Category Archives: Internet

Freeletics helped me work up to my first workout

My workout gear has started heckling me. It’s been such a long time since my last proper scheduled workout that it’s started doing an impression of the Tell-Tale Heart, calling to me while I sleep.

Just to put things in context, I used to work out pretty regularly. I was a performer in some physically demanding stage shows, and I qualified as a personal trainer so that I could take care of my body.

I was never ‘buff’ or ‘jacked’ or whatever the gym rats are saying these days but I could comfortably move my body from a lying-down position to a standing-up position without it feeling like a herculean task.

Now, those days are sadly long behind me. I still go for the occasional run, do a few push-ups here or there, review the occasional fitness tracker, but the joints are definitely a little rusty.

Slow and steady wins the race

I don’t know if you’ve ever been in this situation, but the more time that passes, the harder it gets to motivate myself to actually slip my (slightly rounder) body into some workout gear and hit the mat.

Gyms are pretty intimidating places if you’re feeling less-than-confident, full of testosterone fuelled meatheads and fitness models in training. I’ve always been a fan of working out at home, and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to test out some of the fitness apps available that you would be able to use at home while also getting myself back in shape.

Here’s a demonstration of perfect form from a perfect human.

Because it takes at least six weeks for actual physiological adaptation to take place, I will be using different apps, and occasionally using this column for updates, both on what I think of the apps, and how I’m getting on with my road back to fitness. Don’t worry, if you’re not into fitness stuff, it won’t all be fitness.

That said, my hope is that you’ll join me on this journey.

Hitting the mat

So, the first workout. The first app.

Freeletics Bodyweight, is available for both iOS and Android devices.

Each workout has a dictated set of exercises; you’re given the amount of both sets and reps, then you have to complete your allocated workout in the shortest time possible.

For me, that immediately rings alarm bells, as speed over form is where all injuries are born, but Freeletics does a pretty impressive job of instilling good form in you. Each exercise has a video connected to it, showing an aggressively attractive demigod performing the maneuver with a skill and grace that you’ll never achieve.

Continuing the theme, each of the workouts are named after characters from greek mythology, and there is something really satisfying about doing ‘Atlas’ rather than ‘core workout’. You can kid yourself into thinking you’re sculpting your body into a statuesque form.

Make no mistake, Freeletics is definitely aimed at people who are wanting to really push themselves and get that low body fat, big muscle look, and that means that the workouts are tough.

The cost of fitness

There’s a free version of Freeletics that just gives you access to some of the workouts, but if you start paying the subscription, all the workouts open up, and more importantly, you get an artificially intelligent coach that gives you workouts specific to your fitness level and goals.

Which meant that actually hitting the mat wasn’t as intimidating as I thought it was going to be. There were some crunches, some mountain climbers, some side lunges, and finished off with an interval session.

It wasn’t easy, but I definitely finished the session wanting more, which is probably a good indicator of the smartness of the AI. All I know is we’re off to a good start.

If you want to join me on this journey, or have any apps (or pieces of tech) that you want me to try out, send them over to andrew.london@futurenet.com or tweet me at @AndrewMLondon

  • Andrew London is a laughable excuse for a human being, barely held together with string and sticky tape. In Tech Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself he will be sharing with you the different technology that he uses to try and pass for a proper functioning person.

Logo design courtesy of FreePik

      

5 best online fax services for November 2017

While computers, printers and other pieces of technology are obviously vital in the modern office environment, there’s no denying the role the fax machine has played in the business world over the decades.

When it comes to running a business, it’s essential to have systems in place to allow you to send important documents to colleagues and other organisations easily – especially if you deal with a plethora of departments or clients on a daily basis. Typically, fax machines have been the solution here.

These devices offer a number of benefits. They can be an inexpensive way to send information and are usually easy-to-use, without the need for extensive training. The biggest benefit of all is the fact that you can send exact copies of handwritten documents or indeed images.

