Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – October 31, 2011

Sorry, Dropbox, I still don’t trust you – Last summer, I deleted my Dropbox account after the company admitted to a horrifying security breach. This week, I reluctantly opened a new Dropbox account.

Three Surprising Things About Hard Drive Defragging – If you’re still thinking about your hard drive in Windows XP terms, it’s time to learn how Windows 7 handles the not-so-big-deal that is defragmentation.

Editor’s Collection – Free Halloween Fun: Themes, Screen Savers, and Fonts to Ward Off the Holidays – It’s that time of the year again, when days get short, nights get long, and Christmas seems just over the horizon. Perhaps Halloween is Nature’s way of slowing the inevitable slide to the holidays.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

Facebook Adds Security Tools to Protect User Accounts From Hacker Takeovers – Two new security features, App Passwords and Trusted Friends are designed to help Facebook users regain control over their accounts even if they are compromised and protect themselves from malicious third-party apps

This Is Lifehacker’s Evil Episode: Lock Picking, Flight Hacking, Geo-Stalking, and More – It’s Halloween, and we’re finishing off last week’s week of evil fun with our Evil episode of the Lifehacker show. We’re picking locks, geo-stalking, enjoying better flights, and more.

Graphics Cards: Choose the Best Board for Your Budget – Shopping for a graphics card? You have a lot to pick from. We tested the cream of the crop from AMD and Nvidia to help you find a graphics card that fits your needs.

Combating Halloween malware threats – Scammers and malware writers take advantage of this period to trick unsuspecting members of the public with rogue apps, attachments, search engine poisoning and ad scams that divert those clicking on search results towards sites infected with malware or peddling fake apps that will compromise a PC.

The trouble with Bing - Takeaway: With one simple example, Bing shows why it is not ready to overtake Google.

Anonymous Takes On Mexican Drug Cartel – The hacker collective that has targeted business and government agencies that displease it now threatens Los Zetas with a security breach.

Data breaches cause lasting reputation damage – Reports of data breaches affecting some of today’s largest companies continue to grab the headlines of prominent news outlets nationwide. The damage experienced by a company after a data breach has lasting negative effects on brand equity and reputation.

Company News:

Nintendo Posts Disappointing Wii, 3DS Sales – Nintendo lost nearly a billion dollars in the last six months, on the back of lowest ever sales for the Wii console and disappointing 3DS handheld sales.

Report: Samsung Passes Apple to Become Top Smartphone Maker – Apple’s reign at the top of the smartphone heap lasted just one quarter as Samsung moved past the iPhone maker to claim the top spot in smartphone shipments for the third quarter, according to Strategy Analytics.

Google Announces Long-Awaited Update to Google TV – Google said Friday that is preparing to push its “Honeycomb” update to Google TV devices, pairing it with apps from the Android Market and improved interfaces.

If HP/ARM rumors are true, AMD might be the big loser - With the rumor mill expecting Calxeda’s announcement on November 1 to be that HP will be utilizing their ARM-based server technology to deliver highly energy efficient servers suitable for web serving and similar tasks, most punditry has expressed the opinion that this is a shot across Intel’s bow. But if you take a step back you will realize that AMD, who has always positioned their server products as less expensive and more energy efficient, while delivering almost as much performance as Intel, is stuck squarely in the middle of this potential fight.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Lifehacker: How to Ditch Big Brother and Disappear Forever – So you’ve decided you want to drop off the map and leave Big Brother behind. It’s harder than ever in our always-connected world, but if you’re ready to plan your big vanishing act, here are a few tips to get you started.

Smartphone Camera Shootout – Can your phone’s camera replace your point-and-shoot? We tested four top smartphone cameras on speed and image sharpness to find out.

A decade’s worth of Windows mistakes that changed Microsoft (for better and worse) – Anyone who worked at Microsoft in the first decade of the 21st Century knows the company made many missteps and wrong turns.

Four Virtual Assistants Tackle Real-World Business Tasks – Think of virtual assistants as old-school secretaries, except that they can’t drop off and retrieve your dry cleaning or take your vehicle to the car wash because they live 7000 miles away. That’s a shame, because following our tests of four such services, we’d feel a lot more comfortable handing over our dirty clothes to these operations than entrusting critical business tasks to them.

Today’s Quote:

Trouble is only opportunity in work clothes.”

-    Henry J. Kaiser

Today’s Free Downloads:

NoScript – Javascript is a very useful type of Web programming, but many online attacks exploit it. Use this plug-in to block sites from running JavaScript in Firefox until you explicitly say it’s okay. You can give one-visit or permanent approval for the sites you trust.

KeePass (2.x) – KeePass solves an increasingly important dilemma: How to keep track of all of your passwords, whether they be for email services, Web sites, bank accounts, or what have you. Increasingly, we are inundated with passwords, with no easy way to keep track of them. KeePass does the job neatly.

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