Week in Geek: Windows 8 Security Flaw – Passwords Stored in Plain Text When Using Picture or PIN Login

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By Akemi Iwaya on October 14th, 2012

This week’s edition of WIG is filled with news link coverage on topics such as new malware seeks to lock Skype users out of their PCs, Dell will stick to Windows 7 after Windows 8 debut, Mozilla Thunderbird users now get 25 GB of cloud storage for free, and more.

Weekly News Links

  • Firefox Nightly introduces streamlined installer on Windows
    Mozilla has introduced a new feature in nightly builds of Firefox for Windows that streamlines the install process for the open source browser. The new “Stub Installer” downloads a small executable that users execute and which in turn downloads the actual installation files from Mozilla’s servers.
  • Mozilla rereleases Firefox 16 after fixing critical flaw
    The browser was pulled from download after only a day, to fix bug that could reveal which Web sites a user had visited.
  • Firefox Debuts New Developer Toolbar
    Firefox makes developing for the Web faster and easier with a unique Developer Command Line. The new tool provides easy keyboard control over Firefox Developer Tools and is intuitive, completing commands and parameters for you. Blog post includes video.
  • Firefox Beta adds ‘preliminary support’ for Social API
    The new application programming interface is intended to let developers integrate social features directly into the browser, though it doesn’t sound like it’s ready for prime time yet.
  • Flash Websites Won’t Load in IE 10 Unless Microsoft Approves Them
    Internet Explorer 10, the version that’s currently available to Windows 8 users only, won’t load Flash websites unless Microsoft places them on its very own whitelist (this limitation applies to the Metro-version).
  • HTTPS Everywhere plugin from EFF protects 1,500 more sites
    Members of the Electronic Frontier Foundation have updated their popular HTTPS Everywhere browser plugin to offer automatic Web encryption to an additional 1,500 sites, twice as many as previously offered.
  • Thunderbird Users Get 25GB of Cloud Storage for Free
    Mozilla has rolled out Thunderbird 16, with a short list of modifications and even a shorter one for known issues. The new revision sees Box.com added to the list of online storage services you can use with Thunderbird Filelink service.
  • Google Extends Microsoft Office Support Due to Customer Complaints
    Google announced on October 1 that it would drop support for older Microsoft Office formats in its Apps service, but the Mountain View-based company is apparently reconsidering the decision due to consumer complaints.
  • Microsoft’s new Office Web Apps to roll out to Office 365 users in late October
    As part of a SharePoint Online service update later this month, Microsoft will deliver the new versions of its Office Web Apps to Office 365 users.
  • Windows 8 Won’t Allow 18+ Rated Games
    Microsoft promises that the Windows Store will provide access to up to 100,000 apps by February 2013, but it seems that the Redmond-based technology company is planning to block 18+ rated games.
  • Microsoft (finally) allows Xbox Live account migration to a new country
    While there are many benefits to an Xbox Live membership, with more to come, one of the frustrations for a select few has been the inability to change country associations for your Xbox Live account. If you had an Xbox Live membership and then moved to another country, you were basically stuck, and forced to give up all of your achievements to make the switch. Now, according to a post on the Xbox Forums by an Xbox Live Ambassador, Microsoft is for the first time allowing Xbox Live members to migrate accounts.
  • Did You Know: Microsoft SkyDrive Has a “High” Startup Impact on Windows 8
    Microsoft SkyDrive is clearly a helpful cloud storage service that’s already integrated into several apps developed by the Redmond-based technology company, including Office 365 and Windows 8. When it comes to the latter however, SkyDrive may slow down the startup process, as Windows 8’s very own Task Manager tells us.
  • Dell to Stick to Windows 7 after Windows 8 Debut
    Microsoft will unveil Windows 8 on October 25, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that all consumers and businesses will instantly make the move to the new operating system. Dell says it will continue to offer Windows 7 to its buyers, even after the Redmond-based technology company rolls out the new Windows iteration.
  • Linux Could Boot Up in Under a Second
    The boot speed of an operating system is a major feature in today’s market, either for commercial operating systems or free distributions. What if there is a possibility to improve the boot up speed of a Linux OS to under a second?
  • Linux Is Now Safe from Microsoft’s UEFI
    The Linux Foundation has proposed a solution for the current conundrum Linux is facing, with the introduction of Secure boot specification for UEFI.
  • Official Ubuntu One App for Mac Enters Beta
    A beta build of Ubuntu One for OS X has been released by the Ubuntu One team. The team say that the client will ‘give all users regardless of platform, access to all the great benefits of Ubuntu One.”
  • Ubuntu 12.10 Adds Option to Disable Dash Online Searches
    After the huge pressure exercised by the community, Canonical has implemented an option to stop the online dash searches.
  • Ubuntu Add Legal Disclaimer to Unity Dash
    A legal disclaimer that links to an updated Privacy Policy from Canonical has been added to the Unity Dash in Ubuntu 12.10. The policy details how personal data is used and what it’s used for when ‘online results’, such as the Shopping Lens, are enabled.
  • Dreamlinux Distribution Is Dead
    Dreamlinux, a Linux distribution based on Debian and Morphi, featuring a selection of the best applications designed to meet most of the users’ daily needs, is now officially dead.
  • “Can you fix my Windows 95 computer?”: How to troll a tech support scammer
    The Internet gets mad—and hilarious—in exposing an obnoxious tech-related scam.

Security News

TinyHacker Links

  • A Look Into the Default Windows 8 Apps
    Did you know what the essential Windows 8 apps and their respective functions are? This guide should help you with that.
  • Want Norton 2013? Read this review first
    In this article you will learn about the real performance of their latest security suite and some surprising facts about the 2013 version.
  • M$
    XKCD indulges in a sarcastic and humorous look at the monopoly busting process and how some companies have managed to “avoid” the problem.
  • The Lasting Legacy of Steve Jobs
    Love him or hate him, you likely respect him. Wired reflects on the legacy of Steve Jobs on the one year anniversary of his passing.

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How-To Geek Weekly Trivia Roundup

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 10/14/12
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