Microsoft issues emergency Windows update in a move to disable Intel’s buggy Spectre fixes

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Microsoft has issued another out-of-band security update this month, to deal with the issues around Intel’s Spectre firmware updates. Intel warned last week that its own security updates have been buggy, causing some systems to spontaneously reboot. Intel then buried a warning in its latest financial results that its buggy firmware updates could lead to “data loss or corruption.” Intel has been advising PC makers and customers to simply stop updating their firmware right now, until properly tested updates are available. Microsoft has gone a step further, and is issuing…

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How publishers will survive Facebook’s news feed change

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Facebook announced on January 11 that it would change its News Feed algorithm to prioritize posts from friends and family over public content. Say goodbye to never-ending sponsored posts from Tasty, CNN, and other brands that have embraced the platform. Time to say hello to more personal posts featuring commenting and sharing from your friends. Sounds like the original version of Facebook, no? Facebook’s News Feed change pushes hard to create a better user experience for its users by focusing on meaningful interactions between people. This is critical for its…

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Fitness app Strava exposes the location of military bases

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Strava, the popular app for tracking running, cycling and swimming, is not the most obvious go-to for exposing national secrets, but a heatmap of activity from users has been found to unearth the locations of U.S. military bases worldwide. The company’s review of 2017 showed all routes taken by its users across the world. It was released back in November 2017, but it came to the fore this weekend when Australian student Nathan Ruser noticed that trails from Strava users in certain countries made it possible to identify military from the U.S. and…

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Bank-based blockchain projects will transform the financial services industry

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At the core of Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrencies is the cryptographically secure digital ledger known as the blockchain. It’s a digital ledger where cryptocurrency transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly. Indeed, as the popularity of cryptocurrencies has grown, so has the banking industry’s interest in blockchain for fintech, with an increased and focused push on bank-backed blockchain projects. Some of the largest projects underway include the IBM-backed Hyperledger Fabric project, the Utility Settlement Coin, and R3’s blockchain consortium, signifying a growing acceptance in institutional policy to support blockchain growth. Currently, banks transact with each…

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People Can Now Hide Pestering ads on Google

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Google will now let people mute advertisements that encourage them to buy products from websites they have previously visited. So-called reminder ads track which products people have looked at online and then promote them across the web. Google said reminder ads were “useful” but said it wanted to give people “more control” over what they see online. Individual reminder ads will be “mutable” on websites that use Google’s services to provide adverts. Muted promotions will be replaced with other adverts. There will not be a way to opt out of…

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