Heartbleed bug: how to avoid this massive web hack; Windows 8.1 Update 1 released; Sticking with Windows XP can be a smart move; Science says using social media makes you depressed; Facebook Admits Users Are Confused About Privacy; How to run Windows XP in a virtual machine; ‘Sesame Street’ launches own video-on-demand service; Save ink when you print a Web page; Best tips to remove smudges and stains from a monitor or HDTV; Teens still tiring of Facebook, prefer Instagram; Netflix Is Now Streaming In 4K; Dumb things IT people say; Wolfenstein gameplay trailer; The Walking Dead game series hits Google Play; Snowden to NSA: Go ahead, deny I tried to raise the alarm legally.
What Is Heartbleed? The Video – You’ve probably heard about Heartbleed. You’ve probably been told that, as far as security vulnerabilities go on the Internet, it’s pretty damned scary. But what is Heartbleed? How does it work? Why is it something that you should care about? This Khan Academy-style video tries to break it all down.
Heartbleed bug: how to avoid this massive web hack – Since a fix was released yesterday, a bug has been crawling around the internet for a staggering two years. Introduced to glom on to the system known as OpenSSL back in December of 2011 and in the wild since Open SSL v1.0.1, this bug has been on the web since the 14th of March, 2012. But why was it only made apparent this week, and what can you do?
Heartbleed bug affects Yahoo, OKCupid sites; users face losing passwords – UPDATE 3: Because of a major bug in OpenSSL, Yahoo users are advised not to log in to their email and instant messaging accounts, and other services until the bug is fixed.
Windows 8.1 Update 1 released, now available for download – Microsoft has released Windows 8.1 update 1 on Windows update which brings new features for mouse and keyboard users to the Windows 8 platform including app pinning and new context menus.
Microsoft requires migration to Windows 8.1 Update within 5 weeks – Computerworld – Microsoft yesterday confirmed that Windows 8.1 users must upgrade to Windows 8.1 Update, the refresh that begins rolling out to customers today. “Failure to install this Update will prevent Windows Update from patching your system with any future updates starting with updates released in May 2014,” said Michael Hildebrand of Microsoft in a Monday blog.
How to run Windows XP in a virtual machine – With virtualization, you can run a whole Windows XP desktop inside a window on your Windows 7, 8 or Vista PC. Any Windows XP software you have should run in the virtual machine, and because the virtual computer can’t make changes to your real computer’s hard drive, you won’t have to worry about end-of-support security issues. If you have legacy software you need to run, or just want to run a virtual Windows XP PC, read on—we’ll show you how you can get a virtual machine set up in under 15 minutes.
Forget the XPocalypse: Sticking with Windows XP can be a smart move – When Microsoft ends support for XP, it will no longer issue security updates for the operating system. XP users will be on their own, and be potentially vulnerable to a variety of dangers, particularly zero-day threats. But die-hard owners of XP machines don’t seem particularly concerned. Many of them might not know they’re about to be vulnerable. But as PC World’s Ian Paul reports, many of them are tech-savvy users who know the potential hazards, and believe they have good reasons not to switch.
‘Sesame Street’ launches own video-on-demand service – Parents looking to show their preschooler how to get to “Sesame Street” any time they want now have a new avenue to Bert, Ernie, and Elmo. Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the classic children’s program, on Tuesday launched a new video subscription service called Sesame Go that offers on-demand access to hundreds of full-length episodes of “Sesame Street.” The service, powered by the open-source video technology firm Kaltura, will cost $3.99 a month or $29.99 year for ad-free access from the Web or mobile devices.
Save ink when you print a Web page – The free PrintFriendly.com service and HP’s free Smart Print extension for Internet Explorer (which works with any model printer) make it easy to select only the portions of the page you want to print. Also, switching to a lighter font could cut your printing costs by a fifth or more.
The camera adds 15 pounds, but this app subtracts it – SkinneePix does what every person who has an online dating profile desires: makes you look better. You may feel like the end result is dishonest, but if the camera is adding 15 pounds because of lighting even though you eat well and regularly exercise, that’s not exactly fair either. SkinneePix aims to even the playing field through the use of what appears to be filters that target the face, as the edits don’t seem to affect the body.
Science says using social media makes you depressed – Instead of going out on Friday after work, you’ve been going to the gym and going home early. Your coworkers invite you out for a drink, but it’s on a Wednesday and you use the weeknight as an excuse to bail even though the same reasoning would apply to the very people who invited you out. You’re kind of a drag lately, but nothing is really wrong — you’re just down for some unexplainable reason. A new scientific study suggests that social media may be the cause of your slump.
