This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link coverage on topics such as Windows 7 RTM (no SP1) will reach end of life support on April 9th, the Mozilla Project just turned 15 years old, an exploit has targeted 20,000 websites running Apache web server software, and more.
Weekly News Links
- Samsung teams up with Mozilla to build browser engine for multicore machines
Mozilla has announced a collaboration with Samsung to produce a new browser engine designed to take full advantage of processors with multiple cores.
- Mozilla Project celebrates 15 years
The Mozilla Project celebrated 15 years of “a better web” this past week. Fifteen years ago, Netscape Communications released the source code to its web browser and mail suite and created the Mozilla Project.
- Open payment system for Firefox OS
Mozilla has released an early draft version of a payment service API, enabling Firefox OS app developers to process purchases. The API design is in part based on Google Wallet, but the WebPayment API will remain open to being used for a wide range of payment service providers.
- Google parts ways with Apple over WebKit, launches Blink
Both Chrome and Safari will move faster when uncoupled from each other, Google argues. But it’s not just about technology: Social issues also factored into the schism.
- IE11, Windows Blue could support Google’s SPDY protocol
Bloggers have spotted evidence of Google’s approach to speed up communications between browsers and Web servers — even though Microsoft offered a rival proposal for the same idea.
- WebKit fracture puts a pinch on open-source browser efforts
With Google concentrating on its own Blink, Apple is tightening the WebKit browser engine code base. That’ll limit other projects seeking to customize the browser.
- Microsoft to Retire Windows 7 Without Service Pack 1 in Just Three Days (April 9th)
Windows 7 remains the number one operating system in the world, with quite a lot of people still running the RTM version and delaying the deployment of the company’s first service pack for this particular version. In case you’re yet to install Service Pack 1, you should really hurry up a little bit, as Windows 7 RTM will go dark on April 9th.
- Ubuntu “Raring Ringtail” hits beta, disables Windows dual-boot tool
Ubuntu developers decided to disable a tool that allows easy installation of Ubuntu alongside an existing Windows instance. Wubi, short for Windows-based Ubuntu Installer, lets users install Ubuntu on the same disk partition as a Windows instance.
- Smart Scopes Skips Ubuntu 13.04, Gets Delayed Until Ubuntu 13.10
Smart Scopes, a feature that was initially planned for release along with Ubuntu 13.04 (Raring Ringtail), has been delayed by another six months.
- Countdown clock: Microsoft marches toward its Messenger phase-out
A reminder for those using the desktop version of Windows Live Messenger: On April 8, Microsoft will begin moving the tens of millions of users of its consumer instant-messaging service to Skype.
- Microsoft’s Outlook.com calendar gets Metro-ized
Microsoft has revamped its Hotmail calendar and turned it into a Metro-ized Outlook.com one.
- Dropbox drops in to help out with Yahoo Mail
The companies are teaming up to let users send, receive and manage Dropbox files within Yahoo’s e-mail service.
- Google expands its Google+ single sign-in feature
Google+ users will find even more ways to use the same log-in credentials to access Web sites, apps, and share information.
- Full-size photos arrive for real on Google+
Trying to keep its photo fans happy, Google now lets people upload full-resolution images to Google+. But big photos count against Google’s 5GB free limit.
- Our Management Consultants Recommended That We Kill Our Free Email Plan; We’re Increasing It Instead
From the blog post: When it comes to hosted email options for your business, there is not a whole lot to choose from unless you want to compromise on quality. There’s Microsoft’s Office 365. There’s Google Apps. And there’s Zoho Mail. We’re increasing our Free plan for Zoho Mail, making it even better and making it completely free for up to 5 users.
- First VLC for Windows 8 Screenshots Released
VLC developers have just published a new set of screenshots showing the upcoming Windows RT flavor of their multimedia player, a new version that should be released in the next few months.
- Amazon Cloud Drive ups its game with file syncing
Amazon Cloud Drive is more on a level playing field with the likes of Dropbox and Box now that it has what should be a standard feature: file syncing.
- Facebook unveils its new ‘Home’ on Android
In what might have been a terribly kept secret, Facebook has unveiled its Android project.
- HTC First can revert to stock Android in lieu of Facebook Home
It looks like HTC’s new “Facebook Phone,” the First, runs stock Android. Phandroid reports that the unadorned OS is lurking just beneath the surface, accessible either by resetting the default launcher or by disabling the Facebook Home app from its own settings.
Fractured glass photo effect courtesy of PhotoFunia.
- Exclusive: Ongoing malware attack targeting Apache hijacks 20,000 sites
Tens of thousands of websites, some operated by The Los Angeles Times, Seagate, and other reputable companies, have recently come under the spell of “Darkleech,” a mysterious exploitation toolkit that exposes visitors to potent malware attacks.
- DHS Warns of ‘TDos’ Extortion Attacks on Public Emergency Networks
As if emergency responders weren’t already overloaded: Increasingly, extortionists are launching debilitating attacks designed to overwhelm the telephone networks of emergency communications centers and personnel, according to a confidential alert jointly issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.
- How to stop your friends’ Facebook apps from accessing *your* private information
Many internet users are wary of sharing their personal information willy-nilly with the world, but did you know that sometimes it’s your friends who might be unwittingly passing your private details on?
- Up to 1 million Scribd user passwords may have been compromised
Scribd use of an old hashing algorithm has led to users’ accounts being put at risk following a hacking attempt.
- The War Z taken offline following hack that exposed user passwords
The War Z, a first-person zombie shooter game with 600,000 players, has been taken offline after attackers gained access to e-mail addresses and password data used to play the game and log in to user forums.
- Windows 8 Anti-Virus Struggles to Pass New Security Tests
While Bitdefender Internet Security 2013 has been crowned the best anti-virus on Windows 8, Microsoft’s Windows Defender scored poorly, struggling once again to get AV-TEST’s certification.
