How To Disable Windows 10 Lock Screen Adverts

Windows 10 has caused a debate amongst users, both those who have adopted the new operating system and those who have decided to stay with the older operating systems. One of the most contested things about Windows 10 was its adverts, including those found in its start menu. They even added adverts to solitaire (shown above). People aren’t too keen on the adverts and if you don’t like the ones that appear on your lock screen you can disable them by following the guide below.

It should be noted that the adverts that have appeared on users lock screens only appeared earlier this year, advertising Windows or Xbox games from the Windows Store. People dislike the ads for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that they appear as if they are just normal apps you have on your PC, they don’t even look like advertisements most of the time. The adverts are provided as part of Spotlight, a feature designed to customise your lock screen. If you prefer you didn’t get adverts, you can follow the guide below to remove them.

First things first, you need to go to the settings page and find the option titled Personalization (should have a monitor icon next to it). Once you get to the options you need to select Lock Screen on the left-hand side, something will open that looks innocent and gives you the option to change your lock screen image. Selecting Picture is all you need to do to disable the adverts.

Seems simple right? The catch is that when Microsoft have another ad for you in a weeks time, by default when it’s pushed to your computer Spotlight will re-enable (see why people are getting annoyed yet?).

To disable the recurring Spotlight you need to disable the “Get fun facts, tips, tricks, and more on your lock screen” option that can be found at the bottom once you’ve changed your selection from windows spotlight.

Thanks to Digital trends for pointing out these tips to everyone, and even going so far as to point out that if you check out the start tab of the Personalization screen, you can even disable the Start menu ad’s by disabling the “occasionally show suggestions” option.

Microsoft isn’t making many friends with their decisions to include ad’s (intrusive ones included) in their operating system and isn’t helping it by hiding the choice to disable them behind obscure names and enabling features whenever they want.

Block Star Wars Spoilers With a Little Help

Star Wars the Force Awakens is set to be one of the largest films of the year and with generations of followers waiting for the big release this Thursday it was only a matter of time before people started posting spoilers or concepts that could ruin the film if you can’t make it to the cinema in time. The BBC posted an article explaining several ways to avoid spoilers (or the film altogether), ranging from moving country to retreating from the online world as a whole.

We at eTeknix understand that this may not always be possible (who can go without their memes these days?). One approach someone has taken is a similar one to something people use every day, an adblocker. Adblockers detect ad’s on a website and unless whitelisted, stop them from loading avoiding the onslaught of sounds and videos that loud on most web pages. Force Block, a chrome extension, aims to do the same but with spoilers for the highly anticipated film.

With a white list function you can add websites you think are being flagged incorrectly but otherwise upon loading a page you are met with a dimmed web page and a warning stating that you could be ruining the film in one of many different messages inspired by the films.

EE Announce Plans to Block “Intrusive ads”

United Kingdom based mobile network EE (Merger of Orange and T-Mobile) have announced plans to offer ad blocking services to anyone using the mobile network.

Olaf Swantee, Everything Everywhere (EE) CEO, demonstrated this new feature himself showing what would happen to the Web if his company did block mobile ads. This feature is far from revolutionary, desktop users have been blessed with this for many years in the form of the popular Adblock Plus. In recent years, this software has made its way to mobiles and in the latest iOS 9, Apple has included a similar blocking feature for certain content.

The main use for Ad Blockers is more prominent on free to use games and services such as YouTube where an Ad may pop up between each song or every half way through a long video. By doing this, you are reducing the revenue being paid to the developers and uploaders of the content which is why we have seen a sharp rise in Pay-to-use services such as YouTube Red.

Swantee stated the aim was not to block all mobile ads, but the more intrusive ones. By this, we are assuming those highly annoying full-page ads that you sometimes encounter while trying to view certain webpages.

eMarketer predicted that UK marketers would spend around £3.2bn on mobile marketing for 2015. This list could become a marketing tool for EE who could then block all ads and sell specific ad spaces to selected companies.

Extensive Malvertising Campaign Targets Yahoo!

