Posts Tagged ‘tech’

Firefox to give true stealth mode?

August 17th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

firefox 300x288 Firefox to give true stealth mode?People can get very jumpy about how private their browsing habits are, and most browsers are walking the tightrope of pleasing their board who want all the money that comes from tracking you, and not completely angering users.

With Apple and Google jostling for the top spot, former favourite Firefox, from Mozilla, is looking at ways of getting people back on their team, by making private browsing truly private.

Mozilla are testing out enhancements to private browsing in Firefox, designed to block website elements that could be employed by third parties to track your behaviour across sites. While most browsers have an option called ‘Do Not Track’ or similar, they don’t really mean it and you end up getting tracked all the same.

This tool will block things like analytics firms and ad networks, and stop them from keeping tabs on your cookies and the like. It is available from the Firefox Developer Edition on Windows, Mac and Linux, and Firefox Aurora on Android, Mozilla and you can find out more about it here.

It is not even reached Beta mode yet, so don’t expect too much.

“We’ve worked with developers and created a process that attempts to verify that add-ons installed in Firefox meet the guidelines and criteria we’ve developed to ensure they’re safer for you,” Mozilla said.

ZX Spectrum Vega on sale next week!

August 17th, 2015 3 Comments By Mof Gimmers

zx vega controller 660 300x205 ZX Spectrum Vega on sale next week!We have been blorting on about the rejigged Spectrum – called the ZX Spectrum Vega – for a while now.

Well, it is out next week on Monday 24th August, if you’re in the mood to buy one.

Naturally, there’s loads of emulators you can use online, but this is for the die-hard and dedicated. The console has been developed by Sir Clive Sinclair, and since it appeared on IndieGoGo, it raised over £150k.

It’ll be built in Britain too, which is obviously something that Clive Sinclair is very keen on.

So, in case you missed the chat about this, the Vega will fit the processing power of the original ZX Spectrum and over 1,000 games inside it. Not bad at all. If you want more games, then there’s a MicroSD card slot so you can get more on there.

One wonderful thing for Speccy nerds, is that this new console will allow you to program and create your own games, just like in the olden days, which revolutionised gaming for everyone.

How much to go back in time and play all these? Well, it’ll set you back £99.99. Find out more here.

Can Microsoft delete things from your computer?

August 17th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

windows 10 Can Microsoft delete things from your computer?Microsoft are under fire over something in Windows 10, that looks like it would allow them to look around your computer looking for illegally downloaded software and media, where they have the opportunity to delete it.

This is troubling news, if not unsurprising.

Here’s the skinny: a paragraph in Microsoft’s terms and conditions has been found which appears to give the software company the ability to stop people from using things that weren’t legally sourced. There’s already privacy concerns with Microsoft’s newest OS, and this is something that is equally troubling.

The t&cs says: ”We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.”

Of course, that paragraph is on the vague side, but it doesn’t look good from the off and Microsoft could do with providing some clarity on this, or else feel the wrath of a load of very angry IT-types.

Naturally, the gaming and entertainment industries will welcome this move, as piracy has becoming a massive issue for them in recent years. That means Microsoft will have to walk the tightrope of pleasing companies and pleasing those that they want as customers.

They’ll win no friends if people start having their virtual sanctum messed around with.

Underpants 300x207 Silver underpants to protect your nads from your phoneMen! Are you worried about your technological devices making your junk sizzle and wither thanks to radiation? Have you been sat in bed with a laptop on your knee, cooking your gonads? Do you think your phone is somehow making your widger boil?

Well, fear not, because someone has invented some ‘smart’ underwear which is designed to protect your business, and ensure that you’re fertility is unaffected.

Richard Branson has already described these scads as “underpants for superheroes”, because the Wireless Armour underwear contains an underlining of pure silver, woven into the fabric, to protect your unmentionables against 99.9% of electromagnetic radiation.

That’s the stuff that emits from smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Inventor Joseph Perkins said: “Like so many people, my smartphone and laptop use has increased dramatically in recent years, which made me realise that I was exposing myself to large amounts of electromagnetic radiation, mostly centred on my groin.”

“With my physics background I knew there must be a way to shield from electromagnetic radiation using a simple solution. Wireless Armour has been tested by an industry leader in wireless shielding and the results show that our fabric shields against 99.9% of the radiation emitted between 100MHz to 2.6GHz.”

“Put simply, this covers the entire range of radiation emitted by wireless devices, from voice and text through to 4G and wi-fi, almost everything is blocked.”

Let’s just hope you don’t end up with argyria from the hi ho silver lining – the illness you get when you’re poisoned by silver and it makes your skin look like you’re a smurf, like this fella.

slvrK9V 500x280 Silver underpants to protect your nads from your phone

Windows 10 fix issued to stop reboot nightmare

August 13th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

windows 10 300x187 Windows 10 fix issued to stop reboot nightmareYou know how Windows 10 has seen some people stuck in rebooting hell? Well, Microsoft have seemingly issued a fix.

