Tech Wrap-Up Week 21 2019, a week with World Bee Day, milkshaking, Bitcoin Pizza Day, Red Nose Day, and the unofficial beginning of summer all but distant memories. Today, we look back at this week’s ten 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, hashtag 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 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 today’s top stories by user engagement. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube to interact with our feeds.
This Week’s Tech Wrap-Up
The most popular blockchain implementation over the past 10 years is Bitcoin. Then came Ethereum in 2015, and blockchain became a term applied to ubiquitous decentralized databases that served any purpose — or no purpose at all. The next phase of development brought decentralize applications — or dApps — built on the Ethereum blockchain. One of the most successful dApps is Brave browser which uses Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) to reward publishers and creators.
2. Ransomware and malware attacks decline, attackers adopting covert tactics (Help Net Security)
Improvements in malware and ransomware security and detection appear to have had an impact on global attack rates. In sharp contrast to 2017, the period of March to December 2018 witnessed a 60% drop in ransomware attack volume. Attackers moved on to other vectors such as phishing and weaponized cryptocurrency mining.
3. The first Tor Browser stable release for Android is available from the Google Play Store (Tech Help Knowledgebase)
The Tor Project released the first stable version of Tor Browser for Android — Tor Browser 8.5. Tor Browser protects your personal privacy and freedom to communicate with others on your Android device without fear of being monitored. It connects to the Tor network to anonymize communication, prevent tracking, and prevent fingerprinting. Tor Browser hides your IP address, and only retains cookies for a single session.
iPhones may no longer be the only impenetrable smartphones in town. According to a warrant discovered by Forbes, ATF Agents were not able to unlock an LG Android phone even with permission to use the suspects face and fingers to unlock it. The article attributes Android security to Secure Startup, a method to encrypt a device’s internal storage until decrypted with a valid form of authentication.
AT&T added a new payment option to its arsenal of ways to take your money. The option allows customers to pay for phone services using cryptocurrencies. AT&T uses BitPay to process crypto transactions which means customers have the option to pay AT&T directly using either Bitcoin (BTC) or bcash (BCH). Perhaps a better option would have been BTCPay Server, an open-source payment processing system that also accepts Lightning Network micro-payments.
Unlike with Intel chips, hardware protection checks built into AMD chips protect them from new MDS vulnerabilities. Patches required to protect Intel chips from the CPU flaws also cause a performance impact of nearly 16%. The performance impact widens by up to 50% with hyper-threading on Intel chips disabled. These issues coupled with AMD’s imminent release of 7-nanometer chip technology could spell trouble for Intel.
7. These are the top 10 programming languages in blockchain (The Next Web)
Also known as Opera 60, the recent release of Opera Reborn 3 web browser includes three new major features — blockchain-secured transactions, a cryptocurrency wallet, and a new look that includes a dark theme. Some common browser traits originated with Opera, like tabbed browsing, mouse gestures, and a speed-dial new tab page. With Opera Reborn 3’s release, Opera continues to innovate features not currently present in other common browsers.
9. Set your favorite web browser as the Windows 10 default (Tech Help Knowledgebase)
The default web browser in Windows 10 is Microsoft Edge. That was a problem for most Windows users until recently. Edge is lightweight and has a few features unique from other top browsers. The new Chromium-based Edge is another story altogether, but it is still in beta. Nonetheless, I have it configured as my Windows 10 default browser anyway. This tutorial explains how to set your preferred web browser as the Windows 10 default browser.
10. The best browser 2019: a faster, safer way to get online (Tech Radar)
Are you stuck in a browser rut? Is your web browser fast, private, and secure enough to meet today’s new online browsing challenges? Tech Radar takes a closer look at Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Edge, Internet Explorer, and Vivaldi to see how they stack up. For what it’s worth, Firefox — one of the few remaining non-Chromium browsers — is at the top of their list.
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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