Our last edition of WIG for February is filled with news link goodness such as Chrome’s possible new password generator, Mozilla’s upcoming marketplace for open web apps, Canonical’s release of Ubuntu for Android, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Microsoft extends consumer support for Windows 7, Vista
Support will now run for a total of 10 years from when the operating systems were released, meaning end dates of 2020 for Windows 7 and 2017 for Vista.
- Who needs Dropbox when Windows 8 has SkyDrive?
Microsoft revealed its plans this past Monday for SkyDrive which will include a new Metro-style Windows 8 app, integration into the Windows Explorer desktop, and the ability to retrieve any remote files (uploaded to SkyDrive or not) through SkyDrive.com for machines connected to the service.
- Will the death of two MS brands accompany Windows 8 birth?
Microsoft is reportedly planning to kill off Windows Live, Zune brands at the announcement of the preview version of Windows 8.
- Early Office 15 screenshots show elegant fusion of ribbon and Metro
Though Microsoft is extending the Metro styling to many of its products, Office 15 will still use the ribbon interface first introduced in Office 2007. But that ribbon interface has been given a Metro twist.
- Ubuntu for Android: Canonical brings Ubuntu desktop to docked smartphones
Canonical has announced a new product called Ubuntu for Android that will bring the popular Linux distribution to high-end Android smartphones. The product consists of a complete Ubuntu desktop experience that is intended to be installed on the device alongside the standard Android environment.
- Firefox’s Jetpack extensions reach mobile browsing
Mozilla has begun adding mobile device support to its newer extensions framework–but it’s also changing Jetpack’s direction and requiring earlier extensions to be rebuilt.
- Mozilla announces marketplace for open web apps
The Mozilla Foundation is planning its own app store where developers will be able to market their HTML5 web apps. Mozilla thinks that other marketplaces are too restrictive, which, it believes, has the effect of limiting the freedom of users and developers and of inhibiting innovation.
- Mozilla revamps BrowserID as Persona
Mozilla is renaming its BrowserID identity system as Mozilla Persona, but is not renaming the underlying technology. The new name was introduced in a blog post that explained that Mozilla Persona was the name for the “complete Identity offering from Mozilla”, not just the BrowserID technology but also other identity services such as an identity dashboard and user data interconnections.
- Chrome may get a password generator
Google’s solution for the problem of getting better passwords on the net – a combination of browser sign-in and OpenID – will take some time to implement as it involves persuading sites to switch to using OpenID. The developers on the Chrome project think that they can at least improve the security of passwords on sites, by generating passwords for the user.
- Chrome to support Do Not Track privacy feature
Google previously found Do Not Track “interesting” though too vague, but now says the technology for blocking behavioral ad targeting is mature enough to use.
- Adobe abandons Linux
Adobe has announced its future plans for Flash and AIR and Linux isn’t part of them. Flash will still, however, be available to Linux desktop users who use Google’s Chrome Web browser.
- Win 8 security bundle an antitrust magnet
Microsoft could be saddled with antitrust lawsuits for bundling its Windows Defender security suite with the upcoming Windows 8 operating system (OS), as such an act may be considered an abuse of a dominant position within the industry, lawyers said.
- HijackThis now open source
Trend Micro has published the source code of its free anti-malware tool, HijackThis (HJT), on Sourceforge under a GPLv2 licence. Trend Micro says it will be maintaining the original source code but also incorporating modifications from the community.
- “Unethical” HTML video copy protection proposal draws criticism from W3C reps
A new Web standard proposal authored by Google, Microsoft, and Netflix seeks to bring copy protection mechanisms to the Web. The Encrypted Media Extensions draft defines a framework for enabling the playback of protected media content in the Web browser. The proposal is controversial and has raised concern among some parties that are participating in the standards process.
- Data mining’s adult challenges
The tools to analyze disparate data sets are getting better and cheaper. But the practice will increasingly bump against the boundaries of privacy comfort zones.
- Open source model creates new cybercrime frontier
Inspired by the success of the open source development model, criminals are creating similar community models and, in doing so, opening up a new avenue for malicious software and malware incubation, industry insiders warn.
- Microsoft: Google bypassed IE privacy settings too
In the wake of reports that Google had sidestepped privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser, Microsoft announced this past Monday it had discovered that the Web giant had done the same with Internet Explorer.
