Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 25, 2011

How to root the Kindle Fire – Have you snatched up a Kindle Fire, and are wanting to fully unleash your tablet’s power? Say no more. These detailed and simple instructions will have you rooted, using the Android Market, and installing apps to your heart’s content. These instructions are only friendly with Windows. Mac users can root by hopping on a friend’s PC or by running Windows in Boot Camp.

Record Cable TV on Your PC, Easily – Is your DVR overloaded? Use your PC to record shows, and you can store as much as you want and watch it on anything–including your TV, phone, and tablet.

Surrounded by Surveillance: Is Everything Spying On You? – Depending upon who you listen to, GPS tracking shouldn’t be your only concern when you are out and about on the streets.

Microsoft recruiting users to beta test new Security Essentials – The company wants testers to bang on the new beta of its security product, which may reach the public by the end of the year.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

What to Expect from the Coming Xbox 360 update - The long wait for an updated look and feel to your Xbox 360 dashboard is almost over. Microsoft has announced the new Metro dashboard will go live on December 6th, and will be free for all users to install. Along with the improved visuals, there are some new goodies being included in the update, especially if you have a Kinect.

Reports of Android Malware Risk Greatly Exaggerated - Juniper Networks claims that the number of Android malware apps has grown 472 percent% since July of this year. That sounds pretty horrible, but users should know this is a count of all the malware online, not what is available in the Android Market. Indeed, if you only download software from the Market, chances are you will never be exposed to any of these bad actors. ExtremeTech.com has the reality check.

Fake Facebook account deletion warnings target users – An email supposedly sent by the Facebook Team warning users about them having violated the social network’s policies is currently hitting inboxes around the world:

Fake iTunes gift certificate offer carries malware – As the holiday shopping season is poised to start in the U.S. with tomorrow’s Black Friday, users are advised to be extra careful when it comes to too-good-to-be-true offers landing in their inboxes. An example of this is a current spam email campaign that notifies them of having been the lucky recipient of a $50 gift certificate for iTunes.

Bosnian hacker collected, distributed massive amounts of illegal porn – A Bosnian national, identified only by the initials E.S., has been arrested by agents of the Bosnian Federal Police’s cybercrime unit following the discovery of a massive amount of pornographic images and videos of children on his computer.

Company News:

Staples: BlackBerry PlayBook - Tablet-shoppers will definitely be interested in this deal from Staples: a huge $300 price drop on Research in Motion’s 16GB BlackBerry PlayBook, being sold for $199. In Canada, all versions of the PlayBook will be discounted to $199 for the 16GB model, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB. The Canadian offer will apparently run until Dec 1.

Google Unveils Shutdown Plans for Knol, Wave, More – Google continued its out-of-season spring cleaning this week, announcing shutdown dates for several of its products, including Gears, Wave, Knol, and more.

Dell PowerEdge Server Portfolio Sports AMD Opteron 6200 Processors – Technology giant Dell introduced enhancements to its PowerEdge server portfolio with AMD Opteron 6200 Series processors for better energy efficiency and performance for enterprise applications, the Web, private clouds and virtualization.

Wyse Expands Cloud Client Computing Portfolio With Trellia Acquisition – The Trellia solution suite provides Wyse, its customers and partners with a suite of cloud-based mobile security, device, app and expense management software solutions. Trellia adds a specific set of technology IP and expertise to present and future Wyse infrastructure management software solutions aimed at helping organizations speed deployment of cloud client computing.

Off Topic (Sort of):

ISPs can’t be forced to filter file-sharing traffic, says EU court – European ISPs will not be required to filter electronic communications which use file-sharing software in order to prevent file sharing which infringes copyright, the European Court of Justice decided today.

Weeding out corporate psychopaths – Given the state of the global economy, it might not surprise you to learn that psychopaths may be controlling the world. Not violent criminals, but corporate psychopaths who nonetheless have a genetically inherited biochemical condition that prevents them from feeling normal human empathy.

