This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link coverage on topics such as Mozilla Firefox turns 8 and Android turns 5, Windows (File) Explorer is the app that crashes most on Windows 8, Classic Mode (Session) will be dropped from GNOME 3.8, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Mozilla Firefox turns 8
- How Firefox’s Developer Toolbar is useful to regular users
The Firefox Developer Toolbar is a new tool that landed last month in the stable version of the web browser. It is a console that enables you to issue commands right from the page you are on, and while it has been designed with developers in mind, it makes available features that regular Firefox users can utilize as well.
- Opera, Firefox Lose Millions of Users Due to Microsoft’s IE Fiasco
While the Redmond-based technology company is currently investigated by the European Union and could face a new fine after it failed to provide users with a browser choice screen, the other companies in this market come out and attack Microsoft.
- Windows 8 users now getting ‘how-to’ e-mails from Microsoft
People who set up a Windows 8 PC or tablet using a Microsoft account will now receive two e-mails with tips and tricks on using the new OS.
- Windows 8 may be ‘safer’, but you’re still not buying it
The promise of a more secure operating system may be an enticing lure, but consumers aren’t biting.
- Microsoft Confirms Surface Keyboard Issue, to Replace All Broken Units
Reports of splitting Surface Touch Cover keep coming, but the Redmond-based technology giant Microsoft has finally confirmed that this is a problem affecting a “limited” number of units.
- HP Won’t Allow Windows 8 Users to Switch Back to Windows 7
HP is really keen to convince users that Windows 8 deserves a chance, so the company won’t allow those who purchase a computer running Microsoft’s latest operating system to switch back to Windows 7.
- Windows 7 Is Five Times More Popular Than Windows 8 in Post-Release Era
Microsoft claims it has already sold a total of 4 million Windows 8 upgrades and the new OS enjoys a terrific success, but statistics demonstrate otherwise.
- No DirectX 11.1 for Windows 7 Users
Windows 8 comes with a factory-installed version of DirectX 11.11, the latest version of the 3D graphics API that features plenty of improvements, including stereoscopic 3D support. While this could pretty much improve the viewing experience of any game or application designed for new-generation graphic cards from NVIDIA and AMD, it appears that DirectX 11.1 will remain a piece of software exclusively available on Windows 8 platforms.
- Windows Explorer Is the App That Crashes the Most on Windows 8
Windows 8 was developed to be a more stable and faster version of the popular Windows operating system, but a report released by Soluto claims the new Microsoft OS still crashes. A lot, that is.
- Microsoft’s aggressive grand plan for merging Skype and Messenger takes shape
The Skype team is planning to replace the Messenger instant-messaging client with Skype messaging a lot sooner than many expected.
- Microsoft Office for iOS, Android to have Office 365 subscription tie-in: Report
The rumors of Microsoft porting Office to iOS and Android continue to rage. And there could be an Office 365 subscription connection if a new report is correct.
- Fallback Mode (Classic Session) To Be Dropped From GNOME 3.8
The fallback mode, also known as the classic GNOME session, will no longer be included starting with GNOME 3.8, the next stable GNOME release.
- Five years of Android by the numbers
The Android operating system celebrates its fifth birthday with half a billion activations and counting on a “Galaxy” of different devices.
- Google rolls out new search page look, moves navi bar
The Web giant rolls out its new search page layout, which turns the navigational tools horizontal.
- Tweet failures plaguing Twitter’s official apps
Many users are reporting problems with Twitter’s official apps. Maybe the “fail whale” has made a return.
- Instagram gets user profiles for the Web
The all mobile photo-sharing network will now have a Web counterpart that will look familiar to Facebook users, but you still won’t be able to upload photos through your desktop.
- FTC to apply pressure on Do Not Track
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC ) is planning on increasing the pressure of the participants in the W3C standardisation process for the Do Not Track (DNT) header. “If by the end of the year or early next year, we haven’t seen a real Do Not Track option for consumers, I suspect the commission will go back and think about whether we want to endorse legislation” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz.
- Microsoft’s new translation tech speaks Chinese — in your own voice
Not only that, but it’s more accurate as well — and it’s only going to get better, says Microsoft’s research chief, Rick Rashid.
