Lenovo To Stop Installing Unprotected Software

lenovoChina’s Lenovo Group Ltd, had said on Thursday that it would no longer pre-install software that cybersecurity experts perceived to be malicious and vulnerable to hacking.

The world’s largest PC maker, Lenovo had come under fire from security researchers who said that the company pre-installed a software from a company called Superfish on consumer laptops that hijacked web connections and allowed them to be spied upon.

Users reported as early as last June that a program, also called Superfish, was ‘hardware’, or ‘software’ that automatically displays adverts.

Superfish would no longer be pre-installed and has been disabled on all of Lenovo’s product in the market since January, when the PC maker also stopped pre-installing the software, said a Lenovo spokesman.

Superfish was included on some consumer notebooks shipped between September and December, he said.

CEO of U.S.-based security research firm, Errata Security, Robert Graham, said Superfish was a malicious software that hijacks and throws open encrypted connections, paving way for hackers to control these connections and eavesdrop, in what is known as a man-in-the-middle attack.

“This hurts (Lenovo’s) reputation,” Graham said. “It demonstrates the deep flaw that the company neither knows nor cares what it bundles on their laptops.”

Graham and other experts said Lenovo was negligent, and computers could still be vulnerable even after uninstalling Superfish.

Superfish throws open encryptions by giving itself the authority to take over connections and declare them as trusted, when they are not.

“The way the Superfish functionality appears to work means that they must be intercepting traffic in order to insert the ads,” said Eric Rand, a researcher at Brown Hat Security. “This amounts to a wiretap.”

Concerns about cyber security have dogged Chinese firms, including telecoms equipment maker, Huawei Technologies Ltd over ties to China’s government and smart phone maker, Xiaomi Inc over data privacy.

Google To Introduce Voice Control With Chrome Beta

In the world of computer technology and smartphones, daily innovation is seen as part of the industry with stiff competitions amongst the game changers.

Interaction with our desktop and devices these days does not require our physical contact again and this Google has taken further with the introduction of voice control along with the introduction of its browser Chrome Beta.

Google has been making a lot of headway with voice search as of late, having introduced its voice-focused Search app for iOS in October.

Google is giving developers some big new voice-centered tools that will allow them to integrate speech recognition into their web apps.

There are a lot of pretty obvious applications for the functionality, which will eventually allow Chrome users to dictate search queries, documents, and other text inputs. While there’s not much new ground being broken there, it won’t be long until developers figure out other, more interesting uses for the new voice API.

Watch video to see how Chrome’s voice recognition will look.

Android-powered desktop unveiled by Motorola

Phone-making company, Motorola has introduced new desktop computer powered by Android which also offers cloud-based services provided by Wasu, including games, high-definition television and movies and web browsing.

A partnership agreement was done between Motorola Mobility and Wasu Digital a cable and telecommunications service provider to launch a new android powered computer “HMC3260″”.

The HMC3260, which is dubbed as CloudBroadBand, features an 8.5 inch LED touchscreen, Android 2.3.4 operating system and broadband internet access through EuroDOCSIS.

It also features 1 GB DDR RAM, 4 GB NAND flash memory, LAN and Freescale i.MX53 ARM Cortex A8 1GHz.

With the new CloudBroadBand, Wasu’s customers can access to a host of cloud entertainment services such as an on-demand high-definition media, games, applications and storage space.

Motorola Home Division Asia vice president and regional general manager Kevin Keefe said the Motorola HMC3260 provides subscribers with a fast broadband connection and also offers cloud-based services provided by Wasu, including games, high-definition television and movies, web browsing and more.

The powerful touchscreen interface capitalizes on the power and flexibility of Android to enable Wasu to differentiate itself from operators who only offer a pipeline for data.

Mozilla to drop Firefox support for Apple’s OS X Leopard

Mozilla has decided to end support for Apple’s OS X 10.5 or Leopard, the developers of the company said.

