John Lister

Thu
14
Mar
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Web Creator Fears Dysfunctional Future

The creator of the World Wide Web (WWW) says it faces a "downward plunge to a dysfunctional future." Sir Tim Berners-Lee said many of its problems were unintended consequences. Berners-Lee spoke to mark the 30th anniversary of him submitting a ... proposal to his managers at European science group CERN for a way to organize data. That technology, based on hyperlinked text, became the World Wide Web. In turn, that helped shape the Internet into something used worldwide by ordinary people. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) Writing an open letter, Berners-Lee noted that the web is now "a public square, a library ... (view more)

Wed
13
Mar
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Apple Wants To Block Police Phone Tracking

Apple wants to patent a technology that would make it harder for police to track people's location through their phone. The technology wouldn't make messages and calls secret, but rather make it harder to prove who owned the phone in question. The ... patent is for end-to-end encryption for the mobile subscriber identification number (MSNI). That's part of a longer number that also identifies the country and mobile network a phone is registered to What's important here is that the MSNI identifies the specific handset. Police could then force a mobile carrier to hand over the ... (view more)

Fri
08
Mar
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Google: Update Chrome Immediately

Google has issued an urgent warning for Chrome users to update their browser if needed. That's because a security flaw is being actively exploited. The flaw in question is referred to as a "zero-day exploit." In an ideal world, software developers ... discover a bug and get some time before hackers find out about it and start taking advantage. In this case, the hackers did so before Google could develop a fix and get it out to users. Google is keeping the full details of the flaw secret for now to avoid giving even more criminals clues on how to exploit it. It says it won't say any more ... (view more)

Tue
05
Mar
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No More Passwords: 'Keys' to Become New Standard

The demise of the password has come a step closer this week with the adoption of a new standard for physical "keys" for logging in to websites. "WebAuthn," as it's called, makes it easier for sites to let users log in through a physical method - ... rather than relying on users having to remember a password. These methods range from USB devices that act like a physical key to biometric devices such as fingerprint or eye scanners. The big hope is that such devices reduce the need to rely on passwords which can be guessed or stolen in data breaches. Browsers Already On Board Having a ... (view more)

Mon
04
Mar
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Online Chat Tool Charges a Penny Per Character

A new online chat service costs one cent for every character in a message. It appears to be both a business idea and a social experiment. The site has the straightforward name called "Expensive Chat," and has the equally to-the-point description of ... "Spend money to chat with strangers who spend money to chat with strangers." Users can register to pay with their bank card or through third-party payment site "Stripe." Once they are setup, every time they write a message, they'll see a reminder of the price based on its length. They'll have to confirm the message and their willingness ... (view more)

Thu
28
Feb
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Bill Gates Predicts Breakthrough Technology

Bill Gates has picked 10 technologies he thinks will break through in 2019. Perhaps surprisingly for the Microsoft founder, only one is even partially related to computers. Gates made the picks after being chosen as the first ever guest editor of ... the MIT Technology Review annual list. His only real computer-related choice was artificial intelligence-based assistants (which appear on PCs as well as mobile devices and gadgets) doing a better job of understanding human language. That's always tough, because human speech doesn't follow mathematical logical rules and often depends on context. ( ... (view more)

Wed
27
Feb
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YouTube Kids Videos Give Suicide Tips

Some videos on YouTube's Kids app contain instructions on how to commit suicide. It casts serious doubt on YouTube's claims to "curate" the content available to children. YouTube Kids is a dedicated app for mobile devices and smart televisions. The ... content it hosts is also available at a dedicated website. YouTube describes the service as being a "fun, family-friendly place for children and families." The app is designed to be easy to use, even for young children. Although parents can create individual accounts for each child which learn their viewing tastes and make ... (view more)

Tue
26
Feb
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New Energizer Phone Has Beast of a Battery

Energizer has made a smartphone that is not surprisingly all about the battery. Though to be fair, it's got six times the capacity of some leading models. The few people who've seen the phone say it's bordering on impossibly big, but that it does ... provoke debate about the way phones suck up electricity. The Android-based handset is called the Energizer Power Max P18K Pop. It has a battery capacity of 18,000 mAh. To put that into context, it's three times more than a Motorola phone that's specifically marketed around long battery life. It's also around six times more than many flagship Android ... (view more)

Thu
21
Feb
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Symantec: Popular Microsoft Apps Hijack PCs

At least eight apps in the official Microsoft Store were secretly designed to use a computer's resources without permission. It undermines Microsoft's efforts to promote the store as a "safe source of software." In the past few years, Microsoft has ... heavily pushed the idea of Windows users getting software from an app store - similar to the way mobile devices work - rather than the more traditional method of getting programs from a third-party sources and installing them directly to the PC or smartphone / tablet. There's even a special 'S' mode for Windows 10 that only allows the ... (view more)

Wed
20
Feb
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Report: Most Password Managers Not Secure

Security researchers say some major password manager tools could be flawed. But they also say it's still sensible to use them, just with a degree of caution. It's a fact that using the same password for multiple sites is a massive security risk. ... That's because if one site gets hacked, it could mean that hackers can use the same password on another website to gain access to potentially sensitive information, resulting in identity theft or financial loss. Password manager tools (such as Roboform and Dashlane ) aim to overcome two big dilemmas with online passwords - which is keeping passwords ... (view more)

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