Weekly Tech Wrap-Up 10-7-2023, a week in which the EFF urged Chrome users to disable Privacy Sandbox settings, the iPhone 15 overheating fix, how organizations avoid being the next cybersecurity headline, and dumb cybersecurity mistakes captivated our readers the most. Today, we look back at this week’s ten most engaging articles from the Tech Help Knowledgebase social media feeds. We order the summaries below by user engagement — the stories our users interacted with the most. Articles are in descending order, with the most engaging story first. 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 from our staff writers or culled from third-party sources that produce content related to the categories covered by our site. See the summaries and links below for this week’s top stories by user engagement. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to interact with our feeds.
Top 10 Most Engaging Stories This Week
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has advised users to disable several settings in Google Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox or consider switching to other browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari. The Privacy Sandbox, contrary to its name, is not private nor a sandbox, but a collection of advertising, analytics, anti-spam, and anti-tracking technologies. Its aim is to replace third-party cookies. However, the online advertising industry is not convinced by Google’s replacement technology. One of the proposals that the EFF finds most concerning is Topics, an API for delivering ads based on interests inferred from the web histories of Chrome users.
9to5Mac discusses the overheating issue experienced by iPhone 15 users and Apple’s subsequent fix. The problem, which affected 57% of iPhone 15 users according to a poll, was initially noticed after users received their new iPhones, with some reporting that their phones were almost too hot to hold in certain circumstances. Apple confirmed the problem and attributed it to a bug in iOS 17 and issues with certain apps like Instagram and Uber. The company issued a fix in iOS 17.0.3, which seemed to resolve the issue without throttling the performance of the A17 Pro chip. 9to5Mac used a thermal imaging kit to confirm the effectiveness of the fix, showing a significant decrease in temperature after the update.
Recent incidents like the breach at MGM Resorts demonstrate the importance of robust security measures. The article suggests five preventative measures organizations may take to avoid what happened to MGM. One suggestion is for organizations to enhance their help desk procedures to verify the identity of those seeking assistance. Another is to use multifactor authentication wisely.
The National Security Agency (NSA) and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have identified the most common cybersecurity mistakes made by large organizations. One of the top mistakes is neglecting to change the default configurations, including login credentials, on new software or hardware added to an organization’s IT network. This oversight can allow hackers to easily find these details online and exploit them to move through a victim’s network or hijack devices. Another major error is failing to limit system privileges for common users, which could lead to a network-wide compromise if a hacker takes over a low-level employee’s account. The agencies hope to encourage the public and software makers to take action against these common vulnerabilities.
About Chromebooks discusses how ChromeOS is a Linux distribution within Google’s desktop environment. It uses a Linux kernel hidden by a graphical user interface. The recent Material You design and the separation of the Chrome browser from ChromeOS further emphasize the relationship. The article also explains what a desktop environment is, and how it relates to Linux systems. It compares ChromeOS and Linux, highlighting how Google has effectively utilized Linux without intimidating everyday users.
A serious security vulnerability called “Looney Tunables” exists in the Linux operating system. It is a buffer overflow in the glibc dynamic loader. An attacker could exploit it to take control of a Linux system. Qualys Threat Research Unit discovered the vulnerability. Red Hat, Ubuntu, Debian, and Gentoo have all released patches.
A significant vulnerability has been discovered in many Linux distributions, potentially allowing hackers to execute malicious code with elevated privileges. The flaw is a buffer overflow weakness in the GNU C Library’s (glibc) Id.so dynamic loader. It was first introduced with glibc 2.34 in April 2021 and has been present in many Linux endpoints for two years. The flaw becomes apparent when processing the GLIBC_TUNABLES environment variable on default installations of Debian 12 and 13, Ubuntu 22.04 and 23.04, and Fedora 37 and 38. As a result, low-privileged attackers can execute low-complexity attacks without any interaction from the victim.
Google has announced seven years of support for its Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro smartphones, including OS, security, and Feature Drop updates. The devices should remain up-to-date until 2030. The extended support period is a significant improvement over Google’s previous offerings (five years of security updates and three years of Android OS upgrades). The longer support period is made possible by Google’s use of its own Tensor processor in the Pixel 8 series, giving it more control over the hardware. This move puts Google ahead of most of its mainstream Android competitors in terms of support duration.
The article from XDA Developers provides a guide on setting up a new Windows 11 laptop. It emphasizes the importance of personalizing the laptop to suit one’s needs and preferences. The author suggests starting by uninstalling any pre-installed apps, known as bloatware, that may not be necessary or useful. Adjusting the display scaling is also recommended to optimize the use of high-resolution displays. Other suggestions include disabling Fast Startup for easier access to BIOS or dual-booting and adjusting privacy settings to maintain control over personal data.
OpenAI’s DALL-E 3, an advanced AI image generation tool, is now accessible for free through Bing Image Creator. This revolutionary tool builds upon its predecessors, DALL-E and DALL-E 2, offering enhanced capabilities in generating images from abstract ideas and prompts. A standout feature of DALL-E 3 is its integration with ChatGPT, another AI model by OpenAI, which allows users to refine their image prompts to a granular level. OpenAI will officially roll out full integration with ChatGPT this month. Until then, users may explore the capabilities of DALL-E 3 using the Bing Image Creator online service.
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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