Google Ups Free Music Storage to 50,000 Songs

Whether you stream, download, rip or only listen to podcasts, there’s a good chance you have anywhere from a handful to tens of thousands of MP3s and other songs cluttering a hard drive somewhere. If you’re looking for a good way to back them up without spending a dime, Google Music just got a big boost to its free storage limit. It’s allowing anyone to upload up to 50,000 songs for free, then stream or download them again later. The original limit was 20,000; either that was too little or not enough people signed up, and consequently Google has a bit of extra space on its servers. The price is right and there’s little reason not to take advantage of the upgraded service, especially if you already have a Google account.

Google

All you need to do is head to the Google Music page and sign up, then install the small program that uploads your songs to Google’s servers. You don’t have to pay a dime, though if you want to stream songs you don’t own, you can try out the $10 monthly subscription, which also gives you ad-free access to music videos on YouTube. All your music will still be available on your hard drive, but now you’ll be able to stream it to your phone or laptop, or download it all again if disaster strikes.

—Devin Coldewey

Microsoft will soon help you find friends with Windows phones

It’s fairly easy to locate friends and family if you have an Android or iOS device, but finding your pals with a Windows phone? Not so much, unless you come across the right third-party apps. That may not be a big challenge for much longer. Spanish site Microsoft Place has detailed an as yet unreleased service, People Sense, that will let you share and track locations with other Windows phone owners. The basic concept is familiar if you’ve seen Apple’s Find My Friends, but there’s a stronger emphasis on reaching out — you can call or message contacts in-app, and even get directions if you’d like to meet face to face. People Sense is still in private beta testing (it’s listed as “Buddy Aware” at the moment) and has no clear release date, but it won’t be surprising if the software plays a role in Windows 10.

Microsoft Buddy Aware (People Sense)

Source

5 Free Apps For The Selfie Photo Fan

f there is one thing about the Internet that remains constant, it’s that there is always a trend, a fad, going on. Whether it’s the latest meme, or filtering your photographs through various Instagram-like filters, there’s always something happening, which either annoys you or amuses you. So where do you stand on the latest fad? That would be the selfie.

Yes, the selfie. God’s gift to all vain and self-absorbed people everywhere. There’s nothing wrong with making the odd snap here and there, but some people take it to extreme levels. And Justin Bieber loves it, which definitely makes it worse! Ellen did it at the Oscars though which was kind of cool.

If you count yourself as a selfie junkie, here are 5 apps which will help you enjoy your hobby.

Frontback

When you view a photo, do you ever wonder what is on the other side? If you do, Frontback exists to give you a glimpse behind, and in front, of the camera.

I managed to get a rather handsome Scottish fellow to pose for me, to test the app. It worked flawlessly, as the app just walked me through the stages. A must for any selfie fan.

Download: iTunes (Free) | Android (Free)

Perfect365

Once you’ve taken the selfie, do you instantly whoosh it off to Instagram, Flickr, or Facebook? Don’t be silly! No, first we need to get rid of the pimples, remove the second chin, and the third eye…and the hair has to change colour. Blonde is so…yesterday.

This is why Perfect365 belongs on your phone. Once you have snapped your selfie, you can run the picture through Perfect365 and get a “magazine-worthy digital makeover” (their words).

Download: iTunes Link (Free) | Android (Free)

MomentCam

If you fancy something different, then why not make a caricature selfie? This is when you make a funny image of yourself, based on a photo you take with the app, or that you upload.

Here’s me. They are all GIF images so prepare to see yourself dancing around. It’s worth a few laughs at least.

Download: iTunes (Free) | Android  (Free)

Shots

Shots is actually a fledgling social network on the rise, a kind of rival to Instagram, except this one is dedicated to selfies. This is the one that Justin Bieber endorsed, in case there are any Bieberites (or whatever you call yourselves) are out there reading this.

You can contact the person who made the selfie, via the app. But what is nice about Shots is that it doesn’t have a public commenting feature, in order to stop cyber-bullying.

Download: iTunes (Free) | Android (Free)

Selfie Cam App

This one is only for iOS, and allows you to use iOS7 face detection technology to take your selfie. Just smile at the camera and the picture is taken. Or use your thumb to rotate a rotary dial to snap a picture, which may be more comfortable for some.

Plus there arealso the usual stickers that all selfies need. You can export the finished photos to Instagram, and you can share to Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp.

