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Your Latest IT News Update

Featured Article – The End of Life … for Windows 7 …  is Nigh

Microsoft’s Windows 7 operating system, introduced in 2009 and only intended to upgrade windows in the wake of the much-disliked Windows Vista finally reaches its end of life date on 14 January 2020.

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Google To Offer Bank Accounts

Tech giant Google is crossing over into the banking world by partnering with Citigroup to offer ‘smart checking’ accounts (bank current accounts) next year as part of its ‘Cache’ project.

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New Brave Browser: Blocks Ads, Pays Rewards

The new 1.0 browser from Brave removes ads and ad trackers and pays users through a reward system for viewing the ads that Brave presents.

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Despite Patches, Researchers Warn That Intel Chips Are Still Vulnerable

The New York Times has reported that despite Intel issuing patches for security flaws (that were discovered last year) in its processors, security researchers are alleging that the processors still have some serious vulnerabilities.

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Research Says Memes Can Tell Between Humans and Bots

Researchers from the University of Delaware have concluded that when it comes to authentication for logins, Memes may be one of the strongest techniques to distinguish between a human and a bot.

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Tech Tip – Save a Web Page as a PDF

Sometimes, when researching online, it’s helpful to be able to collect information in a form that can easily be printed out, so here’s how to save a web page as a PDF from three popular browsers:

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Your Latest IT News Update

Scale of Police Computer Misuse Uncovered

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request made by think tank Parliament Street has revealed that 237 serving officers and members of staff have been disciplined for computer misuse in the last two financial years.

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$20 Million Fight Highlights Value of Social Media and PR

The popularity and influence of two YouTube celebrities making their boxing event an all-time global Top 20 pay-per-view phenomenon and splitting a $20 million prize is a reminder of the magnifying value of online PR.

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

Two years on from its first incarnation, Google has announced the introduction of its ‘Teachable Machine 2.0’, a no-code custom machine learning model generating platform that can be used by anyone and requires no coding experience.

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

Many tech commentators have noted a stagnation or slow-down period in computing-related to ‘Moore’s Law’ being challenged, but has the shrinking of transistors within computer chips really hit a wall and what could drive innovation further?

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Microsoft Edge Gets Business Upgrade

Billed as “the browser and search engine for business”, Microsoft’s new Chromium-powered version of Edge (and now more serious competitor to Google’s Chrome) is set to be released in January with new business-focused capabilities.

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Tech Tip – Snip & Sketch

If you need to be able to quickly grab areas of your screen, annotate them and share them, Windows 10 has an easy to use Snip & Sketch app.

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Your Latest IT News Update

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

Microsoft has announced that it is working towards the launch of its ‘Office’ mobile app (currently only available in public preview) which integrates Word, Excel, and PowerPoint mobile apps into a single app.

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Office 365 Voicemail Phishing Scam Warning

Security company McAfee has reported observing a phishing scam which uses a fake voicemail message to lure victims into entering their Office 365 email credentials into a phishing page.

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

The BBC has announced that it is making its International news website available via the ‘Tor’ browser (usually associated with the ‘dark web’), in order to get around censorship in other countries.

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Businesses Not Prepared For IR35 Tax Reforms

A poll by recruitment firm Hays appears to show a lack of awareness about preparedness for next year’s new IR35 tax reforms for medium-to-larger private sector organisations.

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ICO Warns Police on Facial Recognition

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

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Tech Tip – See Your Top Sites

If you need to be able to quickly see and access any of your top 25 most visited websites, there’s an easy way to display this list in Windows 10 on the taskbar or Start menu.

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Your Latest IT News Update

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

Kaspersky researchers have reported a 35 per cent rise in the number of people who have encountered the use of so-called ‘stalkerware’ or ‘spouseware’ software in the first 8 months of this year.

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Google Leadership Accused Of Developing Internal Surveillance Tool

Some Google employees have accused the company’s leadership of developing a browser-based file extension for all of Google’s in-house computers that could flag-up signs of workers trying to organise meetings and protests.

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Microsoft Beats Amazon to $10 Billion AI Defence Contract for ‘Jedi’

After a long and difficult bidding process, Amazon has lost out to Microsoft in the battle to win a $10bn (£8bn) US Defence Department AI and Cloud computing contract.

