Computers and Electronics Stores
Check out the latest electronics news, latest engineering and technological developments in the Australian Computer and Electronics industry from electronic engineers, experts, brands and associations on Top4 News.
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Sydney Tableau partner wins top reseller two years running

Sydney Tableau partner wins top reseller two years running | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Sydney-based data warehousing specialist MIP Australia has been named Tableau Software’s top ANZ reseller for the second time in the row and after beating 30 other resellers in the region for the award.


The win by Australia's largest and longest-standing Tableau partner was announced at the vendor's Asia Pacific Partner Summit in Singapore last week.


MIP Australia group managing director Steve Hitchman said: “Being recognised as Tableau’s ANZ reseller of the year for a second consecutive year [since 2014] is a great honour. Our mission is to unlock a data culture within all of our customers and by partnering with Tableau we are able to provide an innovative data visualization product to the Australian market."

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Paper begins to fade as tablets take over from textbooks

Paper begins to fade as tablets take over from textbooks | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

You always knew it was going to happen, and in 2016, it looks like textbooks are finally meeting their maker, with Telstra revealing researching showing that the old school book is finally biting the dust.


According to research from Telstra, an estimated 1.3 million households with students living in them have tablets — at least one — and while that’s probably not hard to believe given how ubiquitous the portable slate computer has become, a little over 60 percent is using this for education, with approximately 800,000 households using it for some form of educational purpose.


In fact, the research isn’t just about how many people have tablets for educational reasons, but also about those parents thinking of grabbing one, with 71 percent of parents believe the education of their children is benefitting from access to tablets.


While that’s a positive side of technology, given how tablets can be used for more than just educations, the research also indicates that parents are also concerned the time kids have in front of tablets will be to consume content passively, rather than take on a more interactive roll and learn something from what they see.

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Aussies gain an emoji, Twitter exhibition for Australia Day

Aussies gain an emoji, Twitter exhibition for Australia Day | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Australia Day is literally just around the corner, and Twitter plans on celebrating the day with the invention of an emoji and a way to preserve the national conversation on the day.


Yes, you’ll be able to add one more emoji to the list you might already use, with a cool looking koala who might be a little too cool for school (or just tired and not keen on showing the world) being added to Twitter this week for use with Australia Day.


In fact, every tweet that uses the tag #AustraliaDay will get that cool koala added to the tweet, which means you can expect an awful lot of koala images popping up in a Twitter timeline.

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Microsoft follows AWS with Azure price drop

Microsoft follows AWS with Azure price drop | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Answering rival Amazon Web Service's latest salvo of price cuts, Microsoft on Friday said it would slash prices for a popular category of Azure public cloud instances.


New price points across the latest version of Azure D-series (Dv2) virtual machines - which offer fast Intel Xeon (Haswell) processors, more memory than standard instances, and SSD drives - will go into effect sometime in early February.


Microsoft didn't shy away from acknowledging the driver for its latest reductions: "As part of our promise to deliver the best customer value on Azure, we have had a longstanding commitment to make our prices comparable on commodity services like compute, storage, and bandwidth relative to Amazon Web Services," said Nicole Herskowitz, director of product marketing for Microsoft's cloud platform, on the Azure blog.



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Microsoft to ban man-in-the-middle adware on Windows

Microsoft to ban man-in-the-middle adware on Windows | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Microsoft will block advertising injection software that uses man-in-the-middle techniques from next year to avoid a similar situation to Lenovo's Superfish scandal.


The software giant has updated its adware policy to say that ad software that shows ads on a browser can only install, execute or disable programs through the browser, in order to keep the unsafe adware off a user's computer.


Any ad software that does not notify the user through the browser that it wants to download or install a program will be blocked by Microsoft and marked as malware, the company said.  The new policy will be enforced from March 31 next year.


The software Microsoft is targeting can inject ads by proxy and change DNS settings without a user's consent, intercepting communications between the internet and the PC to inject advertisements and promotions into webpages from outside.  This type of adware gained attention with the Lenovo Superfish scandal.

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Downloads set to kill off video game stores as broadband and hardware improves

Downloads set to kill off video game stores as broadband and hardware improves | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

This Christmas could be remembered as a digital watershed for the games business, the moment when the old way of selling video games — on discs in boxes — finally gave way to downloads.


