Welcome to the spring edition of QBN!
Some of you may be wondering where the March & April editions went, and the simple truth is that for several reasons I have been just too busy to get them written! So sorry about those absences but I hope this edition will make up for the missed postings!
In this edition I will draw together some of the news from the IT arena in a form which is not overly detailed so that I get more into a single edition.
If any of you wish to know more on one topic or more do let me know and I may then make it an article or feature in a later edition if enough interest is there for this. Otherwise of course you can ring me for a chat!
So here we go …
Obsolescence – the inevitable process.
Obsolescence is one of the inevitable processes when something is evolving and as you all know I.T. epitomises this.
So the first story I have of this is that if you are still using Windows XP or Vista and your chosen browser is Google Chrome then you need to be aware that Google have discontinued updates support for it. So because Microsoft themselves discontinued updates 2 years ago also for XP and soon will do likewise for Vista, a move on to Windows 7 is really the best one for you to make (unless you don’t mind the very unfamiliar desktop of the more recent Windows 8.x & 10 operating systems).
Windows 7 updates are good for another 4 years or so and despite Microsofts best persuasive coercions many of us will hang on to this OS until a need drives us on.
End of Sales Microsoft Windows 7 & 8.x
End of sales refers to the date when a particular version of Windows is no longer shipped to retailers or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). Examples of OEMS are Dell and Toshiba—PC manufacturers who often preinstall Windows software.
This table gives end of sales dates for specific Windows operating systems.
Client operating systems and updates
End of sales for Windows preinstalled
|Windows 7 Professional||October 31, 2016|
|Windows 8||June 30, 2016|
|Windows 8.1||October 31, 2016
* Note that when the retail software product reaches its end of sales date, it can still be purchased through OEMs (the company that made your PC) until it reaches the end of sales date for PCs with Windows preinstalled.
Security support for Windows 7 and 8, will end in 2020 and 2023 respectively.
Apple Quicktime Player
Its best to remove Apple’s Quicktime media player from your systems because its no longer supported and lets face it, its not necessary either.
“Computers running QuickTime for Windows will continue to work after support ends. However, using unsupported software may increase the risks from viruses and other security threats,” US-CERT said. “The only mitigation currently available is to uninstall QuickTime for Windows.” Public disclosure of the two bugs hastens the urgency for users to distance themselves from QuickTime for Windows. Both vulnerabilities expose Windows machines to remote code execution”.
Privacy not Piracy
The piracy I refer to is when a web server uses various methods to steal your privacy for targeted advertising.
PC Techniques will be releasing a new service soon to help with keeping out the invaders, but until then here are some reasons to take notice of the question of ‘why’!
Twitter’s global operations and data transfer
In the small print has crept in this …
“Our services are a window to the world. They are primarily designed to help people share information around the world instantly.
Your information, which we receive when you use the services, may be transferred to and stored in the United States, Ireland, and other countries where we operate, including through our offices, partners, and service providers. In some of these countries, the privacy and data protection laws and rules on when data may be accessed may differ from those in the country where you live.
How cyber criminals use social engineering
This article from Malwarebytes is useful to give you an idea of how they try to get past your defences by pretending legitimacy based on information they have acquired from elsewhere about you.
An interesting article here from Techcrunch on how Google are at last cleaning up their act ahead of legislation to protect consumers
“Google is cleaning up its Chrome Web Store – the marketplace where you can browse for extensions and apps for its Chrome web browser. The company says it’s making changes to browser’s User Data Policy, which will now require developers to be more transparent about how they handle customer data, and which will require user consent when data is collected, among other things.
The changes come at a time when the Chrome Web Store has been targeted by malware makers, who have posted rogue extensions that do terrible things like spy on web users and collect their personal data”
Journalist Gets Hacked While Writing Apple-FBI Story
“That’s why this story is so important to everyone,” says hacker, who was a fellow passenger on his flight.
The article on the dangers of using an open WiFi (no password needed) is here
Finally, for now..
I do hope you are not put off by these articles from realising the potential for good that technologies offer to us.
To me its like being in a strange land as a tourist, you keep your senses tuned in to your enviroinment, wear appropriate protections and don’t get hooked into a story that just looks toooo super real! (aka clickbait stories in ads posted on websites which are overly sensationalised or otherwise appear unreal.
A story of the future of I.T which may prove to offer us happier outcomes
“Imagine walking on Mars and being able to examine rock formations from all angles, or collaborating on the same 3D hologram design with someone thousands of miles away.
Or imagine being able to diagnose and treat the diseases of people half way around the world while you remain in your clinic, or walking around a gallery and having your own holographic guide pointing things out to you on your smart glasses.
These are just some of the exciting examples of what “augmented reality” (AR) technology is beginning to offer us.”
Do call me if you want a chat!