Entries by admin

Voice-Control Your Printer

Amazon has announced its new ‘Printing With Alexa’ service that allows owners of Echo devices to operate their printer using voice commands. Print What? Printing With Alexa allows the simple “Alexa, print….” followed by what the user requires to produce a printed document.  Amazon says that the kinds of things that can be printed this […]

Amazon Review Fraud

An FT investigation appears to have uncovered an estimated 20,000 Amazon reviews where the reviewers were suspected of being paid to give a five-star rating. Reviews The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK estimates that £23 billion a year of UK consumer spending is potentially influenced by online reviews.  This makes them especially […]

Influencers Paid To Promote NHS Test and Trace

In a bid to raise awareness of responsible behaviour concerning COVID-19 among the younger age groups, the UK government is reported to be paying freelance social media influencers and reality TV stars to promote test and trace. Test and Trace Test and trace in the UK is branded as NHS but is actually outsourced to […]

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Just What Is The IoT?

With a vast and growing number of business, industry, consumer and civic IoT devices and systems now being used, we look at their advantages, the threats to the IoT and how we move forward in a way that maximises the benefits and security. The Internet of Things (IoT) IoT devices are those devices that are […]

Tech Tips – Sync Sticky Notes Across Devices

If you are using Windows 10 and need some simple, handy reminders about work, appointments, calls and more, synced across all your devices and other apps, Microsoft’s Sticky Notes app can help. Here’s how it works: Open the Sticky Notes app (type Sticky Notes in the Start menu). When you first launch Sticky Notes sign-in […]

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Ensure What You See Is Real

With the internet and particularly social media awash with pictures, videos, news, and other content which may not be all that it seems, here is a guide to spotting fake news and content. Misinformation There are a number of sources and motivations for publishing content, misleading stories, misinformation, disinformation, ’fake news’, photos and videos that […]

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Virtual London Tech Week

The successful move to virtual presentations for London Tech Week Connects, back in June, inspired September’s London Tech Week to go ahead as a fully virtual event. In June, when the country was still locked-down due to the pandemic, London Tech Connects was able to be held as an entirely virtual event over 4 days. Running […]

Brexit Border IT Systems Behind Schedule

A leaked government memo reportedly suggests that critical IT systems needed to avoid border disruption post-Brexit are behind schedule, raising the threat of border chaos for hauliers. Memo After Meeting The memo, reported by Bloomberg, from the UK Cabinet Office’s Border and Protocol Delivery Group was allegedly sent after a meeting with representatives of the logistics […]

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Microsoft Ending Support For Flash

Microsoft has announced that it is ending support for the Adobe Flash Player on Microsoft Edge (new and legacy) and Internet Explorer 11 at the end of 2020. Flash Initially released in 1996, Adobe Flash Player is software for using content created on the Adobe Flash platform and Flash Player can run from a web […]

Tech Tips – Space and Speed

On your PC, if you would like to be able to monitor how much space your apps are taking up and keep your machine running quickly by getting rid of the ones you do not need, here’s how: To check how much space your apps are using go to Settings > Apps Click on ‘Apps […]

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Making Your Router Secure

With your router in charge of all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic and controlling the Wi-Fi network for your devices, it makes sense to make it as secure as possible. Routers Your router is the device that connects your computer and other devices to a network and, via a service provider, to the Internet.  A […]

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Elon Musk Demonstrates ‘Neuralink’ Using Live Pigs

Tesla-founder and SpaceX boss Elon Musk gave an update on the progress of his Neuralink project using live pigs with the device implanted. What Is Neuralink? The Neuralink idea is to create an implantable device that can act as an interface between the human brain and a computer.  The hope is that the device could […]

Delivery Drones Get Go Ahead

Amazon’s Prime Air drone parcel delivery service has been approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test autonomous delivery drones. Prime Air Amazon Prime Air completed its first fully autonomous drone delivery as far back as 7 December 2016 and describes the service as “a future delivery system from Amazon designed to safely get […]

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Zoom Zooms Thanks to Covid

Zoom Video Communications Inc has raised its annual revenue forecast by more than 30 per cent as it converts many of its vast free user base to paid subscriptions. Pandemic Growth Zoom’s video conferencing platform received a huge boost in user numbers as lockdown began and the platform became a serious competitor to Microsoft’s Teams. […]

Tech Tips – Turn Your Phone/iPad Into A HD Webcam

Whilst availability of peripheral-hardware for remote-working may be less of an issue now that it was a just a couple of short months ago (when Covid-19 took off and caused a shortage of equipment) remember that if you are struggling for a webcam to use at home or in the office, don’t overlook your trusty […]

What Are UVC Wands and Do They Work?

In the fight against COVID-19 (and as made famous by U.S. President Trump’s comments about UV light) UVC wands may kill viruses and pathogens, but are they really a safe or effective tool in the fight against COVID-19? What Are UVC Wands? UVC light is a kind of ultraviolet electromagnetic light/radiation that has short wavelengths (between […]

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Lockdown Love Scams

Details emerged this week of a scam whereby a man claiming to be on a top-secret military mission contacted a lady on a dating site and encouraged her to switch to an encrypted message service in order to steal money and personal details. Hooked In this particular scam, reported by the BBC, the victim appears […]

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Can Wearable Devices Spot Early Symptoms of COVID?

As wearable devices such as fitness wristbands and watches track signs such as body temperature, could they be used to help detect the early signs of COVID-19 infection and thereby help public health responses? Testing There are now many ‘wearables’ (health and fitness related devices) on the market such as Fitbits (and other fitness-tracking wristbands), […]

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Record Broadband Compensation Pay-Outs

Ofcom’s annual report shows that a record-breaking £20.7m in compensation was paid to broadband customers under the new automatic compensation scheme in the last six months of 2019. The Automatic Compensation Scheme Back in November 2017, Ofcom announced that broadband and landline customers would, under a planned new scheme (in two years) automatically be able […]

Tech Tips – One-Click Fix For Accessibility

If you are using Word (or any Office app) in Windows 10, there is a one-click way to make sure that your messages and documents can be read by people of all abilities.  Here’s how: With your chosen document open click on ‘Review’ (top menu). Click on ‘Check Accessibility’ (top left). Follow any correction instructions […]

Back To Work ! (at the office)

For those whose workplace would normally be the office, going ‘back to work’ after remote working during the pandemic has its own challenges, so here is a brief reminder and checklist for moving back to the office to work. New Rules To Protect Physical and Financial Health The return to office requires new rules and […]

Toyota To Upload Driver’s Data To Amazon

Toyota will use Amazon’s (AWS) cloud services for a Mobility Services Platform that will upload data from Toyota cars globally that could be used for monetised services. Data Gathering From Fleet Toyota’s platform in Amazon’s cloud will gather data from the Data Communication Module (DCM) in each car in Toyota’s global fleet which could be […]

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AI-Faked Photos and Videos Concerns

Social media analytics company Graphika has reported identifying images of faces for social media profiles that appear to have been faked using machine learning for the purpose of China-based anti-U.S. government campaigns. Graphika Detects Graphika, which advertises a “Disinformation and Cyber Security” service (whereby it can detect strategic influence on campaigns) has reported detecting AI-generated […]

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Ritz Roasted

Some diners with bookings at the Ritz Hotel were reportedly targeted by phone scammers who posed as hotel staff to steal credit card details. What Happened? The ID spoofing attack involved the fraudsters pretending to be hotel staff, phoning people who already had a dining reservation at the Ritz and asking them to confirm their […]

Tech Tips – Use The Timeline

If you’re using Windows 10 and you need to quickly find a document that you’ve worked on in the past using the Timeline can help you to find it and start working where you left off. To find files using the timeline: Either select Task View on the taskbar or press Windows logo key + […]

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Remote Working and Office 365

Remote working during the pandemic has made businesses look more closely at what IT tools are best for the job.  Here is a look at what Microsoft’s Office 365 has to offer. Remote Working ONS figures show that 53 per cent of those in the information and communication industries (for an example ) had the […]

Trump Terminates TikTok

The Trump administration’s next high-profile target in its Chinese trade-war is the hugely popular video-sharing mobile app TikTok, which has been slapped with a 45-day ban in the U.S. from 20 September 2020. Executive Orders Chinese apps TikTok (from parent ByteDance) and WeChat (from parent Tencent) have received Executive Orders forbidding “any transaction by any […]

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No More Laptops From Toshiba

Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation has announced that it has now transferred the remaining 19.9 per cent of its outstanding shares in its PC business (re-branded as Dynabook Inc.) to Sharp Corporation. Helped By Foxconn Back in June 2018, Japan’s Sharp Corp announced that it was buying Toshiba Corp’s personal computer business for $36 million.  The purchase made […]

Starling … an Example of Challenger Bank Boosted During Pandemic

A statement to investors from Anne Boden, CEO of Starling, gives an example of how and why starter banks and Fintech have seen a rise in popularity over the period of the pandemic. Starling Starling is a London-based, digital, mobile-only challenger bank that was designed and formed in 2014 by Anne Boden, a banker with […]

Tech Tips – Translate Text On The Fly

If you are using Word in Windows 10 and you would like a really fast and easy way to translate text into another language and include it in your document, here’s how. Highlight the text in your Word document that you would like to translate. Right-mouse click and select ‘Translate’. Select the language to translate […]

Try Using Microsoft ‘Surveys’ Function

With surveys, quizzes and polls providing some valuable insights that can be used for marketing and content creation, we look at and compare the survey solutions that Microsoft and others offer. Surveys, Quizzes and Polls Surveys, quizzes and polls can have a variety of value-adding uses for businesses.  For example: To gather opinions on issues, […]

Apple Wants Rent Cuts With UK Landlords

It has been reported that due to the effects of the pandemic on the UK high street, even tech giant Apple is trying to negotiate a 50 per cent rent cut with its retail landlords. Reports The reports, which appeared in the UK’s Sunday Times, allege that Apple has asked the landlords of its 38 […]

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The Start of Google and Facebook Paying For News Content?

