Microsoft officially retires the Internet Explorer browser after 27 years of existence.

(www.theguardian.com)

From 15 June, the desktop app will be disabled and users will be redirected to Microsoft’s Edge browser instead.

Internet Explorer was the gateway to the internet for people born prior to Generation Z, in an era when Microsoft dominated the tech world, before Google, Facebook and TikTok, and when the browser had to be installed on to computers using a CD-ROM.

Microsoft’s market domination came about due to its bundling of the software as part of the Windows operating system. The experience was often sluggish and when faster competition arrived with Mozilla’s Firefox and later Google Chrome, people jumped ship in droves.

I'm sure this will be a total pain for some places such as law firms and private practices since they still rely on IE due to legacy software which I'm sure that MS will extend those contracts for now. In at all, this is a good riddance moment for the rest of us although we never forget how this browser was dominant, then it stopped innovating, then Google Chrome became dominant and it's now much like when IE was.

Also Japan is panicking for being so slow to adopt to new tech and methods:
"Japan's business and government agencies are panicking as Internet Explorer shuts down; a March survey showed 49% of organizations use the browser for work"

Jason Kottke is taking a sabbatical from his blog https://kottke.org.

(kottke.org)

Hello, everyone. I’m going to be taking an extended break from kottke.org, starting today. I’ve been writing here for more than 24 years, nearly half my life — I need a breather. This is something I have been thinking about and planning for years and I’d like to share why I’m doing it, how it’s going to work, what I hope to accomplish, and how you can help.

I appreciate so much what I’ve built here at kottke.org — I get to read and learn about all sorts of new things every day, create new ideas and connections for people, and think in public — and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to set my own schedule, be my own boss, and provide for my family. But if you were to go back into the archive for the past several months and read the site closely, you’d see that I’ve been struggling.

Does what I do here make a difference in other people’s lives? In my life? Is this still scratching the creative itch that it used to? And if not, what needs to change? Where does kottke.org end and Jason begin? Who am I without my work? Is the validation I get from the site healthy? Is having to be active on social media healthy? Is having to read the horrible news every day healthy? What else could I be doing here? What could I be doing somewhere else? What good is a blog without a thriving community of other blogs? I’ve tried thinking about these and many other questions while continuing my work here, but I haven’t made much progress; I need time away to gain perspective.

Jason is taking at least 5-6 months off the grid mostly and it's totally understandable. I wish him all the best and hope he comes back strong as he has been struggling in the last few years going through a divorce to boot.

The 3G shutdown will affect everyday devices you probably own

(www.cnn.com)

If left unaddressed, the stakes could be high in certain cases. Millions of cars, for example, may no longer have the ability to contact first responders after a collision or receive updates such as location or traffic alerts for built-in GPS systems. Some vehicles, including Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac, have software upgrades for drivers to connect their systems to a 4G network, but other models will reportedly lose this feature for good.

Now, the major carriers are phasing out 3G technology in the United States and some markets abroad. AT&T (T), which owns CNN’s parent company, is shutting it down on February 22; T-Mobile (TMUS) is doing so in the third quarter; and Verizon (VZ) will take this step by the end of the year. As the technology officially becomes obsolete, a scramble is underway to help consumers avoid a disruption.

So tomorrow begins the 3G network shutdown process starting with AT&T, and I feel it's going to be a huge mess especially for older devices that would stop workign altogether if it relies on it…

Senator Blumenthal, After Years Of Denial, Admits He's Targeting Encryption With EARN IT

(www.techdirt.com)

Since the very beginning many of us have pointed out that the EARN IT Act will undermine encryption (as well as other parts of the internet). Senator Richard Blumenthal, the lead sponsor on the bill, has insisted over and over again that the bill has nothing to do with encryption. Right after the original bill came out, when people called this out, Blumenthal flat out said "this bill says nothing about encryption" and later claimed that "Big Tech is using encryption as a subterfuge to oppose this bill."

The newest version of EARN IT replaced Leahy's already weak amendment with one that is a more direct attack on encryption. But it has allowed slimy "anti-porn" groups like NCOSE to falsely claim that it has "dealt with the concerns about encryption." Except, as we detailed, the language of the bill now makes encryption a liability for any web service, as it explicitly says that use of encryption can be used as evidence that a website does not properly deal with child sexual abuse material.

