Amazon now makes you buy Prime to get some of its best games

Amazon now makes you buy Prime to get some of its best games

Some customers have found video games on Amazon are now "exclusively for Prime Members".

Customers are clicking through to buy items in both the UK and US and finding certain titles to only be available for those who pay for Amazon's Prime service.

The PlayStation 4 version of Grand Theft Auto 5 in the US is affected while FIFA 16 in the UK is also put behind an exclusive message.

Paying extra

Customers around the world are also reporting other titles being restricted, including Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Seige, Assassin's Creed Syndicate, Far Cry Primal, Battlefield Hardline, Dishonored: Definitive Edition, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes and Farming Simulator.

Amazon hasn't announced the initiative, but the "exclusively for Prime Members" logo has been around since at least April last year. Previously items as diverse as movies and even nappies have been affected.

The exclusivity does not appear to apply worldwide. While the US version of GTA 5 is locked, the UK listing for GTA 5 on PS4 appears to be available for purchase by anyone. Meanwhile the Xbox one version of the game is unlocked across both US and UK.

It's not yet clear whether this initiative is meant as a means of dealing with low stock levels or whether it's simply meant as an extra reason to sign up for Prime.

However, the seemingly random exclusivity of titles across platforms and regions suggests that these titles have not been specifically chosen, indicating it may be an automatic measure to ensure stock is available for Prime customers.

Thankfully you'll still be able to buy affected titles if you are on one of Prime's free 30-day trials.

When asked for comment an Amazon spokesperson said "From time to time, Amazon offers exclusive selection and pricing on select items, including select video games, for Prime members. Customers who are not Prime members can sign-up for a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime to benefit from these exclusive prices and 30-minutes early access to select Lightning Deals, or they can purchase these items or similar products from third party sellers often fulfilled and delivered by Amazon."

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Updated: macOS Sierra release date, news and features

Updated: macOS Sierra release date, news and features

macOS Sierra

Update: Apple has pulled the wraps off macOS Sierra at WWDC 2016 complete with Siri, picture-in-picture and Apple Pay integration.

With Microsoft's Windows 10 heating up the PC market, Apple is bringing a free upgrade of its own with the launch of a new version of OS X for Mac packed with new features and improvements.

OS X 10.12 was officially revealed and renamed macOS Sierra at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). As expected, Sierra does much more than just providing bug fixes and performance updates, as we saw with the move from 10.10 Yosemite to 10.11 El Capitan.

So what's in store for Mac users? Follow along and we'll tell you exactly what you can expect from the next version of OS X – we mean macOS.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next version of Apple's desktop operating system
  • When is it out? Fall 2016
  • What will it cost? Like the previous several versions, it will be a free update

macOS Sierra

macOS Sierra release date

Apple has gotten cycle when it comes to releasing new operating system, Typically they're demoed and debuted during WWDC in June, a beta preview over the summer and having the final OS in our hands by November.

macOS Sierra seems to follow that same formula. Following its reveal in mid-June, Apple plans to release a developer preview in July and the final OS in the following fall.

Siri finally makes an appearance

The biggest new feature slated for macOS Sierra is the inclusion of the Siri virtual personal assistant. Siri was launched on iOS back in 2011, and Macs are surprisingly the last platform Apple decided to bring it to.

Just as with using the virtual assistant on iPhones, users will be able to simply command Siri and ask it questions with their voice. However, being on the Mac opens up a greater swath of options such as searching for files.

macOS Sierra

At WWDC, SVP of software engineering Craig Federighi demonstrated how Siri can help with sophisticated queries for files like, "Show the files I worked on last week about the off-site." And from there users can narrow down their search based on tags.

Siri also has full access to other parts of macOS' including applications such as iTunes, making her your personal DJ. Alternatively, Siri integrates with Safari to act on web searches.

By adding Siri to the Mac platform, Apple hopes to offer the same services for iPhone and iPad owners with a Mac.

What's more, Apple opened has issued an SDK for developers to make their own applications work with Siri.

