The jury is out on stylus input on mobile devices, though many people likely are happy if the option is there, even if it goes unused. Drawing or writing on a screen may not be for everyone, but it has its place in the market, and today Google adds support for your handwriting to both Gmail and Google Docs.
"Whether you’re a student trying to include a foreign phrase in your paper or an international consultant hoping to begin your message with a friendly local greeting, now you’ll be able to use your own handwriting to input words directly into Gmail and Google Docs with your mouse or trackpad", states Google Product Manage Xiangye Xiao.
You will need to enable the option in both cases and Google provides instruction for this simple step -- "to try it out, enable input tools in Gmail or Docs and select the handwriting input (represented by a pencil icon) of the language you want to use".
Java now requires explicit permission to run in the latest version of Firefox, thanks to a patch that rolled out late last week.
Developers at Mozilla, the not-for-profit behind Firefox, are hoping that it will help protect end users from the notoriously unsafe browser plugin – but many have complained that the move has disrupted their businesses (and even the entire nation of Denmark).
Since January, the browser has already blocked out-of-date (and vulnerable) versions of Java. However, in the wake of a particularly nasty SSL-decrypting exploit, Firefox devs made the decision to prevent any version of Java from auto-running.
Bill Gates had a chat with David Rubenstein, Harvard Campaign co-chair for a Harvard fundraising campaign. In that Gates revealed that it was a mistake to force users to use hold down “Ctrl+Alt+Del” to log into their computers and he also blamed IBM for doing so.
“You want to have something you do with the keyboard that is signaling to a very low level of the software — actually hard-coded in the hardware — that it really is bringing in the operating system you expect, instead of just a funny piece of software that puts up a screen that looks like a log-in screen, and then it listens to your password and then it’s able to do that,” Gates said.
Microsoft has admitted Windows users should install antivirus above and beyond its own Security Essentials, describing its protection as merely a "baseline" that will "always be on the bottom" of antivirus software rankings.
Microsoft launched Security Essentials in 2009, raising complaints from antivirus rivals that such software shouldn't be bundled with Windows for competition reasons.
However, the most frequent complaint about Security Essentials is that it's not good enough: it flunked a pair of tests earlier this year - including one from Dennis Technology Labs.
Now, Microsoft has said it sees Security Essentials as merely the first layer of protection, advising customers to use additional, third-party antivirus - although the company stressed that wasn't because the product wasn't good enough to stand on its own.
This month's Black Tuesday -- Sept. 10, 2013 -- enters the record books as Microsoft's most patch-botching month in history. That's quite an accomplishment, frankly. Having followed Microsoft's bungled patch efforts since long before the ascendancy of Patch Tuesday, I think there's a better -- if rather unorthodox -- way to manage patching.
The release dilemma is quite straightforward: Microsoft has to test the patches without letting them leak to the bad guys. Conventional wisdom dictates that if the bad guys can reverse engineer the patches before they roll down the Automatic Update chute, Windows as we know it will cease to exist. However, given the recent revelations of governmental stockpiling of zero-days, the ascendancy of companies that specialize in selling such zero-days to governments and corporate spies alike, and the fascinating proposal that the U.S. government share its zero-day trove with private companies (for a fee, of course), I think the day-and-date exposure threat is way overblown.
When people download software from SourceForge, or any major repository of Open Source software, they expect the software to be trustworthy. (baring unintentional bugs)
They do not expect the software to be a source of “drive by installer” style malware, spyware, adware, or any other unrelated/unintended software.
SourceForge’s new owners, Dice, have consciously and deliberately moved to a model violating this trust.
With their recent changes, users downloading from SourceForge now receive a special closed source installer which attempts to foist unrelated third party software onto them.
Microsoft is intensifying its efforts asking users to scrap Windows XP, the 12-year-old operating system for which the software giant is ending support next April. Tim Rains, director of Microsoft Trustworthy Computing, authored a blog post last week reminding customers of the perils that could await them should they continue running XP, which debuted in 2001, once Redmond stops patching the platform. Users should upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.
"There is a sense of urgency because after April 8, 2014, Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3) customers will no longer receive new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options or online technical content updates," Rains wrote. "This means that any new vulnerabilities discovered in Windows XP after its 'end of life' will not be addressed by new security updates from Microsoft."
Rains said that when a vulnerability is patched in one of Microsoft's supported operating system versions, attackers typically reverse engineer the fix in hopes of creating an exploit that could target users who failed to apply the update.
I know a lot of folks are eager to find out when they will be able to get Windows 8.1. I am excited to share that starting at 12:00am on October 18th in New Zealand (that’s 4:00am October 17th in Redmond), Windows 8.1 will begin rolling out worldwide as a free update for consumers on Windows 8 through the Windows Store. Windows 8.1 will also be available at retail and on new devices starting on October 18th by market. So mark your calendars!