Our last edition of WIG for March is filled with news link coverage on topics such as the Google Translate app for Android has received offline support, outdated Java weak spots are widespread, secure API omission is rendering Android password managers insecure, and more.
Weekly News Links
Image courtesy of Alan Buckingham (BetaNews).
- Windows Blue Build 9364 [slideshow]
While we all try to digest what is included in the next version of Windows, which really is more of an update to the current iteration, it really is much easier to get a sense by visual aid as opposed to listening to talking heads drone on with descriptions.
- What’s New in Windows “Blue” – The Next Update to Windows 8?
An early build of Windows “Blue” – the next update to Windows 8 (more of a service pack if you wish), expected to arrive in the second half of the year, has leaked on the web. Tech blog 7 Tutorials has downloaded this leak and took it for a quick test drive. Here’s what they learned about what’s new.
- Windows Blue to let you sync your Start screen across devices
The upcoming new release of Windows will add your Start screen to the list of items that can be synced across multiple devices, says Supersite for Windows’ Paul Thurrott.
- Windows 8 app updates nix Google ActiveSync support
Users of Microsoft’s Mail, Calendar, and Contact apps have lost sync support via Google’s Exchange ActiveSync with new updates.
- Mozilla wants you to get your game on — in your browser
- IE11 to appear as Firefox to avoid legacy IE CSS
From the blog post: We already know that Internet Explorer 11, the next iteration of the world’s most popular browser, will include tab syncing as part of the Windows Blue update, which has leaked onto the Internet. Neowin has also discovered that IE11 will include new code which tells the host website that IE is, in fact, Firefox.
- Change of heart? IE11 might speed Web graphics with WebGL
A leaked build of Microsoft’s next browser shows signs that the company could be reversing its opposition to a standard for accelerated 2D and 3D graphics on the Web.
- Top 10 New Features in GNOME 3.8
The latest iteration of the popular GNOME desktop, version 3.8, was released this past week – but what are the notable changes and improvements you should be looking out for? OMG! Ubuntu! presents a list of their 10 favourite changes – in no specific order – new to this release.
- End of life for three Ubuntu editions on 9 May
The Ubuntu developers have announced the end of life is approaching for three different releases of Ubuntu on 9 May.
- Some iOS 6.1.3 users hit by battery drain and Wi-Fi issues
The latest iOS update seems to be creating trouble for a number of users chiming in on Apple’s support forums.
- Google Translate app for Android gets offline support
The newest feature in Google’s Translate app translates your words for you, even with no data connection.
- Mozilla Persona, an Identity System for the Web, launched
Mozilla has launched their authentication service “Mozilla Persona” to improve the way you sign in to different websites. With Persona, you can sign-in to different websites using a single email address relieving yourself from the trouble of memorizing and managing several usernames and passwords. You can quickly sign up with Mozilla Persona by just entering your email address and verifying it.
- Gmail’s nimble compose window pops out for all
After five months of testing, the email provider is making the pop-out composition box the default way to pen new messages.
- Oh goodie, Google+ now allows animated gifs as profile pics
Hide your eyes. The search engine’s social network is embracing the lively images as profile pics on desktop and mobile.
- Bitcoin hits record exchange values with Cyprus banking crisis
The peer-to-peer virtual currency is up nearly 350 percent in the past two months, thanks largely to uncertainty in Europe’s banking community.
- Evernote: So useful, even malware loves it
Your average workaday botnet uses a command and control server to give the malware bots on infected PCs their marching orders. But as network security tools begin to block traffic to suspicious domains, some enterprising hackers are turning to communications tools less likely to be blocked by corporate firewalls, using consumer services to deliver their bidding to their digital minions.
- Outdated Java weak spots are widespread, Websense says
Researchers say the latest version of Java is only in use by a dismal 5 percent of users, and many versions are months or years out of date — just begging to be exploited.
- API omission renders Android password managers insecure
A study by students at the University of Hannover has found that password managers on Android smartphones are not particularly secure. The researchers analysed 13 free and 8 proprietary password managers on a Galaxy Nexus running Android 4.0. They found that Android does not make it easy for developers to write a genuinely secure password manager, as it lacks a secure API to deliver passwords between applications.
