Dropbox: Create A Stronger Password, Get More Storage For Free


iOS 8 Now Enables Direct To Dropbox File SavingHey Dropbox users – would you like to get more storage for your account?

The company may grant your wish, on one condition.

In an event held in London, the company’s head of trust and security, Patrick Helm made remarks concerning the biggest risks to Dropbox and revealed how his team was working to combat it.

One of the methods?

The incentive of users getting more storage in their accounts for free if they create stronger passwords.

This has come up because according to Helm, “The number one challenge is consumers reusing credentials across multiple websites, and we see a pattern where websites will get hacked, they may not even know it, and then encrypted passwords are stolen”.

The incentive is part of a push by Helm and his team to enlighten Dropbox users about using better passwords and utilizing password management tools.

At one point last year the company did offer bounties to hackers who could detect any vulnerabilities in their application.

The program incentive of free storage would be after users undergo a security checklist. When reached for additional comment on Helm’s remarks, Dropbox declined to respond.

Christopher A. Smith


VMware Settles With The Government In Alleged Fraud Case


VMware To Acquire AirWatchSoftware company VMware has agreed to a settlement to pay a federal government agency to bring closure to a lawsuit where it was accused of fraud.

The lawsuit was brought against VMware and a government approved reseller partner, Carahsoft, back in 2010.

In the lawsuit, the General Services Administration claimed that VMware and the reseller practiced “inaccurate pricing, inaccurate disclosures, and incomplete information about sales of VMware products to non-governmental customers” to them, leading them to pay more than private companies.

The specific bone of contention lay in a discount offering that was made by VMware which was said to be lower than ones made to foreign governments.

The total amount of the settlement? $75.5 million, which the law firm prosecuting the case states as “one of the five largest recoveries against a technology company in the history of the False Claims Act.”

VMware issued a statement that denied any fraud and misbehavior on their part, but claimed that they settled to avoid more drawn-out litigation.

Christopher A. Smith


Adobe Flash Is Being Exploited By Cybercriminals


Adobe_Systems_logo_and_wordmark.svgFor those using Adobe Flash, it appears that cyber thieves have found a way to take advantage of a flaw in the company’s Flash Player.

The French security firm Kafeine detected that criminals have been using a bug in the player which was patched by Adobe just last week.

Kafeine stated that there were bugs present in the software since January.

The report claims that thieves are using two kits, Angler and Magnitude that provide a framework for the criminals to get into a user’s computer system to deliver ransomware.

Ransomware is essentially computer software that locks down a PC and demands money be delivered to the thieves to unlock it.

The firm claimed that the issue affects the recent version of Flash.

Other security observers have noted that the kits can also deliver other forms of malware.

Adobe has recommended that users download the latest version of Flash from their website.

Christopher A. Smith


U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Google In Oracle Java Case


Court Rules: Bulk Collection Of Phone Records Is IllegalThe Supreme Court of The United States has shut down Google in a case heard before them today involving Oracle and Java.

The case, Google v. Oracle, 14-140, was brought by Oracle Corp. was seeking $1 billion in damages over allegations that Google used their Java programming code to hurriedly create their iconic Android operating software for smartphones and tablets without paying them for it.

The situation focuses on how there is a split between companies that create these API’s, or application programming interfaces, and those companies who uses those codes to develop software without having to devote a great deal of time and finances.

A federal court in Washington State found in favor of Oracle being the creator of the code.

Google then made its appeal to the highest court in the land, claiming that the lower court’s decision would stifle future innovation in programming technology.

The justices came back and ruled in favor of the decision of the lower court.

Oracle had gotten support from Microsoft and other API developers when it first brought the allegations against Google, and the Obama administration had made a recommendation against reversing the decision to the Supreme Court.

The case will now return to the appeals court so that Google can argue their claim of fair usage.

Christopher A. Smith


Windows 10 Will Force Updates On Users


Windows_10_Logo.svgMicrosoft has been awfully busy teasing the public with bits of information on the latest version of their operating software, Windows 10.

But there is one tidbit that hasn’t been fully revealed that may earn the company some irate users.

Recent reports have found that all Windows users who upgrade to Windows 10 will be locked into a pattern that forces them to accept each and every update Microsoft gives to them, and choosing not to means that their security updates will be cut off.

This applies to both free and paid users.

The process itself lies in what the company designates as “Current Branch”.

With this method, users of Windows 10 can opt to get their updates on a fast or slow path; the former gives you updates more quickly while the latter gets them to you once all bugs and other issues are worked out.

But opting for the slow path apparently makes you susceptible to the forced updates.

Microsoft apparently made no secret of this feature, mentioning it in a posting on their website in January.

But some users may balk at the fact that they can’t have the freedom to pick and choose what updates they desire like in other programs.

