Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Internet Explorer Flaw Lets Hackers Into the Cookie Jar

Italian security researcher Rosario Valotta has discovered a new way for hackers to steal their victims' online credentials -- stealing the session cookies from whatever site a victim is visiting. The stolen cookies can then be used to get victims' computers to download malware, forge clicks or send messages, according to Valotta's website.

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GNOME 3 released, ushers in an interesting amalgam of iOS and OS X

GNOME 3 desktop manager
GNOME 3, after more than two years of development, has been released into the wild. GNOME 3 is not merely the logical successor of GNOME 2: it is an entirely new project, started from scratch, to create a "completely new, modern desktop designed for today's users and technologies."

The best way to check out GNOME 3's new features -- and it has lots of new features -- is to run a live version of openSUSE or Fedora, or simply head over to the GNOME 3 website and watch the (rather pretty) introductory videos. If you want a synopsis, though, here it is: GNOME 3 looks a lot like Mac OS X, with a healthy dollop of iOSesqueness for good measure, but yet it still somehow retains an underlying feel of Linux.

The overall aesthetic is very simple, very elegant, and despite being slightly out of fashion, there are plenty of rounded corners, too. The main addition, workflow-wise, is the addition of an app-launcher-cum-alt-tab screen, where you can launch apps, or flip through your open windows. For a complete list of the new features and changes, check the GNOME 3 release notes.

Despite GNOME 3 being officially launched, there aren't actually any releases for existing, stable Linux distros -- it's the live CD/USB images, or Ubuntu users will have to wait for the launch of 11.04 for a GNOME 3 PPA, but it will break Unity in the process. Fedora users will have to wait for for the May 24 release of Fedora 15. Of course, if you're feeling crazy, you can always build GNOME 3 from source.

GNOME 3 released, ushers in an interesting amalgam of iOS and OS X originally appeared on Download Squad on Thu, 07 Apr 2011 06:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Google Chrome now uses SPDY HTTP replacement, halves page load time

SPDY in Google Chrome
We're not entirely sure of the time line here, but it looks like Google has now rolled out the SPDY HTTP replacement to its full bevy of Web services, including Gmail, Docs, and YouTube. If you're currently using Google's Chrome browser you're probably already using SPDY.

We originally reported on SPDY way back in November 2009, when Google introduced it as yet another experiment in making the Web faster, like Go, Native Client and speculative pre-connections. Over the last 18 months, though, SPDY support has found its way into the stable build of Chrome.

SPDY is basically a streamlined and more efficient version of HTTP. At its most basic, SPDY introduces parallel, multiplexed streams over a single TCP connection -- but at the same time, SPDY allows for prioritization, so that vital content (HTML) can be sent before periphery content (JavaScript, video). All in all, the SPDY protocol can halve page load times, which is obviously rather significant.

The best bit, though, is that SPDY is an open-source project. HTTP 1.1 is a lumbering beast that needs to be replaced before low-latency real-time computing really becomes a reality, and SPDY is one of the best options currently on the table. To be honest, we're not sure why SPDY hasn't received more coverage -- it's awesome in every way. At the moment, though, the only way to help speed up SPDY's proliferation, is with an experimental Apache mod.

As far as actually 'trying it out,' your best bet is downloading Chrome, hitting up some Google sites, and then checking chrome://net-internals to see your active SPDY sessions. SPDY is a transparent replacement for HTTP, though, and as such it's rather hard to see its effects. Google's sites definitely feel fast in Chrome, but there are more technologies than just SPDY at work.

Google Chrome now uses SPDY HTTP replacement, halves page load time originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 07:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Apple to Replace Peeling Macbook Butts [Blip]

If your plastic unibody Macbook is having peeling rubber butt issues, you aren't alone. Apple's now actually fixing the problem for free—either through the Genius bar or a DIY kit. They'll even refund any money you've spent before. More »


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Is Microsoft Finally Ready to Put Its Tablet Talents on Display?

Microsoft will preview specially made Windows tablet software as soon as this week, Bloomberg recently reported. It will showcase the operating system's touchscreen interface running on hardware that uses an Nvidia Tegra chip, according to the report. "Right now, the stated strategy is to have Windows 8 run on everything except smartphones," Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, told TechNewsWorld.

