Wednesday Newsbytes: Supreme Court Protects CyberStalkers; Moment 3 Update Brings Windows 11 Performance Boost; AI Makes Windows Mail & Calendar Apps Redundant; Flipper Hacking Device Sales Approach $80m; Is HP Instant Ink Worth It? Edge to Get Clear History Button … 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 news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s ‘Wednesday Newsbytes’ informative and interesting!
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that in order to find someone guilty of making a “true threat” courts must first determine that the person recklessly disregarded the fact that their words might be perceived as threats. Experts fear the decision will create new hurdles for victims of cyberstalking by requiring them to first prove that their stalkers understand the consequences of their actions.
“The Supreme Court has just decreed that stalking is free speech protected by the First Amendment if the stalker genuinely believes his actions are non-threatening,” tweeted Mary Anne Franks, a professor at George Washington Law School and president of the nonprofit Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. “That is, the more deluded the stalker, the more protected the stalking.”
The case, Counterman v. Colorado, concerns a man named Billy Raymond Counterman, who was convicted under a Colorado anti-stalking law, after he sent a barrage of threatening Facebook messages to a woman he’d never met…
Last Wednesday, Microsoft released Windows 11 KB5026446 Moment 3. This cumulative update is optional and has many improvements, including Moment 3 features shipping via Windows configuration update. It also comes with a significant performance boost.
Among the new features are support for seconds in the taskbar system tray clock, a redesigned in-app voice access command help page, and the live kernel memory dump (LKD) collection from Task Manager.
The update also added a new Settings page dedicated to USB4 hubs and devices, which can be found at Settings> Bluetooth & devices > USB > USB4 Hubs and Devices. This section provides crucial information about the system’s USB4 capabilities and connected peripherals.
But the update isn’t just about new features but also some significant performance improvements…
Microsoft plans to shut down its Mail and Calendar apps and merge the two into an updated Outlook for Windows, and use this as an opportunity to introduce more artificial intelligence features.
In a blog post from Microsoft earlier this month, the company noted that Windows 11 devices that will be shipped next year will include the new Outlook for Windows as the default mailbox app. The updated Outlook will include both mail and calendar tools that will eliminate the need for the respective Mail and Calendar apps: so you’ll just use the newer Outlook instead.
The Register notes that the Mail and Calendar apps will still be available to download through the Microsoft Store up to the end of 2024, but the move doesn’t seem to be a popular decision going by reactions online – and tweet from a systems engineer and Office 365 specialist Michael Reiners suggests that Microsoft might be rethinking the plan, or at least the timing…
You may have stumbled across the Flipper Zero hacking device that’s been doing the rounds. The company, which started in Russia in 2020, left the country at the start of the war and moved on since then. It claims it no longer has ties to Russia and that it is on track to sell $80 million worth of its products this year after selling almost $5 million worth as Kickstarter preorders — and it claims it sold $25 million worth of the devices last year.
So what are they selling? Flipper Zero is a “portable gamified multi-tool” aimed at everyone with an interest in cybersecurity, whether as a penetration tester, curious nerd or student — or with more nefarious purposes. The tool includes a bunch of ways to manipulate the world around you, including wireless devices (think garage openers), RFID card systems, remote keyless systems, key fobs, entry to barriers, etc. Basically, you can program it to emulate a bunch of different lock systems.
The system really works, too — I’m not much of a hacker, but I’ve been able to open garages, activate elevators and open other locking systems that should be way beyond my hacking skill level. On the one hand, it’s an interesting toy to experiment with, which highlights how insecure much of the world around us actually is. On the other hand, I’m curious if it’s a great idea to have 300,000+ hacking devices out in the wild that make it easy to capture car key signals and gate openers and then use them to open said apertures (including Tesla charge ports, for some bizarre…
In addition to encrypting your passwords, Proton Pass applies the same layer of security to stored usernames, notes, and web addresses.
Proton, the company behind Proton Mail, has announced the launch of a new password manager: Proton Pass. While the service will eventually become free for everyone to use, it’s currently only available as a beta to Proton’s Lifetime and Visionary users for now.
As is the case with Proton’s other products, Proton Pass uses end-to-end encryption (E2EE) that’s supposed to keep your personal information away from prying eyes, including third parties and Proton itself. In addition to letting you store your usernames, passwords, and notes, you can also add any randomly generated email aliases that you can use as a replacement for your real address.
The password manager won’t have support for passkeys at launch, however. Proton spokesperson Will Moore tells The Verge that while it’s part of the company’s “long term roadmap,” it believes “passwords are not going away anytime soon as passkey adoption will not happen overnight.”
Proton’s new password manager not only applies E2EE to your passwords but also the usernames, web addresses, and all the other fields associated with your login information…
This subscription service will keep you from ever running out of ink.
One of the most frustrating things about using a printer, even if you use one less often now than you did in years past, is that you always seem to run low on ink at the worst possible time. It might be right before you have to print a big report for work or school, or in the middle of a big print job. Even the best printers can only function well with a steady supply of ink, and HP Instant Ink is a subscription service that aims to keep your printer running seamlessly, without ever skipping a beat.
As noted, HP Instant Ink is a subscription-based service that works with many compatible HP printers. Whenever ink levels are low, ink will be automatically ordered and delivered right to your door before you run out. What’s more, you’ll also save money in the long run.
Once you have an HP printer that is compatible with HP Instant Ink, which includes dozens of models in the Deskjet, Envy, OfficeJet and OfficeJet Pro, LaserJet, Color, and even the portable HP Tango X series printer line, you can sign up online and choose a plan that suits you. Plans start at $0.99 a month based on how often you print and how much ink you generally use. Print as usual, including both text documents and, with compatible printers, even color images and high-resolution photos, and the printer will continuously detect the ink levels through its Wi-Fi connection.
When you’re starting to run low based on your monthly schedule, ink or toner will be shipped to you within 7-10 business days. What’s more, you can send the old cartridges back to HP using the prepaid return envelope that comes in the package, doing your part for Mother Earth by recycling.
An HP Instant Ink subscription is based on pages versus cartridges…
Smart shortcut in the History hub is still in very early testing, though
Microsoft has brought in a new piece of functionality for Edge allowing users to easily clear the browser’s cache and history, but it’s only in testing right now.
As spotted by Leopeva64 on Twitter, Microsoft made the change with the Canary (earliest test) version of Edge, introducing a trash can icon that allows for clearing browser data with a single click.
There’s a new button in Edge’s History hub to quickly open the “Clear browsing data” dialog,,,
The icon is in the History hub, and it takes you straight to the clear data panel, where you can then click ‘Clear Now’ to remove whatever you have selected (cache, browsing history or download history, or cookies).
Technically, then, it’s a two-click process (assuming you’re clearing everything), but still, the shortcut to get to the panel is a handy touch…
Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope these articles were informative, interesting, fun, and helpful. Darcy & TC