Weekend tech reading: What is XKEYSCORE? How much does security software slow down your PC?

By Julio Franco
Jul 5, 2015
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  1. XKEYSCORE: NSA's Google for the World's Private Communications The NSA’s XKEYSCORE program, first revealed by The Guardian, sweeps up countless people’s Internet searches, emails, documents, usernames and passwords, and other private communications. XKEYSCORE is fed a constant flow of Internet traffic from fiber optic cables that make up the backbone of the world’s communication network, among other sources, for processing. The Intercept

    Samsung, Oppo facing landmark lawsuits over pre-installed apps In a study of 20 smartphones, the commission found several that were sold with apps already installed, many of which could not be removed. It also claimed that some phones “stole” cellular data. Two of the offending models were a Samsung SM-N9008S, which had 44 apps installed prior to purchase, and the Oppo X9007 model, which had 71 such programs, the commission said. Shanghai Daily

    22 towns in Massachusetts are building their own gigabit fiber network Large swaths of rural Western Massachusetts are about to get gigabit fiber internet after residents in 22 separate towns decided to join a government cooperative designed to bring high speed broadband to places where traditional cable companies refuse to offer service. Motherboard

    How much does security software slow down your PC? Independent testing organization AV-Comparatives has conducted a test of 20 leading security products for Windows to assess their impact. Tests were performed on a 64-bit Intel Core i5 machine with Windows 8.1. Full report on AV-Comparatives via Betanews

    21 years after AT&T showed us their vision of the future, how right were they? Around mid-1994, AT&T released a series of ads called “You Will,” highlighting things that seemed completely futuristic at the time, and now seem either normal, quaint, or ridiculously outdated. Directed by David Fincher, who would later go onto direct Fight Club, Gone Girl, and be part of the creation of House of Cards, the ads made most geeks like myself giddy for the future, amazed by what was coming just a few years down the road. Twenty-one years later, I thought it might be fun to take a look at what Fincher and AT&T got right and got wrong. Enjoy! Medium

    Ubuntu Linux lands on Intel Compute Stick Ubuntu Linux is widely deployed on desktops, servers and clouds around the world, and now it's coming to Intel's Compute Stick platform as well. The Intel Compute Stick is a small form factor device, powered by a quad-core Intel Atom processor, that includes a USB port and a micro-SD card slot. Serverwatch

    The best consumer-grade Wi-Fi extender After spending a total of 110 hours researching 25 different Wi-Fi extenders (and testing 10 of them), plus analyzing reviews and owner feedback, we found that the $100 Netgear EX6200 is the best Wi-Fi extender for most people right now. Ars Technica

    Yotaphone says bye-bye to Android Russian manufacturer Yota, well known for its Yotaphone dual screen phones, has announced that its next devices will no longer operate using Android but Sailfish, an alternative developed by former Nokia engineers at Jolla. Yahoo News

    Announcing: Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta If you’re one of the 20 million(!) players who have the PC edition of Minecraft (referred to by techy people as the Java version) you’ll be able to download Windows 10 Edition Beta from the Windows 10 store for free. Other players can get it for the paltry price of $10 during the beta period (the length of which is still being decided). Mojang Blog

    FBI wants Pirate Bay logs to expose copyright trolls Over the past months two Pirate Bay co-founders have been questioned by Swedish police, acting on behalf of the FBI. The officers were looking for information on Pirate Bay backups and logs as part of an investigation into the honeypot scheme of the notorious Prenda copyright trolls. Torrent Freak

    No Internet? No Problem. Inside Cuba's Tech Revolution Hundreds of thousands of Cubans in recent years have been able to obtain licenses for small businesses, albeit only in a limited set of service categories such as restaurants, hair salons and translation. Media remains under strict government control. An online magazine? Pedraja was laughed off even before he could finish his pitch. Forbes

    How to move a PC game to another hard drive (without re-downloading it) So you’re running out of hard drive space (maybe on that fast-but-tiny SSD of yours), and you need to move a few of your PC games to another hard drive. Don’t uninstall and re-download them! You can actually move your games to a new drive without having to wait hours to reinstall each one. Lifehacker

    Tasty Spam: Ransomware hiding behind resumes Criminals are getting creative about getting users to open up malicious file attachments in emails. Cloudmark tells us what warning signs to look for the next time a resume lands in your inbox. PCMag

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  2. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,604   +411

    "In the legal action, the commission is seeking a ruling that would make Samsung and Oppo legally obliged to make clear on the packaging of their smartphones what apps have been installed and also to provide instructions on how they can be removed."

    My fingers and toes are crossed for this outcome.
    mosu likes this.
  3. veLa

    veLa TS Evangelist Posts: 702   +165

    I guess they were too good to test Comodo?
  4. Siavash

    Siavash TS Enthusiast Posts: 65   +19

    I've just uninstalled Avast antivirus from my machine a few days ago. Boot times are decreased by ~10secs, and a ~10secs delay is removed whenever inserting external storage devices. I'm planning to use an offline (no realtime protection) virus scanner from now on :)
  5. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,147   +488

    Have you even wondered why AT&T failed to bring you all this stuff that others have brought to you instead? You will and AT&T will still suck.

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