John Lister

Fri
20
May
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Facebook Drops Location Tools

Facebook is to ditch some tools which tracked a user's location. It seems to be more about the tools being little used than a sudden interest in boosting privacy. The tools all involved tracking a user's location in real time and using the ... information to provide some sort of service. Perhaps the best known was "Nearby Friends" which lived up to its name, telling users if anyone they knew on Facebook (or at least anyone who also had the feature switched on) was in the area, allowing for semi-spontaneous meet-ups. The tools also included localized weather alerts. In both cases, many users ... (view more)

Thu
19
May
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Google Offers Hassle-Free Way To Update Leaked Passwords

Google is making it easier to change passwords on an Android device after a security breach. It's automating much of the process through the Google Assistant feature. It works with the saved passwords tool on Chrome, which can automatically fill in ... user names and password fields on websites. The passwords themselves are then stored securely in the user's Google account, which is one of the reasons it's so important to keep the Google password secure. On both desktop and mobile devices, Chrome can already warn users if their saved login details for a particular site is known to have been ... (view more)

Wed
18
May
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Millions Could Get Free Broadband

Twenty US Internet providers have agreed to offer low-cost Internet plans to people on lower incomes. The deal combines with government subsidies to mean many people will get free broadband. Following the recent infrastructure bill passing, the ... federal government now offers a subsidy of $30 taken off broadband bills for around 48 million households. The Affordable Connectivity Program covers low income households, plus those with people eligible for public programs such as Medicaid and veterans pensions. More than 11.5 million people have already claimed the subsidy. (Source: yahoo.com ) The ... (view more)

Tue
17
May
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Google Rethinks Removal Policy

Google is making it easier for people to remove web pages with their personal contact details from search results. It won't remove them from web pages, but may make it less likely people will come across them. The policy makes information less ... visible in two ways. Firstly, it stops it appearing on the search results page through the extracts from the relevant pages. Secondly, it may make it less likely the page that hosts the content will appear in a search result. While Google is legally required to remove some personal information from search results under European privacy laws, it goes a ... (view more)

Thu
12
May
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USB-C to Carry 240W, to Eliminate Brick Chargers

The end of brick-like chargers that only fit one laptop is a step closer. The first USB cables that can carry up to 240 watts of power are now in production. For many years, one of the biggest drawbacks of laptops was the charger. In most cases they ... were considerably thicker than the laptop itself. They were also usually specific to the device (both in the plug/socket size and in the specific amount of power delivered). That meant somebody who lost or broke their charger would often face delay and expense before they could charge their device again. Things got a little better with the ... (view more)

Tue
10
May
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Microsoft Edge Offers VPN, With a Catch

Microsoft Edge is getting what looks suspiciously like a virtual private network (VPN). It comes with a catch and requires some serious trust in Microsoft. The "Secure Network" feature is now mentioned in a support document and has also shown up in ... Edge for some users who've signed up for early access to in-development features. It appears to be a variant of a VPN, which involves routing internet connection through a VPN provider. The data traveling back and forth between the provider and the user is encrypted in a setup likened to a "tunnel" that stops it being accessible ... (view more)

Mon
09
May
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Google Play Store Adds Privacy Info

Google has started including detailed privacy information about the Android apps in the official Play Store. It's up to developers to fill out the details and Google won't be checking them in advance. The listings page for each app will now have a ... summary box listing key data privacy and security details. Users can then click or tap through to see more detailed information. The box will note how many types of data the app collects, whether it is stored in encrypted form, and whether user can easily delete it. It will also list if the developer has put the app through an independent privacy ... (view more)

Wed
04
May
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Report: More Than 5B People Now Online

For the first time, more than five billion people use the Internet. That means the proportion of the world who are online will soon reach two-thirds. The figures come from Data Reportal, which gathers together information from multiple sources to ... produce a global estimate. (Source: datareportal.com ) Its headline figures include five billion people using the Internet, meaning 63 percent of the world's population. It also says 5.32 billion people have a mobile phone (67 percent of the population), with around 80 percent of those handsets being smartphones. (Source: bdaily.co.uk ) The report ... (view more)

Tue
03
May
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Report: Zero Day Bugs On The Rise

Two separate reports point to a spike in zero-day bugs . That's when would-be attackers trying to exploit a bug have a head-start over developers who are trying to fix and patch it. When software developers discover a security vulnerability (or are ... told about it by responsible researchers), they are in a race against time to find and roll out a fix before attackers discover it and start trying to take advantage. Often they'll only have a matter of days. A zero-day bug is defined as one whose existence is (or was) discovered by hackers before it is known to the software developers. That means ... (view more)

Mon
02
May
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Windows 11 Adoption Fails to Impress

Six months in, Windows 11 doesn't appear to be attracting a rush of new users. While claims that it's less popular than XP look a little shaky, the adoption rate appears to have slowed significantly. Only Microsoft knows exactly how many people are ... running various versions of Windows, but numerous independent studies attempt to estimate the figures. This usually involves extrapolating from a sample of users whose operating system is identifiable, for example when they visit a website or use a particular application. The most eye-catching recent estimate comes from a company called Lansweeper ... (view more)

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