Mark Wyciślik-Wilson

Microsoft will honor Californian privacy laws across the entire US

Microsoft building in California

Microsoft has announced that it plans to honor the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) across the whole of the United States, not just in California.

In Europe, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has done a lot to protect people's privacy, and some companies have opted to voluntarily apply similar policies in the US. Microsoft, however, is the first major US company to say it will expand CCPA outside of its home state, bringing greater privacy protection to people across America.

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Men are being given much larger credit limits for Apple Card than their wives

Apple Card

New York's Department of Financial Services is starting an investigation into Goldman Sachs because of concerns of gender discrimination when assigning credit limits to Apple Card users.

Goldman Sachs is the financial body behind Apple's credit card, and concerns have been voiced that the company is offering men higher credit limits than their wives -- even the women in question have a higher credit rating. Among those surprised at the discrepancy is Steve Wozniak who reported that he was offered ten times the limit of his wife.

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Samsung Galaxy S11 details leak: three screen sizes across five models, including a huge 6.9-inch version

Samsung sign

Time for more smartphone leaks. This time around it is the turn of Samsung; specifically the Galaxy S11 range of handsets.

Thanks to reliable leakster Evan Blass, we now know that we can expect to see three the phone in three screen sizes: a 6.2 or 6.4-inch model, a 6.7-inch one, and a massive 6.9-inch version. In all, no fewer than five variants are due to go on sale, with mid- to late-February currently pegged as a launch date.

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Apple is fixing a macOS flaw that exposes snippets of 'encrypted' emails

Mac

Apple is working to fix an issue that makes it possible to read portions of encrypted email in macOS after an IT specialist discovered a flaw in the way Mail's messages are handled by Siri. The problem affects macOS versions from Sierra to Catalina.

It is important to note that there are a number of criteria that have to be met for the issue to rear its head, but the fact that it is possible at all is still a concern. For a company that has just been shouting about its privacy policies, the timing is less than ideal -- particularly as Apple has been aware of the problem since July.

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Microsoft listens to feedback and removes Downloads folder from Disk Cleanup

Cleaning hard drive

Microsoft has decided to remove the Downloads folder from the Disk Cleanup tool that is built into Windows 10. The move comes after users expressed fears that important files could be inadvertently deleted when using the utility.

While the ever-spiralling size of hard drive means that we now have to worry far less about running out of space, Disk Cleanup still has its uses from time to time. Microsoft says that the decision to make the change comes in response to feedback from users.

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YouTube has a new interface -- here's how to disable it if you hate the new look

YouTube interface update

Google has updated YouTube with a new-look interface on tablets and the desktop. Thumbnails are bigger and easier to see, some superfluous links have been removed, and there are changes to the way the video queue works.

But, of course, not everyone likes change. If you're not a fan of the new interface, there are steps you can take to stick with the old look.

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Your Amazon Ring doorbell may have leaked your Wi-Fi username and password

Ring camera with an Amazon logo

If you've ever expressed concern about the security implications of Amazon Ring connected doorbells; if you've ever voiced privacy concerns about letting Amazon have such a portal into your life... your fears have been justified.

It has just been revealed that a security flaw in the camera-toting devices made it possible for hackers to access customers' Wi-Fi usernames and passwords. With these credentials, it would then be possible to launch a wider privacy-invading attack on households, accessing all manner of data and devices on home networks.

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Microsoft's Surface Pro X is better than any iPad*

Microsoft Surface Pro X teardown

It's now a little over a month since Microsoft revealed the Surface Pro X, and the device only launched in the last few days. With those two milestones out of the way, one thing remains: a teardown!

True to form, this is exactly what iFixit has done, and the teardown experts have some great news for potential buyers. The Surface Pro X is better than any iPad. Ever. (*in terms of repairability, if nothing else.)

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Google may soon let third parties add options to Chrome's tab context menu

Cartoon Chrome logo

Google has been tinkering around with Chrome quite a lot recently. For the most part this has meant adding new features and options, but there have also been removals.

One element of the browser that has fallen victim to some slashings is the context menu that appears when right-clicking a tab. Several options have disappeared from this menu -- much to the chagrin of some users -- but Google now appears to be considering opening it up to entries from third parties, potentially making it more useful than ever.

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Apple refreshes its privacy portal and seeks to differentiate itself from Google, Facebook et al

Apple logo iMac Pro

All of the big names in technology have faced questions and criticism over privacy. Apple is no different, and with an updated privacy website it seeks to distance itself from the controversy-addled likes of Facebook and Google.

The company has refreshed its privacy portal to provide a one-stop-shop for everything it feels people might want to know about the way it collects and handles data. While there are no changes to privacy policies, the updated site aims to present information in a more accessible and transparent format.

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Google releases Chrome OS 78 complete with virtual desktops and more

Samsung Chromebook

The stable build of Chrome OS 78 is now rolling out to Chromebook and other compatible devices. A notable addition with this update is the arrival of virtual desktops, something Google has been testing in preview builds for a little while now.

Just as with Windows and macOS, the virtual desktop feature of ChromeOS gives users access to a number of workspaces that can be used to keep different apps and windows separate from each other. But while this is probably the highlight of ChromeOS 78, it is certainly not the only change.

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Trend Micro reveals that customer data was illegally sold following inside-job 'security incident'

Trend Micro logo with gradient background

Security firm Trend Micro has revealed details of an inside scam which led to personal details of its customers being exposed.

The security incident dates back to August this year, and the company says that it was made aware of customers being contacted by fake Trend Micro support staff. Following an investigation lasting until the end of October, it was determined that it was a member of staff that had fraudulently gained access to a customer database and sold personal data to a third party.

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Microsoft kills off the Skip Ahead ring for Windows Insiders -- what does this mean for you?

Windows 10 boxes

For anyone looking to get a sneaky glimpse into the future of Windows 10, the Windows Insider Program has long-provided a way of trying out preview builds of the operating system. But it didn't take long for things to get confusing.

Microsoft introduced various "rings" that allowed users to jump on pre-release builds of varying quality and at different stages of development -- Slow, Fast, Release Preview and Skip Ahead. Now the company has decided to simplify things by killing off the Skip Ahead ring. Here's what this means for Insiders.

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Firefox users are being targeted by malicious sites that exploit a known bug to lock up the browser

Firefox logo 2019

Users of the Mac and Windows versions of Firefox are being targeted by malicious sites that display a fake warning message and then completely lock up the browser.

Hackers are taking advantage of a bug in Mozilla's web browser to tamper with the software and render it unusable without the need for user interaction. At the moment there is no fix, and the problem is wreaking havoc and causing distress.

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Dropbox Transfer exits beta and lets you share files of up to 100GB

Dropbox

If you need to send large -- and we mean LARGE -- files to someone, your options are a little limited. However, thanks to Dropbox Transfer, you now have a new possibility to explore.

Previously available in beta, Dropbox Transfer is now available to everyone. It's a cloud-based tool that lets you share files of up to 100GB in size with others, and even if you have used the beta version, there are now new features to explore.

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