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Your Latest IT News Update

£183 Million Fine (Biggest Ever) For BA Data Breach

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has imposed a £183 million fine on British Airways, the biggest fine to date under GDPR, for a data breach where the personal details of 500,000 customers were accessed by hackers.

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1000+ Android Apps Harvest Our Data Without Our Permission

Researchers from the International Computer Science Institute have reported that up to 1,325 Android apps are gathering data from devices after people have denied them permission, and Google claims that it will address the problem with the introduction of the new Android “Q” Operating System.

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Googlemail’s Tracking of Your Purchase History

CNBC research has highlighted how Googlemail creates a (difficult to delete) page of your purchase history by tracking your purchase receipt emails, and perhaps details stored in locations other than the inbox.

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Ad-Free Firefox Browser Service For $4.99 Per Month

Mozilla looks likely to be entering the premium browsing market later this year by offering a subscription-based (advert-free) browsing experience of selected journalism websites and other value-adding features via a special version of Firefox.

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Latest Windows 10 Update Causes Problems For VPN Enterprise Users

The latest update to Windows 10 could break the platform’s Remote Access Connection Manager (RASMAN) and, therefore, cause problems with VPN for Enterprise users with certain settings.

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Tech Tip – Apps To Stop Pocket Dialling

If you’ve ever accidentally pocket-dialled someone or accidentally clicked through things on your phone while it’s in your pocket, apps such as ‘Pocket Screen Lock’, ‘Pocket Mode’ and ‘Pocket Sensor’ can prevent this from happening.

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Your Latest IT News Update

‘Mobile-Sensing System’ Could Evaluate Your Workplace Performance

A newly developed ‘Mobile-Sensing System’ that uses a combination of smartphone, fitness bracelet, app and cloud-based machine learning algorithms can track and rank the workplace performance of employees with 80% accuracy.

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Visa Adopts Blockchain For Cross-Border, Bank To Bank B2B Payments

Visa is integrating blockchain technology with its core systems to enable participant businesses to make direct, cross-border, bank to bank payments to other corporate participants.

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Google’s reCAPTCHA v3 System Prompts Privacy Criticism

The widely used Google  reCaptcha V3 bot-detecting login system has come in for some criticism after two security researchers claimed that one of the ways that Google determines whether you’re a malicious user depends on whether you have a Google cookie installed on your browser, which could also mean that the privacy of your browsing habits may also be at risk in using the system.

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New Electric Cars Will Emit Noise For Safety Reasons

In contrast to the vision of a quieter, close-future utopia where vehicles pass noiselessly by, a new law means that from 2021, all new four-wheel electric cars will be required to include a noise emitting device so that pedestrians can hear the cars approaching. At low speeds, at least.

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E-Waste Inquiry

The growing number of connected electronic devices in use in the UK has led to an inquiry by the cross-party Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) which will focus on reducing ‘e-waste’ (dumped devices) and creating a circular economy.

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Tech Tip – ‘Over’ App

Stylish and engaging social media posts are an important part of marketing communications.  The Over app has the tools to help you to quickly and easily create stylish designs packed with photos, images and text, ready for Instagram, Facebook and other social sites, as well as for posters and flyers.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Is CCTV Surveillance By Amazon Drones The Future?

An Amazon patent from 2015 appears to indicate that Amazon may consider ‘surveillance as a service’ using a swarm of its delivery drones armed with CCTV, as a monetising opportunity in the future.

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Fraud Reported on Deliveroo and Just Eat App

Some Deliveroo and Just Eat customers have reported that their accounts have been used to buy food that they didn’t order, but both companies deny a data breach.

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Suspected Russian Disinformation Campaign Rumbled

An investigation by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab (DFRLab) claims to have unearthed a widespread disinformation campaign aimed at influencing online conversations about several topics, that appears to originate in Russia.

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Florida Town Pays £475,000 To Hackers To Restart Municipal Computer Systems

Hackers who shut down the municipal computers of Riviera Beach (a suburb of Palm Beach) in a ransomware attack have just earned themselves $600,000 (£475,000) when the local council decided they had no choice but to pay them.

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Fire-Prone MacBook Pros Recalled

Apple has announced a recall of some older generation 15-inch MacBook Pro units due to the fire risk posed by a tendency for the battery to overheat.

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Tech Tip – A Free Online HTML Editor

If you’d like to be able to quickly write or edit a piece of content so that it can be easily used online without having to download or purchase HTML editors, try using a free, online HTML editor.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Could Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Be The Future Of Money?

Facebook has announced the launch of its new crypto-currency called ‘Libra’ 2020 which will enable payments to be made by a special phone app and by messaging services such as WhatsApp so that spending the new currency could be as easy and fast as texting.

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UK National Surveillance Camera Day – Today

In a world first, the UK is playing host to an awareness-raising National Surveillance Camera Day as part of the National Surveillance Camera Strategy.

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Samsung’s Advice To Virus-Check TVs Causes Customer Concern

Samsung’s recent release of a how-to virus check video coupled with the advice to complete the check “every few weeks” has caused confusion and concern among customers.

