John Lister

Tue
24
Nov
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Google Tightens Chrome Extension Privacy Rules

Google is making Chrome extension publishers give users more details about the data they collect. They will also have to promise to follow a new policy limiting the way they use the data. Extensions are third-party tools (called plug-ins or add-ons ... with some browsers) that interact with a web browser to provide a useful function. Examples include password managers that automatically fill in log-in details on a site, and an official Amazon plug-in that can send a copy of a long web page article direct to a Kindle e-Reader. One of the main concerns about extensions is that they inherently need ... (view more)

Thu
19
Nov
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Google Makes Bold Chrome Claims

Google says its latest browser update is "the largest gain in Chrome performance in years." It claims the browser will now be significantly faster, drain less battery and be more useful. Unlike many software updates, the majority of the changes in ... the latest version of Chrome are behind the scenes and affect performance rather than add new features. For example, Chrome will now devote more resources to "active tabs" (the ones that have most recently been used) rather than give the same attention to every open tab. It says on average this will reduce CPU usage by "five times" and add an extra ... (view more)

Wed
18
Nov
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MS Pushes Edge with Full Screen Ads in Win10

Microsoft is reportedly testing full-screen "ads" to try to persuade Windows 10 users to run the Edge browser. There may be no easy way to stop them appearing. The messages are being displayed to some users after the most recent Windows 10 updates. ... They appear to be part of an A/B test in which two groups of users are shown different versions of an ad or message to see how the response differs. (Source: techradar.com ) Ad Appears After Update The ads will reportedly appear on machines with Chrome or Firefox as the default browser in three circumstances: When a user sets up a new Windows ... (view more)

Tue
17
Nov
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Microsoft Tackles Video Call Background Noise

Microsoft is releasing a tool that uses artificial intelligence to block out background noise during video calls. The Microsoft Teams tool aims to distinguish between human speech and other sources of sound. The need for such a tool will have grown ... for many users this year given the increase in those working from home. Previously, videoconferencing was more commonly associated with business settings where staff could make calls in ideal settings such as dedicated meeting rooms with no sources of unwanted sounds. Now, many people are using the same videoconferencing software in conditions ... (view more)

Thu
12
Nov
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Beware of Bogus Microsoft Teams 'Update'

If you use Microsoft Teams, watch out for bogus advertisements offering an "update". It's a scam designed to install malware that tries to steal personal data. The group chat and video conferencing tool has understandably become more popular this ... year with the increase in remote desktop connections to workplaces. That's attracted the attention of scammers who have put together a creative strategy to steal data. It's important to note that the attack doesn't aim to exploit any vulnerability in Teams itself. Instead, it's simply aimed at people using it, particularly those who have only started ... (view more)

Wed
11
Nov
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Windows 10 to Get Forced Feature Updates

Microsoft is to forcibly upgrade some computers running older versions of Windows 10. Only those on the Pro edition will be able to block the update. It's a step up in Microsoft's campaign to keep people from using older Windows 10 versions. Until ... now it's mainly relied on dropping support and security fixes, the idea there being to scare people into making the upgrade. That's happening to version 1809 (released in late 2018) this week. Microsoft is now turning its attention to computers running version 1903, released early last year. Version 1903 will officially lose security patch support ... (view more)

Tue
10
Nov
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Late Payment? Google Releases App to Cripple Phone

Google has built an app that will stop smartphones working if a customer is behind on payments for the handset. It could also be a way to make more expensive phones available to people with poor credit histories. The app is already being used by a ... carrier in Kenya. There's no word yet on whether Google plans to offer it to carriers in other countries. (Source: 9to5google.com ) "Device Lock Controller" is an app that can be pre-installed by carriers on new phones. It appears that once the app is in place, the carrier is able to remotely reinstall the app even if the customer removes it. If and ... (view more)

Thu
05
Nov
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Windows 10 1809 to Lose Security Support

Microsoft has warned users who haven't updated Windows 10 for a couple of years that they will soon face increased security risks. It's about to withdraw support for Windows 10 version 1809, having extended it during the initial stages of the ... COVID-19 pandemic. Version 1809 was the second major update of the year in late 2018. It was also known as the "Windows 10 October 2018 Update." Work-From-Home Changed Plans For those of you who find it easier to track Windows 10 Feature Updates by their signature bugs, version 1809 was the update that deleted some personal files during the upgrade, as ... (view more)

Wed
04
Nov
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Microsoft Warns of Major Windows Update Bug

Microsoft has warned users not to install the latest major update by anything other than the automated process. Methods such as downloading the update onto USB drives or DVDs could cause significant problems thanks to a bug. The issue affects the ... Windows 10 October 2020 Update, also known as 20H2 (version 2009, and build 19042). This is officially the second major update this year. It's currently available automatically through Windows Update, though is being gradually released to different people at different times rather than sent out to everyone at once. Officially that's to avoid ... (view more)

Tue
03
Nov
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Low Orbit Satellite Internet Becomes More Practical

A mobile broadband service that uses low-orbit satellites to reach areas with neither fixed-line or cellular service is proving a hit with some early testers. Starlink is the work of the private company SpaceX, better known for running commercial ... delivery services to the International Space Station. The company plans to eventually launch more than 40,000 miniature satellites which will orbit at around half the distance from the Earth as most satellites. The idea is to be able to offer service anywhere in the world with users simply connecting to satellites as they pass overhead. (Source: ... (view more)

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