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Weekly Bytes | Microsoft Edge’s malicious extensions, Twitter’s security enhancement, and more

Microsoft has removed 18 Edge extensions that injected ads into users’ search results. | Picture by special arrangement.  

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Microsoft removes malicious Edge extensions

Microsoft has removed 18 Edge extensions that injected ads into users’ search results, ZDNet reported. The tech giant received numerous complaints from Edge users through Reddit, and after investigating, it removed the extensions. Microsoft’s community manager shared a list of the add-ons which included NordVPN, Adguard VPN, TunnelBear VPN, Ublock Adblock Plus, Greasemonkey, Wayback Machine, Grammar and Spelling Checker, Old Layout for Facebook, and One Click URL Shortener. The extensions have been removed from Edge Add-ons store, and Microsoft suggested users to remove them from their browser as well. This week, Microsoft also announced new enhancements to Teams Calling.

Twitter enhances two-factor authentication

Twitter on Thursday said it has updated two-factor authentication on its platform so users can log in with their physical security key on Android and iOS devices. The security feature was earlier only available on desktop. Two-factor authentication is an additional layer of security, which if enabled, requires a user to enter a code or use a security key after entering the account password. Twitter users can enable it in security settings and choose one the three methods of authentication including text message, authentication app, or security key. In another update, Twitter expanded hate speech rules to include race and ethnicity.

Reddit’s 52 mn daily active users

Reddit has revealed its daily active users (DAU) count for the first time. The social news platform said it averaged 52 million DAU in October, a 44% increase compared with the previous year, The Wall Street Journal reported. The number is a metric that reflects user growth, and is used by social media companies. Reddit’s count is relatively smaller than other social media companies like Facebook, and Twitter. “We’re focused on daily usership and increasing this number as we continue to grow our community,” Reddit COO Jen Wong noted. In another development, a recent analysis of Reddit posts showed pandemic’s impact on mental health.

Google Docs PDF support improvements

Google announced updates to Docs, improving support for PDFs. The enhancements include support for multi-column layouts, custom page sizes, tables with borders, and improved content ordering. It will also support image imports as well as different text styles and formatting. In another update, Google also improved the comment interface for Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps for iOS. The enhancements include larger and clearer interface, quick access button to reply, “@” mention someone, as well as shortcuts and gestures to quickly scroll through and respond to comments. This week, Google also said it will start offering free access to paywalled new content.

Ethereum launches Eth2 upgrade

Ethereum has launched an upgrade called Eth2 or Ethereum 2.0 to make it more scalable, secure, and sustainable, according to its official webpage. The world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market value, aims to address some of the present issues such as disk space requirement to run an Ethereum client, high energy needs, and network congestion, it noted. It is a decentralised blockchain platform that was launched in 2015. Its cryptocurrency is called ‘Ether’, which is priced at $585 (about ₹ 43,000), at the time of writing. In a separate update, Facebook renamed its digital currency venture as ‘Diem’.

Fortnite’s new season features the Mandalorian, Baby Yoda

Epic Games has announced the latest season of its popular battle royale game – Fortnite, which includes new hunters from different realities like the Mandalorian accompanied by Baby Yoda. The chapter 2, season 5 called ‘zero point’, succeeds the Marvel-themed season 4. It brings new locations like salty towers, hunter’s haven, colossal colosseum, coral castle, and misty meadows, as well as new weapons like the Dragon’s Breath shotgun, and the Mandalorian’s Amban sniper rifle. Gamers can unlock the new hunters and embrace the chaos with the season 5 battle pass. In another game update, FAU-G, India’s version of the now banned online multiplayer game PUBG, opened pre-registrations on Google Play.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 10:30:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/weekly-bytes-microsoft-edges-malicious-extensions-twitters-security-enhancement-and-more/article33255957.ece

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