That’s not to say fax machines are an ideal solution. The rise of mobile devices has changed everything, and these days you can easily send information via email or an instant messaging service. Of course, you’re not shackled to fax machines that only work over phone networks – you can now get internet-based fax services which function online without the need for any hardware. And in this article, we’ve picked out five of the best offerings.

MyFax is an online fax service that’s been designed for both businesses and individuals, allowing for the sending (and receiving) of faxes through a range of mediums.

Easy-to-use and affordable, this is a web-based service meaning there’s no need for any software installation – setup is quick and painless. The platform lets you fax from up to five different email addresses, and there’s an archive feature which gives you the ability to access all sent and received faxes. You can choose a local or freephone fax number, too, and it’s worth noting there’s a plug-in for Microsoft’s Outlook.

Built for use with both computers and mobile devices, eFax lets you send and receive faxes via email, a browser or an app. It only takes a few minutes to set up, which is always a bonus.

This platform boasts a smart interface for the web which is nice and user-friendly. It’s possible to send faxes to more than one person at a time, and just as with MyFax, there’s a mobile app (which again is nicely designed) and an archive so you can keep track of old faxes.

You get a ‘risk-free’ 30-day free trial to test eFax out, which is handy because if you do sign up, it’s not the cheapest service around.

HelloFax has been designed predominantly for companies that want a lightweight, easy way to send important documents and communication.

Sending faxes is simply a matter of creating an online account, and once done, incoming correspondence will appear in your email inbox. You also get the option to use your previous fax number.

Documents are scanned and sent as PDFs. There’s also the ability to set up as many users as you want, and you can store faxes in cloud. The service is integrated with Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and Evernote.

Faxonline does exactly what it says on the tin: it’s an easy-to-use platform that provides you with all the tools to send faxes online. The service is aimed at a variety of individuals and organisations, and this is reflected in the subscription plans.

To use Faxonline, you don’t need access to a landline, and you’re given a unique UK fax number. It’s a simple matter to get up and running, and you don’t have to install any software on your computer.

You can send and receive faxes via a PC or mobile, and all new faxes are sent to your email inbox. Faxonline works with Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. The company is offering a 10-day free trial, so you can test it before you make a final decision – and the good news here is that this is a relatively affordable service.

PamFax is an online service that allows businesses and individuals to send faxes across the globe, and it doesn’t compromise on price. There are 236 countries in its availability list, and costs start at 10p per page.

As is the case with most online fax services, PamFax works via email. You simply sign up to the platform, upload a document online, enter a number and click send to dispatch a fax to the recipient’s email inbox. The platform works with a range of computing and mobile devices on numerous platforms: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Mobile and BlackBerry.

      

10 best free web hosting providers 2017

000Webhost

The costs of setting up and maintaining a website can add up quickly. Designing, developing and maintaining a site all need outlay of one sort or other and so it’s important for businesses to minimise expenditure where they can.

  • If you think we’ve missed any major free web hosting company or if anyone listed no longer operates, drop us a line in the comments below.

Web hosting is one area in which costs can easily accumulate, as hosting packages are generally sold with monthly billing. There are a number of providers that offer free web hosting, however, and whilst such packages will not be suitable for some businesses, others have a great opportunity to make quick and easy savings.

Free web hosting comes with a number of limitations of course. Server space, site speed, traffic, uptime guarantees and backup provision are all features that are often curtailed, but that’s not to say that good cheap hosting isn’t available.

Bear in mind that free web hosting exists because it allows companies to upsell more expensive web hosting to those who may need it.

As such, free web hosting should be seen as a marketing tool which means that terms and conditions may be changed frequently and since there is no financial transaction, downtimes may be more frequent as SLA (service level agreements) are non-existent.

This article provides a selection of the best free web hosting plans available to everyone, in no particular order, and since they are all free, nothing prevents you from trying all of them.

1. 000Webhost

Bandwidth: 100GB | Disk Space: 1.5GB | Ads: No | Panel: Cpanel | MySQL Databases: 2 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 5 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

Located in the US, 000Webhost has been providing free hosting services since 2007. Its free hosting service includes 1.5GB of space, 100GB of bandwidth per month and five accompanying email accounts. PHP and MySQL are supported with no restrictions and users are guaranteed 99% provable uptime as well as weekly backups.

