Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – August 28, 2010

Fixes for Windows 7 – Windows 7 is an unqualified hit, but it’s not perfect. Here are five easy ways to make a good operating system better.

Lifehacker: How to Run Windows, Mac, and Linux Side by Side and Pain-Free with VirtualBox – Running multiple operating systems side-by-side gives you the chance to test applications, run platform-specific software, and tons more without ever rebooting. It’s also extremely cool. Here’s how to run Windows, Mac, and Linux simultaneously and pain-free as possible.

Google Rolls Out Standalone ‘Realtime Search’ Page – Twitter has real-time search and it’s good, but Google’s new Realtime search page, which “lets you see up-to-the-second social updates, news articles and blog posts about hot topics around the world” takes it to a whole new level. There’s no doubt, Realtime is quite simply an excellent showcase for the awesome power of the Google algorithm.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

‘LOL is this you?’ spam spreading via Facebook chat – Facebook on Friday afternoon was investigating what appeared to be a new spam scheme that results in users getting messages from friends over Facebook chat that have malicious links. The messages say “LOL is this you?” and are accompanied by a link that looks like it leads to a video on Facebook.

Some Linux Distros Vulnerable to Version of DLL Hijacking Bug – In the wake of all of the stories about the Windows DLL hijacking bug, it appears that certain Linux distributions may be vulnerable to a similar problem related to the way that Linux handles a specific variable in some cases. The bug apparently was introduced via a Debian patch last year.

First rootkit targeting 64-bit Windows spotted in the wild – Alureon rootkit is back, and has acquired the ability to hijack computers running 64-bit versions of Microsoft Windows, proclaimed Marco Giuliani, security researcher with security company Prevx.

Troubleshoot problem applications with Windows 7 Program Compatibility tools – Greg Shultz takes a closer look at the Program Compatibility Assistant, which is designed to run when it detects a program encountering compatibility problems.

DLL Hijacking: Facts and Fiction – It’s been interesting watching DLL hijacking grow from interesting phenomena to a full-on snowball of hype and FUD over the last few days. As of this writing Google turns up 152 news articles on the subject. The vast majority of coverage is calling this a “new class of attack” and pointing out how “over 30 zero-day vulnerabilities have been found so far!”. The only way to paraphrase many of the headlines is: “Panic!”

Repurposing an Old Computer for Any Room in the House – Most of us have our computers on our desks or our laps, but there are so many other places in and out of our homes that can make a great spot for an old PC. The smaller your PC the more places you can put it, so laptops are obvious choices for moving around to different parts of your home. We’ve posted before with suggestions for repurposing an old laptop so be sure to check those out as well.

Network security challenges faced by universities – Striking a balance between an open yet secure network remains a challenge for university IT departments. While universities are often on the cutting edge of innovation, they face complications when it comes to enforcing IT policies. In some cases, this has led to staggering data breaches.

Company News:

Blockbuster to file for “pre-planned bankruptcy” – It seems that Blockbuster video/DVD rental chain is lumbering one step closer to oblivion as it plans to file for something it calls “pre-planned bankruptcy.” The company is the latest victim of our move to a digital, ethereal existence.

Private cloud automation platform – “With its robust, scalable infrastructure management and service delivery capabilities, Quest Cloud Automation Platform 7.5 enables IT to dramatically impact capital and operating expenses in the data center while driving unmatched business agility,” said Steve Stover, senior director of product management, Quest Virtualization Management.

10 Things We Don`t Get About Dell – Dell is a perplexing company. Years ago, it was atop the tech industry with its direct sales model. Not only was it selling computers at an astounding rate, but the corporate world was quite happy with its PCs. Everything was going right for the Texas-based technology company, even though it shunned the channel with its direct-only sales model. And then all that changed.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Ogling beautiful women a natural reflex for men – You’re at a café with the woman in your life when your eyes move inexorably toward another woman walking by. In one-fifth of a second, before the conscious mind has had a chance to react, the male brain has rendered judgment on whether the oncoming stranger is sexually hot. If the ruling is favourable, physical manifestations are immediate. Pupils dilate, heart rate spikes, testosterone surges and the eyes assume a vacant stare — sure signs that the “man trace” has set in.

Computer bloopers and blunders from the technically clueless – From 1994 to 2002 Rod Shelley worked as a PC technician at a major computer retail store in the US. After seeing all kinds of wacky, operator-induced computer issues, Shelley decided to start documenting them. He wanted to inject a little humor into the often-frustrating world of technology and hopefully educate a few of the technically clueless along the way.

Canadians arrested in Facebook porn ring – Two Canadians are among 11 people arrested for allegedly being part of an international child pornography ring that operated through Facebook. However, Australian officials are furious at the popular social network site, which they say had discovered the illicit profiles but repeatedly failed to notify police. The arrests, announced Friday by Australian police, include six people in Britain, three in Australia and the two in Canada.

Say What? The Week’s Top Five IT Quotes – Why develop for Android, the battle over 3PAR heats up, the U.S.’s cybersecurity shortcomings, and more.

Today’s Quote:

“A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that works.”

-   John Gaule

Today’s Free Downloads:

KeePass Password Safe Portable – Securely take your email, internet and other passwords with you when you are away from your primary PC. The program’s interface is plain and intuitive. Users are first prompted to set a master password that controls access to KeePass. Then it’s simply a matter of entering the Web sites that you visit frequently–or, perhaps more importantly, infrequently–and their log-in information.

Colasoft Capsa Free – Capsa Network Analyzer Free Edition is an easy-to-use Ethernet packet sniffer (network analyzer or network sniffer) for network monitoring and troubleshooting purposes.

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