Articles

Thu
13
May
John Lister's picture

88% of iOS Users Reject Online Tracking

Just one in eight iPhone and iPad users have agreed to let an app track them online. They've been able to make the decision since Apple changed its rules, to the dismay of advertisers. The change is to the way iOS handles a tag known as Identifier ... for Advertisers (IDFA). It identifies an individual device and allows advertisers to piece together information from multiple sources and activities. While advertisers argue this allows for better targeted and thus more relevant (and less annoying) ads, users and privacy groups have objected to what they see as surveillance and snooping. The change ... (view more)

Wed
12
May
John Lister's picture

Windows Defender Bug Fills Hard Drive

A bug with Windows Defender has been filling computers with thousands of largely useless files. The bug is fixed with the latest update and this is definitely an application worth keeping updated. Windows Defender (officially known as Microsoft ... Defender Antivirus) is the built-in security tool in Windows 10. The consensus view is that it's not as good as the best third-party tools, but does a decent job and is certainly a useful line of defense for the average user. Unfortunately a recent update, which took Windows Defender to version 1.1.18100.5, introduced an annoying bug. Users noticed a ... (view more)

Tue
11
May
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Ditches Windows 10X

Windows 10X, a variant designed originally for dual-screen machines, may never appear according to new reports. The system had also been tipped as an alternative to Google's Chrome OS. Microsoft officially announced it was working on Windows 10X in ... October 2019. At that time, the idea was to produce a separate Windows variant that was designed for dual-screen devices. Such devices, sometimes called clamshells, serve a variety of purposes. Some are designed to fold back completely so that users can switch between using it as a laptop and using it more like a tablet. Microsoft appeared to ... (view more)

Thu
06
May
John Lister's picture

Google Criticized Over Misleading Gov't Ads

Google has been accused of failing to do enough to tackle rip-off ads. The issue involves advertisers who mislead customers into paying for government services that should be free of charge. The accusation comes from the BBC News site and involves a ... series of services such as applying for driving or travel permits. While the official costs vary from country to country, such services often have little or no cost from a government agency. Third party sellers run websites that are vague about their status and then charge users inflated fees to apply on their behalf. Such sites are often legal as ... (view more)

Wed
05
May
John Lister's picture

Windows Update May Solve High CPU Usage Bug

Microsoft has released an optional Windows 10 update that could solve a recent problem with high CPU usage. Users who haven't had this problem can probably give the update a miss. The update, with the reference KB5001391 is optional as it's a "C ... release". That means it's made up of fixes and features that will roll out in the main update cycle later on but are available now as a preview. The main point of interest in KB5001391 is a fix for a memory problem. Microsoft hasn't made things entirely clear but it appears it's targeted at recent reports of users suddenly seeing their CPU usage ... (view more)

Tue
04
May
John Lister's picture

EU Forces Web Hosts to Take Down Terror Content

Internet hosting providers will have just one hour to remove terrorist content after a government request under new European laws. It's raised fears some sites may get caught up potentially faulty content filters. The law is a European Union ... regulation that will take effect in Spring 2022. It will automatically apply in all European Union countries and will be based on where a website is hosted rather than where its operators are based. A press release announcing the regulation says it covers any content (both text and audio or video) that will "that incite, solicit or contribute to terrorist ... (view more)

Mon
03
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Being Blackmailed for Money on Facebook? Here's What to Do

Infopackets Reader Peter T. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a friend who recently met someone on Facebook. For sake of argument I'll refer to my friend as Bob and his romantic interest as Tina. Bob says he received a friend request from Tina two days ... ago and after only 10 minutes of text messaging, things started getting hot and heavy. Tina then asked Bob to go into a video chat; as soon as he entered, Tina was already naked and playing with herself. During the chat, she stopped to message him a few times, though never spoke any words. Each time, she asked Bob to reciprocate by showing his ... (view more)

Mon
03
May
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: VMWare RDP Protocol Error Session Disconnected

Infopackets Reader Steve J. writes: " Dear Dennis, I'm a certified PC tech and I have a lot of jobs where customers want to upgrade their PC to a new system. As part of the migration process, I convert the client's old physical machine to a virtual ... machine using VMWare Converter. Once that is completed, I copy the virtual machine to the new PC and run it. The virtual machine serves two functions: 1) it's essentially a 'live' backup of the old machine, and 2) users can export their data from the virtual machine (example: bookmarks from a web browser) to the new machine in ways that a regular ... (view more)

