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NewsBot

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  1. Software developers listen up: if you want people to pay attention to your security warnings on their computers or mobile devices, you need to make them pop up at better times. A new study from BYU, in collaboration with Google Chrome engineers, finds the status quo of warning messages appearing haphazardly—while people are typing, watching a video, uploading files, etc.—results in up to 90 percent of users disregarding them. Researchers found these times are less effective because of "dual task interference," a neural limitation where even simple tasks can't be simultaneously perfor
  2. Microsoft yesterday announced that beginning in October it will offer only cumulative security updates for Windows 7 and 8.1, ending the decades-old practice of letting customers choose which patches they apply. "Historically, we have released individual patches ... which allowed you to be selective with the updates you deployed," wrote Nathan Mercer, a senior product marketing manager, in a post to a company blog. "[But] this resulted in fragmentation where different PCs could have a different set of updates installed leading to multiple potential problems." Instead, only cumulative
  3. Facebook can’t win the war it started on ad blockers last week. So say Princeton assistant professor Arvind Narayanan and undergraduate Grant Storey, who have created an experimental ad “highlighter” for the Chrome browser to prove it. When you have Facebook Ad Highlighter installed, ads in the News Feed are grayed out and written over with the words “THIS IS AN AD.” Facebook announced that it was taking measures to prevent ad blockers from working on Tuesday last week. On Thursday the largest ad blocker out there, Adblock Plus, informed users of a simple tweak to their settings that
  4. Google is working on a new operating system — and it has nothing to do with Android. A page has surfaced on the code-sharing website GitHub about the new OS, called — for now, at least — Fuchsia. It's not based on Android, the California-based technology company's mobile operating system used in billions of smartphones around the world, nor does it build upon the Linux kernel. The GitHub page is pretty sparse on explainers: Its description is simply, "Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System)." There has been no official announcement from Google, and it sounds as if
  5. Microsoft released Windows 10's Anniversary Update last week, but it's already getting ready to unveil new features for its next major update. The software giant has started testing its "Redstone 2" update to Windows 10, with an initial build available for Windows Insiders testing public beta copies. The new update doesn't have any big new features for public testers yet, as Microsoft is in the early stages of making structural improvements to its OneCore shared code of Windows across PCs, tablets, phones, HoloLens, Xbox, and IoT. The first few builds available for testing "may include mo
  6. The great deplusification of Google continues as a Google+ has been removed from yet another Google product. This time it's the Play Store, which has dropped Google+ votes from apps and nixed the G+ account requirement from app reviews. There was an entire Google+ focused "People" section on the Play Store that showed apps and ratings from people you follow on Google+. The Play Store also allowed users to "+1" apps on the Play Store, which served as a vote of approval from people you follow. Both features are being stripped out of Google Play, starting earlier this week. The other fe
  7. Data thieves used a massive “botnet” against professional networking site LinkedIn and stole member’s personal information, a new lawsuit reveals. The Mountain View firm filed the federal suit this week in an attempt to uncover the perpetrators. “LinkedIn members populate their profiles with a wide range of information concerning their professional lives, including summaries (narratives about themselves), job histories, skills, interests, educational background, professional awards, photographs and other information,” said the company’s complaint, filed in Northern California U.S. Di
  8. Google has been hit by a $6.75 million antitrust fine in Russia for requiring phone manufacturers to preinstall its apps on Android mobile devices. The majority of smartphones and tablets solid in Russia run on Android, and domestic search engine rival Yandex filed a complaint last year that the US company was abusing its position. The fine itself is small — less than what the company makes in an hour, notes Recode — but the decision shows increasing enmity to Google in Europe. One of the many antitrust complaints currently being levied against Google by the EU focuses on the same issue:
  9. Another day, another case of Facebook disappearing a video that it should have left up. A politician in Hong Kong says that Facebook banned him from the site for 24 hours for a "terms of service violation" after he posted a video of him confronting men who had been following him around for weeks. That seems like a valuable and important video in the public interest. But Facebook didn't think so. View the full article
  10. It’s been a rough few days for people looking for alternatives to their current internet providers. Last week, the Federal Communications Commission issued a report documenting what many of you already know: You don’t have much choice when it comes to broadband. In fact, most of you have only one or no companies selling high-speed internet. Then on Wednesday, a court ruling held the FCC can’t override state laws restricting cities and towns from launching their own broadband services to increase their residents’ provider options. Neither development should have been that much of a s
  11. On August 9th 2016, Facebook issued a press release stating they intend to change the way they deal with adblocking on their web site. Andrew Bosworth, VP of Ads & Business Platform for Facebook states: (Emphasis added) However, In February this year, we obtained a letter from the European Commission stating that such activites in Europe would be a breach of Regulation 2002/58/EC (known as the ePrivacy Directive). The letter was in response to questions we asked the European Commission specifically with regards to the detection and circumvention of adblocking tools and
  12. Adblock Plus launched a workaround to Facebook’s ad block bypass today that ham-handedly removes posts from friends and Pages, not just ads, according to a statement provided by Facebook to TechCrunch. That “plan to address the issue” is coming quick. A source close to Facebook tells me that today, possibly within hours, the company will push an update to its site’s code that will nullify Adblock Plus’ workaround. Apparently it took two days for Adblock Plus to come up with the workaround, and only a fraction of that time for Facebook to disable it. View the full article
