NHS data breach affects 150,000 patients in England

The NHS is blaming a coding error for 150,000 patients in England being involved in a data breach.

Those affected had requested that their confidential health information only be used to help provide them with care.

But it appears that there was a problem with the software used by GPs to record objections to the same data being used for research and auditing purposes.

As a result, the SystmOne application involved never passed on the request to NHS England’s IT provider.

The software’s developer TPP has said it “apologises unreservedly” for the fault.

NHS Digital has said it will write to all the patients involved as well as their GPs.

“There is not, and has never been, any risk to patient care as a result of this error,” said junior health minister Jackie Doyle-Price in a statement to Parliament.

She added that the recent introduction of the national data opt-out programme – a new service that allows individuals to restrict use of their health data without having to involve their GP – would prevent such a failure occurring again.

The Information Commissioner’s Office has been notified.

“We are aware of an incident involving NHS Digital and are making inquiries,” an ICO spokeswoman told the BBC.

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iStorage Diskashur 2

If you’re after a rugged external hard drive that keeps your important files safe from the elements while also incorporating some heavy duty security measures – both physical and via software – then iStorage’s range of external hard drives are well worth considering, and one such drive is the Diskashur 2.

If you’re familiar with iStorage’s products you’ll recognize the physical keypad on the front, which gives you additional security that other external hard drives lack. This new generation of Diskashur also comes with a faster USB 3.1 connection for improved performance, and offers large capacities (the drive we’re reviewing here is 2TB).

For some people the additional security and ruggedness will be overkill, but if you’re carrying around a lot of sensitive data then the Diskashur 2 could be just what you’re after.

The Diskashur 2 costs £289 (around $380, AU$500), which is expensive for an external hard drive but cheaper than the Diskashur Pro2, which costs £489 ($670 in the US, or AU$1,039).

Design

While the Diskashur 2 sports the familiar physical number pad on the front of its body, we have to commend iStorage for making it look a lot more attractive than the rather utilitarian designs of previous models.

There’s a choice of colors for the front and back: Fiery Red, Phantom Black, Racing Green and Ocean Blue, which you can see here. While you’re not going to be spending this sort of money on a drive primarily for its aesthetics, it does make the drive look and feel more modern.

A USB 3.1 cable comes attached to the drive and wraps neatly along the body, keeping the connector safe when not in use. There are three LEDs just above the keypad that let you know what security state the drive is in: Standby/Locked, User/Unlocked or Admin Mode.

On the side of the body there’s also a Kensington lock slot for fastening the drive so it can’t be removed. When it comes to security, it’s clear that iStorage has put a lot of thought into this product.

As you’d expect from a rugged drive, the Diskashur 2 feels well-built and robust. It’s rated IP56 for water and dust resistance, and the keypad is epoxy coated for water resistance as well. The epoxy resin covers the entire disk, not only helping to protect it from accidental damage but also making it difficult to tamper with.

The Diskashur 2 is designed to offer 100% hardware encryption, so you can protect your data without needing to plug it into a PC or download drivers.

It also comes with a carry case that offers a bit more protection, and which also makes it easier to transport. It’s a nice addition.

Performance

The Diskashur 2 ships pre-formatted in NTFS, and comes with a default PIN that you’re encouraged to change straight away – this is a simple matter of holding down the Unlock and 1 buttons and entering in the admin PIN, and then your new one.

iStorage makes sure your PIN is secure by requiring a minimum of seven numbers, which can’t be sequential or repeating. This is a good way to encourage owners to use secure PINs, although you’ll need to be sure to remember any PIN you choose.

Once it’s unlocked you can use the Diskashur 2 as a standard USB external drive. In our benchmark tests the drive achieved 128.9 MB/s read and 130 MB/s write speeds.

These aren’t the fastest speeds we’ve seen from an external hard drive, and the fact that the Diskashur2 uses a traditional hard drive, rather than a solid state drive (SSD), hampers its speeds. If you’re more concerned about data transfer rates you’ll want to get something with an SSD, such as the Adata SD700 External SSD.

However, its performance is in line with what we’d expect from a hard drive-based device, so if you don’t mind taking a slight performance hit, and are more interested in the security credentials of the Diskashur 2, then you’ll be happy enough.

In our real-world tests the Diskashur 2 copied a folder containing 440 files, with a combined size of 10GB, in a very respectable one minute and 43 seconds, at an average speed of 127 MB/s. So while this isn’t the fastest external hard drive you can buy, it’s still a very good performer.