The service is supported by donations from its community of users (nearly 14 million at the time of writing) and revenue generated from 000Webhost’s premium hosting packages (24hosting). Starting at $2 per month, they aren’t going to break the bank and give customers the option of moving to a more comprehensive plan should the need arise.

FreeHostia

2. Freehostia

Bandwidth: 6GB | Disk Space: 250MB | Ads: No | Panel: Elefante | MySQL Databases: 1 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 3 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: No

Freehostia offers a number of different hosting tariffs with outlandish names like Lovebeat, Wildhoney and Supernatural. Its free plan, Chocolate, gives users 250MB disk space, 6GB bandwidth each month, PHP & MySQL compatibility and 3 POP3/IMAP email accounts. Server uptime is guaranteed at 99.9% and 24/7 user support is provided should any problems arise.

It even offers a surprisingly good 1-hour ticket/email response promise. Joomla, WordPress, phpBB and other PHP scripts can be installed with one-click using Freehostia’s Elefante Installer and upgrading to any of the paid premium packages can also be done in one-click, should users outgrow the free plan.

5gbfree

3. 5GBfree

Bandwidth: 20GB | Disk Space: 5GB | Ads: No | Panel: Cpanel | MySQL Databases: 3 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 0 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

As you would expect, 5GBfree provides 5GB of free hosting space to users along with 20GB of monthly bandwidth, 3 MySQL Databases and PHP scripting.

There’s no email included in the package, but the company is proud of the technology it offers, claiming, “At any other hosting company, you could be paying between $15 and $20 a month for the same cutting edge software (including the revolutionary CloudLinux operating system!), hardware, and security certifications.”

Support is provided in forums via the 5GBfree community and users who require expert phone support can upgrade to the Pro version, which costs $2.95 per month and offers both unlimited disc space and bandwidth.

FreeHosting.com

4. FreeHosting.com

Bandwidth: 250GB | Disk Space: 10GB | Ads: No | Panel: Cpanel | MySQL Databases: 1 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 1 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

Of the free hosting providers convered in this article, Freehosting.com is the biggest hitter in terms of monthly bandwidth with a whopping 250GB data allowance provided. The service also includes 10GB of server space and one email account. For users without a domain name, free subdomains are also offered, such as freesubdomain.freehosting.com.

Economy and Deluxe packages are also available, both offering unlimited disk space and monthly transfer as well as unlimited email accounts. Freehosting is also one of the few to actively encourage using the hosting service to backup your important files (e.g one 10GB ZIP file), great as it doesn’t have a limit for file sizes.

Zymic.com

5. Zymic

Bandwidth: 50GB | Disk Space: 6GB | Ads: No | Panel: Zymic | MySQL Databases: 3 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 0 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

Zymic describes its free hosting as, “one of the most reliable and feature packed free web hosting services on the net.” The service includes 6GB of space and 50GB of monthly bandwidth with support for the latest version of PHP and up to three MySQL databases. There are no paid packages offered.

Along with its hosting, Zymic provides users with free templates, tutorials, articles and a Twitter account relaying updates about any downtime (https://twitter.com/zymichosting). There is also a forum – which is currently down for maintenance – for the Zymic community to ask for and provide support.

Although we were able to create an account, the site doesn’t inspire much confidence. The Twitter account hasn’t been updated since 2014 and there’s a suspicious VPN link in the footer.

ByeHost

6. Byethost

Bandwidth: 50GB | Disk Space: 1GB | Ads: No | Panel: Cpanel | MySQL Databases: 5 |Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 5 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

Byethost is part of Byet Internet, a US-based provider of hosting, domain name and reseller services. With more than one million websites hosted, It claims that its free hosting service is, “one of the most powerful networks dedicated solely to free hosting in the world.”

