Cyborg | Designer-Babies | Futurism | Futurist | Immortality | Longevity | Nanotechnology | Post-Human | Singularity | Transhuman

The Tor Browser: Tor Browser –

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on The Tor Browser: Tor Browser –
Jan 282016

The Tor Browser makes the tricky work of surfing the Web anonymously as easy as using any other browser, but with a significant performance hit.

Jan. 26, 2016

Need to hire an assassin, buy some contraband, view illegal porn, or just bypass government, corporate, or identity thief snooping? Tor is your answer. Tor, which stands for “The Onion Router” is not a product, but a protocol that lets you hide your Web browsing as though it were obscured by the many layers of an onion. The most common way to view the so-called Dark Web that comprises Tor sites is by using the Tor Browser, a modded version of Mozilla Firefox. Using this Web browser also hides your location, IP address, and other identifying data from regular websites. Accessing Tor has long been beyond the ability of the average user. Tor Browser manages to simplify the process of protecting your identity onlinebut at the price of performance.

What Is Tor? Ifyou’re thinking that Tor comes from a sketchy group of hackers, know that its core technology was developed by the U.S. Naval Research Lab and D.A.R.P.A.. The Tor Project non-profit receives sizeable donations from various federal entities such as The National Science Foundation. The Tor Project has a page listing many examples of legitimate types of Tor users, such as political dissidents in countries with tight control over the Internet and individuals concerned about personal privacy.

Tor won’t encrypt your datafor that, you’ll need a Virtual Private Network (VPN). Instead, Tor routes your Internet traffic through a series of intermediary nodes. This makes it very difficult for government snoops or aggressive advertisers to track you online. Using Tor affords far more privacy than other browsers’ private (or Incognito) modes, since it obscures your IP address so that you can’t be trackedwith it. Standard browsers’ private browsing modes discard your cached pages and browsing history afteryour browsing session.Even Firefox’s new, enhanced private browsing mode doesn’t hide your identifiable IP address from the sites you visit, though it does prevent them tracking you based on cookies.

We tested a standard Windows installer, with choices to create desktop icons and run the browser immediately. The browser itself is a heavily modified version of Firefox 38.5 (as of this writing), and includes several security plug-ins as well as security tweaks such as not caching any website data. For a full rundown of the PCMag Editors’ Choice browser’s many features, read our full review of Firefox.

Before merrily browsing along anonymously, you need to inform Tor about your Webconnection. If your Internet connection is censored, you configure one way, if not, you can connect directly to the network. Since we live in a free societyand work for benevolent corporate overlords, we connected directly for testing. After connecting to the Tor relay system (a dialog with a progress bar appears at this stage), the browser launches, and you see theTor project’s page.

The browser interface is identical with Firefox, except with some necessary add-ons installed. NoScript, a commonly used Firefox add-on, is preinstalled and can be used to block most non-HTML content on the Web. The green onion button to the left of the address bar is the Torbutton add-on. It lets you see your Tor network settings, but also the circuit you’re using: Ourcircuit started in Germany and passed through two different addresses in the Netherlands before reaching the good old Internet. If that doesn’t suit you, you can request a new circuit, either for the current session or for the current site. This was one of our favorite features.

One thing we really like about the Tor Browser is how it makes existing security and privacy tools easier to use. NoScript, for example, can be a harsh mistress, who can bedifficult to configure, and can break websites. But a security panel in the Torbutton presents you with a simple security slide. At the lowest, default setting, all browser features are enabled. At the highest setting, all JavaScript and even some image types are blocked, among other settings. This makes it easy to raise or lower the level of protection you need, without having to muck around in multiple settings windows.

Everything you do in the browser is tested for anonymity: When we tried full-screening the browser window, a message told us that that could provide sites a way to track us, and recommended leaving the window at the default size. And the project’s site specifically states that using Tor alone doesn’t guarantee anonymity, but rather that you have to abide by safe browsing guidelines: don’t use BitTorrent, don’t install additionalbrowser add-ons, don’t open documents or media while online. The recommendation to only visit secure HTTPS sites is optionally enforced by a plug-in called HTTPS Everywhere.

Even if you follow these recommendations, though, someone could detect the simple fact that you’re using Tor, unless you set it up to use a Tor bridge relay. Those are not listed in the Tor directory, so hackers (and governments) would have more trouble finding them.

One thing we noticed while browsing the standard Web through Tor was the need to enter a CAPTCHA to access many sites. This is because your cloaked URL looks suspicious to website security services such as CloudFlare, used by millions of sites to protect themselves. It’s just one more price you pay for anonymity.

We also had trouble finding the correct version of websites we wished to visit. Directing the Tor Browser to, for example, took us to the Netherlands localization of our website. We could not find any way to direct us back to the main URL, which lets you access the U.S. site.

