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6 security tips for using public Wi-Fi

6 security tips for using public Wi-Fi

Don't expose yourself in public. We all do it: switch on a phone, laptop, or tablet and hop on to a Wi-Fi hotspot in airports, coffee shops, trains, hotels, and other public places. The problem is, those networks are open -- even if they require a login and password, you may be sharing your files or leaving doors open to data thieves. You can't secure the network, but you can raise siege walls between your private information and the barbarians. Follow these six tips to network more safely.

1. Lock down your security settings.

Go to the security … Read more

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed: Two steps to protect your information

Heartbleed is a security flaw that's plaguing as much as two-thirds of the Internet, including many popular sites like Yahoo and GitHub. On sites affected by Heartbleed, user accounts are vulnerable -- your username, password, credit card number, and other private information may be exposed. Companies are scrambling to patch their sites.

But don't sit around waiting for a fix. Take these two defensive steps (and one more if you have an Android device):

1. Check whether your most-visited sites are vulnerable

CNET has already checked the top 100 sites to see if they have Heartbleed patches, so … Read more

Windows 8.1 announcements at Build 2014

Windows 8.1 announcements at Build 2014

Today Microsoft officially announced upcoming features for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 8.1 at the Build developer conference in San Francisco.

The Windows Phone 8.1 update introduces the Action Center, a slide-down panel for notifications and phone activity similar to what's available for iOS and Android. The update brings customizable notification settings for developers, including app-specific triggers for vibration and sound.

Another big update is the introduction of Cortana, Microsoft's personal assistant powered by the Bing search engine. Though the keynote demo had some hiccups, Cortana's voice recognition shows a lot of progress and … Read more

Google speeds WebP image format, brings animation support to Chrome

Google speeds WebP image format, brings animation support to Chrome

Google has built a new version of its WebP software into Chrome to let browsers display its image format 25 percent faster, the company said Friday.

The better performance new libwebp 0.4.0 is part of Google's general effort to speed up the Web, and the new software also uses less memory and fixes an issue that had blocked Google from supporting animated WebP images. The updated WebP support is built into the version of Chrome that's currently in beta.

Animated GIF images, popular on sites such as Tumblr and Imgur, are the last remaining holdout for … Read more

Khronos finishes WebCL 1.0 to let Web apps tap into GPU

Khronos finishes WebCL 1.0 to let Web apps tap into GPU

WebGL has been a strong success, bringing hardware-accelerated 3D graphics to the browser. Now the standards group behind it hopes to let Web apps get even more use out of the graphics chip by releasing version 1.0 of an interface called WebCL.

At this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the Khronos Group standards body announced the ratification and release of WebCL 1.0. WebCL lets programmers run general-purpose tasks on a device's graphics processing unit (GPU) or on a multicore central processing unit (CPU), the main brain in computers and mobile devices.

Just as WebGL … Read more

Mozilla scraps Metro version of Firefox, citing low interest

Mozilla scraps Metro version of Firefox, citing low interest

After more than two years of work, Mozilla has scrapped its effort to build a Metro-specific version of Firefox for Windows 8, saying that users have shown almost no interest.

Microsoft designed what it previously called the Metro interface for touch-screen devices like tablets and introduced it with Windows 8 along with a version of Internet Explorer designed to run on it. Two years ago, after winning a debate with Microsoft over whether it even could be possible to bring a modern third-party browser to Metro, Mozilla embarked on its Firefox for Metro journey.

But it's over for now, … Read more

Add speed reading to Chrome, Firefox

Add speed reading to Chrome, Firefox

Speed reading is about to have another popularity spike -- one likely fueled by the recent announced of Spritz on the Galaxy S5. The speed reading feature will come included with some apps, and uses a single focal point in words, along with rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP for short) to display words one-by-one at speeds up to 1000 words per minute.

This technology is not only useful on smartphones or tablets, it's also great for tackling longer written works online in less time. If you search for what the average reading speed is, you'll come up with … Read more

Google offers new sales options for Chrome Web Store

Google offers new sales options for Chrome Web Store

Google has added new options for developers selling software through its Chrome Web Store.

Those selling software for Google's Chrome browser and Chrome OS operating system now have a variety of new sales possibilities, according to a blog post Tuesday by Chary Chen of the Chrome Web Store team. Among those options are the ability to offer:

Free trials of Chrome extensions and Chrome packaged apps.

Themes that cost money.

Extensions and packaged apps that include in-app payment possibilities.

Subscriptions for Chrome extensions.

Google's Chrome Web Store has brought the app store approach to Web apps and to … Read more

Mozilla works to squeeze more life out of JPEG

Mozilla works to squeeze more life out of JPEG

JPEG, the decades-old image format, shows no signs of disappearing. That's why Mozilla announced a project Wednesday to try to shave another 10 percent off images compressed with the standard.

The non-profit organization behind Firefox announced a project called mozjpeg that aims to compress JPEGs more intelligently. Smaller file sizes means Web pages load faster, and Mozilla is deeply interested in improving the Web's performance.

"Photos can easily make up the bulk of the network traffic for a page load," said senior technology strategist Josh Aas in a blog post. "Reducing the size of these … Read more

Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Trusted open-source apps for Windows

Open-source apps must maintain accountability when it comes to security. They have an active community of developers and users who help discover vulnerabilities, peer-review code, and perform routine audits on a mass scale. Security holes are patched at a rate that discourages programmers from placing back-door malicious codes. Though not every open-source app is secure, the ones that are benefit from the community in a way that closed-source programs and applications can rarely duplicate.

Many of the apps listed here have been so widely distributed and scrutinized that even RSA Conference attendees trust and recommend them.

Gpg4Win

Gpg4Win is a … Read more