Latest Technology News

Firefox's 'master password' system can be easily bypassed using brute force

If you're a Firefox user, it's highly possible that you use the browser to store your login usernames and passwords for the sake of ease. Supposing you're a little security conscious, you may well have enabled the 'master password' function to prevent unauthorized access to your password database.

Well, there's a little bad news. It's nowhere near as secure as you may have thought. Wladimir Palant -- the guy behind the AdBlock Plus extension -- found that the system, which is used by both Firefox and Thunderbird, can be very easily brute-forced, leaving passwords vulnerable to malware and hackers.

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Linux Foundation announces open source ACRN hypervisor for the Internet of Things

ACRN Project logo

The Linux Foundation has released details of one of its open source projects, ACRN -- a hypervisor designed for the Internet of Things and embedded devices. And, yes, it is pronounced "acorn".

The project was helped by contributions of code and engineering from Intel, and the aim was to create a system for managing virtual machines that was both flexible and small. With a Linux-based service OS, ACRN can run multiple guest operating systems at the same time, making it ideal for many scenarios.

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Twitter to ban an array of cryptocurrency ads

Twitter logo over cryptocurrency coins

Just a few days ago, it was revealed that Google plans to ban ads for cryptocurrencies and related products and services later this year. Now it seems as though Twitter could be following suit.

The plans could see the social network implementing a ban on ads for ICOs and almost all cryptocurrencies. It is reported that Twitter's ban could come into force within a couple of weeks.

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Picking through the haystack -- the role of AI in cyber security [Q&A]

AI security

Over the past year or so the idea of using artificial intelligence as an aid to cyber security has gained a lot of support.

But what role does AI and machine learning have, and what will the future of security look like when it's in widespread use? We spoke to Gene Stevens, co-founder and CTO of network security company ProtectWise to find out.

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Linux Mint 19 'Tara' Cinnamon will be faster

Is Linux Mint slow? Hell, no! The operating system is plenty fast. Speed is in the eye of the beholder, however, and the Mint developers apparently thought app-launching seemed slow when using the Cinnamon desktop environment. They didn't have any proof, but they felt that both Mate and Xfce were faster in this regard.

Well, rather than allow their feelings to remain unproven, the Mint devs decided to come up with a speed test to see if they were correct. Guess what? They were! Windows build time was four times slower with Cinnamon compared to Metacity, while recovery time was nearly four times slower too. So yes, app-launching on Cinnamon -- as of today -- is slow comparatively. The big benefit to pinpointing a problem, however, is that it is the first step in solving it. And so, Linux Mint 19 Cinnamon will be faster as a result.

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YouTube Kids app is serving up conspiracy videos from the likes of David Icke

YouTube Kids app on smartphone

The very idea of YouTube Kids is to ensure that children are not exposed to content that parents would consider inappropriate for them. This means filtering out videos with an adult theme, with Google -- supposedly -- curating content suitable for younger eyes.

This week, the main YouTube site has been in the news because of its plans to counter conspiracy videos with "information cues" rom Wikipedia. But it seems that YouTube Kids has a similar problem, with children being exposed to conspiracy theory videos from the likes of reptilian-obsessed, Illuminati-loving conspiracist David Icke.

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If you owned a 'fat' PlayStation 3 you could be entitled to $65 from Sony because of Linux option

PlayStation 3 controller

Cast your mind back to when Sony released the original PlayStation 3, and you may well remember claims that the console was also a "computer". The claims were such that Sony suggested that owners could install Linux -- which, technically speaking, they could.

However, installing Linux on a PS3 also posed something of a security issue, and Sony backtracked on the "Other OS" feature, killing it will a firmware update. Unsurprisingly, a lawsuit followed, and the result of this is that you could in line for a pay-out.

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Facebook suspends Trump campaign's data analytics team, Cambridge Analytica, for harvesting private information of 50 million users

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica

Facebook has suffered what has been described as the social networks "biggest ever data breach" after Cambridge Analytica and its parent group Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL) harvested data from more than 50 million users.

