Week in Geek: Users can Upgrade Windows XP, Vista, 7, and 8 Release Preview for $39.99

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By Akemi Iwaya on July 8th, 2012

Our latest edition of WIG is filled with news link goodness covering topics such as Google has announced another round of product closures, Mozilla will be cutting back on development of Thunderbird, the dark side of QR codes, and more.

Weekly News Links

  • Windows 8 Pro upgrade set for $39.99, Media Center too
    Upgrading to the next version of Windows just got cheaper: Microsoft knocked down the upgrade price to $39.99, and throws in Media Center, too.
  • Microsoft confirms Windows 8 testers to get $40 upgrade price, too
    Those running Microsoft’s Windows 8 Release Preview also will be permitted to move to Windows 8 Pro when it’s available for the newly announced upgrade price.
  • Windows Explorer to Become File Explorer in Windows 8 RTM
    Microsoft is reportedly making some more changes to its Windows 8 platform in preparation for the upcoming RTM and final flavors. One of these will affect the name of one of the most popular tools the platform has at the moment, namely its Windows Explorer.
  • Microsoft to Remove Desktop Gadgets from Windows 8
    Windows 8, the next-generation operating system from Microsoft, should arrive on shelves without a feature that some users have been accustomed to ever since Windows Vista, namely desktop gadgets.
  • Mozilla’s B2G to be called Firefox OS, will ship in 2013
    Several new device manufacturers and mobile carriers have lined up to support Mozilla’s mobile operating system. The software platform, which is based on Mozilla’s Boot2Gecko (B2G) project, will be called Firefox OS when it launches on handsets next year.
  • Double security for Flash under Linux
    Chrome version 20 represents a major step forward for the security of the Google browser, at least for Linux users, for whom this has often been a somewhat neglected area. It introduces a new sandbox concept which precisely regulates and filters the system calls a process is able to make.
  • Thunderbird development to be stalled by Mozilla
    An email leaked this past Friday forced Mozilla to reveal its decision to reduce resources for the Thunderbird email client ahead of a planned announcement on Monday. The early announcement from Mozilla Foundation chair Mitchell Baker explained that the organisation felt that, as an open source, cross-platform email client, Thunderbird was unlikely to be a “source of innovation” and future leadership.
  • Google Service Drops Support for Opera
    Just a brief notice for any users of Google services (everyone, in other words), to say that Google has now stopped supporting the Opera browser within the Blogger (.blogspot) admin interface.
  • Spring cleaning in summer
    This past week Google announced another round of product closures. You can view the list of products in this blog post from Google.
  • Pruning The Garden: Saying Goodbye to a Few Zoho Services
    Zoho has also announced a round of product closures this past week and you can view the list in this blog post from Zoho.
  • Is it time for Microsoft to ‘retire’ its tarnished brands?
    What do Internet Explorer, Hotmail, and Zune have in common? They’re all intensely disliked by the elite tech press. So maybe they need to just disappear.
  • Why Google and Ubuntu don’t say “Linux”
    Some people are complaining that neither Google nor Ubuntu refer to their operating systems as Linux, here’s why they don’t use the “L” word.
  • FSF criticizes secure boot, raises concerns about distro implementations
    The Free Software Foundation (FSF) has published a statement outlining the organization’s concerns about secure boot and its potential implications for open source software. The paper also evaluates the solutions that Linux distributors Canonical and Red Hat have adopted to address the issue.
  • The dark side of QR codes
    Quick response codes are everywhere — magazines, take-out menus, and the sides of bus stops. But this marketing tool could be just the opportunity hackers are looking for.
  • Report: Android malware doubled in just one month
    Malware targeting Google’s open source Android mobile operating system continues to rise – according to a new report, hundreds of thousands of devices have already been infected via applications from the official Google Play store.
  • Researchers create “clickjack rootkit” for Android that hijacks apps
    Researchers at North Carolina State University have demonstrated a prototype rootkit for Google’s Android operating system that can “clickjack” users into launching malicious applications when they think they’re executing legitimate ones. And unlike other rootkits, this one targets Android’s application framework, and not the operating system’s kernel—making it relatively easy to develop.
  • Apple, Google remove Trojan spamming app from stores
    The Find and Call app would capture users’ phone book contacts and transmit them to a remote server, security company Kasperky Lab discovered.
  • Web users beware: DNSChanger victims lose Web access July 9
    On that day, the FBI will be shutting down the temporary DNS servers it used to assist DNSChanger victims.
  • Ransomware threatens to frame user and inform police
    As well as encrypting files on a victim’s computer, a new strain of ransomware discovered by security specialist Sophos threatens to contact the police about certain types of files if the system’s owner doesn’t pay a ransom of €3,000.
  • “Printer Bomb” spread using compromised .htaccess files
    Compromised .htaccess files on web servers allowed the “Printer Bomb” trojan to spread, says a Symantec researcher. The “Printer Bomb” trojan, named Trojan.Milicenso by Symantec, was notable for creating massive print jobs full of garbage characters that made printers run out of paper.

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Akemi Iwaya is a devoted Mozilla Firefox user who enjoys working with multiple browsers and occasionally dabbling with Linux. She also loves reading fantasy and sci-fi stories as well as playing "old school" role-playing games. You can visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 07/8/12
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