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6G : From 7 Mins to 0.12 Seconds Download (ish)

Nanjing’s government-backed Purple Mountain Laboratories claims to have made a 6G breakthrough by recording the fastest real-time wireless communication speed ever recorded. For reference, 6G is likely to be around 50 times faster than 5G, which itself is around 20 times faster than 4G. Whilst this is very approximate, this could mean that a film […]

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What Was New at CES?

In this tech insight, we take a look at a selection of the latest B2B and B2C tech products and gadgets on show at the recent CES® tech trade show. Examples The more business-focused devices, hardware and software on show included: Laptops And Other Devices As you may expect, many new laptops and other devices […]

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The Essentials Of A ‘BYOD’ Policy

In this article, we look at what BYOD is, why a BYOD policy is important, and what elements form the essential blueprint of a BYOD policy. What Is BYOD? The term Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has been around since 2004 when it was first coined as an expression. With BYOD, employees can bring and […]

Want a Payrise? Apple Boss Earned $100 Million in 2021

A filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission shows that Apple CEO, Tim Cook, earned $100 million in 2021. 1,477 Times Higher Than Average The filing showed that his pay, fuelled by stock awards, if compared to the new median pay for employees of $68,254, was 1,447 times that of the average employee at […]

Tech Tip – 3 Top Google Maps Tricks To Try

The Google Maps mobile app now has many useful and surprising features. Here are 3 top Google Maps tips you may like to try: 1. Remember Where You Parked When using Google Maps on Android, on reaching your destination, tap the blue location dot. Select ‘Save your parking,’ which adds a label to the Maps […]

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Alexa’s Shocking Suggestion

A mother took to Twitter to complain that Alexa had suggested to her 10-year-old daughter that she play a game that involves touching the prongs of a live plug with a penny! Playing The mother, Kristin Livdahl (of Minnesota, USA), was reported to have been doing physical challenges indoors on Boxing Day with her 10-year-old daughter because […]

Fewer and Less At CES

It has been reported that the rapid spread of Omicron has led to more tech companies cancelling in-person appearances at January’s CES® technology industry trade show. CES® CES® is an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association which is due to take place in Las Vegas 5 – 8 January. Due to Covid, last year’s CES® […]

Tech Tip – How To Run Older Programs Using the Windows 10/11 Compatibility Mode

If you’d like to run favourite but no longer compatible versions of older programs, apps, and games (legacy software) on Windows 10/11, try using ‘Compatibility Mode’. Here’s how. To enable legacy software that worked on old versions of Windows on your current Windows 10/11: In the search box on the taskbar, type the name of […]

Teams App Blocked Emergency Call

It was recently discovered that a bug in the Pixel 3 phone meant that users who had the Teams app installed (even though they weren’t logged in) couldn’t call the US emergency 911 number. What Happened? A Reddit user reported that they had needed to call an ambulance for their grandmother who appeared to be […]

What’s All the Fuss About Julian Assange?

In this article, we take a look at some of the main details of the case of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, and what can be learned from this ongoing battle between Assange and the US government, whose secrets his website shared. Who Is Julian Assange? Julian Assange is 50-year-old Australian editor, publisher and activist who […]

What Is A Password Manager?

In this tech insight, we look at challenges to using passwords, what password managers are, and why they are still so important. The Limitations and Challenge of Passwords Passwords have long provided a practical way to log in to websites, platforms, apps and other access gateways yet using passwords comes with many limitations and challenges, […]

A Peek at Metaverse

Meta (Facebook) has released a social VR experience called ‘Horizon Worlds’, giving users the first real look at the ‘Metaverse’ described by Mark Zuckerberg in the company’s recent re-brand announcements. What Is Horizon Worlds? Horizon Worlds (which launched via invite-only in beta last year) is a free, virtual space app that has been built with […]

Tech Tip – A Fast Way To Open Items From Your Taskbar

If you’d like super-fast and easy way to open the items/programs that are pinned to your Taskbar in Windows 10, here’s how: Look at the Taskbar and note which number order (left to right) the item/program is that you’d like to open. Use the keyboard shortcut Windows key + [Number key], with the number key […]

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World’s First “Living Robots” Can Now Reproduce

US-based scientists have reported creating “living robots” that can now re-produce. Next Step From Last Year Last year, a team of US scientists reported creating ‘living robots’ which were actually bundles of stem cells from African clawed frogs. The researchers discovered that they could ‘program’ these cells to accomplish certain tasks, hence the robot comparison. […]

A Business Continuity Plan : The Essentials

In this article, we take a look at what a Business Continuity Plan is, what it should contain, and why it’s such an important document. Preparing Accepting that the unexpected and disasters will happen (and that you can plan how to maintain business continuity while you deal with them) is an important step in safeguarding […]

Email Security

In this tech insight, we take a look at the many threats to email security that businesses face and what businesses can do to mitigate them, together with what help is available to help tackle those threats effectively. Email Accounts For Most Security Breaches Prioritising email security is important because most cyber-security breaches involve email, […]

Twitter Bans Sharing ‘Private’ Images & Video Without Consent

In a change to its Private Information Policy, Twitter has banned the sharing of personal media, such as images or videos without the subject’s consent. Why? Twitter says that as part of its ongoing work to align its safety policies with human rights standards, it needs to take action to tackle the possible misuse of media and […]

Tech Tip – Using Google To Search Within A Website

If you’d like to quickly search within a whole website (e.g. a competitor’s website for specific term or subject) here’s a quick way to do so using Google. Go to Google. In the search field, type “site:” followed by the URL of the site and your search terms. For example: site:bbc.co.uk Christmas This should return […]

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How To Know If Someone Has Read Your Email?

In this tech insight, we take a look at the better-known ways of being able to tell if someone has read your email. The Usual Suspects The main ways to tell if a person has read your email include: Request a read receipt when you compose the email.  The read receipt is then sent to you […]

Hamster Crypto-Croaks

Max, a.k.a. “Mr Goxx”, the hamster that found Internet fame through outperforming many human cryptocurrency-traders, has died. Experiment With ‘Wheel’ Results The hamster’s life as a crypto trader was down to him being used as part of an experiment by an anonymous German lecturer and prototyping specialist duo who set out to demonstrate the randomness […]

Self-Powered Mobile Masts Could Beat Remote Off-Grid Challenges

Vodafone’s announcement that it aims to deploy self-powered ‘Eco-Tower’ mobile masts across the UK could mean connections for remote areas as well as environmental benefits. Wind and Solar Powered The new masts will be self-powered, using wind turbine technology, combined with new solar and battery technologies developed through Vodafone working with renewable energy technology specialist Crossflow […]

GoDaddy “Security Incident” Could Affect 1.2 Million

In this week’s security update, GoDaddy has reported a hack/data-breach on its managed WordPress hosting service which could mean that the details of 1.2 million users may have been exposed. Reports indicate that an intruder gained access on Nov 17 by using a stolen password. GoDaddy says that it has blocked the unauthorised third-party from its system, […]

Tech Tip – Using Windows ‘Hello’ For Easier and Safer Device Sign-In

Microsoft Hello offers a way for Windows 10/11 users to get a more personal (and secure) way to instantly access Windows 10 devices using a PIN, facial recognition, or fingerprint. Here’s how to set it up: In your device, Select “Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options”. Select “Manage how you sign in to […]

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Apple’s New ‘Business Essentials’

Apple has announced a new ‘Business Essentials’ service that enables small businesses to easily manage every employee’s iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Device Management Solution For Small Businesses Aimed at business with up to 500 employees, Apple says that ‘Business Essentials’ has been designed to make it easy to manage every aspect of the Apple devices […]

Tech Insight : Elon Musk : ‘Twick’ or Tweet?

In this tech-insight, we take a brief look at billionaire Elon Musk’s usage of Twitter, how and why he makes such use of the platform, and what Mr Musk’s interactions can teach businesses about using Twitter. Who Is Elon Musk? South African-born, business magnate Elon Musk, is the CEO, early investor and Product Architect of […]

Pesky Pop-Ups!

In this article, we look at some of the pop-ups that users find most annoying, some of the issues around them, and how users can minimise the annoyance and interruption from them. Pop Up Ads Pop-up (adverts) refer to online advertising that takes the form of an interruptive graphical user interface display area that suddenly […]

Tech Tip – Changing Your Default Web Browser in Windows

If you’d like to change your default Windows 10 web browser from Edge to Chrome or Opera, here’s how: In the ‘Start’ menu and select ‘Settings’ or type ‘Settings’ in the Windows search field. In ‘Settings’, select ‘Apps’, and select ‘Default apps’ on the sidebar. Scroll to the ‘Web browser’ section and select ‘Microsoft Edge’. […]

Tech Insight : Do People Lie More Online?

In this article, we look at whether there is evidence to suggest that people lie more online, and what the message is for businesses.  Lying  Just 3 years after the World Wide Web was introduced to the public domain, a report was published by University of Virginia psychologist Bella M. DePaulo (DePaulo, Kashy, Kirkendol, Wyer, and Epstein) which revealed that most people, […]

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Facebook (Meta) To Integrate Workplace With Microsoft Teams

Facebook/Meta has announced that it is integrating Workplace with Microsoft’s collaboration app Teams to enable users to share information more easily between the two platforms. What Is Workplace? First announced in 2016, originally Facebook’s internal messaging board, and formerly known as ‘Facebook At Work’, Workplace is the work-focused version of Facebook’s social app. The app […]

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Hybrid Working Results In Move Off-Premise For Tech Infrastructure

Research by Zen Internet has revealed that hybrid working is causing businesses to question whether they now need enough on-premise tech infrastructure to support a full capacity office. Most Business Have Hybrid Working Plan The research conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Zen Internet showed that 93 per cent of businesses already have a hybrid […]

Tech Tip – Using The Spacebar To Speed Up Email Reading

Here’s how to use the Reading Pane and Spacebar in Outlook to sort through your daily emails more quickly: In Outlook, select “View” and “Reading Pane.” Select the Reading Pane to sit on the right-hand side. Select the top email in your inbox. Press the Spacebar so that Reading Pane will scroll down to reveal […]

“Your Call Is Important To Us”

In this featured-article, we look at the traditional frustrations that occur when customers encounter (some) phone systems and how technology is helping to bring better experiences. Spending Time On Hold Being put on hold and spending time waiting has long been known to frustrate customers, cause stress, and lead to them hanging up. Even though […]

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Tech Insight : WAP … WEP … What ???