- Report: IPv6 sees first DDoS attacks
Calling it a “milestone in IPv6 deployment”, Arbor Networks notes that respondents in its seventh annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report said they observed distributed denial of service attacks on their IPv6 networks. There are now, says the network monitoring and security provider, enough IPv6 end-points to make launching a DDoS over IPv6 possible.
- Flashback malware uses new infection technique
A new variant of Mac malware Flashback is using a new installation method. When a user visits a crafted web page, the new variant either tries to exploit two old security vulnerabilities or deploys a Java Applet which tries to trick the user into believing it has been certified by Apple – that’s according to a blog posting from anti-virus company Intego.
- Cutwail botnet back in action
Random TinyHacker Links
- Want to know more about Outpost security products?
Agnitum is a small security vendor from Russia, which offers security products that don’t necessarily follow the usual trends. If you are interested in knowing more, read this review.
- Collecting public opinion on the new Windows 8 logo
Windows 8 just received its new logo, which integrates well with the new touch-based interface called Metro, that will be used heavily in Windows 8. We would like to share this logo with you, the history of Windows logos and ask for your opinion: Do you like it? What do you think?
- New & Awesome Feature in Bing – Curate Your Online Presence!
Whether it’s an old friend, a former classmate or (ahem) yourself, searching for people is one of the most common things we do on the web. Last year, we took the first step to bring expanded search results of your Facebook friends into Bing, making it easier to find friends and friends of friends more quickly.
- The Coming Spectrum Shortage (USA)
The U.S. mobile phone industry is running out of the airwaves necessary to provide voice, text and Internet services to its customers.
- Did Windows Phone 7.5 Improve the Experience on Older Phones?
Many of you know about the HTC HD7, one of the first Windows Phones available on the market. If you are curious to know the experience with Windows Phone 7.5 installed on it, check out this review.
- Why Photographers should Stop Complaining about Copyright and Embrace Pinterest
A presentation by Trey Ratcliff on the current situation between photographers and Pinterest.
- Infographic: The best countries for doing business
Find out (or satisfy your curiosity) about the best countries for starting a business, ease of doing business, and more this year with this terrific infographic.
Super User Questions
- How to physically clean a USB connector safely?
- How can I create a PDF from scanned images I have in my folder?
- Why is it bad to map network drives in Windows?
- Can I encrypt data in a way that it can be read normally but can’t be copied or edited?
- How can I remotely wipe the contents of a Linux Laptop if its been stolen?
- Can a virus on a flash drive run itself without autorun?
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- The Best Articles for Tweaking and Customizing Windows 7
- How to Create a Password Protected Folder without any Extra Software
- 3 Quick Ways to Make Sure Your Google Account is Secure
- How to Disable the Splash Screens in Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint)
- Stupid Geek Tricks: How to Plot the Batman Curve in Google Search
- Desktop Fun: Nebula Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- The Top 5 Alternatives to the Android Market
- 5 Killer Tricks to Get the Most Out of Wireshark
- Beginner: How to Clear Your Web History in Chrome, Firefox and IE9
- Why Old School Photographers Think You’re Just a Spoiled Hipster
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Do not Move the Mouse! Just Stop It! [Funny Comic]
- VLC Updates to 2.0; Sports Massive Pile of Upgrades and New Features
- Lesser Known Uses for Portals [Humorous Image]
- Hack an Old Book into a Secret Switch
- 1980 to 2010 – 8 IBM 3380 Disk Systems versus 1 MicroSD Card [Image]
- DIY Digital POV Clock On a Hard Drive Platter
- CodeHero Teaches Programming via First-Person Shooter Game
- Flash Drive Workstation [Humorous Wallpaper]
- The Best Countries for Doing Business in 2012 [Infographic]
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- How to Configure the Linux Grub2 Boot Menu the Easy Way
- How to Install a Wireless Card in Linux Using Windows Drivers
- How to Make the Gnome Panels in Ubuntu Totally Transparent
- How to Customize Fonts and Colors for Gnome Panels in Ubuntu Linux
- The Beginner’s Guide to Nano, the Linux Command-Line Text Editor
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- Definitely an Old Computer
- The Value of a Picture
- The Sign is Unnecessary
- Dishonesty in Social Media
- Accurate Metrics
- Early Texting
- Huge Sleep Debt
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- What Is The Best Selling Unbundled Video Game Of All Time?
- What Cable Wrangling Technique Kept Wires Tidy During NASA’s Moon Missions?
- What Was The First Smartphone?
- Which Spacecraft Was The First To Autonomously Return Extraterrestrial Samples to Earth?
- What Early Artificial Sweetener Was Discovered By Accident?