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Three UK launches new mobile offering for SMBs

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 12:25

In effort to better serve the UK's growing number of entrepreneurs and small businesses, Three UK has announced the launch of its new mobile offering Three Means Business.

The telecom has partnered with WeWork, Wix, Moo and FreshBooks to bring the cheapest mobile contracts in the market to SMBs alongside discounts and free subscriptions to useful services.

Businesses of any size from freelancers to established small businesses can take advantage of Three Means Business which provides them with the cheapest business tariff in the market.

Three is also the first mobile operator to offer unlimited data bundles for businesses to  address the growing reliance on mobile in day-to-day business operations. In a recent survey of small business owners by the telecom, more than three quarters (78%) admitted that being online was all they needed to run their business.

Three Means Businesses

In addition to low costs and unlimited data, Three also brought a number of partners on board who will provide special offers for Three Means Business customers.

Wix will provide a free six month subscription to its 'unlimited' website and logo creator package, FreshBooks will give customers a free six month subscription to its accountancy package, WeWork will provide a free six month digital membership and two credits a month for workspace and finally Moo will give Three Means Business customers 25 percent off all products including business cards and other branded stationary.

Businesses that sign up for the new offering can also enjoy all the same perks Three's customers receive including free roaming in over 70 destinations, free upgrades with easyJet as well as unlimited use of apps including Netflix, Snapchat, Soundcloud and Apple Music with its Go Binge offer.

Three UK's CEO Dave Dyson explained why the network decided to launch a new offering for entrepreneurs and small businesses, saying:

“The existing mobile offering to businesses in the UK doesn’t address the new reality of work. There’s a growing number of budding entrepreneurs and start-ups whose needs have so far not been met by mobile networks. Businesses’ growing reliance on mobile phones as part of their daily running is particularly overlooked, reflected by limited data allowances and tariff options being offered at a mark-up in comparison to their consumer counterparts.

“We’re introducing Three Means Business to give small businesses an affordable mobile offering, but also to give them a leg up with a range of partner offers. We want to help entrepreneurs by covering the admin, so that they can focus on their passions and reasons why they decided to set up their business.”

Categories: Tech News

Amazon sale: Prime Day prices today on the 4K Fire TV stick, Cube and more

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:52

Spring is officially here and to celebrate Amazon has announced a limited-time sale on some of its most popular devices. You can find Prime Day prices on Amazon products that include tablets, streaming devices, home security cameras and more.

A standout deal is the best-selling 4K Fire TV stick that's on sale for $39.99. That's a $10 discount and the best price we've found for the streaming media player. The powerful Fire TV stick allows you to stream all your favorite movies and TV shows in 4K Ultra HD. The Fire TV stick also offers an Alexa voice remote so you can launch Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu and more with the command of your voice. You can also use the remote to stream music from your TV and control your other smart home devices.

We aren't sure how long Amazon will have its devices on sale, so you should make sure to take advantage of this spring sale while you can. 

Amazon also has the 2nd generation Fire TV stick, and the Fire TV Cube discounted today as well. The Fire TV stick is on sale for only $29.99, and while it lacks 4K streaming, it does offer an Alexa remote so you can stream your favorite content using your voice. The Fire TV Cube is a hands-free 4K streaming media player that features Amazon Alexa and a built-in speaker. The Fire TV Cube is on sale today for $79.99.

Amazon deals:

You can shop more Fire TV device deals with the best Amazon Fire TV deals, prices and sales that are happening now.

Interested in other smart home devices? We also have the best cheap smart home devices and gadget deals that are currently available.

Categories: Tech News

OnePlus 7 details may be officially revealed on April 17

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:46

We’ll be getting some official details about an upcoming OnePlus device – likely the OnePlus 7 – on Wednesday, April 15, according to a tweet straight from the company’s founder and CEO Pete Lau.

It’s entirely possible Lau wasn’t referring to the OnePlus 7 (which hasn’t even been officially named), as he only mentions “the new device” in his tweet. He could be referring to the company’s upcoming 5G phone, which may or may not be a 5G version of the OnePlus 7. 

But given that the company traditionally releases its newly-numbered phones in May or June – a leak this morning claimed that the OnePlus 7 will launch on May 14 – it’s likely Lau will share details about that phone in a full post.

 Plenty of devices 

Plenty of rumors and leaks have come out for the OnePlus 7, including a possible OnePlus 7 Pro arriving alongside a standard version of the phone. Presumably, it will follow convention and have a larger screen and/or higher specs and have a higher starting price than the standard version. 

There’s also the 5G phone, which rumors suggest may be a OnePlus 7 Pro 5G.

All of this has yet to be officially confirmed - all we’ve heard (from Lau himself, no less) is that the 5G device OnePlus is cooking up will cost $200 to $300 more than the 4G version. Sit tight for the first company-approved details to come later this week. 

Categories: Tech News

The best free PDF to JPG converter 2019

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:45

PDFs are designed for easy access on any device running any operating system, but sometimes JPGs are more convenient. You might want to make some small changes without investing in a costly premium PDF editor, for example, or embed it within the body of a web page or email. A free PDF to JPG converter will make that task effortless – you just need to choose the right one.

There are online tools for the job, but they can only convert one document at a time, and can often only handle a single page. They're slow too, and you have to entrust your documents to a third party.

The ideal PDF to JPG converter should tackle as many documents as you like at once, and process them as quickly as your PC's hardware will allow. We've put the best free conversion tools to the test so you know which one will get the job done as quickly and easily as possible.

1. DocuFreezer

If you need to convert files to image formats - or PDF - DocuFreezer has you covered. Here, we are concerned with its PDF to JPG conversion capabilities, but it can also convert other file types, and you can choose from other output formats including PNG, TIFF and XPS. One of the great things about DocuFreezer is that you can convert singles files, or you can work with a number of files at once - either by adding them one by one to a list, or by adding entire folders to the work queue. 

Conversion is pretty fast, and there are hardly any options to worry about. After selecting your output format and where you would like to save the file, you can choose between colour or black and white output, set the quality, and configure resolution. Just enough options to get done what you need quite efficiently.

2. Free PDF to JPG converter

Starting off with its name, Free PDF to JPG Converter keeps everything as simple as it needs to be; it just gets the job done with as little fuss as possible. There are virtual no options to think about in the program, and while that may seem like a bad thing, if you're just looking for quick, frill-free conversion, it's perfect.

You can convert individual files, multiple files from different locations, or files stored in a single folder. There is no support for files other than PDFs, and there are no output formats other than JPEG - the name really does tell you everything you need to know.

Conversion is pleasingly swift and the only real downside to the program is the ad panel that is on constant display, but you'll quickly learn to ignore it. Converted files are high quality, so you couldn't really ask for more. 

3. PDFMate Free PDF Converter

Like other tools we've included here, PDFMate Free PDF Converter can be used to convert a single file, or several at once. It's worth pointing out right from the start that conversion can be a little on the slow side, but it's not so marked as to be a real issue - it's just worth bearing in mind.

As an added bonus, the program can convert PDFs to a number of formats, including DOC, EPUB, HTML and TXT - it can also convert files into PDFs - but for the moment it is conversion to JPEG that we're interested in. 

As with other similar program, you can convert files individually, or en masse, and things are kept simple thanks to the limited number of settings you have to consider. Really, the only options are to choose between normal or high-quality images, and whether each page should be saved as a separate image. It's simple, but it gets the job done.

4. PDF to JPEG

One for fan of Microsoft Store apps, PDF to JPEG is available for Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. The app is free, but it is ad-supported, so this may sway your decision about whether to use it or not. Like so many Store apps, PDF to JPG has a single function and it approaches it with a minimum of fuss. There are literally no options to configure - unless you count selecting which folder you would like to save images to, that is! Simply load your PDF into the app (you can also select an entire folder full of PDFs if you want) and hit the 'Convert' button. It's as simple as that. The only thing to be aware of is that the 'Convert' button will not become available until you select a target folder - this is something that catches a few people out, as you'll see if you scan through Store reviews. 

5.  Boxoft PDF To JPG Converter 

Despite the name, Boxoft PDF To JPG Converter can also convert your PDFs into BMP, PNG and TIFF formats, but the options are the same for each. If you only want to convert a few pages of a PDF, this is an option that is available to you, and you can choose an automatic naming system to give your files a consistent look. The focus of the program is really on batch conversion of files, but there's nothing to stop you from using to convert single files - it's pleasing quick in either case. 