At a time when smaller news outlets have been forced to close and big tech companies dominate distribution, the Australian Government may make the likes of Google and Facebook pay for their news content. What’s The Problem? The pandemic has made the media landscape in Australia a very bleak one with the closing of newspapers, […]

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AI, Data Protection & The ICO

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published guidelines to help clarify how data protection principles apply to AI projects. The Document The guidance document (now a pdf available online on the ICO website) was produced by an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Oxford and is aimed at those […]

Tech Tips – Dictation

If you’d like to give your hands a rest, if you need to quickly capture notes, or even if you’d like to take an easy written record of the information given in a phone call, try using the dictation feature in Windows 10.  Here’s how to use it: Firstly, you’ll need a microphone and a […]

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Antitrust and Big Tech

With U.S. Congress members grilling the bosses of the big tech companies this week with a view to deciding if their companies have become too big and powerful, in this article we take a look at the Antitrust laws and issues. Antitrust Laws In the U.S., home of big tech companies Facebook, Apple, Google and […]

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Face Masks Beat Facial Recognition

New research has shown that even the most advanced facial recognition algorithms can only identify as little as 50 per cent of faces when masks are worn. Test Although necessary in the pandemic, mask-wearing appears to be posing a serious challenge to even the most advanced facial recognition systems, meaning that security and policing may […]

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Remote Working Means Public Cloud and DaaS Spend Increase

Gartner has forecast continued spending on the public cloud and particularly desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) through 2020, fuelled by remote working during the pandemic. Growth The Gartner market watcher’s global public cloud services market forecast indicates that the move to home working necessitated by the COVID-19 shutdown has boosted spending on the public cloud and that it […]

Free Delivery of Amazon Groceries

Amazon is now taking on the supermarkets and Ocado in the UK with free grocery deliveries from its Amazon Fresh service. Amazon Fresh The Amazon Fresh grocery service enables Amazon Prime customers, firstly in London and parts of the Home Counties, then across the UK by the end of the year, to buy groceries online […]

Tech Tips – Getting Organised Using Microsoft Edge

If you are using Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, here’s a way that you can organise multiple browser tabs that you need to have open for a job or project into a ‘Collection’ that you can easily access later. To make a ‘Collection’ of relevant web pages that you have open in multiple browser tabs: […]

1,000% More Gold In E-Waste Than Gold-Ore

With 50 million tonnes of electronic waste produced each year and enterprises having policies in place for its disposal, there is still the problem in many countries of too much of it ending up in landfill or being informally disposed of. What Kind of Electronic Waste A 2019 UN report showed that the world produces […]

Test and Trace Breaks GDPR Say Campaigners

The Open Rights Group (ORG) has said that England’s COVID-19 Test and Trace programme is in breach of GDPR. Test and Trace The COVID-19 test and trace system requires people to share personal data such as their name and date of birth, their address, places they’ve recently visited and the personal details of those they […]

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Celebrity Twitter Accounts Hacked For Bitcoin

Twitter accounts of celebrities including Barack Obama and Bill Gates were hacked and used to operate a scam, asking people to donate bitcoin. What Happened? Hackers used the tools that were normally only available to Twitter staff to attempt to hack into the accounts of 130 high profile people including the former U.S. president.  It […]

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Lockdown Has Promoted Digital Learning Among Adults

Research by techUK with Ipsos MORI and Cisco has revealed that almost 60 per cent of UK adults are interested in developing their digital skills following lockdown. A Thirst For More The research has revealed that, following the experience of having to work from home and learn to use collaborative online work and communications platforms, […]

Tech Tips – How To Lock Your Screen

If you’re using Windows 10 and you’d like to prevent others from seeing what you’re working on, if you need to walk away from your device, here’s a quick and easy way to lock your screen: Press the Windows logo key + L. Or, if you’re using a Mac, press Control + Command + Q. […]

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LinkedIn Sued Over Clipboard-Reading Allegations

An Apple iPhone user in the U.S. has sued LinkedIn over allegations that its app was reading the contents of an Apple device user’s clipboard without their knowledge. Spying Complaint The complainant, Adam Bauer, alleges that LinkedIn’s app, up until a recent update, was reading the information stored on the Universal Clipboard of Apple devices […]

UK Rejects Huawei Equipment For 5G Infrastructure

The UK government has gone back on its original decision to use some Huawei equipment in non-core parts of the UK’s 5G network and has opted to remove all Huawei kit by 2027. The Waiting Is Over For the last couple of weeks, Huawei, China and the U.S. have been awaiting the UK governments decision, […]

Free Cybersecurity Testing Module For Remote Workers

A new penetration testing module as part of the National Cyber Security Centre’s Exercise in a Box toolkit will help remote workers of SME’s to improve their cybersecurity. The free cybersecurity testing module for remote workers is the newest exercise to be launched by NCSC. What Is ‘Exercise In A Box’ ? ‘Exercise in a […]

Digital Addiction

Digital Addiction ‘Digital addiction’ is a controversial term that is used to broadly describe sets of compulsive behaviour which relate to the use of digital technology mobile phones, social media, and the Internet. It is thought that a recent generation which has grown with the Internet and smartphones (many of whom have also grown up […]

Tech Tips – Slide To Shutdown

If you’d like to create a fast, easy, and decorative way to shut down your Windows 10 PC, creating a ‘slide to shutdown’ shortcut allows you to simply pull down an on-screen picture blind to turn off your PC.  Here’s how to set it up: Desktop, right-click, select shortcut. In the Type the location of […]

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Huawei – A Ban in the Balance

North America has already banned US companies from working with Huawei so with that in mind and with a decision by the UK about Huawei’s involvement in the country’s 5G infrastructure due very soon, we take a closer look at the issues involved. 5G The UK has been awaiting the development of the 5th generation […]

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Twitter to Replace “Master”, “Slave” and “Blacklist”

Twitter has announced that it will be replacing programming language terms such as “master”, “slave” and “blacklist” with more inclusive ones. Programming Language Those familiar with programming language and email terms will be familiar with phrases such as “blacklist” and “whitelist” with black indicating bad. Also, “master” and “slave” where one device or process controls […]

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Police Crack Encrypted Network To Reach Crime Gangs

An international law enforcement operation has led to the cracking of the EncroChat Android phone network and the arrest of criminal gangs. The Network The France-based EncroChat network, which was discovered by the French National Gendarmerie in 2017, is an encrypted network for Android handsets with their GPS, camera and microphone functions disabled.  The handsets, which have reportedly […]

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Competing Against Huawei

President Trump’s administration is reported to have met with major US communications networking companies in a bid to address the need for improved competition with Huawei globally. Huawei Issues Many of the issues and incidents that have led to this point, where the Chinese communications company Huawei appears to be a focus for much criticism […]

Tech Tips – Open A Link In A New Browser Tab With Just One Click

If you would like to know how to save time and easily open a link in an online document in its own new browser tab using one just click, here’s how: If you are browsing an online document that has a link in it, click the ‘middle’ button of your mouse over the link. The […]

Why Big Brands Are Boycotting Social Media

Large, mainly U.S.-based companies (many of which are household names) have said that they will be boycotting Facebook and Instagram in terms of paid advertising in July over concerns about the moderation of content and hate speech on the platforms. “Stop Hate For Profit” The stopping of paid promotions on the platforms in July is […]

New Edge Browser To All Windows 10 Users

The new, improved version of Microsoft’s Edge browser has been launched in an update to all Windows 10 users in a move that will give Google’s Chrome some competition. Available To Millions of Users In being made available via update to Windows 10 versions 1803, 1809,1903 and 1909. The new version of Edge (Edge replaced […]

New “Watch Party” Feature For Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime subscribers can be part of 100-viewer “Watch Party” groups and enjoy access to thousands of movies and films as well as chat between group members. Watch Party The Watch Party feature, which is similar to that of Netflix, allows an Amazon Prime member to simultaneously stream and share their favourite movie or TV […]

New Windows File Recovery Tool Resurrects Deleted Files

Microsoft’s own Windows File Recovery tool allows users to use a command line app to resurrect or restore a variety of file-types that may have been mistakenly deleted, formatted, or have become corrupt. File Recovery Microsoft’s File Recovery app, which is free from the Microsoft store and requires Windows 10 build 19041 or later, is […]

Tech Tips – How To Keep Your Wi-Fi Connection Secure

A good, secure Wi-Fi connection is often the backbone of many peoples’ day-to-day online business and is a key-component of data security, so, here are a few tips for making sure that your wireless connection is secure: Make sure that your router’s firmware is up to date and that you have replaced the router’s default […]

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Medical Apps For Smart Devices

The global pandemic and news about tracking apps have put health and technology in the spotlight.  With this in mind, here are some examples of medical apps for smart devices and smart health products that involve a link between smart wearables, apps, and other smart products. Just A Look, Not An Endorsement Before we delve […]

Big Tech Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

Big companies such as Google, Facebook and Netflix have committed to considerable financial support for black-owned businesses as Black Lives Matter gains momentum. Google In the wake of the killing of George Floyd by U.S. police, followed by world-wide support for the Black Lives Matter (BLM) campaign, Google has announced a “set of concrete commitments” that are […]

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Microsoft Adds Custom Backgrounds and Live Captions in Teams

Microsoft has added custom backgrounds and live captions to Teams in its latest move in the battle between video conferencing and collaborative working online platforms. New Features in Teams Following on from its original announcement in April about the introduction of pre-selected backgrounds or a blur effect (introduced last year)  in video calls on the […]

Tech Tips – How To Create Start Menu Folders

Windows 10 users can help users to get organised with their current work by creating named Start menu folders that have a group of relevant live app Tiles in them.  Here’s how to create your Start menu folders: Click on the Start menu (bottom left). Click and drag the app tiles that you need for […]

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Facial Recognition Backlash

The recent killing of George Floyd by U.S. police appears to have been the catalyst for a backlash by tech companies such as Amazon and Microsoft who are banning the police from using facial recognition software until more regulations are in place. Problems Whilst facial recognition technology has benefits in terms of its possible impact […]

COVID-19 Advances Move To Cashless Society

A survey has shown how the need for most people to pay using a contactless card in shops, digital/ mobile and online means for purchases during lockdown may have sped up the move towards a cashless future. Survey The survey of 2,000 people, by Nationwide Building Society, showed that the average respondent had gone over […]

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Voice and Contactless Technologies For a Safer Workplace

With businesses looking to ensure COVID-safe working conditions, the use of voice and contactless interfaces could help provide safer ways of carrying out daily work tasks. Report A recent report by 451 Research states that technology generally will play a crucial role for businesses continuity post-lockdown and that in the past 2 years (in the […]

NatWest’s Extra Layer of Behavioural Biometrics Security

In partnership with Visa, NatWest has added an invisible layer of behavioural biometrics as part of an authentication process that will enable compliance with a new EU regulation. Which Regulation? The Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) regulation, which is part of the EU’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) comes into force in 2021. The SCA regulation is intended to […]

Tech Tips – Save Time With Aero Shake

If you’ve got a screen full of windows open on Windows 10 and you need to unclutter your screen so you can concentrate on just the one you’re working on, the old ‘Aero Shake’ trick still works and can save time. Here is how to use it: Left-click on the title bar of the Window […]

Tech Tips – How to Have Better Video Chats

If you would like to improve your video conference calls in terms of how things look, sound and operate, here are a few tips: Consider using a webcam rather than the built-in laptop cam.  It may be better quality (picture and sound) plus it offers flexibility in positioning. Try using a slightly side-on angel for […]

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Electric Vehicles, Batteries & Renewables

7 million electric vehicles are already on the world’s roads and it is predicated that 31 per cent of the overall car fleet will be electric by 2040 (i.e. 58% of all vehicles sold). How these vehicles are powered by (or can store) renewable energy is the subject of discussion, planning and speculation. Renewable Energy […]

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COVID Alerts From Google Maps

Google Maps is now issuing COVID-19 related alerts to those looking for public transport directions in cities, looking for medical facilities and testing centres, and for those crossing borders. New Alerts Google has announced on its blog that it is augmenting its Google Maps information with alerts relating to COVID-19 restrictions, requirements and advice depending […]

Vertical Take-Off Air Taxi

German vertical take-off air taxi start-up company Lilium has just received a major funding boost from Baillie Gifford, the second-biggest shareholder in Tesla. Additional Funding Lilium had already raised $340 million, $240 million of which came from China’s Tencent. They further boosted their coffers with a further $35 million thanks to funding from Scottish company Baillie […]

Tech Tips – How To Stop Background Apps

Here’s how to stop background apps from running in the background on Windows 10 as they can use up more of your battery power and data. Go to: Settings > Privacy > Background apps. To stop all from running, toggle ‘Let apps run in the background’ to ‘Off’. You also have the option of choosing […]

What Are Cookies And What Do They Do?

