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Microsoft's Azure Stack beta gets new services and DevOps tools

People testing out the public beta of Microsoft's Azure Stack private cloud system have some new platform services and DevOps tools to play with less than two weeks after it initially launched.

Starting Monday, users can download a beta version of the Web Apps feature for Azure App Service that runs on Azure Stack and makes it easier for people to build websites on top of it. Users can also install new beta tools for running MySQL and SQL Server workloads on Azure Stack. The system already has built-in tools for running things like virtual machines.

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It's official: Intel shuts down the cheap overclocking party by closing Skyla...

The cheap overclocking party is over. An upcoming microcode update from Intel will close the door on a loophole that let users goose Skylake CPUs that weren't meant to be overclocked.

The company confirmed to PCWorld on Monday that an update would ?align? the CPUs in question.

?Intel regularly issues updates for our processors which our partners voluntarily incorporate into their BIOS,? an Intel spokesman said. ?The latest update provided to partners includes, among other things, code that aligns with the position that we do not recommend overclocking processors that have not been designed to do so. Additionally, Intel does not warranty the operation of the processor beyond its specifications.?

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Prysm combines displays with SaaS to extend the reach of enterprise collabora...

The increasingly busy enterprise collaboration space got a new entry Monday with Prysm's new platform designed to support dispersed, multidevice workplaces.

Combining hardware and software as a service (SaaS), Prysm Enterprise allows businesses and their employees to collaborate in real time across locations and screens ranging in size from mobile devices to large-scale video walls.

The platform works by creating cloud-based visual workspaces that combine applications, content, video conferencing and the Web. Collaborators can use those workspaces to create, edit, share and store their work, with the ability to re-access the saved workspaces later from any location via the cloud.

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Firewatch review: Lots of smoke, but no spark

It's 1989. Summer. Wyoming. Channeling your inner Kerouac, you've volunteered to spend the next few months in a small lookout tower in Shoshone National Park, watching for signs of wildfires. You've got your books. You've got your typewriter. You're alone with your thoughts.

Or, at least, you would be alone were it not for Delilah?your supervisor, holed up in her own lookout tower a few miles north. Nothing more than a voice on a walkie-talkie, to you.

Dharma bums

Firewatch is a first-person adventure game, in theory. Which is to say you grind off the soles of your shoes walking around the backwoods of Shoshone in pursuit of various goals. The walking is mostly set-dressing, though. There are no puzzles here. No enemies. No real need for exploration. Walking is a convenient action to keep the player occupied while chatting with Delilah over the two-way radio.

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Forget Trump and Clinton: IBM's Watson is running for president

If company CEOs can be replaced by computers, why not the president of the United States? That, in fact, is exactly what's been proposed for IBM's Watson.

Watson has already made quite a name for itself, of course, dating back to its 2011 victory on Jeopardy. Since then, it's gone on to make medical predictions, critique written text and offer insight on product performance, among other accomplishments.

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Bing Predicts begins March Madness early with NCAA tourney invitation predict...

The 2015 March Madness tournament was a triumphant year for Bing Predicts, the predictive algorithms that Microsoft uses to pick the outcomes of everything from reality TVs to sporting events. For 2016, Microsoft has launched March Madness even earlier, with a site predicting which schools will receive an invitation to the NCAA tournament.

The premise behind the new site is a simple one: Pick a university, and Bing will attempt to predict whether a given school is in or out, the overall chance they?ll make the tournament, and even their seeding in the overall bracket rankings.

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5G might be your next home broadband service

An AT&T regulatory filing last week shed light on a lesser-known aspect of the emerging 5G wireless standard that could be a boon to some consumers: Home broadband.

AT&T asked the Federal Communications Commission for permission to test potential 5G technologies in Austin, Texas. It needs permission to use several frequency bands for the experiments. The application, which industry analyst Steve Crowley pointed out on Twitter, says AT&T wants to build a multi-gigabit experimental network for both fixed and mobile services.

Getting fixed wireless might involve mounting an antenna on your windowsill, but the upside could be gigabit broadband rolled out to the neighborhood much sooner. Wired carriers want a faster, cheaper way to deploy gigabit, Ovum analyst Daryl Schoolar said.

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Instagram now lets you switch between multiple accounts

For Instagram users with more than one account, life has just gotten a lot easier.

On Monday, Instagram released a new feature to allow switching between multiple accounts on its iOS and Android apps. Instagram users are now able to add and switch between five different accounts. Instagram had started testing account-switching for iOS users last week, according to TechCrunch. Back in November, Instagram tested this feature for Android users.

Instagram users who updated to version 7.15 of the app will find an ?Add Account? option in the app?s settings. Once you add a second account, you?ll be able to switch to it quickly by selecting it from a new menu at the top of your profile page. Whenever you get a push notification, you?ll also be able to see from which Instagram account.

