Articles

Mon
17
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Keep Your Business Secure in 2022

More than ever before, modern businesses rely on technology. Their efficient functioning relies on Internet services, which is unlikely to alter in the near future. As a result, as organizations get larger, computer networks develop, and massive ... volumes of data are sent every day between computer systems. According to a survey conducted by Accenture, 68% of organizations across various industries believe that cyber security threats are growing. According to an FBI assessment, cyberattacks have grown by 300% since the epidemic began. Securing businesses large and small is vital to ensure the ... (view more)

Thu
13
Jan
John Lister's picture

Google Cries Foul Over iMessage Color Scheme

Google has solved all the world's tech problems, tackled world peace, reversed climate change, and is now dangerously bored. At least that's the only rational explanation why it is now arguing with Apple on Twitter about the color that appears ... behind text in messages. The ridiculous row is about the iMessage feature on iPhones that lets users send messages free of charge over the Internet rather than through SMS text messaging. Originally only iPhone users could send messages on the service but in 2016, Apple extended it to Android devices through a Google Play Store app. Apple originally ... (view more)

Thu
13
Jan
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 The checks were withdrawn from his account under a company named Wowser E Services (aka ...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)

Tue
11
Jan
John Lister's picture

Google, Facebook Fined $237M Over Cookies

Facebook and Google have been fined a total of $237 million for the way they ask users for permission to issue cookies. French regulators said the companies breached rules that say refusing cookies must be as simple as accepting them. The fines came ... from the CNIL, France's primary data privacy regulator. It found the companies had breached France's Data Protection Act. In both cases, the companies breached rules on cookies that took effect last year with a deadline of March 31st for compliance. (Source: cnil.fr ) Unfair Choice Facebook was fined approximately $68 million USD while Google was ... (view more)

Mon
10
Jan
John Lister's picture

WhatsApp Gets Extra Security Features

WhatsApp is adding a series of privacy and security features. However, several will be switched off by default so users should consider activating them. The messaging app, now owned by Facebook, has become popular thanks to two key features. It's ... designed to handle groups well so that users can send a message to a specific group of friends or colleagues in a more intuitive manner than Facebook's own messaging tools. It also uses end-to-end encryption, meaning not only that intercepting a message is of little use, but that Facebook cannot access messages even if it wanted to or was ordered to ... (view more)

Fri
07
Jan
John Lister's picture

Samsung TV Remote Charged By Wi-Fi

Samsung has made a battery-less remote control that takes power from Wi-Fi signals. It's proof the concept works, though it's still very questionable if the same approach could work on devices such as phones or laptops. The remote is an update on an ... existing "Eco Remote" model that uses solar power to top up the battery. Although solar is naturally very limited inside a home, a rechargeable battery in a remote only needs very slow, low-power topping up as it uses little energy to operate. Samsung says it then explored a range of wireless charging technologies to add to the solar in a second ... (view more)

Thu
06
Jan
John Lister's picture

Old-School BlackBerrys Bite The Dust

BlackBerry has announced its phones will finally stop working this week. It's a move six years in the making and in many ways it's insane that anyone is still using them. Specifically the company will be hitting the killswitch on services for ... BlackBerry 7.1 and earlier, the software for the BlackBerry 10 device, and BlackBerry PlayBook 2.1 (for its short-lived tablet range) and earlier. The move only affects devices running BlackBerry's own software. It doesn't affect its range of Android-based devices. Although the number of people affected is relatively low, BlackBerry is keen to get the ... (view more)

Tue
04
Jan
John Lister's picture

Windows Offers Driver Update from 1968

Microsoft has reassured Windows users that they don't have to worry about an update that appears to have been pending for more than 50 years. The confusing listing for Intel drivers is simply a workaround to make sure computers keep running. The odd ... data appears in the "Optional Updates" section of the Windows Updates page in the Windows 10 and 11 Settings tool. These updates will only ever be installed when the user manually selects them, even if they have the automatic updates setting switched on. In a drop down menu for driver updates, most users will see a variety of listings ... (view more)