Cookies perform functions and provide information that helps website users, businesses, publishers, and advertisers. This article looks at what cookies are, what they do, and the legislation that affects how they are used. What Are Cookies? Cookies are text files sent by the website you are on and stored on your browser as a record […]

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Beware of Fake Contact Tracer Messages

Just as you thought that cybercriminals had exploited every aspect of the pandemic, there are now warnings to beware of fake contact tracer messages. Contact Tracing in the UK Here in the UK, NHS contact tracers are now contacting people who are believed to have been in close contact with those who have tested positive for […]

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Google Store Takes Down App That Removes Chinese Software

Google has removed an app from its Play Store that was designed to help users to detect and delete apps that were made in China. More Than 1 Million Downloads The Remove China Apps, which is reported to have been downloaded by more than a million people on its first day has now been removed […]

How To Bulk-Delete or Hide Old Facebook Posts

We show you how to bulk-delete or hide old Facebook posts based on a variety of filters, using Facebook’s new ‘Manage Activity’ tool. Change With so many subscribing to Facebook over the last 15 years it is likely that over time, users posts on their timelines reflect changes in their views, attitudes, appearance, relationships and more. […]

Tech Tips – How To Change The Background In Zoom

Here is how to change the background in Zoom to something that is a little more interesting than an overcrowded bookshelf: In the Zoom app, click your profile (at the top right), and then click Settings.  On the left-hand menu, click Virtual Background.  Choose a default background (provided by Zoom) by clicking on it.  There […]

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What Is Vishing? And How to Guard Against It

‘Vishing’, or ‘phishing over the phone’ is on the rise and in this article, we look at what vishing is, and the techniques used. We show examples and explain how to guard against it. What Is Vishing? The word Vishing is a combination of ‘voice’ and ‘phishing’ and describes the criminal process of using internet […]

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NHS App For An “Immunity Passport”

The idea of using facial recognition for Covid-19 “immunity passports” has been suggested by Andrew Bud, chief executive of iProov. The company behind the NHS app. App The NHS app system is for Android and iOS and not to be confused with the in-development COVID-19 app. It is a system for use in England and […]

eBay Port Scanning Causes Alarm

Reports that eBay has been running port scans against the computers of visitors to the platform have caused alarm over potential security issues. Port Scans Port scanning is something that many people associate with cyberattacks and penetration (‘pen’) testing.  Scripts are used to determine which ports a system is listening to. To do this packets of […]

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Internet Speed Record

Researchers from Australia’s Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT universities claim to have set a new Internet speed record of 44.2 Tbps. Fibre Connection The claim, which is featured in the ‘Nature Communications’ journal (https://www.nature.com/) refers to setting the bandwidth world record for ultra-dense optical data transmission over 75 km of standard optical fibre, with a single […]

Tech Tips – 3 Ways to help speed up your Windows 10 PC

In this week’s edition of Tech Tips we look at 3 different ways to help you to speed up your Windows 10 PC: 1. Change Power Settings If you are using a power saver plan, you can change your power settings to “Higher Performance” or “Balanced” to speed things up. This can be done via […]

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Does My Phone Have A Virus?

Have you have ever wondered “does my phone have a virus?”, if so read on. This article looks at how to tell if your phone has a virus, what to do if you think it has, and how to protect your phone. Phones are essentially powerful mobile computers that contain vast amounts of valuable personal […]

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Fuel Engine Car Sales Fall Faster Than Electric Cars

Fuel engine car sales fall faster then electric cars as Bloomberg NEF (BNEF) forecasts that sales of combustion engine cars will drop 23 per cent in 2020. Compared with worldwide electric car registrations being set to fall by only 18 per cent. Pandemic Causing Huge Car Sales Downturn With lockdown measures, a mass loss of […]

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Virtual Restart For Housing Market

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, recently announced a virtual restart for the housing market. Furthermore, technology such as virtual viewings looks set to play an important part. Hard Hit Housing With the housing marking hit extremely hard by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic Mr Jenrick highlighted how […]

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Are Masks A Challenge To Facial Recognition Technology?

As questions about the continued use of potentially unreliable and unregulated live facial recognition (LFR) technology continue. Masks used to protect against the spread of coronavirus may be presenting a further challenge to the technology. Questions From London Assembly Members A recently published letter by London Assembly members Caroline Pidgeon MBE AM and Sian Berry […]

Tech Tips – On-Demand OneDrive

This week we show you how to access all your OneDrive files without having to download them and use storage space on your Windows device. We also display how it is possible to have certain files and folders available on-demand locally on your device. Sign in to OneDrive on your device. Select the white or […]

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How ‘Dark Mode’ Can Help

If you’ve heard about (or already use) ‘dark mode’ for apps and devices but don’t know much about it, here’s a look at why it has been introduced, whether it delivers real benefits, and how to turn on dark mode in different operating systems and apps. What Is Dark Mode? Dark mode/dark theme/night mode is […]

Robotic Dog Maintains Social Distancing in Singapore

A robotic dog maintains social distancing in a trial in a park in Singapore. The robot called SPOT warns visitors to observe social distancing measures. Sign The 2-week trial in Singapore’s Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is a collaboration between Singapore’s National Parks Board (NParks) and GovTech.  A sign in the park tells visitors about the […]

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Scam Warnings For Remote Workers

More scam warnings for Zoom, Teams and Meet users as reports show hackers still use domains related to popular collaborative platforms to target remote workers with phishing scams during lockdown. Domains Almost as soon as the lockdown started, there were reports by Cybersecurity company ‘Check Point’  that there had been a major increase in new […]

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Virgin Media and O2 Merging To Compete Against BT

Virgin Media and O2 are merging to compete against BT in a £31 billion deal. The aim is to create an entertainment and telecoms company that can provide some serious competition to telecoms giant BT. Mobile & Broadband O2, owned by Spain’s Telefonica, has around 34 million mobile phone customers. O2 also provides the network […]

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Google Meet ‘Free For Everyone’

Google has entered the video conferencing market fight with the likes of Zoom and Facebook Messenger as it announces that its ‘Google Meet’ premium video conferencing service will soon be free for everyone. Google Meet Google Meet is a video conferencing service that, until now, has only been paid-for as part of G Suite, Google’s […]

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UK Contact Tracing App In A Couple Of Weeks

Matthew Gould, Chief Executive of the National Health Service’s technology group NHSX has announced that a COVID-19 contact-tracing app for the UK could be ready “in the next couple of weeks”. Bluetooth, Short-Range Most countries in Europe that have chosen to use contact-tracing apps at some point have opted for a short-range Bluetooth “handshake” between mobile […]

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Robot Food Deliveries in Milton Keynes During Lockdown

Delivery robots from U.S.-based company Starship Technologies have come into their own during the lockdown as a way of delivering food to the residents and workers of Milton Keynes. First Commercial Deployment in the UK The autonomous robot delivery Service operated by Starship Technologies is the first commercial deployment in the UK, and since the […]

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Laptops For Online Lessons at Home

Education Secretary, Gavin Williamson, has announced that the UK’s Department for Education will be providing disadvantaged children across England with a supply of laptops and tablets to help them study at home during the coronavirus outbreak. Those In The Most Vital Stages of Education The government says that the devices are intended for children in […]

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Google Blocks 18 Million Coronavirus Scam Emails Per Day

Google is reported to have been blocking 100 million phishing emails per day and 18 million email scams relating specifically to coronavirus. Millions of Scams and Spam Messages Daily On its Cloud blog on 16th April, Google reported that Gmail blocks more than 100 million phishing emails each day and over the previous week, it had blocked […]

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Amazon Can Own Deliveroo Because of Pandemic

After the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) worries last May, the CMA has now announced that Amazon can invest in food distribution company Deliveroo. Last May Last May, Amazon was a leading investor in a funding round of $575 million for UK-based food delivery company Deliveroo. At the time (17th May), Deliveroo’s founder and CEO, […]

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The Incredible 5G and COVID-19 Conspiracy Theory

Last week it was David Icke and this week it’s TV presenter Eamonn Holmes who’s given media momentum to the conspiracy theory that suggests a link between the emergence of COVID-19 and the use of 5G.  What’s going on, why, and how? The Conspiracy Theory This particular theory, which has led to attacks on 5G […]

Amazon Sacks Employees Who Questioned Pandemic Safety Measures

Amazon is reported to have sacked three employees, two of whom had recently made public statements questioning Amazon’s pandemic safety measures and one who had tried to organise better working conditions. User Experience Designers The two ‘user experience designers’ who were sacked by Amazon this week, Maren Costa and Emily Cunningham, had already been the […]

Google’s Drone-Deliveries Boosted By Pandemic

The value of drone delivery services appears to have been realised now that the world’s population centres are in lockdown, with Alphabet’s (Google’s) drone deliveries doubling in test areas in the U.S. and Australia. What Drone Delivery Service? Alphabet Inc.’s Wing service offers parcel delivery by special drone aircraft.  In the U.S. the service was […]

Make Your Own Adverts With YouTube’s Free Video Builder Tool

YouTube has launched YouTube Video Builder, a free tool that enables businesses to easily make short video adverts. Easy To Use The new free (beta) Video Builder tool enables users to create video animations from static elements such as images, text and logos, and to enhance those videos with music from YouTube’s (Google’s) library. Users can […]

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Coronavirus Tracking

Following recent Wall Street Journal reports that phone data from tech companies and data providers is being used to track the movements of Americans in order to better understand the spread of COVID-19, here’s a look at how data and apps are being used worldwide in the common fight against the virus. Americans Tracked By […]

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Facebook Launches Desktop Messenger

Search terms relating to popular collaborative working tools such as ‘Zoom’ (the most searched for), GoToMeeting, WebEx, Slack and Microsoft Teams have also seen huge search volumes in Google in recent weeks. Facebook has launched a desktop Messenger app for macOS and Windows for free group video calls and chats. Huge Increase The social media giant […]

YouTube Bans 5G and COVID-19 Link Conspiracy Videos

After a recent live-streamed interview with David Icke linked the introduction of 5G technology to the emergence of the COVID-19 the pandemic, Google’s YouTube has now banned all 5G conspiracy videos. 5G Theory Far-Fetched Mr Icke’s interview, which was watched by a reported 65,000 people and in which he alleged a possible link between 5G […]

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Data Reveals Business Worries About Remote Working Challenges

London-based security company Redscan has reported that recent Google searches reveal how businesses are focused on how they can adapt to the security and technology challenges posed by remote working. Not Prepared This does appear to show, perhaps not surprisingly, given the speed at which the spread of the COVID-19 virus led to the temporary […]

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Maintaining Security on Employee Exit

When employees leave (or are asked to leave) or retire from businesses and organisations, those entities still have a legal responsibility to ensure that security levels are maintained with regards to data security. Laws For Data The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 1998 are the main legislative frameworks covering how a businesses […]

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Research Indicates Zoom Is Being Targeted By Cybercriminals

With many people working from home due to coronavirus, research by Check Point indicates that cybercriminals may be targeting the video conferencing app ‘Zoom’. Domains Cybersecurity company ‘Check Point’ reports witnessing a major increase in new domain registrations in the last few weeks where the domain name includes the word ‘Zoom’.  According to a recent […]

Google Warns Against Disabling Websites During Lockdown

Google has warned businesses that are tempted to disable or temporarily close their online business website during the coronavirus outbreak not to do so, as this could have a lasting, detrimental effect on its (SEO) search engine rankings. Why Disable or Close Down The Website? The coronavirus outbreak has meant reduced orders for many businesses but […]

