Stop Using Internet Explorer Immediately, Warns Homeland Security

Both the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and the UK analog are warning users around the world not to use Internet Explorer. The pointed warning to not use IE (any version of Internet Explorer) follows the discovery of “active exploitation of a use-after-free vulnerability in Microsoft Internet Explorer,” and comes from both US CERT (Homeland Security’s Computer Emergency Readiness Team), and the UK’s CERT.

Yahoo and AOL DMARC Reject Policy Leads to Disabling of Microsoft Email Addresses on Mailing Lists

Now that Yahoo and AOL are both stating through the DMARC p=reject that any email coming from a yahoo or aol address that isn’t sent from a yahoo or aol server should be rejected (bounced), problems are cropping up for Hotmail, Outlook, Live.com and MSN users, who are finding their own email addresses being removed from mailing lists for no apparent reason. But there is a reason.

Employees Hurt by Illegal Non-Poach Agreement Between Apple, Google, Intel, IBM, eBay, Microsoft, and Others to Get Day in Court

Employees of more than a dozen high tech giants were subject to a secret agreement (see the smoking gun documents) between the companies to not poach each other’s employees. The deal, labelled “Techtopus” by journalist Mark Ames, included Apple, Google, Intel, Adobe, Dell, IBM, eBay, Microsoft, Comcast, Clearchannel, Dreamworks and Pixar, and British public relations company WPP (which stands for Wire and Plastics Products – they started out as a manufacturer of shopping baskets).

The Difference Between a Smartphone, a Feature Phone, and a Dumb Phone

With the news of Microsoft acquiring Nokia, there has been a resurgence in the news of the terms “feature phone” and “dumb phone” (both as contrasted to a “smartphone” – and why is “smartphone” one word, but not “featurephone” or “dumbphone”?) So, some of you may be wondering “just what is a feature phone? And how is it different from a dumb phone or a smartphone?” We explain.

Microsoft Discloses Everything it Can in Wake of NSA & PRISM Leak, Asks Goverment Permission to Disclose Even More

Microsoft has disclosed that it has sought permission from the U.S. government to disclose to the public how it handles requests from the Federal government for user data. Microsoft says “We believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees our freedom to share more information with the public, yet the Government is stopping us.”

Microsoft Announces Changes to Xbox One – Internet Connection No Longer Required, No Limits on Sharing Games

A couple of weeks ago we talked about the concerns that many had that the new Microsoft Xbox One had built-in spying capabilities, especially as it needed to be connected to the Internet at least 1 hour a day. In fact with the leaks about the NSA PRISM program some were even wondering whether the new Xbox One would have an ‘NSA Spycam’ (in fact we had someone searching for that on our site).

The NSA PRISM Spying Program with Facebook, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Verizon and Others Explained in Plain English

The Internet, the country, and indeed the whole world is abuzz with the news of PRISM, the no-longer-secret program of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) first exposed by Glenn Greenwald of the British newspaper The Guardian, through which the United States federal government is accessing and mining all sorts of user data from the major ISPs and possibly cell phone companies. Data which is potentially about just about anybody and everybody, even you. The list of companies and ISPs alleged to be involved with PRISM, by which we mean allowing the government to data mine their users’ data, is impressive (read as “scary”) indeed, although most of them are quick to deny it. However, we have evidence (see screenshots below) that even though they are denying it, Apple, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, PalTalk, YouTube, Skype, and AOL are all involved. There are rumours of DropBox and Amazon joining. And Verizon is also giving the Feds access to their user data. But as 1984 as this all is, we really only have one question: why is anybody surprised?

Microsoft Tries to Allay Fears That the New XBox One Will be Spying On You

There has been a lot of speculation that the new Microsoft XBox One (XBox 1) will essentially be spying on its owners. Well, ‘spying’ may be too strong a word but, at least, that it will have the potential to spy on its owners when combined with the required Kinect motion-detecting web-cam, an ever-vigilant watching and listening device connected to the Internet. These concerns arose after rumours started spreading that the new XBox One required a near 24/7 Internet connection and requires the Kinect.

Microsoft Fined $732 Million for Failing to Honor Settlement Agreement

Microsoft has been fined to the tune of $732 million by the European Union, for failing to adhere to the requirements of a settlement agreement that resulted from Microsoft’s restrictive shipping of Windows computers pre-loaded with Internet Explorer as the default web browser, and with no obvious alternative. Joaquin Almunia, competition commissioner for the European Union, noted that it had been a mistake to let Microsoft monitor their own compliance with the agreement.

Senator Patrick Leahy and the ECPA Privacy Amendment That Proposed Only a Subpeona, With a Warrant Not Required, to Search Private Email

Update: We have just learned that Senator Leahy has withdrawn his support for the amendments to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). He received resounding criticism from many groups and private citizens who felt that the revisions are unconstitutional and a gross invasion of privacy. In a series of tweets, below, Senator Leahy said that he did not support the bill amendments, and seems to deny that he ever did.

A “Do Not Track” Button in Every Browser: Google, Firefox, Microsoft and Apple Formally Agree

Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Firefox’s Mozilla, have at last formally agreed to include a “Do Not Track” button (DNT button) in every browser. {Let’s take this opportunity to explain that the way this works is that using the “Do Not Track” option inserts a special “Do Not Track” header into your browser. In fact, as we shall see, there may not even be a DNT button involved – you may need to be a super-user type to even find the “Do Not Track” option.} Their capitulation comes just before the Obama administration’s appeal to Congress to pass a “privacy bill of rights”, but don’t expect it to mean that they won’t still be mining your data. (P.S. See below for how to enable Do Not Track in Safari.)