Articles

Tue
19
Mar
John Lister's picture

Most Android Antivirus Useless: Report

A new report claims most Android "antivirus" apps don't provide enough protection to justify that term. It says two-thirds of the antivirus programs were so ineffective, they were practically useless. The report comes from AV-Comparatives, a website ... that tests antivirus and other security software. It says it was inspired to look at Android apps after spotting one that literally did nothing but show a fake progress bar before saying no malicious apps were present (without actually carrying out a scan). The test involved putting 250 different Android antivirus apps to work on Samsung Galaxy S9 ... (view more)

Fri
15
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google Phones Become Seeing Eyes for Blind

A new Google app uses a phone camera to describe the world around blind and visually impaired people. It's an artificial intelligence take on a task that's already performed remotely by human volunteers. The app, dubbed "Google Lookout," works best ... when the user puts the phone around their neck like wearing a lanyard, or in a shirt pocket with the camera lens uncovered. The app then uses the camera view to analyze what's around the user and describe what it can "see". The idea is that the app activates in situations where a blind user might ask for help, adjusting to context. For ... (view more)

Thu
14
Mar
John Lister's picture

Web Creator Fears Dysfunctional Future

The creator of the World Wide Web (WWW) says it faces a "downward plunge to a dysfunctional future." Sir Tim Berners-Lee said many of its problems were unintended consequences. Berners-Lee spoke to mark the 30th anniversary of him submitting a ... proposal to his managers at European science group CERN for a way to organize data. That technology, based on hyperlinked text, became the World Wide Web. In turn, that helped shape the Internet into something used worldwide by ordinary people. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) Writing an open letter, Berners-Lee noted that the web is now "a public square, a library ... (view more)

Wed
13
Mar
John Lister's picture

Apple Wants To Block Police Phone Tracking

Apple wants to patent a technology that would make it harder for police to track people's location through their phone. The technology wouldn't make messages and calls secret, but rather make it harder to prove who owned the phone in question. The ... patent is for end-to-end encryption for the mobile subscriber identification number (MSNI). That's part of a longer number that also identifies the country and mobile network a phone is registered to What's important here is that the MSNI identifies the specific handset. Police could then force a mobile carrier to hand over the ... (view more)

Fri
08
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google: Update Chrome Immediately

Google has issued an urgent warning for Chrome users to update their browser if needed. That's because a security flaw is being actively exploited. The flaw in question is referred to as a "zero-day exploit." In an ideal world, software developers ... discover a bug and get some time before hackers find out about it and start taking advantage. In this case, the hackers did so before Google could develop a fix and get it out to users. Google is keeping the full details of the flaw secret for now to avoid giving even more criminals clues on how to exploit it. It says it won't say any more ... (view more)

Tue
05
Mar
John Lister's picture

No More Passwords: 'Keys' to Become New Standard

The demise of the password has come a step closer this week with the adoption of a new standard for physical "keys" for logging in to websites. "WebAuthn," as it's called, makes it easier for sites to let users log in through a physical method - ... rather than relying on users having to remember a password. These methods range from USB devices that act like a physical key to biometric devices such as fingerprint or eye scanners. The big hope is that such devices reduce the need to rely on passwords which can be guessed or stolen in data breaches. Browsers Already On Board Having a ... (view more)

Mon
04
Mar
John Lister's picture

Online Chat Tool Charges a Penny Per Character

A new online chat service costs one cent for every character in a message. It appears to be both a business idea and a social experiment. The site has the straightforward name called "Expensive Chat," and has the equally to-the-point description of ... "Spend money to chat with strangers who spend money to chat with strangers." Users can register to pay with their bank card or through third-party payment site "Stripe." Once they are setup, every time they write a message, they'll see a reminder of the price based on its length. They'll have to confirm the message and their willingness ... (view more)

Fri
01
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Install Software in Safe Mode (Windows 10)

Infopackets Reader Cliff H. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your excellent article on how to boot Windows 10 using the Microsoft Basic Display Adapter Driver . I am also having problems with my system freezing on me randomly, but have not been ... able to narrow down the culprit (nor do I have a system stable enough to do more testing!). I have managed to boot Windows 10 in Safe Mode with Networking and the system is stable, but I can't install any programs because the Windows installer service isn't running. Do you know how to make it so I can install software in Safe Mode using Windows 10 ... (view more)