Download: iTunes (Free)

So there you go, 5 apps for selfie lovers the world over. Do you count yourself as a selfie fanatic? If so, what apps do you use, and why do you do it?

WhatsApp Web: Everything You Need To Know

WhatsApp is one of the best messaging clients around, and it just got better. Apart from supporting all mobile platforms, WhatsApp has now launched a web-based client, so you can finally use WhatsApp on your PC and sync with your phone.

Our web client is simply an extension of your phone: the web browser mirrors conversations and messages from your mobile device — this means all of your messages still live on your phone,” WhatsApp said in their official blog.

How To Use WhatsApp Web (And What You Need)

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WhatsApp Web is super simple to use, although it has some restrictions in which devices it works with. You will need:

  • A phone running on Android, BlackBerry, Nokia S60 or Windows Phone. WhatsApp Web won’t work with iPhones because it restricts background multitasking and push notifications, according to The Verge. Chalk up yet another reason to choose Android over iPhone.
  • Google Chrome. WhatsApp Web works on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, but it only supports the Chrome web browser. We already know it’s the fastest browser, but apparently WhatsApp believes it has the best push notifications system, according to GigaOm. That seems like a weak excuse to restrict to Chrome, in our opinion, and there might just be something else to the story. However, it works with other browsers based on Chrome, like Opera, which is a faster and simpler Chrome.
  • You’ll need to update WhatsApp from your smartphone app store or install the latest version.
  • Your phone will have to be connected to the Internet at all times.

If you have those elements ready, setting up WhatsApp Web is a snap.

whatsapp-web-chrome-android-menu

  1. Open Google Chrome and go to http://web.whatsapp.com.
  2. On your WhatsApp mobile app, tap Menu > WhatsApp Web to start the QR code reader.
  3. Point your phone’s camera to the QR code on your PC screen.

As soon as WhatsApp reads the QR code, it will sync with your phone and you’re ready to go. It’s that simple! WhatsApp rises to the top of web apps that make creatives use of QR codes.

What You Can Do With WhatsApp Web

whatsapp-web-group-chat

The web interface lets you do a number of useful things:

  • Use your keyboard to type.
  • Access media (photos, videos, audio) in-line. You can also download any media directly to your PC.
  • Start a new conversation with any contact, or search for existing conversations.
  • View contact info.
  • Talk in group chats and view group info.
  • Connect multiple computers to your phone and save them for the future. You can also remotely disconnect any browser from your phone.
  • Get or mute desktop alerts and sounds.
  • Share photos, record audio, or use your webcam.

What You Can’t Do With WhatsApp Web

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The web interface is limited in a few ways:

  • Emojis aren’t mapped to your keyboard, so you’ll need to manually add them using the emoji keyboard available in the web interface.
  • You can’t start a new group chat or leave an existing group chat from the web interface.
  • It’s not possible to share contacts or maps via the web interface.
  • You can’t block users directly through the web interface.
  • You can’t change your profile picture or profile status.
  • You can’t use two browsers at the same time. While you can add multiple browsers/PCs to your phone, you can only use one at a time.

Is It Secure? Is It Worth It?

whatsapp-web-remote-log-out

While it initially got some flak for its lack of security, last year, WhatsApp rolled out end-to-end encryption for all its messages. The new WhatsApp Web uses the same technology and is dependent on your phone for all message transfers. Plus, you can always check which browser is connected to your phone at any moment, and remotely disable any browser. While it’s not foolproof, the security is good enough.

WhatsApp Web is the best-looking web interface for WhatsApp we have seen, and definitely better than WhatsCloud or WhatsApp Remote. And it’s completely free as well. It has some limitations to what you can do online, but if you pair it with AirDroid 3’s screen mirroring, you won’t have to touch your phone for any WhatsApp-related actions.

How Will You Use WhatsApp Web?

Do you like WhatsApp Web? Are there any features you want in future updates? Facing any difficulties? Talk in the comments, we’ll help you out.

Image Credits: dchest, WhatsApp

Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users

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At Microsoft’s Windows 10 event today, the company shared that all Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10, for free.

Microsoft said that the free upgrade will be valid for the first year immediately after the release; if you upgrade during that time, you’ll get Windows 10 for free, for the “lifetime” of your device.

Those on Windows Phone 8.1 will also get the update to Windows 10 on their mobiles.

