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[H] Enthusiast Archives: December 2015Archive Listing

Wednesday December 30, 2015

Apple Agrees To Pay Italy $347 Million In Back Taxes

Hold on a second! I thought all this talk about having to pay back taxes was, and I'm quoting Tim Cook, "total political crap." roll eyes (sarcastic)

Apple has agreed to pay €318m (£234m) to settle a tax dispute with Italian authorities after the iPhone and iPad maker was investigated for suspected fraud, the country’s tax agency has confirmed. The US technology giant’s Italian subsidiary and several of its senior executives had been under investigation for fraud over its alleged failure to comply with obligations to declare its earnings in Italy between 2008 and 2013.


Bought A Windows Computer? Microsoft Probably Has Your Encryption Key

Doesn't this totally defeat the purpose of using encryption? Now that Microsoft has your encryption key, would they have to turn it over to law enforcement or other agencies if requested?

ONE OF THE EXCELLENT FEATURES of new Windows devices is that disk encryption is built-in and turned on by default, protecting your data in case your device is lost or stolen. But what is less well-known is that, if you are like most users and login to Windows 10 using your Microsoft account, your computer automatically uploaded a copy of your recovery key — which can be used to unlock your encrypted disk — to Microsoft’s servers, probably without your knowledge and without an option to opt out.


Tuesday December 29, 2015

AVG Chrome Extension Created Security Risk For Millions

I might be wrong but isn't antivirus software supposed to keep you safe from the bad guys? If you've been running the AVG Chrome extension, you might want to read this.

When Google reported the existence of a gaping flaw that appeared trivially easy to exploit and exposed users’ browsing history and hindered Chrome’s malware-checking abilities, they hoped AVG would move quickly to patch it up. To their credit, they put together a fix and pushed it to the Chrome Web Store within four days of Google security engineer Tavis Ormandy’s initial report. They failed to take care of a potential man-in-the-middle vulnerability, though, and had to push a second update the next day after additional prompting from Ormandy.


Adobe Flash Player Had 316 Bugs In 2015

This is exactly why we give Adobe so much crap about Flash. Seriously, three hundred and sixteen flaws found in one year? Yikes. eek!

For the year, Flash averaged 6.1 bug fixes per week. Think of it as a bug fix every day, but taking Sundays off to rest. There was a flood of fixes at the end of the year. From mid-October on, Adobe fixed 113 bugs, roughly 1.5 per day. The final tally for 2015 is 316 Flash Player bugs. This, for software that is over 18 years old.


Twitter Hires Apple Exec To Be Its New Diversity Chief

Out with the old, in with the new. I kind of wonder if Twitter dumped Van Huysse or if she really is just leaving for greener pastures?

Siminoff tweeted Monday he's "super excited" to be joining Twitter sometime next month. He was Apple's director of worldwide inclusion and diversity for more than two years, according to his LinkedIn profile. Siminoff also led global diversity and inclusion efforts at Morgan Stanley for three years. He's also a founding member of Out Leadership, a global LGBT leadership organization.


Stupid Patent Of The Month: Microsoft’s Design Patent On A Slider

Honestly, none of this stuff even makes me bat an eye anymore. With patents on rounded corners, 1-click shopping, slide-to-unlock and countless others, this doesn't surprise me in the least.

For the first time ever, this month’s Stupid Patent of the Month is being awarded to a design patent. Microsoft recently sued Corel for, among other things, infringing its patent on a slider, D554,140, claiming that Corel Home Office has infringed Microsoft’s design. The design patent, as detailed by Microsoft in its complaint, is titled "User Interface for a Portion of a Display Screen" and entitles.


Foursquare's Valuation Is Getting Chopped in Half

Foursquare is close to finalizing a "down" round of funding that will value the company at less than half of what investors thought it was worth just two years ago.

Down rounds are typically punishing for founders, reducing both the value and the size of their stakes in concert. Frequently, doing one triggers "anti-dilution" mechanisms designed to protect early investors by carving up founders' equity still more. A down round is thus widely regarded as a red flag for a company.


Twitter Has Updated Its Terms of Service

Twitter has updated its terms of service agreement today. As far as I can tell, the only thing I see different about the rules is the section on "hateful conduct."

Hateful conduct: You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.


Windows 10's End-Of-Year Report Card

Ed Bott over at ZDNet has put together a Windows 10 end-of-the-year report card today that is worth checking out. The article gives A through F ratings for everything from adoption rate to security. Hit the link and tell us what you think.

Of course, it wouldn't be a major Microsoft release without an equally oversized serving of controversy, and Windows 10 had more than its share this year. Some of it was self-inflicted, with executives (probably at the behest of lawyers) releasing poorly written announcements that looked like they were hiding something.


Doctors Use Cardboard VR Tech To Save Baby’s Life

Surgeons at Nicklaus Children's Hospital in Miami, Florida used Google's Cardboard VR headset to help save a four-month-old little girl's life.

The pediatric surgeons at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital took computer scans of Teegan’s heart and lung and uploaded the images to a smartphone. They were then able to look at 3D images of her tiny heart and lung using Google Cardboard.


HyQ2Max: The Robot You Can't Keep Down

Researchers from the Italian Institute of Technology have developed a new quadruped robot capable of tracking and killing humans in extremely rough terrain. Thanks a lot IIT. frown


Gaming [H]eadlines

Destiny Iron Banner Is Back @ Bungie

Mass Effect: Andromeda Departure @ Blue's News

The Biggest Games to Play in 2016 @ GameSpot

Xbox Elite Controller Shortage Explained @ GeekWire