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WOW Weekly – Alphabet Becomes Proud Parent to Google

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Welcome to WOW Weekly. It’s been another busy week in tech with Google finally becoming part of Alphabet, Apple releasing El Capitan for the Mac and another minor update for iOS 9, a XOR Trojan threatens Linux servers and a popular ad blocker is sold to a mystery buyer. As always we have our tool of the week and new releases in brief.

Alphabet Blocks

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Google Alphabet

Google have officially become part of Alphabet. Alphabet is going to be the parent company of a group of companies. Each company, with Google the largest, will have its own CEO and will continue to develop independently as its own brand under Alphabet. As Google as many fingers in many pies this makes perfect sense and will also allow the different brands in relatively different fields to continue to grow stronger.

Apple

Apple release the long-awaited El-Capitan. The new features offers a new split screen view which is useful when you have multiple apps open at the same time. Spotlight has been tweaked to enable you to search using realistic natural language , for example; “spreadsheet I worked on last Friday”. You can also search for a lot more including videos, sport scores and weather. Mail has improved with a full-screen view and swipe gestures. Lot’s of improvement under the hood have made El Capitan faster and better graphics performance with Metal for Mac.

Head over to Apple to learn more.

Adblock

Adblock, the popular ad-blocking browser extension, was sold to mystery buyer earlier in the week who refuses to name the new owner. Adblock also recently announced that they have an acceptable Ads policy where some ads are allowed but if you feel that this is obtrusive then you can always turn this feature off. Adblock wants to block the bad stuff on the web not necessarily cripple blogs and website owners from making money. I guess with the hush-hush approach into this sale there will be a few conspiracies flying around the web.

Read More about AdBlock

Linux Trojan

Akamai’s Security Intelligence Response Team (SIRT) has monitored a XOR Trojan has been used to hijack Linux machines to build a botnet that distributes DDoS attacks. The target of attacks have mainly been the gaming sector followed by educational institutions. The botnet has attacked up to 20 targets per day appears to be of asian origin with the malware spreading via Secure Shell (SSH) services susceptible to brute-force attacks due to weak passwords.

Tool of the Week

Tool of the week is the cross-platform E-book management Calibre. Calibre runs on Linux, Mac and Windows with a portable version available for Windows. If you have a vast growing ebook collection Calibre offers E-book conversion for all the popular formats, it offers syncing to devices, a viewer, editor and a content server to get access to all of your books online. The latest 2.40 version has a Kindle driver which detects new Amazon Kindle KFX format which is present on e-ink kindles.

New Releases in Brief

Apple release iOS 9.0.2. This minor update fixes an issue with the setting to turn on or off app mobile data usage, fixes bugs with iCloud, iMessage and screen rotation issues. Podcast stability has also been improved.

Firefox 41.0.1 has had a minor update fixing potential issues with flash, a startup crashes with some Intel graphics cards, Yandex Toolbar and AdBlock Plus.