The industry has been pointed in this direction for years. But the signs of a sharp turning point have piled up in the last month, as new data points have painted conflicting pictures of the game industry.


On one hand, recent market research shows that physical game sales declined in November, and GameStop, a leading retailer, reported disappointing earnings that made its stock tumble.


On the other, game companies swear that things are going great. Big titles are setting sales records, and Sony, the leading maker of game consoles, says the latest PlayStation has been selling at a faster clip than any previous generation of the hardware.

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14 things you need to know before buying a phone directly from the manufacturer

14 things you need to know before buying a phone directly from the manufacturer | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Apple rocked the phone universe when it started a program to sell you a new iPhone every year directly from its own store. What you may not realize is that Apple isn't the first or only phonemaker to skip Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T and reach out to buyers one-on-one.


Motorola's been doing this for years through its own website (though, like Apple and others, you can also buy some of its phones from carriers if you want to). Huawei, Alcatel, OnePlus and ZTE also sell phones directly to customers from websites built just for the US, and we're already seeing crowdfunded phones like the Nextbit Robin elbow their way in.


Why might you want to do this? Buying directly from the source is a good way to pick up a phone you like that you can't find at your carrier store, often at lower prices than competing handsets. Sometimes there are special perks, too, like being able to design your phone colors, such as Motorola's Moto Maker service, which is only available through its website.


Buying phones directly from phone makers is generally regarded as safe, and it's going to become a lot more common very soon. Still, some support services are better than others, so you'd better know the benefits and risks before diving in.

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Short supply of Surface stock slows channel expansion

Short supply of Surface stock slows channel expansion | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

The popularity of the latest Microsoft Surface devices has led to supply shortages for Australian resellers.


Stock of the latest model, the Surface Pro 4, is constrained for the Surface Authorised Device Resellers, according to half a dozen ADR partners contacted by CRN last week.


ADRs are commercial resellers who are directly managed by Microsoft, and were the second wave of partners to get access to Surface after retailers JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman. At last report, the ADRs were CompNow, Ethan Group, Southern Cross Computer Systems, ASI Solutions, Brennan IT, Ensyst, Data#3, Staples, Insight, Datacom, Dimension Data, Trident, Learning with Technology, Triforce and Somerville Group.


Both JB Hi-Fi and Harvey Norman currently have limited availability of Surface Pro 4 SKUs. None of the Intel Core i7 models were available for immediate order from Harvey Norman, while only the 8GB RAM i7 was available from JB Hi-Fi.

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Why you should stop asking if a tablet can replace your laptop -- and what to ask instead

Why you should stop asking if a tablet can replace your laptop  --  and what to ask instead | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

This holiday shopping season, Apple, Microsoft and others are all selling a similar idea: A tablet that can replace your laptop.

It’s an attractive sales pitch.


The simple, lightweight and touch-friendly experience we’ve come to love on our smartphones and tablets seems like it could do wonders for the old-fashioned computers that we use everyday to get work done with.


But the advent of this new class of hybrid PC-tablet devices means that buying a computer can be pretty tricky these days.

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Thermoelectric IKEA Furniture Could Charge Your Phone With Energy From Your Coffee

Thermoelectric IKEA Furniture Could Charge Your Phone With Energy From Your Coffee | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Your computer, your gaming console, even your cup of coffee — all of these objects in your house radiate heat, which promptly goes to waste. But what if your kitchen table or console cabinet contained the thermoelectric hardware to turn that heat into usable electricity?


For centuries, that idea was just a dream. But emerging thermoelectric technology is bringing it closer to reality, with companies like Alphabet Energy — recently profiled by NPR — developing thermoelectric generators using nano-scale materials.


Sergey Komardenkov and Vihanga Gore, design students at Copenhagen’s Institute of Interaction, recently proposed the idea of embedding this technology in furniture to IKEA; a dinner table or a desk could absorb heat from a plate of food or a laptop and turn it back into electricity. They call the idea Heat Harvest, and it was developed at an IKEA-run research lab opened this autumn in Copenhagen called Studio10.

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A Guide To Upgrading Surface Pro 3 And Surface 3 To Windows 10 In Organisations

A Guide To Upgrading Surface Pro 3 And Surface 3 To Windows 10 In Organisations | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

For IT administrators looking after a fleet of Microsoft Surface Pro 3 or Surface 3 devices, Microsoft has released a guide on how to upgrade the unit from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10.


In a video tutorial by Microsoft, the vendor goes through the steps to upgrading Surface 3 Pro and Surface 3 tablets to Windows 10, from installing it on a single unit to managing a large scale deployment across multiple devices.


With single unit or a small number of devices, IT administrators can use the standard Windows 10 installation media on a network share, disk or thumb drive and then press the volume down and power button simultaneously. For larger rollouts, the Windows 10 upgrade process can be automated with existing deployment tools such as the Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) and Configuration Manager.

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Five Ways Intel's New Chips Will Improve Everyday Computing

Five Ways Intel's New Chips Will Improve Everyday Computing | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

The sixth generation Intel Core processors have officially launched in Australia. We take a look at some of the features and how they will benefit you in your everyday computing life.


Intel has been developing its newest 14 nanometre processors, codename Skylake, for the past four years so suffice to say that a lot of work has gone into them. There are over 50 processors within the family, ranging from the Core M for mobile devices, the Core i variant for desktops to a new Xeon for workstations.


The company has thrown us a lot of figures like “60 percent performance boost” and “2.5 times better productivity performance”. But what does this actually mean for the average user? Here are five practical ways the sixth generation Intel Core processors can help make using your computing device a little bit easier.

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These apps are draining your phone

These apps are draining your phone | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

The worst offenders are plundering your battery life, internet and storage. Smartphone makers and app developers are locked in a “cat-and-mouse” game, with apps occasionally too demanding for current hardware. Users want functionality and app makers are willing to indulge us, but our battery life, storage and data are struggling to keep up.


Security company AVG has quantified the biggest drains on our phones. Unsurprisingly, social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat dominated the report released this week.


“We want to be connected with our friends and family on social media apps in particular, which is why they rate so highly,” AVG spokesman Michael McKinnon told The New Daily“The ability for those apps to keep people connected on a real-time basis … is really something we all want to have, yet it’s something that we’re having to keep up-to-date with the technology.


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Microsoft Australia approves 150 new Surface resellers

Microsoft Australia approves 150 new Surface resellers | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Thomas Duryea, Fujitsu and more join distribution program.


Microsoft has finally opened up its high-selling Surface device to the broader reseller channel, with more than 150 Australian partners given the greenlight today.


The news comes more than three years after the Surface range first launched and six months since Microsoft's global channel chief, Phil Sorgen, announced that the vendor would change its unpopular policy of restricting the Surface channel and instead open up the hybrid device to "a few thousand" resellers around the world.


From today, the 150-plus approved resellers can order the full Surface range from Ingram Micro and Synnex, with further resellers to be added on an ongoing basis and no upper limit to the program, said Tina Flammer, Surface product marketing lead at Microsoft Australia.


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10 networking predictions for 2016

10 networking predictions for 2016 | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Looking through the crystal ball


This year is shaping up to be quite an interesting one for the networking world as 2015 was a year of transformation. It's going to be interesting to see what big moves heavy hitters like Juniper Networks and Cisco make, along with how the industry handles the increasing adoption of white-box switches, the rise of the Internet of Things and Wave 2 of 802.11ac solutions.


Channel partners should expect to see more recurring revenue streams as "X"-as-a-service becomes a larger part of vendors' strategies and should keep a keen eye on the red-hot hyper-converged infrastructure space.


Here are 10 predictions for what will take place in the networking industry in 2016.

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No OS is safe as security scares come to Mac, iOS

No OS is safe as security scares come to Mac, iOS | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

You might think that Windows is where all the security problems are, but the Apple side of things is also getting a security woe or two, as Symantec chimes in with some interesting information.


Back during the age of Windows Vista, Microsoft saw a lot of people leave its Windows operating system to take refuge over at Mac where the operating system actually felt like it wasn’t trying to waste your time.


We’re well and truly past that horrible time in Microsoft’s operating system development life, and Windows is still out in front of Apple in terms of how many users it has, as well as how many security problems it is affected by, which was another reason why people have left Windows.


That said, Macs aren’t totally invulnerable to the danger of security problems, and Symantec has picked up on this lately, finding that threats to both Apple’s desktop and laptop operating system Mac OS X as well as the mobile side of things on iOS are on the increase.

