Our first edition of WIG for March is filled with news link coverage on topics such as some new Macs are unable to reinstall Mountain Lion, Facebook is giving advertisers more opportunities to target users, Pandora has capped free mobile listening at 40 hours a month, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Some new Macs unable to reinstall Mountain Lion
If you are having problems downloading Mountain Lion to your new Mac from the Mac App Store, you may not be alone. An apparent issue in the versions of OS X that are preinstalled on Macs shipping from the factory is causing headaches for some users, where they may run into problems if they try to reinstall OS X or restore from a backup.
- Beta of Firefox 20 introduces parallel Private Browsing
The first beta release for Firefox 20 on the desktop introduces per-window Private Browsing, a new user interface for downloads and better handling of crashed plugins. The Android version also gets per-tab Private Browsing and has its system requirements lowered.
- Mozilla Set to Revive Electrolysis for Firefox Process Threading
With all the hype surrounding the FirefoxOS launch, it’s important to note that Mozilla’s mobile efforts may well have a positive impact on the desktop browser too. Phones (Android or FirefoxOS) are resource constrained devices and as such Mozilla developers have done a lot of great work to get the memory footprint and overall memory and process utilization to be highly optimized.
- Sweet! Google Chrome may get noise indicators on tabs
Audio assaults from mystery tabs in your browser could be located and eliminated quickly if a new Chrome test feature gets the go-ahead.
- Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 Final Version – First Bugs Found
Several users have been unable to install Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 7 machines at all, due to several errors that popped up during installation. Others said that some services or even the other applications installed on their Windows 7 workstations stopped working after installing Internet Explorer 10.
- Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7 Completely Kills Aero
People are reporting via Microsoft’s support forums that Aero is automatically disabled once Internet Explorer 10 is installed on their Windows 7 computer and rebooting the system doesn’t seem to make any difference.
- Global allies give Mozilla’s Firefox OS a mobile foothold
Partners backing the browser-based mobile operating system include phone maker LG Electronics and 18 mobile network operators across the world. The first phones are due in the second quarter. You can watch a quick demo video of the latest Firefox OS here.
- Finally, Chrome for Android updates
Months after its last update, Chrome for Android gets a big bump that includes a multitude of under-the-hood improvements.
- New multiplayer game for Chrome uses smartphones as controllers
Google has created a new sports game for Chrome, which lets you challenge up to four friends at running, swimming and cycling. What makes Chrome Super Sync Sports so special is while the game is displayed on your computer screen, the characters are controlled using smartphones or tablets.
- Opera overhaul: WebKit-based Android browser due Q2
Opera reveals that the radically overhauled browser works on Gingerbread, gets “Off-road Mode” for bad networks, adds a content discovery tool, and will ship in the first half of the year.
- Upcoming iOS update likely to kneecap Evasi0n jailbreak
Apple’s next iOS update could shut down a popular jailbreaking tool, a move that’s been long expected.
- WebOS lives! LG to resurrect it for smart TVs
LG acquires the troubled mobile operating system from Hewlett-Packard, getting software, engineering talent, and HP licenses acquired from Palm.
- Indigo brings Siri-like assistance to Android for free (hands-on)
Personal assistant Indigo brings the functionality of Siri to Android, Windows Phone 8, and your Web browser. Better yet, it’s free and isn’t ad-supported.
- Google switches on Google+ sign-ins, in-app posting
Third-party apps and Web sites can now incorporate a sign-on service that resembles Facebook Connect or Sign in with Twitter, but with some Googley twists.
- Expanded Gmail field trial brings calendar results to search
Participants in Google’s personalized search experience can now see results from Google Calendar.
- Google testing new navigation design borrowed from Chrome
The company confirms it is testing a new look that dumps the controversial black navigation bar — again.
- Pandora caps free mobile listening at 40 hours a month
Streaming radio service blames rising royalty costs to blame for the new limit on nonpaying listeners.
- Opera spins off ad business; quietly realigns structure on buyout talk
The spin-off now gives Opera bragging rights over the world’s largest mobile advertising network, the company says, but also makes it far easier for another firm to buy the company.
- Yahoo axes more products to ‘sharpen focus’
Yahoo Avatars, app for BlackBerry, and Message Boards are among the products going away in April, says Jay Rossiter, head of Yahoo’s platforms.