There are a couple of very nice extras available in this software. You can use Hot Directories mode to monitor a folder for new PDFs and have them automatically converted to JPEG as soon as they are detected. There's also a command line option if you would like to create batch files to automate tasks with other tools. 

Categories: Tech News

The best free PDF maker 2019

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:22

The easiest way to make a PDF is to design it in a program you’re familiar with (like a free word processor, desktop publishing application or photo editor), then export it in PDF format. However, that isn’t always possible. You might be using a program that doesn’t offer PDF as an option, you might want to create a PDF from a web page, or you might have several documents that you want to convert to PDFs at once.

That’s where dedicated PDF makers come in. These programs act like a printer driver, and enable you to make PDFs in any application that has a ‘Print’ option. That’s not all – a good PDF maker will also include handy features like the ability to split and merge PDFs, extract specific pages, and adjust security settings. Here’s our pick of the best. 

Bullzip is a superb PDF maker, and the basic version is free for personal use. Image credit: bullzip.com

Bullzip PDF Printer Community Edition is a free home version of a business-oriented PDF maker. It looks smart, is well designed, and is packed with every tool you could possibly need for making your own PDFs.

When you use Bullzip to make a PDF, it can tag the resulting document with customizable metadata, including author, title, subject, and keywords. You can apply a custom watermark (including variables such as the current date, page number, PC name, username, and many more), apply a digital signature, append PDFs to converted ones (ideal if you need to tack terms and conditions onto lots of documents, for example), add password protection, and adjust permissions.

You can even change the initial zoom level when the PDF is opened, so you can choose a setting that will enable other people to start reading the text immediately without adjusting their PDF viewer first.

A couple of options are restricted to the premium licensed software (most notably FTP upload), and your PDF will be watermarked if you use one of these settings, but you’re given plenty of warning if this is going to happen.

Bullzip is hugely impressive, and although its interface isn’t as glossy as some, it’s amazingly flexible and offers everything you could need from a PDF maker.

PDFCreator integrates with the Windows context menu, making it one of the most convenient PDF makers you can download

PDFCreator is a flexible PDF printer driver that’s a pleasure to use. As with Bullzip, you can start using its default settings immediately – just select ‘Print’ in the program of your choice and select it from the list of available devices – but fire up the application itself and you’ll find a huge array of customization options.

One of our favorite tools is Windows Explorer context menu integration. Once this is activated, you can right-click any text or image file to convert it to PDF format without opening it. 

You can also change the output settings, including metadata, watermarks, and filename. If you don’t just want to save it straight to your hard drive, your PDF can be sent straight to Dropbox, your preferred email client, or an FTP server. It’s all very well designed and easy to configure.

The free version of PDFCreator is supported by ads, but is otherwise almost identical to its paid-for counterpart. While installing PDFCreator, select the ‘advanced’ option to opt out any any unwanted extras. The free PDF editor PDFArchitect is worth considering, though – it lets you tweak, rotate, and sign your documents once they’re created.

Once you've signed up for a free account, PDF24 Creator gives you a solid set of PDF creation and conversion tools. Image credit: Geek Software GmbH

PDF24 Creator is another PDF printer driver that makes it easy to export documents from any other application. To use all of its features you’ll need to sign up for a free account (which will be used to manage any premium software from the same developer), then enter an activation code. It’s not much hassle, but counts against it when rival programs offer the same tools without you submitting any personal data.

Once you’re in, there’s a good selection of tools, though some are very similar to one another. For example, there’s a drag-and-drop converter (though unfortunately this can’t handle DOCX files), plus a printer assistant that uses a different interface to achieve much the same end.

The ability to convert documents straight from a scanner or camera is a very welcome addition, though we doubt many people will use the ‘Send to fax’ option in 2017.

PDF24 Creator is a solid PDF creator, but its interface and toolkit are showing their age, and could do with some streamlining it bring it in line with the competition.

Categories: Tech News

Security researcher exposes zero-day WordPress vulnerabilities

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:18

A trio of critical zero-day vulnerabilities in WordPress plugins has exposed 160,000 websites to attacks after a security researcher publicly disclosed the flaws before patches were made available.

The Yuzo Related Posts and Yellow Pencil Visual Theme Customizer WordPress plugins that are used by 60,000 and 30,000 websites respectively came under attack once flaws in their code were revealed publicly online.

When the zero-day posts were published, both plugins were removed from the WordPress plugin repository which led websites to remove the plugins or risk being attacked themselves. Yellow Pencil issued a patch three days after the vulnerability was disclosed but the Yuzo Related Posts plugin remains closed as no patch was developed for it. 

Additionally, the plugin Social Warfare, which is used by 70,000 sites, was hit with in-the-wild exploits after security flaws in its code were posted publicly. The plugin's developers quickly patched the flaw but unfortunately it was too late as sites that used it were already hacked.

Plugin Vulnerabilities

All three of the vulnerable plugins were hacked to redirect visitors to sites that pushed tech-support scams and other types of online fraud.

One thing they all shared in common though, is the fact that the exploits arrived after a site called Plugin Vulnerabilities published detailed posts disclosing the underlying vulnerabilities. These posts included enough technical details and proof-of-concept exploit code that hackers could easily use this information to attack the vulnerable plugins and to make matters worse some of the code used in the attacks had clearly been copied and pasted from the posts on Plugin Vulnerabilities.

Once the Yellow Pencil Visual Theme and Social Warfare vulnerabilities were disclosed, they were exploited by hackers within hours. The Yuzo Related Posts zero-day on the other hand was out in the wild for 11 days before it was exploited.

The security researcher at Plugin Vulnerabilities responsible for publishing the posts detailing the zero-day vulnerabilities explained why he had chosen to do so to Ars Technica, saying:

“Our current disclosure policy is to full disclose vulnerabilities and then to try to notify the developer through the WordPress Support Forum, though the moderators there… too often just delete those messages and not inform anyone about that."

Basically the security researcher decided to publish the zero-day vulnerabilities on their own site after posts they made about the vulnerabilities were removed from the WordPress Support Forum for breaking its rules. While informing developers regarding zero-day vulnerabilities is one thing, posting them publicly where anyone, even hackers, can see them is a different story altogether. 

Via Ars Technica

Categories: Tech News

Gaming PCs and laptops are about to get much faster Wi-Fi

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:15

If you find yourself online gaming via Wi-Fi, you may rightly be wary of the performance hit compared to using a wired Ethernet connection. However, a new wireless module from Rivet Networks could reduce such worries, as it provides far better performance than previous-generation solutions.

To be precise, this is the Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650, which Rivet boasts is the world’s first Wi-Fi 6 module. Wi-Fi 6 is the new, simpler name introduced by the Wi-Fi Alliance for 802.11ax. Today's 802.11ac, as seen in most contemporary routers and wireless networking hardware, is Wi-Fi 5 – so this is the next step on.

The Killer AX1650 uses an Intel chipset and offers 2x2 Wi-Fi 6 (plus Bluetooth 5.0) and a theoretical maximum throughput of 2.4Gbps. That’s around 40% faster than a previous-gen Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) 2x2 device – a substantial speed boost.

Furthermore, Wi-Fi 6 also improves performance in congested areas such as, say, apartment blocks with lots of wireless routers, and Rivet observes that the AX1650 will deliver four times more network capacity than a Wi-Fi 5 setup.

To begin with, the wireless card will be installed in a number of Alienware products. Initially, the Alienware Area-51m, Alienware m15 and m17 gaming laptops will carry the AX1650, and this will happen 'shortly', with other desktop PCs and notebooks to follow (and PCs from other manufacturers to arrive soon enough, no doubt).

Of course, bear in mind that not only will you need a device that supports Wi-Fi 6, but a router as well.

Dream stream

Extra bells and whistles that the Killer AX1650 offers include the ability to analyze the home network and automatically make adjustments to improve performance, as well as something called Advanced Stream Detect 2.0 technology.

The latter monitors your network traffic and is capable of automatically detecting games (or apps) which are running, subsequently prioritizing the network packets for said games in order to reduce latency. Rivet claims that: “Gamers can expect up to 3X better in-game latency performance when using the AX1650 during peak network usage periods.”