Users are given 1GB of server space, 50GB of monthly bandwidth and MySQL / PHP compatibility. They also benefit from 24/7 tech support and access to Byethost’s community and knowledge base. And if you are ever interested in becoming a free web hosting provider yourself, Byethost operates a separate entity, myownfreehost, that allows you to do just that.

AwardSpace

7. Awardspace

Bandwidth: 5GB | Disk Space: 1GB | Ads: No | Panel: Proprietary | MySQL Databases: 1 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 1 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

For businesses that want free hosting with green credentials, Awardspace provides a solution. It offers CO2-neutral hosting with all of its servers running on wind-generated electricity. Its free plan provides 1GB of storage (a 15MB upload file size limit), 5GB of bandwidth per month and up to five MySQL databases. One associated email account is also included.

Users have access to online documentation and 24/7 support should any issues arise. Live chat is also available for pre-sales queries. Worth noting that the servers of Awardspace are located in Kiel, Germany, rather than in the US and house more than one million websites. There’s a nifty test hosting speed service that allows you to check the transfer speed in a live environment.

FreeHosting EU

8. FreeHostingEU

Web: http://www.freehostingeu.com

Bandwidth: 4GB | Disk Space: 200MB | Ads: No | Panel: Proprietary | MySQL Databases: 1 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 1 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

FreeHostingEU is a joint project set up and run by FreeDomain.co.nr and AttractSoft GmbH. Yes, Germans are at the forefront of free web hosting in Europe. Three hosting tariffs are offered – two paid and one free.

The free package provides 200GB of space, 4GB of bandwidth per month and one associated email account. Five free domains at .eu.pn and .me.pn are also included but they are likely to be of little use for most UK businesses.

For users of WordPress and Joomla, one-click installation is provided and languages supported are PHP, MySQL, CGI, Perl, Flash. Worryingly though, the user forums have been closed until further notice.

UHostFull

9. U Host Full

Bandwidth: 1000GB | Disk Space: 1000GB | Ads: No | Panel: Proprietary | MySQL Databases: 2 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 2 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

For businesses that are looking for hosting that is quick and simple to setup, U Host Full promises the ability to setup a site within five minutes.It also provides a host on one-click installers for platforms including WordPress, Joomla, phpBB, Mambo, osCommerce and Zen Cart.

Uptime is guaranteed at 99% with unlimited server space provided and unlimited bandwidth per month. Email is also included. Now we don’t know what the catch is but it is definitely one of the better deals out there especially since it doesn’t have any adverts.

Note that there doesn’t seem to be any limit to the size of the files uploaded which is a pleasant surprise.

Free Hosting No Ads

10. Free Web Hosting No Ads

Bandwidth: 200GB | Disk Space: 20GB | Ads: No | Panel: Cpanel | MySQL Databases: 3 | Website: 1 | E-mail accounts: 3 | Domain hosting: yes | FTP: Yes

All of the free hosting options included in this article are ad-free, with revenue generated by other means. Free Hosting No Ads celebrates this more than others, but still offers a good free hosting deal, which at 20GB, is one of the the biggest server space provisions featured.

The deal also includes 200GB of monthly bandwidth and three POP email accounts. Three PHP versions are supported (5.2-5.4) and three MySQL databases are also included. As expected, the free service is subsidised by the paid-for service.

Just note this though… “FreeHostingNoAds.net reserves a right to send 1 promotional email message every 6 months that can promote our affiliate products.” You may however unsubscribe from the marketing marketing list.

Also worth looking at

Defunct, dead and retired free web hosting providers

  • Haphost
  • Host1free
  • Deluxe Host
  • Hostmada

      

Apple iPad tops tablet shipments, but overall landscape continues to fall

Who wants a tablet? Not many people, according from a new report from research firm IDC. Tablet sales have now consistently plummeted for 12 entire quarters over the last three years now, with the latest fiscal quarter seeing only around 40 million units sold compared to the 42.3 million sold at the same time last year.

The three big manufacturers, unsurprisingly, are Apple, Samsung and Amazon, and together they account for an impressive 66.7% of the market compared to the 57.2% percent share they had last year.

