Latest Version Of Chrome Is Faster And More Secure

Latest Version Of Chrome Is Faster And More Secure

If you’re a diehard Chrome browser user, be aware that as of November 17th, 2020, Chrome 87 has now been ported to the Stable desktop channel, and it’s an upgrade well worth getting. It adds a raft of performance improvements that will increase your overall browsing speed, in addition to offering some new security features. The single biggest boost to performance came from some tweaks that were the result of an in-depth analysis of how Chrome was using system resources. In that research, it came to light that the biggest consumer of system resources was the JavaScript Timer, specifically as it related to background tabs, which was responsible for some 40 percent of the total resources Chrome consumes. The company had the following to say about the matter in a recent blog post: “We investigated how background tabs use system resources and found that JavaScript Timers represent >40 percent of the work in background tabs. Reducing their impact on CPU and power is important to make the browser more efficient. Beginning in M87, we’re throttling JavaScript timer wake-ups in background tabs to once per minute. This reduces CPU usage by up to 5x, and extends battery life up to 1.25 hours in our internal testing. We’ve done this without sacrificing the background features that users care about, like playing music and getting notifications.” It’s a big change, but not one that will change the way you view the web or use the browser, and that’s perhaps the best part about the improvement. It’s behind the scenes, so while it makes a big difference, there’s nothing you have to do,...
Free Unlimited Storage Ending For Google Photos

Free Unlimited Storage Ending For Google Photos

For several years now, most of the big tech companies have been using the lure of free to grow their respective user bases. Free unlimited data on phone plans. Free, unlimited storage on cloud drive plans, and the like.¬†Free can get expensive for these firms, however. Over time, most of them have slowly backed away from that approach, either outright discontinuing their free offerings or putting hard limits on the amount of free space/bandwidth they’re offering. Google is the latest such company to take that step. They’ve been offering free, unlimited photo storage on their Google Cloud service for more than five years. On June 1st, 2021, that will be coming to an end. You’ll have fifteen Gigs free, and after that, you’ll be charged a premium. Fifteen Gigs is still quite a lot of photographs, so Google’s revised offering is still quite generous, and note that there is one exception to the new rule. If you’re a Google Pixel owner (any model) you’ll retain free, unlimited photo storage. The company’s stated reason for the change is to bring their service offering more in line with current industry standards, and that’s completely understandable. Free unlimited is one of those concepts that looks good on paper and sounds amazing. In the end, few, if any companies have pockets deep enough to actually maintain that approach in the long run. Note that in addition to the coming storage limit change, Google is also implementing a housekeeping rule. If you have a Google Cloud account and you haven’t logged into it for more than two years, and you’re over the new storage...
Flash Player Will No Longer Work On Firefox In January

Flash Player Will No Longer Work On Firefox In January

File this away under the least surprising announcement ever. Actually, it’s not so much an announcement as a reminder that on January 26, 2021, when Mozilla releases Firefox 85, the option to re-enable Adobe’s Flash Player will be gone, effectively eliminating Flash on the browser. Firefox is the latest in a string of browsers to have made the same move. In fact, as of early 2021, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any browser that will still support Flash. It’s been a long time coming, and although it’s bound to cause some consternation, it’s a good move. When the internet was in its infancy, Flash was a seminal application and incredibly important to the development of the early web. Just about every decent website in existence made heavy use of Flash to enhance the capabilities of their sites. Unfortunately, as the web matured, it became increasingly apparent that Flash had more than its share of problems. For a time, new critical security flaws were being discovered in the code faster than Adobe could patch them, and it put broad swaths of the internet at risk. Time and technology advanced and Flash was, in addition to being increasingly less secure, an increasingly less robust web development option as competing products could do more, and do it more securely, to boot. All of that slowly led us to a point where the major browsers began developing a roadmap to gradually phase out Flash support, and now, that day is arriving. Some browsers have already ended support, and Mozilla will follow suit early next year. If you’re still relying on Flash to power...
Discord Being Used By Hacker To Distribute Malware

Discord Being Used By Hacker To Distribute Malware

If you’re a gamer, and you make frequent use of Discord, there’s a new threat you should be aware of. Recently, hackers have been seen using a malware strain called ‘TroubleGrabber’ on a wide range of Discord servers. TroubleGrabber isn’t the worst malware strain we’ve ever seen, but it is highly problematic. Classed as an Info Stealer, it’s designed to collect and exfiltrate gaming login credentials and system information. Researchers at Netskope first discovered the malware strain in the wild, and note that in terms of capability, it bears a number of similarities to another Info Stealer called AnarchyGrabber. Although TroubleGrabber is very new, having only been spotted for the first time in October 2020, the hackers controlling it are wasting no time in terms of its use. Based on data collected by the Netskope researchers, TroubleGrabber accounted for more than 85 percent of all of the malware attacks targeting Discord servers during the month of October (2020). So how does one become infected with this malware strain? Well, according to the research team, TroubleGrabber is most often disguised as a software crack or some type of game cheat, though it will occasionally present itself as a simple Discord Installer. The Netskope team was rather impressed to find more than a thousand different poisoned binaries in use. So it doesn’t really matter what kind of games you play, if you make regular use of cracks or cheat codes, it’s highly likely that you’ll run across this strain. Worse, the hacker behind it was also found to have placed a “helpful” instruction video on youtube, which teachers other hackers how...
Windows 10 Displays Going Dark Issue Fixed By Microsoft

Windows 10 Displays Going Dark Issue Fixed By Microsoft

If you run Windows 10, version 2004, you may have noticed some unusual shenanigans going on where your system’s monitor is concerned. If you’re using a tablet or laptop, with a display that’s built into the machine itself, it may flicker periodically. If you’re using a desktop PC with a standalone monitor external to the CPU, then when you activate the drawing function in certain applications (Word, Whiteboard, or others) the screen may go dark. Sometimes, the effect is only temporary and sometimes, it just stays off until you reboot, which exits the program in question. In either case though, after you experience the issue, if you go to your Device Manager page, you’ll see that your graphics card has been flagged as having issues. It’s not your graphics card, it’s Windows, and although the issue only impacts a small percentage of the OS’s massive user base, it has been an infuriating issue indeed. If it’s something you’ve been pulling your hair out over, there’s good news; it has been resolved and the fix is in! Actually, it was addressed with little fanfare during October’s non-security preview cumulative update, KB4577063. However, the company only updated the advisory concerning this bug in particular on October 28th, so until quite recently, few people were aware that it had been resolved. Despite the fact that it took an inordinately long time to track down and fix, and despite the fact that the company was slow to update their site and let everyone know the issue was a thing of the past, this is great news. As mentioned, while the display issues associated...