This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as how the malware on Google Play went undiscovered for weeks, there may not be a full retail version of Windows 8 made available, interest in Windows 8 pre-releases has been lower than for Windows 7 pre-releases, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Even (some) Mozilla devs don’t like Firefox’s rapid-release cycle
Mozilla’s move to a rapid release process has been controversial. The company basically switched from a “when it is done or necessary” approach to a release cycle that would see a new major version release of the browser every six weeks, regardless of new features, improvements, or fixes included in that release.
- Firefox: Can this Web browser be saved?
Usage is down, users are unhappy, and a former developer has no kind words for the once popular number two Web browser. Can we hope for a Firefox revival?
- Firefox 15 debugger to go into beta next week
Among the enhancements queued up by Mozilla in the next weeks for the new Firefox beta will be a new debugger for web applications.
- Firefox plans to add a social API
The Firefox team at Mozilla has published details of a planned new social API for the browser; it is currently being developed and should be included in development versions of the software soon.
- Google puts Flash plugin in a more secure browser sandbox
As proven by the CanSecWest Pwn2Own hacks, the Flash Player plugin that ships with Google Chrome is a major weak spot that has been targeted by attackers. Not anymore.
- Chrome 21 beta improves camera and microphone support
With the latest beta release of Chrome, web applications can now directly access a local system’s camera and microphone. The new functionality has appeared with the publication of Chrome 21 in Chrome’s Beta Channel for testing.
- Chrome to drop Mac OS X 10.5 support
Those with the 2007-era version of Apple’s operating system won’t be able to use a new version of Chrome due in three months. Also coming to the browser: support for Webcams and gamepads
- How not using Internet Explorer put me out of touch and cost me dearly
It’s never good to scare away your customers. It’s even worse if you don’t realize you’re doing it.
- Interest in Pre-Release Versions Lower for Windows 8 than for Windows 7
Windows 8, the next-generation operating system from Microsoft, is currently available in a pre-release flavor for people all around the world to take it for a spin for free. However, it appears that things have not work as planned for Windows 8, and that interest in the pre-release flavors of the operating system has been lower than for Windows 7.
- Windows 8: The end of the full retail version?
If Microsoft no longer sells full retail versions of Windows starting with Windows 8, as rumored, don’t expect many tears to be shed.
- Windows 8 to RTM in August, go on sale in October, Microsoft confirms
Windows 8 will be released to manufacturing the first week of August, and the first PCs running the operating system will go on sale in late October, Microsoft confirmed today.
- Windows 8 Mail leaves users pining for the desktop—or even their phones
Metro Mail has the skeleton of a good client, but hasn’t been fleshed out. When the Windows 8 Consumer Preview landed at the end of February, the Metro-style e-mail client seemed like one of the strongest tools among a sparse and limited set of applications.
- Older 64-bit Macs out of the picture for Mountain Lion
While at first speculated as a limit for testing, Apple has officially said that older Macs will not be able to run its upcoming OS.
- E17 developers set sights on an official release
It appears that a stable release of the E17 desktop interface may finally be on its way, despite having been beaten to release by Duke Nukem Forever.
- Digsby IM/Email/Social app for Windows to be open sourced
The developers of Digsby, an instant messaging, email and social networking application for Windows, have announced that they will be open sourcing the application.
- Why Google Glass is the next frontier for developers
Google Glass has the potential to succeed the Facebook Platform and the iOS App Store as the next great frontier for developers.
- Microsoft vows hardware fight with Apple
Microsoft’s CEO did not mince words when asked about how he is going to take on Apple in the coming years, according to a CRN interview.
- Will Google take to the streets with its own retail stores?
Google is establishing some “zones” in Best Buy and a few other outlets, buy it may end up being compelled to follow Apple and Microsoft with a chain of retail stores worldwide.
- How Google products go from creepy to cool
In the psychological evolution of Google products for people who rely on them every day, convenience regularly trumps privacy concerns. Are you cool with that?
- Kogan.com No Longer Appears In Bing Search After IE 7 Tax
Recently Australian online shopping portal Kogan.com started imposing an extra 6.8% tax on users who are using Internet Explorer 7 or below to make their purchases. Termed the “Internet Explorer Tax”, kogan.com hoped that this will force users to upgrade from the outdated browser and was applauded by many. There was a new twist this past Monday as Kogan.com has disappeared from the Microsoft owned Bing search results.
