Electroville News and Blog

Voice Control Your Printer

Amazon has announced its new ‘Printing With Alexa’ service that allows owners of Echo devices to operate their printer using voice commands. Print What? Printing With Alexa allows the simple “Alexa, print….” followed by what the user requires to produce a printed...

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Amazon Review Fraud

An FT investigation appears to have uncovered an estimated 20,000 Amazon reviews where the reviewers were suspected of being paid to give a five-star rating. Reviews The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK estimates that £23 billion a year of UK consumer...

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Influencers Paid To Promote NHS Test and Trace

In a bid to raise awareness of responsible behaviour concerning COVID-19 among the younger age groups, the UK government is reported to be paying freelance social media influencers and reality TV stars to promote test and trace. Test and Trace Test and trace in the UK...

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Featured Article – Just What Is The IoT?

With a vast and growing number of business, industry, consumer and civic IoT devices and systems now being used, we look at their advantages, the threats to the IoT and how we move forward in a way that maximises the benefits and security. The Internet of Things (IoT)...

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Tech Tip – Sync Sticky Notes Across Devices

If you are using Windows 10 and need some simple, handy reminders about work, appointments, calls and more, synced across all your devices and other apps, Microsoft’s Sticky Notes app can help. Here’s how it works: - Open the Sticky Notes app (type Sticky Notes in the...

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Featured Article – Ensure What You See Is Real

With the internet and particularly social media awash with pictures, videos, news, and other content which may not be all that it seems, here is a guide to spotting fake news and content. Misinformation There are a number of sources and motivations for publishing...

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Virtual London Tech Week

The successful move to virtual presentations for London Tech Week Connects back in June has inspired September’s London Tech Week to go ahead as a fully virtual event. June Back in June, when the country was still locked-down due to the pandemic, London Tech Connects...

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Brexit Border IT Systems Behind Schedule

A leaked government memo reportedly suggests that critical IT systems needed to avoid border disruption post-Brexit are behind schedule, raising the threat of border chaos for hauliers. Memo After Meeting The memo, reported by Bloomberg, from the UK Cabinet Office’s...

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Microsoft Ending Support For Flash

Microsoft has announced that it is ending support for the Adobe Flash Player on Microsoft Edge (new and legacy) and Internet Explorer 11 at the end of 2020. Flash Initially released in 1996, Adobe Flash Player is software for using content created on the Adobe Flash...

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Tech Tip – Space and Speed

On your PC, if you would like to be able to monitor how much space your apps are taking up and keep your machine running quickly by getting rid of the ones you do not need, here’s how: To check how much space your apps are using go to Settings > System >...

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Featured Article – Making Your Router Secure

With your router in charge of all incoming and outgoing Internet traffic and controlling the Wi-Fi network for your devices, it makes sense to make it as secure as possible. Routers Your router is the device that connects your computer and other devices to a network...

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Delivery Drones Get Go Ahead

Amazon’s Prime Air drone parcel delivery service has been approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test autonomous delivery drones. Prime Air Amazon Prime Air completed its first fully autonomous drone delivery as far back as 7 December 2016 and...

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Zoom Zooms Thanks to COVID

Zoom Video Communications Inc has raised its annual revenue forecast by more than 30 per cent as it converts many of its vast free user base to paid subscriptions. Pandemic Growth Zoom’s video conferencing platform received a huge boost in user numbers as lockdown...

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Tech Tip – Turn Your Phone/iPad Into A HD Webcam

Whilst availability of peripheral-hardware for remote-working may be less of an issue now that it was a just a couple of short months ago (when Covid-19 took off and caused a shortage of equipment) remember that if you are struggling for a webcam to use at home or in...

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Lockdown Love Scams

Details emerged this week of a scam whereby a man claiming to be on a top-secret military mission contacted a lady on a dating site and encouraged her to switch to an encrypted message service in order to steal money and personal details. Hooked In this particular...

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Record Broadband Compensation Pay-Outs

Ofcom's annual report shows that a record-breaking £20.7m in compensation was paid to broadband customers under the new automatic compensation scheme in the last six months of 2019. The Automatic Compensation Scheme Back in November 2017, Ofcom announced that...

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Tech Tip – One-Click Fix For Accessibility

If you are using Word (or any Office app) in Windows 10, there is a one-click way to make sure that your messages and documents can be read by people of all abilities.  Here’s how: - With your chosen document open click on ‘Review’ (top menu). - Click on ‘Check...

