Wednesday Newsbytes: Amazons Scams Rising, Windows 11 ‘2H22’ Update, New Chrome Feature Stops Resource Hogging, A Tree Built to Kill, and more…
Every day we scan the tech world for interesting news in the world of technology and sometimes from outside the world of technology. Every Wednesday, we feature some news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!
Scammers are posing as Amazon representatives over text messages in an attempt to steal valuable information.
Phishing attempts are getting more advanced, with hackers and cybercriminals making their ploys so believable that even the most cautious are getting scammed.
One of the latest schemes is to send an SMS text message to people’s phones pretending to be a bank or a company in order to trick people into sharing their personal data. Amazon seems to be the latest corporate patsy.
According to data from the FTC, one in five consumers from July 2021 through June 2022 who reported a scam with hackers impersonating a business said that the business being used was Amazon.
How do hackers use SMS messages to steal data?
The premise is simple — hackers will send users text messages pretending to be Amazon representatives asking for a variety of different things, including fake reports of suspicious activity on one’s account or fake information about shipping delays or package arrivals…
The next Windows 11 feature update will roll out in a month or two, with some small but interesting updates to Windows 11.
Microsoft is finalizing the next major feature release of Windows 11, also known as Windows 11 22H2. What should you expect? A somewhat minor update, but with some features that consumers have been asking for for some time.
With news that Microsoft may be picking up the pace of how it releases features — with an eye toward Windows 12 in 2024 — it may be that the era of “feature releases” is coming to a close. No matter. We’ll still see some key features added to Windows 11 in the fall, based on the Windows 11 builds that Microsoft has begun testing.
In fact, it’s fair to say that Microsoft has finalized Windows 11 22H2, as the operating system has been released into Microsoft’s Release Preview Channel of its Windows Insider program. Here, Microsoft trials new features and builds with a small group of beta testers who opt in to trying them out before they release to the general public. When will Windows 11 22H2 “ship” to your PC? If history holds, September or October, with October perhaps more likely since some of the features listed below have some issues.
Originally, Microsoft released Windows 11 22H2 Build 22621 to the Release Preview Channel in June. (Right now, it’s at Build 22621.317.) Whatever the final version ends up as, we can be confident that Microsoft will simply fix bugs from here on out, while keeping the tally of features essentially unchanged.
Chrome Canary users can get an early look at the browser’s latest memory-saving feature.
Chrome is a notorious resource hog—one of the reasons many users have abandoned it in favor of other browsers like Firefox, Safari, or even the Chromium-based Edge. But there is some good news for those still using Google’s browser: The company is testing a new setting that could alleviate Chrome’s annoyingly high memory usage.
Here’s how it works. Typically, Chrome checks any open browser tabs for updates once per minute. This process takes up additional RAM with each open tab. That’s not a problem if you only have a couple tabs open (or happen to have a lot of RAM), but you’ll definitely notice lag and other performance issues if you keep tons of tabs open or are running Chrome on an older computer.
The new feature, called Quick Intensive Throttling, reduces background tab check-ins to once every five minutes. Google has published a detailed explanation of the feature, including how they decided on five minute intervals, but the key takeaway is that Quick Intensive Throttling has the potential to significantly reduce Chrome’s RAM use…
Shame or just trying to avoid bad publicity means there’s very little useful data recorded on ransomware attacks.
The level of reported ransomware incidents doesn’t paint an accurate picture of what’s really going on, as many victims remain unwilling to talk about what happened, the European Union’s cybersecurity agency has warned.
Following an analysis of 623 ransomware incidents between May 2021 and June 2022, the ENISA threat landscape report for ransomware attacks warns that “the findings are grim” as ransomware becomes more efficient and is causing more devastating attacks.
Ransomware presents a massive cybersecurity challenge, with many victims feeling as if they’ve got no other choice but to pay potentially millions in Bitcoin to free their data. But very few victims ever talk about what happened, with ENISA noting ‘publicly reported incidents are only the tip of the iceberg’.
YOU COULD EASILY MISTAKE IT FOR SOMETHING ELSE, AUTHORITIES CAUTION.
Whether you’re headed to a meal or simply running errands, finding something unexpected on your car can really derail your day. There are a number of unpleasant additions you might notice, from a parking boot or ticket to slashed tires or a nasty scratch. These will all delay your departure, but police recently issued a warning about something else you might find that means you’re being targeted by scammers. Read on to find out what law enforcement is asking you to report immediately if you see it on your vehicle.
Car-related crimes and cons have become more common.
Police nationwide have issued different scam warnings for drivers, including an alert about a ruse involving QR codes. Fraudsters stick the scannable squares to parking meters, the San Antonio Police Department warned late last year. The codes have accompanying text informing drivers that they can use the QR codes to pay for parking, when in reality, the QR code takes them to a fraudulent website to make a phony payment…
The planet never ceases to provide things that leave us in awe.
Ah, trees. One of Mother Nature’s most majestic creations. Always glorious sights to behold, with their bountiful blooms, luscious leaves and poisonous fruit bombs…
You read that correctly. The sandbox tree, also known as the monkey no-climb or dynamite tree, lives up to all of its nicknames. It might not hold the official record for being the “most deadly tree in the world,” but it certainly comes close.
A video posted to YouTube by Animalogic gives a fun deep dive on the sandbox tree and all the ways in which it “chooses violence.” Reader beware: This might cause trust issues with other trees. Suddenly you might find yourself wondering what that birch in your front yard’s real intentions are.
First off, let’s talk about those fruit bombs.
The sandbox tree’s official name references the small pumpkin-like fruit it bears. Up until the mid-1800s, when sand was the primary tool for blotting ink, these small gourds made a perfect container for sand and therefore were a standard desk item until they were replaced with blotting paper, Animalogic explained…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope you found these articles informative, interesting, fun, and/or helpful. Darcy & TC