Mark Wyciślik-Wilson

ProtonVPN goes open source to build trust


Proton Technologies has announced that it is open sourcing its VPN tool, ProtonVPN.

The Swiss firm says that not only is it releasing the source code for its VPN tool on all platforms, but also that it has conducted an independent security audit. Created by CERN scientists, ProtonVPN has amassed millions of users since it launched in 2017 and the decision to open source the tool gives users and security exports the opportunity to analyze the tool very closely.

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Microsoft is testing ads in WordPad in Windows 10

Ads in WordPad

Over the years Microsoft has taken numerous controversial decisions with Windows 10, including installing sponsored apps, using the Start menu to advertise apps it thinks you might be interested in, and -- of course -- the various forms of data-collecting telemetry.

Now it has been discovered that more ads could be on their way. A Windows researcher has uncovered ads in WordPad encouraging people to try out Word, Excel and PowerPoint online.

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How to find and use the free screen recorder tool in Windows 10

Xbox Game Bar screen recorder

When you need to take a screenshot, you can just hit Print Screen, or use Windows 10's Snipping Tool. But what about if you want to record a video of your desktop?

It might surprise you to learn that Window 10 has a screen recording tool built in. For some reason, Microsoft has chosen not to make much of a fuss about it, but for people in the know, it is an amazingly useful tool. Read on to learn the secret!

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Microsoft pledges to patch Internet Explorer bug that is being actively exploited

Internet Explorer 9

Microsoft says it is working on a fix for a serious security vulnerability in Internet Explorer. The bug affects versions 9, 10 and 11 of the browser in Windows 7, 8.x, 10, Windows Server 2008 and 2012.

The memory handling bug can be exploited by an attacker to run malicious code on a target computer, but despite its severity, Microsoft is unlikely to release the fix before next month's Patch Tuesday. News of the vulnerability comes just days after Microsoft ended support for Windows 7.

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Google announces end of support dates for Chrome Apps on Windows, Mac, Linux and Chrome OS

Chrome logo on black

The end of support for Chrome apps has been a long time coming -- Google announced more than two years ago that it was going to start winding things down.

The Chrome Web Store has already been stripped of the App section on Windows, macOS and Linux, and now Google has announced that it is to be pulled from Chrome OS too. The company has also revealed the dates on which support will be dropped completely for all platforms.

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Microsoft turns the screws on Windows 7 users with full-screen upgrade warnings

Your Windows 7 PC is out of support

It can hardly have escaped your attention that yesterday was the day Microsoft stopped supporting Windows 7.

To make sure anyone who was unaware is alerted to the fact that no more security updates will be available, full-screen warnings are now being displayed. Microsoft had previously advised Windows 7 users that this message would appear, and as of today the company is making good on its promise.

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Microsoft is rolling out Chromium-based Edge to everyone from today, but it's missing important features

Multiple Edge logos

Microsoft-related news over the last few days has been all about Windows 7 reaching end-of-life, but today marks the day that the company starts to push the Chromium-based version of Edge to Windows 10 users after beta testing. For businesses and organizations that do not feel ready to make the transition just yet, there is no need to panic.

Microsoft says there are no plans to push the browser to commercial or enterprise devices, and there's a Blocker Toolkit available to disable automatic delivery of Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, anyway. But for Home and Pro users, there is likely to be disappointment for anyone hoping that the rollout of the stable version of the browser would mean it was feature complete. There are in fact several things missing.

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Now you can use your iPhone as a 2FA key for Google apps


Two-factor authentication is a handy means of securing accounts, and now iPhone users are able to use their handsets as a security key for their Google accounts.

An update to the Google Smart Lock app brings the functionality to Apple fans, several months after the feature was made available to Android users. It's a security method that has been welcomed by many as it does not require the use of any additional hardware, just something you always tend to have with you -- your phone.

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Scientists use frog stem cells to create 'living, programmable organisms'

Living robot cells

Visions of the future have long featured robots and cyborgs. We've seen robots, and even rudimentary human augmentation already, but now scientists have created the world's first living robots.

American researchers used cells from African clawed frogs to build biological machines from the ground up. Built from different biological tissues, scientists have brought into being "living, programmable organisms" and potentially opened up an ethical can of worms.

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US warns UK against 'madness' of using Huawei for 5G

Four Huawei signs

US officials have warned British ministers that using Huawei technology in the UK's 5G network would be "nothing short of madness".

Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacted to the warning saying that he had no intention of putting the UK infrastructure or national security at risk. He also called on critics of Huawei to suggest alternatives.

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Apple may replace your iPhone XS, XS Max or XR Smart Battery Case for free

Apple Smart Battery Case

Apple has launched a new replacement program to help out people who have problematic Smart Battery Cases.

The company -- and users -- found that a number of Smart Battery Cases for iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR suffered from intermittent charging issues. The company says that affected units were produced between January 2019 and October 2019 and is offering free replacements to owners.

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Visa acquires fintech startup Plaid for $5.3 billion

Visa and Plaid

Visa has announced that it has agreed to purchase Plaid as part of a deal worth $5.3 billion. The acquisition values the fintech company at around double its valuation following a 2018 Series C funding round.

Plaid is behind financial services APIs used by the likes of Coinbase, Gemini, Venmo and Transferwise. Its software allows for easier sharing of financial details, making it simpler to connect services to bank accounts. Plaid says the acquisition will help it continue to "accelerate the success of the fintech ecosystem".

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Today is the day Windows 7 dies, but you can still upgrade to Windows 10 for free

Purple Windows 10 box

After a decade of service, Windows 7 is, effectively no more. Microsoft no longer supports the operating system for those unwilling to pay for extended service leaving millions of machines vulnerable. Now that Windows 7 is dead, Microsoft may prefer you to invest in a new Surface, but it is cheaper -- much cheaper -- to upgrade to Windows 10.

Microsoft initially made quite a fuss about that fact that while it was possible to upgrade to Windows 10 for free, it was a time-limited offer. Many people rushed to upgrade because they felt the deadline was hanging over them like the sword of Damocles… but it seems that the deadline was not as pressing as Microsoft made out. You might be surprised to learn that more than five years after the launch of Windows 10, it is still possible to upgrade for free. Here's what you need to know.

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The death of Windows 7: the funeral is over... what now?

Windows 7 grave

It may feel as though this date has been a very long time coming, but Windows 7 end of life is finally here. Unless you're a business or enterprise customer willing to pay, there will be no more updates and no more support.

Enterprise content delivery network firm Kollective held a funeral for the elderly operating system. Its research shows that in the US 40 percent of business are still using Windows 7, while in the UK the figure stands at 66 percent. Kollective warns that sticking with Windows 7 is dangerous, and outlines what the hold-outs need to consider.

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Microsoft launches new tool to help you find the perfect Windows 10 computer

Windows 10 laptop and computer

Which computer is right for you? How much RAM is enough? What ports do you need? Buying a new laptop or desktop can be a hellish series of self-questioning, dilemmas, doubt and confusion. But now Microsoft has a new tool that will help you to home in on the perfect computer.

With the new online tool, Microsoft promises to "help you find a computer that meets your needs". All you need to do is answer a number of questions describing your requirements and intended usage, and you'll be provided with a series of suggestions.

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