You can also adjust the priorities of traffic on your network manually, and set bandwidth limits as appropriate, using the control center software for the wireless card.

A further benefit comes in the form of GameFast Technology which automatically pauses processes that aren’t needed for the game you’re playing, and can allegedly free up as much as 10% of CPU and 20% of memory resources, which can instead be used to ensure the game runs a bit more smoothly.

This is all pretty nifty stuff, although all these technologies were available on the previous Killer AC1550. The main benefit you’re getting with the new card is the step up from a maximum theoretical throughput of 1.73Gbps to 2.4Gbps, plus the other aforementioned performance benefits of Wi-Fi 6 in terms of its better ability to cope in congested Wi-Fi areas.

Categories: Tech News

This Now TV offer is the perfect deal for watching Game of Thrones Season 8 tonight in the UK

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:15

It's finally here, Game of Thrones season 8 has kicked off and you could be watching it just minutes from now thanks to this superb Now TV deal. Not only does it cover you for the entire eighth (final!) season, but you can also do a mega binge of every episode from the first seven seasons too.

Actually, that's not a bad idea at all as you can watch old episodes with knowing eyes, looking out for early clues to larger events later on. We'd certainly rather do that than watch a five-minute summary of it all on YouTube. If you're going to do that (maybe you want to let a few episodes of the new season build up for a proper session first), just be look out for spoilers from your friends/colleagues/randoms on the bus/talking trees and the like.   

This really is the best Now TV pass deal we've seen for quite some time and perfectly timed for Game of Thrones fans. You can watch live at the same time the show broadcasts in the US at 2am each Monday or watch it later on at a more sensible hour. Or both.

You'll find the free Now TV app on a huge range of devices. Smart TVs are most convenient if they have the app available, but you'll also find it on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, Chromecasts, Roku sticks and boxes, Apple TV, EETV, modern Youview boxes, mobiles, tablets or simply login with your PC or Mac. 

If you want to check out the full range of services offered by Now TV, head on over to our Now TV deals and offers guide. And if you've been meaning to upgrade your TV, be sure to have a peak at our roundup of the best cheap TV deals.

And if you happen to be outside the UK but still desperate for your GoT fix, then you'll need a VPN in order to get around pesky geo-blocking. Our favourite is ExpressVPN, thanks to its speed, security and simplicity to download and use.

So now all you need to figure out is whether your're going to stay up and watch or catch it at a more reasonable hour!

Categories: Tech News

The best free PDF editor 2019

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:14

Free software for editing PDFs is hard to come by, but there are some excellent tools around if you know where to look.

PDF documents are designed to look and behave exactly the same way on any device. That makes it a brilliant format for sharing, but editing them is another matter. Most office software and photo editors let you export documents in PDF format, but editing requires a dedicated tool. That's because PDF was initially a proprietary format owned by Adobe, and it still owns some of the technologies associated with it. Other companies can license those technologies, but only for a fee that's usually passed on to you – the user.

There aren’t many free PDF editors, and even fewer that won’t leave your documents with unsightly watermarks. That's why we've rounded up the very best free PDF editing software that's free to use and won't add any unwanted extras to your work.

There aren't many great free PDF editors, but ApowerPDF is the exception. It's remarkably powerful, and is a real challenge to some premium PDF software

There are two options on the ApowerPDF homepage: ‘Launch Online’ and ‘Download Desktop’. Despite appearances, these aren’t the same tools. The desktop software is only a trial of a premium product, and will watermark your edited PDFs. The tool we’re using here is the online editor, which has no such limitations.

Click ‘Launch Online’ and you’ll be prompted to download and run a small launcher app, after which the online editor will launch. You can edit text (including formatting), add text and images, encrypt documents with a password, convert your PDF to an image file and add comments.

You can even create your own PDFs from scratch – a feature you’ll usually only find in premium PDF editing software. 

Unlike the desktop application, there’s no tool for removing watermarks from PDFs, but that’s a minor quibble. ApowerPDF is a remarkable PDF editor; just make sure you’re using the online edition.

PDF-XChange Editor makes it easy to edit text in a PDF without the hassle of converting it into a Word document first

If you need to edit the text in a PDF, PDF-XChange Editor is ideal. It lets you retype, delete, and reformat text, and adapts well if the document uses a font that isn’t installed on your PC. You can also attach comments, split PDFs, and extract pages.

One of PDF-Xchange Editor’s best features is the ability to use OCR to recognize text in scanned documents – ideal if you only have a printout rather than the original file (a handout from a lecture, for example).

Some of the features visible in the menus and toolbars are only available in the premium version of the software, PDF-XChange Editor Plus, but you can easily hover your mouse pointer over an icon to find out if it’s included.

If you go ahead and use a premium tool anyway (adding polygonal shapes or new text boxes, for example), your document will be watermarked. Look out for a warning message underneath the main toolbar before saving your work, just in case.

Sedja is a free online PDF editor that offers cloud storage for your documents

Free online PDF editor Sedja offers an excellent range of tools, with just one caveat: if you're still working after three hours and haven't saved your document, it will be deleted automatically. It's quite a generous time limit, but worth bearing in mind if your PDF needs a lot of work.

You can add text, images and links, sign documents, add annotations, and insert ellipses and rectangles. There’s also a ‘whiteout’ option, though this simply draws a white rectangle – it doesn’t remove any data. There’s no OCR either, so you won’t be able to edit text in scanned PDFs.

When you’ve finished editing, click ‘Apply changes’ and you’ll be able to download the document, send it to Dropbox or Google Drive, delete it, or access a shareable link. The link will expire after seven days.

The desktop version of PDFescape is premium software with a price tag to match, but the online tool is free to use and works very well

There are two versions of PDFescape: a free web app and a premium desktop program. Here we're using the online editor; if you download the desktop software, you'll only receive a trial of the premium edition.

PDFescape's online editor lets you create new text boxes on the page, but unfortunately there's no way to edit existing text. You can create simple geometric shapes and– as with Sedja, above – add white rectangles to obscure parts of the document when it's printed.

PDFescape lets you select a picture from your PC, then drag a rectangle to insert it. You can insert text fields too, enabling you to create simple forms – a rare and welcome feature for a free PDF editor.

Its name means 'split and merge', but this free PDF editor can do much more than that

The latter half of PDFsam’s name is short for ‘split and merge’, which tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the Basic edition.

You’ll be offered a free trial of the premium version (including full editing, object insertion, secure signing, and OCR), but once that expires you’ll be left with a simple but well designed tool for chopping large documents into manageable chunks, performing a PDF cut-and-shut, or extracting selected pages. You can also use PDFsam Basic to rotate pages, which is very handy if you’ve accidentally scanned a document upside down.

There are no tools for tweaking the actual content of the document, but all of PDFsam Basic’s page-management options are very clearly laid out, and it’s very clear which of the options shown in the main menu are only available in the premium edition.

Categories: Tech News

Panasonic Lumix S1 and S1R launched in India starting at Rs 1,99,990

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 11:02

Panasonic has launched its first full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Lumix S1 and Lumix S1R in India. The two cameras in the company's S-series feature 35mm CMOS sensor and support L-mount lenses. While the Lumix S1 uses a 24.2MP sensor, the S1R has a bigger 47.3MP sensor. The S-series claims to offer image quality that's unrivaled in the market with features like 4K 60p video recording, image stabilization among others.  

Panasonic Lumix S1 and Lumix S1R price and availability 

Panasonic's first full-frame camera series starts at Rs 1,99,990 for the Lumix S1 and Rs 2,67,990 with the 24-105mm lens. The Lumix S1R, on the other hand, starts at Rs 2,99,990 for the body and Rs 3,67,990 with a 24-105mm lens. 

Panasonic Lumix S1 and Lumix S1R specifications 

Both the Lumix S1 and S1R have been built using premium materials like magnesium alloy and are resistant to dust and usual splashes of water. The cameras feature a 3.2-inch LCD display that compliments the world's highest resolution electronic viewfinder with over 5.76 million-dots and uses an OLED screen.

The Venus Engine powers the new S1 and S1R cameras and offers a snappy experience with fast autofocus that won't let us miss any details from the image. On the launch, Manish Sharma, President and CEO, Panasonic India and South Asia, said, “Over the years, Panasonic has pioneered technologies and introduced cutting edge innovations across our offerings, and with the launch of the full-frame mirrorless camera - Lumix S Series, we have taken a leap forward in our imaging business. The imaging industry is a complex and demanding space, and we have brought in defining changes by listening to our users and continuous investment in R&D to bring in industry first technologies that redefines this space.”