Continuity gets even better

Continuity between Mac and iOS is a big deal for those engulfed in Apple's hardy ecosystem. Ever since its introduction, users have been able to pick up calls and text conversations from their phones and conveniently pull them up on their Mac computers.

macOS Sierra

With macOS Sierra, not only will you be able to access your computer from other machines including your iPhone, but if you need to copy something from one device to another, you can achieve that using the Universal Clipboard function. By copying something from one device, you can seamlessly paste it over to another. If you thought AirDrop made your life easier, this enhances the Apple ecosystem even further with yet another method of shuffling around files.

And, while TouchID isn't coming to Mac anytime soon, auto-unlock is. As the name implies, this new feature will let you unlock your Mac by merely being in close proximity to an Apple Watch or iOS device.

macOS Sierra

What's more, Apple Pay has expanded beyond the restraints of a 4.7-inch screen and onto PCs by way of macOS. Making an effort to compete with ecommerce services like PayPal, a "Pay with Apple Pay" button will soon be integrated in your browser with TouchID on a nearby iPhone or iPad serving as a means of quick authentication.

Better photo and video functionality

Finally we have the Photos app getting an overhaul in iOS 10, and because of the way Continuity works, the incoming features also apply to Mac. These include a new "Memories" tab for a more magazine-like viewing mode as well as an AI that automatically sorts photos either by people or topics.

macOS Sierra

Likewise, if you're a skilled multi-tasker interested in watching videos while you work, you'll be delighted to know that macOS Sierra's picture-in-picture mode allows users to take their video windows with them even as they rotate between desktop screens.

Gabe Carey also contributed to this article

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Symantec locks down tighter security with Norton Premium beta

Symantec locks down tighter security with Norton Premium beta

Symantec has launched a beta version of Norton Security Premium 2017, which as the premium label suggests is a solution that offers bolstered security levels above the firm's standard antivirus software.

The product offers a clean interface, much like the standard version of the Norton suite, but obviously boasts a number of improvements.

These include proactive exploit protection (PEP), which attempts to block malware such as backdoors from exploiting software vulnerabilities that often remain unpatched for some time. The system isn't dependent on signatures and is a constantly-on defence keeping an eye out for such possible exploits.

Norton has also improved its Intrusion Prevention System so it's capable of blocking attacks which use HTTPS connections, and support for 64-bit browsers has also been introduced.

Happy as a sandbox

Finally, Symantec notes that Norton Security Premium 2017 has a sandboxing mode whereby it will take installation files, then run and analyse them in an isolated virtual environment to check programs out before they're actually installed on the device in question. This ensures there are no nasty surprises from hidden malware.

You can grab a copy of the premium suite at the beta page – you're required to register with your email address, and a product key will subsequently be sent to your inbox.

Remember that this is a beta though, and you could well run up against issues – from the sounds of things, there are still teething problems with Norton Security Premium 2017.

Via: Betanews

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Round up: The best free website builder 2016

Round up: The best free website builder 2016

Download the best free website builders

Build your own website

Web design software transformed web building: if you were a keen coder, software could speed up your coding with auto-completion and macros; if you preferred to design visually, your software would turn your designs into code and stick them online.

Although more and more web building platforms are online and based around fairly inflexible templates, web design software still has a key role to play - especially if you like to get things done when you're far from a data connection. So which web design apps are the best? Let's find out.

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Download CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor

1. CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor

Make your own professional-standard website in minutes

Download CoffeeCup Free HTML EditorCoffeeCup's paid-for products are excellent, and CoffeeCup Free HTML Editor is great too. It combines coding and WYSIWYG design in an app that runs quickly, is easy to learn and can produce some stellar sites.

It lacks some of the features of its paid-for siblings - features such as the useful Color Schemer and built-in FTP uploading are reserved for the paid products - but unlike some rivals it's in continual development to keep it current.

Download CoffeeCup Free HTML EditorIf you're looking for a do-everything app on Windows then look no further.

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Download PSPad free

2. PSPad

A powerful text-based editor packed with extra tools for web developers

PSPad might not be pretty, but it's pretty good. Inside the defiantly old-school Windows interface is a powerful programmer's editor that includes an FTP client for on-server editing, templates for common languages such as HTML, PHP, VBScript and many others, multiple document editing and macros that you can use to create and trigger commonly used code.