  13. In a very quick turnaround, the Adblock Plus community has already blocked the intrusive Facebook ads. Yesterday we posted a story that Facebook was going to force using on desktops to see ads whether they had an adblocker or not. We promised that the open source community would have a solution very soon, and, frankly, they’ve beaten even our own expectations. A new filter was added to the main EasyList about 15 minutes ago. You’ll just need to update your filter lists (see below for how). If you want to manually add the filter, here is the code you need: facebook.com##DIV[id^="
  14. Facebook is making the HTML of its web ads indistinguishable from organic content so it can slip by adblockers. But in exchange for taking away this option for controlling ads from people, its allowing them to opt-out of ad targeting categories and Custom Audience customer lists uploaded by advertisers. Today all desktop users will see an announcement atop the News Feed explaining that while web adblockers may no longer work, they can visit their Ad Preferences settings to block ads from particular businesses. Facebook commissioned research firm Ipsos to investigate why reports say 70 mil
  15. Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have identified a weakness in the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) of all Linux operating systems since late 2012 that enables attackers to hijack users’ internet communications completely remotely. Such a weakness could be used to launch targeted attacks that track users’ online activity, forcibly terminate a communication, hijack a conversation between hosts or degrade the privacy guarantee by anonymity networks such as Tor. Led by Yue Cao, a computer science graduate student in UCR’s Bourns College of Engineering, the resea
  16. Security experts have discovered a malware platform that's so advanced in its design and execution that it could probably have been developed only with the active support of a nation-state. The malware—known alternatively as "ProjectSauron" by researchers from Kaspersky Lab and "Remsec" by their counterparts from Symantec—has been active since at least 2011 and has been discovered on 30 or so targets. Its ability to operate undetected for five years is a testament to its creators, who clearly studied other state-sponsored hacking groups in an attempt to replicate their advances and avoid
  17. Google has shared more details of its plan to replace Flash with HTML5 by default in Chrome. In September 2016, Chrome will block Flash content that loads behind the scenes, which the company estimates accounts for more than 90 percent of the Flash on the web. In December, Chrome will make HTML5 the default experience for central content, such as games and videos, except on sites that only support Flash. Flash has been on its way out for years. Not only is the tool a security nightmare, with new vulnerabilities popping up regularly, the market has been slowly but surely moving away from p
  18. Hulu will be ending its free, ad-supported service and go to an entirely subscription model. In its place, Yahoo is picking up the slack. Yahoo on Monday announced the launch of Yahoo View, a new platform that will host free, ad-supported TV episodes as Hulu once did. It's the end of an era for Hulu, which had been moving toward a premium service for a while by slowly amassing a respectable amount of exclusive rights as well as developing original series. View the full article
  19. With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, aka Windows 10 version 1607, released earlier this week, it's time to look forward to what's next. Windows 10 has multiple release tracks to address the needs of its various customer types. The mainstream consumer release, the one that received the Anniversary Update on Tuesday, is dubbed the Current Branch (CB). The Current Branch for Business (CBB) trails the CB by several months, giving it greater time to bed in and receive another few rounds of bug fixing. Currently the CBB is using last year's November Update, version 1511. In about four months
  20. CCleaner has been a widely used disk cleanup program to help tidy up your computer and free up disk space. At one time it was a go-to application for many to clean things up quickly and efficiently, recommended by many. Sadly, their programs quality went downhill substantially over the years. Bug reports would often go ignored for months at a time. I can recall using it in the tech shop where I worked. Even then, it caused problems on a few machines we worked on. Those were mainly due to the registry cleaner. It should be common knowledge by now that registry cleaners do nothing to improve per
  21. Firefox (referred to as Fx) is an open source browser developed by Mozilla. A very popular and customizable browser, Firefox features a customizable user interface that allows you to enhance it using custom themes and Personas. Personas change the appearance of the user interface without rearranging the elements. Themes however, can completely change the UI ranging from the types of buttons to the color sceme used. Add-ons allow you to customize Firefox to your liking to make a more enjoyable web surfing experience. Some examples of popular add-ons that you can use to customize Firefox are AdB
  22. Starting today the Windows 10 Anniversary Update will begin rolling out for our customers around the world. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is full of new features and innovations that bring Windows Ink and Cortana to life; a faster, more accessible and more power-efficient Microsoft Edge browser; advanced security features; new gaming experiences and more. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will start rolling out to Windows 10 Mobile phones in the coming weeks. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update is being rolled out to Windows 10 PCs across the world in phases starting with the newer mach
  23. The Windows 10 Anniversary Update – the largest update to the PC operating system since its big revamp in 2015 – began rolling out to consumers on Tuesday. More than 350m devices have been upgraded since Windows 10 was released in a Microsoft campaign that bombarded computer owners with invitations to get the new version for free, pushed it out to computers automatically and installed it without users realising. The Anniversary Update sees Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana become more central, being used as part of any search, while a new feature called Windows Ink enables users
  24. The creators of Pokémon Go have responded to criticism from fans after a recent update to the app crippled or removed a number of popular features. The latest version of the app, released this weekend, removed a (partly broken) pokémon-tracking tool, as well as a battery-saving mode and support for third-party pokémon maps. The game's developers have given a number of reasons for these changes, saying that the tracking feature was "confusing" and that third-party apps interfered with the company's ability to "maintain quality of service" and bring the game to new markets. Basically, too many u
  25. In 2015, the two SySS employees Matthias Deeg and Gerhard Klostermeier started a research project about the security of modern wireless desktop sets using AES encryption, as there was no publicly available data concerning... Read more about Wireless keyboards and mice vulnerable on Lunarsoft. View the full article
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