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August 20, 2018

Many of us know that we shouldn't check our electronic devices in bed because the light emitted from the screen can disrupt our sleep. New research suggests that too much of this screen light at night could also lead to the acceleration of macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of age-related blindness.

As our eyes are exposed to sunlight in the morning our bodies release enzymes which reduce melatonin levels helping us to wake up. As the sun goes down, the amount of blue light that we are exposed to naturally reduces, more melatonin is released and we start to feel sleepy.

The screens on our digital devices emit high energy blue light as do energy efficient fluorescent bulbs and LED lights. By staring at our screens after sundown, we can cause disruption to our circadian rhythm by reducing the amount of melatonin released around bedtime causing difficulties in naturally getting to sleep at night.

Research published in the journal Scientific Reports suggests that in addition to a...

August 14, 2018

When you are browsing a website and the mouse cursor disappears, it might be a computer glitch — or it might be a deliberate test to find out who you are.

The way you press, scroll and type on a phone screen or keyboard can be as unique as your fingerprints or facial features.

To fight fraud, a growing number of banks and merchants are tracking the physical movements of visitors to their websites as they use these websites and apps.

Some use the technology only to weed out automated attacks and suspicious transactions, but others are going significantly further, amassing tens of millions of profiles that can identify customers by how they touch, hold and tap their devices.

The data collection is invisible to those being watched. Using sensors in your phone or code on websites, companies can gather thousands of data points, known as "behavioural biometrics," to help prove whether a digital user is actually the person she claims to be.

To security officials, the technology is a powerful safeg...

August 9, 2018

Personal home robots that can socialise with people are starting to roll out of the laboratory and into our living rooms and kitchens. But are you ready to invite them into your life?

It has taken decades of research to build robots even a fraction as sophisticated as those featured in popular science fiction.

Two pioneers in a new vanguard of cute, sociable robots — Jibo, a curvy talking speaker, and Kuri, a cartoonish wheeled "nanny" — have been unsuccessful. Vector, a less expensive home robot was unveiled recently. Will it be more successful?

Still others, including a hinted Amazon project and also robots designed to provide companionship for senior citizens, remain in the development stage.

Hopes for social robots keep outpacing reality. Late last year, the squat, almost featureless Jibo was featured on the cover of a popular magazine. It is suggested that there is going to be a time when everybody will just take the personal robot for granted.

Well, I’m very happy with my wife and hum...

August 9, 2018

Do you use WhatsApp to communicate with friends, family or groups? If so, the following will no doubt be of interest to you.

A newly-discovered WhatsApp bug allows hackers to infiltrate and message your group chats and private conversations. The flaw means attackers can send and quote messages on behalf of someone else. If combined with other existing glitches, the vulnerability could allow cyber criminals to impersonate you and send fake messages to your friends and family, security experts have warned. Researchers who unearthed the bug believe it is of the 'utmost importance WhatsApp fixes the problem – as it could be used to quickly spread misinformation.

The Facebook-owned company says it is aware of the flaw but has no plans to patch the problem as the exploited vulnerability forms a core part of the app's design.

First discovered by Israeli cybersecurity group CheckPoint Research, the flaw is incredibly complex and involves a gap within the app's encryption algorithms. Writing on th...

August 2, 2018

For over 30 years, we’ve thought of PCs primarily as Windows machines, which we owned and controlled. That’s about to change forever.This isn’t about Microsoft forcing us off Windows 7 to Windows 10 as fast as it can (though it has found many ways to push that agenda). This is about Microsoft abandoning the Windows platform as a conventional desktop. Microsoft is getting ready to replace Windows 10 with the Microsoft Managed Desktop. This will be a “desktop-as-a-service” (DaaS) offering. Instead of owning Windows, you’ll “rent” it by the month. DaaS for Windows isn’t new. Citrix and VMware have made a living from it for years. Microsoft has offered Remote Desktop Services, formerly Terminal Services, for ages.Microsoft Managed Desktop is a new take. It avoids the latency problem of the older Windows DaaS offerings by keeping the bulk of the operating system on your PC.

But you will no longer be in charge of your Windows PC. Instead, it will be automati...

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