- “I am no man”: For Zelda-playing daughter, dad gives Link a sex change
Why did small business owner and gamer dad Mike Hoye spend the last few weeks hand-tweaking the text in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker so that the main character was referred to as a girl instead of a boy? As he put it, “I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero.” Hoye has made the changes available as a patch to the Wind Waker .GCM file, which must be applied using a tool called “xdelta3,”.
- Microsoft warns of first critical Windows 8, RT security flaws
Plug everything in and prepare the systems: Patch Tuesday is coming. Microsoft will release six security patches, four of them considered ‘critical’ for Windows 8, and Surface-ready Windows RT operating systems.
- Adobe, Microsoft sync up patch schedule in overdue move
Better late than never. Adobe will follow Microsoft’s Patch Tuesday schedule to bring some normalcy to the patching process.
- Experts Warn of Zero-Day Exploit for Adobe Reader
Software vendor Adobe says it is investigating claims that instructions for exploiting a previously unknown critical security hole in the latest versions of its widely-used PDF Reader software are being sold in the cybercriminal underground.
- Malware Steals Image Files from Systems
From the blog post: It appears that information theft has taken a new form: we’ve found a malware that steals image files from all drives of an affected system and then sends them to a remote FTP server.
- Security issue discovered in TOR client
In an analysis of the TOR source code, software developer Andrey Karpov found that the anonymisation software uses a function called memset() to delete cache data, which is not supported by all compilers. In some cases, that can cause the TOR client to leave confidential data like passwords in the system memory when it is closed.
- Beware: Fake airline Instagram accounts promise free flights
Instagram accounts for American Airlines, Delta Airlines, United Airlines, and JetBlue are promising free flights to people who follow and share them. The only problem is they aren’t real.
- Malware disguised as an MMS message
Cyber criminals are currently spreading malware by sending a large number of email messages purporting to be from Vodafone’s MMS gateway. These emails have the subject “You have received a new message” and claim that the recipient has been sent a picture message over MMS from a Vodafone customer.
- Cybercriminals start spamvertising Xmas themed scams and malware campaigns
Security researchers from Symantec are warning about a recently intercepted flood of Xmas themed malicious and fraudulent campaigns.
- If you are still running Android 2.3, watch out for the bad guys!
Kaspersky’s recent numbers show the Gingerbread release, specifically version 2.3.6, is the most highly targeted Android OS for malware developers, and Trojan SMS leads the way.
- Researcher advises against use of Sophos antivirus on critical systems
Antivirus provider Sophos has fixed a variety of dangerous defects in its products that were discovered by a security researcher who is recommending many customers reconsider their decision to rely on the company.
- Facebook turns off login-by-email feature after links found online
The social network has temporarily turned off a feature that let people log into their accounts simply by clicking a link in an email, after some emails containing such links were found online.
- Firefox to make life harder for HTTPS snoopers
Mozilla has equipped its latest Firefox beta, 17, with a list of domains for which the browser must use HTTPS encryption for all communications. The feature is designed to prevent man-in-the-middle attackers from reading and manipulating plain text data traffic when particularly sensitive pages are accessed. The list complements the Strict Transport Security (HSTS) HTTP header extension that enables servers to force browsers to establish HTTPS connections only.
- 1.7M mobile apps analyzed: Users tracked and put at risk, and it’s unjustified
Network security company Juniper Networks investigated 1.7 million mobile apps. It concluded that free apps cost us our privacy, expose us unnecessarily, and most app permissions are unjustified.
- How hackers scrape RAM to circumvent encryption
Encryption might protect data while in transit and at rest, but most organisations don’t realise that while data is being processed, it’s still vulnerable, according to Verizon.
- 5 security issues to watch in Win 8
Emerging fake antivirus, phishing scams, and signature-based security vulnerabilities are some issues identified on the latest Microsoft operating system.
- Users take their time over Java and Flash updates
Of the computers studied by Kaspersky in the third quarter, 35 per cent suffered from a Java vulnerability and 19 per cent from a vulnerability in an Adobe product. Comparing Kaspersky’s quarterly security reports from 2010 to 2012 shows that the Oracle and Adobe update agents are not good enough at getting their users to carry out updates.