On the Lumix S1R, there's a special high-resolution mode that allows users to create a 187MP picture using pixel shift technique of shooting. The two cameras offer a wide dynamic range and a fairly sensitive sensor that is able to create sharp images. Panasonic Lumix S1 also has a high-resolution mode which enables it to create a 96MP picture.

Both the cameras support L-mount lenses and Panasonic has also unveiled three new lenses for the S1 and S1R. These are - Lumix S Pro 50mm fixed focal length lens, 70-200mm telephoto lens and a 24-105mm standard lens with macro support.

Mr. Gaurav Ghavri, Product Head- Digital Imaging, Panasonic India said, "Owing to the state-of-the-art features that our Lumix S1 and S1R brings, this is an ideal solution for professionals who are seeking an uncompromised quality. Our newly launched product can cater to the constantly rising demand for superior image quality in various business segments such as wedding, advertising, fashion, documentary making and the rapidly evolving digital mediums.”

Categories: Tech News

Waterproof Kindle Paperwhite deal at Amazon ends at midnight

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:46

While the weather's getting nicer now and the days longer, the sun is setting on this excellent Kindle Paperwhite deal over in the Amazon sale. This £20 discount on one of our favourite ever ereaders means you can enjoy unbeatable range of ebooks for less with a temporary price-tag of just £99.99 at Amazon. Hurry though, as it'll be going back up to the full RRP at midnight.

Once it's been delivered you don;t even have to worry if those pesky April showers pop up while you're out in the garden over the Easter weekend as this latest version of the Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof. And with a battery that lasts weeks rather than hours, you don't have have to worry about putting down your digital page turner anytime soon.

That's the best price it's been this year, it was a further £10 cheaper around Black Friday to be honest, but we don't expect that deal to come back around until Amazon Prime Day 2019 in the summer at the earliest.

Kindle Paperwhite sale price

This is the latest in the Kindle Paperwhite line, but Amazon has just launched an updated version of the standard entry-level Kindle. Unlike the previous cheapest Kindle, it will now include a backlit screen, just like the fancier Paperwhite and Oasis models. It's £10 more expensive than the older one's RRP too. Check out our full Kindle (2019) review.

The screen resolution is still pretty low at just 167ppi compared to the Paperwhite's far clearer 300ppi. This model is out in a few days' time for £69.99, but we'd seriously recommend going with this Paperwhite deal instead thanks to the better screen, slicker design, double storage and waterproofing. 

And don't forget, a waterproof ereader isn't just safer for reading in the bath, but we feel safer with it when travelling. Especially if you've ever been betrayed by a leaky drinks bottle in your bag!

If you fancy checking out the details and prices on every ereader and tablet Amazon make, head on over to our extensive Amazon Kindle deals guide.

Categories: Tech News

Best CMS of 2019

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:31

Content plays a major role in the journey of building your online presence and brand. Without it, you're going to struggle in today’s ruthless business world. In fact, digital marketing is arguably one of the most important areas of commerce, although it’s often neglected.

To maximise your operation's potential, you need a reliable content management system (CMS). You’ll find plenty of them out there, and they all allow you to create and manage your own content, website and blogs. But some are more effective than others - and that's where we can help.

With the written word and media, you have a potential way to become a key influencer in your industry, and to connect with your customers on top of offering them quality products. So in this article, we’ll highlight the best systems, which cater for different needs and budgets.

WordPress

If there’s one CMS most people have heard of, it’s WordPress. The platform was launched in 2003 and has become a major part of the internet since. Based on PHP and MySQL, it provides you with tools to create a feature-packed website or blog using written content, videos, images and more.

You also have the ability to install a mixture of pre-made and third-party themes to personalise your website. They cater for all sorts of industries, from retail to hospitality. Although you can download the software for free from Wordpress.org and install it on your server, there’s also the option to get a domain and hosting with WordPress.

The business plan costs $25 a month (around £19, AU$34) and gives you full access to the theme store, unlimited storage space and a custom domain. That’s not a bad investment if you want to create a website and maintain it going forward.

Squarespace

Squarespace is another popular CMS platform (largely thanks to its omnipresent podcast advertising!), and it started out at around the same time as WordPress. The main difference is that it isn’t open-source – so you can’t download the software and install it on your own server.

Instead, it’s an integrated website builder, blogging platform and hosting service. The premise is that you sign up for a subscription and Squarespace makes it easy to build a website from scratch, which is obviously handy if you don’t have any previous web development experience, or if you need to get a site up and running in a short space of time. Like WordPress, you can install different themes and build a website using text, images and videos.

There’s also a commerce platform available. It lets you build and manage your own online store, without having to pay a hefty sum for a tech pro to do it for you. Again, there’s the option to go for a business-ready package. For $18 per month (around £14, AU$24) you get your own domain, unlimited bandwidth and storage, SSL security, Zapier - an automation tool, and Google AdWords credit.

Magnolia

One of the main attractions of content management systems is that they’re often easy to set up and use. If you’re running a business, you’ll want to have a website to promote your products and services, but you may not have the technical know-how to build one yourself.

The java-based Magnolia CMS is targeted specifically at companies that need websites which can do pretty much everything. It sports a hub integrating areas such as e-commerce, analytics, marketing automation, social media, CRM and ERP. The beauty here is that you can add these functions as time goes on and your business develops.

Security is at the heart of the system, too, as it employs an architecture that separates your website’s public and private elements to help combat attacks. You can even define what users and admins are able to do, so you’ll always know who can write, edit, view and publish certain content. Prices are tailored to business needs.

Weebly

Similar to WordPress, Weebly may well be a name that you’re familiar with. It’s an easy-to-use content management system that lets you set up a simple website within a matter of minutes. The platform uses a drag-and-drop format, so you can add features and media to your website easily. And by the same token, you can swiftly remove anything whenever you want.

There are a load of pricing options to choose from, all based on different business and personal needs. After the basic, free option, the cheapest plan is $12 a month (around £9.4, AU$17), which provides you with unlimited storage, a domain name and Google Ads credit. There is a small business option, and that’ll set you back $25 a month (around £19, AU$34). For that, you get all the usual features, as well as handy tools like password protection and tax calculators.

Wix

Wix is a cloud-based web development platform which lets you create HTML5 and mobile-optimised websites easily. 

The platform offers a drag-and-drop system, and you can add more functionality by installing plugins. Wix caters for elements including email marketing, e-commerce, contact forms and community forums. As is normal for CMS platforms, you have the option to remove adverts, use your own domain name and get increased bandwidth by going for a premium plan. In February, Wix Turbo was released, which noticeably increases the performance and speed of websites.

Prices start at $4.50 a month (around £3, AU$6), although if you’re a small business, you have the eCommerce plan which the company says it's best for small businesses. The price is $16.50 (around £12, AU$22) and you benefit from uncapped bandwidth, 20GB of storage, a free domain, a custom favicon, an online store builder and ad vouchers.

Bynder

Content management systems are great for publishing content online, obviously enough, but they’re also gold dust when it comes to collaborating on content across teams. Bynder is a marketing platform that lets brands create, find, use and work on content easily. 

It provides a plethora of high-quality workflows to help brand managers, marketers and editors produce, approve and circulate new marketing content. There’s also the ability to create a shareable style guide so all content is consistent and matches the company’s brand image. 

While it sports some handy features, Bynder is a lot more expensive than other offerings, although you can try out the service with the 14-day trial. You'll need to contact the company for exact pricing, but you should expect to pay at least $450 per month (around £345, AU$570) and prices can reach thousands. That said, the software is designed to take a good deal of strain off your marketing budget by simplifying many mundane and time-consuming tasks. 

  • Editor's note: Wix has asked not to be included in this article
Categories: Tech News

iOS 13 could bring Dark Mode, app tabs and an undo gesture

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 10:28

We're not expecting to hear about iOS 13 until Apple's developer conference in June, but a new report has given us an idea of what to expect when the operating system update lands.

The report, from 9to5mac based on sources close to the iOS 13 project, gives us an idea of some of the new features that'll hit our iPhones and iPads. 