Download PSPad freeIt's not an app for people who prefer a WYSIWYG interface that's more like desktop publishing or word processing, but if you're a keen coder it's an excellent tool.

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Download Google Web Designer free

3. Google Web Designer

Create stunning HTML5 animations for your own site

Google Web Designer's name is a little misleading, because it's really an advert and animation designer: it's best suited to people who need to create animated, cross-platform elements that they'll then use in another program (or add to their otherwise hand-coded sites). But if you're one of those people there's lots to like including Google Drive integration, 3D objects, layers and events.

Download Google Web Designer freeAs Google's showcase of animations created using Web Designer demonstrates, the app is capable of creating some really impressive results.

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Download KompoZer free

4. KompoZer

An older website builder, but still a favorite

We have a soft spot for KompoZer, which is a spin-off from the same Mozilla that created Firefox - but where Firefox has been in constant development from day one, KompoZer hasn't been updated since 2010.

Download KompoZer freeThat's a problem, because the languages used on the Web haven't stood still: while it's still possible to create sites in KompoZer, we think there are much better and easier ways to do it - such as the BlueGriffon app, which is based on Firefox and offers a more modern approach. Unlike KompoZer, however, BlueGriffon requires a paid licence for its most useful features.

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Download SynWrite free

5. SynWrite

A text-based editor for more experienced web developers

It's overkill for beginners, but if you're a keen coder then SynWrite is well worth a look, and not just because it's small enough to carry around on a modest USB flash drive.

Download SynWrite freeIt's a fully featured code editor with macro recording, plugins, clipboard history, text clips, stacks of coding helpers, colour pickers and previews, search and replace across multiple files and code templates too. It's been designed for every kind of web work from layout to coding, and it's a good choice for expert users.

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Download Mobirise Website Builder free

6. Mobirise Website Builder

Create responsive websites that look great on desktop and mobile devices

You've got to love an app whose sales blurb says "creating well-designed websites is a real fun" (sic), especially when it actually is. Mobirise can create good looking, responsive websites with the minimum of fuss.

Download Mobirise Website Builder freeIt's all about blocks: you choose the type of block you want, drag it to where you want it and change the default content to suit your own requirements. It's easy to see how your design will work on desktop, smartphone and tablet, and you don't have to use the pre-defined styles if you don't want to.

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Download TOWeb free

7. TOWeb

Another responsive design tool, but keep its limitations in mind

The free version of TOWeb is there to promote the more powerful paid-for versions, so as you'd expect, its features are limited: you can only create one website, the size is limited to 10MB and TOWeb will put ads in the website. It's simple, based on customisable and generally good looking templates, supports multiple languages and enables you to publish automatically to a wide range of web hosts.

Download TOWeb freeThe results are responsive too, which means they should work just fine on mobiles and tablets. If you can live with the limits TOWeb's free app is a decent option for simpler sites.

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Try Weebly Free

8. Weebly Free

A simple drag-and-drop editor that's ideal for making your first site

We've steered clear of online-only services in our round-up as they tend to be template-based web builders rather than web designers, but Weebly is a little bit different as it enables you to design the content of your pages by dragging and dropping.

You get free hosting and unlimited pages, and while you can't remove Weebly's branding - that's £5 per month for the Starter package, which enables you to use your own domain name - it's a great starting point if you want to make something that looks good without taking forever to build.

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Try openElement free

9. openElement

A web-based site builder that's very capable, but intimidating for beginners

The dark, dense interface might be a little off-putting for absolute beginners and it isn't as easy to use as some rivals, but there's no doubt that openElement offers a lot of power for more confident designers.

It does much more than most other WYSIWYG apps, and in the right hands it's capable of great things, but we think the interface is a little confusing compared to similarly useful apps like CoffeeCup Free.

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Try Webflow free

10. Webflow

A stylish online web builder if you don't mind the ads and limited page views

Like Weebly, Webflow is an online app that's part of a suite of paid-for services - and like Weebly, that means there are limits on what you can do with it. The free edition won't let you export HTML/CSS code for use outside Webflow's own hosting (although you can prototype your site for free with a webflow.io subdomain), your free site is limited to two pages and tech support is online-only via a busy discussion forum. If those limitations are okay, however, Webflow is a really great app for designing pages that pop.

