Articles

Tue
29
Sep
John Lister's picture

Google Maps Now Shows COVID Hotspots

Google has added an optional setting for its Maps tool showing the levels of reported COVID-19 infections in an area. However, users need to check exactly what area the data covers. For now the feature is only available on mobile apps rather than ... the desktop website version. It's also rolling out slowly, and may not be available immediately. Once available, the feature is accessible by tapping the layers button in the top-right corner of the screen. That's the button with an icon similar to a diamond with a v-shape underneath. This will then show the map in marked areas. Each area will have a ... (view more)

Thu
24
Sep
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Office 2019 Won't Be Last Of Its Kind

Microsoft is releasing a new "buy it once" version of Office. It's a surprise follow-up to Office 2019 and is an alternative to the ongoing subscription of Office 365. Right now very little is known about the new product as it's only come to light ... through a single line in a blog post that's otherwise about business tools Microsoft Exchange. That line reads: "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021." (Source: microsoft.com ) A perpetual release is another way of saying that users only have to pay once to purchase the software ... (view more)

Wed
23
Sep
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Hospital Hacker Must Pay $1.5M, Jailed 5 Years

A man who was part of a hacking gang that stole medical records and tried to blackmail an accounting company has been sentenced to five years in prison. Nathan Wyatt was a member of a group calling themselves The Dark Overlord. British-born Wyatt ... had previously been extradited to the United States. He was charged with conspiracy against the US, threatening damage to a protected computer, and aggravated identify theft. Originally Wyatt pleaded not guilty. He later changed his plea to guilty on the conspiracy charge and received a five year prison sentence and ordered to pay $1,467,048 in ... (view more)

Tue
22
Sep
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Chinese Apps TikTok, WeChat Won't Be Banned

A judge has blocked a Department of Commerce ban on a Chinese messaging app. The judge said there wasn't enough specific evidence against the app to override free speech complaints. The department introduced the ban on WeChat (along with video app ... TikTok) following an executive order from the President. The ban meant it was illegal for app stores to distribute or update the apps in the US. The ban also outlawed US use of WeChat's mobile payment facility, which is hugely popular with American citizens of Asian descent. One estimate puts the number of US users at 19 million. In both cases, the ... (view more)

Thu
17
Sep
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Google Offers Ultra Fast 2Gpbs Broadband

Google is doubling the top speed of its Fiber broadband service to 2Gbps, though it will cost $100 a month. It also says the speed will be available through its 'wireless' service for businesses. The original idea for Google Fiber - at least ... according to the company - was to use its buying power and technology to offer an alternative high-speed service in areas which either had no serious broadband available or were served only by a single company that exploited its monopoly. The problem is that while the service itself has had good reviews, Google doesn't offer it in many places. Only a ... (view more)

Tue
15
Sep
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LG Releases T-Shaped, Twin-Screen Smartphone

LG has released a dual-screen Android cellphone with a difference. Rather than fold out like a book, one of the screens swivels round to create a T-shape. The big question now is whether the LG Wing really will prove genuinely useful and solve ... existing problems or if it's just a gimmick in search of a benefit. In its default position, the phone looks just like a normal modern smartphone with a full screen display on the front and a blank cover (except for the phone lenses) on the back, the main difference being it's much thicker than most handsets. Two Screens Can Work Together Or Alone That' ... (view more)

Mon
14
Sep
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Chromebook Update System To Change

The way Chromebook's are updated is changing to boost security in older machines. The new changes mean that updates are separate from the Chrome operating system and the Chrome browser itself. The fact that the Chrome browsers is so closely ... entangled with Chrome OS is one of the key selling points of Chromebooks. Most applications and functions run in a similar way to how a user would experience them while running the Chrome browser on a Windows PC. In turn, the learning curve for Windows users switching to a Chromebook is very shallow an intuitive if they are already familiar with the Chrome ... (view more)

Fri
11
Sep
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Android 11 to Get Significant Security Boosts

