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Your Latest IT News Update

Trust Challenge For Online Sharing Services

The Global Trust Survey from service provider Jumio has revealed that a quarter of adults feel unsafe using online sharing services.

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Low Launch Share Price For Uber

Uber made its trading debut at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) recently, but the opening share price was much lower than had been expected at only $45 per share.

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Serious Security Flaws Discovered In Popular GPS Tracker

Researchers at UK cyber-security company, Fidus Information Security, say that they have found security flaws in a popular Chinese-manufactured white-label location tracker that could be serious enough to warrant a recall.

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Old Routers Are Targets For Hackers

Internet security experts are warning that old routers are targets for cyber-criminals who find them an easy hacking option.

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Could Biometric Regulations Be On The Way Soon?

A written parliamentary question from MP Luciana Berger about the possibility of bringing forward legislation to regulate the use of facial recognition technology has led the Home Office to hint that the legislation (and more) may be on the way soon.

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Tech Tip – Lightbeam Screen-Sharing App

If you’d like an app that enables you to easily share mobile screens with a friend or colleague, for work or leisure, Lightbeam is a new, free, cross-platform app which does just that.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Surveillance Attack on WhatsApp

It has been reported that it was a surveillance attack on Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging app that caused the company to urge all of its 1.5bn users to update their apps as an extra precaution recently.

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3D AR Shopping Via Google Search

Later this month, Google will be rolling out 3D Augmented Reality (AR) in its search results, a change which could allow retailers to show their products online in a way that enables customers to a virtually ‘try’ those products and see them in situ before buying them.

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Proposed Legislation To Make IoT Devices More Secure

Digital Minister Margot James has proposed the introduction of legislation that could make internet-connected gadgets less vulnerable to attacks by hackers.

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G7 Cyber Attack Simulation To Test Financial Sector

The G7 nations will be holding a simulated cyber-attack this month to test the possible effects of a serious malware infection on the financial sector.

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Data Breach Report A Sharp Reminder of GDPR

The findings of Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report have reminded companies that let customer information go astray that they could be facing big fines, and damaging publicity.

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Tech Tip – Free Online Presentation App ‘Zoho Show’

If you’d like an app that enables you to create and collaborate, publish and broadcast presentations from any device, quickly and easily, Zoho Show free online presentation software may be for you.

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3D AR Shopping Via Google Search

Later this month, Google will be rolling out 3D Augmented Reality (AR) in its search results, a change which could allow retailers to show their products online in a way that enables customers to a virtually ‘try’ those products and see them in situ before buying them.

Shown At Phone Launch

Google showed how 3D AR could work in search results to attendees of the launch of its Pixel 3 smartphone at its annual developer’s conference. At the phone launch, Google’s Vice President, Aparna Chennapragada, used a superimposed animation of a shark and a 3D exploration of a pair of New Balance running shoes to illustrate how potential customers could superimpose a 3D AR image of a product on their own chosen backdrop (‘you space’).  This would allow customers to see just how a product would look in situ if they were to purchase it.

Brands

Examples of the brands that Google is reported to have been working with in order to develop optimised links to 3D AR versions of their products in Google’s search results include New Balance, Samsung and Volvo.

Other Uses of AR

Google users may already be used to seeing AR in action as part of Google Maps, where users can switch from map to an AR representation with directional arrows by clicking on the ‘satellite’ link and then by clicking on the route. This feature allows users to follow arrows along a drivers-eye route, change direction, and zoom in and out.

AR and VR

Back in October 2017 Ordinance survey introduced AR to its mobile app so that users could point their smartphone at the world around and see labels about places of interest and get a reading of how far away they are.

In February this year, breakfast cereal manufacturer Kellogg’s announced that it had been working with third-party VR companies to help it determine the best way to display its new products in stores. The pilot scheme used VR to give test subjects an immersive and 360-degree experience of a simulated store environment in which they were able to ‘virtually’ pick products, place items in shopping trolleys and make purchases.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Using AR to show 3D AR versions of products in the search results will enable companies to get their product instantly in front of consumers in a way that allows them to engage with those products on-demand, have a good look around the products, and virtually try them out and see how they could fit in with their lives.  This may be particularly important for products linked to self-image and lifestyle perceptions.  This could prove to be a valuable sales tool considerable potential for all manner of products.

Your Latest IT News Update

New AI Feature For Microsoft Word Online To Improve Your Writing

The new ‘Ideas’ feature, an AI-powered editor in the cloud for Microsoft Word is intended to provide intelligent suggestions to make your writing more concise, readable, and inclusive.

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Google Offers Auto-Delete of History After Three Months

Google is joining tech giants Facebook and Microsoft by offering users greater privacy of their data which for Google will give its users the option to automatically delete their search and location history after three or eighteen months.