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Install the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update regardless of your carrier

windows phone 7 nodoSome of you who own Windows Phone 7 devices are still waiting for your pre-NoDo preparation update -- never mind NoDo itself. A few workarounds have been posted, but unfortunately they didn't work unless your carrier had completed testing and was ready to schedule the update.

Now, however, the Chevron WP7 team's Chris Walshie has delivered a handy little utility that will allow you to update any Windows Phone 7 device -- regardless of your carrier.
  1. Download and install the Windows Phone Support Tool (x86 or x64) and the ChevronWP7 Updater (x86 or x64)
  2. Launch ChevronWP7 Updater and select your language. If your language isn't listed, stop and do not update.
  3. If were running WP7 build 7004 (you can verify in Zune) then run the updater twice.
Once the process completes, you should be able to copy and paste to your heart's content. Let's just hope all this update foolishness gets sorted out before we're supposed to receive Mango.

Install the Windows Phone 7 NoDo update regardless of your carrier originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 10:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Let it Slide is an engaging, difficult puzzle game

letitslide
I have a thing for physics games, and I've been known to post the occasional platformer or action game here and there. But Let it Slide is one of the brainiest games I've posted to date.

The idea is very simple, and far from original: You get a board with pieces arranged in a particular pattern; you have to slide those around until you get the special piece into its target location.

It's not even about finding out where the target location is - you can just hover over "dim tiles" and instantly see where you're supposed to bring the special piece. But getting it there is a whole different story.

There are five tutorial levels, which I strongly recommend you do. Then there are twenty "beginner" levels, but that's really a misnomer. If those are the beginner levels, I don't want to know what the intermediate and advanced levels look like!

Every time you finish a level you get a score based on how many clicks it took you - each level has a "par" (the minimum number of clicks it could be completed in), and your performance is compared to that gold standard. Because it's such a brainy game, getting it right is quite satisfying. I was downright proud of myself when I managed to finish a few levels. All in all, quite recommended, especially if you've got a few minutes of quiet. It might actually help you focus better later on.

Let it Slide is an engaging, difficult puzzle game originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 23 Feb 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Internet Explorer Flaw Lets Hackers Into the Cookie Jar

Italian security researcher Rosario Valotta has discovered a new way for hackers to steal their victims' online credentials -- stealing the session cookies from whatever site a victim is visiting. The stolen cookies can then be used to get victims' computers to download malware, forge clicks or send messages, according to Valotta's website.

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OmmWriter Brings Tranquil Text-Editing to iPad

When OmmWriter appeared on the Mac, I wondered what the fuss was about. OmmWriter is one of those “distraction-free” writing apps which block out everything except the text you’re working on. OmmWriter went one step further than the usual full-screen mode, adding in calm, meditative background music to the mix.
The app was fine, but if [...]

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Get free MLB.tv access during April with MLB.com At Bat app

If you're a baseball fanatic, the MLB At Bat app is a must-have. It's packed with live updates, scores, stats, news, and videos -- and right now there's another great reason to pick up At Bat. Pony up for At Bat and you'll get to enjoy MLB.tv free for the entire month of April.

The service streams games in HD to just about any connected device you can imagine, from iPhone to PS3, and even Roku boxes and LG Internet-ready televisions. The basic subscription will set you back $99 for the season, and a Premium sub is an extra $20 (and adds DVR functionality, multi-game PIP, and more).

MLB At Bat is available for Android and iOS and both apps run to $14.99 US.

Get free MLB.tv access during April with MLB.com At Bat app originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 04 Apr 2011 08:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Chocomize personalized chocolate: giveaway and discount code

chocomize
Okay, I know what you're thinking: chocolate on Download Squad? That's right! That's because Chocomize is one of the nerdiest ways to get chocolate online: it's a website where you customize your own bar using a multi-step process.

We've covered Chocomize before in our holiday gift guide, so when they reached out to us offering to do a giveaway, we really couldn't resist.

Chocomize is giving away ten gift certificates, each worth $50, for you to create your own customized chocolate. They sent us some pictures of their recent creations, which you can find in the gallery below.

Regardless of the giveaway, you can use the discount code switched to get 10% off any Chocomize order. The code is valid through April 20th - just in time for Easter!