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ICO’s Own Website Fails GDPR Compliance Test

Irony and embarrassment are the order of the day as the Information Commissioner’s Office, which is responsible for ensuring GDPR compliance in the websites of businesses and organisations has been forced to admit that its own website is not GDPR compliant.

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Revenue Risk To UK Companies Too Slow To Adopt AI

Research from the McKinsey Global Institute shows that UK companies could lose 20% of their cash flow if they are too slow to invest in and adopt Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools.

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Tech Tip – ExpressVPN App

If you’d prefer to keep your communications from your mobile device as secure as possible you may like to try a secure VPN app such as ExpressVPN.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Facial Recognition Glasses For Covert Surveillance

The “iFalcon Face Control” AR glasses that incorporate an 8-megapixel camera in the frame and NNTC facial recognition technology (are due to go on sale next year) are reported to have already been deployed into several security operations.

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Criminal Secrets Of The Dark Net Revealed

Recent Surrey University research, ‘Web Of Profit’ commissioned by virtualisation-based security firm Bromium has shown that cyber-criminals are moving to their own invisible Internet on the so-called ‘dark net’ to allow them to communicate and trade beyond the view of the authorities.

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Mastercard’s AI-Based Digital Wellness Could Make Online Purchasing Easier and Safer

Mastercard has announced the introduction of its Digital Wellness program which utilises AI-based click-to-pay technology and new standards in order to provide an easier and safer online shopping experience.

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Accounting Systems Too Complex (And Lack Investment)

A recent Barclaycard survey shows that 48 per cent of Chief financial officers (CFOs) think that current accounting systems are too complex.

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Premium, Paid For Version Of Mozilla’s Firefox Planned

It has been reported that Mozilla will be introducing a (paid for) premium subscription-based Firefox service this October to run alongside the free, open-source Firefox browser.

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Tech Tip – Night Light For Windows

If you leave your computer on and/or need to work late into the evenings, for example, the Windows 10 ‘night light’ feature enables the gradual limitation of the colour spectrum from your computer so that your body’s Melatonin (the bedtime-indicating chemical) isn’t impeded.

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Your Latest IT News Update

Employee Subject Access Requests Increasing Costs For Their Companies

Research by law firm Squire Patton Boggs has revealed (one year on from the introduction of GDPR ) that companies are facing cost pressures from a large number of subject access requests (SARs) coming from their own employees.

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Salesforce Adding Blockchain Platform To CRM

The Salesforce cloud-based CRM platform is adding a low code, blockchain-powered service that will allow users to share data with third parties in a secure, transparent, and auditable way.

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US Visa Applicants Now Asked For Social Media Details and More

New rules from the US State Department will mean that US visa applicants will have to submit social media names and five years’ worth of email addresses and phone numbers.

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GCHQ Eavesdropping Proposal Soundly Rejected

A group of 47 technology companies, rights groups and security policy experts have released an open letter stating their objections to the idea of eavesdropping on encrypted messages on behalf of GCHQ.

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Amazon Pop-Up Stores

Amazon is launching a pilot scheme which will enable 100 small online businesses to get the opportunity to sell their goods in 10 Amazon pop-up stores in UK high streets.

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Tech Tip – Sleep App That Could Help You Work

We spend one-third of our lives asleep, and it has been estimated that around £30bn and 200,000 working days are lost in the UK each year through a lack of good sleep (gov.uk).  The Rise app shows you how to get better sleep, and keeps a record of your sleeping progress, thereby helping you to feel better and be more productive at work.

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Your Latest IT News Update

SurveyMonkey Goes to Ireland

California-based online survey software company SurveyMonkey has opened a datacentre in Dublin with a view to attracting enterprise customers in the EMEA region.

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The World Of Ethical Hackers And Bug Bounties

The fact that big tech companies are willing to pay big bucks in ‘bug bounties’ is one of the main reasons why becoming an ethical hacker / ethical security tester is increasingly attractive to many people with a variety of technical skills.

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Survey Shows Half Of UK Firms Have No Cyber Resilience Plan

A survey commissioned by email security firm Mimecast and conducted by Vanson Bourne has revealed that even after GDPR’s introduction, more than half of UK firms have no Cyber Resilience Plan.

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Google AR Glasses Enterprise Edition For Workers

Six years on from the launch of the first Google glasses, Google has announced the introduction of Google Glass 2 Enterprise Edition, glasses incorporating a wraparound camera and AR and designed to help workers by providing instant hands-free access to key information.

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Microbe Grown Headphones Offer Hope In Fight Against Plastic Waste

Finnish design house Aivan has shown how its ‘Korvaa’ headphones can be made from natural, microbe-grown, biodegradable materials, thereby offering hope in reducing the amount of plastic waste that goes to landfill or litters the natural world.

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Tech Tip – Using Your Windows Clipboard History

You may not have tried it, but if you need to clip up to 10 or more things to your windows clipboard (copy) and come back to them later, the clipboard that’s built-in to Windows 10 allows you to do this quickly and easily.

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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.