Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for June 10th, 2017

The latest update for privacy-minded folks’ favorite way to surf the web should make others’ attempts at tracking what they do even more difficult. The Tor browser’s 7. 0 version introduces a sandbox feature that, according to an interview on the Tor blog , should “make life a lot harder” for people using a Firefox exploit to discern the identities of a user. “It’s like Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, ” Tor developer Yawning Angel said. “The only reality Tor Browser knows is inside of the sandbox (cave). We prevent it from interacting with the rest of your computer (the outside world), except via the Tor Network (shadows on the wall).” The college philosophy class you barely remember aside, what the sandbox does is hides your files, your real IP address and your MAC address from the browser. Therefore, “the amount of information Tor Browser will learn about your computer, and thereby you, will be limited, ” Angel said. At the time of that interview last October, the sandbox was still unstable and very much in testing, but the recent update has brought the digital safe-zone online for Linux and macOS, and by default. Next up? Sandbox protection for Windows users. The update also imposes a few new requirements for users on Windows and macOS: Tor apparently won’t work on non-SSE2-capable Windows hardware and you need to be running OSX 10.9 or higher on Apple machines. Considering that last year a federal judge said that the FBI no longer needs warrants to hack a computer connected to the internet, this is an important update. “Even an internet user who employs the Tor network in an attempt to mask his or her IP address lacks a reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her IP address, ” judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr commented at the time. For the full rundown of what’s changed with the browser, hit the source links below. Source: Tor (1) , (2)

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Pepe the Frog is an amphibia non grata at the Apple App Store, according to a rejection letter sent to a developer. The letter, which the developer posted to r/The_Donald subreddit (because of course he did), argues that Pepe is “considered objectionable content” and is therefore banned from appearing in any app in the Apple ecosystem. “My friend and I came up with the idea of combining shitposting with autistic screeching, so we made this just for fun, ” wrote the developer, who seems nice and not at all like the sort of person who would make fun of the disabled for entertainment. The game itself appears to be a run of the mill Flappy Bird ripoff but with more intentional yelling. And while it has been banished from the App Store, the game is still available on Google Play. Via: Mashable Source: Motherboard

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We’re still a couple of days away from Microsoft officially revealing its Project Scorpio Xbox, but details continue to dribble out. Xbox & Windows gaming platform VP Mike Ybarra tweeted that the team “Unlocked extra GB of RAM for (game developers), now 9GB of GDDR5.” The console’s specs include 12GB of GDDR5 RAM built-in (the devkits that we’ve seen feature 24GB of RAM), but as with other game systems, some of its resources are reserved to handle system features, multitasking apps and other non-game elements. We’ll keep tuning Scorpio to empower creators to share the best versions of their games. Unlocked extra GB of RAM for them, now 9GB of GDDR5 — Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) June 8, 2017 Sometimes system optimizations can free up resources, as we saw with the PS3 , or disabling features, as we’ve seen with the Xbox One using Kinect or Snap picture-in-picture . Early demos of the Project Scorpio hardware have shown its ability to handle 4K, 60fps gaming, but every bit of extra RAM doesn’t hurt, as Ybarra explained that even when games don’t use the extra RAM directly (read: unoptimized existing Xbox One games), it will be available for caching to speed things up. The only thing that hasn’t expanded, however, is the space on your DVR, which you may need since Xbox boss Phil Spencer says the company’s Sunday afternoon press conference is likely to stretch beyond the scheduled 90 minutes. Games that don’t use the full 9GB, the rest of the RAM will be used as a cache (making things load way faster, etc.). All games = better. https://t.co/yZTGOvBJRx — Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) June 8, 2017 Source: Mike Ybarra (Twitter)

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