John Lister

Thu
04
Jul
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Premium Email Service Sparks Privacy Outrage

A premium email service has been slammed for letting users track other people's locations simply by sending a message. It's not a new issue, but has raised legal and ethical questions. The email service is called Superhuman and costs $30 a month. ... That covers a host of features, such as being able to "unsend" a message before its read, plus an "artificial intelligence" tool to decide and highlight which incoming messages are most important. While reviewers are split between whether it's a fantastic service for power users or just a jumped-up Gmail, one designer has laid into Superhuman for a ... (view more)

Wed
03
Jul
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Cloudflare 'CPU Spike' Glitches 16M Sites

One of the most important services on the Internet went down for around an hour this week, causing widespread problems on other sites. The glitch is a reminder of how fragile some aspects of the Internet are. Cloudflare is a website that offers ... several free and paid services designed to make websites more efficient. Two of its main services are traffic filtering and web caching. The former involves web traffic between a user and a website going through Cloudflare. During this process, the client machine is checked for signs of malicious activity. This can involve attempted hacking, but also ... (view more)

Tue
02
Jul
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Microsoft to Delete Purchased eBooks

Microsoft is to remove all electronic books sold through its official store. Users will get a refund while those who have made virtual notes on the book will get a bonus payment. Unlike most rival electronic book services, Microsoft had no dedicated ... electronic reading device and did not even offer an e-reader app. Instead, people who bought books through the Microsoft Store had to read them through a web browser. It's probably not a surprise that Microsoft has pulled the plug and will no longer be hosting the books online, most likely as it is ending the relevant licensing with publishers ... (view more)

Thu
27
Jun
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Florida Gov't Ransomware Tops $1 Million Payout

Officials in Lake City, Florida have voted to pay half a million dollars to hackers to regain access to computer files. It's the second such payment by a local government in the state in as many weeks. Lake City's government computer system was hit ... by a ransomware attack in which hackers remotely encrypt files and then demand payment to unlock them. They asked for 42 units of the digital cryptocurrency Bitcoin, worth roughly $500,000. That payment method makes it much harder to trace the recipients. The good news in this case is that public safety networks are unaffected and that all ... (view more)

Wed
26
Jun
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Revealed: Why Old-School USB Cables Never Fit the First Time

The man who co-created the USB plug says its greatest annoyance was simply a matter of cost. Ajay Bhatt says that in the original design of the USB-A cable, the plugs were not reversible in order to keep costs down, which would then help get the ... format established. Bhatt discussed his work in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR). He talked about the often baffling experience in which users would try to plug a USB cable in, find that it would not fit, flip it over, find it didn't fit (again), then flip it back to its original orientation and find that inexplicably it now fit. It's a ... (view more)

Tue
25
Jun
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Report: Many Apps on Google Store are Fake, Scams

A report suggests that thousands of apps on the Google Play store are in fact counterfeits made to look like the legitimate app, but instead pose a major security risk to users. The study says such apps ask for dangerous levels of access to the ... phone or are packed with advertising. The study is a joint effort of the University of Sydney and Australia's national science research agency CSIRO. It took two years to carry out and involved trawling through 1.2 million apps to look for potential counterfeits. Rather than have humans check each app uploaded to Google Play (which would be entirely ... (view more)

Wed
19
Jun
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Firefox Users: Update Now to Patch Remote Execution Flaw

Mozilla has issued an emergency patch for the Firefox browser that is a must-install. It fixes a security gap that hackers are actively exploiting on compromised websites that serve up malicious code. How to Patch Firefox For most users, restarting ... Firefox should be enough to trigger the update. Users can also click the menu icon near the top right of the browser (the three vertical bars), then scroll all the way down near the bottom and click the "(?) Help" sub menu, then click the "About Firefox" option, which will trigger the update. Once the update has been downloaded, Firefox ... (view more)

Tue
18
Jun
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Windows 10 Update Causes 'Black Screen of Death'

Microsoft has warned the latest Windows 10 update could produce a completely black screen for some users. It's easily fixable and shouldn't be a permanent problem. Microsoft hasn't given any details of why the problem occurs, or if it affects people ... with a particular piece of hardware or software in place. It's only saying that a "small number of devices" appear to be affected. The problem is listed as being with Windows 10 version 1809 and 1803. Those are the two major updated versions of Windows 10 which were released last year. Version 1803 was released in April, 2018, while 1809 was ... (view more)

Mon
17
Jun
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Samsung Raises Malware Alert for Smart TVs

Samsung has warned owners of its Smart TV ranges to run virus checks. It then quickly deleted the warning after a negative response online. The company posted on Twitter with a 19 second video showing how to access a sub-menu that would start a ... virus scan. The post read: "Scanning your computer for malware viruses is important to keep it running smoothly. This also is true for your QLED TV if it's connected to WiFi! Prevent malicious software attacks on your TV by scanning for viruses on your TV every few weeks. Here's how." The video showed that users needed to go through no fewer than 11 ... (view more)

Thu
13
Jun
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Would You Let Facebook Pay to Snoop on You?

Facebook is launching an app that tracks what apps users use on their devices. In return, compensation will be provided. Facebook says only users over 18 years of age can take part in the 'research'. The app is named "Study" and is openly billed as ... being a "market research tool" for Facebook. It's designed for Facebook to learn more about its users, which the company says will help improve its services. Study will collect and transmit details of what apps are on the user's phones, how much time they spend using those apps, and - in some cases - what specific featured they ... (view more)

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