Piqora, a marketing platform and analytics provider for visual social networks, raises $7.7 million in Series A funding – @TechCrunch

Piqora, a marketing platform and analytics provider for visual social networks, raises $7.7 million in Series A funding - @TechCrunch

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Pause: Shuffler.fm’s awesome multimedia music magazine arrives for iPhone

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Shuffler.fm, the curated music-discovery service designed to help users navigate the music shared by online publications and blogs, has rolled out an iPhone version of Pause, its recently-launched standalone multimedia music magazine. Hitting the App Store back in February for iPad, Pause is essentially a curation of Shuffler.fm’s already-curated music service, so this is all about the crème de la crème of the best new music. It highlights the best songs, videos, albums and charts, as well as some of the best music writing from the likes of The New York Times, Pitchfork, The Fader, Fact magazine, Resident Advisor, XLR8R,...

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Xiaomi launches two routers and a revamped set-top box, will expand to 10 more countries this year

xiaomi 9
Popular Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi has been teasing a mysterious new product which looked suspiciously like an Apple Magic Trackpad, but today it was finally as a mini wireless router. The Mi Router Mini comes in an array of colors and is available for only CNY129 ($21). Xiaomi touts it as being up to three times faster than traditional wireless routers, theoretically supporting a speed of up to 1167 Mbps. It is also a dual-band 2.4GHz/5GHz router. At the same time, Xiaomi also announced today the full launch of its Apple-style wireless router, the Mi Router, which was unveiled in beta last...

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How to Perform a Clean Install of Windows 8.1 With a Windows 8 Key

fresh-install-windows-8.1-with-windows-8-key

Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade to all Windows 8 users, but you normally can’t install Windows 8.1 with a Windows 8 product key. Luckily, you can get around this limitation if you really want a fresh install of Windows 8.1.

Microsoft also only allows you to download Windows 8.1 installation media with a Windows 8 key, so we’ll show you another trick that allows you to download Windows 8.1 installation media with a valid Windows 8 key.

The Problem, and How We’ll Fix It

The problem is that Windows 8.1 product keys are different from Windows 8 product keys. You can’t enter a Windows 8 product key into the Windows 8.1 installer, just as you can’t enter a Windows 7 product key into the Windows 8 installer. You also can’t install the original version of Windows 8 with a Windows 8.1 product key.

This normally makes sense, but Windows 8.1 isn’t really a different version of Windows. It’s a free upgrade to every single Windows 8 user, so there’s absolutely no reason to introduce a new product key system.

Microsoft wants you to install Windows 8 normally and use the Windows 8.1 upgrade offer in the Windows Store to get Windows 8.1. Only people who purchase Windows 8.1 can install it fresh, not people who origianlly purchased Windows 8.

That’s the theory, anyway. In reality, there’s a way we can get around this limitation. The Windows 8.1 installer refuses to accept the Windows 8 product key and won’t allow us to install Windows 8.1 with it. However, Windows 8.1 will accept the Windows 8 product key if you enter it on the desktop after installing Windows 8.1 — no, we don’t know why it works this way. If we had a way of skipping the product key prompt during the installation process and entering the key later, we could install Windows 8.1 fresh — luckily, we do have a way of doing that. We’ll just need to modify the Windows 8.1 installation media a bit.

windows-8.1-installer-won't-accept-windows-8-product-key

Download Windows 8.1 With a Windows 8 Product Key

The second problem is that Microsoft only allows you to download Windows 8.1 installation media with a Windows 8.1 product key. You can’t normally download it with a Windows 8 product key. Luckily, there’s yet another confusing trick we can use to get around Microsoft’s limitations.

First, visit the Upgrade Windows with only a product key page. Click the install Windows 8 button to begin downloading Windows 8 installation media. Run the downloaded tool and enter your product key. After the download begins, close the setup tool.

Next, visit the Upgrade Windows with only a product key page. Click the Install Windows 8.1 button and run the downloaded tool. The Windows 8.1 setup tool won’t prompt you for a key, but will download Windows 8.1 normally. Select the Install by creating media option after it completes and create either USB installation media or an ISO file. We’ll assume you’re creating USB installation media for this process, as it’s the easiest way to do this.

download-windows-8.1-installation-media-with-windows-8-product-key

Modify the Windows 8.1 Installation Media

If you try to install Windows 8.1 with the media you created and your Windows 8 product key, you’ll see an error message. Instead, we’ll need to modify the installation media before beginning in the installation process.

This is easiest if you’ve created USB installation media, as you can edit the files directly on your USB flash drive. If you created an ISO file, you’ll have to modify the files inside it before burning it to disc.

