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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 […]

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‘Hum to Search’ Songfinder

Google has introduced a new feature to its search that enables it to identify a song that a user hums or whistles. What’s This Song? Serving the same basic purpose a the Shazam app, for example, users can now ask the Google app, Google Search widget (by tapping the mic icon) or Google Assistant the […]

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Desktop Screen Recording Software

Recording your screen can be useful for training, marketing and communications and there are many different free and paid-for services available for recording desktop activity. This article takes a brief look at several different examples. Recording Your Screen At a time where we all make and share videos using phones and via social media channels […]

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Tech Increasing Domestic Abuse

With domestic abuse on the rise, particularly since the pandemic lockdowns, we look at some of the chilling ways that smart devices and other technology are being used as a tool by abusers. Rise In Reports A BBC Panorama and Women’s Aid joint investigation obtained UK police figures showing that there was one domestic abuse […]

Tech Tips – Using New Privacy Controls on Amazon Echo

If you have an Amazon Echo smart speaker at home or in the office (which could be both if you are working at home) here’s how to protect your privacy using the newly introduced privacy controls. Amazon’s smart speakers take voice recordings and until recently users could choose to delete them after 2 or 18 […]

Learning From the WisePay Attack

In the wake of the recent attack on the WisePay website which saw some parents unwittingly making school payments to cyber-criminals, we look at how to spot whether personal data may have been compromised and how to protect personal information going forward. WisePay WisePay is a payment services provider to UK schools and academies offering […]

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New ‘Breakout Rooms’ For Google Meet Users

Users of the Google Meet, Enterprise for Education video-communication service (formerly part of G Suite) will soon be able to divide meeting participants into Breakout Rooms. Greater Engagement The feature, which started its gradual roll-out on 8th October will allow groups of students to split off into smaller groups for discussions which Google says is […]

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Buy Products Directly From YouTube

It has been reported that YouTube (owned by Google) is testing a feature that will enable viewers of YouTube videos to directly purchase products that they see featured in the video they are watching. Back in 2015 The idea was originally announced as far back May 2015 when YouTube announced that it had introduced “shoppable […]

Recycling Your Jumper

Swedish clothing retailer, H&M, in conjunction with the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA) has introduced the first jumper-cycling machine to one of its Stockholm stores. Environmental Impact Reducing the constant need for new-fibre garments is an important way in which the clothing industry can reduce carbon footprints and its impact on […]

Tech Tips – Tracking Prevention With Microsoft Edge

If you use the Windows 10 Microsoft Edge browser and you’d like to improve your security and privacy by blocking potentially harmful trackers, here’s how: In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more  > Settings  > Privacy and services. Set Tracking prevention ‘On’. Select the level of tracking – Basic, Balanced (the default), or Strict. ‘Basic’ […]

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Are You Being Tracked By WhatsApp Apps?

A recent Business Insider Report has highlighted how third-party apps may be exposing some data and details of the activity of WhatsApp users. WhatsApp – Known For Encryption Facebook-owned WhatsApp is known for its end-to-end encryption.  This means that only the sender and receiver can read the message between them.  In addition to being convenient, […]

Most People Happy With Virtual Doctors’ Appointments

A recent survey from Visionable has shown that 73 per cent of people are happy with the idea of having video consultations with their GP. Pandemic Strengthens View The survey, which originally took into account the views of 1500 people back in February (i.e. before the UK lockdown), found that at that time, 69 per […]

Google To Pay Publishers $1 Billion

Alphabet Inc.’s CEO, Sundar Pichai has said that Google will pay $1 billion to publishers globally for their news over the next three years. Fight The fight to get Google to pay publishers for content has raged for years and there was news in February that Google was in talks with publishers with a view […]

Tech Tips – Reading Articles That Are Behind Paywalls

If you find an article that you’d really like to read but it’s behind a paywall and you don’t want to sign-up to the online publication just to read one thing, here’s how to read the whole article: Go to https://outline.com/  Copy and paste the URL of the article you would like to read into […]

Uber Reclaims London Licence

A year after Transport for London (TfL) stopped ride-hailing service Uber’s London operating licence over safety concerns, an appeal has led to the company being granted a further 18-month licence. What Happened? Back in November 2019, TfL said that it had identified a pattern of failures by Uber, including breaches that had risked the safety […]

Cybersecurity Top of List for Digital Transformation

A recent survey appears to have shown that changes brought by the pandemic have meant that IT buyers from companies working on digital transformation now value cybersecurity the most. Survey The survey, conducted among IT business leaders attending the all-virtual Digital Transformation Expo (DTX), DTX: NOW this month showed that 26 per cent of respondents put […]

The Challenge of User Access Permissions

Employees being given too much access to privileged, sensitive company data can put an organisation in danger.  In this article, we explore the issues around this subject and how businesses can minimise the risk. Survey In a recent survey of 900 IT professionals commissioned by IT security firm Forcepoint, it was revealed that 40 per […]

Tech Tips – Matching Displays

If you need to use 2 or more monitors to help you to get more things done and multi-task, here are some tips for making sure those monitor displays match up.If the monitors are the same make/model Windows may be able to automatically extend the desktop horizontally. With different monitor models/makes you may want to […]

Whole Village’s Broadband Stopped By an Old TV

An anonymous person living in the village of Aberhosan, Powys, was found to have caused broadband outages for the whole village for the last 18 months every time they switched on their old television. Investigation An exhaustive investigation by frustrated Openreach engineers found that the disruption to broadband for the whole village, which mysteriously began […]

