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OpenOffice is possibly being retired, HSBC explores using selfies to identify customers, Last.fm 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, 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. Still, it will be a sad day if and when this open source trendsetter 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, 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.
All of the people using selfie verification seems to be attractive young women. Will HSBC let portly old men use it? https://t.co/AcVDeeqfUZ
— The Award-Winning David G.W. Birch (@dgwbirch) September 5, 2016
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, after all.
40 Million Last.fm 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 which dates back to 2012, and the disastrous Dropbox debacle which also dates back to 2012. And now Last.fm has joined the ranks.
Maybe people just considered Last.fm accounts low value and put their energy into securing accounts that mattered. https://t.co/Sp8s20kMm3
— Dan Goodin (@dangoodin001) September 2, 2016
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, 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, Last.fm 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, 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 Last.fm 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