This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link coverage on topics such as Dropbox has bought popular e-mail app Mailbox, most PC security problems are a result of unpatched third-party Windows apps, Google Now has started arriving in Chrome-Chrome OS, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Mozilla says no plans to return to iOS
During a SXSW talk, the not-for-profit’s vice president of product says the organization won’t build a version of its Firefox browser for iOS devices until Apple changes its ways.
- Firefox OS Simulator 3.0 makes its debut
The simulator is an extension that runs in Firefox and lets users check out how the operating system will work.
- Google Now starts arriving in latest Chrome, Chrome OS
It’s not usable yet by the public, but Google has begun folding its smart notification system into its browser and its Chrome OS.
- VLC for Windows 8 Beta to Be Released to Select Users This Month
It appears that developers are still working on the app, but a beta build is very likely to be released to those who backed VideoLAN’s Kickstarter campaign as soon as this month.
- GNOME and Kylin become official Ubuntu flavours
The Ubuntu Technical board has given the official designation to two Ubuntu flavours, Ubuntu GNOME and UbuntuKylin. The decision was made in an IRC meeting and announced by the projects this past week. Ubuntu GNOME 3 sets out to deliver the GNOME 3 experience on Ubuntu, while UbuntuKylin aims to offer a fully customised Chinese user experience on Ubuntu 13.04.
- LibreOffice for Android “frustratingly close” to release
LibreOffice developers have been working on bringing the open source office suite to Android for more than a year. But aside from a remote control app that lets you use your phone to control presentations running on a desktop, nothing has yet hit the Android app store.
- Intel brings Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean alongside Windows 8
Intel Open Source Technology Center has released an Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean developer preview build of “pre-alpha quality”, one that has a major trick up its sleeve. Unlike the common version of the green droid operating system, which mostly runs solely on the ARM architecture, the aforementioned developer preview build is designed to work on Intel’s x86 processor architecture used on Windows-compatible devices.
- Google yanks ad-blocker apps from Google Play
A handful of app developers receive notices from the Web giant saying that their ad-blocking software “interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner.”
- Dropbox redesigns desktop client to make notifications more visible
Dropbox is launching a new design for its desktop client focused on making changes to user files more visible, by making notifications the core feature of the desktop menu.
- Dropbox buys popular e-mail app Mailbox
The cloud storage company acquires the popular e-mail app. Mailbox says its app “is not going away.”
- A second spring of cleaning
Read Google’s official announcement about more service and feature closings that will occur throughout the year.
- Google Panda to Be Released To Roam Freely in Google Algorithm Shake Up
Described as being likely to become a “real time” update, Google Panda will be added into the general ranking algorithm used within the search engine, meaning that the factors that the update focuses on will be rolled into the ranking cycle amid the elements that are currently in operation.
- Andy Rubin, Android’s founder, leaves project
In a shocking move, Andy Rubin, Android’s founder, leaves Android behind but will stay on at Google. Sundar Pichai takes Android now as well as Chrome and Apps.
- Google to split mapping, commerce ops, WSJ reports
It appears that Google’s “spring cleaning” is even broader than thought. The online search giant is splitting its mapping and commerce unit into two separate businesses.
- Belkin completes acquisition of Linksys from Cisco
Linksys will still exist as a separate brand; support for all existing products will continue and warranties will be honored.
- Facebook users unwittingly revealing intimate secrets, study finds
Facebook users are unwittingly revealing intimate secrets – including their sexual orientation, drug use and political beliefs – using only public “like” updates, according to a study of online privacy.
- Fake Facebook pages promise free gifts in exchange for ‘Likes’
Promotions purporting to be from Apple and Beats Electronics offer “unsealed” hardware in exchange for “Likes” in an apparent scam to build fan page numbers.
- ‘NotCompatible’ Android malware now being spread through spam
Security firm Lookout reports that it has a seen a staggering increase in the number of NotCompatible detections this week. While not a new threat (it first appeared last May), the remote proxy malware has moved on from infecting Android devices through hacked websites and is now spreading via email spam.
- US-CERT warns of HP LaserJet printer backdoor
A number of HP LaserJet printers can be accessed through the network and unencrypted data can be read from them without authentication. The US-CERT has issued an advisory that warns users of these printers and is calling on them to update the printer’s firmware with a fixed version.
- Help Keep Threats at Bay With ‘Click-to-Play’
Muzzling buggy and insecure Web browser plugins like Java and Flash goes a long way toward blocking attacks from drive-by downloads and hacked or malicious Web sites. But leaving them entirely unplugged from the browser is not always practical, particularly with Flash, which is used on a majority of sites. Fortunately for many users, there is a relatively simple and effective alternative: Click-to-Play.
- Most PC security problems come from unpatched third-party Windows apps
In its annual review of software vulnerabilities, security software firm Secunia found that 86 percent of vulnerabilities discovered on systems scanned by its software in the 50 most popular Windows software packages in 2012 were attributable to third-party developers and not to Microsoft’s Windows operating system or applications. And for most of these vulnerabilities, a patch was already available at the time they were discovered.
