John Lister

Wed
29
Aug
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Google Warns: Major Security Flaw in Fortnite Game

The makers of the hit video game "Fortnite" have called Google irresponsible for revealing a security flaw. The controversy follows Epic Games choosing not to use the Google Play store to distribute the game. Although it's free to download and play, ... Fortnite has proved hugely lucrative thanks to in-game purchases. Although 'buying' character costumes and animations doesn't affect gameplay, gamers - many of them children - have now spent more than a billion dollars. With so much money at stake, it appears Epic Games didn't want to go through Google Play for the Android version. Had ... (view more)

Tue
28
Aug
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Google to Make News More Positive with 'Good News'

Google is to launch a dedicated "good news" feature on its gadgets and services. It calls it "part of a balanced news diet." The good news in question is designed to avoid too much subjectivity. For example, the algorithm would have not have ... reported to Cleveland Indian fans that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series back in November of 2016. The category will not also cover the more traditional "good news" feature that appears at the end of some TV news broadcasts such as skateboarding ducks or lost kittens being found. While such stories are momentarily uplifting, they don't necessarily ... (view more)

Wed
22
Aug
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Microsoft Phasing Out Windows 8

Microsoft has announced several measures to slowly kill off Windows 8. It's targeting apps to try to persuade holdouts to upgrade to Windows 10. From October 31st, 2018, new apps designed for either Windows 8 or 8.1 on desktop or Windows Phone 8 on ... mobile devices can no longer be added to the Microsoft Store. From July 1st, 2019, Microsoft will stop sending app updates to Windows Phone 8 devices. The theory seems to be that developers will no longer have any reason to work on the platform and in turn it will become less and less attractive to users. Updates for existing Windows 8 and 8.1 ... (view more)

Tue
21
Aug
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Skype Offers Secret Calling, End-to-End Encryption

Skype has added a new "private conversations" feature. Calls made this way will be encrypted so that it's impossible for anyone to usefully intercept or listen in. The data for such calls will use end-to-end encryption. That means the data is ... encrypted on one user's device and kept that way throughout its journey over the Internet until it reaches the other user's device. If the data is intercepted, it won't be of any use. The system will work on a "conversation" basis rather than a call-by-call basis. One user must select the feature, which will then send ... (view more)

Thu
16
Aug
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Experiment Unveils Google Location Tracking

Google has been tracking mobile device users movements even when they have "Location History" switched off. It turns out users need to turn off a less well-known setting to stop tracking altogether. The issue doesn't just affect devices running ... Android. Some iPhones are also affected if they have Google apps such as Maps or Search running. In theory, switching off the Location History setting on your device or in a Google account will prevent the company tracking and storing location information. The immediate effect is visible as the timeline feature in Google Maps will stop updating. ... (view more)

Wed
15
Aug
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Mock Election Site Hacked By Pre-Teen

An 11-year-old boy hacked a replica of a Florida election website in just 10 minutes. Officials have downplayed the incident saying it's not an accurate recreation of how such hacking could work. The hack took place at DefCon, an annual conference ... for people interested in computer security. It often has competitions and demonstrations of security vulnerability - and certainly isn't a place you would want to connect your wireless device to unknown WiFi networks. One of the events at the conference was the DefCon Voting Machine Hacking Village. Participants, including many children, attempted ... (view more)

Tue
14
Aug
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Chromebooks Could Run Windows 10

Google is reportedly working on an option to run Windows on Chromebooks. It could remove one hurdle to people buying the devices, but won't be suitable for the lowest-spec line of Chromebook machines. Chromebooks are portable computers than run an ... operating system called ChromeOS. It's effectively a souped-up version of the Chrome browser, which means most of the processing is actually done by remote servers, rather than on the machine itself as with conventional PCs and laptops. This type of setup reduces hardware demands, meaning it can get by with cheaper components as well as being ... (view more)

Thu
09
Aug
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EU Wants to Ban Apple Lightening, Quick Charge

Officials in Europe want all phone companies to use the same technology for charging mobile devices. If the rules go ahead, it could mean Apple has to ditch its custom 'Lightning' port, and Qualcomm's 'Quick Charge' (used by Android devices). The ... European Union is running an "impact assessment study" to decide whether to push the policy and if so, whether to seek a voluntary agreement or impose rules. If it opts for the latter, manufacturers might decide it is easier to use the relevant charging port format worldwide rather than make specific handsets for Europe. (Source: independent.co.uk ) ... (view more)

Wed
08
Aug
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US Military Bans Fitness Trackers, Citing Spy Risk

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has banned military staff from using geolocation tools such as GPS-enabled fitness trackers in "operational areas." The move follows fears such data could be unintentionally public and threaten security. Earlier ... this year fitness tracker company Strava published a worldwide map showing the most popular routes for its users to run and carry out other exercise activity. The map showed routes in increasing levels of brightness depending on their popularity. Middle East Bases Unintentionally Mapped Several users then spotted several routes in countries such as ... (view more)

Tue
07
Aug
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New Android Pie Improves CPU, Battery, 'Wellbeing'

The next edition of the Google Android operating system for phones and tablets will include measures to help users spend less time on their mobile devices. The update also makes notifications more useful and addresses battery life problems. The ... changes come in a new version of the operating system that's officially called Android 9.0 but nicknamed Android Pie (or "Android P"), continuing a pattern of naming updates after food. It's already available for Google's own Pixel phones and will then start gradually rolling out to other models, though older handsets may not get the update. ... (view more)

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