Patched Safari bug being exploited by hackers

A known vulnerability in Apple's Safari browser is the new target for a proof-of-concept exploit that allows a hacker to arbitrarily run code on unpatched Mac systems.

The exploit, which was made available today on Packet Storm, takes advantage of a JavaScript vulnerability where information could be written to memory outside of defined buffers, and cause a crash that could result in the executable code being run.

This vulnerability is specific for Safari version 6.0.1 and earlier; it was found and addressed by Apple in November 2012, so it will only affect systems that have not been … Read more

How to tackle JavaScript-based ransomware sites

Ransomware scams are nothing new to computer users; one one making the rounds attempts to disguise itself as an FBI cybercrime intervention for suspected nefarious activity. If you get stung by this scam (generally the fastest way is by using underground pirated software search engines and pornographic sites that redirect to the scam page, but even innocent image searches will get you there if you're not careful), the site will present a notice claiming to come from the FBI "Cyber Department." It states that the system's browser has been seized and recorded, and that the user … Read more

Review: Mozilla Firefox 22

Developers are still heading full-speed toward the modern holy grail of development on the Web--reaching native app-level speeds and performance. Chrome and Firefox have gone two drastically different directions; whereas Google's very NaCl approach utilizes standardized C-code within a specially secure sandboxed environment, Mozilla opts to continue optimizing an existing, leaner subset of Javascript under some of its own specific restricted functions. The Mozilla dev team believes that focusing on combination of ASM.JS and Mozilla's very own Emscripten compiler will encourage easier Web development, due to wider familiarity among developers, as well as the lack of need … Read more

Google: Dart will rescue browsers from JavaScript

SAN FRANCISCO -- Google long has been a firm believer that JavaScript, the programming language used to build Web apps such as Google Maps and Gmail, could shoulder a much heavier computing load.

But even as the company continues to push JavaScript's abilities with Chrome's V8 engine, some at the company believe JavaScript is pushing up against its limits. For that reason, Google developed its Dart programming language, and at the Google I/O developer show here, the company made the case for Dart.

"The ultimate goal is to get Dart into Chrome. I hope you all … Read more

Google shows interest in ASM.js, Mozilla's plan for fast Web apps

At least some at Google want to embrace a Mozilla-backed project to speed up Web apps written with JavaScript -- even though it competes directly with Google's own Native Client and Dart programming technology.

Mozilla has been working for months on a technology called ASM.js, which it hopes will boost JavaScript performance, especially in combination with a related Mozilla-spawned technology called Emscripten. JavaScript powers Web apps such as Google Docs, and ASM.js is a special "extremely restricted" subset of the programming language that's designed to make it easier for developers to bring existing software … Read more

Q&A: MacFixIt Answers

MacFixIt Answers is a feature in which we answer questions e-mailed in by our readers.

This week people wrote in with questions about firmware passwords on new Mac systems not resetting with hardware resets, concerns regarding malware in Time Machine backups, trashed files prompting for admin passwords and then being immediately deleted, and the difference between Java and JavaScript with regard to the recent malware threats for OS X. We welcome alternative approaches and views from readers, so if you have any suggestions, post them in the comments!

Question: Firmware password not resetting on a new Mac system MacFixIt reader … Read more

Intel smartphone chip No. 1 in some benchmarks, says report

Intel's new chip for smartphones handily beats some of the fastest phones on the market, according to chip review site Anandtech.

Intel's Atom Z2460 "Medfield" delivers "tablet-like scores" on the BrowserMark benchmark, wrote Anand Shimpi. "The Galaxy Nexus running ICS (Ice Cream Sandwich) comes close, but once again Intel expects that on the same OS Medfield should be faster than any of the currently available SoCs (system-on-a-chip)," he said.

Intel announced the Medfield chip Tuesday at CES. The system-on-a-chip will be used in upcoming smartphones--and presumably other devices--from Lenovo and Motorola.

And … Read more

Qwikster no more

iPhone 4S pre-orders top 1 million units, Yahoo pulls out of its bid for Hulu, and Netflix announces the cancellation of Qwikster in a brief blog post.

Links from Monday's episode of Loaded:

Netflix cancels Qwikster iPhone 4S gets more than one million orders on first day Google targets JavaScript with Dart Bidding for Hulu Barnes & Noble puts freeze on DC Comics Subscribe:  iTunes (MP3)iTunes (320x180)iTunes (HD)RSS (MP3)RSS (320x180)RSS HD

Firefox PDF reader passes 'pixel-perfect' test

Mozilla programmers have achieved a goal to build a PDF reader out of Web programming technology, the "pixel-perfect" rendering of a particular file.

The file, a research paper on fast execution of JavaScript (PDF), contains formatted text, graphics, tables, and graphical diagrams. With the high-quality rendering, programmers Andreas Gal and Chris Jones declared the pdf.js mature enough to warrant the 0.2 version number yesterday.

The pdf.js project, introduced to the world in June, uses JavaScript and HTML5's Canvas For to process and display the file. Version 0.2 adds a better user interface, support … Read more

HTML5 start-up Strobe secures funding

Strobe, a start-up focusing on publishing tools that employ a new generation of Web standards, has secured first-round funding.

Chief Executive and co-founder Charles Jolley announced the move today but declined to share exactly how much Hummer-Winblad and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures bestowed upon his company. The company's technology is based on a project called SproutCore that Jolley has been working on for years, including several while at Apple. Jolley left Apple in July.

SproutCore uses JavaScript and other Web tools to endow Web pages with user interfaces more like what one would expect of a native application. It … Read more