Monthly Archives: July 2009

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 31, 2009

Three Free TV-Streaming Apps – Ditch your keyboard, lean back, and start streaming your favorite shows directly from the Internet with these free apps—and your PC’s media remote.

92 per cent of all email is spam – Spam Spam now accounts for 92 per cent of all emails and is growing at a rate of 117 billion emails a day, according to a new report. Computer security firm McAfee has described the growing onslaught of spam over the last three months as alarming.

How to hijack ‘every iPhone in the world – If you receive a text message on your iPhone any time after Thursday afternoon containing only a single square character, Charlie Miller would suggest you turn the device off. Quickly. …… mostly invisible SMS bursts that can give a hacker complete power over any of the smart phone’s functions. That includes dialing the phone, visiting Web sites, turning on the device’s camera and microphone and, most importantly, sending more text messages to further propagate a mass-gadget hijacking.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Revitalize Your PC With Windows’ Utilities – Computers get slower with age. And as we add programs and updates, sometimes little ‘quirks’ develop. The older our machines get and the more we use them, the worse these things become.

Firefox approaches 1 billion downloads – Mozilla’s Firefox browser is expected to pass the one billion download milestone this weekend. To mark the occasion Firefox has launched a dedicated website, onebillionplusyou.com, which will go live on 3 August. A Twitter account has also been set-up to count down to the milestone.

Windows 7 first look: More than just ‘Vista, fixed’ – After 10 days of installing and testing the final release of Microsoft’s new operating system on a wide range of desktop and notebook configurations, I continue to be impressed by the many small but meaningful changes — and several large ones — that give Windows 7 its own identity.

Lifehacker: Bypass Cellphone Voicemail Instructions with One Star Pound – Next time your call goes to voicemail, there’s no reason to contend with the insufferable 15-second instructional that precedes the beep. Here’s how to skip ahead and leave your message in peace without wasting precious minutes

Kaminsky Warns of SSL VulnerabilitiesThe famed security researcher sounds the alarm on a new threat that could undermine the trust of secure Web transactions. Should we be worried?

Never Use Hotmail, Inactive Webmail As Your Secondary Email Account – Registering for an account at any web site almost always requires an email address, and some people use a secondary address they don’t care about instead of their real email address to avoid spam. If you do this, be very careful.

At Black Hat: Hackers 1, Security Experts 0 – High profile security experts presenting at this week’s Black Hat conference find themselves on the defensive after hackers successfully broke into their servers. The incident shows that even the best security experts should have their architectures and practices checked and double checked.

The 500 worst passwords of all time…and how to avoid them – We all have lots of Internet passwords, and about half of them are not difficult to guess. Here are the 500 worst passwords of all time — and how to avoid them.

Off Topic:

Four resume tips for older workers – IT CareerPeople aged 55 and older are twice as likely to experience age barriers in employment, than any other discrimination. Career blogger Toni Bowers offers some resume tips on how older workers can get around this issue.

Marketing Tips: Go Viral, Virus Protection, Social Media – This week, Andrew Lock looks at a viral video that takes United Airlines to task for lousy customer service, reveals the winner of his Magical Marketing Experience, offers social media and anti-virus tips and shares a marketing lesson from Delta Airlines.

Cheerleader Sues School, Coach After Illicit Facebook Log-In – A high school cheerleader is suing after her coach forced her to give up her Facebook account login information, and her account’s contents were shared widely with school officials.

Pick-up Lines for Math Geeks and Nerds: e.g. – “I can figure out the square root of any number in less than 10 seconds. What? You don’t believe me? Well, then, let’s try it with your phone number”.

Today’s Free Downloads:

MarketBrowser – Get world class charting on your computer in seconds with MarketBrowser. Check portfolio performance instantly with the at-a-glance toolbar. Quickly run studies like moving averages, spreads and oscillators.

Klok 1 – A simple a well-designed, easy-to-use time sheet app that lets you quickly add projects and how long it took you to complete them. Create reports to see how much work you’ve performed.

Spybot Search & Destroy – Though its name sounds like bad dialog from a 60′s sci-fi flick, Spybot Search & Destroy is a good program to have around for those trying times when you think someone is lurking behind the browser curtain tracking your every Web move. Fire it up and it’ll spot all sorts of tracking cookies and the like, then remove them if you choose to do so.

