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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

5 tips for running Windows XP relatively safely

5 tips for running Windows XP relatively safely

Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP, an OS still used by approximately 20-25% of Windows customers. That means one in four PC users must upgrade to a more secure, supported version of Windows or risk their un-updated, un-patched version of Windows XP catching a virus or other Internet bug. As a rule of thumb, we always recommend upgrading your OS and then updating it as often as possible to protect your system. If you're switching to a new OS, read how to migrate easily from Windows XP. However, if you're a die-hard who wants to keep a Windows … 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

Unity CEO David Helgason foretells the future of gaming

Unity CEO David Helgason foretells the future of gaming

Unity builds technology to help developers build games. At GDC 2014, I chatted with the CEO of Unity, David Helgason. The gaming innovator previewed some of the latest Unity 5 features that developers will be able to use, including improvements in lighting effects and audio mixing.

Games that use Unity:

Dead Trigger (Android)

Device 6 (iOS)

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

Facebook acquires Oculus VR

On Tuesday Facebook announced that it has completed an agreement to acquire the immersive virtual-reality tech company Oculus VR for $2 billion. Oculus VR is known for the Oculus Rift, a high-definition headset with motion-tracking capabilities and 3D display, which has been reaching record popularity in the game-development scene. The company recently came to GDC 2014 to showcase the second iteration of its Oculus development kit.

"Mobile is the platform of today, and now we're also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow," said Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. "Oculus has the chance to create … Read more

Security lessons from RSA

Security lessons from RSA

The RSA Conference, the flagship meetup for cryptography, information security, and IT experts from around the world, just wrapped on February 28. While RSA is largely for IT professionals and businesses rather than consumers, I learned a couple of new lessons about personal protection in the age of big data. Read on for lessons learned and tips for taking control of your online security and digital privacy.

1. Beware of hackers and protect your passwords

Hackers are no more evil than the average netizens, nor are they loners: They build social communities around their illicit activities. Whether they're cyber-criminals … 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

Firefox 27 deepens its social integration

Firefox 27 deepens its social integration

On Tuesday Mozilla announced the public release of Firefox 27 for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Android. For this release, Mozilla adds more stacks to its social APIs, bringing new partners like Delicious onboard.

Delicious is a built-in tool that lets users save and organize content from the Web. Now users can access Delicious via the Firefox sidebar.

Web developers can use the new specification "all: unset" in style tags. Prior to the addition of the unset keyword, many developers popularized the use of reset style sheets that individually set all properties to a default value. The CSS keyword &… Read more

Google Dart target: Chrome soon! Other browsers...someday

Google Dart target: Chrome soon! Other browsers...someday

Minecraft is one of the most widely used games around these days. So it was notable when the programmer who wrote it, Markus "Notch" Persson, embraced Google's Dart programming language for Web apps.

"I love it," Persson tweeted in November, shortly after Google released Dart 1.0.

That's music to the ears of Google developers who created Dart to rewrite the rules of Web programming and, as they see it, to overcome shortcomings of the JavaScript language at the foundation of Web apps today. To fully succeed, though, Google will have to persuade a … Read more