Our last edition of WIG for February is filled with news link coverage on topics such as identity fraud is on the rise in the U.S., a security flaw let a hacker access any Facebook profile, the PlayStation 4 will play used games, and more.
Pirate flag clipart courtesy of Clker.com.
Weekly News Links
Image courtesy of Google.
- Google’s Chromebook Pixel elevates Chrome OS ambitions
The browser-based Chrome OS now has a high-end home: a refined $1,299 laptop with a high-resolution touch screen. It paves the way for Chrome OS tablets, too.
- Chrome launcher for offline apps comes to Windows
Google’s Chrome ‘app launcher’ for offline browser apps is coming to Windows, with Mac and Linux to follow in due course.
- Chrome 25 arrives with speech recognition
- Firefox 19 brings PDF viewer and 4 critical security fixes
- Firefox video support expanding with WebRTC and H.264
Going against its initial hopes, Mozilla starts adding support for the patent-encumbered H.264 video compression standard. Perhaps it’ll get revenge through WebRTC.
- Opera cuts staff in WebKit-related restructuring
The Norwegian browser maker cut 91 jobs, some through a voluntary severance program, as part of its embrace of the open-source WebKit browser engine also used in Apple Safari and Google Chrome.
- Microsoft moves Outlook.com out of preview
Six months after it first unveiled Outlook.com, Microsoft will start phasing out its Hotmail and begin moving users over to its new product.
- Microsoft’s Hotmail phase-out: What’s a user to do?
Microsoft is moving all of its Hotmail users to Outlook.com by this summer. Here’s what the hundreds of millions still using Hotmail need to know about the transition.
- Microsoft quietly raises price of Office for Mac by 17 percent
In addition to price hike, the software giant has quit selling multi-license packages that allowed customers to buy extra copies at a discount.
- Can Microsoft bring BI to the masses if the Excel 2013 masses can’t get BI?
Microsoft is restricting which of its Office 2013 SKUs will include access to its PowerPivot data-analytics add-in, which is a key component of the company’s business-intelligence platform.
- First Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro Bug Found
While Microsoft is still struggling to cope with the Surface Pro 128 GB shortage, plenty of early buyers complain about what seems to be the first bug spotted on the device. According to a post on the Microsoft support forums, the Surface pen stops working all of a sudden, with an unofficial workaround suggesting a rather painful fix.
- Skype for Windows to Receive Major Update in April
Microsoft officially released the video messaging option for Skype this past week, but this new feature is only available for iOS, Android and Mac platforms, while the Windows client is expected to get it at a later time.
- iOS 6.1.2 fixes Exchange battery-drain bug
A small update promises to fix a bug affecting battery-life performance on some iOS devices due to a bug with Microsoft’s Exchange technology.
- Are Android smartphones finally poised to conquer the enterprise?
Android has long ruled the consumer smartphone market – but can it make an impact on the business market too?
- Ubuntu touch preview can now be installed on Nexus phones, tablets
The promised Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview, the first version of Ubuntu ready for phones and tablets, is now available for download. Canonical has provided operating system images for various types of Nexus devices, along with instructions for installing them.
- JavaFX 3D Early Access now available
Oracle has announced that the first public build of JavaFX 8 with official support for 3D mesh, 3D camera and 3D lighting is now available. The build is listed as JDK 8 Build b77 and is available to download for Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Solaris SPARC and x86, but the 3D features are currently only available on Windows; OpenGL versions for the other platforms may follow.
- Sony: Fear not, the PlayStation 4 will play used games
It’s official: there is no need to worry about a patent that stops consoles from playing second-hand games — it isn’t intended for Sony’s next console.
- Posterous to go offline on April 30 – Backup your data!
Posterous is shutting down on April 30, 2013. The service was acquired by Twitter just a year ago and had made it clear at the time of the sale that it was unlikely for the service to remain up and running forever.
- MemTest86 now maintained by PassMark Software
The classic free memory diagnostic tool MemTest86 has been maintained by author Chris Brady since 1994, but this has finally changed, with Australian company PassMark Software taking over the program this month.