To participate, simply leave a comment. Fine print is after the jump.

Continue reading Chocomize personalized chocolate: giveaway and discount code

Chocomize personalized chocolate: giveaway and discount code originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 06 Apr 2011 09:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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You can now rent Adobe Photoshop for $35 per month, CS 5.5 available soon

Rejoice! No longer will you have to fork over $700 for a Photoshop CS5 license! Adobe has unveiled a new subscription scheme where you can rent the entire Creative Suite, or individual packages, by the month, or for an entire year.

Adobe Photoshop can be yours for $35 per month if you agree to rent it for 12 months, or $49 per month if you require its services for a shorter period. Dreamweaver can be had for even cheaper, at just $19 per month. The entire Master Collection is still rather expensive, though, at $125 per month.

Today, Adobe also ushered in the release of Creative Suite 5.5, and simultaneously upped its release cycle from 18 months to 24 months. This means, if you rent Photoshop for two years, it's actually the same cost as buying it outright. There's no rent-to-own option, though -- so you wouldn't have access to the cheaper upgrade price once Creative Suite 6 rolls around next year. Still, if you need access to Photoshop, After Effects or Premiere for a one-time project, the new rental scheme could be exactly what you're looking for.

In other news, Adobe has announced that it will be launching three rather exciting iPad apps that work in conjunction with Photoshop: Eazel, Nav, and Color Lava. Eazel lets you five-finger paint on your iPad, and export the result into Photoshop; Nav acts as some kind of workspace, brush and menu extension, and the hopefully named Color Lava is a paint mixing palette. The apps are expected to appear in the App Store in the next 30 days.

You can now rent Adobe Photoshop for $35 per month, CS 5.5 available soon originally appeared on Download Squad on Mon, 11 Apr 2011 06:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Monday, 30 May 2011

BattlePaint is an addictive geometric shooter game

battlepaint
In BattlePaint, you play a cube. In fact, you're not even a cube -- just a square. But boy, are you fast! And you can shoot in all directions. That's important, because there are baddies coming in from all over the place.

The "baddies" are swarms of other squares, in all sorts of pretty colors. They track you all over the screen, and you run around very quickly and just shoot, shoot, and shoot some more. If that doesn't sound very emotionally deep, it's because it isn't. But it's fun!

After you shoot a baddy, it splashes paint as it disappears. You need to skate across this blob of paint and "eat it up" to get points. This game is fast. It clocked in at around 60-70 FPS on my system, and was loads of fun to play. It does tend to insult you when you die, though, but don't be offended -- I don't think it's personal.

BattlePaint is an addictive geometric shooter game originally appeared on Download Squad on Wed, 09 Mar 2011 17:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Engadget is live from Computex 2011!

Computex 2011 starts tomorrow, apparently. Not that you'd know it with the monsoon of news that ASUS poured upon Taipei today: the all-new capabilities of the Padfone, the extreme thinness of the UX21 Core i7 laptop, and the breakthrough $200 price tag on the Eee PC X101 MeeGo netbook. ViewSonic also pitched in a 7-inch Honeycomb tablet and a 10-inch Oak Trail slate that runs Windows 7 but can virtualize Android for the needy. But that's just two companies and the show floor hasn't even opened yet! Basically, this year's Computex promises to serve up a little something for gadget lovers of every persuasion. Keep up with all the madness in Taiwan this year by following the torrent of newsy news right over here.

Engadget is live from Computex 2011! originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 30 May 2011 13:13:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wow, Mobile Gaming Looks Awesome With Nvidia's Quad-Core Project Kal-El Chip [Video]

Nvidia's just showing off now. Specifically, their next-gen Tegra quad-core chipset, code-named Project Kal-El. As you can see in the video, the 12-core Nvidia GPU includes support for trie dynamic lighting; the first time we've seen something like this. [Nvidia] More »


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What Makes A Startup Successful? Blackbox Report Aims To Map The Startup Genome

Generally speaking, the odds are stacked heavily against the average startup. The rate of failure among entrepreneurs and startups is startlingly high -- it comes with the territory. Otherwise, entrepreneurs wouldn't be pirates. But, what if there were a way to reduce that failure rate by cracking the formula of startup success? No easy feat to map the double helix of startups, but entrepreneurs are risk-takers by nature, so four of these ambitious international entrepreneurs came together to found the Startup Genome Report, a report that is part of a larger project that dives into the very anatomy of what makes Silicon Valley startups successful -- or not.

