John Lister

Fri
24
May
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FCC Closes Net Neutrality Loophole

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has banned Internet carriers from giving some applications access to "fast lane" speeds. The tweak to recently-restored net neutrality rules aims to close a potential loophole. Last month, the FCC voted to ... restore the principle of net neutrality. Broadly they say Internet carriers must treat all traffic equally. The commission has now published the full wording of the rules which will enforce the principle. One of the most notable elements of net neutrality is speed. Previously used rules explicitly barred carriers from slowing down access when ... (view more)

Wed
22
May
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New Laptop Memory Saves Space and Power

A new form of laptop memory aims to remove one of the biggest trade-offs in portable devices. It promises speed and power efficiency while still being easily replaceable. Most existing laptop memory falls into two categories, each with a weakness. ... One type, which is easily replaceable, takes up a comparatively large amount of space and uses a lot of power. That's double bad news in a portable computer. The other type is smaller and more energy efficient but must be soldered onto the motherboard, which is effectively the "spine" of a computer's operations. That's great at first but it removes ... (view more)

Fri
17
May
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'Dirty Stream' Floods Android With Malware

A new form of Android malware can hijack legitimate apps. "Dirty Stream" take advantage of a legitimate function designed to make life easier for users. The function is called ContentProvider and allows one mobile app to access data from, or ... communicate with, another app. It makes it possible to, for example, open a PDF attachment from a messaging app in a dedicated PDF reader app. The people behind the DirtyStream malware found a vulnerability in the way ContentProvider worked. This made it possible not only to force another app to open a compromised file, but to then use the contents to ... (view more)

Wed
15
May
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2.28 Million Rogue Apps Blocked By Google

Google says it blocked 2.28 million potentially malicious apps from getting into the official Play store last year. It stopped or paused a further 200,000 which didn't correctly use the permissions system. The figure for malicious app blocks is up ... almost half compared with 2022. Google didn't say conclusively whether that means more scammers are trying their luck or if it simply did a better job of detecting them. However, it did note the 2023 figure was "in part thanks to our investment in new and improved security features, policy updates, and advanced machine learning and app review ... (view more)

Fri
10
May
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FCC Revives Net Neutrality

The FCC has restored net neutrality rules, theoretically making it harder for broadband providers to favor traffic speed on some sites or services over others. But the introduction of 5G technology could be a glitch in the plan. Net neutrality is a ... longstanding topic of debate for the FCC with policy largely following partisan politics. Rules were last introduced in 2015 and then repealed in 2017. (Source: theverge.com ) The general principle of net neutrality is that all Internet traffic (except for inherently illegal content) should be treated equally by carriers. That means, for example, ... (view more)

Wed
08
May
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iPhone May Ditch Buttons

The next generation of the iPhone could have no physical buttons at all. The volume and power buttons could be replaced with sensors similar to the touchscreen itself. The news comes from leaks in the component manufacturing market that are normally ... reliable, though it's not certain the changes will come quickly enough for the iPhone 16's release, expected this summer. Similar rumors came before last year's iPhone 15, but Apple reportedly dropped plans because of manufacturing challenges. The theory of the latest rumors is that the physical buttons will be replaced with capacitive input. That ... (view more)

Mon
06
May
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Some iPhone Users Could Bypass App Stores

Apple has confirmed some users will be able to download iOS apps from websites rather than an app store. But the relaxation of rules comes with a major limitation. The new policy applies to European Union countries and is part of Apple's response to ... the Digital Markets Act. That's a new rule that says operators of services with a very large number of users in Europe must remove some barriers to competition. These generally include opening services up to third party access. That includes iOS apps were historically Apple has strictly enforced a rule that users can only install apps from its ... (view more)

Fri
03
May
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Windows Fix Breaks Some VPNs

Last month's Windows 10 and 11 updates included a bug that has broken VPN functions for some users. Microsoft is working on a fix but hasn't give a timescale. VPN stands for virtual private network. It's an approach to security and privacy that uses ... a secure connection between the user and the Internet. It's sometimes likened to a traffic tunnel: although the traffic still flows normally without disruption, it's not visible to anyone outside the tunnel. Using a VPN can disguise a user's IP address (which identifies their connection point to the Internet) and makes it much harder for anyone to ... (view more)

Wed
01
May
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Youtube to Block Apps that Block its Ads

YouTube says it will completely block third-party apps that show its videos with ads removed. It's the latest move in a crackdown on ad blocking that's provoked heated debate. The company has previously attempted to stop ad blocking in web browsers ... tools such as add-ons or extensions. These crackdowns have had mixed results, with some ad blocker developer continuing to stay one step ahead in a game of cat and mouse. Now YouTube has turned its attention to third-party apps that show videos from the site. This is done perfectly legally through an API, a software tool that websites can make ... (view more)

Mon
29
Apr
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Microsoft Tests 'Ads' In Start Menu

Microsoft is to run what are effectively ads in the Windows 11 Start menu. The "recommendations" will initially appear only for those who've signed up to be early testers of new features. The promotions will appear in the "Recommended" section at ... the bottom of the Start menu. This normally includes links to both installed apps and documents that the user has either recently used or frequently uses. The idea is that these are most likely to be what the user wants to open at any given moment. Insiders are Test Dummies The new feature will mean this list also includes suggested apps from the ... (view more)

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