- In major milestone, Curiosity’s drill delivers first sample
It’s the first time any rover has drilled into a rock to collect a sample anywhere but on Earth, says NASA, as its Curiosity rover collects about a tablespoon of powdered Martian rock for testing.
Pirate flag clipart courtesy of Clker.com.
- Google warns of an increase in attempted account hijackings
More spammers are trying to break into legitimate accounts, the company says. But Google is adapting to their methods.
- Apple HQ also targeted by hackers, will release tool to protect customers
Apple says a “small number” of computers on its Cupertino campus were attacked by hackers, according to Reuters. The hack appears to exploit the same Java vulnerability that recently compromised computers at Facebook. “There is no evidence that any data left Apple,” the company reportedly said.
- Microsoft admits it was also hit by hackers, malware infects their Mac business unit
Late on Friday, Microsoft published a statement on its security blog revealing that it was joining the growing list of well-known companies who had suffered at the hands of hackers. Microsoft says that a “small number of computers”, including some in the company’s Mac business unit, were infected by malware.
- Dev site behind Apple, Facebook hacks didn’t know it was booby-trapped
iPhoneDevSDK—the site apparently responsible for the hacks at Facebook, Apple, and Twitter—says it was not aware it was being used to attack visitors until it read press reports this week. In a news post on Wednesday, site admins said they had no knowledge of the breach and were not contacted by any of the affected companies.
- Mozilla moves to limit risk of subordinate CA certificate abuse
Sub-CA certificates will need to have technical constraints or be publicly disclosed and audited, Mozilla’s new CA Certificate Policy says.
- New Mac malware opens secure reverse shell
New malware for OS X is making the rounds in security circles, called “Pintsized,” but has not yet been determined to be much of a threat.
- BlackBerry Enterprise Server malicious TIFF attack discovered
BlackBerry is urging BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) customers to apply an update which fixes two flaws, one of which can be exploited by merely sending a BlackBerry smartphone an email with a malicious embedded TIFF.
- Server hack prompts call for cPanel customers to take “immediate action”
The providers of the cPanel website management application are warning some users to immediately change their systems’ root or administrative passwords after discovering one of its servers has been hacked.
- Certified online banking trojan in the wild
Jean-Ian Boutin, who works for AV firm Eset, has discovered trojans that carry a valid digital signature. This potentially allows online banking spyware to pass superficial tests as harmless. Apparently, the certificate in question was issued by the DigiCert Certificate Authority – to a company that ceased to exist a long time ago.
- Zendesk breach affected Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest
U.S.-based customer service software provider confirmed hacker accessed its system and downloaded e-mail addresses of users from 3 of its clients.
- Hacker says security flaw let him access any Facebook profile
The social network recently fixed a bug discovered by a developer who demonstrated how the loophole let him take over other people’s accounts.
- Lockheed Martin “almost missed” hacker intrusion
“We almost missed it” said Steve Adegbite, Lockheed Martin’s director for cybersecurity, of May 2011’s hacker attack. Adegbite was speaking at the recent Kaspersky Security Analyst Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico and noted that at first the attack looked like a new person in the department.
- Identity fraud in U.S. is on the rise, report
Scammers are increasingly gaining access to people’s personal information through data breaches and malicious software attacks.
- Bit9 Breach Began in July 2012 – Malware Found Matches Code Used Vs. Defense Contractors in 2012
Cyber espionage hackers who broke into security firm Bit9 initially breached the company’s defenses in July 2012, according to evidence being gathered by security experts investigating the incident.
- DDoS Attack on Bank Hid $900,000 Cyberheist
A Christmas Eve cyberattack against the Web site of a regional California financial institution helped to distract bank officials from an online account takeover against one of its clients, netting thieves more than $900,000.
- Point-of-Sale malware attacks – crooks expand their reach, no business too small
Your personally identifiable information (PII) flows into PoS devices, across PoS networks, and is processed by PoS servers, every time you pay for things without using cash. As a result, PoS equipment and the local-area networks to support it are found all over the world, in both developed and developing countries. As a result, PoS systems are a lucrative target for crooks.
- Boy meets girl. Girl strips on webcam. Tells boy to do the same. Girl blackmails boy
The famous song Dooley Wilson sang in Casablanca may have got it wrong. For the age-old romantic story of “Boy meets girl” has surely become an awful lot more complicated now the internet has come along.