Tor hidden sites have URLs that end in .onion, preceded by 16 alphanumeric characters. You can find directories of these hidden sites with categories resembling the good old days of Yahoo. There’s even a Tor Links Directory page (on the regular Web) that’s a directory of these directories. There are many chat and message boards, but you even find directories of things like lossless audio files, video game hacks, and financial services such as anonymous bitcoin, and even a Tor version of Facebook. Many onion sites are very slow or completely downkeep in mind that they’re not run by deep-pocketed Web companies. Very often we clicked an onion link only to be greeted with an “Unable to Connect” error. Sinbad helpfully displays a red “Offline on last crawl” bullet to let you know that a site is probably nonfunctional.

As for browser benchmarks, the results hew to Firefox’s own performance, with near-leading performance on all the major JavaScript tests, JetStream and Octane, for example. Onourtest laptop, the Tor Browser scored 20,195 on Octane, compared with 22,297 for standard Firefoxnot a huge difference. The Tor network routing is a far more significant factor in browsing performance than browser JavaScript speed. That is, unless you’ve blocked all JavaScript.

Keep in mind, though, that the Tor Browser is based on the Firefox Extended Support Release versions, which updates less frequently so that large organizations have time to maintain their custom code. That means you don’t get quite the latest in Firefox performance and features, but security updates are delivered at the same time as new main versions.

There’s a similar story when it comes to standards compatibility: On the site, which quantifies the number of new Web standards supported by a browser, the Tor Browser gets a score of 412, compared with 468 for the latest Firefox version. You may run into incompatible sites, though. For example, none of the Internet speed connection test sites performed correctly in the Tor Browser.

Of course, you pay a price of extra setup and slower performance with the Tor Browser, but it’s less onerous than you may think. And the included support for fine-grain privacy and security protection is excellent. If you take your online privacy seriously, you owe it to yourself to check out the Tor Browser. For standard, full-speed Web browsing, however, check out PCMag Editors’ Choice Web browser, Firefox.

Go here to read the rest:
The Tor Browser: Tor Browser –

A Skype alternative worth its salt: Jitsi | usability …

 Jitsi  Comments Off on A Skype alternative worth its salt: Jitsi | usability …
Sep 052015

Ive been using Skype, Google Talk and Facebook chat for years to communicate with friends and family. Theyre all convenient, reliable and easy to use. But there is a big problem: They are all very easy to record and monitor by 3rd parties. We now know that:

So if you happen to live in a surveillance state (think countries of the Arab Spring, think UK with their repeated attempts to introduce surveillance of their citizens, think USA with their record-breaking demands for your personal data from all of the above service providers (Microsoft, Google and Facebook)) then you can expect that all your online communications with your loved ones (voice calls, video calls, text chats) are recorded and stored, or at least eavesdropped upon. Theyre all great free services that allow you to keep in touch with people, with one caveat: the government is listening in.

If you have no problem with that, perhaps because you subscribe to the flawed I have nothing to hide school of thought, read no further.

If you feel that being spied upon constantly, and having no reasonable expectation of privacy for your online life is not cool, read on.

The work of thousands of visionaries (starting with people like Richard Stallman in the 70s) has today given us the free tools to protect our online communications to a reasonable degree. These are not tools to stop a police investigation against you from succeeding these are tools that empower you to opt-out from the surveillance-by-default communications channels most of us use, and instead keep your private thoughts and words only between yourself and your loved ones.

The easiest one to get us started is Jitsi.

Jitsi gives you voice calls, video calls, instant text messages and group chats. It therefore covers 100% of the communication capabilities of Microsofts Skype, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, IRC channels and the like. Use Jitsi, and you dont need to use any of these again.

Why switch to Jitsi?

Because it protects your privacy as much as possible. If you and your loved ones use Jitsi, you can:

As an additional benefit, its great to have all of your instant messaging contacts in one window, and Jitsi gives you that. It also runs on Windows, MacOSX and GNU/Linux.

Start using Jitsi instead of Skype, Google Talk and Facebook Chat and stop corporations and governments collecting, storing and analyzing the thoughts you share with your loved ones.

PS: You can only have private communications if both ends of the chat/voice/video call support this. If both you and your loved ones use Jitsi, voice & video calls are private by default. For text chats, you will have to click the lock icon in your chat window (as shown below) until it displays a closed lock state.

PPS: No lock icon? That probably means that the person you are chatting with is not using Jitsi or a similar program that can protect your chats with OTR. You can only have a private conversation if both ends support OTR.

PPPS: Looking for something like Jitsi for your smartphone? For private text messaging (using the Off The Record protocol) look at ChatSecure for iPhones or GibberBot for Android phones. For private voice calls on the Android, look into csipsimple and Moxie Marlinspikes RedPhone. Remember, both ends of the conversation need the same technology to create a private channel.

