Articles

Mon
25
May
John Lister's picture

Chrome to Encrypt DNS Lookups: What it Means

Google is increasing privacy on Chrome with a change to the way it connects users to websites. But businesses will be able to disable the move so they can keep tabs on staff. The change is to the way Chrome connects with Domain Name Servers (DNS), ... which act a little like a telephone directory for the Internet. A DNS takes a website address that a user types into their browser and finds the matching IP address, which identifies the specific connection to the device such as a server (or service) that physically stores the website's files. In the past, the connection between Chrome and a DNS was ... (view more)

Fri
22
May
John Lister's picture

Chrome to Automatically Block Power-Hungry Ads

Chrome is to start automatically blocking online ads that make particularly high use of computer resources. It will be a small change that Google hopes will have a big effect. This will be the second set of changes Chrome has made to the way it ... handles ads following alterations over the past couple of years to block "abusive" and "deceptive" ads. These include ads which have misleading buttons such as a "play" button that actually downloads a file or a "close window" button that actually opens new pop-up windows. The new change will involve Chrome having an limit on how much resources such as ... (view more)

Wed
20
May
John Lister's picture

Google Bans Popular Podcast App Over COVID-19 Content

Google has banned a hugely popular podcast app from the Play Store, claiming it breaches a ban on COVID-19 content. It appears to be a spectacular screw-up by Google's filtering system. Podcast Addict is a leading app in its field with more than ... five million downloads, so it came as a surprise to developers to receive a message from Google saying it had been banned from the Play Store. While it's still possible to install Podcast Addict manually, it's a big blow to its distribution and makes the app inaccessible to potential Android users who follow common security advice to stick to the ... (view more)

Fri
15
May
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Convert Roblox Gift Card to Robux (Step by Step)

Infopackets Reader Julie F. writes: " Dear Dennis, My daughter is addicted to Roblox and plays it on her tablet for hours on end, every single day. Recently she received two gift Roblox gift cards for her birthday. These cards contain a PIN number ... and need to be activated online so she can use it within the game. I have successfully entered in the PIN number using a web browser (on a PC), and she now has $50 worth of Roblox credit. From my understanding, I am now supposed to convert the Roblox credit into Robux, which will allow her to purchase items within the game. Every video and written ... (view more)

Thu
14
May
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Search Glitch: Don't Panic

Windows 10 has been hit by another bug affecting the search function. Fortunately it seems the problem looks much worse than it really is. The bug in question pops up for some users when they use Windows Search, which looks through both the names of ... files and the contents of documents. Users have reported a range of unusual effects, the most common being a message reading "This is taking too long to load" above a reload button. In most cases it seems hitting the reload button - or indeed restarting either the search tool or Windows itself - doesn't make any difference. What's particularly ... (view more)

Tue
12
May
John Lister's picture

Thunderbolt Flaw Could Bypass Security, Encryption

A researcher has found a major bug with Thunderbolt port technology that could undermine major security measures on multiple computer systems. There's a big mitigating factor though: an attacker would need extended physical access to the computer in ... order to carry out the exploit. Thunderbolt is a technology that is similar in concept to USB, but adds fiber optic to the usual copper wires. Compared to USB, Thunderbolt has high speed and capacity. Common uses include super-fast device charging (including laptops), 4K video, and extremely quick data transfers. Originally Thunderbolt was only ... (view more)

Mon
11
May
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Tackles 'Reply All' Misery

Microsoft wants to stop one of the most annoying parts of email. It's going to try cutting the vicious cycle of the "reply all" message storm. The problem arises when somebody sends a group message to a large number of people and then one of the ... recipients mistakenly (or perhaps worse, deliberately) clicks on "Reply All" rather than simply using "Reply" to address the original sender. Not only does that mean the entire group seeing the reply, but it can quickly spark others to reply, extend a conversation, point out the error, or make a joke. In some cases, the configuration means that all of ... (view more)