This Malvertising Campaign is no longer active having been reported to Yahoo by Anti Malware blocker Malwarebytes, it’s still newsworthy to note the stats and techniques which targeted yahoo Ad Network for now and future reference.

According to the following statistics, yahoo and its combined websites has an estimated 6.9 Billion visits per month, which makes this attack one of the biggest targeted attacks seen recently.

  • www.yahoo.com | 6.9B monthly visits
  • news.yahoo.com308.50M monthly visits
  • finance.yahoo.com | 135M monthly visits
  • sports.yahoo.com | 112.50M monthly visits
  • celebrity.yahoo.com | 66.60M monthly visits
  • games.yahoo.com | 43.40M monthly visits

The attack leverages Microsoft Azure websites with the following domains being used,

      trv0-67sc.azurewebsites.net/?=trv0-s4-67sc

  • ch2-34-ia.azurewebsites.net/?ekrug=sewr487giviv93=12dvr4g4

This chain of events leads to the infamous Angler Exploit kit which attempts to exploit known software vulnerabilities within a person’s computer. Think of it like this, your browsing the web for cat pictures, you arrive at a site which contains a malicious link or ad, without clicking on the advert, the tool attempts to find and exploit for example a Flash or another program bug, if it’s successful it will then attempt to compromise said computer. Angler is also known for spreading the rise of Crypto Ransomware which is extremely dangerous. To allow myself a plug, and this is my first one, here’s a link to an article which I have written concerning the Windows 10 Crypto Malware.

Malware within adverts is hugely popular because it does not need the user to click on the ad for the Malware to spread. The nature of the Internet pushes these attacks at a phenomenal rate which exploits the globe. Always update your plug-ins, software, Anti Virus and Windows patches on a regular basis, we all know Flash is about as breakable as a glass hammer. Unless Adobe adapts, it will be remembered in nostalgia circles rather than a current product.

It may be wise to either uninstall or change Adobe Flash’s settings to “Ask to Activate”

Thank You Malwarebytes for providing us with this information.

Facebook Could Be Hosting News Articles as Soon as Tomorrow

Facebook’s plan of self-hosted editorial content or “Instant Articles” could be going live as soon as tomorrow. The Instant Articles will have articles from The New York Times, Buzzfeed, National Geographic, and NBC News.

New York Magazine is reporting that the new feature will be going live tomorrow morning. What has apparently held up the start of the new feature is the New York Times CEO pushing for “the most favorable terms”. This is due to them having more than a million paid digital subscribers and the fact that the Facebook articles will be free to read. The worked out terms allows those publishing articles to keep 100% of the ad money (next to their article) if they sell the ad. If Facebook sells the ad they will be able to keep 70% of the money. This should help the publishers that are concerned about the bottom line when their articles will be accessible for free to the population of Facebook. We will see if the news articles, in fact go live tomorrow morning. If they do not at least we know that it will be very soon now that the compensation details have been worked out with the companies that will be providing the news articles.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this information.

Microsoft Xbox One Price Drop Now Official

Have you postponed your Xbox upgrade lately? Well, its high time to get your shopping mood on! It seems Microsoft has just lowered its Xbox One price to £299.99 on its official Xbox One store in the UK.

There have been quite a few deals for the Xbox One on the UK market lately, the latest one coming from Asda and its Xbox One console bundle at just £249. However, the company now seems to be officially lowering the price tag below the £300, which in turn indicates that more attractive deals are on their way.

The Redmond giant is also teasing with future exclusive releases for its console on its webpage, including blockbusters such as Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, Fable Legends, and Quantum Break, all due to arrive late this year.

“There’s only one place to play the best exclusives and biggest blockbusters this year, like Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, and Forza Motorsport 6. Experience the most advanced multiplayer on Xbox Live, powered by hundreds of thousands of servers that maximize performance. Quickly switch between games, live TV, and apps. And instantly resume your game where you left off.”

In addition to the latter, Microsoft is taking the opportunity to brag about its cross-platform gaming supports, stating that its console is “the only one where you can connect with friends and play across Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs”.

