Articles

Mon
20
May
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Spinning Blue Circle in Windows 10

Infopackets Reader Carol G. writes: " Dear Dennis, Since last week, my Windows 10 computer keeps showing a constant spinning blue circle instead of a white pointer. The spinning blue circle will appear for minutes at a time, then switch back to the ... white pointer for a brief second, then back to the spinning blue circle. Most of the time I can't click the Start button (or anything, for that matter) because the spinning blue circle won't let me click on anything. Even if the white pointer appears, if I click on something it takes 5 minutes for anything to happen. It's maddening! I've tried ... (view more)

Fri
17
May
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Update rdpwrap.ini (RDP Wrapper)

Infopackets Reader Tony G. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your previous article regarding RDP Wrapper , which allows me to connect to my media PC using more than one RDP (remote desktop protocol) session. This is incredibly convenient because the ... kids can be watching a movie on the media PC, I can still login to it through remote desktop without interrupting anything. The issue I'm having today is that Windows 10 recently updated to 10.0.17763.316 , and now RDP Wrapper is broken . I have gone to the RDP Wrapper website and found other users complaining of the same problem. Many forum posts ... (view more)

Thu
16
May
John Lister's picture

Adobe Users Shocked By Legal Warning

Adobe has warned users they could be in legal trouble if they carry on using older editions of software. But it seems to be more of a 'legal' technicality than a crackdown. The company wrote to some users of its Creative Cloud applications. That's a ... series of software and services launched in 2011 that replaced the more traditional model of buying Adobe software outright. Instead users now pay a subscription fee and can use the software (and receive updates to the latest editions) for as long as the subscription is active. Adobe recently wrote to some customers with the letter including the ... (view more)

Wed
15
May
John Lister's picture

Researchers: Android Bloatware a Security Risk

Unwanted pre-installed software on Android devices often poses privacy and security risks according to a new study. That's because the so-called "bloatware" often by-passes Google's vetting process. One of the key selling points, or big drawbacks - ... depending on your perspective - of the Android operating system is that phone and tablet makers can customize their own devices, through the user interface and the apps that appear when a new device is first powered on. That's different from systems such as Apple, where both the hardware and software are controlled by the same company . The study ... (view more)

Tue
14
May
John Lister's picture

Supreme Court Rules on Apple's App Price Fixing

The Supreme Court has ruled that lower courts can hear a case claiming Apple's pricing policy for its apps breaches anti-trust laws . The claimants say Apple has a monopoly, and its mandatory commission drives up prices unfairly. The case centers on ... two main differences between apps on Apple mobile devices and those on rival systems such as Google's Android. The first is that it is virtually impossible to install an app on an iPhone or iPad from a sources other than the official iTunes App Store - something Apple cites as being important for security reasons. The second is that publishers ... (view more)

Mon
13
May
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Block Windows 10 May 2019 Update

Infopackets Reader Joe P. writes: " Dear Dennis, I understand that Microsoft has started releasing the Windows 10 May 2019 update. These updates align with the twice-a-year large updates and require the computer to restart several times during the ... update process. I have had problems with Windows 10 feature updates in the past and want to block the Windows 10 May update from installing on my machine in case there are major issues being reported. What do I need to do to block the Windows 10 May update? " My response: Generally speaking I don't advise blocking any Windows Updates (even feature ... (view more)

Wed
08
May
John Lister's picture

Scientists: Social Media Effects on Kids 'Trivial'

A University of Oxford study claims any negative effects of social media on teens are likely trivial. It said other life events had a far greater effect. The study used data from extensive household surveys that ran between 2009 and 2016 which ... covered a wide range of issues. The researchers mined the survey results for responses from children who were aged 10 to 15 at the time of questioning, with more than 12,000 children covered. (Source: pnas.org ) The researchers looked at questions about how many hours the children spent communicating on social networks on school days. They compared this ... (view more)

Tue
07
May
John Lister's picture

Google's New Cookie Tracking Policy Raises Eyebrows

Google is set to make it easier for users to block tracking cookies. Perhaps unsurprisingly the reported changes would also be very helpful for Google. Cookies are small files that a website saves onto a computer's hard drive via the web browser. ... When the user next returns to the site, it will check for cookies and use the information to customize the site's content or appearance. For example, if a user were to enter in their name and password on a forum website and then selected the "remember me" option, this preference would be saved using a cookie. The next time the user visits ... (view more)

