Articles

Fri
28
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Dell No Sound After Update (Inspiron 3760)

Infopackets Reader Mike P. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thank you for your excellent website and remote desktop service - you've been a great help in the past. I have a new problem: Dell SupportAssist recently popped up with a message stating that I had ... sound driver updates to apply to Windows 10 , namely: two Intel high definition audio drivers, and one Realtek high definition audio driver. I downloaded and installed the sound drivers onto my PC, but unfortunately, there's been no sound after the Dell update . I've tried to uninstall and reinstall the Dell audio drivers but it made no difference. ... (view more)

Thu
27
Feb
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)

Wed
26
Feb
John Lister's picture

Chrome Users: Update Now to Patch Critical Bug

Google has issued a critically important update to its Chrome browser due to a nasty zero day bug. The browser should update automatically for most users, but the bug is serious enough that it's a case of checking to ensure that the update has been ... successfully applied. The update fixes three security problems, one of which is a critical. It means hackers were actively exploiting the problem before Google fixed it - meaning the update process gave users a zero day head start on the bad guys (hence the term, ' zero day exploit '). Perhaps unsurprisingly, Google isn't saying much at all about ... (view more)

Tue
25
Feb
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Start Menu to be Redesigned

Microsoft is reportedly set to ditch "live tiles" from Windows 10. It's part of a planned revamp of the system's Start Menu. Live tiles originally debuted in Windows Phone 7 and there's a strong argument it's a feature that should have been left to ... mobile devices. The tile is a square display that shows a specific piece of information such as current weather or a stock price, updated in real time rather than the user having to click on it. Live Tiles Driven By Mobile The feature debuted on the PC desktop with Windows 8, which was widely criticized for being designed ... (view more)

Mon
24
Feb
John Lister's picture

Gas Pipeline Shut Down After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware forced an unplanned shutdown of a US gas pipeline for two days. It's not yet clear if the attackers intended to have that effect. The full details, including the identity of the pipeline and its operators, have been kept under wraps. The ... only official information that's been made public comes from a security alert bulletin by the Department of Homeland Security (DoHS). (Source: us-cert.gov ) The attack started as an all-too-familiar "spear phishing" attack. That's a deliberately targeted email that tries to fool somebody (that typically works for a corporation) into clicking on a ... (view more)

Thu
20
Feb
John Lister's picture

Google: OEM Mods Make Android OS Less Safe

Google says phone and tablet makers who alter Android's code to add security measures may actually be undermining security. It says device manufacturers should stick to Android's own measures. Jann Horn of Google's Project Zero security team ... specifically pointed to an alteration made by Samsung for the Galaxy A50 phone, which he says contained a bug that made the device vulnerable to attack. He says he discovered and reported the bug to Samsung in September 2018 but it wasn't patched until Samsung's security updates released this month. (Source: blogspot.com ) Ironically Horn believes the ... (view more)

Wed
19
Feb
John Lister's picture

More Than 500 Rogue Chrome Extensions Removed

Google has removed more than 500 rogue Chrome extensions that were scamming both computer users and advertisers. Some rogue extensions have been operating for more than a year. The rogue extensions were spotted by security researcher Jamila Kaya and ... Jacob Rickerd of Cisco. They used a Cisco security tool called CRXcavator that's specially designed to assess Chrome extensions. (Source: duo.com ) The pair worked on a project to try to spot common patterns of bogus extensions. They started by assessing "a few dozen" extensions they knew to be rogue and were able to use patterns to expose 70 ... (view more)

Tue
18
Feb
John Lister's picture

User Files Disappear After Botched Win10 Update

Two different Windows 10 updates have caused a host of problems, including some files disappearing from the desktop, or deleted permanently. Microsoft has pulled one update and is investigating the other. The update with the more serious problems - ... which is the one Microsoft has withdrawn - is numbered KB4532693 and has a couple of major bugs. The first is that some users have discovered their desktop has returned to its default state. In other words, any customizations such as the arrangement of icons and short cuts, or a background image, have been removed. The most credible suggested ... (view more)