As with any leak, just because the sources are close to iOS 13 doesn't mean the features are guaranteed. Even if they are, they could come out after iOS 13's release as with group FaceTime for iOS 12, so take the information with a pinch of salt.

What iOS 13 features could we see?

One feature for iOS 13 detailed by the report is Dark Mode, which iPhone users have been demanding for a while now, which is a visual effect that would make windows, apps and menus dark. A feature like this is useful for people who don't want a bright screen when they're using a phone in a dark place like in bed, or who want to shield their eyes from blinding phone screen lights.

A more intriguing feature is a new gesture Apple could add – currently gestures can bring up various menus or toolbars, but the report suggests an 'undo' gesture is coming too, which would let you go back similar to how the 'back' button on Android works.

Apparently this gestures requires a three-finger tap which you must slide to the side to undo or redo an action – this sounds a little complicated, so we'll have to wait and see if the report is accurate.

The report details a few other minor changes too, including a redesigned volume slider, a streamlined font installation process, improvements to Safari and the Mail app, and the ability for iPad apps to have multiple windows, which can stack like note cards.

When iOS 13 is officially announced in June we'll get to see if these leaked features are accurate or not, but if they are it seems iOS 13 is doubling down on making the user interface better-looking and easier to navigate.

Categories: Tech News

PlayStation VR 2 release date, price, news and rumors

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 09:23

With the PS4 and PS4 Pro life-cycles officially reaching their ends, and Sony president Kenichiro Yoshida revealing the company is working on a next-generation console, we can't help but wonder what Sony has in store as a successor to PlayStation VR.

Sony did technically release a second PSVR headset back in 2017: the CUH-ZVR2 added HDR compatibility, integrated headphones and a smaller connective cord. But, the true PSVR 2.0 will feature a much greater jump in specs that will take advantage of next-gen hardware to up its resolution, pixel quality and refresh rate.

The main question is, will the PlayStation VR 2 simply improve on its predecessor’s visuals, or will it add features like 6DoF tracking or even go wireless to compete with Oculus Rift and HTC Vive?

We’ve got the latest rumors and industry insider info on what the PlayStation VR 2 could look like, its likely release date, potential backwards compatibility and much more.

Moss on PSVR. (Image credit: Sony)

Cut to the chase
  • What is is? The next version of PlayStation VR
  • When is it out? Potentially 2020 or 2021 to coincide with the PS5 release
  • How much will it cost? TBC - probably around the PSVR's $499 launch price 
PSVR 2 release date

It’s almost certain that PSVR 2 will work exclusively with the PlayStation 5, but we probably won't be seeing the next-generation PlayStation until at least 2020. 

With no official word yet on a PlayStation 5 release date, and Sony officially confirming it won't be at E3 2019, it's difficult to pin down exactly when we might get to see a PS5 console or the PSVR 2.

Some analysts are predicting the PlayStation 5 release date could be around 2020 or 2021, for example, while others say 2019.

If Sony mostly allocates its manpower to PS5 production, then the PSVR could launch much later than the console’s release date - perhaps a year or more. PlayStation VR launched three years after the PS4, after all.

(Image credit: Sony)

However, Siliconera spotted two new filings relating to Sony's virtual reality headset which could point to the sort of experiences the company is planning for the future. The pair were filed in 2017 and 2018 respectively, suggesting that (if they've been pursued by Sony) they could soon bear fruit.

The first relates to live events. Sony's patent describes a scenario where a user is in attendance at a real world location, such as a sports stadium, with the headset "anchoring" them "to a physical location in the venue". 

They'd be surrounded by real-world attendees, letting them watch the event as if they were actually there. It sounds similar to other live VR applications, like Next VR, Melody VR or Oculus Venues.

More interesting, then, is the second application. This one speaks of turning buddies from your PSN games list into spectators of your games as you play. So, rather than generic NPC crowds in the stands of a FIFA match or along the track of a Gran Turismo race, your friends could chose to have an avatar representation of themselves turn up in your game.

These avatars could be true to life, or any sort of stylized representation they choose to submit. They could either choose to spectate in real-time in virtual reality, or show their support through a "pre-programmed" clip.

The fact Sony has already applied for these patents suggests PSVR 2 could be closer than we thought...

Astro Bot Rescue Mission on PSVR. (Image credit: Sony)

PSVR 2 price

The current PlayStation VR starter bundle retails for $200 / £259 / AU$420, but this affordable cost came after several price drops.

The original price for a full bundle, $499 (£399, about AU$650), could give us a good idea of what Sony will charge for the PSVR 2 headset. 

Of course, this new headset will have some potentially expensive tech to go with the PS5’s increased potential. 

Japan Display (JDI), a LCD manufacturer co-run by Sony, recently unveiled its 3.2-inch, 1,001 pixels-per-inch (ppi) displays with 2160 x 2432 resolution. PSVR currently uses 386 ppi and 1920 x 1080 resolution for its one 5.7-inch screen. 

How pixel density can improve the VR experience. (Image credit: JDI)

Adding better display quality, as well as doubling the screen count, could jump up the price.

Currently, the only somewhat “next-gen” VR headset on the market is the HTC Vive Pro, which retails for $800, £800 or around AU$1,045. Depending on the PSVR 2’s hardware, Sony could choose to list it as a premium device. 

But, that would likely go against its brand of offering an affordable entry into VR. We’re hopeful Sony will avoid pricing all but the wealthiest among us out of VR.

We also recently spotted a patent for upgraded motion-control wands with finger tracking and haptic feedback. 

Higher-cost bundles of PSVR 2 may very well include these controllers for VR experiences that a DualShock controller can’t provide. 

The PS4 Pro will be over four years old by early 2021. (Image credit: Sony)

Why be a PlayStation 5 exclusive?

PlayStation 4 owners (especially Pro owners) might be a bit peeved when they discover they can’t make PSVR 2 work on their consoles. 

But, it could be Sony’s only option to make its second headset feel truly next-gen. 

We tested out PSVR on the PS4 and compared the graphical quality to the Pro. In “Pro Mode”, we spotted minor improvements in textures, graininess and lag reduction. Ultimately, though, the difference didn’t feel that momentous. 

While the PS4 Pro certainly packs a punch, it may not have the capacity to support VR with the higher resolution and pixel density that Sony’s new JDI displays enable. 

The PSVR 2 could demand processing power that last-gen consoles simply can’t match. 

Rumors suggest that the PlayStation 5 will use the newest AMD Ryzen CPU and updated Radeon graphics, an upgrade from the AMD Jaguar CPU of the PS4 and Pro. Sony could have trouble making its new headset compatible with two separate graphics systems. 

All the updated hardware, design and accessories

The most concrete info we have on the PS4’s updated design comes from JDI’s announcement of its 3.2-inch display with 1,001ppi and 2160 x 2432 resolution. 

JDI claims that this display will reduce latency to 2.2msec (compared to >18msec today), allow for 120Hz (same as the PSVR 1), and demand less processing power to achieve better image quality—potentially unlocking a lighter, smaller design for the headset. 

The upgraded AMD Ryzen chip that Sony is currently researching could certainly achieve the processing power necessary to support these displays. 

Credit: AMD

Sony, which uses JDI’s screens for its smartphones, will very likely rely on these upgraded displays for its new headset. Considering we already found the PSVR 1’s design comfortable for long playing periods, this could make its heir apparent even more enjoyable to use. 

Of course, if the PlayStation VR 2 does go with dual displays, this will make the graphical demand for the headset much more difficult to achieve. For example, if Sony wanted 4K VR, then the PS5 would need to be capable of 8K streaming. That’s a tall ask to support a device that the majority of PS5 owners likely won’t purchase. 

We do suspect that the PSVR 2 could go wireless, considering Sony prioritized cutting down the size and weight of the cord that connects the headset to the console in its PSVR 1 upgrade, it’s clear the company sees it as disruptive, even annoying. Removing it entirely is the logical next step. 

By doing so, Sony will also make it easier to support room tracking for PSVR 2. Oculus and HTC have supported 6DoF tracking for experiences for a couple of years now, and it’s one of the primary areas in which PSVR falls short of its competition. 

The PlayStation Camera does track your head and controller movements as you play while seated, but can’t keep track if you move around, and our reviewers found that it frequently lost track of the controller even while motionless. 