Additional technologies are also highlighted in the ad, such as the instant resume, the ability to stream Xbox One games to Windows 10 PCs or tables in your home, “the industry leading controller and revolutionary Kinect technology” and even its ability to provide users with constant features and enhancements.

Nevertheless, Microsoft has actually brought a sweet deal on the table and more are yet to come from retailers all around the UK. A similar approach has been made on the US market not too long ago, indicating that the price drop might not actually be for a limited time only.

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Xbox UK

Ad for ‘Thinnest Smartphone’ Banned in UK for Sexualising Women

An ad for “the world’s thinnest smartphone” has been banned in the UK. The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA), said that the ad was “likely to cause serious offence” due to its “sexually suggestive” nature.

The ad in particular, for the Kazam Tornado 348, was banned by the ASA after they said that “much of the ad focused entirely on the actor in her underwear, including scenes that featured several close-up shots that lingered over her breasts, buttocks and lips.” The commercial seemingly focused on the woman a little too much, with not many references to the actual product itself. The ASA added that “the focus on the woman bore no relevance to the advertised product.”

The manufactuer of the phone, Kazam, said that the ad was only making reference to someone getting ready to go out and struggling to find their phone because it is too thin.

What do you think? Watch the ad below.

Source: The Verge

Apple Debuts New Ad During Oscars, Filmed Entirely on iPad

As per usual, Apple debuted a new ad during the Oscars last night. The company has for many years used a slot during the ceremony to show off a brand new ad. Well this year, Apple’s ad is all about movies of course, but movies made on the iPad in particular.

Martin Scorsese narrates the ad, with a message about filmmaking. But perhaps the most significant thing about this commercial, was that it was completely shot on the iPad. It’s fitting then that the ad is about making films with iPads, showing students tasked with producing a video utilising a number of iPad apps like iMovie and accessories such as iPad tripod mounts, to put the whole thing together.

It’s not the first time Apple has done such a thing – on January 24th last year Apple released an ad online celebrating 30 years since the Mac’s launch on January 24th 1984. That entire ad was filmed with the iPhone.

You can get a look at the latest ad below.

Source: MacRumors

This Robot Feeds You Tomatoes While You Run

You know when you’re on a run and you just fancy a nice tomato, but struggle to pick one up while you’re moving? No, me neither. But Japanese company, Kagome, thinks that this is a problem that needs to be resolved. That’s why they have built the world’s first robotic tomato dispenser.

Unfortunately, you can’t buy one. It’s all a big publicity stunt for Kagame, a juice and ketchup company that clearly specialises in tomatoes. It’s seen as a response to Dole, a fruit company that specialises in bananas and is sponsoring this weekend’s Japan Marathon. As part of its sponsorship, Dole distributes thousands of bananas to the runners, and has even created a wearable banana especially for the marathon.

Obviously Kagome thinks tomatoes are better and somehow that this video will prove that point.

Source: Gizmodo

Adobe Celebrates 25 Years of Photoshop With Spectacular Ad

It’s been 25 years since a little Mac application was first released that allowed you to edit photos. Yes, 25 years since Adobe Photoshop was born as a slightly more advanced version of your standard Paint application. However, across that 25 years, the word Photoshop has become a synonym for editing images on a computer and enabled millions of creative minds to come up with some of the most spectacular pieces of digital art we’ve ever seen. That and it has allowed countless photographers to make models look thinner.

To celebrate this, Adobe has come up with a spectacular TV ad to be shown during The Oscars this weekend, that goes someway to show what can be done with Photoshop. It covers many famous pieces of graphic design that were made possible by Adobe’s app, including famous ads, artworks and animated films including Shrek.

Watch it below, and I think you’ll agree that it’s probably the best way to celebrate the past 25 years.

Source: The Verge

Apple’s New Store Displays Are Weird

Apple has always had some pretty odd store displays. From floating MacBooks to giant iPhones, you’d think they couldn’t get anymore strange.

The video bellow was taken at Apple’s Regent Street store in London, and shows iPad Smart Covers opening all by themselves. Looking at the video, it’s easy to be puzzled as to how they’re doing this. Wires? Air? Tiny motors?