- Ubuntu to Add ‘Incognito’ Mode to Unity Dash & Legal Notice to Installer
Ubuntu founder Mark Shuttleworth has revealed how the OS will address the ongoing privacy concerns around its online searching feature in Unity. Most notably amongst his plans is the introduction of an incognito-style mode for ‘anonymizing’ Dash sessions.
- Google’s Android Reborn as Network-Hacking Kit
The folks at security tools company Pwnie Express have built a tablet that can bash the heck out of corporate networks. Called the Pwn Pad, it’s a full-fledged hacking toolkit built atop Google’s Android operating system.
- Lost+Found: iCloud cracking, BKA trojan infections
Too small for news, but too good to lose, Lost+Found is a compilation of the other stories that have been on The H’s radar this week. McAfee analyses the recent Adobe Reader exploit, hackers wanting to emigrate to China, the future of password policies, ElcomSoft thinks it can get access to iCloud and the arrest of the alleged developer of the BKA trojan hardly seems to have made a dent.
- Saving Battery on Android and iOS
Here are not 1 but 9 ways to save battery on both iPhone and Android phones.
- Customized Android Locking
An interesting app that lets you customize how and when Android is locked.
- Jailbreaking iOS 6
Learn how to easily jailbreak an iPhone running iOS 6 or above.
- Windows Phone 8 Tutorials
If you have bought a Windows Phone 8 device recently or are contemplating buying one then you should go through these tutorials on Guiding Tech.
- Windows 8 book authors reveal all about Windows 8
InfoWorld invited the 14 best selling authors of Windows 8 books to discuss Windows 8, its strengths and weaknesses. The article makes for an interesting read where many diverse views are shared.
- Comodo Internet Security Pro 2013 Review
Many use Comodo’s free security products. But do they make also good commercial security solutions? Comodo Internet Security Pro 2013 – is it worth buying? Learn this and more, from this thorough review.
- Easy Translation in Chrome
Nice add-on for easy translation in Chrome.
- Original Illustrations in a HD Windows Theme
Check out this great theme for Windows 7 and Windows 8, featuring works crafted by artist Jozsef Vass.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- The Shameful Saga of Uninstalling the Terrible Ask Toolbar
- The HTG Guide to Getting Started with Raspberry Pi
- How to Automatically Clear Private Data When You Close Your Browser
- How to Place Your Speakers to Maximize Your Home Theater Experience
- HTG Explains: What is NFC and What Can I Use It For?
- Create Your Own Wifi Hotspot With a Laptop and Virtual Router
- How to Force an Android Device to Find a System Update
- Why Do Laptops Need System Fans but Tablets Do Not?
- How to Create Popup Reminders with No Additional Software
- HTG Explains: How GPS Actually Works
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- View a Map with the Locations of All Recorded Meteorite Strikes Since 2,300 B.C.
- Is Your Red the Same as My Red?
- Abstract Mix Wallpaper Collection for Your Nexus 7 Tablet
- What is Light? Young’s Double Slit Experiment
- New Chrome App Launcher Added to Google Chrome Dev Channel and Chromium
- What is the Universe?
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- Who Invented The Countdown?
- If You’re The Victim Of A Smurf Attack, You’re The Victim Of What?
- Apollo 11 Astronauts Used Their Signatures As What?
- Individuals Suffering From Grapheme Synesthesia Experience What?
- Which Video Game Series’ Protagonist Derives His Name From Iconic Sci-Fi Writers?
- Which Country Was The First To Ban Video Games?
- Motorola Derived Its Name From What?
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- How To Preserve Your Jailbreak Apps and Settings Between iOS Upgrades
- Sync Your iOS Device with a New Computer Without Losing Data
- How To Install XBMC On Your iPad
- From the Tips Box: Muting Apps in Windows 7, Data Privacy on iOS Devices, and Clutter Free YouTube and Amazon Browsing
- Access Desktops on the Road with TeamViewer for Android & iPhone
- Analyze & Optimize Your Wireless Network with Wi-Fi Analyzer for Android