Thu
28
Feb
John Lister's picture

Bill Gates Predicts Breakthrough Technology

Bill Gates has picked 10 technologies he thinks will break through in 2019. Perhaps surprisingly for the Microsoft founder, only one is even partially related to computers. Gates made the picks after being chosen as the first ever guest editor of ... the MIT Technology Review annual list. His only real computer-related choice was artificial intelligence-based assistants (which appear on PCs as well as mobile devices and gadgets) doing a better job of understanding human language. That's always tough, because human speech doesn't follow mathematical logical rules and often depends on context. ( ... (view more)

Wed
27
Feb
John Lister's picture

YouTube Kids Videos Give Suicide Tips

Some videos on YouTube's Kids app contain instructions on how to commit suicide. It casts serious doubt on YouTube's claims to "curate" the content available to children. YouTube Kids is a dedicated app for mobile devices and smart televisions. The ... content it hosts is also available at a dedicated website. YouTube describes the service as being a "fun, family-friendly place for children and families." The app is designed to be easy to use, even for young children. Although parents can create individual accounts for each child which learn their viewing tastes and make ... (view more)

Tue
26
Feb
John Lister's picture

New Energizer Phone Has Beast of a Battery

Energizer has made a smartphone that is not surprisingly all about the battery. Though to be fair, it's got six times the capacity of some leading models. The few people who've seen the phone say it's bordering on impossibly big, but that it does ... provoke debate about the way phones suck up electricity. The Android-based handset is called the Energizer Power Max P18K Pop. It has a battery capacity of 18,000 mAh. To put that into context, it's three times more than a Motorola phone that's specifically marketed around long battery life. It's also around six times more than many flagship Android ... (view more)

Mon
25
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Boot Windows 10 using Basic Display Adapter Driver

Infopackets Reader Barry S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am having problems with my computer's display freezing randomly, though it usually happens within 3 minutes of booting into Windows 10. Oftentimes the system will lock up during boot. When this ... happens, my hard drive light on the PC keeps flickering away like it's still loading, which suggests to me that there is something wrong with my video card. I tested this theory by using remote desktop to connect to my main PC from my laptop. To my surprise the PC was still working as it should via remote desktop, though as I mentioned the display ... (view more)

Thu
21
Feb
John Lister's picture

Symantec: Popular Microsoft Apps Hijack PCs

At least eight apps in the official Microsoft Store were secretly designed to use a computer's resources without permission. It undermines Microsoft's efforts to promote the store as a "safe source of software." In the past few years, Microsoft has ... heavily pushed the idea of Windows users getting software from an app store - similar to the way mobile devices work - rather than the more traditional method of getting programs from a third-party sources and installing them directly to the PC or smartphone / tablet. There's even a special 'S' mode for Windows 10 that only allows the ... (view more)

Wed
20
Feb
John Lister's picture

Report: Most Password Managers Not Secure

Security researchers say some major password manager tools could be flawed. But they also say it's still sensible to use them, just with a degree of caution. It's a fact that using the same password for multiple sites is a massive security risk. ... That's because if one site gets hacked, it could mean that hackers can use the same password on another website to gain access to potentially sensitive information, resulting in identity theft or financial loss. Password manager tools (such as Roboform and Dashlane ) aim to overcome two big dilemmas with online passwords - which is keeping passwords ... (view more)

Tue
19
Feb
John Lister's picture

Windows 7 Users: Get this Critical Update (due March)

Microsoft has warned an update coming next month is absolutely critical for users running Windows 7. Without it, computers won't be able to use any future Windows security and feature updates, leaving users extremely vulnerable to malware infections ... (or worse). It's all to do with a change in the way Microsoft delivers security updates in a secure manner. Whenever Microsoft releases an update, it comes with a digital signature to prove that it came from Microsoft's servers and that the code it contains has not been tampered with. You can think of these security measures much the same way when ... (view more)

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