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  • The very idea of YouTube Kids is to ensure that children are not exposed to content that parents would consider inappropriate for them. This means filtering out videos with an adult theme, with Google -- supposedly -- curating content suitable for younger eyes. This week, the main YouTube site has been in the news because of its plans to counter conspiracy videos with "information cues" rom Wikipedia. But it seems that YouTube Kids has a similar problem, with children being exposed to conspiracy theory videos from the likes of reptilian-obsessed, Illuminati-loving conspiracist David Icke. See also: Wikipedia didn't know about… [Continue Reading]
  • Cast your mind back to when Sony released the original PlayStation 3, and you may well remember claims that the console was also a "computer". The claims were such that Sony suggested that owners could install Linux -- which, technically speaking, they could. However, installing Linux on a PS3 also posed something of a security issue, and Sony backtracked on the "Other OS" feature, killing it will a firmware update. Unsurprisingly, a lawsuit followed, and the result of this is that you could in line for a pay-out. See also: Chromebooks could soon run Linux applications and VMs using containers… [Continue Reading]
  • Facebook has suffered what has been described as the social networks "biggest ever data breach" after Cambridge Analytica and its parent group Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) harvested data from more than 50 million users. Cambridge Analytica is best known for its work with the Trump campaign for the 2016 election, and Facebook found that the company had violated it data privacy policies. The data was used as part of a "microtargeting" campaign to try to predict and influence voters' choices in the election. See also: Data-saving Facebook Lite is now available in the US Facebook algorithms went mad and threw… [Continue Reading]
  • I am sick and tired of technology companies like Microsoft thinking they can impose their will on consumers. Just today, the company made a startling announcement -- it will now force links from the Windows Mail app to open in its own Edge web browser. In other words, whether you like it or not, even if Edge isn't your default browser, it will still be used for opening links from emails. This is unacceptable, and when combined with all of the other Windows 10 calamities, users should consider switching operating systems immediately. Since macOS requires you to buy an entirely new… [Continue Reading]
  • The next big feature update of Windows 10 -- widely expected to be called the Spring Creators Update -- is due out next month. Microsoft is hard at work putting the finishing touches to it -- another new build arrives today -- but still has time to introduce some new additions. Microsoft Build 17120 arrived on the Fast ring three days ago, and Microsoft has already deemed it ready for the Slow ring too. This build adds some improvements to the Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG), its virtualization-based security technology which helps to protect enterprises from advanced attacks that can… [Continue Reading]
  • In addition to releasing a new Windows 10 Redstone 5 build to the Insiders on Skip Ahead, Microsoft today also rolls out a new Spring Creators Update build for Insiders on the Fast ring. Build 17123 comes just three days after Build 17120, and fixes a number of issues. It also introduces High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) for Windows 10 and the Photos app. SEE ALSO: Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17623 for Skip Ahead has a nasty surprise Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17115 ISO images available now Microsoft releases Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17120… [Continue Reading]
  • Microsoft is still putting the finishing touches to its next big Windows 10 feature update -- Redstone 4, aka the Spring Creators Update -- due out next month, but in the meantime, work is already well underway on the update to follow that, Redstone 5. We've already seen the introduction of one big new feature -- Sets in Build 17618 -- and today’s new release, Build 17623, also adds some new features and improvements, as well as one particularly nasty addition. SEE ALSO: Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17115 ISO images available now Microsoft releases Windows 10 Spring Creators… [Continue Reading]
  • It's been a while since Apple introduced a new product and it looks like the wait will soon be over, as today it announced its first major event of the year. It'll take place later this month and it focuses on education, one of the company's core markets. The location for the spring event is a bit unusual, given that Apple has a perfectly good venue in its spaceship campus in Cupertino. It'll be held in Chicago, at the Chicago High School, Lane Tech, on March 27. Given the theme, we're likely to see new hardware aimed at educators and… [Continue Reading]
  • Compatibility issues with patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities saw Microsoft blocking the rollout of security updates to Windows users. The company has just changed its policy for Windows 10 users, but this does not help anyone running Windows 7 or 8.x. The problem is that updates are blocked for people who have not installed antivirus software known to be fully compatible. When such software is installed, a registry entry is created, and this allows updates to be installed. If you've decided to run the risk of operating without antivirus software installed, this registry won't be created and you… [Continue Reading]
  • Originally designed for countries with slower mobile internet connections, Facebook's cut-down and data-light Facebook Lite app is making its way to the US. The app has been around since 2015, but it was only available in a limited number of countries, with the focus being primarily on developing nations where connectivity was an issue. But now Facebook is spreading the love to the United States, the United Kingdom and other parts of the world. See also: Facebook algorithms went mad and threw up some weird -- and sexual -- search suggestions Facebook bans far-right group Britain First and its leaders… [Continue Reading]
