Well, it's been a week since we've heard about a security vulnerability in Adobe Flash -- that's like a lifetime in terms of this program. While the application is slowly receding, it's far from dead and that means users have reason for worry. Of course, using Flash at all is a general concern -- it's a highly targeted platform for attackers.
Now Adobe is issuing it's latest warning, this one for "drive-by attacks". The flaw is technically known as CVE-2015-0313, though that moniker does little good for the end-user. What people really need to know is that the problem has been found to be used on the web.
While most everyone is familiar with Chromebooks, the Google operating system also comes on a few desktop computers, a system generally referred to as a Chromebox. Like any computer, a Chromebox requires a keyboard and mouse, but sometimes those using notebook computers also prefer an external mouse instead of using the trackpad. Now Logitech plans to have everyone covered in this growing market.
The hardware maker is announcing a new line of peripherals designed specifically for Chrome OS computers. You're likely thinking that any wireless keyboard or mouse will work, and you'd be mostly right. I type this now from a Chromebook using a standard Microsoft wireless mouse. But what Logitech has is a bit more interesting.
When The Pirate Bay was raided (again) nobody really thought the government had won. Countless people, myself included, predicted the return of the notorious Torrent site. After all, it's never really been dead -- just down for a bit or forced to change domains. But down and out? Not yet. This time around proves no different.
The fact that some people think these types of sites can be blocked, legislated or even raided out of existence is almost laughable. We knew The Pirate Bay was coming back. Rumor had the rebirth set for February 1st, but the site has made an early appearance.
Ever since the Edward Snowden revelations began pouring out to the media and creating quite a stir of panic, government spying has been in the forefront of people's minds. One group that doesn't take these things lightly is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a group that tirelessly fights for and against all sorts of causes. Spying was certainly one of the big ones.
Now the EFF is announcing it has won a major battle, though certainly not the war. This legal fight began long before the Snowden information leak -- four years ago to be precise. The group filed suit over secret legal opinions regarding the Patriot Act, another controversial item in the eyes of many citizens.
Everyone wants access to high-speed internet, as it seems to feel like a human right these days. Sadly the US lags behind other nations in this department, but things are slowly improving, thanks in large part to Google introducing its own broadband in the form of Google Fiber.
That offering is now expanding to new markets, with Google announcing four locations set to have their internet speeds increased dramatically. Thus far, the service has existed in Kansas City, Provo, and Austin.
The "pay or lose your files" concept of ransomware seems to have taken off with hackers and crime syndicates, becoming the modern cyber equivalent of the mob shakedown. Sort of like paying "protection money".
Now a new ransomware variant has been spotted in the wild, spreading via email, just as previous ones had. The latest is being referred to by the catchy name of Trojan.DownLoad3.35539, and appears in a message as a ZIP file with hopes that unsuspecting recipients will launch it.
Thankfully the media hype over the Ebola virus has died down. It was never a serious threat thanks to the nature of the way it spreads and the lack of actual cases in the US. Africa isn't quite as lucky, as the outbreak is a bit worse. In fact, according to the CDC, cases totaled only four in the US and one in the UK, while Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone were less fortunate, totaling up over 13,000.
So, it's still serious enough, and technology can be used in the fight against this disease. Dell is working in this fight to combat the deadly illness. That isn't an easy task, but every little bit can help, and the emergency personnel can certainly use any aid.
Streaming music services are everywhere today and few people bother buying CDs because of them. While those with "golden ears" may not approve, for the vast majority the quality is just fine. Those who want more can look into Neil Young's Pono Player, but for the rest of us, Rdio will work out nicely and save you some money as well.
Now the music streaming service is announcing a slew of updates to its Favorites feature. Introduced last September, this section is now receiving a refresh that allows for much more functionality.
In the race to the bottom of security, Flash has remained a strong contender, competing with Java to win the competition. It's really nothing against Adobe, the company seems to try fairly hard to keep things safe. It's more that Flash is so popular that it becomes a primary target. Something Microsoft would know a thing or two about, given the success of Windows.
The company has issued its latest security bulletin. It isn't the best of news -- the report seems to encapsulate two vulnerabilities, and both are being exploited in the wild.
The words "first responders" came to the forefront in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks. However, it really just describes the medical, fire and police people who rush to the scene of any problem, hoping to save lives and property. These men and women need every advantage they can get, and modern technology continues to aid them in their work.
You may think of the smartwatch as something that displays the time and messages for you, but it can be a lot more in some cases. Pebble, the former darling of Kickstarter, is now helping these folks out by bringing the CommandWear app to its platform.
Just yesterday Microsoft held its big Windows 10 event -- you likely may have seen something in the news about it. Sort of hard to miss. There was much more to the show than just a new operating system. Surprises included HoloLens and more. One thing that featured prominently was the company's gaming console.
Yes, Xbox will be a part of Windows 10, and a big one if Phil Spencer is to be believed. The head of this wing of Microsoft did an extensive presentation during the event. According to Spencer, games are about being social, and that is one of the things the company tried to work into this. He also talks about gaming as a personal experience.
If you want to share media around your home then there is perhaps no easier way than Plex. The media server software is free and the setup is simple. Better yet, the end-user apps are available for almost any platform imaginable. You can even access your files on the go, though that requires a minor subscription fee.
With all of that said, it may seem shocking that the devices lacking this simple solution were those from Sony -- the PS3 and PS4. Plex has now rectified this apparent oversight, announcing its wares are now available.
Wrestling fan? Many folks are, which is what has made the WWE such a lucrative business. The organization recently launched its own network -- subscription-based, of course. After all, it's about making money in exchange for sport...ah....entertainment. Now the network is expanding, moving to set-top boxes.
Roku, perhaps the top name in this category, is announcing that the WWE has arrived on its boxes in the UK and Ireland. While we aren't sure how popular the "sport" is there, it's certainly set to get some viewers.
The past few weeks have not been kind to hacking group Lizard Squad. They've managed to raise the ire of the last possible group of folks you'd wish to anger -- Anonymous. The organization is also experiencing arrests of its members, thanks to poor procedures put in place for identity protection. But the latest blow may come as poetic justice to many people.
The loosely-knit hacker communicative has been trying to sell its wares online -- namely DDoS for hire services. Unfortunately for it, and rather fortunately for the rest of us, the offering has been hacked. According to multiple reports LizardStresser.su was compromised.
While the news of the recent Sony hack has died down, it certainly isn't forgotten. The simple fact remains that we still have no clear answer on who was responsible. The US government blamed North Korea and initiated sanctions on the nation, though no real evidence was put forth to support this alleged misdeed, leaving the move to reek of political motivation.
The simple fact that the hackers originally asked for money, as if it were a hostage situation, seems to point away from state-sponsored wrongdoing, but we simply don't know the real truth, and perhaps never will. All we really know is there's a lack of evidence for this case. We'd be safe in speculating a jury would be unlikely to convict the country.