Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 29, 2010

Lifehacker: How to Break Into a Windows PC (And Prevent it from Happening to You) – Whether you’ve forgotten your password or you have a more malicious intent, it’s actually extremely easy to break into a Windows computer without knowing the password. Here’s how to do it, and how to prevent others from doing the same to you.

Five Reasons You Should Always “Stop. Think. Connect.” – It’s hard to think of a major cybercrime outbreak over the past year that hasn’t relied, to some extent, on the naivete of its targets. Security professionals call these tricks “social engineering,” but that’s just a geeky term for criminal skullduggery that’s as common offline as online. The ruse almost always tries to invoke an adrenaline-fueled need for an immediate response — usually out of fear, greed, or panic — on the part of a victim. The victim ends up in a mental state where they are likely to make rash, impulsive decisions. And they do.

The Linux Tutorial – The Linux Tutorial delivers a free, online introduction to Linux, with chapters ranging all the way from Introduction to Operating Systems to Networking to Linux and Windows, including specifics on dual-booting and virtualization.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Microsoft’s Free Windows Live Movie Maker Makes Nice–But Simple—Videos – Movie Maker 2011 is part of Microsoft’s Windows Live Essentials pack; you can choose to install all of the bundled software, or you can opt to pick and choose apps. It’s designed to help you turn photos and videos into slideshows and movies, complete with soundtracks, captions, and transitions.

Adobe under attack: New PDF, Flash zero-day – Adobe’s security response team is scrambling to respond to new zero-day attacks against a computer hijack vulnerability in two of its most widely deployed products: Flash Player and Adobe PDF Reader.

U.S. Postal Service mails fraud warning to 129 million households – It’s a sign of the times we live in when the U.S. Postal Service decides to carry out a mailing campaign that will deliver a brochure on fraud and identity theft to 129 million households throughout the country.

Windows 7 SP1 Release Candidate launches – The new Release Candidate editions for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 will be the last public test versions before their final releases next year.

Company News:

FTC Forgives Google Street View WiFi Privacy Gaffe – The Federal Trade Commission has concluded its inquiry into Google’s Street View WiFi-sniffing incident, citing the search engine’s improved privacy practices and assurances that it has no plans to use the data it collected.

Apple’s Mac OS X Lion: An Early Peek – This Lion isn’t fully fleshed out yet, but what we’ve seen looks like a powerful combination of what’s good in the iPad with what’s good in the Mac.

Microsoft contemplating SSL for Bing – HTTP session hijacking as a possibility and tools to execute it have been around for more than half a decade, but it took an easy-to-use Firefox add-on like Firesheep to point out “the elephant in the room” – the lack of full-end encryption on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Bing, and many others.

REVIEW: Norton Online Backup 2.0 – With this release, Norton has brought its online backup service’s features into the mainstream. Support for multiple PCs (including Macs) in one account, 25GB of storage, and a slick Web-based user interface make this a Norton Online Backup 2.0 a real contender.

Off Topic (Sort of):

How HTML5 Spells “Pleasure” – This site-in-a-single-page lets you browse through and view content collected from various design-focused feeds, organized in a chronological cascade down the screen, all at once or filtered according to type—videos, photos, or tweets.

A peek into Google’s anti-malware operation – Google goes to great lengths to secure its users from threats lurking on the Web, because a half-hearted effort would soon drive them out of business. But, during his presentation at the SecTOR security conference in Toronto, Google security researcher Fabrice Jaubert revealed that sometimes even seemingly good methods are thwarted by careless users.

GMAC Foreclosures Included Treehouses, Forts – Internal memos and other documents covertly obtained by CAP News show that mortgage company GMAC’s questionable foreclosure practices included not only the so-called “robo-signing” of tens of thousands of foreclosures on single family dwellings, but also children’s treehouses, public outhouses and in one case, an 8-year-old German Shepherd’s dog house. (submitted by Dar)

4G: Everything You Need to Know – There’s a lot of talk about 4G wireless right now. Sprint has 4G. Verizon’s getting 4G. And T-Mobile may or may not be running 4G. In this week’s Ask an Analyst, Sascha Segan tries to untangle the 4G mystery.

Today’s Quote:

“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business.”

-   Tom Robbins

Today’s Free Downloads:

Halloween Screensaver – If you’re just not feeling the Halloween spirit, load up this creepy Halloween Screensaver to get you in the mood right quick. One caveat: The download uses InstallIQ, which makes you click through several screen of junk–but in this case I think it’s worth the hassle.

MaxMem 1.04 – MaxMem from AnalogX is a simple program that maximizes the amount of physical memory available to your system at any given moment. You configure how much memory you want available under certain circumstances, and MaxMem will passively monitor your system’s resources, freeing up memory as needed.

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