While there are plenty of innovative wireless pointing devices available, few are as light, compact, interesting, and mobile as Microsoft’s Arch Touch Bluetooth Mouse. It’s designed primarily as an accessory for the company’s Surface Book PCs (it’s the same light-gray color), but since it’s a standard pointing device, it also works with most laptops or tablets running a recent version of Windows (and some MacBooks) that support Bluetooth. The Arc Touch mouse is, when turned off, ultra-thin, making it easy to slip in to your pocket or some other tight spot.

The Arc Touch mouse is unique in design. Even so, just about any other small wireless “travel” pointing device, such as Logitech’s M535 Bluetooth Mouse ($39.99) or Microsoft’s own Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 ($29.99), is a direct competitor. You can pick up the Arc Touch mouse for about $40, which is a bit high for a small mouse like this, especially considering that you can buy the EasyGlide Wireless 3-button Travel Mouse, and several others, for as little as $20. That said, you’ll have trouble finding a mobile mouse as easy to carry around with you than the slim and petite Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse, and like most Microsoft peripherals, it’s well-built, durable, and somewhat elegant.

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computer-mice-reviews/microsoft-arc-touch-bluetooth-bluetrack-review/#ixzz4cqSb106L


 

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MICROSOFT UNIVERSAL FOLDABLE KEYBOARD REVIEW at Digital TrendsThere’s no shortage of mobile keyboards in the world. Some, such as EC Technology’s Bluetooth Ultra-Slim Keyboard and the Jorno Keyboard, fold in thirds. Others, including VisionTek’s Waterproof Bluetooth Mini Keyboard and today’s review unit, Microsoft’s Universal Foldable Keyboard, fold in half. Nearly all are water resistant to some degree, and most of them support all three of the standard tablet and smartphone operating systems: Android, iOS, and Windows.

Akin to its Surface 3 and Surface 3 Pro Type Cover keyboard sibling, Microsoft’s mobile keyboard is light, compact, and easy to use. And like most Microsoft keyboards (and other peripherals), it’s well-designed and well-built, if somewhat expensive. If you shop around, you can find it for around $70. You can pick up the VisionTek model for as little as $20, though, and the iClever BK03 Ultra Slim Mini Bluetooth Keyboard, yet another competitor, sells for about $36. At nearly two-thirds of a C-note, do you get what you pay for?

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/keyboard-reviews/microsoft-universal-foldable-keyboard-review/#ixzz4c4X86qf1


 

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Office 2016 WordBeneath the hype leading up to the imminent release of Windows 10, other teams at Microsoft are busy readying the 16th full-version upgrade of the company’s highly successful office productivity software, Microsoft Office, officially dubbed “Office 2016.” The number of Office users has, when including the current 9.2 million Office 365 Personal and Home users and more than 50 million Office Online users, surged recently to an estimated total of 1.2 billion users overall.

Despite its enormous popularity, office productivity software is changing—rapidly and drastically, moving online and to the cloud. Microsoft itself has recently said that the new Office experience will be in recognition of this new mobile and cloud-first world (which was supposed to be the focus all along, we thought). In other words, if all goes as Redmond expects, Office 2016 will be important not as stand-alone software, but as part of the Office 365 subscription service.

Read the entire review at Digital Trends.

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Metro, modern, now universal? Microsoft can’t make up its mind!   Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/microsoft-universal-apps/#ixzz3bT4odQsl  Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on FacebookFor the longest time, we called the non-operating system executables running on our Windows desktops “programs” or “applications.” Since the inception of Windows, 8, though, a new breed of program, one that runs only in the Windows 8 environment (or the Win 8 UI overlay), has emerged. In just a few short years, this new program type has gone by many names, including: Metro apps, Metro-style apps, Windows 8-style apps, Modern apps, Windows Store apps, Universal apps, and now, according to a recent announcement from Microsoft, “Windows apps.”

Obviously short for “application,” the abbreviation apps originated, or at least became prevalent, with the original iPhone (and a little later the iPad) and Apple’s App Store. From there, the term “app” spread from the mobile world to include programs, or applications, that run on all platforms. Somewhere along the line Microsoft Office suite programs, such as Word or Excel, became “apps,” and the distinction between those big, expansive Windows desktop programs and small smartphone apps was lost, or at least blurred.
Microsoft to the rescue! Just as we were getting used to “Universal apps,” Redmond up and announces yet another name change. If you’re paying attention to all this, it probably all seems confusing, maybe even silly. Even so, let’s see if we can make sense of it.

Read the entire article at Digital Trends

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Zuckerberg is spreading the Internet across the globe, but is it only for Facebook’s gain?   In the 20 or so years the world has enjoyed public Internet (ever since the days of dialup, in fact), there has always been free Internet in one form another. Usually, though, these so-called “free” providers forgo the monthly fee in lieu of the subscribers allowing the company to subject (bombard) them with advertising—in the form of banner ads or some other, usually more distracting, type of message. For these providers and their subscribers, this is a mutual exchange; nobody gets anything from charity or the goodness of anybody else’s heart.