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FIFA 11 for iPad Review

Get ready for the best soccer game on the planet to make its presence felt on the ipad. It is surely going to be one of the best ipad games this year.�The controls have been improved with the latest release allow for swipe based movements as well as the original dpad style controls. Love the [...]

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How Can I Play Blu-Ray Discs on My Computer? [Ask Lifehacker]

Dear Lifehacker
My laptop came with a Blu-ray drive, but I can't seem to play Blu-rays with it, and everyone says I need to buy extra expensive software to use it. Even VLC can't play them. (I thought it played everything!) Is paying $50 my only option? More »


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Gargantuan SQL injection infects 3.8 million URLs, installs rogue antivirus

LizaMoon SQL injection rogue AV
Over the last few days, a mass SQL injection attack has been quickly gathering speed. Just three days ago only 28,000 URLs were affected, but at the time of writing, there could be up to 3.8 million infected URLs.

Websense
has a complete write up the attack, dubbed 'LizaMoon,' but here's the basic gist: it looks like someone is exploiting a vulnerabilty (or vulnerabilities) in hundreds of thousands of websites running on Microsoft SQL Server 2003 and 2005. It's not yet known whether this is a vulnerability in SQL Server, or simply a case of outdated, unmaintained, and easily-exploitable CMSes.

The attack takes the form of an SQL injection, which then inserts a link to a JavaScript file hosted on the attacker's server. This is repeated over and over until every Web page in the SQL database has been infected -- and considering 3.8 million URLs have been infected, you can see that this is a very easy, and automated, attack.

Fortunately, the JavaScript isn't particularly malicious: it pops up a rogue AV program called Windows Stability Center, but that's it. Better yet, the rogue antivirus is already recognized by a bunch of real antivirus suites, including Avast, Panda and Microsoft Security Essentials.

The real problem with SQL injection attacks is that there's nothing we surfers can do about them. There will always be old and unmaintained websites, and thus SQL injections will remain one of the easiest and most lucrative tools of hackers and spammers alike. All you can do is keep your antivirus and anti-malware software up to date, and pray.

Gargantuan SQL injection infects 3.8 million URLs, installs rogue antivirus originally appeared on Download Squad on Fri, 01 Apr 2011 05:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Linaro and Samsung roll out Exynos 4210-based Origen development board for $199

You may recall a little group of Linux-loving chums called Linaro, which was formed almost a year ago in the hopes of speeding up Linux development. Today at Computex, the company's taking one step further with the announcement of the Origen development board. Based on Samsung's beefy Exynos 4210 dual core chipset, the kit packs all the essential ports -- including HDMI, USB 2.0 host, SD slot, etc. -- for keen developers to get their hands dirty on, and its base board is also removable to accommodate future chipsets. Potential buyers are told to keep an eye on Insignal, which will soon be offering the basic Origen package for $199, along with optional parts at an extra cost.

Continue reading Linaro and Samsung roll out Exynos 4210-based Origen development board for $199

Linaro and Samsung roll out Exynos 4210-based Origen development board for $199 originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 29 May 2011 23:26:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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What Makes A Startup Successful? Blackbox Report Aims To Map The Startup Genome

Generally speaking, the odds are stacked heavily against the average startup. The rate of failure among entrepreneurs and startups is startlingly high -- it comes with the territory. Otherwise, entrepreneurs wouldn't be pirates. But, what if there were a way to reduce that failure rate by cracking the formula of startup success? No easy feat to map the double helix of startups, but entrepreneurs are risk-takers by nature, so four of these ambitious international entrepreneurs came together to found the Startup Genome Report, a report that is part of a larger project that dives into the very anatomy of what makes Silicon Valley startups successful -- or not.

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Lego Fan Creates 250,000-Brick ?Garrison of Moriah? [Republished]

Usually, the only constraint on building a Lego creation is your imagination. Unless, that is, you build a giant structure that demands its own "Lego room." More »


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