Microsoft Fixes Ancient Windows Bug, Pokemon GO Is Good for You… [Tech News Digest]
Your printer has been insecure for 20 years, Pokemon GO is the cure, Amazon Prime Day beats Black Friday, Lightroom adds universal RAW support, and the Faroe Islands uses sheep to tempt Google.
The 20-Year-Old Windows Printer Bug
Your printer has been hiding a dark secret for 20 years, and it’s one that could have allowed cybercriminals to infect your PC with malware. The good news is that Microsoft has already patched the vulnerability. The bad news is Windows XP is still vulnerable, and will forever remain vulnerable.
The newly discovered vulnerability resides in the Windows Print Spooler, which manages the printing process in Windows. Thanks to the Microsoft Web Point-and-Print Protocol (MS-WPRN), computers connecting to a network-hosted printer for the first time download the correct driver just prior to commencing the print run.
The problem, as discovered by Vectra Networks, is that the driver isn’t authenticated properly, which allows a would-be attacker to deliver malware posing as a legitimate printer driver. This method could be used to infect multiple machines, and allow for a range of invasions including watering hole attacks and MitM (Man in the Middle) attacks.
After working with Vectra on a solution, Microsoft has already released a patch for all versions of Windows it still supports. However, Microsoft no longer supports Windows XP
(except for companies paying extra for custom support), leaving millions of users vulnerable to this exploit. Thanks,
Pokemon GO Is Good for Your Health
As you’re no doubt aware by now, Pokemon GO is here, and it’s a winner . Not only is it the most popular mobile game ever released in the U.S., it has also surpassed Tinder and Twitter, and is close to beating SnapChat and Google Maps in terms of the number of active users.
With the love, comes hate, and those who can’t see the appeal of Pokemon GO are busy bitching about it on social media. However, Pokemon GO is unarguably good for your physical and mental health. Which could be enough to make even the most cynical person give it a go.
The physical health benefits are obvious, as Pokemon GO forces you to get some exercise. Not only do you have to leave the house to find new Pokemon and Pokestops, you have to walk a certain distance to hatch eggs. While walking doesn’t cure all ills, it’s a good start for the most inactive people in society.
The mental health benefits are less obvious, but Psych Central is reporting that Pokemon GO is relieving people’s anxieties, helping improve their moods, and even lifting depression. Again this is due to forcing players to get out of the house, exercise, and (crucially) interact with other people.
You may not have any interest in Pokemon GO yourself, but this is a good reminder that even something as dumb as a mobile game can have a positive impact on people.
Amazon Prime Day Was a Huge Success
The second annual Amazon Prime Day was a huge success, at least according to Amazon itself. The online retailer claims Amazon Prime Day 2016 was “the biggest day ever for Amazon,” with sales up by more than 60% worldwide and 50% in the U.S. this year compared to last year.
Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime, said:
“We want to thank our tens of millions of members around the world for making this the biggest day in the history of Amazon. We hope you had as much fun as we did. After yesterday’s results, we’ll definitely be doing this again.”
Amazon Prime Day 2016 was the “biggest day ever for Amazon devices globally,” with the Fire TV Stick being the bestseller. Other stats provided by Amazon show the retailer sold 2 million toys, 1 million pairs of shoes, and more than 90,000 televisions.
The company didn’t reveal how many people signed up to Amazon Prime just to take part in Amazon Prime Day 2016 , but we suspect the numbers are impressive. Some may cancel their subscriptions once their free trial ends, but there are several reasons to stick with Amazon Prime all year round.
Lightroom for iOS Adds RAW Support
Adobe Lightroom for Mobile now supports RAW files, at least on iOS. The latest update (2.4) to Lightroom for iOS adds the ability for users to open and edit any RAW file on your mobile device, just like you would with the desktop or web versions of the app. Lightroom for Mobile previously limited RAW editing to DNG files.
“With the raw technology preview, you’ll be able to import raw photos immediately to either your iPhone or iPad, edit them, and then share them, anywhere you’ve got a connection. Our goal with Lightroom for mobile is to make it an indispensable part of your photography workflow.”
This update means you can adjust the white balance, recover highlights, access the original color data, and more, all while using your iPhone. Any changes made will sync across devices automatically, meaning you can switch devices during editing and carry on where you left off.
Sheep View Maps the Faroe Islands
And finally, the Faroe Islands, a small archipelago of islands off the north coast of Scotland, is a rather beautiful place. Unfortunately, visiting the Faroe Islands isn’t high on the bucket lists of most tourists, compelling one resident to employ a herd of sheep to help draw attention to her homeland.
Durita Dahl Andreassen desperately wants Google to visit the Faroe Islands and map its epic landscape for Google Street View . In the meantime she has strapped cameras to a handful of the many sheep which live on the Danish-owned principality, creating 360-degree vistas from their wanderings.
Using sheep for this purpose is rather fitting, as the Danish name for the Faroe Islands translates into “the islands of sheep”! [H/T Visit Faroe Islands]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you shocked to discover printers have been susceptible to malware for 20 years? Have you experienced any health benefits from playing Pokemon GO? Did you buy anything on Amazon Prime Day? If so, what? Are you pleased to see Lightroom supporting RAW files? What do you think of the Faroe Islands’ sheepish take on Google Street View?
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: Christiaan Colen via Flickr