Mon
17
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Right Click Desktop Not Working (Spinning Circle)

Infopackets Reader Jared P. writes: " Dear Dennis, The right click on my desktop is not working . When I right click on the desktop, all I get is a spinning blue circle . What normally appears is a dialogue menu that shows Display Settings, ... Personalize (the desktop), View, Sort by, and New (to create a folder, shortcut, text document, etc) - but instead, the cursor circle keeps spinning forever. I've left it alone for an hour but the right click keeps loading forever and never produces a menu like it should. Update: Since I've emailed you, I've found a few so-called guides online to fix my ... (view more)

Thu
13
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Open Shell Search Not Working (Classic Shell)

Infopackets Reader Lynda F. writes: " Dear Dennis, I've been using Classic Shell (now called 'Open Shell') for many years and it's worked great. The best feature about Classic Shell is the ability to search and find files on my hard drive. For ... example: when I click on the Start Menu, I then type in part of the title of a document I have on my hard drive, and Classic Shell finds it instantly. In contrast, the default Windows 10 Start Menu simply can't find anything on my computer and tells me to go to Bing to find it. As if! Anyhow: the issue I'm having is that the search in Classic Shell ... (view more)

Wed
12
Feb
John Lister's picture

Tech Support Scams Up 40% Year-On-Year: Report

Reported cyber crime has more than doubled in the last two years according to the FBI. Over 60s are the group with the biggest value losses. The figures come from the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a central resource for reporting ... cyber crime. The IC3 works with local and national agencies and businesses to coordinate work on cyber threats and identify particular patterns of risk. In 2019 it received 467,361 complaints with the reported losses topping $3.5 billion . That's up from $2.7 billion in 2018 and $1.4 billion in 2017. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) Part of the rise may be people ... (view more)

Tue
11
Feb
John Lister's picture

Scientists use Light, Sound to Produce 100 Gbps Internet

Researchers believe a new type of cable could carry Internet data at speeds 100 times greater than even the fastest on offer today. The new technology could benefit hospitals and research facilities in particular. The technique was developed by ... researchers at universities in Leeds and Nottingham in the United Kingdom, and is based around similar technology found in fiber optic cables. Those are the fastest data-carrying cables and work by sending pulses of light down a tiny transparent tube. By far, the greatest benefit of utilizing fiber optic cables is that it can transfer data over long ... (view more)

Mon
10
Feb
John Lister's picture

Banking Malware Relays Passwords to Cyber Criminals

Researchers have warned of a sneaky trick that uses malware to collect passwords for online banking. The "Metamorfo" malware disables autocomplete to force users to retype passwords that can then be hijacked. Metamorfo is familiar to security ... researchers, but has developed two new characteristics. The first is that it no longer targets only financial institutions in Brazil, but has expanded to other countries. The seconds is a new tactic to make it more effective. The malware works in a familiar fashion. It's distributed through a .ZIP file that's disguised as an invoice attached to ... (view more)

Thu
06
Feb
John Lister's picture

Report: Malware Attacks Fall Year-on-Year

A computer security company claims malware attacks are on the decrease. The difference appears to be that criminals are more closely targeting attacks, which could be good news for the average user. The figures come from Sonicwall, which offers ... firewalls and other cyber security solutions. The data is based on the attacks and attempted attacks it detected among customers covering 1.1 million sites in 215 countries. (Source: sonicwall.com ) Although the actual numbers it gives aren't necessarily meaningful, the year-on-year comparisons between its new report covering 2019 and the one it did ... (view more)

Wed
05
Feb
John Lister's picture

Facebook Messenger Kids Beefs Up Parental Controls

Facebook has given parents more ability to monitor their child's use of its messaging tool. The move follows criticism of Facebook producing such a tool in the first place. "Messenger Kids" launched back in 2017 for use by under 13s, who aren't ... allowed to use Facebook itself. The key selling point was that parents had to approve the contacts that the child could then exchange messages with. That hasn't always worked exactly as planned, as a glitch meant children could take part in group chats containing people who weren't approved or even that they'd blocked. Parents will now be ... (view more)

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