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Coronavirus: Amazon removes overpriced goods and fake cures

Feb 28, 2020 - 9:12 PM - by Reverend
Amazon has banned more than one million products which claim to protect against the coronavirus - or even cure it.

The online retailer told Reuters it had also removed "tens of thousands" of overpriced health products from unscrupulous sellers.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) expressed concern about some misleading Amazon listings earlier this month, including fake treatments.

The virus, which causes Covid-19, has killed about 2,800 people worldwide.

The WHO said fake coronavirus claims online were causing mass confusion, and urged tech giants to combat the spread of misinformation.

A search for "coronavirus" on Amazon brought up results for face masks, disinfectant wipes and newly-published books on viral infections, revealing how some sellers are cashing in on the health crisis.

It also offered results for vitamin C boosters - a fake cure for the virus that has been widely disseminated online.

Amazon has not provided a list of those products it says it has removed, but a BBC search for "coronavirus" on the online site suggests many products are still being sold at unusually high prices.

In one example, a 50-piece stack of surgical masks from one seller cost more than £170, while a popular alternative of the same product is on sale for approximately £36. Even that cheaper product has still risen dramatically in price since early January, when it cost less than £10.

Some of those products are not even fit for purpose, such as disposable dust or surgical masks, rather than recommended protective equipment.

A three-pack of a popular brand of hand sanitising gel cost between £10-15 until early January, when it soared to £50. It now sells for just over £30.

"There is no place for price gouging on Amazon," a spokeswoman told Reuters, referring to the practice of... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 69 Views


Feb 28, 2020 - 9:00 PM - by Reverend
AnyDVD HD works in the background to automatically and transparently enable read access of the contents of a movie DVD or Blu-ray as soon as it's inserted into the drive.



(For RedFox AnyDVD HD you need to purchase a RedFox license key, SlySoft licenses are not supported.)

AnyDVD HD homepage
  0 Replies | 49 Views

Microsoft drops Cortana consumer skills in new Windows 10 update

Feb 28, 2020 - 8:47 PM - by Reverend
Cortana on Windows 10 is getting some changes, Microsoft announced today, as the company shifts focus for what it wants its personal assistant to be. The new Cortana will emphasize productivity features, like helping to manage your schedule, adding to-do items, or sending emails.

As part of that shift, Microsoft is removing some of the older consumer-facing functionality like the ability to control music, manage a smart home, or support for third-party Cortana skills. In other words, Microsoft is going to stop trying to have Cortana emulate Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and focus more on features that fit in with the rest of Microsoft’s software suite.

Microsoft isn’t removing everything from Cortana — you’ll still be able to communicate with the assistant through voice or text, and more basic smart assistant functions like alarms and timers, settings, or conversational answers will still work, too. As part of Microsoft revamping Cortana, it’ll also be removing Cortana from the Microsoft Launcher on Android at the end of April.

The updated Cortana will roll out later this spring, but the new productivity features will only launch in the US at first. International users will still be able to get answers from Bing and talk with Cortana, though, with plans to add more features in the future.

The Verge
  0 Replies | 43 Views

Windows 10 Icons Get a New Look

Feb 21, 2020 - 9:43 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft introduced redesigned Office icons back in 2018, now it's time for Windows 10's built-in apps to get the same treatment.

Posting on Windows Blogs, Brandon LeBlanc, Senior Program Manager for the Windows Insider Program, confirmed that the Windows 10 icons are being updated. Windows Insiders on the Fast ring will see them before everyone else, with the Alarms & Clock, Calculator, Mail, and Calendar icons being the first to change.

The new icons are part of a multi-year project Microsoft started in 2018 to redesign over 100 icons using new colors, materials, and finishes. The main goal was to create new icons that demonstrated innovation and change while maintaining familiarity with end users. Microsoft is relying on its Fluent Design System to create these icons, and it worked well for Office.

Christina Koehn, Design Leader for Windows and Devices at Microsoft, explains that there's now an estimated four connected devices used per person, meaning the design focus needs to be on "simplicity at the systems level." In other words, the icon is a wayfinder across multiple devices and operating systems, making its design that much more important.

Windows 10 users will soon find out how successful Koehn and her team have been at achieving that mix of simplicity and instant recognition.

PC Magazine
  0 Replies | 252 Views

Facebook will now pay you for your voice recordings

Feb 21, 2020 - 9:38 PM - by Reverend
Facebook will offer to pay some users for voice recordings that will be used to help improve its speech recognition technology, the company announced Thursday. The move comes after Facebook — as well as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Microsoft — was caught listening to and transcribing voice recordings to improve speech recognition systems without informing customers it was doing so.

Facebook will let you make voice recordings as part of a new program called “Pronunciations” in its Viewpoints market research app. If you qualify to be part of the program, Facebook says you’ll be able to record the phrase “Hey Portal” followed by the first name of a friend from your friends list. You’ll be able to do this with the names of up to 10 friends, and you have to record each statement twice.

Facebook won’t be paying much for your recordings, though. If you complete one set of recordings, you get 200 points in the Viewpoints app — and you can’t cash out in the Viewpoints app until you earn at least 1,000 points. That only translates to a $5 reward via PayPal. However, Facebook says users may be offered the opportunity to make up to five sets of recordings, so there is the potential to meet that 1,000-point goal and get paid.

Facebook says the voice recordings users provide will not be connected to their Facebook profile and that the company doesn’t share Viewpoints activity on Facebook or other Facebook-owned services without permission.

The Pronunciations program will be available to US users over the age of 18 that have more than 75 Facebook friends. Facebook says it will be rolling the program out slowly, so it won’t be available to all users right away. If it’s made available to you, you won’t need to update the Viewpoints app to see it pop up, the company says.

... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 307 Views

Ring doorbell makes two-factor verification mandatory

Feb 19, 2020 - 9:43 PM - by Reverend
Ring, Amazon's video doorbell system, has introduced additional steps to the way users log in to their accounts.

Users will need to enter a password and unique six-digit code when they first log in to view their security footage or access the Neighbors app.

On Tuesday, Ring also said it would pause its data-sharing with third-party firms.

The change comes as Ring and Amazon face increasing scrutiny about privacy protection and data sharing. A BBC report on Amazon - which owns Ring - showed the company's extensive level of data collection.

In a blog post Ring's president Leila Rouhi said the company takes "digital security and privacy seriously" and would look at additional ways to improve security.

Ring's new log-in system will be similar to other two-factor authentication processes. After signing in with a username and password the app will ask to send a text message or email with a one-time six-digit code. Once the code is entered the user will have access to the app and be able to view footage from outdoor and indoor cameras. Owners will then be able to use their mobile apps for 30 day before they are required to go through the two-step process again, unless they log out of their account in the meantime.

Last week, Nest - Google's home security device - began requiring two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication was an option for Ring users before, but it was not the default setting.

Critics pointed to the fact that even when users logged in from a new device they were not asked for a second verification. That meant that to get access to someone's Ring footage all a hacker would need was a login ID and password. Because many people use the same login credentials for multiple accounts experts stress using a password alone is not a very secure... [Read More]
  0 Replies | 478 Views

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