Terry Myerson, VP of Windows at Microsoft said that the company wanted to make it a “seamless upgrade” for those users when Windows 10 is released.

Source

Microsoft Retires Windows 7

Microsoft is slowly decommissioning its former Windows flagship. Since October 31st, the consumer editions of Windows 7, as well as Windows 7 Ultimate, have officially been retired. If you don’t want to move on to Windows 8.1 with your next hardware upgrade, we’ve got some options for you.

Buy A Windows 7 License: OEM, Retail, Or Second Hand

We recommended you to look into online retailers or second-hand options. Be extra careful with the former. Retailers are no longer permitted to hand out OEM versions for Windows 7 Starter or Home editions. Moreover, if you don’t want to violate the terms of service, OEM licenses are off limits for personal use for all editions of Windows 7!

If you do find a cheap and legitimate offer for a standard retail copy, whether it’s a second-hand consumer (Home) or first-hand business (Professional, Enterprise, Ultimate) edition, render yourself lucky.

Buy A Computer With Windows 7 Pre-Installed

In the aforementioned article, we also recommended to buy a new computer that comes pre-installed with Windows 7. Since the consumer edition has been retired, you will soon only be able to find computers that come with Windows 7 business editions.

If you cannot or don’t want to afford business grade hardware, we recommend looking into the second hand market for a Windows 7 retail license or computer. Your options include eBay, eBay classifieds, Craigslist and any local classifieds service or paper. You should also look into dedicated online computer auctions for a bargain.

Transfer Your Current Windows 7 License Or Installation To A New Computer

f you previously bought a Windows 7 retail version, you can use that license to install Windows 7 on a new computer. You can also move your old Windows installation to a new computer, provided you have a proper license. If your computer came with Windows 7 pre-installed, you most likely own an OEM license, which cannot be transferred to new hardware.

Note that if you bought a computer that came with Windows 8 Professional, you can downgrade to Windows 7. That, however, requires that you own Windows 7 installation media and a valid Windows 7 license.

Get Windows 7 Via Microsoft DreamSpark

you’re a student or work for a university, find out whether your institution has a subscription with Microsoft’s DreamSpark programme (formerly MSDN Academic Alliance). Students and employees of participating institutions can get Microsoft software for cheap or even free. If you’re lucky, this still includes Windows 7 (it used to).

Microsoft DreamSpark   Microsoft Retires Windows 7: This Is How You Can Still Get A Copy

Alternatives To Windows 7

Microsoft has not yet determined the end of sales for Windows 7 Professional and sales probably won’t end before Windows 10 is released in mid / late 2015. It’s very clear, however, that mainstream support for Windows 7 will end on January 13, 2015. Extended support is expected to last until January 14, 2020. While Windows 7 remains the most popular Windows version, it’s time to let loose.

Since holding on to Windows 7 will become only harder, you’ll have to look for alternatives. This is what we suggest:

  • Upgrade to Windows 8.1; buy a cheap Windows 8 license and install all updates to improve desktop mode, install a Start Menu, get used to the modern interface, or make Windows 8 look like Windows 7.
  • Wait for Windows 10; it will auto-optimize for desktop environments, comes with a Start Menu, and so far appears to work much better than Windows 8, even on older hardware. You can even try Windows 10 for free and see for yourself.
  • Transition to Linux; Linux is free and easy to use, the interface isn’t too different from Windows, you can choose from a vast collection of free software to replace Windows software not available for Linux, and we have a handy guide for migrating from Windows 7 to Ubuntu. Should you really switch to Linux? You can try Linux with a live USB before you decide.

How Will You Replace Windows 7?

Many people are excited about Windows 10, but it won’t be released until next year. Meanwhile, you can install the preview versions, but you shouldn’t use a Windows Preview as your main operating system. There’s rumors that Windows 8 users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, but Microsoft hasn’t confirmed anything.

If you’re in the market for a new computer and want to avoid Windows 8, your best bet is to buy a computer that comes with Windows 7 Professional, hold out until Windows 10 is released, or dual boot Linux. Keep in mind though that new hardware comes with novel features that won’t immediately be available to Linux and much less to Windows 7 users. Eventually, you’ll want to use that touchscreen and then what?

Source

JPMorgan: 76 million customers hacked

The revelation follows news back in August that hackers had infiltrated seven of the country’s largest banks, using sophisticated malware to burrow into their computer systems and manipulate records.