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Tech Thoughts Free License Giveaways Continue for SUPERAntiSpyware and WinAutomation

We still have 2 contests running on Tech Thoughts, with 20 free lifetime licenses for SUPERAntiSpyware, and 3 free licenses for WinAutomation to be won.

SUPERAntiSpyware is a recognized leader in the fight against the ever increasing threats we are exposed to, each time we connect to the Internet. This application is definitely a worthwhile addition to your security toolbox.

From the article:

“Since I had test driven the free version of SUPERAntiSpyware earlier this year, and found it to be equal to its excellent reputation, I decided to go for a run with the professional version.

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No surprise then, when I found that the professional version, which includes real time protection against infection, lived up to its reputation as a premier anti-malware tool. In a world of hyperbole, exaggeration, overstatement, and embellishment, the SUPER, in this case, means just that.

It would be hard to argue with the 15 million + worldwide users who have chosen to protect their computers with this straightforward application with its simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface – and I won’t. SUPERAntiSpyware deserves the kudos it regularly receives from both computer security gurus and users”.

Read the rest of the article here and then leave a comment which will act as your entry to win a free lifetime license for SUPERAntiSpyware.

The second contest is for a free copy of WinAutomation, a superior Windows application designed to help you deal with the repetitive tasks that negatively influence productivity.

From the article:

“Computing today is far more complex; so elementary macro writing, or running basic Windows scripts for more complex tasks, just doesn’t cut it.

Recently, I was asked to review WinAutomation, a Windows application that has been designed so that the user can automate both uncomplicated and, more intricate tasks, using a straightforward, simple, and intuitive drag and drop interface.

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Let me cut to the chase – this application does exactly what it says it will do. My programming skills are pretty rusty, so it was a welcome surprise to see that no programming skills are needed to get the best out of this application”.

Read the rest of the article here and then leave a comment which will act as your entry to win a free copy of WinAutomation.

Good luck!

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Hacked, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Internet Safety, Productivity Software, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, Timesaving Tips, Windows Tips and Tools

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 30, 2009

PandaLabs Reveals Exponential Growth in Rogueware; Gets One Step Closer to Finding Criminals ResponsibleCybercriminals are earning approximately $34 million per month through rogueware attacks ………….

Windows 7 Ultimate RTM Cracked, Fully Validated (Already?)That didn’t take long. It has only been a week since the official Windows 7 RTM announcement by Microsoft, but crackers have already managed to activate and validate the tricked-out Ultimate version of the OS.

While spam levels globally remain at a two-year high of approximately 90 percent - some European countries are seeing levels of over 95%. According to the latest MessageLabs Intelligence Report – unveiled today – countries such as Germany, France and the Netherlands are being heavily targeted by spammers with automated spam translation techniques.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Improve multiple monitor support with DisplayFusion – DisplayFusion offers a host of features that will help you get the most out of a multiple-monitor configuration.

Is it time to dump Adobe’s Flash player? – With news that 92% of Windows PCs are vulnerable to a zero-day attack that Adobe won’t patch until Thursday, is it time to dump Adobe’s Flash player?

Lifehacker: An Argument Against Buying an iPhone – Apple just rejected the Google Voice iPhone application from App Store distribution, the most recent in a long line of questionable moves, and the message is clear: If you want a device that won’t lock you out of innovation, skip the iPhone.

Windows 7 Plus SSD Equals Super Speed – With Intel introducing new faster and cheaper SSD drives coinciding with Windows 7′s release to manufacturing, it might make sense to include one with your next computer purchase. After all, Windows 7 is the first Microsoft OS to include native enhancements for SSDs.

Scanning For Malware Should Be An Outside Job – Malware detection software frequently unreliable, expert says.

Change the registered owner of Windows XP the easy way – You can change the registered owner of an installation of Windows XP with a Registry Hack, or you can do it the easy way with a little applet written by Windows expert Greg Shultz.

