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Today’s Guests: Justin Robert Young, DTNS contributor and co-host of Night Attack, Weird Things and the JuRYmore podcast
Reuters reports Google and Mozilla will no longer trust new domain certificates issued by the China Internet Network Information Center, which allocates and certifies IP addresses and domain names. The actions come after CNNIC issued an unrestricted intermediary certificate to Egypt’s MCS Holdings. Through human error the certificate was installed in a firewall device and generated certificates for domain names owned by Google, making man in the middle attacks possible. Google has removed CNNIC root certificates from Chrome though it is whitelisting existing certificates for a limited time. Ars Technica reports Mozilla will no longer trust certificates with a notBefore date on or after April 1st. Both companies said CNNIC can reapply for full inclusion. CNNIC called the Google decision “unacceptable and unintelligible.”
Reuters reports that Microsoft’s popular mobile scanning app Office Lens is coming to iOS and Android. The app uses the camera to take a photo of an item, crops the image and stores it in Microsoft’s One Note or OneDrive cloud storage app, or can save the image as a word file, Powerpoint presentation or PDF. It uses OCR for searchable text, and it’s FREE.
It’s time to check in on which Silicon Valley company Europe is regulating today! WSJ says the European Commission asking companies that filed complaints against Google for permission to publish some information in advance filing charges in the five-year-old antitrust investigation.
I got one! Marketwatch says government privacy regulators from France, Spain and Italy have joined the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium investigating Facebook handles personal information. At issue is combining information from multiple services like Instagram and WhatsApp for adsales purposes, and using like buttons to track browsing.
And for the hat trick. Don’t think you’re getting away clean Apple. Reuters says antitrust regulators are investigating Beats deals with record labels to see if they unfairly limit access to music for rival services. The EU sent out questionnaires about licensing terms and wants answers by April 17.
Just a heads up that David Pierce over at Wired has an excellent in-depth piece on the Apple Watch called “Iphone Killer: The Secret History of the Apple Watch.” Through interviews with Apple’s Kevin Lynch And Alan Dye, he tells how the watch evolved from a modified iPhone strapped to a wrist to a device with taptic feedback and finely-tuned interface.
The “App Runtime for Chrome” is a beta program that enables Android apps to run on Chrome OS. Ars Technica reports that Google will now allow any developer to run their app on ARC and allow ARC to officially run on Windows Mac and Linux versions of the Chrome browser through the Chrome App ARC Welder. So yeah Android apps can now run anywhere but iOS.
Kotaku reports the latest PS4 firmware update added a feature called Zoom which helps visually impaired players see things like text better. When in an interface or when the game is paused a button combo can zoom in on the screen and the zoomed area can be moved around with the directional pad.The firmware also allows customization of controller layouts.
Engadget reports Samsung announced its latest set of 4K TVs. The JS9500 coming later this month starts at $6500, with a curved screen, nanocrystal technology, full array local dimming backlight and PurColor. You can get it in 65-inch or 88-inch sizes. The most inexpensive of the bunch is the JU6700 series, which starts at $949.99 for the 40-inch sometime this spring.
News From You
h82or8 sent us the Lifehacker post on the results of an independent Security Audit of TrueCrypt. The results? There was no evidence of backdoors or serious flaws. Researchers did uncover a few issues regarding the random number generator and the possibility of “cache timing” attacks but these were considered a minimal threat. Bottom line TrueCrypt is still secure for most usage scenarios despite the project being halted indefinitely last year. The bigger problem is the piling up of bugs and the legal limitations of the license that prevent forks even now that the project is abandoned. Lifehacker recommends using its open-source successor, VeraCrypt.
starfuryzeta shared an ArsTechnica story that Firefox 37 has opportunistic encryption turned on by default. Opportunistic encryption, or OE, is a bridge between plaintext HTTP connections and HTTPS connections. Essentially it encrypts data to all servers configured for OE. A company might choose to do OE instead of HTTPS because it has a bunch of legacy content that will be really expensive to migrate. Critics say that’s the problem. OE could encourage delay of HTTPS implementation. Also OE can’t cryptographically validate that the server is who it says it is. Opportunistic Encryption is not as secure as HTTPS but for the end user, it’s better than nothing.
Racer_Rick submitted the Verge article about Comcast announcing 2 Gbps symmetrical fiber to the home service coming to 1.5 million residents in Atlanta starting next month. Customers must live in close proximity to Comcast’s existing fiber and accept installation of “professional-grade” equipment. No word on cost. Comcast also said it intends to expand 2gb service to 18 million homes by the end of 2015 and at least gigabit service to almost all customers in its footprint by the end of 2016.
Pick of the Day: This Week in Science
Andrew from strangely sunny Portland Oregon here and I would like to suggest the show This Week In Science with Dr. Kiki. I know that you (Tom) are aware of TWIS but I think a lot of the DTNS audience would really enjoy it. Thank you for being my daily news source for the last couple of years and I hope there are many more to come.
Message of the Day
I just thought I could add some more context to your great accessibility discussion yesterday. I’ve been a Program Manager in Windows since Windows 7 so I’m fairly well versed in how accessibility works internally.
I was sad to hear Allison’s examples, I didn’t realize those crashes existed. I know from firsthand experience that every feature owner on every team absolutely needs to review accessibility as a core tenet before it’s approved to ship in any release. It’s right up there with privacy and security as a non-optional tenet, and will be considered a ship blocker if accessibility is not reviewed and accounted for. This has been true since long before Windows 7, well over a decade.
The way Windows works sounds very similar to iOS and Mac OS. If you use native controls, everything should be automatic from the developer’s perspective. The problems arise when developers create their own custom controls, which is often the case for many legitimate reasons.
One note, the “start button” example Allison pointed out was simply the solution for accessible users since when Windows 8 shipped, launching start required hovering the mouse in the lower left corner. For keyboard navigation there was a fake “start button” there, which also launched the start screen for screen reader users. Doesn’t sound like a bug, just a misunderstanding 🙂
Tomorrow: Headlines only show