John Lister

Wed
05
May
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Windows Update May Solve High CPU Usage Bug

Microsoft has released an optional Windows 10 update that could solve a recent problem with high CPU usage. Users who haven't had this problem can probably give the update a miss. The update, with the reference KB5001391 is optional as it's a "C ... release". That means it's made up of fixes and features that will roll out in the main update cycle later on but are available now as a preview. The main point of interest in KB5001391 is a fix for a memory problem. Microsoft hasn't made things entirely clear but it appears it's targeted at recent reports of users suddenly seeing their CPU usage ... (view more)

Tue
04
May
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EU Forces Web Hosts to Take Down Terror Content

Internet hosting providers will have just one hour to remove terrorist content after a government request under new European laws. It's raised fears some sites may get caught up potentially faulty content filters. The law is a European Union ... regulation that will take effect in Spring 2022. It will automatically apply in all European Union countries and will be based on where a website is hosted rather than where its operators are based. A press release announcing the regulation says it covers any content (both text and audio or video) that will "that incite, solicit or contribute to terrorist ... (view more)

Thu
29
Apr
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Facebook Slammed For Teen Ad Targeting

A campaign group claims Facebook lets users target ads at children based on interests such as smoking, drinking alcohol and gambling. Facebook says it has adequate measures to find and block such ads both before and after publication. The claims ... come from Reset Australia, which says it ran an experiment posing as the fictional "Ozzie News Network." It set up an advertising account on Facebook to see what options were available. In theory, Facebook has an outright ban on advertising adult topics such as alcohol to under 18s. Reset Australia says this failed in two ways: it was able to target ... (view more)

Wed
28
Apr
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Android Phones Hijacked For Ad Scam

Nearly 30 Android and Roku apps hijacked phones to defraud advertisers. Although users never saw the ads, they may have noticed increased data use and slowed performance. The scammers used the apps distributed in the official Google Play store to ... build up a network of almost a million compromised Android devices. The "PARETO" botnet then used the phones to issue bogus requests to advertisers while making the devices appear to be Smart TV sets. That was particularly appealing to advertisers because of the belief viewers are more likely to pay attention to an ad on a TV screen than on a phone. ... (view more)

Tue
27
Apr
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Apple, Facebook Fight Over Ad Tracking

Moves by Apple to restrict ad tracking have prompted a war of words with Facebook and a legal battle with advertisers. They both object to changes that require express permission for some tracking. The arguments are over the "identifier for ... advertisers" or IDFA. That's a specific code for each iPhone or iPad which can be used by advertisers to track activity by device users. Until now its been possible to use IDFA with express user consent and then combine it with other data to build up a picture of the individual for targeted advertising. The iOS 14.5 update to the iPhone and iPad operating ... (view more)

Thu
22
Apr
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Relief On Hand From Endless Video Meetings

Microsoft is to make it easier to build breaks into videoconferencing schedules. The move is designed to overcome a mismatch between technology "efficiency" and the real world. Automated scheduling tools make sense as a way for businesses to ... efficiently find and arrange times for people to get together. By default, most tools will schedule a meeting for a "round" time period such as 30 or 60 minutes. In an era when the vast majority of meetings were in person, that wasn't necessarily a problem. Back-to-back meetings were rare and even when they happened, meetings would naturally end a few ... (view more)

Wed
21
Apr
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FCC: Please Check Your Internet Speed

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has urged the public to use its Internet speed testing app. As with Netflix's tool, it's not just for the benefit of users. The FCC Speed Test App, which works for both WiFi and mobile data connections, ... has the usual simple "one-tap" functionality of such tools. By default is measures upload and download speeds plus latency. That's a measure of how quickly data transmission starts, which can be important for services such as online gaming. (Source: theverge.com ) Speed Maps Boosted Users can also switch on settings to measure jitter and packet loss ... (view more)

Tue
20
Apr
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Chrome Gets New Features

The Chrome browser is getting a couple of new features that some may find useful. Sharing links and finding previous pages could both get easier. The first feature is already available in Chrome 90, the latest version of the browser for the general ... public. It works on computers, though won't appear on the iOS and Android apps till later. The feature simply lets users create a link that points to a specific location on a page, rather than just containing the URL. The idea is to make is easier to share a link to something specific in a lengthy page. This isn't the same as internal text links ( ... (view more)

Thu
15
Apr
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Use of AI Could Be Banned or Restricted

Proposed laws in Europe would ban some forms of artificial intelligence while restricting others. But critics say the proposals are too vague to be workable in practice. The proposals, expected to be formally published in the next few weeks, come ... from the European Commission. If approved by the European Parliament they could become a regulation that takes immediate legal effect across all European Union countries. It's not yet clear if and how the rules would extend to businesses in other countries as happens with data protection rules. Under the proposals, only AI used by the military or for ... (view more)

Wed
14
Apr
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Phones to Alert Pedestrians to 'Pay Attention'

Android phones could soon warn users to stop using their device when walking. The feature will be "entirely optional." The warnings will come in Google's Digital Wellbeing app. Google's rules say all devices running Android 9 ("Pie") or later must ... have some form of Digital Wellbeing app, with many manufacturers choosing to simply install Google's version rather than create their own. The apps, which are optional to use, have so far concentrated on factors such as monitoring screen time and alerting users how long they have spent using their device in different ... (view more)

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