Google catches a lot of flak over privacy issues for its various services, but at the same time, the company knows how to create some goodwill for itself, too. Apparently in a giving mood as of late, Google is footing the $600,000 bill to bring free Wi-Fi hotspots to at least 31 city parks, plazas, and open spaces across San Francisco. The installation of free Wi-Fi service will kick off in December 2013 and is expected to be complete by Spring 2014.
Apple recently pulled the plug on its developer portal after an "intruder attempted to secure personal information" from the site, the Cupertino company indicated in an email and in a message on its website. The company went on to say that while sensitive information was encrypted and cannot be accessed, it couldn't rule out the possibility that some developers' names, mailing addresses, and/or email addresses may have been accessed, and indeed they were.
If you're one of the approximately 1.8 million registered users at Canonical's UbuntuForums.org portal, then consider your login details compromised. You should have received an email from "The Canonical Sysadmins" this morning alerting you to the security breach that allowed a remote attacker to make off with your username, email address, and an encrypted copy of your password after breaking into the forum's database.
Google has begun updating Chrome users on Windows and Mac with version 28 (you can manually check by selecting "About Google Chrome" from the customization pull-down menu). Windows users are the bigger beneficiary, as they're the ones who will begin to see richer notifications for apps (shipping to Mac soon), a feature that was previous only available in the beta build of Chrome but is now accessible to everyone.
While many people in the U.S. are planning barbecues with family and friends, an evening of fireworks, and other ways to celebrate Independence Day, thousands of others are planning to join nationwide rallies in protest against recently revealed spying activities conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). Dubbed "Restore the Fourth," the effort was put together by Reddit and has drawn support from a number of other online entities, including Mozilla.
AltaVista is shutting down, and if you find that the least bit surprising, it's probably because you're shocked to discover it still exists. Well, it does, for a few more days anyway. On July 8, 2013, Yahoo will pull the plug on one of the web's earliest search engines, ending a run that spanned nearly two decades (AltaVista launched on December 15, 1995). How did it come to this? Google, of course.
It's the dawn of a new era for Opera Software. The Scandinavian browser maker just finalized its Opera 15.0 browser, but more than just a version upgrade, this latest release is packing a brand new engine underneath the hood. Pop the top and you'll no longer find Presto working its magic, as Opera Software decided to switch to Google's Chromium-based Blink rendering engine, which is a fork of WebKit.
Boutique builder tries hands at selling peripherals
You know Origin PC as a boutique builder of high-end gaming desktops (Genesis, Millennium, Millennium RTS, Chronos, and Big O) and notebooks (EON15-S and EON17-S), but if you're not in the market for a new system, the company might still have what you're looking for. From t-shirts and beanies to mousepads and headsets and everything in between, it's all available in Origin PC's new online gear shop.
One of the major benefits of upgrading to Windows 8.1 when it becomes available is the inclusion of Internet Explorer 11. The touch-friendly browser represents a pretty significant update to IE's code base, with support being offered for WebGL and Google's SPDY protocol, as well as improved HTML5 support. While the new browser is shipping with Windows 8.1, Microsoft is planning to port it over to Windows 7.
There's an interesting article in AdWeek discussing Mozilla's plans to eventually enable its Do-Not-Track feature by default in an upcoming version of its Firefox browser, which would effectively block third-party tracking cookies. Mozilla announced plans to implement DNT as a default setting months ago, though as recently as last month, the browser maker said it still needed to perform more testing. As it stands, there's no concrete release date for when Firefox will turn on the feature, we only know it's coming, and advertisers aren't the least bit happy about it.