- Huawei 3G/4G USB sticks put users’ security at risk
At the Black Hat Europe conference that is currently in progress, Russian security expert Nikita Tarakanov has presented the results of his analysis of the driver software that Huawei ships with its 3G/4G USB sticks. According to the researcher, the various components – drivers, configuration software, update mechanisms – are all of insufficient quality.
- Credit Reports Sold for Cheap in the Underweb
Following the online publication of Social Security numbers and other sensitive data on high-profile Americans, the three major credit reporting bureaus say they’ve uncovered cases where hackers gained access to users’ information, Bloomberg reports. The disclosure, while probably discomforting for many, offers but a glimpse of the sensitive data available to denizens of the cybercrime underworld, which hosts several storefronts that sell cheap, illegal access to consumer credit reports.
- Spy agencies to be granted access to US citizen finances
The financial data of American citizens is set to be open season for spy agencies as the fight against terrorism and cybercrime continues.
- Two new attacks on SSL decrypt authentication cookies
Researchers have devised two new attacks on the Transport Layer Security and Secure Sockets Layer protocols, the widely used encryption schemes used to secure e-commerce transactions and other sensitive traffic on the Internet.
- Researchers highlight potential security risk to iOS users
Though Apple’s mobile OS is often thought of as impervious to malware, hackers could potentially control a device using a malicious iOS profile, says Skycure Security.
- Hacker swarm attacks dummy critical infrastructure honeypot
Fake industrial control systems set up test the vulnerability of internet connected critical national infrastructure came under sustained attack, with the majority of attacks originating in China.
- Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams
The Remote Administration Tool is the revolver of the Internet’s Wild West.
- Lost+Found: A get-out-of-jail-free card, a free book & Facebook hacking
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: a hacking legend’s business card, Facebook signing up hackers, a free book on Xbox hacking, news from Black Hat Europe and an SMB sniffing Wireshark extension.
- Google Glass: Expect widespread usage bans over privacy concerns
Google is about to unleash a rash of concerns generated by Google Glasses’ ability to take clandestine photos and videos.
- 20 Years of Texting
An interesting infographic that looks back at the past twenty years of texting and some other communication methods that were used before it was.
- Google Reader to be Retired
No, Google no!
- Feedly wants to save the Google Reader API
Feedly is working on cloning the Google Reader API to make it easy for other RSS apps to transition to their service. For now, they have good support for Android and iOS, only missing support for Windows Phone.
- Can Tablet/Notebook Hybrids Rescue Windows 8?
A great read from Ed Bott.
- HTC 8S Review – How does it perform?
The HTC 8S with Windows Phone 8 is a very affordable smartphone. But does it perform like a cheap device or do you get good bang for the buck?
- Windows Phone wins PCMAG Readers Choice Award
After Nokia Lumia 920 received the title for best smartphone of the year from Engadget, Windows Phone 8 wins the Readers Choice Award for 2013 Best Mobile operating system as awarded by PCMAG.
- Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse – Is it a good mouse?
The Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse is a Bluetooth enabled device recently released by Microsoft. How does it perform? Is it portable? Easy to use? Learn this and more from this review.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- Securely Access Online Banking and Email on Untrusted Computers
- HTG Explains: What is a “Zero-Day” Exploit? (And How to Protect Yourself)
- How Can I Effectively Conduct a Performance Test of My Internet Connection?
- HTG Explains: What is the New Copyright Alert System and How Does it Affect You?
- How to Encrypt and Password Protect Your USB Drives Without Extra Software
- Build an LED Indicator with a Raspberry Pi (for Email, Weather, or Anything)
- How to Minimize Your Android Data Usage and Avoid Overage Charges
- Learn the Secrets of the Windows Build Number
- Geek School: Learning Windows 7 – IP Addressing Fundamentals
- How to Download APK Files (Android Apps) from Google Play
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Google Rolls Out the Guillotine for a New Round of Service and Feature Closures
- Desktop Fun: Railway Tracks Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- How to Monitor Your System Notifications Locally and Remotely With Growl for Windows
- Dropbox 2.0 Adds New Notifications Menu, Allows Easy Sharing and Activity Monitoring
- Relativity Paradox
- How to Hide and Password Protect Applications You Want to Keep Private
- The Search for Antimatter
- Why is the Sky any Color?
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- Which Public Service Announcement Mascot Has Their Own ZIP Code?
- The Location Of The World’s Tallest What, Is Kept Secret?
- Which Video Game Features The Most User-Generated Levels?
- Alfred Nobel Established the Nobel Prize After What?
- A Military Strike On A Korean Airliner Prompted Public Access To What?
- Astronauts Use What Inside Their Helmets To Scratch Their Noses?
- Which Snack Food’s Shape Was Modeled Using Super Computers?
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- How to Get Help With a Command from the Linux Terminal: 8 Tricks for Beginners & Pros Alike
- How to Manage Files from the Linux Terminal: 11 Commands You Need to Know
- How to Manage Processes from the Linux Terminal: 10 Commands You Need to Know
- How to Work with the Network from the Linux Terminal: 11 Commands You Need to Know
- How to Synchronize Your Configuration Files with Ubuntu One
- How to Create a Custom Ubuntu Live CD or USB the Easy Way