Canonical, the maker of Ubuntu, has been fending off criticism from privacy advocates because the desktop search tool in recent versions of the operating system also searches the Internet. That means if you're searching your desktop for a file or application, you might also see results from Amazon or other websites.
One person who dislikes Canonical's search tool is Micah Lee, a technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation who maintains the HTTPS Everywhere project and is CTO of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Lee set up a website called "Fix Ubuntu," which provides instructions for disabling the Internet search tool.
"If you're an Ubuntu user and you're using the default settings, each time you start typing in Dash (to open an application or search for a file on your computer), your search terms get sent to a variety of third parties, some of which advertise to you," the website says.
Dropbox is a name that's usually associated with online storage where it finds itself pitted against the likes of Google Drive and Microsoft's SkyDrive. But now the company could be branching out in a new direction with the purchase of Sold, one of the simplest online selling services ever invented.
Sold existed as an iOS and Android app and the idea was that a user uploaded a photo and brief description and everything else was taken care of by Sold -- no worrying about determining the best price or calculating postage. Or as Sold put it "doing all the dirty work for" users. There are no details about what will happen to Sold now that it has been, er, sold, but for now the site has been effectively shut down.
A statement on the Sold website reads: "As of today, our service will no longer be accepting new items".
Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) is available worldwide in 95 languages for download today. We will begin automatically updating Windows 7 customers to IE11 in the weeks ahead, starting today with customers running the IE11 Developer and Release Previews. With this final release, IE11 brings the same leading standards support--with improved performance, security, privacy, and reliability that consumers enjoy on Windows 8.1—to Windows 7 customers.
And with Windows 8.1, IE11 delivers the best experience of your sites and apps together. IE11 on Windows 8.1 delivers an experience that is fast, fluid and perfect for touch - the best Web experience on any tablet.
Today, TeamViewer announces a new beta version of its popular remote control software for Windows, Mac and Linux PCs. The latest release, named TeamViewer 9 Beta, introduces new features aimed at businesses, developers and end-users as well as security improvements.
The most noteworthy security addition in TeamViewer 9 Beta is two-factor authentication. It allows users to add an extra layer of protection to their accounts by using security codes, that can be sent to their mobile devices and, alternatively, generated by dedicated mobile apps. On Macs, TeamViewer 9 also adds the option to increase the password strength in QuickSupport.
"TeamViewer has always been focused on remote support functionality", says the company's head of product management Kornelius Brunner. "With TeamViewer 9, we are going back to the roots and offering even better features for support teams in companies large and small".
Microsoft Sysinternals has released Sigcheck 2.0, the latest edition of its digital signature verification tool.
Okay, it’s true, a command line utility which scans for signed executables doesn’t exactly sound interesting. At all. But wait: this version’s new VirusTotal support means it could be a very useful addition to your malware-hunting toolkit.
CAPTCHA are a thorn in the side of web users. Those almost indecipherable string of letters and numbers that are meant to help websites determine that you are a human rather than a spambot often cause more frustration for users than anything else, and they have now been cracked.
Vicarious, a California-based AI team, reveals that it has been able to develop algorithms that can successfully solve CAPTCHAs from the likes of Google, Yahoo and PayPal.
The cracking of CAPTCHAs by machine is nothing all that new, but Vicarious is reporting an extremely high success rate -- the algorithm is successful in up to 90 percent of cases. The company goes as far as saying that "this advancement renders text-based CAPTCHAs no longer effective as a Turing test". The Turing test -- introduced by Alan Turing, one of the old-masters of computing -- was developed to test whether a computer could pass itself off as a human being.
So Windows 8.1 is finally here and although it is a massive improvement over its predecessor (I recently had to install Windows 8 on a laptop and couldn’t believe how bad it is in comparison), Microsoft’s new Start button really isn’t what a lot of people were hoping for.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of the new operating system without being bothered by the Modern UI there are lots of alternative third-party options available. And when I say lots, I mean it. Some cost money, others are free. I’ll list my favorite three and then suggest some others to try if those don’t appeal.
A new study confirms what you might have expected: US customers are getting hosed when it comes to broadband speeds and prices.
The annoying trend holds true in both wired and wireless service. In the Cost of Connectivity 2013 report being released today by the New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute, researchers note that "in larger US cities, we continue to observe higher prices for slower speeds… In the US for example, the best deal for a 150Mbps home broadband connection from cable and phone companies is $130/month, offered by Verizon FiOS in limited parts of New York City. By contrast, the international cities we surveyed offer comparable speeds for $77 or less per month, with most coming in at about $50/month. When it comes to mobile broadband, the cheapest price for around 2GB of data in the US ($30/month from T-Mobile) is twice as much as what users in London pay ($15/month from T-Mobile). It costs more to purchase 2GB of data in a US city than it does in any of the cities surveyed in Europe." The analysis compares costs across countries by using purchasing power parity exchange rates.