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Your Latest IT News Update

Microsoft Launches Free Version of Collaborative Chat App ‘Teams’

Microsoft has announced the launch of a free version of its collaborative chat app ‘Teams’ which doesn’t require an Office 365 subscription.

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NHS … Still Reliant On Fax Machines

A Poll by the Royal College of Surgeons using freedom of information requests has revealed that 8,946 fax machines are still in use in NHS Trusts in England.

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Misleading Broadband Adverts

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been criticised for a lack of regulation of the use of the term “fibre” in broadband adverts, which has meant that some consumers may have been misled.

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Cambridge Analytica Re-Born

A new offshoot of Cambridge Analytica, the disgraced data analysis company at the heart of the Facebook personal data sharing scandal, has been set up by former members of staff under the name ‘Auspex’.

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12 Russian Intelligence Officers Charged With Election Hacking

Even though, in an interview this week, President Trump appeared to absolve Russia of election interference (since retracted), the US Department of Justice has now charged 12 Russian intelligence officers with hacking Democratic officials in the 2016 US elections.

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Tech Tip – Open Files With The Right App

Sometimes in Windows, when you double click on a file to open it (e.g. a file that’s been sent to you) the wrong app can open. Here’s how to make sure you select the right app for your file:

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Your Latest IT News Update

New Roadside System Detects & Warns Of Drivers Using Mobile Phones

Norfolk-based company Westcotec is piloting new technology that can detect whether a handheld mobile phone is in use in a passing vehicle, and then warn the occupants of the vehicle.

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Now You Can Search eBay Via A Photo

Ebay has launched Image Search in the UK, an AI-based technology that means you can now enter a photo into the search box to help find the product you’re looking for.

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UK Slips To 35th Place In Global Broadband Speed Table

A recent comparison of 163 million broadband speed tests across 200 countries shows that the UK has slipped from 31st to 35th place in the global average broadband speed league tables.

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£500,000 Fine For Facebook Data Breaches

Sixteen months after the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) began its investigation into the Facebook’s sharing the personal details of users with political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, the ICO has announced that Facebook will be fined £500,000 for data breaches.

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$13.5 Million In Customer Tokens Lost To Bancor Hackers

Hackers are reported to have stolen $13.5 million of user crypto-currency tokens from the Israeli start-up and decentralised crypto-currency trading platform Bancor.

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Tech Tip – Create Instant Shortcuts

If you need to access certain files or folders quickly in Windows, you can help yourself by being able to easily create instant shortcuts to them. Here’s how:

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Your Latest IT News Update

NHS Booking App and Doc Bot

In the NHS’s 70th year, and as part of the push for digitisation, the introduction of an appointment-booking app has been praised, while a GP chatbot has been given the thumbs-down by The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP).

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Tech Giant GDPR Privacy Settings ‘Unethical’ Says Council

The ‘Deceived By Design’ report by the government-funded Norwegian Consumer Council has accused tech giants Microsoft, Facebook and Google of being unethical by leading users into selecting settings that do not benefit their privacy.

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New, Improved Wi-Fi Security Standard WPA3 Starts Rollout

The non-profit, global trade group, the Wi-Fi Alliance, has announced the commencement of the rollout of the new Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocol WPA3 which should bring improvements in authentication and data protection.

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Samsung Phones Sending Photos Without Permission

The Samsung Galaxy S9, Galaxy S9+ and Note 8 are all reported to have been recently affected by a bug in the Samsung Messages app that sends out photos from the user’s gallery without their permission … to random contacts.

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Submit Your Dash-Cam Footage To Police

A new website has been launched by manufacturer Nextbase allowing drivers to upload their dash-cam footage of dangerous drivers they’ve filmed, thereby making it easy for drivers to submit their footage to the police.

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Tech Tip – Save Space By Quickly Creating Compressed Folders

If you’re running Windows and you’d like to save some space on your disk, there is a way to quickly pack files into a compressed archive, with no third-party software required. Here’s how:

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Your Latest IT News Update

Tesla Traps Tripp

California-based vehicle tech corporation ‘Tesla’ is suing a former employee, who some saw simply as a Whistleblower, over alleged acts of industrial espionage.

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Apple Offers Free Replacements / Repairs On Butterfly Keyboards

After numerous complaints over the last two years and even an online petition by a customer, Apple has decided to offer free repairs or replacements for the butterfly keyboard on its MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops.

