Articles

Tue
20
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google Exposes Unfixed Microsoft Edge Security Flaw

Google has revealed a security flaw with the Microsoft Edge browser before Microsoft released a patch. It's a controversial move with arguments across both the tech and security industries. The flaw in question is somewhat complicated. In very ... simplified terms, the flaw is to do with how Microsoft Edge converts website code into what users see on their computer screen when visiting a website. Google realized that it could work out precisely when the browser would access part of the computer's memory and use this knowledge to effectively set a booby trap. That could then force the computer to ... (view more)

Thu
15
Feb
John Lister's picture

Thousands of Sites Hit By 'Cryptojacking' Scam

Visitors to more than 5,000 websites had their computers hijacked to earn money for scammers. But the attack would have earned them less than $25 - and they aren't getting paid anyway. The attack involved compromising screen reader software called ... BrowseAloud. Websites can add the software to their site to make it easier for visitors with vision problems to browse the pages. Because the software is so widely used, compromising it was an effective way to reach a large number of computers - regardless of whether the owners needed to use a screen reader. The software is particularly popular ... (view more)

Wed
14
Feb
John Lister's picture

'Facebook Protect' VPN Tool Actually Spies on Users

The recently debuted 'Facebook Protect' feature has sparked controversy. Facebook says it's a tool to protect user privacy, but critics suggest it is nothing more than a tracking tool designed to collect user activity. The tool appears in the ... iPhone/iPad app for Facebook. Although the menu option is listed as 'Protect', it's actually a virtual private network (VPN) tool called "Onavo." A VPN works by creating the virtual equivalent of a private "tunnel" on the Internet. The tunnel then allows data to flow back and forth between a user's computer and the website or service they are ... (view more)

Tue
13
Feb
John Lister's picture

Report: Youth Abandoning Facebook

Facebook is increasingly becoming a site for older users according to an online measurement company. eMarketer says last year saw a drop in younger users that was nearly three times bigger than it forecast. This time last year the company predicted ... that the number of 12-17 year olds using Facebook would drop by 3.4 percent. That was significant as it was the first time it predicted any form of drop among any age group. Retirees The Main Growth Area A new report from the company says in reality the drop was 9.9 percent. It also says there was an overall fall in users among under-25s, something ... (view more)

Mon
12
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: OpenVPN Remote Desktop Not Working (Suddenly)

Infopackets Reader Paul P. writes: " Dear Dennis, I've been using OpenVPN, coupled with Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to connect my laptop to my home PC when I'm on the road. It's worked great for a while now, however, suddenly remote ... desktop has stopped working and I can't connect to my PC anymore. The strange thing is that OpenVPN seems to complete the connection, so I am not sure why my RDP won't work any more. Can you help? " My response: I asked Paul if he would like me to connect to his laptop using my remote desktop service in order to investigate the problem further, and ... (view more)

Fri
09
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: KB4056892, KB4058258 Won't Install; Other Updates Stuck

Infopackets Reader Jeff W. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am having a problem with Windows 10 not updating - it keeps telling me that KB4058258 and KB4074595 won't install. It will attempt to install the updates, then when I check Windows Update again ... those two updates are there again. KB4058258 is a cumulative update for Windows 10 whereas KB4074595 is a security update for Adobe Flash update. Can you help? " My response: I asked Jeff if he would like me to connect to his system using my remote desktop support service , and he agreed. I have been receiving a lot of inquiries about this lately and ... (view more)

Thu
08
Feb
John Lister's picture

Latest Tech Support Scam Freezes Web Browser

Scammers have found a new trick that "locks up" a user's browser in an attempt to panic them into paying a bogus fee. Fortunately there's a simple way to get around the problem. The technique is the latest variant on a well-established scam in which ... compromised websites show bogus error messages claiming the computer has been infected with a virus. The user is encouraged to call a "tech support hotline," (usually in India) then tricked into making a credit card payment to the scammers to supposedly fix the problem. In some cases, scammers demand remote access to the computer and ... (view more)

Wed
07
Feb
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Abandons The Unusual 'Windows 10 S'