Verdict

iStorage has made another great external hard drive that offers unrivaled hardware-based security. The keypad enables you to physically lock down your data, while the small yet rugged body ensures that you’re unlikely to lose your data by damaging the device.

It is expensive compared to other external hard drives, though, and if you’re not interested in the high level of security that the Diskashur 2 offers then you will be able to find cheaper – and faster – external hard drives out there.

However, if you often carry around important and sensitive documents the Diskashur 2 is a fantastic device that’s well worth the money for the peace of mind if offers.

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The best cheap graphics card prices in July 2018

There are ample reasons to shell out on a new graphics card. Maybe you took one glance at the system requirements for Star Wars Battlefront II and shed a single tear ailing GPU. Maybe you’re trying to cash in on the cryptocurrency mining craze.

Whatever the case may be, no one in their right mind wants to pay full price for a graphics card. The MSRP, or manufacturer’s suggested retail price, is often either exceeded or undercut by third parties to the point that there’s no longer a standard value. Instead, you have a market that’s so wildly variable in pricing that a lot of graphics cards have to go on sale to compete.

That’s where we come in. Here at TechRadar we’ve searched far and wide for the best graphics card deals of the week, closely followed up by the best long-term graphics card deals that we don’t see going out of style anytime soon. For when you’re looking to introduce unwieldy amounts of graphical prowess to your gaming PC, keep reading.

MSI GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Duke

Best 4K graphics card deal

The GeForce GTX 1080 Ti is lauded for its muscular 11GB of GDDR5X video memory and its ability to tackle Ultra HD 4K gaming at frame rates that will make you grin. It would normally set you back at a substantial sum, but you can regularly pick up MSI’s version of the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti at a great discount and it comes with an included copy of Destiny 2 as well.

Best 1440p graphics card deal

We don’t talk about it enough, but the GeForce GTX 1070 Ti is truly something special. Its pricing and performance is situated somewhere between the GTX 1070 and 1080, so it’s much better at handling the 1440p games of 2017 than the 1070. Frankly, this price is so close to that of the GTX 1070 Ti’s weaker sibling that we thought it necessary to point it out.

Best 1080p graphics card deal

Likely to remain at this price for quite some time, PNY’s GeForce GTX 1060 is cheaper than some of the discounted versions of this card you might find from alternative manufacturers. Granted, it only has 3GB of GDDR5 memory, but it’s more than enough to play a wide library of 1080p games and it’s still, it’s a GTX 1060 for less.

Best mining graphics card deal

For when your finances are either in the hole or you’re just frugal, Gigabyte’s GeForce GT 1030 is a reasonable option as well. It’s certainly a cheaper way to get 4K video playback than upgrading to a new Intel Kaby Lake or Coffee Lake motherboard and processor. Better yet, it can play older games at 1080p without hiccups and we’re sure you could do some Bitcoin mining with it.

Best eSports graphics card deal

eSports have overtaken the competitive gaming scene you used to know, and it’s effectively served as part of the fuel that keeps PC gaming relevant. The best part about it is that you don’t need the most powerful graphics card in the world to play most online eSports. Titles like League of Legends and even Rocket League will do just fine playing on the Radeon RX 560 and its commonly discounted to boot.

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Best cheap processor prices in July 2018

Let’s face it, PCs are powerless without their processors. These silicon chips make it possible to get from point A to point B whether it’s work or Hardpoint Domination in Titanfall. Your computer can do without a graphics card, sure, and it doesn’t necessarily need the latest and greatest hard drive either, but a processor – oh a processor is essential. Even if you don’t plan on diving into PC gaming, there are benefits to installing a state-of-the art CPU (an abbreviation of central processing units or, you guessed it, processors).

As we’re living in a time where technology is accelerating rapidly, competition is fierce and you’ll often find CPUs – both new and old – on sale throughout the year. We’ve scouted out the best processor deals. These include everything from the latest and greatest AMD Ryzen chips to last year’s still-impeccable Intel Kaby Lake S-series processors. We’ve even put one deal on our list pertaining to a certain component known to ‘rip threads’. 

Now, of course, the vast majority of these bargains are long-term discounts, but we’ve also listed some of the best processor deals you can take advantage of this week. There’s no telling how long these discounts will hold true, however, so if anything looks especially tasty then you better bite fast. After all, the best processor deals don’t last forever.