Windows 10 is set to be fully available to the public on July 29th.

Christopher A. Smith


Yahoo And Oracle Partner On Search Deal


RUMOR: Yahoo To Acquire FoursquareA new partnership between Yahoo and Oracle will mean more direct marketing of the search engine company will be provided by the software tools company.

At Yahoo’s annual shareholders meeting in Santa Clara, California, CEO Marissa Mayer broke the news of the three-year agreement.

Users who download Java, Oracle Corp.’s suite of program developer tools will have Yahoo’s default home page and search available as an option.

The deal is similar to one Yahoo made for users in the United States last year with Mozilla, the parent company of the popular web browser Firefox,.

According to Mayer, the deal has been beneficial for Yahoo since then.

The new deal means that Yahoo will be reaching out to 7 billion users and their devices worldwide, and that includes the 89 percent of computers within the United States.

Mayer remarked that the deal is part of great strides made in Yahoo’s efforts to regain footing in the tech industry.

Christopher A. Smith


Samsung Knocks Out Windows Update


Samsung Profit Drops By 30 PercentSamsung has been disabling the update feature of the Windows operating system on their computers, and in the process may have left their users highly vulnerable.

A researcher, Patrick Barker, announced on Tuesday that his investigation determined that the South Korean tech company has been crippling the Windows Update process for Microsoft’s operating system on their desktop and laptop computers.

Barker, a debugging expert who is a Microsoft certified professional was alerted to the situation on a forum.

He found that Samsung’s own updating process, SW Update, was behind it all.

Specifically, he found a distinct command in the OEM software that led to the Windows Update being shut off.

The immediate concern that was presented was, there was no discernable way to tell if the SW Update was conducting the internal patches and fixes that Microsoft directed their update to do.

Industry observers were surprised and gravely concerned for good reason; if neither update program was fully functioning, the computers would be exposed to malware that specifically goes after already-patched computers.

Microsoft did confirm to the press that it was aware of the situation and that they had reached out to Samsung concerning the problem.

Christopher A. Smith


Gmail Now Offers “Undo Send” Feature


Gmail-Logo.png.CROP_.rectangle3-largeThe email that we wished we didn’t send out.

It’s happened to many of us – typing up an email and clicking “send” before you finished a vital point.

Or perhaps you’ve fallen prey to the “reply all” situation at work that leaves everyone feeling a bit off-base.

Google has now added a new feature to its email service that could render those situations null and void.

The company announced that it had added a new feature to Gmail entitled ‘Undo Send.

The service comes after years of research and development, as well as some testing within Google Labs.

The Undo Send feature allows users to select a delay time ranging from five seconds to thirty seconds.

It’s available for both the mobile and desktop versions of Gmail.

In order to use it, you have to enable the action within your settings using the general tab.

This new feature may undoubtedly save a lot of people from some sitcom-esque situations.

Christopher A. Smith


Windows 10: Free Or Not?


Windows_10_Logo.svgIt looks like Microsoft’s previous news concerning Windows 10 may have lacked a level of full disclosure.

Microsoft had made the announcement of Windows 10 being available to all without any charge this past Friday in a blog posting on their website.

Since that initial posting regarding the Insider program however, it appears that there have been some edits done on it which makes everything less clear concerning the pricing of Windows 10.

Specifically, the post explained that those users who signed up for the program would be able to get Windows 10 for free with activation.

The language regarding activation has since vanished, and in its place is a sentence clearly meant to clarify: “It’s important to note that only people running Genuine Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 can upgrade to Windows 10 as part of the free upgrade offer.”

The key issue at hand is the fact that Microsoft has changed the policy in place, possibly to keep down the number of non-genuine subscribers with Windows 8.1 and 7 looking to upgrade.

Users can probably still make the upgrade to the Genuine version of Windows 10, but they may need to keep referring back to the blog post to make sure there’s no catch that Microsoft will insert more language that may cost them.

Christopher A. Smith


Amazon Has Updated The Way They Rank Reviews


Amazon Launches Free Lightweight Delivery ServiceOnline e-commerce giant Amazon has now updated their review system in an effort to help improve the ability of their customers to give more beneficial commentary on items.

Amazon is relying on a newer internal machine-driven learning system that will aid in giving more helpful updates to reviews posted on the American version on its site.

The hope is that in addition to more recent reviews getting prominent space at the top of search results for an item, that the system will prune out more of the bogus reviews that have been a slight irritant to Amazon over the years.

The latter is something that the company rarely mentions, but the change will no doubt limit those hassles.

The new system will also go a long way to help give more authentic ratings of items overall – previously, items got their ratings as an estimate based on all reviews listed for that particular item.

Christopher A. Smith