Microsoft is ditching a special version of Windows 10 that was based around security and low costs. That said, Windows 10 S had some major restrictions on the programs it could run. Though it will no longer be available as a standalone edition, it ... will now be included as an optional mode in some Windows computers. That means Microsoft is likely continuing to target schools with the option. To many analysts, Windows 10 S was Microsoft's take on the Google Chromebook range. The distinguishing feature of Windows 10 S was that it only ran apps that were downloaded and installed from the Windows ... (view more)

Tue
06
Feb
John Lister's picture

Former Execs to Battle 'Social Media Addiction'

Former Facebook and Google employees are campaigning to warn users of the dangers of tech addiction. The 'Center for Humane Technology' will work on lobbying officials and educating children and parents. Though the organization has been running ... since 2014, it's not achieved much publicity so far. That could change with a high-profile relaunch after receiving several forms of funding including cash from a "media watchdog" non-profit, plus the equivalent of $50 million in free advertising space from companies such as Comcast and DirecTV. Google 'Ethicist' In Charge The group is largely made up ... (view more)

Fri
02
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Windows Stuck in a Reboot Loop (Windows 8 and 10)

Infopackets Reader Stuart G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently upgraded from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and everything was fine for a few days - then all the sudden Windows 10 got stuck in a reboot loop. The error message is VIDEO DXGKRNL FATAL ERROR . ... The error is displayed on a blue screen for a few seconds, then the computer reboots and does the same thing ad infinitum. I have researched VIDEO DXGKRNL FATAL ERROR on Google and came across websites that suggest doing a malware scan or 'sfc /scannow' to fix corrupt operating system files, or downloading a utility to repair drivers but I can't ... (view more)

Thu
01
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google to Predict Flight Delays before Airlines

Google is attempting to predict flight delays before airlines announce them. In some cases, it might be before the airline even knows it is going to happen. The new feature will be added to Google Flights, a service that lets users compare different ... options and find the best flight for their needs. This can take account of factors such as whether the user wants to prioritize price, direct flights vs layovers and total travel time. It also allows users to compare details such as baggage allowance. Incoming Flight Delays Among Key Data Once a user has booked a flight, the service can already ... (view more)

Wed
31
Jan
John Lister's picture

Facebook to Promote Local News

Facebook is to give more priority to local news stories when deciding which links to feature prominently. But Mark Zuckerberg's argument that this will reduce divisions and argument has been rejected by some critics. It's the latest in a series of ... changes to the algorithm Facebook uses to decide the order in which a specific user sees content. Originally all content such as posts from friends and shared links was shown in chronological order. Facebook later decided that the average user would not be able to see all of the content in chronological order (due to the volume of posts ... (view more)

Tue
30
Jan
John Lister's picture

Report: Fitness Apps May Compromise Military Security

Fitness apps used by soldiers may have inadvertently revealed their location and activities while deployed overseas. They've been warned to activate privacy options that can prevent data collection. The problem is with an app called Strava, which ... lets users track their activity when they go running or cycling. It goes beyond some apps that simply allow individuals to keep their own records or choose to share them with friends for motivation or suggested routes. Instead, Strava combines all the data collected from a reported 27 million users and produces "heat maps" that show the most ... (view more)

Fri
26
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Disable Windows 10 Email Notifications

Infopackets Reader Jennifer G. writes: " Dear Dennis, When I first started using Windows 10, I set up an email account using the 'Windows Mail' app. Unfortunately the Windows Mail app doesn't always work. I often get error messages stating it can't ... sync my account; when this happens I can't access my emails. I have installed Mozilla Thunderbird to replace the Mail app (and it works great!), however, the Windows 10 Mail App is keeps alerting me every so often that I have new email. I have no idea how to shut off these alerts. Can you help? " My response: There are a few ways you can disable ... (view more)

Thu
25
Jan
John Lister's picture

New Cars Could Measure Tired and Stressed Drivers

Ford is working on a car that can sense the driver's mood. For now it's a marketing tool, but the company says it could make new safety features possible. The company is working with tech firm Sensum on what is something of a gimmick to promote ... sports cars, but could theoretically be used to tell when a driver is stressed or distracted. In the test versions at least, the driver needs to wear fitness trackers (similar to the watches or wristbands people use to track their daily steps and heart rate) and skin sensors, which can measure changes in breathing rate and even perspiration from stress ... (view more)

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