Articles

Fri
17
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: WPA2 Vulnerability using DD-WRT Firmware

Infopackets Reader Paul E. writes: " Dear Dennis, I read with interest John Lister's article on the WPA2 exploit (KRACKs) , which explains how hackers can break into any WiFi network. I have 4 TPLink routers in my home that I use as 'hot spots' in ... various locations. As per your suggestion, I have visited TPLink's website for firmware updates for my routers, but there are none available. I am worried that someone is going to break into my network and steal my financial information. What can I do? " My response: I own a few TP Link routers as well and what I've done is flashed the routers using ... (view more)

Thu
16
Nov
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Free Upgrade Loophole ends Dec 31, 2017

The final route to getting a free upgrade to Windows 10 will officially end on December 31, 2017. That's when Microsoft has decided to ditch a special program that many users have been using as a free upgrade loophole. Officially home users could ... only get the free upgrade (from Windows 7 or 8.1) between July 2016 and July 2017 - the one year after the new system launched. That meant avoiding the standalone price of $119 for the Home edition or $199 for the Professional Edition. No Proof Needed For Loophole However, eagle-eyed users noted after this date it was still possible to upgrade by ... (view more)

Wed
15
Nov
John Lister's picture

New Firefox Quantum Twice as Fast, 30% Less Memory

Mozilla has launched a new version of the Firefox browser aimed at winning over Google Chrome users. It says the new version is twice as fast as earlier versions of Firefox that were available this year. The key is the "web rendering engine," which ... is the part of the browser that interprets the code on a website page and visually combines it on the user's computer. Mozilla has replaced its old engine with a new one dubbed Firefox Quantum. It's also put together videos showing that Firefox is now quicker than Chrome to fully load most (but not all) of the more popular websites. ... (view more)

Tue
14
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook: Send Us Photos of You in the Buff

Facebook has come up with a controversial way to help people whose compromising pictures are shared online without their permission. The term is dubbed "revenge porn" - and to solve the problem, Facebook wants users to upload naked pictures of ... themselves to Facebook servers. Yes, you read that correctly. The test program is known as the "Non-Consensual Intimate Image Pilot." It's designed to counter cases where somebody - often a former partner - tries to humiliate the victim by sharing images of them in revealing situations on the victim Facebook wall. Such behavior can be ... (view more)

Fri
10
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Firefox 57 to Kill Many Addons: Tab Groups Alternative

Infopackets Reader Jean K. writes: " Dear Dennis, Recently my Firefox web browser updated to version 56.0.2. When I go Tools -> Add-ons , I see most of my addons are marked as ' Legacy '. I read online that when Firefox 57 is released, it will ... use ' web extensions ,' (also spelt " WebExtensions ") which will make the current addons incompatible. This is a big problem! I have been using the ' Tab Groups ' addon by Quicksaver for a while now (which groups my web browser tabs into categories) and cannot imagine life without this incredibly helpful addon. Unfortunately the developer ... (view more)

Thu
09
Nov
John Lister's picture

Chrome to Block Sneaky Web Page Popup Ads

Chrome browser users should see fewer cases of web pages unexpectedly being replaced by ads and other annoyances with some upcoming updates. The changes aim to tackle unwanted content appearing in three ways. The first change deals with the problem ... of the page the user wants to visit suddenly being replaced by another page, usually advertising and often with no clear way of going back to the desired content. This is usually caused by rogue content in code on third-party ads that are meant to appear besides the content on the original web page. Auto-Redirection Won't Work Once Chrome gets the ... (view more)

Wed
08
Nov
John Lister's picture

Driverless Cab Service to Launch in Arizona

Google's sister company has revealed it has sent vehicles driving on Arizona roads with nobody at the wheel. It plans to start using the vehicles as a driverless cab service in the next few months, albeit only with invited test customers. Waymo ... chief John Krafcik announced today that the company has been testing the minivans on public roads in fully autonomous mode since October 19. During the tests, both the driver and passenger seats are empty. A Waymo employee sits in the back of the vehicle and can hit an emergency brake button, but otherwise has no control. It appears to be the first ... (view more)

