Articles

Tue
13
Nov
John Lister's picture

New Samsung Smart TV to be Controlled by Brainwaves

Samsung is working on TV sets that viewers can control with their brains. It's aimed more at people with disabilities than it is the average lazy viewer. "Project Pontis" research is being conducted with the help of the Center of Neuroprosthetics at ... Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne. The initial aim is for users to be able to change channels and control volume without using a remote control. Some sets and remotes do already allow voice commands, so this is both an alternative for disabled users in general, and a solution for people whose disabilities prevent ... (view more)

Mon
12
Nov
John Lister's picture

Amazon Echo Features In Second Murder Case

A judge says Amazon must hand over recordings from an Echo smart speaker to assist with a stabbing case that left two women dead. It's the first time such a court order has been made without a defendant's permission. The New Hampshire case involved ... two women's bodies being discovered under a porch. A man who knew the boyfriend of one of the victims has been charged with two counts of first degree murder, and has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors say there is probable cause that the device could contain potential evidence which could include "audio recordings of the attack and events that ... (view more)

Fri
09
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Hackers Hacked My Phone, Demand Bitcoin (Scam)

Infopackets Reader Nathan J. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently received an email stating that hackers have hacked my phone. As proof of their hack, they gave me the last 2 digits of my phone number. They claim to have uploaded spying software on my ... phone and have supposedly 'caught me' visiting raunchy websites. To keep this quiet, they are demanding bitcoin payment of $800 USD. How can they hack my phone like this? Can they hack my PC too? Should I be worried? " My response: This is yet another version of the same scam that is currently going around the Internet. Related: How to Fix: Hackers ... (view more)

Thu
08
Nov
John Lister's picture

Hackers Sell Stolen Facebook Messenger Messages

Facebook messages are being sold online for the equivalent of 10 cents per user. It comes as the company unveils an "unsend" feature for messages sent in haste. The message for sale follows a breach of Facebook last year when hackers were able to ... take advantage of a security flaw to gain access to 50 million accounts. Ironically the hack took advantage of a 'View As' feature that's meant to protect privacy by allowing users check which parts of their account and data are publicly viewable. 81,000 Users Hit By Message Leak The offer on a hacker forum claims to include details of some ... (view more)

Wed
07
Nov
John Lister's picture

Chrome To Block Ads On Scam Websites

Google's Chrome browser will soon block all ads on sites that have "abusive experiences" for users. It's designed as a way to put financial pressure on scammers. It's a new step following on from an existing attempt to protect users against ... misleading websites. 'Misleading' has a couple of meanings in this context. One is sites that carry pop-up or other ads that falsely claim to be system warnings, such as those which state the user's computer has malware. In this case, the user either downloads (and pays for) fake security software to "fix" the "problem", or is directed ... (view more)

Tue
06
Nov
John Lister's picture

CPU Hyper-threading Reverse Engineered to Spy on Processes

One of the most useful features in computer hardware has a security flaw. It's to do with the way processors handle information. All computing tasks are reduced down to a set of calculations. The central processing unit (CPU) is the "brain" of the ... computer that physically carries out these calculations. Each modern-day CPU has one or more cores , which is essentially multiple "brains" on a single CPU chip. A multi-core CPU means that multiple calculations can be done at once, which reduces the time to carry out a task. Many processors also use a technique called ... (view more)

Mon
05
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Ads Falsely Labeled 'Approved By' US Senators

A report suggests that Facebook approved advertisements falsely claiming to be paid for by each of the 100 sitting US Senators. The VICE News investigation uncovered a major loophole in what was meant to be a transparency measure. Following ... revelations of Russian interference with bogus posts and ads designed to disrupt the US political system, Facebook brought in several measures to restrict who is allowed to post such ads. One such measure was a new rule stating that any political ad must carry the name of the person who has paid for it, similar to the rules on broadcasting. The rule also ... (view more)

Thu
01
Nov
John Lister's picture

Report: Apps for Kids Contain Dubious, Unsuitable Ads

Apps aimed at very young children are a "wild west" of dubious advertising according to the author of a new study. Jenny Radesky of the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's Hospital said the advertising was often manipulative. The researchers ... looked at 135 Android apps played by children, including the 96 most downloaded from the Google Play store in the "5 And Under" category. Their headline finding was that 95 percent contained at least one form of advertising. That's arguably a little misleading as this includes 42 percent of the apps featuring a commercial character such as one ... (view more)

