Mark Wyciślik-Wilson

Microsoft releases PowerToys v0.16.0, adding four new tools including Image Resizer and Window Walker

PowerToys reboot

Since Microsoft first announced PowerToys for Windows 10, there was great excitement about the return of the collection of utilities. The company has been drip-feeding us new features over the last few months, and now PowerToys v0.16.0 has landed, bringing with it no fewer than four new tools.

The most interesting new arrivals are the Image Resizer Window Shell extension which provides easy access to image resizing options from the context menu, and Window Walker which is a text-based Alt-Tab alternative.

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Marriott International reveals details of another data breach

Marriott sign

Towards the end of 2018, Marriott International suffered a data breach of its Starwood Hotel reservation database. Now the hotel chain has revealed that it suffered a second data breach earlier this year.

The company says that at the end of February it noticed that an "unexpected amount of guest information" could have been accessed using the login credentials of two employees. It is thought that this access started in the middle of January, and up to 5.2 million customers have been affected.

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Now it's easier to see just what data Facebook and Instagram are collecting about you

Facebook and Instagram icons

It's no secret that Facebook gathers staggering amounts of information about its users across its various products. This is something that many people just accept, but there is a slight discomfort in not knowing quite what is being collected.

To add a little balm to this aching fear, Facebook has announced updates to its Download Your Information tool on Facebook and Download Your Data tool on Instagram. The updates mean that while you can do little to stop Facebook from tracking you, you can at least download and see what data it is collecting about you.

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Microsoft releases out-of-band update to fix VPN bug

Angled Microsoft logo

After installing February's KB4535996 update, some Windows 10 users started to experience VPN problems. Microsoft promised to release an off-schedule update for the issue which was causing connectivity issues. Now the company has made good on that promise.

In all, there are four different updates available. You need to install the correct one according to the version of Windows 10 you are running.

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Microsoft is bringing vertical tabs to Edge so you can make better use of your widescreen monitor

Microsoft Edge vertical tabs

Websites are, on the whole, vertical experiences, whereas laptop screens and desktop monitors are, in most cases, horizontal ones. Despite the relatively limited amount of vertical space available, browsers tend to further reduce this by placing tabs, menus, toolbars and more at the top of the screen. But Microsoft is ready to try something different.

The company has announced a number of new features that are coming to the new Chromium-based version of Microsoft Edge. Among these features are vertical tabs which make more efficient use of screen space.

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Microsoft clarifies a slightly misleading claim about a leap in cloud service usage during coronavirus pandemic

Colorful Microsoft logo

Over the weekend, Microsoft post an article on its Azure blog announcing that there had been an astronomical 775 percent surge in the use of its cloud services. Despite the massive increase in traffic, the company added, uptime was good. But the blog post wasn't entirely correct.

Since we published a story about the claims, Microsoft has contacted us to say that it had not been "was not as clear as they intended to be with the previous statement". The company has provided updated stats explaining what it meant to say -- and it's rather different.

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Install the Microsoft News Bar beta to keep track of news and stocks in Windows 10

Microsoft News Bar beta

Some people are obsessed with keeping up to date with breaking news, and this is something that's true of more and more people given the current situation with the coronavirus pandemic.

Microsoft has a solution available for news addicts in the form of the News Bar beta. This free app adds a news ticker to the top or bottom of your screen, or you can use a side-panel at either edge of the screen. You have a choice between a text or image-based version in all cases, and you'll be shown headlines from thousands of trusted sources. It can display stocks too.

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Coronavirus has led to a 775 percent increase in usage of Microsoft Azure cloud services

Microsoft Azure

This weekend, Microsoft has given an insight into the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on its services. The company says that there has been a huge increase in Teams usage, and there are not over 44 million daily users.

In regions where there are isolation and home sheltering orders in place, Microsoft says that there has been a colossal 775 percent increase in usage of its cloud services. Despite the surge in demand, there have not been any significant service disruptions.

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Microsoft Edge finally gains extension synchronization

Multiple Edge logos

If you've used Firefox, Chrome or numerous other browsers, you'll be used to the extensions you install synchronizing between device. This simple but wonderfully handy feature is something that has been sadly lacking from Microsoft Edge, but now this is changing.

Microsoft has promised extension syncing for a little while, and the company is finally starting to roll it out to users. But not everyone is going to get the feature right now.

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Until Apple patches this security flaw your VPN traffic might not be secure

Rainbow Apple logo

The recently open sourced ProtonVPN has issued a warning about a bug in iOS that leaves some VPN traffic unencrypted.

Apple is yet to release a fix for the VPN bypass vulnerability which affects iOS 13.3.1 and later. The flaw means that some connections may exist outside of the secure VPN tunnel for several hours, leaving traffic open to interception and potentially exposing users' real IP addresses.

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Microsoft will release off-schedule patch for VPN connectivity problems caused by buggy update

Microsoft is racing to prepare an out-of-band patch that will hopefully fix VPN problems introduced by February's KB4535996 update. This update was released to address search and print problems in Windows 10, but users complained of slowed performance, issues with sleep.

On top of this, Microsoft also acknowledged that the update could cause connectivity problems for VPN users, as well as for various applications. With so many people currently remote working, there is pressure to get these issues addressed, hence the rush job on an out-of-band fix.

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Zoom apologizes for Facebook privacy fiasco and updates app to stop data sharing

Zoom on iPhone

After an investigation by Motherboard's Vice, video-conferencing app Zoom was found to be sharing user data with Facebook. Data was being sent from iPhones to Facebook, regardless of whether users had Facebook accounts or not, and the fact that data was being shared was not made apparent in privacy policies.

Zoom's popularity has skyrocketed recently, with more and more people looking for remote working solutions during coronavirus lockdowns. Now the company has apologized for the secretive data sharing, saying that it takes privacy extremely seriously. There's also a new version of the app available that doesn't use the Facebook SDK.

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Operation Poisoned News used local news links to hit iPhone users with spyware

iPhone spyware

Research published by security firms Trend Micro and Kaspersky reveals details of a watering-hole campaign targeting iPhone users.

Dubbed Operation Poisoned News, the campaign used malicious links on local news websites to install the LightSpy malware. Hackers have been exploiting vulnerabilities in iOS to install the spyware which can gather huge amounts of information and can also be used to take remote control of a device.

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Microsoft asks Xbox developers to limit games updates to reduce strain on the internet

Blue Xbox controller

The internet is currently straining under the pressure of millions of people around the world working from home or self-isolating because of the coronavirus pandemic. There is additional strain because of people using homeworking as a reason to using streaming video services and online gaming more.

Many tech companies have had to take steps to meet increased demand, with the likes of Netflix reducing video quality to cut back on bandwidth. Now Microsoft is asking that developers limit the updates released for Xbox games.

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Why is Zoom secretly sharing data with Facebook?

Zoom icon

With so many people now working from home, video conferencing service Zoom has become a household name virtually overnight. But while millions of users appreciate the ability to connect with the office, colleagues, friends and family for free, a worrying privacy issue has been found.

The Zoom iOS app has been spotted sharing data with Facebook... even for users that don't have a Facebook account. So what's going on?

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