A Day in the Life of the Rustock Botnet – In its latest biannual report, TRACELabs’ Marshal8e6 noted Rustock, which has been spamming users for the past few years, uses rootkit functionality to hide itself, and changes spam templates often and manages to dodge spam filters.

The Hidden Risks of Cloud Computing – Every day more users move their computing lives from the desktop to the cloud and rely on hosted web applications to store and access email, photos, and documents. But this new frontier involves serious risks that aren’t obvious to most.

Off Topic:

Madonna sex tapes in online auction – Erotic phone messages recorded by Madonna have been put up for sale in an online auction.

Tech industry titans share insights with 60 Minutes – In this montage of interviews, tech industry heavyweights Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Larry Ellison, Pierre Omidyar, Shawn Fanning, Sergey Brin, and Mark Cuban talk about what drives them, how they got into business, and whether they were always the smartest guy in the room.

Catch Phrases That May Tip You Off to a Lie – Apart from more obvious signs, non-verbal gestures and other cues can also help to determine whether someone is telling the truth or not. Forbes outlines 11 ways to potentially sniff out a liar, including several phrases to watch out for.

Spiff Up Flat Images with Textures – Even if you master the focus and composition of a photograph, it might come off as a bit too calm for certain uses. The Digital Photography School site explains how to apply interesting image textures to any photograph.

Today’s Free Downloads:

PCIDatabase.com – Repair Tool of the Week - After you do a clean install of Windows, you go to the Device Manager and discover the dreaded question mark next to an “Unknown Device”. You could just download the driver for this device, but you don’t know what it is! This is where PCIDatabase.com comes in handy.

ActivateByNum - enables Windows 7 task-switching hotkeys on XP and Vista.

Androsa FileProtector – Androsa FileProtector lets you encrypt and password protect any file on your hard disk so that only those with the proper password will be able to read them.

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WOT Teams Up With Panda Security

WOT logo As regular readers of this site know, I have been a strong proponent of the WOT browser security add-on. Despite some shortcomings, it still remains the best available security add-on to enhance Internet users’ safety while surfing an ever increasing unsecure Internet.

It’s good news then, that WOT and Panda Security have combined efforts to further enhance this free tool.

Courtesy of WOT:

Panda Security, The Cloud Security Company, and Against Intuition, the developer of the leading website rating service Web of Trust (WOT), today announced a partnership to deliver a safer Web search experience through their new co-branded version of WOT.

The WOT browser add-on warns Internet users about risky websites, providing protection against online scams, identity theft, spyware, spam, and unreliable shopping sites. WOT’s protection is now extended with Panda’s up-to-the-minute information on malware distributors and dangerous domains.

The free co-branded WOT security add-on is available for Firefox and Internet Explorer users worldwide and can be downloaded from Panda’s website.

Enhanced by Panda’s latest information on new malware strains and phishing threats, WOT safety ratings serve the community of 5 million members worldwide. By joining forces, both companies hope to attract new users and make searching, shopping, and browsing on the Internet a safer experience.

“As we did with Collective Intelligence, we trust in the power of the community to improve the safety of the user, that’s why we believe WOT is the best tool to help get safe surfing through the Internet”, said Panda Security’s CEO Juan Santana.

“We are excited to have Panda, a respected security company as a partner in our goal to make the Internet a safer place for everyone,” said Against Intuition’s CEO Esa Suurio. “WOT prides itself in providing frontline protection in the battle against online threats, and with this strong collaboration between Panda Security and Web of Trust we have strengthened both our offerings and given our users a definite advantage against cybercrime.”

Web of Trust is a unique community-based safe surfing tool that uses an intuitive traffic-light style rating system to help Internet users stay safe as they search, browse, and shop online.

The WOT security add-on provides safety ratings to search results when using Google, Yahoo!, Wikipedia and other popular sites, helping people protect their computers and personal information.

Web site ratings are continuously updated by millions of members of the WOT community and from numerous trusted sources, such as phishing site listings. The free Internet security add-on works with Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers and can be downloaded at MyWot.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Browser add-ons, Don't Get Scammed, Don't Get Hacked, Firefox Add-ons, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Explorer Add-ons, Online Safety, Panda Security, Phishing, Software, Windows Tips and Tools, WOT (Web of Trust)

Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 29 2009

Microsoft, Yahoo agree on long-sought search deal – Microsoft Corp. has finally roped Yahoo Inc. into an Internet search partnership, capping a convoluted cat-and-mouse game that dragged on for years.

