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  • OPINION

    The world knows where you've been

    Life, James Hein, Published on 16/01/2019

    » A reminder for those operating in the digital world. This includes the internet, your phone, social media and basically anything in the public sphere. You can all but guarantee that everything you post online is eventually available to everyone. It doesn't matter what promises your provider might offer -- and maybe they're even being as honest as they can be -- eventually your data will turn up on a public server somewhere. The golden rule is simple: if you don't want everyone to see something, then don't post it anywhere on public networks.

  • OPINION

    Burning issues and great expectations

    Life, James Hein, Published on 19/12/2018

    » Another year almost gone, another year of IT improvements, advancements and lower prices. It was a year of missing graphics cards, where Bitcoin data miners snapped up the market for a while.

  • OPINION

    A down vote for MS Skype

    Life, James Hein, Published on 20/06/2018

    » It has been a while since I've used Skype, and I had no idea just how much Microsoft has stuffed it up. Skype for the multi-device user is all but useless. I tried to find a way to allow someone to call into my PC's Skype but to no avail. I shut down Skype on my phone and was able to call out but not receive anything. This removed the possibility of using a good sound card and microphone for the mix, and all I could use in the end was my phone. BM -- or Before Microsoft -- Skype was usable and useful. PM -- Post-Microsoft -- you should look for any other alternative. Line seems to be most popular with those I know. This is not the first time Microsoft has taken over a product, and its usage has dropped dramatically. Of course that could have been the plan all along.

  • TECH

    Samsung's comeback; buyer beware

    Life, James Hein, Published on 30/08/2017

    » I have been using the Samsung Galaxy S8+ for some time now and so far, no complaints. If you want to use features like the Edge screen, fingerprint or retina security etc, you will need to do some setting up. The camera is excellent, as is the screen. Response is smooth and the battery life does me all day and then some depending on what I am doing. Connectivity is great and the interface is easy to use. My biggest complaint is finding the right match for a screen protector and a case due to the curved screen. Another is the difficulty in finding a way to give root access but that won't be an issue for most users. The new form factor means it fits into the hand nicely even for the larger model. So, far I have no hesitation in recommending this phone.

  • OPINION

    No new Vistas for us to view?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 29/03/2017

    » After Microsoft Bob and Windows ME, Vista would have to be the least-loved Windows operating system. It arrived in 2007 on Jan 30, and on April 11 will no longer be a supported OS. That means no more security updates, no hotfixes and no support options, paid or otherwise. Readers will not be surprised to learn that Microsoft is recommending that any remaining Vista users upgrade to Windows 10. You may be thinking that if you are a really large organisation and are willing to pay, Microsoft will provide support just like they still do for some XP customers. But the word on the street is they won't for Vista.

  • OPINION

    A very taxing problem for all

    Life, James Hein, Published on 08/03/2017

    » Every government wants taxes. It is, after all, how the salaries get paid, and how funds are raised for re-election and looking after the country, often in that order. Consider the UK as an example. Starting in April, there will be a new set of tax regulations based on the IR35 guidelines. With the uncertainty surrounding this change there has been a rush of IT contractors leaving government positions, in many cases over half, halting a wide range of projects. This has been happening for over a year now with, as an example, the Ministry of Defence losing 30 out of 32 contractors last year. When the process of government is stopped because of taxes imposed, you're probably doing something wrong.

  • TECH

    Of hacking and international cyber affairs

    Life, James Hein, Published on 21/12/2016

    » According to some reports Russia was the one that hacked into the Clinton servers and arranged the email leaks to get Trump elected. Many of the US security agencies don't agree with this latest assessment. So what do we know? We don't know for example if the servers are running Microsoft or Linux operating systems, if the emails were grabbed in a single block or slowly over time. There is very little info. This is a classic case of one side blaming the other for a result they didn't want, and I suspect that the real story won't come out for some time.

  • TECH

    Are PCs as good as humans?

    Life, James Hein, Published on 09/12/2015

    » If you are a Dell laptop user, have Microsoft Windows installed and your Windows Defender is up to date then the root kit that is part of the Dell machines will be killed by Defender. As explained before the problem is a self-signed certificate and private key on new laptops, which allows attackers on public Wi-Fi to steal otherwise encrypted usernames, passwords and other sensitive data. Not a very good reveal for Dell but some good security news for Microsoft and Windows for a change.

  • TECH

    Microsoft gets pushy, draws flak

    Life, James Hein, Published on 11/11/2015

    » Microsoft has been criticised for being overly pushy with Windows 10 upgrades. Some users reported that the upgrade request had been checked even though they didn't do so, indicating that something else did it for them. Microsoft claims this is a mistake, for the moment at least. Next year the situation will change as it will be part of the "recommended" update process. If you have automatic updates turned on with the important and recommended ones checked, then sometime next year Windows 10 will be downloaded and installed on your machine. If you were wondering, "auto-download" with this option is the default setting on most Windows installations. The first the user will know about this is when they see the reboot into Windows 10 message after the update has been applied.

  • TECH

    If you're appy and you know it

    Life, James Hein, Published on 09/09/2015

    » A common phrase these days is "there is an app for that". I have had the need for some fairly specific apps lately and I have also had one or two recommended to me that have worked out well.

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