Mon
06
May
John Lister's picture

Apple Accused of Overhyping Battery Life

A consumer group has accused Apple of significantly overstating battery life on iPhones. The group also said some manufacturer's smartphones perform much better than advertised. The claims come from "Which?," a British organization similar to ... Consumer Reports in the US. It tested a range of handsets from five leading manufacturers: Apple, HTC, Nokia, Samsung and Sony. (Source: which.co.uk ) The tests were specifically about talk time: how long the battery lasts while making voice calls. That's provoked some criticism from people who argue this is only a small part of battery life ... (view more)

Thu
02
May
John Lister's picture

Report: Most Of World Now Online

More than half of the world's population now has Internet access according to newly-published estimates. The figures also suggest there are more mobile phones than people worldwide. The estimates come from the International Telecommunications Union ... (a specialized agency of the United Nations), and the World Bank. (Source: itu.int ) While most of the figures relate to subscriptions, the overall Internet use number is for individual people. The estimate has 51.2 percent of people online as of the end of 2018, with dramatic growth in Internet access in Africa helping reach this milestone. ... (view more)

Wed
01
May
John Lister's picture

Mobile Chrome Users Could Be Scammed

A tech expert has spotted a security risk in the mobile edition of Chrome. The way the exploit works means that scammers could make the browser appear to show a fake website address. This type of exploit would be particularly useful in a phishing ... scam, where hackers could develop a bogus website (such as a major banking site) to trick people into handing over personal information or passwords to sensitive data. James Fisher noted a potential problem with what's meant to be a useful measure in mobile Chrome. As the user scrolls down the page - which is much more likely to happen on a phone ... (view more)

Tue
30
Apr
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Ditches Major Windows 10 Revamp

Microsoft has ditched Windows 10 "Sets," a feature planned as a major rethink of how Windows 10 works. In simple terms, it would have replaced traditional windows (such as File Explorer or a MS Word) with browser-like tabs. The feature was first ... revealed by Microsoft in late 2017 and later went out to some users in the Windows 10 test panel. The concept was simple: to offer an alternative to the current methods of switching between open applications such as using Alt-Tab to cycle between them, or clicking on icons in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen. Browser-Like Experience ... (view more)

Thu
25
Apr
John Lister's picture

USB Sticks Could Block Windows 10 Update

Microsoft has warned that having a USB device or memory card in a computer could block a major Windows 10 update. It's a simple problem that's made far worse by a resulting error message, which is incredibly confusing. The issue is likely to do with ... the new policy that no longer requires users to 'eject' a USB device before removing it from the system . The problem is with computers trying to install the latest Windows 10 May 2019 Update. It's the first of the two major updates this year (and every year after) that introduces new features rather than simply fixing bugs. The "May 2019 update" ... (view more)

Wed
24
Apr
John Lister's picture

WiFi Hotspot App Leaks 2M Passwords, Many Residential

An app designed to make it easier to get on public WiFi has accidentally exposed more than two million WiFi passwords. It appears to be a case of terrible design, rather than pure malice by the app designers. The app is called "WiFi Finder - connect ... to hotspots" and is listed on the Google Play store as having more than 100,000 downloads. In theory the app is part of a project to make using WiFi on the move more convenient. It's designed to be a massive database to which users can add public WiFi networks and the relevant passwords. For example, visitors to a coffee store could add the ... (view more)

Tue
23
Apr
John Lister's picture

Hugely Popular Android Apps Exposed As Scam

Six very opular Android apps have been exposed as scams to defraud advertisers. The scam also drained batteries and sucked up mobile data on the handsets. The six apps are AIO Flashlight, Omni Cleaner, RAM Master, Selfie Camera, Smart Cooler and ... Total Cleaner. All were in the official Google Play store but have been removed since their real purpose came to life. The revelation came after three security companies - Check Point, ESET and Method Media Intelligence - worked with news site Buzzfeed to investigate risky apps. They concentrated on apps which were widely used and required permissions ... (view more)

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