Android devices will are getting some key security changes. The tweaks to the permissions system are meant to reduce the need to weigh up security against convenience. The changes will come in Android 11, which begins rolling out to handsets this ... month. Because its an open source system, the new version of the operating system will take longer to get to some brands than others, and older phones and tablets won't ever get it. The main changes are to Android's permission system, which allows users to theoretically control parts of the device's software and hardware an app can access or control ... (view more)

Wed
09
Sep
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Adobe Flash Faces Final Curtain by December 2020

Microsoft will block Adobe Flash in its web browsers from the end of the year. It's the last major browser developer to drop the technology. While Adobe Flash was once the primary tool used for multimedia content on websites, it earned a poor ... reputation for security. It wasn't just that it had numerous security holes, but that when those holes were exploited, hackers were often able to access a computer's memory and gain a worrying level of control just by using a web browser. Steve Jobs a Noted Flash Hater Apple was arguably the first company to crack down on Adobe Flash content with Steve ... (view more)

Tue
08
Sep
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1/4 of PCs Running Win7 Despite Security Risks

More than one in four computers are running an unsupported version of Windows according to the latest monthly estimates. Around one in 80 machines are still running Windows XP, which was first released 19 years ago. The stats, spotted by TechRadar, ... come from Net Market Share. That's a company which provides statistics and analysis to websites. As part of this work, it's able to track the operating systems of sites that visit its clients sites. (Source: techradar.com ) Net Market Share believes it has data from enough sites to make reliable estimates for the Internet as a whole. If anything, ... (view more)

Thu
03
Sep
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COVID Tracing Now Built into Mac, Android

Apple and Google have added a way to notify users about potential COVID-19 infections without them having to install an app. The Bluetooth-based system is coming to iOS and Android but will be opt-in only. Both companies have already built ... technologies that use Bluetooth to anonymously track which handsets have been in close proximity of a user who reports either symptoms or a positive test. However, until now the technologies have only been used through official government or health authority apps. Now the mobile operating systems are getting a built-in tool called Exposure Notifications ... (view more)

Wed
02
Sep
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Windows 10 Bug Could Strain Hard Drives

Microsoft is testing a fix for a bug that could theoretically shorten the lifespan of some hard drives. The bug means Windows 10 was mistakenly running the defrag tool more frequently than designed. Defragging has long been available as a way to ... make hard drives run more efficiently. It deals with the problem that when a computer deletes a file, it leaves empty physical space behind on the drive. The next time it writes a new file it will look for the first available suitable sized space. Over time this can lead to wasted gaps on the physical drive. In turn, this means traditional hard drives ... (view more)

Tue
01
Sep
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Windows 10 Update Schedule Could Change

Microsoft is reportedly planning to only have one major update to Windows 10 next year. It could be a permanent switch and appears inspired by requests to have Microsoft spend more time testing updates before releasing it to the public. The idea ... with Windows 10, sometimes dubbed 'Software as a Service', was to ditch the old model of releasing a totally new version of Windows every few years. Instead, Microsoft has based updates around a mix of security updates (either monthly or as needed for the most serious problems), monthly tweaks and fixes, and then two major updates each year. New ... (view more)

Wed
26
Aug
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Google Sued over 'Accidental' Location Tracking

Internal Google documents show the company's own staff believe its privacy settings are confusing. The documents became public in a court case about unexpected location tracking. The state of Arizona is suing Google after an investigation into ... claims it was storing location data about mobile users even though they had turned off the Location History setting . The problem is that Google actually tracked location in multiple ways - each with their own settings. For example, there's a difference between Location History (a user feature that lets you check back through Google Maps to see where ... (view more)

Tue
25
Aug
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Fastest Internet Speed Record Destroyed

The new record for fastest Internet connection is quick enough to download everything on Netflix in under a second. It's safe to say the average home user won't see such speeds, but the techniques used to achieve the speeds could benefit everyone. ... The transfer was done over a fiber-optic cable between computers 25 miles apart. It reached a peak speed of 178 terabits per second. That's around 20 percent faster than the previous record and five times the speed of the fastest connections currently in regular use, namely cables running between machines in data centers. University College London, ... (view more)

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