The 10-year deal announced Wednesday gives Microsoft access to the Internet’s second-largest search engine audience, adding a potentially potent weapon to the software maker’s Internet arsenal as it girds for an all-out assault against online search and advertising leader Google Inc.

WOT partners with Panda SecurityWeb of Trust, a free browser add-on that keeps you safe when you surf and shop on the Internet. In today’s risky online environment, we recommend using WOT Web of Trust in a layered approach to security. The WOT browser add-on helps you avoid online scams, identify theft, unreliable shopping sites and security threats before you click.

Black Hat Exposes Smart Grid Security RisksThose smart meters may not be as smart as the name implies. Technology vendors and governments are racing towards adopting Smart Grid technologies which could help to improve energy use and conservation efforts. But the Smart Grid, and in particular the smart meter part of the grid, could also introduce a new class of security threats.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Microsoft Issues Emergency Patches for IE – Microsoft today took the unusual step of releasing out-of-band patches for severe security flaws in all versions of Internet Explorer, along with related holes in the Microsoft Active Template Library included with Visual Studio.

12 Unnecessary Vista Features You Can Disable Right Now – Tired of Vista’s bloat? Reclaim your PC’s performance by turning off a dozen wasteful features.

10 ways to turn your mobile phone into an efficient business toolIncreasingly sophisticated smartphone capabilities are making it easier for road warriors to accomplish business tasks. Polly Traylor offers some tips on maximizing your mobile phone productivity.

NiftyClicks: When Is Good, TED, Woot and 5Min.com – Marketing maven Andrew Lock offers up four sites that can help you be more productive, efficient and knowledgeable as you run your business.

Reinstall and Restore Your Windows PC in Eight Easy Steps – Maybe your PC won’t boot. Or it could be infected with some kind of persistent malware. Perhaps Windows puts up a Blue Screen of Death every time you type the word aardvark.

What to Do When Windows Gets Really Messed Up – “To err is human,” the old joke goes. “But to really mess things up requires a computer.”

Malicious Twitter Posts Get More Personal – A Twitter spambot is said to have been used in launching this recent attack. The spambot creates Twitter accounts and fashions them to appear as legitimate accounts by posting seemingly harmless posts like those sharing certain music they listen to, or websites they visit. The spambot accounts then post tweets directed to unknowing users, sharing a link to a PC repair tool they allegedly came across and used.

Failing with online backup – Seeking to back up 350 GB in safe, reliable, off-site storage, Michael Krigsman tried Carbonite and Mozy. He explains how both products failed miserably to achieve his goals.

Product Spotlight: Dell Mini 10 Laptop – Like other netbook manufacturers, Dell targets its Mini 10 model at highly mobile users needing access to basic office productivity applications, e-mail and the Internet while on the go.

Western Digital Releases 1TB and 750GB Notebook Drives – Western Digital on Monday released its new 1-Tbyte and 750-Gbyte WD Scorpio Blue 2.5-inch internal SATA hard drives.

10 Ways Open Source Can Save Your Business – Open source is coming to the enterprise in a big way. Besides those Linux companies that have helped move this trend along, IBM, Adobe and Google have all recently announced new open-source offerings.

How do I tell what svchost is doing? – It gets complicated because there may be multiple copies of svchost.exe running, and each copy of svchost .exe may be hosting multiple services. Why it’s organized that way is probably beyond mortal comprehension, but there are some tools and techniques to try and isolate which svchost is doing what.

Microsoft to Launch Security, Office Tools – Microsoft will unveil several new security tools and resources at this week’s Black Hat conference in Las Vegas. First up is Microsoft Office Visualization Tool, which offers a graphic view of the Office binary file format–intended for IT professionals to understand attacks.

Off Topic:

Negative Thinking Can Make You Happier – We always hear that it’s a good thing to reflect on the positive in your life. But according to a new paper, it can bring even more satisfaction to think about what makes you happy, and then pretend that it never happened at all.

