Tech News

LibreOffice Kills OpenOffice, HSBC Tests Selfie Verification… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 05-09-2016

OpenOffice is possibly being retired, HSBC explores using selfies to identify customers, passwords from 2012 leak online, Overwatch is free to play this weekend, and Barb returns to Stranger Things.


OpenOffice May Be Shutting Down

It’s looking increasingly likely that OpenOffice will be shutting down soon, and it’s all the fault of LibreOffice. As reported by Ars Technica, according to Dennis Hamilton, vice president of Apache OpenOffice, there aren’t enough developers actively working on the free office suite to keep it updated and secure. And that’s a major problem with only a couple of possible solutions, one of which is to shut it down completely.

In an email thread titled, “What would OpenOffice retirement involve?“, Hamilton stated, “It is my considered opinion that there is no ready supply of developers who have the capacity, capability, and will to supplement the roughly half-dozen volunteers holding the project together.”

OpenOffice was the only real viable alternative to Microsoft Office when it launched in 2002, but ever since the Apache Software Foundation acquired it, OpenOffice has been on the ropes. Most developers departed to work on LibreOffice Is the New LibreOffice a Better Microsoft Office Alternative? LibreOffice, a long-time contender of Microsoft Office, just received a makeover and important updates. After being held back by niggling bugs over the years, has LibreOffice finally found the winning formula? Read More , and that has left a gaping hole in OpenOffice’s ability to fix security issues in a timely fashion.

Thankfully, there’s no need to panic if OpenOffice does go the way of the dodo, as, because we’re so good to you, we have already compiled a list of four worthy alternatives Is OpenOffice Shutting Down? 4 Great Free Office Suite Alternatives OpenOffice is no longer a free Microsoft Office alternative you can count on. We have compiled the four best options for Windows, Linux, and Mac. Read More . Still, it will be a sad day if and when this open source trendsetter 5 Reasons Why Software Should Be Free and Open Source Free software doesn't just mean you get to use the app or game without paying. It's about longevity, privacy, ownership, and much more! Read More dies.

HSBC Identifies You Through Selfies

Most people regard selfies as nothing but an opportunity for the vainest in society to brag about their looks Stop Hating On Selfies: 3 Reasons You Should Love Them Selfies are all too often written off as the egotistical masturbation of brainless teenagers, but that's a superficial take on them. Here's why. Read More , where they are, or what they’re doing. But it turns out that they can be useful, on occasion. And, according to The Independent, HSBC is showing just how useful selfies can be.

The British-based multinational bank is simplifying its application process for new accounts. And as part of those efforts it’s allowing business customers to use a selfie to verify their identity. The customer will shoot a selfie on their smartphone, and the bank will match it against a passport or driving license the customer uploads online.

HSBC expects this to catch on, with the company’s Richard Davies suggesting the bank “expect[s] the convenience and speed of a selfie to become the verification method of choice for our customers, who no longer need to visit a branch to complete the process”.

Who knows, maybe selfies are the future of mobile payments Are Selfies the Future of Mobile Payments? Mastercard are trialling payment by selfie. Is the concept the future of mobile payments or doomed to failure? Read More , after all.

40 Million Passwords Leak Online

It turns out that 2012 was a terrible year for online security, with hackers able to nab login credentials from a host of different websites. We have already reported on the large LinkedIn leak What You Need To Know About the Massive LinkedIn Accounts Leak A hacker is selling 117 million hacked LinkedIn credentials on the Dark web for around $2,200 in Bitcoin. Kevin Shabazi, CEO and founder of LogMeOnce, helps us to understand just what is at risk. Read More which dates back to 2012, and the disastrous Dropbox debacle Are You One of 69 Million Hacked Dropbox Users? It has been confirmed that 68 million Dropbox accounts were hacked in August 2012. Was yours one of them? What should you do about it? And why did the hack take FOUR YEARS to come... Read More which also dates back to 2012. And now has joined the ranks.

In total, 44 million sets of credentials, including the usernames, passwords, email addresses, and join dates have only now surfaced on the regular web. What’s more, according to LeakedSource [Broken URL Removed], 96 percent of the passwords were cracked within two hours because the passwords were “stored using unsalted MD5 hashing” that is notoriously insecure.

To be fair, unlike Dropbox Dropbox Hack Affects 68 Million Users, You Too Can Sue Apple... [Tech News Digest] It turns out Dropbox WAS hacked in 2012, Apple faces a Touch Disease class action lawsuit, Amazon brings its Dash Buttons to Europe, Google helps you search in Android apps, and Russia reveals its Guardians. Read More , acknowledged the breach and informed its users of it in 2012. This means all affected users should have changed their passwords for the site a long time ago, making this particular incident less serious than some others. However, rather worryingly, LeakedSource claims it has “so many databases waiting to be added that if we were to add one per day it would still take multiple years to finish them all”.

Play Overwatch for Free This Weekend

Overwatch, Blizzard’s insanely popular team-based shooter, is free to play this weekend. Anyone who doesn’t own the game is being invited to download and play it completely for free between September 9th and September 12th. That is as long as you own a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One.

Gamers taking advantage of the free weekend will get access to all 22 playable characters, 13 maps, and a selection of the various game modes. They’ll also be able to level up, and do everything a regular player does. But once the free weekend finishes, it’s Game Over.

The idea is, of course, to tempt you into buying a copy of Overwatch: Origins Edition. And if you do, everything you achieve over the weekend (possibly using these tips for Overwatch beginners) will carry over to the full game. The free weekend version of Overwatch requires a 9GB install on the PS4 and a 15GB install on the Xbox One.

Barb Returns to Stranger Things


And finally, Stranger Things is one of the best original shows on Netflix 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content -- including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None -- but 2016 is slated to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More , and we thoroughly enjoyed watching Season 1 recently. So much so we put together a list of shows you may want to watch after finishing Stranger Things. Unfortunately, Barb isn’t in any of them. We miss Barb.

Thankfully, for everyone who thinks the nerdy teenager suffered a severe injustice in the Upside-Down, she’s back! Sadly, she only exists as a comedy prop on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. Still, maybe Netflix execs are watching, and will now commission Orange Is the New Bitch.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Will you be sorry to see OpenOffice disappear? Or do you use a different Office suites? Are selfies better than passwords for identification purposes? Have you changed your password recently? Will you be playing Overwatch this weekend? What do you want to see happen in Season 2 of Stranger Things?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome. Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Nguyen Hung Vu via Flickr

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  1. Perry F. Bruns
    September 6, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Honestly, Apache tried to rescue OpenOffice after acquiring it from Oracle, which got it when it bought Sun MicroSystems. Oracle tried to monetize it, and locked down the code, causing developers to defect in droves to the LibreOffice Foundation, which built LibreOffice on the OpenOffice codebase in parallel with Oracle's efforts. After just two years, Oracle gave up, and Apache stepped in, but by that time, it was too late.