Best high-end CPU deal

AMD’s Ryzen Threadripper chipset has been met with critical acclaim across the board. The 1950X in particular is the top-end Ryzen Threadripper 1950X CPU featuring 16 cores of simultaneous multi-threading (SMT) along with 32 threads. Aside from offering double-to-quadruple the performance most users need, there’s extensive support for quad-channel memory, eight DIMM slots and 64 PCIe lanes you all know and love. 

This processor is great for gaming, but it’s even better for workstations and video production towers, and best of all, it can be found for over 100 bucks off regularly.

Best mid-range CPU deal

By Intel’s standards, the Ryzen 5 1600X would be sold as a premium product. But because it’s AMD we’re talking about here, you’re getting a 3.6GHz (up to 4.0GHz) processor with six cores and 12 threads for the price of Intel’s 2.8GHz Core i5-8400. 

Better yet, the AMD Ryzen 5 1600X can be overclocked right out of the box, meaning 4GHz only begins to demonstrate this chip’s power. With liquid nitrogen cooling, we’ve seen it overclocked all the way up to 5.9GHz, though 4.1GHz is a more reasonable achievement for everyone.

Best entry-level CPU deal

There’s a reason the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X is our favorite entry-level CPU you can buy right now. It’s not the absolute cheapest processor on the market, and it does require that you also own a discrete graphics card in order to post to your display. 

But, the silver lining is that you’re getting an overclockable, quad-core processor for a bargain. You’ll even find some of the AMD Ryzen 3 1300X deals below are accompanied by a motherboard bundle – and that’s a steal in our book.

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

(Image credit: PC Gamer)

Best gaming CPU deal 

It’s not as mind-blowing as the six-core i5-8600K and certainly not as impressive as the Skylake-X series chips, but the Intel Core i5-7600K has its place in the world, and that place should be the CPU socket of your gaming rig’s motherboard. 

This chip does wonders for gaming, so long as you aren’t wasting resources Twitch streaming from the same machine. In short, it’s a quad-core 3.8GHz processor optimized for the Z270 chipset. What’s more, when Turbo Boost kicks in, you’ll see speeds up to 4.2GHz. It’s overclockable too, but don’t forget to buy your own cooler – stock fans aren’t included with K-series Intel chips.

Best budget CPU deal

If you’re looking for a processor that can conquer the basics, we advise that you turn your head to the Intel Core i3-7100. Now you could settle for the Intel Pentium G4560, and honestly we wouldn’t blame you. Intel’s more affordable chips rarely go on sale, but in rare form we’ve seen the Intel Core i3-7100 for 15% off its list price on Amazon and there are other deals to be had as well. 

You can’t overclock it unfortunately, but it’s the perfect choice for everyday tasks like word processing and number-crunching, not to mention some light gaming made possible by its inclusion of integrated Intel HD Graphics 630. Now that’s something you won’t get from the Ryzen 3 1300X on its own.

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How to change screen brightness in Windows

If your screen is too bright or too dark, then you can adjust this using Windows’ brightness settings. We show you how to find these controls, and what you should do to get things back to an appropriate level of luminescence.

Where are the brightness controls in Windows?

First, if you’re using a laptop you should be able to use a key or a combination of keys to adjust the brightness. Look for a sun symbol. If it’s in a different colour to the main keys, you’ll probably have to hold down the Fn key as well to adjust the brightness. 

However, if you don’t have these keys, or they’re not working, you can adjust brightness in Windows. To reach the advanced display settings you’ll need to use Control Panel rather than the standard Settings app in Windows 10. However, a handy shortcut is to right-click on the Start button (the Windows icon) and choose Power Options. Then click Additional power settings. 

This can also be found by opening the Start menu and typing Control Panel. Select the option that appears at the top of the list, which should be called Control Panel Desktop App.

On the next window, in the search bar you’ll find in the upper right corner, type power and then select Power Options from the main pane.  

how to fix windows 10 brightness control

Now you’ll see a section with the heading Choose or customise a power plan, underneath which there will be your currently selected option. The default is Balanced (recommended), and you’ll need to click on the Change plan settings option.

how to fix windows 10 brightness control

The next page will show various settings for how the display behaves, with laptop users seeing different options for when using battery or mains power. These aren’t what we’re looking for though, so look to the bottom of the page where you should see Change advanced power settings. Click this.

how to fix windows 10 brightness control

A smaller window now appears, with a long list of sections. Scroll down until you find Display, select that, then you’ll see four nested setting options – Turn display off after; Display Brightness; Dimmed display brightness; and Enable adaptive brightness.

how to fix windows 10 brightness control

You can use these specific controls to solve your brightness issue. If things are too dark, then click on the Dimmed display brightness option and see when Windows is programmed to drop the brightness. On laptops this might be when a certain battery level is reached.

