John Lister

Wed
31
Mar
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Optional Windows Update Fixes Host Of Problems

Microsoft has released an optional update for Windows 10. It's arguably only worth installing for users who've suffered the specific glitches it fixes. The update, KB5000842, is available for Windows 10 versions 2004 and 20H2, meaning any machine ... that received either of the two major feature updates from last year. It's an optional update as it contains fixes which will then roll out in next month's automatic update. That means there's still a degree of testing with these fixes, which makes for a bit of a gamble given how often a Microsoft fix for one problem appears to cause another problem ... (view more)

Tue
30
Mar
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Major Apple Bug Threatens Browser Security

Apple has warned users to check their portable devices to ensure they are up to date. A bug that affects iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches may already be under attack by hackers. The bug affects WebKit, which is the underlying software for Safari and ... any other web browsers which use Apple's operating system iOS. Specifically, it covers the way web content appears and the way browsers keep track of which sites a user has recently visited, allowing features such as the browser back button to work properly. Apple isn't giving many details of exactly how the bug works or could be exploited, which ... (view more)

Thu
25
Mar
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YouTube to Produce Ads based on Image Recognition

YouTube is to automatically detect items in videos and then advertise them for sale. It will also automatically link to other videos covering the same item. The system, titled "Products in this Video", has been in testing as a "small experiment" ... since April last year. YouTube confirmed this week that it is expanding the test so that more people see it. For now it remains a US-only feature. (Source: 9to5google.com ) It works by recognizing specific items in the video. YouTube hasn't explained exactly how this works, but it may involve a combination of on-screen graphics in the video, ... (view more)

Wed
24
Mar
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Computer Chips In Short Supply

A serious shortage of processor chips is affecting the supply chain of computers and other electronic devices. It's caused by a combination of supply and demand changes. The problem has caused not just price rises but a lack of availability. Devices ... as diverse as the latest iPhone model, the PS5 games console and high-tech cars have all been delayed or in short supply. The Guardian reports that the problem is partly down to a backlog caused by chip production factories shutting down for social distancing reasons in the early stages of the pandemic. However, even as that clears, demand is ... (view more)

Tue
23
Mar
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Robocallers Fined $225M; May be Blocked by Carriers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has fined two telemarketers a record $225 million for unlawful automated "robocalls." The offenders, who used names including JSquared Telecom and Rising Eagle, made around a billion such calls in a ... five-month period. The fine isn't just a record for robocalls, but is also the largest ever issued by the FCC for any reason. (Source: cnbc.com ) The calls claimed to offer health insurance plans from well-known legitimate providers. In fact the calls were made on behalf of several companies, at least one of which has already been sued for its own ... (view more)

Thu
18
Mar
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How to Fix: Remove Chrome Reading List

Google has added a "Reading List" feature to Chrome that works a little like a second set of bookmarks. The feature may not be for everyone, and with a little effort it can be removed with some tweaking under the hood. The Reading List feature has ... been in the work for some time, originally developed under the name "Read Later", but is now available to all users since the latest Chrome update, version 89. (Source: metro.co.uk ) The idea is to let user differentiate between pages they want to bookmark permanently (such as regularly visited websites) and articles they want to read later on, even ... (view more)

Wed
17
Mar
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$5B Lawsuit Advances Over Chrome Incognito Privacy

Google will have to go to court to answer claims it misled users by tracking their online activity in a supposed private browsing mode. A judge agreed a lawsuit seeking $5 billion can go ahead with class action status. That status doesn't change ... Google's chances of winning or losing, but could mean much bigger consequences if it does lose. It means anyone meeting set criteria could effectively be treated as a plaintiff, eligible for any financial awards, without having to launch their own case. The case appears largely to come down to whether Google's wording is clear enough, rather than it ... (view more)

Tue
16
Mar
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India to Outlaw Bitcoin

The Indian government plans to outlaw cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The measure is expected to become law, though it's unclear if it will be enforceable in practice. Politicians in the country have long been hostile to cryptocurrencies, which ... use blockchain technology. That's where all transactions are recorded on a digital "ledger" which exists as multiple copies across the Internet, removing any central control. India's government previously banned "real world" financial institutions from providing any services to cryptocurrency operators, for example in exchanging the virtual ... (view more)

Fri
12
Mar
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Report Details Government Internet Shutdowns

29 countries intentionally disrupted Internet access for their citizens at some point in 2020 according to a new report. Of a total 155 shutdowns, 28 were "full Internet blackouts." While many were authoritative states, the most disruptions by far ... came in India, which is officially at least a democracy. It used more than 100 Internet shutdowns to prevent communication by protestors against a controversial law. Those shutdowns have now been judged illegal by the country's Supreme Court. Mobile Speeds Slowed The report, from Access Now, found the overall number of shutdowns around the world was ... (view more)

Thu
11
Mar
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Canadian Broadband Among Most Affordable

Israel and Canada have the world's most affordable broadband according to a newly-published study. The rankings take into account earnings rather than just the raw broadband price. The study, published by Surfshark, also found that the parts of the ... world with the most comparatively expensive broadband also had the worst service. (Source: surfshark.com ) The overall rankings take into account the prices for the cheapest fixed-line broadband package in a country plus the cost of 1GB of mobile broadband data. The researchers then compared these sums to average earnings in the country. Note that ... (view more)

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