John Lister

Wed
26
Jun
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Revealed: Why Old-School USB Cables Never Fit the First Time

The man who co-created the USB plug says its greatest annoyance was simply a matter of cost. Ajay Bhatt says that in the original design of the USB-A cable, the plugs were not reversible in order to keep costs down, which would then help get the ... format established. Bhatt discussed his work in an interview with National Public Radio (NPR). He talked about the often baffling experience in which users would try to plug a USB cable in, find that it would not fit, flip it over, find it didn't fit (again), then flip it back to its original orientation and find that inexplicably it now fit. It's a ... (view more)

Tue
25
Jun
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Report: Many Apps on Google Store are Fake, Scams

A report suggests that thousands of apps on the Google Play store are in fact counterfeits made to look like the legitimate app, but instead pose a major security risk to users. The study says such apps ask for dangerous levels of access to the ... phone or are packed with advertising. The study is a joint effort of the University of Sydney and Australia's national science research agency CSIRO. It took two years to carry out and involved trawling through 1.2 million apps to look for potential counterfeits. Rather than have humans check each app uploaded to Google Play (which would be entirely ... (view more)

Wed
19
Jun
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Firefox Users: Update Now to Patch Remote Execution Flaw

Mozilla has issued an emergency patch for the Firefox browser that is a must-install. It fixes a security gap that hackers are actively exploiting on compromised websites that serve up malicious code. How to Patch Firefox For most users, restarting ... Firefox should be enough to trigger the update. Users can also click the menu icon near the top right of the browser (the three vertical bars), then scroll all the way down near the bottom and click the "(?) Help" sub menu, then click the "About Firefox" option, which will trigger the update. Once the update has been downloaded, Firefox ... (view more)

Tue
18
Jun
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Windows 10 Update Causes 'Black Screen of Death'

Microsoft has warned the latest Windows 10 update could produce a completely black screen for some users. It's easily fixable and shouldn't be a permanent problem. Microsoft hasn't given any details of why the problem occurs, or if it affects people ... with a particular piece of hardware or software in place. It's only saying that a "small number of devices" appear to be affected. The problem is listed as being with Windows 10 version 1809 and 1803. Those are the two major updated versions of Windows 10 which were released last year. Version 1803 was released in April, 2018, while 1809 was ... (view more)

Mon
17
Jun
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Samsung Raises Malware Alert for Smart TVs

Samsung has warned owners of its Smart TV ranges to run virus checks. It then quickly deleted the warning after a negative response online. The company posted on Twitter with a 19 second video showing how to access a sub-menu that would start a ... virus scan. The post read: "Scanning your computer for malware viruses is important to keep it running smoothly. This also is true for your QLED TV if it's connected to WiFi! Prevent malicious software attacks on your TV by scanning for viruses on your TV every few weeks. Here's how." The video showed that users needed to go through no fewer than 11 ... (view more)

Thu
13
Jun
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Would You Let Facebook Pay to Snoop on You?

Facebook is launching an app that tracks what apps users use on their devices. In return, compensation will be provided. Facebook says only users over 18 years of age can take part in the 'research'. The app is named "Study" and is openly billed as ... being a "market research tool" for Facebook. It's designed for Facebook to learn more about its users, which the company says will help improve its services. Study will collect and transmit details of what apps are on the user's phones, how much time they spend using those apps, and - in some cases - what specific featured they ... (view more)

Wed
12
Jun
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Would You Pay for Firefox? Mozilla Says 'Yes'

Mozilla has confirmed a premium (paid) version of the Firefox browser is on the way. It says it won't charge for any features that are currently free. The details are still quite hazy and Mozilla is still considering exactly what will be in the paid ... version of the "enhanced" browser. It plans to launch it in October, 2019 and will most likely be an on-going subscription service rather than a one-off payment. (Source: techradar.com ) One feature that looks very likely to be included is a Virtual Private Network or VPN . This uses a combination of s ecure s ocket l ayer encryption ( ... (view more)

Mon
10
Jun
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Scientists: Internet Usage Affects Brain Waves, Memory

Psychiatry experts say using the Internet could "affect our brain's structure, function and cognitive development." An international group of researchers say that as a result of Internet use, we may be losing our abilities to concentrate on a single ... task. The theory has to do with the way many people access the Internet - particularly with email and social media, which often means getting a string of notifications that oftentimes demand immediate attention. This means people spend less time consistently working on one task uninterrupted, which then creates a "use it or lose it" effect on ... (view more)

Thu
06
Jun
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Firefox Adds Enhanced Password Manager, Cookie Blocking

Mozilla has made two major changes to make Firefox browsing easier and safer. It's adding a robust password manager and and enhanced cookie blocking feature that will help avoid dubious online tracking. The password manager is called Firefox ... Lockwise. For now it's only available as a browser extension, rather than being built into the browser itself. It's the same service that was previously available on mobile devices as "LockBox." The basic functions of Lockwise include being able to store login credentials and access from multiple devices, and are much the same as on third-party ... (view more)

Wed
05
Jun
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Windows 10 Apps Plagued by Fake Tech Support Ads

Developers have been shocked to discover their apps for the Windows Store are carrying scam advertising. They are blaming Microsoft for not properly vetting the ads it inserts into the apps. The apps in question are for Windows 10 and are part of ... the "modern Windows experience" which lets users get software from an the official Microsoft Store similar to Google Play (for Android) and Apple's App Store (for iOS devices). The only difference is that Windows also allows users to download and install programs directly from software developers. App makers who use the Windows Store have ... (view more)

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