In this tech insight, we take a brief look at the WEP and WAP security protocols, and what happened to them. What Is WAP? Developed by Ericsson, Motorola, Nokia, and Unwired Planet, and introduced back in 1999, Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) was a security standard for devices with a wireless Internet connection on a mobile […]

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Crypto ATM Scammers

An FBI announcement has warned that scammers are now directing victims to use physical cryptocurrency ATMs and digital QR codes to complete payment transactions. What Are Cryptocurrency ATMs? A cryptocurrency ATM is a physical kiosk/terminal/device that connects to a cryptocurrency network (e.g. bitcoin) and allows customers to purchase crypto tokens with deposited cash. Cryptocurrency ATMs […]

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Microsoft Unveils ‘Loop’ Collaborative App

Microsoft has unveiled the new ‘Loop’ collaborative app which it describes as “a flexible canvas with portable components” designed for assisting with new hybrid working patterns. Background Microsoft says that the new app is part of a “reimagining” of Office, and a response to the new opportunities created by new (hybrid) working patterns that can make Office more of […]

Tech Tip – 3 Top YouTube Tips

If you use YouTube videos in your website or need to view or share specific parts of YouTube videos quickly, here are 3 top tips: How To Start A YouTube Video At Any Point If you need to share part of a video rather than making someone watch the whole thing: Edit the YouTube URL […]

Smart Doorbells And UK Law

In this insight, we look at ‘smart’ doorbells and how the outcome of a recent legal case has highlighted the legal responsibilities that owner/operators of smart doorbells have under UK law. Smart Doorbells Smart doorbells, such as Eufy, Ring, Nest Hello, Arlo, Vuebell, IseeBell, and more are Internet-connected replacements for traditional doorbells. Smart doorbells use […]

One Million UK households May Be ‘Brushing’ Scam Victims

A report from Consumer watchdog Which? reveals that as many as 1.1 million people in the UK may have been caught up in a parcel delivery ‘brushing’ scam. What Is Brushing? Brushing is where people are sent packages of goods to their address that they didn’t order, apparently purchased on Amazon, by a person not […]

Massive Rise In HTTPS Attacks

The latest “ThreatLabz: The State of Encrypted Attacks,” 2021 report has shown a 300 per cent increase in online attackers using HTTPS to cloak their activities and blend in with other traffic. HTTPS HTTPS, the encrypted version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), enables secure communication over a computer network, using Transport Layer Security (formerly, […]

Facebook Re-Branded As ‘Meta’

After one of the most publicised re-brands in history, as Facebook changes its name to ‘Meta,’ we look at the reaction in the media and the marketplace, and the issues for the company going forward. ‘Meta’ … ? Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced at Connect 2021 last week that the company had brought together its […]

Tech Tip – How To Open A File Without Knowing The Extension

Trying to open a file where you don’t know the file type and there’s no extension can be frustrating, time-consuming and potentially insecure so here are options to help: First check that the file actually has no extension: Right-click on the file, select ‘Properties,’ and look at the ‘type of file’ in the ‘General’ tab […]

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Scam Calls : A Significant Update

This week, we heard the good news that the big phone networks have agreed to automatically block foreign scam calls, and we heard the bad news that an Ofcom survey has revealed that 45 million people in the UK were targeted by scam text messages or phone calls this summer! The Challenge The challenge has […]

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There’s Gold In Them Thar Phones

The Royal Mint has signed an agreement with Canadian start-up Excir to recover gold and other precious metals from old smartphone and laptop circuit boards. Precious Waste Mountain A recent assessment by the waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) forum has concluded that this year’s worldwide mountain of waste electronic and electrical equipment will total […]

Insiders Testing Android Apps On Windows 11

Microsoft has announced that the first preview of Android apps on Windows 11 is now available, albeit currently for Windows Insiders in the Beta Channel in the U.S. Others to follow. 50 Apps To Try Microsoft says that it has partnered with Amazon and popular app developers to curate 50 apps for those on the […]

What Is A Digital Twin?

In this insight, we look at what a digital twin is, what the benefits of using one are, and which industries commonly use digital twins. What Is It? A digital twin is an accurate virtual model of a physical object that uses data gathered from sensors on the physical object to run simulations, study performance […]

Tech Tip – How To Delete Old Emails In Gmail Automatically

If your Gmail account has filled up with old emails that look like they may take some time to delete, here’s how to quickly set up a filter to delete them automatically. Open Gmail, click on the ‘Settings’ (top right), and select ‘See all settings.’ Select ‘Filters and Blocked Addresses,’ and ‘Create a new filter.’ […]

Tech Insight – Apple : What is Sideloading?

In Apple’s new “Building a Trusted Ecosystem for Millions of Apps” white paper, it describes the threat posed by ‘sideloading’ on its App Stores. Here’s what you need to know.  Sideloading Sideloading normally refers to transferring a file between two local devices without the use of the internet e.g., by connecting your computer to a smartphone or tablet. […]

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LinkedIn Shuts Down In China Over Censorship Row

Microsoft’s LinkedIn will be replaced with a “no social feed” version in China after criticism from the US that it has been complicit in the censorship of posts and profiles from Western journalists. Accusations From Home The accusations that LinkedIn appeared to be appeasing and complicit with the Chinese Communist Party and its censorship rules […]

30 Countries Pledge To Act On Ransomware

The international Counter-Ransomware members from 30 countries have issued a joint statement outlining their intent to take action to counter the growing threat posed by ransomware. What Is Ransomware? Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts the important files on a computer and the user (often a business/organisation) is given a ransom demand, the […]

How To Tell If You’re Being Spoofed

Many cybers attacks now take the form of using fake/spoof communication to trick victims into parting with personal (or company) data, or money. We take a look at some of the most popular and widely reported methods and how to avoid falling victim to them. Phishing This is a very common form of spoofing attack. […]

Tech Tip – How To Turn On WhatsApp Encrypted Backups

Facebook has just enabled encrypted backups for WhatsApp messages to Google Drive or Apple’s iCloud. The feature, however, is not enabled by default so, if you’d like to backup your important WhatsApp messages, here’s how to turn the feature on: In the latest version of WhatsApp, go to ‘Settings’. Tap on ‘Chats’ > ‘Chat Backup’ […]

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What Is The ICO?

In this tech-insight, we look at the role of the Information Commissioner’s Office, and how it can be a source of valuable compliance information and help to businesses. What Is It? The Information Commissioner’s Office is the UK’s independent, non-departmental public body set up to uphold information rights in the public interest. The ICO also […]

What’s Going On With Facebook?

After experiencing two outages in a week, one lasting more than six hours, and a whistleblower at a Senate Committee hearing alleging potentially harmful effects from Facebook’s algorithms, some are asking ‘what’s going on with Facebook?’ Whistleblower Recently identified former Facebook employee turned whistleblower, Frances Haugen, was found to be behind a series of leaks reported […]

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Monetising Movement (Your Geo-Data)

In this feature, we take a look at how a multi-billion-dollar market obtains, uses, and sells our location data. Report A GVR report estimates that the global location intelligence market was worth USD 12.2 billion in 2020. This market uses our phone/device location data. There are many different interlinked players in this market ecosystem from […]

Tech Tip – How To Check Your Google 2FA Settings

Two-factor authentication (2FA) adds an extra security dimension to accounts, and with Google now heading down the route of automatically enrolling millions of users into 2FA, here’s how to check if 2FA is turned on for your Google account: Go to your account settings through myaccount.google.com on your desktop (or phone). Click on the Security […]

Domain Security

After a recent report found that poor domain security has left most Global 2000 companies vulnerable to the threats of phishing and brand abuse, we take a closer look at domain security and how businesses can maximise their protection against popular threats. CSC Research – Domains Dangerously Under-Protected Recent research by US-based CSC, which describes […]

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QR Codes … A Security Risk?

In this tech-insight, we take a look at what QR codes are used for, review some well-known security risks, and outline what action you can take to protect yourself from malicious QR codes. Quick Response (QR) Codes A QR code is a machine-readable (e.g., by smartphones), matrix barcode invented in 1994 by the Japanese Toyota […]

Amazon To Start Selling Cyber Insurance

Amazon has entered the B2B insurance market through a partnership with Superscript and is offering cyber insurance to small and medium-sized businesses in the UK. Cyber Insurance? Cyber insurance protects businesses (and individuals providing services for businesses) by helping with the compensation costs that can arise from Internet-based risks and handling data. For example, businesses may […]

Networks Angered By Ofcom’s Openreach Decision

Independent broadband network providers (altnets) have been angered by Ofcom’s decision to take no action over anti-competition concerns about (BT) Openreach’s “Equinox” offer. What Is Equinox? The Equinox Offer from BT’s Openreach essentially proposes that big ISPs can buy discounted wholesale Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband products. Openreach’s Equinox Offer gives ISPs (e.g., TalkTalk or Sky) cheaper/discounted […]

Tech Tip – Scheduling Emails in Outlook

If you’re working late/early/at weekends but you’d like your emails to be sent on the right day/time in the working week, or perhaps to catch the recipient just when you know they’re returning to the office, you can schedule your emails on Outlook. Here’s how: After you’ve finished writing your email in Outlook, go to […]

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Laser Broadband Success

Alphabet subsidiary X, the Moonshot Factory’s ‘Project Taara’ is claiming 99.9 per cent uptime within the first 20 days of a light beam/laser broadband project. What Is It? Laser-based broadband uses wireless optical communications (WOC), which has been described as “like fibre, but without the cables”.  In short, invisible beams of light, about the width of […]

Loss of a Legend : Sir Clive Sinclair

The inventor, innovator, EV pioneer (with the C5), electronics and tech businessman Sir Clive Sinclair died recently, aged 81. Circuit Design Born in Richmond, Surrey in 1940, and knighted in 1983 for his contributions to the UK’s computer industry, Sir Clive Sinclair started out by designing a circuit for a DIY kit radio (while studying […]

The Big Switch-Off

In this article, we look at some of the key issues surrounding the planned 2025 PSTN switch-off, the move to VoIP, and what options businesses have going forward. What’s Happening? Back in April, BT Openreach announced that starting from the end of this year (and finishing in 2025), it will be “switching off the UK telephone […]

Tech Insight : What Are Foldable phones?

With the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 phone being the latest foldable phone in the spotlight, we take a closer look at what foldable phones are, their advantages, their disadvantages, and likely future development. Foldable As the name suggests, foldable phones have either a flexible screen, with a hinge that bisects the handset/device so that the […]

Tech Tip – Stopping Distracting Ads In YouTube

If you’d like a fast and easy way to remove the distractions of ads popping up in and around the frame when watching YouTube videos, here’s how: Select any video on YouTube. Insert “_popup” between the word “watch” and the question mark the in YouTube URL and click on enter. You can now watch a […]

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No More Passwords For Microsoft Logins

In a bold step, Microsoft has announced that it is getting rid of all password logins, and that users will have to use an authenticator app or other solution instead. Vision Back in 2019, Microsoft announced that 100 million people were already using Microsoft’s passwordless sign-in (Ignite) each month, and in December 2020, Microsoft announced […]

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Apple Issues Patch To Stop iPhone ‘Zero-Click’ Spyware

Apple has issued a security update following the discovery of a zero-day, zero-click “spyware” that could infect iPhones and iPads. Discovered By Researchers The threat was discovered by independent researchers from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab while they were analysing the phone of a Saudi activist infected with NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware. What Is […]

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Charging Electric Vehicles : What You Need to Know

In this article, we look at the different types and locations of EV charging in the UK, plus the challenges and legislation relating to it. How Many Electric Cars In The UK? By the end of August 2021, there were more than 600,000 plug-in vehicles, and nearly 300,000 BEVs (Battery-Powered Electric Vehicles) and 300,000 PHEVs […]

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Tech-Insight – What Is A Solid State Battery?

In this tech-insight, we take a brief look at what solid-state batteries are, their benefits and challenges, and how why they hold a great deal of promise for use in electric vehicles in the near future. Solid State A solid-state battery is a battery that has solid electrodes and solid electrolytes to transfer ions from the […]

Tech Tip – A Quick Look At Your Desktop

If you’re browsing the Internet or working on file in Windows 10 but you need a fast look at your desktop here’s how: While in a browser or working on a Microsoft Office file e.g., Word, find the tiny vertical line to the far, right hand-side of the bottom taskbar. Click on the line. Everything […]

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Birthdays Now Required For Insta Login

The introduction of the Age Appropriate Design Code (also known as the Children’s Code) by the ICO means that Facebook has decided to ask Instagram users to give their date of birth as part of the login. Age Appropriate Design Code The statutory Children’s Code (‘The Age Appropriate Design Code’), which came into force on […]

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Pro-Kremlin Trolls Targeting Media Website Comments

The results of new research suggest that the comments section for stories on prominent media websites across many western countries are the focus of major Kremlin-based activities to try and influence public opinion. Multiple Outlets, Many Countries The Open Source Communications Analytics Research (OSCAR) programme at Cardiff University’s Crime and Security Research Institute has reported […]

‘Smart’ Glasses?