  • Facebook has issued an apology after its search algorithms apparently went haywire and started to suggest a range of strange, and often NSFW, videos to users. Throughout Thursday night into Friday morning, a range of bizarre search suggestions were displayed to anyone who started typing "video of". Some of the suggestions were offensive, and it didn't take long for screenshots to be shared on Twitter. See also: Facebook bans far-right group Britain First and its leaders for hate speech Facebook Onavo VPN app gathers user data even when it is disabled Facebook adds video chats to Messenger Lite Facebook asks… [Continue Reading]
  • Two-hundred-and-seventy-four in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps, games and extensions released for Windows 10 on the Windows Store in the past seven days. Microsoft wants to release the Spring Creators Update for Windows 10 in April. Whether that is going to happen on April's Patch Tuesday or another day is not clear yet. As always, if I missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email. Discounts this week The following list is a… [Continue Reading]
  • The proceeds of cyber crime make up an estimated eight to 10 percent of total illegal profits laundered globally each year, amounting to an estimated $80-$200 billion. This is among the findings of a new report, commissioned by virtualization-based security company Bromium, into the economics of cyber crime and how criminals launder and 'cash out' the profits of their endeavors. Key findings are that virtual currencies have become the primary tool used by cyber criminals for money laundering. However, they are moving away from Bitcoin to less well-known virtual currencies, like Monero, that provide greater anonymity. In-game purchases and currencies… [Continue Reading]
  • Smartwatches are largely garbage. Whether Apple Watch or Android Wear, these wrist-worn nuisances don't do much beyond inducing anxiety by bombarding the wearer with notifications. If you are big into fitness, you might find some value, but for the most part, these devices are nothing more than a way for companies to grab cash from consumers as the smartphone market slows. Apple Watch has seen significant success, although I suspect many buyers are simply getting them as status symbols -- not for an actual need. Android Wear, however, is a major disappointment -- both from a sales and satisfaction perspective.… [Continue Reading]
  • Blockchain is a revolutionary technology, and it has the world’s business leaders talking. The distributed ledger system will change the way companies handle online payments, contracts and logistics. But so far, there has been little conversation about how blockchain will help businesses increase their revenue. This is another benefit the technology will bring, as soon as businesses realize they can use it to buy and sell enterprise data without an intermediary like Amazon or Facebook. Data is the most valuable commodity in business today, but so far only Internet giants can monetize information about customers and potential customers. Businesses are… [Continue Reading]
  • Most of us click on the Agree button when we install apps without actually reading the privacy agreement. But some new research from Princeton University and other bodies reveals that many apps use a network of third-party services  --  often invisible to the user -- that provide analytics, social network integration, and monetization. Often, these mobile advertising and tracking services have an intimate view of the user's activity and are keen to harvest personal data. In all, the team identified 2,121 trackers -- 233 of which were previously unknown to popular advertising and tracking blacklists. These trackers collect personal data including… [Continue Reading]
  • The US has introduced new sanctions against Russia after accusing the country not only of interfering in the 2016 election, but also launching a cyberattack on its energy grid. Officials say that malware traced back to Moscow had been found to have infected operating systems on computers belonging to companies in the energy sector. The Department of Homeland Security is in no doubt that the Russian government is responsible. The attack has been described as coordinated as "deliberately targeted," with a senior official saying: "It is the judgment of the DHS than Russian government cyberhackers were behind the hacking of… [Continue Reading]
  • Many firms in the UK are failing to understand their responsibilities in relation to systems in the cloud, according to a new study. The research from Veritas Technologies shows that 66 percent of respondents believe that dealing with cloud service interruptions is the primary responsibility of their cloud service provider. In addition 76 percent believe that their organization's cloud service provider is responsible for ensuring that their workloads and data in the cloud are protected against outages. 77 percent of UK respondents have not fully evaluated the cost of a cloud outage to their business and are therefore ill prepared… [Continue Reading]
  • Cloud access security specialist Netskope is launching an expansion of its Infrastructure as a Service security offering to add continuous security assessment and monitoring capabilities. With this release customers can use Netskope for IaaS to continuously assess their infrastructure-as-aservice (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS) configuration in AWS, with Microsoft Azure to follow soon. It includes the ability to spot infrastructure misconfigurations and vulnerabilities that lead to potential compromise. Netskope is the only cloud access security broker (CASB) with a single platform able to protect sanctioned and unsanctioned software-as-a-service (SaaS), PaaS, and IaaS environments. "The Netskope Cloud Security Platform was designed to… [Continue Reading]
  • Microsoft has launched a bug bounty program that will reward anyone who finds the next Meltdown or Spectre vulnerability. Known as speculative execution side channel vulnerabilities, Microsoft is willing to reward anyone who reports bugs that could cause problems like earlier in the year. The rewards on offer range from $5,000 up to $250,000 depending on the severity of the vulnerability, and the bounty program runs until the end of 2018. Microsoft says that it will operate under the principles of coordinated vulnerability disclosure. See also: Microsoft removes AV compatibility requirements for Windows 10 security updates Intel failed to warn… [Continue Reading]