Our first edition of WIG for May is filled with news links covering topics such as the FBI says they need wiretap-ready websites now, Internet Explorer continues to rebound in the browser market, Mozilla plans to auto-upgrade Firefox 3.6 users to version 12, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Windows 8 won’t include Media Center automatically
One of the new changes that Microsoft is introducing to it’s upcoming operating system is that Windows Media Center will only be available as an upgrade.
- Microsoft angers users by cutting Media Center out of Windows 8
Microsoft’s decision to charge extra for the Windows 8 Media Center and DVD playback is not sitting well with users judging from responses to the company’s blog.
- Windows 8 to integrate cloud services, ditch Windows Live branding
The Windows Live branding that Microsoft has used since 2005 for its range of consumer-oriented cloud services will fade away over the next few months, as the company positions the online services as an integral, integrated part of the Windows experience.
- Mozilla to auto-upgrade Firefox 3.6 users to version 12
Soon, users running Firefox 3.6.x will start being automatically upgraded to the current version 12.0 release of the open source web browser. The plan to auto-update these users has been being discussed since the end of March, when Mozilla Release Manager Alex Keybl proposed the move on a Mozilla planning discussion thread.
- New Firefox design will offer uniform look across desktop and mobile
Mozilla recently combined its desktop and mobile design teams with the aim of unifying the Firefox user experience across form factors. A presentation slide deck published by Mozilla’s Madhava Enros offers some insight into the design process and shows how the effort to boost Firefox’s visual cohesion aligns with Mozilla’s Kilimanjaro initiative.
- IE continues to rebound in browser market
Microsoft’s browser, after years of declines, reclaimed some share of its share of usage from rivals in April by one measurement.
- Blue Systems: ‘No Plans’ to Change Kubuntu
Kubuntu’s new financial backers – Blue Systems – have ‘no plans’ to change the way Kubuntu is run or built. The Kubuntu Community will continue to decide and manage the direction of the KDE-based distro as they have done in the past.
- Linus Torvalds likes the Google Chrome OS Linux desktop
Torvalds, still annoyed at the direction that GNOME 3 has taken, has some nice things to say about Google’s new Chrome Aura Linux desktop interface.
- Programming languages not copyrightable, rules highest EU court
European Court of Justice leaves door open to reverse engineering of programs. The European Court of Justice ruled this past Wednesday morning that the functionality of a computer program and the programming language it is written in cannot be protected by copyright.
- FBI: We need wiretap-ready Web sites – now
The FBI is quietly pushing its plan to force surveillance backdoors on social networks, VoIP, and Web e-mail providers, and that the bureau is asking Internet companies not to oppose a law making those backdoors mandatory.
- Apple prepares upcoming Java updates for OS X
Java development for OS X is being handed to Oracle, and Apple is better preparing its in-house Java runtime for co-existance with Java 7 from Oracle.
- Flashback Trojan generates $10,000 per day for attackers
The attackers behind the Flashback Trojan for OS X may be making as much as $10,000 per day through a click fraud scheme involving Google AdWords, Symantec says. The Trojan intercepts all queries made specifically to Google’s search engine and will redirect the user to a page of the attacker’s choosing.
- Flashback: two thirds of all infected Macs run Snow Leopard
According to a report by Russian IT security firm Dr.Web, the Flashback malware has made itself particularly comfortable on systems running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard. The anti-virus specialist and discoverer of the currently active Flashback variant has recorded and evaluated the botnet’s communications.
- Firefox add-on exposes visited URLs
Sophos’s Graham Cluley reports that the ShowIP add-on for Mozilla’s Firefox browser sends the URLs of visited web pages to a web service called ip2info.org in unencrypted form. Apparently, the browser extension doesn’t restrict this behaviour to the normal browsing mode, it also transmits URLs that are accessed via HTTPS and any sites that are visited while in “Private Browsing” mode.
- Firefox WebSocket bug compromises Tor anonymity
The current versions of the Tor Browser Bundle (TBB) include a bug that makes it possible for information about visited web sites to leak out of the anonymising layer. On version 2.2.35-9 of TBB for Windows and version 2.2.35-10 for Mac OS X and Linux, the included version of Firefox does not send DNS requests over the Tor network if the browser is using the WebSocket protocol. This means that an attacker listening in on the connection will be able to identify the servers the user is visiting.
- Skype divulges user IP addresses
According to a blog post, a modified version of the Skype VoIP software can be used to easily find out the IP address of any valid Skype user. No contact has to be made with the user in order to get the information. This IP could then be used to find out other personal details about the user, such as their location or even their employer.