Women are getting more beautiful – For the female half of the population, it may bring a satisfied smile. Scientists have found that evolution is driving women to become ever more beautiful, while men remain as aesthetically unappealing as their caveman ancestors.

Chicago Realty Group Sues Woman For $50,000 Over A Tweet – Chicago’s Horizon Realty, a property management company, filed a $50,000 libel lawsuit Monday against a former tenant, Amanda Bonnen, over one of her alleged Twitter posts.

8 Fun Green Ways to Manage Stress (Kissing is One of Them) – Want to stop stressing? Then start swearing, kissing, getting dirty, cluttered and eating garlic instead!

Red wine increases women’s sexual desire – A glass or two of red wine may increase a woman’s libido, a scientific study has found.

Today’s Free Downloads:

Fotografix – This no-frills photo editing software doesn’t require a gig of RAM or half of your hard drive for swap space, but that doesn’t mean it skimps on the features. For a whole host of reasons, Fotografix might be my new favorite image editing app. For one thing, it’s literally tiny, weighing in at under one megabyte fully installed, including all its included brush shapes and macro scripts. It also sips delicately your system’s available RAM, making it well suited to netbooks or other systems with limited resources.

RealWorld Paint.COM – If your pictures aren’t perfect, you need a powerful image and photo editor. With Photoshop out of your budget, you’ll want to give RealWorld Paint.COM a try. This free program gives you such a wide assortment of tools for editing and drawing that will satisfy anyone except those who need high-end power.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 28 2009

Businesses Fix Computers Instead of Buying New – With a glut of old computers at-the-ready for redeployment, their old users the victims of downsizing, businesses haven’t been eager to invest in new computers or other IT infrastructure. Instead, many of the jobs available these days are in repairing the old technology. And those two trends have driven price down for IT service jobs.

Eight Black Hat Breakthroughs – Security researchers around the globe will convene next week in Las Vegas for the annual Black Hat/Defcon conference. As usual, researchers will unveil a number of new exploit methods, vulnerabilities and proof-of-concepts that are sure to raise a few eyebrows within the infosec community.

Send Photos in Full Resolution from Your iPhone – Even though your iPhone snaps pictures at pretty decent resolutions (2048×1536 from the 3GS, 1600×1200 on previous iPhone versions), your device automatically resizes photos to a measly 800×600 when you go to email them. Here’s how to fix that.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Adobe ‘zero-day’ flaw is eight months old – The current zero-day attacks against Adobe Flash Player are not quite zero-day after all.

ImgBurn Updates, Adds Advanced Features, Fixes Bugs – ImgBurn is the most popular CD and DVD burning tool among Lifehacker readers, and with the newly released version 2.5, it’s even better.

The Encryption Gap – Things that make us say “hmmm” include these stats: The percentage of respondents to our 2009 Strategic Security Survey who rated encrytion as effective in reducing risk dropped from 57% in 2008 to 48% in 2009. Use of disk, file, and backup media encryption ALL fell year over year by at least five percentage points. Backup encryption usage is down …

Spammers Exploiting Free File Storage On Websites – Automated account creation exploit lets spammers hide behind legitimate file storage services.

The good and bad of security technologies – Businesses are using a variety of technologies to help reduce the impact of threats, prevent breaches and meet compliance — but some of these products are more beneficial than others, according to a new Forrester report released Wednesday that examines the state of network threat mitigation.

Off Topic:

Make Reverse-Engineered KFC at Home – An enjoyable bout of foodie one-upmanship has yielded not only one “reverse-engineered” home recipe of KFC’s 11 herbs and spices, but an improved version of fried chicken that strips out the MSG. Get the napkins ready and see for yourself.

Misreading emails causes offence – Forty-one per cent of workers in Britain say they are regularly offended or are upset by emails sent by colleagues, according to a survey.

40 Fantastic Time-Wasting Web Sites – Sure, you should probably be working. But why bother when you can vaporize hours by checking out these engaging Web sites?

5 Minute Management Course – Lesson 1: A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings. The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs …….

Today’s Free Downloads:

Euro Calculator – Convert euros to practically any currency with this program.

STDU Viewer 1.5.275 – STDU Viewer is a document viewer for multiple file formats. The goal of this software is to replace the multiple document viewers with a single simple application.

