Articles

Fri
19
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: How is My IP Assigned / Determined (IPv4)?

Infopackets Reader Izzy M. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am trying to figure out how IP addresses are assigned using IPv4 (IP addressing version 4), but can't seem to find a straight answer online. My question: is there a certain number that my IP ... address has to be? Is there any correlation between my IP address, subnet mask and default gateway? How is my IP address assigned or determined? Thank you in advance! " My response: I think the reason you can't find an answer to this question is because this is an extremely broad question. To put this as simple as possible: the answer to your question ... (view more)

Thu
18
Oct
John Lister's picture

New 'LiFi' Gets 8 Gigabit Speed; Faster than WiFi, 5G

Light could be the key to solving one of the big problems of faster mobile Internet. But the technology, which uses spotlights to send out signals, has some limited range of uses. The technology developed by pureLiFi works on a simple principle: ... rather than using radio waves to transmit data (as does WiFi), it uses light waves. A demo of the system uses ceiling spotlights which blast out light in a cone shape. To the human eye it looks like an ordinary constant light supply. In fact it's actually flickering at incredibly high speeds to create a pattern. 5G Signals Hurt By Walls A plug-in ' ... (view more)

Wed
17
Oct
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Bug Silences Sound Cards

Microsoft has fixed a problem with the latest major Windows 10 update that left some computers silent. It's blamed Intel for an incompatible audio driver. A driver is software that helps a hardware device (such as a soundcard) work with an operating ... system, such as Windows. Sometimes drivers need to be updated to keep working with a new or updated edition of Windows. In the past, users often had to download drivers from hardware manufacturers, which usually meant using a search engine to find the appropriate page with a download link. These days, however, the Windows Update process often ... (view more)

Tue
16
Oct
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 October Update Deletes User Documents

Microsoft has fixed a problem with a Windows 10 update that inadvertently deleted user documents. Oddly the problem had been highlighted in early testing, but doesn't seem to have been fixed. The issue received widespread attention when the October ... 2018 Update started rolling out to the wider public. That's the second of the two big annual updates that bring new features to Windows 10, a system that replaces the old set-up of having service packs rolled out every few years. Some users discovered that after the update, everything they had stored in their Documents folders had disappeared. Some ... (view more)

Mon
15
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

Being Blackmailed for Money on Facebook? Here's What to Do

Infopackets Reader Peter T. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a friend who recently met someone on Facebook. What started out as simple flirting soon became a romantic relationship online, though they have never met in person. For sake of argument I'll ... refer to my friend as Bob and his romantic interest as Tina. In a moment of weakness, Bob sent a video of himself in a compromising way, and is now being blackmailed by Tina. She is demanding a lump sum of cash, or says she will send the compromising video to all of Bob's friends on Facebook. You are the first person I thought of who may be able to ... (view more)

Wed
10
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google+ Social Network Bites Dust amid Data Breach

Google is to shut its social network Google+. Although the service was something of a flop, the closure is more to do with a massive data exposure. Google+ launched back in 2011 and was one of several attempts by the company to compete with the ... likes of Facebook. Its main selling point was the concept of Circles, which meant that users weren't restricted to sharing posts and updates with a fixed set of friends. Instead, they could write a post that was seen by a particular group, such as work colleagues or people with a shared hobby. Facebook does have such a feature, but it's not as ... (view more)

Tue
09
Oct
John Lister's picture

Facebook Launches Dedicated Screens

Facebook is launching dedicated devices for video-calling friends and family. While they have some impressive technology, it's a bold move from a company whose reputation on privacy issues is controversial to say the least. The devices are known as ... the "Portal" and "Portal+". They both offer some of the features of 'smart speakers' such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo, but the main function is for making video calls. That's reflected in the 10 inch screen of the Portal and the 15 inch screen of the Portal+. There's no charge for making calls on the devices as they work ... (view more)

Thu
04
Oct
John Lister's picture

Google Cracks Down On Browser Scams

Google is taking several more steps to make browser extensions safer. It's giving users more control and cracking down on some common rogue practices. The changes are to Chrome's extensions. Also known as add-ons with some browsers, extensions are ... third-party tools designed to improve the online experience using a web browser. For example, an Amazon extension lets users send text on a web page (such as a lengthy article) straight to their Kindle e-reader as a document with one click. By nature, extensions need some degree of access to and control over Chrome itself, which sometimes means the ... (view more)

