John Lister

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)

Thu
24
Dec
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Internet Baffled by Bottomless PJs

If you keep seeing a pair of bottomless pyjamas on the Internet, don't worry. It appears to be a glitch that's highlighted the quirks of online advertising. Many users have reported seeing the ad multiple times a day, in some cases embedded in ... almost every page they read. It's particularly noticeable as it's a somewhat unusual product, namely a one-piece tartan outfit with a flap on the backside, presumably to allow bathroom breaks without undressing. The ads are automatically placed by Google and appear to be placed by a Chinese tech company which has the same registered address as a "fast ... (view more)

Wed
23
Dec
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New Win10 Patch Causes Blue Screen of Death

A Windows 10 update causing problems is no surprise, but the two latest glitches will be familiar to long-time users. Both can lead to the dreaded "Blue Screen of Death," indicating a significant problem. The first problem affects users who run the ... built-in CHKDSK utility, which scans hard drives to look for errors. It appears that running "chkdsk /f" via command line (after the new KB4592438 patch has been applied) can cause the file system to corrupt, which then might result in Windows not able to boot at all. Microsoft says a fix has already been rolled out through an automatic ... (view more)

Tue
22
Dec
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Internet Providers Can't Charge for Unwanted Router

Broadband providers can no longer charge customers a rental fee for routers if they use their own equipment. It's banned by the Television Viewer Protection Act which has taken effect after a six month delay. The law was passed in December 2019 and ... originally scheduled to take effect in June. However, Congress and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted a six month delay, stating that cable and broadband providers needed more time because of the coronavirus pandemic. $10 Monthly Fee Dropped Many Internet providers charge rental fees for modems or routers, but allow users to ... (view more)

Thu
17
Dec
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Turning Old Laptops Into Chromebook May Get Easier

Google has bought a company that helps people turn old laptops into Chromebooks. It will turn "CloudReady" into an official way to use the Chrome operating system. Chromebooks run on ChromeOS, a system that's based largely around using the Chrome ... browser to access online tools and applications. It's aimed particularly at people who mainly use a computer for web browsing, light document editing, and watching streaming video. One of the big advantages is that much of the processing is done remotely rather than on the computer itself. That means a Chromebook can run on cheaper low-spec ... (view more)

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