With Google and Amazon (plus soon-to-be Facebook and Apple) getting into making ‘Smart Glasses’, we take a brief look at what different types are currently being used for, plus we look at the vision for the future of these promising wearables. What Are Smart Glasses? Smart glasses are glasses that incorporate wireless connectivity/Bluetooth and other […]

Tech-Insight : What Is ‘Doxing’ ?

In this article, we look at what doxing is, the legality of it, some examples of doxing, and we consider what we can do to protect ourselves and our businesses from attack. What Is Doxing? Doxing is a term meaning for dropping (personal) dox where ‘dox’ is a slang term for documents. Doxing is a […]

Tech Tip – Open Pinned Programs Easily With Keyboard Shortcuts

If you use certain Windows 10 Microsoft Office programs often, you can pin them to the taskbar and then open them quickly and easily with keyboard shortcuts. Here’s how: If you have a program open e.g., Word, hover your mouse over it (in the taskbar), right mouse click and select ‘Pin to taskbar’. Do this […]

What Is Most Web Traffic Made Up Of?

In this article, we look at how a surprisingly large proportion of Internet traffic is made up of bots, how many of these can be ‘bad bots’, and what businesses can do to keep enjoying the benefits of good bots while guarding against the threats of bad bots. Two-Thirds of Internet Traffic is Bots The […]

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Tech Insight : Carbon-Free Travel – What Is Hyperloop?

In this tech-insight, we look at what hyperloop technology is, how it has been tested and used to date, and whether it could be a viable form of carbon-free travel for the future. What Is Hyperloop Technology? First invented by mechanical engineer George Medhurst in the 18th century, the idea which became the ‘atmospheric railway’, envisioned […]

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Google Risks Lawsuit Over Market Monopoly

It has been reported that the Justice Department (DOJ) may soon issue a second monopoly lawsuit against Alphabet Inc (Google) over its giant’s digital advertising business. Other Lawsuit Back in July, Google was issued with an antitrust lawsuit by 38 US states over allegations relating to how it may have been abusing its position of […]

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WhatsApp Handed Massive GDPR Fine

Following an investigation into WhatsApp Ireland Ltd, the Irish data regulator (DPC) has issued Facebook’s popular WhatsApp chat app with the second-largest GDPR fine of €225m. Long Investigation The eye-watering fine of €225 million follows an investigation that started way back on 10 December 2018. Big Fine The DPC had submitted a draft decision to […]

Tech Tip – Boost Your Security Protection In Google Chrome

With so many browser-based security threats, here’s a fast and easy way to activate 2 settings in Google Chrome browser to protect you from the popular threats of phishing and untrusted browser extensions: Open the Chrome browser, click on the 3 dots (top-right) and select ‘Settings’. Click on ‘privacy and security’ (left hand-side). Click on […]

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Tech News # 1 : Microsoft Price Hikes

Microsoft has announced that from March 1st 2022, it will increase the prices of its Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscription plans. How Much? Microsoft says that the price rises, which could be as much as 25 percent, will affect its commercial products in the following ways: Microsoft 365 Business Basic, will rise from $5 […]

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Tech News # 2 : Windows 11 May Not Work On Your Computer. But You Can Try!

A Microsoft recent update announcement about Windows 11 appears to say that although the new OS still won’t run on some older PC’s, Microsoft doesn’t plan to stop you from trying. The Problem When Microsoft’s June Windows 11 announcement showed that its minimum hardware requirements meant that it would only support eighth generation and newer […]

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Featured Article : New ICO Head and Data Protection Law Reforms

Data Protection Reforms Since Brexit, the UK government has been seeking to reform data protection regulations in the UK in a way that it says will cut down on what Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden has been quoted describing as the “needless bureaucracy” of the current system of data protection and data transfer between countries. The Government message […]

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Tech Insight : What Is 3D Printing?

In this article, we look at what 3D printing is, its benefits, and how it is being used now to add value in many different industries. What Is It? 3D printing (“additive manufacturing”) describes how, using a special printing machine, a three-dimensional object can be constructed from a CAD model or a digital 3D model. […]

Tech Tip – Get Gmail in Your Windows 10 Mail App

If you’d like a tidy, easy way to see your Gmail emails and Microsoft emails all in one place in Windows 10, here’s how to set it up: Click on ‘Start’ and type ‘Mail’, and select the Mail app. Open the app, right hand side click “+ Add account” and select Google/Gmail from the list. […]

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Tech News # 1 : Biometrics Could Assist the Taliban

Human Rights groups fear that the Taliban could soon be able to use collected biometric data to identify contractors and locals working with the US military. What Biometric Data? It has been reported that, over time, while on operations in Afghanistan, the US military collected biometric data such as fingerprints and retina scans using a […]

Legal Tech Advances

In this article, we take a brief look at the many different ways that technology is increasingly being used by legal professionals and by those seeking legal services, and how advancement such as AI are making a valuable contribution. DoNotPay DoNotPay (https://donotpay.com/), described as “the world’s first robot lawyer”, is an app/chatbot program that helps users […]

Tech Insight : How (Simple) 2FA is Being Beaten

In this article, we take a look at how two-factor authentication, introduced to help add an extra layer of security to logins, has its own vulnerabilities. What Is 2FA? Two-factor authentication (2FA) combines a username and password with another factor (e.g. sending an SMS or email with a code) to enable a person to login […]

Delivery Scams Top The ‘Smishing’ List

Data, published by trade association UK Finance for security provider Proofpoint, shows that parcel and package delivery scams are now the most common form of ‘smishing’ attempts. What Is Smishing? Smishing is where an attacker sends a text/SMS message purporting to be from a reputable company, in this case, the Royal Mail or a parcel […]

Tech Tip – Backing Up Your Chrome History

If you’ve lost your Google Chrome history and you’d like to avoid the frustration of having to waste time trying to find those useful and interesting websites that you remember looking at, here’s how to back-up your history so it doesn’t happen again:Enable Sync Enabling sync on Google Chrome history copies your history (and bookmarks) […]

Apps & Zaps – Ideas For Automating Your Business

In this article, we look at how Zapier and other alternatives can be used to link apps together and create automated workflows that can carry out daily/weekly marketing tasks for you in the background while you get on with running your business. Zapier Zapier (https://zapier.com/) is a tool that can automate repetitive tasks between two […]

Vodafone Introducing Roaming Charges From January

Vodafone has become the second big operator to announce the re-introduction of roaming charges in Europe for new and upgrading customers from January 2022. New, Upgrading, or Changing After 11 August 2021 New customers of the network, those upgrading, and those changing their call plans after 11 August will qualify for the new daily charges […]

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Crypto Hackers Return Most Of The $610 Million Crypto Cash

On 12 August, the Poly Network DeFi platform announced that, following the theft of $610 Million in digital coins, the hacker thieves had returned $342 million. However, it’s been reported that more recently, almost all of the stolen crypto has now been returned. The Hack The original theft, which had taken place just two days […]

Tech Insight : What Is Web Accessibility?

In this article, we take a brief look at what Web accessibility is, and how it can benefit Web users and the businesses and organisations that make it a priority. What Is It? Web accessibility mean that websites, tools, and technologies are designed and made so that all people, regardless of their barriers, including those […]

Tech Tip – All The Emojis You’ll Ever Need

Emojis can be a great tool for creating more engaging social media posts and more, so here’s a site where you can find and copy all the emojis you’ll need: To find the emoji you’re looking for: Go to https://emojipedia.org/ Type a name/description of the emoji required into the search field or select the category […]

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Apple To Scan Phones For Inappropriate Content

Apple has announced that all iPhone photos will be scanned for any evidence of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) to protect children and to help stop the spread of CSAM online. How? Apple’s new versions of iOS and iPadOS, due to be released later this year, will include a new system designed to detect any CSAM […]

WhatsApp’s Vanishing Photos & Videos

Facebook’s WhatsApp is rolling out its new ‘View Once’ feature whereby photos and videos disappear from the chat after they’ve been opened. Privacy and Space-Saving WhatsApp says that the feature gives users more control over their privacy because “not everything we share needs to become a permanent digital record” and suggests that ‘View Once’ is ideal for […]

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Have Computers Reached Their Limit?

Many tech commentators have noted how the stagnation in computing has led to ‘Moore’s Law’ being challenged, but has the shrinking of transistors within computer chips really hit a wall and what could be next for Moore’s Law? What Is Moore’s Law? Moore’s Law, named after Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, is based on his observation […]

Tech Insight: What Is Zero Trust?

With mobile computing, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and now remote working moving the focus of IT security away from the traditional perimeter, this article takes a brief look at what a ‘Zero Trust’ approach is and how it can help. More Complex Security Demands The belief among many IT security experts is that a traditional perimeter-based security […]

Tech Tip – How to Search A Whole Website For A Specific Term In Google

If you need to search just one domain for a particular search term, here’s how to use Google to do just that: Go to Google.com. Enter site: www.website.com search term into the search box e.g., site:bbc.co.uk painting. Refine your search. Email: hello@gmal.co.uk Visit our contact us page Or call 020 8778 7759 Back to Tech News

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Featured Article : Why is Data Science … Big?

In this article we look at what data science is, and what is driving its growth and value to businesses and organisations worldwide. Data Science Data science uses multiple disciplines, scientific methods, and processes (e.g. domain expertise, programming skills, data engineering, data preparation, data mining, predictive analytics, machine learning, data visualisation, and knowledge of mathematics […]

Tech Insight – What Is Business Process Management?

In this article, we take a brief look at Business Process Management (BPM), how it works, and how it can add value. What Is Business Process Management (BPM)? BPM is also referred to as business process improvement (BPI), business process re-engineering, continual improvement process (CIP), and process improvement. BPM is the ongoing, continuous practice or […]

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Computer Says “Guilty”

An error in the HM Courts and Tribunals Service computer system meant that 5,000+ defendants were wrongly assigned guilty pleas. Accidental Criminal Convictions The problem that led to 5,000+ people being wrongly given criminal convictions was an error in the computer system’s bulk amendment facility, which was used to update the cases of magistrates’ hearings […]

Half of Adults Unaware of Medical Records Sharing Scheme

A survey by consumer watchdog Which? has revealed that almost half of adults in England are unaware of plans for their medical records to be shared with a new NHS database. What Data Sharing? Back in May, NHS Digital launched its plan for sharing medical data from GP records in England. As part of the […]

Tech Tip – Minimise All Windows Instantly With The Show Desktop Button

If you’d like to know a fast way to minimise all your open windows with one click in Windows 10, here’s how… Look at the bottom far right-hand side of the screen, to the right-hand side of the ‘notifications’ icon. You will see a tiny, vertical line. Click on the line and all your open […]

Distrust or Mistrust Disinformation or Misinformation?

The new Online Media Literacy Strategy from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) is aimed at supporting 170+ organisations to improve media literacy rates in the UK, and thereby help young people to spot disinformation. As an aside, misinformation is information that is simply wrong, inaccurate or misleading (without necessarily having any intention to propagate […]

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Google Provides Insights Into Search Rankings

Google has announced that (US first) Google Search users can click into details that show how their search-result matched certain search-terms (context), thereby giving a further tantalising glimpse into how specific rankings/search engine results are arrived at. ‘About This Result’ Panel Google says that clicking the three dots next to most of its search engine […]

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Jeff Bezos And The Space Race

In this article, we look at some of the lighter aspects of the technological achievement that was the recent Blue Origin rocket flight, and we look at the vision behind it. Space Passengers The recent flight of the rocket containing and funded by (richest man in the world and Amazon Founder) Jeff Bezos yielded pictures […]

Tech Insight – Why Is Printer Ink So Expensive?