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GDPR Exemption Sought

It has been reported that financial market regulators from the US, the UK and Asia are pressing for an exemption from GDPR.

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Calls to Stop Storing of Personal Communications Data and Voiceprints

Privacy groups have led calls to halt the blanket collection and storing of communications data in the EU area, and the creation and storing of the “audio signatures” of 5.1 million people by HMRC.

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New ‘No Cheat’ “Locked Mode” For Classroom on Chromebooks

The Google Forms Quiz in its free, browser-based educational software “Classroom” now features a “locked mode” on Chromebooks which prevents students from cheating during quizzes.

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Tech Tip – Rename Multiple Files at Once

If you have a number of files in Windows that you want to rename but don’t want to waste time renaming them all one-by-one, here’s a quick way to rename them all at once:

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Foldable Phones

After its official launch, planned for next year, it has been reported that the new Samsung Galaxy X smartphone (complete with foldable screen) could be priced at as much as £1,400!

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Trump’s Tariff’s For Tech

While Apple Inc has had good news that it will not face traded tariffs on its iPhones assembled in China, Intel Corp may need to shift its assembly work away from China to avoid a big revenue hit.

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Appeal Dismissed After Asylum Seeker Data Breach

An appeal by the UK Home Office to limit the number of potential claimants from a 2013 data breach has been dismissed on the grounds that an accidentally uploaded spreadsheet exposed the confidential information and personal data of asylum applicants and their family members.

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Bank Uses AI To Screen Job Applicants

A Singapore bank is reported to be using an AI-based system to make savings in the process of recruitment by automating the pre-screening of job applicants.

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AI Creates Phishing URLs That Can Beat Auto-Detection

A group of computer scientists from Florida-based cyber security company, Cyxtera Technologies, are reported to have built machine-learning software that can generate phishing URLs that can beat popular security tools.

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Tech Tip – Improve Phone Speed With Lightweight Apps

If your phone has limited memory storage and you regularly use Facebook and Twitter, installing lightweight versions of these apps could help to speed up your phone.

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Domain Names & GDPR

A recent ruling by a German court about GDPR also applies to personal information held in the worldwide whois service, and could mean that domain name admin and tech contact details may no longer be needed because of the GDPR ‘data minimisation principle’.

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Fruit Robots

Tests are being completed of ‘robot’ fruit-picking machines that can pick strawberries as carefully and quickly as humans, and can help growers solve the labour shortage challenge next growing season.

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Smart Solar Power Savings From Google

Google, in partnership with energy supplier Eon, with help from German software firm Tetraeder, has released an online tool called ‘Project Sunroof’ that uses Google’s Earth and Maps apps to estimate how much money homeowners could by switching to solar power.

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1 – 0 In England Vs World Cup Hackers

It has been reported that the England football team will be briefed before flying out to their World Cup base in St Petersburg about how they and UK fans can avoid falling victim to Russian hackers.

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Two More Security Holes In Voice Assistants

Researchers from Indiana University, the Chinese Academy of Science, and the University of Virginia have discovered 2 new security vulnerabilities in voice-powered assistants, like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, that could lead to the theft of personal information.

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Tech Tip – Alexa Skills Commands That Could Help At Work

Amazon’s Echo speakers may be used mainly in the home, but putting the listening / privacy fears aside, they can be useful in a business setting, particularly in small business settings / home offices. With this in mind, here are four skills commands that could help you:

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Your Latest IT News Update

Fined For Using a Smartwatch At Traffic Lights

In a recent court case in Canada, an Apple smartwatch was classified as being the same kind of distraction as a mobile phone as a student was handed a fine for being observed looking at her Apple watch while waiting at traffic lights.

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Facebook Losing the Battle For Teenage Attention

A study by Pew in the US has found that Facebook is now lagging behind YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, as a platform where teenagers spend their time.

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Google Accused of Being ‘Unethical’ Over Cryptocurrency Ad Ban

Some industry commentators have suggested that Google’s motives for introducing a blanket ban on cryptocurrency ads may not be all they seem, and could make the company appear unethical.

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834% Rise in TSB Customer Attacks

Following the IT ‘meltdown’ at TSB last month which led to chaos for customers who were locked out of their own accounts, research has found that the number of phishing attacks targeting TSB customers leapt by 843% in May compared with April.

