This Week in Tech 615: Biz Sized Hole

All the highlights from Google I/O. Tim Cook has a blood sugar tracking watch. Facebook’s guidelines for content moderation. Biz Stone is going back to Twitter. What happened with WannaCry. Minecraft devs don’t want you to poison your birds. The FCC is going ahead with their plan to end Net Neutrality whether you like it or not. The internet is broken, and one of the men responsible is trying to fix it.

Jeff Jarvis went to Google I/O, and all he got was this t-shirt.
Mark Millian secretly hates the way Leo pronounces “Bloomberg Business Week”
Nathan Olivarez-Giles has mad street cred.

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This Week in Tech 613: My Husband’s an iDoctor

Mark Zuckerberg drops in for dinner unannounced, talks with firemen, and feeds a calf. Is he running for President, or just trying to convince us he’s not secretly a robot? Apple has more than $250 billion in cash – what should it do with all that money? Microsoft introduces Windows 10 S, the Surface Laptop, Code Builder for Minecraft: Education edition, and more tools for schools. How much technology do schools need? Amazon’s new echo has a camera, and its next one will have a touchpad. Is ubiquitous voice computing going to lead to the end of privacy forever? The Google Docs phishing attack makes us question if users are to blame. Facebook and Twitter want to be your next TV.

–Amy Webb’s new book is The Signals are Talking
–Nick Bilton’s new book is American Kingpin
–Brianna Wu is running for Congress in Massachusetts

Most popular stories of 2015: Tech Culture

By TechSpot Staff | TechSpot

In 2015 we tried hard to achieve Marty McFly’s hoverboard-laden future with at least three separate efforts, but all we got in the end were some two-wheel balancing boards that sporadically catch fire. Elsewhere, robot battles between the US and Japan are brewing, we got some nice doses of gaming nostalgia, drones continue to evolve as the likely future of logistics, Bitcoin bounced back from a lackluster 2014 to become the best-performing currency this year, and a lot more.

#10 Japan accepts America’s giant robot battle challenge

Two giant fighting robots – one American and one Japanese – are to face off against each other in a melee battle next year, piloted by drivers who sit inside them.

#9 This is how the ultra-rich watch box office releases at home, $500 at a time

furious movies movie theater set-top box redundancies prima cinema

PRIMA Cinema is billed as the first and only premium entertainment company to deliver new films directly to your home. But it’ll cost you quite a bit.

#8 For Minecraft creator Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, life as a billionaire isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

Money doesn’t buy happiness. Too much of a good thing is bad. More money, more problems. There are clichés out the wazoo that seem to describe the position that Markus “Notch” Persson has found himself in since offloading Mojang to Microsoft.

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Playing Minecraft no longer makes your PC a juicy target for hackers

The folks at Microsoft-owned Mojang just gave PC users one more reason to uninstall Java from their systems. The Minecraft launcher for PC now installs and manages its own instance of Oracle’s software. The version of Java the new Minecraft launcher uses is contained within the game’s directory—meaning you no longer need a system-wide version of Java installed on your PC to play the game.

Why this matters: Java has a reputation for opening enormous security holes in PCs and security experts have long advised us to dump Java unless it was absolutely necessary to keep it. In January, security firm Secunia ApS issued a report that said Java was the single biggest security risk for American PC users. That same month Oracle released a quarterly security update that patched 19 vulnerabilities in Java, fourteen of which could be exploited from a webpage. Removing the system-wide version of Java and replacing it with a version that only executes when Minecraft is running dramatically reduces your system’s security risk.

Windows PCs only for now

At the moment, the self-installed version of Java with Minecraft is only available for Windows users. A new launcher is apparently in the works for OS X users too.

While the new change is good news for longtime Minecraft users, you’ll have to take a few extra steps before uninstalling Java via the Control Panel. The problem is that older profiles will still default to using the system-wide version of Java, but with a few tweaks you can put an end to that.

We won’t get into that process here, but How-To Geek—which first reported on the Minecraft change—has everything you need to know. The site also has some performance comparisons between the system-wide and Minecraft-contained versions of Java.

Once you’ve done away with Java why not consider dumping other security-challenged software from your PC like Adobe’s Reader and Flash?

via Playing Minecraft no longer makes your PC a juicy target for hackers | PCWorld.