Wed
31
Oct
John Lister's picture

Windows Defender Gets 'Sandbox' Protection

Microsoft is beefing up Windows Defender, the built-in antivirus and antimalware security tool in Windows 10. It's now using the same sandbox technology that's used in other tools, including some major web browsers. The concept of a sandbox is taken ... from the child's play area of the same name. It's a metaphor about the way the child has an area to play in freely and do what they like, but also has clearly defined boundaries. Fortunately, computer code tends to follow instructions better than a child told to stay in the sandbox. In computing terms, the sandbox is a concept about access that ... (view more)

Tue
30
Oct
John Lister's picture

Facebook Election War Room Spots Fake News, but is it Enough?

Facebook has unveiled a 'war room' to combat misinformation during election season. But it was short on detail and provoked cynicism among many reporters. The company invited reporters to a briefing to show off the war room at it headquarters in ... Menlo Park, near San Francisco. The room reportedly has a capacity for 20 to 40 people drawn from 20 departments within the company. The use of the term 'war room' isn't related to military options but instead appears to be a reference to the way political campaigns use the same term for their headquarters during a campaign. Of course, that's somewhat ... (view more)

Mon
29
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Disable, Delete Messenger 'My Story' Permanently

Infopackets Reader Samantha G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I use Facebook Messenger to send and receive text messages to my friends using my Android smart phone. One of the neat features Messenger offers is the ability to take a photo of yourself (or ... someone else) using filters. For example, there's a rabbit filter that puts bunny ears and a mouth on the person being photographed. I had fun with this one day and took over a dozen photos of myself using various filters. Unbeknownst to me, all of these goofy photos were automatically posted in the 'My Story' folder, where they were viewable to ... (view more)

Fri
26
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Activation Key Damaged (Scam)

Infopackets Reader Jack F. writes: " Dear Dennis, My Edge web browser randomly displays a security alert stating that 'The server www[dot]mariopullmesdas.info is asking for your user name and password. The page reports an error code of 0x80070424, ... then says that my 'Activation key is damaged'. To fix the problem I need to call the Microsoft Help Desk at (855)-684-9323. A computer generated voice says that my computer will keep restarting every few minutes if I don't fix the problem and that my personal data is at risk. What do I do? " My response: This is a web browser fake tech support scam ... (view more)

Thu
25
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Hackers Hacked My Email, Demand Bitcoin (Scam)

Infopackets Reader Sam G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I get emails from hackers a few times a week saying that they have cracked my email account. As proof, they have supplied me with the correct password for the account. The message goes on to say that ... they have planted a Trojan on my computer which allows them to spy on me. Here's where it gets interesting. The hackers say I have been visiting websites of people in the buff. They are demanding I pay them bitcoin (worth $831) to keep this quiet, otherwise they will send images from the purported site I've visited and also a picture of me on my ... (view more)

Wed
24
Oct
John Lister's picture

Home Gadget Promises More Secure Email

A new gadget is designed to keep emails "totally secure and private." It comes with a big financial and convenience cost, however. Helm is promoted as an alternative to web-based email such as Gmail. It's based on the idea that such services pose a ... risk because they could be hacked or the providers forced by a court to hand over messages. Instead, Helm wants people to use a personal email server in their home - a bit like an ultra-secure mailbox. Normally email servers are bulky and require considerable technical knowledge. Device Requires Physical Key The Helm device is instead ... (view more)

Tue
23
Oct
John Lister's picture

Many Amazon Reviews Could Be Bogus

A consumer group says Amazon sellers are bribing people to post bogus reviews on Amazon's websites. But it also suggests some reviewers may also be getting ripped off. The claims come from "Which?", a British organization similar to Consumer ... Reports. It tested five sellers who had posted in Facebook groups designed to recruit people to buy and review Amazon products. The groups involve sellers suggesting products which people can then buy and review, after which the seller will refund their purchase cost. Which? staff did so for five products and then posted what it called a fair ... (view more)

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