- How Marissa Mayer Figured Out Work-At-Home Yahoos Were Slacking Off
Last week, Yahoo banned employees from working from home. How did CEO Marissa Mayer decide to make such a controversial decision? According to a source, the only way Mayer is comfortable making any decision: with the help of data.
- Evernote resets user passwords after being hit by “coordinated” hack
Evernote is requiring each of its 50 million users to reset their login credentials after the site’s security team detected a security breach that exposed password data and other personal information. You can read the official Evernote announcement here.
- New Java 0-Day Attack Echoes Bit9 Breach
Once again, attackers are leveraging a previously unknown critical security hole in Java to break into targeted computers. Interestingly, the malware and networks used in this latest attack match those found in the recently disclosed breach at security firm Bit9.
- Adobe issues emergency patch for zero-day Flash vulnerabilities
The company says two vulnerabilities are being actively exploited and recommends that Windows and Mac OS X users of the browser plug-in update their systems immediately.
- Apple blacklists older versions of Flash plugin due to security risk
Just as it did with some versions of Java, Apple has now blocked older versions of Adobe’s Flash plugin to protect Mac users from security risks. In a new support document posted to its website on Friday, Apple explained that it has already updated its plugin blocking tool built into Safari—users don’t need to lift a finger.
- Flaw in HTML5 Allows Gigabytes of Data to be Downloaded
Hacker Feross Aboukhadijeh has exposed an exploit that allows using the LocalStorage API to download gigabytes of data on to a user’s computer with no warning. This vulnerability affects Chrome, Safari, Opera and Internet Explorer. Firefox is unaffected by this exploit.
- Linux rootkits abuse SSH service
Security specialists at the Internet Storm Center have reported on a very special backdoor which is currently being found on compromised Linux servers where the attackers have manipulated a library in the SSH service. Apparently, mainly RPM-based systems are affected, but how the attackers get into the server is not yet known.
- Cyber-attackers turn NVIDIA tool into an accomplice
Virus experts at Sophos made a surprising discovery in their analysis of a targeted cyber attack. A specially crafted RTF document was taking advantage of a vulnerability in Word to execute a tool from NVIDIA’s graphics card drivers on the victims’ computers. The executable file, called nv.exe, is digitally signed – and is, in fact, the original file with no changes.
- Dropbox users getting spammed, might be from earlier hack
The file-sharing site’s user forum is filling up with complaints of e-mail spam, which the company believes could be related to last year’s data leak.
- Google’s two-factor authentication bypassed
Google has fixed a vulnerability which could in theory have enabled attackers to compromise Google accounts protected by two-factor authentication. However, the company did take seven months to do so.
- Second iPhone passcode hack vulnerability discovered
Researchers are having a fun time with iOS 6.1 passcode locks this month, with Vulnerability Lab having discovered a second version of a vulnerability that lets a hacker slip past a lock screen to access a user’s contact list, voicemails and more.
- Foreign hackers steal more than a terabyte of data per day in ongoing cyberwar
Security experts predict attacks will get worse before they get better. – Two decades after computer security began generating billions by selling expertise and software designed to protect unwanted network intrusions, experts say those networks are more vulnerable than ever.
- Bizarre old-school spyware attacks governments, sports Mark of the Beast
Unidentified attackers have infected government agencies and organizations in 23 countries with highly advanced malware that uses low-level code to stay hidden and Twitter and Google to ensure it always has a way to receive updates.
- Revealed: Stuxnet “beta’s” devious alternate attack on Iran nuke progra
Researchers have uncovered a never-before-seen version of Stuxnet. The discovery sheds new light on the evolution of the powerful cyberweapon that made history when it successfully sabotaged an Iranian uranium-enrichment facility in 2009.
- Hackers turn China security report into Trojans
Hackers create malicious versions of a report released by Mandiant which linked cyberattacks to the Chinese army, but the IT security vendor says its system is not breached.
- Lost+Found: Skype, XSS, and a Java exploit examined
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. Topics: Skype as a hacker’s accomplice, measures to combat XSS, Keccak for C++, an analysis of a Java attack, a new security distribution, and the RSA Conference.
- How much data can police swipe from suspects’ phones without a warrant? (Hint: A lot)
A clearer picture has emerged as to just how much data is swiped by U.S. law enforcement when a cell phone is plugged in and its data is downloaded with forensic tools.
