John Lister

Thu
06
Sep
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New Firefox to Block Unwanted Tracking, Cryptojacking

Firefox is getting a series of updates to boost performance, privacy and usability. Unwanted tracking tools and browser hijackers are among the targets of security updates. Two of the biggest measures deal with websites that track user activity ... online, potentially to make site content more relevant, but more commonly to deliver targeted advertising. Version 63 of Firefox, due in September, will by default block ad trackers if they take a particularly long time to load, in turn making pages slow to appear. This setting is purely to do with the load time of the tracker rather than what it ... (view more)

Wed
05
Sep
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Next Major Windows Update on the Way

The next major Windows 10 update is only a few weeks away and will be officially named the "October 2018 Update." The update is a new series of twice-yearly updates, which replaces the old system of small monthly updates, followed by a completely ... new version of Windows every few years. Security fixes remain on a monthly schedule, except for emergency patches. The October 2018 Update follows on from the April 2018 Update, both in contrast to last years Fall Creators Update and Creators Update that told you something about Microsoft's focus with new features. Small Set of New Features ... (view more)

Tue
04
Sep
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Facebook Tells Users What They Have in Common

Facebook is testing a feature that identifies when users have something in common. The theory is that it will boost connections and even lead to more polite conversations. The feature is not related to the "People You Might Know" section, which ... suggests other Facebook users to add as friends. That's proven controversial in the past as it often appears to be driven by data users haven't provided directly, such as when two users both appear in the phone contacts list of a mutual friend. Instead the new feature will take effect in comments, whether that be underneath a post, a photo, a link or ... (view more)

Thu
30
Aug
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'ShutUp10' Simplifies Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Users frustrated with Windows 10's complicated privacy settings have an alternative option. A third-party tool called ' ShutUp10 ' offers a one-stop dashboard to control exactly what data is shared. The free tool can be downloaded directly from the ... developers O&O Software . It's a standalone application meaning you can run it without having to install it first, in turn meaning there's none of the bundled 'crapware' that comes with some free applications. Once opened, the tool lists just over 100 settings in 13 categories: Privacy App Privacy Security Web ... (view more)

Wed
29
Aug
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Google Warns: Major Security Flaw in Fortnite Game

The makers of the hit video game "Fortnite" have called Google irresponsible for revealing a security flaw. The controversy follows Epic Games choosing not to use the Google Play store to distribute the game. Although it's free to download and play, ... Fortnite has proved hugely lucrative thanks to in-game purchases. Although 'buying' character costumes and animations doesn't affect gameplay, gamers - many of them children - have now spent more than a billion dollars. With so much money at stake, it appears Epic Games didn't want to go through Google Play for the Android version. Had ... (view more)

Tue
28
Aug
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Google to Make News More Positive with 'Good News'

Google is to launch a dedicated "good news" feature on its gadgets and services. It calls it "part of a balanced news diet." The good news in question is designed to avoid too much subjectivity. For example, the algorithm would have not have ... reported to Cleveland Indian fans that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series back in November of 2016. The category will not also cover the more traditional "good news" feature that appears at the end of some TV news broadcasts such as skateboarding ducks or lost kittens being found. While such stories are momentarily uplifting, they don't necessarily ... (view more)

Wed
22
Aug
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Microsoft Phasing Out Windows 8

Microsoft has announced several measures to slowly kill off Windows 8. It's targeting apps to try to persuade holdouts to upgrade to Windows 10. From October 31st, 2018, new apps designed for either Windows 8 or 8.1 on desktop or Windows Phone 8 on ... mobile devices can no longer be added to the Microsoft Store. From July 1st, 2019, Microsoft will stop sending app updates to Windows Phone 8 devices. The theory seems to be that developers will no longer have any reason to work on the platform and in turn it will become less and less attractive to users. Updates for existing Windows 8 and 8.1 ... (view more)

Tue
21
Aug
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Skype Offers Secret Calling, End-to-End Encryption

Skype has added a new "private conversations" feature. Calls made this way will be encrypted so that it's impossible for anyone to usefully intercept or listen in. The data for such calls will use end-to-end encryption. That means the data is ... encrypted on one user's device and kept that way throughout its journey over the Internet until it reaches the other user's device. If the data is intercepted, it won't be of any use. The system will work on a "conversation" basis rather than a call-by-call basis. One user must select the feature, which will then send ... (view more)

Thu
16
Aug
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Experiment Unveils Google Location Tracking

Google has been tracking mobile device users movements even when they have "Location History" switched off. It turns out users need to turn off a less well-known setting to stop tracking altogether. The issue doesn't just affect devices running ... Android. Some iPhones are also affected if they have Google apps such as Maps or Search running. In theory, switching off the Location History setting on your device or in a Google account will prevent the company tracking and storing location information. The immediate effect is visible as the timeline feature in Google Maps will stop updating. ... (view more)

Wed
15
Aug
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Mock Election Site Hacked By Pre-Teen

An 11-year-old boy hacked a replica of a Florida election website in just 10 minutes. Officials have downplayed the incident saying it's not an accurate recreation of how such hacking could work. The hack took place at DefCon, an annual conference ... for people interested in computer security. It often has competitions and demonstrations of security vulnerability - and certainly isn't a place you would want to connect your wireless device to unknown WiFi networks. One of the events at the conference was the DefCon Voting Machine Hacking Village. Participants, including many children, attempted ... (view more)

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