Technology

Skype is not dead, drones face crows, 42 million Internet buyers in France … It’s the ZD Brief!

Summary :

  • Skype is not dead
  • Crows vs drones: when nature regains its rights
  • Developers flee technical debt
  • The key figure: 42 million online shoppers in France
  • Practice : How do you control those apps that are spying on you?
  • Editorial zoom: zero day vulnerabilities

Skype is not dead

Following the announcement of the disappearance of the Skype button in Windows 11, in favor of a Teams button, one would have thought that Skype was at the end of its life. However, the creator of Windows says no, promising that the application will be faster and offer an experience comparable to that of its competitors.

What’s new on the agenda: New layouts, new themes, an improved grid view, a gallery that can support up to nine participants, Ensemble mode, and the new TwinCam mode, which allows you to connect a second device to use multiple angles during a video conference. Microsoft also promises a similar experience on desktops and mobile devices, and support for all browsers.

Crows vs drones: when nature regains its rights

In the Australian skies, crows attack Google-operated delivery drones. The repeated attacks prompted Wing, the drone delivery service owned by Alphabet, to suspend flights over the area. The operator said it would wait for investigators to assess the birds’ behavior before resuming home deliveries. Wing got off to a good start in the world of air travel, with more than 100,000 deliveries. The service is also being tested in the United States and Finland.

If this news may have surprised some observers, it is not the first time that birds have attacked drones in flight. Paris police paid the price, two years ago, when seagulls attacked police drones, interfering in particular with the surveillance of demonstrations. Something to inspire new strategies, like the French army that has trained golden eagles to hunt light drones.

Developers flee technical debt

Companies struggle to keep their software developers, but software developers can find many reasons to change employers: a better opportunity, a better salary, or better working conditions at another company. But a study has just shed light on a reason that is too often ignored and that pushes developers to take a tangent: bad code.

Software engineers have long faced “technical debt” created by past coding practices that were perhaps clever, but also undocumented and exotic. Technical debt is the price paid to support existing systems instead of overhauling them or implementing a new, better-performing system. According to a survey, 51% of engineers surveyed have considered resigning or resigning due to technical debt.

The key figure: 42 million online shoppers in France

Online consumption habits persist outside of the blackout period. A Fevad study reveals that online sales grew 24.9% in the second quarter of 2021, registering a turnover of 32.4 billion euros. But what we see above all is the installation of habitual online shoppers on the scene. Nearly 42 million Internet users made online purchases during the same quarter, or more than one million additional online shoppers, compared to 2020.

And if sales increase, the offer also grows, as Fevad indicates that a new site is created every 20 minutes in France. However, the average amount of paper remains unchanged, around sixty euros. The means of payment are also evolving, even if the bank card is still the queen. The latter also vary according to the expense: deferred and fractioned payments over 250 euros; PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay below 30 euros. When it comes to the biggest sellers, Amazon remains in the lead, followed by Leboncoin, Cdiscount and Vinted.

Practical: how to monitor these spying apps?

iOS 15 allows you to record the activities of your applications, so you know when they have accessed your data, or even your microphone or your camera. Here’s how to activate this feature:

  • enters Settings> Privacy and scroll to the end, to find Record application activity ;
  • let your iPhone record your application activity for a few days;
  • retrieve the report from it by clicking Save application activity ;
  • open the downloaded JSON file in a text editor to analyze the data.

Editorial focus: zero-day defects

These defects of a somewhat special kind are the nightmare of publishers and manufacturers, but also of their users. A zero-day defect is, in fact, an unknown defect to a software publisher. So there is no update to correct the problem. And the end user cannot do anything to protect themselves. For hacking your phone or your computer, zero-day breaches are therefore the ideal method.

This is why information about these vulnerabilities is sold at sometimes crazy prices: up to two million dollars for a zero-day vulnerability on an iPhone, for example. Given this, publishers offer to pay security researchers who report vulnerabilities, but often have a hard time matching the prices charged by cybercriminals. The financial value of these loopholes generally holds them for use by government-backed organizations, such as intelligence or law enforcement. But sometimes cybercriminals succeed, with far-reaching consequences.

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