John Lister

Tue
19
Jan
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Google, Facebook Face News Fees

Google and Facebook could have to pay a fee to show content from Australian news organizations. The proposed laws have upset not just the tech giants, but the United States government. The Australian proposals follow a government investigation that ... concludes the two companies have too much control in the media market. It pointed to several regional newspapers closing and advertising revenue falling for publications at the same time Google and Facebook benefit from using news extracts on Google News and in Facebook posts. No Surprise Algorithm Changes Under the laws, Google and Facebook would ... (view more)

Thu
14
Jan
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WWW Creator Reenvisions How Personal Data is Stored

World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee wants to rethink the way people control online data. He says his "pods" proposal would bring the online world closer to his original vision of the web. Berners-Lee has launched an open-source project and ... associated business to try to counter what he sees as the web's biggest problem: major companies collecting user data and exploiting it as a core part of their business. His new idea is "pods", or personal online data store. This would involve users having a space on a server that acted like a digital safe and contained a range of data. This could be ... (view more)

Wed
13
Jan
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Samsung Program Repurposes Old Phones

Samsung wants to turn old phones into home gadgets. Its evolving its Galaxy Upcycling program to make it easier to convert handsets. The program launched in 2017 as a largely internal project where Samsung staff tried to find ways to use old phones ... for new purposes. This often involved taking advantage of the various sensors in a phone even if its specifications were now too low to run the latest operating systems and apps. Baby Monitor Among New Use Ideas At that point the project appeared to be more about creativity than solving significant problems. For example, one design used a motion ... (view more)

Tue
12
Jan
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100M Users Still Using Windows 7

As many as 100 million PCs could still be running Windows 7 according to a newly-published estimate. That's despite Microsoft withdrawing support for the 11-year old system last year. The estimate comes from Ed Bott of ZDNet and is based on data ... published at analytics.usa.gov. That brings together site visitor data from most US government agencies. It means the figures will primarily represent visitors from the United States. (Source: zdnet.com ) Bott notes that across the agencies, 8.5 per cent of visitors in the past 90 days were running Windows 7 and 3.4 percent running Windows 8 or 8.1. ... (view more)

Fri
08
Jan
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Chrome Defaults to Secure Website Version

Google Chrome will now look for a secure version of a website first by default. It could mean a tiny delay accessing some sites, but should nudge more sites to increase security. The change to the browser involves how it handles cases where users ... simply type in the domain (such as infopackets.com) rather than the full website address (such as http://www.infopackets.com or https://www.infopackets.com ). The browser being able to convert one to the other makes it much quicker to type website addresses and allows browsers to use a single space for users to input both website addresses and search ... (view more)

Wed
06
Jan
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Ticketmaster Fined $10M for Hacking Competitor

Ticketmaster will pay a $10 million fine for computer fraud and hacking. The company admitted responsibility for hacking an unnamed rival with the help of an employee who had previously worked there. The $10 million figure is calculated as the ... maximum $500,000 penalty for each of 20 cases of breaking the law through "unauthorized access of a protected computer." The fine is through a "deferred prosecution agreement" in which prosecutors hold off pursuing the case through the courts. As part of the agreement, Ticketmaster admitted breaking the law and must cooperate with prosecutors ... (view more)

Tue
05
Jan
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Chrome Security Software Bug Fixed

Chrome and Edge are to get a fix for a problem with saving bookmarks and other files. The glitch is the result of an incompatibility with some anti-virus software. The problem involved security tools which were set to scan files on a computer in ... real-time. Often this involves "freezing" a file immediately as it's written to disk so the security software can check for threats and neutralize them before they have an effect. Unfortunately the way this works means it didn't always go smoothly with Chrome, resulting in the browser "freezing", then simply giving up on saving the file. This caused ... (view more)

Thu
31
Dec
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Windows 10 Free Upgrade 'Still Available'

A free Microsoft offer to upgrade to Windows 10 was supposed to expire in 2016. However, it appears the upgrade still works, with claims the deadline was simply a marketing ploy. With Windows 10 released in the middle of 2015, the free upgrade offer ... was advertised as running for a year. It was available for Windows 7 and 8.1 users, with most getting an upgrade to the Windows 10 Home edition. Those running Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate and Windows 8.1 Pro could upgrade to the Windows 10 Pro edition. As most people either upgraded in the first year or decided to give Windows 10 a ... (view more)

Wed
30
Dec
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Security Update Cut-Off Puts Phones At Risk

A consumer group has warned a time limit on updates could mean phones become a security risk before they wear out. The group wants laws to make it clearer how long devices will receive support. The warning comes from Which?, a British organization ... similar to Consumer Reports in the US. It surveyed 15,000 people about how long they kept their phones. The questions covered how long people had been using their current phone, whether it was newly manufactured when they got it, and how long they had used their previous handset. The calculations only took account of handsets that were replaced ... (view more)

Tue
29
Dec
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Online Free Speech Rules Derail Defense Bill

A dispute over Internet law has led to a Presidential veto of a major defense bill. Lawmakers will now decide whether to reject Donald Trump's demands to remove rules on how websites and services handle content posted by users. The bill in question ... authorizes US military spending for the next year. One of the quirks of the US legislative system is that bills can include measures which have little or nothing to do with the main subject of the proposed law. These measures are often the result of negotiation between politicians. In this case, Trump wants the defense bill to include a repeal of ... (view more)

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