Last updated: September 15, 2018
Tech Wrap-Up Week 35 2018. A look back at this week’s most engaging stories from the Tech Help Knowledgebase social media feeds. We order the story summaries below by user engagement (posts with the most likes, shares, clicks, and detail expands) and by the number of impressions they received. Stories are in descending order with the most engaging story at the top. Our human-curated social media feeds include links to technology news, how-to and help articles, and video tutorials for common issues.
Stories curated for our feeds are written by our staff writers or culled from third-party sources that produce content peripherally related to the categories covered by our site. See the summaries and links below for the week’s top stories by user engagement. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and YouTube to interact with our feeds.
This Week’s Tech Wrap-Up
Chromebook users can now accept credit card payments from a Square card reader, according to a Square blog post. The San Francisco-based company also supports credit card payments on Apple computers running either Safari or Chrome web browser. Its introduction provides business owners with a lower cost hardware option to accept payments from credit cards.
2. What to look out for when buying a Chromebook (Android Police)
Everyone wants a cheap laptop. Chromebooks come in all shapes, sizes, and power, and not all of them are cheap. Android Police provides some good buying tips if you’re in the market for one. They advise would-be owners to look at the support life for the model you’re considering, CPU’s to avoid, and Android app support.
3. Windows 0-day pops up out of
nowhere Twitter (The Register)
Replete with a proof of concept on Github, CERT/CC verified a privilege escalation bug in Windows. Verification of the 0-day vulnerability in the Advanced Local Procedure Call (ALPC) interface occurred on a fully-patched 64-bit Windows 10 machine. Read the CERT/CC advisory here.
4. Pay From Bitcoin Mainnet to Lightning and Back: Submarine Swaps Are Now Live (Bitcoin Magazine)
The Lightning Network is a peer-to-peer payment protocol layer that runs on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. It provides an off-chain mechanism for fast and cheap transactions. Off-chain users are detached from on-chain users. The off-chain lightning users fund lightning network payment channels between each other. Submarine swaps remedy this detachment using a swap provider to bridge the gap between on-chain and off-chain users.
A Faketoshi tweet turned cryptocurrency enthusiasts into mathematicians-for-a-day. The challenge was how long it takes to download a 32MB block over a 56k modem. After much adieu, answers emerged, only to instigate another debate about measurement standardization. Some crypto muckety-mucks chimed in, so it is worth a read for entertainment value alone.
Firefox Nightly, where users test beta features, includes the new anti-tracking measures. That functionality rolls out soon to the production version of Firefox. Part of the intention behind anti-tracking is to thwart cryptomining scripts. Expect to see it on by default in the forthcoming Firefox 63 release toward the end of October.
7. Conversational Semantics (A List Apart)
Increased usage of digital assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Alexa for reading content draws attention to how content sounds. This piece dives into suggestions on how to code websites with HTML and ARIA so interactions are more natural.
Brave’s browser focuses on privacy, security, and speed. Out of the box, privacy and speed come from advertising and tracker blocking, aided by HTTPS Everywhere for enhanced security. Features like Private Tabs with Tor also supplement Brave’s privacy and security offerings. This minor release provides support for window.prompt, and grants users 25 free BAT tokens to dole out to favorite publishers to boot (llama to boot to boot).
Expect an update to the Linux-based Tails OS in early September. Tails 3.9, currently available in release candidate form, includes support for unlocking VeraCrypt and TrueCrypt encrypted drives, along with upgrades to Tor browser and Thunderbird.
10. WireGuard VPN review: A new type of VPN offers serious advantages (Ars Technica)
When considering VPN’s, it becomes critical to separate the wheat from the chaff. Your privacy and security are at stake after all. Ars Technica describes WireGuard as a new type of VPN. Not only is this VPN surrounded by good buzzwords like free and open source, it’s easy to use, easy to maintain, and more secure than other offerings. This piece tops 2000 words and digs into the details.
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Henry Irvine, Contributing Technology Writer, translates more than a decade of internet technology experience in product and customer relationship management into practical help and how-to content. Look for him on Bay Area trails, music venues, or sausage shacks when he’s not writing. Don’t call him Hank if you see him. Seriously. Hank on Twitter