To alter any of the settings, click on the figure you want to change and then enter a new number into the box that comes up.

how to fix windows 10 brightness control

When you’ve finished with the refinements, click Apply and then OK so that Windows will always follow these guidelines from now on.

For more helpful tips, take a look at our Best Windows 10 tips & tricks.


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Oral-B Pro 2 2000 review

In the new age of connected tech, it’s all too easy to spend hundreds of pounds on a toothbrush and end up with interchangeable brush heads, multiple modes, and support for an app that you’ll probably stop using after two weeks.

Don’t get us wrong, there’s a place for those expensive uber-brushes, and they tend to be what tops our best electric toothbrush ranking, but most people looking for an electric toothbrush want something that costs less than £100/$100 and just, well, brushes your teeth well. Meet the Oral-B Pro 2 2000.

Oral-B Pro 2 2000 price & availability

The Oral-B Pro 2 2000 may be difficult to say out loud three times fast, but at least it’s easy to get hold of – at least if you’re in the UK. Officially priced at £79.99, you can usually get it for much less – right now you can find it for £34.99 at Amazon or Superdrug, £39.99 from Boots, or £59.99 from Argos.

It’s worth noting that there are a few slightly different versions of the Pro 2 2000 on the market, and it can be a little confusing, but the main differences are only which brush head is included in the box. We’ve tested the Pro 2 2000N, which includes a CrossAction head, but there’s also the 2000W (with a 3D White brush head) and the 2000S (with a Sensitive brush head).

Even more confusingly, you can also get the Pro 2 2500 series, which are in fact all exactly the same as the 2000 models, but include a travel case. Then there’s the Pro 2 2900 – also the same brush, but in a set with two handles and two brush heads.

Unfortunately, the Pro 2 2000 isn’t on sale in the US right now, but the closest equivalent is the Pro 1500, which you can grab from Amazon or Best Buy. From what we can tell, the two brushes are almost identical, except for the colour scheme and the name, but there may be other minor spec differences we haven’t spotted.

Oral-B Pro 2 2000 review

In contrast to more expensive toothbrushes, the Pro 2 2000 is pretty barebones, right down to what’s included in the box. If you buy one of the standard 2000 models, you simply get the handle, one brush head, and the 2-pin charging station. That’s the lot.

Features are similarly simple: there are only two brushing modes and a pressure sensor, with no Wi-Fi or Bluetooth features, and no app support.

As for design, our 2000N model has a slim blue and white body, with a single power button, lights at the bottom to indicate low battery or charging, and a larger red light on the back that’s triggered by the internal pressure sensor. The body is waterproof, so you can use the brush in the shower or wash it under the tap without worrying about breaking anything.

While the 2000N comes in blue, you an also get the same brush with a pink or black body – it just depends on exactly which version you buy, so have a little look around in case you’re fussy about the colour.

The main brush mode, dubbed ‘Daily Clean’, is what you get from pressing the power button once. As with most electric brushes, it includes a timer for two minutes, and the brush very briefly stops every 30 seconds to let you know that it’s time to move onto the next quadrant of your mouth.

Push the power button again and the brush switches to Gum Care mode – this works in the same way, but is set at a lower speed, perfect for those with sensitive teeth or gums, or who have been advised by their dentist not to brush too hard.

The included pressure sensor will help with that too. Push down too hard and the red light on the back of the brush will turn on, while the brush itself simultaneously slows down, to avoid damaging your teeth or gums and warn you to reduce the pressure. This is important, as many people switching to an electric brush from a manual one will naturally brush too hard, which can do more harm than good.

As we explained above, which model you buy will dictate which brush head you get out of the box – which should last you for three months before it needs changing, at which point the colour of the bristles will start to fade.

Once you need to replace it, you’ll get a range of options, as this is compatible with a massive range of Oral-B brush heads: Cross Action, 3D White, Sensi Ultrathin, Sensitive Clean, Precision Clean, Floss Action, Tri Zone, Dual Clean, Power Tip, and Ortho Care. Depending on which type you buy these usually cost around £2/3 per brush, though you can save more money by buying Oral-B ‘compatible’ brush heads manufactured by third parties.

