John Lister

Wed
01
Feb
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Social Media Moderation Elicits Free Speech Probe

The Supreme Court has asked the government for advice over two cases involving social media. The court is reviewing challenges to laws that could effectively ban moderation on sites. The state laws in Florida and Texas both limit the ability of ... social media companies to moderate some content, though they would work in different ways. The Florida law covers online platforms with more than 100 million users. It says companies must publish their moderation rules and apply them consistently to all users. It also says companies cannot ban any user who is an active political candidate for a future ... (view more)

Mon
30
Jan
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AI Image Firm Accused of Copyright Infringement

The makers of an artificial intelligence tool for "creating" art are being sued by a photo licensing company. The case could set a precedent for how copyright law works with modern technology. The case involves Stability AI, the company behind a ... "deep learning, text-to-image model." It's designed mainly to create images based on a text description provided by the user. As well as being a neat trick in itself, the idea of the model is to develop computer learning. That means that rather than humans providing a set of rules to follow, the computer model figures out rules itself. Imagery is a ... (view more)

Thu
26
Jan
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Security Update Kills Windows Shortcuts

A Microsoft Defender update has caused havoc by removing desktop, Start Menu and Taskbar shortcuts. Some users even say entire programs have disappeared. The closest thing to good news is that, although it affects both Windows 10 and 11, the problem ... only appears to affect Windows enterprise versions, rather than home users. That's because the problem is with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, a version of the security tool designed for networked computers. For most affected users, the problem is "limited" to the various shortcuts disappearing. Some have also reported that using the Windows key ... (view more)

Mon
23
Jan
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Report: Most Smart Devices Patched 2 Years, Max

Some "smart" home products could become unsupported in just two years according to a consumer group. That could mean premium features stop working and may even create security risks. The details come from "Which?," a British organization very ... similar to Consumer Reports in the US. It explored a big potential problem with smart tech: that the support for such features is often guaranteed for much less time than the expected useful lifespan of the product itself. The group researched smart features, meaning devices were linked to the Internet or a local network and allowing extra ... (view more)

Wed
18
Jan
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MS Teams Goes Premium, Kills Free Edition Features

Microsoft is to start charging extra for some features in its videoconferencing tool, Microsoft Teams. The move suggests it's further targeting a business audience rather than concentrating on the consumer market. At the moment Microsoft Teams is ... free to use, either as part of the Office 365 suite (included in the subscription cost) or a free standalone tool. Microsoft is now launching Teams Premium, which will carry an extra fee. Microsoft has hinted that will be $10 a month but has yet to confirm that. (Source: theregister.com ) Features to be Removed from "Standard" Microsoft ... (view more)

Fri
13
Jan
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Facebook Wrong To Delete Anti-Iranian Posts

Facebook's oversight board says the site was wrong to delete a post protesting against the government in Iran. It's another example of the difficulties of moderating content online. The ruling came from an independent body that reviews a selection ... of decisions made by Facebook moderators. In a very loose sense, the body works a little like the Supreme Court in that it looks at specific cases but its rulings set wider precedents. In this case, a user had made a post which included the phrase "marg bar Khameni." Literally translates, that means "death to Khameni" and refers to Iran's Supreme ... (view more)

Thu
12
Jan
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Contentious Windows 11 Start Menu Change Abandoned

Microsoft has abandoned plans to recommended websites in the Windows 11 Start menu. It hasn't said exactly why but suggests user feedback played a role. An idea to suggest searching on Microsoft Edge when copying text has also been ditched. It was ... the latest attempt to promote the browser to Windows users. The two ideas were both rolled out last November to users of the Dev channel in the Windows Insider test program. That's the first time potential new features are available to anyone outside of Microsoft. People who choose to use the Dev channel are particularly eager to see new ideas, ... (view more)

Mon
09
Jan
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US Politicians Told to Delete TikTok

TikTok has been banned from all US federal government devices over security fears. The ban even extends to phones issued to members of the House of Representatives. The government ban was introduced in the "omnibus" spending bill recently passed by ... Congress. It gives federal employees two months to delete the app, along with any others issued by developers ByteDance, from government-issued handsets. Although the bill did not cover politicians, the House of Representatives chief administrative Catherine Szpindor has written to the house's members and staff to say the rules will now apply to ... (view more)

Thu
05
Jan
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Millions Will Lose Chrome Updates

Google's Chrome browser will soon be unsafe to use on Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. Google is about to finally ditch support for the systems, meaning no more updates. Version 109 of Chrome, scheduled for a full public release on January 10th, 2022, will be ... the last available for those editions. Starting with version 110, expected in February, new versions will only be available for Windows 10 and later. (Source: google.com ) Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users can still run Chrome 109 (or earlier versions) but the browser will become increasingly outdated with no new features or performance fixes. More ... (view more)

Tue
03
Jan
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Phones Could Get Replaceable Batteries By Law

Phone manufacturers may be forced to make batteries easily removable. The proposed European rule could have worldwide consequences. Were the rules to become law, they would affect 27 countries that are members of the European Parliament. For global ... manufacturers, most notably Apple, that could mean such a significant change to their handset design that they find it simpler to replicate it in all markets. Politicians from the European Parliament and the technology ministers from each country have agreed to the changes in principle. They'll now have to go through the lawmaking process before ... (view more)

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