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Data Caps Removed During Pandemic

The UK government has announced that the UK’s big ISP’s are removing caps on data for fixed-line broadband during the coronavirus pandemic. Fixed-Line Broadband The joint announcement by the companies, government and Ofcom will affect fixed-line broadband packages, many of which (apart from discounted packages for people on benefits) already offer unlimited data. Which Companies? […]

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Microsoft Teams User Numbers Up By 12 Million In A Week

Microsoft’s collaborative working platform ‘Teams’ is reported to have seen a massive 12 million user boost in one week as a result of remote-working through the coronavirus outbreak, and through Microsoft making the platform generally available through Office 365 from March 14. What Is Teams? Teams, announced in November 2016 and launched by Microsoft in […]

Viruses Killed By Robots

Robots armed with UV-C ultraviolet light beams that can effectively disinfect surfaces in a hospital room in 10-20 minutes are helping in the fight against COVID-19. UVD Robots, Denmark The robots, which are reported to have been shipped in considerable numbers to Wuhan in China, Asia, and parts of Europe are manufactured in Denmark’s third-largest […]

Facebook Video Quality Reduced To Cope With Demand

Facebook and Instagram have reduced the quality of videos shared on their platforms in Europe as demand for streaming has increased due to self-isolation. Lower Bitrate, Looks Similar The announcement by Facebook that a lowering of the bit-rates for videos on Facebook and Instagram in Europe highlights the need to reduce network congestion, free-up more […]

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Cybercriminals Hijacking Netflix and Other Streaming Accounts

It has been reported that the surge in the use of streaming music and video services has been accompanied by a surge in the number of user accounts being taken over by cybercriminals. Entertainment During Isolation Self-isolation and the instruction to stay at home during the next few weeks in the COVID-19 crisis has meant […]

Maintaining Security During The COVID-19 Health Crisis

The current global health crisis may bring many different IT security challenges to businesses and organisations and this article highlights some of the ways that you can prepare to keep IT security covered as best you can at this difficult time. Larger and Smaller Businesses – Some Different Challenges Larger organisations may be at an […]

Cybercriminals Take Advantage of Covid-19 Outbreak With Phishing Emails

Some cybercriminals have already taken advantage of the fear surrounding the Covid-19 outbreak by sending out phishing emails that promise cures, seek donations, or heighten panic in order to extract personal data and money. Phishing For Fear Cybercriminals rely on exploiting human error that’s often driven by emotional responses.  The coronavirus outbreak has, therefore, provided […]

Apple Announces The Closure Of All Stores Outside China Until March 27

Apple has announced that due to the global spread of COVID-19, it will be closing all of its retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27. Flexible Working A statement on the Apple website (Newsroom) highlighted how Apple is adopting “flexible work arrangements worldwide outside of Greater China”. Apple also said that those staff members […]

Coronavirus Outbreak: Remote Working

With the number of countries and cities on lockdown increasing daily more and more organisations are looking to remote working solutions to keep working during the current pandemic.  The nature of many tech industry jobs means that working from home is perhaps more possible than for many other industries, and for the UK, a 2019 *CIPD […]

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How Much Does Google Know About You?

To have access to Google’s many features and services, as with other platforms, we need to give some personal information and then sign-in, but have you ever wondered just how much information Google keeps about you and your activities? Google This article looks as some of the many different types of personal information that Google […]

Survey Reveals IR35 Tax Reforms Legal Action Risk For Private Sector Companies

A survey by ContractorCalculator has revealed that many private sector companies may be at risk of legal action through misinterpreting the new IR35 tax reforms. What Is IR35? The IR35 tax reform legislation, set to be introduced this April, is designed to stop tax avoidance from ‘disguised employment’, which occurs when self-employed contractors set up […]

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Billions Of Devices At Risk Due To Wi-Fi Chip Vulnerability

A security threat to devices, Wi-Fi access points (APs), and routers that comes from the Kr00k Wi-Fi chip vulnerability could affect billions according to security researchers. Kr00k The existence of Kr00k, also known by the catchy name of CVE-2019-15126 was made public at the recent RSA Conference in San Francisco and its discovery was attributed […]

Coronavirus Affecting Tech Shares

Coronavirus is firstly a threat to public health but the impact of the virus hitting the Chinese economy (a centre for tech goods), the threat of widescale illness among workers, the effects of measures to contain the virus and other factors have already had a serious effect on economies and tech share prices. Biggest Hit […]

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AI Skills Course Available

A free, basic AI skills course, funded by Finland’s Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment (MEAE), is being made available to citizens across the EU’s 27 member states.  Success in Finland The decision by the Finnish government to make the course available online across the EU to an estimated five million Europeans (1% of the […]

IT Security Updates issue 23

Redcar Council Victim Of Major Ransomware Cyber Attack A Northern England Borough Council has been reduced to using pen and paper to deliver key services. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council has struggled to counter a Ransomware attack which has disrupted local government digital services in the borough for more than a week. Council chiefs have told the […]

5G Explained

5G (fifth generation) is essentially the next step up and the replacement for your current 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) connection.  The main benefits that this new generation of mobile broadband should bring are faster upload and download speeds and faster communication with wireless networks (latency). Spectrum Difference Most carriers currently use low-band spectrum or […]

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Dentist’s Legal Challenges To Anonymity of Negative Google Reviewer

ABC News in Australia has reported how a Melbourne dentist has convinced a Federal Court Judge to order tech giant Google to produce identifying information about a person who posted a damaging negative review about the dentist on Google’s platform. What Happened? The dentist, Dr Matthew Kabbabe, alleges that a reviewer’s comment posted on Google […]

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Google Indexing Makes WhatsApp Group Links Visible

A journalist has reported on Twitter that WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as users think because the “Invite to Group via Link” feature allows groups to be indexed by Google, thereby making them available across the Internet. Links Visible Chats conducted on the end-to-end encrypted WhatsApp can be joined by people who are […]

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Worries About Huawei Persist

Security fears about Huawei products being used in the new 5G networks are still being expressed by the Trump administration, while Google has clarified its position on the matter. What’s So Bad About Huawei? Back in July 2018,  espionage chiefs from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. (the so-called ‘Five-Eyes’), agreed at […]

AI, Supercomputers … and Storms Dennis & Ciara

The disruption and damage caused by weather events affect businesses across the UK but having the benefit of early and detailed insights provided a by a new supercomputer system could enable businesses, organisations, agencies, local authorities and the government to plan and minimise disruption where possible, thereby saving billions of pounds per year. Climate Change […]

Google In Talks About Paying Publishers For News Content

It has been reported that Google is in talks with publishers with a view to buying in premium news content for its own news services to improve its relationship with EU publishers, and to combat fake news. Expanding The Google News Initiative Reports from the U.S. Wall Street Journal indicate that Google is in preliminary […]

‘Runet’ Test – Russia Unplugs Itself From The Internet

A little later than its original planned date of April 1st 2019, a recent test-run has seen Russia successfully ‘unplug’ itself from the Internet and prove that it can create its own state-controlled Intranet. Successfully Creating The ‘Runet’ The test, which was first announced back in February last year, is reported to have gone ahead […]

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UK Job Candidates Favour Tech-Savvy Companies

New research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Tableau Software has revealed that half of UK job candidates would reject a job offer from a company that offered no digital and data potential. Training The research results, which were obtained from 1,100 office workers and C-suite executives from across the UK, showed that a vacancy that offered digital […]

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Combatting Fake News

The spread of misinformation/disinformation/fake news by a variety of media including digital and printed stories and deepfake videos is a growing threat in what has been described as out ‘post-truth era’, and many people, organisations and governments are looking for effective ways to weed out fake news, and to help people to make informed judgements […]

Apple Fined £21M For Slowing Old iPhones

The French competition and fraud watchdog DGCCRF has fined tech giant Apple €25 million (£21 million) for slowing down some old iPhones and not telling people how to fix the problem. What Happened? Back in 2017, some iPhone users were sharing concerns online that their iPhone’s performance had slowed with age but had sped up […]

Growth in Threats To Apple Compared To Windows Machines

In a trend that appears contrary to popular perceptions, the latest Malwarebytes (annual) State of malware report has revealed that the growth in attacks on Apple endpoints is outpacing the threats targeting Windows machines. 11 Threats Per Mac Endpoint The report shows Mac threats were up (2019) four-fold year on year with 11 threats per Mac endpoint […]

Innovations/Gamechangers to Expect in 2020

This is the time of year for looking ahead to how technology could be affecting business and hopefully, enhancing our lives over the coming year and here is a selection of just some of the possible game-changing technological innovations that could be making an impact in 2020. 5G Technologies Technology and communications commentators are saying […]

Tracking For People Who Lose Things

Google Assistant is now supporting Tile’s Bluetooth tracker which means that Tile customers can use a simple voice command to enlist the help of Google Assistant in finding their lost keys, wallet, TV remote control and more. What Is Tile? Tile uses Bluetooth and a phone app to locate physical ‘Tile’ tracking devices of different […]

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WhatsApp Ceases Support For More Old Phone Operating Systems

WhatsApp has announced that its messaging app will no longer work on outdated operating systems, which is a change that could affect millions of smartphone users. Android versions 2.3.7 and Older, iOS 8 and Older The change, which took place on February 1, means that WhatsApp has ended support for Android operating system versions 2.3.7 […]

Business Leaders Lack Vital Digital Skills Says OU Survey

The Open University’s new ‘Leading in a Digital Age’ report highlights a link between improved business performance and leaders who are equipped, through technology training, to manage digital change. Investing In Digital Skills Training The latest version of the annual report, which bases its findings on a survey of 950 CTOs and senior leaders within […]

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Want A Walkie-Talkie? Now You Can Use Your Phone and MS Teams

Microsoft has announced that it is introducing a “push-to-talk experience” to its ‘Teams’ collaborative platform that turns employee or company-owned smartphones and tablets into walkie-talkies. No Crosstalk or Eavesdropping The new ‘Walkie Talkie’ feature will offer clear, instant and secure voice communication over the cloud.  This means that it will not be at risk from […]

Proposed New UK Law To Cover IoT Security

The UK government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), has announced that it will soon be preparing new legislation to enforce new standards that will protect users of IoT devices from known hacking and spying risks. IoT Household Gadgets This commitment to legislate leads on from last year’s proposal by then Digital Minister […]

Life After End-of-Life For Windows 7 Updates

Pressure from die-hard and disgruntled Windows 7 users may have been a factor in Microsoft issuing a second update to its old Windows 7 Operating System, only two weeks after the official end-of-life date of Wednesday 14 January. (Almost) No More Support Microsoft had already made many announcements that support for its Windows 7 Operating […]

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Police Images of Serious Offenders Reportedly Shared With Private Landlord For Facial Recognition Trial

There have been calls for government intervention after it was alleged that South Yorkshire Police shared its images of serious offenders with a private landlord (Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield) as part of a live facial recognition trial. The Facial Trial The alleged details of the image-sharing for the trial were brought to the attention […]

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‘Snake’ Ransomware, A Threat To Your Whole Network

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been reports of a new type of ransomware known as ‘Snake’ which can encrypt all the files stored on your computer network and on all the connected devices. Discovered Snake ransomware is so-called because it is the reverse order spelling of the ‘ekans’ file marker that it […]

