John Lister

Tue
12
Feb
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New Google On-the-fly Encryption Ultra Fast, Secure

Google has developed a new type of encryption that could run on any Android device. It means added security even for the most basic phones, smart watches and smart TVs. The encryption in question isn't for transmitting data, but rather for data ... stored on a device. The data is controlled by unlock methods such as passwords, pin codes and fingerprints. The idea is that if somebody gets hold of a device and doesn't have the correct login credentials, they can't simply extract files from the device and access personal data. At the moment Android devices with encryption use Advanced Encryption ... (view more)

Thu
07
Feb
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Security Researcher Refuses to Share Bug with Apple

A security researcher says he's found a major security flaw in the Mac's password storage tool. But he's refusing to publish the details as a protest against Apple's "bug bounty" program. Linuz Henze has produced a video showing what he calls an ... exploit of the Keychain feature in MacOS Mojave, the current edition of the operating system for Mac computers. Keychain is an application on Macs that lets users save passwords for online accounts and digital certificates so that they don't have to type them in again. Users can also open Keychain and access a full list of passwords. Normally every ... (view more)

Wed
06
Feb
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Google to Tell Users if Passwords Hacked

Google has launched a new tool to make it easier to know if a password has been hacked. But the way it works has raised some questions. The tool is called "Password Checkup" and is an extension for the Chrome web browser. It's designed to deal with ... details that are known to be part of a security breach, rather than offering more general advice such as using long passwords. If a user installs Password Checkup, Google will run a check whenever they log in to any site (not just ones Google operates). If it matches any entries on a database of known breaches, Chrome will display a ... (view more)

Tue
05
Feb
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Facebook Fake News Fact-checkers Call it Quits

Two organizations hired by Facebook to check facts in news articles have pulled out of the deals. The Associated Press (AP) and Snopes are both being somewhat vague about exactly why they are stopping the work. While financial considerations may be ... the cause, third-party reports suggest the organizations were upset with the way Facebook handled their fact-checking operations. The two groups were among the most high-profile of what Facebook says is 34 organizations checking facts across 16 languages. According to the BBC, the AP and Snopes withdrawal means only two organizations in the US are ... (view more)

Thu
31
Jan
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Robocalls, Spam Likely to Surpass Legit Calls in 2019

The number of robocalls to Americans rose by nearly 50 percent last year, according to a newly-published estimate. It's consistent with other reports that suggest that 2019 will be the first year where half of all phone calls are marketing messages. ... The figure comes from Hiya, a "spam-monitoring service" and is based on data from 450,000 users of its phone app. There's reason for a note of caution on the raw numbers, as it's possible the type of people who would use such an app are getting more unwanted calls than the average citizen in the first place. That aside, Hiya says that if the ... (view more)

Wed
30
Jan
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WiFi Could Provide Electricity, Charge Smartphone

A new gadget can turn WiFi signals into electricity. It could one day mean an end to charging phone batteries, though the power levels mean medical uses might be more realistic. The device is a new variant of a "rectenna," which is short for ... rectifying antenna. Traditionally it turns electromagnetic energy into direct current electricity. Although the rectenna was developed more than 50 years ago, it's not been widely used. At the moment the most common use is in contactless cards, where a wireless signal from a card reader can not only open communications, but provide just enough ... (view more)

Tue
29
Jan
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Malware Makers Set Sights On Motion Sensor

An extremely creative form of malware on Android devices uses motion sensors to help stay undetected. It's designed to combat one of the key methods used by malware scanning tools. Trend Micro says it found the malware hidden in two Google Play ... Store apps named "BatterySaverMobi" and "Currency Converter," which claimed to provide functions as their names suggest. (Source: arstechnica.com ) Once installed, the apps downloaded malware in the background, then used a fake system update message to trick the user into giving permission to install it. The malware, named " ... (view more)

Thu
24
Jan
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WhatsApp Restricts Message Forwarding to Combat Fake News

A messaging service owned by Facebook is purposely limiting the amount of times users can forward a message. It's an attempt to slow the spread of false information. The change to WhatsApp follows a six month trial in India sparked off by several ... cases where bogus stories led to lynch mobs. WhatsApp lets users send text messages, video, images and documents. One of its core functions is a group system that lets a set of friends, family members, work colleagues or people with a share interest send a single message that reaches everyone in the group. The maximum group size is 256. One Message ... (view more)

Wed
23
Jan
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Google Fined $50 Million For Data Violation

Google's use of data to personalize advertisements could cost it more than $50 million. It's been fined for breaching European rules on data protection. The fine comes under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of rules drawn up by ... the European Union and covering activity in 27 countries. It follows a complaint filed by privacy groups the day the rules came into force last May. The breach is all to do with Google's obligation to get user consent before using personal data to provide targeted ads - one of the key aspects of the company's business. Although Google does allow ... (view more)

Tue
22
Jan
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Roll Away TV, Smart Sockets Among New Gadgets at CES

CES (also known as the Consumer Electronics Show) is the biggest annual gadget show in the United States and is the place where top manufacturers show off their new devices for the first time. Many of the offerings seem implausible or unnecessary - ... this year saw virtual reality shoes and a notepad that works underwater - but others catch on and are genuinely useful. Here are some of the highlights from 2019: A "smart socket" power outlet detects the charge level in a plugged-in device and then cuts out once it's fully charged to reduce energy use. For now it's designed for mobile devices such ... (view more)

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