The Curse of Outdated DRM Claims Another Victim, 'Tron: Evolution'

Found on Vice on Friday, 06 December 2019
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Tron: Evolution, a tie-in game for the 2010 Tron: Legacy film , used SecurRom, a form of digital rights management (DRM), and publisher Disney hasn’t paid its bill. This means Disney can no longer authenticate purchases and "unlock" copies of the game that people bought but haven't used yet.

Often, the people most affected by DRM are people who purchase the game legitimately and experience performance issues tied to the extra software running or, as is the case with Tron: Evolution, suddenly can’t play the game at all.

That's why piracy is still ongoing. If you pay for a software you are only borrowing (since you do not really own the copy), then you have to deal with every problem the company throws at you. It's up to consumers to avoid such software.

White Screen of Death: Admins up in arms after experimental Google emission borks Chrome

Found on The Register on Saturday, 16 November 2019
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An experimental feature silently rolled out to the stable Chrome release on Tuesday caused chaos for IT admins this week after users complained of facing white, featureless tabs on Google's massively popular browser.

Irate IT admins posting on the Chromium dev blog pointed out the problem didn't only affect Citrix, though with its wide adoption it was the highest-profile casualty.

As one IT pro put it not one hour ago: "I don't think we should stop making noise about this. The issue now is that Google has gotten so big that they aren't concerned at all about what they have done because they know we will keep using their software."

Keep his in mind when Google decides to make DoH mandatory. They don't really care what their sheep users are saying or how changes would affect them. Otherwise they would not enable an experimental feature in a stable release without even changing the version number.

This may shock you but Adobe is shipping insecure software

Found on The Register on Saturday, 09 November 2019
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It has been revealed that Adobe's Experience Platform mobile SDKs, used to create apps that interact with the company's cloud services, until recently contained sample configuration files that created insecure default settings.

Developers creating apps that utilize those files as templates or examples could find that their apps have been sending data over the network without SSL protection, making it vulnerable to interception and alteration.

Now that Flash is pretty much dead, the bugs move on inside Adobe.

Not LibreOffice too? Beloved open-source suite latest to fall victim to the curse of Catalina

Found on The Register on Thursday, 24 October 2019
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Apple reminded developers earlier this month that apps must be notarized to run on Catalina. "In June, we announced that all Mac software distributed outside the Mac App Store must be notarized by Apple in order to run by default on macOS Catalina. Make sure to test all versions of your software on the macOS Catalina GM seed and submit it to Apple to be notarized."

Although tightening security is a good thing, the greater number of prompts generated by Catalina, aka macOS 10.15, are not only annoying, but also put users at risk of dialog fatigue, where they become so used to giving permission to harmless applications that they also instinctively approve warnings that should not be ignored.

It's almost as if Apple wants to make life for users as painful as possible.

ATTK of the Pwns: Trend Micro's antivirus tools 'will run malware – if its filename is cmd.exe'

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 23 October 2019
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In short, the Trend software can be tricked into executing any old piece of software under the sun, including malware, when it is scanned, provided the filename is cmd.exe or regedit.exe. No, really.

In other words, your Trend antivirus software can be tricked into running a virus. That's… not good. It means if you can save a file on someone's PC as cmd.exe or regedit.exe, via a download or email or something like that, and they're running ATTK, you can now run malicious code on their machine.

That's such a giant bug that it is really surprising that nobody ever noticed it before.

Amazon unhooks its last Oracle database, nothing breaks and life goes on

Found on The Register on Friday, 18 October 2019
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At the 2018 Re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, AWS CEO Andy Jassy said: "The world of... the old-guard commercial-grade databases has been a miserable world for the last couple of decades for most enterprises... Databases like Oracle and SQL Server are expensive, high lock-in and proprietary."

In August 2018, Amazon said it was aiming to ditch Oracle by 2020, though Oracle said at the time: "We don't believe that Amazon Web Services has any database technology that comes close to the capabilities of the Oracle database."

The sooner products from Oracle are replaced, the better.

Thousands of DOS games have been added to the Internet Archive

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 14 October 2019
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The Internet Archive has been updated with more than 2,500 DOS games, marking the most significant addition of games to the archive since 2015.

Many of these games were added to the Internet Archive as a result of the eXoDOS game preservation and restoration project.

If you download all those games you probably need less space on your disk than for a single game today; and let's be honest, those old games have more story.

'Collapse OS' Is an Open Source Operating System for the Post-Apocalypse

Found on Vice on Friday, 11 October 2019
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According to Dupras, Collapse OS must “run on minimal and improvised machines, interface through improvised [keyboards, displays, and mice], edit text files, compile assembler source files for a wide range of MCUs and CPUS, read and write from a wide range of storage devices, and replicate itself.”

“Participation requires a very specific set of inclinations (believing in collapse) and skills (electronics and z80 assembly). I think that very few people fitting those requirements exist. But if they do, I'd like to find them.”

In a post-apocalyptic and dystopian world, it might be possible to get your hands on a couple of Z80 microcontrollers, but how are you supposed to download the OS from Github?

Windows 10 update panic: Older VMware Workstation Pro app broken

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 09 October 2019
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In a thread on Microsoft's site, one affected user complained that upgrading their 100 VMware Workstation licences would cost €11,500.

There are other factors, though. A user trying to run the networking software GNS3 found that after upgrading, the software no longer worked. In addition, newer versions of VMware do not work on some older processors, so an upgrade is not always possible.

This is part of the Application Compatibility Framework which is able to patch applications on the fly as well as informing the user of compatibility issues. Some desperate users (not only in the VMware case) have tried replacing this file with an older version to get blocked applications to run.

Another Windows update, another fallout. Usually the updates are loaded with bugs that cause a wide range of unpleasant errors or even data-loss, but this time the block was intentional. Microsoft could just scan the system before borking it and notify users, giving them the option to decline the update; but in the new world, forced updates are mandatory even if they break your system.

Adobe shuts down Photoshop in Venezuela

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 08 October 2019
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Users have until 28 October to download content, after which accounts will be deactivated, Adobe said.

On a help page, the firm explained: "The US government issued executive order 13884, the practical effect of which is to prohibit almost all transactions and services between US companies, entities and individuals to Venezuela. To remain compliant with this order, Adobe is deactivating all accounts in Venezuela."

It said it "was unable to issue refunds" because the sanctions included "sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc".

Adobe has moved to a subscription-only model for the latest versions of its products meaning users will not be able to buy standalone versions.

Welcome to the new world of failures. In the past you bought a software, installed it and could use it forever. Now when someone does not like you anymore, you just get cut off of what you paid for, left with empty hands and unable to continue your work. Think ahead a little next time you buy anything cloud-based.