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Tough Questions About Libra Cryptocurrency

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg faced a grilling from the US Congress last week over his company’s ‘Libra’ cryptocurrency plans.

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Facebook ‘News’ Tab on Mobile App

Facebook has launched the ‘News’ tab on its mobile app which directs users to unbiased, curated articles from credible sources in a bid to publicly combat fake news and help restore trust in its own brand.

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Tech Tip – Minimise Distractions With ‘Focus Assist’

If you’re using Windows 10 and you’d like to maintain productivity and minimise distractions from your operating system e.g. notifications, sounds and alerts, ‘Focus Assist’ can help you to achieve this and can now be turned on automatically for full-screen apps.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Amazon Echo and Google Home ‘Smart Spies’

Berlin-based Security Research Labs (SRL) discovered possible hacking flaws in Amazon Echo (Alexa) and Google Home speakers and installed their own voice applications to demonstrate hacks on both device platforms that turned the assistants into ‘Smart Spies’

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

Some of Microsoft’s enterprise-based customers may be feeling cautious about installing the latest Windows 10 update because Microsoft warns that it could stop the Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) service from running.

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Banking App Fraud On The Rise

A recent report from cyber-security company RSA has highlighted a significant rise in fraud via fake banking apps.

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Any Thumbprint Unlocks a Galaxy A10

Samsung’s so-called “revolutionary” fingerprint authentication system for the Galaxy A10 phone appears to be offering less than satisfactory results as it is discovered that any thumbprint can unlock one.

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Equifax Hack Inevitable Says Lawsuit

A lawsuit against US Credit Rating Company Equifax relating to the massive 2017 hack alleges that the breaching of Equifax’s systems was “inevitable because of systemic organisational disregard for cybersecurity and cyber-hygiene best practices.”

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Tech Tip – Create Calendar Events Directly From the Taskbar

One of the new features added to Windows 10 with the September (1909) update was to enable Calendar users to be able to simply create a Calendar event directly from the Calendar flyout on the Taskbar.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Ex-Employee Claims Your G Suite Data Is Not Encrypted

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

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

Well known food writer, Jack Monroe, has reported falling victim to criminals who were able to steal £5,000 from her bank and payment accounts in a “Simjacking” attack.

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Dyson Scraps “Not Commercially Viable” Electric Car

Dyson has scrapped its £2.5 billion ‘N526’ electric car project with Sir James Dyson announcing that it was “not commercially viable”.

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New Law To Advance Fast Broadband Roll-Out Announced

Amendments to the UK’s Electronic Communications Code will give broadband operators compulsory rights to install their apparatus on another person’s property, thereby getting around the problem of landlords not responding to requests for access to blocks of flats and apartments.

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Digital ‘Pressure’ For Accountants

A report by IT company Prism Solutions has highlighted how traditional accountancy firms are having to change rapidly to meet challenges such as Cloud computing, GDPR and HMRC pressing quickly ahead with ‘Making Tax Digital’ (MTD).

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Tech Tip – Any.do

Any.do is an award-winning to-do list, calendar, planner and reminders app that can help you to increase your productivity and stay on top of things.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Thomas Cook Customers and Employees Targeted By Phishing Attacks

Security researchers at Skurio Ltd have warned former employees and customers of Thomas Cook to be vigilant after it detected the registration of 53 Thomas Cook-related domains in the week after the travel operator went into receivership.

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PayPal Drops Out of Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

PayPal has announced that it is not going to be a part of the Switzerland-based Libra Association that is overseeing the introduction of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency.

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AI and the Fake News War

In a “post-truth” era, AI is one of the many protective tools and weapons involved in the battles that male up the current, ongoing “fake news” war.

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Local Authorities Facing 800 Cyber Attacks Per Hour

Figures gathered by insurance broker Gallagher – through the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act – have shown that UK local authorities were hit by an average of 800 cyber-attacks every hour in the first six months of this year.

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Google’s Chrome To Block Mixed Content Pages Without HTTPS

Google has announced that in a series of steps starting in Chrome 79, all mixed content will gradually be blocked by default.