After a recent ‘Which?’ survey found that some branded printer ink costs more than some champagnes, we take a look at the reasons why printer ink is so expensive. The Recent ‘Which?’ Survey The survey by consumer watchdog Which? asked more than 10,000 inkjet printer owners about their ink shopping experiences regarding both original-branded and […]

Tech Tip – Using The Windows Clipboard History

If you’ve copied and pasted several items today but need to quickly and easily go back and use something you pasted earlier, you can use the clipboard history in Windows 10. Here’s how: To open the clipboard history, press the Windows logo key + V (and then select Turn on if it’s not on already). […]

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Featured Article : New 365 “Cloud PC” From Microsoft

Microsoft has announced its new hybrid Windows 365 cloud service where the operating system is stored in Microsoft’s Cloud and which securely streams each user’s apps, data, and settings to personal or corporate devices, acting as a full Windows desktop PC in the cloud. New Era of Hybrid Personal Computer Microsoft is calling the new subscription […]

Tech Insight – What Is 2FA?

Two-Factor-Authentication (2FA) refers to another piece of information that users are required to provide (in addition to username and password login details) to access a website/platform/account. Requiring another piece of information protects against others accessing the account if they simply know the username and password. Reasons The reasons for 2FA include: A huge increase in […]

New Lease of Life For Microsoft Paperclip ‘Clippy’

Following a vote of likes via Twitter and Instagram, Microsoft says it will be bringing back ‘Clippy’ the paperclip virtual assistant, but in as new, friendly-looking Emoji. Clippy From 1997 and until the mid-2000s, Microsoft Office users were used to seeing a paperclip symbol popping up on the screen to give help and advice about […]

WhatsApp Without A Smartphone

Facebook’s WhatsApp is testing a new feature that will allow users to send messages without using just their smartphone. Tied To A Phone WhatsApp is currently linked to just a user’s phone, and to use the Web/desktop version, the user must select ‘Linked Device’ (formerly ‘WhatsApp Web’) mode to scan an on-screen QR code. Multi […]

Help Improve Your Productivity With Microsoft’s MyAnalytics

If you’d like to get data-driven insights into your work habits to improve your productivity, you could try Microsoft 365 MyAnalytics platform. Here’s how: Sign into your Microsoft 365 account. Select MyAnalytics from the app drawer or click on the 9-dot square menu (top left) and select the ‘All Apps’ link and click on the […]

What Does “Right-To-Repair” Actually Mean?

In this article, we look at the right-to-repair movement, where it comes from, and how it’s progressing. The Right-To-Repair The ‘right-to-repair’ is a movement that seeks to have rules/legislation passed that forces manufacturers (e.g. of appliances, electrical products, white goods and more) to make parts (and information) available to end customers, not just approved/authorised repairers, […]

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Tech Insight : Open Plan Offices Create Stress From Noise

Recent research by TheNextWeb.com has confirmed long suspected views that open-plan office designs can reduce psychological well-being, affect moods, and create stress. This Study The most recent study, published online by Cambridge University Press, is based on an experiment which compared the difference between the effects of office noise on those in a larger open-plan […]

Trump Sues Social Media Platforms Channels For Censoring Him

Only 6 months after the storming of the United States Capitol in Washington and having his social media accounts suspended, former US resident Trump is suing Google, Twitter and Facebook, and their respective CEOs for allegedly censoring him. Twitter Account Permanently Suspended Trump’s presidency was characterised by his choice to constantly use Twitter as a […]

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Google Facing Anti-Trust App Store Lawsuit

Google is facing an antitrust lawsuit by 37 US states over allegations relating to how it may be abusing its position of power in relation to Android app distribution and competition. The Lawsuit The lawsuit makes allegations in three main areas, which are broadly that Google: Unlawfully maintains its monopoly in the market for Android app […]

Tech Tip – Create Simple To-Do Lists Using Google Tasks

Google Tasks (like Microsoft To-Do), which is already built into Gmail and Google Calendar offers an easy way to create simple to-do lists. Here’s how to use it: Sign-in to Google, open Calendar, and click on the ‘Tasks’ symbol (right-hand side, blue circle with pen symbol). Click on “Add a task”. Add the title, details, […]

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Doesn’t Microsoft Back-Up Your Stuff? Er, No!

Recognising that Microsoft 365 does not comprehensively back up your data means that making sure that you have a third-party, “point-in-time” backup solution is an important consideration for your business. Only For 30 Days Microsoft 365 may be a very secure platform and infrastructure, but it’s worth knowing that although geo-redundancy offers protection against a site […]

Featured Article: Dunroamin (in Europe)

Mobile operator EE has become the first to re-introduce roaming charges in Europe from January as a result of the Brexit trade deal that was signed at the end of 2020. When? EE says that for those who take out a pay monthly handset or SIM plan from 7 July onward, there will be a daily […]

Black is the New Blue, er, Screen of Death

Those who have tried the developer’s version of Microsoft’s new Windows 11 OS have reported that what used to be the ‘blue screen of death’ is now black. What Is The Blue Screen of Death? The so-called blue screen of death (BSoD) is displayed on a computer running Windows when there has been a fatal […]

Children Called “Alexa” Getting Bullied

It has been reported that children called ‘Alexa’ are being bullied because they share the same name as Amazon’s digital assistant and consequently, some parents are now calling for a digital name change. Alexa There are an estimated 4,000 people in the UK who are under the age of 25 and called “Alexa” (a female […]

Tech Tip – Checking If Links Are Safe or Spam

If you’ve ever wanted to click on a link to a website but wanted a way to check first whether it’s spam or worse, here are five ways to safely check: Check the status of a website URL using Google’s Transparency Report, which harnesses Google’s Safe Browsing technology. See: https://transparencyreport.google.com/safe-browsing/search?hl=en Use URLVoid to check a […]

Windows 11 Launched

With the launch of Microsoft’s Windows 11 recently announced in an online event, we take a brief look at what’s new with this new OS, how it challenges Apple, and when it’s available. Early Preview + Free Update An early preview version of the new Microsoft Windows 11, next generation OS will be released for […]

Featured Article – Who Was John McAfee?

After John McAfee was found dead in a Barcelona prison cell last week, we take a brief look at the colourful life of this complicated, maverick software entrepreneur. McAfee Antivirus The products that made John McAfee a household name were his antivirus software and anti-spam products. John McAfee formed his software company, originally called McAfee […]

£50 Note Featuring ‘Father of Computer Science’ Enters Circulation

The new £50 note featuring the face of mathematician and ‘father of computer science’ (and Bletchley Park code-breaker) Alan Turing has entered circulation. Turing’s Birthday The note, which was announced in July 2019 and finally entered circulation last week to coincide with Turing’s birthday, means that all new UK banknote denominations are now made of […]

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UK Firm Hit By £130,000 Fine For Marketing Calls

The ICO has fined home improvements company ColourCoat Ltd £130,000 for making more than 900,000 nuisance marketing calls! What? ColourCoat Ltd of St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex, which provides a number of home improvement services, was fined for making almost a million nuisance calls over an eight-month period, between 1st August 2019 and 31st March […]

Tech Tips – Creating Drop-down Lists in Google Sheets

If you use Google Sheets and need to simplify data-entry, adding dropdown lists can really help. Here’s how to add them: In Google Sheets, select the cell where you want the dropdown list. Click on ‘Data’, select ‘Data Validation’, and select ‘List of items’. In the field that loads, type the items you want to […]

UK Nuclear Plant Funded By Amazon Cash

General Fusion, a Canadian company with Amazon’s Jeff Bezos as one of its backers is building a Nuclear Fusion power demonstration plant at Culham in Oxfordshire. Fusion Whereas current nuclear power plants split atoms in a process known as ‘fission’ to generate energy, ‘fusion’ generates energy by fusing atoms together, which is the same process […]

Five-Year High For Tech Hiring

New figures from job search engine Adzuna and data provider Dealroom show that hiring in the tech industry has reached its highest level in five years. Vacancies Exceeding Pre-Pandemic Levels The data, which was compiled by Adzuna and Dealroom for the Government’s Digital Economy Council shows that job vacancies in the digital tech sector have now […]

Tech Insight : What is DaaS?

In this article, we take a brief look at what DaaS is, as well as its advantages and disadvantages. Desktop as a Service Desktop as a Service (DaaS) is a service where virtual applications/virtual desktops, via a third-party public or private cloud service, are made accessible (streamed) to users over the Internet via an html-based web browser […]

Tech Tips – How To Use Anchors (Bookmarks) In Google Docs

If you’d like to make it faster and easier to navigate between different document sections in Google Docs, here’s how to insert anchors (known as ‘bookmarks’): In Google Docs, type the name of the document in the Title column and open your chosen document. Put the cursor at the beginning of where you want to […]

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June Heatwave Saw High Temps And It Affects The Web Too

In this article, we look at how the weather can affect your Internet connection, and therefore the fortunes of the Web. Vulnerabilities Thinking beyond the router that is indoors, and protected from the weather, the rest of the infrastructure that brings your broadband is outdoors, and vulnerable to the effects of the UK weather. Physical […]

How Much Do You Know About Copyright Law?

In this article, we take a broad look at copyright and how it may apply to your business online, plus what exceptions there may be to the law. This Article Firstly, it is important to make clear that this article does not offer any definitive legal advice but merely takes a broad look at the […]

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Millions Struggling To Pay Broadband Bills

A recent Citizens Advice survey has revealed that 2.5 million people are behind on their broadband bills, with 700,000 of these falling into the red during the Covid pandemic. Young, With Children Under 18, Or Receiving Universal Credit Most Affected The survey of 6,001 adults living in the UK revealed that 18 to 34-year-olds and those […]

Tech Tips – Exporting/Importing Google Chrome Bookmarks

If you’re switching devices or need to re-install Google Chrome from scratch but don’t want to lose your collection of bookmarks, here’s how to export and import them.Export From Chrome’s ‘More’ menu (the three dots, top right) select ‘Bookmarks’ > ‘Bookmark manager’. Go to the three-dot menu (top right) and select ‘Export bookmarks’. Save the […]

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Conservative Party Gets £10,000 Data Protection Fine

The ICO has fined the Conservative Party £10,000 for sending unlawful marketing emails to people who did not want to receive them. Breach The ICO has decided that after an investigation into emails sent from the Conservative Party, in the name of Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP, during the eight days in July 2019 after […]

Hybrid Working Could See Half of UK Businesses Cut Office Space

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) survey has found that half of UK businesses expect to reduce the size of their office space, and one-third expect to reduce it by 30 percent. Reduce Size of Real Estate Portfolio The Occupier Survey of 258 of the UK’s largest companies found that half of the organisations surveyed expect to […]

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Tech Insight – What Is A VPN?

In this article, we take a brief look at what a VPN is, how it works, its advantages, plus its disadvantages. What Is A VPN? A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is a service that allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the Internet, thereby creating a secure, protected, encrypted ‘tunnel’. A […]

How Secure Is Your Software/Digital Supply Chain?

It is easy to think that cyber-attacks are likely to come from outsiders unconnected to the business, but how much do you know about the security of your digital supply chain? Software Supply Chain Risks Businesses use many different third-party software tools as part of their day-to-day transactions and for organisations in the public sector, […]

Tech Tips – Re-Open A Recently Closed Tab

Sometimes you can accidentally close an important browser tab. Here’s a fast and easy way to re-open that tab: In Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, right click on the title bar of the browser (the part above the address field). Select ‘Reopen closed tab’. Alternatively, press Ctrl + Shift + T. Email: hello@gmal.co.uk Visit our contact us page […]

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Suspected Cannabis Farm Turns Out To Be A Bitcoin Mining Farm

Police in Sandwell in the West Midlands recently discovered a warehouse that had been converted to an operation to illegally supply large quantities of electricity for Bitcoin mining. Same Heat & Electricity Profile as a Cannabis Farm The warehouse was raided by police after the heat generated, which had been spotted by the heat camera […]

Safely Moving Your Tech Hardware

With many of us now owning tech items such as laptops, desktops, and printers, we look at the best ways to prepare tech hardware for a safe journey to a new home. Tech Owners An Aviva survey from 2020 showed that the average UK home now has 10.3 internet-enabled devices (286 million in UK homes) […]

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Guarding Against The Rise In Router and VoIP Attacks

After a recent high profile media story highlighted how poor router security led to a police raid of the home of an innocent family, we take a look at how Wi-Fi piggybacking attacks against home and domestic targets, and VoIP hacking of businesses worldwide are growing threats. What Happened? It has been reported that in […]

Tech Insight – What Is Bandwidth?

