Our first edition of WIG for 2013 is filled with news link coverage on topics such as six states have outlawed employer snooping on Facebook, Sony has filed a patent for tech to block used games, a father hired in-game “hitmen” to deter his son from playing video games, and more.
Magnifying glass clip art courtesy of Clker.com.
Weekly News Links
- Hotmail Suffers Outage as Outlook.com Transition Continues
Microsoft continues to encourage Hotmail users to make the switch to Outlook.com, but several users have reported issues when trying to sign into their accounts.
- Microsoft Temporarily Shuts Down Account Renaming Option
Users who want to change the email address they use to sign into their Microsoft email accounts are no longer allowed to do that, as the Redmond-based technology giant has temporarily disabled this option.
- Skype ‘temporarily’ disables People Hub in Windows Phone update
Integration of the handy People Hub feature, which collates contact info, was “causing issues with device stability.”
- Microsoft offers free month for Xbox Live users hit by outage
The Xbox Live Cloud Saved Games feature is back online, and Microsoft’s mea culpa includes a free month of service.
- Meet Samsung’s new Chromebox, same as the old Chromebox
Samsung has long been one of the staunchest supporters of Google’s cloud-focused Chrome OS. Chrome Story has uncovered the spec sheet for a revised version of the Chromebox. It uses the same 1.9GHz Sandy Bridge-based Intel Celeron, integrated graphics, 802.11n wireless, 16GB SSD, and 4GB of RAM as last year’s model, but comes in a redesigned all-white body that does away with the boxy silver-and-black version introduced back in May.
- Ubuntu Linux enters the smartphone wars
Instead of going after both the tablet and smartphone market, Canonical is bravely starting 2013 by trying to become a major player in the smartphone market with an upcoming version of Ubuntu Linux.
- The 5 things you need to know now about Ubuntu on phones
There’s a lot of confusion out there about what’s what with Ubuntu Linux on phones. Here’s some answers for you.
- KDE 4.10 postponed to next month
Shortly after releasing KDE 4.9.5, the developers of the desktop environment have announced that the release of the next version of the Software Collection will be delayed until next month.
- Spotify Update Brings Linux Users New Features First
Spotify are giving Linux users a taste of new features first with their latest Spotify for Linux Preview release. But before you get too excited these features aren’t anything particularly game-changing – that is unless you’re an avid Spotify user…
- MyPaint 1.1.0 brings new colour harmony and geometry tools
The developers of the open source painting application MyPaint have released version 1.1 of their software. MyPaint 1.1 includes new colour picking options, including the ability to import palettes from GIMP. New layer blending modes are also included and, with the introduction of basic geometry tools, MyPaint can now be used for more than just freehand drawing. You can view our ETC write-up of MyPaint here.
- Educational manual for Raspberry Pi released
Created by a team of teachers from Computing at School, the newly published Raspberry Pi Education Manual sets out to provide support for teachers and educators who want to use the Raspberry Pi in a teaching environment.
- Fix poor Retina MacBook Pro graphics performance
After applying the latest EFI firmware update, some users may experience lower graphics performance in demanding applications.
- Google shouldn’t forget history when blocking its competitors’ products
Is there any good reason Google is blocking Windows Phone users from accessing Google Maps via the Internet Explorer browser?
- Yahoo exits S. Korea, halts service
U.S. Internet company Yahoo Inc. halted its South Korean service this past Monday, pulling out of one of the world’s most wired countries after 15 years. Users who access Yahoo’s Korean Web site will be redirected to its U.S. home page and Yahoo Korea accounts will be deactivated starting Dec. 31, the company wrote on its Web site.
- Father Hires In-Game “Hitmen” To Deter Son From Playing
Sick and tired of his son playing video games and not listening to him, a father in China decided to take matters into his own hands… well, sort of. Instead of sending his son off to addiction camp or stripping him of internet and gaming rights, Mr. Feng chose to hire an online “hitman” to school his son.
Magnifying glass clip art courtesy of Clker.com.
- Foursquare to show users’ full names, share more data
- Browser vendors block ‘active attacks’ using fraudulent digital cert
Microsoft joined Google and Mozilla in withdrawing the trust of digital certificates used in man-in-the-middle/spoofing attacks against the *google.com domain.
- Microsoft’s next Patch Tuesday won’t resolve IE zero-day flaw
Next week’s patches will shore up holes in Windows and Office, but a permanent fix for the latest bug in Internet Explorer is still in the works.
- UI Redressing Mayhem: Identification Attacks And UI Redressing On Google Chrome
Luca De Fulgentis from NibbleSecurity has disclosed a series of UI Redressing issues that could be exploited in order to extract information that may help an attacker to identify a victim-user whenever anonymity is a critical requirement.
- SQL injection vulnerability hits all Ruby on Rails versions
The Ruby on Rails developers are warning of an SQL injection vulnerability that affects all current versions of the web framework. New releases of Ruby on Rails – 3.2.10, 3.1.9 and 3.0.18 – are now available. It is recommended that all users update immediately.
- Worth Reading: Smart, but insecure Samsung TVs
Millions of people have a computer in their living room – and don’t even realise it: modern TV sets include powerful processors that enable them to provide easy access to apps and web services. However, security expert Lee Seung-Jin discovered that big shortfalls appear to exist in terms of security.
