internet

Thu
05
Jan
John Lister's picture

CES 2017 Brings Smart Hairbrush and Listening Fridge

It's the week of the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, and this year smart home gadgets seem to be attracting attention - rather than the latest TV technology. Everything from fridges to hairbrushes is getting some form of upgrade ... from gadget makers. One big story is the attempts by firms such as Google and Amazon to get their voice-operated "virtual assistants" connected to home devices. While gadgets such as Google Home and the Amazon Echo already control of some more common smart tech such as automated lighting and thermostats, several manufacturers showed ... (view more)

Fri
30
Dec
Dennis Faas's picture

How to: Send a Fax Online the Internet for Free

Infopackets Reader Karin S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I recently received a letter in the mail from the government requesting additional information on my account. The letter states that I can mail or fax in my information back to them (they won't ... accept email attachments for some reason). As such, I would prefer to fax the information as that is the fastest method. I would like to know if you can recommend a good, free fax service over the Internet that I can use to send this information? Thanks! " My response: I did a bit of research, and there are two popular websites offering free faxes ... (view more)

Thu
17
Nov
John Lister's picture

Smart Devices a 'Major Threat' when it comes to Cyber Warfare

A Harvard lecturer has warned Congress that only government regulations can prevent serious consequences from security attacks on the "Internet of Things." Bruce Schneier says there's little market incentive for buyers or sellers to fix a problem, ... should a problem arise. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the growing number of devices that can now be connected to the Internet, making them "smart devices". Rather than just computers and phones, the Internet of Things covers everything from thermostats to cars, often with the Internet connection allowing users remote ... (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)

Wed
15
Jun
John Lister's picture

Federal Appeals Court Upholds Net Neutrality Rules

An appeals court has upheld rules on net neutrality that stop broadband providers blocking or slowing web traffic. The legal battles will likely continue, but this week's verdict is a big blow to those arguing to block the rules. Net neutrality is ... the principle of treating all Internet traffic in the same way with the only exception being illegal content. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has tried several times to bring in rules to enforce the principle, with bans on carriers deliberately slowing or blocking some types of traffic (such as streaming video) or taking payments ... (view more)

Thu
09
Jun
John Lister's picture

Report: Millions of Online Databases Unsecured

Belgian computers are most exposed to hacking according to a new study, with the US in 14th place. It's all because of millions of computers having open, unsecured connections to the Internet. Research firm Rapid7 looked at the full range of data ... connection services on the Internet beyond just the more familiar HTTP that most users use while browsing the web. These include FTP (file transfer protocol) SSH (secure shell for remote connections), and SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol), used for many email services. To carry out the research, the company embarked on the massive task of ... (view more)

Fri
25
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Do I need a VPN? Are VPNs Safe for Online Banking?

Infopackets Reader Janie T. writes: " Dear Dennis, I wanted to know if I should use a VPN (virtual private network) to connect to my bank website. A service I came across called saferweb.com claims that they will encrypt my connection, but I don't ... know if they can be trusted or not. What do you think? PS: I love your daily infopackets letters - they are very informative. " My response: This is a good question. When visiting saferweb.com I noted the following statements on their site: "Safer Web gives you an extra layer of security against Internet hackers. By hiding your IP, we keep your ... (view more)

Tue
22
Mar
John Lister's picture

Kindle eReaders May Lose Connectivity if not Updated

Owners of older Kindle eReaders have been warned to update their devices today or temporarily lose Internet connectivity. The loss won't be irreversible, but will cause added hassle. The issue affects all Kindle eReader models released before 2013. ... That includes the Keyboard, Touch and DX versions, along with the 5th generation and earlier of both the standard Kindle and Paperwhite editions. (Source: amazon.com ) The only unaffected models are those released from 2013 onwards, specifically the Paperwhite 6th and 7th generation, the 7th generation standard Kindle and the Voyage model. The ... (view more)

Wed
09
Mar
John Lister's picture

Lifeline Low Income Phone Subsidy to Include Broadband

The US government plans to offer a subsidy to help people on low incomes get cheaper access to broadband Internet. Recipients would get a choice of using it on fixed-line or mobile services. The plan is an extension to an existing program called ... Lifeline, which has been running for around thirty years. Its funded by a levy on phone companies and allows people who meet low income eligibility requirements to get a monthly discount of $9.25 on phone line rental. Since 2005, the plan has allowed recipients to opt to use the discount of a pre-paid cellular phone plan instead of a landline. Now the ... (view more)

Tue
09
Feb
John Lister's picture

Facebook's Free Internet Service Banned in India

The Indian government has banned Facebook from offering free Internet access in the country. Officials said the program breached net neutrality principles by favoring some sites over others. Since 2013, Facebook has offered a service called Free ... Basics in some nations where Internet access is unaffordable to large parts of the population. Most of these countries are in Africa and the Indian subcontinent. The service, offered in partnership with cellphone operators, gives users free access to data usage on a smart phone, which for many users will be their primary or only way of getting online ... (view more)

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