February 2015

Thunderbird Usage Still Growing

Contrary to the rumors, Mozilla Thunderbird usage is not declining. In fact, usage is still increasing steadily. Mozilla measures program usage by Active Daily Installations (ADI), which is the number of pings that Mozilla servers receive as installations do their daily plugin block-list update. This is not the same as the number of active users, since some users don’t access their program each day, and some installations are behind firewalls. An estimate of active monthly users is typically done by multiplying the ADI by a factor of 3. There is a more detailed breakdown of the growth, plus the top 10…

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Getting Superfish out of Firefox

From the Mozilla Security Blog: First things first: If you are reading this post on a recent Lenovo laptop, please click the lock icon in the URL bar, then click “More Information…”.  If you see “Verified by: Superfish, Inc.”, you are infected with Superfish, and you should follow these instructions to remove it. The Superfish adware distributed by Lenovo has brought the issue of SSL interception back to the headlines.  SSL interception is a technique that allows other software on a user’s computer to monitor and control their visits to secure Web sites — however, it also enables attackers to…

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Thunderbird 31.5.0 Released

Mozilla released the next scheduled update for the Thunderbird 31 branch on Tuesday, February 24th with Thunderbird 31.5.0. Release notes. Users may be prompted to update to the newest release of Thunderbird or can do so manually within Thunderbird by going to Help > About Thunderbird and following the update prompts. Users may also manually download and install the Thunderbird update via the getthunderbird.com site. The next scheduled update for the Thunderbird 31 branch is March 31, 2015 with Thunderbird 31.6.0.

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Firefox 36 Released

Mozilla released an update to Firefox on February 24, 2015 with Firefox 36. There are several new features and fixes for this release and these can be viewed in the release notes. Users may be prompted to update to the newest release (36.0) of Firefox or can do so manually within Firefox by going to Help > About Firefox and following the update prompts. Users may also manually download and install the newest Firefox update (34.5 via the getfirefox.com site. The next scheduled update for Firefox is February 24th, 2015 with Firefox 36.

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Firejail – A Security Sandbox for Mozilla Firefox, Part 2

“In part 2 of this series, we look at some new browser sandboxing developments in Firejail security sandbox. Since the first article was published, many new features have been added. Unlike other sandboxes, the main focus of Firejail project is GUI application sandboxing, with web browsers being, at least for the immediate future, the main target. …” Source: l3net – a layer 3 networking blog Details 

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Claus at grand stream dreams, linked in his recent Anti Virus Software Updates blog posts an interesting article about issues Windows users were having with high CPU load. The culprit as it turns out was an optional (though installed by default) of avast! antivirus (both free and premium versions) called avast NG. The article (which has been Google Translated from another language) includes step-by-step instructions on how to uninstall the unwanted components (warning: restart required to complete the removal) as well as screenshots (in a another language). On my three systems (generic Windows 7 Desktop, HP Windows 7 Laptop and Gateway Windows 8.1),…

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Extension Signing Coming Later in 2015

This is a really good idea as all too often people end up installing extensions (knowingly or unknowingly) which end up making unwanted and undesired changes to their Firefox browser. I don’t think it is going to have that big of a negative impact as this will be a way to prevent the bad extensions from being installed. Problems I could see though would be folks running a fresh install or profile and trying to install an add-on that has been abandoned by the developer. Extensions that change the homepage and search settings without user consent have become very common, just…

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Retrieve Windows 8/8.1 Product Key

Another thing I did not know about Windows 8: Product/Activation/Registration Key is stored in BIOS. Unlike Windows 7 and older, chances are there is not a product key sticker on your computer. I did a very through examination of my Windows 8 Gateway Desktop and noticed there is not a ‘Windows Key’ sticker anywhere to be found. What if something happens to your hard drive and you are not able to recover the contents (mechanical failure)? If you have a recovery CD/DVD/BD/USB you might be okay once you get a new hard drive installed. If you don’t, it is going to…

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Little Known Windows 8 Feature: Mounting ISO files

Since I am in a Microsoft program at my local community college, I can get a lot of Microsoft products for free via DreamSpark. However, nearly everything on DreamSpark is in an ISO format (Microsoft Project 2013 offers a web-based installer or ISO download). The hassle with ISO files is after you take the time to download them, you need to then spend more time burning them to a CD/DVD/BD or USB drive (after spending even more time trying to locate said media). Not with Windows 8/8.1! The process is so much simpler. After you download your ISO, Right-click on the…

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