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Week in Geek: Internet Explorer Usage Drops Below 50%

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This week we learned how to turn images and photos into sound files, customize and decorate your QR Codes with pictures, use LogMeIn Hamachi to access your files anywhere, learned what those desktop.ini files you keep seeing are, looked back at the best How-To Geek articles for October, and more.

Weekly News Links

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Chart courtesy of Ars Technica.

  • The end of an era: Internet Explorer drops below 50% of Web usage
    A couple of interesting things happened in the world of Web browser usage during October. The more significant one is that Internet Explorer’s share of global browser usage dropped below 50 percent for the first time in more than a decade.
  • Banshee, Tomboy And Mono Dropped from Ubuntu 12.04 CD
    Banshee will be replaced by Rhythmbox for Ubuntu 12.04. The news was confirmed during the wrap-up session of the Ubuntu Developer Summit. But Banshee is not the only removal: note-taking application Tomboy is also to be removed from the default application set on the CD.
  • Ubuntu Linux heads to smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs.
    Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu Linux, plans to take on Android, iOS and Windows on the smartphones, tablets and smart TVs.
  • Dell, HP Respond to Secure Boot Issue
    A big issue right now in the world of operating systems – especially Linux – is Microsoft’s requirement that all Windows 8 machines ship with UEFI’s secure boot enabled, with no requirement that OEMs implement it so users can turn it off.
  • Do not track, online ads, and the end of anonymity
    At present, the track-me-not setting in browsers is merely window dressing. Compliance is strictly voluntary. In fact, most ad networks will still track your Web activities despite your having this option enabled, although they may not serve up ads based on your past activities.
  • Zero-day Windows kernel bug used in Duqu infections
    Researchers have figured out one way the Stuxnet-like Duqu Trojan is infecting computers–via a Word document that exploits a previously unknown Windows kernel bug.
  • Download Automatic Fix for Duqu 0-Day Vulnerability in Windows Kernel
    While a security update for the Critical zero-day vulnerability in Windows kernel exploited by the Duqu malware is not yet available, Microsoft has reacted quite fast to enable customers to at least deploy a temporary solution until it releases an official patch. Includes download link for the fix.
  • Microsoft Warns of Windows Live ‘Confirm Your Account’ Phishing Attack
    Microsoft has warned customers using its web properties, including services associated with Windows Live such as Hotmail, of a new phishing attack designed to steal their sensitive data.
  • Thousands of WordPress blogs hijacked to deploy malicious code
    Anti-virus firm Avast reports that criminals are exploiting a critical hole in the TimThumb WordPress add-on to deploy malicious code on a large scale.
  • DevilRobber trojan steals Bitcoins and data
    While software piracy may be enticing for some people, its drawbacks, besides theft, not only include running potentially unstable software, but also provide an avenue for malware to wreak havoc on your system and your personal information.
  • Worth Reading: ROP protection in Windows 8 bypassed
    Windows 8 offers a range of new protection mechanisms that are designed to hamper the efforts of exploit authors. However, shortly after the release of the Windows 8 Developer Preview, a way to circumvent one of these new obstacles has already been found.
  • Symantec uncovers cyber espionage of chemical, defense firms
    Hackers targeted about 50 organizations–including chemical and defense companies–in a global wave of cyber espionage attacks this summer, Symantec said in a report released today.
  • Half of spam now comes from Asia
    Asia is now the top contributor of spam among all continents, accounting for over half of all spam messages relayed globally, reveals a new report released Wednesday.
  • ‘Socialbots’ steal 250GB of Facebook data
    “Socialbots”, computer programs resembling humans, have penetrated Facebook and harvested 250 gigabytes of personal information belonging to thousands of users on the social networking site, according to researchers from the University of British Columbia.
  • Say what? Google now indexing Facebook comments
    Your name might be a little more searchable these days, as Google now indexes comments you publish on Web sites using the Facebook Comments platform.

Random TinyHacker Links

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Super User Questions

Have a computer-related question that is driving you crazy? Then Super User has the answers you need.

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How-To Geek Weekly Article Recap

Had a busy week and need to get caught up on your reading? Then start with our hottest HTG Main posts of the week.

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Geeky Goodness from the ETC Side

Make sure to add a bit of fun to your weekend reading with our most popular ETC posts of the week.

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One Year Ago on How-To Geek

Tweak, improve, and make the most of your favorite iDevice this weekend with these terrific articles from one year ago.

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How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup

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Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 11/6/11

Comments (8)

  1. J Glenn

    IE is too slow, to large, too many crashes, and does not have the features offered by other browsers like Chrome and Firefox.

  2. Meena Bassem

    i can guess that most of these 50% IE users use it just cuz it’s the one in there. if they have a computer with chrome or firefox installed as default browser, they wouldn’t mind using it.

  3. Simon F

    When ever I install a PC / Laptop for friends or family, I always install firefox as the default and chrome as a spare, then I delete the shortcuts to ie :D

  4. Myrddin J. Emrys

    Windows Ad blocking service sucks, allowing tracking cookies to sit and watch what you do.
    The only thing I use it for is sometime web development.

  5. miki

    I love opera, !!!

  6. Meddi N.

    Firefox and its addons is the boss! But I’d never diss IE, because it was IE that introduced me to the whole thing back in 1997 on Windows 95. Back then it was either Netscape Navigator or IE, and i choose the second one.

  7. miry-mir

    2 J Glenn REALLY? eat you advertisement, bald-monkey :)

  8. Alain

    I still can’t understand why Opera doesn’t get more market share. Its many features are not well promoted i guess. My actual Opera set-up just wouldn’t be possible on any other browser, including my carefully designed Firefox. Even the “normal” Opera set up i put on my girlfriend’s computer still rocks. (But i imported many shortcuts and gestures that do very precisely what i want to do and display.)

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