Fri
30
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Scammed by Wowser E Services? Here's What to Do

Infopackets Reader Barbara J. writes: " Dear Dennis, In early March, 2021, my elderly father was browsing the Internet when suddenly a red screen appeared and told him that his computer was infected. Conveniently, the warning message also supplied a ... 1-800 number to speak to Microsoft to 'fix' the issue. My father confirmed that the person he spoke to had a very thick Indian accent . The company that 'fixed' his computer was named Live IP Support and they charged on two separate occasions, totaling $2,700. The checks were withdrawn from his account under a company named Wowser E Services (aka ... (view more)

Thu
29
Apr
John Lister's picture

Facebook Slammed For Teen Ad Targeting

A campaign group claims Facebook lets users target ads at children based on interests such as smoking, drinking alcohol and gambling. Facebook says it has adequate measures to find and block such ads both before and after publication. The claims ... come from Reset Australia, which says it ran an experiment posing as the fictional "Ozzie News Network." It set up an advertising account on Facebook to see what options were available. In theory, Facebook has an outright ban on advertising adult topics such as alcohol to under 18s. Reset Australia says this failed in two ways: it was able to target ... (view more)

Wed
28
Apr
John Lister's picture

Android Phones Hijacked For Ad Scam

Nearly 30 Android and Roku apps hijacked phones to defraud advertisers. Although users never saw the ads, they may have noticed increased data use and slowed performance. The scammers used the apps distributed in the official Google Play store to ... build up a network of almost a million compromised Android devices. The "PARETO" botnet then used the phones to issue bogus requests to advertisers while making the devices appear to be Smart TV sets. That was particularly appealing to advertisers because of the belief viewers are more likely to pay attention to an ad on a TV screen than on a phone. ... (view more)

Tue
27
Apr
John Lister's picture

Apple, Facebook Fight Over Ad Tracking

Moves by Apple to restrict ad tracking have prompted a war of words with Facebook and a legal battle with advertisers. They both object to changes that require express permission for some tracking. The arguments are over the "identifier for ... advertisers" or IDFA. That's a specific code for each iPhone or iPad which can be used by advertisers to track activity by device users. Until now its been possible to use IDFA with express user consent and then combine it with other data to build up a picture of the individual for targeted advertising. The iOS 14.5 update to the iPhone and iPad operating ... (view more)

Mon
26
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

WinX DVD Ripper: Convert / Play DVDs on Windows 10

Infopackets Reader Steve G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I just upgraded my PC to Windows 10 and I noticed that Windows Media Player no longer plays DVDs in Windows 10 . In Windows 7 it worked without a problem. I researched this issue and it appears that ... this 'feature' was removed on purpose because newer PCs and laptops do not have DVD players. As such, Microsoft has dropped all support for Windows 10 DVD playback in Windows Media Player. I plan on purchasing a thin ultrabook laptop (with no DVD player) soon. As such, I'd like to convert my DVDs into AVI or MP4 (for example) so I ... (view more)

Thu
22
Apr
John Lister's picture

Relief On Hand From Endless Video Meetings

Microsoft is to make it easier to build breaks into videoconferencing schedules. The move is designed to overcome a mismatch between technology "efficiency" and the real world. Automated scheduling tools make sense as a way for businesses to ... efficiently find and arrange times for people to get together. By default, most tools will schedule a meeting for a "round" time period such as 30 or 60 minutes. In an era when the vast majority of meetings were in person, that wasn't necessarily a problem. Back-to-back meetings were rare and even when they happened, meetings would naturally end a few ... (view more)

Wed
21
Apr
John Lister's picture

FCC: Please Check Your Internet Speed

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has urged the public to use its Internet speed testing app. As with Netflix's tool, it's not just for the benefit of users. The FCC Speed Test App, which works for both WiFi and mobile data connections, ... has the usual simple "one-tap" functionality of such tools. By default is measures upload and download speeds plus latency. That's a measure of how quickly data transmission starts, which can be important for services such as online gaming. (Source: theverge.com ) Speed Maps Boosted Users can also switch on settings to measure jitter and packet loss ... (view more)

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