10 All-time Great Ad Lines – U.S. companies spend more than $400 billion dollars a year on advertising and marketing, but very few examples cross into the broader culture to become iconic catch phrases or punch lines. Ranker.com has come up with ten all-time great company slogans and taglines. These are brainstorms that have stood the test of time – to the point where the words have been repeated so often that consumers may have forgotten the actual products that were being promoted in first place.

Shoppers Tracked by Cell Phone – Shoppers, beware! Several malls are installing discreet receivers to their walls to track anyone in the vicinity with a switched-on cell phone. The person-specific tracking allows the system to determine which stores get the most traffic, and which areas within the stores attract the largest crowds.

Today’s Quote:

Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.”

-     Helen Keller

Today’s Free Downloads:

ZoneAlarm Free Firewall 2012 – Automatically configures network permissions for most programs using SmartDefense Advisor. Protects against attack by hackers. Can’t be disabled by malware. Blocks access to phishing sites. Includes online backup and identity protection.

Aurora – I was drawn to Aurora when I saw a thread calling it “The Dwarf Fortress of 4X Games.” Your reaction to that statement is a good gauge of your reaction to the game. If you’ve ever wanted to micromanage the exploration, expansion, exploitation, and extermination of intergalactic species, Aurora will be your thing.

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8 Comments

Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

8 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – November 25, 2011

  1. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: How to root the Kindle Fire.

    I’ve been reading a bit about rooting Android phones as well. Just wondering how the warranty might be affected by this. Not that it’s something I’m planning to do, at the moment anyway, just curious.

    Kind regards
    John

    • Hi John,

      The consensus seems to be – “Most carrier-warranty policies have a vague clause concerning the loading of “unauthorized” software which gives them wiggle room on the subject. It’s best to get your specific phone carrier to answer that question in writing.” Not terrible helpful but ………..

      Best,

      Bill

  2. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Re: Surrounded by Surveillance: Is Everything Spying On You?

    And I thought I was paranoid before! Loved the comments about tinfoil though; shows some people are keeping it in perspective. Or are they…?

    Kind regards
    John

    • Hi John,

      No, I don’t believe the public are taking the surveillance issue as seriously as it needs to be taken. Having been the target of a “mistaken identity” surveillance operation some 4 years ago, which lasted more than 6 months, and which included “hidden cameras” on trees on my property directed so as to see into my home, I detest the careless attitude to surveillance held by most people. As an innocent victim of an overzealous and strategically inept police force, I continue to view these bastards as the “enemy”. Unfortunately, the average person lacks the wit to grasp the consequences of a failure to resist the seemingly overpowering need of governments to spy on ordinary people.

      If I ever learn to control my anger over my “surveillance experience”, I’ll write it up.

      Best,

      Bill

      • John Bent

        Hi Bill,

        I’ve clearly touched a nerve here and quite understandably so. It’s bad enough the press hacking innocent people’s mobile phones, a subject very much in the news here at present. When it comes to government agencies spying on those they are supposed to serve, well that’s really taking the pi55!

        When you do come to write up your experience please include advice on how you think we can actively resist this type of thing with the array of technically sophisticated devices we are exposed to.

        Kind regards
        John

        • Hi John,

          Yes, I’ll do that. Surprisingly, I found it quite easy to uncover this very unsophisticated, downright amateurish, invasion of my personal space. I had to wonder just which mental health facility the bulk of these morons were recruited from.

          I need to get off my behind and write a feature story on this – especially to highlight the complete ineptitude of those involved. I suspect that their manual of operations was written by Inspector Clouseau. :)

          Best,

          Bill

  3. John Bent

    Hi Bill,

    Sorry, I’m not meaning to monopolise this blog. Just had to say I think the article on Android malware is excellent. As we’ve discussed before, this subject needs putting into context. The best line in the article? “The reality is that mobile operating systems are much safer than most analysts would have us believe.”.

    Kind regards
    John

    • Hi John,

      Analysts my ass! Too many of these guys are nothing more than paid mouthpieces for the advertisers who support the specific site or magazine. It’s time we insisted full disclosure laws be enacted to control the outrageous claims often associated with anti-malware applications. Snake-oil salesmen of old, had nothing on some of these companies when it comes to misrepresentation.

      Best,

      Bill