Like Loading…


Go here to read the rest:
A Skype alternative worth its salt: Jitsi | usability …

 Posted by at 7:43 pm  Tagged with:

Jitsi Configuration and Review – Callcentric

 Jitsi  Comments Off on Jitsi Configuration and Review – Callcentric
Aug 302015

This setup guide is based on the Jitsi stable version on the Windows platform. Other platforms should have a similar infterface. This setup guide assumes you have properly installed the application on your operating system of choice and have gotten any audio issues resolved before attempting to configure Jitsi for use with Callcentric.

Help / Support: Jitsi documentation

***If this is not the first time running Jiitsi then on the main interface, please click on Tools > Options (on Mac OSX, please click on Jitsi > Preferences):

Then choose Add to add a new account. Select SIP from the dropdown list and continue to Step 2.

Username: This is either the default extension 1777MYCCID OR 1777MYCCIDEXT, where 1777MYCCID is the 1777 number assigned to you by Callcentric and EXT is the three digit extension you are trying to register this UA to.

For example: 17770001234101 would register to extension 101 on account 17770001234.

You cannot register to your account using only the extension number.

Password: Enter your extension SIP Password here. Your extension SIP password is the password you created for the extension you are trying to use. You may edit the SIP password you wish to use in by logging into your My Callcentric account and clicking on the Extension menu link and then modifying the appropriate extension.

After specifying your username/ password, click on the Sign in button on the bottom of the Sign in screen.

On the main interface, please click on Tools > Options (on Mac OSX, please click on Jitsi > Preferences). From there, please select your Callcentric profile and click on the EDIT button on the bottom of the Options page:

Keep alive method: REGISTER Keep alive interval: 60 Disable/uncheck: Enable support to encrypt calls

Click on the Next button, which should bring you to the Summary window.

Click on the Sign in button to finish.

PCMU/8000 telephone-event/8000

Once you have made these changes, please click on the Video tab and disable all video codecs.

After making the above changes, please close out the Options window, and go back to the main interface.

Go here to read the rest:
Jitsi Configuration and Review – Callcentric

Jitsi SIP Softphone Review – Tech

 Jitsi  Comments Off on Jitsi SIP Softphone Review – Tech
Aug 302015 Commons Rating

Visit Their Website

Jitsi is a Java-based communication tool that offers a lot of features and allows SIP-based calls. Jitsi supports voice and video calls and gives all the functionalities of an Instant Messaging software. It offers a nice interface and runs on many platforms. It also offers conference calls over SIP and allows you to connect to many other networks including Facebook, Google Talk, Windows Live, Yahoo!, AIM and ICQ.

Jitsi is a nice tool for integrating all your communication needs into one application. Jitsi is open source and is therefore free.



Jitsi offers a very simple but nice-looking interface, with basic features and easy controls for configuring the tool and communication. Download and installation are straightforward and easy, and it is also easy to configure your SIP settings. You can use Jitsi with any SIP account.

Jitsi supports many IM protocols and works with many other networks, including Facebook, Google Talk, Windows Live, Yahoo!, AIM and ICQ. This makes it possible to call and contact your friends without having to change tool.

Jitsi is free and open source. Having a look the source code of tools like this is an interesting adventure for programmers who want to work on VoIP applications. Being Java-based, the application works on most operating systems.

Jitsi offers privacy and encryption for calls. It uses the ZRTP encryption, and is one of the rare SIP clients to offer something for security.

With Jitsi, you can use your computer and Internet connection to make free voice and video calls through SIP. Just get a SIP address and register with Jitsi. You can then communicate with your other friends using SIP or with people on the other networks mentioned above. You can also use Jitsi with Google Voice to call regular landline and mobile numbers.

Jitsi supports voice communication, video conferencing, chat, IM network, file transfer and desktop sharing.

The application is a little bit slow compared to others of the kind, due to it being Java-based and therefore interpreted. But if you have a powerful computer, you wont notice it. Also, you dont get to more detailed options where you can select codecs and other technical things. But you will be happy if you are not geeky enough for that.

Visit Their Website

Go here to see the original:
Jitsi SIP Softphone Review – Tech

Jitsi | Tiki Suite

 Jitsi  Comments Off on Jitsi | Tiki Suite
Aug 302015

See also Jitsi provisioning via Tiki

Jitsi (previously SIP Communicator) is a cross-platform VOIP, videoconference, desktop sharing and chat client.

Jitsi is a core part of the Tiki Suite.

Protocols supported include SIP, XMPP/Jabber/Google Talk/Facebook chat, AIM/ICQ, Windows Live, Yahoo! Messenger and Bonjour.

Other features include: Call recording, Call & chat encryption, Noise suppression, Echo cancellation, File transfer, multi-user chat, Desktop streaming, Presence, Conference calls, Integration with Microsoft Outlook and Apple Address Book, Support for LDAP directories, Support for Google Contacts, On-line provisioning, Systray notifications, IPv6 support, Spell checker and many more.