Tue
07
Nov
John Lister's picture

Bogus 'WhatsApp' Chat Client Downloaded 1 Million Times

Scammers used a computer code loophole to trick more than a million people into downloading a rogue Android app. The fake variant of WhatsApp appears to have been designed to distribute ads. The bogus app took advantage of the popularity of the ... genuine WhatsApp Messenger, which has been downloaded more than 60 million times on Google Play alone. It's a tool for exchanging messages with friends or groups over the Internet rather than eating into SMS text message allowances. Extra Space Went Unseen "Update What's App Messenger" was one of numerous bogus apps that tried to mislead users with ... (view more)

Mon
06
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Combine PST Files - Free (Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016)

Infopackets Reader Pat C. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have been using Microsoft Outlook for a number of years as it is my go-to email client. Every so often I need to reinstall Windows for various reasons; when this happens I have to reinstall Outlook ... and create a new Outlook .PST file, which stores my Outlook data including emails and calendar. The problem is that I have 8 .PST files from each time I've had to reinstall Windows over the years, as Outlook simply - will not - allow you to continue using the same .PST file from where you last left off. From what I can tell, each time the .PST file ... (view more)

Fri
03
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Send Encrypted Email to Gmail (Postfix, TLS, SSL Certificates)

Infopackets Reader Martin R. writes: " The email newsletter I receive from you is showing in my gmail as "unencrypted," with a red pad lock . There is also a new warning banner that says: 'Be careful with this message. It contains content that's ... typically used to steal personal information.' The options are: learn more, report this suspicious message, ignore, or 'I trust this message.' This is not the only email I get that shows as unencrypted. What does this mean and how can it be fixed? " My response: Essentially it means that the mail you received (at gmail) was not sent using email ... (view more)

Thu
02
Nov
John Lister's picture

PC Beats Lawyers in Legal Prediction Contest

Computers can beat lawyers at predicting the outcome of cases according to a recent test. Organizers say an artificial intelligence program might even have uncovered insight into what influences case decisions. The test involved a computer program ... that has proven more sophisticated than intended. "Case Cruncher" was originally designed as a chatbot - a program that simulates a text conversation with a user - that would answer questions about the law. It was created and 'taught' by four law students in the UK. The team later developed it into a tool called Case Cruncher. Each variant ... (view more)

Wed
01
Nov
John Lister's picture

Google Docs Users Locked Out

Google has been locking users out of their online documents in what appears to be a glitch. The problem has raised questions over how and why Google scans the contents of documents. The problem is with Google Docs, a service that lets users store, ... edit and share documents online, rather than them having to be stored on a specific computer (and shared by physical media such as USB sticks if necessary). Multiple users are reporting that they've been unable to access files, instead seeing a message saying "This item has been flagged as inappropriate and can no longer be shared" or "We're sorry. ... (view more)

Tue
31
Oct
John Lister's picture

Facebook to Reveal Details of Advertisers, Ads Used on Site

Facebook says it will be more transparent about who is running ads on its site. It's also introducing tighter controls on election-related ads. The transparency changes follow questions about the influence of political advertising, particularly when ... it was unclear who had actually bought and placed the ads. However, Facebook says it will apply to changes to ads of all kind. (Source: fb.com ) Changes Set For 2018 Campaigns The changes will mean that any paid ad on Facebook must be linked to a Page, which is the business or organization equivalent to a personal account on the site. When the ... (view more)

Mon
30
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Stop Windows 10 Update Restart / Reboot

Infopackets Reader Steve P. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a question regarding the Microsoft policy to have Windows 10 reboot after an update automatically. Oftentimes the automatic reboots cause me to lose my work (example: open documents, open ... tabs on my browser, certain folders open, etc). I would prefer to have it so that Windows 10 doesn't reboot on updates. I understand the policy to reboot on update is forced Windows 10 users but can this be prevented? " My response: You can stop Windows 10 from rebooting on updates using two easy methods, which I will describe below. Before I get into ... (view more)

Fri
27
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: 'Avast cannot be installed (directory not empty)' Error

Infopackets Reader Jerry C. writes: " Dear Dennis, I took your advice on antivirus and tried to install Avast! using minimal settings, but the install fails with an error message ' Avast cannot be installed into the folder you entered (directory not ... empty) '. I have searched for the answer to this but no one seems to know the answer. Can you help? " My response: I asked Jerry if he would like me to connect to his machine using my remote desktop service and he agreed. I have not seen this error message before, and tried running the "Avast Uninstall Utility" to clean up any left-over remnants ... (view more)

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