In this article we take a look at what bandwidth is, ways to improve bandwidth, and we look at how bandwidth ‘throttling’ is used. Bandwidth Bandwidth refers to the maximum amount of data that can be transferred from one point to another over an internet connection in a given period of time. It is typically […]

Tech Tips – Sending ‘Private’ Emails in Gmail

If you need to send an email containing private/sensitive information, you can do it in Gmail using confidential mode. Here’s how: Open Gmail and log into your account. In the upper-left corner of the screen, select Compose. At the bottom of the New Message window, marked by a padlock and clock icon, is an option […]

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Get Notified By Google If Your Passwords Are Compromised

As part of Google’s latest security updates to Chrome and Android, users will not only be alerted if any of the passwords in their Password manager are compromised but will also be given the opportunity to make a quick fix. Quick Fix – Change Password In the ongoing competitive battle between Google’s Chrome browser (and […]

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New Privacy Features For Android 12

Google has announced the release of the first beta of Android 12 which has a range of new features including some security measures which Google hopes can match those of Apple. Design Change Announced recently at a developer conference, and on Google’s blog, the addition of the new features to Android 12 mark the “biggest design […]

The Issue of Push Payment Fraud Reimbursement

With Barclays Bank recently publishing the figures of refunds it made to customers who fell victim to authorised push payment (APP) fraud, there have been calls for greater transparency and reform to the current (voluntary) reimbursement code. Authorised Push Payment (APP) Fraud APP refers to situations where consumers have used a bank transfer to pay […]

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Tech Insight: What Are Firewalls?

In this article, we take a brief look at what a firewall is, what types there are, and the benefits and drawbacks of firewalls. Firewall A firewall is a network security system that can monitor and control incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined security rules.  Based on these rules, it decides whether to […]

Clubhouse For Android Launched In The UK

Drop-in audio conversation social network app ‘Clubhouse’ has launched its Android (beta) version for download in the UK. Clubhouse Android Launched In English-Speaking Countries San Francisco-based Clubhouse announced on May 9 that, starting in the U.S., and quickly following in other English-speaking countries, it was rolling out of the beta Android version of its popular […]

AI Keystroke Spy Tools

With AI recently in the spotlight in Europe over the need to regulate over some ‘unacceptable use’, some experts are warning of the threat of AI keystroke reading spy tools. Possibilities Companies like TypingDNA developing AI biometric verification (back in 2017) based on recognising the individual characteristics of how a person types, suggest that it […]

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Life After Cookies

With Google recently committing to phasing out third-party cookies as Firefox and Safari have already done, we take a brief look at the possible alternatives and replacements for using cookies to track and understand user behaviour. Cookies Cookies are pieces of code/small text files used for tracking and stored on the browser of someone who […]

Tech Insight: What Is Patching or Patch Management?

In this article, we take a brief look at the importance of patch management in maintaining security. Patches and Patch Management Patches are the software fixes for known security vulnerabilities in software such as operating systems, third-party applications, cloud-platforms, and embedded systems. Patch management is the ongoing process of distributing and applying those important security […]

Tech Tips – Using Alexa As An Intercom System

If you have Amazon Echo devices in your home (or office), the ‘Drop In’ feature allows you to use Alexa as an intercom through your Echo devices. Here’s how: Open your Alexa app. Tap ‘Devices’ (lower-right corner). Tap ‘Echo & Alexa’ to display a list of all of your Echo devices and enable ‘Drop In’ […]

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Google Users To Be Auto-Enrolled In Two-step Verification

In a recent blog post, Google has announced that the automatic enrolment of Google account users in Two Step Verification ‘2SV’ is coming soon. Passwords – Single Biggest Threat To Online Security In the blog post on ‘On World Password Day’ (May 6), Google’s Director of Product Management, Identity and User Security, Mark Risher, shared […]

Old Router Risks Could Affect Millions

An investigation by consumer watchdog ‘Which?’ has highlighted how millions of people around the UK are using old routers with security flaws. The Investigation The Which? investigation surveyed 6,000 UK adults and, with the help of Red Maple Technologies, looked at the security aspects of 13 models of (commonly used) old routers from companies such […]

10 Programming Languages And Examples Of Their Uses

In this article, we take a brief look at ten popular programming languages and what they’re used for. Recent History What we would recognise as the first computer programming languages date back to the 1940s, were very specialised and were based on mathematical notation. The 1950s saw the development of the first compiled programming language […]

Tech Insight – Business Intelligence

In this article we look at ‘business intelligence’, how it can be obtained, and why it’s important. Business Intelligence Business Intelligence refers to how a company/organisation can use its historical data to improving strategic decision-making and thereby provide a (hopefully sustainable) competitive advantage. What Data? In day-to-day operations, businesses and organisations generate, receive, gather, and […]

Tech Tips – Add Or Remove Comments In Word

Using comments in Microsoft Word is a good way to leave feedback and reply to feedback in documents that you and your team are working on. Here’s how: To add a comment, click the ‘Review’ tab (top of the screen). Highlight a word in the document or place your cursor on the screen and click […]

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Tech News : Robot Police Dog Sent Back With Tail Between Its Legs

It has been reported that NYPD has cancelled its contract with the company that supplied its ‘robot dog’ after the robot’s militarised appearance increased tensions with civilians at a difficult time for police relations. What Robot Dog? The robot ‘dog’ nicknamed ‘Digidog’ was ordered last year by the NYPD from specialist robot company Boston Dynamics […]

Tech News : Huge Lockdown Profits For Amazon

Changing consumer habits due to lockdown are believed to have been a big factor in Amazon’s Q1 profits being a massive three times larger than last year. Huge Profit Growth in Just One Year In the first 3 months of 2020, before the first lockdowns for the pandemic, Amazon recorded a $2.5bn profit. Fast forward to the […]

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Image Optimisation

In this article we look at image optimisation, the different types of compression and image files, and how files different file formats can be compared and best used. Vectors or Bitmaps? Raw, digital image files start as either vectors or bitmaps/rasters/pixel maps. Bitmaps are made from pixels whereas vectors are made using mathematical formulas, co-ordinates […]

Tech Insight – What Is An MSP?

In this article, we take a brief look at what an MSP is, what services they provide, and what benefits businesses get from using an MSP. MSPs A Managed Service Provider (MSP) is a company that delivers outsourced IT services and support to businesses and organisations.  The MSP remotely and proactively, manages, monitors, updates, reports […]

Tech Tips – Setting Up An ‘Out Of Office’ Autoreply In Gmail

Many people may be familiar with how to set up an ‘out of office’ email in Outlook, but it can also be done in Gmail too. Here’s how: Log in to Gmail and select the ‘gear’ (settings) symbol (top right). Select ‘See all settings’. Scroll down to ‘Vacation responder’ and change the setting to ‘on’. […]

ISDN To be Switched Off

With BT Openreach officially setting the timeframe for switching off PSTN/ISDN, we look at what this means for businesses. ISDN an PSTN Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN), which really came into being in the 1990s, is a set of communication standards that are used for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network […]

How To Browse Privately

This article takes a brief look at what private browsing actually means with popular browsers and software, and how genuinely private browsing could be achieved. Why Browse Privately? Over 80 percent of websites use one or more tracking tools (Epic) and reasons for private browsing may be to avoid having your browsing history recorded, perhaps being […]

EU To Ban “Unacceptable” Use of AI

Following last week’s leak of proposed new rules about the use of AI systems, The European Commission looks likely to ban some “unacceptable” usage of AI in Europe. The Leak and the Letter This latest announcement that the European Commission aims to ban “AI systems considered a clear threat to the safety, livelihoods and rights […]

MI5 ‘Think before You Link’ Campaign Warning To Staff

MI5 is using a ‘Think before You Link’ campaign to warn its workers about the growing threat of being targeted for information by actors for hostile states using fake profiles on platforms such as LinkedIn. Think before You Link It has been reported that MI5 believes that more than 10,000 British nationals have been targeted […]

Tech Tips – Receive Only Your Important Notifications in Outlook

If you would like to save time by configuring Outlook to only send you alerts when important emails arrive, here’s how: This involves setting up custom alert rules for specific people whose emails are particularly important to you e.g., the boss and other colleagues. To set up a custom alerting rule for a specific person: […]

Tech Insight – What Is An API?

In this article, we take a brief look at what APIs are, why they are important, and how they are they are used. What Is An API? An Application Programming Interface (API) is intermediary software that allows different applications to talk to each other. In essence, it delivers your request to a provider and then […]

What Is Greenwashing Technology?

In this article, we look at what ‘greenwashing’ is, how and why it is being used, and what is being done to stop it. What Is Greenwashing? Greenwashing, a term coined by Jay Westerveld in 1986, refers to how some companies mislead stakeholders about their environmental and ethical credentials by spending more on marketing themselves […]

Russia Sanctioned Over Cyber Attacks

President Biden’s administration in the U.S. has placed new sanctions on Russia over alleged cyberattacks affecting the U.S. and its allies. What Is Russia Accused Of? The U.S. government sanctions relate to: The ‘SolarWinds attack’ where cyber-criminals accessed 18,000 government and private computer networks. The U.S. appears to blame the Cosy Bear hackers for carrying […]

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MEPs Seek Ban On Public Biometric Surveillance

Following the recent leak of an EU draft of rules for applying to AI, 40 MEPs have called for a ban on the use of facial recognition and other types of biometric surveillance in public places. Draft Rules The leaked draft rules by EU lawmakers to regulate the use of AI prompted the MEPs to […]

Tech Tips – Creating An Email List In Outlook

If you’d like a quick and easy way to regularly email group of contacts (e.g. work colleagues or suppliers), Outlook gives you the ability to create a Distribution List (or Contact Group in 365).Here’s how it works: For Outlook Online Log into outlook.com or select Outlook from the app launcher. On the Left-hand side, select […]

Employee Exit

When employees leave a business or organisation, there are many actions that need to be taken to maintain security. Here’s a summary of some of them in relation to the health and continuity of the business and to fulfil legal and stakeholder responsibilities. Different Reasons, Same Actions Members of organisations inevitably change over time. They […]

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Microsoft and LinkedIn’s New Features To Help UK Jobseekers

With the pandemic fuelling job losses, new features from Microsoft’s LinkedIn platform could provide some help to the UK’s 1.7 million unemployed. The Challenge Many of LinkedIn’s users may now be facing the considerable challenge of unemployment and/or trying to stand out to present their skills in a market where they may be very capable […]

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Liquid Cooling To Maintain Microsoft’s Data Centres

Huge demands on Microsoft’s data centre servers, partly driven by a surge in Microsoft Teams user numbers has led to the tech giant opting for liquid-immersion cooling. The Challenge Microsoft has recognised that it has now come up against the slowdown of Moore’s Law as transistor widths have shrunk to atomic scales and are reaching […]

Tech Tips – Free Ways to Share Photos

We all take lots of photos with our smartphones, so here is a selection of some of the best free places to share (and back up) photos. Google Photos. Just having a Gmail account gives access to this service where you can share photos with family, friends, or teammates, create albums, and grant access to […]

Featured Article : Risks or Benefits of Charging Devices Overnight?