According to PCWorld, the move was necessary as the builds will fail to run on anything less than Mac OS X 10.6.with the advent of Firefox 16 in October.

This decision had already been since last month when Josh Aas one of the Firefox platform group said on Bugzilla.

OS X 10.6 is Snow Leopard, the 2009 follow-up to Leopard, which shipped in October 2007.

By Mozilla’s release calendar, Firefox 16 is to debut Oct. 9. Firefox 17, the first that will not be pushed to Leopard users, is slated for a Nov. 20 launch.

Mozilla is following Google’s lead in dropping Leopard; Google released its last browser for OS X 10.5, Chrome 21, on July 31.

Although Mozilla talked about ditching OS X 10.5 support in December 2011, it decided then to keep Apple’s OS on the list. Discussions among engineers, managers and contributors restarted in late June.

According to Mozilla, Leopard’s importance is diminishing. “Mac OS X 10.5 users have been declining by 1% per month, as a share of our total Mac OS X users,” said Aas. “This, combined with the impact of the release of Mac OS X 10.8 [Mountain Lion], means that Mac OS X 10.5 users will likely make up around 10% of Mac OS X users when Firefox 17 ships.”

As of June 21, 17% of Firefox 13’s Mac users were running Leopard, with larger shares on Snow Leopard (35%) and Lion (48%), Aas said. Only 4.6% of all Firefox 13 users were running it on a Mac.

Like Google, another reason Mozilla cited for dumping Leopard was that Apple has also ended support.

The last time Apple patched bugs in Leopard was November 2011, and its most recent security update, in May 2012, disabled older copies of Flash Player to stymie Flashback rather than fix specific security flaws. Nor has Apple maintained Safari on OS X 10.5. The final update was issued over a year ago.

One project that Mozilla has been pushing is a browser compatible with Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system.

In a blog post last week, Brian Bondy, a Firefox platform engineer who has been working on a “Metro” version for Windows 8, said that the browser has “progressed steadily,” adding that Mozilla’s goal is to ship a preview by the end of next month.

Windows 8, which is available, now to some Microsoft customers, hits retail on Oct. 26.

Mozilla was the first Microsoft rival to announce it would create a combination desktop and Metro-style browser to compete with Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) on Windows 8.

Google later joined the race, and in June beat Mozilla to the preview punch by releasing an in-progress browser that runs in the Metro user interface (UI).

Samsung sets UK release date for Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet

Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet will be going on sale in the United Kingdom from the 16th of August, the Electronics’ giant has revealed.

The Suwon hardware maker also revealed the necessity of releasing the device as it will serve as a follow-up to the Galaxy Note phone-tablet hybrid.

Also a full-blown tablet in terms of workability, the second Note device comes with a 10.1-inch touchscreen rather than the 5.3-inch display seen on its predecessor.

Through social media network Twitter Samsung announced officially that UK buyers can pick up the Galaxy Note 10.1 at its store in the Westfield Centre in East London come Thursday the 16th of August.

Upon release, the tablet will connect via Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi plus HSPA+, though a LTE-capable model is slated to appear in the future.

Samsung has not given any hint of pricing yet, but the info around is that the 16GB version at about £480 for delivery on 24 August.

Also Online seller Mobicity is offering the same model at about £650 including VAT, but its stock is not built for the UK, according to a sales agent. By way of comparison, the Galaxy Tab 10.1 sells for £300 on Samsung’s online store.

The tablet, which resembles its Galaxy Tab 10.1 stablemates, comes with a stylus so users can make notes or drawings more easily. It is expected to run on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, rather than the Jelly Bean 4.1 version of the OS already rolled out to some Samsung Nexus devices.

First unveiled at Mobile World Congress, the Galaxy Note 10.1 comes with a 1.4GHz quad-core chip, 2GB of RAM and two cameras, front and back. Buyers have a choice of 16, 32 or 64GB of storage built in.