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Thu
16
Apr
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Delays Windows 10 Security Deadline

Microsoft is delaying its end of support for machines running older versions of Windows 10. It's the latest alteration made because of people working from home. The change affects any computers that haven't been updated since the big twice-yearly ... update in October 2018, formally known as version 1709 for business users and 1809 for home users. It might seem odd that some people are running those versions given the option to automatically have Windows update regularly. However, it's also understandable that some people might have been put off updating at that point as the October 2018 update ... (view more)

Mon
16
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: Win10 Home Disable Password Complexity, Expiration

Infopackets Reader Ginny S. writes: " Dear Dennis, I am running Windows 10 Home and all the sudden it is telling me that I need to change my password and that my Windows password must meet complexity requirements . I have never had this issue ... before. To make matters worse it tells me that the password needs to be minimum of 8 characters and contain both upper and lower case, plus digits. This has happened twice already and I have a hard enough time remembering my passwords. How can I disable the Windows 10 Home password complexity and expiration ? All the posts I've come across all mention ... (view more)

Tue
05
Nov
John Lister's picture

Explained: What is Mesh WiFi? vs Extender, Router?

Ask online about ways to improve the Internet connection around your home, and you'll often come across users recommending that you use a "mesh WiFi" system. So, what is mesh WiFi? Is mesh WiFi better than regular WiFi? What about mesh vs an ... extender, or mesh vs a router? How does mesh compare to Google Nest? How do you set up a mesh Wifi network? We'll answer those questions and more below. Related: How to Fix: Stop Neighbors Stealing My WiFi What is Mesh WiFi? Mesh WiFi is a way to combat poor wireless reception, particularly in houses with multiple floors, thick walls or an ... (view more)

Wed
11
Jul
John Lister's picture

Smart Home Tech Dangerous if Relationships Sour

Researchers have warned that smart home technology could be used to aid domestic abuse. They've put together resources for people who could be threatened by abusive partners or former partners. The list comes from University College London and ... follows a New York Times article detailing some of the way domestic abusers have turned smart home tech into a tool to further their abuse. One example is a former partner taking account of a security loophole to continue to access a smart doorbell. That meant they could not only watch video of the partner leaving or returning from the house and monitor ... (view more)

Wed
04
Apr
John Lister's picture

Apple Watch May Have Blown Murder Alibi

A murder suspect's alibi has been thrown into doubt by data on the victim's Apple Watch. The smartwatch appears to show the victim died much earlier than the suspect claims. Caroline Nilsson is accused of killing her mother-in-law Myrna Nilsson in ... 2016. Police were called to the house just after 10 pm when a neighbor saw Caroline come out of the house wearing a gag. Myrna was found dead inside the home. In her defense, Caroline claims that her mother-in-law was followed home by a group of men in a utility vehicle and argued with them outside for 20 minutes. Caroline claims she was in her ... (view more)

Thu
08
Mar
John Lister's picture

Survey: One In Five Have Smart Speakers

Nearly 47 million Americans have a 'smart speaker' device in their home according to a new survey. If true, the devices' user base has gone from almost nothing to one-in-five people in just two years. While models vary, smart speakers are small ... devices that perform two main functions: playing music (often from online streaming services) and answering spoken questions as a quicker alternative to typing something into a smartphone or computer. In some cases they are also used to control home devices such as lights and heating. The study says 19.7 percent of people have access to a smart speaker ... (view more)

Thu
01
Mar
John Lister's picture

Amazon Still Wants to Open Your Front Door

Amazon has bought a company that makes video doorbells. The purchase of "Ring" is likely to boost a service where Amazon couriers are able to get into customer homes to drop off parcels safely. The Amazon Key service was developed as a way to get ... round the twin problems of it being inconvenient to have to wait in for deliveries, but insecure to have couriers leave parcels on doorsteps. It works with 'smart' electronic door locks where householders can unlock their door with their smartphone, either by tapping the screen or simply having their phone in their pocket as they approach ... (view more)

Tue
16
Jan
John Lister's picture

Report: Google Home, Chromecast Break WiFi

Several Google devices such as the Google Home and Chromecast appear to be causing temporary WiFi outages on home routers. Google says it's working on the problem, but some critics believe it's a design flaw rather than a bug. Originally it appeared ... the problem was specifically restricted to one gadget, the Google Home Max, and affected only "Archer" brand routers. However, later reports have identified the problem in other models of the Google Home smart speaker, along with the Chromecast range that 'casts' Internet audio and video to a television set. WiFi Dropping Out Reports ... (view more)

Wed
03
Jan
John Lister's picture

ISP Issues Bizarre Warning to Customers Engaged in Piracy

An Internet provider has warned customers that "pirating online content could affect thermostats and security cameras." But the explanation is something of a stretch. The warning comes from Armstrong Zoom, an Internet Provider that serves several ... states from Ohio over to the Washington DC area. It's written to customers whose connections have reportedly been used to infringe copyright. The letter says customers won't face immediate action but will face sanctions for repeat offenses. That's similar of an industry-wide effort that tried to cut down on piracy (including a 'six strike' ... (view more)

Fri
06
Oct
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: 'Windows Setup has Failed to Validate the Product Key' Error

Infopackets Reader Jill G. writes: " Dear Dennis, I have a Windows 7 Pro machine that we use at work which has a broken Windows Update. I have tried to do an 'upgrade repair' in hopes of fixing the issue, but the Windows installer exits immediately. ... The major issue we're facing is that our Windows 7 machine has new user accounts on it which we did not create - we suspect that it has become compromised because it has not downloaded Windows Updates in over a year. From what I read online, it is possible to upgrade from Windows 7 Pro to Windows 8 Pro (not 8.1!) which will keep my programs and ... (view more)

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