John Lister

Tue
22
Aug
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Far Right Website Sparks Free Speech Debate

A company that protects websites from online attacks has stopped serving a far right website. But the man who made the decision says he feels uneasy about making such decisions. Cloudflare is designed to protect against denial of service attacks, in ... which people try to bring down a website by flooding it with bogus requests until it's inaccessible to legitimate traffic by real people. It's a tactic often used by hacker groups protesting against the organizations running the site, though it's also been used as a form of cyberwarfare. To combat such attacks, data going to and from ... (view more)

Thu
17
Aug
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Microsoft Bows to Pressure on Windows 10 Security Options

Microsoft has agreed to change the way it handles rival security products in Windows. The changes follow a formal complaint that's now been withdrawn by Kaspersky Labs . Kaspersky had twice made official protests over Windows 10. The first was to ... Russian anti-monopoly regulators and led to Microsoft changing the wording on a message encouraging users to remove third-party software in favor of Windows Defender. A follow-up complaint to the European Commission covered several points including Microsoft making it difficult for security firms to tell users when their licensed had expired; not ... (view more)

Wed
16
Aug
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Apple Urged to Enable Emergency Call Location Tool

Apple stands accused of failing to enable a potentially life-saving iPhone technology. Advanced Mobile Location (AML), already used in Android handsets, lets emergency services staff know precisely where a caller is located. The accusation comes ... from the European Emergency Number Association (EENA), which coordinates the European equivalent of 911 call technology. It already works with Google on AML, which is credited with saving multiple lives. The idea of AML is that it doesn't require any special action on behalf of the user: there's no need to change settings or install dedicated ... (view more)

Tue
15
Aug
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Report: Facebook likened to Addictive Drugs, for Sake of Ads

One of the earliest investors in Facebook and Google has likened the effects of major Internet companies on users to the effects of addictive drugs. Roger McNamee accused the companies of "aggressive brain hacking" to make their ad business more ... profitable. Writing for USA Today before discussing the topic on NBC, McNamee also likened the companies' behavior to that of the gambling industry. He said they "exploit human nature, creating addictive behaviors that compel consumers to check for new messages, respond to notifications, and seek validation from technologies whose ... (view more)

Thu
10
Aug
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Facebook Exec: Security Researchers Not Doing Enough

According to Facebook's head of security Alex Stamos, the security industry needs to do more to solve problems that affect ordinary people in their everyday lives. He says researchers are often too obsessed with technical detail because they lack ... empathy. Stamos spoke at Black Hat, a conference that brings together security professionals, researchers, self-described hackers and those with an interest in the topic. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) He said the security community had proven justified in many of its warnings about flaws in systems and networks, but that it hadn't done enough to find ... (view more)

Wed
09
Aug
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Report: Widely Adopted 'Password Rules' May Actually Backfire

The man behind some of the most commonly held advice on creating passwords says he was wrong on several points. Bill Burr says the real problem with his tips were that they led to predictable behavior. Burr's advice came in a short 2003 document ... produced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Because of the institute's prestige, the advice was widely adopted and cited, with both employers and sites often insisting that passwords meet the guidelines. (Source: wsj.com ) Mix of Characters Hard to Remember One part of the advice was to use a mix of capital letters, lower ... (view more)

Tue
08
Aug
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Unlimited Smartphone Deal Targets Users Aged 55 and Over

T-Mobile is launching a special phone plan for seniors, following on from AT&T. The difference is that T-Mobile's plan covers data, making it more useful for smartphones. The T-Mobile plan allows for unlimited voice calls, texting and data use, ... albeit with some restrictions. Video playback is limited to standard definition, users can only share (tether) the connection with a computer at 3G speeds, and connections may be slowed if the user goes over 32GB of data in a month. (Source: t-mobile.com ) It's the same package available to all T-Mobile users, but at a special price for ... (view more)

Thu
03
Aug
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Google: Robots Better than Humans at Spotting Extremist Videos

Google says its artificial intelligence system is better at identifying guideline-breaking videos than human moderators. The claim is somewhat subjective, however. The company, which runs YouTube, made the claim as part of an update on how it deals ... with 'questionable' videos. Last month, Google said it was refining its use of computerized systems for examining videos and checking whether they breach content guidelines. It says that as a result of the improvements, three-quarters of removed videos are now caught automatically before the company receives a complaint from a human viewer ... (view more)

Wed
02
Aug
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Chrome Browser to Get Ad-Blocker

Google is testing a built-in ad blocker for the Chrome browser. It's prompted a mixed response with some fears of a conflict of interest. The company had previously talked about adding an ad blocker as a built-in feature in Chrome, rather than the ... optional extensions that are already available from third-parties. Now the feature is being tested in the Dev and Canary version of Chrome. These are special versions where user get early access to features but with the knowledge that they may have performance flaws at this stage. It would be extremely unusual for Google not to later go ahead ... (view more)

Tue
01
Aug
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Researchers: 'Anonymized' Browsing Data Can Reveal Identity

Researchers suggest that anonymized browsing data can be used to track users. The flaw can make it easy to reveal exactly what sites individuals have visited. Security experts Svea Eckert and Andreas Dewes told the Def Con security conference that ... they'd been able to identify adult websites a particular judge had visited, as well as a politician's online interest in drugs. The data came from so-called "clickstreams," which are simply a list of the sites an individual has visited and the order in which they visited them. They are commonly used by advertising firms to produce ... (view more)

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