Fri
08
May
John Lister's picture

Twitter to Filter, Warn Users Before They Post

Twitter is testing a program to warn users if they are about to post a potentially-offensive message. It's billed as a way to tackle hot-headedness, but could also tackle the limitations of automatic filtering. At the moment Twitter uses a ... combination of automated filters that block some content from getting posted, as well as user reports about posts already online. The test will run for several weeks and cover English language tweets only. It will mean users who are about to post something that involves "offensive or hurtful language" see a message giving them the option of revising it ... (view more)

Wed
06
May
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Drops Dual-Screen Windows

Microsoft is rethinking its plans for a completely new version of Windows 10. It's no longer going to target "Windows 10X" at dual-screen devices for the simple reason that not many people are interested about such devices right now. Windows 10X was ... originally designed to be a separate system to the widely used Windows 10. The idea was to get ahead of the game with fold-out laptops that have a touchscreen on both halves of the fold, rather than a screen and physical keyboard. Such devices are designed to give users a large screen space and a more practical way to have multiple windows open in ... (view more)

Tue
05
May
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 May 2020 Update Offers Speed Boost

Older computers might feel a little faster after the next major Windows 10 update. That's because Windows 10 is going to get a bit smarter in the way it powers its search tool. Windows 10's Start Menu (accessed by clicking the Windows logo at the ... bottom left of the screen) includes a search box that doesn't just search the names of files, but also their content. Since the system's release, an update means it will now searches all files on the C drive - not just those in specific libraries such as "Documents" or "Downloads." File Indexing Takes a Toll To ... (view more)

Mon
04
May
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Move All Steam Games to Another Drive

Infopackets Reader David C. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am running out of space on my C drive (SSD) and I would like to move my entire Steam folder to the D drive. Currently I have a 1 TB SSD on C and the D drive is a 4 TB regular hard drive. Every ... guide I've looked at on the Internet explains how to do move each Steam game one at a time, but I've got over 20 games installed on here and that would take forever. What I would like to do is move all Steam games to another drive in one go. I don't understand why this is so difficult. I'm afraid I may screw something up if I don't do this right - in ... (view more)

Wed
29
Apr
John Lister's picture

YouTube Fights Fake News with 'Fact-Checking Panel'

Google is stepping up a fact-checking feature on YouTube. It won't mean removing videos, but rather placing a warning in results for searches on topics associated with misleading information. The "fact check information panels" were first used in ... Brazil and India last year and will now be rolled out to the United States. They're designed as a way to focus human resources given the sheer quantity of videos uploaded every day. The idea is to deal with misinformation about recent news events where bogus claims can appear and spread quickly. Topics will be selected based on both the amount of ... (view more)

Tue
28
Apr
John Lister's picture

Major Antivirus Flaw Deletes Files, Corrupts Windows

A security company says it found a simple way to turn antivirus software into a weapon for attackers. Most major manufacturers have now fixed the problem, but it's a reminder to keep such software updated. The discovery by Rack911 Labs effectively ... meant that a hacker could force the antivirus software to delete files on a computer. That would mean the hacker would need to have gained access to a computer first - whether internally on a network, or remotely using malware. The exploit is based on one of the most fundamental actions of any antivirus software: they scan files, check if they are a ... (view more)

Mon
27
Apr
John Lister's picture

WhatsApp Claims Fake News Success

Measures to stop misinformation spreading on messaging service WhatsApp appear to be making a difference. The Facebook-owned business says its seen fewer "highly forwarded messages". A couple of weeks back , WhatsApp took action after fears it was ... being used to spread bogus and potentially dangerous claims about COVID-19. One big worry was that people who saw a message in one group chat would forward it to multiple other group chats, quickly increasing the number of people who saw it. Extra Niggle May Spark Rethink The changes involved any message that had been forwarded at least five times. ... (view more)

Wed
22
Apr
John Lister's picture

Fake News: Many Twitter 'Debates' are Actually Bots

Human tiredness could be the key to spotting automated fake posts online, according to researchers at the University of Southern California. They are developing systems to distinguish between posts by humans and those posted by automated programs, ... otherwise known as 'bots' - which is a short form for robots. Since most of the online world gets their news using smartphones these days, fake news is a serious problem. It's also an incredibly serious issue for social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, where news is often talked about, debated, and forwarded to others. Bots Designed To ... (view more)

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