Our first edition of WIG for November is filled with news link coverage on topics such as Gmail has become the #1 e-mail service in the world, Borderlands 2 video game characters are being killed off by a sabotage attack, Ubuntu 11.04 has reached its end of life, and more.
Weekly News Links
Image courtesy of Official Gmail Blog.
- Gmail rolls out new pop-out window for composing emails
Google changes the design of its email service, incorporates photos into contacts and changes how replies are displayed.
- Gmail edges Hotmail as world’s top e-mail service
No more disputes over which service is No. 1. ComScore says Google’s Gmail has taken the global lead over Microsoft’s Hotmail.
- Google Stopping Development of ‘Scratchpad’ Note Taking App
If you’re an avid user of Google’s note taking web-app ‘Scratchpad’ you’ll want to jot the following down: development on it is stopping.
- Mozilla: Browser ballot glitch cost 6-9 million Firefox downloads
Microsoft’s omission of the legally-required Browser Choice screen in Windows 7 SP 1 lost Mozilla approximately 6 to 9 million downloads of its open source Firefox web browser, according to a blog posting by Harvey Anderson, VP of Business Affairs and General Counsel at Mozilla.
- Poll shows tepid interest in Windows 8
A survey finds half of consumers haven’t even heard of Windows 8. Microsoft will spend over $1 billion in advertising to alter that condition.
- Windows 7 keeps growing in popularity over XP
More people continue to adopt Windows 7 as its market share rises over that of XP, according to data from Net Applications. Still, a new rival looms in the form of Windows 8.
- Ubuntu 11.04 reaches its end of life
Ubuntu Release Manager Kate Stewart has announced that Ubuntu 11.04, code-named “Natty Narwhal”, reached its end of life on 28 October. This means that no new updates, including security updates and critical fixes, will be made available for version 11.04 of Canonical’s Linux distribution.
- Ubuntu 13.04: Alpha Releases Dropped, Only One Beta Milestone
For Ubuntu 13.04, all alphas and the first beta release have been dropped from the release schedule, so Raring Ringtail will have only one beta version and obviously, the final stable release.
- Ubuntu Windows Installer Gets a Second Chance at Ubuntu Developer Summit
Wubi is a tool made by Canonical and it’s the Ubuntu Windows Installer. It wasn’t all that popular and there were even rumors about discontinuing it, but now it seems that it could be updated and improved.
- Ubuntu 14.04 Will Come to Phones, TVs and Tablets
Canonical will try to bring Ubuntu 14.04 LTS to tablets, TVs and mobile phones.
- Ubuntu Is Getting Ready for Widgets
According to phoronix.com, Ubuntu 13.04 will be the first to see the introduction of a widget mechanism, and full on widgets will probably be implemented properly in Ubuntu 13.10.
- SkyDrive pictures now shows up in-line on Twitter
SkyDrive photos that you share to Twitter now feature an in-line preview, allowing your followers to quickly see a small thumbnail preview of the photo.
- Report: Twitter taking on Instagram with its own photo filters
Twitter will soon begin offering photo filters as part of its mobile apps in a bid to let users bypass Instagram, according to The New York Times.
- Google now includes Amber alerts for missing children
The company’s search and maps products will include the alerts for nearby users who may be able to help.
- Good riddance: Halo 4 creators threaten permabans for sexist comments
Halo 4 players who make sexist or discriminatory comments while playing the game on Xbox Live will receive a lifetime ban as punishment, according to an interview with the game’s creators on Gamespot. While discrimination has always been frowned upon and punishable by temporary or permanent bans from the service, the creators behind Halo 4 seem determined to squelch this kind of harassment with a zero-tolerance policy.
- Firefox to force secure connections for selected domains
Mozilla introduced a pre-loaded list of domains for Firefox that only can be connected to securely in order to help protect the privacy and security of users. Firefox Beta 17 is available for download here.
- For sale: Windows 8 zero-day vulnerability
French security company Vupen is selling a vulnerability in Microsoft’s latest operation system and browser.
- Phishing email hijacks Windows 8 launch
A new round of emails tries to dupe unsuspecting users to “update” to Windows 8 for free.
- Malware hijacks your email, sends death threats
A new species of malware found in Japan frames you for sending death threats.
- Malware hides behind the mouse
Malware samples use increasingly refined trickery to avoid being detected by automated threat analysis systems. Anti-virus company Symantec reports that it has found a trojan which attaches its malicious code to the routines for handling mouse events. Since nobody moves the mouse in an automated threat analysis system, the code will remain inactive, and the malware undetected.
- Trojan bargain with Windows 8 support
While some anti-virus vendors have problems with Microsoft’s newest operating system, the cybercrime community has already jumped on the Windows 8 train. For example, on a Google-hosted site, for €40, a “Remote Administration Tool” called Xtreme RAT, which is already Windows-8-compatible, is available with free updates included.
