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  • TECH

    Microsoft Paint might be fading

    Life, James Hein, Published on 02/08/2017

    » What is the one program you can count on to be in Windows, apart from say Minesweeper? Microsoft Paint. It's the poor man's drawing tool and screen capture tool where it is as simple as Alt-Printscreen, Start-Run MSPaint, CTRL-V, Crop Marquee Select Crop, CTRL-A CTRL-C, Switch to email and CTRL–V to get something from your screen into an email (or anything else).

  • TECH

    No more games

    Life, James Hein, Published on 10/06/2015

    » Official Windows 10 will be available on July 29, this year. By the time you read this, legal software owners should have received their notification from Microsoft to register for the free upgrade. Yes, there are indeed some nice new features that may or nor be available to you at release but there are what some will consider negatives to the product as well.

  • TECH

    The borders of security

    Life, James Hein, Published on 22/05/2019

    » It's becoming more common for agents at some borders to demand your device passwords so they can check what you have on them. Given the power of the modern smartphone, partially indicated by the cost of the top-end models, this makes sense, as they are basically mini notebook computers. If you really want to protect your data, keep it elsewhere.

  • TECH

    AI-aided hope on the horizon

    Life, James Hein, Published on 13/02/2019

    » Despite some of my criticisms in the past there are some excellent examples of emerging artificial intelligence technologies. I've mentioned some of these from the medical world in earlier articles but a new one caught my eye this week, figuring out in which hotel a picture was taken. No, not to help people remember where holiday snaps were taken but to track down human trafficking where pics of women are taken to sell them for sex. The three groups behind this identification technology are from George Washington University, Temple University and Adobe, all in the US. Like many AI systems a large amount of source data is used and to help with this more than a million images have been collected from 50,000 hotels worldwide. Using all the room elements in backgrounds a neural network is being trained to identify a hotel chain and then a location.

  • OPINION

    Australia still trailing Thailand in broadband coverage

    Life, James Hein, Published on 12/09/2018

    » Wither now comms in Australia? With the National Broadband Network or NBN a certified failure, Australia seems to be working hard to ensure that to make the NBN look reasonable, any emerging 5G network must be made to hobble by banning technology companies like Huawei from providing the same kind of support it has been giving over the past 15 years to the local telcos. The given reason is a lack of trust in any Chinese company, keeping the spying eyes of China out of the country. To be fair, there is some justification for this, as China has not been the poster child of espionage abstinence across the globe. What earth-shattering useful secret info they might get from the Australians is debatable, but it looks like the Land Down Under will not be improving their communications any time soon. Thailand is still well ahead on that front.

  • TECH

    It's time to update those passwords

    Life, James Hein, Published on 14/03/2018

    » If you've ever wondered if your login details have ever been grabbed by one of the ever increasing hack breaches then I suggest you go to Troy Hunt's "Have I Been Pawned" website at haveibeenpwned.com. You could troll through the Dark Web and look at the actual data, but this is a lot easier and safer. Once there, search for your usernames and email addresses. Yes, more than one of mine had been hacked. If you use the same username, email address and password combinations for every site you sign up on then this becomes very important. Imagine there is some site that has been hacked for which you use the same combination you do on your banking site. Now the hacker has your banking login. I keep similar combinations for those sites I don't care about if they go in as me, but stricter and individual passwords for places like banks and PayPal. If the blood just drained out of your face as you think about this, then it may be time to update a few passwords and logins.

  • OPINION

    Looking into IT's crystal ball

    Life, James Hein, Published on 03/01/2018

    » So it is that time again when I try and gaze into the crystal ball and guess what 2018 will bring the IT world.

  • OPINION

    The problem with KRACK

    Life, James Hein, Published on 25/10/2017

    » I decided to start this week's article by exposing a secret typically only held by IT Experts and specialists. I'll likely lose my secret decoder ring over this but the big secret is, read the pop-ups. As any IT person knows when they are called over to their parent's, friend's or work computer, the first thing to do is read the pop-up messages.

  • TECH

    Zuckerberg gets all warm and messianic

    Life, James Hein, Published on 19/07/2017

    » I rarely post on my Facebook page, and never about what I am eating. Its primary use, for me, is to reconnect with old friends or communicate with current friends overseas. Mark Zuckerberg has other aims, claiming that Facebook is the "new church" and that his social network can fulfil the role that religion once did in giving people a sense of community and belonging to "something bigger than ourselves". With 2 billion users, 100 million of whom Zuckerberg considers "meaningful", that is a lot of influence he wields. A vice-president of Facebook recently visited Pakistan to assure its leadership that Facebook would be removing anything criticising Islam, but nothing criticising Buddhism, Christianity, Hindus, etc. This should give some indication of where Facebook's "community" may be heading.

  • OPINION

    Google Android refreshes itself

    Life, James Hein, Published on 07/06/2017

    » Android 8 -- or O -- will be coming out soon, with the beta already available for lucky Nexus and Pixel users. Google is introducing "Fluid Experiences" that include picture in picture, Notification Dots, autofill and smart-text selection. The first will allow you to have an app open but with also, say, a small window running a YouTube video, just like TVs can do. Notification dots show that you have an app notification. A long press will bring up the item, which is useful. You have all seen autofill on forms and for passwords; this is finally appearing in Android. As has been the case for the last few versions, Google is also focusing on maximising security, optimising boot times and app performance, and intelligently limiting background activity for apps to save battery life. These are all welcome enhancements.

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