Eating Lunch At Your Desk Brings Health Risks

Recent research by BUPA has highlighted how many UK workers don’t take a proper lunch break each day and end up risking their health and happiness and reducing their productivity by eating at their desks. The Number The research, which involved the study of the habits of 2,000 full-time workers revealed that almost two thirds […]

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EU Considers Ban on Facial Recognition

It has been reported that the European Commission is considering a ban on the use of facial recognition in public spaces for up to five years while new regulations for its use are put in place. Document The reports of a possible three to five-year ban come from an 18-page EC report, which has been seen […]

£100m Fines Across Europe In The First 18 Months of GDPR

It has been reported that since the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May 2018, £100m of data protection fines have been imposed on companies and organisations across Europe. The Picture In The UK The research, conducted by law firm DLA Piper, shows that the total fines imposed in the UK […]

Email Security (Part 2)

Following on from last weeks’s featured article about email security (part 1), in part 2 we focus on many of the email security and threat predictions for this year and for the near, foreseeable future. Looking Forward In part 1 of this ‘Email Security’ snapshot, we looked at how most breaches involve email, the different […]

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Glimpse of the Future of Tech at CES Expo Show

Last week, at the giant CES expo in Las Vegas, the latest technology from around the world is on display, and here are just a few of the glimpses into the future that are being demonstrated there, with regards to business-tech. Cyberlink FaceMe® Leading facial recognition company Cyberlink will be demonstrating the power of its […]

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AI Better at Breast Cancer Detection Than Doctors

Researchers at Good Health have created an AI program which, in tests, has proven to be more accurate at detecting and diagnosing breast cancer than expert human radiologists. Trained The AI software, which was developed by Good Health researchers in conjunction DeepMind, Cancer Research UK Imperial Centre, Northwestern University and Royal Surrey County Hospital was ‘trained’ to […]

Blue Light Thinking Wrong Suggests Research

New research results from the University of Manchester suggest that the popularly accepted wisdom that the sharp blue light emitted by our smartphones and laptops is harmful to our health and disruptive to our sleep may be wrong. Blue Light The current thinking, which has led to device makers adding filters to our devices (e.g. Night […]

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Email Security (Part 1)

In this week’s featured article, which is the first of two parts on what is a huge subject for businesses to tackle, we take a look at some of the important issues of email security and how businesses can try to strengthen this crucial area of their cyber-defences. Most Breaches Involve Email Over 90 per […]

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New Phishing Tracker For Office 365

Microsoft is launching a new “campaign views” tool in Office 365 that is designed to offer greater protection from phishing attacks by enabling businesses to be able to spot the pattern of a phishing campaign over individual messages. Context and Visibility Microsoft is in a good position to leverage the large amount of anti-phishing, anti-spam, […]

Real-time Phishing Protection Now Available in Chrome

Google has announced real-time phishing protection with the help of improvements to ‘Safe Browsing’ which allow Chrome to check each new site you visit against a safe list stored on your computer and with Google, so that Chrome can issue an instant warning if the site is thought to be suspicious or malicious. Phishing Problem […]

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New Google ‘Interpreter’ : Real-Time Translator For Your Mobile

Google has announced the roll out of its “interpreter mode” real-time translator on Assistant-enabled Android and iOS phones worldwide. A Back and Forth Conversation Google says that interpreter mode means that you can now use your mobile phone to have a “back and forth conversation with someone speaking a foreign language”. In fact, interpreter mode […]

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Exploring Encryption

Encryption comes from the age-old science of cryptography.  In the digital world of today, encryption refers to using electronic devices to generate unique encryption algorithms which essentially scramble messages and data, making them unintelligible to anyone who tries to intercept them, and also to provide an effective way to lock our electronic devices. Using Encryption […]

Facebook’s New Tool Allows You To Port Your Photos and Videos To Google

Facebook has announced that it is releasing a data portability tool that will enable Facebook users to transfer their Facebook photos and videos directly to other services, starting with Google Photos. Why? Facebook acknowledged in its white paper (published back in September) that under GDPR currently, and under the California Consumer Privacy Act rules next […]

Over Half of Businesses Don’t Respond To GDPR Requests On Time

The results of a survey by Talend show that 58% of businesses worldwide fail to address requests from individuals for a copy of their personal data within the one-month time limit as required by GDPR. Bad, But Better Than Last Year The survey, which involved 103 GDPR-relevant companies across the globe (84% of which were […]

Record Levels Of Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The Global Carbon Project reports that carbon dioxide emissions, which are linked to climate change, extreme weather events and rising oceans haven reached record-breaking high levels this year. Emissions High But Rate of Growth Slowing New Papers published in “Earth System Science Data,” “Environmental Research Letters” and “Nature Climate Change” contain the predictions from Global […]

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The Difference Between Backup and Disaster Recovery

We’re all familiar with the value of making a backup of business data, but how does this fit with ‘Disaster Recovery’ and ‘Business Continuity’ strategies?  This article takes a brief look at how these elements fit together to ensure that businesses can survive, function and get back up to speed when disastrous events (external or […]

Hacker’s Website Closed Down In International Operation

A website (and its supporting infrastructure) which sold a variety of hacking tools to other would-be cybercriminals has been closed down after an investigation by agencies from multiple countries including the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA). IM-RAT The main tool that the agencies were particularly interested in eradicating was the Imminent Monitor Remote Access Trojan […]

The Battle Between ‘Slack’ and ‘Teams’

With Microsoft’s announcement that it’s Teams product has 20 million daily active users (and growing), sending Slack’s share price downwards (Slack has 12 million users), the battle is well underway in the $3.5 billion chat-based collaborative working software market. What Is Slack? Slack, launched in 2013, is a cloud-based set of proprietary team collaboration tools […]

Amazon Announces Smart Office Supply Re-Ordering Device

Amazon has announced the introduction of a ‘smart’ office essentials re-ordering device called Dash Smart Shelf which uses a weight-sensing, Wi-Fi-enabled smart scale to re-order products when they’re running low. Why? According to Amazon, monitoring and reordering everyday business essentials (e.g. printer paper) can be unnecessarily time-consuming for the small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that […]

Some Of The Tech ‘Promises’ Made By The Main Political Parties

With the UK’s General Election due to take place on 12 December, many issues have been covered in the media.  One key area of interest for businesses is technology, and for those of you who may not have time to plough through the manifestos of the main parties: here’s a quick look at some of […]

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Google Or Samsung Android Cameras Could Be Spying On You

Researchers at Checkmarx say they have discovered vulnerabilities in Google and Samsung smartphone apps that could allow hackers to remotely spy on users, using their phone’s camera and speakers. Study The proof-of-concept (PoC) study results, highlighted on the Checkmarx blog reveal how the Checkmarx Security Research Team cracked into the apps that control android phone […]

Uber Loses London Licence

A decision by Transport for London (TfL) means that ride-hailing service Uber has lost its licence to carry passengers in London over safety and security failures. Why? According to TfL, it had identified a pattern of failures by Uber, including breaches that had risked the safety of passengers and drivers, plus some uninsured journeys.  Prior […]

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5G Mobile Network is 450% Faster Than 4G in Tests

Tests by Ookla, the developer of Speedtest.net, are reported to have shown that the new 5G mobile network is 450% faster than 4G. Speed According to the Speedtest.net website, the results of the testing of 5G in 29 UK cities during Q3 of 2019 generally show download speeds as being 450-475% faster than those on […]

Windows Still Needs Some Work on Tesla’s New “Cybertruck”

Tesla’s Elon Musk proudly launched the new ‘Cybertruck’ in front of the world’s media last week, only to find that the distinctly breakable difficult-to-break windows were the main focus of media reports. Cybertruck The new Tesla all-electric Cybertruck is a futuristic pickup truck / armoured vehicle which will not be manufactured until late 2021 and […]

End of Life for Windows 7 14 January 2020

Microsoft’s Windows 7 Operating system, introduced in 2009 and only intended to upgrade windows in the wake of the much-disliked Windows Vista finally reaches its end of life date on 14 January 2020.  Looking back, it was an unexpected success in many ways, and looking forward, if you’re one of the users still running Windows […]

Google To Offer Bank Accounts

Tech giant Google is crossing over into the banking world by partnering with Citigroup to offer ‘smart checking’ accounts (bank current accounts) next year as part of its ‘Cache’ project. Partnering, Not Self-Branding Google is reported to be prepared to rely heavily on the knowledge of Citibank partner in the project and will not be […]

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New Brave Browser : Blocks Ads, Pays Rewards

The new 1.0 browser from Brave removes ads and ad trackers and pays users through a reward system for viewing the ads that Brave presents. Brave? Brave is a San Francisco based start-up company, founded in 2015 and led by CEO Brendan Eich, formally of Firefox. Ad and Tracker-Free Two of the key advantages of the […]

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Despite Patches, Researchers Warn That Intel Chips Are Still Vulnerable

The New York Times has reported that despite Intel issuing patches for security flaws (that were discovered last year) in its processors, security researchers are alleging that the processors still have some serious vulnerabilities. What Flaws? In January 2018, it was discovered that nearly all computer processors made in the last 20 years contained two […]

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Research Says Memes Can Tell Between Humans and Bots

Researchers from the University of Delaware have concluded that when it comes to authentication for logins, Memes may be one of the strongest techniques to distinguish between a human and a bot. The Bot Challenge One of the great challenges to websites when it comes to authentication for logins is that software bots can fool […]

IT Security Updates issue 22

The latest news from the sector finds worrying Amazon’s IoT technologies with big cyber security flaws, could Microsoft be in trouble thanks to GDPR, and is Simjacking the next big cyber security threat? Ring Doorbell Tech Leaves Door Open To WiFi Password Hack Security analysts at Bitdefender have announced a major vulnerability with the Amazon-owned […]

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Scale of Police Computer Misuse Uncovered

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request made by think tank Parliament Street has revealed that 237 serving officers and members of staff have been disciplined for computer misuse in the last two financial years. Sackings and Resignations The FOI request, which was responded to by 23 forces also revealed that 6 employees resigned and 11 […]

$20 Million Fight Highlights Value of Social Media

The popularity and influence of two YouTube celebrities making their boxing event an all-time global Top 20 pay-per-view phenomenon and splitting a $20 million prize is a reminder of the magnifying value of online PR. What Happened? Two of the world’s leading YouTube celebrities and ‘Generation Z’ heroes Logan Paul and Olajide “KSI” Olatunji followed […]

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Google Announces New ‘Teachable Machine 2.0’ No-Code Machine Learning Model Generator

Two years on from its first incarnation, Google has announced the introduction of its ‘Teachable Machine 2.0’, a no-code custom machine learning model generating platform that can be used by anyone and requires no coding experience. First Version Back in 2017, Google introduced its first version of Teachable Machine which enabled anyone to teach their computer […]

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‘Moore’s Law’ and Business Innovation Challenged By Slow-Down In Rate of Processing Power Growth

Many tech commentators have noted a stagnation or slow-down period in computing related to ‘Moore’s Law’ being challenged, but has the shrinking of transistors within computer chips really hit a wall and what could drive innovation further? What Is Moore’s Law? Moore’s Law, named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, is based on his observation from […]

Microsoft Edge Gets Business Upgrade

Billed as “the browser and search engine for business”, Microsoft’s new Chromium-powered version of Edge (and now more serious competitor to Google’s Chrome) is set to be released in January with new business-focused capabilities. Chromium Source Back in December 2018, Microsoft announced that it was adopting the Chromium open source project, which is the web […]