Sat
01
Jan
John Lister's picture

LastPass Blunder Causes Security Scare

Users of popular password manager tool LastPass have reported worrying emails that suggest their master passwords have been compromised. LastPass says the emails may have been sent mistakenly and that it has no evidence of any security breach. Like ... most such tools, LastPass let users create a single memorable password, the name coming from the idea it's the "last password" users will ever need to remember. This password is necessary to unlock a private vault of stored encrypted passwords for other sites. One of the big keys to the service is that LastPass itself has no access to the master ... (view more)

Thu
30
Dec
John Lister's picture

Alexa Tells Child to Play With Power Outlet

Amazon has apologized after its digital assistant Alexa told a 10-year old to connect a coin to a power socket. While there's a simple explanation, it raises even more questions. The girl's mother said she had previously been watching YouTube videos ... with a variety of safe physical challenges, then used voice control to ask an Alexa-enabled device for a "challenge to do." To the mother's shock, the device replied "The challenge is simple: plug in a phone charger about halfway into a wall outlet, then touch a penny to the exposed prongs." Fortunately the mother heard the reply, though she says ... (view more)

Wed
29
Dec
John Lister's picture

Samsung Plans Triple-Screen Phone

Samsung has got approval for a patent on a phone with a double-folding mechanism. It would effectively be a tablet computer that fits in the pocket. The company already has a range of foldable phones with a single hinge, meaning a double-width ... screen. The new patent is for a double-hinge with one folding forward and one folding backward, a little like a "zed bed" mechanism. (Source: techradar.com ) The patent shows that the screens would be arranged so that an "ordinary" size screen was usable when the phone was fully folded. When the phone was unfolded, the entire display would be accessible ... (view more)

Mon
27
Dec
John Lister's picture

DuckDuckGo Launches Desktop Browser

The developers behind a "privacy focused" search engine are working on their own desktop web browser. DuckDuckGo is already available in mobile form with a reported 150 million downloads. The DuckDuckGo search engine is based around user privacy, ... with minimal data collected. It's funded through ads that relate solely to the search term a user looks for, rather than any data about their browsing history. The reduced reliance on personal data does arguably mean the search results aren't as relevant as with other search tools, though the developers claim this is better because users don't get a ... (view more)

Fri
24
Dec
John Lister's picture

Microsoft 'PowerTools' Make Windows Easier

Microsoft has a bunch of potentially-useful Windows 10 and 11 tools available to install. Rather oddly though, they aren't part of the Windows Update system. Instead users must manually download and install the "PowerToys" tools from independent ... software site GitHub. While that site is generally safe, users can follow the link from Microsoft's powertoys page to make sure they get the latest edition. The package includes 11 tools which generally offer simple solutions to very specific problems. Many are based on the work of independent developers. Find Your Mouse Easily Mouse utilities is ... (view more)

Thu
23
Dec
John Lister's picture

Dell 'Concepts' include Modular Laptop

Dell has unveiled some creative ideas for new computers and gadgets to meet changing use demands. However, it's only calling them "Concepts." At the moment and there's no guarantee any of them will become available to buy. Perhaps the most credible ... is Concept Luna, a laptop that's easier to repair and thus more sustainable. The goal is to make it easier to replace specific components rather than having to buy a new device altogether. Historically that's been difficult with laptops as the components need to be packed much tighter together than in a desktop case, making it more fiddly to make ... (view more)

Wed
22
Dec
John Lister's picture

Biden Signs Exec Order to Overhaul Gov't Sites

US President Joe Biden has ordered the federal government to modernize its online services. It aims to remove a "time tax" on citizens navigating inefficient services. It comes in an executive order, which doesn't require legislation passed by ... Congress. The order says the US government is responsible for "designing and delivering services with a focus on the actual experience of the people whom it is meant to serve." (Source: whitehouse.gov ) The main requirement of the order is to overcome the current problem of limited interoperability between different government sites, which often require ... (view more)

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