This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link coverage on topics such as Microsoft has confirmed that ‘Blue’ will be free for existing Windows 8 users, Firefox 21 has added support for new services via its Social API, malicious Chrome and Firefox extensions that hijack Facebook profiles have been found, and more.
Special Note: This is our final edition of ‘Week in Geek’ and we hope that you have found the weekly posts to be informative as well as helpful.
Weekly News Links
- Chromium Likely to Replace Firefox As Default Browser in Ubuntu 13.10
Ubuntu 13.10 is hoping to ship with Chromium as the default web-browser in place of Mozilla Firefox.
- Microsoft building touch-screen feature into Chrome
To spread its flexible Pointer Events interface beyond Windows 8 and IE10, Microsoft programmers are trying to build support into Google’s browser.
- Firefox 21 release adds to Social API, closes security holes
The release of Firefox 21 adds support for new services via its Social API and fixes a number of security flaws, while the Android version of the browser gets new fonts and better HTML5 performance.
- WebRTC fully operational in Firefox beta
The quest to free the browser from plug-ins that can impede performance took another step forward on Thursday when Mozilla activated by default Web Real-Time Communication in its latest Firefox beta.
- Microsoft confirms Blue to be free for existing Windows 8 users
Microsoft plans to make its first update to Windows 8, codenamed Blue, free to existing Windows 8 users, company officials have confirmed.
- Microsoft adds Google messaging support to Outlook.com, SkyDrive.com
Microsoft is integrating support for Google contacts and chat into its Outlook.com, SkyDrive.com and contact hub. You can read the official Outlook Blog announcement here.
- Microsoft Improves the SkyDrive Photos Experience
Microsoft has announced several new features for SkyDrive that make it easier for users to upload and manage their photos in the cloud storage service. The improvement comes a week after the firm revealed that over 250 million people actively use the service. You can read the official Inside SkyDrive Blog announcement here.
- Raspberry Pi’s camera board now available
Raspberry Pi, the popular credit card-sized ARM GNU/Linux computer, now has a camera add-on. A year in the making, the camera board consists of a small lens on a chip around the size of a postage stamp, attached to a flex cable. You can read the official Raspberry Pi thread here.
- Google Drive triples free storage to 15GB
Google announces just ahead of its I/O conference that free storage across Google services — Gmail, Google+, and Drive — is leaping from 5GB to 15GB. But why?
- Google Confirm ‘Keep’ to Replace ‘Scratchpad’, Offer Notes Migration Help
Here’s one to file under ‘totally saw that coming’: Google Keep is the official replacement for Scratchpad, Google’s old note-taking web-app.
- Now, get up to 20 free users, when you host email with Zoho Mail
From Zoho: Last month, we announced the increase in Zoho Mail Lite, our free hosted email plan, making it free for up to 5 users. We were overwhelmed and humbled by the compliments showered on us by you, our users. So we have decided to spend even more money with you, instead of hiring consulting firms or on ‘ads with words’. You can now gain 15 more bonus users in your business email account, free forever.
- SMS integration coming to Google+ Hangouts
A Googler takes to Google+ to say that texting via Hangouts is coming soon. But will it help Hangouts pull in a wider audience?
- Yahoo adds tweets to its news feed
The company integrates Twitter to bulk up its content. Readers will see tweets from politicians, celebrities, media outlets, and other publishers.
- Amazon Coins arrive for Kindle Fire users
The e-commerce giant marks the launch by disbursing 500 free Amazon Coins — which buys as much as does a $5 bill — into the Amazon accounts of existing and new Kindle Fire customers in the U.S.
- Google cuts network usage by terabytes by switching to WebP
Google is happy enough with WebP to spread it across the company, including the Google+ app on Android. Also: new features coming to WebP.
- Former Microsoft Canada President: Wifi in Schools is a Potential Health Hazard
Frank Clegg, who worked at Microsoft for 15 years and was president of Microsoft Canada from 2000 to 2005, is opposed to wireless internet in schools.
Fractured glass photo effect courtesy of PhotoFunia.
- Critical Linux vulnerability imperils users, even after “silent” fix
For more than two years, the Linux operating system has contained a high-severity vulnerability that gives untrusted users with restricted accounts nearly unfettered “root” access over machines, including servers running in shared Web hosting facilities and other sensitive environments.
- Malicious Chrome and Firefox extensions found hijacking Facebook profiles
Malicious extensions for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox that hijack Facebook profiles to post messages have been flagged up by Microsoft Malware Protection Center.
- Future Firefox takes tougher stance on mixed content
Mozilla might be fine with mixed company, but it’s not fond of mixed content. A new tool to block unsecured content on secure sites makes its debut in the latest update to Firefox Aurora.
- Mozilla delays turning on third-party cookie killer in Firefox
With Firefox 22 now in beta Mozilla has decided not to enable its new third-party cookie-blocking feature by default. The feature, aimed at preventing cross-site tracking of browser users with cookies not originating from the sites users visit, will still be available in the next Firefox release (due in June) but will be turned off by default.
- OneNote Web App Gets Support for Password-Protection Sections
Microsoft has recently introduced a new important update for OneNote Web App, allowing users of its browser-based productivity suite to access content in password-protection sections.
- Dangerous Trojan can redirect your browser to a malicious web page
Trojan.Mods.1 works by intercepting the system functions necessary for translating DNS names to IP addresses. It does so via a special algorithm. The effect of this is that instead of the site the user has requested, they are redirected to fraudulent pages or certain group of addresses that seek your personal information.
- New Mac spyware found in the Oslo Freedom Forum
F-secure is reporting on new malware found for OS X, which appears to be a backdoor application that so far is known to take screenshots of the user’s computer and then attempt to upload them to remote servers. The malware is being called OSX/KitM.A.