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Microsoft Lumia 650: Brilliant renders of this Windows 10 Mobile powered device emerge

Microsoft Lumia 650: Brilliant renders of this Windows 10 Mobile powered device emerge | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

It’s a known fact that Microsoft is gearing up to release the Windows 10 Mobile powered, budget-friendly Lumia 650. Now, a slew of renders pertaining to this device has surfaced showing the brilliant exterior design in Black and White hues.


As it turns out, Windows Central and Phone Designer collaborated to create incredible renders of the Microsoft Lumia 650, codenamed “Saana,” by basing the design on the ferreted out “internal Microsoft slides.” While the stunning photos are not official, they are “highly reflective of the final product.”


Based on the uploaded images, a sleek metal frame runs through the corners of the Lumia 650, giving this budget-friendly device an unexpected premium look. Microsoft will apparently release the device in two colours namely the traditional Matte White and Black, which is similar to the recently released Lumia 950 series’ colour palette. Interested readers can check out the killer images from the Windows Central link attached above.

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Gear of the year: 2015 consumer tech in review

Gear of the year: 2015 consumer tech in review | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

2015 was a dramatic year in consumer technology. Apple finally shipped the Watch, and the almost mythical "future of television" edition of the Apple TV, along with the iPad Pro, and a brand new MacBook. Microsoft released Windows 10, and surprised everyone when it unveiled its first laptop, the Surface Book. The overall quality of the gadgets this year was phenomenal, especially in smartphones, a welcome change from 2014's parade of identical glass and aluminium slabs. All in all, it was a great year to be a geek.


I'll start with smartphones, the most important computer most of us own these days. As I thought about the various smartphones released this year, I was hoping to award the best to an up and comer, a unique handset from a less established brand. And I almost did.


The Moto G represents incredible overall value, but is now challenged in the low-price but high-quality stakes from the Oppo R7, and the surprisingly good Alcatel Idol 3. The Nexus 5X and 6P are flagship phones with a mid-range price, neither compromise on build quality or camera, despite the lower cost. The Sony Xperia Z5 Compact brings flagship specs to an adorably small form factor, the yellow handset is the cutest gadget I played with this year, and for me, runner-up smartphone of the year.

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WTO deal to cut Aussie prices for tech products

WTO deal to cut Aussie prices for tech products | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Prices for high-tech goods imported in Australia will drop by as much as 35 percent after the World Trade Organisation pulled off its first tariff-cutting deal in 18 years.


Australia and 51 other members of the WTO yesterday agreed to remove restrictions on around $1.3 billion in global trade for 201 types of IT products.  They range from consumer electronics like headphones and video game consoles to medical devices like ECG and MRI machines.


Around A$19 billion worth of goods imported into Australia is covered by the agreement. The cuts come into force in 2017.  The expansion of the Information Technology Agreement 1996 is expected to increase global output by around US$190 billion a year.  It now includes modern technology products not in existence when the deal was originally signed, such as GPS devices, touchscreens and lithium ion batteries.


The WTO countries have been negotiating the extension of the agreement since 2012.


“By eliminating tariffs on these technology products we immediately reduce their cost, potentially boosting demand and stimulating further innovation. The ITA expansion will make it much easier to ship these heavily traded goods around the globe,” Trade Minister Andrew Robb said in a statement.

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Microsoft is giving Windows 7 and 8 users no choice but to upgrade to Windows 10

Microsoft is giving Windows 7 and 8 users no choice but to upgrade to Windows 10 | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Windows 7 and 8 users are seeing a new prompt to upgrade to Windows 10 that includes just two options: “Upgrade now” or “Upgrade tonight.”


The message, which was spotted by InfoWorld, tells the user that Windows 10 is “free for a limited time” before displaying two big buttons. There is no option to permanently postpone the upgrade process beyond a small red cross in the top right corner.


Microsoft has previously been downloading large primer files for Windows 10 onto computers ready for a potential upgrade, even if the user had never given any intention of wanting the new operating system.


The company has been pushing users to upgrade to Windows 10 for some time now, but the no-way-out pop-up window is a new development.  Microsoft has been forced to reassure users about other features within Windows 10, such as the operating systems constant connectivity to the cloud. The company has released software updates to fix these issues.

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Toshiba, Fujitsu and Sony's Vaio mulling PC merger

Toshiba, Fujitsu and Sony's Vaio mulling PC merger | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Japanese electronic companies Toshiba, Fujitsu and Sony spinoff Vaio are mulling a combination of their PC operations, according to a Nikkei report.


