Software week in review, June 6

Our recap of the week in new releases, product rumors, security news, and more.

If you're an Apple fan, this week was all about WWDC and its coming attractions for OS X and iOS 8. But also this week, an Englishman urged Americans to fight for Net neutrality, Reset the Net protested for privacy, Google debuted End-to-End for Gmail, and another OpenSSL bug surfaced. Read on for our rundown, and to get the latest reviews from our editors in your inbox, subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

WWDC

WWDC

Apple announced no new hardware at its developers conference -- the show was all software, with OS X Yosemite and iOS 8 center stage. Visit our WWDC recap for the highlights.

Electronic civil rights

Reset the Net

Last Sunday satirist John Oliver urged Internet trolls to go full mines of Moria on FCC.gov to protest proposed regulations and preserve Net neutrality. The rallying cry brought enough commenters to buckle the FCC's site Monday. But you can still roar at the regulators until July 15: comment at FCC.gov on proceeding 14-28.

On the anniversary of Edward Snowden's leaks, Reset the Net launched, encouraging developers to use SSL and Netizens to shield themselves from government snooping. You don't have to be a whistleblower to want Web protection -- see our roundup of privacy and encryption apps.

In similar spirit, the Free Software Foundation released its Email Self-Defense Guide for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Since Snowden's NSA revelations, the Tor browser (Windows, Mac) has been downloaded 120 million times. Next the organization will release the Tor Instant Messaging Bundle on July 15.

The NSA has repeatedly affirmed that collecting metadata is not an invasion of privacy. However, a new research paper (a collaboration between computer scientists and lawyers) says that a mere week of location data can be so revealing that it adds up to unreasonable search and therefore may violate the Fourth Amendment.

In yet more NSA-related news, Wired reports that your switched-off iPhone can be bugged -- accessed for eavesdropping or installing malware.

This week is the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square democracy protests and massacre, and the Chinese government has been censoring references to those events. That included blocking Google, before a group called GreatFire managed to unlock Google access. And the Internet being the Internet, a number of Tiananmen memes ducked through the China's censorship filters. LinkedIn, which launched a few months ago in China, caught criticism this week for censoring its users' posts.

Threats

Heartbleed

OpenSSL is having a bad year. Two months after Heartbleed sent everyone scrambling to patch the vulnerability and reset their passwords, another OpenSSL breach has been found. Though not as dangerous as Heartbleed, the vulnerability -- around since 1998 -- allows someone to get between two devices on a network and strip the encryption. Android devices are particularly vulnerable.

Browser developers thought they had blocked invasive websites from exploring the browser histories of site visitors. But a grad student in Belgium found that Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer are all vulnerable once more.

The Secret Service is looking for software to detect sarcasm on social media. Yeah, that's a great idea; good luck with that {eyeroll}.

Game over for GameOver Zeus? US, EU, and UK authorities have arrested a Russian suspected hacker for building a botnet that has stolen $100 million from businesses since 2011. Windows users should install antivirus and antimalware or, if you have them already, run updates -- ideally in the next week. Meanwhile, a related form of ransomware, Cryptowall, has been spreading its tentacles across the Internet.

Clones of popular apps like 1Password and Afterlight have been popping up in Apple's App store to get money from unsuspecting downloaders. If you suspect fraud, check the number of downloads and user ratings.

Can't remember the rules for strong passwords? Wrap yourself in bad password fabric and then you can just look down to see what not to do.

Alpha beta

End-to-End

Google encrypts Gmail transmissions, but when Gmail users exchange messages with users of other mail programs, half of those messages are not encrypted. So Google has announced the End-to-End Chrome extension, the first PGP encryption for Web mail. As Marketing Land points out, this type of encryption will protect the content of your messages -- even from Google. End-to-End is in alpha, so you can't get it in the Chrome Store yet, but developers can test the code.

Google has also released 64-bit versions of its Chrome browser for beta testing. The developers say these should be faster, more secure, and more stable.

Want to test the forthcoming Mac OS X Yosemite? Sign up for the beta, which starts this summer.

New releases, new features

Instagram

Instagram (iOS, Android) released a bunch of new editing features.

Microsoft's Xbox One and Xbox 360 will now support 45 TV and entertainment apps, including HBO Go, Showtime Anytime, and Major League Gaming.

When there's a disaster, Google's disaster alerts in Google Now, Search, and Maps will now include relevant local tweets.

Popular dating app Tinder (iOS, Android) released a new ephemeral photo feature called Moments (Tinder Moments, get it?).

Space

Far side of the moon

Remember wardriving? Someday you may be able hunt for laser Wi-Fi in space. Next week at CLEO 2014, researchers from MIT and NASA will show how space travelers may someday stream "Orange Is the New Black" on the moon.

Google plans to lob a billion dollars' worth of satellites into orbit -- in addition to balloons and drones -- to extend Internet access and AdWords to remote parts of the globe.

Trends

Video allegedly killed the radio star, and now digital video is becoming the star. A report from Adobe Digital Index says that mobile video views are up 57 percent year over year, overall online video viewing is up 43 percent, and viewing on TV apps (like HBO Go, Watch ESPN, Xfinity TV Go, and so on) are up a whopping 246 percent.

Speaking of popular apps, Temple Run just joined the 1 billion downloads club. If you want to join the billion fan march, you can get Temple Run (iOS, Android) or Temple Run 2 (iOS, Android).

How to...

Twitter

There's an app for that? Srsly?

Hodor

Would you pay 99 cents to reduce your Android texts to one word? Then Hodor.

Kids like gross. So San Francisco schools and other teachers are recommending Fart Code to teach kids about nutrition. The app evaluates the ingredients in groceries and tells you how big a bang it would produce.

UK Google Maps will now give you times for traveling by dragon or Loch Ness monster.

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