If you’re not familiar with the Smart Cover, they’re Apple’s clever solution to protecting iPad displays from scratches and other damage. They utilise magnets to stick to the display and form other shapes to allow the iPad to stand in different positions. The magnets also act as a way of switching the iPad display on and off, as can be seen in the video.

So what do you think is behind this trickery? Let us know in the comments.

Via: The Verge

Apple Releases Annual Christmas Ad

Apple has released its annual Christmas ad – and you guessed it, it’s a pull on your heartstrings, soppy, seasonal, family-fest.

Apple seems to have made a habit of releasing big Christmas ads in the last few years, starting with its Siri Santa ad in 2011. This new ad, ‘The Song’, focuses on a young girl that just so happens to come across a recording from her grandmother when she was younger. The record was presumably for her husband who couldn’t make it for Christmas.

The girl then goes and edits her own version of the recording, mixing in her grandmother’s voice with her own, along with an instrumental accompaniment. All of this is obviously produced on her MacBook Air and is left as a surprise to her grandmother on an iPad.

It’s a warm and fuzzy ad that should make even the most cynical of Christmas scrooges feel somewhat more seasonal.

Source: The Verge

iPhone 6 Plus Hammered by new Samsung Advertisements

[youtube width=”854″ height=”480″]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxhSnNZH3Rk[/youtube]

Samsung have come out of the blocks with both arms swinging – producing a series of advertisements targetting competitor Apple’s latest technology.

Samsung has a long standing battle with Apple. Not only are they the main competitors on the telecommunications market, but Apple and Samsung have a legal history to boot.

What better way to get back at Apple than a funny ad campaign targeting their champion product? This advertisement takes no time in pointing out the similarities between Apple’s new iPhone 6 plus and Samsung’s long-standing Galaxy Note series, alongside showing that the note was ridiculed for its size and proudly displaying negative initial reviews of the series. One quote had us chuckling – “you’ll look like you’re talking into a piece of toast”.

The message of the video as a whole conveys the fact that Apple have “followed” or “copied” Samsung in making a bigger device to try and keep up with their developing technologies. All of this is backed up by supplying a few Apple skeptic tweets from the public, further reinforcing their innovative Samsung technology and then finally promoting their “next big thing”; the Galaxy Note 4.

It doesn’t quite matter which side of the fence you sit on, it’s always quite funny to watch two heavyweight companies battle it out in an ad campaign.

How will Apple reply? Will Apple reply? Here’s hoping that it all goes to plan.

Featured image courtesy of Phandroid

Amazon Could Be Planning Their Own Ad-Service

Amazon could be planning their own Ad-Service to replace their current usage of Google’s AdWords. Already having millions of customers shopping and window-browsing habits already stored in their database make this sound like a reasonable move.

Amazon is known as a sleeping giant in the ad industry because it has rich consumer data but has been tentative about using it for a lot of advertising.

It’s said that Amazon’s system would resemble Google’s AdWords, but it is planned to make it easier for marketers to reach the company’s users. There is a second tool in work to help advertising agencies to buy ads in bulk and then resell them to their own thousands of advertisers.

The company already has a minor advertising service they use on their own site, but this planned move, if true, could be a real game changer in the online advertising market dominated by Google.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Facebook Scammers Exploit Robin Williams’ Death

Not too long ago, we reported on the tragic and unfortunate death by suicide of actor and comedian Robin Williams.

Some people have now decided to utilize this tragedy for their own personal gain. You may have seen a ‘video link’ (as above) on your news feed recently, either though posts from certain Facebook pages or it being shared directly from your friends – do not click!

Once clicked, a webpage will open which forces you to share the link on your own timeline then complete a survey, after which it claims this video will be available to you. When the survey is completed, there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no Robin Williams video displayed and you’ve only managed to do one thing – give these guys ad revenue.

Unfortunately, this is another case of “social engineering” which basically means manipulating people into clicking malicious links. Quite often you’ll see things like “Doctors hate him!”, “You’ll never know what happens next!” or even “Click here for this one secret!” – quite often the titles are too good to be true.

