Mike Becky

Tag Archive for ‘Ars Technica’

Glassdoor Adds Real Names Without Consent ➝

Ashley Belanger, writing for Ars Technica:

Glassdoor, where employees go to leave anonymous reviews of employers, has recently begun adding real names to user profiles without users’ consent, a Glassdoor user named Monica was shocked to discover last week.

What an unbelievable, ridiculous thing to do.

➝ Source: arstechnica.com

With Help From Google, Impersonated Brave.com Website Pushes Malware ➝

Dan Goodin, writing for Ars Technica:

Scammers have been caught using a clever sleight of hand to impersonate the website for the Brave browser and using it in Google ads to push malware that takes control of browsers and steals sensitive data.

The attack worked by registering the domain xn--brav-yva[.]com, an encoded string that uses what’s known as punycode to represent bravė[.]com, a name that when displayed in browsers address bars is confusingly similar to brave.com, where people download the Brave browser. Bravė[.]com (note the accent over the letter E) was almost a perfect replica of brave.com, with one crucial exception: the “Download Brave” button grabbed a file that installed malware known both as ArechClient and SectopRat.

This type of domain impersonation seems almost a little too easy. But I’m not really sure what could be done about it.

➝ Source: arstechnica.com

Google Reduces JPEG File Size By 35% ➝

Sebastian Anthony, writing for Ars Technica:

Google has developed and open-sourced a new JPEG algorithm that reduces file size by about 35 percent—or alternatively, image quality can be significantly improved while keeping file size constant. Importantly, and unlike some of its other efforts in image compression (WebP, WebM), Google’s new JPEGs are completely compatible with existing browsers, devices, photo editing apps, and the JPEG standard.

This is exciting news, especially since existing applications are already capable of viewing images compressed with this new system. I hope web developers quickly adopt this new algorithm to help shrink page sizes. And I wouldn’t mind the folks at Workflow adopting the algorithm for their image compression action, which is what I use when publishing images on the site.

Using the New Apple TV to Emulate Classic Game Consoles ➝

A great guide by Andrew Cinningham showing how to install emulators on the new Apple TV. The process looks simple enough — the perfect project for killing time during the holidays.

Bellevue Fine Art Found That ‘Empty’ Epson Ink Cartridges Are Still 20% Full ➝

My fiancée’s a teacher and frequently uses our home printer to prepare worksheets for her class. And just like nearly every other printer user, it always feels like we need to buy ink way more often than we should. I’m certainly not going to go to all the trouble weighing and pulling apart my ink cartridges, but if I did, I’d probably find similar results. This is downright abhorrent.

(Via Ars Technica.)

Ars Technica Compares Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program to the Four Major Carrier’s Plans ➝

Jon Brodkin, writing for Ars Technica:

Apple is now selling iPhones on installment plans, giving customers the ability to pay a monthly charge for a phone and upgrade to a new one every year. The four major carriers in the US already offer phones on installment plans, but Apple’s new “iPhone Upgrade Program” provides yet another option that might be better for certain customers.

Apple’s plan comes with AppleCare+ and is a little bit more expensive than the other carriers, but personally, I wouldn’t touch any of these plans with a ten foot pole. I’m more than willing to purchase my phone from AT&T in order to get two-year contract pricing. I’m not concerned about getting “locked in” as many carriers will pay your early termination fee and I’d rather pay more upfront in order to save money in the long run.

App Thinning Will Be a Major Boon ➝

Andrew Cunningham, writing for Ars Technica:

Apple already talked in the keynote about how it had reduced the amount of space required by the iOS 9 OTA update from around 4.6GB to 1.3GB, but a more transformative technology only got a passing mention: App Thinning. In short, apps in iOS 9 will leave your phone or tablet with more free space in the first place.

My fiancée has been using a 16GB iPhone 5S for almost two years and has definitely felt hindered by its limited storage space. She often has to pull all the photos off of her camera roll, make tough decisions about what music to sync from iTunes, and delete apps from her device to give herself some breathing room. If App Thinning does what it claims it’s going to be a big deal for iPhone owners with 8-16GB of storage.


Ars Technica Goes Hands-on with HTC One M9 ➝

The other android smartphone announcement I paid attention to today was the HTC One M9. I like the design of the device a lot more than the Samsung Galaxy S6 or S6 Edge and I think keeping the design virtually unchanged from last year’s model was a smart idea. There isn’t much of a reason to build a drastically different phone design every single year. And, I think their industrial designers might be able to come up with more interesting design changes if they only need to do so once every two years.