Microsoft put out some patches under the umbrella of KB 3081436 update to fix the problem. They said initially: “This update includes improvements to enhance the functionality of Windows 10. Windows 10 updates are cumulative. Therefore, this package contains all previously released fixes. If you have installed previous updates, only the new fixes that are contained in this package will be downloaded and installed to your computer.”

You won’t have to do anything because this update applied itself automatically, like magic. That’s what Windows 10 does. So if you’ve been avoiding your PC thanks to this problem, switch it on and it should work just fine. If not, shout at Microsoft, not us.

Naturally, some Windows 10 users are still stuck in the loop of reboots.

What if that doesn’t work?

Don’t worry though! If it doesn’t work for you, Microsoft say that all you have to do, is open your Control Panel, click on ‘View installed updates’, and select ‘KB3081436′. Click uninstall in the toolbar and restart your computer, and you should be away.

Windows 10: reboot loop hell

August 11th, 2015 9 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Windows 300x300 Windows 10: reboot loop hellLoads of people have downloaded Windows 10 now, but some are having major issues with the new operating system from Microsoft.

So what’s happening? Well, there’s some rebooting nightmare going on, which sees users trapped in constant reboots thanks to a dodgy update.

On the Microsoft forum, one user said: “It downloads, reboot to install. Gets to 30% and reboots. Gets to 59% and reboots. Gets to 59% again and then states something went wrong so uninstalling the update. Wait a few minutes and reboot. Back to login screen.”

Sadly, these are mandatory updates from Windows 10, which means you can’t decline the installation, which is making this a massive headache for a number of people.

The KB3081424 update, which is the problem, is failing to install properly, which means that Windows 10 immediately tries to do the whole thing again, making your computer unusable.

As yet, Microsoft haven’t offered a fix for this and is only fixable if you’re clever enough to get under the hood and manually edit a bit of the operating system. If you try it and cock it up, then you’re guaranteed to have a whole host of other issues, so we won’t be offering a How To on that fix here.

For most users, the update has been fine. For those that are having problems with it, we await Microsoft’s response.

Google usher in Alphabet overlords

August 11th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

google Google usher in Alphabet overlordsGoogle have set up a new parent company called Alphabet. Why? Well, you’d have to assume it is a way of diddling tax or something, but they’ve got other ideas. Warning: this article contains the phrase ‘womb of wonder’.

Basically, this is a reshuffle where some people might move offices. Now, all those things that Google did will be under the Alphabet umbrella. The search engine will still be called Google, it is just that the company that own it have a different name.

The terrifying 23andme (the company that wants your DNA) and the Nest project (the thing that wants to stick cameras in your house), as well as YouTube, self-driving cars, Glass and all the rest, will now be Alphabet companies. It is a surprise move, and control of the search engine business has been handed over to Sundar Pichai.

The one nerdily cool thing is the new address, which is abc.xyz.

On the new site, Larry Page wrote: “As Sergey [Brin, co-founder] and I wrote in the original founders letter 11 years ago, ‘Google is not a conventional company. We do not intend to become one’. As part of that, we also said that you could expect us to make ‘smaller bets in areas that might seem very speculative or even strange when compared to our current businesses’. From the start, we’ve always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources we have.”

“We did a lot of things that seemed crazy at the time. Many of those crazy things now have over a billion users, like Google Maps, YouTube, Chrome, and Android. And we haven’t stopped there. We are still trying to do things other people think are crazy but we are super excited about.”

“We’ve long believed that over time companies tend to get comfortable doing the same thing, just making incremental changes. But in the technology industry, where revolutionary ideas drive the next big growth areas, you need to be a bit uncomfortable to stay relevant. Our company is operating well today, but we think we can make it cleaner and more accountable. So we are creating a new company, called Alphabet. I am really excited to be running Alphabet as CEO with help from my capable partner, Sergey, as President.”

Alphabet, while making this announcement, even managed to crack a funny - embedding a link in their opening blog post to the company website for Hooli, which is the fictional version of Google from the Mike Judge’s brilliant comedy Silicon Valley. For those that haven’t seen it, Silicon Valley is a satire of the tech industry. Even Hooli has the URL of hooli.xyz and check their website out, to see how accurate it is, as a pisstake. “XYZenises” and “the womb of wonder” indeed.

Anyway, a massive company has done a reshuffle and we expect that, with a less cuddly name than Google, Alphabet Inc. will be able to start going full-on science fiction nightmare.

Product Recall: Panasonic e-bike battery

August 10th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

There’s a product recall on a Panasonic battery and, yes, it is a battery that could set on fire, not unlike the EE Power Bar which has been causing all manner of problems lately.