Many of us charge phones and laptops overnight but is this good for the battery and is it potentially dangerous, and how can we safely get the most from our device batteries? Batteries Smartphone and laptop batteries are Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion). These batteries have high energy density so they can be made small, while their rate […]

Tech Insight – The Global Microchip Shortage

With the world facing a considerable semiconductor microchip shortage, we take a look at the causes and effects of the shortage plus some potential solutions. Why Is This Important? Microchips are now included in virtually everything from watches to white goods and crucially in larger, high demand, big industry items such as cars.  Many products […]

Tech News : New Amazon AI Tool Monitors Your Business KPIs

In a move to provide more business intelligence, Amazon is launching a new tool that monitors key performance indicators (KPIs) to detect ‘anomalies’ so it can alert the business to potential problems. Lookout For Metrics ‘Lookout For Metrics’ is the name of the new service from Amazon Web Services (AWS) which uses machine learning for […]

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Android Stack Scanner Can Organise Your Documents

Google is launching its ‘Stack’ app for Android, an AI-based scanner that also names and categorises the documents it scans. The Technology The Stack app is a result of collaborative work between Area 120, Google’s in-house incubator and the DocAI team in Google Cloud, and the technologies from Google’s acquisition of the education start up ‘Socratic’. How […]

Tech Tips – How To Speed Up Your Phone Charging

If you are finding that your phone is getting slow at charging, here are some of the possible causes and solutions: Incompatible or faulty accessories, such as power brick, USB cable, or charging pad/mat (for wireless charging). Choosing a charger or brick with higher amperage e.g., a power brick with 2 to 3 amps could […]

Featured Article : Art, Cars, Carbon & Crazy Numbers

With news of a booming ‘NFT market’ and the acceptance of Bitcoin as payment for Tesla cars, we look at the environmental impact of these and how the technology needs to be improved to be made more sustainable. Robot Painting Collaboration This week there was news that an artwork co-created by a robot called Sophia […]

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Tech Insight – What Are Zero-Click SERPs?

In this article, we look at what a zero-click searches (SERPs) are, how this has impacted SEO, and what measures can be taken to increase the likelihood of your pages achieving featured snippets. Zero-Click SERPs A zero-click search describes when the search engine query is answered by a snippet of text at the top of […]

Notable Notes About … The New £50 Note

Bletchley Park code-breaking hero and wronged computer pioneer Alan Turing is to feature on the UK £50 note from 23rd June. Alan Turing Despite breaking WWII Nazi Germany’s Enigma machine code, allowing enemy messages to be read and thereby shortening World War II and saving countless lives, Alan Turing’s genius and heroism was overshadowed by […]

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Live : Teams Transcriptions

Microsoft has announced the launch of an AI-powered live transcription tool for Teams which provides a written record of the spoken text that occurs during a meeting. How It Works The live transcription tool identifies each speaker and automatically captures in real-time what is said by each speaker and makes the transcript available during and […]

Tech Tips – Adjust The Sound For Specific Apps

If you would like to have better control of the volume levels of individual apps that you have open on Windows 10 this can easily be done via the settings (Sound) section and the hidden ‘Volume Mixer’. Here’s how:Using (Sound) Settings Click on the Start button and select ‘Settings’ or type settings into the search […]

Practice PowerPoint Presentations Anywhere

Microsoft has announced that its PowerPoint Presenter Coach is now available on all platforms. Presenter Coach Presenter Coach, first introduced in PowerPoint for the web, helps the user to practice their presentation skills. The app utilises AI to give users useful feedback on their pace, use of monotone pitch, use of filler words, poor grammar, […]

Live Captions Expanded To Chrome Web Browser

Google’s real-time Live Captions feature is now available to anyone using a Chrome web browser instead of just for Pixel phone users. Live Captions Live Captions is an accessibility feature that uses machine learning to generate (on-device) real-time captions for videos or audio. The feature enables those in a noisy environment, trying to keep the […]

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Ransomware Payouts Tripled Last Year

The Ransomware Threat Report 2021 from Unit 42 shows that the average amount paid by ransomware victims tripled from 2019 to 2020. Ransomware Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts the important files on a computer and the user (often a business/organisation) is given a ransom demand, the payment of which should mean that […]

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How Search Engines Are Dealing With Fake News

Fake news has become pernicious and widespread so in this article, we look at how the search engines are facing up to the enormous challenge of separating the real from the fake. Challenges Those trying to combat the spread of fake news face a common set of challenges, such as those identified by CEO of […]

Tech Tips – How To Wipe Your Phone Or Laptop Before Selling It

If you would like to sell a phone, laptop, tablet, or other device, but would like to know how to completely wipe it first, here’s how:Firstly, make sure you’ve backed up things like your photos, other important files, and WhatsApp chats. Next:Windows Laptops Type “Reset” into the Start search box and select “Reset this PC”. […]

Are Macs More Secure Than PCs?

Apple Macs have long had a reputation for being more secure than PCs but where does this idea come from and is it really the case? How Did It Start? Apple itself supported the idea that Macs didn’t get computer viruses until (in 2012) it was noted that the claim was removed from its “Why You’ll […]

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Two ISPs Helped Secret Government Web Spying

Using the Investigatory Powers Act of 2016, it has been reported that a recent government test of tracking users’ web histories has been helped by two ISPs. The Investigatory Powers Act The Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (also known as the ‘Snooper’s Charter’) became law in the UK in November 2016. It was designed to extend […]

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Remote Working, The New Norm. Er, Is It?

After Liz Truss’s (the UK’s Minister for Women and Equalities) suggestion that flexible working should be standard appeared at odds with the Prime Minister’s views, will remote working be the new norm … or not? February – The Prime Minister In February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said (while on a rail industry conference video call) […]

Getting The Most From Spotify

If you like the streaming music platform Spotify and sound quality is really important to you, here are some ideas and tips for how to get the best listening experience. Disclaimer Firstly, the disclaimer.  This article in no way endorses, recommends, or favours Spotify over the many other audio streaming services that are available such […]

Tech Tips – Open All Tabs At Once

If you’re using Microsoft’s Edge browser, a handy organising feature means that you can easily get a full, instant view of every window you have open and quickly tab between them. Here’s how: Press Alt + Tab. Holding down Alt, click Tab to move between the windows and to select the one you want. To […]

Google Tracking Cookies

As Google has announced an end to third-party cookies, we look at the issues that have led to the decision, and at what may replace these cookies. The Difference Between First and Third-Party Cookies A cookie is a piece of code (used for tracking) that takes the form of a small text file that is […]

AI ‘LitterCam’ Target Motorists Who Throw Rubbish From Cars

The first UK pilot scheme using CCTV to specifically target motorists who throw litter from their cars will shortly begin in Maidstone, Kent. LitterCam The Maidstone Borough Council is enlisting the help of LitterCam technology, which uses AI to remotely detect vehicle-based littering, and number plate recognition to identify cars involved in littering. LitterCam is […]

UK’s First Till-less ‘Walk Out’ Shop

Amazon has opened its first ‘no-till, just walk out’ grocery store in London where customers are automatically billed on exiting the store. Frictionless The new Amazon Fresh store offers a “frictionless” experience to shoppers as they are given what feels like an incredible level of trust and hopefully save time in the shop thanks to […]

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Microsoft’s ‘Teams Connect’ Challenges Slack

New features for Microsoft’s Teams include cross-organisation channel sharing called ‘Teams Connect’ that has been likened to a very similar feature in Slack. Announced at Ignite At Microsoft’s ‘Ignite’ annual conference, held online this year, Microsoft announced a number of new collaborative working features for its Teams platform. Microsoft Teams Connect One key new feature […]

Tech Tips – Organising Files Using ‘Libraries’

If you would like a quick and easy way to bring all relevant files from different drives into one virtual folder that you can search at one time, use the Windows 10 ‘Libraries’ feature. Here’s how: Go to/open File Explorer. If ‘Libraries’ isn’t listed e.g., under ‘This PC’, right mouse click in the navigation pane […]

What Is Clubhouse?

With ‘audio-only’, social media app Clubhouse is starting to hit the news after its launch one year ago, we take a look at exactly what it is and why you might consider using it. What Is It? Clubhouse is an invitation-only iPhone app where users can set-up their own (or join other users’) virtual public […]

Get Paid By Your ‘Super Followers’ on Twitter

Twitter has announced that it will soon launch a ‘Super Follow’ feature where account holders can charge their followers for access to exclusive content such as newsletters, videos and deals. What is ‘Super Follow’? The Super Follow feature, which was announced in an investor presentation last week, will allow Popular Twitter users to charge a […]

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Google Alerts Used In Malware Scam

It has been reported that hackers have been able to spread malware using fake news stories via the Google Alerts service. Google Alerts Launched in 2003, Google Alerts is Google’s content change detection and notification service which sends emails to a user when it finds new results (e.g. web pages, newspaper articles, blogs) that match […]

More Remote Workers Trusting Mobile Data For Important ‘Stuff’

New research from O2 (conducted online by YouGov) shows that more remote workers are switching to mobile data to stay online and avoid connectivity issues. Switching The survey, involving more than 4,000 adults (1,351 of whom were working from home) showed that nearly half (47 per cent) were experiencing stress from connectivity issues and that […]

Tech Tips – Autofill and Sync Passwords

If you’re a Microsoft Windows user and you’d like to avoid the hassle of remembering and typing your passwords across devices and platforms, Autofill can do it for you as it is now being rolled out with the Microsoft Authenticator app, and as an Autofill extension on Google Chrome. Here’s how to use it: Autofill […]

How Likely Are Vaccine Passports?

With the news that the UK government said that businesses are free to pursue vaccination ID tech, how likely are vaccine passports? Vaccine Passports The phrase ‘vaccine passports’ refers to people (who have been vaccinated) being able to show proof of vaccination in the form of digital vaccination credentials/a digital ID, perhaps on an app, […]

AI and Automation in Recruitment

With AI already revolutionising recruitment, we take a look at the benefits (and challenges) and the future direction of AI for both recruiters and applicants. Attracting the Best Talent One of the big challenges facing the recruitment industry today is not only finding and attracting the best talent in an affordable and efficient way, but […]

Condemnation For Facebook After Blocking News

Facebook faced condemnation after blocking ‘news’ content from its platform in Australia following a publishing law row, and was facing condemnation and potential challenges in other countries. A last minute turnaround  means that the Social Media giant will now return news to its Australian site but not without damage to its reputation. New Law In […]

Post Office Biometric Authentication

The Post Office has announced that its new, free app will include the latest biometric-face matching and liveness biometric authentication. Partnership With Yoti As a result of a partnership with London-based digital identity company, Yoti, Post Office customers will be able to use a free app that will combine their personal data and biometrics to […]

Tech Tips – Continuing Where You Left Off With Edge

If you would like to preserve all your browser tabs and reopen them the next time you restart Microsoft Edge e.g. if you’ve had to restart your machine while browsing, here’s how: Open Edge, click on the 3 dots (top right) and select ‘Settings’. Click “On startup” in the sidebar. Select “Continue where you left […]

Man Sued For Bad Review on Trustpilot

Consumer review website Trustpilot has expressed concerns over freedom of speech after a firm of London solicitors sued someone over a bad review. What Happened? Philip James Waymouth, who had sought legal advice (online) from London-based Summerfield Browne solicitors appeared dissatisfied with the service and left a bad review of the solicitors on the Trustpilot […]

Coronavirus Lockdown Increases ‘Romance Fraud’

