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Google Denies Non-disclosure Extension for Zero Day Flaw After Microsoft Misses Deadline

According to the Chromium blog, Google notified Microsoft about severe flaws in its .NET components that would allow an attacker to bypass lockdown. The enlightened Windows Lockdown Policy check for COM Class instantiation can be bypassed by using a bug in .NET leading to arbitrary code execution on a system with UMCI enabled (e.g. Device Guard) The flaw was reported to Microsoft in January of this year. After missing the deadline for a fix in its April security patches, Microsoft requested an extension, suggesting that the fix would be forthcoming in its newest Windows 10 Feature Update. The extension was denied by Google. Timeline of events: >-> 2018-01-19: Reported issue to secure@microsoft.com and received MSRC case number 43182 <- 2018-02-10: MSRC indicates that the issue has...

YouTube TV Support of Firefox Brings Google’s Live Television Service to Fire TV

There’s no official app for YouTube TV for Amazon’s Fire TV platform, but thanks to Amazon and Google’s recent kerfuffle over YouTube access, Firefox now runs on Fire TV. And, with that capability, comes the ability for Amazon Fire TV users to subscribe and participate in Google TV – if the desire arises. Google just added support for Firefox over the past couple days. Prior to the added Firefox support, YouTube TV was only supported on Google’s own web browser, Chrome (go figure). We’re sure having YouTube TV working on a Fire TV device was inadvertent. Firefox for Fire TV: https://amzn.to/2H1Lvt3 Of course, you can also get the same live TV experience with Hulu – which is fully supported on Fire TV. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical c...

Google Provides Direct Collaboration Ability for Microsoft Office Files

Google has found itself in a precarious situation. Once considered a leader and driver of innovation in various areas, the company now finds itself falling behind in things like the cloud, digital voice, artificial intelligence, and even collaborative products. After the last round of revenue reporting, one can almost sense that the company is attempting to make positive changes to turn the tide. In addition to reporting today that it will merge its Nest team into its own hardware team, the company has also announced new interoperability in its  Google Drive cloud storage service to allow commenting directly in Microsoft Office files without the need for third-party software or having to first convert the files to Google’s own format. Starting today, we’re making it possible to...

Nest No Longer Autonomous as Google Merges Hardware Teams to Better Position Google Assistant

You sort of believe it had to happen eventually, particularly as Google is becoming more Google Assistant focused to take on Amazon’s Alexa, but today the company has announced it is merging the Nest team into the Google hardware team. The most obvious reason for this is so Google Assistant can be integrated with more smart home devices. Nest thermostats are probably some of the most installed smart home devices in the market. Google says… To build on this momentum, we’re excited to bring the Nest and Google Hardware teams together. The goal is to supercharge Nest’s mission: to create a more thoughtful home, one that takes care of the people inside it and the world around it. By working together, we’ll continue to combine hardware, software and services to create a home t...

Google Protects its Own Cloud without Performance Loss

While the rest of the world experiences performance loss after applying the security updates to protect against Intel processor vulnerabilities, Google is suggesting that it has found a way to protect its cloud customers and still retain top execution performance. Google lays out the information in a blog titled “Protecting our Google Cloud customers from new vulnerabilities without impacting performance.” If you’ve been keeping up on the latest tech news, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the CPU security flaw that Google’s Project Zero disclosed last Wednesday. On Friday, we answered some of your questions and detailed how we are protecting Cloud customers. Today, we’d like to go into even more detail on how we’ve protected Google Cloud products against these speculative executi...