As for battery life, Oral-B claims that the Pro 2 2000 should last two weeks on a single charge if you use it twice a day. We found that it comfortably lasted a week and a half on a trip abroad, though it’s worth noting that it takes basically a full day on the charger to fill the battery up. That won’t be a problem if you just leave the brush on the charging stand in the bathroom between uses, but might be more annoying if you’ll only be charging it once it runs low.

The low battery indicator is also just a simple red light that turns on when the battery is low, with no indicators along the way – by the time you see the red light you need to worry about charging it pretty soon, which could be frustrating depending on your usage.

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The best cheap SSD deals in July 2018

There are a lot of ways you can upgrade your computer. A new CPU can boost its operating speed. More RAM can get you multitasking like crazy. Slapping in a shiny new graphics card can take PC gaming to the next level. But, an SSD can help speed up just about everything you do on your computer, and it’s all the better when you can find cheap SSD deals.

If you only have a hard drive with a spinning disk, upgrading to an SSD is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to give your computer a substantial boost in speed. Even if you’re already booting from an SSD, you may want more room to add programs and games to keep running everything at top speed – after all, once you’ve experience solid-state storage speeds, you never want to go.

Here, we’ll take a look at which SSDs offer the best storage and performance for their price. Whether you need an SSD for gaming, for a laptop or for a high-speed PCIe slot, we’ve dug up the best deal for you.

Best M.2 SSD deal

Adata snipes the spot for best M.2 SSD deal, with a PCIe 3.0 x4 drive that offers high performance and storage for a price well below the competition. While many M.2 PCIe SSDs cost a fair bit more than their SATA counterparts, the SX7000 manages to keep its prices in league with SATA SSDs. 

And, because it’s a PCIe drive, it can take advantage of the incredibly high bandwidth offered by this connection, giving you the most of its advertised 1,800MB/s sequential read and 850MB/s sequential write speeds. Top that off with fast random read and write times and a 5-year warranty to boot, and you’ve got a killer SSD that only gets better when you spot the price tag.

Best SATA SSD deal

No list of the best SSDs ever seems to be complete without the Samsung 850 Evo, which consistently ranks among head of the pack. While the 850 Evo is available as an M.2 and mSATA drive, it’s the standard 2.5-inch drive that proves time and time again to be an SSD you can’t go wrong with.

The 850 EVO comes in a number of different storage sizes, letting you choose what’s right for your budget. With fast read and write speeds, and reliable 3D NAND backed up by a 5-year warranty, the 850 Evo is a great drive from a respected brand. Though the price can fluctuate a bit, now’s a great time to pick one up – especially after the introduction of the Samsung 860 Evo.

Best budget SSD deal

The Crucial MX500 SSD offers incredible value, giving you plenty of storage per dollar. It comes in the standard 2.5-inch drive size, so it should fit in any standard desktop build, and will also fit in plenty of laptops. 

On top of the MX500’s great value is its great performance. Despite the budget price, the MX500 is built using fast, high-endurance 3D NAND flash storage, and comes with a 5-year warranty to back it up. It’s speeds reading and writing data, both big and small, also keep up with the competition.

Best laptop SSD deal

Looking to upgrade your laptop? SanDisk has the answer. The SanDisk Ultra II offers great value and performance per dollar, and with the standard 2.5-inch drive size and only 7mm thickness, it should fit in a wide range of laptops.

The SanDisk Ultra II’s speeds keep up with its closest competitors, but at the 500GB sweet spot, it undercuts the price of other drives. This makes it a sweet pick for a laptop upgrade. It comes with a 3-year warranty. 

Best external SSD deal

Western Digital has an external SSD that’s worth the price. While plenty of other external SSDs warrant serious consideration of building your own external SSD by just buying a normal SSD and a USB enclosure separately, the WD’s My Passport manages to offer a price that’s only slightly higher than an internal SSD of the same size. Plus you won’t find a third-party enclosure smaller than the WD My Passport SSD.

Supporting USB-C and USB 3.1 Gen 2, the My Passport external SSD is capable of fast communication with a PC. It’s also small and light, with dimensions of just 1.8 x 3.5 x 0.39 inches and a weight of 1.44 ounces. Of course, with portability comes the question of security, but the My Passport includes 256-bit encryption to keep your data safe from intruders, and it’s drop-tested up to 6.5 feet to keep your data safe from accidents.

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