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App Pick #198
App Pick - PhotoDirector

Windows 95 Now Will Run in Your Browser

Windows 95 was revolutionary. It sure was a huge step up from Windows 3.11 and it heralded a new era in desktop operating systems. The good news is that you can now relive the joy (probably manifested as pain) and run Windows 95 in a browser window. Thanks to the valiant efforts of Andrea Fauld, we now have the power in a browser.

Windows 95

Source: AJF.me

Netflix Can't Win War of VPNs

Netflix recently submitted to pressure from studios and has clamped down on VPNs that can be used to circumvent regional streaming restrictions. While this may not sound like a big deal, the truth is that there are a lot of internet users that use VPNs for security as much - if not more than for getting around regional restructions. I use a VPN service on my wireless phone and if I'm using WiFi anywhere other than my home, I turn it on. Now, when trying to stay secure on public WiFi, I can't watch Netflix. This in turn will increase real piracy and I believe will cause a revolt. I hope that it hurts Netflix just enough for them to rethink and re-negotiate with studios.

What Netflix is asking (er, forcing) its customers to do is, well, insane from a privacy and security perspective. That a company might insist you use 123456 as your password because it solves an internal problem for them sounds ... ludicrous. Except that's pretty much what Netflix is doing by disallowing widespread use of a security tool as critical as a VPN.

Source: Engadget

Microsoft Takes Down Botnet, Wants a PC Killswitch

Microsoft has come a long way and they've done some good stuff - keeping us safe, monitoring botnets and more. After their big success in Decembter, they have made a suggestion that perhaps they should have more control in order to keep our data and computers safe. Their idea is to have your computer report to them several times an hour and if suspicious activity is detected, they can remotely and automatically pull the plug. I really don't want to hand over that level of control to anyone. Not even if they are "good guys".

“There should not be backdoors, because you don’t know who else can use it,” said Frank. “We’re open to other solutions, but encryption is extraordinary important to protecting the privacy of governments, the privacy of individuals and the privacy of enterprises, and we all want to communicate securely.”

Source: TheRegister

Lenovo Default Password: 12345678

Last week Lenovo patches a "flaw" in their File-Sharing App that had a hard-coded password. That's right. Lenovo put in a password - hardcoded into the software to make things more convenient for the users of their application. That's not a huge deal, but the fact that the password was the one that topped the list in 2015 as the worst password in the world, well, that's not great at all. Thankfully, it's patched up and now your documents and other shared items should be safe once again - for a little while at least.

The most pressing issue is the hard-coded password in the Windows version of the app. Core Security said that when the app is configured to receive files from devices, it sets up a Wi-Fi hotspot with the same 12345678 password every time. The updated app removes that default password, but not before it opened the door to another hole that could allow attackers to remotely browse a device’s file system.

Source: Threatpost

Bing Keeps Growing and Growing

Google search market share has pretty much topped out and the only other real player in the market is Microsoft's Bing. It looks like Bing is growing at a pretty steady rate - thanks in part to Windows 10 deployment and things are looking good for Microsoft. In the USA, Bing search now makes up for more that 21% market share - and that is the best it's ever been.

The latest statistics provided by US market research firm comScore show that Bing has reached a market share of 21.1 percent in December while Google continues to lead the market with 63.8 percent. But the good news is that Bing actually managed to improve its share by 0.2 percent while Google lost 0.1 percent.

Source: Softpedia

Microsoft Surface is doing well

One of the happy surprises for Microsoft has been their Surface lineup of products. Microsoft moved $1.35 billion worth of Surface tablets thanks to their second quarter fiscal results filings. Their were aiming to move $1.1 billion worth of Surfaces so they've got to be happy with the $1.35 billion worth of sales. Windows Central takes a look at the Surface lineup.

Microsoft has just announced their second quarter fiscal year 2016 results and the numbers are looking outstanding beating most estimates in all divisions.

One area where of healthy growth was with their Surface line bolstered by the Surface Pro 4 and Surface Book. The solid numbers were attained despite ongoing criticisms of stability and OS software issues.

Why Twitter's best days are over

Twitter has been making headlines recently for all of the wrong reasons. Their stock is tanking, their executives are jumping ship, and takeover rumors have started. None of these things are great signs and it's starting to look like Twitter might just be on a downward slope. The Washington Post has come up with some of the reasons that Twitter might be in trouble.

Twitter is in a state of crisis. The stock has tanked since co-founder Jack Dorsey returned as chief executive. Four of 10 top executives just left. With takeover rumors swirling Dorsey must think outside the box and reinvent the one-time darling of social media.

Twitter has stumbled into a mess that may be hard to break out of. Here are five unfortunate problems

It's not getting better for Windows Phone

Windows Phone was showing some promise in Q4 of 2014 with over 10 million units sold, unfortunately, Q4 of 2015 saw only 4.5 million units going out the door which was a 57% decrease. In Q4 of 2015, 400 million smartphones were sold, which gives Windows Phone a 1.1% market share. Not too much to be excited about around the Nokia and Microsoft camp, it should be very interesting to see how they react in the coming months. The Verge has more on the story.

Windows Phone started off life as a promising alternative to Android and iOS five years ago. Microsoft positioned its range of Windows Phone 7 handsets as the true third mobile ecosystem, but it's time to admit it has failed. If a lack of devices from phone makers and even Microsoft itself wasn't enough evidence, the final nail in the coffin hit today. Microsoft only sold 4.5 million Lumia devices in the recent quarter, compared to 10.5 million at the same time last year. That's a massive 57 percent drop. Even a 57 percent increase wouldn't be enough to save Windows Phone right now.

Circuit City is coming back

The once famous Circuit City electronics store looks like it might be getting a second chance after going belly up back in 2008. A new company has bought the name from Systemax (who bought it out of bankruptcy) and is looking to open 50-100 corporate stores and another 100-200 franchised stores. I guess the fact that Best Buy is closing stores and RadioShack is dead doesn't scare them too much but it will be interesting to see if they can actually pull this one off. Engadget has the story.

RadioShack's recent demise isn't keeping Circuit City from getting back into the retail business. According to Twice, a publication that covers tech industry news, Circuit City is preparing to return soon. The report claims the company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008, will be opening a new store in Dallas, Texas this coming June, led by the efforts of a new ownership group. Circuit City's also said to have the support of many major brands, including Canon, Intel and Sony, after holding successful meetings at CES 2016.

The DeLorean is back

It looks like you'll finally be able to get yourself a brand new DeLorean after none have been produced since 1983 when the original company went defunct. The new DeLorean DMC-12s  will feature some updates but most likely will look exactly like the original that was only produced from 1981-1983. No word on how much one of these will be, but since they can only produce a maximum of 325 per year under US law, I'm going to say they'll be pricey. Arstechnica has more details.

The DeLorean DMC-12 might have been destined to pass quietly into obscurity, that is until its starring role in 1985's Back to the Future. A little more than 8,500 DMC-12s left DeLorean's factory in Northern Ireland between 1981 and 1983, until it all fell apart following founder John DeLorean's arrest by the FBI on charges of drug trafficking. But Doc Brown souped up his DeLorean with a flux capacitor, imbuing the DMC-12 with iconic status in the nerd canon. Soon, you'll be able to buy a brand new one—production is about to resume on this side of the Atlantic, in Humble, Texas.

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