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Tech Tip – Twobird

New email client app ‘Twobird’ allows you to put all your emails in one place and create notes and reminders on the fly (and attaches the notes on emails).

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Your Latest IT News Update

AI and Facial Analysis Job Interviews

Reports of the first job interviews conducted in the UK using Artificial Intelligence and facial analysis technology have been met with mixed reactions.

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Email Signature Legally Binding For Lawyer

A recent ruling by the High Court that an email containing an automated signature is legally binding proved costly to the lawyer who sent such an email on behalf of his client that included the wrong price for a land sale.

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Windows Virtual Desktop Generally Available Now

Microsoft has announced that its Windows Virtual Desktop is now generally available worldwide on Azure and will include Windows 7 free Extended Security Updates for up to three years.

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Worldwide Rollout of ‘Personal Vault’ OneDrive Security Features

Microsoft has announced that the ‘Personal Vault’ security features for its OneDrive storage service are now available worldwide on all OneDrive consumer accounts.

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Police Auction Hacker’s £240,000 of Cryptocurrency

The £240,000 of cryptocurrency confiscated from a teenager who was jailed for hacking ISP TalkTalk has been auctioned by police with the proceeds going towards fighting crime.

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Tech Tip – How To Sign a PDF Without Printing It

If you need to sign PDFs and return them (e.g. as part of your sales or buying processes) there is a way to do it without having to go to the time and trouble of printing out the PDFs, signing them, scanning them, and then emailing the scans back.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Deepfake Ransomware Threat Highlighted

Multinational IT security company ‘Trend Micro’ has highlighted the future threat of cybercriminals making and posting or threatening to post malicious ‘deep fake’ videos online in order to cause damage to reputations and/or to extract ransoms from their target victims.

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Report Says Public Cloud May Double In Just Four Years

The new cloud market report from the Synergy Research Group shows that cloud-associated markets, such as the public cloud, are growing at rates ranging from 10% to over 40% and the annual spending on the cloud may double in four years.

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Penetration Testing Specialists Who Broke Into US Courthouse Claim It Was Part of Security Assessment

Two security specialists who performed a physical break-in on the US courthouse that hired their company for a penetration test have claimed that their break-in was part of their assessment of security.

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IBM To Offer Largest Quantum Computer Available For External Access Via Cloud

IBM has announced that it is opening a Quantum Computation Centre in New York which will bring the world’s largest fleet of quantum computing systems online, including the new 53-Qubit Quantum System for broad use in the cloud.

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

Research from techUK shows that less than half of small UK businesses consider themselves to be ready to face a no-deal Brexit on 31 October, whereas 87% of larger businesses think they are prepared.

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Tech Tip – Telegram

Telegram describes itself as the fastest messaging app on the market, and uses a unique, distributed network of data centres around the globe so that’s it’s not only a simple, fast, secure messaging service that’s synced across all your devices, but also has added features and an ease of operation that many prefer to WhatsApp.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Autonomous AI Cyber Weapons Inevitable Says Security Research Expert

Speaking at a recent CloudSec event in London, Trend Micro’s vice-president of security research, Rik Ferguson said that AI cyberattacks operated autonomously are an inevitable threat that security professionals must adapt to tackling.

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AI Destined For McDonald’s Drive-Throughs

The acquisition of AI voice recognition start-up Apprente by the McDonalds franchise gives the restaurant chain its own Silicon Valley technology division and promises an automated ordering system for drive-throughs, self-order interfaces and the mobile app.

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Major Workforce Changes Over The Next Five Years

A new global Forrester Consulting study predicts major changes in their service workforce over the next five years, including replacing call centre and customer service centre staff with automated dispatch notification.

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Joker Malware Found In 24 Apps In Google Play Store

Security researcher Aleksejs Kuprins of CSIS cybersecurity services company has discovered 24 apps which have been available for download in the Google Play Store that contain ‘Joker’ malware.

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France Says ‘Non’ To Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency

France’s finance minister, Bruno Le Maire has said that the development of Facebook’s new Libra cryptocurrency will be blocked in Europe unless concerns over risks to consumers and to the monetary systems of countries can be addressed.

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Tech Tip – Canva

If you’d like a free, graphic design app that can help you to improve your business and social media communications then Canva may be the app for you.

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