The three companies aim to sign a basic agreement this month and launch the combined company in April 2016, the business daily said on Thursday.


Vaio will likely be the surviving company, while Toshiba and Fujitsu will make investments and transfer operations to combined entity, according to the Nikkei report.


Toshiba, Fujitsu and Investment fund Japan Industrial Partners, Vaio's top shareholder, are likely to invest around 30 percent each in the new company, the Nikkei reported.

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Razer And Lenovo Team Up To 'Revolutionise Gaming Devices'

Razer And Lenovo Team Up To 'Revolutionise Gaming Devices' | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

Razer’s been working on the whole “revolutionise gaming devices” thing for many years now, but lacked the reach of the big names in PC hardware. Teaming up with multi-national computer technology company Lenovo should do the trick.


Announced yesterday during the Dreamhack 2015 computer festival in Sweden, the partnership between Razer and Lenovo gives each company something they have been missing. Razer gets access to Lenovo’s manufacturing, supply chain and engineering expertise, while Lenovo scores a nice chunk of gamer cred.


Not that Lenovo didn’t have gamer cred before. Why just the other day… OK, I’ve got nothing. Lenovo had absolutely no gamer cred. I didn’t even know they made gaming hardware. I’m not unfamiliar with the company — earlier this year I purchased one of its Yoga Pro 3 convertible tablet/laptops, and aside from its inability to properly render the colour yellow and some network issues, I’ve gotten good work use out of it.

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PC Graphics Card Showdown: NVIDIA Vs. AMD

PC Graphics Card Showdown: NVIDIA Vs. AMD | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

The hardest part of building a PC is picking the parts, especially when everyone around you seems to have an opinion. And no flame war is more prevalent than the NVIDIA snobs vs the AMD fanboys. What’s really going on with these two companies, and which card should you get?


Today’s showdown is going to be a bit different. Instead of directly comparing two graphics cards, we’re going to talk a bit about the companies who make them, where each manufacturer wins and loses, and how to pick the right card for you. First, a little real talk: Anyone who tells you one of these companies “sucks” is not to be trusted. They both make unequivocally great video cards for PC gaming, and you should consider both for your next build. 


By far the most important factor in choosing a video card is its price to performance ratio. How well does it fare in games against the other cards in the same price range? Neither company wins consistently on a price to performance basis, though at the time of this writing, AMD cards are priced at a particularly good value. But this fluctutates often, and can even vary from card to card.

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How To Customise The Windows 10 Start Menu

How To Customise The Windows 10 Start Menu | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

In the past few years, the Windows Start menu has been dangled in front of us and taken away more times than we can count, but it’s finally back — and it’s brought a lot of new tricks. For the first time ever, the Start menu is very customisable, which means you can make it work exactly how you want it to.


We discussed a few of these tips in our guide to tweaking Windows 10, but if you’re looking to dive a little deeper and really change up your Start menu, here’s everything you can to do customize it.


Change the Menu’s Size and Shape. 

By default, the Start menu will adjust its size based on the resolution of your screen. For example, on my 1900×1200 monitor, it’s pretty wide. I don’t want it to take up that much space, so I resized it to be a bit more compact.Resizing is so easy you’ll wonder why you’re reading this sentence: just mouse over the corner of the Start menu and resize it like you would any other window. You can make it short and wide, tall and thin, or any other dimensions you desire.






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Your smartphone can help cure cancer while you sleep

Your smartphone can help cure cancer while you sleep | Computers and Electronics Stores | Scoop.it

The Garvan Institute and the Vodafone Foundation have created an app which harnesses unused computing power while you sleep. If you were able to help find a cure for cancer without lifting a finger, it would be a no-brainer, right?


Well now you can, thanks to a new Android app created by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, and Vodafone Foundation Australia, which funds health and well-being projects that use mobile technology.Two years in the making and with the help of Melbourne app developer b2cloud, DreamLab harnesses unused capacity in your smartphone while you're sleeping to crunch medical data for cancer research.


The researchers are hoping to get 100,000 users signed up in the first year, which would allow them to process data around 3000 times faster than they currently are, and complete their first phase of research into four cancers: breast, ovarian, prostate and pancreatic.


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