License: LGPL


To try out Jitsi via XMPP (with VOIP, videoconference, desktop sharing, etc.) you can use a Gmail account (which is also a XMPP account) or the service. Juts create an account and use that username at as jabber account in the Jitsi application.

If you are using Gmail, or Google for domains, use the Google Talk option in Jitsi. If you are using or a generic XMPP server, use the Jabber option in Jitsi.

A port for Android is in alpha

Jitsi is focused on a rich feature set, standards compliance and security.

There is the base package and 2 options. Many organizations will only need the base package, and they can add one or both options as they need them.

Advanced features (such as ZRTP encryption) require the client to support, but basic communication can be achieved by any XMPP client, including via a web interface.

This adds a web interface for Audio-Video-Chat collaboration with folks outside the team, by sending them a URL and using WebRTC

Alternatively, you can use BigBlueButton for this use case. BigBlueButton is more mature, very well integrated in Tiki and more focused towards online Learning. It is very easy to install, but it requires another server.

See the original post:
Jitsi | Tiki Suite

 Posted by at 7:46 pm  Tagged with:

Bitcoin Charts

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Bitcoin Charts
Aug 252015

Major Magazine Publisher to Accept Bitcoin Payments

Time Inc., publisher of e. g. for People, Sports Illustrated, InStyle and Time, now accepts bitcoin as a payment.

read more

It can be used to buy apps, games, and other digital content from Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music, or Xbox Video stores. Be aware, that Money added to the Microsoft account using Bitcoin cannot be refunded.

read more

Mozilla, the community behind Firefox and Thunderbird, now accepts Bitcoin donations.

read more

PayPal does first steps for a integration of bitcoin.

read more

The Wikimedia Foundation now accepts Bitcoin. They will work together with coinbase.

read more

The German Newspaper “taz”, also called “die tageszeitung”, now accepts Bitcoins as donations. All the content on is available for free, based on their model of donations. So far, more then 10 BTC got donated, which is a lot, compared to the approx. 10 000 donations (in German), received in June.

read more

Latvian airline airBaltic has become the worlds first airline to accept Bitcoin as payment for its tickets to 60 destinations in Europe, Middle East, Russia and the CIS.

read more

Dell is now accepting bitcoin payments from consumers and small business shoppers across the U.S. for all items available on, including the Alienware line of products.

read more (via

next page page 1 of 111

Visit link:
Bitcoin Charts

Singularity HUB – News and Insights on Technology, Science …

 The Singularity  Comments Off on Singularity HUB – News and Insights on Technology, Science …
Aug 152015

First 3D-Printed Drug Ushers in Era of Downloadable Medicine

by Shelly Fan

by Sveta McShane

by Jason Dorrier

by Sveta McShane

by Shelly Fan

by David J. Hill

by Howie Leibach




Editor’s Picks

Should We Redesign Capitalism to Address Our Jobless Future?

Think Your Conscious Brain Directs Your Actions? Think Again

Future of Virtual Reality Series Launches Today

Why Reorganizing Google Is Essential for Its Survival

When Machines Can Do Most JobsPassion, Creativity, and Reinvention Rule

Forget Rocket Fuel: This Spaceplane Will Use Microwave Beams to Reach Orbit

3D Computer Interfaces Will AmazeLike Going From DOS to Windows

Is It Really So Bad If We Prefer Virtual Reality to Reality?

Combating Scarcity With Abundance: New Impact Challenge to Tackle Californias Drought

Should You Buy the Hype? An Inside Look at the Virtual Reality Landscape

How Technology Is Crash Landing in Our Public Schools

How Can Virtual Reality Improve the Quality of Life for People Around the World?

Animal Brains Networked Into Organic Computer Brainet

How Stem Cells May Save Your Lifeand Even Extend It

You Have a Notification: Welcome to the 24/7 Work Culture

Which Way Next? A New Singularity Hub Channel to (Re)Imagine the Future

How Virtual Reality Can Unleash the Greatest Wave of Creativity in Human History

What the Next Generation Needs to Thrive in Exponential Times

How Tiny Lab-Grown Human Brains Are Giving Big Insights Into Autism

Your Doctor Can Now Examine an Exact 3D Replica of Your Heart in Virtual Reality

Singularity University, Singularity Hub, Singularity University Summits, SU Labs, Singularity Labs, Exponential Medicine and all associated logos and design elements are trademarks and/or service marks of Singularity Education Group. 2014 Singularity Education Group. All Rights Reserved.

Go here to read the rest:

Singularity HUB – News and Insights on Technology, Science …

 Posted by at 3:09 pm  Tagged with:

Tor Browser Attacked, Users Should Update Software …

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Tor Browser Attacked, Users Should Update Software …
Aug 132015

An attack against Tor Browser users on Windows machines was discovered this Sunday, and there is speculation that the uncovered malware was used by a law enforcement agency to harvest the IP addresses of users of several hidden services hosted by Freedom Hosting. The malware exploits a serious JavaScript security vulnerability affecting Firefox and other products that share the same code base, including the Tor Browser.