- Name.com domain registrar hacked
US domain registrar and web hosting service Name.com has fallen victim to a hacker attack. In a recent email, the company informed its customers of an incident that potentially enabled unknown attackers to gain access to “email addresses, encrypted passwords and encrypted credit card details”.
- Is your laptop still unencrypted? Perhaps 7 seconds of CCTV might change your mind…
Lots of people don’t worry much about encryption. After all, security companies only promote encryption as a way of life because they’ve got encryption products to sell, right? Perhaps or perhaps not.
- “SpecialisRevelio!” Macs use Harry Potter spell to unlock secret “backdoor”
The Mac on your desk or on the cafe table next to you has a chip with secret functions that can be unlocked only by inputting a spell from the Harry Potter series. The SMC, or system management controller, is a chip used to regulate a Mac’s current and voltage, manage its light sensor, and temporarily store FileVault keys.
- Lost+Found: Hacking Smart TVs, scammer hotlines and Vaccination
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: taking apart Samsung’s Smart TV software, phone scammers with their own hotline, tricking malware with Vaccination, Qualcomm is pre-installing Kaspersky on Android phones, and Twitter account security.
- U.S. government becomes ‘biggest buyer’ of malware
Amid a growing battle between federal government agencies and hackers, cyberwarriors, and cyber-enemy nation states, the U.S. is ramping up its malware stockpile to ‘hack back’ at those who attack it.
- It’s official: Password strength meters aren’t security theater
If you’ve ever been nagged about the weakness of your password while changing account credentials on Google, Facebook, or any number of other sites, you may have wondered: do these things actually make people choose stronger passcodes? A team of scientists has concluded that the meters do work—or at least they have the potential to do so, assuming they’re set up correctly.
- Updated data shows prevalence of Java malware in 2012
From Microsoft: Recently we released the Microsoft Security Intelligence Report volume 14. The report initially presented data showing reduced Java malware detections in Q3 2012 and gaining prevalence in Q4 of 2012. During a later review of the backend data, we found that we were missing some detection counts from our initial calculations. We have revised the data.
- Rising risk of cyberattacks on U.S. companies tests public-private collaboration
A cyberattack could disrupt the companies that provide critical infrastructure services in the U.S., a government agency warns. The challenge? They’re in the private sector.
- DDoS Services Advertise Openly, Take PayPal
The past few years have brought a proliferation of online services that can be hired to knock Web sites and individual Internet users offline. Once only found advertised in shadowy underground forums, many of today’s so-called “booter” or “stresser” services are operated by U.S. citizens who openly advertise their services while hiding behind legally dubious disclaimers.
- The Nokia Lumia 620 review
A detalied review of the Nokia Lumia 620.
- How a Bitcoin Transaction Works
An infographic that shows the transaction process involved when using Bitcoins.
- Coffee Geekdom
Which one(s) are you?
- The iPhone20 as a Weapon
The iPhone 20 and Samsung Galaxy S 23, a weapon and shield combination so awesome that even a Jedi Knight would choose it!
How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap
- How Computer Manufacturers Are Paid to Make Your Laptop Worse
- How to Backup Your DVD and Blu-Ray Movie Collection
- 8 Ways Hardware Manufacturers Are Deceiving You
- Go Paperless: Stop Printing Everything and Enjoy the Digital Life
- Geek School: Learn How to Use Excel Macros to Automate Tedious Tasks
- How PowerShell Differs From the Windows Command Prompt
- HTG Explains: What is Bitcoin and How Does it Work?
- 30+ Web-Based Alternatives to Traditional Desktop Apps for Chromebooks and PCs
- Get Suggestions for Improving Your Android Phone’s Battery Life With Carat
- What Is the Text In Front of the Command Line Called?
Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side
- Some Mind-Bending Earth GIFs (Google Earth Engine)
- Google Merges Gmail and Google Drive Storage into a Single Shared Storage Space
- Rain Wallpaper Collection for Your Nexus 7 Tablet
- Raspberry Pi Camera Board now Available for Purchase
- What if You were Born in Space?
- How to Selectively Sync Folders From Your SkyDrive to Your PC
- How to Use Two-Factor Authentication for Windows Live on Your Devices
- How to Make Outlook 2013 Close the Original Message When You Reply to an Email
- Watch Google’s I/O 2013 Conference Live
- How to Change Your Safe Search Preference in the Metro Bing App
Daily App Downloads
- ‘Dots: A Game About Connecting’ is the Perfect Choice for Quick Gaming Fun
- Defend Your Kingdom from Invasion by Evil Hordes in Kingdom Rush
- Test Your Puzzle Solving Skills with Amazing Stick’s Puzzles HD
How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup
- If Alexander Graham Bell Had His Way, We’d Start Telephone Conversations With What?
- Which Video Game Character Derives His Name From Time Travel?
- Which Cologne Do Scientists Use To Attract Wild Cats?
- Which Herbivore Stalks Its Food Against The Wind Like A Carnivore?
- Which Color Name Was Introduced To The English Language Via Plant?
- If You’ve Written A Typo Undetectable By Spellcheck, You’ve Created What?
- By Whose Request Was Margarine Invented?
One Year Ago on How-To Geek
- How To Customize Your Wallpaper with Google Image Searches, RSS Feeds, and More
- How to Quickly and Easily Send Files to Your SkyDrive in Windows
- 5 Alternative Search Engines That Respect Your Privacy
- How to Use CCleaner Like a Pro: 9 Tips & Tricks
- How to Extend the Windows Firewall and Easily Block Outgoing Connections
- How To Hide Passwords in an Encrypted Drive Even the FBI Can’t Get Into
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup