John Lister

Thu
29
Jun
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Google Fined $2.7 Billion for Rigging Search Results

Google has been fined $2.7 billion for unfairly favoring its own shopping services in search results. It's also got 90 days to stop the practice. The decision comes from the European Commission, the body that oversees competition law in 28 European ... countries. At the end of an investigation that started back in 2010, it now says Google did breach antitrust rules. The case relates to shopping comparison services, which let users see prices from multiple retailers. When people search Google for a particular product, the list of results will often include links to the relevant pages on such ... (view more)

Wed
28
Jun
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Windows Bug Exploited Again by Ransomware

Businesses around the world are reporting computer problems that appear to be another rapidly-spreading ransomware attack. It appears likely to be exploiting the same Windows flaw as the recent WannaCry attack. Details were still emerging at the ... time of writing, but high profile businesses including drug giant Merck, a British advertising agency and a Danish shipping company are known to have been compromised. Ukraine's government network also appears to have been hit. (Source: nytimes.com ) File Index Compromised As with WannaCry, the malware appears to be designed to lock up and encrypt ... (view more)

Tue
27
Jun
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Google to Stop Scanning Emails for Advertising Purposes

Google is to stop scanning Gmail messages for advertising purposes. The move was driven largely by a need to satisfy business customers. The company announced that "Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after ... this change." A company spokesman said this would bring the consumer service into line with the G Suite service for businesses. Business Users 'Put Off' By Scanning Diane Greene said that although business customers "have never had their messages scanned for use in advertising, many potential customers were nonetheless put ... (view more)

Thu
22
Jun
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Online Politics Riddled with 'Bots' Perpetuating Fake News

Political discussion on social media is often driven and manipulated by automated "bots," a university department claims. The word "bots" is a short form for "robot," and refers to online activity carried out using an automated program. The Oxford ... Internet Institute says it studied events in nine countries and found the bots played a role in every case. However, social media groups have questioned such studies saying they are often based on flawed research methods. The study looked at activity on Facebook and Twitter among users in Brazil, Canada, China, Germany ... (view more)

Wed
21
Jun
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Report: Tesla Autopilot Crash Driver Ignored Warnings

A man killed when his semi-autonomous Tesla car crashed ignored multiple warnings issued by the vehicle, newly-released documents show. The papers also suggest subsequent changes to the way the car's Autopilot feature works should prevent a repeat ... of the incident. Tesla's Autopilot feature is a brand name that covers a technology that's often classed as being "driver assistance," rather than strictly self-driving. The features in question covered a cruise control that kept the car at a constant speed while taking account of nearby vehicles, and an auto-steer function that ... (view more)

Tue
20
Jun
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Youtube: Humans + AI to Combat Terror, Hate Videos

Google says it will use a combination of artificial intelligence and human expertise to combat online videos promoting hatred and terrorism. It's also going to tackle videos that follow the letter but not the spirit of its rules and will ... intentionally promote videos that can counter terrorist recruitment. The four steps are part of what Google and YouTube calls an ongoing program to enforce the principle that "there should be no place for terrorist content on our services." Step one is to improve the way Google's systems automatically spot videos that promote terrorism and ... (view more)

Thu
15
Jun
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Facebook Refines 'Safety Check' for Crisis Events

Facebook has announced four changes to its Safety Check feature for dealing with local crises. The changes will offer more detail about what's currently happening, coordinate local help, and help make fundraising easier. Safety Check is a feature ... that lets people in the geographic area of a natural disaster, terror attack or other crisis quickly mark themselves as "safe." The idea is that this saves people exchanging a plethora of messages in order to check if somebody is OK. That's particularly important with voice calls and text messages, which can easily overload local ... (view more)

Wed
14
Jun
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Patch Your PC: Yet Another Massive Exploit Discovered

Microsoft has issued three updates to fix flaws in older, unsupported versions of Windows. It's an unusual move that follows the discovery that both the National Security Agency (NSA) and outside hackers are exploiting the flaws , similar to the one ... that allowed the WannaCry Ransomware worm to spread just a few weeks ago. The updates cover both Windows and Windows Server editions going right back to XP . They'll be issued through the usual automated updates, which means people on Windows 8.1 and later shouldn't need to do anything. Those on earlier systems may need to manually ... (view more)

Tue
13
Jun
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Malware Threatens Power Grids

Russian-backed hackers appear to have the ability to remotely shut down power stations, researchers claim. However, the cyber weapon appears to only have been successfully deployed once so far. Two companies, Dragos Inc and ESET, have revealed their ... analysis of malware that was used in an attack on a transmission station in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, last December. The outage lasted for an hour and blacked out buildings that normally use 20 percent of the city's electricity. (Source: washingtonpost.com ) Malware Easily Customized The researchers say the malware, which they've dubbed ... (view more)

Thu
08
Jun
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Microsoft Accused of 'Unfair Security Behavior'

Security firm Kaspersky Lab has filed a formal complaint accusing Microsoft of acting unfairly over the way it promotes its own security products. Microsoft says it is acting to keep Windows users protected. Kaspersky previously complained to the ... Federal Anti-monpoly Service in its home country of Russia. That led to several changes to Microsoft's policy, including rewording a message that suggested users uninstall third-party security software and use the built-in Windows Defender instead. Now Kaspersky has taken the issue to the European Commission, which oversees competition issues ... (view more)

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