If you are using software based on Firefox major version 21 or earlier, Thunderbird 17.06 or earlier, or SeaMonkey 2.18 or earlier, please update your software immediately. Tor Browser Bundle users who have not updated to the most recent version are also at risk, and so we’ve provided a screenshot tutorial for how to update the Tor Browser Bundle below.

Tor and the Tor Browser: Security and the Importance of Updating

Tor is a powerful anonymity tool that allows human rights activists, dissidents and whistleblowers to use web services anonymously to avoid harassment, imprisonment and in some cases death. Tor also allows users to circumvent several forms of surveillance and censorship. The Tor Browser is a modified version of Firefox that ships with the Tor Browser Bundle to provide users with an easy way to browse with Tor without any configuration required.

Given the importance of Tor to users around the world, the security of both Tor and the Tor Browser are absolutely critical. This type of attack cannot be narrowly focused on particular Tor or Tor Browser users suspected of breaking the law, and leaves vulnerable the multitude of other users worldwide who depend on these tools for anonymity. In this case, all users of older versions of the Tor Browser Bundle are potentially vulnerable and the issue requires immediate attention.

What Can Users Do?

Tor does not provide automatic security updates. Instead, the Tor Browser currently requires users to manually download and install the update of the Tor Browser Bundle. The Tor Project is working on a fix for this, and this attack highlights the importance of allowing users to auto-update. For now, if you are using an outdated version of the Tor Browser, you should update your Tor Browser Bundle software immediately. Here are detailed instructions for Windows users:

1. Open your current Tor browser, and determine what version of Firefox is running by clicking the “TorBrowser” button:

2. Click on “Help” -> “About TorBrowser” to determine your version. If it below 17.07, then you are vulnerable:

Excerpt from:
Tor Browser Attacked, Users Should Update Software …

 Posted by at 3:56 am  Tagged with:

Jitsi: A Multi-Protocol, Cross Platform Compatible Chat …

 Jitsi  Comments Off on Jitsi: A Multi-Protocol, Cross Platform Compatible Chat …
Jul 242015

Whether you are using Mac, Windows or Linux, I am sure you have your own favorite chat client that you use on a daily basis. For some of you, you might even have a audio/video call client that you use to make free call to your friends. Wouldnt it be great if you have these two applications combined into one and it works regardless which OS you are using? Jitsi is the one for you. Jitsi is a java-based desktop client that supports multiple chat and audio/video call protocols. You can use it to connect to the various instant messaging service like MSN, Facebook, Google Talk, Yahoo, ICQ, and also make audio/video call with SIP and XMPP. It doesnt support Skype though, but other than that, this seems to be the most complete app I have ever come across.

The installation is pretty simple. Since it is java-based, it will work on every OS that has java enabled. It does come with an installer package for each OS, so you dont need to run the jar file manually in the terminal. Head over to the Download page and download the version for your system. For Linux Debian/Ubuntu users, you can head over to its deb download page and download the version for your system.

On the first run, it will prompt you to setup your accounts by entering your username and password to the various IM and XMPP/SIP accounts.

Once you have set it up, it will run like any other SIP/XMPP/IM client.

On Windows and Mac, it integrates quite well with the system theme, but on my Ubuntu machine, the java GUI sucks. In addition, this application will cause an invisible JavaEmbeddedFrame window to appear in the menu bar and cant be removed until you quit the app. This doesnt affect the functionalities of Jitsi, but still, it can be rather annoying.

For the chat, there is one feature that I like best: the ability to encrypt your chat session. During a chat, you can click the padlock button to encrypt the conversation. However, this works only when both parties are using Jitsi, else it wont work.

To make a audio/video call, you can easily click the Phone or Video icon below your friends name. You can also click the Screen Sharing icon to share your screen, though I cant get it to work, perhaps due to my firewall configuration.

Go here to see the original:
Jitsi: A Multi-Protocol, Cross Platform Compatible Chat …

 Posted by at 8:08 pm  Tagged with:

Download Tor Browser Bundle v4.5.2 (freeware) – AfterDawn …

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Download Tor Browser Bundle v4.5.2 (freeware) – AfterDawn …
Jul 242015

The Tor software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

The Tor Browser Bundle lets you use Tor on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux without needing to install any software. It can run off a USB flash drive, comes with a pre-configured web browser called Aurora, and is self-contained.

Only web pages visited through the included Firefox browser will be sent via Tor. Other web browsers such as Internet Explorer are not affected. Make sure that it says “Tor Enabled” in the bottom right corner before using it. To reduce the risk of confusion, don’t run Firefox while using the Tor Browser Bundle, and close existing Firefox windows before starting.