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Tech Giants Requested To Cease Kids Ads

In an open letter to Google, Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft, MPs, academics, and campaigners have asked the big tech companies to stop targeting children with personalised advertising. Global Action Plan The letter has been published online by Global Action Plan (GAP) which is a charity that campaigns on primarily environmental issues but also believes […]

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Tips & Tools To Keep Kids Safe Online

The online environment can be a dangerous as well as a fun place for young people so here are some tips and tools to help keep kids safe online. The Risks Children face many risks online including seeing/watching things they shouldn’t, arriving on websites that contain content not suitable for them, making contact with/being contacted […]

Zero-Emission, Hydrogen-Powered Commercial Aircraft by 2035 Says Airbus

Airbus has announced that a zero-emission, hydrogen-fuelled commercial aircraft could be a reality by 2035. Targets The dramatic drop in air pollution levels during the global pandemic lockdown reminded many people of the pressing need to meet global greenhouse gas reduction targets and how commercial aircraft have been significant contributors to pollution worldwide.  It is […]

Tech Tips – Optimise Working Space With Snap Assist

If you are using Windows 10 and you want to multi-task and make the most of your single screen Snap Assist enables you to split your screen between two open windows.  Here’s how: Hold down the Windows key on the keyboard and use the <- or -> arrow keys. Snap Assist will then move the […]

Voice-Control Your Printer

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

Amazon Review Fraud

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

Influencers Paid To Promote Test and Trace

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

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Just What Is The Internet of Things?

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

Tech Tips – Sync Sticky Notes Across Devices

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

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Ensure What You See Is Real

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

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Virtual London Tech Week

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

Brexit Border IT Systems Behind Schedule

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

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Microsoft Ending Support For Flash

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

Tech Tips – Space and Speed

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

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Making Your Router Secure

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

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Elon Musk Demonstrates ‘Neuralink’ Using Live Pigs

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

Delivery Drones Get Go Ahead

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

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Zoom Zooms Thanks to Covid

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

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

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

What Are UVC Wands and Do They Work?

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

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Lockdown Love Scams

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

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Can Wearable Devices Spot Early Symptoms of COVID?

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

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Record Broadband Compensation Pay-Outs

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

Tech Tips – One-Click Fix For Accessibility

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

Back To Work ! (at the office)

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

Toyota To Upload Driver’s Data To Amazon

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

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AI-Faked Photos and Videos Concerns

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

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Ritz Roasted

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

Tech Tips – Use The Timeline

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

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Remote Working and Office 365

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

Trump Terminates TikTok

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

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No More Laptops From Toshiba

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

Starling … an Example of Challenger Bank Boosted During Pandemic

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

Tech Tips – Translate Text On The Fly

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

Try Using Microsoft ‘Surveys’ Function

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

Apple Wants Rent Cuts With UK Landlords

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

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The Start of Google and Facebook Paying For News Content?

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

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AI, Data Protection & The ICO

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

Tech Tips – Dictation

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

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Antitrust and Big Tech

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

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Face Masks Beat Facial Recognition

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

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Remote Working Means Public Cloud and DaaS Spend Increase

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

Free Delivery of Amazon Groceries

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

Tech Tips – Getting Organised Using Microsoft Edge

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

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

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

Test and Trace Breaks GDPR Say Campaigners

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

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Celebrity Twitter Accounts Hacked For Bitcoin

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

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Lockdown Has Promoted Digital Learning Among Adults

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

Tech Tips – How To Lock Your Screen

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

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LinkedIn Sued Over Clipboard-Reading Allegations

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

UK Rejects Huawei Equipment For 5G Infrastructure

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

Free Cybersecurity Testing Module For Remote Workers

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

Digital Addiction

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

Tech Tips – Slide To Shutdown

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

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Huawei – A Ban in the Balance

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

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

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

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Police Crack Encrypted Network To Reach Crime Gangs

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

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Competing Against Huawei

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

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

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

Why Big Brands Are Boycotting Social Media

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

New Edge Browser To All Windows 10 Users

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

New “Watch Party” Feature For Amazon Prime

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

New Windows File Recovery Tool Resurrects Deleted Files

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

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

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

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Medical Apps For Smart Devices

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

Big Tech Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

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

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Microsoft Adds Custom Backgrounds and Live Captions in Teams

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

Tech Tips – How To Create Start Menu Folders

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

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Facial Recognition Backlash

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

COVID-19 Advances Move To Cashless Society

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

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Voice and Contactless Technologies For a Safer Workplace

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

NatWest’s Extra Layer of Behavioural Biometrics Security

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

Tech Tips – Save Time With Aero Shake

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

Tech Tips – How to Have Better Video Chats

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

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Electric Vehicles, Batteries & Renewables

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

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COVID Alerts From Google Maps

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

Vertical Take-Off Air Taxi

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

Tech Tips – How To Stop Background Apps

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

What Are Cookies And What Do They Do?

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

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Beware of Fake Contact Tracer Messages

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

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Google Store Takes Down App That Removes Chinese Software

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

How To Bulk-Delete or Hide Old Facebook Posts

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

Tech Tips – How To Change The Background In Zoom

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

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What Is Vishing? And How to Guard Against It

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

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NHS App For An “Immunity Passport”

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

eBay Port Scanning Causes Alarm

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

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Internet Speed Record

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

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

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