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Apple launches iOS 11.3 with raft of privacy features   

Apple is launching a major privacy push, with software updates across all its devices to introduce new data privacy information immediately, with an updated website offering new privacy management tools to follow in May.

Thursday's updates (macOS 10.13.4, iOS11.3 and tvOS 11.3) are prompted by the enormous new European data protection regulation GDPR, and have been in the works since at least January. But they come at a good time for the company, whose head Tim Cook has been merrily capitalising on the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal, publicly rebuking Mark Zuckerberg over the social network's business model.

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Published on March 29, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
Linux on Windows 10: Microsoft releases new tool to get more distros on Windows   

Microsoft has released a tool to help Linux distribution maintainers bring their distros to the Windows Store to run on Windows 10's Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Microsoft describes the tool as a "reference implementation for a Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) distribution installer application", which is aimed at both distribution maintainers and developers who want to create custom Linux distributions for running on WSL.

"We know that many Linux distros rely entirely on open-source software, so we would like to bring WSL closer to the OSS community," said Tara Raj of Microsoft's WSL team.

"We hope open-sourcing this project will help increase community engagement and bring more of your favorite distros to the Microsoft Store."

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Published on March 27, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon will open apps a lot faster   

The Linux Mint development team plans to launch the next version of the popular Linux distribution Linux Mint in the coming months.

Linux Mint 19 will be offered in multiple flavors including MATE, Xfce and Cinnamon. If you have used Linux Mint Cinnamon in the past or plan to take it for a test drive in the future, you may benefit from application loading improvements in the upcoming version of Linux Mint.

A new blog post on the official Linux Mint blog offers some insight. It all began with a perceived feeling; team members noticed that app loading "felt" faster on MATE or Xfce versions of Linux Mint and slower on Cinnamon versions.

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Published on March 23, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Beta 1 Released   

Many of the popular flavours of the famous Ubuntu Linux system such as Kubuntu, Ubuntu Kylin, Ubuntu Budgie, Ubuntu MATE and Xubuntu, have released beta downloads for the upcoming Long-Term Support release of Ubuntu 18.04.

Typically, the Ubuntu team releases an LTS edition of the OS, every two years, which will carry major security updates and patches, as well as full support, for five years.

Most users typically prefer to stay on the LTS releases, and upgrade when necessary; but some prefer to opt for newer packages and will instead upgrade to the shorter 9 month support standard releases.

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Published on March 23, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
How to delete your Facebook account permanently   

Facebook has become part of the daily lives of more than two billion people across the globe, and is showing no signs of slowing down, despite having been around for more than a decade.

However, recent revelations that data firm Cambridge Analytica used data from millions of US-based Facebook accounts to influence the 2016 Presidential election have left many users concerned over how their information is being used.

Read on for how to deactivate or delete your account entirely, and limit the information Facebook holds on you.

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Published on March 20, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
Windows 10 could FORCE you to use Edge (even if Google Chrome is your default browser)   

Microsoft will test a new Windows 10 feature that would see users forced to use its Edge web browser under certain circumstances.

Users could soon see links clicked in the Mail app launch Microsoft Edge even when a rival web browser is set as the default browser on their PC.

It's a change that's likely to cause an uproar amongst users.

Those with logins, passwords and extensions saved in Google Chrome will be unable to access them when opening a link from an email in Microsoft's Mail client.

The move was revealed in the announcement of Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 17623.

Microsoft says it "will begin testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in Microsoft Edge".

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Published on March 19, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
European answer to Google that does not sell your data   

Europe has a fast-growing and conscientious alternative to the US giant Google Qwant, a multilingual search engine that does not sell on user data.

Set up in 2013 by eric Léandri, Jean-Manuel Rozan and Patrick Constant, Qwant is available in 16 languages, including French, English, German, Spanish and Italian.

It recently attracted €25million in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB), and plans to use the money to expand its workforce from its current 60 to 200 by 2017. Most new staff will be based in the company's research and development wing, Pôle R&D, in Nice.

With more than 6million hits a day, Qwant aims to be a pan-European alternative to Google, which dominates the market 93% of internet users worldwide search the web with its search engines.

"An alternative in Europe, five, eight, 10%... it's not bad," said Mr Léandri when asked about his ambitions for Qwant,

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Published on March 16, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
Microsoft drops Outlook Mobile to force people to their Outlook app   

Microsoft has announced that the long standing Outlook Mobile App is being dumped from 15 May 2018.  A thinly-disguised attempt to get more people using their insecure Outlook App.

Naming of Microsoft's email services is (deliberately) confusing so here's a quick primer

Outlook Mobile App (OMA) is a app/application to connect with Exchange Server mailboxes.  This is what Microsoft is dumping.

Outlook Web Access (OWA) or 'Outlook on the web' is a set of web pages designed to fit on small phone screens.  If Exchange Server users try to access Outlook Web App (email in a browser) and the system detects a small screen, it switches to a light version instead.    OWA is being retained.

Outlook app is the Apple/Android app which you can use instead of the in-built email/calendar/contacts apps.  Microsoft pushes the Outlook app very hard and you've almost certainly seen many links to install

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Published on March 14, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
Apple Has Designed A Coffee And Crumb-Proof Keyboard   

Apple has patented a keyboard that is potentially immune to spilled coffee and crumbs, two of the most dangerous substances to be allowed near a gadget. 

Spilled coffee is about as destructive to a keyboard as a 40ft drop.

This is a scientific fact that can be confirmed by anyone who has tried, desperately, to mop up their now ruined keyboard with tattered bits of napkin.

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Published on March 13, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
Comparison of Three Linux 'App Stores'   

long, long ago, when installing apps in Linux required downloading and compiling source packages. If you were really lucky, some developer might have packaged the source code into a form that was more easily installable. Without those developers, installing packages could become a dependency nightmare.

But then, package managers like rpm and dpkg began to rise in popularity, followed quickly by the likes of yum and apt. This was an absolute boon to anyone looking to make Linux their operating system of choice. Although dependencies could still be an issue, they weren't nearly as bad as they once were. In fact, many of these package managers made short shrift of picking up all the dependencies required

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Published on March 12, 2018 by Paul Illingworth
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