Google has launched a USB security accessory dubbed the Security Key, a physical solution for safer two-step verification.

The tool eliminates the need for email or text message verification by allowing the user to authenticate logins by plugging it into their PC's USB port.

The Security Key was launched as a defence against some of the more sophisticated hackers out there, who are able to infiltrate two-step verification systems by setting up copycat sites that request login data from the user.

Google's new accessory uses cryptography to protect the user and is only designed to work with websites it has been pre-programmed for.

The Security Key is programmed to work with Google's Chrome Browser only, which is bad news for Firefox and Internet Explorer users.

Amazon is currently selling three versions of the device, ranging from $5.99 (£3.70) to $50 (£31.99) in price.


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Apple's 2014 Mac Mini is difficult to repair and even harder to upgrade via do-it-yourself means, according to a report.

Teardown specialist iFixit has already dissected the latest version of the machine, discovering that its processor and RAM are soldered to the logic board.

Although the computer is said to be relatively easy to have repaired professionally, the presence of T6 Torx Security screws, which require specialist tools to remove, makes it difficult to mend at home.

iFixit conducted its analysis on the entry-level model of the Mac Mini, discovering a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of RAM inside.

This version of the machine is available at £399, while Apple is also offering 2.6GHz and 2.8GHz models at £569 and £799 respectively.

The new Mac Minis were unveiled alongside the iMac with Retina display, the iPad Air 2 and the iPad Mini 3 at Apple's press conference last week.

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Apple has announced better-than-expected quarterly results, with profits of $8.5bn (£5.2bn).

The tech company's strong iPhone 6 sales led to a 13% rise in earnings from the same third-quarter period last year and beat analysts' expectations.

CEO Tim Cook said: "Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

"With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple's strongest product lineup ever.

"We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015."

Apple unveiled the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch in September. The iPhones were on sale for ten days during the three-month period ending September 30.

Three days after the phones were released, more than 10 million units were sold - making it the fastest-selling new iPhone on record.

Apple posted an overall revenue of $42.1 billion on Monday (October 20). Analysts predicted it would take in $40 billion.

"Our strong business performance drove EPS growth of 20% and a record $13.3 billion in cash flow from operations in the September quarter," Apple CFO Luca Maestri added.

"We continued to execute aggressively against our capital return programme, spending over $20 billion in the quarter and bringing cumulative returns to $94 billion."

Meanwhile, in the US, mobile payment platform Apple Pay is now active, alongside a host of bug fixes.


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Apple has made its latest iOS 8 update available to download.

iCloud Photo Library beta is among the notable iOS 8.1 additions, allowing users to save photos and videos from your device to your iCloud account.

The update also includes the return of the Camera Roll due to popular demand.

Apple Continuity is another new set of features, which bring together iPhone, iPad and Mac devices closer than ever.

Handoff lets users start tasks from one device - such as an email or browsing the web - and pick it up from another. It's also possible to answer phone calls from an iPad or Mac, as well as Instant Hotspot and SMS from any device.

Meanwhile, in the US, mobile payment platform Apple Pay is now active, alongside a host of bug fixes.

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Facebook is unlikely to ever introduce a 'dislike' button because its inclusion would be too complex and needlessly negative, according to the firm's former chief technology officer.

Bret Taylor, the man who created the 'like' button, told TechRadar that giving users the option to display negative sentiment with a single click could result in "unfortunate consequences".

"[The dislike button] came up a lot. In fact even the language of the word like was something we discussed a lot as well," said Taylor. "But regarding the dislike button, the main reason is that in the context of the social network, the negativity of that button has a lot of unfortunate consequences.

"The reason we launched the button in the first place was that there were a lot of times that people wanted to acknowledge something someone did, but didn't have anything to say. And a lot of comments were one word like 'cool' or 'wow', so the like button let people did that with a single click. It wasn't really just a sentiment of 'like'."

Taylor went on to say that negativity is better expressed using specific words, and pointed out that the option to 'dislike' a post could result in implications for cyber bullying.

