Firefox virtual reality web browser comes to SteamVR this summer

dims?crop=1565%2C1017%2C0%2C0&quality=85Mozilla’s Firefox Reality browser has been available through a number of platform-specific VR portals, but it’ll soon be available in a relatively neutral form. The developer has revealed that it’s working with Valve to bring Firefox Reality to Steam…

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4 of the Best Alternatives to AutoCAD

best-autocad-alternatives-featured.jpgAutoCAD is a flagship product by Autodesk, the drafting industry’s juggernaut, designed to help its users with product or building design, manufacturing planning, construction and civil infrastructure. The sleek, three-dimensional, computer-aided design software is fully-featured but costs a lot more than other programs that match its capabilities. Since 1982, when it was made available, AutoCAD’s wide range of features and versatility for use in several industries make it the go-to product for professionals, students, and hobbyists alike. However, Autodesk no longer offers perpetual licensing for AutoCAD and switched to a subscription-based licensing instead, which forces users to seek out alternatives. In the long run it may be… Read more

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Chrome exploit uses a fake address bar for phishing attacks

dims?crop=5399%2C3600%2C0%2C0&quality=85Cyberattackers don’t need to find obscure technical flaws to launch phishing attacks — they might just need a screen capture and some clever web coding. Developer James Fisher has found a relatively simple exploit in Chrome for mobile that takes ad…

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Exposed database holds sensitive data on over 80 million US households

dims?crop=4912%2C3274%2C0%2C1520&qualityLarge-scale database exposures are sadly nothing new, but they’re particularly worrisome when there isn’t even a clear owner. Researchers Ran Locar and Noam Rotem have found an unguarded database hosted on a Microsoft server that holds sensitive inf…

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Spotify Hits 100M Paid Users, Twice As Many As Apple Music

Music streaming service Spotify says its paying subscribers have reached 100 million for the first time, up 32% on the year and almost twice the latest figures for Apple Music. The Stockholm-based company called the figure, which was reached during the first three months of 2019, “an important milestone.” The growth was driven, among other … More »

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How to Delete Synced Information in Chrome

chrome logo

When you sign in to Chrome using your Google Account, a whole bunch of your personal information gets saved and synced across all your devices, but what if you want to delete everything stored in the cloud? Here’s how to remove your synced information.

RELATED: How to Turn Syncing On or Off in Chrome

How to Delete Synced Information

If you’re already signed in to Chrome and Syncing is turned on, fire up Chrome, click on your profile picture, and then, click “Syncing to.” You can also typechrome://settings/peopleinto the Omnibox and hit Enter.

Click your profile picture, then click on "Syncing to"

Under the People heading, click on “Sync and Google services.”

Click Sync and Google Services

Next, click on “Data from Chrome sync” and a new tab will open.

Click "Data from Chrome Sync"

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How to Watch Netflix in 4K on a Mac

Netflix logoNetflix

Watching 4K Netflix on a Mac is unnecessarily complicated. It’s not currently supported in macOS, so you’ll need to run Windows on your Mac—and even then you’ll still be limited to the Edge browser. But it can be done.

Why is 4K Netflix an Issue for Macs?

The 4K content itself isn’t the problem; it’s an issue of compatibility, codecs, and DRM (Digital Rights Management). And it’s not just Macs—4K streaming is an issue in general. When you stream video on any platform, it has to be packaged into something your computer can understand. The exact method for this is called a video coding format, and the program that does the packing and unpacking is called a codec. With the rise of 4K content, the tech world is currently in the process of switching over to newer codecs, and they’re all fighting about it.

Codecs are built into your computer but can vary by browser. YouTube only uses the VP9 codec for 4K video, but Safari doesn’t support VP9, so you need to use Chrome to watch 4K YouTube videos. Netflix supports a lot of codecs, but only uses HEVC for 4K. Since Safari is one of the few browsers to support HEVC playback, alongside Edge, it would seem 4K Netflix should be supported in Safari.

But another issue arises with DRM, a way of protecting the show from being copied and pirated. The DRM Netflix uses for 4K content is the new HDCP 2.2 (High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection), which macOS does not support as of Mojave. HDCP is an OS level compliance and can’t be fixed with a fancier browser, so you’ll need Windows (or a virtual machine running Windows) to watch Netflix, all to ensure you’re not recording any shows. And the kicker is that DRM doesn’t even really work since shows will be pirated regardless (often automatically within minutes of release), so all it does—especially in Netflix’s case—is harm consumers.

You can still watch 4K Netflix content on your Mac, but it won’t be easy, and it certainly won’t be a good solution.

Running Windows on a Mac to Watch Netflix

In summary from above, you’ll need:

  • An HDCP 2.2 compliant 4K TV, if your Mac’s built-in display isn’t 4K or higher. Both the TV and HDMI cable have to be HDCP 2.2 compliant or nothing will work. You won’t see any benefits streaming 4K content on a 1080p TV or your Mac’s 1440p display since it’s more pixels than can be displayed.
  • A Mac with a Kaby Lake (or higher) Intel processor: Most Macs made after 2017 will have one. Only Kaby Lake or higher CPUs have specialized hardware for decoding HEVC much faster. Edge only supports hardware decoded HEVC, but since it’s the only browser on Windows even supporting it at all, we have to use it. Safari does support software decoded HEVC on older CPUs, but since it doesn’t support HDCP 2.2, we’re stuck on Windows, using Edge. And even if you could use software decoding, you might run into performance issues depending on your model. Yeah, it’s complicated.
  • A Netflix “Premium” account, which costs $15.99 per month. This is the only plan with 4K support, but you will also be able to have four simultaneous streams from the same account.
  • A copy of Windows 10 and the willingness to either dual-boot your system or run it in a virtual machine. You’ll also need Edge, but it’s included in Windows 10.