Survey finds teens still tiring of Facebook, prefer Instagram – Internet analysts at Piper Jaffray have both good news and bad news for the world’s largest social network: Teens continue to lose interest in Facebook but are showing an increasing appetite for Instagram, a Facebook property. The mixed-bag news comes from the investment bank and asset management firm’s semi-annual survey of upper-income and average-income teens in the US. Piper Jaffray’s spring 2014 report Taking Stock With Teens, published Tuesday, surveyed around 5,000 teens, and includes findings spanning fashion, video games, Apple products, and social networks.
Skype for Windows 8.1 updated, adds a few new features – Microsoft has released version 2.7 of its Skype app for Windows 8.1, which allows users to stay invisible to their contacts but still receive any messages directed at them, among other additions.
Facebook Admits Users Are Confused About Privacy, Will Show More On-Screen Explanations – Facebook today offered reporters a deep dive on how it handles privacy and previewed some upcoming changes. The company revealed it does 80 trillion privacy checks per day on the backend to make sure data isn’t wrongly exposed. It runs 4000 surveys about privacy per day which pushed it to now begin displaying on-screen descriptions of how privacy controls work, including for status update audience selectors and resharing.
More Internet Domains Set to Go Live This Month – After launching its first wave of new domains earlier this year, generic top-level domain (gTLDs) registry Donuts on Tuesday announced plans to roll out 17 new domain names this month, including .bargains, .cheap, .coffee, .holiday, .zone, and .cool. This means that anyone will be able to soon register website names on these domains – like PCMagis.cool or danger.zone, for instance.
Three power user menu options every Windows 8.1 user should know – Windows 8.1 already has a Start menu of sorts buried under a right-click on the Start button in the lower left corner. Commonly known as the power user menu, this menu is a popular option to quickly shut down a PC since it’s much simpler than clicking on the Settings charm. There’s more to the power user menu than just turning off your computer, however. Here are three features from the power user menu that every Windows 8.1 user should know about.
The best tips to remove smudges and stains from a PC monitor or an HDTV – Even if you don’t have snot-nosed kids or wet-nosed pets, your computer monitor or HDTV panel will eventually accumulate a collection of annoying smudges and stains. My household happens to contain both of the aforementioned creatures and, thus, I’ve developed a method for wiping down the HDTV in the living room and the LCD monitor in my office, as well as the screen of my laptop and iPad.
OpenSSL Heartbeat (Heartbleed) Vulnerability (CVE-2014-0160) and its High-Level Mechanics – The vulnerability occurs in what is known as the heartbeat extension to the SSL / TLS protocol, and it specifically impacts version 1.0.1 and beta versions of 1.0.2 of OpenSSL. Even though OpenSSL is just one implementation of the SSL / TLS protocol, it is the most widely deployed implementation. In this SOC Talk, Elastica’s CTO Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan walks through the mechanics of the flaw (at a high level), how an attacker can exploit it, and its underlying ramifications. It is important to stress that the flaw is not inherent to the SSL / TLS protocol itself, but rather to the specific OpenSSL implementation.
Adobe issues Flash security update – A fix for Flash Player addresses four security problems. Windows, Mac and Linux users are all vulnerable.
Not your father’s spam: Trojan slingers attach badness to attachment WITHIN attachment – Cybercrooks are upping the ante by loading malware as an attachment inside another attachment in a bid to slip past security defences. A new variant of the Upatre Trojan comes bundled in spammed messages that imitate emails from known banks such as Lloyds Bank and Wells Fargo. The .MSG file of the malicious emails contains another .MSG file attached with an attached “ZIP” file. The ZIP files poses as a password-protected archive containing a “secure message” from the intended victim’s bank while in reality containing a variant of the Upatre Trojan.
Office, IE, Flash fixes accompany Windows XP’s final Patch Tuesday – The April edition of the monthly security update contains four bulletins that address a total of 11 vulnerabilities in various Microsoft products. Two of the bulletins have been rated by the company as critical fixes, while the other two are classified as important updates. The critical fixes include a cumulative security update for Internet Explorer versions 6 to 11 on Windows XP through Windows 8.1 and RT. The update, which is considered a critical fix for all non-server versions of Windows, addresses six flaws that would allow for remote code execution on a targeted system.
