Articles by Simon MacDonald

Firefox 8 Released

Mozilla has released Firefox 8 for Windows, Mac and Linux.

Features include:

  • an integrated Twitter search
  • a new Add-on Manager that allows you to turn off any add-on installed by a third party
  • improved tab management
  • the ability to customise right-click context menus for apps and web sites
  • plus a pile of bug fixes including fixes for security issues

Download it here.

Smartphone malware attacks increasing

The incidence of malware attacks on smartphones is increasing dramatically. One of the commonest scenarios is that users are duped in downloading a fake app – often a social media app – this then runs in the background generating texts – maybe one a minute – to premium text numbers which can cost up to £6 a message.
To ensure that you use your smartphone safely pick up some tips at Get Safe Online – this site is sponsored by HM Government and leading businesses

Google freshens up it’s search

Google has freshened up it’s search algorithms such that it now delivers more time relevant results to your enquiries. Given the incredibly fast pace at which information moves in today’s world, the most recent information can be from the last week, day or even minute.

Depending on the search terms, the algorithm needs to be able to figure out that if  you searched for ‘Olympics’ it’s quite likely that you are looking for the 2012 Olympics not the 1984 games, so where possible Google serves up the most timely information first. Google reckon that the the results of up to 35% of searches will now be fresher and more relevant.

Android 4.0 – Ice Cream Sandwich

Android 4.0 aka Ice Cream Sandwich is the first Android version that will run on both smartphones and tablets. Up till now Android has been a little rough around the edges, release 4.0 takes Android to a new level of sophistication. It is anticipated that it will be ready for user download in December this year. (more…)

Microsoft Security Essentials mistakes Google Chrome for a Trojan!

Chrome logo

Microsoft’s Security Essentials anti-malware tool has mistakenly identified Google Chrome as a password sniffing trojan, and actually removed the browser from many users’ machines. A fix for this  false positive is now available.

Microsoft released an updated signature that fixes the error where Chrome is mistakenly identified as a member  of the Zeus malware family. Google also issued instructions on how to fix the problem.

Windows 8 – There’s life in Microsoft yet

Last week at BUILD, Microsoft Windows 8 was announced and launched for developers. Everything that runs on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8. Win 8 also scales from server size platforms right down to touch screen tablets using their new Metro interface.

This new OS will certainly give the iPad and Android communities something to think about!

Read more:

Amazon to launch iPad ‘killer’

Amazon is reportedly going to introduce 10 and 7 inch Android based tablets in September/October. Pricing is expected to be extremely aggressive, possibly matching  the prices of the recent fire-sale of the failed HP WebOS based tablets at around $99 a throw. (more…)

The Importance of Being Accessible

There are over 1 million people in the UK registered as visually impaired. What may surprise you is that many of these people use the internet on a regular basis, using specialist software that ‘speaks’ the web site or enhances the textual presentation (more…)