So how do you spot out  a malicious advertisement in your news feed? We understand that it’s not always easy. As we said before, usually the information is too good to be true. If it’s shared directly by a Facebook friend it might be worth you sending them a quick message just to ask the legitimacy of their shared link – quite often they might not even be aware of whats going on.

So far this scam has over 24 million shares on Facebook and is growing.

Security expert and blogger Graham Cluley shares similar thoughts on this news:

“The scammers have no qualms about exploiting the death of a famous actor and comedian to earn their cash, and give no thought whatsoever to the distressed family he must have left behind”

Have you seen a rise in this type of marketing scam recently? How do you combat the issue personally?

Image courtesy of Yahoo

First-Ever Full-Page Medical Marijuana Ad Published by The New York Times

The New York Times is said to have published a full-page ad regarding medical marijuana for Leafly, the first ever cannabis company that lets users browse, rate and review medical suppliers in your area. This comes just a month after the newspaper stated it would support the marijuana legalization cause.

In addition, the New York Times’ editorial board is said to have endorsed federal legalization of marijuana, pointing out that its moderate use has no proven evidence of being more harmful than tobacco or alcohol. Even so, the newspaper stated that people under the age of 21 should be restricted from consuming it.

New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, has signed the Compassionate Care Act a month ago, making medical marijuana legal starting from the 7th of July. The state appears to be the 24th in the hierarchy of states to legalize medical marijuana in the US, including Washington and Colorado.

Leafly’s ad, which features the slogan “Just Say Know”, is said to have taken 18 months to finish. This means that the company had started working on it before New York actually legalized medical marijuana, stating that patients and the general public “need a reliable, mainstream information portal about cannabis that is free of classic stoner stereotypes”.

“We want to help New York patients learn about cannabis and make responsible and informed consumer choices about the product best suited for their medical conditions,” Leafly wrote in a blog post

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information
Images courtesy of Mashable

Microsoft Swiftly and Silently Removes ‘Hints’ of Next Generation Xbox from Job Ad

Microsoft has published an ad, searching for a “super creator” industrial engineer, a few days back. The company stated that it was looking for someone who would like to work on the “next generation entertainment hardware for Microsoft”. However’ the ad has been silently removed, along with all reference to the “next generation” keyword.

The ad stated that Microsoft was looking for a “passionate designers who want to help us create next generation entertainment hardware” for the company, having “leadership, inspirational creative output, and passion to the Xbox entertainment space” as the main requirements for the job at hand. The ad has now been “slightly changed”, having both the original and modified versions available below:

Old New

The Xbox Industrial Design studio is building a world class in house team. We love entertainment. We live for building transformative entertainment experiences that resonate with consumers. We are looking for passionate designers who want to help us create next generation entertainment hardware for Microsoft.

Primary Responsibilities
This is a design position within the Xbox industrial design studio. You will be joining a team that drives vision and product development for Xbox hardware programs. The right candidate will be a “hands on” individual contributor that will bring thought leadership, inspirational creative output, and passion to the Xbox entertainment space. In essence, this position requires nothing less than a “super creator”.

Join the world class, in house Xbox Industrial Design studio. We love entertainment and live for building transformative experiences that resonate with consumers. We are looking for passionate designers to help create new Devices and experiences for Microsoft.

Primary Responsibilities
This is a design position within the Xbox industrial design studio. You will be joining a team that drives vision and product development for Xbox hardware programs. The right candidate will be a “hands on” individual contributor that will bring thought leadership, inspirational creative output, and passion to the Xbox entertainment space. In essence, this position requires nothing less than a “super creator”.

There are two possible explanations as to why Microsoft changed their job ad description. The first one might be that the text was misleading and the company is not planning their “next generation” of consoles just yet, or the second reason might be that Microsoft does not want anyone to know what they might be planning for the next Xbox models. Either way, what is certain is that the “super creator” will be working on “new devices and experiences”. The Microsoft job ad can be viewed on their Careers website here.