Open the USB drive in Windows Explorer or File Explorer and navigate to the sources folder inside it. Right-click inside the sources folder, create a new text file, and name it ei.cfg . (Ensure it’s named ei.cfg , and not ei.cfg.txt — this may require ensuring file extensions are shown.)

create-ei.cfg-file-in-windows-8.1-installation-usb-drive

Open the ei.cfg file in Notepad or another text editor. Copy-paste the following text into the text file and then save it.

[EditionID]
Core
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
0

If you have a product key for the Professional version of Windows, replace the word Core with Professional.

create-ei.cfg-so-windows-8.1-doesn't-ask-for-product-key-during-installation

Install Windows 8.1 Normally and Enter Your Product Key Afterwards

You can now install Windows 8.1 normally using the installation media you created. You won’t be prompted for a product key while installing it. After the installation process completes, you’ll see a product key prompt. You can enter your Windows 8 product key here, and Windows 8.1 will accept it for some reason.

enter-windows-8-product-key-on-windows-8.1

You now have a fully working Windows 8.1 system fresh-installed with only a Windows 8 product key. The installation media you created can be used to install Windows 8.1 on other systems with a Windows 8 product key, so you can more quickly install Windows 8.1 on multiple computers.

Yes, it’s ridiculous that we even have to write an article about this. Windows 8.1 is practically a service pack for Windows 8, and it’s free to all Windows 8 users — Windows 8.1 even accepts Windows 8 keys when installed, but it doesn’t during the installation process. There’s no reason to force Windows users — especially loyal ones who purchased Windows 8 at release thanks to Microsoft’s $40 offer — to jump through so many hoops.


Thanks to Paul Thurrot for demonstrating how to download Windows 8.1 installation media with a Windows 8 key, and thanks to nate.wages on Neowin for sharing how to install Windows 8.1 with that key!

Image Credit: KniBaron on Flickr

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Akamai: Global average Internet speed grew 27% year-over-year to 3.8 Mbps, mobile traffic jumped by 70%

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Global average connection speeds have hit a new high, rising 27 percent year-over-year to 3.8 Mbps. At the same time, the demands of the mobile world continue to grow, with data traffic increasing by 70 percent in the last year. The latest figures come from Akamai, which today published its quarterly State of the Internet report for Q4 2013. The firm listed 133 markets as experiencing an increase in average connection speeds year-over-year, ranging from 0.7 percent in Lebanon (to 1.3 Mbps) to a 164 percent rise in Réunion (to 6.4 Mbps). Only seven countries saw their average connection speeds...

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Viber for iOS gets a new flat design, multiple image sending and longer video messages

Viber, the free calling and messaging app that Rakuten bought for $900 million, has released a significant update for its iOS app that introduces a new flat design and a number of additional features. Viber for iOS 4.2 now sports an iOS 7-like layout — which the company describes as “clean and flat” — with a stronger focus on multimedia. Users can now share multiple images at the same time, while they can also record and share longer video messaging and block specific phone numbers. Finally, the indicator that the other person is typing has been switched on for the Android tablet app, and...

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Sky+ HD customers can now download movies from Sky’s Buy and Keep Store

We knew it was coming, but from today Sky+ HD customers can buy movie downloads from the Sky Store and receive a DVD copy in the post at no additional cost. Announced around three weeks ago, the service allows subscribers to Sky TV’s HD service to purchase popular movie titles like ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ and ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ for between £7.99 and £13.99. Although currently restricted to only Sky+ HD customers, the company confirmed that over the next year customers will be able to access the movies they’ve bought via a smartphone or a tablet. TV box sets will...

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OnePlus One is a powerhouse Android smartphone running CyanogenMod, starts from $299

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OnePlus, the startup founded by former Oppo executive Pete Lau, today unveiled its first flagship smartphone. Simply called the One, it offers top-tier components at a price even lower than Google’s high-value Nexus 5. As promised, the Android handset runs on a 2.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM and a 3,100 mAh battery. Those specs are comparable to, or occasionally better than, this year’s batch of Android flagships, including the HTC One (M8), Sony Xperia Z2 and Samsung Galaxy S5. The device looks attractive too, with a thin bezel around the edge and a larger chin...

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Global conference in Brazil to focus on future of Internet in wake of NSA spying revelations – @NBCNews

Global conference in Brazil to focus on future of Internet in wake of NSA spying revelations - @NBCNews

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Google is testing a feature that lets Chrome users save, share and organize their favorite Web content

Google Announces Quarterly Earnings
Google is testing a new favoriting service for its Chrome browser. Called Google Stars (although the Google Collections name has also been used in the past), the new option appears to still in very early testing, but it does let users star “items” on the Web as well as add them to folders. Once saved, these “items” are called stars, and they can be searched for as well as shared with others. The new addition was first discovered by Google+ user Florian Kiersch. He found the following strings in “the source code of the Google Collections modules in web search”...

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