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GDPR Says HMRC Must Delete Five Million Voice Records

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has concluded that HMRC has breached GDPR in the way that it collected the biometric voice records of users and now must delete five million biometric voice files.

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Microsoft’s Move Away From Passwords Towards Biometrics

In a recent interview with CBNC, Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer Bret Arsenault signalled the corporation’s move away from passwords on their own as a means of authentication towards (biometrics) and a “passwordless future”.

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First Organ Delivery By Drone

A human kidney for transplant has been delivered by drone to a Medical Centre in Baltimore in the first flight of its kind.

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Tech Tip – The JigSpace App

If you’d like to have the ability to instantly see a step-by-step interactive 3D breakdown of a complex idea, product, or phenomenon, so that you can understand exactly how it works, and be able to explain it (e.g. for a work or education project) then the JigSpace app could be for you.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Apple’s Adapter Recall Over Shock Risk

Tech giant Apple has recalled two different types of plug adapter because of a possible risk of electric shock.

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Plans To Remove .org Domain Price Cap Prompts Complaints

Many charities and other non-profit organisations that use .org, .biz or .info domains have complained that proposals to lift the price cap on those domains could lead to the price rocketing.

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Slack Builds Email Bridge

Chat App and collaborative working tool Slack appears to have given up the fight to eliminate email by allowing the introduction of new tools that enable Slack collaboration features inside Gmail and Outlook, thereby building a more inclusive ‘email bridge’.

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‘ManyChat’ Raises $18 million Funding For Facebook Messenger Bot

California-based startup ‘ManyChat’ has raised $18 million Series A funding for its Facebook Messenger marketing bot.

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Chrome For Android ‘Fake Address’ Phishing Risk Discovered

Developer James Fisher has reported that small changes could be made to Chrome for Android that could enable fake URLs to be displayed and users to be ‘jailed’ in a fake browser, thereby leaving them vulnerable to being duped into visiting fake, malicious pages.

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Tech Tip – Spark E-Mail App

If you’re looking for a well-organised email app for iPhone, iPad, Mac and Android with a clever interface, flexible customisation options, and tools for discussing and collaborating on emails with your team ‘Spark’ may be the app for you.

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Your Latest IT News Update

123456 Still A Popular Password

A study by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) into breached passwords has revealed that 123456 featured 23 million times, making it the most widely-used password on breached accounts.

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No Windows 10 Updates For PCs With USB Devices or SD Cards Attached

Microsoft has announced that if your PC has a USB device or SD card attached it will not be possible to upgrade the computer to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update because of an “Inappropriate drive reassignment” issue.

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Microsoft 365 Business Subscription Customers Get Shared Computer Activation (SCA)

SMEs that need to have multiple users (connecting to and using the same remote computer) but only have a (less-expensive) Microsoft 365 Business subscription have been given a boost by Microsoft in the form expanded rights with the imminent roll-out of SCA for Microsoft 365 Business.

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UK Government Services Information Accessible Via Voice-Activated Smart Speakers

After a six-month trial by the Government Digital Service (GDS) with a view to future-proofing the delivery of online services for citizens, 12,000 items of government information can now be accessed via voice-activated smart speakers and virtual assistants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

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Samsung’s Folding Phone Faults Delay Release Date

The release date of Samsung’s new dual-screen Galaxy Fold mobile handset has been delayed after reviewers reported having removed the top layer of the display causing damage to the screen, problems with hinge areas, and debris getting trapped under the screen.

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Tech Tip – Free, Online AI Business School

If you’d like to get an understanding of what AI is and its implications for business strategy, corporate culture and business ethics, Microsoft, in partnership with global business school INSEAD has established a free, online business school.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Fake Finger Fools Fool Proof Phone

A Reddit user claims to have used a 3D printer to clone a fingerprint and then use the fake fingerprint to beat the in-display fingerprint reader on a Samsung Galaxy S10.

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AI Used To Tackle Money Laundering

Banks and financial institutions are experimenting with AI technology to tackle the multi-trillion-pound problem of money laundering, thereby hitting the traditional funding sources of major criminal gangs.

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Windows 10 Breaks Traditional PC Hardware and OS Upgrade Links

With figures (Gartner) showing Windows 10 predicted to represent 75% of the professional PC market by 2021, continued PC sales and improved Windows 10  back-end management, Windows 10 is making once time and resource consuming Windows OS and hardware upgrade projects a thing of the past, and is breaking the link between the two.

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New UK ‘Duty of Care’ Rules To Apply To Social Media Companies

The new ‘Online Harms’ whitepaper marks a world first as the UK government plans to introduce regulation to hold social media and other tech companies to account for the nature of the content they display, backed by the policing power of an independent regulator and the threat of fines or a ban.

