Earlier today an announcement was posted on the Flock website stating that on April 26th, 2011 that the project and servers would be shutting down. There is no reason specified as to why the project is suddenly discontinuing. However, there is some speculation that it may be because of Zynga - makers of Farmville, Cityville and other browser Flash games - acquiring Flock Inc. in January of this year. Since the Flock project is coming to an end, they're recommending that their users back up their data. Sync and social networking features in Flock will no longer work on April 26th.
The project began April 11th, 2005 and shuts down on April 26th, 2011 - just six years later. Flock was a web browser that specialized in Web 2.0 and social networking interfaces that were integrated into the UI. Originally Flock was based on the Gecko HTML rendering engine by Mozilla, but at version three Flock changed to Chromium which is based on WebKit.
The Flock Team has recommended that their users switch over to Firefox or Chrome if they wish. While they will be able to continue using Flock, the key features will not be available after April 26th. Many former Flock users have said that they will be switching over to RockMelt as it has similar features.
Earlier today, Microsoft released the next version of their web browser. Numerous improvements come with this release, along with a redesigned UI, support for HTML5, a new "Do Not track" feature and much more. After having used it since the release, I can say one thing for sure. You will definitely notice the pages loading faster and performing better. It's great to see that they have improved the browser overall. Another nice addition is the ability to import Tracking Protection lists. A recommended list is the EasyPrivacy from the people who continue to maintain the EasyList.
There are a lot of improvements to Internet Explorer 9, including pinned websites that integrate with the Windows 7 taskbar, jumplist support, a new tab layout page, a redesigned notification system to alert users of downloads and add-ons, a SmartScreen filter and more. With all these great fixes, updates and features, we strongly urge everyone on Windows Vista and Windows 7 to update to Internet Explorer 9. To help, we'll have the download links below.
Valve is set to release a new account protection feature called Steam Guard. This adds an additional layer of security to your Steam account. When enabled, it will prevent unauthorized access to your Steam account. When anyone attempts to login as you from an unrecognized computer, they will be required to enter a one-time authorization code. A special authorization code is e-mailed to the contact address that you have verified with on Steam. The code must then be entered into Steam before your first login on an unfamiliar computer is complete. If a user attempts to login to your account from a computer that is not authorized you will receive a notification e-mail. Even if they have your password entered correctly, the Steam Guard prompt will appear and you will receive an e-mail. Screenshots are enclosed below.
There is no limit to the number of computers you can authorize with your Steam account. You can access your Steam account and library from as many machines as you'd like. So you would easily be able to continue using Steam on your desktop, along with your laptop and any other computer you may use. But it doesn't stop there because you can still login on your PlayStation 3. This will make gaming safer and more enjoyable for Steam users.
As of February 2011 - that's right, just last month - the usage of Internet Explorer 6 has dropped to 12%. A majority of Internet Explorer 6's usage is in China with a whopping 34.5%, followed by South Korea with 24.8% and India with 12.3%. The US comes in with 2.9%, Canada at 3.3%, the UK with 3.5% and Australia's around 3.2%. These numbers may represent users who are unable to upgrade to a more secure Windows OS such as Windows 7. Less than 1% of users surfing the web are on a legacy Windows OS such as Windows 9x/ME or Windows 2000. Approximately 90% of people surfing the web are using a modern Windows OS such as XP, Vista or Windows 7.
What does this mean? That thankfully people are using more modern browsers such as Firefox, Opera, Chrome and even an updated Internet Explorer. This is great news for all of us. It shows that users are keeping their systems up to date and trying alternative browsers. In the end that means a safer, more secure browsing experience for web surfing.
Microsoft wants to get Internet Explorer 6 usage to less than 1% worldwide. This will not just help users but web developers as well. A modern, up to date web browser means web pages will display with correct standards. Pages will load faster and more efficiently and this will reduce the workload for web developers. On March 24th, Internet Explorer 9 will be available for download. However, only users of Windows Vista and Windows 7 will be able to install and use the newest web browser. For those of you still on Windows XP it is highly recommended to upgrade to a more up-to-date Windows.
Want to track Internet Explorer 6's decline for yourself? You can do so at the IE6Countdown page.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C,) the standards body responsible for HTML5, accepted and published Microsoft's member submission for standardized privacy features on Thursday.
Last year, the Federal Trade Commission endorsed a framework for consumer privacy which suggested a persistent browser setting to protect users from services that collect and harvest browser data without users knowing about it.
Subsequently, Microsoft, Mozilla, and Google all responded to the proposal, saying they planned to add "do not track" functionality to their respective browsers. Microsoft was the first out of the gate with the feature active in Internet Explorer 9, and it submitted its technologies for user privacy to the W3C for standardization.
The W3C said Microsoft's submission was "both timely and well-aligned with the consortium's objectives and priorities," given the interest in privacy expressed by the FTC, EU, and public at large.
A new trojan has appeared by the name of BlackHole RAT and it surprisingly is in beta. While this may sound strange or like a joke, security researchers assure it's the real deal. Turns out that BlackHole RAT is a variant of the free "remote administration tool" darkComet RAT for Windows. Despite being a new trojan that calls itself beta; the tool itself seems very comprehensive at this point in time.
At this time there is no known fix or way to catch this trojan. The best advice is Mac users, be careful what you run and when your OS prompts you for your password, known what the prompt is coming from. If you're still concerned there are anti-virus solutions for the Mac. Earlier this month Comodo released a free Mac antivirus alongside Sophos, who has long been known for its anti-malware solutions for the platform.