The rest is here:
Download Tor Browser Bundle v4.5.2 (freeware) – AfterDawn …

Freedom Takes Another Blow From Apple, Microsoft

 Freedom  Comments Off on Freedom Takes Another Blow From Apple, Microsoft
Mar 242015

Both are reducing OS choices for PC owners, pushing PCs further towards becoming disposable appliances.

Call it another blow against OS freedom, part of the slow creep towards turning PCs into consumer appliances. Call it the choice of security over liberty, one our society has made so many times since 2001. Call it annoying. But in the wake of both Apple and Microsoft cracking down on what OSes can be installed on their PCs, I’d like to call it unnecessary.

This weekend, two irritating stories came out about OS vendors potentially locking popular alternatives out of their platforms. Apple, which happens to make gorgeous Windows-compatible laptops, said its new round of PCs won’t support Windows 7. And Microsoft is giving PC manufacturers the option to lock down their hardware and prevent Linux installationsor for that matter any experimental OS.

Security clearly has something to do with these arguments. As ExtremeTech explains, Microsoft’s move is designed to protect PCs from particularly sneaky malware. And Apple is just following Microsoft’s guidelines on Windows 7, as Microsoft signalled in January that it would like to start dialing back support for Windows 7 in general.

But still, I don’t like the precedent. If you build your own desktop PC, none of this will affect you, as motherboard manufacturers will almost certainly leave the security switch that lets you install alternative OSes intact. But more and more people are turning to laptops as their primary machines, and it’s very difficult to build your own (adequate) laptop. Having the potential freedom to install other OSes doesn’t make a computer more difficult to use in its default mode, and having a security switch which can be disabled by knowledgable users doesn’t make a PC, by default, less secure.

Operating system freedom has always been a big difference between desktop and mobile platforms, too. Mobile OS vendors typically forbid end-users from installing any other OS on their hardware. Without built-in restrictions, it’s completely possible to do this. Microsoft last year showed off how the same hardware can run Android and Windows Phone, and we’ve seen both HTC and Alcatel devices offered with different OS options on the same hardware. The CEO of ZTE USA has told me twice how he’d love to sell multi-OS devices. But if there’s one thing Google, Apple, and Microsoft agree upon, it’s that end-users shouldn’t have the freedom to try out alternatives.

And if you have a problem with my wanting to run both Mac OS and the superior Windows 7 versions of both Microsoft Excel and utilities like FastStone Image Viewer, then you need to check your fanboy/girlism.

It’s About Planned Obsolescence Locking out competing OSes and “old” OSes is all part of the decade-long shift towards making computing devices less upgradeable, to advance planned obsolescence and force you to buy new machines more often. One of the things about Linux is that it runs really well on older, lower-power machines which might otherwise be sent to the recycle bin. I’m considering installing Linux on a dying old laptop I have around, to use it as a Web terminal.

Yes, you’ll be able to run Windows 7 in a virtual machine such as Parallels on a Mac. But Apple’s decision to withdraw Boot Camp support just highlights the total consumer failure of Windows 8. (I just checked, and thank goodness, I was never on the Windows 8 bandwagon.) Windows 7 was awesome. I’m still running it on two machines. We all want to pretend Windows 8 never happened. Would it have hurt Apple so much to support the version of Windows that people actually like, until Windows 10 comes out?

The answer for the truly geeky among us is, of course, to build your own desktop. But that’s becoming a smaller and smaller group of people, and it leaves out the growing crowd who want mobile, portable or handheld computing experiences. For themfor us, because I’m of course one of those peoplewe’re seeing our freedoms sadly, and slowly, erode.

More here:
Freedom Takes Another Blow From Apple, Microsoft

 Posted by at 1:46 am  Tagged with:

Ex-NSA Researcher Finds Sneaky Way Past Apple Mac's Gatekeeper

 NSA  Comments Off on Ex-NSA Researcher Finds Sneaky Way Past Apple Mac's Gatekeeper
Mar 182015

Want to know something odd? Its 2015 and all the top anti-virus products for Mac OS X use insecure lines to transmit their software to Apple Apple machines. Download files, known as .dmg files,for products including Kaspersky, Symantec Symantec, Avast, Avira, Intego, BitDefender, Trend Micro, ESET and F-Secure are all sentover unencrypted HTTP lines, rather than the more secure HTTPS. There is method in their madness, as they trust Apples Gatekeepersecurity technology to recognise the digital signatures they sign their software with that should guarantee the authenticity of the download.

But a former NSA and NASA staffer Patrick Wardle, who now heads up research at security start-up Synack, believes he has found a new way to abuse such insecure downloads and bypass protections in Apple Macs without getting caught. Normally, anyone who intercepts a download to turn it nasty wont get away with it, as Mac Gatekeeperwill see that the vendors original signature has been altered or taken away entirely, and the software tampered with, meaning its no longer trusted.

