system

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)

Thu
02
Aug
John Lister's picture

Gov't Staff Revert to Typewriters After Ransomware Attack

Staff of a local government in Alaska have switched to typewriters after a ransomware attack crippled their computer network. Officials are currently rebuilding the system from scratch. The attack hit Matanuska-Susitna Borough, which covers the ... region just north of Anchorage. The problems began on July 24, though officials believe the malware may have been on the system for several weeks before activating. IT staff spotted the ransomware attack thanks to antivirus software , but had to start manually removing some of the more sophisticated elements. They also reset all passwords as a security ... (view more)

Wed
28
Mar
John Lister's picture

Google Speech Synthesis Gets More Realistic

Google says it's made the most realistic computer speech simulation ever. It uses artificial intelligence to reproduce the way humans put words together. The idea of Google's "Cloud Text-to-Speech" is to go beyond the traditional approach when ... dealing with speech synthesis. That effectively boils down to recording a batch of sound files of different syllables, then patching them together to form words. That works well for some languages such as Japanese, where speech patterns are very regular, but not so well for language such as English that have more complexity with pronunciation. Full ... (view more)

Mon
08
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Can Malware (Spectre, Meltdown) Spy After Reboot?

In regard to last week's article on the Spectre and Meltdown CPU exploits, which affects 100% of all computers made since 1995, user 'rep' had the following question to ask: " Dear Dennis, [Being that this is a hardware exploit], am I right in ... thinking that any passwords, etc, which are stored in the CPU's memory are lost when the computer is shut down? If so, could I simply shut off the computer and reload it every time I want to use Internet banking and would that keep me safe from these exploits? " My response: I posted my original response in the comments section of Friday's article, but ... (view more)

Fri
05
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Spectre and Meltdown Exploits - What You Need to Know

Infopackets Reader Steve P. writes: " Dear Dennis, There has been a whirlwind of news on the Internet regarding the 'Spectre' and 'Meltdown' exploits that affect all microprocessors (CPUs) from 1995 and on. I am afraid my computer is at risk but I ... don't understand all the tecno-talk. Should I be worried? " My response: The short answer is: yes and no, mostly no (once patches are released). At the end of this article I'll offer advice on what you can do to stay protected. What does the Spectre and Meltdown Exploit Mean? I have been following the news for the last few days and here is what I ... (view more)

Wed
29
Nov
John Lister's picture

New Google Tool Makes Snoopers Vomit Rainbows

Google researchers are working on a way to warn users when someone else might be sneaking a peek at your smartphone. They say it can spot a gaze in just two milliseconds. The project is the work of Hee Jung Ryu and Florian Schroff, who'll ... demonstrate their work at a conference on Neural Information Processing Systems. It's based on a remarkably simple concept with some smart technology. Front Camera is Key to Tool In its current form, the system runs on a Google Pixel phone and takes advantage of the front-facing camera - the one typically used for face / video conferencing before it became ... (view more)

Tue
28
Nov
John Lister's picture

Facebook Automated System Scans for Suicidal Posts, Offers Help

Facebook is to use artificial intelligence to spot posts made by people who might be suicidal. However, it will continue using human moderators to decide how to act over such posts. The site already has a tool that moderators can activate to display ... special messages to people whose wellbeing may be in question. These messages include details of local professional support services and help lines. The messages also encourage the user to talk over their problems with a friend and even include suggested wordings for how to ask for help. Facebook says this tool was developed with the help of ... (view more)

Tue
10
Oct
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Admits Defeat On Smartphones

Microsoft says it won't add any new features or devices for Windows 10 Mobile. It's a sign that hopes Windows 10 would revive the company's smartphone presence have largely failed. While what was then called Windows Mobile was once technically the ... most common smartphone operating system, it faded behind Apple's iOS and Google's Android as smartphones became more widely used. The attempt to relaunch under "Windows Phone" failed to make a breakthrough, and the system fell well under a one percent market share. The most recent figures suggest just one in every three thousand phones ... (view more)

Fri
02
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Bootable Prime95 to Stress Test Hardware

Infopackets Reader Peter M. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a very strange issue. I recently put together a new computer build and installed Windows 10. Everything was working fine for the past month or so, then all the sudden, Windows 10 won't boot ... into the login screen - it simply freezes at the swirling dots. Surprisingly, I can remote desktop into the problematic machine from another, but the system stability doesn't last and eventually it freezes up on me. I suspect I have a hardware problem - perhaps the video card. I've managed to run 'msconfig' and specified Safe Mode with Networking, ... (view more)

Tue
28
Mar
John Lister's picture

Amazon's High-Tech, Cashier-less Grocery Store Delayed

Amazon's plans for convenience stores without checkouts or cashiers have taken a knock. Initial test show the system doesn't work properly if more than 20 or so customers use the store at once. The Amazon Go store works through a dedicated ... smartphone app and a technology similar to that used in hotel minibars. When a customer picks up an item from the shelf it will automatically be added to their virtual shopping cart (as well as their real one), though if they put it back on the shelf it will be removed. Instead of paying for the items at the check out, the customer simply walks out ... (view more)

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