Cambridge Analytica is best known for its work with the Trump campaign for the 2016 election, and Facebook found that the company had violated it data privacy policies. The data was used as part of a "microtargeting" campaign to try to predict and influence voters' choices in the election.

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Don't want Microsoft forcing Edge on you? Switch from Windows 10 to Linux with Zorin OS 12.3!

I am sick and tired of technology companies like Microsoft thinking they can impose their will on consumers. Just today, the company made a startling announcement -- it will now force links from the Windows Mail app to open in its own Edge web browser. In other words, whether you like it or not, even if Edge isn't your default browser, it will still be used for opening links from emails. This is unacceptable, and when combined with all of the other Windows 10 calamities, users should consider switching operating systems immediately.

Since macOS requires you to buy an entirely new computer from Apple, a Linux-based operating system is probably your best bet. By using Linux, you can finally reclaim your computer as your own -- not Microsoft's. Today, version 12.3 of Zorin OS is released, and it is the perfect OS to replace Windows 10. Hell, it can even run Windows programs (including Microsoft Office) with the help of the pre-installed and pre-configured Wine 3.

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Microsoft quickly rolls out Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17120 to the Slow ring

The next big feature update of Windows 10 -- widely expected to be called the Spring Creators Update -- is due out next month. Microsoft is hard at work putting the finishing touches to it -- another new build arrives today -- but still has time to introduce some new additions.

Microsoft Build 17120 arrived on the Fast ring three days ago, and Microsoft has already deemed it ready for the Slow ring too. This build adds some improvements to the Windows Defender Application Guard (WDAG), its virtualization-based security technology which helps to protect enterprises from advanced attacks that can infiltrate networks and devices via the Internet.

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Microsoft releases Windows 10 Spring Creators Update Build 17123 to the Fast ring

In addition to releasing a new Windows 10 Redstone 5 build to the Insiders on Skip Ahead, Microsoft today also rolls out a new Spring Creators Update build for Insiders on the Fast ring.

Build 17123 comes just three days after Build 17120, and fixes a number of issues. It also introduces High Efficiency Image File Format (HEIF) for Windows 10 and the Photos app.

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Windows 10 Redstone 5 Build 17623 for Skip Ahead forces users to use Edge

Microsoft is still putting the finishing touches to its next big Windows 10 feature update -- Redstone 4, aka the Spring Creators Update -- due out next month, but in the meantime, work is already well underway on the update to follow that, Redstone 5.

We've already seen the introduction of one big new feature -- Sets in Build 17618 -- and today’s new release, Build 17623, also adds some new features and improvements, as well as one particularly nasty addition.

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Apple announces education-themed spring event -- what new products will we see?

Apple Store in New York, USA

It's been a while since Apple introduced a new product and it looks like the wait will soon be over, as today it announced its first major event of the year. It'll take place later this month and it focuses on education, one of the company's core markets.

The location for the spring event is a bit unusual, given that Apple has a perfectly good venue in its spaceship campus in Cupertino. It'll be held in Chicago, at the Chicago High School, Lane Tech, on March 27. Given the theme, we're likely to see new hardware aimed at educators and students.

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Force Windows 7 security updates even if you don't have antivirus software installed

Windows 7 sticker

Compatibility issues with patches for the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities saw Microsoft blocking the rollout of security updates to Windows users. The company has just changed its policy for Windows 10 users, but this does not help anyone running Windows 7 or 8.x.

The problem is that updates are blocked for people who have not installed antivirus software known to be fully compatible. When such software is installed, a registry entry is created, and this allows updates to be installed. If you've decided to run the risk of operating without antivirus software installed, this registry won't be created and you won't receive security updates. Unless you hack it, that is.

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Data-saving Facebook Lite is now available in the US

Facebook Lite

Originally designed for countries with slower mobile internet connections, Facebook's cut-down and data-light Facebook Lite app is making its way to the US.

The app has been around since 2015, but it was only available in a limited number of countries, with the focus being primarily on developing nations where connectivity was an issue. But now Facebook is spreading the love to the United States, the United Kingdom and other parts of the world.

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