Tagged With Software & Design

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Building extensible software is a tricky business. On one hand, you want your platform to be as customisable as possible, while on the other you want the flexibility to update APIs to make them faster, more secure and feature-rich. These aims aren't always compatible, as we're now discovering with Mozilla and the fundamental changes it's making to Firefox's add-on infrastructure.

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It's been my sole focus to answer this question for the last two years. I've noticed there are three strategies that successful students consistently use better than anyone else regardless of what resources they use.

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Here's some bad news for Android users. Security researchers have discovered 100+ more apps that fail to encrypt your login data properly, making it frightfully easy for hackers to steal your password. What's worse: the vast majority of the app makers aren't doing anything about it.

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Smart meters have taken us a step closer to "digitising" our power usage and making it easier to monitor just how much electricity we're using. CSIRO however is taking the concept further and in conjunction with app developer HabiDapt, is trialling software that will allow you to see the current power consumption of individual household appliances, along with a breakdown of usage costs, with the ability to turn them on and off remotely.

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Apple's iOS updates have a reputation for degrading the performance of slower devices. On one hand, it makes sense -- more features require extra grunt. On the other, given the strict range of phones and tablets the company has, surely it can take a bit of time to tune its updates for specific hardware? Well, iOS 9 could signal a shift in Apple's attitude towards optimising the platform for the likes of the iPhone 4S.

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Windows 10 is set to mark a sea change in the way Microsoft's OS works, but even the modern-looking Windows 8.1 carries a bunch of legacy tools and apps that you may not know about. One of those is the Task Scheduler, a built-in utility enabling you to automate a multitude of tasks with no additional software required.

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The number of smart devices is skyrocketing, so it was really only a matter of time before the internet of things invaded our dining rooms. Enter the SmartPlate, which, if used diligently, will ensure you never eat another meal without first knowing its full nutritional breakdown.

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You probably think of Chrome as a web browser -- and so you should -- but it has a few more tricks up its sleeve than you might have realised. Here are three of our favourite alternative uses for the software, which to a large extent work the same in Mozilla Firefox too.