YouTube Downloader 2.1.7 – This simple freeware application works pretty well, given how basic the interface is. It has two main features: to download FLV files from YouTube, and to convert them to most major formats.

Advanced SystemCare Free 3.3.4 – This utility offers a one-stop-shop for cleaning and maintaining your computer for better overall system performance. The interface is very simple, featuring only a few buttons, which makes it easy to get down to cleaning immediately (in fact, it automatically runs on start-up) and doesn’t confuse you with multiple steps.

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Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – July 27, 2009

Video: How to Build a PC – Every Step Explained – We shot this video demonstration to show people how to build a killer PC, one step at a time. It’s a great reference for beginners and experts alike.

Skype Singled Out as Threat to Russian SecurityRussia’s most powerful business lobby moved to clamp down on Skype and its peers this week, telling lawmakers that the Internet phone services are a threat to Russian businesses and to national security.

New survey results show that men seem to pirate more music, TV, and movies than women do – at least in the UK. A majority of users don’t feel that musicians should profit from their music on the Internet, and many don’t understand who holds the rights to content posted online.

How To Rescue A Drowned Device – This Saturday I went swimming, and I had my cell phone in the pocket of my shorts. To my credit, I noticed that sad fact quite quickly. But the damage had been done. The phone had suffered not just a spill, but total immersion–submersion–and it was wet. In my defense, it was over a hundred degrees. In the shade.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

New software vulnerability: Feature bloat in Adobe apps sacrifices security – Support teams’ jobs often gets more difficult when software companies rush to put more bells and whistles in their products. Today’s example? Flash has undermined Acrobat.

Browser Speed Tests: Latest Firefox Is Faster, but Not as Fast as Google Chrome – In our page-loading tests, Firefox 3.5 speeds past Internet Explorer and Safari, but it still can’t catch Google’s browser.

Microsoft, Intel Design Windows 7 to Be Speedy – Intel and Microsoft are working together on developing Windows 7 to take advantage of Intel’s multicore processors.

Off Topic:

Need Marijuana? Your iPhone Can Help – Apple has approved an app that will let users find legal dispensaries of medicinal marijuana.

NASA finds monster black hole sucking up gas, dust and stars at centre of galaxy – NASA has found a monster black hole 100 million times the mass of the Sun feeding off gas, dust and stars at the centre of a galaxy 50 million light-years away.

Oops! Botched Robberies by Complete Morons – Though there certainly doesn’t seem to be a shortage of crimes, there are also doesn’t seem to be a shortage of idiots that are willing to attempt to commit crimes.

How Long Will It Be Until We Need Petabyte Hard Drives – Mozy, an unlimited backup provider, just pulled together an interesting graphic to illustrate just how big a Petabyte is. In total Mozy store 15 Petabytes, and they’ve calculated that one Petabyte equals:

13.3 years of HD content

Nearly all of the photos on facebook (1.5PB in total)

How much data google processes in just under an hour

Life: Explained

A Complete Guide to Digital Makeover in Photoshop – This digital enhancement of human faces and bodies is called Digital Makeover. It usually involves techniques such as skin smoothing, red eye removal, hair color replacement and so on.

Today’s Free Downloads:

Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder: Find Windows CD keys - Magical Jelly Bean Keyfinder is an Open Source portable tool that can be used to find the Windows CD Key or Product Key used to install Microsoft Windows products. It retrieves the Windows product CD Key from the registry and allows you to print or save the keys for safekeeping.

69 Free or Open Source Tools For Students – Whether it’s a coincidence or not, a lot of the available open source software is ideal for college students. The following list covers some of the best free and open source software from an average student’s perspective. (The list is arranged by software category, with recommended applications and the occasional short list of alternative or supplemental apps.)

Free Dreamweaver Alternatives – NVU, Amaya, KompoZer.

Driverskit – This site contains a manually collected base of PC hardware device drivers for free download. All drivers are sorted by categories and vendors in readable form. You can see Operating system, Version, Category, Vendor and Model for each driver.