Adding support for room tracking will only help Sony in increasing the size of its game library, as it will support more experiences that rely on wandering around a room. 

Of course, this could mean that the new PSVR 2 bundle will include a couple of room sensors to augment the Camera’s tracking. 

Most first-gen VR bundles came with the camera included, but none included 6DoF tracking sensors. (Image credit: Sony)

However, Sony could instead take the route that Lenovo did with the Mirage Solo headset, which adds WorldSense tracking tech inside of the headset itself. Reducing the number of peripherals could make the experience less onerous to set up. 

We also suspect that Sony has plans to double down on Move controllers. Its recent patent shows that it wants to compete with the Oculus Touch and Vive controller by adding improved tracking functionality to its Move wands. 

(Image credit: Sony)

Sony’s most promising idea is its “reaction force generator”, which would have portions of the Move wand expand or contract based on whatever the user is currently “holding” in-game. 

This tech could make experiences feel more immersive than before, without having to give up on controllers entirely (see: Oculus’ haptic gloves). 

Backwards compatibility looks likely

(Image credit: Sony)

PlayStation VR has received a ton of support from Sony since its 2016 release, with well over 150 games released and a selection of great PSVR exclusives such as Astro Bot Rescue Mission. 

Rather than simply moving on, and rendering these titles obsolete, it's likely Sony will make the PSVR 2 backwards compatible so we can continue to enjoy these titles on an even more progressive platform.

So it's not surprising that Sony patented a plan for backwards compatibility that would make PS4 games playable on the PS5, which would put them on level with Microsoft’s successful backwards compatibility program for the Xbox One

We suspect that Sony will find a way to make its first-gen VR experiences available on the second-gen device, so that new buyers will have a huge library of games to choose from straight out of the gate. 

PSVR 2: Just what the VR industry needs?

As we've mentioned, PlayStation VR hasn't met Sony's sales expectations, but its sales are nothing to sneeze at compared to the high-end VR headset competition, but Sony had expected the entire VR market to grow. 

Instead, Sony likely worries that VR will stay too niche to make the profits the company once hoped for. Kodera said Sony would have a more “realistic outlook” on what kind of future sales it can expect. 

Kodera’s statement implies that Sony remains committed to producing more VR devices. Unfortunately, the tepid VR market could mean Sony invests less time and money into future VR experiences. 

But, ideally, the PlayStation VR 2 and other next-gen headsets with better specs and fewer cords could revitalize the market and keep Sony fully on board with VR.

Categories: Tech News

Vodafone's cheap fibre broadband deals now come with a £20 Amazon UK gift card

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 09:22

So why, dear reader, have you decided that now is a good time to grab a fibre broadband deal?

Your old contract simply come to an end and you need a new bargain to replace it with? Just moved to a new home and need the kind of internet speeds ony fibre affords? Or have you spent the night/morning trying to watch Game of Thrones online, only to be left frustrated by an annoyingly slow connection?

Whatever the reason you've decided on fibre, now is a very good time to be on the hunt. That's thanks to an exclusive tariff we've bagged from Vodafone on its already-cheap fibre broadband deals. For the next week, TechRadar readers will also get a £20 Amazon.co.uk gift card when you sign up.

- Head straight to see this Vodafone fibre offer in full here

Let us fill you in on the details. Choose either of Vodafone's Superfast fibre broadband plans - starting from just £21 per month - and the comms giant will show you how happy it is to have your business by furnishing you with the voucher. You won't get it in time to spend in the Amazon Spring Sale, but Prime Day isn't far away...

As we said though, this deal expires in just one week when clock strikes midnight on Sunday, April 21. After that you still get those ridiculously low monthly bills, just without the added bonus of that £20 gift card. So act now to get one of the best fibre broadband deals in the UK.

TechRadar's EXCLUSIVE fibre deals from Vodafone:

Vodafone says that it will take up to 120 days after you sign up to verify your purchase. Then, once verified, details of how to claim the voucher will be sent to the email address you have provided. You will then have 90 days to claim the voucher. 

Ultimate Speed Guarantee

When it comes to avoiding slow connection speeds, Vodafone broadband is leading the way where we imagine other internet providers are bound to follow. It offers new fibre broadband customers an internet speed guarantee with minimum speeds of 25Mb for Superfast 1 and 55Mb for Superfast 2.

If Vodafone fails to deliver on the speeds, customers will be entitled to a 15% discount off their next monthly bill. It makes Vodafone's broadband plans the only widely available packages to offer such a speed guarantee in the UK.

Compare fibre broadband deals with our price comparison:
Categories: Tech News

Best free cloud apps for business in 2019

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 09:11

Just a few years ago it was impossible to imagine the number of software tools that are now available to business owners.

Whether your organization needs to do its accounts, collaborate on work or handle client relations, there are a number of cloud-based platforms fit for purpose. 

In this guide we’ve focused on some of the top free cloud apps, so no matter the size of your business you can get started today. As these tools are cloud-based, it’s easy to keep data in sync across your organization. There’s also no need to setup and maintain your own servers.

  • Want your company or services to be added to this buyer’s guide? Please email your request to desire.athow@futurenet.com with the URL of the buying guide in the subject line.  

Image Credit: Bitrix

Bitrix24 is a collaboration platform which was founded in 2012. It provides a suite of social collaboration, communication and management tools.

The solution has a huge variety of functions. It is geared towards any size business. Bitrix 24 centralizes all collaboration and communications from its user dashboard. From here users can organize and track customer interactions, log all store lead data, generate sales reports and perform segmentation of target audiences.

Bitrix24 allows users to create personalized invoices for clients. This is done through automatically inserting all client data.

Users can create a name for their Britrix24 system upon registering. This will immediately display your ‘Activity Stream’. Users have the option of adding a message at the top of the stream for the rest of the network to view.

Files, events and processes can be uploaded to share with your colleagues. Adding new users to Bitrix24 CRM is straightforward and hassle free. Admins can assign departments and groups to each user.

Bitrix 24 free tier includes 12 users, 1 admin and 5GB of online storage.

There are paid versions which provide more features and online capacity, starting from $69 for the cloud version, or $1,490 for the on-premises version.

Image Credit: Magento

Magento is a FOS (Free & Open Source) software solution for managing all aspects of virtual shopping carts. It's currently used in some shape or form by nearly ¼ of a million merchants including big name companies like Nike, Cisco Systems and Ford. Magento was originally developed in 2007 but the platform is now owned by Adobe and provided as part of their Adobe Cloud suite of apps.

The benefit of being open source is that Magento supports a huge number of features and can be customized to your individual store's needs. The software supports accepting manual payment solutions such as checks and money orders out of the box. It's also pre-configured to work with a number of major payment gateways such as PayPal, SagePay and Authorize.net. 

 Magento can be hosted on your organizations own server meaning you're no longer dependent on a third party for shopping cart solutions. 

The Magento website clearly states that the software is not for beginners and that those with no coding experience should visit their partner site Zoey for a quick and easy setup.

As open source software there are no funds to support a dedicated, chat, email or phone support service. Confused users can find help nevertheless through the dedicated community portal. This includes a friendly forum where you can post queries, detailed documentation and even the option to register for a Magento training course.

Image Credit: Slack

Slack (Searchable Log of all Conversation and Knowledge) is a handy cloud-based tool that keeps all messaging and files in one place. This application is available for all mobile devices and can also be accessed via the web.

Slack was originally brought to life to be used as an online tool for the game Glitch, which is now defunct. It was officially launched in 2013 as a way of helping people collaborate online.

The Slack channel system enables businesses to divide up work based upon teams, clients or in whatever way you need. Employees can join and leave the chats as they see fit. It also has a handy video feature where you can speak to members of your team face to face.

The Slack directory integrates with over 1000 apps which include Dropbox and Google Drive. You can drag and drop files, images and videos directly into Slack if needs be. The app also includes a handy screen sharing tool.

Slack has three tiers. The first tier is free and includes search for up to 10,000 messages, 10 apps and integrations and 1-to-1 video calls. This might be too limited depending on the size of your team.

Some commentators have claimed Slack’s UI is no user friendly and there’s a steep learning curve.

Image Credit: Wave

Wave provides a suite of financial services and online software for small businesses. It was founded in 2009.

The platforms accounting features are free of charge. It is geared not only towards small business but it also suitable for the freelance sector. 

