John Lister

Thu
16
Sep
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Mozilla, Microsoft in Browser Dispute

Mozilla has found a way to make it easier to set Firefox as a default browser in Windows. The move may raise eyebrows at Microsoft, as it involved getting past measures designed to combat malware. By default, Windows doesn't let users set an ... application as the default for a particular task (web browsing or otherwise) within the application itself. That's in principle a sensible idea as it reduces the risk of malware setting itself as a default app or tricking a user into doing so. Once established as a default app, the malware would have a big advantage as it would be opened more often, ... (view more)

Tue
14
Sep
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MS Office, Internet Explorer Form Zero Day Attack

Security experts have warned users to take extra care opening Microsoft Office files. An unpatched bug in Internet Explorer can affect users regardless of their preferred browser. The bug takes advantage of the way Office files can open links in ... Internet Explorer. It means that attackers can craft Office files that, once opened, automatically load an "attack" page in Internet Explorer that installs malware. Exactly what malware to install is up to the attacker. There is some protection for some users. In many cases, Office will by default open a document in Protected View, which blocks links ... (view more)

Mon
13
Sep
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Phones May Get Updates For Seven Years

Phone and tablet makers could be forced to update devices for at least seven years. The proposed law would only affect Europe but, if passed, could change policies around the world. At the moment, how long phones get security and feature updates is ... largely up to manufacturers. In many cases it can be as little as three years. Critics say that brings several problems, including unfairly pressuring owners to buy new devices even when their existing one works well. That also creates environmental problems with users struggling to find responsible ways to recycle old devices. Spare Parts Must Be ... (view more)

Wed
08
Sep
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Facebook AI Mistakenly Labels Men as Primates

Facebook has apologized after its recommendation system labeled two black men as "primates." It's the latest in a series of blunders by automated technology. The "recommendation" was shown at the end of a video posted by a British newspaper. It ... featured a white man in the United States phoning 911 to report "being harassed by a bunch of black men." The video did not include any content of references involving non-human primates. One user who watched the video shared a screenshot of a message created by Facebook that appeared at the end of the video, asking ... (view more)

Tue
07
Sep
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Apple Offers Settlement in App Store Dispute

Apple has agreed to allow app developers to tell users how to save money on app payments. It's part of a settlement in a long-running dispute but it's not enough to satisfy some developers. At the moment, app developers who sell apps in the official ... Apple store can gather email addresses of customers. However, the developers are not allowed to use those addresses to tell customers about how to pay them directly for subscriptions and one-off payments relating to the app. In-App Messages Banned That's a blow to developers who use a "freemium" model where the app itself is free but ... (view more)

Fri
03
Sep
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Windows 11 Release Date Revealed

Microsoft has confirmed Windows 11 will start rolling out as a free upgrade from October 5th, 2021. Users of older machines may have to wait until mid-2022, however. There will be some overlap with Windows 10, further blurring the lines of whether ... Windows 11 should be treated as a totally new operating system or the latest updates to what was supposed to be a "forever" system. The semi-annual major update to Windows 10 will still come out this fall, but Microsoft isn't promising anything else other than a guarantee of security updates and support until October, 14 2025. Windows 11 will only ... (view more)

Wed
01
Sep
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Windows 11 Compatibility Still An Issue

Microsoft will soon start telling Windows 10 users directly whether they'll be able to upgrade to Windows 11. It also looks likely machines that don't meet the specifications will be upgradeable but without any support. Users can already check for ... compatibility using a dedicated "PC Health Check" tool. However, Microsoft is now using Windows Update to send direct messages to users who are in the Windows test program. (Source: techradar.com ) Specifically the messages are going to those in the "Release Preview" channel, which means they can access new versions of Windows when Microsoft ... (view more)

Fri
27
Aug
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Samsung TV Block Feature Prompts Debate

Samsung is to remotely disable televisions stolen from its warehouses. It appears to be the first time it's activated the security measure. "TV Block" hasn't attracted much attention before but Samsung says it is installed on all its televisions. It ... hasn't confirmed if this is only in South Africa, where the feature has now been triggered, or on all sets worldwide. The activation follows looting during unrest in South Africa last month. A Samsung warehouse was among the locations ransacked. Internet Connection Used For Block The TV Block feature works because Samsung's Smart TV sets have an ... (view more)

Wed
25
Aug
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Vaccine Article Tops Facebook 'Most Viewed' List

The most viewed link for Americans on Facebook in the first three months of 2021 was to a news story about a doctor who died after getting a COVID vaccine. The story turned out to be questionable and may have given a misleading impression. The ... statistic comes in a Facebook report that was mysteriously delayed. That's raised questions about whether Facebook held it back to avoid controversy. Facebook publishes a quarterly report titled "Widely Viewed Content" that details posts, links and other content that are seen by the biggest number of users in the United States. It's designed to show ... (view more)

Tue
24
Aug
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Windows 11 Demo Runs in Browser

A new website lets users try out the new Windows 11 user interface. The unofficial site doesn't require any software installation or special hardware. The demo is available at win11.blueedge.me and is an open source project involving several ... contributors. (Source: techspot.com ) Unlike Microsoft's various test editions (and the less official leaked copies), the demo doesn't actually run any standalone software. Instead it's a web page that simulates the look and feel of the Windows 11 desktop, along with some of the key features and functions. This includes working copies of apps including ... (view more)

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