Articles

Wed
24
Jul
John Lister's picture

Google Cuts Back 'AI Overview' Search

Google has significantly scaled back its use of AI-generated "answers" on its search results page. It's also sourcing less of the "facts" from discussion forums such as Reddit. The changes are to the "AI Overview" feature, which replaced a similar ... feature called "Search Generative Experience". In both cases, it meant Google creating text that appeared at the top of the search results page, ahead of the normal list of links to relevant websites. The feature is primarily designed to answer questions without the need for the user to visit a website. The "answers" are a summary of information on ... (view more)

Tue
23
Jul
John Lister's picture

10 Billion Password Leak Not What It Seems

Reports that hackers have got their hands on 10 billion passwords have been slightly overblown. The file includes passwords up to 20 years old and many may never have been used at all. The "leak" involves an online post of a text file dubbed ... "RockYou 2024" which is said to contain 9,948,575,739 unique passwords, all stored in plain text. It appears to be an update from a similar file published in 2021, with "only" 1.5 billion of the passwords added since that time. Cybernews estimates it contains passwords compiled from around 4,000 databases over the past 20 years. (Source: cybernews.com ) ... (view more)

Mon
22
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Error Exporting VM on Virtualbox (OVF) to VMware

Infopackets Reader William B. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am running a server virtual machine inside of Virtualbox and it's been quite slow. I've read that VMware Workstation has twice the performance (roughly). Out of curiosity, I tried to export my ... current virtual machine in Virtualbox using the Open Virtualization Format (.OVF or .OVA) but I get an error every time I try to export: ' Could not create the exported medium Server-disk001.vmdk (VERR_IO_CRC) .' I am not sure what to do and would like to export this virtual machine off of Virtualbox so I can give VMware Workstation a try. " My ... (view more)

Fri
19
Jul
John Lister's picture

Company Promises to Patch Win10 After End of Life

Microsoft has competition in the market for extending Windows 10 after its scheduled end of life. An independent company is promising simple-to-use security updates - with a cost. Officially, Microsoft will stop issuing free security updates for ... Windows 10 after October 14, 2025, just over 10 years after the system was released. That's not got a great reaction given Microsoft heavily implied there would be no new version after 10, and that it has arguably made Windows 11 an unnecessarily difficult upgrade through new hardware security requirements. If all goes to plan, anyone wanting to keep ... (view more)

Thu
18
Jul
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Says Customer Affected By Email Hack

Microsoft says Russian hackers accessed its customers' emails during an attack earlier this year. It had previously only said Microsoft's own staff were victims. The company has not yet said how many customers are affected but says it has contacted ... them with details of the attack. Microsoft was breached by a group called Midnight Blizzard, believed to operate from Russia. The government there has not commented on the claims. The new revelations follow a Microsoft announcement in January that a small proportion of its corporate email accounts had been accessed by Midnight Blizzard. The attacks ... (view more)

Wed
17
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: 2024-01 Security Update for Windows 10 Fails to Install

Infopackets Reader Jack L. writes: " Dear Dennis, For the last 4-5 months when I try to do a Windows 10 update to download and install ' 2024-01 Security Update for Windows 10 Version 22H2 for x64 based Systems ' ( KB5034441 ) the update downloads, ... but when it starts to install (before I restart the computer) it constantly gives the following error code ( 0x80070643 ). Are you able to remedy this problem? " My response: I asked Jack if he would like to use my remote desktop service , and he agreed. Below I will discuss my findings. How to Fix: 2024-01 Security Update for Windows 10 Fails to ... (view more)

Tue
16
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Being Blackmailed on Snapchat? Here's What to Do

Infopackets Reader Drew W. writes: " Dear Dennis, I was randomly added by a female on Snapchat and she asked me what I looked like. We hit it off, and then she asked for some inappropriate photos of myself. A few minutes later, she showed me ... pictures of my Instagram follower and said if I didn't pay, they would be sent to my followers. I have already sent $400 and was provided video proof of my photos being deleted. However, she is now demanding another $100 to 'delete for good', whatever that means. I already received SMS text messages from 4 other phone numbers demanding higher amounts. ... (view more)