CDBurnerXP – CDBurnerXP is a free application to burn CDs and DVDs, including Blu-Ray and HD-DVDs. It also includes the feature to burn and create ISOs, as well as a multilanguage interface. Everyone, even companies, can use it for free. It does not include adware or similar malicious components.

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Free Lifetime License for SUPERAntiSpyware Professional – 20 to Give Away

We have 20 free lifetime licenses with a retail value of  $29.95 US, to give away,  for the Professional Edition of SUPERAntiSpyware, here at Tech Thoughts.

With a free lifetime licenses for SUPERAntiSpyware, you’ll never have to pay another penny, ever, to ensure your computer system stays safe from Trojans, Spyware, Virus’, Phishing Scams, and Identity Theft Scams, and more, circulating on the Internet.

To enter the contest to win one of the lifetime licenses, simply add a comment at the end of this article. On August 8, 2009, all comments will be added to the online List Randomizer, and the first 20 names that come up, in random order, will win a free lifetime registration code.

Read the following review and I’m sure you’ll agree this is a contest worth entering.

Since I had test driven the free version of SUPERAntiSpyware earlier this year, and found it to be equal to its excellent reputation, I decided to go for a run with the professional version.

No surprise then, when I found that the professional version, which includes real time protection against infection, lived up to its reputation as a premier anti-malware tool. In a world of hyperbole, exaggeration, overstatement, and embellishment, the SUPER, in this case, means just that.

It would be hard to argue with the 15 million + worldwide users who have chosen to protect their computers with this straightforward application with its simple, intuitive, and easy to use interface – and I won’t. SUPERAntiSpyware deserves the kudos it regularly receives from both computer security gurus, and users.

SuperAntispyware new 1

I found SUPERAntiSpyware very easy to setup, customize and run, for both less experienced and expert users alike. No fussing and bothering with a ton of long winded setup or customizing screens – just install, and after choosing a few run options, you’re good to go!

SuperAntispyware new 2

SUPERAntiSpyware is well known for its high malware detection rate, and in fact, it found and eradicated every one of the test malware samples installed on my test platform.

An extra feature in this anti-malware product really caught my attention; a repair function which allows the user to recover settings frequently wrecked by malware, and which are often not recoverable despite removal of the malware process. These settings include broken Internet connections, lost desktops, the ability to edit the registry and importantly, access to the task manager.

SuperAntispyware new 3

If you have ever struggled with this difficult issue you know how important a repair feature, such as this, can be.

Free limited function version available:

SUPERAntiSpyware offers a freeware version (downloadable at the main SUPERAntiSpyware site), which does not however, provide real time protection against infection.

I do not recommend then, that you use this free version of SUPERAntiSpyware as a stand alone security application since it simply will not offer you adequate protection. Instead, if you choose to install it, use it only as an on-demand canner.

Alternatively, you may download and install a fully featured 30 day trial version of SUPERAntiSpyware Professional from the download link below.

Fast facts:

High malware detection rate

Small footprint and low resource usage

Easy to setup, customize and run

Custom scanning of hard drives, removable drives, memory, registry, and more

Detects and removes spyware, adware, malware, Trojans, dialers, worms, keyloggers, rootkits and hijackers

Free for personal use

Prevents potentially harmful software from installing or re-installing (paid version only)

Examines over 50 critical system points on start up and shut down (paid version only)

System Requirements: Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7, or Windows 2003

Note: As of August 6, 2009 SUPERAntiSpyware is Windows 7 32 bit ready.

Download at: SUPERAntiSpyware

Conclusion: Given the increasing number of Trojans, Spyware, Virus’, Phishing Scams, Identity Theft Scams, and additional malware threats we now face, it’s critically important that you chose an anti-malware product that does what it says it will do.

Not all anti-malware applications are created equal, but SUPERAntiSpyware deserves its reputation as a first class security application. It’s definitely worth considering adding to your security toolbox.

Regular readers of this site are aware that I generally do not recommend the purchase of commercial software, but in this case, I have to do so. This application is just that good.

As a full fledged security application, with all of its features; real-time protection, scheduled scanning, and scheduled updating activated, SUPERAntiSpyware is very well priced at $29.95 US, for such a potent anti-malware application.

