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Google plans to deal with unsafe passwords (Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash)

There is an ongoing problem with password handling on websites. I know we should be good and use a password manager, but sometimes it’s just too much hassle, and an old favourite gets reused.

Tools such as Dashlane try to automate this procedure by logging in on your behalf and working out how to do the password change process. This works, some of the time, and it’s better than nothing. But we need a proper process for handling this.

Google has announced that it’s enabling such a solution with its built-in password manager. In a Google blog, the company says…


The Devil and the Dark Water book cover
Can AI write a passage for Stuart Turton’s novel?

To put writer’s-block-beating AI Sudowrite to the test, we fed the AI an extract from The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton, which is out now in paperback.

Here you’ll see the extract from Stuart’s book that was given to Sudowrite, where the software took the story next and finally Stuart’s verdict on what the AI did to his writing.

Extract from The Devil and the Dark Water

Arent Hayes howled in pain as a rock slammed into his massive back. Another whistled by his ear; a third striking his knee, causing him to stumble, bringing jeers from the pitiless mob, who were already searching the…


Man hunched over laptop
Will AI bring an end to writer’s block? (Photo: Shutterstock)

The publishing industry has proven strangely resilient to the march of new technology, with only ebooks significantly disrupting a business that’s been going along in much the same way for hundreds of years.

That could be about to change, however. Generative Pre-trained Transformer 3 (GPT-3) is a deep-learning neural network that its creators are teaching to write like a human being.

Click here to find out how AI completed a passage from bestselling author Stuart Turton

It’s not the first time AI has been tasked with churning out fiction. Publisher JBE Books released 1 the Road in 2018, which was…


Even innocent photos give away crucial clues (Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash)

We’re the over-sharing generation. You might think that your Facebook posts, Titter missives and LinkedIn musings are all suitably considered and circumspect, but over time your accumulated posts will inevitably build up a picture of who you are — perhaps including where you live, what you do for a living, your childhood, your family composition, birthday and more. All of which would be valuable information to a potential identity thief.

As an example, let’s say you post a picture of your child blowing out candles on a cake. Unless the metadata has been stripped first, you’ve probably also shared the…


Graphics card
Graphics cards are in high demand (Image: Shutterstock)

In 2008, GPU computing was supposed to be the next big thing. Before that time, we had always been held back by the limitations of our CPUs, while the vast power of our graphics hardware sat idle. Now the era of the general-purpose GPU had arrived, and hardware that had previously been dedicated solely to animating Lara Croft and her adversaries could now be used to speed up desktop applications and OS processes across the board.

That was the idea anyway and there was some solid sense behind it. While a typical CPU of the time might have had two…


Light trails
Quantum computing is energy-hungry (Photo by Roland Larsson on Unsplash)

Recently, I read Quantum Computing: How it Works and Why it Could Change the World by Amit Katwala. It’s a great intro to the present state of and prospects for quantum computing — not too technical, wasting little space on the basics but avoiding the hieroglyphics of quantum algorithms. It’s also honest about the fact that quantum computers barely exist and that their prospects remain rather dim.

Katwala offers a clear summary of the three major current research directions: laser-ion traps (as pursued by Amazon/IonQ), cryogenic Josephson junctions (Google and IBM), and “topological qubits” (Microsoft). As he goes, he points…


Computer screens
Learn how to funnel potential sales leads

Websites can be many things: a placeholder, a way for clients to get in touch, somewhere to sell your products and services, or a means of generating leads. If you’re not doing the latter, you’re wasting a good domain.

Probably the only part of your business that’s open 24/7, your site can carry on working when you go home, potentially generating new business around the clock. That’s just as well because it’s not much easier drumming up custom online than it is cold calling.

“Your whole website should be geared up for generating leads,” said Leadfeeder’s Jaakko Paalanen in a…


Guru
‘Guru mediation’ is not much use when a website goes down (Photo by Deva Darshan on Unsplash)

On the morning of 8 June, a good chunk of the internet decided to take a little nap. The Guardian, the Financial Times, The Verge, Forbes, PayPal, Vimeo, HBO Max and plenty of others were all knocked offline.

The first I became aware of a problem was when I went to visit The Verge and was confronted by a rather odd error message:

Error 503 Service Unavailable

Service Unavailable

Guru Mediation:

Details: [a meaningless, long string of digits appeared here]

Varnish cache server

Oh, those wags at The Verge, I thought. …


Windows 11 tablet
Pens are literally buzzing with Windows 11

If you’re going to release a major new version of Windows, it needs more than a lick of a paint. There are many new features in Windows 11, although whether any of them are major enough to justify an entirely new version is questionable — especially as some of them will also come to Windows 10.

Here’s what you can look forward to when the operating system is released in the autumn.

Multiple display handling

Windows’ multi-monitor handling has been a mess for years. It seems someone at Microsoft has noticed as there are two very welcome new Display settings in Windows 11.


Apple iPhones
Apple stands in the way of true repairs (Photo by Arnel Hasanovic on Unsplash)

Jessa Jones is a repair superstar with over ten million views on YouTube. Her iPadRehab business focuses on Apple’s products, but her passion for fixing is so great that she runs residential board-repair and micro-soldering training courses to pass her skills on to other businesses. Jessa has earned a reputation for fixing devices that the manufacturer won’t. She frequently stands before US lawmakers to tell them what Right to Repair (R2R) is and why they need to legislate for it.

“I’ve got a 1988 Toyota Celica and I need an alternator, so I go to the junkyard and find it,”…

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