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Firefox makes Google default search again

With the launch of Firefox Quantum, Mozilla released what’s probably the most important update to its browser in recent years. It’s faster, lighter and you should give it a try. And as you do so, you’ll notice another change: Google is now the default search engine again — at least if you live in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. In 2014, Mozilla...

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YouTube flags ChromeBook ad as spam

It’s no secret that YouTube’s algorithm for automatically flagging videos can be troublesome — recent issues have seen content creators getting their videos demonetized for seemingly no reason — but Google’s latest faux pas might hit the company a little closer to home. Google posted an ad for its new Chromebook Pixel that is getting flagged as spam, according to The Next Web. For...

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Linux USB driver security issue

USB drivers included in the Linux kernel are rife with security flaws that in some cases can be exploited to run untrusted code and take over users’ computers. The vast majority of these vulnerabilities came to light on Monday, when Google security expert Andrey Konovalov informed the Linux community of 14 vulnerabilities he found in the Linux kernel USB subsystem. “All of them can...

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Twitter officially expanded tweet limit to 280 characters

Twitter’s expansion to 280 characters is rolling out publicly today to all users in supported languages, including English. The company had first announced the controversial plan to move beyond its traditional 140 characters back in September, noting at the time how a longer character count allowed users to express more of their thoughts without running out of room to tweet. The expansion was initially available...

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Logitech to brick Harmony Link hub March 2018

Logitech has announced that it’s shutting down all services for the Harmony Link hub, a plastic puck the company released in 2011 that gave smartphones and tablets the ability to act as universal remotes for thousands of devices. Owners of the product have received an email from the company warning that the Link will completely stop working in March. “On March 16th, 2018, Logitech...

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Facebook revenge porn protection asks users for nude photos

Facebook is reportedly testing out a pilot program to counter revenge porn that involves users sending the company nude photos of themselves that may be in others’ possession. The program, which is currently only being deployed in Australia, creates a digital thumbprint of the images, known as “hashing,” that users don’t want spread without their consent on Facebook. Once a photo is “hashed,” Facebook acts to...

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Twitter debuts $99 subscription tool for promoting tweets

Twitter is making it easier for small businesses and power users to give their tweets a boost. The social network has officially launched its first ad subscription tool called “Promote Mode” as a public beta. Twitter started testing the always-on mode as an invite-only feature in July, giving users access to a feature that can automatically blast their tweets and profiles into strangers’ (aka non-followers’) timelines. Now...

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Firefox 58 warns if websites use canvas image data

Mozilla plans to display permission prompts if websites or services attempt to use HTML5 Canvas Image Data in the Firefox web browser. Canvas fingerprinting is a byproduct of the HTML5 Canvas technology that all browser makers added to their browsers. As is the case with many technologies, it can be used for good or bad, and in the case of canvas fingerprinting it is...

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After years of manufacturing Microsoft stops Kinect production

Microsoft is finally admitting Kinect is truly dead. After years of debate over whether Kinect is truly dead or not, the software giant has now stopped manufacturing the accessory. Fast Co Design reports that the depth camera and microphone accessory has sold around 35 million units since its debut in November, 2010. Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360 even became the fastest-selling consumer device back...

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Firefox Quantum doubles the speed and introduces Photon UI

Firefox Quantum is now available in Developer Edition, and this Firefox is fast. As a reader of the Hacks blog, you may be familiar with Project Quantum, our attempt to refactor, redesign, replace, and modernize the very core of Firefox. We’ve shipped many incremental improvements to Firefox in the past, but this release marks the first milestone where we believe Firefox fundamentally feels like...