Wed
03
Oct
John Lister's picture

New Sunglasses Make PC, TV Screens Invisible

A new pair of sunglasses aims to block out screens such as TV sets and computers. It's a real product, though it's as much an art and culture project than a true business idea. The glasses work in a similar fashion to polarized lenses in ordinary ... sunglasses, which block out the most intense reflected lights from the sun. With sunglasses the idea is to block any light that's reflected off a surface such as the ground or sea, thus reducing the overall brightness. Glasses Turn Screens Black With these special glasses, however, the lenses are flat rather than curved and are rotated 90 degrees. ... (view more)

Tue
02
Oct
John Lister's picture

Police Use Suspect's Face to Unlock Phone

Police have used a suspect's face to unlock a phone for what appears to be the first time. It didn't go quite as planned and is another step in the law adapting to technology. The man in question was suspected of receiving and possessing indecent ... images of children. Police raided his house with a search warrant and discovered he had a phone which was locked. Historically such cases have proven a grey area when it comes to privacy laws and the rights of police. For example, while law enforcement agencies have argued that, as long as they have a court order, accessing a phone or computer is a ... (view more)

Mon
01
Oct
John Lister's picture

Report: Google Maps For Pedestrians 'Not Safe Enough'

Google is under pressure to provide safer routes for pedestrians in its mapping tools. It's previously done so for cyclists, though hasn't yet pleased everyone. The latest call comes in international business newspaper the Financial Times. Special ... reports writer Madison Darbyshire highlighted a recent walk from a concert venue to a stop for a late night bus in which she used Google's suggested walking route. According to Darbyshire, "I found myself meandering along unlit side streets and away from the traffic that makes the city feel alive at all hours." (Source: ft.com ) Pedestrians Offer ... (view more)

Fri
28
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

8 Ways to Protect Your Backups from Ransomware

Infopackets Reader Bob S. writes: " Dear Dennis, ... [I run an accounting firm and was recently hit with a ransomware attack which encrypted over 70,000 of my files . I nearly lost everything, though I was finally able to overcome this and recover ... my data through your help] ... What I need is a comprehensive backup solution that will allow me to automate my backups - which means having the backup drive attached to my system 24/7 - yet, the backup drive must be protected such that ransomware cannot spread to the drive and encrypt my backup data. If that were to happen, my backups would be ... (view more)

Thu
27
Sep
John Lister's picture

Microsoft: Office 2019 Is Coming, But Get 365 Instead

Microsoft has released Office 2019, but effectively told would-be buyers it's not as good as Office 365. It's a clear attempt to push people towards the subscription model. In one of the more bizarre publicity drives for a new product, Microsoft ... gives very little attention to Office 2019 itself. It's the latest (and very possibly last) installment of MS Office as a standalone program to install and run on a computer, something Microsoft now calls the "on-premises" version. (Source: theregister.co.uk ) The package includes the core programs of Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint and Word on both ... (view more)

Wed
26
Sep
John Lister's picture

Firefox Download Bug Could Crash Windows

A security researcher has found a way to crash the Firefox browser and even Windows itself. Sabri Haddouche has demonstrated the technique to highlight the risk that it could be misused. The bug is shown off at Haddouche's site Browser Reaper, which ... he created to chart his interest in denial of service attacks. Normally such attacks involve flooding a website with bogus visits until it is overloaded and becomes unavailable to ordinary users. However, Haddouche has been exploring the technique from the other perspective: forcing a browser to deal with so much traffic that it crashes. Epic Name ... (view more)

Tue
25
Sep
John Lister's picture

Electronic Vote System Escapes Court Ban

A judge in Georgia says she is "gravely concerned" that electronic voting machines could be hacked. But she says it's too late to scrap them for this year's elections. Amy Totenberg was ruling on a lawsuit originally filed May 2017 against Georgia's ... Secretary of State. It called for the use of the Direct Recording Voting machines to be banned for the elections. Among the arguments in the lawsuit were that the system doesn't create a paper trail for verifying any discrepancies; that the software on the machine could be altered or replaced without detection; and that the system makes it ... (view more)

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