Is Tor Secure?

The Onion Router, otherwise known as Tor, is a free browser that can help you defend against traffic analysis and network surveillance which threatens personal freedom and privacy. It gives you anonymity by bouncing communication around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world. It prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, and prevent sites that you visit from learning your physical location.

Is it bulletproof? No. There are some nodes that collect data as reported by ExtremeTech.

Reasearches have reported that 110 live nodes in Tor are “misbehaving” by collecting data on the connections that pass through it. The purpose of this collection is unclear, and there seems to be some variation in what the nodes are collecting. Some are much more sophisticated and are pulling in data that could be used to identify users. Others seem to just be tracking statistics. The most likely scenario is that some computer science researchers are running studies on Tor, which involve collecting some data. At the same time, law enforcement is running similar nodes that are trying to unmask users of illegal “hidden services” that are hosted in Tor. The Silk Road was one such hidden service.

The Heroku Platform

What is the Heroku Platform?

Heroku is a cloud platform based on a managed container system, with integrated data services and a powerful ecosystem, for deploying and running modern apps. The Heroku developer experience is an app-centric approach for software delivery, integrated with today’s most popular developer tools and workflows.

The Heroku Platform is designed so you can focus on what matters the most: the app. Getting apps out in the wild, in front of real users, and then iterating fast, is what can make or break companies. Heroku lets companies of all sizes embrace the value of apps, not the hassle of hardware, nor the distraction of servers — virtual or otherwise.

The Heroku Platform is great for the early part of the app lifecycle, but it really shines when you go into production. Heroku seamlessly supports every step of the app lifecycle — build, run, manage and scale. Heroku Postgres provides trusted database options at terabyte scale.

More Than Half Use Chrome

Google Chrome has now reached 51% use according ComputerWorld.

According to U.S. analytics vendor Net Applications, Chrome’s user share grew by more than 2 percentage points in July, the fourth time in the last six months that its gains were of that size, to end the month at 51%. In the last 12 months, Chrome has added 23.1 percentage points to its user share, starting that stretch with less than 30% and ending by owning a majority of the worldwide desktop browser market. Only two browsers have controlled more than half of the global browser share this century: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE), which held a majority until December 2015, and now Chrome.

Steam on Windows 10

Steam on Windows will progressively get worse over time according to Tim Sweeney, the co-founder of Epic Games.

From Slashdot.

Slowly, over the next five years, they will force-patch Windows 10 to make Steam progressively worse and more broken. They’ll never completely break it, but will continue to break it until, in five years, people are so fed up that Steam is buggy that the Windows Store seem like an ideal alternative. That’s exactly what they did to their previous competitors in other areas. Now they’re doing it to Steam. It’s only just starting to become visible. Microsoft might not be competent enough to succeed with their plan but they are certainly trying,” Sweeney said. He adds the outcome of this would be forcing every app and game to be sold through the Windows Store alone. “If they can succeed in doing that then it’s a small leap to forcing all apps and games to be distributed through the Windows store. Once we reach that point, the PC has become a closed platform. It won’t be that one day they flip a switch that will break your Steam library — what they’re trying to do is a series of sneaky manoeuvres. They make it more and more inconvenient to use the old apps, and, simultaneously, they try to become the only source for the new ones,” he claims.

New Google Map

Google has updated Google Maps. From the Verge:

Google spruced up its Maps app on Android and iOS yesterday, as well as its web counterpart, in a bid to make it easier to understand. The updated Google Maps has removed road outlines and changed typography, alterations that Google says make it easier for users to see traffic information and make out points of interest, train stations, and other key spots easily. The company is also taking advantage of this cleaner look to highlight new areas of interest, shading districts with a lot of stuff to see and do in orange, and allowing users to explore their contents. These areas of interest are determined algorithmically, using an automated process to pick out areas with the most stores, restaurants, or bars, but Google says it’s also using a “human touch” in high-density areas — like New York City — to point people to the coolest locations. The app’s color palette has also been tweaked slightly. Freeways and highways are now shaded in oranges and yellows, hospitals and schools in beige and gray, and parks and water features in green and blue, respectively. You’ll see these changes live in both the app and web version of Google Maps now.

Check out Google Maps.

Xbox One Only $249

Microsoft is now selling the 500GB Xbox One for just $249. Will you get one? The reason for the price cut is, there’s a new version of the Xbox coming out in a few days. It’s scheduled to be released in stores by August 2. The new Xbox version is called Xbox One S. The 2TB model will retail for $399. In addition to the 2TB model, there will be two other models with less storage. The 500GB models will sell for 299, while the 1TB model will retail for $349.

As far as the older 500GB Xbox One, Dell has quite a deal at the moment:

Alongside a 500GB Xbox One, gamers can choose the digital download code for one of four titles—Forza Motorsport 6, Rise of the Tomb Raider (pictured), Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, or Rare Replay$29.99 at Dell. The bundle also includes a black wireless controller, AC power cable, HDMI cable, and 14-day free trial of Xbox Live Gold.

Microsoft Azure Double Compute Usage

Microsoft announced this week that Azure has doubled its cloud compute usage over a year ago. Azure is currently ranked #2 behind Amazon AWS in terms of cloud computing usage and revenue. Microsoft added that revenue growth rates has doubled over a year ago. Microsoft’s meteoric rise has been mostly due to its support of Linux platforms. Azure compute usage have shot up since Linux distros have been made available.