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Antivirus Applications, Don't Get Hacked, Free Anti-malware Software, Free Full Versions, Freeware, Internet Safety Tools, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

Maximize Your Malware Defenses With A-squared HijackFree

There are plenty of good anti-malware products, but experienced computer users’ realize that to ensure maximum safety, it’s important to have layered defenses in the ongoing fight against malware.

Given the virtual epidemic of malware currently circulating on the Internet, no single anti-malware tool is likely to identify and remove all of the millions of rogue malware that infests the cyber world.

A recent study carried out by PandaLabs of more than 1.5 million users, revealed that 23% of home computers with up-to-date security solution installed were infected by malware. Current data indicates that this situation has not improved.

a-squared-hijackfree

If you are an experienced/advanced computer user (sometimes known as a geek), and you’re looking for a program to strengthen your anti-malware resources, then A-squared HiJackFree is one that’s worth taking a look at. This free application, from EMSI Software, offers a potent layer of additional protection to add to your major anti-malware programs.

The program operates as a detailed system analysis tool that can help you in the detection and removal of Hijackers, Spyware, Adware, Trojans, Worms, and other malware. It doesn’t offer live protection but instead, it examines your system, determines if it’s been infected, and then allows you to wipe out the malware.

Quick facts:

Analyzes the system configuration using live online analysis

Manages all types of Autoruns on your system

Controls all Explorer and Browser plug-ins (BHOs, Toolbars, etc.)

Manages all running Processes and their associated modules

Controls all Services, even those Windows doesn’t display

Allows you to view open ports and the associated listening processes

Allows you to view all DNS entries in the hosts file

Manages installed Layered Service Providers

Multilingual – language packs for English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and many more.

This is a worthwhile application to add to your anti-malware toolbox that impressed me with its performance on my test systems.

A-squared HiJackFree is free for private use only.

System Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista

Download at: Download.com

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Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, Don't Get Hacked, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Manual Malware Removal, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Windows Tips and Tools

Defrag the Easy Way With Free Defraggler

To paraphrase Shakespeare “To defrag or not to defrag; that is the question”. You wouldn’t think that defragging a Hard Drive would be an issue which is open to much debate; but it is.

image Fragmentation is caused by creating and deleting files and folders, installing new software, and downloading files from the Internet.

When you delete files or folders, the first available empty spaces on the Hard Drive are filled in randomly when you create new files and folders; as you do when you save pics from your camera, install software, save emails, or create documents.

A fairly common point of view holds that defragging a Hard Drive is pointless, and provides no measurable increase in system performance.

One example of this type of thinking taken from a forum I visit frequently is as follows: “Disk cleanup is pretty useless, and defragging should only really be done if you recently moved around very large files on your hard disk”. This point of view has some support in the tech community.

On the other hand there is also considerable support for the following point of view: “Disk fragmentation leads to system slowdowns, PC crashes, slow startups and shutdowns”.

So which point of view then is more likely to be accurate given that hard disk fragmentation makes the disk drive heads move more than necessary when reading files which can lead to reduced performance in file input and output?

Despite the fact that it is difficult, if not impossible, to measure an increase in system performance following Hard Drive defragmentation, there is a slight leaning in the tech community toward defragmentation being a positive maintenance process. I support this point of view.

I think that we can all agree that CCleaner, a free system optimization application is a pretty cool tool right? The developers of this neat little program, Piriform, are also the developers of Defraggler, a terrific free disk defragger.

Defraggler Fast facts:

Defrag Individual Files – select individual files and folders to defrag

Compact and Portable – can be copied to a USB drive

Small – the EXE is less than 1MB

Fast

After analysis Defraggler lists all the fragmented files on the drive

Freeware – home or business

System requirements: Windows 2000, 2003, XP and Vista includes 64-bit support

Download at: Defraggler

Before you begin a defrag process it’s important to run a program such as CCleaner which will empty your Recycle Bin, Temporary Internet Files folder, and other locations where clutter tends to accumulate on your PC.

As well, you should consider uninstalling any applications you no longer use. Revo Uninstaller is a free utility that will uninstall unneeded applications more thoroughly than the Windows native uninstaller.

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Filed under Computer Maintenance, Defraggers, Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Slow Computer, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools