Wednesday Newsbytes: Best Defense Against Malware, Microsoft Tweaking Taskbar Search, Twitter Won’t Monitor Covid Misinfo, 20 Windows Command Prompts, Obsolete Sounds…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!
Knowledge is your best friend when it comes to staying safe online
The internet can be a dangerous place, whether you’re a big organization or just an everyday user. And, while digital technologies open up to new possibilities, cybercriminals are getting smarter and smarter in taking advantage of them.
According to the CrowdStrike 2022 Global Threat Report (opens in new tab), there were 82% more ransomware-related data leaks last year. At the same time, State-backed Iranian hackers were recently found guilty of spying on users via fake VPN apps. Phishing campaigns, like the recent one targeting shoppers this Black Friday, are often the simpler way to strike.
What all these attacks have in common is malicious software managing to elude the security infrastructure of one or more devices to inflict harm on their users. That’s what, in technical jargon, is known as malware.
You might be inclined to think that just downloading one of the best antivirus apps is everything you need to secure your information. However, to truly protect your device from being infected, the truth is less straightforward — as malware can be so varied — your protection plan needs to be diversified too.
The best defense against malware doesn’t lie on a mere combination of security software, either. You must know your enemy before defeating it. Knowledge and precautions are the first weapons necessary to fight back!
What is malware?
Short for malicious software, malware is a generic term that defines a program injected to a particular device to cause harm to its users. It usually involves the appropriation of sensitive data. This might be for economic gains, like in case of ransomware. Or, often also spyware apps that illegally surveil people…
Microsoft continues tweaking the search experience on the Windows Taskbar. Is a search button, box or no icon better?
Microsoft is revisiting how search functions in the Windows 11 taskbar, while users could also soon get a small shield icon on their taskbar’s system tray to indicate when a PC is connected to a VPN.
In the Windows 11 build 25252 that has been released to the Dev Channel, Microsoft is testing different ways to display the search in the taskbar. One example draws directly on Windows 10 and offers a search box that users can type into, with results displayed in a separate window. The other is a pill-shaped ‘search button’ that opens a window where text can be typed in. There’s also the smaller search icon that opens a new window for search, and a ‘hide’ option where there is no box or icon in the taskbar and users would press the Windows icon to open the Start page, which features a search box at the top…
Twitter no longer will enforce a policy to combat misinformation about the Covid pandemic.
“Effective November 23, 2022, Twitter is no longer enforcing the COVID-19 misleading information policy,” a note on Twitter’s transparency pages read.
It’s the latest change under new owner Elon Musk, who has vowed to take a more relaxed view toward speech on the platform…
Twitter instituted new guidelines in early 2020, as the pandemic forced shutdowns throughout the world and as rumors and claims about Covid spread rapidly on social media. They included “statements which are intended to influence others to violate recommended COVID-19 related guidance from global or local health authorities to decrease someone’s likelihood of exposure to COVID-19, such as: ‘social distancing is not effective,’ or ‘now that it’s summertime, you don’t need a mask anymore, so don’t wear your mask!’” The policies continued as misinformation spread about the Covid vaccines as they were first rolled out in 2021. In many cases Twitter added labels to tweets with misleading information; in others, accounts were suspended.
According to its most recent report in September, before Musk took control of the platform, Twitter suspended 11,230 accounts under the policy…
The command prompt is still a powerful Windows tool. Here are the most useful CMD commands every Windows user needs to know.
The command prompt is slowly disappearing from the Windows interface and for good reasons: CMD commands are an antiquated and mostly unnecessary tool from an era of text-based input. But many commands remain useful, and Windows 8 and 10 even added new features.
Here we present the essential commands every Windows user must know.
Not sure how to access the Windows command prompt, forgot basic Windows Run commands, or would like to know how to see a list of switches for each command (aka prompt codes)? Refer to our beginners guide to the Windows command line for instructions.
Windows Command Prompt Commands
If you haven’t poked around inside Windows’ command line, you’re missing out. There are lots of handy tools you can use if you know the correct things to type…
The project wants to draw attention to the world’s disappearing soundscapes
Obsolete Sounds is a new project that its creator Cities and Memory claims is “the world’s biggest collection of obsolete and disappearing sounds.” It consists of over 150 sounds that are increasingly rare, ranging from sounds used in retro video games, recordings of old-fashioned transport, and plenty of mechanical sounds from outdated hardware.
Of course, the first sound clip I searched for was the sound of an old 56K modem connecting to the internet, which is thankfully present and accounted for. “In the 90’s, computers would scream every time you went online. That was foreshadowing,” was how one tweet recently described the piercing screech.
Other sounds you might want to make a beeline to check out include the classic Nokia ringtone from the 5120 phone, the whirring staccato of an old Seagate hard disk drive spinning up, and an old analogue radio being tuned…
As well as the sounds themselves, Cities and Memory has also published remixes of each of them from a collection of over 150 musicians and sound artists. They’re designed to reflect on “the memories and feelings those sounds evoke.”
Google and iHeartMedia will have to pay more than $9 million in penalties over the ads.
Google and iHeartMedia are settling with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and seven state attorneys general for allegedly paying radio hosts to read endorsements of the Pixel 4 when the hosts hadn’t actually used the phone. Google allegedly paid more than $2.6 million to iHeartRadio and almost $2 million “in connection with eleven smaller radio networks” for the deceptive ads endorsing the Pixel 4.
For the ads, Google provided scripts for hosts to read on air, which typically began like this, per the complaint…
You can hear examples of the recordings on the FTC’s website. They stick pretty close to the script.
But for the “majority” of Pixel 4 ads, hosts were not given Pixel 4s before they recorded the ad spots, according to the FTC’s press release…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope you found these articles informative, interesting, fun, and/or helpful. Darcy & TC