John Lister

Mon
31
Jan
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FTC: Rules Needed for Free Tech Services, Mergers

US regulators want new rules on when companies - particularly tech firms - can merge. They say existing rules aren't designed to cover businesses that offer free services to consumers. Traditionally one of the key questions in approving or blocking ... mergers is whether it reduces competition to the point that consumers no longer benefit from price competition. The rules have only been updated once since 1984. Regulators say even that review in 2010 is now outdated as the tech world has changed so much. In particular, they point to the way many tech giants offer free services to the public and ... (view more)

Wed
26
Jan
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Darkweb Stolen Credit Card Site Operators 'Retire'

The people behind an online service for buying and selling stolen credit card details say they are retiring for health reasons. The unknown owners reportedly made $358 million from their "marketplace." The UniCC service operated on a so-called ... darknet, only accessible through special software designed to make it much harder to track who visited which online service. The BBC notes that the site had operated since 2013 and estimates users listed "tens of thousands" of stolen card details every day. It appears to have been particularly popular for criminals who had carried out major data ... (view more)

Tue
25
Jan
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Edge 'Update' Is Ransomware Scam

Scammers are tricking Microsoft Edge users with a bogus software update. It's something of a backhanded compliment to the browser finding an audience. Security company Malwarebytes says it worked with the independent research team "nao_sec" to ... identify the scam. At the moment it appears to be specifically targeting users in South Korea with ransomware, though the tactic could easily be adapted. (Source: techradar.com ) According to the researchers, the scam begins with a malicious ad, usually posted on a page with a lot of advertising. That's likely to make it harder to identify the culprit. ... (view more)

Thu
20
Jan
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Phone Screens Could Use Less Power

New technology could significantly reduce power that phone and other gadget screens consumer. It could also reduce the risk of screens being damaged by images "burning in." The technology is for OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens which are ... now common in smartphones and other displays. In simple terms, the pixels in an OLED screen light themselves, whereas regular LED screens need a backlight behind the display. The main advantages are less power use and a thinner screen. The biggest drawback is a likely shorter lifespan, though that doesn't necessarily play a factor in devices such ... (view more)

Thu
13
Jan
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Google Cries Foul Over iMessage Color Scheme

Google has solved all the world's tech problems, tackled world peace, reversed climate change, and is now dangerously bored. At least that's the only rational explanation why it is now arguing with Apple on Twitter about the color that appears ... behind text in messages. The ridiculous row is about the iMessage feature on iPhones that lets users send messages free of charge over the Internet rather than through SMS text messaging. Originally only iPhone users could send messages on the service but in 2016, Apple extended it to Android devices through a Google Play Store app. Apple originally ... (view more)

Tue
11
Jan
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Google, Facebook Fined $237M Over Cookies

Facebook and Google have been fined a total of $237 million for the way they ask users for permission to issue cookies. French regulators said the companies breached rules that say refusing cookies must be as simple as accepting them. The fines came ... from the CNIL, France's primary data privacy regulator. It found the companies had breached France's Data Protection Act. In both cases, the companies breached rules on cookies that took effect last year with a deadline of March 31st for compliance. (Source: cnil.fr ) Unfair Choice Facebook was fined approximately $68 million USD while Google was ... (view more)

Mon
10
Jan
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WhatsApp Gets Extra Security Features

WhatsApp is adding a series of privacy and security features. However, several will be switched off by default so users should consider activating them. The messaging app, now owned by Facebook, has become popular thanks to two key features. It's ... designed to handle groups well so that users can send a message to a specific group of friends or colleagues in a more intuitive manner than Facebook's own messaging tools. It also uses end-to-end encryption, meaning not only that intercepting a message is of little use, but that Facebook cannot access messages even if it wanted to or was ordered to ... (view more)

Fri
07
Jan
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Samsung TV Remote Charged By Wi-Fi

Samsung has made a battery-less remote control that takes power from Wi-Fi signals. It's proof the concept works, though it's still very questionable if the same approach could work on devices such as phones or laptops. The remote is an update on an ... existing "Eco Remote" model that uses solar power to top up the battery. Although solar is naturally very limited inside a home, a rechargeable battery in a remote only needs very slow, low-power topping up as it uses little energy to operate. Samsung says it then explored a range of wireless charging technologies to add to the solar in a second ... (view more)

Thu
06
Jan
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Old-School BlackBerrys Bite The Dust

BlackBerry has announced its phones will finally stop working this week. It's a move six years in the making and in many ways it's insane that anyone is still using them. Specifically the company will be hitting the killswitch on services for ... BlackBerry 7.1 and earlier, the software for the BlackBerry 10 device, and BlackBerry PlayBook 2.1 (for its short-lived tablet range) and earlier. The move only affects devices running BlackBerry's own software. It doesn't affect its range of Android-based devices. Although the number of people affected is relatively low, BlackBerry is keen to get the ... (view more)

Tue
04
Jan
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Windows Offers Driver Update from 1968

Microsoft has reassured Windows users that they don't have to worry about an update that appears to have been pending for more than 50 years. The confusing listing for Intel drivers is simply a workaround to make sure computers keep running. The odd ... data appears in the "Optional Updates" section of the Windows Updates page in the Windows 10 and 11 Settings tool. These updates will only ever be installed when the user manually selects them, even if they have the automatic updates setting switched on. In a drop down menu for driver updates, most users will see a variety of listings ... (view more)

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