Episode 544 – Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

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RIP MS Paint: iconic doodling program to be retired this year

The 32-year-old graphic-editing program is officially marked as deprecated, meaning it will still exist after the update but is no longer being actively updated and could be phased out at some point. It’s unclear when Microsoft will officially remove Paint from its software.

Paint was Microsoft’s original Windows 1.0 program when the company launched in 1985 and has been a staple in its systems for years. Known for its simplicity, Paint allows users to dream of being the digital Leonardo da Vinci by using their computer’s mouse as the brush.

Outlook Express and Reader are two of the other noteworthy items Microsoft is removing in the software update. The company’s Mail app has essentially replaced Outlook Express for some time now and Reader will be integrated in with the Microsoft Edge Web browser, according to the company’s statement.

 

When Adobe acquired Flash in its 2005 purchase of Macromedia, the technology was on more than 98 percent of personal computers connected to the web, Macromedia said at the time.

But Flash’s popularity began to wane after Apple’s decision not to support it on the iPhone.

In a public letter in 2010, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticised Flash’s reliability, security and performance. Since then, other technologies like HTML5 have emerged as alternatives to Flash.

In the past year, several web browsers have begun to require users to enable Flash before running it.

 

Mac users face threat of ‘Fruitfly’ malware

The recently uncovered malware – a variant of the “Fruitfly” malware that was discovered in January – is troubling more because of its potential for spying on Mac users than its actual impact. Just a few hundred Macs have reportedly become infected, but researchers say the malware could be used for such surveillance activities as taking webcam photos and capturing keystrokes.

 

the Fruitfly malware appears to use some outdated code, from a time before Apple’s introduction of OS X. The malware is “very strange, because it seems to have been around but not doing much,” said Michael Oh, CTO of TSP LLC, a US-based Apple partner. “It’s clearly a proof of concept that somebody had put out in the wild, perhaps in a limited form or perhaps to see how wide it would spread.”

 

Adobe to pull plug on Flash, ending an era

Adobe, along with partners Apple Inc, Microsoft Corp, Alphabet Inc’s Google, Facebook Inc and Mozilla Corp, said support for Flash will ramp down across the internet in phases over the next three years.

 

After 2020, Adobe will stop releasing updates for Flash and web browsers will no longer support it. The companies are encouraging developers to migrate their software onto modern programming standards.

 

When Adobe acquired Flash in its 2005 purchase of Macromedia, the technology was on more than 98 percent of personal computers connected to the web, Macromedia said at the time.

But Flash’s popularity began to wane after Apple’s decision not to support it on the iPhone.

In a public letter in 2010, late Apple CEO Steve Jobs criticised Flash’s reliability, security and performance. Since then, other technologies like HTML5 have emerged as alternatives to Flash.

In the past year, several web browsers have begun to require users to enable Flash before running it.

 

Kaspersky offers free anti-virus software

Kaspersky is rolling out a free version of its anti-virus software across the globe, a product launch that comes amid mounting suspicion in the United States that the firm is vulnerable to Russian government influence.

Kaspersky Free was immediately available in the United States, Canada, and several Asia Pacific countries including Austrlia and would launch in other regions in the coming months

Kaspersky said the free version was not intended to replace the paid versions of its anti-virus software, describing it as offering “the bare essentials,” such as email and web anti-virus protection and automatic updates.

But the free software would benefit all of Kaspersky Lab’s customers by improving machine learning across its products, he said.

 

 

 

 

 

Agencies are still paying Microsoft millions to support old systems

The federal Defence department recently handed over another $2.8 million to Microsoft to keep its instances of Windows XP supported for a further two years to June 2018.

 

Windows XP was made end-of-life in April 2014.

 

Alongside continuing Windows XP support, Defence also recently spent $2.6 million for another year of custom support for SQL Server 2005

 

Victorian shared services agency CenITex recently forked out $2.5 million to extend custom support for Server 2003 for another year, until July 2018.

 

Google Maps adds the International Space Station

http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/International_Space_Station/Highlights/International_Space_Station_panoramic_tour

https://www.google.com/streetview/#international-space-station/

Astronauts helped capture 360-degree panoramas of the insides of the ISS modules, as well as views down to the Earth below.

Some of the photography features pop-up text descriptions, marking the first time such annotations have appeared on the Maps platform.

 

JASON

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Fact-checking site Snopes.com takes to crowd-funding as ‘ridiculous’ ad dispute saps cash

http://www.smh.com.au/technology/web-culture/fact-checking-site-snopescom-takes-to-crowd-funding-20170725-gxis62.html

Before there was “fake news” — and before there was anyone around to debunk it on the internet — there was Snopes.com. The fact-checking site started busting myths, blasting urban legends and generally calling out bull in 1994, well before many people even got near a Web browser.

But here’s an apparently true fact about Snopes itself: the pioneering site says it may not last much longer.

In a note posted on the site this week, Snopes — which has debunked stories about everything from Bigfoot to Miranda Cosgrove to US President Donald Trump — said it was “in danger of closing its doors” as a result of a legal dispute with an “outside vendor.” Snopes is asking its readers for contributions as the dispute drags on.

Originally hoping to raise $500,000 in donations, the site had more than $582,000 in pledges at the time of publication.

Snopes alleges that Proper Media, a web-services provider, is withholding advertising revenue, thus starving it financially. “Our legal team is fighting hard for us, but, having been cut off from all revenue, we are facing the prospect of having no financial means to continue operating the site …” says the posting.

 

US jury indicts Bitcoin ‘mastermind’ Alexander Vinnik

http://www.news.com.au/technology/online/us-jury-indicts-bitcoin-mastermind-alexander-vinnik/news-story/8730bece5a83dba4bcc9c814a3ac6969

A US jury has indicted a Russian man as the operator of a digital currency exchange he allegedly used to launder more than $US4 billion ($AU5 billion) for people involved in crimes ranging from computer hacking to drug trafficking.

Alexander Vinnik was arrested in a small beachside village in northern Greece on Tuesday, according to local authorities, following an investigation led by the US Justice Department along with several other federal agencies and task forces.

US officials described Vinnik in a Justice Department statement as the operator of BTC-e, an exchange used to trade the digital currency bitcoin since 2011.

They alleged Vinnik and his firm “received” more than $US4 billion in bitcoin and did substantial business in the United States without following appropriate protocols to protect against money laundering and other crimes.

US authorities also linked him to the failure of Mt. Gox, a Japan-based bitcoin exchange that collapsed in 2014 after being hacked.

Vinnik “obtained” funds from the hack of Mt. Gox and laundered them through BTC-e and Tradehill, another San Francisco-based exchange he owned, they said in the statement. It was not possible to reach Vinnik for comment.

“Just as new computer technologies continue to change the way we engage each other and experience the world, so too will criminals subvert these new technologies to serve their own nefarious purposes,” said Brian Stretch, US Attorney for the Northern District of California, where Vinnick was indicted in the statement.

Greek police described Vinnik as a “an internationally sought ‘mastermind’ of a crime organisation”.

His arrest is the latest in a series of US operations against Russian cyber criminals in Europe. Last week, the US Justice Department moved to shut down the dark web marketplace AlphaBay.

The prosecutions also coincide with intensified scrutiny of Russian hackers after US intelligence officials determined that Russia interfered in the 2016 US presidential election using cyber warfare methods to help Donald Trump, something Moscow denies.

 

 

New Diesel and Petrol Vehicles To Be Banned From 2040 In UK

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