Wave has a dedicated setup feature. From here users can decide what applications to access first: general bookkeeping, invoicing or payroll. Although users have to pay to access Wave’s payroll services.

Users can utilize the bank reconciliation feature. Businesses can also link their bank accounts, PayPal accounts and other relevant data sources for transaction records.

Wave has a dedicated invoicing tool where users can choose from a variety of templates. Invoices can be sent via email and credit cards can be processed through the platform.

Some reviewers have noted Wave might be too limited for larger organizations.

Image Credit: Google

Google Drive is a cloud file storage service provider launched by Google in 2012. It encompasses all of Google’s own office suite such as Docs, Sheets and Slides. 

It is not just a cloud storage provider, Google Drive also allows users to create, edit and collaborate on documents online. It is a first choice for most Android users as it comes pre-installed on most Android smartphones and tablets. However, it can be easily integrated to use with iOS devices and has a web interface, which can be used across all platforms.

Google Drive very rarely has any issues with compatibility and you can upload and edit files in most formats such as RTF, PDF and DOC.  The service recently introduced a Microsoft Office plugin which now allows users to edit and store files from Microsoft apps they have installed without worrying about any incompatibility issues. 

Google Account users get 15GB of storage free which can be used by Google Drive, Gmail and Google Photos. This means you can not only save and back-up your files but you can also save emails and photos on the drive. Google are currently launching Google One which will allow users to pay a certain rate per month in order to increase their storage.

Some users have noted that the Google Drive interface isn’t always intuitive.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Other free cloud apps for business to consider

There is a wide variety of free software available for business use. Some is completely free, while others offer free-tiers with limited features. Here we'll cover some of the other free software apps you can run from the cloud to help with the running of your business:

Evernote is most famous for being a note-taking app, but really it can be so much more. Aside from the basic note-taking functions, it can be treated more like a personal organiser, storing documents, images, video and audio together. Additionally, there is also the option to include document scanning which can be incredibly useful to run from a cell phone or other mobile device, especially when it comes to digitizing documents. The basic Evernote package is free, but there are paid upgrades available to unlock more features.

Trello is a great piece of productivity software that allows teams to work together collaboratively on projects. The team might include staff or co-workers, but could also include freelancers and suppliers. It's a great way to see who is working on which projects and what needs prioritizing. It may not be a top-level project management suite, but it's a great starter that's simple and easy to use. While there are paid plans that open up the features and limits, the basic free tier provides full-functionality for many needs.

Zapier is a neat little app that works with many other apps to automate processes between them. For example, if you receive a business email with an attachment, Zapier could then automatically save it to Dropbox, then alert you about this on Slack. It can also be used to cross post social media to different platforms and automate CRM tasks. It's a neat little app that can be a real time saver, and while there are paid versions to work with premium apps, the free version is worth playing with to get an idea of how it can work for you.

Square's Point of Sale (POS) software is worth taking a look at if you run your own mom and pop shop and want an easy way to process sales. Although Square sell hardware such as tills and car readers, their POS software can turn your cell or mobile into a cash till for taking orders. Even better, it's free to use, with no monthly fees, and the transaction fees are some of the best on the market.

Google Analytics is probably one of the best tools you can use for growing your online business, because it shows where your customers are coming from, where they are going, and how many end up buying a product or service. You can set up goals to get a better idea of your sales funnel, and combined with Google's Adwords marketing program you can develop a clear sales and marketing strategy, that allows you to keep track of your Return on Investment (ROI) in real-time. 

Categories: Tech News

LG’s premium TV lineup and smart home tech headline LG InnoFest MEA 2019

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 08:03

Smart home tech and artificial intelligence headlined LG’s annual innovation event, InnoFest, this year. Held in South Korea’s wired-up capital, Seoul, LG showed off its vision for the home of the future through crafted living spaces at its LG Science Park flaunting the company’s latest AI powered home appliances and TVs. 

The theme was clear. LG wants to make your life simpler by making all the various devices in your home do most of the thinking for you. They achieve this by integrating ThinQ, LG’s deep learning platform, across their range of home appliances including refrigerators, washing machines, cooling solutions and even robot vacuums. 

What makes the ThinQ branded devices different is their ability to talk to one another and make proactive recommendations based on user data. The ThingQ AI-enabled appliances come with Google Assistant and Alexa support to allow voice control and aid communication with other devices. 

But LG’s deep learning platform takes things a step further by understanding user habits through usage patterns and make anticipatory suggestions such as smart recipe recommendations based on ingredients present in your fridge, preventative device care instructions or automatically turning on your air purifier on a dusty day. 

Jame Lee, LG’s President for the MEA region, is determined to reposition LG as a premium electronics brand in the region and reaffirm LG’s status as “technology trailblazers” by continuing to evolve their product lines and offer innovative solutions that make their customer’s lives simpler. 

Sure, LG’s vision for the modern connected smart home is bold, so is their effort to make AI accessible to a wider audience. These new devices tout sleeker designs and have new tricks up their sleeves but don’t expect them to come cheap. 

The best TVs on the market just got smarter

LG’s OLED TVs are a sight to behold and have deservingly picked up a number of accolades including our own Best in Class pick. This year’s lineup is looking equally impressive with updated chips and AI smarts to spruce things up. These TVs will also be the first in the region to have full support for Arabic language.

Leading the lineup is LG’s flagship OLED TV series (W9, E9, C9, B9) powered by the latest Alpha 9 Gen 2 processor which delivers the same boost in performance and color accuracy as the Alpha 9 chip except this gen upgrade brings on board a more intelligent AI and deep learning algorithms to enhance picture and audio quality. There’s also support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision to sweeten the deal. 

Aside from the high end OLED TVs, LG will also continue to offer their Super UHD TV series now rebranded as NanoCell TVs. They come in varying sizes from 49 to 77-inches and offer almost everything the OLED TVs do except for the OLED panel and sport the Alpha 7 Gen 2 processors.The top end of these TVs will offer Full Array Dimming Pro for uniform black levels and support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

All TVs boast AI Smarts that will allow you to not only control the TV but other connected home appliances by simply talking to your TV remote. The TV can also make smart suggestions based on your viewing habits.

The pinnacle of the LG TVs shown at InnoFest was their futuristic LG Signature OLED TV R. An absurdly thin rollable display panel that unfurls from a streamlined box that’s also a sound bar. The panel itself is 65-inches in size and touts 4K ultra HD and HDR capabilities. Users can choose to roll out the entire display panel or have just the top peeking out of the attractive unit and use it as a dashboard to display and control a myriad of smart home devices. 

Save time on cooking

LG also flaunted their “evolved” ThinQ AI enabled home appliances, which are now even more smarter, convenient and energy efficient. 

Starting with the kitchen, consumers have LG’s streamlined and attractive series of refrigerators to look forward to that now come with InstaView - a mirrored panel that allows you to peek inside the front compartment with just a couple of knocks on the door which prevents unnecessary loss of cold air.

With AI on board, the fridge can snap a picture of what’s inside and come up with a nifty list of recipes or remind you when you need to top up on a particular ingredient. If you have one of LG’s new ThinQ ovens (available in glass and convection configurations) your fridge can send the recipe to your oven and it will set up timers and cooking settings accordingly. 


ThinQ about laundry and cleaning

LG is also gunning to make your laundry days less dreary and managing your wardrobe a little less tedious. With their new TWINWash series of washing machines you can do two loads of laundry concurrently in almost half the time. 

There’s also a plethora of new tech in these machines that use additional nozzles to create efficient jet streams all around the tub. They are able to get to the grittiest stains without affecting the integrity of fabrics. 

Also on display was LG’s smart steam closet unit also known as a styler. The basic idea is to hang your daily wear clothes inside this smart wardrobe and it uses steam and a vigorous back and forth motion to keep your clothes fresh and wrinkle-free.

The cooling solutions on offer continued LG’s theme of simplification and convenience. The air conditioners come in as wall mounts on vertical stands and are overall better at conserving energy. You can also rely on them to purify air to a certain extent and also control them via the ThinQ platform. There were also mini portable air purifiers on display that are battery powered and will give you clean air on the move. 

Rounding things out was LG’s vacuum lineup which consisted of their cordless vacuums boasting 80 minute charge cycles thanks to double battery packs and a circular disc like robot vacuum with sophisticated sensors than can also be controlled through ThinQ. 