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Featured Article – Back to Work!

For those whose workplace would normally be the office, going 'back to work' after remote working during the pandemic has its own challenges, so here is a brief reminder and checklist for moving back to the office to work. New Rules To Protect Physical and Financial...

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Toyota To Upload Your Data To Amazon

Toyota will use Amazon’s (AWS) cloud services for a Mobility Services Platform that will upload data from Toyota cars globally that could be used for monetised services. Data Gathering From Fleet Toyota’s platform in Amazon’s cloud will gather data from the Data...

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AI-Faked Photos and Videos Concerns

Social media analytics company Graphika has reported identifying images of faces for social media profiles that appear to have been faked using machine learning for the purpose of China-based anti-U.S. government campaigns. Graphika Detects Graphika, which advertises...

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Ritz Roasted

Some diners with bookings at the Ritz Hotel were reportedly targeted by phone scammers who posed as hotel staff to steal credit card details. What Happened? The ID spoofing attack involved the fraudsters pretending to be hotel staff, phoning people who already had a...

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Tech Tip – Use The Timeline

If you are using Windows 10 and you need to quickly find a document that you have worked on in the past, using the Timeline can help you to find it and start working where you left off. To find files using the timeline: - Either select Task View +? on the taskbar or...

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Featured Article – Remote Working and Office 365

Remote working during the pandemic has made businesses look more closely at what IT tools are best for the job.  Here is a look at what Microsoft’s Office 365 has to offer. Remote Working ONS figures show that 53 per cent of those in the information and communication...

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Trump Terminates TikTok

The Trump administration’s next high-profile target in its Chinese trade-war is the hugely popular video-sharing mobile app TikTok, which has been slapped with a 45-day ban in the U.S. from 20 September 2020. Executive Orders Chinese apps TikTok (from parent...

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No More Laptops From Toshiba

Tokyo-based Toshiba Corporation has announced that it has now transferred the remaining 19.9 per cent of its outstanding shares in its PC business (re-branded as Dynabook Inc.) to Sharp Corporation. Helped By Foxconn Back in June 2018, Japan’s Sharp Corp announced...

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Tech Tip – Translate Text On The Fly

If you are using Word in Windows 10 and you would like a really fast and easy way to translate text into another language and include it in your document, here’s how: - Highlight the text in your Word document that you would like to translate. - Right-mouse click and...

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Apple Wants Rent Cuts With UK Landlords

It has been reported that due to the effects of the pandemic on the UK high street, even tech giant Apple is trying to negotiate a 50 per cent rent cut with its retail landlords. Reports The reports, which appeared in the UK’s Sunday Times, allege that Apple has asked...

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AI, Data Protection & The ICO

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published guidelines to help clarify how data protection principles apply to AI projects. The Document The guidance document (now a pdf available online on the ICO website) was produced by an associate professor in the...

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Tech Tip – Dictation

If you’d like to give your hands a rest, if you need to quickly capture notes, or even if you’d like to take an easy written record of the information given in a phone call, try using the dictation feature in Windows 10.  Here’s how to use it: Firstly, you’ll need a...

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Featured Article – Antitrust and Big-Tech

With U.S. Congress members grilling the bosses of the big tech companies this week with a view to deciding if their companies have become too big and powerful, in this article we take a look at the Antitrust laws and issues. Antitrust Laws In the U.S., home of big...

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Face Masks Beat Facial Recognition

New research has shown that even the most advanced facial recognition algorithms can only identify as little as 50 per cent of faces when masks are worn. Test Although necessary in the pandemic, mask-wearing appears to be posing a serious challenge to even the most...

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Free Delivery of Amazon Groceries

Amazon is now taking on the supermarkets and Ocado in the UK with free grocery deliveries from its Amazon Fresh service. Amazon Fresh The Amazon Fresh grocery service enables Amazon Prime customers, firstly in London and parts of the Home Counties, then across the UK...

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Tech Tip – Getting Organised Using Microsoft Edge

If you are using Microsoft Edge in Windows 10, here’s a way that you can organise multiple browser tabs that you need to have open for a job or project into a ‘Collection’ that you can easily access later. To make a ‘Collection’ of relevant web pages that you have...

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Test and Trace Breaks GDPR Say Campaigners

The Open Rights Group (ORG) has said that England’s COVID-19 Test and Trace programme is in breach of GDPR. Test and Trace The COVID-19 test and trace system requires people to share personal data such as their name and date of birth, their address, places they’ve...

