Weekly Tech Wrap-Up 8-19-2023, a week in which Firefox extensions on Android, iOS 17 keyboard improvements, new macOS Sonoma lock screen settings, and a new Linux-based Monti ransomware variant 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
Mozilla is bringing back extension support to Firefox for Android. Mozilla removed the feature in 2020, but it will return before the end of the year. With this update, Firefox for Android will be the only major Android browser to support an open ecosystem of extensions. Users can customize the browser with third-party add-ons, such as ad blockers, password managers, and productivity tools. Mozilla has yet to announce the exact release date for the feature, but look for more details next month.
iOS 17 introduces a number of improvements to the keyboard, including more personalized autocorrect, improved predictive text, a new keyboard design in Messages, the ability to lock Private Browsing tabs in Safari, support for one-time passwords (OTPs) in the Mail app, and the ability to download cities for offline navigation in Apple Maps. These improvements will make typing on your iPhone more accurate, efficient, and enjoyable.
Apple adds new lock screen settings, clock options, and user account support to the upcoming macOS 13 Sonoma beta. The new lock screen settings will allow users to customize the look and feel of their lock screen, including the option to add widgets, change the clock style, and choose a different wallpaper. As for the clock, the new options will allow users to change the font, size, and clock color on their lock screen. The new user account support lets users create multiple user accounts, each with their own lock screen settings.
The Monti ransomware group has resumed its operations after a two-month break, this time targeting legal and government entities with a new Linux-based variant. The group emerged in June 2022, shortly after the infamous Conti ransomware group went out of business. The new Monti variant uses a different encryptor than the original, making it more difficult to decrypt the victim’s data. The group also claims to be more selective in its targets, only targeting organizations it believes can afford to pay the ransom.
The Windows Task Manager is a useful tool for managing running applications and processes. However, it can be frustrating when apps move around in the Task Manager window. There is a simple keyboard shortcut to pause the Task Manager, preventing apps from moving around. The shortcut is to press and hold the CTRL key. Once a user pauses the Task Manager, they can freely move apps around without them jumping back to their original positions. To unpause the Task Manager, release the CTRL key.
Google has introduced a new feature called Unknown Tracker Alerts on Android to protect users from being tracked by AirTags. This feature will scan for nearby AirTags and notify the user if it detects an unknown AirTag. The user can then remove the AirTag, disable it, or return it to its owner.
A security researcher has found that Apple’s Background Task Manager, a tool designed to monitor for persistent software that can run without the user’s knowledge, is easily bypassed by malware. The researcher says the Background Task Manager is “a good thing for Apple to have added,” but that the implementation was “done so poorly that any malware that’s somewhat sophisticated can trivially bypass the monitoring.” He has created a free tool called BlockBlock that helps users detect and block malware that bypasses the Background Task Manager.
Passkeys are a new type of passwordless authentication introduced in iOS 17. They are stored on your device and not on any website or server. This makes them much more secure than traditional passwords. Although passkeys are still in beta, some websites and apps are already adopting them. As more websites and apps adopt Passkeys, they will become the new standard for passwordless authentication.
Twitter slowed down the speed it takes to access links to a handful of websites, including The New York Times, Instagram, Facebook, Bluesky, Threads, Reuters, and Substack. Elmo Snowflake, the owner of Twitter, did this to target his competitors and other outlets. Snowflake has publicly attacked these websites in the past.
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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