Wednesday Newsbytes: The End of Internet Explorer, Microsoft May Kill HDDs, Gmail, Outlook Users Warned, Firefox Cookie Protection, Monkeypox & More

By | June 15, 2022
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Wednesday Newsbytes: The End of Internet Explorer, Microsoft May Kill HDDs, Gmail, Outlook Users Warned, Firefox Cookie Protection, Monkeypox & More

Every day we scan the tech world for news that affects all of us who use Windows computers. Every Wednesday, we feature some of the news articles that grabbed our attention over the past week. We hope you find this week’s  “Wednesday Newsbytes” informative and interesting!

Internet Explorer retires on June 15 and the Internet will never be the same

The company had already issued warnings to users about the end of its service

June 15 marks the retirement of Internet Explorer. Microsoft will stop supporting its Internet Explorer browser from Wednesday, which has been around for 27 years. The company had already issued warnings to users about the end of its service. The browser was first released as an add-on for Windows 95 in 1995. It was later made available for free as part of the Windows 95 package.

What led to the downfall of Internet Explorer?

The company attributed the decline in its user base to the increasing number of browsers in the market. In 2003, Internet Explorer reached a peak of over 90% usage. Its popularity eventually started to decline as other browsers started offering better features and faster internet speeds.

What will happen to Windows 10 devices with Internet Explorer?

There is no official statement about the same, but media reports say Microsoft will start pushing out a Windows Update that will remove Internet Explorer from all devices running Windows 10. Users will be redirected to Edge instead.

Microsoft has previously confirmed that the company’s future of Internet Explorer lies in Edge.

Microsoft is completely phasing out Internet Explorer after stopping new browser feature development in 2016…

Read more at Financial Express.

Microsoft could finally kill HDD boot drives for good

Microsoft could have plans to scrap its use of hard disk drives (HDD) among its main storage components on PCs running Windows 11, according to a recent report by industry analyst firm Trendfocus, as reported by Tom’s Hardware.

If Microsoft goes through with its plans, consumers could begin to see solid-state hard drives (SSD) instead, with the exception of dual-drive desktop PCs and gaming laptops, which require multiple types of storage, as Tom’s Hardware noted.

While Microsoft has declined to comment on the matter, the current trends indicate a complete market transition to SSD by 2023. Many PC makers already use SSD as their main storage option; however, it is still not a set standard, especially in emerging markets.

Trendforce claims Microsoft is internally pushing for the switch to SSD as the main storage standard for Windows 11 PCs; however, the brand has not implemented any requirements for computer or laptop makers to follow.

Tom’s Hardware noted that Windows 11 requires PCs to have at least 64GB of storage for installation but does not specify a type of hard drive…

Read more at Digitaltrends

Don’t click on this Gmail and Hotmail message, it will break your Windows 10 PC

SECURITY EXPERTS are warning Gmail, Hotmail and other email users about a dangerous message that could break their Windows PCs.

Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook and other email users need to be careful of a dangerous message that can break their Windows PCs with just one click. Security experts are warning that threat actors are taking advantage of a vulnerability that hasn’t been fixed yet by Microsoft to distribute the dangerous Qbot banking trojan malware. This malicious software has been found in infected Word documents that are being spread by email and all it takes is one click on this file for a victim’s computer to be infected.

Besides stealing sensitive personal and financial data, this dangerous malware can also steal credentials for Windows and banking services.

The Qbot malware also allows bad actors to deploy a backdoor on infected Windows machines as well as give remote access to ransomware gangs.

This considerable threat was highlighted by researchers at Proofpoint, with the security firm’s Threat Insight Twitter account posting about the CVE-2022-30190 vulnerability.

It tweeted: ‘Proofpoint saw #TA570 exploiting CVE-2022-30190 to deliver #Qbot malware. Actor uses thread hijacked messages with HTML attachments which, if opened, drop a zip archive.

‘Archive contains an IMG with a Word doc, shortcut file, and DLL. The LNK will execute the DLL to start Qbot. The doc will load and execute a HTML file containing PowerShell abusing CVE-2022-30190 used to download and execute Qbot.’


Firefox says it’s now the most secure browser in the world

Total Cookie Protection tool now available as default on Firefox

The browser wars(opens in new tab) could soon heat up again following a bold declaration from Firefox(opens in new tab).