Microsoft Announces New, Integrated ‘Office’ Suite App For Mobile Devices

Microsoft has announced that it is working towards the launch of its ‘Office’ mobile app (currently only available in public preview) which integrates Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps into a single app. The ‘Office’ Vision Microsoft says that the mobile app, called simply ‘Office’, represents their vision for what a productivity solution would look […]

Office 365 Voicemail Phishing Scam Warning

Security company McAfee has reported observing a phishing scam which uses a fake voicemail message to lure victims into entering their Office 365 email credentials into a phishing page. How The Attack Works According to McAfee’s blog, the first step in the phishing scam is the victim being sent an email informing them that they […]

BBC Puts News On ‘Dark Web Browser’ To Avoid Censorship

The BBC has announced that it is making its International news website available via the ‘Tor’ browser (usually associated with the ‘dark web’), in order to get around censorship in other countries. Blocking by Some Countries The BBC is concerned that countries including China, Iran and Vietnam have tried to block access to its website […]

Businesses Not Prepared For IR35 Tax Reforms

A poll by recruitment firm Hays appears to show a lack of awareness about preparedness for next year’s new IR35 tax reforms for medium-to-larger private sector organisations. What Is IR35? The IR35 tax reform legislation, set to be introduced in April 2020 is designed to stop tax avoidance from ‘disguised employment’, which occurs when self-employed […]

ICO Warns Police on Facial Recognition

In a recent blog post, Elizabeth Denham, the UK’s Information Commissioner, has said that the police need to slow down and justify their use of live facial recognition technology (LFR) in order to maintain the right balance in reducing our privacy in order to keep us safe. Serious Concerns Raised The ICO cited how the […]

Microsoft migrates 150,000 mailboxes to Exchange Online

Before releasing Office 365 to the public, Microsoft recognized the advantage–to both users and the company–of migrating to Exchange Online. Exchange Online offers the ability to access email from anywhere on any device and much more. Exchange Online is one way in which Microsoft chose to modernize its business. GMA and Microsoft want you to […]

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“Stalkerware” Partner-Spying Software Use Rises By 35% In One Year

Kaspersky researchers have reported a 35 per cent rise in the number of people who have encountered the use of so-called ‘stalkerware’ or ‘spouseware’ software in the first 8 months of this year. What is Stalkerware? Stalkerware (or ‘spouseware’) is surveillance software that can be purchased online and loaded onto a person’s mobile device. From […]

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Google Leadership Accused Of Developing Internal Surveillance Tool

Some Google employees have accused the company’s leadership of developing a browser-based file extension for all of Google’s in-house computers that could flag-up signs of workers trying to organise meetings and protests. Google Employees The story came to light in a memo written by a Google employee that is reported to have been seen and […]

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Tough Questions About Libra Cryptocurrency

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg faced a grilling from the US Congress last week over his company’s ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency plans. Libra ‘Libra’ is Facebook’s new cryptocurrency and global payment system that’s due to be launched in 2020.  Unlike other cryptocurrencies, Libra is backed by a reserve of cash and other liquid assets.  The idea of Libra […]

Facebook ‘News’ Tab on Mobile App

Facebook has launched the ‘News’ tab on its mobile app which directs users to unbiased, curated articles from credible sources in a bid to publicly combat fake news and help restore trust in its own brand. Large US Cities For Now The ‘News’ tab on the Facebook mobile app, which will initially only be available […]

Amazon Echo and Google Home ‘Smart Spies’

Berlin-based Security Research Labs (SRL) discovered possible hacking flaws in Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Home speakers and installed their own voice applications to demonstrate hacks on both device platforms that turned the assistants into ‘Smart Spies’. What Happened? Research by SRL led to the discovery of two possible hacking scenarios that apply to both […]

Why You May Be Cautious About Installing The Latest Windows 10 Update

Some of Microsoft’s enterprise-based customers may be feeling cautious about installing the latest Windows 10 update because Microsoft warns that it could stop the Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service from running. The Update and Warning The update in question is the October 15, 2019 KB4520062 (OS Build 17763.832).  The update contains a long […]

Banking App Fraud On The Rise

A recent report from cyber-security company RSA has highlighted a significant rise in fraud via fake banking apps. Number of Attacks Has Trebled The Fraud and Risk Intelligence (FRI) team at RSA have noted a tripling of the number of fraud attacks via fake mobile banking apps in the first six months of this year with […]

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Any Thumbprint Unlocks a Galaxy A10

Also, the lawsuit alleges that Equifax relied upon the username “admin” and the password “admin” to protect a portal used to manage credit disputes, thereby making it incredibly easy for any hackers to guess.  For example, many penetration testing companies will use more obvious passwords such as ‘admin’ as a basic part of their testing […]

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Equifax Hack Inevitable Says Lawsuit

A lawsuit against US Credit Rating Company Equifax relating to the massive 2017 hack alleges that the breaching of Equifax’s systems was “inevitable because of systemic organisational disregard for cybersecurity and cyber-hygiene best practices.” What Happened Back in September 2017, US Credit Rating Company Equifax was hacked and, in one of the largest recorded data […]

IT Security Updates issue 21

The latest news finds the Cookie ‘Monster’ attacking Sesame Street’s Online Webstore, FIFA 20 has had a major user data breach, spoofing emails are becoming more and more elaborate and costing companies millions, and more … Cookie Monster Malware Attacks Sesame Street Online Store Thousands of online retailers – including Sesame Street’s online webstore – […]

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Ex-Employee Claims Your G Suite Data Is Not Encrypted

A report by a former Google employee on the ‘Freedom of the Press Foundation’ website warns organisations that any data stored on Google’s G Suite is not encrypted, can be accessed by administrators and can be shared with law enforcement on request. G Suite G Suite is Google’s set of cloud-based computing, productivity and collaboration […]

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Food Writer Loses £5,000 in Phone ‘Simjacking’

Well known food writer, Jack Monroe, has reported falling victim to criminals who were able to steal £5,000 from her bank and payment accounts in a “Simjacking” attack. What Is Simjacking? Simjacking, simswapping or ‘phone hijacking’ involves criminals being able to port a person’s mobile phone number over onto on another SIM card. This is […]

Dyson Scraps “Not Commercially Viable” Electric Car

Dyson has scrapped its £2.5 billion ‘N526’ electric car project with Sir James Dyson announcing that it was “not commercially viable”. So Close The project, which could be traced back to 1993 with the development of a cyclonic vehicle exhaust that could 95 cut per cent of harmful emissions, evolved into the full-blown development of […]

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New Law To Advance Fast Broadband Roll-Out Announced

Amendments to the UK’s Electronic Communications Code will give broadband operators compulsory rights to install their apparatus on another person’s property, thereby getting around the problem of landlords not responding to requests for access to blocks of flats and apartments. The Challenge The challenge that has prompted the government to seek changes to the current […]

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Digital ‘Pressure’ For Accountants

A report by IT company Prism Solutions has highlighted how traditional accountancy firms are having to change rapidly to meet challenges such as Cloud computing, GDPR and HMRC pressing quickly ahead with ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD). MTD According to the report, the whole accountancy profession is now on the verge of an evolutionary change and […]

Thomas Cook Customers and Employees Targeted By Phishing Attacks

Security researchers at Skurio Ltd have warned employees and customers of Thomas Cook to be vigilant after it detected the registration of 53 Thomas Cook-related domains in the week after the travel operator went into receivership. Phishing Risk The risk is that cyber-criminals may be seeking to exploit a search for information from customers and […]

AI and the Fake News War

In a “post-truth” era, AI is one of the many protective tools and weapons involved in the battles that make up the current, ongoing “fake news” war. Fake News Fake news has become widespread in recent years, most prominently with the UK Brexit referendum, the 2017 UK general election, and the U.S. presidential election, all […]

Local Authorities Facing 800 Cyber Attacks Per Hour

Figures gathered by insurance broker Gallagher – through the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act – have shown that UK local authorities were hit by an average of 800 cyber-attacks every hour in the first six months of this year. Problem Could Be Bigger Than Figures Show The figures, which were based upon the 203 (out of 408) […]

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Google’s Chrome To Block Mixed Content Pages Without HTTPS

Google has announced that in a series of steps starting in Chrome 79, all mixed content will gradually be blocked by default. What Is Mixed Content? Mixed content refers to the insecure http:// sub-resources that load into https:// pages, thereby creating a possible way in for attackers to compromise what appears to be a secure web […]

AI and Facial Analysis Job Interviews

Reports of the first job interviews conducted in the UK using Artificial Intelligence and facial analysis technology have been met with mixed reactions. The Software The AI and facial analysis technology used for the interviews comes from US firm HireVue. The main products available from HireVue for interviewing are Pre-Employment Assessments and Video Interviewing. For […]

Email Signature Legally Binding For Lawyer

A recent ruling by the High Court that an email containing an automated signature is legally binding proved costly to the lawyer who sent such an email on behalf of his client that included the wrong price for a land sale. £25,000 Below The unfortunate lawyer, Daniel Tear, who sent an email to another lawyer […]

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Windows Virtual Desktop Generally Available Now

Microsoft has announced that its Windows Virtual Desktop is now generally available worldwide on Azure and will include Windows 7 free Extended Security Updates for up to three years. Windows Virtual Desktop Windows Virtual Desktop from Microsoft, which was announced last September but has just been made generally available worldwide, is a Cloud-based ‘virtual’ version […]

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Worldwide Rollout of ‘Personal Vault’ OneDrive Security Features

Microsoft has announced that the ‘Personal Vault’ security features for its OneDrive storage service are now available worldwide on all OneDrive consumer accounts.  What Is Personal Vault? Personal Vault is a protected area in OneDrive that can only be accessed with a strong authentication method or a second step of identity verification.  These methods include […]

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Police Auction Hacker’s £240,000 of Cryptocurrency

The £240,000 of cryptocurrency confiscated from a teenager who was jailed for hacking ISP TalkTalk has been auctioned by police with the proceeds going towards fighting crime. TalkTalk Hack Elliott Gunton, (now 19) was jailed for 20 months in August this year for hacking offences, money laundering and for the breach of a Sexual Harm […]

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Deepfake Ransomware – A Worrying Threat

Multinational IT security company ‘Trend Micro’ has highlighted the future threat of cybercriminals making and posting (or threatening to post) malicious ‘deep fake’ videos online in order to cause damage to reputations and/or to extract ransoms from their target victims. What Are Deepfake Videos? Deep fake videos use deep learning technology and manipulated images of […]

Public Cloud May Double In Just Four Years

The new cloud market report from the Synergy Research Group shows that cloud-associated markets, such as the public cloud, are growing at rates ranging from 10% to over 40% and the annual spending on the cloud may double in four years. IaaS & PaaS Biggest Growth Synergy’s half-yearly report shows that across the seven key […]

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People Who Broke Into Courthouse Claim It Was Part of Assessment

Two security specialists who performed a physical break-in on the US courthouse that hired their company for a penetration test have claimed that their break-in was part of their assessment of security. What Happened? Dallas’ State Court Administration (SCA) is reported to have hired security company Coalfire Labs to conduct testing of the security of […]

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IBM To Offer Largest Quantum Computer Available

IBM has announced that it is opening a Quantum Computation Centre in New York which will bring the world’s largest fleet of quantum computing systems online, including the new 53-Qubit Quantum System for broad use in the cloud. Largest Universal Quantum System For External Access The new 53-quantum bit/qubit model is the 14th system that […]