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Celebrity Twitter Accounts Hacked For Bitcoin

Twitter accounts of celebrities including Barack Obama and Bill Gates were hacked and used to operate a scam, asking people to donate bitcoin. What Happened? Hackers used the tools that were normally only available to Twitter staff to attempt to hack into the accounts...

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Lockdown Has Promoted Digital Learning Among Adults

Research by techUK with Ipsos MORI and Cisco has revealed that almost 60 per cent of UK adults are interested in developing their digital skills following lockdown. A Thirst For More The research has revealed that, following the experience of having to work from home...

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Tech Tip – Lock Your Work Device

If you’re using Windows 10 and you’d like to prevent others from seeing what you’re working on if you need to walk away from your device, here’s how to quickly and easily lock your screen: - Press the Windows logo key + L. - Or, if you’re using a Mac, press Control +...

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LinkedIn Sued Over Clipboard-Reading Allegations

An Apple iPhone user in the U.S. has sued LinkedIn over allegations that its app was reading the contents of an Apple device user’s clipboard without their knowledge. Spying Complaint The complainant, Adam Bauer, alleges that LinkedIn’s app, up until a recent update,...

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UK Rejects Huawei Equipment For 5G Infrastructure

The UK government has gone back on its original decision to use some Huawei equipment in non-core parts of the UK’s 5G network and has opted to remove all Huawei kit by 2027. The Waiting Is Over For the last couple of weeks, Huawei, China and the U.S. have been...

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Free Cyber Security Testing Module For Remote Workers

A new penetration testing module as part of the National Cyber Security Centre’s Exercise in a Box toolkit will help remote workers of SME’s to improve their cybersecurity. What Is 'Exercise In A Box' ? ‘Exercise in a Box’ is an online tool from the NCSC which helps...

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Featured Article – Digital Addiction

Making software and platforms that have engaging (but addictive) elements to them have become popular. However, is this really the route that businesses want to go down with their software? Digital Addiction 'Digital addiction' is a controversial term that is used to...

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Tech Tip – Slide To Shutdown

If you’d like to create a fast, easy, and decorative way to shut down your Windows 10 PC, creating a ‘slide to shutdown’ shortcut allows you to simply pull down an on-screen picture blind to turn off your PC.  Here’s how to set it up: - Desktop, right-click, select...

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Featured Article – Huawei: A Ban in the Balance

North America has already banned US companies from working with Huawei so with that in mind and with a decision by the UK about Huawei’s involvement in the country’s 5G infrastructure due very soon, we take a closer look at the issues involved. 5G The UK has been...

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Police Crack Encrypted Network To Reach Crime Gangs

An international law enforcement operation has led to the cracking of the EncroChat Android phone network and the arrest of criminal gangs. The Network The France-based EncroChat network, which was discovered by the French National Gendarmerie in 2017, is an encrypted...

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Competing Against Huawei

President Trump’s administration is reported to have met with major US communications networking companies in a bid to address the need for improved competition with Huawei globally. Huawei Issues Many of the issues and incidents that have led to this point, where the...

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New Edge Browser To All Windows 10 Users

The new, improved version of Microsoft’s Edge browser has been launched in an update to all Windows 10 users in a move that will give Google’s Chrome some competition. Available To Millions of Users In being made available via update to Windows 10 versions 1803,...

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New “Watch Party” Feature For Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime subscribers can be part of 100-viewer "Watch Party" groups and enjoy access to thousands of movies and films as well as chat between group members. Watch Party The Watch Party feature, which is similar to that of Netflix, allows an Amazon Prime member to...

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Featured Article – Medical Apps For Smart Devices

The global pandemic and news about tracking apps have put health and technology in the spotlight.  With this in mind, here are some examples of medical apps for smart devices and smart health products that involve a link between smart wearables, apps, and other smart...

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Big Tech Supporting Black-Owned Businesses

Big companies such as Google, Facebook and Netflix have committed to considerable financial support for black-owned businesses as Black Lives Matter gains momentum. Google In the wake of the killing of George Floyd by U.S. police, followed by world-wide support for...

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Tech Tip – Start Menu Folders

Windows 10 users can help users to get organised with their current work by creating named Start menu folders that have a group of relevant live app Tiles in them.  Here’s how to create your Start menu folders: - Click on the Start menu (bottom left). - Click and drag...

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Featured Article – Facial Recognition Backlash

The recent killing of George Floyd by U.S. police appears to have been the catalyst for a backlash by tech companies such as Amazon and Microsoft who are banning the police from using facial recognition software until more regulations are in place. Problems Whilst...

