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Week in Geek: Microsoft has Bought Underlying Patents for Netscape Browser

Our latest edition of WIG is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as ChromeOS has received a new desktop-style look, a roundup of tools to remove Flashback malware on Macs, Kubuntu has a new official sponsor, and more.

Wedding clipart courtesy of CartoonClipArtWorld.

Weekly News Links

Wedding clipart courtesy of CartoonClipArtWorld.

  • Attention Marc Andreessen: Microsoft Just Bought (Part of) Netscape
    Here’s a deal that would have made many minds explode back in the 1990s: Microsoft is buying Netscape. Or at least most of the important parts of the company that used to be synonymous with “Internet.”
  • AOL patents could help Microsoft battle Google Maps
    If you connect the dots, AOL’s patent sale to Microsoft may have a lot to do with hitting Google Maps via the trio of Bing Maps, Mapquest, and OpenStreetMap.
  • Firefox gets click-to-play option for plugins
    Jared Wein, a software engineer at Mozilla, has created an implementation of “click-to-play plugins” for Firefox – with this enabled, the browser will require that content from plugins like Flash and Java is clicked before the plugin loads and runs. The feature, which Mozilla also calls “opt-in activation for plugins” is already accessible in nightly builds of Firefox.
  • HTML5 roundup: Mozilla demos standards-based video chat in Firefox
    Mozilla recently published a demo of standards-based video chat in an experimental build of Firefox. The functionality is built with the Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC) standard, which aims to support streaming audio and video communication on the Web without relying on plugins.
  • LibreOffice 3.6 to probably add CorelDraw import filter
    LibreOffice 3.6 is to probably add support (daily builds with the new feature are to be released in the next days) for CorelDraw file format import, furthermore “it also supports the updated binary format (v16) used in their new version released less than a month ago” via “libcdr-0.0.6 with support of all 32-bit CorelDraw formats, from version 6 to 16″.
  • Kubuntu to be Sponsored by Blue Systems
    Kubuntu will have a new sponsor in Blue Systems from the 12.10 cycle starting in May. Kubuntu is a community led project to create a KDE flavour as part of Ubuntu.
  • ChromeOS gets a desktop revamp
    Google has redesigned the ChromeOS user interface to make it more desktop-like with a more traditional windowed system. The switch away from a full-screen browser-only environment is a major change from the original design goals of ChromeOS.
  • Windows Live Allegedly Getting the Metro UI Makeover
    Microsoft is in love with the Metro UI. It already adopted it for various products, starting with Windows Phone and going all the way to Windows 8, and appears set to throw it over more of them. Windows Live is also said to be en-route to get a taste of the new user interface, and some screenshots that allegedly show it have emerged.
  • Why Facebook needs to build a browser
    Facebook can no longer rely on Microsoft to keep Google Chrome at bay. It needs to fight back with its own browser.
  • MPAA: you can infringe copyright just by embedding a video
    The Motion Picture Association of America is squaring off against a coalition of Internet giants and public interest groups over the key question of whether it’s possible to directly infringe copyright by embedding an image or video hosted by a third party.
  • Facebook supports horrible proposed Internet bill CISPA
    CISPA, the pending US cybersecurity bill, is a terrible law, with many of the worst features of SOPA — surveillance and domain seizures and censorship and so on. What’s more, it is being supported by one of the largest Web companies in the world: Facebook.
  • Stuxnet worm was planted by inside man
    According to a report by Industrial Safety and Security Source (ISS Source), which cites US intelligence sources, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency Mossad used a worker at Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility to infiltrate the Stuxnet worm into the facility.
  • BYOD, evolving Web malware new threat vectors
    The trend of employees accessing sensitive corporate information from their personal devices outside their office, along with evolving Web malware are the latest threat frontiers in the IT security landscape, a Sophos report reveals.
  • FBI: Smart Meter Hacks Likely to Spread
    A series of hacks perpetrated against so-called “smart meter” installations over the past several years may have cost a single U.S. electric utility hundreds of millions of dollars annually, the FBI said in a cyber intelligence bulletin obtained by KrebsOnSecurity.
  • When you share with Facebook friends, you share with all the apps they use
    Raganwald describes a Facebook privacy-leak that’s creepy even by Facebook standards. When you sign up for apps, the app-maker has the power to extract all your friends’ personal info, assuming they’ve shared it with you.
  • Rise of “forever day” bugs in industrial systems threatens critical infrastructure
    The number of security holes that remain unpatched in software used to control refineries, factories, and other critical infrastructure is growing. It’s becoming so common that security researchers have coined the term “forever days” to refer to the unfixed vulnerabilities.
  • Analyst: More attacks to come for Macs
    Apple launched its software remover to tackle the Flashback malware issue on Thursday, but one analyst thinks that while this will address security concerns for now, the Mac operating system will likely be under close scrutiny from cybercriminals with more attacks expected.
  • Flashback malware removal tool roundup
    In the past week, a number of reputable companies have released tools to automatically remove the Flashback malware from OS X systems.
  • Hotel Wi-Fi uses JavaScript injection to modify web sites
    When blogger Justin Watt looked at his blog during a hotel stay, he noticed a thin grey bar at the top of the page that should not be there. Watt says that he first thought was that it was due to a CSS problem related to a browser update; however, on examining the source code, it was soon apparent that there was more to it.
  • Malware blocks booting
    Anti-virus experts at Trend Micro have discovered ransomware which blocks systems from booting. In contrast to the localised trojans, which are widely spread around Europe, it does so by inserting itself into the master boot record (MBR).

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Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 04/15/12

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