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Member Since 25 Feb 2004
Offline Last Active Oct 13 2017 06:07 AM

Topics I've Started

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/

Firefox 57 is so fast we're calling it Firefox Quantum

27 September 2017 - 06:55 PM

Mozilla has released the Firefox 57 beta, a completely overhauled browser that will be called Firefox Quantum when it launches in stable form next month.

"Since the version number 57 can't really convey the magnitude of the changes we've made, and how much faster this new Firefox is, we're calling this upcoming release Firefox Quantum," Mozilla explained in a post announcing the Firefox 57 beta.

Firefox Quantum spearheads Mozilla's effort to win back users lost to Chrome since Google released it in 2008, and revive its position as a formidable rival in the browser wars as it once was against Internet Explorer in the 2000s.

Firefox's share on the desktop has declined from 30 percent in 2010 to less than 14 percent today, while on mobile it has just five percent, according to StatCounter.

The next release is the culmination of work under Project Quantum, a major effort to deliver a new Firefox browser engine that exploits multi-core CPUs and GPUs on today's desktop and mobile hardware for a faster and smoother browsing experience.

Another project called Electrolysis redesigned the browser to run with multiple processes and optimized it for speed and memory usage. As of Firefox 56, users could open over 1,000 tabs in a few seconds thanks to another projected called Quantum Flow.

Mozilla boasts that Firefox Quantum is twice as fast at loading popular websites as it was a year ago and claims on its own tests of the beta that it beats Chrome to many websites, including the Google login page.

Ahead of Firefox Quantum's release, Mozilla's developers have removed 468 bugs that may have impeded the browser's new speed capabilities.

Part of the Quantum improvements come from a new "super-fast CSS engine" that was written in Rust and, unique to browsers, runs in parallel across multiple CPU cores.

In other changes, Firefox now prioritizes active tabs so that these download and run before other tabs that are open in the background.

Finally, Firefox Quantum will introduce a new modern interface called Photon, which Mozilla says is better suited to today's high DPI displays.

Read full article @ http://www.zdnet.com...irefox-quantum/

mIRC 7.51 has been released! (September 18th 2017)

25 September 2017 - 08:25 PM

mIRC 7.51 has been released! (September 18th 2017)

This is a small update that addresses a number of issues reported by users since the last release. It includes improvements, changes and fixes to a number of features, including:

  • Fixed server passwords not being migrated from older versions of mIRC.
  • Updated libraries to OpenSSL 1.0.2l, PCRE 8.41, and zlib 1.2.11.
  • Fixed /server not parsing passwords set in servers list.
  • Fixed network name in status window titlebar not being synchronized with switchbar/treebar.
  • Fixed log files bug that caused logs from different networks to be mixed.
  • Extended /bset to support -1 to append characters.
  • Extended DCC Trust to allow network specific address.
  • Extended LOADINFO structure to include DWORD mBeta value.
  • Fixed mIRC window saved position bug that caused it to reset to the wrong position.
  • Added /set -i switch that only initializes a variable if it does not already exist.
  • Fixed script line parser bug that caused a gpf with some combinations of $str/$N-/$len.
  • Extended $compress()/$decompress() to support raw, zlib, and gzip.
  • Updated CA root certificates cacert.pem file.
  • Fixed Clear History not correctly clearing network names in switchbar/treebar.

For a more detailed list of recent changes, please see the whatsnew.txt file.
As always, the latest version of mIRC can be downloaded from the download page.

Read full article @ https://www.mirc.com/news.html

Microsoft's subsea speed monster: A cable 16 million times faster than your broadband

23 September 2017 - 01:26 AM

Microsoft, Facebook and Telefonica have hit a key milestone in delivering their new trans-Atlantic subsea cable with a data capacity of 160 terabits per second.

Telefonica subsidiary Telxius has finished laying the Microsoft- and Facebook-backed Marea subsea cable, which stretches 4,000 miles (6,600km) across the Atlantic ocean from Virginia Beach, Virginia, to Bilbao in northern Spain.

Microsoft boasts that its 160-terabit/s cable is 16 million times faster than your home broadband and could stream 71 million HD videos simultaneously. The cable contains eight pairs of fiber-optic threads wrapped in copper.

Telxius, which will operate the cable once it goes live, began construction in August 2016.

Marea, Spanish for 'tide', offers Facebook and Microsoft more global capacity for their data services, but also improved resilience thanks to landing at different points to most networks, which on the US side come ashore around New York and New Jersey.

The route is south of existing transatlantic cables. Microsoft of course has a massive data center in Virginia too, on which it's reportedly spent $1.1bn. Facebook and Amazon also have data centers there.

Marea continues the trend of tech giants investing in their own high-capacity subsea cables, rather than merely leasing them from other operators.

As Wired noted recently, the Marea cable noteworthy in that Microsoft and Facebook have more control over its future than if they joined a consortium of telecoms providers, as Microsoft did with six Asian telco firms to launch the New Cross Pacific Cable.

They also don't need to share capacity with other telecoms providers. Google, meanwhile, has backed the 60-terabit/s Faster cable, which spans 5,600 miles (9,000km) between Japan and the US west coast and gives Google exclusive access to part of its capacity.

According to Microsoft, Marea is the highest-capacity connection of more than a dozen trans-Atlantic subsea cables. Marea also connects to nearby Sopelana, which links up with fiber networks connecting to other major European hubs like Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, and London.

Microsoft also points out that Bilbao offers a convenient path to hubs in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Read full article @ http://www.zdnet.com...your-broadband/

Hackers Hid Malware In Ccleaner, A Free App Meant To Clean Out Computers

21 September 2017 - 07:35 PM

Hackers hid malware in CCleaner, a popular app meant to clean out cookies and junk programs from Android phones and computers to make them run faster.

The malware was present in the program for four weeks before it was discovered by an outside security company. It has now been disarmed.

The discovery is especially galling because Piriform, the London-based company that makes the software, was acquired in July by Avast, a Czech Republic-based security software maker.
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According to Piriform, the malware was first discovered by Morphisec, an Israeli security company. The compromised version of CCleaner was released on August 15 and was undetected for four weeks, "underscoring the sophistication of the attack," Morphisec vice president for research and development Michael Gorelik wrote in a blog post.

CCleaner advertises that "it protects your privacy and makes your computer faster and more secure!"

The company estimates that 2.27 million users had the affected software installed on Windows PCs. It believes the number is now reduced to 730,000 due to its efforts to upgrade customers.
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Ransomware has resulted in payments of millions of dollars in recent years as desperate users cough up the money to regain access to crucial files and data. Newslook

The discovery that the software had been illegally modified was made on September 12. The cloud-based version of the app was automatically updated.

Piriform encouraged all other users to update their CCleander software to version 5.34 or higher.

However, in a statement to USA TODAY the company emphasized that it believes it was able to disarm the threat before the malware was able to harm any of its customers.

Read full article @ https://www.usatoday...ters/678277001/