At JPMorgan (JPM), the hackers got contact information for 76 million households and 7 million small businesses, including names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses, as well as “internal JPMorgan Chase information relating to such users.”

But the bank said that the hackers didn’t get any account information — account numbers, user IDs, dates of birth or Social Security numbers — and that it hasn’t seen “any unusual customer fraud related to this incident.”

“The Firm continues to vigilantly monitor the situation and is continuing to investigate the matter,” JPMorgan said in a securities filing, adding that it is cooperating with law enforcement.

JPMorgan said anyone who uses its online services were affected by the hack. That includes its website and smartphone app. The bank did not immediately clarify to CNNMoney whether customers who only do in-person banking were spared.

Although it appears that the hackers haven’t been able to access bank accounts, they could still cash in by selling email addresses and other personal information to spammers.

The source of this summer’s attack still isn’t clear. Some analysts have pointed to hackers Russia, though the evidence is only circumstantial.

Hackers from Russia and eastern Europe are often top FBI suspects in cyberattacks. The timing of the hack raised suspicions given the mounting tensions between Russia and the West over Ukraine and economic sanctions.

In a letter to shareholders earlier this year, JPMorgan said it planned to deploy over 1,000 people and budget $250 million annually to focus on cybersecurity.

Viber Adds Video Calls to Mobile

Viber video calling

The popular app Viber, which offers free messaging and HD phone calls over Wi-Fi or 3G, is getting a new feature — video calls.

With the latest version of the app, Viber 5.0 for iOS and Android, you can now make video calls from your phone. The feature is also available from the Viber desktop app for Windows, Windows 8, and OS X.

“We’re delighted to bring video calling to mobile,” Viber CEO Talmon Marco, said in a statement. “Now that you can make video calls from your phone as well as on your PC and Mac, you can always talk in the way that’s most convenient for you, wherever you happen to be.”

Besides video calling, the update brings an easier way to manage your contacts. You can now add friends by simply adding their Viber number or scanning a special QR code.

The update also offers a number of OS-specific enhancements, including photo and video message forwarding and easier sticker pack management on iOS. The Android version has a new design, making the app “easier and more fun,” Viber said.

On the desktop, Viber v4.3 has a new and improved design, a fun backgrounds gallery, and other improvements and bug fixes. Meanwhile, Viber for Windows 8 v3.2 brings an updated snap mode with stickers, emoticons, and notifications, an easier way to search contacts, the ability to see online contacts from the home screen, and PNG support for photo messages.

The update comes after Viber in June announced it now has 100 million-plus active users and more than 360 million unique registered users. Viber estimates more than 200 million people are reachable via the platform at any time.

With the latest version of the app, you can now make video calls from your Android or iOS phone.

Gmail Hacked? Not Quite, Says Google (but Change Your Password)

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Reports early Wednesday of millions of Gmail addresses and passwords being leaked had users of the popular email Web app understandably alarmed — but Google says the danger has been greatly exaggerated. “We found that less than 2% of the username and password combinations might have worked,” the company wrote in a blog post, “and our automated anti-hijacking systems would have blocked many of those login attempts.”

The post also explained that the “dump” of emails and passwords wasn’t from any kind of leak in Gmail itself, but was likely harvested from “other sources” over time — smaller hacked sites, for instance, or malware on users’ own computers. Since many people reuse emails and passwords on other sites, such lists can be used by hackers to gain unauthorized access. If you might have been affected by the leak, Google should have already alerted you, locking down your account and requiring a password change. But if you’ve been meaning to change it anyway, there’s no time like the present — better safe than sorry.

Check here if your Gmail account was among 5 million possibly hacked

According to the Daily Dot, nearly 5 million usernames and passwords associated with Gmail accounts have been leaked on a Russian Bitcoin forum.

The list has since been taken down, and there’s no evidence that Gmail itself was hacked—just that these passwords have been leaked. Most sources are saying that lots of the information is quite old, so chances are they were leaked long ago—though others are claiming 60% of the passwords are still valid

To check if your password was one of the leaked, plug your Gmail address into this trusted tool from KnowEm. Alternatively, if you aren’t comfortable giving out your email, you can change all your passwords now.

No matter what you do, make sure you using a strong password on all your accounts and that you’ve enabled two-factor authentication

VIA

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