Thank you DualSHOCKERS for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of DualSHOCKERS

PC Specialist’s Latest TV Ad Campaign Launches Today

When it comes to getting your name and brand out in there in the wide world, we typically see system integrators and computer hardware vendors advertising their presence through online ad campaigns on websites such as ourselves and through printed press such as tech magazines. There is, however another method of advertising that can reach a far greater audience in a fraction of the time that it takes a printed advert to get noticed – this is of course TV advertising.

Following their formation in 2003, PC Specialist are one of the few specialist vendors and system integrators out there to have used this method to reach out to the most people in the UK for entertainment purposes at any one time. With PC Specialist now topping the charts as the UK’s biggest and most successful system integrator, they are today launching their third TV advertising campaign to once again push their brand out to the UK market and will be seen on a number of channels including Channel 4. To assist in the production of the advert, PC Specialist has teamed up with Asus and Intel on the hardware side along with Ubisoft and EA on the gaming side to produce a thirty-second clip that coincides with the launch of two of the biggest games for 2014 – Titanfall and Watch_Dogs.

If that is not all, we are working closely with PC Specialist this year to bring to you reviews on some of the best gaming systems that they have to offer, be it a budget gaming system or a no reservation top end rig and this started off last week when I had a look at their mid range Vanquish 230XT. Whilst we are eager to see the advert appear on the TV ourselves, PC Specialist have been kind enough to upload the advert to Youtube for the world to see and share their support for this award-winning team.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_t7UEbHEOA[/youtube]

Yahoo Malware Attack Reportedly More Far-Reaching Than Previously Thought

Yahoo has reported a while back that on January the 3rd, their website has been infected with ad-related malware content. The FoxIT security company reported that the UK, France and Romania were the countries who suffered heavily due to this attack, but further details prove more to it.

First of all, Yahoo stated this Friday that the attack took palace between December 27th and January 3rd, not only on January the 3rd as previously thought. This widens the window of malware infection, and also confirms the fact that more than 2 million PCs may have been infected. Also, Yahoo said that people outside Europe may have been hit by the infected ads before they could do something about it. Anyone using the Yahoo Mail or IM services during that time frame may have been served malware which exploits vulnerabilities in Java and had installed a variety of malware-related software.

Another security company based in the United States called Light Cyber said that one of the malware present in Yahoo’s ad network was designed to link infected PCs and form a Bitcoin mining operation. Other exploits involve theft of usernames and passwords, disabling antivirus software and remote control of computers. To be noted is that Mac computers or mobile devices were not harmed by the software, only PCs, laptops and netbooks running on Windows-based operating systems were vulnerable to the attack.

Yahoo has released some precautionary steps to take in order to prevent and detect further infection by the malware in cause:

Thank you Cnet for providing us with this information

Free Toilet Paper Or Inexpensive Advertising Star Toilet Paper Has Your Behind

Tired of paying for toilet paper, I sure am, that is why I am always looking for a deal or coupons for toilet paper, after all it just goes down the toilet with the other waste!

We use toilet paper for many different things, from packing material, cleaning eyeglasses, nose care, removing make-up, to cover the toilet seat, and of course the most common use to wipe our hineys! How many rolls of TP do you use each day? I have seen a single person use an entire roll in one day, just on their nose. While I have seen others who have used up entire rolls in the bathroom. What would you do if you could get your TP for FREE? I would get the free TP, but that is me, I of course would prefer the soft multi-ply TP, though anything will do.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_9gvyMPwUk[/youtube]

Star Toilet Paper is a great way to keep consumers looking at their advertisements, since customers will likely be stuck in some stinky situations with only the TP to read. Though there are likely to be some awesome coupons, and even some cool QR codes for those of you with smart phones. At the same time, if you have a venue, you could have the opportunity to get the FREE toilet paper! So if you are looking for a new way to advertise, or if you’re looking to keep costs down, check out their website.

Get a FREE SAMPLE, don’t forget to let them know that eTeknix sent you haha!

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKq2EaGDTdI[/youtube]

Image courtesy of Star Toilet Paper.