John Lister

Thu
20
Jan
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Phone Screens Could Use Less Power

New technology could significantly reduce power that phone and other gadget screens consumer. It could also reduce the risk of screens being damaged by images "burning in." The technology is for OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens which are ... now common in smartphones and other displays. In simple terms, the pixels in an OLED screen light themselves, whereas regular LED screens need a backlight behind the display. The main advantages are less power use and a thinner screen. The biggest drawback is a likely shorter lifespan, though that doesn't necessarily play a factor in devices such ... (view more)

Thu
13
Jan
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Google Cries Foul Over iMessage Color Scheme

Google has solved all the world's tech problems, tackled world peace, reversed climate change, and is now dangerously bored. At least that's the only rational explanation why it is now arguing with Apple on Twitter about the color that appears ... behind text in messages. The ridiculous row is about the iMessage feature on iPhones that lets users send messages free of charge over the Internet rather than through SMS text messaging. Originally only iPhone users could send messages on the service but in 2016, Apple extended it to Android devices through a Google Play Store app. Apple originally ... (view more)

Tue
11
Jan
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Google, Facebook Fined $237M Over Cookies

Facebook and Google have been fined a total of $237 million for the way they ask users for permission to issue cookies. French regulators said the companies breached rules that say refusing cookies must be as simple as accepting them. The fines came ... from the CNIL, France's primary data privacy regulator. It found the companies had breached France's Data Protection Act. In both cases, the companies breached rules on cookies that took effect last year with a deadline of March 31st for compliance. (Source: cnil.fr ) Unfair Choice Facebook was fined approximately $68 million USD while Google was ... (view more)

Mon
10
Jan
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WhatsApp Gets Extra Security Features

WhatsApp is adding a series of privacy and security features. However, several will be switched off by default so users should consider activating them. The messaging app, now owned by Facebook, has become popular thanks to two key features. It's ... designed to handle groups well so that users can send a message to a specific group of friends or colleagues in a more intuitive manner than Facebook's own messaging tools. It also uses end-to-end encryption, meaning not only that intercepting a message is of little use, but that Facebook cannot access messages even if it wanted to or was ordered to ... (view more)

Fri
07
Jan
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Samsung TV Remote Charged By Wi-Fi

Samsung has made a battery-less remote control that takes power from Wi-Fi signals. It's proof the concept works, though it's still very questionable if the same approach could work on devices such as phones or laptops. The remote is an update on an ... existing "Eco Remote" model that uses solar power to top up the battery. Although solar is naturally very limited inside a home, a rechargeable battery in a remote only needs very slow, low-power topping up as it uses little energy to operate. Samsung says it then explored a range of wireless charging technologies to add to the solar in a second ... (view more)

Thu
06
Jan
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Old-School BlackBerrys Bite The Dust

BlackBerry has announced its phones will finally stop working this week. It's a move six years in the making and in many ways it's insane that anyone is still using them. Specifically the company will be hitting the killswitch on services for ... BlackBerry 7.1 and earlier, the software for the BlackBerry 10 device, and BlackBerry PlayBook 2.1 (for its short-lived tablet range) and earlier. The move only affects devices running BlackBerry's own software. It doesn't affect its range of Android-based devices. Although the number of people affected is relatively low, BlackBerry is keen to get the ... (view more)

Tue
04
Jan
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Windows Offers Driver Update from 1968

Microsoft has reassured Windows users that they don't have to worry about an update that appears to have been pending for more than 50 years. The confusing listing for Intel drivers is simply a workaround to make sure computers keep running. The odd ... data appears in the "Optional Updates" section of the Windows Updates page in the Windows 10 and 11 Settings tool. These updates will only ever be installed when the user manually selects them, even if they have the automatic updates setting switched on. In a drop down menu for driver updates, most users will see a variety of listings ... (view more)

Sat
01
Jan
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LastPass Blunder Causes Security Scare

Users of popular password manager tool LastPass have reported worrying emails that suggest their master passwords have been compromised. LastPass says the emails may have been sent mistakenly and that it has no evidence of any security breach. Like ... most such tools, LastPass let users create a single memorable password, the name coming from the idea it's the "last password" users will ever need to remember. This password is necessary to unlock a private vault of stored encrypted passwords for other sites. One of the big keys to the service is that LastPass itself has no access to the master ... (view more)

Thu
30
Dec
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Alexa Tells Child to Play With Power Outlet

Amazon has apologized after its digital assistant Alexa told a 10-year old to connect a coin to a power socket. While there's a simple explanation, it raises even more questions. The girl's mother said she had previously been watching YouTube videos ... with a variety of safe physical challenges, then used voice control to ask an Alexa-enabled device for a "challenge to do." To the mother's shock, the device replied "The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs." Fortunately the mother heard the reply, though she says ... (view more)

Wed
29
Dec
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Samsung Plans Triple-Screen Phone

Samsung has got approval for a patent on a phone with a double-folding mechanism. It would effectively be a tablet computer that fits in the pocket. The company already has a range of foldable phones with a single hinge, meaning a double-width ... screen. The new patent is for a double-hinge with one folding forward and one folding backward, a little like a "zed bed" mechanism. (Source: techradar.com ) The patent shows that the screens would be arranged so that an "ordinary" size screen was usable when the phone was fully folded. When the phone was unfolded, the entire display would be accessible ... (view more)

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