Not so, though, according to Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, for subscribers of Facebook’s free Internet service, Internet.org. Founded in 2013, Internet.org’s goals are much loftier than ad-supported providers of old. It hopes to offer free Internet service to the two-thirds of the world’s inhabitants who, because of poverty, location, or a general lack service availability, don’t have and can’t get Internet connectivity.

Is Internet.org truly an attempt at altruism, as Zuckerberg claims, or a scheme to bring less developed countries of the world Facebook?

Read entire article at Digital Trends.

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Could DNA be the key to passing digital data to future generations? Perhaps in predicting “bio-neural” circuitry to store and transfer data throughout the starship, the writers of the mid-1990’s TV series Star Trek: Voyager were prophetic. Over the past few years, researchers at Harvard, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, ETH Zurich university, and other research facilities have been experimenting with storing data in DNA. Researchers are starting to find we may be able to store data for thousands of years by using techniques first perfected by Mother Nature.

The Voyager engineers have 400 years or so on today’s scientists. DNA storage is probably a little closer to today than the 25th Century, where Star Trek: Voyager was set. Still, this budding technology has a lot of obstacles, among them prohibitive costs. If that can be conquered, though, all of today’s existing digital data could be stored and preserved in about four grams of synthesized DNA.

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.

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Does the death of Windows RT cast a shadow on Windows 10?   Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/windows-rt-dead-will-windows-10-make-mistakes/#ixzz3SDXC1QYl  Follow us: @digitaltrends on Twitter | digitaltrendsftw on FacebookThe recent introduction of Windows 10 Technical Preview has made many pundits wonder about the future of Microsoft’s Windows RT, an inexpensive, low-power version of Windows 8 designed to run on the ARM processors often used to power tablets and smartphones. Much of the speculation is that Windows RT is dead. Then again, was it ever really alive?

Nobody was ever enthusiastic about Windows RT. Microsoft promised, negotiated, bribed, and cajoled, but still the response to RT was poor, at best. The financial loses, especially Microsoft’s, were immense (and still climbing). Within a year or so of its 2012 release a list of PC manufactures including Asus, Dell, Samsung, and Lenovo gave up trying to sell RT devices.

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.

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Will Windows 10’s universal apps make Office 2016 the suite we’ve been waiting for? Recent coverage of Windows 10 has left many a computer geek ruminating about the shortfalls of the current Windows operating system. Not only did the Windows 8 OS upgrade leave us wanting but (even though it wasn’t technically part of the update) so did mobile versions of Office. Those of us looking forward to manipulating Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook, and OneNote across computers, tablets and smartphones were left disappointed.

A lot of hoopla was made over the “metro style” flat and less-cluttered interfaces, and yes the new apps were attractive; their design matched the new Windows 8 touch overlay, for the most part. However, as was the case with the latest Windows itself, while the mobile Office app’s interfaces looked good, the apps weren’t all that robust on mobile devices, and their touch capabilities were lacking. You can’t even swipe your finger to select a group of cells or a block of text in Excel or Word!

This time, though, the new mobile Office apps will be “universal,” in that the code will work across multiple devices, and they will be available for free on smartphones and small tablets. What does that mean for Windows and Office users?

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.

 

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Security firms struggle to keep up with malware surgeYear after year brings reports of increased malware attacks, and predictions that the future is destined to see more than ever. Such forecasts aren’t just doom and gloom, but instead based in reality. Over the past two years security experts have witnessed an unprecedented spikes in attacks.

According to AV-Test, an independent security software review group, more than 143 million malware detections were reported in 2014. That’s 72 percent more, according to a recent report, than 2013. Worse, more malware was detected during 2013-2014 than in the previous 10 years altogether. Will this storm of cyber-attacks ever cease?

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.

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Can hard drive manufacturers keep up with the world’s demand? Despite ever-plunging per-gigabyte prices, storage device manufacturers are reporting banner profits each year. A huge part of the success comes from, of course, the storage device industry’s continual (and successful) adaptation of the hard disk drive (HDD) to our computing devices over the past 40 years or so. As our laptops, PCs, and servers have evolved over the years, becoming much faster, capable, and reliable, so have our HDDs.

Industry leaders, such as storage giant Western Digital, have not only reported record years recently, but they’re also predicting significant growth over the next five or six years. Western Digital, for instance, has estimated a two billion dollar surge, from $36 billion in 2013 to $38 billion by the end of 2014, in global, industry-wide storage-device sales. That is projected to grow by another four billion, to $42 billion, in 2015.

And this growth is in spite of a tremendous drop in the average cost per gigabyte. According to statisticbrain.com, over the past 33 years (from 1980 to 2013), the per-gigabyte cost dropped from $437,500 per GB to five cents per GB, respectively. That’s encouraging a rapid expansion in storage consumption, but technology must advance to keep pace.

Read the entire article at Digital Trends.

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