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Windows Server support extended by six years

Microsoft will extend support for the Windows Server and SQL Server product lines to keep customers, and ultimately convince them to move their workloads into the cloud, an analyst said today. Last week, Microsoft unveiled “Premium Assurance,” which will add up to six more years to the support lifespan of Windows Server 2008 and later, and SQL Server 2008 and later. Enterprises with existing...

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Facebook Messenger adds social app features

Facebook really wants you to hang out and talk about your feelings. But, does it want you to have those conversations anywhere else other than on Messenger? Probably not. Messenger launched a new and distinctly Snapchat-like tool complete with art and special effects on Thursday. The update lets users exchange photos with text, stickers, animated effects, illustrated frames and doodles. Sound familiar? Hijacking your...

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Encrypted direct messages may come to Twitter

Following his chat with whistleblower Edward Snowden, @Jack dropped a hint about what privacy features might be in the cards for Twitter. In the tweeted exchange, Dorsey and Snowden continued the conversation that streamed on Periscope Tuesday, veering back to the topic of Twitter itself. When Snowden asked if Twitter might consider making the platform’s private messages more secure in some way, Dorsey left the door open for...

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People are switching from MacBooks to Microsoft Surface

Microsoft has been targeting Mac users with its Surface commercials recently, and it appears they might be paying off. The software giant claims that November was the “best month ever for consumer Surface sales,” following a number of Black Friday deals on the Surface Pro 4. Microsoft still isn’t providing sales numbers, but the company claims “more people are switching from Macs to Surface...

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Google replaces Flash with HTML5 in Chrome

Google told us in May that it would eventually block Adobe Flash Player content on Chrome. And today, the company is making good on its promise. Google is slowly rolling HTML5 out to users over the next couple of months, starting with one percent of users on the current version of Chrome. Everyone should have an updated Chrome by February, when the most recent...

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Users say iPhone 7 exploding or catching fire

A state-run consumer watchdog in China revealed it had received eight reports of iPhones spontaneously combusting in the last few months, calling on Apple to address the issue. The report from the Shanghai Consumer Council quoted one woman saying the phone exploded in August, shattering the screen and leaving the battery and back of the phone blackened. Apple provided her with a new iPhone...

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Google working on Invisible reCaptcha

Google engineers are working on an improved version of the reCAPTCHA system that uses a computer algorithm to distinguish between automated bots and real humans, and requires no user interaction at all. Called “Invisible reCAPTCHA,” and spotted by Windows IT Pro, the service is still under development, but the service is open for sign-ups, and any webmaster can help Google test its upcoming technology....

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Netflix offline playback is being added

Netflix has long said that it had no intention of ever offering an offline playback mode for when you’re stuck on an airplane or anywhere else with no internet connection. But it seems like the company is changing course: An enigmatic tweet from the Netflix account says that “your favorite stories are now available for download any time.” It’s accompanied by a cute video...

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xHamster passwords appear online

Members of the porn site xHamster should be changing their passwords today after a set of nearly 380,000 usernames, emails and poorly hashed passwords appeared online. The subscription-only breach notification site LeakBase has published the set of login credentials, which Motherboard reports were being traded online. It’s not clear exactly where the database originated, but it contains information for only a small subset of...

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VLC media player 360-degree video support coming

VLC, the app that lets you play basically any video format on practically any platform, is about to add support for a whole new medium. The company just unveiled a technical preview that enables its desktop app to play 360-degree videos, so folks can watch their dizzying footage on their computers. The preview is now available for Windows and Mac machines, and the full...