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Visa Crash In Europe Causes ‘Cash Only’ Chaos

On Friday 1st June from 2.30 pm, a Europe-wide system failure at Visa that left shoppers embarrassed as their card payments were declined and stores switched to ‘cash only’.

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Tech Tip – Create ‘For Follow Up’ Folder In Outlook

If you use Microsoft Outlook and you don’t want an important email that you need to follow up with to get lost among the deluge of each new day’s emails, you can keep track of it by creating a ‘For Follow Up’ folder. Here’s how:

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7-Fold Rise in Mobile Fraud

It seems that as we spend more time using mobile devices, the fraudsters are following us as a new RSA Security report shows a massive rise in mobile fraud over the last 3 years.

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Instant GDPR Complaints For Web Giants

In an almost inevitable turn of events, the social media and tech giants Facebook, Google, Instagram and WhatsApp faced a barrage of accusations that they were not compliant within hours of GDPR being introduced on May 25th.

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Now You Can Opt-Out Of Having Your Medical Data Shared

The introduction of GDPR on 25th May has brought with it a new national data opt-out service which enables people to use an online tool to opt out of their confidential patient information being used beyond their own individual care for research and planning.

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Alexa Records and Sends Private Conversation

A US woman has complained of feeling “invaded” after a private home conversation was recorded by her Amazon’s voice assistant, and then sent it to a random phone contact … who happened to be her husband’s employee.

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92 Carphone Warehouse Branch Closures

Dixons Carphone, owners of Carphone Warehouse stores has highlighted people not renewing their handsets as frequently and a declining market for long-term mobile contracts as 2 main reasons for the planned closure of 92 stores.

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Tech Tip – One Handed Keyboard On An iPhone

If you’ve struggled to use the keyboard on an iPhone and found it a little unwieldy, or had difficulty reaching across the entirety of the keyboard when you have only one hand free, here’s how to adjust the size and position of the keyboard in iOS 11 so you can use it with just one hand:

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Your Latest IT News Update

Facial Recognition In The Classroom

A school in Hangzhou, capital of the eastern province of Zhejiang, is reportedly using facial recognition software to monitor pupils and teachers.

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Data Breach Fine For UK University

The Information Commissioner (ICO) has imposed a fine of £120,000 on the University of Greenwich for a data breach that left the personal details of thousands of students exposed online.

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TalkTalk Super Router Security Fears Persist

An advisory notice from software and VR Company IndigoFuzz has highlighted the continued potential security risk posed by a vulnerability in the WPS feature in TalkTalk’s Super Router.

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BYODs Linked To Security Incidents

A study by SME card payment services firm Paymentsense has shown a positive correlation between bring your own device (BYOD) schemes and increased cyber -security risk in SMEs.

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Slack ‘Actions’

Chat App ‘Slack’ has announced the introduction of a new ‘Actions’ feature that makes it easier for users to create and finish tasks without leaving by having access to more 3rd party tools.

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Tech Tip – Enable ‘Do Not Track’ In Microsoft Edge

If you want the general added security of not being tracked when you’re browsing without having to switch to full security incognito mode, here’s how to enable ‘Do Not Track’ in Microsoft Edge:

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Your Latest IT News Update

AI Drones: Smaller and Smarter

Researchers from ETH Zurich, Switzerland and the University of Bologna have built the smallest completely autonomous quadrotor nano-drone that uses AI to fly itself, and doesn’t need human guidance.

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Police Face Recognition Software Flawed

Following an investigation by campaign group Big Brother Watch, the UK’s information Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, has said that the Police could face legal action if concerns over accuracy and privacy with facial recognition systems are not addressed.

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Efail – Encryption Flaw

A German newspaper has released details of a security vulnerability, discovered by researchers at Munster University of Applied Sciences, in PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) data encryption.

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Fewer Shop Visits Due To Digital. But More Spending

British Retail Consortium (BRC) figures show that footfall in retail stores fell by 3.3% in April 2018 compared to last year, marking a further shift in consumer behaviour towards digital adoption.

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Handy Location Tracker

A peanut-shaped, hand-held, smart, long-range tracking device called LynQ has been launched that can tell you how far and in what direction your friends are, all without the need for a data connection, and without monthly fees.

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Tech Tip – Play Almost Any File Format

If you sometimes have trouble opening and playing certain file formats e.g. for videos, free and open-sourced VLC software makes it easy to play almost any file format you throw at it.

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