Possible Fix Found For Windows 10 Error With Taskbar and Cortana.

The release of Windows 10 has been rather odd in many respects, yes it’s an improvement over the much maligned previous OS in terms of user interface, but privacy concerns coupled with a monitoring tool that allows parents to effectively spy on their children’s browsing habits by default has led to a rather mixed reception. Among the many errors and glitches that have befallen consumers is the rather annoying bug that has led to the failure of both Cortana and the taskbar for many individuals, who have been subsequently privileged to a “Critical Error” when attempting to launch both applications. So much so that the official Microsoft answers board has seen consumers vent their frustrations concerning the problem.

Well, this error might have been in part clarified by a redditor that goes by the moniker “Xeasar”, who has seemingly found a fix when this individual attempted to uninstall Avast Anti-Virus. It was found that as soon as this software had been removed, both Cortana and the Taskbar returned to full functionality, leading to the conclusion of compatibility issues with this particular program. Whether this is the sole cause of the problem or down to a variety of incompatible applications remains to be seen.

According to “Xeasar”, Microsoft is aware of the problem and as a result is working on a patch for the issue. On occasions software developers view consumers with suspicion even though in many cases it’s those same people who find a way to fix issues with certain products. It will be interesting to note how and when Microsoft patches this issue and it also conveys the unstable nature of a new OS in its first year.

Thank you Reddit and answers.microsoft for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of techworm

Google Adds a Big Pot of Money as Android Security Rewards Program Incentive

Google is known for rewarding its fans and developers who find and provide fixes to its Android operating system. Through its reward system, Google ensures that bugs are found and dealt with accordingly. Through its open-source nature, Android provides a lot of potential for both development and hacking.

The Android Security Rewards has been made for developers to submit any code that won’t fall into other rewards program covered by Google. The company is interested in AOSP, OEM, kernel and TrustZone OS bugs, but firmware bugs can also be submitted if they pose a potential security risk for the Android OS.

The new rewards program currently covers only two devices, namely the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9, but Google says it will add more in the future. Bugs that qualify for the latter devices should fall into the moderate, high or critical area, so if you find a complex bug or just a text misspelled wrong, they won’t qualify.

As far as rewards are concerned, Google offers between $500 and $2,000, depending on the bug severity and how well it is documented and/or patched. For example, Google will reward anyone who submits a critical bug, the patch and CTS test with up to $8,000. Also, Google offers a larger sum of money for functional bugs as follows:

  • An exploit or chain of exploits leading to kernel compromise from an installed app or with physical access to the device will get up to an additional $10,000. Going through a remote or proximal attack vector can get up to an additional $20,000.
  • An exploit or chain of exploits leading to TEE (TrustZone) or Verified Boot compromise from an installed app or with physical access to the device will get up to an additional $20,000. Going through a remote or proximal attack vector can get up to an additional $30,000.

If you like a challenge that would potentially bring you a lot of cash, you can head over to Google’s Android Rewards page here and see more details.

QNAP System Update Available To Fix Heartbleed OpenSSL Vunerability

As the Heartbleed bug still stands as one of the biggest security vulnerabilities that has been seen in recent years, we are hearing continuing news of security patches and updates coming out to close the loopholes that are found in each instance of OpenSSL.

The latest update that we are hearing of comes from one of the leading NAS manufacturers, QNAP. Released today, QNAP’s security patch is targeted at system operating systems that run on QTS versions 4.0 and 4.1 – earlier releases use and earlier version of OpenSSL which appears to be unaffected.

“We strongly urge users of vulnerable Turbo NAS systems to update their firmware,” said Jason Hsu, Product Manager of QNAP. “Users are also recommended to contact their SSL providers to regenerate their SSL CSR/keys for server protection.”

Whilst QNAP are urging users with the above QTS releases to update their systems, either by running an update through the QTS control panel or by downloading the patch manually.

In addition to this I will point out that keeping your system up to date with the latest firmware and software releases is always highly recommended and even if you are running any of the earlier QTS revisions, it is still wise to update to the latest QTS 4.0.7 and 4.1.0 RC2 revisions.

Source: Press Release