Image courtesy of F-Secure Weblog.
- Cross-platform Trojan attacks Windows, Intel Macs, Linux
A second cross-platform Trojan downloader has been discovered that detects if you’re running Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux, and then downloads the corresponding malware for your platform. Unlike the first one, which supported PowerPC Macs, this one does Intel x86 Macs.
- Tumblr haunted by stored (persistent) XSS flaw
Tumblr users are sitting ducks for cookie theft, malicious site redirection and script execution attacks.
- Warning: Don’t forget about meeting tomorrow (fake e-mail)
If you receive an e-mail reminding you of a meeting tomorrow and asking you not to forget the corresponding report, which is convenient attached, make sure to ignore it. The attached file is not a report. It is malware.
- Instagram vulnerability: Anyone can add you, see your photos
A new security flaw has been discovered in Instagram that allows a perpetrator to add anyone as a friend and see their private photos and profile information. Facebook has been contacted. While we wait for an explanation and/or a fix, please be wary of what you upload to the service.
- Malware went undiscovered for weeks on Google Play
Breaking the malware into separate, staged payloads allowed the Trojan’s authors to avoid detection by Google’s automated screening process.
- Microsoft fix kills Windows Gadgets, warns it could lead to PC hijack
Microsoft has warned that a Gadgets feature included in Vista and later versions of Windows could allow attackers to hijack end-user machines and has taken the unusual step of issuing a temporary update that allows it to be completely disabled.
- Microsoft kills more code-signing certs to stop Flame-like attacks
Microsoft has revoked more than two dozen digital certificates used to prove its wares are genuine after discovering some of them could be subject to the same types of attacks orchestrated by the designers of the Flame espionage malware.
- Defects leave critical military, industrial infrastructure open to hacks
Security researchers have blown the whistle on serious vulnerabilities in an Internet-connected system used by the US military, hospitals, and private industry to control boilers, air-conditioners, security alarms, and other critical industrial equipment.
- Former Pentagon analyst: China has backdoors to 80% of telecoms
A former Pentagon analyst reports the Chinese government has “pervasive access” to about 80 percent of the world’s communications, and it is looking currently to nail down the remaining 20 percent. Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE Corporation are reportedly to blame for the industrial espionage.
- Android malware’s dirty secret: Repackaging of legit apps
Security researchers at North Carolina State University believe Google should invest in repackaging detection to get a handle on malware targeting the Android platform.
- Nation-state hackers attack small businesses, too
Small businesses have their hands full these days in light of a down economy, tightening budgets and the steepening pace of business, but with nation-state hacks front and center in the threatscape, should you worry about those, too, or are you (and your customers) safe?
- Smart TVs new Web threat frontier
Lack of security measures such as antivirus and intrusion detection system means Internet-connected TVs susceptible to online scams and bot campaigns too, security watchers warn.
- Will your Internet provider be spying on you?
This month, if everything goes according to schedule, your Internet service provider may begin monitoring your account, just to make sure you aren’t doing anything wrong with it — like sharing copyrighted movie or music files.
- Cell carriers see dramatic increase in surveillance requests
Wireless companies have seen double-digit percentage increases in law-enforcement requests for subscriber information for each the past five years, according to a survey detailed by the New York Times
- Banking on a Live CD
Brian Krebs shares advice on the best way to conduct your online banking in safety.
- Yahoo gives all clear after hack attack
Company blames hack on contributor network, says compromised information was provided by writers who joined Associated Content prior to May 2010.
- Android Forums hacked: 1 million user credentials stolen
Phandroid’s AndroidForums.com has been hacked. The database that powers the site was compromised and more than 1 million user account details were stolen. If you use the forum, make sure to change your password asap.
- Hackers strike again, hit Nvidia’s developer zone
Nvidia says close to 400,000 accounts may have been hit, and recommends users change their passwords.
- Thousands of GMX accounts compromised to send spam
The cyber attack on users of GMX, a German web services provider, which was discovered on Wednesday, is potentially huge, with the company telling The H’s associates at heise Security that the spammers have been able to sign in to more than 300,000 accounts.