- Firefox prepares additional ‘Do Not Track’ options
The newest Firefox betas deliver nuance to the “Do Not Track” setting, a browser optimization option, better HTML5 support, and custom fonts on Android.
- What should you do when two-step authentication is not available for your Apple ID?
From the blog post: When Apple introduced two-step authentication for Apple ID my first thought was “Finally, the fruit company takes security seriously”. But, as I’ve come to learn, that’s not entirely accurate for everyone as the new feature is only available for users living in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States. What if you’re living in Canada or Germany? Well, tough luck, you can’t use it. But what can you do?
- WordPress.com boosts security for bloggers with two-factor authentication
Automattic, the company behind the wildly-popular blog hosting platform WordPress.com, has announced the immediate availability of 2FA (two-factor authentication) for WordPress.com account holders.
- Has your Hewlett-Packard ScanJet printer just tried to infect your PC with malware?
Computer users are being warned to be on their guard, after cybercriminals spammed out an attack posing as emails from Hewlett-Packard ScanJet printers.
- Malware spread on Skype taps victim PCs to mint bitcoins
As the value of bitcoins skyrockets, security researchers have discovered yet another piece of malware that harnesses the processing power of compromised PCs to mint the digital currency.
- Bitcoin value stumbles amid DDoS attacks, Instawallet breach
After seeing its value increase exponentially during the first quarter of 2013, Bitcoin’s growth spurt appears to be stumbling amid news of denial-of-service attacks and a breach at Instawallet.
- Russian malware spies on US ATMs
Security firm Group-IB has identified a malware program called Dump Memory Grabber that can take debit and credit card data from point-of-sale (POS) terminals and ATMs. The researchers say that the program has already been used to steal data from clients of US banks including Chase, Capital One, Citibank, and Union Bank N.A. as well as from clients with Nordstrom-branded cards.
- Home Invasion: Home Routers May Be The Next Big Hack
Most of us have broadband at home. It’s always there. It works and, for the most part, we don’t think about it until it goes down. Our amnesia extends to the humble home gateway or broadband router that is our connection to the global Internet. But all those small, insecure devices could add up to a major security crisis for users and their Internet Service Provider (ISP), according to researchers at the firm IOActive.
- Apple’s iMessage encryption trips up feds’ surveillance
Internal document from the Drug Enforcement Administration complains that messages sent with Apple’s encrypted chat service are “impossible to intercept,” even with a warrant.
- Google fights FBI’s warrantless data requests in federal court
It’s the first major company to openly challenge FBI’s warrantless data-gathering known as national security letters, which authorize a gag order ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge.
- Letting Down Our Guard With Web Privacy
Say you’ve come across a discount online retailer promising a steal on hand-stitched espadrilles for spring. You start setting up an account by offering your e-mail address — but before you can finish, there’s a ping on your phone. A text message. You read it and respond, then return to the Web site, enter your birth date, click “F” for female, agree to the company’s terms of service and carry on browsing. But wait: What did you just agree to?
- Possible security disasters loom with rollout of new top-level domains
Plans to populate the Internet with dozens of new top-level domains in the next year could give criminals an easy way to bypass encryption protections safeguarding corporate e-mail servers and company intranets, officials from PayPal and a group of certificate authorities are warning.
- Can a DDoS break the Internet? Sure… just not all of it
Last week’s DDoS attack caused big problems for some, went unnoticed by others.
- Congratulations Geek!
Fava beans with nice bottle of Chianti? $20. Two tickets to the Allman Brothers Band at the Beacon Theater? $150. How-To Geek forum reload with Discourse? Priceless. Kudu’s to our friends Lowell and Jeff for the presence of forethought to make it happen.
- A review of the Nokia Lumia 920 by a Windows Phone fan
Check out what he had to say about this phone. Is it really as good as several publications have said? Is it worth buying?
- Track flights easily with FlightRadar 24 (iOS)
This truly is one of our favorite apps. If you travel often or just need to know where a particular flight is in it’s track, this app is fantastic, Available for free. The $2.99 Pro version offers more features and we use it often.
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into an Always-On Usenet Machine
- How to Use Google Chrome to Remotely Access Your Computer
- What Lossless File Formats Are & Why You Shouldn’t Convert Lossy to Lossless
- How to Encrypt Your Android Phone and Why You Might Want To
- HTG Explains: Why You Should Perform Clean Installs, Not Upgrades
- HTG Explains: Is Tor Really Anonymous and Secure?
- How Does My PC Know What Kind of RAM is Installed?
- Building the How-To Geek Community: The Discourse Project
- Why Are Google Search Results Faster Than Local Hard Drive Queries?
- HTG Explains: Why Lag and Low FPS Aren’t the Same Thing
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- The Oldest Star in the Universe
- Mountains Wallpaper Collection for Your Nexus 7 Tablet
- Google Launches Blink Browser Engine, Says Sayonara to Apple and Webkit
- The True Science of Parallel Universes
- Yahoo! Mail gets ‘Built-In’ Dropbox Integration
- Reminder: Windows Live Messenger Migration to Skype Begins Next Week
- Create a Customized Tab on the Office 2013 Ribbon
- Disable the Mini Toolbar and Live Preview in Word 2013
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- What Is The Longest Running Company In The World?
- Abundant Rose Bushes in Grape Vineyards Serve What Purpose?
- Which Cartoon Was The Last To Be Animated With Cells?
- The Coldest Known Star Is Only As Warm As What?
- What Ubiquitous Office Application Was Originally Mac-Only?
- Who Is The Father Of The PG-13 Movie Rating?
- What Is Responsible For That Distinct Post-Rainfall Smell?
One Year Ago on How-To Geek