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School Enlists Chinese Help To Upgrade To Enhanced Wi-Fi

The Lytchett Minster School in Dorset recently made the news among IT commentators after demonstrating how it could overcome the connectivity challenges of its rural location, cut costs and increase efficiency by upgrading its on-site network with Chinese company TP-Link’s enhanced Wi-Fi.

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Tech Tip – Free Graphic Design App For Android

Design social media posts, ads, presentations, cards, flyers and more with ‘Desygner’, a free, popular graphic design app for phone or tablet:

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Your IT News Update

HTTPS Security Vulnerabilities Found

Research teams at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice and Tu Wien in Austria have discovered security vulnerabilities in the TLS browser encryption defence system of 5.5% of the 10,000 HTTPS sites which could leave website visitors vulnerable to attack.

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Experts Recommend Security Update For Magento E-commerce Sites

Security experts are warning companies with a Magento e-commerce site to make sure that it has the latest security patch and updates in order to avoid the risk of card skimming attacks.

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Is Huawei Really Dragging Its Feet Over Security?

After espionage chiefs from the ‘Five Eyes’ agreed last July that they would try to contain the global growth of Chinese telecom Huawei (over fears that it was spying for China), a new report from the Huawei Cybersecurity Evaluation Centre (HCSEC) says that the company is still not fixing previously identified security problems.

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Facebook Rolls Out ‘Why Am I Seeing This Post?’ Tool

In an attempt to be more transparent and give more control to its users, Facebook is about to roll-out a new “Why am I seeing this post?” tool, which will give users insights into their newsfeed algorithm.

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Automatic Compensation For Broadband Problems Begins

Next week will see the introduction of automatic compensation, without having to ask, for customers of BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet who experience delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments.

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Tech Tip – Integrated Audio Recording and Note-Taking App

The ‘Noted’ app is a fully-integrated audio recording and note-taking app that can help you to keep track of meetings, interviews, lectures and more.  The app records audio, while also allowing you to type out notes which have rich text and image support.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Facebook Crypto Currency

Facebook is reported to be developing its own blockchain-based cryptocurrency that will enable its users to have a PayPal-like experience when purchasing advertised products, as well as providing authentication and an audit trail.

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Controversial Copyright Backed By MEPs

The European Parliament has given its backing to new copyright rules, including the controversial Article 13, (opposed by many big tech companies) which could now change the way that Europe’s creative and digital industries work.

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1 Million+ UK VAT-Registered Companies Still To Register With Making Tax Digital

A Freedom of Information request has revealed that with a little under a week to go to the deadline for registration, more than 1 million UK VAT-Registered Companies have still not signed up to HMRC’s Making Tax Digital (MTD) programme.

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Emails To Become More Dynamic With Google’s AMP For Email

Google has launched ‘AMP For Email’ which will make emails more dynamic and more like web page experiences as interaction can take place within the email itself rather than including links that send recipients to a web page for the interaction.

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Microsoft And Adobe Team Up To Fight Salesforce

Microsoft and Adobe are teaming up to make it easier for users of Adobe’s marketing software to find and target potential customers for business goods on Microsoft’s LinkedIn, thereby fighting their common competitor Salesforce.com Inc.

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Tech Tip – Discover How Your Phone Is Tracking Your Movements

If you’d like to see what data your phone has been collecting about your movements here’s how:

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Your Latest IT News Update

$35 Billion Takeover of Worldpay Boosts Value of Euro Payments Tech Companies

The recent £35 billion takeover of Worldpay by US company FIS has boosted the share value of other European payments technology companies including Worldline, Ingenico and Wirecard.

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Microsoft Tests ‘Sandbox’ Safe Browsing Extension For Chrome & Firefox

Microsoft is testing an in-browser ‘sandbox’ security extension for Chrome and Firefox that lets users access untrusted pages, safely.

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Robot Programmed to Carry Out Unbiased Job Interviews

TNG and Furhat Robotics in Sweden have developed a social, unbiased recruitment robot called “Tengai” that can be used to conduct job interviews with human candidates.

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New Smart App Converts Your Sketches Into To Works Of Art In Seconds

A new smart drawing app that uses deep learning can convert simple sketches and doodles into photo-realistic landscape artworks in the style of famous artists.

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The Web @ 30

It was back in March 1989, 30 years ago, that the World Wide Web as we know it was created by a computer scientist at the CERN particle physics lab near Geneva, Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

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Tech Tip – Check Your Screen Time on Apple Devices

If you’d like to be able to get a report about how you or your family members use your Apple devices, apps, and websites, how much time is spent on them, and (for example) set limits on your child’s device, there’s an app in the new iOS 12 to help you do it.  Here’s how:

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