- Misconfigured Apache sites expose user passwords, other private data
More than 2,000 websites—some operated by Fortune 500 companies, game sites, and retail outlets—are exposing system status information that can be used by attackers to compromise Web servers or customer accounts, a recent research project found.
- Is new malware Jacksbot just starting to rear its head?
A new Java-based malware package has been found that has the potential to affect multiple platforms.
- Lost+Found: Hackers – false, scapegoats, captchas and apps
Too short for news, too good to lose; Lost+Found is a roundup of useful security news. In this edition, there’s a false hacker alert, a hacker scapegoat, hacking CAPTCHAs and hacking apps on a mobile device, restyled government trojans, advice on identity and defective Wi-Fi.
- For the first time ever, Microsoft is not a Kaspersky top-10 security vulnerability
Security researcher and software vendor Kaspersky Lab on Friday released its quarterly malware report for the third quarter of 2012, and for the first time in the history of the report, not a single Microsoft product had a vulnerability in the top ten vulnerabilities list.
- Facebook tries cloaking probe into data leak involving 1 million accounts
Facebook officials told a blogger to keep their discussions with him private as they investigate claims he acquired names and e-mail addresses belonging almost one million account holders for $5 through a publicly available service online.
- Speculation over Facebook access via Google index
According to a report on HackerNews, until recently a special Google search query returned numerous Facebook links permitting access to other users’ accounts. The links contain a token which automatically logs into someone else’s Facebook account. The search results are also reported to have contained links providing access to other users’ email addresses.
- Borderlands 2 characters killed off by virally spreading sabotage attack
A bug in the popular Borderlands 2 video game is causing grief for some Xbox 360 players after attackers unleashed a virally spreading exploit that can permanently kill off characters.
- Born to be breached: the worst passwords are still the most common
Despite the many, many cautionary tales we hear every day of e-mail, social media, and other Internet accounts being compromised, some people still haven’t heeded the warnings about using easily-guessed passwords. And it isn’t just the non-technical masses that are leaving themselves vulnerable.
- Prevent Web Attacks Using Input Sanitization
What do three of the five most common website attacks have in common? Yes, a lack of input sanitization. Find out why it’s important and what to do about it.
- Easily Download Sports Schedules and Events to Outlook
Calendar Updates is a site we’ve used for many years to download whole sports schedules and individual events. Downloads are in .ics format and work seamlessly in all versions of Outlook. Most events are free to download, most schedules are not, but for a few dollars you can’t beat the convenience and the site’s support is first rate.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- 6 Start Menu Replacements for Windows 8
- The Best Free Tools for Creating a Bootable Windows or Linux USB Drive
- Why Aren’t All Applications Portable?
- How To Play DVDs on Windows 8
- Desktop Fun: Dragons Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- How to Create a Custom Refresh Image in Windows 8
- How Do You Calculate Processor Speed on Multi-core Processors?
- What You Said: Desktop vs. Web-based Email Clients
- Ask the Readers: Do You Use a Desktop Email Client?
- How To Disable the Charms Bar and Switcher Hot Corners in Windows 8
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Password Security at its Finest [Humorous Image]
- A Dozen USB Chargers Analyzed; Or: Beware the Knockoffs
- Google Launches Hurricane Sandy Crisis Map
- Celebration Time at WinZip Headquarters [Comic]
- Old School Smartphone [Humorous Image]
- The Messiest Home Offices Ever! [Image Collection]
- How to Store the Contents of Your Office ‘Zip File’ Style [Humorous Image]
- Create Awesome Map-Based Wallpapers for Your Desktop with ‘Map –> Image’
- The Moon Illusion Explained [Video]
- Fold a Papercraft Monster to Decorate Your Desk for Halloween
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- How to Reset Your Forgotten Windows Password the Easy Way
- How to Reset Your Windows Password Without an Install CD
- HTG Explains: When Do You Need to Update Your Drivers?
- HTG Explains: Do You Really Need to Defrag Your PC?
- What Are These desktop.ini Files I Keep Seeing?
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- Old School Remote Control
- The Dangers of Brain Hacking
- Forget the Angst
- What Twitter Vocabulary may Indicate
- The Broken Keyboard
- Comparative Denseness
- Better with IT than with Magic
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- Who Coined The Term “Cyberspace”?
- What Con Was The Precursor To The Modern Nigerian Email Scam?
- Which Console Was The First To Offer 16-Bit Games?
- The Killer In 1978′s Horror Hit Halloween Wore A Mask Of Which Sci-Fi Actor?
- How Do Astronauts Cast Their Votes From Space?
- Standardized Time Keeping Was Brought About By The Advent Of What?
- What Late 1990s Alternate Time Keeping Method Failed To Catch On?