If you have everything on the list and really want 4K Netflix, the process of running Windows on Mac is fairly simple. You have a few options:

  • Run a Windows virtual machine. A virtual machine runs Windows inside of macOS, so you don’t have to switch over to Windows completely. You will notice a slight performance hit because you’re running two operating systems at once. The VM we recommend for macOS is Parallels. It isn’t free, so you can try VirtualBox if you’d like, but Parallels has much better performance and is built for macOS.
  • Dual booting with Bootcamp, installing Windows permanently on your hard drive alongside (or on top of) macOS. This is an extreme solution, since you’ll be forced to reboot into a different operating system to watch Netflix, but will offer better performance than the others. It’s also less prone to bugs than VM software.
  • Why not both? Parallels supports running your boot camp partition as a virtual machine. This way, you can boot fully into Windows if you’d like, but still be able to access it from macOS. If you’ve got the space on your hard drive, and don’t mind the extra setup, this is the best solution.

Whatever option you choose, once you’re running Windows, load up Microsoft’s Edge browser and get to watching. You’ll see a new category marked “Ultra HD 4K” containing all the UHD content. You can also use Netflix’s Windows app, as it supports HEVC and HDCP 2.2. You can’t use Google Chrome, Firefox, or another browser.

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How Email Bombing Uses Spam to Hide an Attack

Email Spamming Attack concept, showing many messages arriving at once.Hanss/Shutterstock

If you suddenly start receiving an endless stream of junk email, perhaps asking for confirmation of a subscription, you’re the victim of email bombing. The perpetrator is probably trying to hide their real goal, so here’s what to do.

What Is Email Bombing?

Young stressed handsome businessman working at desk in modern office shouting at laptop screen and being angry about e-mail spam. Collage with a mountain of crumpled paper.Master1305/Shutterstock

An email bombing is an attack on your inbox that involves sending massive amounts of messages to your address. Sometimes these messages are complete gibberish, but more often they’ll be confirmation emails for newsletters and subscriptions. In the latter case, the attacker uses a script to search the internet for forums and newsletters and then signs up for an account with your email address. Each will send you a confirmation email asking to confirm your address. This process repeats across as many unprotected sites as the script can find.

The term “email bombing” can also refer to flooding an email server with too many emails in an attempt to overwhelm the email server and bring it down, but that’s not the goal here—it would be challenging to bring down modern email accounts that use Google or Microsoft’s email servers, anyway. Instead of a denial-of-service (DOS) attack against the email servers you are using, the onslaught of messages is a distraction to hide the attacker’s true intentions.

Why Is This Happening to You?

An email bombing is often a distraction used to bury an important email in your inbox and hide it from you. For example, an attacker may have gained access to one of your accounts on an online shopping website like Amazon and ordered expensive products for itself. The email bombing floods your email inbox with irrelevant emails, burying the purchase and shipping confirmation emails so you won’t notice them.

If you own a domain, the attacker may be attempting to transfer it away. If an attacker gained access to your bank account or an account on another financial service, they might be trying to hide confirmation emails for financial transactions as well.

By flooding your inbox, the email bombing serves as a distraction from the real damage, burying any relevant emails about what’s going on in a mountain of useless emails. When they stop sending you wave after wave of email, it may be too late to undo the damage.

An email bombing may also be used to gain control of your email address. If you have a coveted address—something straightforward with few symbols and a real name, for instance—the entire point may be to frustrate you until you abandon the address. Once you give up the email address, the attacker can take it over and use it for their purposes.

What to Do When You Get Email Bombed

If you find yourself the victim of email bombing, the first thing to do is check and lock down your accounts. Log into any shopping accounts, like Amazon, and check for recent orders. If you see an order that you didn’t place, contact the shopping website’s customer support immediately.

You may want to take this a step further. On Amazon, it’s possible to “archive” orders and hide them from the normal order list. One Reddit user discovered an email from Amazon confirming an order for five graphics cards with a total value of $1000 buried in an onslaught of incoming email. When they went to cancel the order, they couldn’t find it. The attacker had archived the Amazon order, hoping that’d help it go undetected.

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Windows 10 Will Soon Stop Forcing Updates

Windows-Manual-Updates-Featured.jpgOne of Windows 10’s most reviled “features” since its release is its update schedule. People frequently reported that the operating system would restart itself during sensitive actions with no easy way to stop it. There are unofficial methods, but Microsoft was always adamant that automatic updates were for the best. This move was to help users keep their systems secure, offering better protection against zero-day viruses and exploits as they were found. If users were given the choice to delay updates, they may have put it off to the point their PCs got infected by the malware – such was the idea. Related: Latest Windows… Read more

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