UK Finance and Action Fraud have both reported increases in fraud related to romance scams over the lockdown period. What Is Romance Fraud? Romance fraud/romance scams refers to fraudsters adopting fake personas online in order to fool a victim into thinking they are in a serious romantic relationship with the aim of convincing the victim […]

Energy Consumption and Carbon Production From Bitcoin and Other Tech

With the news that mining Bitcoin uses more electricity annually than the whole of Argentina, we take a closer look at the carbon footprint of technology today. Cambridge Researchers from Cambridge recently highlighted how power-hungry “mining” for the Bitcoin cryptocurrency is because it requires heavy computer calculations to verify transactions.  The researchers reported that it consumes […]

Scotland Shames The Rest of UK for Free Electronic Car Charging

Zap-Map figures show that Scotland has the largest number of free electronic vehicle (EV) charging points in the UK. More Than A Quarter of the UK’s Free Chargers The latest figures from EV charging infrastructure trackers Zap-Maps show that of the 21,000 charging devices listed on Zap-Map, 4,900 are free to use.  This means that […]

Tech Tips – Restoring Previous Versions Using File History

If you’d like to restore a previous version of a file in Windows 10 you can do this using File History.  Here’s how: Firstly, to enable File History: Go to ‘Settings’ and select ‘Update & Security’ and in the left-hand-side menu, click on ‘Backup’. Under ‘Add a Drive’, if no dive is listed you will […]

Emotet : A Million Bucks per Incident

In the light of a reported recent victory by Europol in trying to stop the particularly dangerous Emotet malware, we look at what it is, how it is spread, and how to try and guard against it. What is Emotet? Emotet is a computer malware program, believed to be Russian in origin, that was originally […]

Google’s Record Advertising and Cloud Sales Due To Pandemic

Alphabet Inc’s (Google’s) quarterly sales for its advertising and cloud businesses exceeded expectations to hit record levels, helped by the pandemic driving retail and clients online. Figures Google’s advertising business, which includes YouTube, made up 81 per cent of Alphabet’s record $56.9 billion in quarterly sales (fourth quarter).  This represented a massive 23 per cent […]

Amazon AI Cameras Prompt “Mobile Surveillance” Privacy Row

The fact that Amazon has started using AI-powered cameras in delivery vans that constantly record footage of drivers has led to accusations of mobile corporate surveillance. Cameras The Driveri combined video recording and AI cameras have been introduced to the cab of Amazon delivery vans to record drivers with the stated intention of helping to […]

‘Custom Neural Voice’ Available From Microsoft

Microsoft has announced the general availability of a one-of-a-kind customised, synthetic voice for brands, generated using Custom Neural Voice, the Text-to-Speech (TTS) feature of Speech in Azure Cognitive Services. What Is It? The Custom Neural Voice from Microsoft uses deep neural networks and a powerful base model built with speech data from many different speakers to […]

Tech Tips – PDF’s From Almost Anything

PDFs are really useful files for sharing and printing and one good thing about Windows 10 is that it enables you to make a pdf out of almost anything.  Here’s how: From any Windows 10 app, use the Print command. In the Print dialogue box, select Microsoft Print to PDF as the destination printer.  Adjust […]

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What’s all the fuss about ‘Robinhood’ ?

In the light of the recent controversy over GameStop shares, we take a look at the growing trend for casual, amateur investing and how the Robinhood app has enabled this. Robinhood Robinhood is a is a free-trading app that lets any investor trade stocks, options, exchange-traded funds, and cryptocurrency without paying commissions or fees.  Robinhood is paid […]

Grindr in Norway Fined £8.5M

The LGBTQ+ dating app was issued the penalty for the alleged sharing of users’ sensitive personal data with third-party advertisers without obtaining appropriate consent.  The fine is the result of a legal complaint by the Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet) last year, where it expressed concern that users of the app may not have been in […]

Poorest People Excluded By Broadband Prices

A survey by Citizens Advice has found that more than one in six people are struggling to afford their broadband during the third lockdown and that poorer people are locked out altogether. Certain Groups Worst Hit Citizens Advice, which also conducted a similar survey during the first lockdown, found that the groups struggling most with […]

Contactless Payment Limit Could Be Raised to £100

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has asked the UK Treasury to consider increasing the maximum contactless payment to £100. Changing Payment Behaviour The move away from handling cash due to its potential infection-passing risk, and the lockdowns making consumers less likely to visit ATMs or town centres have led to a move away from cash […]

Tech Tips – Colour Filters

If you’re having trouble seeing what’s on the screen, Windows 10 allows you to apply a colour filter which changes the screen’s colour palette and can help you distinguish between things that differ only by colour. Here’s how to use it: Select Start  > Settings  > Ease of Access > Colour filters. Switch on the […]

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Google Going In Oz?

Australia’s intention to introduce a new law to make tech companies like Google and Facebook pay publishers for news content has prompted Google to threaten to withdraw its search engine from Australia. What Law? The proposed law is currently a Bill for an Act to amend the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 in relation to digital platforms, […]

What Is Zero Trust?

With mobile computing, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and now remote working moving the focus of IT security away from the traditional perimeter, this article looks at what a Zero Trust approach is and how it can help. More Complex Demands The belief among many IT security experts is that a traditional perimeter-based security approach may no longer […]

Google Mobile Search Re-Design

Google has announced that to make it faster and easier for users to find what they are looking for, a major visual redesign of Google’s mobile search results is to be rolled out shortly. Challenges Some of the challenges that Google has tried to address with the new changes are the diversity in the types […]

Musk Offers $100 Million To Best Carbon Capture Inventor

Billionaire Tesla founder and SpaceX boss, Elon Musk, has pledged to give a $100 (£73 million) prize to whomever comes up with the best technology to remove carbon dioxide (which are generated from fossil fuels) from the air. Jan 21st Tweet In a Tweet on January 21, Elon Musk said, “Am donating $100M towards a prize […]

Tech Tips – Steps Recorder

If you would like a fast and easy way to describe to someone else (with pictures and steps) how you do something on your Windows 10 computer, the ‘Steps Recorder’ will record what you do and produce a file or slideshow showing those steps. To record your steps: Go to the start menu and type […]

Electric Cars Allowed in Bus Lanes Pilot Causes Concern

Cambridgeshire County Council’s pilot scheme to allow electric vehicles to use bus lanes from December 2020 has caused safety concerns among cyclists, who also use the bus lanes. December Decision Under an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO), a pilot scheme running from 14 December 2020 until 13 June 2021 (with the option to extend up […]

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Data About You Held By UK Government

In this article, we look at not just the story of how a staggering 400,000 police records were accidentally deleted but also at the wider picture of what information is held about us UK citizens by the authorities, and what powers we have over that data. Deleted After first being reported in the Times newspaper, […]

Signal Crashes Due To Millions of Sign-Ups

With more than 30 million people joining the non-profit, end-to-end encrypted communications app ‘Signal’ in just a few days, users of the app have (understandably) been experiencing a few technical issues. Mass Sign-Ups The announcement that WhatsApp would be changing its privacy policy and terms to force users (outside Europe) to share their data with WhatsApp’s […]

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PC Sales Get Biggest Boost in 10 Years From Remote Working

Global tech market analysts Canalys have reported that the worldwide PC market has received its biggest sales boost in 10 years as remote working fuels the ongoing digital transformation. Highest Full-Year Growth Since 2010 Canalys reported on 11 January that the global PC market ended 2020 on a high with 25 per cent sales growth […]

Tech Tips – Stop Skype From Opening Automatically

If you would like to stop Skype from opening and appearing automatically, every time you log into or start-up Windows 10, here’s how: Go to ‘Settings’ (type ‘Settings’ in the taskbar and select it). Click on ‘Apps’. On the ‘Apps and Features’ page, left-hand side, click on ‘Startup’. Switch the Skype toggle to ‘Off’. To […]

WhatsApp To Share Users’ Personal Info

In a change to WhatsApp’s privacy policy from next month, users outside of Europe will have to agree to share their personal information with WhatsApp’s owner Facebook or leave the app. Outside Europe From February 8, 2021, a compulsory aspect of continuing to use WhatsApp outside the EU and EEA will be to agree to […]

Trump Banned on Social Media

Last week, following the storming of Washington DC’s Capitol building, US President Donald Trump’s ban from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (for a full list click here) has led to some questions about the legal status and regulation of social media companies. Twitter – Permanently Suspended Twitter has been US President Trump’s chosen means of regular […]

Rules and Regulations : Social Media

In this article, we look at the rules, policies and guidance around what types of content is –  and isn’t – allowed on social media websites. Social Media Platforms Social media platforms reflect many different views and motivations and can be used for harm (as well as good) e.g., cyberbullying, hate speech, grooming and more.  […]

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Brexit – Temporary Data Adequacy Granted to the UK

Worries about the disruption of the flow of data and the effect of this on trade between the UK and EU countries with Brexit have been addressed by the granting of controversial, short-term data adequacy status to the UK. What Is Data Adequacy? For third countries, i.e. those outside the European Economic Area (EEA) of the […]

Tech Tips – Optimising Storage

You can make sure that you are making the best use of the space on your computer by using the Storage Sense feature in Windows 10.  Here’s how: When enabled, Storage Sense will automatically work in the background when your PC is getting low on space to free-up space by ridding your system of unwanted, […]

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Those Who Understand Stats Less Prone To COVID

New Research from the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM), suggests that people who understand statistics and data are more likely to take COVID-19 prevention advice seriously. The Results The research results, published in the paper ‘The Role of Statistical Literacy in Risk Perceptions and Behaviour During the COVID-19 Pandemic’ suggest that people are […]

Bitcoin Skyrockets

The value of the Bitcoin cryptocurrency has risen sharply, reaching a value of £22,000 for the first time ever. Bitcoin Bitcoin is a digital web-based currency that operates without the need for central banks and uses highly secure encryption to regulate the currency units and to verify transfers of funds. Bitcoin, which was first produced […]

AI in 2021 For Small Businesses

In this article, we look at some of the ways that SMEs can access and use AI to improve efficiency and add value. SMEs Optimistic About AI Contrary to a popular belief that AI may still be a little ‘pie in the sky’ for many SMEs, an Adecco study (2017) showed that small businesses are […]

Tesla Delivered (Almost) 500,000 Vehicles in 2020

Tesla reached its target of producing 500,000+ vehicles in 2020, although it very narrowly missed its target of delivering that number of vehicles. Target Electronic vehicle company Tesla’s own target set five years ago under CEO Elon Musk, of producing half a million vehicles in a year was reached in 2020 when deliveries in the […]

Tech Tips – How To ‘Unsend’ An Email With Gmail

If you use Gmail and if you would like to avoid sending an email to the incorrect recipients, without the promised attachments, with the wrong subject line, or worse, here’s how: Gmail settings offer the option of pausing an email delivery up to 30 seconds, thereby buying you valuable time to stop it from being […]

2020’s Big Tech Story Round-Up

As 2020 draws to a close, here is look back of some of the biggest tech stories and issues in the year that was dominated by the effects of a global pandemic. Disastrous The shocking death toll and infection rates, the lockdowns, hardship, and job losses for large numbers of the population, huge pressure on […]

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Microsoft’s Password Manager Works Across Devices and Browsers

Microsoft has announced that its new Authenticator App will also work as a password manager which will allow passwords to be synced across desktop and mobile devices (iOS and Android) as well as Edge and Google Chrome browsers. Free Authenticator The free Microsoft Authenticator app is currently only available as a public preview version in […]

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Voice and Video Calls For WhatsApp Next Year

It has been reported that Facebook’s WhatsApp will be introducing voice and video calling to its WhatsApp Web desktop version next year. Pandemic Boosted Demand WhatsApp, which has around 2 billion users globally, is currently used mainly for personal calls in addition to text chat, sending videos and photos. The need for businesses to enable […]

