New Windows Zero Day Flaw; Streamers Demand Jumps; Verizon-Extra 15 Gigs Data For a Month; Snopes Reduces Fact-Checking; Apple Bows Option to Buy Combo Mac & iOS AppsPosted: March 24, 2020
Microsoft has said attackers are exploiting a previously undisclosed vulnerability found in ALL supported versions of Windows, including 10. According to techcrunch.com, there isn’t a patch right now, either. Microsoft calls the flaw ‘critical,’ which is its highest severity rating. The flaw has to do with how Windows handles and renders fonts. Apparently, it can be exploited by tricking a victim into opening a malicious document…and from there, an attacker can remotely run malware….including ransomware, on a compromised system. Microsoft is working on a patch, but says they probably won’t have it out until April 14th.
As you might imagine with so many people working from home, streaming is way up. 9to5mac.com reports that Disney+ has had the biggest increases, with a tripling of their sign up rate…mainly thanks to school closings. HBO Now reports a 90% gain, and Showtime is up 78%. Netflix got a 47% bump, which is huge when you consider how large their base is already. Apple TV+ (womp, womp) was only up 10%.
Although with lots of people working from home, they are probably using WiFi on their smart devices, Verizon has announced that it is giving all wireless mobile customers an additional 15 gigs of data from March 25th through April 30th. Businessinsider.com says this includes both consumers and small businesses, and it applies to both metered and unmetered plans. If you are on unlimited data, it will be applied if you are using hot spots. The reality is, this is really a cheap way for Verizon to market. The only time most people will tap into the extra gigs is if their home WiFi goes down.
There is so much misinformation and just outright lies around COVID-19, Snopes is overwhelmed, and will be cutting back fact-checking until further notice on most other topics. According to theverge.com, Snopes is also redirecting people to sites with reliable info like the CDC and WHO. Snopes is offering all its employees a $750 cash bonus to aid with any costs they may be facing during the pandemic, and they are also offering paid time off for workers who have to look after themselves or family members affected by COVID-19.
Apple is rolling out a new deal that will allow developers to sell Mac and iOS apps as a single ‘Universal Purchase,’ which means that when you buy one, you will have access to the other automatically. Engadget.com reports that the tool has been launched, and that it also extends to in-app purchases. Don’t get too fired up yet…there aren’t any apps that support Universal Purchase yet…that awaits Apple dropping the Xcode 11.4 Gold Master to developers.