Despite the overall trend of declining tablet sales, Apple and Amazon saw shipments rise year-over-year in the third quarter. Samsung, though, suffered a 7.9% drop, with shipments declining from 6.5 million to 6.0 million.

Apple remains at the top, but it’s worth noting that only recently has it started seeing shipments bounce back up after a whopping 13 quarters of reduced shipments. All total, Apple’s market share bounced up by 3.9 percentage points to 10.3 million units sold in this year’s third quarter.

“Although Apple still enjoys a substantial premium over competitors, the lower-priced iPad has helped it to cement the first-place position,” IDC says.

The firm also points out that the iOS 11 update at last made the iPad Pro more like the PC replacement Apple has long advertised the device as being, but “strong value offerings from other PC and mobile vendors” are keeping it from being more dominant.

As IDC notes, part of the reason for the overall declining market is the “lengthening replacement cycle of tablets,” as customers tend to buy tablets much in the same way they tend to buy PCs, hanging on to the same device for years even after updated versions come out.

There’s also an overall shift toward smartphones, and tablets are finding the middle ground between handsets and desktops less appealing than it once was.

“There’s a penchant for low-cost slates, and this holds true even for premium vendors like Apple,” said IDC analyst Jitesh Ubrani in a prepared statement. “However, many of these low-cost slates are simply long-awaited replacements for consumers, as first-time buyers are becoming harder to find and the overall installed base for these devices declines further in the coming years.”

      

Facebook now lets you make two-option polls with GIFs and photos

Two years ago Twitter started letting its users create polls for just about everything, making it easier for them to learn whether their followers prefer Westworld or Stranger Things, or decide whether they should have beef bourguignon or Cinnamon Toast Crunch for dinner. And now, at last, Facebook is getting in on the polling action as well.

As of today, you can log onto Facebook and make a poll of your own, no matter if you’re using a desktop browser, iOS or Android.

On a desktop browser, use the usual interface to write a new post, and in the bottom menu that pops up for adding Photos, Check-Ins and the like, you’ll see a new option to make a poll.

The question itself can be as long as you want it to be, and, in contrast to Twitter, you can add photos and GIFs for each option that make it easier for users to decide what they like.

One thing or another

Unfortunately, unlike Twitter, you can only create polls that let users choose between two options. (Twitter allows for four.) The options themselves are limited to 25 characters.

Unlike Twitter, the polls also aren’t anonymous, so you’ll be able to see who voted for what by clicking on the number of votes in the lower right-hand corner. I don’t see that causing a problem. No-siree.

Considering that Facebook is currently involved in a massive investigation regarding how extensively its policies influenced the polls in the last US presidential election, the timing is interesting, to say the least. But neither is it entirely unexpected, as Facebook recently added polls to Instagram stories.

Enjoy the feature for now. Just keep in mind that it probably won’t be long before your reclusive relatives are posting polls that might make you cringe.

      

The best free data recovery software 2017

Discovering that you’ve lost data without backing it up can be heart-stopping, but it isn’t necessarily the end of the world. With the best free backup software and a little patience, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to restore your precious data – whether it’s an individual file or an entire partition. Perhaps most importantly, you will probably be able to do it for free rather than having to pay a small fortune to call in the experts.

It’s important to install a data recovery tool now, before you’ve lost any files; installing one after the event risks overwriting the data you’ve lost.

There’s no guarantee that your lost data will be recoverable, but this free software will give you the best possible chance

One of the best things about Piriform Recuva is the wealth of ways to use it: manual scanning, wizard-driven scanning, and via the context menu. For anyone who feels as though they need a little help using the software, the wizard on hand to provide guidance, but there is also the option of taking manual control of the scanning and recovery process. The scan can be customized to look in particular locations, or for particular types of files, and Recuva uses a traffic light guide to how likely it is that you’ll be able to recover an item intact.

You also have the option of right clicking a folder or the Recycle Bin if you know you have deleted a file from a particular location. It’s all very easy, and the results speak for themselves.

