John Lister

Fri
10
Nov
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Apple, Google Dispute May Sway Competition Rules

Google is leading a bid to force Apple to make its iMessage tool more compatible with other services. It could have a wider effect on tech competition as a whole. In the past, most messaging tools used SMS (Short Messaging Service) which sent text ... messages over the cellular network. These are either paid for individually by the user, or taken out of a monthly allowance that's separate to cellular data services. Most phones now have one or more services that let users send messages via cellular data and the Internet. As well as not using up SMS allowances, such messaging tools also allow ... (view more)

Thu
09
Nov
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GPS Tool to Warn of Local Crash Risks

A Google-owned map tool will now warn drivers about known accident hotspots. But the information might not be all that useful for now. The new feature is in Waze, a GPS navigation tool that began in 2006, with Google buying it out in 2013. It's ... original selling point was that it combined data from multiple users to spot where they were driving slower than expected, indicating congestion. It then adjusted its recommendations for the quickest routes. Although Google owns Waze, it still operates as a separate service. That lets Google use it as a smaller scale test ground for features that might ... (view more)

Wed
08
Nov
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Apple Faces $1B Trial Over iPhone Slowdown

Apple is facing a billion dollar penalty for allegedly slowing down iPhones to extend battery life. It's failed in a bid to stop a trial in a class action case. The lawsuit alleges that Apple issued an iOS update that intentionally made apps run ... slower. Apple says it did so to extend battery life and to avoid batteries draining so quickly that the phone unexpectedly shut down. In some cases phones ran 58 percent slower. However, the man bringing the case claims this harmed consumers by misleading them into thinking their handsets were slowing down 'naturally'. The lawsuit alleges consumers ... (view more)

Mon
06
Nov
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New Windows 11 23H2 Features Confirmed

This year's major update to Windows 11 is now available. The word "major" is doing some heavy lifting on this occasion. Users can now manually install the 23H2 update, which will roll out to all users through automatic updates in the next few ... months. While Microsoft issues regular bug fixes and security updates, the "H2" update is the main way it issues new features. The update, released in the second half of each year (H2) effectively counts as a new version of Windows. Once installed, it resets the support calendar and guarantees another 24 months of support from Microsoft. AI Goes ... (view more)

Fri
03
Nov
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FCC $18B Subsidy Will Expand Rural Broadband

The FCC is to give more than $18 billion to broadband companies to expand rural provision. The subsidies will cover the next 15 years. The funding is part of the "Enhanced Alternative Connect America Cost Model." It's based on the rationale that ... broadband access benefits society, but that private businesses don't consider it financially worthwhile to build networks in rural areas. That's because these locations require more cabling but with fewer potential customers. The FCC has consistently reasoned that it's more efficient to subsidize private broadband carriers to expand their networks, ... (view more)

Tue
31
Oct
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New Phone Offers Physical Privacy Switches

A proposed new smartphone would include two physical switches to control privacy. The Murena 2 would run Android apps, but use its own operating system. The makers have reached a (very low) funding goal on the Kickstarter site with around 450 sales ... at the time of writing. That theoretically means the project can go ahead, though without any legal guarantee it will do so. The main selling point of the phone is a privacy-focused design, which the makers say is to tackle data being collected on Android and iPhones even when the owner isn't actively using the handset. The most eye-catching part ... (view more)

Mon
30
Oct
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Google to Flag Fake News Photos

Google is adding new tools to make it easier to check if an image is credible and as it appears. But the move has highlighted the irony of Google's own involvement in "generative" artificial intelligence. The tools include several additions to ... Google's own search results, along with a dedicated tool for checking any image found online. The search tools have been in testing and are now rolling out to all users, starting with English language searches in the US. They are wrapped up in a featured called "About this image". This will accompany images with information including if and when they ... (view more)

Fri
27
Oct
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Most Phone Apps Want Unnecessary Device Access

Most popular mobile apps request system permissions that aren't necessary for their stated functions, according to a new study. In some cases, an app requested more unnecessary functions than necessary ones. The figures come from NordVPN, which ... examined the five most popular apps in 18 common categories. They repeated the exercise for both Android and iOS, making a combined total of 103 different apps. (Source: nordvpn.com ) Both mobile operating systems now use a permissions system that means apps must request specific permission for different types of access to a phone's data and components ... (view more)

Wed
25
Oct
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Online Giants Team Up to Fight Fake Reviews

Major websites are joining together to fight fake online reviews. The "global Coalition for Trusted Reviews" will share information and best practices to "stop fake reviews at the source." The partnership follows a conference last year that included ... business, government and academic experts. The idea now is for businesses to work together rather than rely on legislation. The BBC cites a recent report suggesting 15 percent of reviews of common consumer products are likely fake. It also notes that both the United States and United Kingdom are considering laws targeting fake reviews. However, ... (view more)

Mon
23
Oct
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Chrome Address Bar To Get More Useful

Google is overhauling the way searches work in the Chrome address bar. It should mean faster and more useful results in a range of situations. The changes are to the address bar (sometimes called the omnibox) in the Chrome browser. It's where users ... can type in the full address of the site they want to visit, but also carry out web searches without the need to visit Google.com or another search engine site. The address bar already has an autocomplete option, showing possible site addresses and search terms even when the user has only typed a few characters. At the moment, addresses only appear ... (view more)

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