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COVID-19 Advances Move To Cashless Society

A survey has shown how the need for most people to pay using a contactless card in shops, digital/ mobile and online means for purchases during lockdown may have sped up the move towards a cashless future. Survey The survey of 2,000 people, by Nationwide Building...

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Tech Tip – Save Time With Aero Shake

If you’ve got a screen full of windows open on Windows 10 and you need to unclutter your screen so you can concentrate on just the one you’re working on, the old ‘Aero Shake’ trick still works and can save time. Here is how to use it: - Left-click on the title bar of...

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COVID Alerts From Google Maps

Google Maps is now issuing COVID-19 related alerts to those looking for public transport directions in cities, looking for medical facilities and testing centres, and for those crossing borders. New Alerts Google has announced on its blog that it is augmenting its...

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Flying Taxis – Major Tesla Shareholder Funding

German vertical take-off air taxi start-up company Lilium has just received a major funding boost from Baillie Gifford, the second-biggest shareholder in Tesla. Additional Funding Lilium, which had already raised $340 million, $240 million of which came from China’s...

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Tech Tip – Better Video Chats

If you would like to improve your video conference calls in terms of how things look, sound and operate, here are a few tips: - Consider using a webcam rather than the built-in laptop cam.  It may be better quality (picture and sound) plus it offers flexibility in...

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Featured Article – A Look At Cookies

Cookies perform functions and provide information that helps website users, businesses, publishers, and advertisers. This article looks at what cookies are, what they do, and the legislation that affects how they are used. What Are Cookies? Cookies are text files sent...

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Beware Fake Contact Tracer Messages

Just as you thought that cybercriminals had exploited every aspect of the pandemic with phishing, vishing, smishing and more, there are now warnings to beware of fake contact tracer messages. Contact Tracing in the UK Here in the UK, NHS contact tracers are now...

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Tech Tip – Stop Background Apps

If you have apps running in the background on Windows 10, they can use up more of your battery power and data.  Here’s an easy way to stop background apps from running: Go to: Settings > Privacy > Background apps. To stop all from running, toggle ‘Let apps run...

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eBay Port Scanning Causes Alarm

eBay Port Scanning Causes Alarm

Reports that eBay has been running port scans against the computers of visitors to the platform have caused alarm over potential security issues. Port Scans Port scanning is something that many people associate with cyber-attacks and penetration ('pen') testing.  Port...

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Internet Speed Record

Internet Speed Record

Researchers from Australia’s Monash, Swinburne, and RMIT universities claim to have set a new Internet speed record of 44.2 Tbps. Fibre Connection The claim, which is featured in the ‘Nature Communications’ journal (https://www.nature.com/) refers to setting the...

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Tech Tip – Background Change in Zoom

Tech Tip – Background Change in Zoom

If you or anyone you know has used Zoom recently, perhaps to communicate during the lockdown, here is a way to change the background view to something a little more interesting than an overcrowded bookshelf: - In the Zoom app, click your profile (top right), and click...

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Featured Article – Does Your Phone Have A Virus?

Featured Article – Does Your Phone Have A Virus?

Phones are essentially powerful mobile computers that contain vast amounts of valuable personal information. This article looks at how to tell if your phone has a virus, what to do if you think it has, and how to protect your phone. Virus or Malware Both a virus and...

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Virtual Restart For Housing Market

Virtual Restart For Housing Market

The housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, has said in a speech about safely restarting the housing market that technology such as virtual viewings looks set to play an important part. Hard Hit Housing The housing market has been hit extremely hard by the effects of the...

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Featured Article – How Dark Mode Can Help

If you’ve heard about (or already use) ‘dark mode’ for apps and devices but don’t know much about it, here’s a look at why it has been introduced, whether it delivers real benefits, and how to turn on dark mode in different operating systems and apps. What Is Dark...

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Robot Dog Maintains Social Distancing

A remotely controlled robot called ‘SPOT’ that is being trialled in a Singapore park warns visitors to observe safe social distancing measures. Sign The 2-week trial in Singapore’s Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is a collaboration between Singapore’s National Parks Board...

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Tech Tip – Tech Tip – On-Demand OneDrive

If you use OneDrive and you’d like to access all your files without having to download them and use storage space on your Windows device, and you’d like certain files and folders to be always available locally on your device, you can set OneDrive files to ‘On-Demand’....

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