Articles

Thu
21
Jan
John Lister's picture

Online Shopping Prices May Be Manipulated

Mysterious algorithms could harm online shoppers by aiding collusion according to a newly-published paper. Because the effects are personalized, it could be tricky to prove wrongdoing. The claims come in a researched paper published by the United ... Kingdom's Competition ... (view more)

Wed
20
Jan
John Lister's picture

Dating App 'Politics' Filter Turned Against Rioters

A dating app has removed – and then replaced – a filter for political views among potential partners. Bumble discovered some users were taking advantage of the filter to "entrap" people involved in the recent breach of the US Capitol. Bumble is a dat ...ing app that works like several others in that it shows users potential matches in their geographic area. If two users both indicate an interest in each other's profile, they can begin communication. However, unlike most such services, with a male-female match, only the woman can initiate contact and begin an exchange of messages. Users can filter ...ref="/news/10884/dating-app-politics-filter-turned-against-rioters" class="more-link">view more)

Tue
19
Jan
John Lister's picture

Google, Facebook Face News Fees

Google and Facebook could have to pay a fee to show content from Australian news organizations. The proposed laws have upset not just the tech giants, but the United States government. The Australian proposals follow a government investigation that ... concludes the two companies have too much control in the media market. It pointed to several regional newspapers closing and advertising revenue falling for publications at the same time Google and Facebook benefit from using news extracts on Google News and in Facebook posts. No Surprise Algorithm Changes Under the laws, Google and Facebook would ... (view more)

Thu
14
Jan
John Lister's picture

WWW Creator Reenvisions How Personal Data is Stored

World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee wants to rethink the way people control online data. He says his "pods" proposal would bring the online world closer to his original vision of the web. Berners-Lee has launched an open-source project and ... associated business to try to counter what he sees as the web's biggest problem: major companies collecting user data and exploiting it as a core part of their business. His new idea is "pods", or personal online data store. This would involve users having a space on a server that acted like a digital safe and contained a range of data. This could be ... (view more)

Wed
13
Jan
John Lister's picture

Samsung Program Repurposes Old Phones

Samsung wants to turn old phones into home gadgets. Its evolving its Galaxy Upcycling program to make it easier to convert handsets. The program launched in 2017 as a largely internal project where Samsung staff tried to find ways to use old phones ... for new purposes. This often involved taking advantage of the various sensors in a phone even if its specifications were now too low to run the latest operating systems and apps. Baby Monitor Among New Use Ideas At that point the project appeared to be more about creativity than solving significant problems. For example, one design used a motion ... (view more)

Tue
12
Jan
John Lister's picture

100M Users Still Using Windows 7

As many as 100 million PCs could still be running Windows 7 according to a newly-published estimate. That's despite Microsoft withdrawing support for the 11-year old system last year. The estimate comes from Ed Bott of ZDNet and is based on data ... published at analytics.usa.gov. That brings together site visitor data from most US government agencies. It means the figures will primarily represent visitors from the United States. (Source: zdnet.com ) Bott notes that across the agencies, 8.5 per cent of visitors in the past 90 days were running Windows 7 and 3.4 percent running Windows 8 or 8.1. ... (view more)

Mon
11
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Disable Chrome 'Sign into Website' Notification

Infopackets Reader Paulette J. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently switched from Firefox to Chrome based on your advice in a previous article. I am used to Chrome's interface, however, one thing that really irks me is the constant Chrome notification ... asking me to ' Sign into somesite.com with Google ' near the top right of the screen. It goes on to read 'To create your account, Google will share your name, email address and profile picture with somesite.com'. I can reproduce this notification appearing by visiting Reddit.com. Frankly speaking, I don't want to share my information with every ... (view more)

Fri
08
Jan
John Lister's picture

Chrome Defaults to Secure Website Version

Google Chrome will now look for a secure version of a website first by default. It could mean a tiny delay accessing some sites, but should nudge more sites to increase security. The change to the browser involves how it handles cases where users ... simply type in the domain (such as infopackets.com) rather than the full website address (such as http://www.infopackets.com or https://www.infopackets.com ). The browser being able to convert one to the other makes it much quicker to type website addresses and allows browsers to use a single space for users to input both website addresses and search ... (view more)