Mon
15
Jul
John Lister's picture

Android Gets Easier Health Checks

The next version of Android will make it easier to diagnose performance and hardware issues. It will remove the need to use hidden codes. The changes are coming to Android 15, which is expected to roll out in finished form in August. Google has just ... released the third beta testing version of the update and testers have noticed a new feature in the System section of the Settings app. Labeled "Device diagnostics", the feature has two elements. The first, "Evaluation Mode" reportedly lets users "use one device to assess another device", which sounds more useful for dedicated tech enthusiasts or ... (view more)

Wed
10
Jul
John Lister's picture

Meta AI Image Warnings Backfire

Facebook and Instagram's attempts to avoid users being misled by AI-generated photos have backfired. Several users report photographs they took themselves as being falsely labeled as made by AI tools. Meta, which owns both sites plus social ... discussion tool Threads, has started adding a "Made with AI" label to images. In some cases it's there because the users has ticked a box to say they used AI to make the image. In other cases, it's because Meta's detection tools have flagged the image. The site has felt pressure to clearly indicate AI-generated images that could be designed to fool and ... (view more)

Mon
08
Jul
John Lister's picture

Scammers Could Send Emails 'From Microsoft'

A particularly embarrassing bug makes it easy to send emails that appear to be from Microsoft employees. It's bad news for the public as it could make phishing scams appear more credible. The good news is that it only works if the recipient is using ... Outlook, though "good" is a comparative term because there are over 400 million Outlook users worldwide. (Source: cyberdaily.au ) Users Asked to Remain Vigilant Exactly how the bug works and where its found still isn't known, as the security researcher says they do not want to give details that could help potential attackers exploit the bug on a ... (view more)

Wed
03
Jul
John Lister's picture

No-Apps Phone Could Cost $799

The makers of a low-tech phone say they want people to use it as little as possible. But they've added a "proper" screen that brings the price up to $399. The third incarnation of the Light Phone continues to raise questions about exactly who the ... intended users are, though the makers say sales have topped 100,000. (Source: techcrunch.com ) Previous versions had virtually no features: the Light Phone 2 made phone calls and accepted text messages, but had no Internet browser or installable apps. Instead it simply performed a few basic built-in tasks such as playing music files, giving driving ... (view more)

Tue
02
Jul
John Lister's picture

Adobe Accused of Subscription Shadiness

The US government is suing Adobe for allegedly tricking users into subscriptions. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) says the company doesn't do enough to warn users about cancellation charges and makes it too hard to cancel. The court case is ... against both Adobe as a company and individually against the company's vice president and its president of digital media business. The key complaint is that Adobe has breached federal consumer protection laws and thus harmed consumers. The individuals are named because they had the authority to make decisions about Adobe's subscriptions policies. ... (view more)

Fri
28
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Nonexistent host networking interface (Virtualbox)

Infopackets Reader Calli P. writes: " Dear Dennis, I we just upgraded our server machine which includes all brand new hardware. The new server hardware will act as a Hypervisor, and are currently using Virtualbox to run our 'server' virtual machine. ... After copying over the server virtual machine to the new hardware, however, Virtualbox won't boot the virtual machine, stating ' Nonexistent host networking interface , name Intel I210 Gigabit Network Connection (VERR_INTERNAL_ERROR)', with an E_FAIL error 0x80004005 . I am not sure what to do and I need help! " My response: I asked Calli if she ... (view more)

Fri
28
Jun
John Lister's picture

Outlook Users Warned Of Major Bug

This month's Microsoft "Patch Tuesday" update includes a fix for a major threat in Outlook. The bug means simply opening an email can trigger the attack. The update should have been applied to most systems by now, but some users may have shut off ... Windows Update, in which case it is recommended to re-enable and patch immediately. The threat, discovered by security company Morphisec, is a remote code execution vulnerability. That's particularly nasty as it gives an attacker the ability to remotely operate on the victim's computer. They could then spread malware, install ransomware or attempt to ... (view more)

Thu
27
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Disable Windows 11 Reboot on Update

(Note that the solution below applies to any Windows 11 machine that needs to stay up and running without a reboot after updates, and not just one running VMware Workstation). Infopackets Reader Calli P. writes: " Dear Dennis, We recently upgraded ... our server machine to an AMD Ryzen 9 with 16 cores and 32 threads. The old machine was very outdated (only 4 core). The role of the new server is the same as the old - to be a Hypervisor - which runs VMware workstation. Inside of VMware Workstation is a virtual machine which we regard as the Server virtual machine, which runs our ESC software for ... (view more)

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