Meet Google Home Mini

It’s Google Home Mini, the Google Assistant for your house. Ask it to do anything from change the channel to call your mom, because it’s a little help at home, like only Google can.   Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Google Drive for Mac/PC is Officially Deprecated

Announcing the public launch of Drive File Stream on September 26th, Google has also announced that it is officially ending support for its Google Drive for Mac/PC. According to the announcement… With this launch, Google Drive for Mac/PC is officially deprecated. It will no longer be supported starting on December 11th, 2017, and it will shut down completely on March 12th, 2018. We encourage you to use Drive File Stream. As an alternative to or in addition to installing Drive File Stream, you can upgrade to the new version of Drive for Mac/PC, called Backup and Sync. A few important things to note: In October, Drive for Mac/PC users may start seeing messages in the product notifying them that Drive for Mac/PC is going away. If a user is running both Drive File Stream and Backup and S...

Google and VMware Team to Manage Chrome Books in the Enterprise

Long considered solely consumer devices, Google is now working to take its Chrome OS-based devices into the Enterprise. As part of that forward movement, Google is partnering with VMware. VMware will deliver the endpoint management system required to ensure that Chrome devices can be managed centrally by the organization’s IT staff. Microsoft is the leader in Enterprise penetration and endpoint management. Attempting to crack this sector will be tough, despite the low cost of Google devices. Management of Chrome devices with Workspace ONE will be available in September 2017. Press Release   VMware and Google Expand Partnership to Enable Enterprise-Wide Management of Chrome Devices August 22, 2017 VMware Workspace ONE Powered by AirWatch is the first platform for Chrome OS device...

Website Performance and Lessons Learned

By Garth Jones In the first post of my blog post set on website performance, I talked about HTTPS and why it is important. Google and other search engines give higher rankings to sites with SSL certificates (what you need for HTTPS). More importantly, though, end-users tend to trust sites with an SSL certificate more than those without this certificate. In the same post I also talked about Content Delivery Network (CDN) and how this helps websites load faster. If your site is slow, end-users will be more likely to abandon it. In the end a slow site will cost you money as you lose customers to your competitors! My next blog post (to be published on LFC Hosting) will show you how tools such as, YSlow, can be used to help locate problems on your website. Knowing what problems you need to fix ...

How to Test Website Performance before CDN

By Garth Jones In my last blog post, I provided some background about what Content Delivery Network (CDN) is, the usefulness of having an HTTPS site, and I also talked about Extended Validation SSL HTTPS certificates (i.e. SSL certificates). In my next blog post, I will go into more details about the different types of SSL certificates. In this blog post I’m going to test my website’s current performance by using a couple of speed test tools before I start using Content Delivery Network (CDN). I keep asking myself, how can I demonstrate that I’ve improved my website’s performance? What are my site’s baseline numbers? How much of a difference will CDN make? There only seem to be two tools out there that will allow me to test my website’s performance. As an aside, I was surprised to see that...

Google’s Whole PC Backup Software Now Available

If you’re a Google Drive user and use a PC or a Mac desktop, there’s a  new backup tool from Google called Backup and Sync. Download link: https://www.google.com/drive/download/ Upload and store files from any folder on your computer, camera, and SD cards in the cloud. You can find your content on any phone, tablet, or computer using Google Drive, and your photos and videos in Google Photos. Some might consider that this is a direct competitor to a service like Carbonite, but this is more Google’s way of attempting to compete with Microsoft’s OneDrive capability that is built directly into Windows 10. The tool is free to use and Google Drive backup storage is free up to 15 GB. After that, Google charges $1.99/month for 100GB, $9.99/month for 1 TB, or $99.99/month fo...

Apple’s Siri the Dumbest of the Voice Assistants?

On the day Apple is rumored to announce a Siri speaker designed to help the company compete against Amazon, Google, and Microsoft in the digital personal assistant space, a recent report from Stone Temple shows that Apple may be extremely far behind the eight ball in this area. And, that’s not good, considering the rumor also suggests that Apple may be doubling-down on the features that Siri is already actually good at instead of expanding into the areas being pioneered by Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. For the study, Stone Temple posed 5,000 different questions about everyday factual knowledge to Google Assistant, Siri, Alexa, and Cortana. Despite a late entry, Google Assistant was shown to be the smartest of the available voice assistants. Apple, with Siri, came in last. However, M...