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Member Since 25 Feb 2004
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HP said that nearly 500 different laptop models have a dangerous bug that can record ev...

Yesterday, 06:41 PM

A security researcher discovered a vulnerability in a common piece of software that comes pre-installed on several laptop brands and models.

This specific bug was discovered in the Synaptics software that controls keyboard and trackpad inputs on 460 different HP laptop models, including various versions of the HP Pavilion, the HP EliteBook and the HP ProBook.

The bug is referred to as a "keylogger," which can record your keystrokes. A keylogger can be dangerous in the hands of a hacker, as it can record and send your keystrokes to potentially reveal sensitive information, like your passwords.

Thankfully, the keylogger in the Synaptics software on HP laptops is disabled by default, and a hacker would need a laptop's administrative rights to enable it. That means a hacker would need physical access to an affected HP laptop to enable the keylogger.
"Neither Synaptics nor HP has access to customer data as a result of this issue," HP said on its support page.

Still, it's worth covering all your bases and taking action. HP has issued a list of the affected laptop models, as well as software updates to install and fix the bug. If you don't know your HP laptop's model, you can check for a sticker underneath the laptop that might contain the model number.

It was not immediately clear whether the bug was due to a flaw in Synaptics' software or in the way that the Synaptics technology was integrated into HP laptops.

Read full article @ http://www.businessi...ou-type-2017-12

Sparkpea New Domain

29 November 2017 - 09:59 PM

Sparkpea has updated their domain name to http://spcn.io/
Please update your bookmarks to the new domain name. The change was due to an issue with google advertising. If you haven't been to spcn lately be sure to stop in and see all the new changes.

F.C.C. Plans Net Neutrality Repeal in Victory for Telecoms

21 November 2017 - 11:58 PM

The Federal Communications Commission announced on Tuesday that it planned to dismantle landmark regulations that ensure equal access to the internet, clearing the way for companies to charge more and block access to some websites.

The proposal, put forward by the F.C.C. chairman, Ajit Pai, is a sweeping repeal of rules put in place by the Obama administration. The rules prohibited high-speed internet service providers from blocking or slowing down the delivery of websites, or charging extra fees for the best quality of streaming and other internet services for their subscribers. Those limits are central to the concept called net neutrality.

The action immediately reignited a loud and furious fight over free speech and the control of the internet, pitting telecom giants like AT&T against internet giants like Google and Amazon, who warn against powerful telecom gatekeepers. Both sides are expected to lobby hard in Washington to push their agendas, as they did when the existing rules were adopted.

“Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” Mr. Pai said in a statement. “Instead, the F.C.C. would simply require internet service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them and entrepreneurs and other small businesses can have the technical information they need to innovate.”

The proposal from Mr. Pai, a Republican, is widely expected to be approved during a Dec. 14 meeting in a 3-to-2 party line vote from the agency’s five commissioners. But some companies will probably put up a legal fight, or actions by lawmakers, to prevent it from taking hold.

The clear winners from the move would be the giant companies that provide internet access to phones and computers, which have fought for years against broadband regulations. A repeal of the rules would allow the companies to exert more control over the online experiences of American consumers.

Big online companies like Amazon say that the telecom companies would be able to show favoritism to certain web services, by charging for accessing some sites but not others, or by slowing the connection speed to some sites. Small online companies say the proposal would hurt innovation. Only the largest companies, they say, would be able to afford the expense of making sure their sites received preferred treatment.

And consumers, the online companies say, may see their costs go up to get quality access to popular websites like Netflix.

Read full article @ https://www.nytimes....neutrality.html

Firefox's big-bang update brings you speed and a new look

14 November 2017 - 09:00 PM

Mozilla on Tuesday released Firefox Quantum, and even if you long ago switched to Google Chrome, it's worth giving the browser upgrade a spin.

Why? First and foremost, version 57 of the open-source browser is faster, clocking in at twice the speed of Firefox 52 from March, according to the Speedometer 2.0 benchmark. Mozilla knows Chrome won many of us over with performance, but after months testing it, I can affirm Firefox 57 delivers its promised big bang.

Second, Firefox has an important role to play if you care about the value of the web as neutral tech territory -- a place free of the control Apple and Google exert over our phones and the apps we can run on them. Mozilla's mission is to keep the web open and competitive, and Firefox is how Mozilla works to endow the web with new technology like easier payments, virtual reality and fast WebAssembly-powered games.

"Their mission is a good one and does keep pressure up to keep the web open," Gartner analyst David Smith said. He recommended web surfers use "multiple modern browsers."

Mozilla famously undermined the dominance of Microsoft's Internet Explorer when it launched Firefox 1.0 in 2004. But since that triumph, its fortunes have faded. Google's Chrome is now the most-used browser by far, and Mozilla has largely been sidelined when it comes to phones and tablets. Firefox Quantum, a complete overhaul of the browser that took more than a year's work to achieve, is an attempt to start fresh.

"We pulled ourselves up to and in some cases ahead of Chrome," said Mark Mayo, Mozilla's senior vice president of Firefox. "We doubled the performance of Firefox this year. The tentative goal is can we double it again in 2018."

Read full article @ https://www.cnet.com...and-a-new-look/

AOL Instant Messenger is shutting down after 20 years

07 October 2017 - 05:08 PM

The pioneering chat app that taught us to text is pulling the plug. On December 15th, AOL Instant Messenger will shut down after running since 1997. AIM dominated online chat in North America at the turn of the century. But with SMS and social apps like Facebook and WhatsApp having conquered chat, AOL is giving up the fight with no planned replacement.

We know there are so many loyal fans who have used AIM for decades; and we loved working and building the first chat app of its kind since 1997, AOL wrote on the AIM help page. Our focus will always be on providing the kind of innovative experiences consumers want. We're more excited than ever to focus on building the next generation of iconic brands and life-changing products.

TechCrunch reader Daniel Sinclair tipped the shut-down to us, which follows the cut-off of third-party apps back in March. Now AIM's official MacOS, Windows, iOS and Android apps are being pulled off life support.

From setting the perfect away message to that familiar ring of an incoming chat, AIM will always have a special place in our hearts, AOL wrote to users in an email. People can download images they sent until December 15th, but the app's download links will start disappearing now. Unfortunately there's no way to save or port your buddy list.

Initially the chat experience built into AOL desktop, AIM launched as a standalone app in 1997. Its iconic Away Messages were the ancestor to the modern tweet and status update. It battled for supremacy with competitors like ICQ, and messengers from Yahoo and Microsoft MSN. But eventually text messaging, Google's GChat and Facebook took over, while AIM never fully figured out the shift to mobile. That led to AOL's fall from grace, going from being valued at $224 billion in today's money to just $4.4 billion when it was sold to Verizon in 2015. For context on the business AOL let slip away, WhatsApp sold that same year to Facebook for more than $19 billion.



Read full article @ https://techcrunch.c...nger-shut-down/