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What ‘Shellshock’ means to you and me

<p class=”summary”>A Linux/Unix-based vulnerability, Shellshock, has an impact that reaches far beyond one operating system.</p> <p class=”summaryPlain”>As with Heartbleed, Windows users can’t ignore this threat. But the most difficult aspect of this outbreak is determining which devices are actually vulnerable.</p> <h2>A vulnerability in the Bash Linux/Unix shell</h2> <p>Your PC might be pure Windows, but chances are high that you have devices in your home running on Unix or Linux. I know I do &#8212; my Western Digital My Cloud networked backup drive, routers, Kindles, iPhones, and iPads all run some form of Unix/Linux. (Worse still, Unix and Linux are core operating systems on many enterprise-computing and storage systems.)</p> <p>Those non-Windows devices were relatively safe from malware &#8212; until now. As has been widely reported, the GNU Project’s Bourne Again Shell (Bash; <a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bash_%28Unix_shell%29″>more info</a>) was found to be vulnerable. Bash is a text-based, command-line utility or Unix shell used by numerous versions of the Linux/Unix operating systems.</p> This article is part of our premium content. Join Now.Already a paid subscriber? Click here to login.

Why — and when — net neutrality is important

Netflix and Comcast now have an agreement allowing Netflix to link directly to Comcast’s servers. Similar agreements are in the works, involving Verizon and many other ISPs. Proponents of net neutrality believe all should have equal access to the Net, but the debate isn’t nearly as cut-and-dried as you think.

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Comcast and Time Warner Cable: The upshot for us

Last month, cable TV giant Comcast announced it had agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for U.S. $45 billion, merging the largest and second-largest cable companies in the U.S. While the raging debate over the advisability of the merger focuses primarily on TV, ultimately the far larger question will be our future access to the Internet.

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How to run Google’s Android OS on a Windows PC

Little-known fact: By using a virtual PC, you can set up and run a free, fully legitimate copy of Google’s Android on a standard Windows system. This gives you a way to safely experiment with the Android operating system — or to re-create the layout of an Android device you already have.

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Notes from the RSA Conference on security

Long gone are the days when PC security mostly meant installing anti-virus software and keeping it updated. Today, the digital assault on our money and privacy is expanding and changing at a truly mind-boggling pace.

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Turmoil at Microsoft; implications for Windows users

Microsoft in general and the Windows group in particular have gone through enormous changes within the past year. All the key Windows 8 players are out. Most of us can only speculate on the reasons for the massive turnover, but one point remains clear: under new management, Windows is in for changes.

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Sorting out the revolution in PC backups: Part 2

In Part 1 of this two-part series, I gave an overview of the five major types of backup technologies available today for Windows PCs. This week, Part 2 shows the enormous speed differences in backup methods; it also includes some real-life scenarios to help you pick the best method for your needs.

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Sorting out the revolution in PC backups: Part 1

Over the past few years, backup technology has improved so much that you’re virtually guaranteed you’ll never lose important files or other data. But with so many good options available, it can be difficult to settle on the backup method — or methods — exactly right for you.

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A last reprieve for the enduring Windows XP?

By now, every Windows XP user and his third cousin should know that on April 8, the clock runs out on the venerable OS. But recent developments might give XP users a bit of a reprieve. When and how Microsoft will blink are the open questions.

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Going small(er): Trading spinning disks for SSDs

Solid-state drives can give a significant boost to system performance, but at the cost of storage space. Here’s how to sort out the data on a big spinning-platter drive and fit what you can onto a smaller SSD.

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