Archive for the ‘General News’ Category

Where are those Anonymous Firefox Add-On Ratings Coming From?

Monday, March 27th, 2017

I’d wondered about this myself. Apparently, there’s a reasonable explanation, but still, those “no comment” reviews are definitely less helpful than the reviews that have something to say.

If you are a Firefox user and pay attention to user reviews and ratings on the Firefox add-ons website, you may have noticed an increase in anonymous ratings. The ratings are left by anonymous user “random six character string”, and only have a rating but no review itself. This in itself is strange for veteran Firefox users, considering that one of the requirements for leaving reviews was leaving a comment up until now.

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Windows 10 KB4015438 Fixes Crashes and Hangs

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

Apparently, last week’s security updates caused a couple of new problems which have now (hopefull,) been fixed.

The new cumulative update for Windows 10 version 1607 (Anniversary Update) KB4015438 patches two issues introduced by last week’s Patch Day. This raises the version of the Anniversary Update version of Windows 10 to 14393.969. The KB4015438 update seems to fix two issues introduced last week that affected some users of the operating system after devices were updated with last week’s security updates.

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NoScript 5.0 Add-On for Firefox Released

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Although it’s a little bit of a hassle to be busy continuously whitelisting sites that you want to allow, but the ability to block scripts is probably one of the most effective PC security measures available.

NoScript 5.0, a popular script blocker (and more) for Firefox has just been released to the public after two release candidate build releases. The browser add-on is a script blocker first and foremost. It blocks any script from running on sites you visit, unless you whitelist them. The approach makes it one of the best add-ons from a security point of view, but means that you will have to adjust website permissions regularly as sites may fail to load completely or partially due to scripts not being loaded when the site is opened in the Firefox web browser.

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Windows Defender Application Guard – A Quick Summary

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

Protection for Windows Edge is a nice start, but Microsoft needs to go a step further and include protection for IE as well as the user’s system.

Windows Defender Application Guard is a new security feature of the Windows 10 operating system that Microsoft revealed back in 2016. The company revealed back then that it would integrate the feature in a future Windows Insider build before shipping it with the new feature update of Windows, the Windows 10 Creators Update.

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Remember: Windows Vista Support Ends Next Month

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Just in case there are still a few Windows Vista users out there, don’t forget that the end is near.

Microsoft plans to end the extended support for its operating system Windows Vista next month so that no further security updates will be released for the OS. The client Windows lifecycle sheet on Microsoft’s website lists April 11, 2017 as the end of support. Microsoft will release security patches for Windows Vista on that day, and stop support for the operating system afterwards.

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Playable Ads Coming to Windows 10

Friday, March 10th, 2017

Some time in the not too distant future, we’ll be telling younger folks about the good old days, when there were ads on TV, radio and the internet, but none on your computer.

Microsoft revealed the new playable ads advertisement option on the Windows Dev Center blog today that developers can take advantage of. A preview of the Playable Ads feature launched today in the Windows Dev Center. If you have never heard of the term before, you are probably wondering how the ad format differs from other ad types already available for developers on Windows 10.

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Smaller Windows Updates Thanks to Differential Packages

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

This probably explains why recent Windows updates seem to download and install a lot faster than they did a year or two ago.

Microsoft began to roll out its new Unified Update Platform last year, first on mobile and then for Windows 10 Insider Builds as well. One of the advantages of the platform was the use of differential update packages. This meant, all in all, that update packages would be a lot smaller going forward. While updates are released regularly for retail versions of Windows 10, the advantages of differential update packages become visible the most when feature updates are released.

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Security Issues Found in Nine Password Managers for Android (LastPass, Dashlane, …)

Monday, March 6th, 2017

Considering how often major security problems with password managers seem to turn up, you’d probably be better off just writing down your passwords down on the back of a business card.

Security researchers of the Fraunhofer Institute found severe security issues in nine password managers for Android that they analyzed as part of their research. Password managers are a popular option when it comes to storing authentication information. All promise secure storage either locally or remotely, and some may add other features to the mix such as password generation, automatic sign ins, or the saving of important data such as Credit Card numbers or Pins.

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Windows 10 Creators Update – No Automatic Restarts After Updates Anymore

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

This is certainly good news. No more setting up one’s system to perform some task overnight, only to wake up in the morning and find out that an update has derailed that task.

Microsoft just announced a major change in regards to how updates are delivered once the Windows 10 Creators Update is installed on a machine. The update to Windows Update prompts users, giving them options to schedule the update for a specific date and time, or to postpone the update for three days straight.

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Microsoft Publishes Long-Awaited February 2017 Flash Update KB4010250

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

Better late than never, I guess …

Microsoft announced last week that it would not release security patches on February’s Patch Day. In fact, the February Patch Day was canceled completely by the company; a first in the Patch Day’s history. Microsoft revealed that it would delay the February Patch Day to the March Patch Day. This means that the February 2017 security patches will be released alongside the March 2017 patches by the company. This would not be a problem where it not for known unpatched security issues. A SMB security issue was revealed on February 3rd, 2017 that affects Windows 8, Windows 10 and Windows Server.

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