Windows 8.1 Update Deadline Slips Back a Month

Microsoft is giving consumers another 30 days beyond its originally stated deadline to install Windows 8.1 Update. Instead of requiring Windows 8.1 users to install the update by May 13, which is this month's Patch Tuesday, Microsoft is now allowing them a longer grace period -- until June 10 -- to move to the Update in order to continue to receive patches and fixes from the company. Microsoft announced the Windows 8.1 Update deadline extension on May 12.

Twitter Turns on Mute Feature

Twitter users can now mute others, meaning that their tweets will not show up in a timeline. The new feature, which Twitter announced in a blog post Monday, allows you to avoid seeing tweets from people you'd rather avoid. However, they will still be able to see your tweets and retweets. The new tool appears to be what Twitter was aiming for when it briefly changed its blocking policy in December, igniting a firestorm of controversy.

Firefox New-tab Page won't be Plastered with Logos

Mozilla is updating a plan to put ads on the windows that show when Firefox users launch a new browser tab, reassuring users that they won't lose control or be overwhelmed with ads. Mozilla announced the Firefox new-tab page advertisements idea in February, saying it wanted to feature "directory tiles" that would be useful to users. The plan has caused some worries, though.

Google Lets Android Apps Tap into Street View

Street View, Google's eye-level images showing more and more of the real world, is now available for Android software to use. That ability comes with the new Google Play Services 4.4, an update to the company's multipurpose software resource that lets Android app developers tap into a range of Google features. With the change, announced Wednesday night, a restaurant-review app could show street-level views of the restaurants

Adobe is Launching a new iPad App Called Voice

In an era of social-media marketing, school fundraisers, and Kickstarter campaigns, more and more people need to persuade others to do something. Not everybody has the budget or skills for a TED talk, though, which is why Adobe is launching a new iPad app called Voice. The free app walks people through a handful of templates, offering a narrative structure like "hero's journey" or "promote an idea." People then add clip art, music, and graphics to build a pitch.

iOS 7 Reportedly not Encrypting Email Attachments

Apple's bundled Mail app in the latest versions of iOS 7 fails to encrypt email attachments, leaving them vulnerable to attackers, a security researcher has warned. Security researcher Andreas Kurtz wrote in a blog post that he discovered a few weeks ago that attachments in the Mobile.Mail app in iOS 7.0.4, 7.1, and 7.1.1 were not adequately secured by Apple's data protection mechanisms.

Google Tests Broader Bookmarking Service Called Stars

Google lets people click a star icon to flag interest in particular Gmail messages, Chrome bookmarks, Android address book contacts, and Google Apps documents. Now it looks like the company is testing a service called Stars that could centralize the idea. Google+ user and Google watcher Florian Kiersch has spotted graphics, code snippets, and other tidbits about Google Stars since April. On Monday, he posted a Google Stars video showing how some of the service could work, based on access to Google's "dogfooding" test framework.

Microsoft Tells IE Users how to Defend Against Zero-day Bug

Microsoft has yet to patch its latest critical Internet Explorer zero-day security flaw, but an advisory about the bug now offers two temporary solutions. Updated on Monday, Microsoft Security Advisory 2963983 offers new information about the new zero-day vulnerability that affects all versions of Internet Explorer. The flaw could allow remote code execution and has already been used in "limited, targeted attacks," Microsoft revealed, though those attacks have so far affected only IE versions 9, 10, and 11.

Mozilla Introduced the New Customizable Firefox

The first thing you’ll notice in Firefox is the beautiful new design that makes it easy to focus on your Web content. The tabs are sleek and smooth to help you navigate the Web faster. It’s easy to see what tab you’re currently visiting and the other tabs fade into the background to be less of a distraction when you’re not using them.

Apple Opens OS X Mavericks Beta Testing

Before today, you needed a developer account to help test Apple’s upcoming software releases before they hit the general user population. You didn’t need to actually develop anything, but it would still cost you $99 per year to partake, and technically it was still sort of against the rules. Today, Apple introduced its OS X Beta Seed Program to make pre-release Mac operating system software available to all who want to help try it out.

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