The Mozilla-owned platform has declared itself to be the most private and secure browser(opens in new tab) available across Windows and Mac following the rollout of an upgraded privacy tool that provides its “strongest privacy protection to date.”

The company’s Total Cookie Protection tool, which locks cookies only to the site where they were created rather than following a user around the web, will now be available as a default for Firefox users.

Total Cookie Protection

‘Whether it’s applying for a student loan, seeking treatment or advice through a health site, or browsing an online dating app, massive amounts of your personal information is online — and this data is leaking all over the web,’ the company wrote in a blog post(opens in new tab) announcing the news.

‘It’s an alarming reality — the possibility that your every move online is being watched, tracked and shared — and one that’s antithetical to the open web we at Mozilla have strived to build. That’s why we developed Total Cookie Protection to help keep you safe online.’

Total Cookie Protection had been introduced back in 2021… but users had to toggle it on – although it was activated whenever a user switched on Firefox privacy mode.

Mozilla went on to outline how the system works – essentially by creating a separate “cookie jar” for each website you visit, which stays in the jar...

Read more at Techradar.

Monkeypox outbreak spurs WHO to consider declaring international emergency

WHO will also rename the disease, because the current name is discriminatory.

The World Health Organization will convene its emergency committee of expert advisors Thursday, June 23, to consider whether it should declare the growing, multinational monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC).

As of Tuesday, June 14, WHO has received reports of more than 1,600 confirmed monkeypox cases and almost 1,500 suspected cases from 39 countries. Those countries include eight in which monkeypox infections were previously known to spill over from animals, and 32 newly affected countries, most of which are in Europe, but also include Australia and countries in the Americas and Eastern Mediterranean.

There have been 72 monkeypox deaths reported this year from African countries that have long been affected by limited spillovers. So far, there are no confirmed deaths among cases in newly affected countries, but WHO is seeking verification of a reported monkeypox-related death in Brazil.

‘The global outbreak of monkeypox is clearly unusual and concerning,’ WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing Tuesday. For that reason, Tedros decided to convene the emergency committee to determine if it constitutes a PHEIC.

A PHEIC is WHO’s highest level of alarm. The United Nations agency defines a PHEIC as ‘an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.’

Read more at Ars Technica

‘Shrinkflation’ accelerates globally as manufacturers quietly shrink package sizes

It’s the inflation you’re not supposed to see.

From toilet paper to yogurt and coffee to corn chips, manufacturers are quietly shrinking package sizes without lowering prices. It’s dubbed “shrinkflation,” and it’s accelerating worldwide.

In the U.S., a small box of Kleenex now has 60 tissues; a few months ago, it had 65. Chobani Flips yogurts have shrunk from 5.3 ounces to 4.5 ounces. In the U.K., Nestle slimmed down its Nescafe Azera Americano coffee tins from 100 grams to 90 grams. In India, a bar of Vim dish soap has shrunk from 155 grams to 135 grams.

Shrinkflation isn’t new, experts say. But it proliferates in times of high inflation as companies grapple with rising costs for ingredients, packaging, labor and transportation. Global consumer price inflation was up an estimated 7% in May, a pace that will likely continue through September, according to S&P Global.

‘It comes in waves. We happen to be in a tidal wave at the moment because of inflation,’ said Edgar Dworsky, a consumer advocate and former assistant attorney general in Massachusetts who has documented shrinkflation on his Consumer World website for decades.

Dworsky began noticing smaller boxes in the cereal aisle last fall, and shrinkflation has ballooned from there. He can cite dozens of examples, from Cottonelle Ultra Clean Care toilet paper, which has shrunk from 340 sheets per roll to 312, to Folgers coffee, which downsized its 51-ounce container to 43.5 ounces but still says it will make up to 400 cups. (Folgers says it’s using a new technology that results in lighter-weight beans.)

Dworsky said shrinkflation appeals to manufacturers because they know customers will notice price increases but won’t keep track of net weights or small details, like the number of sheets on a roll of toilet paper.

Read more at NPR

Thanks for reading this week’s Wednesday Newbytes. We hope you found these articles useful, informative, interesting, fun, and/or helpful. Darcy & TC

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