Upgrading to Recuva Professional for US$19.95/£19.95/AU$24.95 adds the ability to work with virtual hard drives, access to premium support, and automatic software updates. These are nice additions, but the free version of Recuva will be plenty of most users.

When it comes to ease of use, it’s hard to beat Wise Data Recovery. Although this free data recover software doesn’t have a wizard-led interface, there are no complicated configuration settings to worry about either.

Tracking down recoverable data is a simple matter of selecting the drive you want to check and clicking ‘Scan’. Alternatively, you can use keywords to search for recoverable files so you don’t have to wade through quite so many results.

Whichever route you choose, recoverable data is presented in an Explorer-like tree structure that makes it easy to tell where it was originally stored. Like all the best free data recovery software, Wise Data Recovery uses a traffic light system to indicate the health of files (and therefore how likely it is that you’ll be able to recover them intact, and there’s a file preview feature so you can identify files that have been detected.

You can recover individual files, or entire folders at once, but selecting numerous files in several locations means performing several operations.

PC Inspector File Recovery goes further than many data recovery tools in that it will detect partitions that have been lost, even if the boot sector or file system has been damaged or deleted. This could be a real life-saver in an emergency, potentially helping you get data back even if your hard drive is not visible within Windows.

Beginners might find the terminology and design of PC Inspector File Recovery intimidating, and even some more advanced users may find the workflow a little confusing to start with. Take some time to learn your way around it, and you’ll find a powerful data recovery program – but one that seems to get better results with FAT and FAT32 drives.

Finding recoverable data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free is very simple: select a drive or folder and wait for a few minutes while it completes its scan.

You can browse through the recoverable data using a Windows Explorer style interface and filter them by type or opt to search for specific files. Data recovery is effective, but the Deep Scan option is very slow, so you’ll need to be patient.

The installation of this software is a mixed experience. The installer, importantly, advises not to install to the same drive that you want to recover data from because this could overwrite data and render it unrecoverable. It also, sadly, tries to enrol you in a customer experience improvement program, without explaining what this entails.

It’s worth noting that the free version only allows for the recovery of up to 2GB of data, so it’s not going to be suitable for all circumstances, but it will be enough to get you out of most sticky situations.

Presented as a pair of tools rather than a single integrated solution, TestDisk and PhotoRec together can recover data from both lost partitions and files.

TestDisk takes care of the partition side of things. The fact that it’s a command line tool with no graphical interface might off-putting at first. If can set this to one side though, there’s help on hand to guide you through the process of working with your drives. TestDisk offers support for so many file systems, it should cater for most eventualities.

PhotoRec is the component for recovering files. It’s available with a command lint interface, but unlike TestDisk there’s also a GUI for less confident users. It may not be as intuitive as some of the other recovery software in this listing, but it’s effective.

PhotoRec is cross-platform and can be run as a portable app from a USB stick, which means you don’t have to install it on your PC and risk accidentally overwriting the data you want to recover.

      

Steam stats show gamers are abandoning Windows 10 – but is that really the case?

Valve’s latest Steam survey paints a hugely worrying picture for Windows 10 on the face of it, with a massive drop in use of the OS, but Microsoft shouldn’t be engaging fret-factor-10 just yet – because there seems to be another story lurking in the background here.

So, the headline figure for this month’s Steam stats is that Windows 10 has tumbled from 45.98% to 28.6%, a massive drop of 17.38% in the amount of gamers using Microsoft’s newest OS. Windows 7, meanwhile, has gained a huge 21.47% having climbed to 65.46%.

This is such a massive seesaw movement in OS adoption that you’d be forgiven for thinking that Valve has made a mistake putting these figures together, somehow.

However, a quick glance over the other various hardware and software categories Valve monitors shows another telling major shift – in the language being used.

Simplified Chinese is up a massive 26.83%, now consisting of more than half the user base at 56.37%, with English dropping down 13.4% to rest at 21.24%.

There is a good chance, in our opinion, that this is reflected in the precipitous drop of the popularity of Windows 10.

Popularity known

So, why are there so many new Chinese gamers on Steam now? If we were to speculate, this could be due to the success of PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds), which is very popular in the country (with a rapidly increasing player base this year on Steam) despite potentially facing a total ban by Chinese authorities.

And we’d further guess that there are a lot more Chinese gamers who have stayed on Windows 7 rather than upgrading to Windows 10, compared to the West. (Particularly given all the controversy around Windows 10 telemetry and privacy issues).

In other words, this is a geographical reflection of operating system adoption, as opposed to a reaction against Windows 10 per se.

That said, we certainly can’t rule out the possibility that unhappy gamers downgrading from Windows 10 to Windows 7 isn’t part of the picture, making up at least some of this huge drop in the new operating system’s user base.

MS Power User spotted these Steam figures, and speculated that bugs causing frame rate hitches which have crept into Windows 10 this year could be part of the reason for what’s happened here.

But it seems highly unlikely this would spark such a sudden mass revolt among the Steam gaming community, to say the least – particularly seeing as these problems have been present since the spring (and the previous Creators Update).

      

Paytm Inbox lets you chat with friends, send and request money

Paytm has announced a new chat feature, allowing users to chat with their friends and family in the app itself. Branded as Paytm Inbox, it is a proper messaging platform that lets users chat and send photos and videos. In addition to chats, users can also send or request money within the app using Paytm Wallet, taking a direct shot at the upcoming WhatsApp UPI payments feature.

Paytm Inbox – chat, share photos, recall messages and send money

Interestingly, Paytm is offering features like message recall and live location sharing, something that WhatsApp is working on for some time now. Users will also be able to request and pay money to their friends using the Inbox option. What makes this move from Paytm well-timed is that WhatsApp is working on UPI integration and once this feature is live, WhatsApp will have a lot of advantage over Paytm.

Paytm Inbox has been developed as a full-fledged messaging platform, allowing users to enjoy most of the popular features found in other mainstream messaging apps like WhatsApp. It comes with features like message recall, live location sharing, photo and video sharing and other standard features.

Announcing the launch of Paytm Inbox, Deepak Abbot, Senior VP, Paytm, said,

“We have realised that besides making payments, our users and merchants also like to communicate with each other. There is a need of social messaging, commerce and payments seamlessly blending into one another.”

Further elaborating on the need for Paytm Inbox, he said,

“One step for us towards meeting this consumer need is ‘Paytm Inbox’ where you can chat with friends/ merchants and send/ receive money effortlessly and securely. This will help us drive greater engagement on our platform and build a stronger bond with our customers.”

Paytm Inbox is already live in the Android app, with the iOS version scheduled to get this feature in the near future. Once you have updated your app, you will find the Inbox option at the bottom of the navigation bar. You can click on the new message option to send a message.

Once you click on the Inbox option, you can then tap on the new message button to see all your contacts who use Paytm. Like WhatsApp, you will be able to create groups on Paytm, however there is no information about how many members can be added to one group.

      

NBN Co now blaming birds for network woes

The latest post from NBN Co — the zany company tasked with rolling our our nation’s new National Broadband Network — is a little lighter in tone than usual, although it does still manage to point the finger at something other than itself.

Birds!

NBN Co has run into the unique problem of having its infrastructure damaged by pesky Australian cockatoos, particularly in regional districts of our nation. According to the post, the company has already spent $80,000 repairing the damages wrought by these mischief-makers.

As cockatoos require something tough to keep their ever-growing beaks in check, they’ve taken to chewing on cabling infrastructure — an issue that already affects wires across Australia.

Furthermore, the birds aren’t targeting active cables (the ones that use a protective plastic coating) but are instead after the spare cables put in place with the intention of future-proofing. Because of this, the only way the company is able to tell when a cable is damaged is when a technician is physically on-site and witnesses the damage.

Thankfully, NBN Co has devised a solution, which involves encasing the exposed cabling in a small plastic canister, costing a grand-total of $14 per unit and potentially saving upwards of $10,000 per damaged cable.