Personal Data Security Given Low Priority By Christmas Online Shoppers

A survey commissioned by PCI Pal® shows that Christmas online shoppers appear to be more concerned about prices and the speed and cost of deliveries than the security of their personal data. Priority Ranking The survey asked 2,002 online shopper adults aged 18-65 in the UK to rank purchase factors such as the price of goods, […]

Tech Tips – Stop Videos From Automatically Playing

In Windows 10, using Microsoft Edge, here’s how you can block annoying autoplay ads and videos on a web page: Click on the 3 dots (top right) and select ‘Settings’. Select ‘Cookies and site permissions’ (middle of the left-hand menu). Scroll down to ‘Media Autoplay’ and set to ‘Limit’. Refresh the page to see changes. […]

Stay Safe Online This Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner here are some suggestions for how you and your loved ones can stay safe online over this festive period and beyond. The Shift Online The pandemic has prompted a huge shift online this year for work and now, with the second wave in full flight, for online shopping. Back […]

IR35 Tax Status Checker Tool Problems For 20 Per Cent of Users

Doubt has again been cast on the effectiveness of HMRC’s IR35 tax status checker tool after news that it failed to provide a response in nearly 20 per cent of cases. IR35 The IR35 tax reform legislation that is designed to stop tax avoidance from ‘disguised employment’, which occurs when self-employed contractors set up their […]

Hyundai Buying Robot Company

South Korean car manufacturer, Hyundai Motor Group, has agreed to buy a controlling stake in robot maker Boston Dynamics. Boston Dynamics Boston Dynamics, which is currently owned by Tokyo-based multinational conglomerate holding company Softbank Group Corp., is an American engineering and robotics design company founded in 1992 as a spin-off from the Massachusetts Institute of […]

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Google’s DeepMind AI Makes Dramatic Breakthrough

Google’s DeepMind AI machine learning program has solved a genetic protein challenge, the result will dramatically change biology and could bring many medical benefits. The Challenge Proteins are the building blocks of cells and, for more than half a century, scientists have been trying to find a way to accurately predict the 3D shape and […]

Tech Tips – Faster Startup

If your computer’s getting a little slow and you would like to save time by having a faster computer startup with Windows 10 by trimming down the number of programs that try to load on startup, here’s how: Go to Settings > Apps > Startup. Look at the list of programs, whether they’re enabled, and […]

Technology : Post-Brexit

With the UK’s departure from the European Union set for 31 January 2020, we take a brief look at what is known about how technology and the technology sector may be affected in a few key areas. Predictions and Warnings Since the June referendum vote of 2016 led to Brexit, there have been many predictions […]

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UK COVID Vaccine Maker Targeted By Suspected North Korean Hack

It has been reported that UK drug company AstraZeneca has been targeted by suspected North Korean hackers thought to be looking for COVID vaccine secrets. Used WhatsApp and LinkedIn Over the last few weeks, attacks have reportedly been launched on AstraZeneca’s systems by hackers posing as recruiters.  The bogus recruiters used LinkedIn and WhatsApp to […]

Big AWS Outage Affects Large Proportion of the Internet and IoT

A big Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage last week affected a large number of Internet services and gadgets at a time when making online sales and using cloud-based remote working platforms are vital for struggling businesses. AWS AWS, which is responsible for around 15 per cent of Amazon’s massive overall revenue, is made up of 175+ products […]

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New Competition Rules for Facebook and Google in the UK

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that Facebook and Google will face new rules next year to prevent abuse of their market dominance. The Issues For the CMA, the issues that were highlighted back in July and are now in the forefront again focus on the facts that: A massive 80 per […]

Tech Tips – Organising Tabs With A ‘Bounce’

In Windows 10, if you would like a fast and easy way to stay organised by instantly getting a birds-eye view of each tab that you have open without interrupting the flow of your work this tip is for you. Click on the tab part of the current window that you are working on. Drag […]

HMRC Self Assessment Scam Warning

HMRC has issued a warning to those completing Self Assessment tax returns for 31 January not to be caught out by SMS messages and email scams purporting to be from HMRC. Bogus An upturn in scams using HMRC’s name has meant that in the last 12 months, HMRC has responded to more than 846,000 referrals […]

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Apple to Pay £85 Million For ‘Batterygate’ Scandal

Apple is to pay $113m (£85m) to put an end to the ‘Batterygate’ scandal, where the company was accused of deliberately slowing down iPhone batteries to prompt users into buying a new iPhone. What Happened? Back in 2017, some iPhone users were sharing concerns online that their iPhone’s performance had slowed with age but had […]

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The Difference Between Cloud Backup and Cloud Storage

This article looks at the difference between cloud backup and cloud storage and how each contributes to daily business life; business continuity and disaster recovery. The Need For Storage Businesses not only have limited hard drive space, plus they are having to deal with an increasing amount of data (primary and secondary), comply with stricter […]

Carbon Pollution From Your Emails

A Financial Times report based on work by Tim Berners-Lee has highlighted how sending fewer emails could help tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions. Emails and Carbon Production The idea from Tim Berners-Lee, referenced also by Ovo Energy, is that although emails appear to be more environmentally friendly than using paper, a lot of […]

Tech Tips – Windows 10 Emoji/Kaomoji Keyboard

If you would like a fast and easy way to include emojis in your writing or get access to a free resource of extra graphics when using Windows 10, you may not know that Windows 10 now has an integrated emoji and Kaomoji keyboard. Here’s how to find it: To load the emoji/kaomoji keyboard: Press […]

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Google Accused of Stealing Android Data

Google is being sued for (allegedly) secretly using Android users’ cellular data allowances without user consent, to perform “passive” information transfers. Passive Information Transfers The lawsuit was filed by Taylor et al v. Google in a US federal district court in San Jose.  The group of Plaintiffs have filed a Class Action Complaint against Google […]

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Data Breaches : The Fallout

Data Breaches A personal data breach, as defined by the UK’s data watchdog and regulator, The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), is “a breach of security leading to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to, personal data.” This definition highlights, therefore, that a breach could be accidental or deliberate, and could be […]

Vanish Mode For Messenger and Instagram Chats

Only a week after its WhatsApp announcement for the “disappearing messages” feature, Facebook has announced “Vanish Mode” for Messenger and Instagram to allow the sending of messages that disappear automatically. Privacy and Secrecy Facebook says that the Vanishing Messages feature is particularly useful if there is “something you want to say in the moment without worrying […]

Retail Adapting To Pandemic Christmas and Beyond

With the UK facing different rules and lockdowns, there’s evidence that retailers are trying to overcome their significant challenges by becoming more agile and adapting where possible. High Street Decline Prior to the pandemic, those with bricks and mortar shops in UK high streets were already facing challenges. Research from 2018 (Statista), for example, showed […]

Tech Tips – Sending Delayed Emails

In Microsoft Outlook you can delay the delivery of an individual message or you can use rules to delay the delivery of all messages by having them held in the Outbox for a specified time after you click Send.  Here’s how: To Delay the delivery of a message: When composing the message, select the More options arrow from the Tags group in the Ribbon. […]

WhatsApp Launches Self-Destruct Messages

From the end of November, Facebook’s WhatsApp users will have the option to automatically delete chats between the sender and recipient after 7 days. Disappearing Messages The new “disappearing messages” feature is not going to be the default setting and needs to be switched on by the user in the settings (or by the Admin […]

Scammer Accidentally Calls Cyber-Crime Squad

A hapless scammer pretending to be from a broadband network got more than he bargained for when he accidentally called (and tried to work his scam) on the cyber-crime squad of an Australian police force. Claimed To Be From Broadband Network The scammer, claiming to be from Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN), which does not […]

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Language Used Reveals Societal Pandemic Anxiety

An AI study of the language used on social media platform Reddit has revealed increasing levels of anxiety since the beginning of the pandemic. Study The study, by MIT and Harvard University researchers, sought to leverage natural language processing (NLP) algorithms to characterise changes in some of the world’s largest mental health (15 groups) and […]

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Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

In this article, we look at why bring your own device (BYOD) is still popular and we look at some of the risks businesses face by allowing BYOD. BYOD BYOD has been around since 2004 and essentially allows employees to bring in their personally owned laptops, tablets, and smartphones to work and use them to […]

Tech Tips – Jump Lists

In Windows 10, if you would like to return quickly and easily to a location that you have recently visited, the ‘Jump List’ feature in the taskbar can help. Here’s how it works: Jump list works for browsers, folders, and other programs where the icons are displayed in the taskbar at the bottom of the […]

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AI COVID Cough Detector

MIT research has used an AI model trained on cough sounds to detect an early stage COVID cough. Identifies Cough Pattern Those who catch COVID-19 but remain largely or completely asymptomatic (and therefore do not get a test) are proving to be a challenge in stopping the spread of the virus. With this in mind, […]

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How Do You Know If Your Website Has Been Hacked?

Hacking of websites, as well as devices and accounts, is all too common and this article looks at some of the tell-tale signs that your website may have been hacked, and what to do about it. Signs The kinds of signs that alert website owners to the fact that their website may have been hacked […]

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Huge Demand for Employee Monitoring Software

The move to home working has prompted more businesses to invest in more digital, online staff-monitoring tools to help with transparency and productivity. Home Working Working at home because of the pandemic has led to companies wanting to monitor employee online activity and employees becoming concerned about how this could impact upon their privacy. Which […]

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Disposable Email Addresses For Office 365 Users

Microsoft is making its plus addressing, custom email feature available to all Office 365 users by adding it to Exchange Online. What Is Plus Addressing? Plus addressing allows a user to create their own custom, disposable return email address so that, for example, when a user signs up to something (newsletter sign-up forms, contact forms, […]

Tech Tips – Cloud Download PC Reset

If you are using Windows 10 and you need to do a clean install on a PC/reset a PC, Microsoft’s ‘Cloud Download’ feature as part of the new Windows update makes it easy. This feature means that there is no need to gather files from the computer’s local storage or to create installation media. Instead, […]

Tech Tips – Windows Switch

If you like to save time while you are working with Windows 10, here is a tip to help you quickly and easily open up windows from your taskbar using ‘Windows Switch’: Hold down the Windows key + 1 and this opens the first item that’s displayed in the taskbar. Hold down the Windows key […]

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Password Security and The Road Ahead

The fact that websites continue to be hacked and passwords are frequently stolen (and that a computer recently set a record by guessing 100 billion passwords per second) calls in to question how passwords can still be used safely and what lies ahead for them. This article looks at password security now and the road […]

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Sanctions Hurt Huawei

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd.’s 9.9 per cent revenue increase in its figures for the first three quarters of 2020 shows a significant slowing in growth compared to the 24.4 per cent increase for the corresponding period of 2019. Impact Financial and tech commentators are pointing to US-led sanctions against the Chinese telecoms equipment and smartphone […]

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PayPal To Support Cryptocurrencies

It has been reported that US-based payments giant PayPal is ready to allow its users to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin BTC and other cryptocurrencies. Millions of Merchants The decision by PayPal will also mean that 26 million merchants who use the PayPal platform will, eventually, be able to accept cryptocurrencies as a funding source. App It […]

Which? Reveals Truth About EV Battery Life

A recent (Which?) survey of 1,016 electric vehicle (EV) owners has revealed that worries about battery degradation should not be an issue for potential EV buyers. The Survey The survey by consumer champion Which? was conducted from December 2019 to February 2020 and recorded the views of 47,013 people of which 1,016 were electric car […]

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AI Image Captioning Gives More Accurate Descriptions Than Humans

Microsoft has announced that in tests, its new, AI-based, automatic image captioning technology is better than humans at describing photos and images. Part of Azure AI The new automatic image captioning model is available via Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive Services Computer Vision offering, which is part of Azure AI. Azure Cognitive Services provides developers with AI services […]