- Mushrooming ransomware now extorts $5 million a year
Malware that disables computers and demands that hefty cash payments be paid to purported law-enforcement agencies before the machines are restored is extorting as much as $5 million from end-user victims, researchers said.
- Cyberheists ‘A Helluva Wake-up Call’ to Small Biz
The $180,000 robbery took the building security and maintenance system installer Primary Systems Inc. by complete surprise. More than two-dozen people helped to steal funds from the company’s coffers in an overnight heist in May 2012, but none of the perpetrators were ever caught on video. Rather, a single virus-laden email that an employee clicked on let the attackers open a digital backdoor, exposing security weaknesses that unfortunately persist between many banks and their corporate customers.
- The Russian underground economy has democratized cybercrim
If you want to buy a botnet, it’ll cost you somewhere in the region of $700. If you just want to hire someone else’s for an hour, though, it can cost as little as $2—that’s long enough to take down, say, a call center, if that’s what you were in the mood for. Maybe you’d like to spy on an ex—for $350 you can purchase a trojan that lets you see all their incoming and outgoing texts. Or maybe you’re just in the market for some good, old-fashioned spamming—it’ll only cost you $10 for a million e-mails.
- This Kinect Patent Is Terrifying, Wants To Charge You For License Violation
A patent filed by Microsoft last year, but only made public last week, wants to turn your Xbox 360′s Kinect into an instrument via which large companies can monitor your media usage and, if you’re found to be in violation of something, charge you for it.
- Meet the new File Explorer in Windows 8
A detailed presentation of the File Explorer feature in Windows 8 and all it has to offer.
- Enter to win a Kaspersky Internet Security 2013 License
The folks from Kasperky and 7 Tutorials have organized a giveaway to celebrate the redesign of 7 Tutorials. If you want a chance to win one of the five licenses available, then check out this post.
- Office Timeline 2012 [Video]
This little tool allows you to make beautiful Gantt charts, timelines, and project schedules inside Microsoft PowerPoint.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- HTG Explains: Why It’s Good That Your Computer’s RAM Is Full
- 10 Awesome Improvements For Desktop Users in Windows 8
- How To Uninstall Your Windows Product Key Before You Sell Your PC
- 6 Ways Windows 8 Is More Secure Than Windows 7
- Does Hard Drive Orientation Affect Its Lifespan?
- How To Run Chrome OS in VirtualBox and Try Out Chrome OS Before Buying a Chromebook
- 5 Ways To Try Out and Install Ubuntu On Your Computer
- Why Are We Still Using CPUs Instead of GPUs?
- The Best Free Alternatives to the Windows Task Manager
- HTG Explains: What’s the Difference Between CC and BCC When Sending an Email?
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Just Stop It Adobe! Now!!! [Comic]
- The Safest Work Area Ever! [Humorous Image]
- Daylight Saving Time Visualized
- Must Keep the Power Flowing No Matter What! [Humorous Image]
- The Island of Lost Apple Products
- The Evolution of Computer Keyboards
- Toolbar Cleaner Strips Toolbars, Add-ons, and Browser Helper Objects
- Watched Over by the Stars Above [Wallpaper]
- Inside the Guts of a DSLR
- The Danger of Owning a Smartphone [Comic]
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- How To Make Your Family Look Like They’re In A Michael Bay Movie
- Stupid Geek Tricks: How To Turn Images And Photos Into Sound Files
- 10 Quick Tips to Get the Most from Microsoft Office
- How to Run Android Apps on Your Desktop the Easy Way
- 20 of the Best Stupid Geek Tricks to Impress Your Friends
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- Sponsored Tweets
- Grading Methodology
- She Keeps Changing the Game
- Bubba Can Fix It
- The Problem with the Doughnuts
- Blind Faith
- There is Cheap and Then There is Ultra-Cheap
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- Which Punctuation Mark Didn’t Have A Dedicated Key Until The 1970s?
- What Space Mission Was The First To Visit Two Planets?
- Which Sci-Fi Show Was Originally Intended To Be An Educational Family Show?
- Prior To The Launch Of Google’s Email Service, Who Did Gmail.com Service?
- Wi-Fi Derives Its Name From What Source?
- Early 2D Video Game Characters Were Known As What?
- Which Computer Was The First To Come Standard With A Hard Drive?