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
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
- Panda Internet Security in 2012 – Is it still good?
Panda security products might not be as popular as the ones from Symantec, but they always show up among the top security suites. Let’s see if their 2012 version of products is worth considering as alternatives to their more famous competitors.
- Nostalgic Videos from British Pathé
Take a step back and watch newsreels and short videos from British Pathe.
- Happy Halloween!
An interesting infographic discussing the anatomy of fear, common fears, odd phobias, and more.
Super User Questions
Have a computer-related question that is driving you crazy? Then Super User has the answers you need.
- What is the reason that file URLs start with three slashes: “file:///” etc?
- What does “full format operation” do to a disk?
- Which offers better performance: two 2GB sticks, or one 4GB stick?
- How do I check if some one is accessing my computer from somewhere?
- Best way to encrypt 100GB+ of data
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.
- How to Reset Your Forgotten Windows Password the Easy Way
- The Painless Way to Ditch Your Old Windows XP for a More Secure Linux
- How to Reset Your Windows Password Without an Install CD
- More of the Best Windows 7 Explorer Tips and Tricks
- How to Rename Internet Explorer to Firefox/Chrome Downloader
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.
- Shame on You! You got Caught Using a Pirated License Code [Humorous Image]
- This Mac is Good at Supporting Windows [Funny Image]
- The Ultimate Gaming Setup [Image]
- Beyond Barrel Roll: 10 Hidden Google Tricks
- Extract Text from Images: 10 OCR Tool Compared
- DIY 3G Hotspot Brings Home Internet Access Wherever You Get a 3G Signal
- How Much Does the Internet Weigh?
- Attack of the Shark Submarine [Wallpaper]
- Repair a Faulty Headphone Connection
- Give Your Desktop an Elegant Feel with the Steve Coleman Photography Theme for Windows 7
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.
- How to Maximize Battery Life on Your iPad, iPhone, or iPod Touch
- How to Lock the Screen Orientation on Your iPad (with iOS 4.2)
- How to Force Reboot and Quit Apps on iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch
- How to Pause an iPad / iPhone App Install (to Let Another One Finish First)
- What is the Best Office App for my iPhone or iPod Touch?
How-To Geek Comics Weekly Roundup
- Published 11/6/11