Here’s a photo of the battery in question, which is the Panasonic ‘NKY442B2′ (48V / 412Wh), which comes complete with e-bikes.

battery recall 500x201 Product Recall: Panasonic e bike batteryThe recall says that the “affected battery may overheat or spark, which can generate smoke and flames.”

Only a limited number of Panasonic NKY442B2 batteries are affected, and they’re very easy to spot. The problem batteries are easily identified as they have a serial number starting with RA16 and RA17. The serial number is affixed to the underside of the battery.

These batteries, with the serial number RA16 and RA17, must be exchanged immediately.

“If an affected battery (RA16 or RA17) is identified by an end customer, it must be removed from the bike immediately. This battery must not be used or recharged until it is exchanged. If you have any personal questions regarding this product recall process, please contact us by phone using the hotline: +49 30 920 360 110″

If you have such a battery, then click here and fill the form in.

Windows 10 has God Mode

August 8th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

PythonGod 300x225 Windows 10 has God ModeIf you’re a Windows geek, you’ll know the ‘God Mode’ trick already. For those that don’t, and indeed, don’t know what ‘God Mode’ means, let us help.

First off – what is God Mode? Well, it isn’t nearly as thrilling as it sounds, but it useful. Basically, it gives you access to all of the operating system’s control panels from within a single folder. That’s it. You can’t drown entire civilisations or make it rain locusts, but you can enjoy what is actually called the Windows Master Control Panel shortcut, that was jokingly called God Mode, which stuck.

This is more useful for IT sorts, and not much use to the average user, just to be clear. If you don’t really know the ins-and-outs of an operating system, then you probably shouldn’t be given the secret backdoor entrance to it, or you might bork your computer.

For those that do know what they’re doing, here’s how to get at it.

Get God Mode in Windows 10

Obviously, make sure your system account has administrative privileges. Then, right-click on the Windows 10 desktop and choose New > Folder. Okay? Then, name said folder - Name the folder: GodMode.{ED7BA470-8E54-465E-825C-99712043E01C} and hit return to make it stick.

And that is pretty much it. Now, you’ve got loads of handy shortcuts and that. Open the folder and have a poke around the settings, which include Devices and Printers, Indexing, and a whole load more.

Lexus make actual, real-life hoverboard

August 5th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

hoverboard 300x168 Lexus make actual, real life hoverboardAre you sick of all these people who watched Back to the Future, complaining about hoverboards? Are you tired of all these marketing teams who pretend to have invented a hoverboard, when they haven’t?

Well, looks like Lexus have brought the first ever real, actually working hoverboard to the world. Of course, we’re sceptical, but we’d really like this to be true, mainly to shut the traps of ’80s nostalgia divs.

The car manufacturer has shown off their board, which is powered by superconductors and magnets, which ride over a special magnetic track. So obviously, you can’t ride anywhere you want with it, but this is the future – the future sometimes comes in baby steps.

The gadget uses liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets to make the board float. This is pretty similar to some of the things that have gone before, but y’know, FLOATING SKATEBOARDS.

In the Lexus video, professional skateboarder Ross McGouran gives it a whirl and falls off a lot.

If you’d like to see it in action, and pretend that you’d have the money to buy one if they went on sale, watch the video below. The bit where it goes over water looks like fun, in fairness.

Attack of the Mac viruses!

August 5th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

sad apple logo Attack of the Mac viruses!People who buy Macs have been pretty free of the skirmishes that hit PC users, especially concerning viruses. Well, there’s two new serious bits of malware that have hit Macland in quick succession.

One of these bugs lets a program gain access to your Mac, which runs as though it is the admin of the computer. That means it can sidestep a lot of Apple’s security features. Apple still haven’t fixed the flaw, which has annoyed people like Stefan Esser, the German coder who found the exploit.

Esser writes: “At the moment it is unclear if Apple knows about this security problem or not, because while it is already fixed in the first betas of OS X 10.11, it is left unpatched in the current release of OS X 10.10.4 or in the current beta of OS X 10.10.5.”

There’s a new nasty thing in town too, according to researchers from Malwarebytes. They’ve found a new adware installer, which can embed itself into the operating system, and, worryingly, allows adware to install itself without needing your password.

There’s more. Researchers have found a bunch of weaknesses in Apple’s firmware (that’s the stuff that runs fans, USB ports, power supply and the like) which allowed them to run their own code in it. Apple have been told, and Apple haven’t done anything about it. In addition to that, the researchers managed to write a proof of concept attack, which creates a worm virus. That’s the kind of virus that can spread from Mac to Mac.

Concerning the latter, a nasty sort can infect an email on someone’s MacBook, which will automatically try to infect any hardware connected to it. If you plug your device into something else, then the worm spreads.

Stay vigilant. Or ignorant. We’re not your real dad.

Your privacy and Windows 10

August 5th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Windows 300x300 Your privacy and Windows 10It won’t surprise you that, in 2015, there’s a tech company after all your personal data. However, it is still worth talking about, especially if you’re one of the millions who has downloaded the new Windows 10 update from Microsoft.

Microsoft updated their privacy statement in a bid to explain what they’re doing with your data, and what they are collecting while your computer runs Windows 10.

They’ve said that they’re saving your search information from Bing (does anyone actually use Bing?), as well as content from your private emails and what apps you use. They are also storing information about “your typed and handwritten words”, which is sinister.

Microsoft will also store your voice through the spoken commands given to Cortana. This is all to ‘customise’ your experience, which is something we’ve heard from a lot of companies. You’ll no doubt be aware that Google go through your emails to get keywords for targeted adverts, while Apple’s Siri and Google Now collect data to personalise responses.

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services,” says Microsoft in the new terms of services agreement.

“Windows does not collect personal information without your consent. To effectively provide Windows as a service, Microsoft gathers some performance, diagnostic and usage information that helps keep Windows and apps running properly. Microsoft uses this information to identify problems and develop fixes.”

“However, we do not use what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail, or your documents, photos or other personal files to target ads to you,” the privacy statement reads.

So, you might want to adjust your privacy settings, right?

Well, you can, by going to Settings, then Privacy and messing around with your options in there. If you want, you can opt out of personalised ads if you go to this page from Microsoft. You don’t need to be on Windows 10 to opt out of the latter.

Free WiFi on Red Funnel ferries

July 31st, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

public wifi 300x169 Free WiFi on Red Funnel ferries

Going to the Isle of Wight for your jollies? Well, if you travel with ferry company Red Funnel, you’ll be able to have free WiFi over summer, which is just grand.

The company says that they’re going to be offering improved connectivity and greater bandwidth, which they’re providing thanks to a fivefold increase in demand.

So, if you want to Instagram pictures of the sea, or want to livetweet someone who has appalling sea-sickness, ralfing their guts up over the side of the ship, you don’t have to worry about your signal dropping out.

Red Funnel say they’ve made a “significant investment” in all this, with the number of wireless access points being increased.

Marketing and communications director Jonathan Green said: “Following extensive trials, we are delighted to be launching our new on-board WiFi service to coincide with the start of the school holidays.”

“We are particularly pleased to have overcome the technical challenges of providing a robust connection to our high-speed vessels which is a technical first on the Solent and great news for Red Funnel’s 1.1 million Red Jet customers.”

Windows 10 is here!

July 29th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

windows 10 300x199 Windows 10 is here!Today, Microsoft are going to start rolling out Windows 10, for free to those that want it. From now, it’ll always be free, as Microsoft stop trying to use their OS as a thing to make money with.

So what’s new?

Well, the Start Menu is back (that’s not new, but it will be a relief to some) and there’ll also be the addition of Cortana (Siri-alike and best friend of dance-pop outfit, Clean Bandit) and Microsoft Edge.

According to Microsoft, upgrading to Windows 10 will see them using a system that is easy to understand if you’ve used Windows 7 or Windows 8.1.

Lots of people have reserved their right to download Windows 10 today, who will be notified in batches, when it is ready to be downloaded. How do you download it?

Well, if you’re upgrading from Windows 7 or Windows 8, open Windows Update (search for Windows Update in Start Menu or Start Screen) and if you’re eligible, you’re away! It is very, very easy. It is sure to be a jammed network, so don’t worry if it all isn’t happening immediately – you’ll get it eventually.

Data corruption on latest MacBook Pro

July 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

sad apple logo Data corruption on latest MacBook ProApple have sent out a warning to everyone that the latest MacBook Pro has an issue which might cause data corruption. There might be a separate issue with screen damage as well.

Regarding the data corruption, Apple have put out a firmware update to fix the laptop’s flash storage component. It is the 15″ mid-range 2015 Retina model that has shown signs of corruption.

This follows a lot of complaints about MacBooks that have knackered screens. Marks, or ‘stains’ are appearing on the laptops in such volumes that someone bothered to set up a website dedicated to the problem. It is called staingate.org, and shows a number of botched screens.

Just shy of 3,000 people (and counting) have joined a Facebook group about this issue too.

Obviously, one of the big concerns is that they’re going to be rinsed with expensive service fees that they’ll have to fork out for once the warranties or protection plans expire.

Considering that the MacBooks are considerably more expensive than the rest of the market, you can see why people have the hump.

Apple haven’t confirmed whether there’s an issue or not (there clearly is) and it seems to be models from 2013 that are causing the most grief for people.