- Criminals use bogus invoices to set virus trap
Criminals are currently sending out a large number of bogus order confirmations that are designed make recipients open the attached malware. The attackers appear to be using stolen online store customer data to address email recipients by their real names.
- System-seizing Flash attacks prompt security fix from Adobe
The company releases a security update for Flash to address a flaw that’s being used by hackers to gain control of victims’ machines.
- New Office malware attack hunts Snow Leopard, not Lion
While the Office-based vulnerability that is used to exploit OS X does not work in Lion, it serves as a reminder to always keep all software up-to-date.
- Android malware now spreading through hacked Web sites
Malware is now being targeted to Android devices via compromised Web sites, a first in the mobile world, says security firm Lookout.
Random TinyHacker Links
Image by Asian Angel.
- Does Internet Explorer 9/64-bit deliver better performance?
This brief test compares the browsing performance of the normal 32-bit version of Internet Explorer 9 against the 64-bit version.
- A Review of the HTC Titan 2
If you are curious to learn more about the new HTC Titan 2, check out this brief review.
- Get 50% Off Awesome Windows 7 eBooks, DRM-free Until May 9
Awesome offer from O’Reilly Media and Microsoft Press on their Windows 7 titles. 50% off, no DRM eBooks in all formats. They even include great titles such as Network Your Computers & Devices Step by Step or Windows 7 Inside Out, Deluxe Edition.
- Yours, mine and yours
A fun chart detailing what constitutes true ownership when it comes to bed sharing cartography.
Super User Questions
- Fitting a Motherboard into a Computer Case
- PC won’t boot with USBs plugged in
- My computer turned itself on. Was I hacked?
- How can I get the MAC address from my stolen laptop so the police can trace it?
- Why do web browsers (like Firefox and IE) complain of insecure connection issues whenever they visit URLs from sites I link via https?
- Why does my Google Chrome show a random characters page and offer a download?
- Is it possible to “map network drive” for Google Drive so it appears as a usual Windows drive in Explorer?
- Google drive how to synchronize directories outside GooogleDrive directory?
- Removing all Facebook evidence from PC
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- HTG Explains: Do You Really Need Expensive Cables?
- 8 New Features in Ubuntu 12.04, Precise Pangolin
- The Best Free Text Editors for Windows, Linux, and Mac
- How to Free Up Space in Gmail: 5 Ways to Reclaim Space
- How To Use Camera Raw Tools to Develop Digital Photographs
- Desktop Fun: Rural Scenes Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- How to Arrange Shortcuts into Groups on the Windows 7 Quick Launch Bar
- How To Backup Your Text Messages to Your Gmail Account
- How to Quickly and Easily Send Files to Your SkyDrive in Windows
- How to Create Advanced Firewall Rules in the Windows Firewall
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Your Wireless Internet Signal Strength Based on Location [Humorous Diagram]
- Point-by-Point Comparison of Free Cloud Storage Services
- This is the Flight Simulator Setup You were Looking For [Image]
- Build an 8-Bit Computer from Scratch
- Old School Desktop Tools [Humorous Image]
- The History of Key Design [Gallery]
- Crystal Clear Winter Lake [Wallpaper]
- How Does Google Search Work? [Video]
- Peering Out from Dark and Mysterious Woods [Wallpaper]
- Case Mode Replicates the Aperture Science Computers from Portal
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- How to Thoroughly Clean Your Keyboard (Without Breaking Anything)
- How to Pick the Right Motherboard for Your Custom-Built PC
- How to Replace a Stereo Connector and Salvage Audio Cables and Headphones
- How to Use a Soldering Iron: A Beginner’s Guide
- How to Recover Windows and Software Keys from a Broken Computer
- Soluto Solves PC Crashes and Speeds Up Boot Time. Download It Now!
- Beginner Geek : Simple Tips to Reduce Disk Usage in Windows 7
- How to Protect Your Flash Drive Data with TrueCrypt
- How To Remotely Backup Your Data for Free with CrashPlan
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- High Hopes
- Old School Style Office Services
- An Obsession with Ergonomics
- Bad at Counting Cards
- It Should be a Faster Computer Now
- Where He Keeps His Pictures
- Mobile Advertising
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- Which Early Computer Had The Signatures Of Its Design Team Engraved On Its Case?
- What Are The Plastic Lumps Found On The Ends Of Computer Cables Called?
- What Is The Most Popular Cellphone In The World?
- What Movie Series Were The First Themed LEGO Building Sets Based Off Of?
- Which Video Game Had The Most Expensive Production Budget?
- Which Slain Star Wars Villain Was Resurrected As A Cave Dwelling Spider?
- Who Was The First To Use Radar To Detect Distant Objects?