- The snoop state’s still alive and well (Anybody notice?)
The new year starts on a sour note after Obama extends government wireless wiretapping for another five years — and the public reacts with a big yawn.
- Six states outlaw employer snooping on Facebook
The list of states that don’t put up with employers demanding employee’s social media passwords is growing — both California and Illinois laws went into effect on the first of this year.
- Pirated iOS apps without jailbreaking
The operators of Chinese warez portals have found a sly way of offering pirated iOS apps for Apple devices that haven’t been jailbroken.
- Sony files patent for tech to block used games
Technology giant submits application for “Electronic Content Processing System” that would tie individual game discs to one user account.
- 29C3: When USB memory sticks lie
USB memory sticks are thought to be among the less exciting hardware components – simple storage media that have many uses and function the same way in almost any hardware environment. That this isn’t actually true was demonstrated by Pwnie-winning hacker Travis Goodspeed at the 29th Chaos Communication Congress (29C3) in Hamburg.
- Your Cisco phone is listening to you: 29C3 talk on breaking Cisco phones
From the blog post: We demonstrate the reliable exploitation of all Cisco TNP phones via multiple vulnerabilities found in the CNU kernel. We demonstrate practical covert surveillance using constant, stealthy exfiltration of microphone data via a number of covert channels. We also demonstrate the worm-like propagation of our CNU malware, which can quickly compromise all vulnerable Cisco phones on the network. Blog post includes a video of the talk given.
- Outmaneuvered at Their Own Game, Antivirus Makers Struggle to Adapt
The antivirus industry has a dirty little secret: its products are often not very good at stopping viruses. Consumers and businesses spend billions of dollars every year on antivirus software. But these programs rarely, if ever, block freshly minted computer viruses, experts say, because the virus creators move too quickly.
- Security pros predict “major” cyber terror attack this year
A sampling of computer security professionals at the recent Information Systems Security Association conference found that a majority of them believe there will be a “major” cyber terrorism event within the next year. The survey, conducted by the network security and hardening vendor Ixia, found that of 105 attendees surveyed, 79 percent believe that there will be some sort of large-scale attack on the information technology powering some element of the US’s infrastructure—and utilities and financial institutions were the most likely targets.
- Lost+Found: A Trojan cracker, a brute force blockade and Bollywood
Too small for news, but too good to lose, Lost+Found is a compilation of the other stories that have been been on The H’s radar this week. In this edition: a trojan cracker, a brute force blockade to protect Windows Server, a zero day gang’s fingerprints, testing EMET, Bollywood’s answer to Hackers, and Hack.me.
Image by Akemi Iwaya.
- Add a Clock to the Windows 8 Start Screen
One of the little annoyances of the new Start screen is that it doesn’t show the time. You can fix that by installing an app. Here’s how.
- The last Calvin and Hobbes comic, Happy New Year !
A perfectly themed comic to start your new year off with.
- 2012: The Year in Pictures
An interactive slideshow from the New York Times.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- Is There Any Reason to Actually Shut Down Your Computer?
- Don’t Have a False Sense of Security: 5 Insecure Ways to Secure Your Wi-Fi
- 4 Ways to Outsmart Websites That Force You to Register
- The Top 25 How-To Geek Articles of 2012
- HTG Explains: Do You Need the Professional Edition of Windows 8?
- The Case Against Root: Why Android Devices Don’t Come Rooted
- How to Clean Up the List of Apps that Have Access to Your Accounts
- How to Access Windows Remote Desktop Over the Internet
- Desktop Fun: Sunsets Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- 5 Alternatives to Windows Media Center on Windows 8
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Why it Sucks to be the IT Person
- The Evolution of Desktop Workspace [Comic]
- Untangle Your Electronic Life: Cable and Cord Management Hacks Round-Up
- The Ultimate Bare-Bones Computer Tower [Humorous Image]
- You Know You are Addicted to Social Networking When this Happens [Comic]
- Dark Gray Circuit Board Background [Wallpaper]
- Minute Physics: Is It Better to Walk or Run in the Rain? [Video]
- The Noble Gases [Wallpaper]
- Introducing aBook [Comic]
- How the Kindle Paperwhite Works
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- How To Fix Shockwave Flash Crashes in Google Chrome
- Quick Tip: How To Delete Your Google Chrome Browser Sync Data
- How to Optimize Mozilla Firefox for Maximum Privacy
- How to Optimize Internet Explorer 9 for Maximum Privacy
- How to Optimize Opera for Maximum Privacy
- How to Optimize Safari for Maximum Privacy
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- The Wife and GPS are in Agreement
- Junior’s Twinkie Investments
- The Medicine is Ahead of its Time
- The New Brain Wave Technology
- Well Paid Salesman
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- What Year Was The Times Square Ball Upgraded To LEDs?
- What Kind Of Creature Was Named After Sci-Fi Writer Michael Crichton?
- Which Fictitious Drug Is Used By Researchers To Assess Participant Honesty?
- Which Country Has The Fastest Average Internet Connection Speed?
- To Visit Mount Doom In Real Life You Must Travel Where?
- The Densest Planet In Our Solar System Is?
- The Hairy Ball Theorem Helps Explain What?