Have we missed your preferred web design software? Share your recommendations in the comments below.

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Round up: The best web browser 2016

The best web browserThe best web browser 2016Are you getting the best of the web? We all have our preferred web browser, and we tend to stick to it. We generally won't even think about changing unless something goes disastrously wrong. According to the...
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Round up: The best free email client 2016

Download the best free email clientsThe best free email clientWith webmail services like Gmail and Outlook offering easy email access and mobile apps for all your devices, does the humble email client still warrant a place on you desktop?If you use mor...
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New AI security system cleverly combines machine learning and human intuition

New AI security system cleverly combines machine learning and human intuition

MIT researchers have announced that they've concocted a new artificial intelligence system capable of successfully detecting 85% of cyber-attacks.

The AI2 platform, produced by the MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (in conjunction with PatternEx, a machine learning startup), has notched up a much better record than previous systems.

The 85% accuracy rating is three times better than previous benchmarks which have been recorded, and it also produced far less false positives, in fact a reduction of a factor of five was observed.

MIT notes that AI2's initial testing ran over a period of three months and involved combing through some 3.6 billion log lines looking for suspicious activity, using machine learning to make the initial detections and then putting those in front of a human security analyst who confirmed whether or not a detection was an actual cyber-attack.

AI2 then learned from that feedback, improving its routines for the next round of detection.

Rapid honing

Essentially, the system utilises the best in artificial intelligence smarts combined with human error correction which feeds the machine learning process, and AI2 is apparently capable of honing itself rapidly indeed.

Kalyan Veeramachaneni, the MIT research scientist who developed the system (along with PatternEx's chief data scientist Ignacio Arnaldo), commented: "You can think about the system as a virtual analyst. It continuously generates new models that it can refine in as little as a few hours, meaning it can improve its detection rates significantly and rapidly."

AI2 actually makes use of three different unsupervised-learning methods when it comes to picking out suspected attacks. The more feedback it receives, the more accurate AI2's machine learning-driven analysis becomes in what Veeramachaneni describes as a human-machine interaction that "creates a beautiful, cascading effect".

Nitesh Chawla, a computer science professor at the University of Notre Dame, further noted: "This research has the potential to become a line of defence against attacks such as fraud, service abuse and account takeover, which are major challenges faced by consumer-facing systems."

While AI may be a boon to security, in recent times, much of the discussion around the topic has centred on how artificial intelligence could affect employment – with predictions such as AI snaffling the jobs of half the world's population by 2045 obviously sparking much debate.

Via: MIT News

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You could get Office 365 for free if you’re on OneDrive

You could get Office 365 for free if you're on OneDrive

Microsoft has begun to send out invites to some OneDrive users, offering them a free full year's subscription to Office 365 Personal.

That's a rather smart freebie indeed, but it's actually following up on a promise that Redmond made at the end of last year, when the company slashed the basic amount of free storage on OneDrive from 15GB to 5GB (though following a pretty major backlash, an option to avoid this was added later on, if you visited a web link) and ditched unlimited storage for Office 365 users who were apparently abusing it.

At any rate, when Microsoft announced this move, it also promised that it would be offering the free Office 365 subscription as something of a sweetener, and naturally the company has stayed true to its word. Although the offer is seemingly for those who are close to, or have been put over, their new storage limit thanks to the changes (if over, they have a year's grace to trim their files down back below that new limit).

Invitations are starting to go out to these folks, and indeed this offer may have already been available to some who checked out the upgrade section of their OneDrive account over the past month, as Neowin reports.

Note that with the free year's subscription to Office 365, you get 1TB of OneDrive storage (and further note that you will need a credit card to sign up for the offer – if you're only wanting a free year, don't forget to switch off auto-renewal, or you could find yourself stumping up cash in the future).

The Office 365 Personal (plus 1TB OneDrive storage) subscription normally runs to £60 per year, or £5.99 per month ($70 per year, or $6.99 per month in the US).

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