As Microsoft Support for XP Expires, Antivirus Vendors Pick Up The Slack – As you might be aware Microsoft support for Windows XP expires today, which means that the company will stop issuing security patches. Around 30 percent of you have ignored all warnings up until now and you’re still using it. Stubborn bunch, aren’t you? Cybercriminals use sophisticated PowerShell-based malware – Two separate threats that use malicious Windows PowerShell scripts were identified in the past few weeks by malware researchers.
Apple: Samsung should pay us $2.191B for infringement – An expert hired by Apple says he reached the amount based on the scale, time span, rivalry between the companies, and belief the patents covered technologies that helped Samsung gain users.
Facebook’s India User Base Crosses 100M, Set To Become Its Biggest Market – India is inching closer to overtake the U.S. as Facebook’s biggest market, at least in terms of the number of active users. With over 100 million users as of March 31, India is now the only country where Facebook can aspire to have 1 billion users, thanks to a growing base of Internet users (currently around 200 million) and increasing proportion of mobile phone subscribers in its over 1.23 billion population.
Google uses Windows XP’s end of support to push Chromebooks to corporations – In a post on its Enterprise blog, Google stated that from now until June 30th, companies that contact Chromebooks for Business sales will get $100 for each managed device that is bought by the customer. Google is also offering $200 off the recently launched VMware Desktop as a Service, which will allow businesses to access Windows apps remotely on Chromebooks.
Microsoft gets clearance from Chinese authorities to purchase Nokia’s devices division – Nokia has just announced that it has received clearance from Chinese authorities to sell its devices business unit to Microsoft and is moving closer to completion of the deal
JP Morgan makes $63 billion case for Apple laptop-tablet hybrid – The “A8” processor could drive Apple into a new multibillion market as the chip achieves performance on par with Intel processors powering the MacBook Air, says JP Morgan.
Selected Press Releases:
MediaFire Announces 1 TB of Storage for 2.50 a Month, New Android and iPad Apps on the Way – Today, MediaFire is looking to provide a better, safer, and more affordable alternative to these companies, with the launch of our new consumer cloud storage plan, which gives users one terabyte of cloud storage for only five dollars a month. As an added bonus, for a limited time, MediaFire is offering half off all storage plans, enabling new users to sign up for just two dollars and fifty cents per month! More.
ai.type’s New Keyboard App Enhances Typing Experience for Android Users When They Need it Most – Fresh off a very successful Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, ai.type has officially released version 2.0 of their Android keyboard to the public. The new keyboard employs Crowdsourced Predictive Text; so that it actually ‘learns’ what to type based on prior usage and recognised industry verbiage. More.
Games and Entertainment:
The Walking Dead game series hits Google Play – The Walking Dead game series, which is split into multiple episodes that comprise a series, have finally hit the Google Play Store, expanding their audience to Android users. The game is available for free, and joins the versions already available for those on other systems.
Super Smash Bros. coming to 3DS “summer 2014,” Wii U in “winter” – Adding some much-needed fuel to the waning Nintendo Wii U fire, Super Smash Bros. game director Masahiro Sakurai took to Nintendo’s YouTube channel today to announce release windows for the fighting series’ next two entries. The boringly named pair of games, Super Smash Bros. For 3DS and Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, will launch “this summer” and “this upcoming winter,” respectively. Both titles will include the exact same characters and move sets, Sakurai promised, but the game’s wild, constantly mutating stages will differ between the platforms. The two versions will link up in various ways, “but I will tell you about those on a later date,” Sakurai said.
Netflix Is Now Streaming In 4K – 4K TV is here. Sort of. Netflix is now streaming the second season of House of Cards and some nature documentaries in 4K/Ultra HD format. But of course, your TV has to support the higher resolution to take advantage of the extra pixel count. Programs available for viewing in 4K will appear with the Ultra HD 4K label. Netflix confirmed to Multichannel News that the company is now streaming some titles in the higher resolution. Currently, Netflix is limiting 4k streaming to only TVs with Netflix and HEVC/H.265 decoding capabilities built in.
Wolfenstein gameplay trailer: Nowhere to Run and lots of guns – Today we see another release from the teams responsible for presenting the 2014 release of Wolfenstein – a new vision of the original first-person-shooter Nazi-killer. Bethesda Softworks have some high-fidelity graphic designers and advertising magicians on their side, that much is certain. Here you’re going red and white once again, dancing to Die Partei Damen (the party girls) mix of Nowhere to Run while you see a massacre.
AMD reveals dual GPU Radeon R9 295X2 card, liquid cooling system included – AMD has announced its new super high end graphic card, the Radeon R9 295X2, with two Radeon GPUs and a built in liquid cooling system. It goes on sale for $1,499 later this month.
Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut now playing on Xbox One and PS4 – Strike Suit Zero, a popular space flight combat game that formed a successful Kickstarter project before landing on Steam, has now made its way to Xbox One and PS4. So if you’re a fan of space robots and flight combat you may want to get your wallets ready, especially as this is the Director’s Cut of the game.
Off Topic (Sort of):
Dumb things IT people say – My job gives me the good fortune to interact with a lot of different people at many companies across every industry. It’s one of the best parts of the job, but it also gives me the opportunity to hear the crazy things we in IT say.
Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott – The National Organization for Marriage, a pressure group that was first formed to support the passage of Proposition 8, called for a boycott of Firefox on Friday over what it says was a targeted attack by gay rights activists. “This is a McCarthyesque witch hunt that makes the term ‘thought police’ seem modest,” NOM president Brian Brown said in a statement. “We urge all consumers to remove Mozilla’s Firefox web browser from their computers as a sign of protest.” Similarly, conservative website TruthRevolt.org has called upon its readers to uninstall the open source browser in protest of what it describes as “Mozilla’s decision to fire Eich.”
Shareholders slam Facebook over ‘incongruent’ PAC contributions on gay rights, online piracy – Facebook shareholders are taking the company to task for political contributions to politicians whose positions on issues such as gay rights and online piracy counter Facebook’s. The contributions do not agree with Facebook’s public statements on issues including the Stop Online Piracy Act, the Protect IP Act, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights, according to a document filed Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission by shareholder NorthStar Asset Management, which represents more than 55,000 Facebook shares.
LAPD officers monkey-wrenched cop-monitoring gear in patrol cars – The Los Angeles Police Commission is investigating how half of the recording antennas in the Southeast Division went missing, seemingly as a way to evade new self-monitoring procedures that the Los Angeles Police Department imposed last year. The Police Commission, an independent body that oversees LAPD policy, was only notified of the situation two months ago. Neither the commission nor the LAPD immediately responded for comment. The self-monitoring had been imposed by the LAPD as the result of federal monitoring of its police activities that formally ended last year after more than a decade.
Mom checks Facebook, stops son from being shot, police say – A Utah mom sees comments on her son’s Facebook page. They are from teens who allegedly claim they will shoot him. She informs the police, who say that the teens were ready to carry out the threat.
Meet Your Inner Fish—and a few other animals left inside you – A miniseries airing on PBS tomorrow shows how evolution made us out of old parts. This concept is demonstrated in a variety of ways. Film of current-day human activities that rely on our inner animals, animations of species long extinct, and interviews with scientists all go into painting the picture of our evolutionary legacies. If there’s any doubt about the connection between evolutionary innovations and modern humans, interviews are done with people affected by mutations in the genes that control these innovations, which are also shared with our fellow animals.
Comcast beats Monsanto in Consumerist’s “Worst Company in America” poll – Comcast has edged out controversial agribusiness giant Monsanto in Consumerist’s March Madness-style “Worst Company in America” poll. “In one of the narrowest Final Death Matches in the centuries’ long history of WCIA battle, Comcast managed to hold the genetically modified body blows of Monsanto,” Consumerist wrote. To outlast 31 other competitors, Comcast had to win five rounds, defeating Yahoo, Facebook, Verizon, and SeaWorld before taking on Monsanto. The final poll was close, with 51.5 percent of voters selecting Comcast.
Something to think about:
“The desire for freedom resides in every human heart. And that desire cannot be contained forever by prison walls, or martial laws, or secret police. Over time, and across the Earth, freedom will find a way.”
– George W. Bush
Today’s Free Downloads:
Hornil StylePix – Hornil StylePix, or simply StylePix, is a graphics editing program with a number of advanced features. Stylepix is an acronym for “Style Pictures”. This means your pictures with nice style. Hornil StylePix has intuitive user interface. It is designed to control the selected functions easy and conveniently. Even if you have no experience, you can easily learn how to edit image and retouching your photos. As a result, Hornil StylePix´s intuitive UI reduces your time to work. Hornil StylePix runs on fewer resources environment such as Net-books and laptop computer or virtual machines(vmware, virtual box, virtual pc and etc.) with full image handling features.
