Twitter Widget Disabled

Written by on January 26, 2010 under Twitter, Widgets

v66If you’ve been using the Flash-based Twitter widget on your blog or web site, you might have noticed that it isn’t working. That’s because Twitter has disabled this widget due to security concerns. The problem lies in a vulnerability that was discovered in the widget. According to the people at Twitter, a security analyst raised the red flag about the widget. Apparently, the vulnerability can lead to hackers finding out the login details of the user.

Twitter was quick to respond to this issue and promptly disabled the widget. Gaj-It tells us more:

“We’ve been notified about a vulnerability in our Flash widget and out of an abundance of caution we’ve disabled access as we assess the situation,” Twitter’s staff said in a status update.

Despite this action, the configuration error reportedly stems from a basic programming mistake back in 2006. Mike Bailey, a senior security analyst with US-based company Foreground Security, said that the problem exploits a widely known vulnerability in the Adobe Systems Flash programming language.

Bailey emphasizes however, that the problem is not Adobe’s fault. He says that it is actually the programmers who make the mistake and that Adobe has already issued guidelines on how to avoid this flaw when creating Flash programs. Indeed, he says that there are a lot of other widgets with the same vulnerability – thanks to “bad programming.” That is, the programmers do not follow the recommendations of Adobe, hence exposing widgets users to the risk of having their login details hacked.

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Widgets: The Focus At CES

Written by on January 17, 2010 under News, Widgets

tmpD6This year’s CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is over and done with, but the air (at least the Internet “air”) is still buzzing with what was shown in the event. Year in and year out, technophiles look forward to this event as it showcases some of the best in “toys” – both existing and those that are yet to come.

The recently concluded CES is no different in that there were gadgets everywhere, but it seems that there is one hot topic in the realm of software: widgets for TVs. As an aside: I can’t believe how advanced TV sets are these days. I still remember that big old television set that my grandma used to have. It was encased in a wooden frame that took up almost the whole wall in the living room. Now, we have (almost) paper thin TVs that can do practically anything!

Anyway, with this new generation of television sets, other companies are taking advantage of their features – the ability to use widgets one of them. The idea is for the TV to be connected to the web so that anytime you want to check something out without having to use another device (such as your computer or your phone), you can simply call up a widget and you will get the information you need.

Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, eBay, Yahoo – these are merely a handful of the most recognizable names online today, and they are all offering widgets for various TVs. For now, there are probably around 50 widgets that one can choose from. Manufacturers say, however, that by the end of this year, we can expect that figure to double.

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