In other words, he knows that the bill targets encryption despite two whole years of blatant denials. To go from "this bill makes no mention of encryption" to "we don't want companies using encryption as a 'get-out-of-jail-free card'" is an admission that this bill is absolutely about encryption. And if that's the case, why have their been no hearings about the impact this would have on encryption and national security? Because, that seems like a key point that should be discussed, especially with Blumenthal admitting this thing that he denied for two whole years.

Like we have been saying all along. It unanimously passed the committee stage this morning and now most likely it will head to the Senate floor in the coming weeks where it could have a full floor vote by then.

This is a very good chance of becoming law sadly.

T-Mobile starts blocking iPhone users in the US who use the iCloud Private Relay feature just to please their parent company Deutsche Telekom (which is among other European carriers already blocking it):

(9to5mac.com)

T-Mobile was among the carriers in Europe that signed an open letter expressing concern about the impact of Private Relay. The carriers wrote that the feature cuts off networks and servers from accessing “vital network data and metadata and could impact “operator’s ability to efficiently manage telecommunication networks.”

In the UK, carriers including T-Mobile, EE, and others have already started blocking Private Relay usage when connected to cellular data. 9to5Mac has also now confirmed that T-Mobile is extending this policy to the United States.

Why the US needs Net Neutrality back part 235676979…

Today is ultimate doomsday for BlackBerry legacy devices.

(arstechnica.com)

The effect of the end of support is detailed on an FAQ page the former device maker is hosting. The key change is that BlackBerry will no longer be sending out provisioning updates to these devices. Provisioning information provides details on how the devices should establish connections with different types of networking equipment, including cellular and WiFi networks. As a result, at some indeterminate point in the future, networking updates made by service providers will mean that the BlackBerry devices can no longer connect. As a result, BlackBerry says its devices "will no longer be expected to reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS and 9-1-1 functionality."

Today is ultimate doomsday if you have a BlackBerry legacy device as their servers shut down today. I have very good memories when I used those back in the 2000s. The Torch and Curve series are my favorites.

The Log4Shell 0day is still ongoing.

(arstechnica.com)

What has happened since Log4Shell surfaced last Thursday? Almost immediately, security firm Greynoise detected active scanning attempting to identify vulnerable servers. Researchers report seeing this critical and easy-to-exploit vulnerability being used to install crypto-mining malware, bolster Linux botnets, and exfiltrate configurations, environmental variables, and other potentially sensitive data from vulnerable servers.

This is going to be a shitty few weeks…

Some more info.

Nextcloud Hub II released today

(nextcloud.com)

This release presents a massive jump forward in terms capabilities, performance and integration for Nextcloud, marking it as the second major generation of our vision for Nextcloud Hub. As number one collaboration platform in Germany and the choice of collaboration platform for the Gaia-X project, Nextcloud is seeing an acceleration of deployments all over the world and in Europe in particular.

This update looks good and very promising. I like how they're fighting the good fight as well.

Winamp prepares a relaunch, new beta version almost ready

(www.bleepingcomputer.com)

One of the most popular media players to play MP3s was Winamp, with its retro skins and animated visualizers that moved along with the music you were playing. However, Winamp had not seen any further development after its version 5.666 release in 2013.

In October 2018, after Winamp 5.8 was leaked online, the developers decided to publish the leaked version on their website Winamp.com to allow everyone to use it in all its nostalgic glory. Unfortunately, while Radionomy, the owners of Winamp, said they had big plans for Winamp, no further versions have been released since then.

As first reported by Vosveteit, the lack of official development is about to change as the Winamp.com site received a redesign and a new logo was revealed for the media player this week.

Winamp's coming back? Interesting since it hasn't seen any major development for nearly a decade now and none since Radionomy brought it from AOL.

Apple to begin do-it-yourself repair program for iPhones, Macs next year

(www.cnet.com)

A new program, called Self Service Repair, will allow customers to buy parts from Apple for their products and perform repairs at home. Apple said it will also publish repair manuals online and offer tools to buy at the same prices authorized repair technicians pay.

The move marks a significant shift for the tech giant, which has historically restricted access to parts and repair manuals, as well as diagnostic and calibration apps, to its "authorized repair programs." Without Apple-sanctioned ways to repair devices, some users have turned to experts on YouTube and at companies like iFixit to learn how to acquire parts and perform repairs on their own.

Advocates have increasingly pressured Apple and other companies to open their service manuals, parts and tools to the public. More than a dozen states, including Apple's home in California, have considered laws supporting right-to-repair laws. And earlier this year, President Joe Biden issued an executive order calling on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the issue.

Baby steps surely, but this is huge for Right to Repair especially coming from Apple, who was fighting this for decades.

Regulation works!