Less Than Half of Small Businesses Ready For No-Deal Brexit

Research from techUK shows that less than half of small UK businesses consider themselves to be ready to face a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, whereas 87% of larger businesses think they are prepared. Small and Medium The techUK research shows that only 43% of UK small businesses think they are ready for the prospect […]

Autonomous AI Cyber Weapons Inevitable Says Security Research Expert

Speaking at a recent CloudSec event in London, Trend Micro’s vice-president of security research, Rik Ferguson said that AI cyberattacks operated autonomously are an inevitable threat that security professionals must adapt to tackling. If Leveraged By Cybercriminals Mr Ferguson said that when cybercriminals manage to leverage the power of AI, organisations may find themselves experiencing attacks […]

AI Destined For McDonald’s Drive-Throughs

The acquisition of AI voice recognition start-up Apprente by the McDonalds franchise gives the restaurant chain its own Silicon Valley technology division and promises an automated ordering system for drive-throughs, self-order interfaces and the mobile app. Apprente Apprente is a Silicon Valley-based start-up (founded 2017, Mountain View, California) that specialises in making customer service chatbots.  […]

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Joker Malware Found In 24 Apps In Google Play Store

Security researcher Aleksejs Kuprins of CSIS cybersecurity services company has discovered 24 apps which have been available for download in the Google Play Store that contain ‘Joker’ malware. What Is Joker Malware? Joker malware is a spy and premium subscription bot that makes money by simulating clicks. If, for example, a Joker infected app is […]

Major Workforce Changes Over The Next Five Years

A new global Forrester Consulting study predicts major changes in their service workforce over the next five years, including replacing call centre and customer service centre staff with automated dispatch notification. The Study The “From Grease To Code: What Drives Digital Service Transformation” study, commissioned by cloud-based software for service execution management company ServiceMax, highlights […]

France Says ‘Non’ To Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire has said that the development of Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency will be blocked in Europe unless concerns over risks to consumers and to the monetary systems of countries can be addressed. Libra – Announced in June Announced in June this year and due to be launched in 2020, Libra […]

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AI Mimics CEO’s Voice To Steal £201,000

A recent Wall Street Journal report has highlighted how, in March this year, a group of hackers were able to use AI software to mimic an energy company CEO’s voice in order to steal £201,000. What Happened? Reports indicate that the CEO of an unnamed UK-based energy company received a phone call from someone that […]

Report Shows That 99% of Cyber Attacks Now Involve Social Engineering

The Human Factor report from Proofpoint shows that almost all cyber-attacks, at some stage, involve the exploitation of human error in the form of social engineering. What Are Social Engineering Attacks? Social engineering attacks involve the manipulation and deception of people into performing actions such as transferring money to criminal accounts or divulging confidential information. What […]

Record Levels of Investment in UK AI

A Tech Nation Report has shown that AI investment in the UK reached record levels in the first six months of the year making it the third biggest market in the world for AI investment, just behind the US and China. Surge Crunchbase figures show that AI investment in the UK reached £859.29m in just […]

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Microsoft’s Phone App Challenge to iMessage and FaceTime

Reports from online tech commentators indicate that Microsoft will soon be enhancing its Your Phone app with the ability to make phone calls from a desktop PC, thereby making the app a serious challenger to Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime. The Your Phone App Microsoft’s Your Phone desktop App connects your phone to your PC thereby […]

Leaving Your Job? Don’t Take Personal Data With You Warns ICO

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned those retiring or taking a new job that under the Data Protection Act 2018, employees can face regulatory action if they are found to have retained information collected as part of their previous employment. Old Investigation The renewed warning was issued following the regulator concluding its dealings in […]

Student Textbooks Malware Threat

Kaspersky’s blog is warning students who are about to go back after the summer holidays to beware of the risk of malware that’s masked as textbooks and essays online. Students Targeted According to Kaspersky, K-12 and college students who may want to save money on textbooks by seeking online essays and study materials may end […]

iPhone Attack Lasting More Than 2 Years Discovered

A Google security researcher has discovered a sustained and indiscriminate hacking attack on iPhones that is believed to have been going on for more than two years. Google Project Zero Details of the attack are outlined on Google’s ‘Project Zero’ blog (https://googleprojectzero.blogspot.com) by security researcher Ian Beer.  Using Hacked Websites For The Attack On the […]

Tesla Owners Locked Out

Some Tesla Model 3 car owners found themselves decidedly locked out in the cold due to a vital Phone Key app being down for maintenance. Labor Day Dismay On US Labor Day, some owners of Tesla Model 3 cars who tried to use their Phone Key app, the smartphone app that will open a Model […]

BBC to Launch Own ‘Beeb’ Digital Voice Assistant Next Year

The BBC has announced that it will be launching its own digital voice assistant ‘Beeb’ next year to work on all smart speakers, TVs, and mobile devices. Accents The new digital (AI) voice assistant, which is being developed by an in-house team, will be trained to have a good understanding of the many different UK […]

London Gets 10 Million New Landline Numbers

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced the introduction of 10 million new 0204 landline numbers for London in a move to keep up with a growing demand fuelled by Broadband connections. Running Out There are only 500,000 of the 30 million (020)3, (020)7 and (020)8 numbers left to be handed out and Ofcom says that these […]

IT Security Updates issue 20

The latest news from the sector sees two major flaws highlighted by cyber security professionals with major implications for enterprise-level IT patch management cycles, BioStar 2 users face uncertainty over flaw and more … South Korean Biometrics Firm Under Fire For Cyber Security Flaw Suprema, the manufacturers of Biostar 2, a biometric on-site physical security system, have […]

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Four-Year Lifespan For Self-Driving Cars

As large car manufacturers seek to reinvent themselves as ‘mobility companies’ in an effort to compete for global leadership in the growing autonomous driving sector, a Ford Executive has predicted that self-driving cars will only last four years. Only Four Years? The prediction of four-year lifespan for self-driving cars came from John Rich, the operations chief […]

Video Labelling Causes Problems

Google has already been criticised by some for not calling out China over disinformation about Hong Kong, but despite disabling 210 YouTube channels with suspected Chinese state links, Google’s new move to label Hong Kong YouTube videos hasn’t gone down well. Big Social Media Platforms Act Facebook and Twitter recently announced that they have banned […]

Audible’s ‘Captions’ Subtitles Feature Attracts Lawsuit From Publishers

The Amazon-owned producer of spoken audio entertainment ‘Audible’ is facing a lawsuit from the Association of American Publishers (AAP) on the grounds that its new “Audible Captions” speech-to-text subtitles feature may violate copyright law. Audible Captions Audible Captions, which was announced by the largest producer of audiobooks via a YouTube video back in July, is […]

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Grammar Correction Capabilities For Gmail and G Suite

Google has announced that it is rolling out new real-time, AI-powered spelling and grammar correction capabilities for G Suite users and personal Gmail accounts. Real-Time, As-You-Type The real-time, as-you-type spelling autocorrection is now available to all G Suite users and personal Gmail accounts, but the Grammar suggestion feature is only available to G Suite users. […]

Your Password Can Be Guessed By An App Listening To Your Keystrokes

Researchers from SMU’s (Southern Methodist University) Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber-security have found that the sound waves produced when we type on a computer keyboard can be picked up by a smartphone and a skilled hacker could decipher which keys were struck. Why? The research was carried out to test whether the ‘always-on’ sensors in devices […]

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Over A Million Fingerprints Exposed In Data Breach

It has been reported that more than one million fingerprints have been exposed online by biometric security firm Suprema which appears to have installed its standard Biostar 2 product on an open network. Suprema and Biostar 2 Suprema is a South Korea-based biometric technology company and is one of the world’s top 50 security manufacturers.  […]

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Facial Recognition at King’s Cross Prompts ICO Investigation

The UK’s data protection watchdog (the Information Commissioner’s Office  i.e. the ICO) has said that it will be investigating the use of facial recognition cameras at King’s Cross by Property Development Company Argent. What Happened? Following reports in the Financial Times newspaper, the ICO says that it is launching an investigation into the use of live […]

Robot Tuck Shops About To Hit U.S. College Campuses

San Francisco-based start-up, Starship Technologies, has announced that it will be putting food delivery robots that respond to phone app orders on 100 U.S. university campuses in the next 24 months.  The Bots It has been reported that 25 to 50 of the (23Kg battery-powered, six-wheeled) Starship bots will be let loose on each campus, […]

Apple Launches ‘Apple Card’

Apple has launched its ‘Apple Card’ in the US in partnership with Goldman Sachs and with processing by Mastercard. Card The Apple Card can now be applied for by customers in the US through the Wallet app on iPhone (iPhone 6 and later).  The physical laser-etched card, which is made of titanium and has a […]

Is Your Website Sending Scammers’ Emails?

Research by Kaspersky Labs has discovered that cyber-criminals are now hijacking and using the confirmation emails from registration, subscription and feedback forms of legitimate company websites to distribute phishing links and spam content. How? Kaspersky has reported that scammers are exploiting the fact that many websites require users to register their details in order to […]

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$1 Million Bounty For Finding iPhone Security Flaws

Apple Inc recently announced at the annual Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas that it is offering security researchers rewards of up to $1 million if they can detect security flaws its iPhones. Change This move marks a change in Apple’s bug bounty programme.  Previously, for example, the highest sum offered by Apple was […]

Using GDPR To Get Partner’s Personal Data

A University of Oxford researcher, James Pavur, has explained how (with the consent of his partner) he was able to exploit rights granted under GDPR to obtain a large amount of his partner’s personal data from a variety of companies. Right of Access Mr Pavur reported that he was able to send out 75 Right […]

Fingerprints Replacing Passwords for Some Google Services

Google has announced that users can verify their identity by using their fingerprint or screen lock instead of a password when visiting certain Google services, starting with Pixel devices and coming to all Android 7+ devices in the next few days. How? Google says that years of collaboration between itself and many other organizations in […]

Amazon Echo : Child Labour Concerns

Reports of a 2018 investigation by China Labour Watch (CLW) into the Amazon Echo manufacture at the Hengyang Foxconn factory show that the recruiting of young interns from vocational schools could mean that the Amazon devices are made with the help of child labour. Schools Providing Workers For Night Shifts The report of the investigation […]

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One-Third of Major VPNs Owned By Chinese

A recent survey by VPNpro has revealed that almost one-third of the most popular VPN services are secretly owned by Chinese companies that may be subject to weak privacy laws. VPN A ‘Virtual Private Network’ (VPN) is used to keep internet activity private, evade censorship / maintain net neutrality and use public Wi-Fi securely e.g. […]

Opting Out of People Reviewing Your Alexa Recordings

Amazon has now added an opt-out option for manual review of voice recordings and their associated transcripts taken through Amazon’s Alexa but it has not stopped the practice of taking voice recordings to help develop new Alexa features. Opt-Out Toggle The opt-out toggle can be found in the ‘Manage How Your Data Improves Alexa’ section […]

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Goodbye Skype for Business, Hello Teams

Microsoft has announced that Skype for Business Online will be giving way to ‘Teams’, with support for Skype for Business already ended on 31 July 2021, and all new Microsoft 365 customers due to get Microsoft Teams by default from 1 September 2019. What Is Teams? Introduced back in November 2016, ‘Teams’ is a platform […]

Google Plugs Incognito Mode Detection Loophole With Chrome 76

Google has announced that with the introduction of Chrome 76 (at the end of July), it has plugged a loophole that enabled websites to tell when you were browsing in Incognito mode. Incognito Incognito mode in Chrome (private browsing) is really designed to protect privacy for those using shared or borrowed devices, and exclude certain […]

A.I. Powered Bar-staff. Who’s Next?

