Firefox debuts experimental price-tracking feature for consumers

Found on Venturebeat on Monday, 12 November 2018
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Called Price Wise, the new feature allows Firefox users to manually add individual products to their watch list, see at a glance whether prices have fallen or risen, and click through to purchase if it’s the former.

When a price drops, a notification is automatically sent to your browser, and you can click regardless of what web page you are currently on.

Mozilla really should just concentrate on what is really required in a browser. Everything else is only a candidate for an addon.

This incredibly simple privacy app helps protect your phone from snoops with one click

Found on Fast Company on Sunday, 11 November 2018
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The new app, from Cloudflare, is called 1.1.1.1–the name of the internet server it uses. Cloudflare’s main business is as a content delivery network that optimizes the speed of websites using it, as well as shielding them from cyberattacks.

Cloudflare’s DNS service is also really fast, so it could speed up your browsing, especially to sites and web services that run on Cloudflare’s network.

If your current DNS is so slow that you really notice a speedup, your current provider is incompetent. It's not really protecting you either, because the traffic still goes through your ISP like before. In exchange however, you tell CloudFlare every single request you are making, so (in theory of course) they could build a complete map of your browing habits. Should they ever decide to go into the business of selling browing histories, or monitoring and tracking, that service will be a goldmine.

Facebook Is the Least Trusted Major Tech Company When it Comes to Safeguarding Personal Data

Found on Fortune on Sunday, 11 November 2018
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Only 22% of Americans said that they trust Facebook with their personal information, far less than Amazon (49%), Google (41%), Microsoft (40%), and Apple (39%).

“Facebook is in the bottom in terms of trust in housing your personal data,” said Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema. “Facebook’s crises continue rolling in the news cycle.”

22%? So many?

Microsoft Launches Free AV1 Video Codec for Windows 10

Found on Softpedia on Saturday, 10 November 2018
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Oddly enough, the codec can only be installed on devices running Windows 10 October 2018 Update, which is no longer up for grabs after Microsoft pulled it last month. The October update came with several major bugs, including an issue that could have caused the removal of user files stored in libraries.

Microsoft says that while the codec should run smoothly on all Windows 10 devices, there’s a chance small performance issues may be spotted when playing AV1 videos. However, this is something that Microsoft promises to improve in the coming updates for the codec.

If they keep the most current Windows release as the minimum requirement, it will be a pretty useless release.

Windows XP? Pfff! Parts of the Royal Navy are running Win ME

Found on The Register on Friday, 09 November 2018
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“We’re 5-10 years behind the rest of the world,” said one, only half-joking. Enterprise was built in 2003 and most of the IT infrastructure aboard her dates back to then, with new OSes and mission software installed and patched as required.

“All USB ports are locked down,” added PO Parry. The usual network policies to stop people from doing IT-related things they shouldn’t are all enforced here; almost nobody has access to the ship’s CD/DVD-RW drives, while the different networks aboard do not talk to each other and personnel are ordered not to try to move data from, say, the DII network to the maritime survey equipment network.

Maybe they should just let a few really good hackers on board to give it a test.

Windows 10 Pro suddenly downgrading to Windows 10 Home for a growing number of users

Found on Betanews on Thursday, 08 November 2018
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The Windows 10 shit show continues with yet more problems with Microsoft’s newest operating system rearing their ugly heads.

Now a growing number of users are complaining on Reddit that their Windows 10 Pro installations are suddenly reverting to Windows 10 Home.

The issue appears to be related to users running Windows 10 Pro after having upgraded from a Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate or Windows 8.1 Pro installation.

It just keeps going on and on.

Police decrypt 258,000 messages after breaking pricey IronChat crypto app

Found on Ars Technica on Wednesday, 07 November 2018
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Tuesday’s statement didn’t say how investigators were able to decrypt the IronChat communications. While police said they were able to discover the server used to send the encrypted messages and eventually take it offline, that alone shouldn’t be enough to read communications that are truly end-to-end encrypted.

An article published by Dutch public broadcaster NOS said a version of the IronChat app it investigated suffered a variety of potentially serious weaknesses. Key among them: warning messages that notified users when their contacts’ encryption keys had changed were easy to overlook because they were provided in a font much smaller than the rest of the conversation.

Probably someone without any clue came up with the great idea to outsource the development of a so-called secure app to a $5 developer. If a security product has not gone through a full audit, it cannot be considered secure or reliable.

Apple replaces boot-loop watchOS edition with unconnected complications edition

Found on The Register on Tuesday, 06 November 2018
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It isn't just Microsoft that has QA issues – so does Apple. The Cupertino giant withdrew a watchOS update that bricked the Apple Watch 4 last week, and has now rushed out a replacement containing things that don't work yet which Apple probably didn't want you to see.

Now in favor of MS you might argue that they cannot possibly test all hard- and software combinations, but here there is no such excuse.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

Found on The Register on Monday, 05 November 2018
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Basically, the cryptographic keys used to encrypt and decrypt the data are not derived from the owner's password, meaning, you can seize a drive and, via a debug port, reprogram it to accept any password. At that point, the SSD will use its stored keys to cipher and decipher its contents. Yes, it's that dumb.

Unfortunately, the pair also note that some popular data encryption systems, including the BitLocker tool Microsoft uses in Windows 10, do not use software encryption for SSDs and rely on the drive's vulnerable hardware encryption.

That such an absolutely stupid design that it makes you wonder if it was not planned like that all along, seeing how much the government hates encryption and always calls for backdoors.

File-Sharing Software on State Election Servers Could Expose Them to Intruders

Found on ProPublica on Sunday, 04 November 2018
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The insecure service run by Wisconsin could be reached from internet addresses based in Russia, which has become notorious for seeking to influence U.S. elections. Kentucky’s was accessible from other Eastern European countries.

The service, known as FTP, provides public access to files — sometimes anonymously and without encryption.

Kentucky left its password-free service running and said ProPublica didn’t understand its approach to security.

It sounds more like Kentucky does not understand the basic approach to security.