John Lister

Wed
27
May
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Win10 KB4556799 Breaks Internet, Audio; Blue Screens

Continuing what's almost become a tradition, the latest Windows 10 update has brought a string of reported problems. Microsoft says it is unclear how widespread many of them are, but has confirmed some users can no longer get online. The ... confirmation comes on Microsoft's support page for the update, which has the reference number KB4556799. The Internet connectivity problem is with users who have a wireless wide area network (WWAN) LTE modem. Specifically: anyone that uses mobile broadband for Internet might be affected. To make things worse, Microsoft says the notification area on the ... (view more)

Tue
26
May
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Microsoft Warns of COVID-19 Email Malware Scam

Microsoft and Sophos have warned users to watch out for emails which claim to offer statistics about the COVID-19 pandemic. They actually harbor a combination of malware and legitimate tools that could easily be abused by a hacker. The emails in ... question have subject lines such as "Covid-19: [May 22] horrible Charts", claim to come from legitimate sources such as John Hopkins University, and have an attachment that's billed as a spreadsheet file with statistics about deaths and infections. (Source: twitter.com ) Malicious Macro The attachment does indeed have an Excel file, but the problem is ... (view more)

Mon
25
May
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Chrome to Encrypt DNS Lookups: What it Means

Google is increasing privacy on Chrome with a change to the way it connects users to websites. But businesses will be able to disable the move so they can keep tabs on staff. The change is to the way Chrome connects with Domain Name Servers (DNS), ... which act a little like a telephone directory for the Internet. A DNS takes a website address that a user types into their browser and finds the matching IP address, which identifies the specific connection to the device such as a server (or service) that physically stores the website's files. In the past, the connection between Chrome and a DNS was ... (view more)

Fri
22
May
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Chrome to Automatically Block Power-Hungry Ads

Chrome is to start automatically blocking online ads that make particularly high use of computer resources. It will be a small change that Google hopes will have a big effect. This will be the second set of changes Chrome has made to the way it ... handles ads following alterations over the past couple of years to block "abusive" and "deceptive" ads. These include ads which have misleading buttons such as a "play" button that actually downloads a file or a "close window" button that actually opens new pop-up windows. The new change will involve Chrome having an limit on how much resources such as ... (view more)

Wed
20
May
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Google Bans Popular Podcast App Over COVID-19 Content

Google has banned a hugely popular podcast app from the Play Store, claiming it breaches a ban on COVID-19 content. It appears to be a spectacular screw-up by Google's filtering system. Podcast Addict is a leading app in its field with more than ... five million downloads, so it came as a surprise to developers to receive a message from Google saying it had been banned from the Play Store. While it's still possible to install Podcast Addict manually, it's a big blow to its distribution and makes the app inaccessible to potential Android users who follow common security advice to stick to the ... (view more)

Thu
14
May
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Windows 10 Search Glitch: Don't Panic

Windows 10 has been hit by another bug affecting the search function. Fortunately it seems the problem looks much worse than it really is. The bug in question pops up for some users when they use Windows Search, which looks through both the names of ... files and the contents of documents. Users have reported a range of unusual effects, the most common being a message reading "This is taking too long to load" above a reload button. In most cases it seems hitting the reload button - or indeed restarting either the search tool or Windows itself - doesn't make any difference. What's particularly ... (view more)

Tue
12
May
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Thunderbolt Flaw Could Bypass Security, Encryption

A researcher has found a major bug with Thunderbolt port technology that could undermine major security measures on multiple computer systems. There's a big mitigating factor though: an attacker would need extended physical access to the computer in ... order to carry out the exploit. Thunderbolt is a technology that is similar in concept to USB, but adds fiber optic to the usual copper wires. Compared to USB, Thunderbolt has high speed and capacity. Common uses include super-fast device charging (including laptops), 4K video, and extremely quick data transfers. Originally Thunderbolt was only ... (view more)

Mon
11
May
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Microsoft Tackles 'Reply All' Misery

Microsoft wants to stop one of the most annoying parts of email. It's going to try cutting the vicious cycle of the "reply all" message storm. The problem arises when somebody sends a group message to a large number of people and then one of the ... recipients mistakenly (or perhaps worse, deliberately) clicks on "Reply All" rather than simply using "Reply" to address the original sender. Not only does that mean the entire group seeing the reply, but it can quickly spark others to reply, extend a conversation, point out the error, or make a joke. In some cases, the configuration means that all of ... (view more)

Fri
08
May
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Twitter to Filter, Warn Users Before They Post

Twitter is testing a program to warn users if they are about to post a potentially-offensive message. It's billed as a way to tackle hot-headedness, but could also tackle the limitations of automatic filtering. At the moment Twitter uses a ... combination of automated filters that block some content from getting posted, as well as user reports about posts already online. The test will run for several weeks and cover English language tweets only. It will mean users who are about to post something that involves "offensive or hurtful language" see a message giving them the option of revising it ... (view more)

Wed
06
May
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Microsoft Drops Dual-Screen Windows

Microsoft is rethinking its plans for a completely new version of Windows 10. It's no longer going to target "Windows 10X" at dual-screen devices for the simple reason that not many people are interested about such devices right now. Windows 10X was ... originally designed to be a separate system to the widely used Windows 10. The idea was to get ahead of the game with fold-out laptops that have a touchscreen on both halves of the fold, rather than a screen and physical keyboard. Such devices are designed to give users a large screen space and a more practical way to have multiple windows open in ... (view more)

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