data

Mon
09
Jan
John Lister's picture

US Politicians Told to Delete TikTok

TikTok has been banned from all US federal government devices over security fears. The ban even extends to phones issued to members of the House of Representatives. The government ban was introduced in the "omnibus" spending bill recently passed by ... Congress. It gives federal employees two months to delete the app, along with any others issued by developers ByteDance, from government-issued handsets. Although the bill did not cover politicians, the House of Representatives chief administrative Catherine Szpindor has written to the house's members and staff to say the rules will now apply to ... (view more)

Wed
28
Dec
John Lister's picture

Light-Based Computing Promises Super Speeds

A computer that uses light - rather than electrons - for processing could be faster, smaller and use less power. Researchers say they've found a way to make an optical computer without the major limitations of previous models. Ultimately, everything ... a computer does is broken down into a series of calculations. In traditional computer processors, these work through a series of physical "logic gates" that either do or don't pass through an electrical signal. This creates a positive or negative electrical charge, which represents either a 0 or 1 in a single bit of data. Several researchers have ... (view more)

Tue
20
Dec
John Lister's picture

Windows 11 to Show VPN Status

Windows 11 may soon show whether or not users are connected to a VPN. It's a simple feature, but it's significant since the technology is getting such mainstream acknowledgement. VPN stands for virtual private network, a feature that has three main ... benefits. The first is that it creates an "encrypted tunnel" for data going back and forth between the user and the Internet. One analogy is that ordinary Internet traffic works like a glass tube, while a VPN is more like a totally enclosed road tunnel. In simplistic terms, it means nobody else can see what is happening as data is sent and received ... (view more)

Tue
27
Sep
John Lister's picture

SSDs More Reliable In Long-Term Test

Newly-published tests suggest solid state drives (SSDs) are much more reliable in the long term than traditional drives. The tests only cover a specific use case, but it's one that could let users find a good mix of cost and performance. SSDs work ... in a similar way to USB memory sticks, with data accessed through a flow of electricity. It means they don't have any moving parts, unlike a hard drive that spins round and has a moving arm to access data, a little like a vinyl record player. That brings several key advantages - most notably that SSDs are quicker to access data. They are also ... (view more)

Thu
22
Sep
John Lister's picture

Data Gathering 'A Security Threat'

A former diplomat says the amount of data shared and sold in the US puts the country at security risk. Karen Kornbluh said businesses gathering data on a large scale created a "national security loophole." She also points to a recent warning that ... China was attempting to gather data, both legally and illegally, about US citizens' health. The country is thought to be looking for blackmail material, for example on people in positions of power who have been treated for mental illness or embarrassing physical complaints. (Source: dni.gov ) Kornbluh previously held senior roles at the Federal ... (view more)

Mon
22
Aug
John Lister's picture

Ransomware Scammers Now Blackmailing to Leak Data

Ransomware scammers are targeting smaller businesses, partly because larger firms are refusing to pay up. Attackers are also more likely to threaten to expose data than in the pass. The statistics come from security company Coveware, which sells ... ransomware response services. While precise figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, the company reports the average (mean) payout to ransomware scammers in the second quarter of 2022 was $228,125, up eight percent on the previous quarter. (Source: coveware.com ) However, it appears that's a case of a few major attacks distorting the average. The ... (view more)

Fri
15
Jul
John Lister's picture

Google Accused of Unfair Privacy Practice

Consumer groups claim Google acts unfairly in getting permission to use personal data. They say the sign-up process makes it far more time-consuming to exercise the right to limit data use. The complaints come from consumer groups in six European ... countries who have complained to national data regulators while warning they may also launch a civil court case. The European setting is key as data laws there say companies that rely on consent to make data handling lawful must make sure the decision to give consent is based on having a meaningful choice. Businesses aren't supposed to make both ... (view more)

Tue
12
Jul
John Lister's picture

Gmail Allows for Viewing of Emails Offline

Google has added an offline mode for Gmail. It lets users read, reply and even search through Gmail messages without being online. The mode will be familiar to users of a certain age, though it's mainly aimed at people in places where Internet ... connections are unreliable such as in some remote areas or developing nations. Though the offline mode might seem like wizardry, it's an extremely simple setup with some clear limitations. It uses some of the user's hard drive to store copies of messages that are normally only kept on Google's servers. The mode only works for users running the Chrome ... (view more)

Thu
09
Jun
John Lister's picture

Twitter Fined $150 Million For Privacy Scandal

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined Twitter $150 million for unlawfully giving personal data to advertisers. The fine is so high because Twitter breached a settlement in a 2011 case. Back then, hackers broke into Twitter and were able to ... access personal information, including messages that users had set as private. The FTC said then that Twitter had misled users by making promises about how secure and private they kept user data. At that time, Twitter escaped any penalty but accepted a "consent agreement" to settle the case. That wasn't an admission of wrongdoing, but did mean ... (view more)

Fri
20
May
John Lister's picture

Facebook Drops Location Tools

Facebook is to ditch some tools which tracked a user's location. It seems to be more about the tools being little used than a sudden interest in boosting privacy. The tools all involved tracking a user's location in real time and using the ... information to provide some sort of service. Perhaps the best known was "Nearby Friends" which lived up to its name, telling users if anyone they knew on Facebook (or at least anyone who also had the feature switched on) was in the area, allowing for semi-spontaneous meet-ups. The tools also included localized weather alerts. In both cases, many users ... (view more)

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