Mozilla: Firefox 69 will disable Adobe Flash plugin by default

Found on ZD Net on Wednesday, 16 January 2019
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Firefox 69 will be Mozilla's third last step to completely dropping support for the historically buggy plugin, which will reach end of life on December 31, 2020. Flash is the last remaining NPAPI plugin that Firefox supports.

As of Chrome 69, users need to give permission for each site to use Flash every time the browser is restarted.

It's about time. Flash has always been the biggest security issue in any browser. It's amazing how bad and extremely buggy a single plugin can be.

Microsoft: Windows 10 to grab 7GB of your storage so big updates don't fail

Found on ZD Net on Tuesday, 08 January 2019
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In the next major release of Windows 10, Microsoft will reserve 7GB of your device's storage to resolve a Windows 10 bug thrown up by Windows Update not checking whether a PC has enough storage space before launching after big updates.

That happens because Windows doesn't check if a device has enough space before initializing. Microsoft's current solution is for users to manually delete unnecessary temporary files and temporarily move important files like photos and videos to external storage devices to make enough space for the update.

Microsoft estimates that reserved storage will start at about 7GB, but notes it could need more depending on how a device is used.

So Microsoft basically admits that they are unable to figure out before trying to update if enough free space is available? Really now? Plus, they call this a bugfix?

Mozilla Looks to Improve Email With 2019 Thunderbird Roadmap

Found on eWEEK on Friday, 04 January 2019
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In July 2012 after nearly a decade of trying to get traction for Thunderbird, Mozilla Chief Mitchell Baker announced that Mozilla would pull back its focus and funding from Thunderbird. At that point, many assumed that Thunderbird was done, but that's not quite how things have turned out.

"So here we are, in 2019. Looking into the future, this year looks bright for the Thunderbird project," Ryan Sipes, community manager for the Thunderbird project, wrote in a blog post.

If Mozilla handles Thunderbird like they do Firefox, then there is nothing to look forward to.

Debian's Anti-Harassment Team Is Removing A Package Over Its Name

Found on Phoronix on Friday, 21 December 2018
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When digging further, the package raised to the Debian Anti-Harassment Team was "Weboob." Weboob is short for "Web Outside of Browsers" as it's an open-source collection of software to script and automate the parsing/scraping/gathering-via-API of web data so that it can be consumed by different modules/applications.

A few months back though the issue was raised over the name/project having sexual references and that goes against the Debian Diversity Statement and values.

The Debian Anti-Harassment Team ruled that Weboob is against the Debian Code of Conduct in needing to be respectful.

This stupid crap of these first world problems is getting so ridiculous. What's next? Are "man pages" sexist? Will the word "packages" be removed from everywhere? No more unzipping? With idiotic acts that look like nothing more than an embarrassing attempt to justify their existance, that team is just stepping closer to be considered useless. It makes you wonder who really is childish here.

Windows 10 can carry on slurping even when you're sure you yelled STOP!

Found on The Register on Thursday, 13 December 2018
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First noted in an increasingly shouty thread over on Reddit, the issue is related to Activity History, which is needed to make the much-vaunted and little-used Timeline feature work in Windows 10.

Deliberate slurpage, or a case of poor QA and one team not talking to the other aside, it isn't a great look for Microsoft and users are muttering about potential legal action. Privacy lawyers will certainly be taking a close look – after all, the gang at Redmond are already under scrutiny for harvesting data and telemetry from lucky users of Windows 10.

They just have to make a few big expensive example lawsuits to teach companies that personal data is personal and not something you just harvest left and right.

Latest Windows Insider build makes a major upgrade to, uh… Notepad

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 11 December 2018
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Notepad already received a significant update in the recent October 2018 Update: Microsoft added support for files with Unix-style line endings.

Notepad is also going to support a convention that's literally decades old: when the currently loaded file has been modified, an asterisk will be shown in the title bar.

Too bad, for a short moment there was hope that it would support more than one undo step.

Microsoft can't even get a software patch right on its flagship Surface device

Found on The Inquirer on Sunday, 09 December 2018
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Microsoft has rolled back an update which was found to bork its hardware flagship, the Surface Book 2.

The official advice is to uninstall it, but we're hearing reports that doing so could actually brick your beloved premium device altogether, so be careful. A system restore might be an alternative, but we're neither recommending it, nor promising anything.

To have an crippling bug make its way on to your flagship, not to mention most expensive laptop isn't just a fail, it's irresponsible.

So, with the past update failures that haunted Windows users, fanboys didn't get tired to point out that Microsoft could not possibly test all the imaginable hardware combinations (even though some of the bugs happened with very common products); now it's their own hardware line where testing also fails. It's going to be hard to find an excuse for it this time.

Adobe Flash zero-day exploit... leveraging ActiveX… embedded in Office Doc... BINGO!

Found on The Register on Thursday, 06 December 2018
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In its current form, the attack bundles exploit code for the Flash zero-day (a use-after-free() bug) with an ActiveX call that is embedded within an Office document.

When the target opens the poisoned Doc, the ActiveX plug-in calls up Flash Player to run the attack code.

Obviously not enough people got rid of that bug-riddled piece of malware software called Flash. There isn't any need to install it, and hasn't been for years now.

Latest Windows 10 update breaks Windows Media Player, Win32 apps in general

Found on Ars Technica on Tuesday, 27 November 2018
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As spotted by Paul Thurrott, the update also breaks the seek bar in Windows Media Player when playing "specific files."

Also in the "how did that happen" category comes another bug: some Win32 programs can't be set as the default program for a given file type. So if you want certain files to always open in Notepad, for example, you're currently out of luck.

Always remember, you paid for this operating system in one way or another.

Microsoft blocks Windows 10 October Update on more PCs after Intel driver borkage

Found on The Inquirer on Thursday, 22 November 2018
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This time it's the Intel Display Driver that the new code has taken objection to, in a round of incompatibility problems we've not seen since the bad old days of Windows Vista.

Calling Microsoft Technical Support might actually be worthwhile in the short term. It is offering to turn off components that are causing a conflict remotely, allowing things to work normally, but it's not entirely clear if that will just cause more problems down the line.

Intel driver users join anyone with a small hard drive, anyone who uses ZIP files, anyone using iCloud, anyone who needs to map a network drive, anyone with an HP machine, and anyone who likes their files to be associated with installed programs.

This is just getting ridiculous. Microsoft should pay customers for using such an operating system.