FreeText – FreeText is a simple and easy-to-use notebook for making notes, keeping to-do lists, storing information on accounts and contacts, etc. It can be helpful when you need to save a link, interesting citation, phone number or to simply insert text from a clipboard for a short time. By clicking on a program icon you can immediately start entering data. You don’t have to create and save files — the file is always open in the program, and all changes are automatically saved. No worries! The program is initially customized to launch when your computer turns on and to be always shown in the notification area.
In Pursuit of Freedom – The Pushback Continues:
NSA Spied On Human Rights Groups, Says Snowden – NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed that U.S. government intelligence agencies spied on NGOs and human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as part of its dragnet mass surveillance programs. Snowden was giving testimony, via video-link, to the Council of Europe at a parliamentary hearing on mass surveillance taking place in Strasbourg today. “The U.S. National Security Agency has a directorate that has worked to intentionally subvert the privacy laws and constitutional protections of EU member states against mass surveillance,” said Snowden reading a prepared statement to the Council. “The body of public evidence indicates mass surveillances results in societies that are not only less liberal, but less safe.” “I am proud of the fact that despite the dramatic protestations of intelligence chiefs, no evidence has been shown by any government that the revelations of the last year have caused any specific harm,” he added. “My motivation is to improve government, not to bring it down.” The Council had provided Snowden with a series of questions to which he responded to in the testimony.
Europe’s Top Court Rules 2006 Telecoms Data Retention Law Is Invalid – The European Court of Justice (ECJ), the top court in the European Union, has ruled that an EU-wide law that requires telecoms companies to store user-data for up to two years so it can be handed over to law enforcement authorities is invalid. The EU Data Retention Directive came into force in 2006, requiring Member States to retain communications data for fixed line, mobile telephony and Internet communications, such as the calling telephone number and the name and address of service subscribers/users — and to make the retained data available on request to law enforcement authorities. The law was characterized as an anti-terrorism measure aimed at protecting the public, and a way for law enforcement authorities to combat other crimes. However, the ECJ has ruled the directive is invalid on right-to-privacy grounds — specifically flagging up a clash with two fundamental rights under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the E.U.: “namely the fundamental right to respect for private life and the fundamental right to the protection of personal data”.
Lawmakers push US attorney general for NSA surveillance changes – Several U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday urged the nation’s attorney general to curtail the National Security Agency’s collection of overseas electronic communications, saying President Barack Obama’s promise to revamp a surveillance program focused on U.S. telephone records didn’t go far enough. The Obama administration should go beyond a limited proposal made last month to restructure the NSA’s bulk collection of U.S. phone records and live up to the president’s January pledge to overhaul a wider range of surveillance programs, Representative John Conyers Jr., a Michigan Democrat, said. It’s important to end the U.S. phone records collection, but Obama’s more recent proposal, along with one made by leaders of the House Intelligence Committee, “focus on one program used to access one database collected under one legal authority,” Conyers told Attorney General Eric Holder during a House Judiciary Committee hearing. “To me, the problem is far more complicated than that narrow lens implies.”
Snowden to NSA: Go ahead, deny I tried to raise the alarm legally – Whistle-blower Edward Snowden has challenged the National Security Agency to explicitly deny that he tried — before leaking secret documents to journalists — to use legal, internal means to raise a red flag about the possibly unconstitutional nature of the outfit’s surveillance programs. “The NSA at this point not only knows I raised complaints, but that there is evidence that I made my concerns known to the NSA’s lawyers, because I did some of it through e-mail. I directly challenge the NSA to deny that I contacted NSA oversight and compliance bodies directly via e-mail and that I specifically expressed concerns about their suspect interpretation of the law, and I welcome members of Congress to request a written answer [from the NSA] to this question,” Snowden told Vanity Fair in a feature that’s scheduled for publication later this week. The challenge came in response to a claim by NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett, who led the agency’s investigation of Snowden and who Vanity Fair says told the magazine that Snowden made no formal complaints and that no one at the NSA has reported Snowden mentioning his concerns to them.
UK spies did not misuse powers for mass surveillance, watchdog says – British intelligence agencies do not misuse their powers to engage in random mass intrusion into the communications of law-abiding U.K. citizens, a government watchdog said in an annual report. In a report released Tuesday, U.K. Interception of Communications Commissioner Sir Anthony May, discussed disclosures based on documents leaked by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about what had been secret surveillance programs of the NSA and its British counterpart, GCHQ. The commissioner’s job is to ensure that government agencies follow laws when intercepting communications and he works independently of the government. It is “quite clear” that people who do not associate with potential terrorists or serious criminals, or engage in other actions that could threaten national security are of no interest to surveillance agencies, he wrote.