In theory the idea of LG ThinQ sounds appealing and even useful under certain circumstances but it requires a lot of things to go right for it to work seamlessly and it seems more wishful thinking than functional for now. 

Premium home appliances for the “sensible rich”

Also on display at LG’s Science Park were the company’s premium LG Signature & LG Objet range of devices targeted towards what LG calls the “sensible rich”. These top of the range appliances tout minimalist aesthetics designed to blend in modern living spaces and are brimmed with tech.

Take the LG Signature refrigerators for instance that sport a giant minimal bezel screen that allow you to peek inside with a couple of taps without having to open the compartment and losing precious cold air. It also opens the door automatically once it senses you’re near and comes with modular wine cellar and bottom-freezer configurations. 

There’s also a twin-wash washer and dryer as well as a sleek looking air purifier in LG Signature lineup that can detect and catch the tiniest specks of dust to ensure clean air circulation. But the main attraction of the LG Signature series is the rollable OLED TV R that unfurls from a box that also doubles as a sound bar (more details above).

If you’re really looking for appliances with unique design that seamlessly blend with your furniture then LG’s Objet series might just be for you. This series of devices mask appliances in wood and metal and can look like any other piece of furniture in your living space. We saw a sleek looking sliding TV embedded in a slim entertainment center, an audio system and a fridge unit that can pass off as a nightstands or end tables.

Categories: Tech News

The role endpoint monitoring plays in detecting and prosecuting insider threats

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 07:30

Two recent high-profile security incidents have made headlines across the United States and APAC regions. One was the arrest of United States Coast Guard Lt. Christopher Hasson. The other was the arrest of Yi Zheng, a Chinese national working as a contractor for Australian financial services firm AMP. Hasson was charged with several crimes and accused of being a white supremist in the middle of planning a terror plot. Zheng was arrested and pleaded guilty to attempting to steal and sell confidential AMP customer data on the dark web. 

Security and risk professionals should be extremely interested in these arrests. They show that when organizations have visibility over endpoint behavioral data and the ability to collect and analyze it, that malicious insider threats can be detected long before they have a chance to inflict significant damage.  

Evidence and behaviors

There was a litany of evidence gathered and behaviors observed on the two men’s endpoints that led prosecutors, AMP and the USCG to conclude that both suspects had drifted across legal boundaries.   

In the case of Hasson, prosecutors presented proof showing that he had extremist views, fantasized about mass murder, was possibly targeting prominent government and media personalities for a terror strike, and making illegal drug purchases. 

In the case of Zheng, AMP’s security team showed that he had stolen customer data, was surfing the dark web for illicit markets in an attempt to sell the information, and that he was planning an escape to China. 

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The endpoint

Without the ability to observe both men’s actions via their computers, it could be argued that it would have been much more difficult to understand what they were planning and engaged in, maybe even impossible to do so. 

With technologies deployed that gathered information on endpoints, AMP, the USCG and prosecutors were able to paint a clear picture of what was going on and to stop and prosecute both actors before any real trouble arose.  

Image Credit: Shutterstock

The alert

We don’t know specifically what technologies were responsible for tipping off the USCG that Hasson had become a threat. Nor do we know if human informants were a factor. Based on the court records, it is reasonable to conclude that some kind of technology used to monitor his endpoint contributed to the “alert” that prompted authorities to act.

In the case of Zheng, we are closer to the facts. With the Dtex platform and other security layers engaged, several of his activities were monitored and recorded. This included his use of a TOR browser and other data collected about his activities and intentions.

The analysis

In both cases. It is clear that humans played a distinct role in analyzing the data. We can also presume that the data parsed through was relatively simple to navigate and understand. How else would each organization have been able to detect and neutralize these insider threats before they were able to cause severe harm? 

Image Credit: Shutterstock

More data?

Many organizations may already be convinced that endpoint behavioral monitoring is needed. They may also be hesitant to add it to their arsenals out of fear than an additional data stream will add to their workloads. 

Having to deconstruct additional logs can be burdensome but there are technologies available today that collect only minimal and specific types of data needed to understand when humans are behaving badly. Many of these solutions also scale rapidly and integrate easily into existing security infrastructures, as was the case at AMP.   

Don’t wait 

Regardless of whether or not you are a security and risk professional working in the public or private sector, both incidents are clear justification for the need to have technologies deployed which can detect when insider threat activities are taking place and provide viable legal evidence needed to prove when such actions have occurred. 

Organizations that have monitoring and analysis capabilities will succeed in defending against malicious human behaviors. Those that overlook this vital element of security will be hard pressed to identify and deter such situations. 

Imagine what might have happened had the USCG and AMP not had technologies deployed that detected what Hasson and Zheng were doing on their endpoints.

David Wilcox, VP of Federal at Dtex Systems

Categories: Tech News

Amazon's Spring Sale slashed price Samsung Note 8 and 9 deals come to an end today

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 07:25

Well Amazon's Spring Sale is now coming to an end. Backed by a week of brilliant tech deals, there is now a host of offers ranging from Amazon.co.uk speakers to warehouse throwaways, giving us fond memories of previous Amazon Prime Days.

While there is a lot to want in this sale, you do have to sift through a bit of everything to find the stand out offers. To make your life easier we've tracked down the items that are most worthy of your attention. And that's exactly the case with the Amazon Spring Sale reductions on Samsung's awesome Galaxy Note 8 and Galaxy Note 9 duo.

So what are the savings? The most eye-catching offers come on Amazon's Samsung Note 9 SIM-free prices, where you can get £200 off the RRP of the 128GB model and a massive £250 off the starting price of the 512GB version. That means SIM-free prices of £699 and £849 respectively.

Happy to go back a further year for a 2017-released Galaxy Note 8? Then the saving is even more extreme. There's a stated 39% off the usual price, bringing it down to under £500. That's an extraordinary price for a phone this good.

So if you've been eyeing up new mobile phone deals and like the look of Samsung's Note series, now's the time to strike. The only question you'll need us to answer next is what the best SIM only deals to put in it are!

Read more on Amazon's Spring Sale:

Categories: Tech News

Oculus Touch controllers have hidden messages, including Big Brother reference

Mon, 04/15/2019 - 07:23

Oculus, the VR headset maker owned by Facebook, has found itself embroiled in something of a controversy, following the discovery of some odd hidden messages inside new Oculus Touch controllers.

The messages are rather tongue-in-cheek – although likely too close to the bone for some – and are present on production hardware, when they were supposedly meant only for prototypes. Head of VR product at Facebook and Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell took to Twitter to explain what happened here.

Mitchell further clarified: “While I appreciate Easter eggs, these were inappropriate and should have been removed. The integrity and functionality of the hardware were not compromised, and we’ve fixed our process so this won’t happen again.”

The messages are printed on cables inside the actual controllers, so you wouldn’t know they were there, unless you actually open up your controller (not something most folks will do, obviously).

That said, some of the denizens of Twitter are far from unhappy about this development, and in fact want to get hold of one of the ‘limited edition’ controllers (as obviously, going forward, these messages will be removed, as per Mitchell’s statement).

Indeed, there are also some folks who are suggesting this could be some sort of publicity stunt to raise the profile of Oculus ahead of the soon-to-be-launched Oculus Quest and Oculus Rift S.

Masonic handshake?

However, that seems rather unlikely given the ‘Big Brother is watching’ and ‘The Masons Were Here’ (presumably a reference to the Freemasons) messages, which have predictably provoked plenty of controversy with other net commenters who don’t see the funny side, particularly given Facebook’s recent track record with user data, one way or another.

Note that the Big Brother and iFixit messages were only present on a very limited number of developer kits, according to Mitchell, and not on Touch controllers destined for retail shelves.

Regardless of whether the messages provoked the ire of privacy rights activists or conspiracy theorists, the other potential problem here is the idea that those making the controllers are ‘messing about’ with production hardware, which doubtless won’t seem overly professional in some circles – hence Mitchell being careful to underline that the “integrity and functionality” of the devices remains unaffected.

That said, the other side of the coin being argued by many is that a few letters on a cable aren’t going to make any difference, and we should all have more of a sense of humor about this.

It’s just that some people find it difficult to laugh when it comes to anything related to Facebook and data, of course…

Via Slashgear

Categories: Tech News

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