- Anonymized Phone Location Data Not So Anonymous, Researchers Find
Anonymized mobile phone location data produces a GPS fingerprint that can be easily used to identify a user based on little more than tracking the pings a phone makes to cell towers, a new study shows.
- Many Amazon S3 cloud storage users are exposing sensitive company secrets, claims report
Approximately one in six Amazon S3 storage buckets are full of holes, leaking sensitive data and company secrets, claims a new report.
- Your WiFi-enabled camera might be spying on you
Every networked sensor package in your immediate vicinity can be used to spy on you unless it is well-designed and transparent to you and the wide community of security researchers. (Post includes demonstration video.)
- Tibetan phishing attack now comes with Android Trojan
The researchers at Kaspersky Lab have noted a new attack on Tibetan activists that is now targeting their smartphones. According to a report, a recent spear phishing attack, launched from the hacked email account of a “high-profile Tibetan activist” skipped the usual payload of malicious files and instead had an APK file attached.
- Cash Claws, Fake Fascias & Tampered Tickets
Credit and debit card skimmers aren’t just for ATMs anymore. According to European anti-fraud experts, innovative skimming devices are turning up on everything from train ticket kiosks to parking meters and a host of other unattended payment terminals.
- 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 over the last seven days: the NSA’s Cryptolog archive, “Wipe the drive”, piracy in armament circles, keeping phishers busy, a crusade against malware, and chatty encryption checking.
- Lost+Found: Plain text spooks, AV charts and crypto answers
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 over the last seven days: AV popularity, Crypto answers, plain text spooks, encrypted iOS chat and asking Mozilla’s security anything.
- The largest DDoS attack didn’t break the internet, but it did try
A 300Gbps distributed denial-of-service attack thought to be the largest in the world has put key internet infrastructure to the test, and, so far, the attack has failed.
Image courtesy of Ars Technica.
- How to become a password cracker in one day
This is a great read from Ars Technica.
- Windows “Blue” Leaked – What Changes are Coming to Windows 8?
An early build of Windows “Blue” has leaked on the web. If you want to know more about the changes coming to Windows 8, read this complete overview.
- Can’t decide what to listen to…
A humorous comic showing the eternal dilemna we all face sooner or later with our music collections.
- R2D2 Translator
So cute, it’s scary.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know Your Web Browser Could Do Yet
- How I Learned to Stop Hating and Start Loving Windows 8
- HTG Explains: How Encryption Can Be Bypassed With a Freezer
- How to Turn Web Apps Into First-Class Desktop Citizens
- What Google Reader’s Shutdown Teaches Us About Web Apps
- Geek School: Learn How to Automate Windows with PowerShell
- How to Import Your Google Reader RSS Feeds into Outlook
- HTG Explains: Why Windows Has the Most Viruses
- What Is the Advantage of Using the Tar File Format Today?
- How to Convert Text from a PDF File into an Editable Word 2013 Document
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Desktop Fun: Rivers Wallpaper Collection Series 2
- Safe Cracking the Feynman Way
- Why do We see Illusions?
- Early Internet Explorer 11 Build has Tab Syncing Feature, Masquerading as Firefox
- Your Brain on Video Games
- How to Opt Out of the Microsoft Office Customer Experience Improvement Program
- Three More Releases of Ubuntu Reaching ‘End of Life’ for Support and Updates
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- The First Synthetic Dye Was Discovered By A Chemist Searching For What?
- Which Film Featured The World’s First Entirely Computer Generated Sequence?
- If You Have A Butt Load Of Something, How Much Of It Do You Have?
- What Soda Originally Came Packed With A Natural Mood-Stabilizing Drug?
- Having Your Appendix Removed Is A Prerequisite For Working Where?
- What Were Planes Detected With Before The Invention Of Radar?
- What Was The Oldest Living Organism Ever Discovered?
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- The How-To Geek Guide to Measuring Your Energy Use
- What’s the Difference Between Sleep and Hibernate in Windows?
- How to Easily Optimize & Manage Multiple Computers with Soluto
- How to Add Any Application Shortcut to Windows Explorer’s Context Menu
- How to Create Shortcuts to Programs on USB Drives
- How to Get Virtual Desktops on Windows with Dexpot