John Lister

Mon
18
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Google Apologizes for Last Week's GMail Glitch

Google has said sorry to users of its Gmail service after they were left without access to their emails for almost two hours early last week. The firm made a rare apology on its official blog after the outage, saying "The issue was caused by a ... temporary outage in our contacts system that was preventing Gmail from loading properly." (Source: blogspot.com ) There has been some speculation the problem may be connected with a recent change to Gmail's contacts system, designed to separate contacts users have manually added from those which are created automatically when you send or receive a ... (view more)

Fri
15
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Google Streamlines Ads System

Google is to introduce close integration between its two main advertising systems. It should mean better targeted ads, though it will lead to extra tracking information on users' computers. The changes involve both Doubleclick -- an online ad ... company Google bought for just over $3 billion last year -- and Google's own Adsense system. They work in different ways: Doubleclick tracks the browsing history of a user and builds up a picture of their interests, while Adsense ads are specific to a particular website's content (though they do take into account a user's geographical location to provide ... (view more)

Fri
15
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Hackers Strike At Black Hat Security Conference

Three French journalists have been booted from a major security conference amid claims they were able to hack the laptops being used by fellow reporters. It's particularly embarrassing for those reporters, many of whom write for Global Security Mag, ... an official sponsor of the Black Hat Las Vegas event. Only one of the hackers, Mark Brami, has spoken out; though he blamed colleague Mauro Israel for the 'attack', he said it was meant as a prank. The men involved reportedly told organisers they were attempting to raise the issue of privacy risks among people using public Internet connections. ... (view more)

Wed
13
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Apple Pulls Thousand Dollar iPhone Application

Apple has removed an unusual third-party product from iTunes: an iPhone screensaver costing $999.99. The product was listed by a developer named Armin Heinrich and sold through the iTunes Store's iPhones apps section, which allows people to buy ... add-ons for their phones. This particular product, named "I Am Rich", did nothing but display a glowing ruby on a phone's screen (though if you clicked on the ruby, it promised to display a mantra for success.) This wasn't a scam as such; Heinrich openly admitted it was useless in the product description, which read "The red icon on your iPhone or iPod ... (view more)

Tue
12
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Internet Security Flaw 'Worse Than Realised'

A recently-discovered security flaw in fundamental operation of the Internet could be much more serious than first believed. Every form of network, including email services, could be vulnerable. Dan Kaminsky, the security expert heading efforts to ... solve the problem, told a Las Vegas convention that the central problem can be exploited in at least 15 different ways. As we recently reported , the heart of the problem is the Domain Name System (DNS), which translates website addresses into the identifying number of the particular computer where the content of site is physically stored. A key ... (view more)

Fri
08
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Google's Street View Gets Mixed Transatlantic Reception

Google's Street View mapping system has got the go-ahead from regulators in the United Kingdom, but is continuing to cause legal problems in the US. The system involves taking photographs of streets in major cities around the world. Unlike the ... better-known Google Earth system, these are not satellite images; instead photographers take shots from a standing position. This allows Google to produce maps which are more human-eye than bird's-eye. Britain's Information Commissioner had been asked to investigate the project after complaints it could be a threat to privacy because people might be ... (view more)

Fri
08
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Apple Bungles Security Fix

Apple has finally caught up with its rivals by issued a Mac-based fix for a major flaw in the Internet's workings. However, experts say it may not have fixed the problem. The patch is for a recently discovered issue with the Domain Name System ... (DNS). In short, DNS translates website addresses into the numbers which identify the computer where a website is physically stored. When you visit a popular website, Internet providers usually keep a copy of the relevant DNS data to make the site quicker to load for the next visitor. The problem is that hackers found a way to exploit the way the DNS ... (view more)

Thu
07
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Unveiling The Secrets Of The Ancient Olympic Computer

Researchers have discovered that the ancient Greeks used a primitive 'computer' to set the dates of the Olympic Games. Historians already knew that the first games, held in 776BC, were scheduled to begin on the full moon closest to the summer ... solstice. But until know they hadn't worked out how the Greeks managed to perform the complex and detailed calculations needed to work out that date. The answer lies in a mechanical brass calculator known as the Antikythera Mechanism, found in a shipwreck in 1901. It had a series of bronze wheels and dials, and dates from around 100 BC. Experts said it ... (view more)

Tue
05
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

British Government Toying with Video Game Ratings

The British government is considering treating video games in the same way it treats movies by imposing legally-binding age limits. At the moment, video games are covered by a voluntary industry code. The current administration says they could come ... under the authority of the British Board of Film Classification, which rates movies. At the moment the BBFC only acts over video games which are so violent or sexual that they are banned from sale to anyone under 18, affecting 3-4% of games. It appears the government is particularly concerned about games which, while having milder content, could ... (view more)

Tue
05
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Apple Admits Losing Customer E-Mails

Apple has admitted that problems with its MobileMe service may mean 10% of emails have been lost for good. The service, aimed at users of mobile devices such as the new iPhone, gives access to features such as online data storage, an address book ... and calendar, and email, with data and setting accessible from all the user's devices. While the launch last month at first appeared to have gone without a hitch, some customers soon after reported problems accessing their emails (both new and old). According to a company blog, this issue only affected 1% of users -- however, Apple now says, "We ... (view more)

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