Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 29, 2011

The Best Firefox Extensions of 2011 – You can’t beat the number of choices to add on to your Firefox browser. But if that’s too much for you, we’ve narrowed it down to 23 everyone should install.

WiFi Protected Setup Flaw Can Lead to Compromise of Router PINs – The US-CERT is warning about a vulnerability in the WiFi Protected Setup standard that reduces the number of attempts it would take an attacker to brute-force the PIN for a wireless router’s setup process. The flaw results in too much information about the PIN being returned to an attacker and makes the PIN quite weak, affecting the security of millions of WiFi routers and access points.

Master Facebook’s Timeline With This Handy Guide – Here is a soup-to-nuts guide on getting started with Facebook Timeline and advanced tips for protecting your privacy and looking your best online.

FREE Online Utility to Convert YouTube Videos to MP3 – To use TuneTune, simply enter the link to the YouTube Video and click on the “Convert” button. During the conversion, which is quite fast, a visual indicator will appear to indicate at what percentage the video has converted. Following the conversion, click on the “Download” button and enjoy.

Tech Thoughts Daily Tech News 2

PCMag’s 10 Most Popular Tablets of 2011 – The iPad may own the tablet market, but it doesn’t own the hearts of PCMag’s readers. When we scoped out the list of the 10 most popular tablet reviews in 2011, we found a surprising level of diversity.

Anonymous Hacks SpecialForces.com, Posts Passwords and Credit Card Data – Anonymous Hacks SpecialForces.com, Posts Passwords and Credit Card DataMembers of the hacker collective Anonymous claim they have stolen about 14,000 user passwords and 8,000 credit card numbers from SpecialForces.com, a military and law enforcement equipment retailer.

A few great resources for polishing your technical skills – Have you already resolved to brush up your technical skills and knowledge in 2012? Wil Limoges shares some great online resources that will get your year started off right.

Tech Trends You’ll See in 2012 – We’re living in an exciting time in technology: From consumer products such as phones and tablets to the way your home computer accesses the Internet, everything is changing, and mostly for the better. We predict that next year the following ten developments will change the way you interact with the digital world.

Microsoft provides protection for ASP.NET vulnerability – Microsoft published Security Advisory 2659883 to provide a workaround to help protect ASP.NET customers from a publicly disclosed vulnerability that affects various Web platforms industry-wide.

Google’s Merry Christmas: 3.7 Million Android Device Activations – Google has a holly, jolly Christmas as users activated 3.7 million new Android devices on Dec. 24 and 25, according to a high-ranking company executive.

TechRepublic: The most popular Windows posts of 2011 – The most popular posts of 2011 give us a snapshot of what was important to readers and, perhaps something even more interesting, what was not important.

Company News:

Hitachi, Samsung, Sharp Agree on LCD Price-Fixing Settlement – New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a $553 million multistate settlement with seven major technology corporations alleged to have illegally conspired to artificially inflate prices for liquid crystal display (LCD) screens used in televisions, computer monitors and laptops. New York state taxpayers may receive upward of $11 million, in addition to restitution to compensate consumers affected by the scheme, the attorney general’s office said.

Razer Delays Gaming Laptop — But Sweetens Release – Razer announced this week that its much anticipated Razer Blade 17-inch gaming laptop is delayed past the expected holiday deadline and won’t likely arrive until mid- to late January 2012. The good news is the Blade will now come with an SSD instead of a traditional HDD at no additional cost to buyers. Razer is also handing out a custom-designed mouse for free as an apology for the delay.

Android Battles, WP7, Windows 8 Prep Marked Microsoft’s 2011 – In retrospect, 2011 could be viewed as the year when Microsoft tried to pivot: away from its desktop-centric focus and toward mobility, from packaged software toward the cloud, from a company in danger of losing its relevance toward some semblance of its old, market-dominating self. The software giant’s year was also marked by battles with Google and previews of Windows 8.

Intel’s Atom revenue is down by a third, IHS Isuppli says – According to numbers released Dec. 22 by market research firm IHS, Intel grew its market share to 83.7 percent, a jump of 1.2 percentage points over the 82.5 percent share the vendor had in the second quarter. Conversely, smaller rival Advanced Micro Devices saw its share drop 0.3 percentage points, to 10.2 percent.

Off Topic (Sort of):

Connect anything to the cloud with Twine – A new Kickstarter project by two former MIT students, called “Twine,” looks to help the everyday homeowner who wants the convenience of remote access but may not have the know-how required to wire an Arduino board into their thermostat.

SCADA and PLC vulnerabilities in correctional facilities – Many prisons and jails use SCADA systems with PLCs to open and close doors. Using original and publicly available exploits along with evaluating vulnerabilities in electronic and physical security designs, researchers discovered significant vulnerabilities in PLCs used in correctional facilities by being able to remotely flip the switches to “open” or “locked closed” on cell doors and gates.

Soft Drink Vending Machines Offering Free Unlimited Wi-Fi Coming To Japan – If Japan ever decides to ditch the “Rising Sun” bit, “Land of the Awesome Vending Machines” would be an apt second slogan. Now, those ubiquitous Japanese vending machines are getting even more useful, as one company plans on rolling out units that double as free Wi-Fi hotspots in 2012.

Mozilla: We’re more than just Firefox, you know – As the Web goes mobile and browser competition continues to toughen, Mozilla clarifies just what it is that the non-profit does, and what it will be doing. Hint: It’s more than Firefox.

Today’s Quote:

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”

-    Dwight D. Eisenhower

Today’s Free Downloads:

KeyScrambler 2.9.0.2 – KeyScrambler encrypts your keystrokes deep in the kernel, foiling keylogging attacks with scrambled, undecipherable data.

Fresh HTML 3.66 – FreshHTML is a full featured HTML designer that designed to be easy to use for beginners as also be feature rich for advanced users. Its WYSIWYG interface makes editing HTML pages as easy as using your favourite word processor.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under Internet Security Alerts, Tech Net News

2 responses to “Tech Thoughts Daily Net News – December 29, 2011

  1. Bill,

    Thanks for adding me to this list of News items… The Link Back is much appreciated!

    Rick