- Firefox 22 to block third-party cookies
A patch submitted for inclusion in Firefox 22 by Jonathan Mayer means that this version of the browser will block third-party cookies by default without requiring the user to set a custom history policy and then forbid the accepting of those cookies.
- Apple said to nix apps using ‘cookie tracking’
In what might be a push for its own Advertising Identifier technology, the software giant is said to be rejecting apps that use “cookie tracking” from its App Store.
- How Ubuntu Turned Search in the Dash into a PR Crisis
Sometimes, how you handle a feature’s criticisms is as important as its specs. While Ubuntu’s upcoming phone and tablet dominate the headlines, an existing controversy is threatening to flare up again as the 13.04 release nears. The display of Amazon search results in the dash, which first became an issue in the 12.10 release, is erupting again as Ubuntu plans to extend the feature to dozens of other websites.
- Facebook gives advertisers more opportunities to target users
The social network is opening up its custom ad tool to third-party ad managers, which means more companies can use Facebook to reach already existing customers.
- Uninstall Java Immediately
Yes, if you still have Java on your PC, you should uninstall it now. This post shows you how and gives you the reasons why you should.
- Paul Thurrott reviews the Surface with Windows 8 Pro
This is a very detailed review that looks at many aspects about the Surface Pro, how usable it is, how it performs and who would benefit from using it.
- Learn How Much Space Windows Applications are Using
A nice article sharing some good tips for Windows 7 and Windows 8.
- A preview of the Firefox app for Windows 8
Firefox is currently working on developing a touch friendly version of the browser, for Windows 8. Here’s how it looks like right now and what to expect from it, once its development is finalized.
- Removing Duplicate Contacts on Android
Got too many duplicate contacts on your Android phone? Here’s a solution.
- How to Create Free Custom Ringtones for Any Smartphone
Learn all the details from this tutorial on how to use Ringtone Maker. The tool works for all major platforms, from Windows Phone to Android and iOS.
- HTC 8X – Is it a good Windows Phone 8 device?
How does it compare to Nokia Lumia 920, HTC 8S and the old Nokia Lumia 800? Learn this and more from a detailed review.
- Find Free eBooks for Kindle
Want to find the best free ebooks for Kindle? Check this out.
- Quickly Convert Images Online
A web based tool that can convert images from one format to another.
- Infographic: Calorie Burning Activities For Computer Geeks
If you have ever wondered if playing computer games and sleeping can count as exercise, the look at these common activities that demonstrated how many calories you can burn in just 10 minutes.
- Interview with Steve Balmmer
A good read, but not very long though. He talks Surface, Windows 8 and Microsoft’s vision for the future.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- Why Watching DVDs on Linux is Illegal in the USA
- Which Windows Services Can You Safely Disable?
- How You Can Be Infected via Your Browser and How to Protect Yourself
- The Ultimate Guide to Installing Incompatible Android Apps from Google Play
- HTG Explains: How Latency Can Make Even Fast Internet Connections Feel Slow
- HTG Explains: Why is My Browser Storing All This Private Data, Anyway?
- How to Save Ink and Make Web Sites Print Better
- Will There Ever Be Faster DVD and CD Drives?
- HTG Explains: Why are Progress Bars Generally Inaccurate?
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Internet Explorer 10 Available for Windows 7
- Desktop Fun: Meadows Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- Tibi’s Mathematics Suite is a Useful Set of Powerful Math Applications
- How Big is the Universe?
- Round: Infinity – Yet Another New Security Hole Found in Latest Java Release
- Firefox to Start Blocking Third-Party Tracking Cookies by Default
- The Science of Genetically Modified Food
- Insights into Cell Membranes via Dish Detergent
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- What Was The First Turn-Based Strategy Computer Game?
- The Periodic Table Of Elements Was Inspired By What?
- Who Divided The Day Into 24 Hours?
- Which Second Generation Game Console Boasted The Most Titles?
- What Unconventional Technique Is Used To Detect Art Forgeries?
- Which Video Game Was The First To Feature Procedural Generation?
- Which Board Game Has Specific Provisions For The Inclusion Of Smoking?
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
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- Reader Request: How To Repair Blurry Photos
- How To Make Youthful, Glowing Portraits In Under a Minute
- How To Be Your Own Personal Clone Army (With a Little Photoshop)
- HTG Explains: Everything You Know About Resolution Is Probably Wrong
- Photography: What Is A Chromatic Aberration, And How Can I Fix It?