Yetthe Gatekeeper software doesnt check all components of Mac OS X download files, according to Wardle. He believes he can sneak a malicious version of whats known as a dylib file into legitimate downloads done over HTTP to infect Macs and start stealing data.These dylibs (short for dynamic libraries) are designed to be re-used by different applications; they might be used for actions such as compressing a file or using native graphics capabilities of the operating system. Theyre supposed to make apps work more efficiently.

If an attacker can hijack the dylib processes used by Mac apps, however, they can carry out nasty attacks and send user data to their own servers, the researcher explained. Such an attack would not be trivial, Wardle admits. First, the attacker would have to get on the same network as a target, either by breaching it or simply logging on to the same public Wi-Fi. They would also have to injecta legitimate yet vulnerable application into the downloadand shuffle around the content of the .dmg so thatthe injected legitimate softwareis shown to the user. The latter is not so tricky:the attacker can set the name and icon of thisvulnerable app so nothing looks suspicious, said Wardle.

Finding vulnerable apps shouldnt be too hard either.Wardle created a scanner that looked for applications that would use his naughty dylibs. He found around 150 on his own machine, including hugely popular software likeMicrosoftWord and Excel,Apples own iCloud Photos and Dropbox. The list also includedApples developer tool XCODE and email encryption key management software GPG Keychain, both of which he abused in his proof of concept attacks. According to a recent article in The Intercept, Snowden files showed researchers were demonstrating how amodified version of XCODEcould be used to siphon off targets passwords and other data. Wardle said it was 100 per cent coincidence that his former employer had also targeted XCODE.

Wardled noted that apps from Apples Mac App Store are not vulnerable.

Apps vulnerable to dylib attacks slide from Patrick Wardle

Despite the barriers to successful exploitation, his techniques have provided him with a novel way to bypass Gatekeepers draconian detection mechanism (its also not too dissimilar from DLL attacks of yore on Windows).It is, he added, a cunning way to bypass Mac OS X Gatekeeper protections and allow hackers to go back to their old tricks.

When the injected legitimateapplication is launched the unsigned malicious dylib is loaded or executed(even if the user sets his machine to accept only all apps from the Mac App Store) before theapps main code. At this point the dylib can do anything. I see it a)kicking off the legitimate application that the user was downloading sonothing seems amiss, and b) installing the implant component which will then complete the rest of the attack, persistently infecting the userscomputer. He noted theattack should also work on downloaded .zip filesthat contain applications.

Mac OS X dylib hijacking attacks slide from Patrick Wardle

See original here:
Ex-NSA Researcher Finds Sneaky Way Past Apple Mac's Gatekeeper

Shootout at Copenhagen cafe free speech event

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Shootout at Copenhagen cafe free speech event
Mar 102015

By Jan M. Olsen And Karl Ritter Associated Press

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) A shooting at a free speech event featuring an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad and a second shooting hours later outside a synagogue left two dead and five police officers wounded in Copenhagen, stirring fears that another terror spree was underway in a European capital a month after 17 people were killed in Paris attacks.

Police couldn’t say whether the shootings at a cultural center Saturday afternoon and in front of the synagogue early Sunday were connected, but didn’t rule it out. In both shootings, the gunman got away.

“We are looking for two perpetrators,” police spokesman Allan Wadsworth-Hansen told reporters.

In this photo dated Saturday Feb. 14, 2015, issued by Copenhagen Police believed to show the suspect in a shooting at a freedom of speech event in Copenhagen, in a photo taken from a street camera near to where the getaway car was later found dumped. In what is seen as a likely terror attack against a free speech event organized by an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad, the police believe there was only one shooter in the attack on a Copenhagen cafe that left one person dead and three police officers wounded. (AP Photo /Copenhagen Police) DENMARK OUT – NO SALES (Copenhagen Police/AP)

Two hours later, police announced they had shot and killed a man who shot at them near a train station and were investigating whether he could be linked to the two shootings. The police statement posted online says the shooting occurred after they had put an address near the train station under observation. The statement said no police officers were wounded.

The first shooting happened shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday. Danish police said the gunman used an automatic weapon to shoot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cultural center during a panel discussion on freedom of expression following the Paris attacks. A 55-year-old man attending the event was killed, while three police officers were wounded. Two belonged to the Danish security service PET, which said the circumstances surrounding the shooting “indicate that we are talking about a terror attack.”

The gunman then fled in a carjacked Volkswagen Polo that was found later a few kilometers (miles) away, police said.

Lars Vilks, a Swedish artist who has faced numerous death threats for caricaturing the Prophet Muhammad, was one of the main speakers at the event, titled “Art, blasphemy and freedom of expression.” He was whisked away by his bodyguards unharmed as the shooting began.

Vilks, 68, later told The Associated Press he believed he was the intended target of the shooting.

Go here to read the rest:
Shootout at Copenhagen cafe free speech event

 Posted by at 2:40 am  Tagged with:

Tor Browser Bundle 4 0 4 Latest Version Is Available To Download/Update – Video

 Tor Browser  Comments Off on Tor Browser Bundle 4 0 4 Latest Version Is Available To Download/Update – Video
Mar 062015

Tor Browser Bundle 4 0 4 Latest Version Is Available To Download/Update
Tor Browser Bundle 4.0.4 Free Download For Windows , Mac OS X and Linux tor browser bu…

By: DR Freeware

Read the original post:
Tor Browser Bundle 4 0 4 Latest Version Is Available To Download/Update – Video

 Posted by at 10:50 am  Tagged with:

Britons can now buy Dell computers with Bitcoin

 Bitcoin  Comments Off on Britons can now buy Dell computers with Bitcoin
Feb 232015

Through the expansion of Bitcoin were enabling new levels of convenience for our customers, making it easier for them to do business with Dell.”

Coinbase is one of the largest payments processors helping large organisations to adopt Bitcoin.

In an interview with the Telegraph co-founder Brian Armstrong said that Europe was lagging behind the US in terms of adoption, but that he was determined to push it forwards.

I remember back in 2002 my mum said I would never put my credit card details on the internet. Now she does shopping online all the time. What is considered normal or secure changes very quickly,” he said.

To me its the most exciting thing in the world to be working on right now. Bitcoin is like a giant wave, were just a little surfer riding it. Maybe it makes sense for there to be an internet currency, and have that be the reserve currency of the world.

Fred Ehrsam, co-founder at Coinbase, said of the news: Were really pleased to partner with Dell once again, this time bringing its customers in the UK and Canada the option to pay with Bitcoin.

Dell saw that many of its customers wanted to pay with the currency and responded by quickly working with us to give them that option. It is now the largest merchant to accept Bitcoin internationally, paving the way for retailers around the world to follow suit.

Its another big step towards expanding Bitcoin acceptance worldwide and something were excited to be a part of.

Late last year technology giant Microsoft announced that it would also start accepting Bitcoin, albeit in a more limited way than Dell.

Customers can use the currency to add credit to their Microsoft account, but not to pay for goods directly. Once you add money to your Microsoft account you can use it to buy apps, games and other digital content from the Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox Games, Xbox Music and Xbox Video stores.

Visit link:
Britons can now buy Dell computers with Bitcoin

 Posted by at 1:46 am  Tagged with:

Home Windows Liberty TX | (281) 940-3557 – Video

 Liberty  Comments Off on Home Windows Liberty TX | (281) 940-3557 – Video
Feb 192015

Home Windows Liberty TX | (281) 940-3557
Home Windows Liberty TX | (281) 940-3557 Make a huge difference on the look of your home with Zen Windows Houston's amazing.

By: Zen Windows Houston

Read more here:
Home Windows Liberty TX | (281) 940-3557 – Video

 Posted by at 11:45 am  Tagged with:

Shooting at free speech event in Copenhagen leaves 1 dead

 Free Speech  Comments Off on Shooting at free speech event in Copenhagen leaves 1 dead
Feb 142015

Jan M. Olsen, The Associated Press Published Saturday, February 14, 2015 11:08AM EST Last Updated Saturday, February 14, 2015 3:52PM EST

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — At least one gunman opened fire Saturday on a Copenhagen cafe, killing one man in what authorities called a likely terror attack during a free speech event organized by an artist who had caricatured the Prophet Muhammad.

The shooting, which also wounded three police officers, came a month after extremists killed 12 people at a satirical newspaper in Paris that had also sparked Muslim outrage with its depictions of Muhammad.

Swedish artist Lars Vilks, who has been repeatedly threatened after depicting Muhammad as a dog in 2007, organized and attended Saturday’s event but was not hit by gunfire, police said.

“I saw a masked man running past,” said Helle Merete Brix, one of the event’s organizers. “I clearly consider this as an attack on Lars Vilks.”

She and Vilks were quickly ushered away by the security detail that accompanies the artist whenever he is in Denmark.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, which took place shortly before 4 p.m. (1500 GMT, 10 a.m. EST). Denmark’s security service, PET, said the circumstances surrounding the shooting “indicate that we are talking about a terror attack.”

Danish police said the gunman used an automatic weapon to shoot through the windows of the Krudttoenden cafe, which TV footage showed were riddled with bullet holes. The gunman then fled in a carjacked Volkswagen Polo that was found later a few kilometres (miles) away, police said.

“I heard someone firing with an automatic weapons and someone shouting. Police returned the fire and I hid behind the bar. I felt surreal, like in a movie,” Niels Ivar Larsen, one of the speakers at the event, told the TV2 channel.

Police initially said there were two gunmen but later said they believed there was only one shooter, and described him as 25-30 years old with an athletic build, and carrying a black automatic weapon. They released a blurred photograph of the suspect wearing dark clothes and a scarf covering part of his face.

View original post here:
Shooting at free speech event in Copenhagen leaves 1 dead

 Posted by at 5:40 pm  Tagged with:

Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution | Transhumanism