Wed
06
Jan
John Lister's picture

Ticketmaster Fined $10M for Hacking Competitor

Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million fine for computer fraud and hacking. The company admitted responsibility for hacking an unnamed rival with the help of an employee who had previously worked there. The $10 million figure is calculated as the ... maximum $500,000 penalty for each of 20 cases of breaking the law through "unauthorized access of a protected computer." The fine is through a "deferred prosecution agreement" in which prosecutors hold off pursuing the case through the courts. As part of the agreement, Ticketmaster admitted breaking the law and must cooperate with prosecutors ... (view more)

Tue
05
Jan
John Lister's picture

Chrome Security Software Bug Fixed

Chrome and Edge are to get a fix for a problem with saving bookmarks and other files. The glitch is the result of an incompatibility with some anti-virus software. The problem involved security tools which were set to scan files on a computer in ... real-time. Often this involves "freezing" a file immediately as it's written to disk so the security software can check for threats and neutralize them before they have an effect. Unfortunately the way this works means it didn't always go smoothly with Chrome, resulting in the browser "freezing", then simply giving up on saving the file. This caused ... (view more)

Thu
31
Dec
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Free Upgrade 'Still Available'

A free Microsoft offer to upgrade to Windows 10 was supposed to expire in 2016. However, it appears the upgrade still works, with claims the deadline was simply a marketing ploy. With Windows 10 released in the middle of 2015, the free upgrade offer ... was advertised as running for a year. It was available for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, with most getting an upgrade to the Windows 10 Home edition. Those running Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 8.1 Pro could upgrade to the Windows 10 Pro edition. As most people either upgraded in the first year or decided to give Windows 10 a ... (view more)

Wed
30
Dec
John Lister's picture

Security Update Cut-Off Puts Phones At Risk

A consumer group has warned a time limit on updates could mean phones become a security risk before they wear out. The group wants laws to make it clearer how long devices will receive support. The warning comes from Which?, a British organization ... similar to Consumer Reports in the US. It surveyed 15,000 people about how long they kept their phones. The questions covered how long people had been using their current phone, whether it was newly manufactured when they got it, and how long they had used their previous handset. The calculations only took account of handsets that were replaced ... (view more)

Tue
29
Dec
John Lister's picture

Online Free Speech Rules Derail Defense Bill

A dispute over Internet law has led to a Presidential veto of a major defense bill. Lawmakers will now decide whether to reject Donald Trump's demands to remove rules on how websites and services handle content posted by users. The bill in question ... authorizes US military spending for the next year. One of the quirks of the US legislative system is that bills can include measures which have little or nothing to do with the main subject of the proposed law. These measures are often the result of negotiation between politicians. In this case, Trump wants the defense bill to include a repeal of ... (view more)

Mon
28
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Force Screen Refresh Rate Windows 10

Infopackets Reader Michael O. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a strange problem. Every few reboots, my laptop screen refresh rate will automatically change to 59Hz, even though I've repeatedly set it to 60Hz. On my particular laptop model (Lenovo ... T460), whenever the screen refresh rate is at 59Hz and the screen brightness is relatively low, the screen starts to flicker. The screen flickering is hard to see unless it's on a white background, but it is definitely noticeable and enough to make me want to pull my hair out. When I change it back to 60Hz, the screen flickering stops. The problem is ... (view more)

Fri
25
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Change Edge New Tab Page to Google

Infopackets Reader Gilles J. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently upgraded to Windows 10 and started using the new Edge browser. As you mentioned in a previous article, the new Edge is essentially Google's Chrome browser, but the interface is a little ... different. All is good, however one thing I don't like about Edge is that the new tab page won't let me redirect to Google. Instead, it displays a bunch of pages I've visited. I'm not interested in seeing that. Any idea how to change Edge new tab page to Google ? I also want to change Edge default search engine to Google . Much thanks!" My response ... (view more)

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