      

Top 5 best identity management systems and authentication services in 2017

Businesses rely heavily on technology. Employees use computers, smartphones, tablets and other gadgets on a daily basis to streamline processes, stay productive and communicate with colleagues, while databases store important information about customers and products.

Because of this, effective security is paramount. It’s no longer good enough to put physical security first. Although CCTV cameras and sophisticated door locks will stop intruders from entering your office, a hack into your computer system could spell total disaster and bring your whole firm down.

Managing user identity is one of the most important steps in implementing a cybersecurity strategy. You need to be able to trust the people who have access to valuable business and customer data, all of which would be lucrative to hackers if they were able to gain access.

Identity management systems are a great way to stay ahead of the curve with respect to digital security. They’re not new but they certainly are highly effective. Using these systems, you can see who is accessing content in your system and get information on their motives. You can also set user rights and restrictions.

But which are the best identity management software and authentication services out there? We’ve picked out five top-notch services that you can’t go wrong with.

  • If you run a large-scale enterprise with a ton of digital assets, then you ought to check out DigitalPersona from Crossmatch. Used widely across the globe and adopted by companies like RBS, this system lets you set smart authentication procedures for users.

    The software analyses risks posed to your company and aims to give you a tailored approach to cybersecurity. There are multiple authentication methods to choose from, such as biometrics, tokens, pins, SAML and phones. It’s easy to set these up, and you should have a more secure system in place within no time.

    What’s also nifty is the fact that you can add more applications and changes over time, so you don’t have to worry about finding the perfect method straight away. As well as this, the software offers added protection for privileged and important users. This is sophisticated technology and is targeted at firms with significant security budgets.

    AuthAnvil is available on the web, Mac, Windows, iOS and Android applications, but whatever platform you’re looking at, the basic aim is the same – to protect your precious data. The company recognises that password-related breaches are the biggest cause of data loss and has come up with a solution.

    The system lets you protect company data by restricting content employees can access and ensuring that only trusted parties can use sensitive apps. For instance, you could use AuthAnvil to give managers direct control of internal company and customer data, as opposed to general employees.

    As well as boasting integrated identity and access management solutions, the software also provides multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, password automation, identity-as-a-service and credentials management. These are all highly effective features.

    OneLogin is a cloud-based authentication system that makes it easier for firms to secure their digital assets and users. It can handle multiple applications at once and has single sign-on capabilities.

    The system is perfect for all businesses, regardless of industry sector, and it can work with both internal and public applications. Features include access request management, account management, compliance regulation, password management, user monitoring and role management.

    Once you purchase the software, the support doesn’t stop. You can access documentation, webinars and online chats to better understand and get the most out of OneLogin. There’s also 24/7 tech support through the company website, so you can always ask a question if you get stuck.

    Dodgy password management is often the culprit when it comes to data breaches, although Dashlane is looking to solve this. It’s a password vaulting service that will protect your company’s data and ensure your cybersecurity habits are always kept on the straight and narrow.

    The system prides itself on simplicity. You aren’t expected to know every single thing about technology and security to be able to use it. It’s been built with AES 256-bit encryption, and semantic technology also plays a big role in the mechanics system. There’s a dedicated engine for this, which works towards fast login speeds and auto-fill forms across a variety of web applications.

    It’s a unified platform, meaning it can work across Windows, Mac, iOS and Android – all the platforms you’re likely use. And if you’re a smaller business, there is a limited free version that may just be enough.

    PortalGuard combines important authentication procedures and password management capabilities within one convenient portal.

    The software is compatible with Mac, Windows, iOS, cloud tools and web browsers, and it places a premium on ease-of-use. While it’s not the most powerful system out there by any means, many users will appreciate having things kept simple, and benefiting from their own custom-branded login portal.

    What’s also neat is that when it comes to trying out the service before you commit to purchasing, you can avail yourself of a free interactive trial, or alternatively request a live demo from the company.