- Formspring resets millions of passwords amid breach
Formspring has reset all of its user passwords, following a breach of its systems. Users of the popular question-and-answer site Formspring have received a brief email stating that “for security reasons”, their password has been disabled, and they will need to reset it when they log back in.
Random TinyHacker Links
- Two books for geeks – One giveaway
7 Tutorials is three years old. If you are following us for some time, you already know that we like to celebrate such milestones and share the joy with our readers. This year we have some special prizes for all the geeks reading us: two awesome non-technology books to keep you fit and healthy. Today is the last day to enter, so hurry on over!
- 13 Days and Counting, Download NBC’s Official Olympic Media Guide
Chock full of interesting facts, figures and bio’s for the venue hosts. 182 pages, in .pdf
- Infographic: Interesting Stats about the SEO Industry
How big is the SEO Industry on the Internet? – An infographic by the team at BlueCaribu.
- Clever Viral Video, Filmmaker Talks to Himself
A 32 year old man edits together a video conversation with himself using video footage he recorded at the age of 12.
Super User Questions
- Why is the Internet said to be an untrusted network?
- How to know if your computer is hit by a dnschanger virus?
- Are drivers part of the operating systems?
- Is there a windows console emulator?
- When renaming files in windows 7, prevent explorer from instantly resorting the list (and losing your place)
- List all installed software on PC
- Splitting a PDF document in two without purchasing a PDF editing tool
- How do I install Windows 7 on an Apple laptop?
- Does full-disk encryption on SSD drive reduce its lifetime?
- How do I prepare Windows 7 for a graphics card update?
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- HTG Explains: Do You Really Need to Safely Remove USB Sticks?
- How to Play Classic Arcade Games On Your PC
- The Best Websites for Finding, Downloading, Borrowing, Renting, and Purchasing eBooks
- How to Download Hulu Videos to Your PC for Offline Viewing
- How to Clean Up Your Messy Windows Context Menu with CCleaner
- Beginner: How to Find What Codecs You Need to Play Any Media File
- Desktop Fun: Forests Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- 11 Ubuntu One Features You May Not Be Aware Of
- How to Map Network Drives From the Command Prompt in Windows
- 7 Quick Tricks for Ubuntu and Other Linux Desktops
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- NASA Releases Highest Resolution Photo of Mars Ever Seen
- The Evolution of Windows Compared to the Evolution of Hand Tools [Humorous Image]
- I Have Put This Off for Far too Long [Humorous Image]
- Star Trek Next Generation – LCARS Science Console Screen [Wallpaper]
- AirMech Is a Free and Fun Real-Time Strategy/Shooter Mashup
- 453,000 Yahoo Logins Compromised; Time for a Password Refresh
- Sleek DIY Desk Includes Hidden Wires, Analog Meters, and Subtle LED Notifications
- The World of ‘Game of Thrones’ in Minecraft [Image Gallery]
- They Only Had a Small Amount of Error Reports Queued Up [Humorous Image]
- The Science Behind Salty Airline Food
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- Beginner Photoshop: Black and White and Red Photo Effect in Ten Seconds
- How to Make Photos Look Like Pencil Drawings in About One Minute
- Stupid Photoshop Tricks: How To Make an Invisibility Cloak
- Create Instagram Style Photo Effects with GIMP or Photoshop
- How to Use EXIF Data to Learn From Master Photographers
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- What He Really Meant by ‘Being Driven’
- Job Creation and Automation
- Googling Your Medical Condition at Work
- Advances in Cotton Candy Technology
- Even Make-Believe Friends can be Undependable
- He Ruined Playing Clint Eastwood Movies on His Computer
- An Environmentally Friendly Website
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- Electronic Resistors Are Commonly Distinguished With What Markings?
- Which World Leader Kidnapped A Filmmaker To Remake Godzilla?
- Which Beloved Summer Time Toy Was Invented By A Rocket Scientist?
- Which Hollywood Blockbuster Does NASA Show To Potential Hires?
- What Geeky Treat Outlasted The Show It Was Promoting By Over A Decade?
- What Was The First Rover To Land On A Celestial Body?
- Which Tech Company Once Consumed 100% Of The World’s CD Production Capabilities?