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Wed
04
Apr
John Lister's picture

Apple Watch May Have Blown Murder Alibi

A murder suspect's alibi has been thrown into doubt by data on the victim's Apple Watch. The smartwatch appears to show the victim died much earlier than the suspect claims. Caroline Nilsson is accused of killing her mother-in-law Myrna Nilsson in ... 2016. Police were called to the house just after 10 pm when a neighbor saw Caroline come out of the house wearing a gag. Myrna was found dead inside the home. In her defense, Caroline claims that her mother-in-law was followed home by a group of men in a utility vehicle and argued with them outside for 20 minutes. Caroline claims she was in her ... (view more)

Thu
08
Mar
John Lister's picture

Survey: One In Five Have Smart Speakers

Nearly 47 million Americans have a 'smart speaker' device in their home according to a new survey. If true, the devices' user base has gone from almost nothing to one-in-five people in just two years. While models vary, smart speakers are small ... devices that perform two main functions: playing music (often from online streaming services) and answering spoken questions as a quicker alternative to typing something into a smartphone or computer. In some cases they are also used to control home devices such as lights and heating. The study says 19.7 percent of people have access to a smart speaker ... (view more)

Thu
01
Mar
John Lister's picture

Amazon Still Wants to Open Your Front Door

Amazon has bought a company that makes video doorbells. The purchase of "Ring" is likely to boost a service where Amazon couriers are able to get into customer homes to drop off parcels safely. The Amazon Key service was developed as a way to get ... round the twin problems of it being inconvenient to have to wait in for deliveries, but insecure to have couriers leave parcels on doorsteps. It works with 'smart' electronic door locks where householders can unlock their door with their smartphone, either by tapping the screen or simply having their phone in their pocket as they approach ... (view more)

Tue
16
Jan
John Lister's picture

Report: Google Home, Chromecast Break WiFi

Several Google devices such as the Google Home and Chromecast appear to be causing temporary WiFi outages on home routers. Google says it's working on the problem, but some critics believe it's a design flaw rather than a bug. Originally it appeared ... the problem was specifically restricted to one gadget, the Google Home Max, and affected only "Archer" brand routers. However, later reports have identified the problem in other models of the Google Home smart speaker, along with the Chromecast range that 'casts' Internet audio and video to a television set. WiFi Dropping Out Reports ... (view more)

Wed
03
Jan
John Lister's picture

ISP Issues Bizarre Warning to Customers Engaged in Piracy

An Internet provider has warned customers that "pirating online content could affect thermostats and security cameras." But the explanation is something of a stretch. The warning comes from Armstrong Zoom, an Internet Provider that serves several ... states from Ohio over to the Washington DC area. It's written to customers whose connections have reportedly been used to infringe copyright. The letter says customers won't face immediate action but will face sanctions for repeat offenses. That's similar of an industry-wide effort that tried to cut down on piracy (including a 'six strike' ... (view more)

Fri
06
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: 'Windows Setup has Failed to Validate the Product Key' Error

Infopackets Reader Jill G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a Windows 7 Pro machine that we use at work which has a broken Windows Update. I have tried to do an 'upgrade repair' in hopes of fixing the issue, but the Windows installer exits immediately. ... The major issue we're facing is that our Windows 7 machine has new user accounts on it which we did not create - we suspect that it has become compromised because it has not downloaded Windows Updates in over a year. From what I read online, it is possible to upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8 Pro (not 8.1!) which will keep my programs and ... (view more)

Tue
23
Aug
John Lister's picture

Netgear Offers $400 System to Combat Poor WiFi

Netgear is launching its own take on a multi-router system in order to improve WiFi across an entire home. It's not a new idea, but Netgear says its tweaks should give it a significant edge over rival setups. The logic of Netgear's Orbi and similar ... systems is that a single wireless router isn't always enough to cover an entire home adequately. Wireless signals can be weakened by passing through walls and floors, as well as being affected by metal such as pipe work. While that problem has always existed, it's become more noticeable as demand for high-bandwidth activity such as ... (view more)

Thu
28
Jul
John Lister's picture

Smart Devices Could Expose WiFi Passwords, or Worse

Are smart devices a security risk? Security firm Rapid 7 seems to think so. According to the researchers, a range of Internet-connected light bulbs had at least nine security flaws. While the potential consequences are hardly life or death, it could ... be a blow to the concept of smart devices in the home. Osram's Lightify range of light bulbs lets users control lighting via a smartphone or tablet app. The idea is partly to allow more precise controls, such as dimming a bulb or even changing its color, and partly to allow users to remotely access the lights. For example, if a home owner is ... (view more)

Tue
22
Dec
John Lister's picture

More Americans Now Using Smartphones vs Broadband

The proportion of Americans with a broadband connection (such as cable or DSL) at home has dropped for the first time. The surprise trend appears to be down to cost and people using smartphones as their main way to get online. The revelation comes ... from the Pew Research Center, which regularly surveys the public on tech and communications issues. It found the percentage of people who say they have broadband at home is now 67 percent, down from 70 percent in 2013. (Source: pewinternet.org ) Broadband Use Falling Across The Board While that could be a statistical quirk, it's borne out by the ... (view more)

Thu
17
Sep
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Home vs Pro: is it worth the Upgrade?

Windows 10 is a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8 users until July 29, 2016; if you own Windows 7 or 8 Pro (or higher), then you can receive Windows 10 Pro for free. Conversely, if you own Windows 7 or 8 Home ( or anything less than Pro ) then you ... will by default receive Windows 10 Home as your free upgrade. With that said, Windows 10 Home users can also upgrade to Windows 10 Pro for a $99 fee. So, is the upgrade from Hone to Pro worth it? Here are some of the differences and whether they may be worth paying for. Fewer Forced Updates In Pro Edition Every feature in Windows 10 Home is part of ... (view more)

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