News Bits: Heartbleed OpenSSL Bug Fallout Continues, Eurocom’s Electra 2 and More

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heartbleed2The Heart Continues to Bleed

The Heartbleed OpenSSL bug, one of the most widespread and severe threats to Internet security, has continued to cause problems since its discovery last week. The vulnerability allows malicious parties to steal usernames, passwords and even encryption certificates, which assure users that the site they are visiting is the real version of that site. It has caused serious problems for a huge portion of the Internet, requiring passwords to be changed and certificates to be reissued. Users also seek reassurance regarding the security updates to OpenSSL.

The Heartbleed OpenSSL bug affected major services such as Facebook, Dropbox and Google, and still hundreds of thousands of sites may possibly be exposed. Users should remain cautious about entering their personal information online, because with Heartbleed it is possible to impersonate sites and users by stealing their SSL certificates. Fortunately, the bug did not affect many government and banking systems, which typically don’t use OpenSSL.


eurocom electra2Eurocom’s Electra 2 Won’t Break Banks, Or Backs

Desktop-replacement, powerful-PC manufacturer Eurocom’s newest notebook, somewhat surprisingly, is portable. Weighing only 5.28 lbs and 1.07 inches thick, the 15.6-inch Eurocom Electra 2 has a relatively low starting price of $825.

With a Nvidia Maxwell GeForce 850M graphics card, Intel Haswell Core i5-4200M processor and 8 GB of RAM, the Electra 2 will likely appeal to a broader range of PC-buyers than just the hardcore gamer and graphics groups that Eurocom’s machines tend to cater to. But it can definitely hold its own when the digital bullets start flying; buyers can upgrade to a 3GHz EXTREME Core i7 4930MX processor and 16GB or RAM.  The Electra 2 is available now for customization at Eurocom’s website.


googleremoteYour New Android Portal to the Desktop

Google’s new, free Chrome Remote Desktop app allows users to access their Macs and PCs from their Android smartphones or tablets. The app links to a helper program available in the Chrome Web Store, and it is compatible with desktops running Windows XP or higher, Mac OS X 10.6 or higher, and Linux, as well as Google’s ChromeOS.

Once the app is installed, users can link to files, settings and folders on their PCs and Macs from their mobile devices. It is targeted at consumers more than enterprise users, the typical remote desktop crowd.

The Android app is available free in the Google Play Store.


finsixFINsix Dart Hitting the Bullseye on Kickstarter

The FINsix Dart laptop adapter, which won several awards for its innovative design at CES 2014, is close to hitting the consumer market. The FINsix Dart Kickstarter exceeded its fundraising goal of $200,000 in less than a week.

FINsix uses very high frequency switching (VHF) technology to shrink the size of the device to nearly the size of a USB thumb drive. Menlo Park, Calif.-based FINsix advertises Dart as the “World’s Smallest Laptop Adapter.”

The Dart’s one-socket, in-line-brick-less design makes it portable enough to fit in your pocket, and it is very light. The 65-watt cable comes with tips to support a broad range of laptops, as well as a 2.1A USB port that can charge smartphones and other devices simultaneously. It comes in a variety of colors, and higher-level Kickstarter backers can even get a custom-designed model.



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