for those who would rather not pay a flat monthly fee for wireless service. Instead, users are only charged for the data they use. Starting at $20 per month for unlimited talk and text, plus $10 per gig those who rarely use data can save a lot of money. Where Project Fi lost some of its appeal was with users who use a lot of data. At $10 for every gigabyte of use, a…

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The best rugged tablets 2018: the best drop-proof tablets you can buy

If you work outside, or in a busy environment where accidents can occur, then having the best rugged tablet for your needs is essential. Rugged tablets are often more expensive than their non-rugged brethren, but the money you save on not having to repair or replace damaged devices will more than make up for the initial outlay. The best rugged tablet feature reinforced screens to stop them cracking, and durable bodies that won’t break if you drop them. However, they…

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Where to Buy a Mac 2018: Best Place to Buy an iMac, MacBook, Mac mini

So you’re thinking of buying a Mac? Excellent, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we point you in the right direction for your new Mac, whether that’s Apple’s own store, a third-party seller, or even refurbished or second-hand. If you’ve yet to decide on which Mac to buy, you can visit our complete Mac buying guide. But if you’re already set on the Mac you’re after, read on for quick links direct to where you can buy your new computer.…

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Google Assistant Smart Display News and Rumours

Google might have the better smart speaker, but Amazon’s Echo family leads the market. While Google has recently announced its Google Home Mini and Google Home Max (the latter available only in the US for now), Amazon still has more devices – including the Echo Show and the smaller Echo Spot, smart speakers with a touchscreen display, something Google doesn’t offer. Yet. At CES 2018 Google announced that the Google Assistant is coming to a range of new devices it’s dubbed ‘smart displays’,…

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