In what’s been called the world’s first ‘A.I. Bar’ (developed by British data science product company DataSparQ) ordering a drink at a busy bar has been made easier, faster and fairer by using facial recognition technology to place customers in an “intelligently virtual” queue. Solving Old Problems Information and statistics (DataSparQ) show that pub-goers in […]

Free Ransomware Killers Save £88M in Ransoms

Free downloadable ransomware tools launched by Europol in association with several cybersecurity firms as part of the ‘No More Ransom’ initiative are estimated to have saved businesses £87.6 million. Who / What Is Europol? Europol is the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation. No More Ransom ‘No More Ransom’ is the name given to the […]

Vulnerability in Contactless Card Allows Bypassing of £30 Limit

Researchers from security company Positive Technologies have reported found a vulnerability in Visa contactless cards that could lead to your bank account being drained if your card fell into the wrong hands. Device The researchers developed a ‘skimming’ device which was able to intercept communications between a contactless card and payment terminal, thereby allowing the […]

Commercial Release of BlueKeep Malware Causes Concern

Tech and security commentators have expressed their fears that a version of the BlueKeep malware (that’s been included in a commercial penetration testing toolkit) could prove to be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. What Is BlueKeep? BlueKeep is a kind of malware that can be deployed to exploit a vulnerability in older […]

UKCIS Offers Online Safety For All

The government has announced that the UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS), which is the successor to the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), has had its scope expanded to improve online safety for all in the UK. Part of Government Commitment The introduction of The UK Council for Internet Safety (UKCIS) is part of the […]

5G At No Extra Cost Says Three

Mobile operator Three has announced that new and existing customers with compatible handsets will be able to get 5G at no extra cost(s) when its 5G service is launched later this year. 5G Offer Three says that when its 5G service goes live later this year, starting with 25 UK towns and cities, it will […]

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Brain Implants That Link Humans To Computers

Head of SpaceX and Tesla, Elon Musk, has announced that human brain implants that can link directly to devices could be a reality within a year. Neuralink The implanted brain-computer interface (BCI) that Mr Musk talked about recently to the California Academy of Sciences audience in San Francisco will be known as a ‘Neuralink’.  Mr […]

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London Underground To Get 4G Next Year

Transport for London (TfL) has announced that from March 2020, 4G rollout will begin across the London Underground network, thereby allowing customers, for the first time, to check emails and travel information, use social media, and stream music and video uninterrupted. First Section The first section of the network to get a trial of full mobile […]

Lancaster University Hit By “Sophisticated and Malicious Phishing Attack”

Lancaster University, which offers a GCHQ accredited cyber-security course and has its own Cyber Security Research Centre has been hit by what it has described as a “sophisticated and malicious phishing attack”, resulting in the leak of the personal data of new university applicants. 12,000+ Affected? On the University’s website, even though it states that […]

£80,000 Fine For London Estate Agency Highlights Importance of Due Diligence in Data Protection

The issuing of an £80,000 fine by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) to London-based estate agency Parliament View Ltd (LPVL) highlights the importance of due diligence when keeping customer data safe. What Happened? Prior to the introduction of GDPR, between March 2015 and February 2017, LPVL left their customer data exposed online after transferring the […]

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MPs Call To Stop Police Facial Recognition

Following criticism of the Police use of facial recognition technology in terms of privacy, accuracy, bias, and management of the image database, the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee has called for a temporary halt in the use of the facial recognition system. Database Concerns Some of the key concerns of the committee were […]

Scientists Discover How To Store Data On Matter Smaller Than DNA

Scientists from Brown University are reported to have discovered how to store data on metabolic molecules, which are pieces of matter that are even smaller than DNA. Storage In Artificial Metabolomes   The results of the recent research announced on the Brown University website and published in the PLOS ONE journal describe how researchers have […]

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Security Flaw Discovered In NHS Anaesthetic Machines

Cybersecurity firm CyberMDX has reported the discovery of a security flaw in some Internet-connected GE Healthcare anaesthetic machines which could leave them vulnerable to hacks. Security Flaw The security flaw has been described as the exposure of the configuration of certain terminal server implementations that extend GE Healthcare anaesthesia device serial ports to TCP/IP networks. […]

Microsoft Criticised By UK’s Cyber Security Agency Over Dmarc

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has complained that it has been unable to compile meaningful statistics and draw meaningful conclusions about email security in its latest report because Microsoft stopped sending Dmarc reports two years ago. What Is Dmarc? Domain-based message authentication, reporting and conformance (Dmarc) is a protocol, developed by the Trusted Domain Project, to […]

Facebook Launches Martin Lewis Anti-Scam Service

Facebook has launched a new anti-scam service using the £3m that it agreed to donate to the development of the programme in return for TV consumer money champion Martin Lewis dropping his legal action over scam ads. What Legal Action? Back in September 2018, MoneySavingExpert’s (MSE) founder Martin Lewis (OBE) took Facebook to the UK […]

£183 Million Fine (Biggest Ever) For BA Data Breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has imposed a £183 million fine on British Airways, the biggest fine to date under GDPR, for a data breach where the personal details of 500,000 customers were accessed by hackers. The Breach The breach, which involved criminals using what is known as a ‘supply chain hack’ took place between […]

1000+Android Apps Harvest Our Data Without Our Permission

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute have reported that up to 1,325 Android apps are gathering data from devices after people have denied them permission, and Google claims that it will address the problem with the introduction of the new Android “Q” Operating System. Apps Finding Way Around Privacy Restrictions According to the ICSI […]

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Googlemail’s Tracking of Your Purchase History

CNBC research has highlighted how Googlemail creates a (difficult to delete) page of your purchase history by tracking your purchase receipt emails, and perhaps details stored in locations other than the inbox. Not Obvious Back in May, CNBC researchers highlighted how your Googlemail account creates a page of your purchases, which it was believed was […]

Ad-Free Firefox Browser Service For $4.99 Per Month

Mozilla looks likely to be entering the premium browsing market later this year by offering a subscription based (advert-free) browsing experience of selected journalism websites and other value-adding features via a special version of Firefox. What’s The Problem? Many news content websites rely on the revenue from adverts, but this can make for a distracting […]

Latest Windows 10 Update Causes Problems For VPN Enterprise Users

The latest update to Windows 10 could break the platform’s Remote Access Connection Manager (RASMAN) and, therefore, cause problems with VPN for Enterprise users with certain settings. Potentially Millions Given that the latest Windows update which contains the problem code accounts for 50 million users, it was initially thought that a problem may have been […]

‘Mobile-Sensing System’ Could Evaluate Your Workplace Performance

A newly developed ‘Mobile-Sensing System’ that uses a combination of smartphone, fitness bracelet, app and cloud-based machine learning algorithms can track and rank the workplace performance of employees with 80% accuracy. Based On Student Monitoring App The underlying technology blueprint for the new system, which was developed by a group of researchers including Dartmouth University […]

New Electric Cars Will Emit Noise For Safety Reasons

In contrast to the vision of a quieter, close-future utopia where vehicles pass noiselessly by, a new law means that from 2021, all new four-wheel electric cars will be required to include a noise emitting device so that pedestrians can hear the cars approaching. At low speeds, at least. Avas The EU rules on the […]

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Is CCTV Surveillance By Amazon Drones Be The Future?

An Amazon patent from 2015 appears to indicate that Amazon may consider ‘surveillance as a service’ using a swarm of its delivery drones armed with CCTV, as a monetising opportunity in the future. Patent The details in the patent foresee customers paying for a tiered service that employs the onboard cameras of Amazon’s delivery drones […]

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Fire-Prone MacBook Pros Recalled

Apple has announced a recall of some older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units due to the fire risk posed by a tendency for the battery to overheat. Repair and Replace Free Apple is offering a recall and replacement program for units that were sold primarily between September 2015 and February 2017 with the company offering […]

Could Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Be The Future Of Money?

Facebook has announced the launch of its new crypto-currency called ‘Libra’ 2020 which will enable payments to be made by a special phone app, and by messaging services such as WhatsApp, so that spending the new currency could be as easy and fast as texting. Libra Association Management of the currency, units of which can […]

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Facial Recognition Glasses For Covert Surveillance

The “iFalcon Face Control” AR glasses that incorporate an 8-megapixel camera in the frame and NNTC facial recognition technology (due to go on sale next year) are reported to have already been deployed into several security operations. US / Dubai Manufactured The facial recognition-enabled smart glasses are made by American company Vuzix and use facial […]

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Samsung’s Advice To Virus-Check TVs Causes Customer Concern

Samsung’s recent release of a how-to virus check video coupled with the advice to complete the check “every few weeks” has caused confusion and concern among customers. Video At the heart of Samsung’s virus-checking information release was a 19-second video guide that Samsung said had been posted simply to educate and inform customers. The video […]

ICO’s Own Website Fails GDPR Compliance Test

Irony and embarrassment are the order of the day as the Information Commissioner’s Office, which is responsible for ensuring GDPR compliance in the websites of businesses and organisations, has been forced to admit that its own website is not GDPR compliant. Cookie Consent Notice The problem, as pointed out to the ICO by Adam Rose, […]

Revenue Risk To UK Companies Too Slow To Adopt AI

Research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that UK companies could lose 20% of their cash flow if they are too slow to invest in and adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools. Could Miss Out Even though the report highlighted the UK’s higher than average AI-readiness, the country could miss out on a potential 22% boost […]

IT Security Updates issue 19

The latest news from the sector sees Malware on a laptop become “art”, Microsoft in trouble with the NSA thanks to WinXP vulnerabilities, Dark Net police crackdowns driving cyber criminals into encrypted chat spaces – like Telegram and  more … Malware Infected “Artwork” Sells For Over $1 Million Dollars As cyber crime and malware intrusion becomes commonplace […]

Employee Subject Access Requests Increasing Costs For Their Companies

Research by law firm Squire Patton Boggs has revealed (one year on from the introduction of GDPR ) that companies are facing cost pressures from a large number of subject access requests (SARs) coming from their own employees. SARs A Subject Access Requests (SAR), which is a legal right for everyone in the UK, is where an […]

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Microbe Grown Headphones Offer Hope In Fight Against Plastic Waste

Finnish design house Aivan has shown how its ‘Korvaa’ headphones can be made from natural, microbe-grown, biodegradable materials, thereby offering hope in reducing the amount of plastic waste that goes to landfill or litters the natural world. Natural Prototype Although the headphones don’t actually work, the concept that has been created shows how a mixture […]

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Google AR Glasses Enterprise Edition For Workers

Six years on from the launch of the first Google glasses, Google has announced the introduction of Google Glass 2 Enterprise Edition, glasses incorporating a wraparound camera and AR and designed to help workers by providing instant hands-free access to key information. Improved Following on from the original introduction of Google’s ‘Glass’, followed by the […]

SurveyMonkey’s Bold Dublin Move

California-based online survey software company SurveyMonkey has opened a datacentre in Dublin with a view to attracting enterprise customers in the EMEA region. SurveyMonkey SurveyMonkey, which was established in Portland by Ryan and Chris Finley, has more than 750 employees globally and is estimated to have more than 600,000 paying users across more than 300,000 […]