"I have the feeling that if there were to be a dislike button... you would end up with these really negative social aspects to it. If you want to dislike something, you should probably write a comment, because there's probably a word for what you want to say," he added.

"I'm not saying the like button isn't flawed - would it be even more complex with a negative sentiment like 'dislike'?"

Previous reports suggest that Facebook once toyed with the idea of adding a 'sympathise' button, but these plans are yet to materialise.


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Justice secretary Chris Grayling has called for a crackdown on 'internet trolling' in the UK, dubbing online abusers as "cowards".

The government official is backing previously-proposed legislation to quadruple jail sentences for those who send threatening messages on social media, increasing terms to up to two years.

"These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life," Grayling told the Mail on Sunday.

"No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence."

He added: "This is a law to combat cruelty - and marks our determination to take a stand against a baying cyber-mob. We must send out a clear message: if you troll you risk being behind bars for two years."

Grayling's remarks follow a series of high-profile cases of internet trolling, including chilling rape threats against model Chloe Madeley just last week.

An amendment to the Criminal Justice Bill aiming to send cases of cyber bullying to crown courts - and increase maximum sentences from six months to two years - was tabled in March by Angie Bray MP.

The proposed legislation is currently passing through Parliament.

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An original model of the Apple-1 is expected to make big money when it goes up for auction at Bonhams later this week.

The vintage computer, hand-built in a garage by Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, could raise as much as £310,000 under the hammer.

The machine up for auction - one of just 200 Apple-1 computers from the original batch - was obtained from an American collector, according to Bloomberg.

"It's in the best condition of any we've seen, so in the last four years I would say this in the best condition of any that have sold," said Cassandra Hattan of Bonhams.

First released in 1976, the Apple-1 was Apple's first product. Jobs famously had to sell his VW Microbus and Wozniak his HP-65 calculator for $500 to bankroll the project.

Apple launched its latest Mac hardware last week in the form of the iMac with Retina display and the refreshed Mac Mini.

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Sony's Smartwatch 3 has been slapped with a $250 (£155) price tag.

The upcoming wearable has appeared on the Google Play store more than a month after it was announced, but is yet to receive an official release date.

The Smartwatch 3 is the first Sony watch to run Google's Android Wear operating system, rather than the custom software of its predecessors.

It comes with many of the same features as other Android Wear devices, along with a GPS chip for powering fitness apps without the need for a synced smartphone.

Sony's latest smartwatch was one of several wearables on display at the IFA trade show in September, along with the LG G Watch R and the Samsung Gear S.

The consumer electronics giant is expected to announce a release date for the Smartwatch 3 in the coming weeks.


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Google has reported a dip in profits during its third-quarter earnings call.

The internet giant raked in $2.8 billion (£1.7bn) during the period in question, down 5% from the same period last year.

Revenue increased by 20% to $16.52 billion in the three months ending September 30, but this figure was shy of analysts' estimates.

The downturn was attributed to a rise in real estate and hardware inventory costs, but Google is confident that gains in its advertising business will rectify the situation.

"We continue to be excited about the growth in our advertising and emerging businesses," said Google chief financial officer Patrick Pichette.

Google will also be hoping that the release of its new Nexus 6 smartphone and Nexus 9 tablet will help claw back the hardware inventory deficit.


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Apple's iPad Air 2 and iPad Mini 3 will ship with a pick-and-mix 'Apple SIM' built in.

The pre-installed SIM card gives customers the flexibility to sign up for short-term plans from select operators, without entering a long-term commitment.

Apple did not mention the inclusion of the SIM during its iPad launch event, but its existence was confirmed in the wireless details for the new tablets.

"The Apple SIM gives you the flexibility to choose from a variety of short-term plans from select carriers in the US and UK right on your iPad," reads the product's description.

"So whenever you need it, you can choose the plan that works best for you - with no long-term commitments."

UK network EE has confirmed that it will support the Apple SIM, while US operators AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are also on board.

Apple is yet to confirm whether customers with older iPad models will be able to take advantage of the flexible SIM.


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