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PSA: Get 2GB of free Google Drive storage when you perform an account securit...

Admit it: you can always use more cloud storage. Google is offering you an easy way to score more Drive space and get some extra peace of mind about your account security.

Just as it did last year, Google is honoringSafer Internet Dayby givingyou 2GB of Google Drive space if you perform an account security check.


After a quick check-up, two GB of Drive storage will be yours.

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Doze Mode and App Permissions are also headed to Android Wear with Marshmallo...

The Marshmallow update for Android Wear may do a lot more than Google told us about last week.

According to Motorola?s update page for the second-generation Moto 360, features like Doze Mode and App Permissions are on their way with the newest software. Specific to Motorola?s watch is a new running app called Moto Body Running, which is designed to track the time, pace, distance, and heart rate of an indoor workout (presumably a treadmill run). This sounds like the software already included in theMoto 360 Sport.

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The Surface Pro shares the Denver Broncos' moment of triumph at Super Bowl 50

The Surface Pro ended the NFL season on a high note?a handwritten one, at that. As the game wound down, with the Broncos the clear winners, Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib was seen running around the field with a Surface Pro in hand. Exactly why was unclear until he held it aloft to TV cameras with the words ?WORLD! CHAMPS!? scribbled on the Surface?s display.

Here's the moment as captured by NBC's Frank Thorp V on Twitter:

Somehow Aqib Talib gets his Microsoft Surface to operate correctly and display "World Champs" #SB50

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Cybercriminals adopt spies' techniques to pull off online bank heists

The times when stealthy, persistent and advanced malware was associated only with cyberespionage are gone. Criminals are now using similar threats and techniques to steal millions of dollars from financial institutions.

Last year researchers from security vendor Kaspersky Lab were called in to investigate unusual thefts from 29 banks and other organizations located in Russia, leading to the discovery of three new sophisticated attack campaigns. Their findings were presented Monday during the company's annual Security Analyst Summit.

One group of attackers is using a modular malware program known as Metel or Corkow to infect computer systems belonging to banks and to reverse ATM transactions. During a single night, the gang stole millions of rubles from a Russian bank using this hard-to-detect transaction rollback trick.

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Switch from Facebook's iOS app to Facebook on Safari to save battery life

Facebook last October promised to fix technical issues with its iOS app that caused it to suck up tons of battery life, but despite those efforts, Facebook?s iPhone app continues to hog more power than it should. The Guardian has some anecdotal evidence indicating that it?s not just using Facebook that?s running your battery down?it?s using the Facebook iOS app specifically.

Uninstalling the app altogether and using Facebook on Safari conserves up to 15 percent of your iPhone battery life on average, and that?s including the same amount of daily usage, according to The Guardian?s research. The news organization first tested Facebook?s Android app and found that deleting it from a phone saves up to 20 percent of its battery life. The iPhone app is slightly less of a battery hog, but compared to using Facebook on Safari, it?s almost as bad as the Android version.

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How to rearrange the Android TV home screen on Nvidia Shield and Nexus Player

One of the longest-running complaints with Android TV devices was you couldn?t rearrange the order of apps on the home screen. Fortunately, Google heard users? cries of frustration and released an update late last year that makes the layout more manageable on devices like the Nexus Player and Nvidia?s Shield Android TV.

Here?s how to change the order of apps and games on the Android TV home screen:

From the home screen, scroll down to either the apps or games section. Press down on your remote?s select button (or the ?A? button on the Nvidia Shield controller) until the surrounding menu items fade to grey. Use the remote?s arrow keys to move the app into your desired position, then press the select button to place it. To delete an app, press down until the app floats over the trash icon, then press select to uninstall it. (Note: This will not work for preinstalled apps such as YouTube.) When you?re done sorting, press the remote?s Home button to return to the home screen. (You can also select Save and Exit from the sorting menu, but a bug on Nvidia Shield Android TV devices currently prevents this from working properly.)

If you?d rather have apps appear in recently used order, scroll down to Settings, then go to Home Screen under the Preferences section, and select Apps and games. Choose Organize apps and games from this menu, and select Recency order.

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Watch hundreds of robots and drones in an amazing choreographed dance

Hours-long entertainment shows are a staple of the new year in many East Asian countries, but none is greater than Chinese Central Television's lunar new year gala.

The TV spectacular, which is said to be watched by 700 million people, featured scores of the country's best-known singers but they all risked being upstaged by robots as the Year of the Monkey was ushered in.

A crew of 540 humanoid robots danced in perfect step to a song bySun Nan (??) against the impressive Guangzhou skyline.

It's mesmerizing to watch and a little scary too, especially if you're haunted by nightmares of a robot army taking over the world.

And just when the song approaches its climax, drones arrive! They numbered 29, according to Chinese media reports.

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